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Moses gets a chance to ‘celebrate like’ etc etc as Bees play numbers game

28 Jun

The flurry of transfer activity at Brentford this week as we prepare for life in the Championship has got me thinking. What is the protocol when recruiting a new player? That is, once the niceties of negotiating terms, signing contracts and posing for a photograph with the shirt are done away with?

Specifically, how does he choose his squad number? Indeed, does that even form part of the contract talks or is it simply handed down by the manager from the pool of available ‘spares’?

And would the current squad get first crack at any new opening? With Clayton Donaldson heading to Birmingham City (although, like Marcello Trotta, his profile still remains in the ‘team’ section on the Bees website) that coveted number 9 shirt is now available.

New boy Moses Odubajo, who was announced on Friday as having joined from Leyton Orient has already bagged number 10. Rumoured to be for a fee over GBP1million, per the East London press, this is great news. Who knows if the sight, and Russell Slade’s subsequent talk, of those ‘FA Cup like celebrations’ helped sway his decision?

One would presume that yesterday’s other new signing (announced along with contract extensions for David Button and Stuart Dallas), the free scoring Andre Grey from Luton Town, has his sights on that vacant ‘9’.

Was it a wasted opportunity for the likes of Alan Judge (18)? Could James Tarkowski (26) and Adam Forshaw (4) have negotiated between them to give the central defender that position’s traditional 4? Indeed, does it even matter to players or are they the superstitious sort that, once allocated a number, keep it until they leave a club (or beyond)?

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Does a squad number make a difference?

Obviously, it makes no real difference to what happens on pitch but, whilst I’m all for progress in the game, I’m ‘old school’ at heart. Seeing a team line up numbered 1-11 gives me a certain reassurance that it ‘looks right’. An additional little ‘good luck’ omen (to sit alongside the lucky shirt, magic pants and pre-match pint). Or perhaps I just have OCD?

Watching the (so far) all-conquering Netherlands in the World Cup they have achieved this feat despite the permutations possible in a 23-man squad. Has their manager Louis van Gaal (real name: Aloysius Paulus Maria van Gaal) just ‘got lucky’? Or has he had the balls to name his first choice starting XI well in advance and then allocate 12-23 amongst the rest?

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The all conquering Netherlands team , numbered 1-11 on the BBC website

I can only hope it is the latter and if so, whilst I don’t care a jot about the tribulations at Manchester United, then self-confidence of that nature is sure to work wonders after the debacle of the David Moyes era when he arrives at Old Trafford.

Still, for Brentford fans, they are opponents’ for 2015/16. This season, let’s concentrate on getting out of the Championship.

Forget ‘survival’ – I’m aiming high. And with Matthew Benham’s cryptic clues now being unravelled (they were obvious, really…), we are certainly putting together a young, exciting and attacking squad to start that charge.

‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ (The story of Brentford’s season 2013/14) – amongst other things – is now available as a digital book. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from the last ten months, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle / digital device.

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Strip tease continues as FA tell Barlow to ‘Take That’

1 Jun

What a Sunday – football just gets better and better. With Brentford releasing another ‘teaser’ image of their shirt over the weekend ahead of Monday’s launch, I feel more confident than ever we are in for a good one. And then, to round off the great news, word is spreading on the internet that Gary Barlow’s ‘Greatest Day’ has been dropped by the FA as the official England song at the forthcoming World Cup.

I’d said my piece on this when the news of the England song’s selection was first announced. You can read it in full, here, although the salient points were:

“Rather than the much touted prospect of Kasabian, fans are to be treated to a cover version of a Take That effort – Greatest Day. Despite the sheer laziness of having Gary Barlow (a man who comes over as so bland he’d probably have England play in beige) re-record his own song, worryingly he is accompanied by a seemingly random selection of other singers.

These include, in no particular order: Emma Bunton, Kimberley out of ‘Girls Aloud’, and ‘Sporty’ Spice Mel C – hey, she likes football and sings so why not? Then we get in to the realms of ‘who’ with the likes of Katy B ( I’m not sure if this is the comedian of ‘Big Ass’ fame) and someone/thing called an Eliza Doolittle (presumably a singer/band the kidz would recognise, rather than the character from ‘My Fair Lady’).

In footballing tradition, the England football team also join in. Except, they don’t. Instead, the sporting contingent (Mel C aside) is made up of ex-Internationals, with everybody from Peter Shilton, Gary Lineker and former Brentford player Kenny Sansom participating. I’m not sure why the current squad won’t be appearing on this , probably contractual, but I quite like the thought of Steven Gerrard trying to recreate the John Barnes rap.”

Whoever is picked in Barlow and crew’s place (does anyone have New Order’s phone number) HAS to be better than this, surely?

Just as long as they steer clear of either Robbie Williams – his ‘Let me entertain you’ being the most overplayed, and least appropriate, song in sporting history – or the (alleged) England Supporter’s band, then we should be just fine.

Painful though Barlow’s all-star cast were, the thought of Bernie Clifton and co parping through an off key version of the theme from’ The Great Escape’ might just have me reaching for the ‘off’ button.

There's no room at the (Bernie) Inn for the England Supporter's band

There’s no room at the (Bernie) Inn for the England Supporter’s band

It’s almost here – June promises to be some month

31 May

What a summer awaits. In less than three weeks Brentford fans can start planning those trips to the likes of Fulham, Leeds and even a return to our friends at Wolves as the fixture list is published. By then, of course, the World Cup will have begun.

Despite the kick in the crotch of those standard half-time appearances from both the England Supporter’s band (stick to the ostriches, Clifton) and the disembodied head of Ray Winstone at, I can’t help but feel cheered by last night’s 3-0 home win over Peru. Could England do it in Brazil?

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The website of the self-appointed England band. Sorry, but their moribund parping is not for me.

Whilst blind optimism currently reigns supreme, regardless of how we fare I’ll be hooked into the 24/7 coverage (even the ITV games) – hoping England can upset the odds.

Anything could happen. The last two seasons at Brentford have shown that in even more crushing detail than ever before. It’s football; it’s exciting; it’s unpredictable; its tense; its emotional; it’s the best game on the planet. And with 32 of the World’s finest coming together next month, I’ll be watching.

But until then, Monday is the next big date in the Griffin Park calendar. Finally, we get our first full look at next season’s kit.

The club has, of course, been running a ‘teaser campaign’ this week – revealing little snippets to stoke the interest, ahead of the full unveiling. In addition, chief executive Mark Devlin has been dropping further hints in cyberspace via the medium of social network, twitter.

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A montage (training free) of those ‘sneak peeks’ that have appeared on the club website this week

Aswell as those four pictures that had appeared on the club website during the week ahead of the shirt’s 19th June launch date, ( a fifth launched on Saturday and you can see it, here),  Mark has dropped the intriguing clue that:

“It’s a bespoke design, which you may or may not approve of.”

Of course, we already know it will have stripes on the back and some form of special badge celebrating our 125th anniversary. We can also see evidence of black trim (perhaps reminiscent of the 91-92 promotion shirt); an embroidered Adidas logo and even what seem to be small areas of ‘ventex’ material (teabags to us mere mortals) around the shoulder area.

But the mention of a bespoke kit, rather than something out of the standard Adidas back catalogue, really has piqued my fascination.

I have an over keen interest in the history of the Bees shirt. I won’t deny it. However, even despite what we could politely call my ‘nerdish tendencies’ I’ve got a feeling that the club is going to show us something very special when we finally get to see this on Monday.

Much to Mrs. Bruzon’s despair, there could be another addition in the wardrobe by the time the World Cup starts.

To me. To you. To the Championship

26 May

So in the end it was Rotherham United, rather than Leyton Orient, who joined Brentford and Wolves in being promoted to the Championship this season.

Few who watched the League One play off final on Sunday could deny it was exciting. Some of the best goals ever to grace the stadium (in her old or new forms), more swings than a child’s play park and that most tense of conclusions – the, so-called, ‘lottery’ of the penalty shootout.

But then few who watched it could, honestly, have picked a winner. Paul, Barry and masked impersonators were seen on the BBC  chuckling all the way to the Championship

Paul, Barry and masked impersonators are chuckling all the way to the Championship

 

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.

Shakes fist angrily at footballing gods – a pain I know too well.

25 May

Brentford were denied a return of the 237 derby next season after QPR beat Derby County 1-0 in the play off for the Premiership on Saturday. The footballing gods then rubbed further salt in the wound by making us sit through a display of Champion’s League self-indulgence from Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo that would have made the twerking Miley Cyrus look like the shy and retiring type.

There’s no question he’s talented. But to see him strutting around half naked, like some coked up peacock on steroids, left a rather unpleasant taste in the mouth. You had to feel for Atlético Madrid after coming so, so close in regular time (or, ‘doing a Brentford’, as it felt watching that).

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.

Do we have an unforeseen kit clash?

24 May

Somebody call the United Nations.

The marketing chaps at Brentford seem to be turning the reveal of next season’s home shirt into a form of torture that wouldn’t have been out of place in the Spanish Inquisition.

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.

And the play off winners are….

23 May

This weekend Brentford find out who from Leyton Orient, Rotherham, Derby County and the Loftus Road mob will join them in the Championship next season.

Of course, it’s time for the annual end of season torture session at the W place in North London. Although, for once, Bees fans can watch the play offs with genuine excitement and interest given the impact they have on the forthcoming fixture list.

Will it be a trip to Yorkshire or that short jaunt across London to the shadow of the Olympic Stadium? Likewise, it’s a toss up between Pride Park (scene of August’s 5-0 League cup mauling) or a 237 bus ride to Shepherds Bush.

 

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Leyton Orient – big on motivation. I DO hope they get the chance to celebrate etc etc

 

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.

More loan action for Brentford…and our rivals?

2 Jan

With the  transfer window now officially open, the rumour mill is in full effect.

In the case of Brentford, for once the talk is about players coming in rather than those who could be snapped up by teams in the Premiership or Championship. So far.

Top of the list is Arsenal striker Chuba Akpom. Whilst the club is yet to say anything definitive this is being widely reported in various media sources. Even Matthew Benham, as he has also done with Blackburn winger Alan Judge, has now started to follow the Arsenal youngster on twitter.

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.

How good can this team be…..?

1 Jan

Brentford – simply stunning. The rainswept victory over Peterborough has made it 12 wins out of 13 in the League .

That’s 37 points out of the last 39 and, with Wolves limping to a draw at Tranmere, Brentford are now three points clear at the top of the League One table. Adam Forshaw could even afford the luxury of missing a penalty (although this  after he’d already opened the scoring from the spot).

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.

Re-create the Peterborough spirit

1 Jan

To Brentford fans of a certain age, the mere mention of Peterborough is synonymous with one thing  – Gary Blissett grabbing the winner at London Road as the 91/92 season came to a close.

With that goal, of course, Brentford whipped the title from under the nose of Birmingham City whilst Peterborough also went on to join us in the second tier of English football the following season.

Whilst that subsequent campaign was one which included Murray Jones as the ‘new’ Dean Holdsworth (move along please – nothing to see here) and the gut wrenching injury to Terry Evans as the Bees were relegated (if only he’d been fit), there were plenty of highlights along the way too:

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.