Tag Archives: 101

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)?

Image

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?

Image

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.

Advertisements

MO, JR or another MT? And two anchors in budgie smugglers.

27 Jun

When Brentford’s Championship campaign kicks off in just over six weeks with the visit of Charlton Athletic, the first XI could have a different look. Of course, this week has already seen Clayton Donaldson head for pastures new at Birmingham City whilst Marcos Tébar has swapped Spain for Griffin Park.

However, lovers of social media would have seen hints from both club owner Matthew Benham and chief executive Mark Devlin last night in regards to further activity.

Mark set minds racing with his late evening announcement that it had been, “Very busy in TW8 today. Hopefully some incoming transfer news in next 48 hours.” No further clues were forthcoming as to who these would be although the popular choice on twitter seemed to be Moses Odubajo of Leyton Orient.

I have no idea where that has come from or how accurate it is but, with Barry Hearn currently in talks to sell up his interests in the club and memories of that play-off final defeat still raw, is now the time the O’s will see their prize assets depart?

Matthew, on the other hand, has swapped the initials for the return of his ‘cryptic video clue’. He posted this YouTube link on his Facebook page last night, along with a similar announcement to Mark’s , as a hint about who could be coming in.

 

Matthew is clearly a very intelligent man. You don’t get to where he has without brains. Sadly, I’m just the numpty on the terrace and struggle with anything beyond a join-the-dots puzzle.

So how Billy Bob Thornton, masquerading as Lorne Malvo in ‘Some Roads’ links to a new signing, I have literally no idea. It could be anyone from Sean Thornton of Bala Town to a return for Jordan Rhodes….. (we can dream!)

To be honest, he could have printed a picture like this as a clue and I still wouldn’t get it. Either way, it sounds very positive news and I can’t wait to see who is next to feature in ‘obligatory photo in jeans and new shirt’ corner.

Image

Billy Bob Thornton?

And finally, Adrian Chiles put a smile on my face last night. Not in a good way but, at least, one that showed he has a sense of humour. Readers of a sensitive disposition should look away now.

However, the build up to the evening’s World Cup games on ITV, featured his terrifying look behind the scenes at how the light channel and the BBC carve up the televised games between them, as Chiles told us:

“If you’re wondering which second-round games will be shown on the BBC and which on ITV, Gary Lineker and I will strip down to our budgie smugglers, wrestle on the beach and the winner will get first pick.”

I still reckon last season’s Pugil sticks are the way to go.

‘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.

Image

Tell me this isn’t, really, how it happens?

 

This ‘MT news’ is not good. And the real reason England are out of the World Cup

26 Jun

Brentford completed two bits of largely predicted transfer activity yesterday as Clayton Donaldson agreed to join Championship rivals Birmingham City whilst the Bees midfield was bolstered by the acquisition of Marcos Tébar.

Rumours of Birmingham’s interest, and Clayton’s alleged medical had been circulating for the last few days in the local press (getting one right, for once – Rob Kiernan, anyone?) whilst Matthew Benham had set tongues wagging with Tuesday’s twitter announcement in regards to signing ‘MT’.

I’d like to start by wishing Clayton ‘good luck’ and offering my huge thanks. His goal record and effort at Griffin Park speaks for itself whilst the performance at Leyton Orient last season, with the Bees down to ten men, was one of the hardest shifts I have ever seen a player put in. The simple fact is that he was an integral part to our promotion and I can’t wait to see him back at Griffin Park – albeit that it’s going to be somewhat odd in a City shirt.

Image

Clayton meets his youngest fan pre-season. And his fattest

This does, of course, make things interesting up front where Northern Ireland International Will Grigg is in pole position, as it stands. With Farid El-Alagui released and Clayton off, he doesn’t have too much experienced competition for that coveted centre forward slot.

With Mathew Benham tweeting about MT, the other name on most people’s lips was Marcello Trotta. From ‘that penalty’ (sorry, mentioned it) to last season’s heroics, it’s fair to say he’s made a name for himself at Griffin Park. I’d love to see him back but, as it stands, evidence from ‘down the road’ suggests the only place we’ll currently see him in the Championship is at Craven Cottage.

“The boys were back in town”, proclaimed their website on Wednesday. A rather odd declaration, considering that the much derided Michael Jackson statue had been ‘in town’ more recently than this ‘boy’.

Image

This distasteful image is now on the FFC website

I’m not privy to the club’s transfer plans and, like other supporters, am only in a position where I can speculate. However, the sight of Marcello in the middle of a Fulham training montage makes me desperate that his name is at the top of Mark Warburton’s shopping list.

To see him in their white colours would really be a kick in the knackers. And you’d just know a penalty would be awarded.

And finally, I’d like to thank Richie Firth on Christian O’Connell’s Absolute Radio breakfast show for a World Cup ‘stat of the day’. My disdain for ITV football has been well documented in the past, but he has now helped send it to an all time low with an intriguing fact.

By all accounts, England have only won 21% of their World Cup games since 1982 when they have been shown on the light channel. If ever an excuse was needed to boot Chiles and the boys into touch, then here it is.

Don’t blame Roy. It’s all Adrian’s fault.

‘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.

Are Brentford about to unveil MT today?

25 Jun

With the evening’s football being overshadowed by Luis Suarez and his latest bite, you could be forgiven for missing the other news. I won’t repeat the column on Suarez, suffice to say that the graphic I’d put together left me having nightmares – with the miniaturised head of Russell Slade protruding from the Uruguayan’s mouth, much akin to the eponymous creature from the Alien movie.

However, what I will repeat is Matthew Benham’s proclamation that Brentford should be announcing a new signing today – initials MT.

Mr Benham loves a cryptic clue (see also: Mark Warburton replacing Uwe Rösler – one I still can’t work out, even knowing the answer). Of course, whichever name I suggest is sure to be wild speculation and miles off.

Moreso, as Matthew has not started following any ‘MT’ on twitter (much as he did with Alan Judge or Chuba Akpom). Chelsea and Ghana’s Christian Atsu being his latest ‘follow’, although that would be a CA.

Could one of these be pictured at Griffin Park today, holding a new Adidas shirt?

 

 

Image

View from the terrace – Marcello Trotta scores from the penalty spot against Gillingham

And if BBC Manish is reading (he isn’t) I very much enjoyed your coverage of the Japan – Colombia game on BBC 3 last night. However, was there really a need to make a point that it was women aged 18-24, more than any other gender group, who watched the Croatia game?

Come on Manish, this is the 21st century – who cares? Women play and watch football, too. Besides, the men were probably all busy doing the washing up and ironing.

‘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.

Matthew Benham’s mystery MT overshadowed by the Suarez gnashers

24 Jun

You couldn’t make it up. With the media all set to deliver the fatal blow to England after a dismal World Cup, Luis Suarez has stolen all the headlines with his bite on Giorgio Chiellini. This, as Uruguay knocked Italy out in the same group stage as Roy’s Boys.

Words fail to do justice to the reaction after the Uruguayan committed this most heinous of offences for the third time in his career. Robbie Savage kept repeating the line, “It’s disgraceful, disgraceful” whilst Gary Lineker did his best to remain po-faced and serious when all he wanted to do was let rip.

Meanwhile on BBC 3, Manish (of football League show fame) and his guests attempted to play ‘keepie uppie’ in the studio with a tennis ball. Even Carlos Valderama had a crack in a feature that was about as far away from a mouthful of Italian shoulder blade as you could hope to get.

And if it proved a distraction from England then it has very much been the same with Brentford. Matthew Benham’s late afternoon announcement of an imminent signing (initials: MT), to be revealed tomorrow, has had supporters guessing as to who it could be?

Marcello Trotta? Martin Taylor? Matt Tubbs? Marcos Tébar? Or A.N.Other?

Anyone who has followed Mathew on twitter will recognise his love of a cryptic clue and so this is just as likely to end up being Mr T.

Whoever it is, with Clayton rumoured to be undergoing a medical at Birmingham City at the same time as Suarez was tucking into an Italian, I’m chomping at the bit for any news.

Image

Who is the mystery MT ???

As you may have also read (I’ve not mentioned it much), I’ve released an e-book. ‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’  the story of Brentford’s season 2013/14  (amongst other things) is now available to download for your kindle / digital device. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from the last ten months, you can get it here.

However, I’m not the only person writing about the Bees. Greville Waterman, who you may know from the fantastic series of ‘Big Brentford book of the….70s/80s/90s’ has started his own blog. I have to say it is a thoroughly good read and you can catch up with all from bfctalk, here.

The other blog site I’ve enjoyed (although seems to have gone a bit quiet in recent months) is: 101 uses for Russell Slade. Set up after being left with a surfeit of the commemorative Beesotted trophies following the Stevenage game, I’m hoping it gets going again over that painful ‘closed season’ period.

And if it helps, here’s my take on the next ‘use’. A Hannibal Lecter style facemask for Luis Suarez .

Image

Just one of the 101 uses for a Beesotted Russell Slade