Tag Archives: 2014

The craziest day in football history? Bees top the lot as Clem and Bournemouth set the record straight.

19 Mar

No. It wasn’t a dream. I’m awake. Brentford really did come good in the most incredible style to turn a 3-1 HT deficit into a 5-3 win at Burton Albion. Back on 3rd May 2015, the Last Word published a column entitled: Was this the craziest day in Championship history? as the Bees secured a play-off semi-final with Middlesbrough and Bournemouth pipped Watford to the league title in the most dramatic of denouements. But yesterday saw all that come crashing back to the forefront of the memory for many reasons. Nonemoreso than the return of Middlesbrough fan and Last Word cult hero Clem. Of Clemwatch fame.

But we can only start up where we left off last night and the result from Burton Albion. If not as significant as that afternoon back in 2015 where our own defeat of Wigan, matched with just about every possible result going our way, saw the Bees reach the play offs for the Premier League, this was one that is at the very top of the list of “I was there” games, Purely in terms of what was a ridiculous afternoon it was from a Brentford perspective.

If you’ve seen yesterday’s post-match column we’ve done that one. What a quite spectacular game of football to have witnessed. Following it from home was stressful enough, I can only imagine what it was like being there. An afternoon reminiscent of celebrating like we’d won the FA Cup at Leyton Orient? Winning the fifth round of the FA Cup at Blackburn in 1989? That game against Wigan in 2015?

Only those in Burton will truly know how good this one felt but if social media is anything to go by then it can only have been up there with the best of the best.  There’s been plenty for those missed who out on this one to look at via the world of Twitter and other sources although, perhaps, in retrospect it was always going to be a special afternoon when Burton gifted Brentford an omen such as this.

Are Beesotted setting up in Burton?

Billy (Grant) of Beesotted fame wasn’t just spotted on the side of a building. He was one of many loving the moment Sergi Canos popped up at the railway station on the way home. As you do.

Billy and Sergi. The afternoon's excitement continues

Billy and Sergi. The afternoon’s excitement showed no sign of stopping.

Billy wasn’t alone. Just when you thought Sergi couldn’t be any more excited to be back at Brentford, his impromptu photocall proved us all wrong on that front. How Norwich City must be kicking themselves at acquiring, then falling too use, such incredible talent and incredible enthusiasm. Presumably the Spaniard has now got home or is he still obliging the supporters with more photos?

Sergio does it again. And again. What a man.

Bees photographer Mark Fuller caught the moment below as sweetly as one could hope. The next best thing to actually being behind the goal.

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Whilst his partner in media crime (not literally) Sean Ridley proved that sometimes, three words are all you need.

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But perhaps it was the EFL themselves who hit the nail on the head in regards to yesterday’s events.

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Yet to truly call yesterday incredible we also need to look at Bournemouth. Specifically because  Eddie Howe’s team beat Swansea City 2-0 at Dean Court/The Vitality Stadium.

On paper, no great surprise given The Swans precarious position but dig a bit deeper and it might not have been such a ‘gimme’ as first imagined.

Back in that 2014/15 season, aswell as charting Brentford’s first Championship campaign the Last Word ran a side feature called Clemwatch. It was a feature borne out of the sudden realisation made, as most are, in The Griffin.

Namely, that whichever team ever popular BBC roving reporter Clem (Mark Clemmit)  featured on The Football League Show would subsequently fail to win that afternoon’s game.

Clem Wycombe toilets

Clem – never shy to mix it up in terms of reporting locations for The Football League Show

Was there any truth to this? Being the jinx conscious football fan (magic pants, lucky shirts, not shaving over a winning run are all par for the course) this needed study. And so over the course of that season Clem’s form was observed from the first week. Surely it wouldn’t be true. But it was.

Aside from some genuinely entertaining features, Clem finished up with a record of 7(seven) wins from 30 reports.

He started with short term Leeds United manager David Hockaday (who saw his new team lose 2-0 at Millwall) and finished with the consummate example of the Clem effect as Bournemouth scooped the Championship title at the expense of promotion rivals rival Watford.

Clem was at Vicarage Road to see if the Hornets, entertaining Sheffield Wednesday, could match Bournemouth’s result to be crowned champions. Both teams were winning with the BBC clock showing 90 minutes. Then, it happened.

Sheffield Wednesday proved themselves the ultimate party poopers as Atdhe Nuhiu levelled things up for the Owls in stoppage time. And there it finished at 1-1.

Whilst I’m sure that Watford fans will be more than pleased just to have gone up, I do hope Eddie Howe sent a big thank you to Clem. The effervescent reporter may have doomed Watford although, and it has to be said, he brought a lot of joy to viewers along the way.

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Clem finished his season at Watford – who lost the title in the 90th minute

And that was it. With The Football League show disappearing from our screens the following season to be replaced by Football League Tonight (please, please, please never forget what was served up as replacement to Manish and Clem on that first episode) his work in that particular field was done. TV rights meant the BBC would focus on the Premier League and with Brentford failing to beat Middlesbrough in that play off semi final (or any game. Ever. It seems) we went our separate ways. Until yesterday.

With Clem finally on Twitter (@MarkClemmit) he’s been a recent ‘follow’ and, mid-morning, popped up with the announcement that Eddie Howe would be his interview subject on that morning’s Football Focus.

Cue good natured banter to a TW8 based Bournemouth supporter and Mike Grella fan about her team’s upcoming fate. The jinx would surely strike again? Yet the response was a surprising one. Not from Carey but from the man himself, defending his own recent record with the tongue in cheek note that times are changing.

That's me told, then. Clem is back. And better than ever.

That’s me told, then. Clem is on better form than ever .

And sure enough, they are. Bournemouth’s win sees Eddie Howe now joining the ranks of Sam Allardyce and Paul Lambert in being blessed by Clem. The jinx has reversed.

What can you say, but:

i) Sorry, Clem.

ii) Congratulations Clem.

iii) Thanks for being a great sport, and

iv) Should the worst happen to Middlesbrough then we can’t wait to see you at Griffin Park next season. Just make sure that if you have a mic with you, it’s pointing at Dean Smith.

And, of course, if you’d like to read more about our past three campaigns and the full Clemwatch story, then you can do so here.

Talking of Dean (puts crowbar back in pocket) we couldn’t finish without going all Ian Moose. Except without the pre-match catering obsession. It simply remains to say Happy Birthday to Dean Smith. Have a great day, my friend.

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Happy Birthday Dean Smith. Have a great day my friend.

Nick Bruzon

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The Last Word season review

28 May

What a season that was. There were the highs of Brentford doing the double over Fulham and emulating our fellow ‘tinpot’ team Bournemouth in causing more than a few surprises. There was the satisfaction of outperforming the previous campaign’s rivals in Wolves and going all the way to the play offs where Middlesbrough would prove ferociously tough opponents.

My own 'moment of the season'

My own ‘moment of the season’

Equally, we had the lows of Darren Bent’s last gasp equaliser at Derby County, the realisation we may have to leave Griffin Park early, some bizarre use of social media and, of course, the much telegraphed departure of Mark Warburton despite all he had achieved. The ‘football village’ is certainly something that will live long in the memory.

There were the underdog stories as The Bees (and from a personal level, international Gibraltar) took on teams that, before the competition had started, nobody gave us a chance against. How little do pundits know…?

Most of all, though, were just great times. As unfancied Brentford took on all before them and, rather than doing the same as Yeovil and Doncaster Rovers in going straight back down to League One, confounded all expectation.

As such, the events of the 2014/15 can now be downloaded onto your kindle (or electronic reading device) in the amalgamated Last Word season compendium: Tales from the football village (from Saunders territory to unchartered ground).

Running from July 2014 – May 2015 it contains some previously unpublished additional material and is available for less than the cost of a Griffin Park matchday programme. What better way to relive the events of the season just gone – whether on the train, the plane, the way to work, by the pool or even just the toilet? (and don’t answer that !)

Thanks for reading these last two seasons. The normal nonsense will continue on this site over the summer as we count down to the next campaign.

Available - now. If you fancy the season in one , pocket size, place

Available – now. If you fancy the season in one , pocket size, place

Celebrate the new season (like you’ve won the FA cup)

10 Jul

It’s just over a month until Brentford begin their Championship campaign against Charlton Athletic. I don’t think I’ve looked forward to a season this much since 92/93 – it really does promise to be THAT exciting.

However, with the World Cup almost having run it’s course then how else can fans fill the void until the return of league action?

Well,for anyone suffering ‘Manish withdrawal symptoms’, there is still the chance to relive it all again. On holiday, on the way to work, even on the toilet.

As has been mentioned previously ‘The Last Word’ has been turned into an e-book. The best of the not so bad bits from the last campaign have been collated, tweaked, had some new material added and become a season diary of 2013/14.

Entitled, “Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…. (just don’t mention that penalty)” it is now available for your kindle.

And you can get it, here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Celebrating-like-theyd-won-Cup-ebook/dp/B00L31OJQG

Not sure if Mr Slade has a copy as yet

Not sure if Mr Slade has a copy as yet

This your chance to remind yourself how Brentford went neck and neck with Wolves or celebrated like they’d won the FA Cup at Leyton Orient. The mixed reactions to Marcello’s return and the shock departure of Uwe. Not to mention a new stadium in the offing.

Naturally, it focuses mainly on our attempt to escape League One for the Championship but, as anybody who has looked at this column over the last season will be aware, there are as many diversions into the general ‘goings on’ in the wider world of football. Adrian Chiles, Fulham’s self-destruction, Vincent Tan, No to Hull Tigers, the national team and THAT band. Just for starters.

Running from Celtic in pre-season to the denouement of the play off campaign, you can get it now. Enjoy.

 

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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’.

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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?

 

 

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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.

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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 .

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Just one of the 101 uses for a Beesotted Russell Slade

And that silenced the Cop (acabana). Brazil have a Tony Gubba moment

24 Jun

For crying out loud, England. We were never going to win the World Cup but Joel Matip’s equaliser for Cameroon against Brazil last night really hit home as to what we are missing. To be out of the tournament with one group game still to play is all a bit rubbish but, more frustrating, is not being part of the tension and excitement in the knockout stages.

For a moment, with the scores being levelled, there was a very real threat of Brazil being knocked off the top of the table and left facing a second round group game against a rampant Netherlands team who had earlier made it three from three.

As the home crowd fell silent, all I could think of was the 1989 Brentford – Liverpool FA Cup quarter-final at Anfield and Tony Gubba’s iconic commentary.

““No Offside!! Cadette!!! Ohhh, he’s missed!! Sinton’s lovely little ball and Richard Cadette, top scorer with seventeen goals this season… how close did he come to putting this quarterfinal? Well, it would have been dreamland for Brentford, wouldn’t it? It was inches wide of the post. And that…silenced the Kop”.

Just as Brentford had their chance to claim one of the biggest scalps of all time, although were eventually undone by arguably the (then) best team in Europe, Cameroon had the favourites on the ropes. Whilst the final result was as expected (the host’s four goals the same as Liverpool eventually scored that afternoon) it was fun getting there.

England, meanwhile, aren’t at the races. The fat lady hasn’t even stepped out of the shower and done her hair, let alone started to sing, yet already we are packing our bags for the trip back to the airport. Very much a missed opportunity for players and fans alike.

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The wallchart takes shape – without England (but with Chile x2. D’oh!!)

Getting back to Brentford, the latest player whose name is being churned through the rumour mill is Conor McAleny. Given the impact he had at the start of last season, prior to that horrific leg break, I’d be very happy to see his return to Griffin Park. The Everton talent machine is certainly a well-oiled one, with Adam Forshaw and Jake Bidwell being the two obvious examples where we have benefitted.

Is their any truth to it? Well, it could just be a lot of paper talk – much like Clayton’s trip to Birmingham beach (a less salubrious place I couldn’t imagine – St. Andrews sand should be confined to the golf course) or Bristol City’s interest in Northern Ireland international Will Grigg currently seem to be.

We’ll see what happens but with England now dead in the water, I’ll take any opportunity to feed my football fix until some real news comes along.

‘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.

England go a bit Tourjansky. And are Brentford changing their tops?

23 Jun

With England limping out of the World Cup, watching any more of it seems a bit of a hollow exercise. The football over the weekend was very exciting (see: Germany, Ghana, Iran, Argentina, USA and Portugal) with even Algeria – South Korea, hardly the most scintillating prospect in advance, getting the blood pumping.

But these thrills are muted by the fact that every potential upset no longer has a knock on that could impact Roy’s Boys.

I’ve used this before but it is the archetypal example of my favourite analogy, a Timothy Dalton ‘Bond film’. The rest of the crew and cast may be the same, the action and the sound are identical but, ultimately, without the one-liners and raised eyebrow of Roger Moore it all seems to be lacking something.

Like Dalton, the World Cup still has a stunning supporting cast and incredible action but with our team of Victor Tourjanskys gone (and do check him out), it is definitely lacking a safari suit clad bite.

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England are reduced to a Tourjansky-esque cameo role on Tuesday

Brentford wise, things are just as downbeat on the surface. No real news coming out of the club, but rumour central in other sources. With Marcello Trotta, allegedly, no longer in the frame for a return, you may also be surprised to read that, “Bristol City boss Steve Cotterill is targeting highly-rated Brentford striker Will Grigg.”

Not my words (I’d have given him the respect of prefacing them with “Northern Ireland International”) but those of the Bristol Post. You can read the full story here but it would leave us rather short in the ‘striker’ position if we were to accept the supposed bid of £300,000….

Moreso given the talk about Clayton Donaldson being a shoe in to join Birmingham City, now his contract has expired.

I remember a similar situation the last time we escaped ‘tier 3’ to join the Championship back in 1992. Then, goal hero Dean Holdsworth was sold off on the cheap to Wimbledon and we were left with Murray Jones in his place. Ultimately, a packet of Murray mints would have done a better job as, despite a sterling effort, the former Grimsby man failed to find his eye for goal and Gary Blissett was left to do the work of two players.

However, if Brentford clear the decks up top (and it is a big IF – these are only cyber rumours at present) then this time I have a feeling things will be different. We’ve been too long looking to escape this division to then go and throw it all away.

Warbs and Frank McParland have a stunning knack for unearthing talent – just look who has come into the club in the last year or two. I’d hate to lose Clayton but, if it was to happen, then I’m confident that they have somebody lined up.

Now, does anybody have Lionel Messi’s phone number?

‘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