Tag Archives: 21

Top of the what now? Bees relish their Royal appointment.

11 Feb

Wow! Just wow. Brentford were at their very best to win 3-1 at Reading on Wednesday evening and overtake Norwich City at the top of the Championship table. The. Top. The penthouse suite in the promotion hotel. There’s still one heck of a way to go but after putting in about as resilient a performance as they come, against Premier League chasing opponents who took the lead and dominated proceedings in the first half, one can’t help but feel excited. Next up is a home game with Barnsley on Sunday lunchtime (given their own FA Cup tie with Chelsea tonight) followed by the midweek trip to Loftus Road. With them, the chance to improve on current figures that see us 21 games unbeaten in the league, Ivan Toney now up to 23 goals scored in the league this season and 25 points out of a possible 27 earned in the last 9 games. 21, 23, 25! What comes next in that sequence? Thankfully, for once, this isn’t part of the home schooling routine but more the excitement which seems to greet every game at the moment.

“What a team” – the words of Ethan Pinnock

For now though, we need to start by catching up on events last night. Thomas Frank shuffled his squad, with Josh Dasilva returning and Mbeumo / Fosu occupying the flanks. Sergi Canos and Samman Ghoddos having to be content with places on the bench. The former in particular perhaps disappointed after his excellent run of recent form but fitness and the squad come first. Besides, his entry into the fray  just after the hour coincided with Brentford continuing to turn the screw after holding off Reading for so long.

As seems to be the way at present, we conceded first. Thankfully not in the third minute and it was one from the penalty spot with Henrik Dalsgaard adjudged (and that’s the most generous word I can come up with) to have brought down former Bee Josh Laurent. He only ever played one game for us, ‘that’ Marinus inspired nightmare in the league cup at home to Oxford United, but the potential we saw was on evidence last night. He, and the Royals, were not here to make up the numbers even if the decision to award the spot kick seemed a soft one. Nobody complained, David Raya got his hands to it but Lucas Joao hit it too well and the hosts were ahead. 

In truth, it had been coming and if the award of the penalty itself had felt iffy (they always do when you are on the receiving end) there was no bitterness towards Reading who had been well on top. Then, things changed. Brentford pushed up (somebody needs to make a chant about that when we are allowed back in) and found their feet. Having spent 25 minutes being carved open we started to play. Josh Dasilva electric as he cut in from the right, waltzed through the defence and into the box before striking a beauty across the face of goal and into the opposite corner. It was a thunderbolt of a run and shot. A beautiful goal and one which really needed fans there to witness it. 

Alas we were all confined to barracks although at least had Mark Burridge and team to guide us through the action on i-follow. They had been sorely missed by many for the trip to Middlesbrough at the weekend but despite being stuck out in monitor free isolation at the Madjeski (not even given team sheets) were still on hand to do their thing in the bitter cold. And they had to be on their toes as Dasilva’s strike, sublime though it was, only seems to shake Reading back to life. David Raya and Ethan Pinnock both keeping the Bees in it as we were pushed onto the back foot for the last ten minutes of the half. The later in particular pulling off one quite incredible tackle that had penalty written all over it , were it not for the absolute precision in his timing.

1-1 at half time and if the first period had seen opportunity knock, the second felt very much as though both teams wold settle with a point. To be fair, it would still have been enough to see us overtake Norwich on goal difference but this team never say die. Never stop running. Had strength on the bench with Sergi providing a much needed breath of fresh air for in place of Mbeumo for the final half hour. Ghoddos adding further energy on 80 as the Bees wrapped things up in style late on.

First, it was Josh Dasilva. Again. Ivan Toney chesting the ball into his path with the deftest of touches , allowing the midfielder to lash home from close range. The finish was perfect but the build up play exquisite as Ivan made it all look so, so easy. 86 minutes gone and Brentford finally in front. With the clock reading 88 we were out of sight. A fierce drive from Sergi only able to be parried out and Ivan turned from provider to poacher, gobbling up the rebound before anyone could react. There aren’t enough superlatives to describe this man. Truly, truly incredible. Dean Holdsworth scored 38 in our own  ’91-’92 Third Division Championship season (all competitions) but one has to fear for the safety of that record should he carry on at this rate, given he’s already just up behind the total Deano scored in the league.

Josh equalised and then steered us into the lead

Four minutes of injury time became six but there was no danger. No feeling of stress or angst as the Bees held firm. It was an absolute huge result, make no mistake about that. The run and stats are impressive but now it is all about keeping the position at the top of the table we’ve finally been able to claim in our own right. Our own games in hand have played out and we’ve reached the summit with a little bit of clear air. There are still 18 games to go and now all we can do is chalk them off, one by one. Barnsley are next up on Sunday in a game that could take place with us having been replaced at the top given Norwich entertain Stoke on Saturday afternoon. And we’re assuming a game with Stoke could ever be described as entertaining. No doubt the Canaries will have a point to prove and its going to be very interesting which way this one plays out.

Still, that’s their issue. For us, the top of the table is now home. What a fantastic performance last night. What a team. Here’s to more of the same. Starting with Barnsley.

Can we reach 22…..?

Nick Bruzon 

Daniel, my brother. You are older than me (and a Manish bonus)

2 Aug

Not my words but those of Elton John (apart from the bit about Manish) which, I can only imagine, were ringing around the hot bed of activity that is the Griffin Park media centre on Friday as Brentford announced another new signing.

The latest name to join the Bees is Finland under-21 international, Daniel O’Shaughnessy. The 19 year centre back would seem, on paper, somebody who most definitely fits the club’s bill of acquiring young talent.

That said, early visitors to the Brentford club site may have been left somewhat confused. Had the media team taken a particularly long lunch, been caught short by a sudden signing or are they just massive Elton fans?

Apparently ‘defedner’ Daniel, brother of Daniel, played against England way back in 2003. Either Warbs had reversed the aforementioned youth policy or this had been in the under-9’s World Cup. You can see part of the story – as it first appeared – below.

Welcome Daniel - as first reported on the official site

Welcome Daniel – as first reported on the official site

The story was soon cleared up as it transpired that the game against England, where defender Daniel had actually featured alongside his brother Patrick, took place just last year – 2013. As ever, you can read the full (corrected) version on the clubsite.

Those who saw Brentford play CA Osasuna on Tuesday will already have had a brief taste of Daniel in action. Don’t bet against him having a further run out at some point today when The Bees line up against Crystal Palace.

The other news to grab my attention yesterday was an announcement from Manish Bhasin, of ‘Football League Show’ fame. I love this programme and was a regular viewer last season (despite their obsession with ‘that penalty’).

If for no other reason than to see which team ‘coupon buster’ Clem would curse with a visit. The spectre of a home defeat seems to follow the ever-popular roving reporter like seagulls sniffing around the proverbial trawler.

Well, the good news is that rather than waiting up until well past midnight on Saturday for our only chance to catch this, the show is to get a second running on Sunday mornings. The time, 9am.Ish. The place, BBC2.

Great news from Manish.

Great news from Manish.

This is fantastic news for those of us, myself included, who struggle to sit through Match of the Day. An hour of Mark Lawrenson is generally enough to finish off any hopes I had of lasting until the Bees action hits our screens.

Nice work, Manish. Now, if you could just make sure Clem is given a season ticket for Craven Cottage that would be perfect.

And if you want to read amore more about Manish, the Football League Show and how we reached the Championship then why not catch up on ‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’

The story of Brentford’s 2013/14 promotion campaign, amongst other football related gumph, is now available as a digital book. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from last season, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle / digital device.

Manish, Leroy and Clem feature more than Russell Slade

Manish, Leroy and Clem feature more than Russell Slade

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.

More strikers than London Transport – but who pays the penalty ?

1 Mar

Awaiting today’s League One action between Brentford and Carlisle, I proceeded to torture myself by watching last night’s game between Hibernian and Dundee United. I say ‘watch’ – refusal to sign up for a second subscription channel meant it was actually a case of going ‘old school’ and following the game on the internet equivalent of the now, sadly departed, ceefax.

The reason for this sudden interest in Scottish football was for, primarily, self-serving purposes rather than any particular desire to see who might limp into second place in the final table.

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.