Tag Archives: Australia

Is Callum best for the Bees ?

28 Jul

Are Brentford going to announce the loan signing of Leicester City left back Callum Elder today from under the nose of Peterborough ? With Dean Smith having made no secret of his desire to replace Jake Bidwell following our former captain’s departure for QPR, the story is one which has been very widely reported.

callum-elder280-2561069

Whilst, ordinarily, the rumour mill is one which has been dismissed on these pages (with the exception of crystal ball wielding Beesotted), this season has seen it offered new found respect. That, following the widely predicted triple transfer swoop which saw the Bees boss snap up Romaine Sawyers, John Egan and Daniel Bentley in recent weeks along. Let’s not forget, also, the much touted departure of Jake.

If this latest story also proves correct it will see a long standing vacancy being filled. Left back has always been a position where cover has been, what we’ll politely call, thin. So much so that last season saw previously unknown Tom Field placed from the (then) Development Squad to make a wonderful debut in the 3-0 humping of Fulham.

Whilst Tom looks like he could be a stunning long term prospect, to heap it all on his young shoulders would be an enormous amount of expectation. Nobody can do it all on their own over an entire season – certainly in the outfield positions – let alone a relative newcomer. As such a new signing in this position has been one of the most widely anticipated moves of the summer.

Callum has yet to make his first team debut at Leicester but is already an Australian U-20 aswell as having featured in 18 games loan at Peterborough last campaign. Indeed, The Posh were hoping to retain Callum this time around but, with the player having signed a new contract at the Premier League Champions, director of football Barry Fry would seem to have had his heart broken.

It’s an exciting move for Brentford if the story plays out. Reading the sources, it certainly sounds accurate. This one has quotes and everything. The only thing missing is the description of Callum as a ‘starlet’. Surely de rigeur for any young international prospect? See : Liverpool starlet Sergi Canos.

Sergi Canos v Reading

The former Bee (and Liverpool starlet) will be plying his trade for Norwich

Lets hope that other Leicester rumour currently being suggested – any potential move of Scott Hogan being treated by all and sundry as rubbish  – is equally accurate.

And finally, if you’d like to read more…. No, not the e-book. Infact, the team at Beesotted have just published the first of their season previews. Featuring the thoughts of several bloggers and podcast contributors , it is a light hearted look at the best and worst of 2015/16 along with our aspirations for 2016/17.

You can read that one here.

Nick Bruzon

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What a mess. Where next for team in an 808 state?

4 Oct

What a stinker of a Saturday. Trying to be nice about QPR for a forthcoming programme article. Sergio Aguero, just axed from my fantasy team, almost achieving brackets single handed after five goals for Manchester City at home to Newcastle. England getting dumped out of the rugby World Cup by Australia before the qualifying pools have even finished. And Brentford, the normal hope of some weekly sporting excitement, hit rock bottom with a morale sapping defeat at Derby County.

This assumes Brentford had much morale left to sap after a stint which has been turbulent, even by our standards. Thinking back to last season and Villagegate, I think this has been even worse. At least, then, we had a manager in Mark Warburton that the fans loved and a fit squad of a quality we’d never seen before. Likewise, the team were playing scintillating football. And although the game at Charlton was probably the real low point, performance wise, we came back to reach the play offs.

However, the events of the previous ten days, and I begin with last Thursday, have probably surpassed that in sheer incompetence. I say last Thursday, because that’s when Cliff Crown, Rasmus Ankersen, Phil Giles and Mark Devlin sat in front of the fans to tell us how wonderful everything was. Marinus was there, too. That’ll be Marinus our head coach who, with the supporters out of the way, was subsequently dismissed three days later.

Despite two statements and a probing interview with our director of football (sorry, Phil, but there doesn’t seem to be anything ‘co’ about this relationship – at least, in public) we are still none the wiser as to why he went – beyond a ‘fundamentally different approach to training’. Likewise, why such a positive message had been given just days earlier.

Just what changed on the training ground on Friday?

Apparently it was nothing about results on the pitch – a good thing too, given we’ve lost both games since Lee Carsley has taken over. Lee, don’t forget, a man who has openly said he didn’t ask for the role or particularly want to go into management.

I feel for him, genuinely, and don’t want to paint Lee as any sort of bad guy. Likewise, when even the senior players are apologising on social media after the game then there has to be something intrinsically wrong in the camp.

Harlee and the Judge - not a 70s cop show but comments from our senior player

Harlee and the Judge – not a 70s cop show but comments from our senior players

I don’t envy Lee the task of trying to turn this around. The highlights, such as they are, present a sorry picture of missed tackles and one way traffic. Fairplay to the 808 Brentford fans who made the trip to Derby. I’d love to have been amongst you; part of me is glad I wasn’t – and that’s an awful thing to have to admit.

Instead, I had Beesplayer where it was literally the match and not much else. I.T. problems at the front end meant things didn’t start until about 2.45 and then the commentary team, I’m sure for legitimate reasons, couldn’t get off air quick enough.

There was barely time for Mark Burridge to ask the erudite Mark Chapman for any final words before the plug was pulled. Even Ciaran Brett, who had earlier given us the somewhat eye watering image that, “There’s a lot of Adam Forshaw in Ryan Woods”, didn’t get the chance of a further look in.

It’s a shame, because this is one time when some genuine discussion from the team about what had unfolded would have been very welcome. Instead, it was left to social media for more opinion and, for me, reviewing this Beesotted have hit it squarely on the head.

Fan feeling about the Derby game is summarised in one tweet

Fan feeling about the Derby game is summarised in one tweet

Plus points?

  1. We have two weeks off. Lee can get some serious one on one time with the squad and see what magic he can work on the players ahead of the home match with Rotherham United.
  2. At least we have already beaten Bristol City and Preston – two teams who seem in even worse shape than us.
  3. We didn’t concede in the second half. And almost scored.
  4. For all we are in a dark place now, the gap to the play offs is only ten points. And that’s not meant as an incentive for promotion but more an indication of how tight the table currently remains.

And this, for me, is the key point in all this. We’re ten games in, the table has taken shape and it doesn’t look pretty. BUT….if we can get our players back and a run together, then there is all the time and the space available to start climbing.

Let’s be honest, this time last year most supporters would have taken finishing ‘fourth bottom’ as a good thing. We ended up coming fifth. Personally, I felt we always had it in us to go all the way and said as much. Right now I’d bite your hand off for that previous aspiration.

Equally, I think we are better than that but in a campaign where rather than gelling as I had hoped we would, the team have only looked worse, you need to start somewhere.

‘Aim for fourth bottom’ is hardly a motivational message up their with the Olympic standard ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius’ . Equally, we need to be realistic, based on current events. Right now I’d love, with a two week break, if Rasmus, Cliff and the rest of the gang could host another fans’ forum.

Some might argue it is too close to the last one but, equally, so much has changed since then and supporter feeling is at a level I’ve never experienced before. That, in itself, is bonkers considering how excited we should be with the Bees back in the Championship and given a chance to consolidate. What harm would it do to face up to the fans for an additional ‘catch up’? At least, then, nobody could complain they haven’t been given the opportunity to speak?

Failing that, why not do an interview with Billy, Dave and the Beesotted camera rather than ‘club official’? As ‘voice of the fans’, they’re never shy and usually have their finger on the pulse.

Beesotted: Billy is never one to hold back (sorry Dave - I've no 'file photo')

Beesotted: Billy is never one to hold back (sorry Dave – I’ve no ‘file photo’)

We’ve chosen to go down this route and nobody said it would be easy but right now, with the approach hardly reaping rewards – and these things do take time – then if it is one we are to persist with, survival has to be the primary objective.

And that’s a sad thing to be saying this early into a season that had promised so much following the previous campaign.

Nick Bruzon

The stuff of dreams or nightmares?

13 Feb

As Brentford prepare for the trip to Charlton Athletic, the future of manager Mark Warburton (whether short or long term) remains no clearer. The only thing we can say is that he won’t be going to QPR, at least this season. Loftus Road chairman Tony Fernandes has now followed up the announcement that he had got his ‘dream manager’ by revealing the appointment of caretaker Chris Ramsey until the end of the season. Truly, the stuff of dreams.

To read the rest of this article, season 2014/15 is now available to download onto Kindle (and other electronic reading device) in full. Containing additional material and even some (poor) editing, you can get it here for less than the cost of a Griffin Park matchday programme or Balti Pie.

Thanks for reading and all your comments over the course of the season. For now, I need to make more space on the site for any follow up. However, ‘close season’ will continue in full, further on.

The latest managerial updates provide stark roundup

12 Feb

A day spent rooting through the detritus of Brentford’s defeat to Watford on Tuesday night and all the fallout from the club’s statement regarding Mark Warburton ended with little satisfaction and even more mystery. Indeed, with Aston Villa sacking Paul Lambert and QPR failing to appoint Tim Sherwood (a man linked with more vacancies than The Bates Motel) the managerial merry go round seems set to gather pace.

To read the rest of this article, season 2014/15 is now available to download onto Kindle (and other electronic reading device) in full. Containing additional material and even some (poor) editing, you can get it here for less than the cost of a Griffin Park matchday programme or Balti Pie.

Thanks for reading and all your comments over the course of the season. For now, I need to make more space on the site for any follow up. However, ‘close season’ will continue in full, further on.

As believable a transfer rumour as the average plot in Neighbours

26 Jan

With the dust settling on Brentford’s win at Norwich City we can ease into the last full week before Natalie Sawyer and Jim White officially declare the transfer window as slammed shut. And typically, as befits this time of year, a rumour has surfaced although this is one more out of leftfield than usual.

We’ll get there in a moment but, first, if you haven’t seen them,  the goals from Carrow Road went up on the official YouTube channel yesterday. Whilst those of us who were able to travel with their friends to the game or caught The Football League show afterwards would have already seen these, the club version have the advantage of being spliced with Mark Burridge’s Beesplayer commentary.

I’ve said it before and I’ll likely say it again but this is one of my favourite things to come out of Griffin Park, off field, this season. So fair play to the media team and creative gurus behind putting this together so quickly.

 

Ok. Transfer rumour time. As you may have read, The World Game website is reporting that Brentford are in the chase for Swindon Town’s Australian international midfielder Massimo Luongo, who is valued at AUD$4m (just over £2.1m at current rates).

David Magrone, the player’s London-based Australian mentor (presumably that’s Antipodean for ‘agent’) is the only person to make any quote in the article, aside from some of the hilarious comments afterwards, saying,” Brentford is an option for him but it’s important that he takes his time because there is plenty of interest from elsewhere also.”

The piece, which you can read here if you want, also notes that that Luongo, currently starring for the ‘Socceroos’ in the Asian Cup is allegedly attracting interest from Wolves, Sevilla and a host of German clubs.

Luongo is on twitter (although Matthew Benham is not a follower)

Luongo is on twitter (although Matthew Benham is not a follower)

It’s an interesting theory but I think there’s more chance of me starring in Neighbours than this one coming true. Given that Swindon are currently in the box seat for promotion to the Championship, selling a player rated as one of their top assets would seem an unlikely strategy.

Likewise, have you seen the state of our midfield? This is one area where we are bursting at the seams with quality. From the long serving feet of Jonathan Douglas to the untapped potential of young gun Lewis Macleod, the likes of Jota, Alan Judge, Toumani Diagouraga, Stuart Dallas, Sam Saunders, Jon Toral and Alex Pritchard are all in the mix for a starting place. Nine players! And don’t forget, also, that we’ve had to reinvent Moses Odubajo as a right back given the injury to Alan McCormack.

Still, one thing that Brentford have done is build for the future and we do have a habit of picking out some exciting players. However, I’ll dip my toes into the water and suggest that this one is probably a rumour too far.

Of course, I’m just the numpty on the terrace rather than anybody with any meaningful inside knowledge so do treat any transfer suggestions you read here with a huge pinch of salt rather than as being of any meaningful substance.

And, if you’d like to put the question of any new signings directly to the people that do have the answers, then don’t forget the fan’s forum takes place on Thursday night at 6.30pm. Chairman Cliff Crown, Chief Executive Mark Devlin, Sporting Director Frank McParland, Manager Mark Warburton and Assistant Manager David Weir will be taking questions from 6.30pm in the Hive.

See you there.

I've got more chance of appearing in Neighbours

I’ve got more chance of appearing in Neighbours

England down but not (quite) out. At least Brentford shone.

20 Jun

I have to start with the World Cup and England being beaten by Uruguay. My one word match report: Suarez.

Whatever you say about England’s failings or those things we did well (erm, Wayne Rooney scored. A World Cup goal) the ultimate difference between the two teams was a world-class striker. Say what you want about him, and many have – including my own proclamation at 9am in the office that “Suarez is knackered – he won’t do anything tonight”, but the quality of his finishing and the timing of his runs was magnificent.

With the England defence less holding the line and more tied up in knots by it, twice he opened us up as easily though we were nothing more than a jar of caramel spread.

Poor Roy looked shell-shocked afterwards. Captain Steven Gerrard didn’t even face the cameras. But, are there any positives?

Firstly we are still in it. Unlike deposed champions Spain or Australia

We can still qualify for round 2. All we need is Italy to beat Costa Rica; England to beat Costa Rica; qualified Italy to beat a Uruguay side also in need of three points; goal difference to do us a favour.

Likewise, demoralised by defeat I didn’t stay up to sit through Japan and Greece drawing 0-0. That was an extra 90 minutes of sleep I wouldn’t ordinarily have had.

Best of all though, unless the ITV sound quality was as bad as their World Cup jingle (which sounds like a Nokia 3310 ring tone and must have taken all of ten seconds to come up with) Bernie Clifton and his ‘England Supporter’s band’ were nowhere in evidence. Being on the brink of going out is frustrating enough but then having to watch Suarez destroy us, sound tracked by a flaccid rendition of ’Love will tear us apart’, would have been a final kick in the knackers.

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It could have been so much worse last night

Back at domestic level, earlier in the day the Brentford club shop held the launch of next season’s home shirt. This was another great event with players and Natalie Sawyer, amongst others, in attendance over the course of the afternoon and doing a great job on behalf of the club. As ever, they couldn’t be more welcoming.

The only thing missing was a ‘sneak peak’ at the away shirt….

England may be standing on the edge but at least anticipation for the forthcoming Championship season is cranking up nicely.

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Proud dad takes his son shopping – not even I’ve got one of these shirts yet

(‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ The combined story of Brentford’s season  2013/14 – amongst other things –  is now available on kindle. 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 )

‘Chiles understudy’ sees Spain given a real clogging.

14 Jun

The World Cup exploded into stunning life on Friday. Brazil’s lucky win over Croatia seemed a distant memory after the Netherlands devastated Spain – leaving them bloodied and bruised, like a gored matador awaiting the fatal blow. Much as I love Brentford, and can’t wait for their foray in the Championship, this was the standout match from three games of truly world-class football we could only aspire to.

As ever, if you want the match reports (or the highlights) then read the BBC. For me the salient points of the day’s activity were:

ITV, who I had lambasted yesterday, redeemed themselves somewhat with first use of World Cup favourite, “For those of you just coming from work, the score is”. Sadly, I was still coming home from work, so missed this moment although am reliably informed that 6.25pm was the time; Mexico – Cameroon the game. For the record, a 1-0 win for the Central Americans.

Unfortunately, their oversized score graphic doesn’t seem to have shrunk any overnight and still takes up more screen space than Adrian Chiles. Please ITV, slim this down a bit or, at the least, move it more into the corner.

The BBC then had their turn and seem to have taken the very short-term view with their choice of panel. How they must have laughed a few months ago, at the thought of using Rio (Ferdinand, that is) in Rio (de Janeiro).

Sadly, nobody back home was laughing at his continual name-dropping. I didn’t realise, and you may not have caught this, but apparently he used to play for Manchester United

As one correspondent put it to me afterwards, he has “All the screen charisma of an 18 wheeler lorry reversing very slowly around a corner”. An ironic statement, given that’s much the same as his defensive turning circle

Still for all the downside of Rio (who looked positively distraught at having to stay behind afterwards to answer Facebook questions whilst, presumably, the rest of the panel went out for a few cold ones), the BBC had the pick of the games.

Spain 1 Netherlands 5. The Dutch masters (sorry) obliterated Spain, the highlight for me being Robin Van Persie’s exquisite header to level things. If ever you wanted to see footballing perfection then this was it.

The timing, the run, the dive, the connection and the precision. It makes you wonder if David Moyes might still be in a job had he got this sort of form out of the Manchester United man last season.

Then there was more use of the referee’s spray paint (isn’t this just shaving foam?). Whatever it is, I love this idea although am waiting for one of them to ‘go rogue’ and start freestyle art on the pitch.

Proceedings were rounded off with Chile racing into a 2 goal lead against Australia before allowing them back into the match. The Aussies, presumably put off their game by the awful kit they’d been forced to wear – the rather camp looking combination of tight yellow shirt/shorts and long white socks.

Whilst Chile held on to win 3-1, it was a much tighter, and more exciting affair, than it had any right to be after the Australian ‘no show’ for the first fifteen minutes.

That was Friday. Today sees the first outing for England, who play Italy on the spray painted (green, not white) pitch of Manaus. It promises to be an exciting day of football although, after the fifteen goals from the opening four games so far, I’m betting Roy’s boys will bring these back down to earth with a 0-0 bump.

But don’t listen to me – as somebody much wiser than me pointed out last night, my twitter observations are much akin to a #Chiles-understudy. And, to be fair, he’s probably right.

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Referees ‘paint’ – comes in three sizes

The clock is ticking for our one shot at the greatest prize on offer.

15 Mar

It’s 5.30am and I’m wide wake with nothing but giant scalextric, coming live from rainy Australia, for company. The TV is on but it’s just washing over me – the tedium of Formula One Grand Prix qualifying (essentially, you are watching a clock) just doesn’t compare to the prospect of Leyton Orient – Brentford at Saturday lunchtime.

To say I am excited about this game would be an understatement. An away fixture always has a special atmosphere but with the game at Leyton Orient having sold out, including a massive proportion of those being Brentford supporters, this one could be even spicier.

Victory for either team could take them above Wolves at the top of League One although the Bees would need to win by 16 goals. Even my online bookmaker stops taking bets at the 10-0 point (500-1, for the record).

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.

Are the Wolf Pack suffering a relegation hangover? Brentford stay top.

4 Jan

Has sport gone crazy?  Brentford are still at the top of League One after Wolves lost at Gillingham last night.

That can’t be correct but I watched the game on Sky. I’m sure I saw Bees fan Natalie Sawyer doing an admirable job in remaining neutral as Wolves , the former league leaders, were beaten by Brentford old boys.

Then I got out of bed at 5.30 this morning to see England (the cricketing equivalent of Wolves?) are being beaten once more by Australia. Sport isn’t ‘broken’

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.