Tag Archives: Bee

Brilliant Bonham helps Bees take point at Barnsley.

17 Apr

Barnsley 1 Brentford 1 . A game where we might have taken all three points yet equally, were it not for Jack Bonham making his Championship debut for the Bees, we may well have been returning to London empty handed. It’s a point which guarantees we finish above QPR and whilst Fulham may now be too far ahead to catch up with in the West London mini league, the opportunity to put a dent in their playoff campaign remains a very distinct possibility.

As ever, go to the BBC, Beesotted, Brentford official etc for your full fat match reports. High level talking points for this one were a very accomplished performance from Jack Bonham between the sticks, an injury for Lasse Vibe that saw him replaced very early by Sergi Canos, a missed penalty early in the second half from Jota (with the scores locked at one each) and a sweet finish from Flo Jo to level things up just before the interval.

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Captain Fantastic marshalls the troops during that injury break

It was a goal that was somewhat against the run of play in terms of chances created. As was the opener from Barnsley. Certainly, these were rare highlights in a relatively low key first period that was full of effort but no real breakthrough. It was one that gave no indication of what was to come after the players had gone in for their cuppa and the mascots had come out for their own personal battle.

This, a 45 yard dash that saw Toby Tyke beat Buzz Bee by a short head. Ironic, given the anthropomorphic dog’s oversized cranium. But size is no indication of quality and sadly, despite the dispute over who came first at Griffin Park back in October, this time there was no doubting the winner.

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Toby got the better of Buzz, this time

But whereas Buzz had gone down, both teams emerged reinvigorated with clear intent to end this one victorious. An early penalty awarded after handball saw Jota step up to send the ball goalwards. Alas, it wasn’t to be. Barnsley shot stopper Adam Davies doing sufficient to keep the ball out and break Brentford hearts. But from there it went crazy. Canos headed against the bar from point blank range. George Moncur almost broke the one in front of the Barnsley fans. With the home side seemingly under orders to shoot on sight, Bonham was equal to everything that came near him. One effort seeing the Brentford defence stretched thinner than a pair of cheap curtains before a certain goal was denied by the onrushing ‘keeper.

In the end, a draw was a fair result. It was sufficient to keep us above QPR (permanently) and still with that hope of running Fulham out on Saturday week. As for Barnsley, nothing but fairplay to them for what really was a cracking game of football. Both teams went for it from the off and really stepped up their game in the second period. This was no stroll in the bank holiday sunshine.

Additional kudos for our host’s work in the official match day programme. Whilst we have, quite rightly, praised Mark Chapman for his own work at Griffin Park this season one does wonder if he’d ever go to this level? Specifically, a refusal to recognise former player Sam Winnall who scored for Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday against the Tykes side he’d left in January.

Certainly, it puts a spin on A.Trialist…..

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Nick Bruzon

Palace and Arsenal write a chapter for our next season as Bees beat QPR. Again.

11 Apr

With Brentford safe in the Championship for another season and the playoffs a leap too far, thoughts turn to who we’ll be facing in 2017/18. Last night’s Crystal Palace – Arsenal game has given more than a few clues as to how that’s going to pan out. Elsewhere, there was sad news for QPR who have had to make a somewhat embarrassing retraction (stop sniggering) whilst local news site Get West London appear to have finally jumped the shark.

First up Crystal Palace. For a time it looked as they were being slowly sucked towards the Premier League relegation battle. A 0-4 thumping by Sunderland, swiftly followed by a reverse at the hands of Stoke City, had eyes lighting up in West London as the Eagles slid down, down (deeper and down). Could we have another local fixture, with the Bees going to the Palace next season? Would there be a kit obsessive programme feature including that most iconic of shirts, the red and blue sash sported by Brentford legend Neil Smillie?

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Then Big Sam and his troops got their act together, won four in a row and despite hitting a bump at Southampton, had the pleasure of playing Arsenal last night. And what a pleasure it was for the neutral. A 3-0 win for Palace makes their own safety a lot more likely and, with it, a straight shoot out between Hull City and Swansea City for the privilege of joining all but mathematically doomed Middlesbrough and Sunderland at Griffin Park next season.

It’s a shame from one respect. I was quite looking forward to the prospect of a hop across London to Selhurst Park next season. It would have been a new ground to see Brentford play at but instead we can do nothing but offer Palace congratulations on a job well done in recent weeks.

The other factor is the listening to those self-entitled numpties at Arsenal TV and Piers Morgan, somehow thinking that because they had that run back in 2003/04 when they were dubbed the undateables or whatever it was, they are entitled to be any good over a decade later. Yawn. Seriously yawn.

Anyone thinking Brentford fans moan or give our managers stick needs to look to North London. There, they take expectation to a new level with ‘Wenger’ receiving 128K worth of tweets on the UK trend list as at the time of writing (6.30am).

The biggest irony being the silence in the Emirates when they are playing. If they made half as much noise mid-game as they do once the team has lost then perhaps Arsenal might be an intimidating place to come rather than the glorified library it is so derided as being.  For the neutral, it remains wonderful, if slightly nauseous, unintentional comedy. No supporters in the land are as full of their club’s own self-importance relative to its actual ability (I know , I know – they won the FA Cup). Long may it continue.

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Twitter: Come for Monkman; stay for Wenger

On the subject of unintentional comedy, we only need to look a few miles up the road to West London rivals QPR. Already 6 points behind the Bees in the League table, now they’ve lost out to us in the player of the year awards stakes.

Whilst Brentford’s own event all but sold out within days, the not so super hoops have been forced into an awkward climbdown within a week of tickets being made available for their £119 a head do. In a brief article on the clubwebsite entitled ‘POTY EVENT CANCELLED the club has been forced to admit that, “a lack of sales has resulted in the event being cancelled”.

Here’s to Saturday week when we can really hope to compound a miserable season for our near neighbours. Fifty years on; never forget.

And finally, Get West London. Whilst it would often be easier just to follow the player feed on Twitter than read their stories, yesterday saw things reach a new low. The aforementioned journalistic jumping of the shark, if you will.

Brentford fan wears Bees shirt with BREXIT 16 on the back .

Thus proclaimed the headline on one of yesterday’s post Cardiff pieces. It went on to add – The shirt about the decision to leave the European Union sparked debate on social networking site Twitter.

Sorry, this is news how? This is a story because? Stop the press  – Football fan has political opinion. This is Donald Trump levels of news. Or lack of.  It was something that ‘sparked debate’, apparently. Or, in actual fact, led to a few references to it on Twitter.

What next. Man wears jaunty Castle Badge jumper to winter game? Transfer exclusive: Jugde to sign for Brentford?

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Coming next, on Get West London

Now I’m the first to admit writing drivel from time to time. Then again, I’m neither a journalist nor paid for the privilege. Just a self-confessed numpty on the terrace with an occasional blog column.

Come on Get West London, you can do better than this. Supporters deserve better than this. With five games and two local derbies to come, things aren’t at Arsenal levels of quiet. Just yet.

April fixtures

We’ve got all this to come still

Nick Bruzon

Dean on the grass as he takes a leaf from the big book of Warburton

16 Dec

It was press day yesterday, ahead of Brentford playing their final pre-Christmas game with Saturday’s trip to Leeds United. As Dean Smith gets the chance to take on his former team-mate Garry Monk and our own form finally turning around with those back to back wins, could the Bees make it three in a row?

The bookies have the home team as favourites. Not surprising for a side who have only lost 1 of their last 8 at Elland Road and who are currently in the process of bolstering their position in the play-off zone. But the Bees are firing again, creating chances and even putting some of the away. At times via the boot of goal machine Scott Hogan; at others via the backside of Maxime Colin. But however they go in, they all count.

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We’ll be boosted by Daniel Bentley being selected for the EFL team of midweek although, by all accounts, Tom Field can probably feel somewhat aggrieved not to have joined him. Which begs another question – does Dean stick with his young protégé ? With three wins from three Brentford appearances he has looked nothing but assured and I’m sure he’ll get a start.

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The other Dean related talking point is one which came from Thursday’s press conference. The last two weeks have given us ‘blips’ and ‘skill sets’ but this time around it was all about who was on the grass.

Amongst other injury updates he told us that:

Rico Henry has been out on the grass with us

The squad is looking well and there are a lot more bodies on the grass now which is really good.”

A lot of players will be coming back onto the grass with us

But it wasn’t all about getting on the grass, as he added:

A lot of this week is recovery and the analysis suite, not the grass

But the one that really caught my eye was a line that could have come straight from the big book of Warburton That, of course, a volume that over the years produced such classics as :  “The football department is in good shape” , “raw, blistering pace”,  “Pitch geography” , “Andre Gray the thinking striker “ and, of course, “You walk around the stadium, the first time for me this morning, and you smell the history.”

Positive news about Alan Judge was shared with Dean’s  revelation that the player  “Is out there sprinting and getting his deceleration correct in terms of his mechanics.

Despite sounding more like an Austin Allegro than a footballer, we can only be very excited by this update. Will he play again this season? Will it be for Brentford?

For now, that’s all secondary. Just the fact that he is at the stage of recovery after suffering that horror challenge at Ipswich can only be cause for celebration.

Here’s hoping it is cause enough to inspire his teammates to that third win on the spin.

Nick Bruzon

Bees take the points, again (but who takes a tumble dryer to the toilet?)

14 Dec

What a difference a few days make. From going into the weekend off the back of ‘that’ run, Brentford have come back from their midweek trip to Bristol City with another win (1-0) in the back pocket. 6 points from 6 and confidence surely surging for the trip to Leeds United on Saturday (a team who themselves made it 6 from 8  – wins, that is – as they tightened their position in the play off zone with a 2-0 defeat of third placed Reading).

Was I there? No. Did I listen? No. A Christmas party at work in which, of course, good behaviour was the order of the day (no unorthodox use of a photocopier here) meant that match oversight has been limited to a series of mid-game updates via WhatsApp – other messaging services are, apparently, available.

But what updates.

In order, these included:

A picture of something that looked like a slimmed down version of the infamous Brentford funky bee with a traffic cone in place of the customary proboscis.

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Answers on a postcard, please

“Great work by Dean to keep a cool head and clear that”. (I’m presuming Harlee rather than Mr Smith.)

“Tomlin v Woods is the most hilarious short angry man battle”

“Gooooaaaallll”

“Hogan’s movement has been fantastic all night”

“FT. 0-1”

(Just) coming in from work later that night, internal monologue performing that world cup staple as scores were rechecked again to confirm exactly what had happened,  the next place to go was the video highlights. And, as ever, the BBC match report.

Both confirmed the win for Brentford, the chances created by Scott Hogan and caught the goal – a shot from distance via the boot of Romaine Sayers and (scarily)  the backside of Maxime Colin.

Scarily, you may ask? Ok – so nobody has asked but forgive me a brief indulgence. It was only yesterday that this column noted : “Create enough chances and, eventually, things will go in your favour. Something will go in off a defender’s backside.

That’ll be the same column suggesting a return for Tom Field. Sometimes, even this numpty on the terrace can get lucky.  It was a goal described later by Dean (Smith), saying : ”I think the ball went in off Maxime Colin’s backside. Sometimes you need a bit of luck to record victories in the Championship and he will want the goal, even though it was a fantastic strike by Romaine.”

He likes his luck, does our head coach. Still, if it continues going in our favour then I’ll take that over ‘blips’ and ’skill sets’. Although, equally, perhaps a more conventional goal scoring Plan B than via  a defender’s derrière would probably come in handy, too.

Still, if that’s the worst we’ve got to worry about then one can only take the points and run. Special mention, too, for Tom Field. His third league appearance for the Bees saw his third win. That’s not a bad start to any footballing career.

Now the big question is one of whether he can he make it four in a row at Leeds United? On Saturday, those of us who have taken out a second mortgage (£37 – wow !), find out .

Nick Bruzon

Actually, there is one more big question. Whilst I may have missed the game, the aforementioned office party threw up a brain teaser of its own. Namely, who uses a tumble dryer in a toilet? My thoughts, too, yet this was the sign on the inside of the bathroom.

Anybody? Anybody…..?

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Answers on a postcard, please

 

The good, the bad and the ugly. Bees stung, Newcastle lose (?!),Spurs dumped and Jose strops. A week in football

28 Nov

Brentford lost 2-1 to Birmingham City despite doing everything but scoring an equaliser in a frenetic denouement. Our previous conquerors, Blackburn Rovers, did it again as runaway Newcastle United were put to the sword at St .James Park. The #Rafalution hitting a bump in the road as six changes proved to be a shuffle to far for the Magpies. Norwich lost their fifth on the bounce to set up an interesting one next weekend whilst at the bottom Blackburn are finally clear. Cardiff City replace them to join Wigan Athletic and Rotherham United in making up the final three.

That’s the latest Championship action in nutshell. Yet there has been so much more going on in the division and beyond. In the latest of our regular, weekly feature we look back at those things you might have missed from the world of social media.

As ever, we start with Brentford where former Bee Clayton Donaldson clearly felt he had been harshly treated by the home fans. And goalkeeper Daniel Bentley. Was Dan wearing spiked gloves? Or just an unfortunate coming together as the big man went down?

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The difference between ‘official’ and ‘voice of the fans’ was highlighted by a man who seems to be a regular fixture on these pages – Adam Devlin. A beautiful piece of symmetry on his Twitter feed highlighting the difference between clubspeak on the match feed and the wonderful team behind Beesotted telling it how it was.

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And another regular member of  Brentford Twitter, Bernard Quackenbush, is also back.

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Terrace Talk is back – the last edition in the short term . You can find the full video further on but this week’s topic is ‘ What do you want for Christmas’ ? And, it would seem by looking at social media feed, most fans would be happy unwrapping Jota. Could it happen? Should it happen? Will it happen? I’m not holding my breath.

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Sean asks what fans want for Christmas….

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….something from Spain would be nice

It was also a special birthday this week (and I don’t mean in an Ian Moose style – we’ll get to him later). Former player, manager and current chief scout Andy Scott being the man to celebrate. Forget Jota, I’d be happy for this shirt. In the rarely seen long sleeves, certainly one of our very best efforts over the years.

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Away from the Bees, it has been a quiet week on Championship Twitter. Perhaps this one from George Riley summing up how smoothly everything has gone.

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Nice work George – what a step up from that first show…

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It was a busy week in Europe. Spurs capitulated in the Champions’ League – a fact picked up on by just about everybody.

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Still, North London rivals Arsenal didn’t have it much better. Although this was nothing to do with any matters ‘on pitch’ .

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Manchester United won, heavily, (not a typo) although Wayne Rooney still had a bee (wasp?) in his bonnet over the ludicrous stories about ‘that wedding’.

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Mr P. Power of Ireland was several days late to the party, with a similar observation to one made by our own Alan Judge and which featured in last weeks column.

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Infact, it seems the online bookmakers are all employing comedians in a bid to generate Twitter presence. Well – it is working, to be fair. Our own club sponsors stumbling across this one from a Danish team called FC Midgetland, Walter Mitty land…? No, never heard of them.

Indeed, 888 were on the mark even yesterday. With an observation that could have been lifted straight from the West Ham United / new stadium school of reporting, they noted:

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But forget West Ham as the main focus was Manchester United, again, on Sunday. Some would call him charismatic; other’s a tw*t. However, Jose Mourinho can’t help himself.

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And finally (before Terrace Talk), it’s time for Ian Moose’s birthday friend of the week. Which player has been given the ultimate accolade of seeing his birthday published alongside a picture of themselves with the catering obsessed journalist. This week: Yakubu

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Enough. Here’s Terrace Talk

Genius, as ever

Nick Bruzon

Wasp and leg related weirdness clouds Brentford’s big reveal

11 Nov

imageBrentford football club launched our new badge yesterday and, now that the shock of the seemingly sudden reveal has worn off, what is your opinion? Brilliant? Terrible? Indifferent?

Initial thoughts from myself were in the positive camp – it does happen 🙂  – and remain as such. Likewise much of the feedback to that column , whether directly in the comments or on social media. Equally though, I’m not so naive to realise there were some less than favourable initial observations out there.

That’s life. People are absolutely entitled to opinions whilst reaction to change can be a tough thing to deal with. Moreso sudden, unexpected change.

Yet, for some reason, the tabloids were lining up, lemming like,  to immediately pour scorn. Why go for the positive or just reporting the story when you can do so in such a negative fashion? Do we have a bad relationship with the media or are Brentford just a soft target?

“Brentford supporters left furious”.   

“Are we the wasps now?”  

“Brentford’s new badge angers fans who claim traditional bee looks more like a wasp.” 

These, the respective headlines yesterday from the Daily Mail, Daily Mirror and that bastion of the footballing moral high ground, The Sun. Bearing in mind these were the same sources whose leading stories yesterday included :

Why are you sitting here on the sofa?’: Alex Jones asks Cliff Richard why he is on The One Show despite SUING the BBC –Daily Mail

‘Why are you sitting here on the sofa?’: Alex Jones asks Cliff Richard why he’s on The One Show despite SUING the BBC’ –The Daily Mirror

THIS IS AWKWARD’ The One Show’s Alex Jones asks Cliff Richard why he’s on the sofa despite £1.5 million lawsuit against the BBC The Sun

I’m no Cliff Richard fan and please don’t get me started on The One Show (the audience of which is, presumably, interchangeable with that of Mrs. Brown’s Boys). Yet this is the calibre of apparent news our supposed badge based fury and/or anger is lined up against.

Aside for the fact this fan fury seems such a skewed perspective , I don’t even get the whole Bees / Wasp thing. The bee on our new badge is clearly a bee. Maybe more ‘bumble’ than ‘honey’ but still clearly a bee. Who could even think this was a wasp? Desperate editors, internet comedians or Mrs. Brown aside?

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Wasps. Real and shirt based. Not Bees

We’ve seen wasps before at picnics and on rugby shirts. I can’t say this enough but ours is clearly a bee.  As for the claim that it only has four legs rather than six… Erm??! Not sure I follow the logic there. Presumably the ‘missing pair’ are under the wings.

Funnily enough, it IS possible to draw / photograph a bee with only 4 of the traditional 6 legs visible to the naked eye.

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If nothing else, just look at the current badge and start counting.1, 2, 3, 4. I’ve no recollection of any fury / anger from Brentford supporters at what seems to be much more of a leg based inaccuracy. If, indeed, it even is one. Which it isn’t.

Have there been 20 years of marches and placards outside Mark Devlin’s office? “Give us back our legs” being shouted by an angry mob or #wewantourlegs appearing on Twitter ? (note to media team – don’t ).

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The current badge. 1,2,3,4 erm that’s it..

Of course not. Because, much like the self-importance and perceived popularity of the John Lewis Christmas advert, it isn’t actually ‘a thing’ outside of a small section of cyberspace. That clickbait grabbing headline writers then chose to turn it into one is, sadly, endemic of today’s journalism.

And I say that as a football fan looking in rather than any form of journalist (which clearly I’m not) looking out. I’m just the numpty on the terrace with a bit more spare time on my hands early in the morning than is probably advisable. Oh, for some sleep..

But I digress. What I would ask is why was the release so rushed? So sudden. No fanfare. No build up. No cryptic clue from Matthew Benham. No “Big announcement coming soon” type advice. No ’strip tease’ – an annual favourite

Instead, like a bolt out of the blue it was suddenly here. An email in the inbox and a headline on the website announcing “Our new club crest” .

Much like the subject of kit, this is clearly an emotive one. Fans were apparently consulted although this is something I, and many others, were unaware of over this consultation period. “During the past 18 months we engaged with a wide range of fans and stakeholders within the Club about our crest and received a clear mandate to look at change.” Those aren’t my words yet something which could have been made clearer if it was happening. And if it was just with a select group, at least explain this in the announcement .

Whilst this is ultimately their decision as a general rule I think our club goes out of it’s way to involve the fans. Being realistic, it is one I’m presuming is a decision they had to get right for many more reasons beyond simply something to stick on the shirt and say “We are Brentford” 

Involving the supporters a bit more, even just in the build up to the release, might have been a bit of a smarter move in retrospect. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and in a village such as football, where gossip and rumours can spread like wildfire, perhaps this was just a case of wanting to get the news out there.

Either way, the badge is here to stay. I’m hoping it grows on supporters. I love it and, whilst I have no qualms in voicing a less than club friendly opinion when warranted (as regular readers will be aware), in this instance I think they’ve come up with a great design.

Certainly, it is one I’ll be proud to wear on my shirt next season. Now Bob just has to get his part of that deal right ….

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Nick Bruzon

Brentford reveal new crest. A badge of honour?

10 Nov

Oh. Wow! What the actual? Brentford have only gone and done it. Out of nowhere the badge is dead. Long live the badge. The club have announced today that the present version – which has been in use since 1994/95 – is to be updated. And by updated, we’re stepping back in time – albeit with a modern, modern twist. THIS is our new club badge.

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I love it. Let’s get that out there immediately. The new crest (to give it the correct technical term) is almost a dead ringer for the version used back in the early 70s.That didn’t last long once it was realised that the club has used 1888 instead of 1889 as the year of our formation. Yet now it is back, but with a cleaner sharper finish.

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I’ve always been a ‘castle’ man. That was the one on the shirt as my love affair with the Bees progressed from a first game at the end of the 70s through the excitement of the 80s and early 90s. The FRT final. Terry Evans. Gary Blissett. Promotion at Peterborough. The castle was there through it all (a one season flirtation with ‘the funky bee’ aside), only to eventually be replaced by Andrew Henning’s season ticket winning design. As ever, ignore those spurious claims from TV astrologer Russell Grant that the logo was his. It wasn’t

Yet despite the present version’s popularity in some quarters my own take has always been that it is just too busy and, like the ‘Spitfire’ font that once adorned the Braemar Road stand, maybe even just a little dated. With a stylised beehive, the coat of arms, a scroll, four quarters and several text blocks within the design there was just too much going on. Or, as one correspondent put it back in August, “like it’s been made using Microsoft Clip art.”

So there’s no pretence at tears from yours truly yet, at the same time, it has always been a worry that when it eventually came to replacing this we’d make a similar step. Indeed, the club almost changed on the occasion of our 125th anniversary. A garish, faux-arsenal, celebratory graphic based on our first ever badge was revealed. Whilst the centrepiece was wonderful, the overall look was horrific. Thankfully, this one was quietly parked and has rarely been mentioned since.

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Which brings us right up to date and Brentford looking back to look forward. The design is smart and stylish but with a retro feel. It looks wonderful from the stills – how will it look on next year’s shirt? Kitman Bob, I’m looking at you. Any more clues….?

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What do supporters think? Will we see Brexit and Trump ‘Not my badge’ style protests? Could ‘that fansite’ go into (yet another) meltdown? Or will supporters embrace the new creation? Could it even be deemed our best ever?

For me, it isn’t the Castle (what is?) but it isn’t the cluttered clipart. We’ve bypassed the twee shieldery of the ‘125th’ whilst avoiding the bizarre cuteness of the Funky Bee. Instead we have a modern classic with roots in the past.

This is not revolution, it’s part of the Club’s evolution” says the update on the club website. Whatever the logic, I like it. A lot. Great job Brentford FC.

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Nick Bruzon

It’s good to talk. On the terrace or elsewhere

7 Mar

Anything more to add after Brentford put in that anti-performance against Charlton? Having rewatched the action via highlight reel I’m still struggling to find (m)any positives. And with The Bees next facing the trip to Loftus Road and the derby with QPR, it’s clear a rapid ‘bucking up’ of ideas is needed


For what they’re worth

Can Brentford take anything positive?

Well, surely it can’t be possible to be that poor again? On a day when even Buzzette was reported to have lost her head, c/o Lasse Vibe in the warm up, it’s clear nobody had a good afternoon.

That said, at least she was able to get up and ‘go again’ rather than suffering the ignominy of being the first ever mascot to be stretchered off Griffin Park. Parents have been spared having to explain a decapitated anthropomorphic Bee to traumatised youngsters. A case of attempted insecticide, perhaps?

The other good news pre kick off is that #BeeTheDJ (our one decent Twitter hashtag) really works. Griffin Park rocked to The Quo and ‘Down,Down’. Many thanks indeed to Big Bee Radio.

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Kinder eggs and The Quo – enough to keep all ages happy pre kick off

Likewise, at least we won’t get whipped by Hull City on Tuesday night. A trip to Humberside so soon after the Charlton debacle was probably the last thing we’d have needed. Whilst the cancellation of our game due to the cup replay with Arsenal is frustrating, at least there is some silver lining.

Instead, it is QPR next up. As with last season’s low point, also Charlton (although away) the reaction seen in the following game was just what the doctor ordered. A 3-1 pasting of eventual champions Bournemouth put the spring back in Brentford’s step and allowed us to push on for the rest of the campaign.

Could we get more of the same on Saturday? I hope so.

Short term I’d be happy simply to hear our co-directors of football come out and talk about how they see things have gone so far this season. Especially after the weekend. More importantly, how do they feel things will go from here?

I’d love for them to just be honest. The fans aren’t stupid whilst, equally, we know how much Matthew Benham is backing this club. Last year was brilliant but our team deserved what they got. Let’s not hide behind ‘over achieved’ . Just as Leicester City are proving this year, talent and team spirit count for so much more than multi-millions.

Then again, if the mountain won’t come to Mohammed… For all that people are, understandably, frustrated about certain aspects of the current set up – on and off field – if you approach our staff (and many of them have contacts on the Internet / are visible on match day thanks to the confined nature of Griffin Park and her environs) you might be pleasantly surprised.

I’ve had lengthy discourse with one senior figure this week to try and explain supporter feeling whilst the Beesotted team are never shy to duck away from approaching club figures. And, of course, we have supporter organisations like BIAS and BU.

Whether directly or through one of these groups; with a voluminous list of questions or a one off observation, IF you want an answer then why not try and make your voice heard? What’s the worst that could happen? That said, all being well we’ll hear more out of the club soon.

The final good thing about the weekend, and probably my highlight, was another outing for ‘Terrace Talk’. You all know the score by now as Jo Tiley does her thing with a camera and those supporters eager to spill the beans on her question of the day.

This week’s topic is ‘favourite derby game memory‘ and, despite no mention of the wonderful 4-0 over Fulham back in 1992, the video doesn’t disappoint .

Oh for the power to look ahead and see if Saturday at QPR might make this list? Until then, here’s Jo….

Nick Bruzon

No pressure, lads. This is one run that needs to continue

5 Mar

Charlton Athletic are the visitors to Griffin Park today and, on paper, surely Brentford couldn’t have picked their opponents better had we tried? The Addicks are on an absolutely woeful run of form that has seen them win only once in their last 18 games. That, a 4-1 victory against fellow relegation candidates Rotherham United. They’ve shipped 8 goals in their last three games alone whilst the miserable streak included successive 6-0 and 5-0 defeats at Hull City and Huddersfield Town respectively back in January.

So bad is their current run that even hapless Bolton Wanderers have overtaken them to leave Charlton rooted to the bottom of the Championship table and, seemingly, doomed. My online bookmaker has the Bees as odds-on favourites today whilst the ‘away’ win is a hefty 15/4. Surely there can be only one result: three points for Brentford?

Well, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There’s nothing more dangerous than a team staring down the barrel. Moreso, one which knows that should they lose today the gap to safety could be as much as ten points (plus a goal difference that would be deemed an insult to the word ‘goal’). Many of us thought last Saturday would be a ‘banker’. How wrong that turned out to be and I don’t expect any difference today.

We’ve no Max Colin whilst Dean Smith must decide whether to recall Yoann Barbet. It’s still too soon for Scott Hogan to be considered although the centre forward must be chomping at the bit to get back to action after so long out. He’ll have been heartened by his recent development squad goal and one can only assume the Griffin Park faithful will see him on the pitch before the season is out.

Much closer to a return is Alan McCormack. How the Bees have missed a player of both his savoir-faire and firmness in the challenge over these last few months. It’s all very well having a team of potential stars but how much better to have the likes of a Toumani or Macca alongside them in the midfield? You can’t put a price on experience and I’m as excited at his potential involvement as anything else today.

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Could Alan McCormack feature today?

Barring a statistical miracle/disaster (delete as applicable) Brentford’s season is over. At least, in terms of exiting the division. The top 6 are just too good whilst the bottom four look to be too far adrift. Whilst it would have been wonderful to push on from last campaign, to be lining up a third season in this division is still no bad thing at all when you look at where we have come from and, equally, what we’ve been through.

I just hope that rather than limp over the line, the lads give it their all. Aswell as today’s game, next Saturday sees the 237 derby as we head down the road for that most anticipated of encounters with the Loftus Road mob. Likewise, we’ve still got a home game with Fulham along with 9 other matches.

There’s plenty to play for, with finishing the season as top dogs in West London (at least from a Championship perspective now that Chelsea appear to have ditched their brief flirtation with relegation) at the top of that agenda for me. Likewise, a top ten finish would be something to be tremendously proud of and, from a personal note, my son (almost three) will be at the game today.

It’s been nothing but “Daddy Bees, Daddy Bees” , “Harlee“and “Buzz, Buzz” in our house this week whilst, from a statistical perspective, he’s never seen the Bees lose. All the mathematical models in the world count for nothing when you’ve got something as simple as a lucky shirt, a pair of magic pants or a child who’s never tasted the pain of a loss.

No pressure, lads. Please don’t end his run today. Explaining defeat could be as tricky a concept as the birds and the bees.

Hopefully both are conversations that will be a long time coming…

HB and HD

Harlee (and Buzz) very much favourites in our house

Nick Bruzon

Three things to look ahead to in the near future

29 Jan

With no game for Brentford this weekend thanks to the Leeds United fixture being brought forward, perhaps it’s time for some reflection No, please. Stay with me.

I’ve used this page to voice some quite strong feelings on several subjects in the last few weeks. The strength of the team relative to last season. The situation surrounding James Tarkowski (especially in the immediate aftermath of the Burnley game, prior to his own comments that subsequently seemed to contradict those of the club). The general vibe around the club when it comes to off-field matters. The ongoing promotion of FCM through club channels although, to be fair, the half-time parade v Walsall still annoys me an awful lot more than a chance to visit Old Trafford. Indeed, responses to yesterday’s piece on that topic were, genuinely, very interesting. And mixed.

After over 700 columns here, along with five years of writing in the programme (an ongoing hobby which is great that the club can facilitate and are happy to use), I’d like to think I’m generally ‘pro-Bees’. I’m not scared to say what I think and if the opinions of one fan can sometimes upset people then I do sympathise. But it won’t stop me.

Certainly, one recent column seems to have sent part of the GPG into meltdown (I know, I was surprised too). I’ve got no issue with this, quite the opposite. Fellow supporters like myself have every right to voice their own opinions – preferably backed up with a counter suggestion rather than simple name calling but, I guess, we’ve all got different styles.

Yesterday’s social media attack from somebody employed by the club was, I felt, a little bit unprofessional. And needless.

Absolutely , say your piece, But there’s no need to resort to petty jibes such as:

If moaning visibly & often about everything is the definition then you’re the best football fan I know” and

“..mine (opinion) is that you moan too much about everything and miss the bigger picture’.

There were more, but you get that particular picture. All for having the temerity to sometimes voice an opinion that he and his employer might disagree with.

Which brings me full circle back to the point about ‘off-field vibe’. Nobody’s opinion is any more / less valid than anybody else’s. But cheap cracks and school yard insults in a public environment show just how wrong we continue to get it. Social Media, rather than an official club forum, isn’t a ‘get out clause’ when people are so easily identifiable with the team we all support – and advertise their role on the same platform.

Good comms are so easy. Give it a try, you might enjoy it.

Which, in a very longwinded way, brings me around to the main thrust of today’s article. I put it out on Twitter last night, ‘What to write about today?’ and the following suggestion, from Matthew Miles, was the first response.

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Nice idea, which I’m going to put a slight spin on. Three things to look forward to. Of course, mine may very from yours, but in no particular order….

Firstly, as Matthew says, a rosey future awaits. Whatever my thoughts on the strength of the team relative to last campaign and our recent form (4 wins in the last 13 games), nobody can deny we remain 10th in the Championship table. That’s still a fantastic achievement if we can consolidate it. The likes of Yoann Barbet and Maxime Colin are really looking like stars of the present, let alone the future, and are the absolute standouts from the huge influx of new players – not all of whom have hit the ground running quite so easily, if we’re being honest.

If, and it is a huge if, we can hang on to the likes of Alan Judge, David Button and the entire defence (not to mention a certain Mr Saunders – don’t got to the States, terrible weather) then this team has a great base to start from next season.

Next up, and linked to that subject, Alan Judge. With just a few days to go until the transfer window officially ‘slams shut’ is there a chance we could actually keep him? Whilst the rumours have been circulating for weeks, all has now gone quiet on that front. Not even the ever-reliable Beesotted (the best font of knowledge before things become ‘official’) are talking up a potential departure. Of course, now is the squeakiest point of ‘squeaky bum’ time but the psychological impact of hanging onto a player of this nature who still has time on his contract can’t be underestimated.

Finally, Kitman Bob Oteng ! I’m loving his Twitter activity – and if you don’t follow him you should. Fast.

For all I’ve complained we don’t always hit the mark ‘off field’, this is one area where Brentford most definitely lead the pack and brush all competitors to one side.

His regular player kit ‘giveaways’, for getting the correct scorer, number of corners or something more fiendish are fast becoming the stuff of legend. Just yesterday, one lucky fan picked up Alan Judge’s boots and Jota’s shirt.

And next Friday, against Brighton, it looks like we have something very interesting lined up.

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When our club get it right (and I still have a son who worships Buzz Bee after the fantastic ‘Junior Bees’ Christmas event) it makes me so proud to support them.

Here’s to an ongoing and rosey future.

Nick Bruzon