Tag Archives: bet

If Carlsberg did Twitter. New signing and backfiring bet see media team attain greatness.

19 Jul

Brentford travel to Oxford United for the latest stage in our pre-season programme, buzzing from the news that the much touted transfer of Ollie Watkins from Exeter City has been completed. Becoming our eighth signing of the summer, the conclusion of this move has seen two wonderful bits of social media (three if you count our own lack of hashtag / signing video when the news was announced). The first could leave one Bees supporter very much out of pocket whilst the second threatens to catapult a Nottingham Forest fan into Simon Hateley territory (he of Aston Villa infamy).

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Ollie Watkins joins. Its all very red

First, Ollie himself. What can you say? The Hoff may have departed over the summer but he has been replaced up top by first Neal Maupay and now the EFL young player of the year. The club were understandably excited about the news with Phil Giles telling official We first made an offer for Ollie 12 months ago, and again last January, so I am glad that we were finally able to sign him this time around”.

But it was on Twitter where the real story was beginning to unfold. Andy Scott joined Phil in celebrating the news about the Exeter man joining us, noting on the football front that it has been “A huge team effort from everybody involved” and that “patience is a virtue!” before going on to note that Ollie is “part of the family now!”.

Judging by the picture of his agent, its probably not the first time he’s heard that phrase. I’m sure he’s a lovely guy and all that but I for one wouldn’t want to cross him, going on this photo. That’s one intense look.

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Ollie and his agent. Was a horse’s head involved in transfer negotiations?

Spare a thought too for Brentford fan Josh Mahoney who is currently in the chair for a £2.5K bar bill following a tweet published last week, where he laid down a gauntlet which has come back to bite him firmly on the behind:

Can’t see us signing Ollie Watkins, if we do I’ll buy everyone who likes this a drink this season.

Yet it was the comeback from official which inspired what one supporter has described to me as “The greatest thing that media team have ever done”.

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Chris, Sean and Ciaran most definitely first up at the bar

What? This is brilliant. This is genuinely funny. Is this the same media team that has previously brought us ‘The Obama meme’,  #TrophyFriends and #Novemberkings? Whatever wind of change has blown through Chris Wickham’s department you can only doff your cap. First, no hashtag or gimmick to announce Ollie had joined from Exeter (take a leaf, Aston Villa with your fake Whatsapps and #WelcomeJT). Now, a genuine joke. And a great one. Not withstanding their choice of drink.

Andy was on fine form too, showing just what happens when you cross swords with Scott, Giles and Ankersen (not a law firm or 70s folk group).

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But it wasn’t just Josh who was left eating his words.

Up at the City Ground, Nottingham Forest fan ‘Redman’ may be regretting his own boast. Whilst not in Hateley territory (yet), this has somewhat backfired.

Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 05.59.07As at the time of writing (6.00am, Wednesday morning) we’re still waiting for banter to commence. Very much a case of tumbleweed and radio silence. Ironically, something matched by Forest fan Matt Dyson – the avocado loving sports presenter on Christian O’Connell’s Absolute Radio breakfast show. His bulletins failing to mention what was the day’s big transfer story.

The other question to come out of this is how we pay for the summer’s transfer activity and changes to the wage bill? Moreso to remain FFP compliant. Of course, the fees paid for our new signings are undisclosed, we have a new sponsorship deal and are about to begin our fourth season in the Championship. Yet with previous seasons seeing outward activity as well as inward, the big fear remains that we’ll be saying ‘adios’ to Jota.

Burnley are the latest club to join the rumour mill (although I’m still laughing at the thought he’d go to the likes of Derby County or the aforementioned Forest, despite their Assombalonga windfall) despite there being no further news following Dean’s talk 12 days ago about an imminent big bid coming in.

So what happens at the Kassam tonight could be telling. Of course, Dean has already said that if a bid fails to materialise then Jota “will be available for the Oxford United game”. Playing won’t be a guarantee he’ll be with us for the big kick off but any absence from the starting XI will be an enormous sign.

Jota 2-2

Faster than a speeding bullet – is the Spanish superman leaving Griffin Park ?

I’m not stupid (completely). We all know how good Jota is. We all know his contract is running out so we could lose a £10million player for nothing. We all know our own model. We all know we’ve sold and still thrived before. Yet, the footballing romantic in me is desperate for him to stay. The last five years have been SO exciting. With a wonderful spine to this team and an ever evolving squad, he really could be the final piece in a promotion gamble.

I’ve called top six already. Given our experience and starting XI this is more than feasible. With Jota in the team, the chances can only improve.

That may well be a decision that is already out of our hands. A decision that has already been made. One thing’s for sure, the Brentford family will be taking a very keen interest in tonight’s team sheet when that one is published.

For now, though, let’s focus on the uber-positive. Jota is a bee and we’ve made another wonderful purchase. Our media team have developed a genuine sense of humour and we’ve not sold any fan favourites.

On a day that sees us looking at how football and Twitter work hand in hand, what better way to end than with another observation from the social media platform. Ian Westbrook distilling it all into one tweet.

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Nick Bruzon

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If you can’t beat them (and they can’t), then sign them. Thank you, Aston Villa

2 Feb

The transfer window has closed. Hot off the back of thumping Aston Villa 3-0 at Griffin Park on Tuesday night, Brentford announced that goal machine Scott Hogan had, finally, been sold. Not to long time suitors West Ham – a club who would have, in the short term, fulfilled his Premier League aspirations – but instead to none other than Villa themselves. Championship rivals to the Bees and now sitting below us in the table.

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Aston Villa announce their side of the deal

Good luck to Scott, genuinely. I’m sure we’ve all seen his message to supporters , sent via club Captain Harlee Dean. We’ll miss his goals, no question, but Lasse Vibe showed once more that he is more than capable of stepping up. Moreso given the new look formation employed by Dean on Tuesday night as Aston Villa were put to the sword.

I suppose we’ve a lot to be thankful to Villa for. Brentford have received a record club transfer fee whilst West Ham have been put firmly back in their box. On the pitch, we’ve picked up four points from a possible six over the course of the current season. Our record against Villa now reading:

P2 W1 D1 L0 F4 A1

Not bad, for a pub team.

Then, of course, we’ve got ‘tweet of the season’ from quite possibly football’s angriest fan. This beauty appeared prior to Brentford visiting Villa Park back in September. Fair to say that Master Hateley is probably looking for a new team to support at present. I hear Birmingham City are worth a look. Similar current form and a former Brentford goal machine up front.

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The other reason to be thankful was that it has freed up funds to let us sign Sergi Canos.

Looking at the player’s post on Twitter it would be fair to say he seems as excited as the Brentford supporters about a permanent return to Griffin Park, telling the club that his move was,  “Amazing. I feel full of happiness” before putting his motivation down to the supporters themselves for believing in him.

The whole piece is on Brentford official and well worth a read through. And , for Beesplayer subscribers, there’s even a video. Do take a look, You won’t be disappointed.

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Equally good news about the Canos transfer is that we didn’t use that most cringeworthy of social media devices, a hashtag.To be fair, after #bignewambitions (never, ever forget), #Novemberkings and #trophyfriends, it would be fair to say that the club have been a lot more judicious about the use of such devices.

Instead, Brentford fans have looked on and laughed as other teams fall prey to this trap. The season has already given us QPR with #Jakejoins. Now, we have had #WelcomeScott from Aston Villa.

As correspondent Luis Adriano note on Twitter yesterday, it looked as though he was standing in front of a TV weather map, Carol Kirkwood style. All that was missing were a few magnetic stickers. Personally, I’m more a Michael Fish fan – from a meteorological perspective – although do think Luis may have a point.

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That said, looking at Scott’s stance – classic Antoine de Caunes – he is perhaps more kitted out to stand in for the host of early-90s pop culture show, Rapido. Whilst I can’t imagine Scott ever cracking out the “Rap, Rap, Rap, Rapiiiidoo” (kids, ask your dads), he does have a certain Je ne sais quoi about him.

In all seriousness though, there’s nothing but genuine good wishes toward Scott. We all know the 18 month injury hell he went through which now seems well behind him whilst his goals saved us on more than a few occasions.

I’m sure he’ll continue to find the back of the net for Villa. Indeed, I hope he does. There’s more than a few ’Scott Hogan – leading Championship goalscorer’ bets that are still well alive.

For research purposes, of course.

welcome-scott-rapido

Nick Bruzon

Will it be a red card for Mark or is all now forgiven?

27 Feb

Brentford travel to Rotherham United on Saturday afternoon, hoping to build on the back of Tuesday night’s 3-0 win against Wolves. On paper, the neutral would probably mark this as an ‘away’ on their coupon. The Millers are struggling in the relegation zone whilst online bookmakers show the Bees as slight favourites. But no pre-match bet can ever factor in that most random of elements – the referee. Today’s is one who, over the early stages of his career, managed to earn himself a ban for having at dig at Liverpool (amongst the several other clubs he managed to upset).

Mark Brown is our man in the middle today and, being honest, his stats are very impressive for this season. I don’t recall him troubling us in the past whilst 71 yellow and 2 red in his 21 games over 2015/16 suggest a record that is hardly in Trevor Kettle or Keith Stroud territory . The only slight caveat being that the four he has officiated at Championship level (he is yet to grace the Premier League) have seen 16 bookings and a red.

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Mark Brown – as seen in his Football League website bio (worth a read)

Of course, this could just mean the Championship is a more physical place and, likewise, two of those games have involved Birmingham City. In those encounters alone, 11 of the 16 yellows, along with one of the reds, were shown.

During his first season as a referee, Brown himself was shown the red card. He received a three week ban in 2011 for making fun of then Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard on Twitter. Specifically, his highlighting the Reds’ unlikely chance of winning the Premier League that season.

The football authorities took a somewhat dim view of this although, personally, I think it simply demonstrates his excellent knowledge of football. Liverpool have struggled to win a raffle over the last 10 years but, maybe, this Sunday will be different.

Trawling the internet (or, rather, typing ‘Mark Brown referee’ into google) took me to the BBC, where November 2013 saw him upsetting Dave Kitson of Oxford United. His assessment included the terms “horrific“, “horrendous“, and “He is probably the most arrogant man I have ever come across on the pitch in my life”.

According to Burnley fan site, ‘Clarets Mad’, that debut season saw Brown “ridiculously” send off Kieran Trippier for two yellow cards. They go on to note that manager Eddie Howe (during his spell of not being a Messiah), “accused him of being too influenced by the crowd

All of this was a while ago, of course. Brown doesn’t appear to have troubled anybody too much in recent seasons and his forays into the Championship would seem to suggest his career is now on the rise. Here’s hoping. There’s nothing worse than a card happy ref to ruin what should, otherwise, be a fascinating contest between a side fighting for survival and a Bees outfit who will be keen to show that Tuesday wasn’t a one off.

I’m full of confidence in regards to Mark. Stats don’t normally lie and those previously mentioned instances are in the past. Besides (crowbar alert) we could have Trevor Kettle ruining the show. When I said at the top end that no pre-match bet can factor in the ref, there is always an exception. And it is Kettle.

His reputation has now become so synonymous in the football world with poor performance that supporters are placing bets on his awarding a penalty / showing red today ( at odds of 6/1 and 4/1 respectively, for the record). The game is the bottom of league two clash Dagenham and Yeovil. With all to play for in a desperate struggle, could this come in…?

Whilst, ordinarily, no-one wants to see those sort of bets come in (punters aside), the pun potential of “players in hot water”, “tempers boiling over” and “T. Kettle left the manager steaming” can never be overlooked.

They are always a favourite of the Bees Player commentary team who, as I get that crowbar out once more,  will be a lifeline for many today. The Bees’ travelling support has been wonderful this season but another trip to Yorkshire so soon after Sheffield Wednesday is a huge undertaking.

As such, I’d imagine today’s two man team of Mark Burridge (our commentator par excellence) and Ciaran Brett (whose punditry skills are fast growing on me and, being honest, is stronger when working in a less crowded commentary box) will have a significant audience. Certainly, I’ll be amongst them when the show goes ‘live’ at 2.30pm.

Whatever cracks were made at the top end of this column about it being an ‘away’ win, I see it as anything but a guaranteed. Simply put, Rotherham have to win given their precarious position at the wrong end of the Championship table.

Let’s just hope the Bees show the same commitment that they did against Wolves. Likewise, that Mark Brown continues the same form he has shown this season.

Rotherham table

Are bums starting to squeak?

Nick Bruzon

Can we take advantage of today’s table top clashes?

14 Mar

Cardiff City today visit a Brentford team hoping to see if any breathing space can be found at the top of the Championship table. With the top four all on 66 points (and the next three breathing down their necks) something, finally, has to give as Norwich entertain Derby County and Ipswich Town travel to Middlesbrough. Championship leaders Bournemouth have the easiest task, on paper, as they welcome league whipping boys Blackpool.

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.

Forget the horses and Cameron Diaz. There’s mascot news

11 Mar

I spent a lot of  yesterday on social media, principally looking for early news about Brentford v Cardiff City on Saturday. To be quite honest, if you aren’t into horses (I’m not) it was like a wasteland out there.

There was nothing but tips and Cheltenham. Lucky punters showing off about their winnings and unlucky ones moaning about how much a loser had ‘cost’ them (and I know I’m a pedant but you’ve lost nothing except your stake – money you never had can’t be lost).

As for Ruby…. It (or as it later turned out, he) was everywhere. At times it felt as though, impossibly, the Kaiser Chiefs were trending. You couldn’t move for: Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby.

Not only was it a horse fest, I then had to think about the Kaiser Chiefs

Not only was it a horse fest, I then had to think about the Kaiser Chiefs

Good luck to horse fans. It’s not my thing and, at a time when I really needed social media to keep me sane, the only nag related piece of entertainment came from John Inverdale. The normally open shirted, chest-wigged commentator had a bit “of a ‘mare” live on the radio. Or what he called ‘ a slip of the tongue’.

And then it happened. I’ve still not got over the news about Cameron Diaz and the revelations about her support (or lack of) for Brentford. However, it would seem we have a new name in the frame to make up the ‘fab four’ of famous fans alongside Dean Gaffney, Rhino from The Quo and Natalie Sawyer.

Could Diaz be replaced on the celebrity Bees montage?

Could Diaz be replaced on the celebrity Bees montage?

Comedian Michael Legge (@michaelLegge on twitter) isn’t, it would be fair to say, a football fan. However, he has undertaken the mission to ‘get into it” as part of a Comic Relief fund raising effort.

Not only has he now chosen the Bees as his team to follow but, on Saturday against Cardiff City, he’s going to be a mascot. Not donning the Buzzette costume but walking out alongside the players and, one would imagine, captain Jonathan Douglas.

Presumably appearing in full kit (there’s no finer sight than a ‘grown up’ non-player sporting complete football apparel on match day), this will be his first ‘league’ game.

We have a new fan

We have a new fan

You can read about Michael falling in love with the game of football whilst I’d also recommend a listen to his work on the Dave Gorman podcast (episode 127 – Knights in Shining Armour from 17/07/12 , feat. Hunter from Gladiators, being a particular favourite) .

Whatever your thoughts about adult mascots, this is all for a great cause and there is a just giving page available. I’m sure we’ll hear more about Michael’s visit in the build up to the Cardiff City game.

And there was me thinking the only comic relief on Saturday was going to be Russell Slade.

Russell Slade - has gone down in Brentford legend

Russell Slade – has gone down in Brentford legend

Don’t moan Bees. Look at Birmingham, Leeds and Ipswich

26 Oct

What a Championship Saturday that was. Brentford drew 2-2 with Bolton (or lost 3-1 depending on if you were watching the half time Zorb action or the main event), Birmingham City and Bournemouth shared 8 goals between one of the two teams whilst Leeds United changed managers. As for Ipswich Town, their home game with Huddersfield Town was graced with a visit from Clem….

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 along.

Who's this with his eyes on the target?

Who’s this with his eyes on the target?

Despite keeping Clem behind bars, did his presence deny Ipswich a win?

Despite keeping Clem behind bars, did his presence deny Ipswich a win?

Reading – what were they thinking?

2 Oct

With Brentford due a visit from Reading on Saturday, we’ll start the big match build up with another episode of the semi-regular series : ‘What were they thinking’ – a look at the best (and worst) of our opponent’s shirts.

As ever, the selections have been made using no more a scientific method than personal opinion. And, likewise, the four categories remain: The best; The worst; The unfortunate design; The away kit.

And in the case of Reading, with what still feels like recent history fresh in the memory, you’ll forgive me for one choice.

The best : 1987 – 89 Made by Patrick ; sponsored by Courage. Although this design made it’s debut in 1984, the use of the new club badge was only a later addition.

This ditches the horizontal stripes and, likewise, the dark blue – both of which make the majority of Reading shirts look like something the Loftus Road mob might turn out wearing . A broad, vertical stripe and central badge also increase the retro appeal.

A home winner for Reading

A home winner for Reading

The worst : 2001-03: Made by Kit@ ; sponsored by Westcoast . It’s bad enough that this one looks like something out of Shepherds Bush – but then many Reading kits do. However, this one wins the prize simply because of Jamie Cureton and THAT game in 2002.

If the more recent memory of THAT penalty hurts, it wasn’t like we hadn’t been there before…..

The end result of 'THAT' game. The words have been changed to protect the innocent

The end result of ‘THAT’ game. The words have been changed to protect the innocent

 

The unfortunate design : 1991-92 Made by Matchwinner ; sponsored by HAT Painting. You know how before some TV programmes, viewers are warned that the content contains flashing images and strobing that may cause seizure – see this shirt on close up.

The brave move of ditching stripes and traditional club colours has continued but the end result is something that results in most onlookers being dazzled by the reflective glare. Full marks for innovative effort, if nothing else.

A brave decision.....

A brave decision…..

The away shirt : 1991-92 Made by Matchwinner ; sponsored by HAT Painting. A Matchwinner 91/92 double. I’d love to know how many replica shirts the club sold this season.

If the home version was unusual, the away kit trumps it by a country mile. One of those where you have to ask if this is ‘so bad it’s good’ or ‘so good it’s genius’?

Matchwinner scoop two awards for their 91-92 collection

Matchwinner scoop two awards for their 91-92 collection

Referee Salisbury plain as Hornets sting Bees

1 Oct

What can you see about that? Well done to Watford for taking their chances and taking all three points. Bad luck Brentford for playing, at times, some scintillating football and coming close to a draw that, on the balance of play, would have been the least we deserved.

That said, “Bad luck, well played and scintillating football” count for nothing if you can’t convert….

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 along.

Watford – what were they thinking?

30 Sep

With Brentford travelling to Watford tonight, it’s time for a return of the semi-regular series : ‘What were they thinking’ – a look at the best (and worst) of our opponent’s shirts. You can find the regular pre-match column here but for those with an interest in all things ‘shirt related’ then read on.

As ever, the selections have been made by no more a scientific method than personal opinion. The four categories remain: The best; The unfortunate design; The worst; The away kit.

So without further ado, let’s crack on.

The best : 1982 – 85 Made by Umbro ; sponsored by Iveco (Industrial Vehicles Corporation – I’ve checked ). This ditches the collars, only a good thing in a shirt, and is probably best associated with the 1984 FA Cup final. Combining the yellow, red and black used since the mid-70s it is a simple classic.

A classic shirt - the shorts, perhaps, best forgotten

A classic shirt – the shorts, perhaps, best forgotten

The unfortunate design : 1985-88 Made by Umbro ; sponsored by Solvite. Nothing much wrong with this, in theory. However , a decent yellow shirt is let down with the supplementary red / black emblazoned across the front of the chest in a gauche stripe that looks like two Inter City 125 trains crossing at high speed.

Sponsor free version - complete with High Speed Trains

Sponsor free version – complete with High Speed Trains

 

From Euston to vicarage Road

From Euston to vicarage Road

The worst : 2013-14 Made by Puma ; sponsored by 138.com . Bang up to date for this Puma (who else?) effort that not only ditches the red (save for the sponsor’s logo) but then paints a wave-like black yoke across the shoulders. However, the unforgiveable offence is turning the club crest into a monochromatic neon yellow affair. I am not a-moosed.

Where's the red? What have they done to the badge?

Where’s the red? What have they done to the badge?

The away shirt : 1994-95 Made by Hummel; sponsored by Blaupunkt. Hummel made some classics for Brentford and they’ve done it again here. I don’t know whether to recoil in horror or embrace their audacity. So bad it’s fantastic. Best described as a kind of soft-focus fuzzy bar code effect.

A Hummel away shirt to rival our own 92-93 version

A Hummel away shirt to rival our own 92-93 version

Who will sting who as Bees take on Hornets ?

30 Sep

Brentford travel to Watford this evening in a game that has now been declared a sell out for Bees fans. But with both teams in buoyant mood and flying high in the Championship, the Vicarage Road club were rocked by the resignation of their manager yesterday.

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 along.