Tag Archives: Betinho

Because of course, you’d walk straight into the first team…

3 Jan

Cripes. We’ve had some players at Brentford over the years who have proven, what we might politely describe as, ‘frustrating’. Paul Davis. Murray Jones. Neil Clement. A perhaps somewhat past his prime Kenny Sansom. Even the likes of Big Nick Proschwitz. That’s football. We all know that for every dozen gems that are unearthed at Griffin Park, there are those who promise much but don’t quite deliver. Betinho, anyone? 

Betinho signs BBC

Even the BBC got excited back then

We’ve all shot our mouths off in the heat of the moment. Posted stuff on Twitter. On the GPG. On blog pages. Bemoaning the team or individuals. Moaning about the manager. It’s a wonder Marinus didn’t walk prior to his being pushed just 9 league games into that ill-fated spell in the dug-out. Even Thomas Frank has come in for his own share of abuse in the last few weeks. Thankfully, for him and the fans, the tide seems to be turning there with the reversal in form now coming our way. Honestly, who amongst us thought prior to Bolton that we’d go unbeaten over a packed Christmas programme that was followed up with trips to Bristol City, Birmingham City and a visit from title contenders Norwich City? Yet a little faith in individuals can go a long way. Something I’ve experienced first hand following our own transfer window business last season when the Birmingham three departed.  

I guess the advent of social media has very much given a forum for keyboard warriors to vent their spleens from the safety of their bedrooms. No where moreso has this been seen than yesterday on Twitter. This was no flash in the pan, knee jerk attack but a deliberate and calculated attempt to slag off off one of the best players we’ve had in recent years. A character asassination the likes of which I don’t think I’ve ever seen previously. All justified by the fact that “I didn’t @ him”. Well, that’s ok then. I’m not naming either party. I’m sure you’ve seen it all and, if not, it won’t take Sherlock Holmes to unearth this even now. Not even Brentford FC Loyal on facebook have sunk to this level. And that’s saying something. 

Seriously though, what fan thinks this helps anyone? At a time when morale has just been picked back off the floor thanks as much to the whining from Birmingham City supporters, why on earth would somebody who supposedly supports the team take such a cowardly and bitchy swipe? Why would they look to destabilise a player who is still one of the most highly regarded in the division? 

Attention seeking? Small penis? A desperate attempt to get ‘hits’ and RTs? Whatever motivates you I suppose . Regardless of the consequence. Regardless of everything this player has done before. Regardless of the fact that the midfield and defence have cumulatively sold us so far down the river at times this season, brutally exposing others, that it doesn’t even bear thinking about. 

No player is immune from criticism. I get that. We all have opinions. I get that. They earn more than most of us could dream about. I absolutely get that. Does this justify what was posted yesterday? Not even close, in my opinion. Tweet after tweet of perceived errors which, with the best will in the world, are only going to piss of the fans and find their way back to the squad. Regardless of how mentally strong they are. 

I’m sure and I hope that this is water off a duck’s back. There will likely be those that think I’m over reacting. Perhaps so. But this is my blog and my opinion. And the over arching one here is that what went up yesterday was about as cowardly as it gets. Repeat every part of that to the player’s face. I dare you. Say that to Thomas Frank’s face. Say that to the face of Peter Gilham who, of course, was out there on Saturday. Celebrating his 50th anniversary as ‘man with the mic’ the same way he does every game – exhorting the fans to get behind our boys.

I’ve no doubt also that changes are coming on Saturday. It’s what we do in the FA Cup. Don’t take that as any sort of managerial comment on the performance, or lack of, from individuals within this team. We could all name more than a few who have had their share of calamities this time around. So why highlight one? Any changes won’t be as a result of social media, that’s for sure.

Ending on a positive note, I was sent the most amazing picture yesterday. One that harks back to our own FA Cup campaign of 1988-89. When inflatable were all the rage. And this one was still intact – rescued from the memorabilia collection in the attic (not mine, sadly). If ever we were looking for a good omen and a positive vibe ahead of another cup run then here it is. Could this be the last surviving ‘Funky Bee’.

Bring on Oxford United…. 

Dv6sQkBWsAciPwe.jpg-large

The FA Cup ‘Funky Bee’…

Nick Bruzon

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Transfer window set to slam shut for Brentford but is this it?

31 Aug

Tuesday is the day. The transfer window slams shut ( © Sky Sports) and, with it, the last chance to see who will leave or join the Brentford squad on a full time basis. Of course, the Bees have already stepped up their loan activity with the news that Sergi Canos has signed until January from Liverpool. But does this mean that all business has now been concluded? Or will Jim White and Natalie Sawyer be working themselves into a Griffin Park related frenzy on national “Harry Redknapp leaning out of a car window” day?

Canos is the latest to wield the Brentford FC signing shirt

Canos is the latest to wield the Brentford FC signing shirt

Brentford have certainly been profligate in recent weeks with several big name players leaving TW8 for Championship rivals. Andre Gray to Burnley, Moses Odubajo to Hull City and Stuart Dallas to Leeds United have been the names to really stand out. Not to mention the release of Jonathan Douglas to Ipswich Town. Factor in the freak injuries to Jota and Josh McEachran (the latter before a ball had even been kicked in anger) and it’s no wonder our attacking options have, according to many, been stifled .

But could this change? Monday’s new saw a signing that followed hot on the heels of striker Marco Djuricin to give, on paper, an added dimension of flair to the Brentford squad. In the Red Bull Salzburg loanee we have, at the least, a plethora of puns. Moreso alongside A. Judge (that’s Alan, of course). He is an Austrian international who already has two full caps to his name,

As for Canos, it really is a huge case of potential. I’d offer a word of caution in putting too much pressure on this young man’s shoulders. In recent years we’ve learned that for every loan gem from that part of the world (see Adam Forshaw, Chris Long and Jake Bidwell) there’s a potential Joao Carlos Teixera. For every unheard of youth prodigy (see Marcello Trotta) there’s a Betinho lurking in the wings.

Betin-who ?

Betin-who ?

Whilst we’ve done very well in the past in our recruitment, the previous management haven’t been infallible. Those lamenting the departure of Warbs should bear in mind he took several bites at the cherry to get things right. The second coming of Liam  Moore is another that springs to mind. And then out of it.

It takes time to build a team. There’s no denying we’ve taken an unconventional approach in allowing several well established players to leave (albeit for an incredible amount of money) before looking to rebuild from scratch. Likewise, that we’ve then had our cause hindered by injury – and one can only worry about the amount of twigs that may reach the training ground now that Autumn is almost upon us.

However, my guess is that any long term activity has come to a close and we’ll not be troubling Sky Sports News. This is the squad Marinus has to play with and, with quality players also on the mend, we could soon be in a much stronger place.

Certainly, that usual barometer of impending transfer news – Matthew Benham’s twitter account – hasn’t troubled the scorers since August 19th. And that was the wonderful coming together of fiction and fact that saw Alan Partridge’s ‘Youth Hosteling with Chris Eubank’ become a reality.

So unless we’re planning on signing the former World Middleweight Champion, this is probably it for any ‘inward’ activity on Tuesday. Welcome Marco and Sergi. Griffin Park is certainly a place of change at present but, equally, we’re a club who are on the up.

Forget about Leeds and Hull – Ipswich Town await !

7 Aug

Football starts this weekend! Brentford entertain Ipswich Town at Griffin Park in a game that has almost caught us unawares, such is the recent focus that has been placed on Leeds United buying Stuart Dallas and Hull City bidding for two more of our players.

Forget about it. Easier said than done, I realise, but Stuart Dallas has gone and there’s nothing we can do about it. Except, perhaps, remind ourselves of all those players who have come in over the summer. And at this point I must apologise toRyan Williams, Josh McEachran and Konstantin Kerschbaumer whose names were omitted from yesterday’s column. Hey, let’s put it down to the tremendous strength in depth that Marinus is pulling together.

The Hull City stories will no doubt hang around like a bad smell but, again, there’s nothing us supporters can do about them. Steve Bruce is currently sniffing around anything with a pulse, much like a rather desperate mature student at a fresher’s week disco but, so far, nobody from TW8 has (officially) succumbed to his charms.

To read the rest of this article, season 2015/16 is now available to download onto Kindle (and other electronic reading device) in full, as :   Ready. Steady. Go Again. : Brentford FC season review 2015 – 2016

Thanks for reading and all your comments over the course of the season. For now, it’s the annual clean up to make more space on the site for the inevitable follow up. However, ‘close season’ will continue in full, further along.

But wait, like all the best infomercials, there’s more. The last three seasons of the Last Word : Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup; Tales from the football village and Ready. Steady. Go Again are also available in one combined volume as: 

Brentford Football Club – The Bees are going up. Season reviews: 2013/14, 2014/15 & 2015/16 

We did. And we still are ! 

book 3 and 4 cover

Its all about the kit, man. And the Bees.

 

Is this another day at the beach as rumours persist?

6 Aug

Another day, another Brentford related transfer rumour with nothing but questions. Did Hull City really put in a £9million bid to for Andre and Moses? Are the club going to ‘politely decline’ if so? And does Hull have a beach?

The respective answers are. Quite probably to the pair of bids. We already know Moses has had his contract clause activated (but that is it) whilst Andre has already been the subject of a comedy enquiry to which Marinus has categorically denied any desire or need to sell. So for Hull ‘to go again’ with an increased bid is the next logical step although whether that has actually happened or not remains to be seen .

The source of these rumours, our beloved local press, would happily report a free transfer in a packet of cereal if it meant a headline. That’s just the nature of the Internet and social media these days. I’m not surprised these stories keep on being pushed around and I’m sure that agents have nothing to do with it.

To read the rest of this article, season 2015/16 is now available to download onto Kindle (and other electronic reading device) in full, as :   Ready. Steady. Go Again. : Brentford FC season review 2015 – 2016

Thanks for reading and all your comments over the course of the season. For now, it’s the annual clean up to make more space on the site for the inevitable follow up. However, ‘close season’ will con

book 3 and 4 cover

Its all about the kit, man. And the Bees.

tinue in full, further along.

But wait, like all the best infomercials, there’s more. The last three seasons of the Last Word : Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup; Tales from the football village and Ready. Steady. Go Again are also available in one combined volume as: 

Brentford Football Club – The Bees are going up. Season reviews: 2013/14, 2014/15 & 2015/16 

We did. And we still are ! 

 

 

Nick Bruzon

Get your hands on a signed shirt while we await a strip tease

10 Jun

The Brentford pre-season countdown is on.

Season tickets bought for dad and junior – check.

Booked some risky weekends away that could clash with any number of games when the fixture list is released – check.

New home shirt – no sighting.

I admit it. I have an unhealthy obsession with this as any regular reader to this column will know. And one of the highlights of close (or is it closed?) season is the release of next year’s kit.

Despite clubs normally releasing theirs at a rate of knots, so far only 9 of the 24 Championship teams have shown their colours so Brentford aren’t alone. And of those 9, just Ipswich Town and Rotherham United are the only ones to release their full range. Truly, it is a torturous wait.

When it happens, Brentford do make a habit of doing things differently, although we are yet to match Blackburn Rovers’ effort from last season (below). Infact, to be fair, no club is yet to match Blackburn Rovers’ effort from last season – a stunning masterclass in video. It was a great effort, on a par with Southampton’s teaser campaign this time around.

Birdy – dressed for success. Off the pitch, at least

That’s not to say we don’t try to be different. The 2011 away shirt was revealed in the window of a bath showroom (being the then sponsors), whilst last year saw the five day drip feed campaign aka Mark Devlin’s strip tease.

Brentford launched the 2011 away shirt in a sponsor's shop front

Brentford launched the 2011 away shirt in a sponsor’s shop front

I really enjoyed this and hope we do something similar this time around, when the news is eventually able to be revealed (twelve months ago we were already ‘in the know’). Let’s just hope the away shirt doesn’t follow the same path of the unfortunate leak that occurred and somewhat killed the magic.

But, if you can’t wait then there is other shirt news. What better way to celebrate last season than with a fully signed squad shirt?

Get your own fully squad signed shirt

Get your own fully squad signed shirt

There are six of these currently on eBay; being auctioned by Sky Bet with 100% of the proceeds going to the Reverse Rett charity – the only UK charity exclusively focused on speeding treatments and a cure for Rett Syndrome ( a neurological disorder that strikes little girls around the time of their first birthday affecting nearly every aspect of their lives; taking away their ability to walk, talk and use their hands) and related MECP2 Disorders.

Be quick though. The auctions end at midday today (Wednesday) so speed is of the essence. A fantastic chance to do your bit for a great cause and, at the same time, pick up a stunning souvenir of an incredible 2014/15.

You can bid on the shirts here. Good luck.

And if anybody at the club is reading, then we await the date / other shirt news with intrigue. Or, at least, I do…

 If you do want to read more about the events of 2014/15 (shirt and football related), the amalgamated Last Word season compendium: Tales from the football village (from Saunders territory to unchartered ground), is now available to download onto Kindle (and other electronic reading device) in full.

Running from July 2014- May 2015 it contains some additional material and is available for less than the cost of a Griffin Park matchday programme.

Could Barry Ferguson’s words about Brentford come back to haunt him?

9 Jun

Forget about the ‘in play’, it’s all about Glasgow Rangers and Brentford today. Despite my well documented ineptitude at football betting (it’s bad enough that half time on TV is ruined by Ray Winstone’s disembodied head and geezer-shtick without paying for the privilege) the boredom of the summer months has seen some internet based research on that most hopeless of tasks.

And by research, I mean nothing more scientific than checking out the latest odds. Primarily on the Bees but also on Glasgow Rangers where Warbs is the bookie’s choice to be named the new manager at Ibrox. This, after admitting he has already spoken to the club and would take David Weir with him as assistant. Checking this morning, he is 1/6 on with even David being the third favourite (now THAT would be an interesting role reversal).

To be honest, it’s nothing really to do with us anymore but until Marinus has had a decent chance to get his feet under the table, Warbs’ popularity and success with Brentford means it is still somewhat tricky not to associate him with Griffin Park. All being well, Rangers’ chairman Dave King will name him shortly and then we can all move on.

 

To read the rest of this article, season 2015/16 is now available to download onto Kindle (and other electronic reading device) in full, as :   Ready. Steady. Go Again. : Brentford FC season review 2015 – 2016

Thanks for reading and all your comments over the course of the season. For now, it’s the annual clean up to make more space on the site for the inevitable follow up. However, ‘close season’ will continue in full, further along.

But wait, like all the best infomercials, there’s more. The last three seasons of the Last Word : Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup; Tales from the football village and Ready. Steady. Go Again are also available in one combined volume as: 

Brentford Football Club – The Bees are going up. Season reviews: 2013/14, 2014/15 & 2015/16 

We did. And we still are ! 

The strange case of the disappearing striker

27 May

In possibly the least surprising news of yesterday, the club announced that Tommy Smith and Nick Proschwitz will both be released in the summer. Tommy, who joined from Cardiff, and Nick who came in from Hull City AFC for the start of this season, had mixed fortunes at Griffin Park.

Tommy, of course, will be remembered for notching up Brentford’s first goal in the Championship. It was a strike that came in the season opener at home to Charlton Athletic and, despite not troubling the scorers again, he made many notable appearances from the bench as he chalked up 32 appearances for The Bees over the campaign.

At 35 years old, and having been signed on a twelve-month deal last year, it was unlikely that Tommy was ever going to stay beyond the end of the campaign. Nonetheless, he always gave the impression of one who tried his all when he was given the chance – most notably during the no-show at The Valley in the midst of February’s Football Village affair.

In the case of Nick Proschwitz, despite having an option for a further 12 months the club have decided not to activate it. On the ‘surprise’ front, this is news on a par with today’s announcement that 6 FIFA members have been arrested on corruption charges.

Much as I was desperate to see Big Nick do well, he failed to adjust to our team and our system. The clincher for me was seeing Sam Saunders having to steal the ball off his toes during the Boxing Day defeat to Ipswich Town in order to stab the ball into the net. But you could count any number of misses or leaden-footed touches that will see him go down in Griffin Park folkore, of the wrong sort.

It is a real shame for both him and the club. When Brentford were crying out for a striker to step up to the plate following the horrific injury to Scott Hogan at Rotherham back in August, here was the chance. Indeed, Nick managed to find the back of the net after replacing his injured team mate in that game and it seemed we had somebody ready made to step into the breach.

Alas, it wasn’t to be as Andre Gray made light of the leap from Conference to Championship over the coming months. But for some support, who knows…?

Indeed, checking back on his stats this morning, even the club appear to have purged his record from history.

Big Nick has gone missing in action

Big Nick has gone missing in action

Please, let’s be clear. To step onto a football field as a professional takes an enormous level of ability. Let alone to play at the highest levels of the domestic game, which Nick did. As somebody who got knackered just running out of the tunnel in the infamous Martin Allen ‘fans v first team’ game, it’s probably a bit hypocritical for me to be overly negative about somebody who has done that.

Indeed, it gives me a genuine regret to speak negatively about any ‘Bee’ but sometimes things just aren’t meant to be. Despite the management unearthing some wonderful gems in the likes of Jota, Andre or Alex Pritchard this season (to name but a few), we missed the target this time around.

Perhaps Nick’s Brentford career is best considered a case of ‘wrong player in the wrong team’. A 21st century Murray Jones, if you will.

And if you want to read more about the events of 2014/15, the amalgamated Last Word season compendium: Tales from the football village (from Saunders territory to unchartered ground), is now available to download onto Kindle (and other electronic reading device) in full.

Running from July 2014- May 2015 it contains some additional material and is available for less than the cost of a Griffin Park matchday programme.

Ramsey’s treat as the neighbours take a tumble

11 May

Thank you Manchester City. What more can you say after they condemned Queens Park Rangers to an immediate return to the Championship on Sunday lunchtime? And how! We’ll get to the latest from Brentford shortly (where ‘official twitter’ is at it again) but we can only start with events at the Ethiad as City confirmed that the first of next season’s West London derbies will be an all Championship affair between Fulham and QPR after City beat the Loftus Road outfit 6-0.

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 Ten things that have defined this season (so far….)

4 May

With the dust still settling on the stunning events of the weekend as Brentford beat Derby County and Wolves in the race for a play off place (where, of course, we start proceedings against Middlesbrough on Friday) this column has been handed over to a guest contributor.

Long time Bees fan fan and regular Last Word reader Justin (@BeQuietJustin on twitter) outlines his ten things that have defined Brentford’s 2015/16 campaign to date. So without further ado, here are his thoughts….

That leak – February’s main item of club news was that Mark Warburton and Matthew Benham couldn’t reach agreement about the backroom direction of the club which ultimately meant Warburton would leave at the end of the season, coinciding with the end of his contract. This was reported as a sacking by some extremely lazy journalists in the national press and The Football League Show’s Steve Claridge doggedly insisted that the news was the reason behind any time Brentford didn’t win convincingly in a division they’d only just been promoted to.

The fans’ chanting of Warburton’s name during games, and the players’ celebrations with the manager after Andre Gray’s opener against Watford, showed that those a little closer to the club were unfazed by the largely unwarranted media nonsense.

Warbs  - there was no doubt about his popularity with the players

Warbs – there was no doubt about his popularity with the players

Signing woes – This season brought with it half a team’s worth of interesting signings, many of whom were either injured on arrival or ended up that way.

Scott Hogan was hoped to be the eventual number one striker but picked up an anterior cruciate ligament injury after playing a mere 30 minutes. Everton loanee Chris Long contributed four goals in some admirable performances with raw willing and talent before being sent back to his parent club for injury assessment and exacerbating the problem in a youth cup game.

The Championship-experienced Nick Proschwitz had potential but his finishing soon left fans recalling such legendary names as Clyde Wijnhard and Murray Jones. Exciting Sporting Lisbon forward Betinho apparently did not adjust well to the English game and disappeared from the matchday squads after playing just 13 minutes.

On top of all this, bright Rangers signing Lewis Macleod’s recovery from a hamstring injury was set back by falling down a rabbit hole and tripping over a twig. Make your own jokes about Brentford’s diminutive central midfield. With even one more fit and in-form striker this season, Brentford may well have been automatically promoted. On the other hand, the players have sometimes engineered their own downfall with some noticeable…

Defensive dithering – The new footballing way at Brentford dictated that no longer would we be pumping a long ball over the top for the big striker to knock down to the little one for a shot on goal. Methodical, patient, possession football in the vein of the Spanish national team was the new style and that brought with it a reduction in long goal kicks. Playing out from the back, enabling the defence to link with the 5-man midfield and draw defensive lines out of position, was something very few expected to see from a League One team and this was refined further this season.

However, it also brought with it a fair share of head-in-hands moments, with goalkeeper and defenders seemingly unaware of what was going on around them at times. Numerous occasions brought a short pass to a defender and back to David Button for him to hurriedly lump the ball up the field under pressure when it would have been easier to clear the lines properly and take a standard goal kick.

While the lack of height further up the pitch dictates that wasn’t always the right idea, the high-risk insistence of playing out from the back has resulted in defenders being robbed and conceding goals. Of course, nobody’s perfect, and it would be remiss to highlight the bad side of playing out from the back without mentioning…

David Button – Where would we be without some of David’s fantastic goalkeeping? The spectacular double save at Carrow Road has to be a major contender for save of the season, closely followed by great performances at home against Bournemouth and Watford, among many others.

View from the terrace - David exerts his influence early, telling referee Madley to button  it,

View from the terrace – David exerts his influence early, telling referee Madley to button it,

With Richard Lee’s recurring shoulder injury ultimately leading to him announcing his retirement and subsequently going on loan to a team whose name escapes me, fans were understandably concerned about what would happen in the event of David’s injury or suspension. Jack Bonham looked comfortable in his single appearance against Brighton in the FA Cup, with defensive lapses giving him little chance against two late goals, but the young number two (technically, three?) wasn’t required further.

A testament to goalkeeping coach Simon Royce, David’s kicking and speed off his line have both improved greatly over the last couple of seasons to match his outstanding shot-stopping ability. He pulled off a fine point blank save at 0-0 to help the team on their way to…

Brentford 4 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 – More money and an established, Championship way of thinking and playing saw Wolves romp home to the League One title last May, finishing 17 points clear of the playoff positions. This game relatively early on in the season was seen as a marker to determine how Brentford would cope in the division against supposedly ‘bigger clubs’.

An emphatic victory rounded off an excellent November consisting of five wins from five games, spawning the infamous #novemberkings hashtag on the club’s Twitter feed. At the end of the regular season, it turned out that this was the result that counted. A 1-0 win for Brentford would have put Wolves in the playoffs and Brentford 7th on goal difference. (editor’s note: (seventh)).

View from the terrace - Wolves perfected their 'kick off' routine at Griffin Park this season

View from the terrace – Wolves perfected their ‘kick off’ routine at Griffin Park this season

A footnote to this game was ex-Bee George Saville, who did not look up to the part having signed permanently for Wolves from Chelsea. I thought George was too indecisive and lightweight last season to make it with Brentford. He failed to impress at Wolves and ended up on loan at Bristol City, registering only 15 total appearances. This match included a brilliant goal in which the entire Wolves back four was taken out of the game in one swift move by…

Andre Gray – Essentially our only true striker this season, Andre massively outperformed early expectations in which he was thought to be playing second fiddle to Scott Hogan. Having jumped up three divisions from the Conference, there was cautious optimism among fans, tempered with a generous helping of wondering where the goals would come from if Brentford were to have a hope of staying in the division.

With Hogan’s early injury turning out to be worse than initially thought, all eyes fell on Andre. Often having to deal with being wrestled, pulled back and kicked to bits by huge defensive lumps, with officials consistently failing to see what 10,000 fans clearly could, Gray has held his nerve, scored 17 goals, set up numerous other chances for his teammates and played a massive part in…

FourFourTwo-2Thumbing our collective noses at the experts’ pre-season predictions – The pundits certainly hadn’t been paying attention to Brentford’s style of play in the previous season and gave them very little chance of making a dent in the Championship promotion race.

As we’ve seen numerous times in the last couple of seasons, underestimate this team at your peril. The most infamous pre-season prediction was that of FourFourTwo magazine, who got numerous things very wrong in their proposed final table (left).

Toumani Diagouraga – Another of my shortlist for the player of the season award. After being farmed out on loan to Portsmouth for eight games last season, many fans suspected that would be the last we saw of the composed, unpredictable midfielder at Griffin Park.

Toumani fought his way back into a midfield that looked like it would never be able to accommodate him due to other players’ performances and has put in 41 appearances so far this season, including numerous man of the match displays. He has been an absolute pleasure to watch, specialising in breaking down attacks with seemingly telescopic legs and twisting opposition players into knots with some brilliant yet, at times, utterly baffling footwork.

Alan Judge – My player of the season. Alan missed games in January and February through injury but it was clear how much we missed his creativity in his absence. Taking over the Sam Saunders mantle as the midfield playmaker, Alan finds space in the centre circle with driving runs to assist or take shots on goal and can spread the play to the wings with ease.

Many Brentford fans have no idea why Blackburn froze him out of their squad, presumably because at only 5’7” he’s not tall enough for their style of play, but their loss is our huge gain. Alan can also strike a sweet free kick, with Good Friday bringing a particularly memorable one…

Bees up, Fulham (almost) down – Perhaps not the biggest thing to happen in the grand scheme of this season, but an emotional choice and an away day that most fans had been looking forward to since the minute the fixtures were released.

Doing the league double over one of our fiercest local rivals showed how far the club has come. From being easily rolled over 5-0 in 2010’s pre-season, to a late home winner and comprehensively spanking that lot down the river in their own back yard, this pair of results gave the long-suffering Bees faithful yet another reason to be proud of what the club has achieved this season.

It’s not over yet, but we have more than enough to celebrate. Here’s looking forward to August, no matter which division Brentford are in!

The win at Fulham was certainly one of the most exciting moments of a great season

The win at Fulham was certainly one of the most exciting moments of a great season

After the storm, some reflection

22 Mar

Talking in the pub last night and looking around cyberspace this morning it would be fair to say I wasn’t alone in ‘The Last Word’ assessment of Brentford, following the 2-2 draw with Millwall. Equally, having shot from the hip and now having had the benefit of sleeping on it, can we take any positives or even just reassess a column written in the heat of the moment?

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.

Buzette - now head and shoulders above Buzz

Buzette – now head and (almost) shoulders above Buzz

Clem - another game, another draw

Clem – another game, another draw