Tag Archives: bfctalk

Another answer to Matthew’s zombie question as FA enforce puzzling fine

24 Mar

Coffers running low at FA HQ? Are funds needed for the end of season shindig? How else do you explain their decision to fine Brentford and QPR £10,000 and £7,500 respectively for failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion.This, after what was described in a less than extensive report as  “an incident in the 48th minute of their game on 12 March 2016.

If Brentford were going to be fined, it should surely have been for failing to ensure their team had a chance of being competitive after Dean Smith opted for his unusual 4-5-1-0 (I’ll also accept 4-6-0) formation. To have a starting XI bereft of a striker in any game, let alone one of this magnitude, should have been deemed a sanctionable offence. Whilst we’ve done that one to death now, the FA have stirred up all those emotions once more with this puzzling fine and low key statement.

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Questionable decision making by the FA

I read the story on the official Brentford website first of all and my initial reaction was one of a cover up, so limited was it in detail. But no, we don’t have a streak of paranoia running through the club as a subsequent review of the initial announcement on the FA ’site revealed a similar dearth of information.

Indeed, it was only West London’s Premier Journalist Tom Moore who was able to shed light on the incident. His GWL story  reminding us that the trigger was the ‘mass confrontation… following Karl Henry’s heavy tackle on Ryan Woods’.

Wow. Seriously? I’m all for protecting the referee but was this really worth official sanction and a fine of this nature? It wasn’t even ‘handbags at twenty paces’  compared to some of the ungainly scenes we are witness to week in, week out on the televised games.

If so, then surely the FA coffers would be swollen to bursting if a £17.5k sanction was imposed every time players reacted to a challenge of that severity in this style. Moreso, given the lack of protection previously afforded to the players in this instance by referee Fred Graham. Brentford are hardly a team to trouble the authorities on any form of regular basis and, whilst that shouldn’t make you immune for any punishment genuinely due, the incident certainly seems one to have been treated as somewhat of an over reaction.

I can understand the club doing nothing but sticking to the official line on this one. Like arguing with a traffic warden, any resistance would be futile and likely just lead to further punitive measures or unwanted contact.

Instead, one we’ll have to take on the chin and put behind us.

Zombies. I blame Matthew Benham. But in a good way.  His recent interview with Beesotted included the line, “No matter how many times we tell people that we also scout players traditionally, that we spend a lot of time watching players, it will come back that we just use maths. It’s become like a zombie that we can’t kill. But what can you do, eh?””

It was a question we’d pondered on these pages previously but how about picking a team of them? And please, no smart alecs saying we’d already done that in the Blackburn game.

One of my favourite Twitter sites,@OldschoolPanini, last night shared the work of French artist Schizoïd Brain who has recreated the French World Cup ’86 team in zombie based form. You can find them alongside their Panini equivalents at the ‘Old School’ website but, until then, here’s a brief…taster.

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 08.05.16

France ’86. Now in ‘Walking Dead’ form

Finally, many thanks all for the reaction to yesterday’s article on ‘cyber tw@ttery’ and keyboard warriors / bullies (delete as applicable). I wasn’t going to comment further on our unknown assailant whom, for want of anything better to call him, we’ll simply refer to ongoing as Trevor the troll. Purely for alliterative purposes. I’m not going to credit him any further with his own ‘hilarious’ nom de plume although if there are any non-trolling Trevors reading, apologies !.

It was interesting to see the amount of direct contact in response to this, from all manner of unlikely sources amongst our great Brentford family. Likewise, reading the latest column of fellow blogger Greville Waterman last night.

It seems he has also had a few visitors and has reacted in a similar fashion to myself.

I have to agree with his sentiments. It’s a really sad state of affairs that alleged supporters can treat fellow fans like this. Well done Greville for fighting back.

Fingers crossed we can all put this nonsense behind us, draw a line under it and get back to focussing on a third successive season in the Championship.

Nottingham Forest (a) can’t come soon enough.

Nick Bruzon  

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Three stunning pictures as the times are definitely changing.

29 Aug

We’ll get to the pictures in a moment but I need to start with a follow up on yesterday’s column regarding the video reports produced by Brentford and Birmingham City supporters (specifically: Beesotted and Davo’s diary).

One of the questions left open was whether Birmingham City joining forces with Davo, thus allowing him to show the pitch whilst posting his ‘independent’ production on the official site, left his work open to ‘editorial input’ or ‘selling out’?

Well, I’ve been contacted by several supporters to shed further light on this topic. Shane Ireland summarises the reasoning and, clearly, if this is an accurate reflection then it suggest Birmingham City are moving with the times.

It seems the Football League filed copyright complaints and the footage was, initially, removed from YouTube. However, some swearing aside, the version that now features on the clubsite is the same that appears, once more, on Davo’s own YouTube channel.

You can see his comments in full, along with others, on yesterday’s piece but to summarise Shane tells me :“The move by which BCFC allowed Davo to continue producing his content was a very popular one when they announced he would be doing it for the club’s official YouTube channel at the start of last season.

As BCFC could clearly see how enjoyable his videos were, they essentially ‘employed’ him in a position where he made his fan videos for the club, allowing him to set up a new YouTube channel in the process, which proved an extremely popular decision.

The videos which are uploaded onto BCFC’s official channel are very similar to the one’s Davo uploads to his own, with only the noticeable swearing edited out. The club even keep in the ‘all we care about is BCFC’ line from our ‘We don’t care about Carson’ song.”

Could Brentford step in to do something similar with Beesotted? Would Brentford want to step in to do something similar with Beesotted? Indeed, would Beesotted be happy to go into a ‘partnership’ with the Brentford media team?

These aren’t questions for me to answer but one thing’s for sure; they certainly seem to be working well for Davo, Birmingham City and, more importantly, their supporters. And if one club has set precedent then I’m sure it’s only a a matter of time before others look to follow.

Right, picture time. Browsing Twitter this morning, I stumbled across this from @antiquefootball. Ted Drake of Arsenal being carried off the pitch at First Division (we have been there, kids) Brentford back in 1938.

They certainly did things differently back then. Less a stretcher and more a sack of spuds.

The 1930s saw Griffin Park host top flight football and primitive medical techniques

The 1930s saw Griffin Park host top flight football and primitive medical techniques

Next picture. Ever wondered what World, European and double Olympic champion Mo Farah would look like, posing with Buzz, Buzzette and an oversized novelty cheque?

There’s a really important story on the club website about the partnership between his ‘Mo Foundation’ charity, the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust and Sport Impact.

You can read the story in full on the official site and, in the short term, here’s a preview of that picture.

Forget the Olympics. Meeting Buzzette is, surely, the highlight of Mo's career to date

Forget the Olympics. Meeting Buzzette is, surely, the highlight of Mo’s career to date

Final picture – the FA Cup preliminary round takes place on Saturday. Exotic sounding teams such as Thurnby Nirvana, Prescot Cables, Runcorn Linnets and Spoting Khalsa give their fans the chance to wave a home made (preferably tin foil) trophy at a game.

It’s something we’ve all (I hope) done – including yours truly, pictured below (NOT one of the 3 pictures).

Nothing says FA Cup tradition like a home made trophy

Nothing says FA Cup tradition like a home made trophy

However, it seems that this is a tradition that extends to the very top of the footballing pyramid. The 1987 Cup final between Coventry City and Tottenham Hotspur saw, probably, the finest example ever of this noble art.

The place: an empty Wembley stadium.

The channel: BBC1

The cup waver – none other than Des Lynam.

Viewers to the build up show for that day’s final were treated to the below. Frankly, football doesn’t get any better than this.

Great work, Des.

Des Lynam rocks the moustache, sports jacket and home made trophy combo

Des Lynam rocks the moustache, sports jacket and home made trophy combo

Birmingham City and Brentford fans – trailblazers or sell outs?

28 Aug

With the disappointment of Adam Forshaw and Tuesday night against Fulham put to one side, I’ve been trawling the Internet for a different Brentford story. And thanks to a most unlikely source – Birmingham City – I’ve found one.

It’s no secret that even outside of ‘official’ circles we have several fanatics involved in promoting Brentford FC. And, by promoting, I mean more along the lines of ‘getting involved’.

The work of the Beesotted crew is, of course, a longstanding yardstick by which to judge others but then we have all other levels of involvement.

There are the bloggers such as myself and Greville Waterman with his BFCtalk; the fanzine teams such as Thorne In The Side; the authors, such as Luis Adriano or, again, yours truly (‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA cup’ and ‘Penalties‘ are still both available on kindle). Even the supporters themselves, through the medium of fancam.

Which brings me on to Birmingham City. For all the past rivalry and banter their fans are, ultimately, much like our own. You get those who travel, those who like a drink in an ‘away’ pub, those who arrive two hours early to clap the players off the coach and those who write the blogs, publish the fanzines and shoot the home produced videos. Diehards who each contribute their own small piece to the labour of love that is ‘supporting your team’.

In the case of Birmingham City things are slightly different. Trying to find a picture of Clayton Donaldson in a ‘blue shirt’ I stumbled across the below video by a chap called Davo. Like the Beesotted ‘match videos’ it features the visit to the opposing team and various fan interviews.

 

However, unlike the Beesotted videos – their equivalent from the Birmingham game being below – there are two distinct differences which, I’d wager, are probably related.

 

 

The first difference being that the Birmingham video shows actual ‘on pitch action’. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t BAFTA winning quality and you are never going to say to yourself: “Sorry Manish. I would tune in to the football league show but, to be honest, why would I want your multi-angle HD coverage when I’ve seen a blur of Clayton through the back of somebody’s head?

That said, what they do have is an added sense of ‘being there’. We can’t all be lucky enough to travel and this footage just adds to the sense of still remaining part of that giant football family.

Frankly, I love it. I think this is a great touch to complement a really well put together piece of work. Even for the ‘home’ team, it gives a unique view on the game as, in the case of Brentford, we’d never see action from the Wendy House.

To be honest, I’m not sure how Davo is able to get away with this. As the Brentford fancam adverts constantly tell us, “Under the terms of the Football League’s broadcast agreements, supporters are not allowed to publish any footage taken from inside a ground when a Football League match is taking place..”

But here’s the trade off and, I’d guess, that second key difference. A version of the Birmingham City video is also available via the official club site. And with any ‘official’ publication you are liable to the possibility of censorship and editing,

Not just that but a potential loss of respect from the very people you are appealing to. If the likes of T.I.T.S. or GPG could only exist through official club channels, there’d be immediate accusations of “Sell out” all round. I love these sources purely because they ARE independent.

That’s not to knock the club. They produce their own highlight packages and Beesplayer features. Football is a business and they are appealing to their consumers – the fans. The media team are trying to promote ‘brand Brentford’ and why should they allow anybody else to muscle in?

And this is where we come back to the earlier ‘Manish’ point. It’s one which has also been highlighted by the Premiership recently looking to prosecute people for publishing highlight clips on YouTube.

I’m not a (complete) idiot and realise that there are things such as contracts, licensing agreements, exclusivity deals etc. However, there is also such a thing as technology, which is ever evolving.

Social media and mobile phones are going to present people with more and more opportunity to share these sort of clips. Technology which is going to be harder and harder to police. Just ask Getty images!

These are clips that, of course, are hardly of the highest quality (relative to the TV coverage or official highlights packages) and unlikely to steal any potential viewing figures. I could watch either of these two video reports but I’d still, also, want to catch up on the Football League show or club YouTube site.

I could read Greville’s latest blog column but I’d still make sure I juxtaposed this with Chris Wickham’s match report.

The point being, as ever in a very roundabout fashion, that I’m not sure what the footballing authorities (at whatever level) are scared of?

People are never going to turn away from official coverage because some well organised fans have bolstered their video report with thirty seconds of match footage shot from the back of the terrace. Reports which have all the more credibility for the fact that they remain independent.

Our clubs do an excellent job of Youtube and ‘player’ footage.

Davo at Birmingham has produced a really impressive piece of work that has the bonus of ‘unique’ match footage although who knows if/what the club have held back. Even if nothing, supporters will always have their suspicions that this is just more ‘club speak’.

Beesotted have the innovation of prematch ‘pub debate’ followed by, action free, match reports. That said, they still push the envelope and were, for example, the ones ‘on the ground’ with a video camera at the post-Preston impromptu promotion street party

All these teams produce different pieces of work but all complement each other. Is there really no margin for a bit of crossover? Like it or not, social media is going to make this happen more and more.

Whilst, rightly, I can’t see the likes of the BBC, the clubs or the Leagues allowing fans to transmit full match footage, is the odd minute or two of handheld camera footage REALLY that big a threat? Indeed, could you argue that this brief taster will only drive supporters towards official sites to see ‘the real thing’.

Or is money and exclusivity that big a deal that any threat should either be obliterated or legitimised through an official partnership? I do find it interesting that Birmingham City have even had to go down a partnership route. Is it a case of embracing change or simply ‘making a deal with the devil’ ?

My take on it? Official footage is high quality but a few minutes of supporter shot film gives that true feeling of being part of a fanbase; of supporting your team; of stoking further interest. And given how the club’s bottom line is, surely, to attract ‘customers’, then what easier way to do this?

If the video crews, bloggers and fanzine writers are prepared to do this then, surely, they are just saving the marketing teams a bucketload of effort and providing hours of publicity?

One thing’s for sure, we haven’t seen the last of fan shot video reports. The only decision being how hard the clubs and League want to police them or, if done in moderation, how much they are actually prepared to accept this, unintentional, free advertising.

Looking for Clayton, I ended up with Davo's diary

Looking for Clayton, I ended up with Davo’s diary

New Brentford ‘keeper sees red as Tuesday just got better

25 Aug

No sooner have Birmingham City left Griffin Park than Brentford are preparing for the next home game – a Capital One Cup tie with Felix ‘nil points’ Magath’s Fulham team on Tuesday. Whilst, no doubt, there’ll be further build up to the Fulham game in the next column, for now here’s a chance to catch up on those other things that there simply wasn’t enough space to write about following the draw with Birmingham (along with an 11th hour bonus).

My feelings on referee Robert Madley have been well documented in the past and, disappointingly, these were proven to be spot on as this fusion of Stroud, Biggar and Attwell once again showed all the decision-making ability of a tombola.

View from the terrace - David tells Madley to button  it, as Tony troops off

View from the terrace – David tells Madley to button it, as Tony troops off

The one positive for me is that at least I wasn’t alone in this opinion. Any thoughts of “Could it have just been me?” were dispelled with a read of Greville Waterman’s BFCtalk column on the subject. A very therapeutic piece for those of you seeing red about the card happy man in black.

Still, at least Robert wasn’t alone in having a stinker on Saturday. The BBC didn’t even have the excuse of having had to make a snap decision. I’m not sure which match their correspondent was watching but on returning home I read their website with amusement. Specifically the part of the match report that described how goalkeeper Tony Craig had been sent off – although at least substitute ‘keeper David Button had made some smart saves.

Not even West London's leading journo picked up on this one (although the BBC have, since, corrected)

Not even West London’s leading journo called this transfer swoop (the BBC have, since, corrected)

I wrote on Saturday about Natalie Sawyer and Hayley McQueen’s ALS ice bucket challenge. Later that day footage emerged of Matthew Benham completing his own, following a nomination from the Slough Town bound Alan Judge.

 

I’ve also had to rise to the challenge, following nomination from Luis Adriano. You can catch the wobbly action, some of the worst shorts Brentford have ever worn and the next set of nominees (and do feel free to encourage them along) here. Warning:it does involve some slipped pecs and paunch.

Sunday afternoon saw a thumping 4-0 win for Tottenham against the Loftus Road mob. A four goal defeat mirrors that suffered by Fulham the day before and gives a wonderful sense of symmetery to the bottom of the Premiership and Championship tables.

The BBC have, at least, got the tables right. Enjoy

The BBC have, at least, got the tables right. Enjoy

Interestingly, Monday morning sees the Daily Telegraph reporting that Fulham boss Magath only has one game left in which to hang on to his job. You can read their story, here and then think on about the significance of what that next game is….

As one correspondent put it, “Tuesday just gets better“.

A challenge to Beesotted, BFCtalk and the Brentford media team

24 Aug

On Saturday, rather than the traditional pre-match tub-thumping, the Last Word took things seriously (well, as serious as it gets) to talk about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Specifically, the one that had been performed by Brentford fan Natalie Sawyer (with her fellow Sky Sports presenter Hayley McQueen).

Not only has Matthew Benham since risen to the challenge laid down by Alan Judge but yours truly has also been on the receiving end of that icy gauntlet. Luis Adriano, fellow blogger and author (you’ll find his excellent work, Penalties, on Kindle) was the man delivering that clarion call to a charitable soaking.

I have, duly, accepted. And instantly realised three things.

1 – That a trip to the gym may be in order. Truly, the pecs have slipped.

2 – That whoever designed the Chad brand vinyl effect shorts of Brentford’s 91/92 promotion season didn’t know much about fashion. Or comfort.

3- Most importantly, that however silly you feel or look participating in this act of outdoor showering, the cause remains a noble one

Oh, there is a fourth thing. As this new found tradition dictates, I can also nominate. And so, in turn, I follow Luis Adriano’s literary line of thinking and challenge.

Billy the Bee – the face of Beesotted (please note: Beesotted has other faces)

Greville Waterman – fellow blogger and responsible for the excellent BFCTalk

Mark Chapman and Chris Wickham from the Brentford FC media team. You’ve read their match reports and programmes – who wouldn’t want to see the video?

So here it is. My lardy effort. Billy, Greville, Chappers and Chris – I’d love if you could accept. Given the amount of other Brentford related faces to have participated so far, think what a great spread it might make in the next programme.

More importantly, it’s for a great cause.

 

 

Billy, Luis & Greville point the way to the future as video gets nasty

19 Aug

Are you travelling to Blackpool tonight? Hats off to all those Brentford fans who can make what is a round trip of just about 500 miles on a school night. Moreso, just a few days after our last away game – the narrow reverse at Bournemouth.

Sadly, for yours truly, a second trip to the seaside was just one cheeky request too far that I didn’t even try and put past ‘the boss’. Away games are becoming a pleasure I slowly reacquaint myself with after my becoming a father meant a trip beyond TW8 last season was as rare as a Will Grigg goal celebration.

That said there were, and still are, plenty of ways to stay in touch with what Brentford were doing – whether before, during or after the game. And I don’t so much mean the ‘official’ club news or those deconstructed / recycled interview stories and double transfer swoop rumours that seem to account for 80% of what we could read in the local press.

Those other sources still exist and have, by and large, only got stronger. The Beesotted team clearly lead the way. Their website is regularly updated with news, reports and articles by a number of contributors whilst ‘Billy The Bee’ is a staple feature at Brentford games, conducting interviews with fans for the following day’s report.

But that’s just the start. There’s this site of course (for those of you who like your Brentford commentary a bit leftfield) whilst Greville Waterman has launched his ‘BFCtalk’ blog this season.

Greville’s really is a labour of love that touches on both the present as well as delving into the past in a series of features that, like this one, appear to have taken on a life of their own as daily updates are now the norm.

There’s even an Italian blog for those that like the continental opinion. I’m just waiting for the Spanish equivalent to now start.

Then, of course, we’ve those old favourites in the GPG or, for those who like things a bit less feisty, the Beesotted ‘Vital Football’ page.

That’s before we even get to e-books. As our reader is probably well aware, last season’s heroics have been turned into ‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup’ whilst Luis Adriano takes full credit for his excellent work, ‘Penalties’.

Just two of the e-books out there, right now

Just two of the e-books out there, right now

The very convoluted point I am trying to make in all of this is that these days there is no need to rely on those traditional sources of news – the club or the local rag. Tonight, for example, I’m going to be using radio, Sky Sports news and the multiple Twitter streams for updates.

So it was with great amusement that I read recently that the Premiership are threatening to prosecute fans for sharing goal action via social media. How they’ll police this I have no idea. Even Getty Images have given up trying to do this and now make their work available for free to bloggers.

More to the point, are they that scared of a few shaky videoclips / screengrabs that would make ‘Fancam’ look like an Oscar winner? Putting aside the licensing or greed arguments that both sides have already come out with, I’m simply approaching this from a view of ‘embracing change’.

Like it or not,social media is here to stay and people use it. I’ll still turn to legitimate sources to review the action even had I already seen a goal via ‘knock off footage’.

For me this was evident during the World Cup where ‘Vines’ kept me bang up to date on all those goals I’d missed whilst ‘coming in from work’, which I then watched in full when I finally reached the sofa.

As is evident with the written word (where, for example, Bournemouth use four or five volunteers to help make their stunning programme) there are a lot of fans out there who love the beautiful game and will do anything they can to promote it.

So, instead of going after Joe Public for sticking a clip of the TV on YouTube, it would be great if the football authorities could try something similar and work with fans.

I’m sure cash and contracts will ensure this never happens but, at the least, why not salvage their image a little bit and give off the impression of a collective who are now in the 21st Century rather than sitting, suited and booted, in some smoke filled backroom with their hands in a velvet ball bag.

The Bournemouth programme - more volunteers than covers

The Bournemouth programme – more volunteers than covers

Moses gets a chance to ‘celebrate like’ etc etc as Bees play numbers game

28 Jun

The flurry of transfer activity at Brentford this week as we prepare for life in the Championship has got me thinking. What is the protocol when recruiting a new player? That is, once the niceties of negotiating terms, signing contracts and posing for a photograph with the shirt are done away with?

Specifically, how does he choose his squad number? Indeed, does that even form part of the contract talks or is it simply handed down by the manager from the pool of available ‘spares’?

And would the current squad get first crack at any new opening? With Clayton Donaldson heading to Birmingham City (although, like Marcello Trotta, his profile still remains in the ‘team’ section on the Bees website) that coveted number 9 shirt is now available.

New boy Moses Odubajo, who was announced on Friday as having joined from Leyton Orient has already bagged number 10. Rumoured to be for a fee over GBP1million, per the East London press, this is great news. Who knows if the sight, and Russell Slade’s subsequent talk, of those ‘FA Cup like celebrations’ helped sway his decision?

One would presume that yesterday’s other new signing (announced along with contract extensions for David Button and Stuart Dallas), the free scoring Andre Grey from Luton Town, has his sights on that vacant ‘9’.

Was it a wasted opportunity for the likes of Alan Judge (18)? Could James Tarkowski (26) and Adam Forshaw (4) have negotiated between them to give the central defender that position’s traditional 4? Indeed, does it even matter to players or are they the superstitious sort that, once allocated a number, keep it until they leave a club (or beyond)?

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Does a squad number make a difference?

Obviously, it makes no real difference to what happens on pitch but, whilst I’m all for progress in the game, I’m ‘old school’ at heart. Seeing a team line up numbered 1-11 gives me a certain reassurance that it ‘looks right’. An additional little ‘good luck’ omen (to sit alongside the lucky shirt, magic pants and pre-match pint). Or perhaps I just have OCD?

Watching the (so far) all-conquering Netherlands in the World Cup they have achieved this feat despite the permutations possible in a 23-man squad. Has their manager Louis van Gaal (real name: Aloysius Paulus Maria van Gaal) just ‘got lucky’? Or has he had the balls to name his first choice starting XI well in advance and then allocate 12-23 amongst the rest?

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The all conquering Netherlands team , numbered 1-11 on the BBC website

I can only hope it is the latter and if so, whilst I don’t care a jot about the tribulations at Manchester United, then self-confidence of that nature is sure to work wonders after the debacle of the David Moyes era when he arrives at Old Trafford.

Still, for Brentford fans, they are opponents’ for 2015/16. This season, let’s concentrate on getting out of the Championship.

Forget ‘survival’ – I’m aiming high. And with Matthew Benham’s cryptic clues now being unravelled (they were obvious, really…), we are certainly putting together a young, exciting and attacking squad to start that charge.

‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ (The story of Brentford’s season 2013/14) – amongst other things – is now available as a digital book. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from the last ten months, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle / digital device.

MO, JR or another MT? And two anchors in budgie smugglers.

27 Jun

When Brentford’s Championship campaign kicks off in just over six weeks with the visit of Charlton Athletic, the first XI could have a different look. Of course, this week has already seen Clayton Donaldson head for pastures new at Birmingham City whilst Marcos Tébar has swapped Spain for Griffin Park.

However, lovers of social media would have seen hints from both club owner Matthew Benham and chief executive Mark Devlin last night in regards to further activity.

Mark set minds racing with his late evening announcement that it had been, “Very busy in TW8 today. Hopefully some incoming transfer news in next 48 hours.” No further clues were forthcoming as to who these would be although the popular choice on twitter seemed to be Moses Odubajo of Leyton Orient.

I have no idea where that has come from or how accurate it is but, with Barry Hearn currently in talks to sell up his interests in the club and memories of that play-off final defeat still raw, is now the time the O’s will see their prize assets depart?

Matthew, on the other hand, has swapped the initials for the return of his ‘cryptic video clue’. He posted this YouTube link on his Facebook page last night, along with a similar announcement to Mark’s , as a hint about who could be coming in.

 

Matthew is clearly a very intelligent man. You don’t get to where he has without brains. Sadly, I’m just the numpty on the terrace and struggle with anything beyond a join-the-dots puzzle.

So how Billy Bob Thornton, masquerading as Lorne Malvo in ‘Some Roads’ links to a new signing, I have literally no idea. It could be anyone from Sean Thornton of Bala Town to a return for Jordan Rhodes….. (we can dream!)

To be honest, he could have printed a picture like this as a clue and I still wouldn’t get it. Either way, it sounds very positive news and I can’t wait to see who is next to feature in ‘obligatory photo in jeans and new shirt’ corner.

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Billy Bob Thornton?

And finally, Adrian Chiles put a smile on my face last night. Not in a good way but, at least, one that showed he has a sense of humour. Readers of a sensitive disposition should look away now.

However, the build up to the evening’s World Cup games on ITV, featured his terrifying look behind the scenes at how the light channel and the BBC carve up the televised games between them, as Chiles told us:

“If you’re wondering which second-round games will be shown on the BBC and which on ITV, Gary Lineker and I will strip down to our budgie smugglers, wrestle on the beach and the winner will get first pick.”

I still reckon last season’s Pugil sticks are the way to go.

‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ (The story of Brentford’s season 2013/14 ) – amongst other things – is now available as a digital book. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from the last ten months, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle / digital device.

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Tell me this isn’t, really, how it happens?

 

This ‘MT news’ is not good. And the real reason England are out of the World Cup

26 Jun

Brentford completed two bits of largely predicted transfer activity yesterday as Clayton Donaldson agreed to join Championship rivals Birmingham City whilst the Bees midfield was bolstered by the acquisition of Marcos Tébar.

Rumours of Birmingham’s interest, and Clayton’s alleged medical had been circulating for the last few days in the local press (getting one right, for once – Rob Kiernan, anyone?) whilst Matthew Benham had set tongues wagging with Tuesday’s twitter announcement in regards to signing ‘MT’.

I’d like to start by wishing Clayton ‘good luck’ and offering my huge thanks. His goal record and effort at Griffin Park speaks for itself whilst the performance at Leyton Orient last season, with the Bees down to ten men, was one of the hardest shifts I have ever seen a player put in. The simple fact is that he was an integral part to our promotion and I can’t wait to see him back at Griffin Park – albeit that it’s going to be somewhat odd in a City shirt.

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Clayton meets his youngest fan pre-season. And his fattest

This does, of course, make things interesting up front where Northern Ireland International Will Grigg is in pole position, as it stands. With Farid El-Alagui released and Clayton off, he doesn’t have too much experienced competition for that coveted centre forward slot.

With Mathew Benham tweeting about MT, the other name on most people’s lips was Marcello Trotta. From ‘that penalty’ (sorry, mentioned it) to last season’s heroics, it’s fair to say he’s made a name for himself at Griffin Park. I’d love to see him back but, as it stands, evidence from ‘down the road’ suggests the only place we’ll currently see him in the Championship is at Craven Cottage.

“The boys were back in town”, proclaimed their website on Wednesday. A rather odd declaration, considering that the much derided Michael Jackson statue had been ‘in town’ more recently than this ‘boy’.

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This distasteful image is now on the FFC website

I’m not privy to the club’s transfer plans and, like other supporters, am only in a position where I can speculate. However, the sight of Marcello in the middle of a Fulham training montage makes me desperate that his name is at the top of Mark Warburton’s shopping list.

To see him in their white colours would really be a kick in the knackers. And you’d just know a penalty would be awarded.

And finally, I’d like to thank Richie Firth on Christian O’Connell’s Absolute Radio breakfast show for a World Cup ‘stat of the day’. My disdain for ITV football has been well documented in the past, but he has now helped send it to an all time low with an intriguing fact.

By all accounts, England have only won 21% of their World Cup games since 1982 when they have been shown on the light channel. If ever an excuse was needed to boot Chiles and the boys into touch, then here it is.

Don’t blame Roy. It’s all Adrian’s fault.

‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’  ( The story of Brentford’s season 2013/14 ) – amongst other things – is now available as a digital book. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from the last ten months, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle  / digital device.

Are Brentford about to unveil MT today?

25 Jun

With the evening’s football being overshadowed by Luis Suarez and his latest bite, you could be forgiven for missing the other news. I won’t repeat the column on Suarez, suffice to say that the graphic I’d put together left me having nightmares – with the miniaturised head of Russell Slade protruding from the Uruguayan’s mouth, much akin to the eponymous creature from the Alien movie.

However, what I will repeat is Matthew Benham’s proclamation that Brentford should be announcing a new signing today – initials MT.

Mr Benham loves a cryptic clue (see also: Mark Warburton replacing Uwe Rösler – one I still can’t work out, even knowing the answer). Of course, whichever name I suggest is sure to be wild speculation and miles off.

Moreso, as Matthew has not started following any ‘MT’ on twitter (much as he did with Alan Judge or Chuba Akpom). Chelsea and Ghana’s Christian Atsu being his latest ‘follow’, although that would be a CA.

Could one of these be pictured at Griffin Park today, holding a new Adidas shirt?

 

 

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View from the terrace – Marcello Trotta scores from the penalty spot against Gillingham

And if BBC Manish is reading (he isn’t) I very much enjoyed your coverage of the Japan – Colombia game on BBC 3 last night. However, was there really a need to make a point that it was women aged 18-24, more than any other gender group, who watched the Croatia game?

Come on Manish, this is the 21st century – who cares? Women play and watch football, too. Besides, the men were probably all busy doing the washing up and ironing.

‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’  – The story of Brentford’s season 2013/14 (amongst other things) is now available as a digital book. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from the last ten months, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle  / digital device.