Tag Archives: Brentford FC Community Sports Truust

One man’s balls are another’s bolas. Time to get back on the horse.

6 Nov

Move along, nothing to see here.” A comment taken from the opening line in yours truly’s programme notes for today’s game, following last week’s result at Burnley ( In the interest of keeping these pages a true catalogue of the campaign, a 3-1 reverse for Brentford). For reasons that primarily involve mental overload, there’s been a week or so’s break from penning any of this nonsense. But with the visit of Norwich City imminent, now is the time to pick up the keyboard once more. There’s news of a brand new feature to run in tandem with these pages whilst, on a personal note, today offers the chance of a quite unique way to watch (and potentially get involved in) the game.

Norwich City. Cripes. Where are they this season? Come on. Based on current form they don’t so much need a 12th man as a 13th and 14th. The stats speak for themselves with last year’s all-conquering form nothing more than a beautiful memory. Nothing more than a name etched into a Championship winner’s trophy. Played 10. Lost 8. Drawn 2. Goals scored 3. Goal difference -22. Mark Lawrenson’s pre-match prediction on the BBC includes the quite soul-destroying observation that,  “After 10 games of the season, Daniel Farke’s side just have that pallor of relegation about them.” Their problems further compounded by the absence of captain Grant Hanley this afternoon.

Where are you? etc etc . Best. Football thing. Ever.

Let’s be clear. I take no pleasure from this. As has been documented many times, we’ve a lot of love for Norwich City in our house. A club whose approach and welcoming arms are very much like Brentford in so many respects. Equally though, games of football are there to be won and this one presents the best opportunity one could ask for to get back up amongst that pack of teams chasing Europa League places. A phrase which, for the record, whilst statistically true is still one which reminds me of the beer infused afterglow with which we are enjoying our football this season. That three pint feeling of numbed bonhomie. Everything is awesome. Crazy times. Exciting games. A dream that keeps on giving for a team who are, mostly, indestructible. Burnley aside. Even the there game blip of LLL involved double dubious refs (Chelsea and Leicester City) aswell as a top, top ‘keeper in inspired form when the European Champions came to visit.

So yes, everybody will be expecting a win today. That includes me. Aside from some payback for last season (what foul on Bryan in the box?) form alone suggests there will never be a better chance to get back on the winning horse. All being well, Vitaly Janelt will start this one after coming off the bench at Burnley. Wow – hasn’t he been missed? Likewise, a return for Bryan Mbeumo has been strongly hinted at. For Kris Ajer, the prognosis remains a longer term one but having these two back will be huge boost. Moreso, if Yoane Wissa and Shandon Baptiste join them in the category marked ‘available for selection’. Whilst today may well be a game too soon, with international break next up the trip to Newcastle United could well see that later pair back in contention too.

As ever, Thomas Frank would speak about our opponents in respectful terms, urging caution if anyone is expecting to just turn up and take three points. He used his press conference to talk about the difficulty in opening up a five man defence, adding “I understand the expectation from everyone outside is that we will win. The reality is that the level between the two teams is so tight and it is all about the day. Every game in this league is going to be unbelievably difficult”.

As ever, the fans have their part to play. The atmosphere at Lionel Road has been immense this campaign. “Hell on Earth”, as Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell described the intensity. Also, and being honest, a little muted at times. Relatively speaking. Brighton and Leicester City in particular where tails dropped and there was as much focus on pantomime villain James Maddison as anything else. It was a point also picked up on by Thomas. Not to criticise but as much to emphasise the difference that keeping it loud makes:  

We have a big task ahead of us but I also think our fans have a big task. If we want to make this a fortress, and a hostile environment, it needs to be every single game. It can’t only be the nice performances against the big clubs”.

Will we win today? I think so. Will it be easy? No. If nothing else, there’s change everywhere and we know what that does to all of us who get sucked in by jinxes and keeping things consistent. For a start, there’s new a ball in the offing. The Premier League winter edition is now available for use. Whilst longer terms readers will be aware of our love for the traditional ‘orange’ variant (come on snow clouds, do your thing), one can’t deny that this one is eye catching. Nike’s one-of-a-kind design taking inspiration from the world of comic books. Apparently. Whatever the blurb, it feels as far away from the all time best balls ever (aside from 007’s bolas) the 1978 Adidas Tango and The Mitre Ultramax as it is possible to imagine. Yet, yet, yet…. it is so different it’s incredible. Let’s hope our play on the pitch is a stylish as the red, yellow and blue effort.

A new contender…..?

On a personal note, huge thanks to our Harry and the Community Sports trust. Earlier in the year, our commentator par excellence Mark Burridge hosted a Juniors Bees commentary workshop via Zoom. Remember when that was our only way to interact during one of the various lockdowns? It was a wonderfully engaging session and a great way to capture the imagination of our younger fans, who were afterwards invited to submit their own commentary efforts. All well and good, but things cranked up a notch when we received a phone call recently to say that two of the participants had been selected to spend an afternoon in the company of the commentary team, on the gantry, for their efforts in the respective age groups. And our H had scooped the junior section.   

Needless to say, excitement is in the air. With a responsible adult needing to accompany the respective kids, that role reluctantly falls to myself. Less responsible and more available. So rather than sitting in the North Stand, for one game only it will be alongside Mark, Karleigh and team looking out on all around from what is rumoured to be the best view in the house. Will changing seats make the same difference as changing ends before kick off? It’s a risk we’re willing to take and you can read more on Brentford official, here…

And finally, we don’t do match reports on these pages. Not in depth, anyway. There isn’t the time for that level of in depth analysis. On the flip side, there is a new column which will be running alongside this one in conjunction with our principal partner, Hollywood Bets. It’s different to what we normally do (albeit, will have the same level of typos and other nonsense) and is a first dip of the toe into a more analytical role. We’re not talking Phil, Rasmus and Matthew Benham’s super-computer levels of observation but a more traditional  fans’ take on ‘Player ratings’ after every game.

You can find the story of the season so far here and then there’ll be an updated version published after each Premier league game. Feel free to @ me when my take on who has done well is invariably different to everybody else’s. At the end of the day, Clive, it’s not an exact science. One man’s balls are another’s bolas.  

Balls, Q? Bolas, 007

The free signings this club must pick up in the current window.

8 Sep

Is there really such a thing as a free lunch? I can’t answer, I can’t answer that (as popular music’s Bros once sang whilst pondering the question as to whether they would ever reach the heights of popular acclaim). But there is such a thing as a free book and this one’s for you, Brentford fans. A gift that may be as entertaining and welcome as an interview with Harlee Dean or, equally, as full of nonsense as an interview with.. 

However, with the next Championship campaign bearing down on us we’ve reached ‘that’ time of year. The chance to use the phrase “And if you’d like to read more” as the Last Word review of the previous season hits the e-book shelves. This time around is no different but, also, it is…

The latest effort went live yesterday. You can find ‘Farewell, Griffin Park’ in the usual places (or just follow this link) for your kindle or other e-book reader. It’ll set you back £1.99 and contains all the nonsense from these pages in one consolidated format along with all the articles submitted for the matchday programme in their original format. There are typos and grammatical errors, despite the best endeavours of yours truly, but it is meant as a bit of fun. Any/all money received (stranger things have happened) goes to the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust although if you hold fire it should be available free for a five day period very shortly.

And that’s what we have done for the previous two efforts. If you fancy the six previous seasons of nonsense or the chance to see how often we moan about eXpresso, Mrs. Browns Boys, the England ‘supporters band and Star Wars Day (along with all the usual football chat) then they are available for nothing. For free. For a few more days at least.

You can pick up both ‘There Is No Plan B – Brentford FC season reviews: 2013/14 – 2017/18’ and also ‘The Jaffa cake Shirt – Brentford FC season review: 2018/19‘ for free. Now. Help yourselves. All you need is the ability to follow a hyperlink and an electronic device to read them on.

Hey, there needs to be some way to fill the time between now and the transfer window creaking shut.

Enjoy. Or moan about the typos. Either way, the chance to relive the highs (and, err, lows) may help kill a bit of time until we are allowed back inside a ground.

Thank you.

Nick Bruzon