Tag Archives: cameras

And you thought football was a village…..we aren’t alone!

16 Mar

In a season where communications, or lack of, have been one of the key themes for Brentford supporters trying to get our heads around the club’s new direction it seems there is a similar sentiment across London at Charlton Athletic. That said, the ‘problems’ faced by the Bees seem miniscule compared to those at the Valley. Yet given how raw last season’s ‘Village-gate’ affair still feels to many, yesterday’s press release from the Addicks has struck a chord in what some might deem a similar scenario. Namely, that of a patronising and nonsense packed ‘official statement’ on a club website.

Football is a village’ is a line that will be forever steeped in infamy at Griffin Park. If ever we were looking for an opposite to, “They celebrated like they’d won the FA Cup” then here it was. To this day, I still don’t know who came up with that gumph, who thought it was our best response to the leaked stories surrounding Mark Warburton and why, in retrospect, nobody has come out and suggested we might have played that one a little bit better. Still, enough has been said about that sad event on these pages to warrant further discourse (although if you’d like to read more…..)

Then, yesterday, it all come flooding back as the Charlton media team decided to crank the Village factor up to 11. To be fair, they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Sunday’s home win against Middlesbrough which, hot off the back of a victory at Griffin Park has given them renewed hope of survival, was one marred by a number of protests against Roland Duchatelet and chief executive Katrien Meire.

Amongst other things, a coffin made an appearance whilst several whistles in the crowd did their best to disrupt the players. Kick off was followed by a deluge of beach balls onto the pitch and several fans walked out on 74 minutes – to signify the amount of goals Charlton have shipped so far this term. There was even a somewhat unsavoury pitch invasion which, against type, the watching Sky TV cameras gave full prominence to .

I can sympathise with the club in wanting to do something. Likewise, they’ve even waited on this until Tuesday in order to let the immediate heat go out of the situation and then give it their most considered response. But there are ways of doing something and then ways of doing something. If I didn’t know better I’d suggest our own comms team had been transferred out of Griffin Park and taken up residence at The Valley.

Last Sunday, some individuals did not come to The Valley to watch the game and support the team, but came to create disorder on the pitch and interfere with the players and the game. Disorder which is, allegedly, needed to drive change in ownership and management

Those aren’t my words but the opening salvo of a ‘toys out the pram’ response that makes the football village seem almost Shakespearean in comparison.

Other ‘highlights’ include, “Some individuals seem to want the club to fail. This is a confused approach, since following this logic leads to exactly the opposite of what we all want: staying in the Championship” and

Allegations regarding the CEO are misrepresented and are continuously used as a method to discredit and fuel personal abuse, hatred and with a risk to personal safety”.

You can read the full statement on the Charlton website. It’s a sorry state of affairs for their supporters, many of whom I have no doubt are backing the team to the hilt. Instead, at this time of need, they are all being tarred with a brush of ne’er do wells in a statement that reeks of paranoia.

Football is, without doubt, something bordering on a religion and obsession to many. It is part and parcel of our lives, our friendships are based around it whilst, for many, the choice of club is a generational thing handed down by parents keen to pass on the torch. Simply put, we are bound to our teams in a symbiotic relationship where everything that happens to them impacts us one way or another.

Sure, Charlton had to make some sort of reaction. Yet given the frustrations which have been building over the course of this season and came to a head on Sunday, doing it in such a fashion is yet another example of a club owner’s failure when it comes to making friends and influencing people.

For all those unhappy with certain aspects at Brentford this year, please have some perspective. Whilst we’ve certainly hit a bump in the road on the pitch, off the field Matthew Benham and his team have started to open up more to the fans in the last week whilst you can’t deny he is a Brentford fan through and through.

Football isn’t a village, it’s more than that. Our top brass would do well to continue realising that.

Please let’s not ever release a statement like this (again).

Nick Bruzon

bees fans leave charlton shit

It stinks at Charlton

 

Crazy capers, Christmas jumpers and Paul McCartney (kind of)

11 Dec

With Brentford set to play Fulham on Saturday, I was reminded of a simple yet wonderful truth. “Caper is a stunning word”. Not my quote (although certainly sentiments I agree with) but those of one New Road wag with whom I was discussing the forthcoming game. A discussion which led, at a tangent, to popular music’s Wu-Tang Clan and from there to an abhorrent video coming out of QPR, which we’ll get to shortly.

Fans of the group (Wu-Tang Clan, not QPR) will, I am sure, be aware of their ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’ album. A 31 track effort of which there has only been one copy ever produced and that sold at auction for USD2million to drugs baron (in a medical sense) Martin Shkreli.

However, the story took a bizarre turn on Thursday when an alleged clause in the sale contract, detailing how the group could regain possession of their record, was made public. Specifically via the medium of legally planning and attempting “to execute one (1) heist or caper to steal back Once Upon A Time In Shaolin.”

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 21.27.34

Is this for real? Who cares .

I don’t know what the best part of this is. Bill Murray? The stunning use of brackets? Or just the phrase “ execute one (1) heist / caper” ? Truly, a pair of words more commonly associated with slapstick comedies or trashy crime thrillers.

The byproduct of reading this was my thinking more about how I could crowbar either one into today’s article. And with Brentford and Fulham about to meet at The Cottage once more, a cheap bit of photoshoppery and sledgehammer like unsubtlety, in combination with the aforementioned comedy, seemed the obvious solution.

For once, PG isn’t Peter Gilham …

poster0d4a6cac822a7c8dfe7c862bc0441becab83b43f

Coming soon to a stadium near you?

As for QPR, words fail me…

Whilst Alan Partridge may have famously noted, “ Wings – the band that The Beatles could have been”, nobody deserves to be treated this badly.

I’d recommend you don’t press play. Not even in an ironic sense. Words can’t describe just how toecurlingly bad this is . Where’s Keith Stroud and his red card when you need him?

You have been warned. Watch this at your own risk

That wasn’t the only video to see the light of day on Thursday. Griffin Park, so often the location for film crews needing a local football ground, has starred again.

This time in a promotional film for Sky Sports and their coverage of Football League fixtures over the Christmas period. Given their spannering of my trip to Brighton, I shouldn’t really be over indulging in their promotion but there are a number of aspects that caught my interest.

Primarily, as one observer on the Ealing Road has pointed out, Kurt and the marketing chaps really have taken Peter Gilham’s much touted new public address system to ridiculous levels.

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 22.19.55

“This is Brentford Control…”

Then, of course, there is an appearance from another familiar face in Brentford circles. And I don’t mean Jeff Stelling who, to the best of my knowledge, has never had any involvement with the Bees or our fans – certainly beyond a squeal of excitement as we locked horns with his beloved Hartlepool back in October 2012.

That, a game which saw a brace from Paul Hayes – his first goals for the Bees – before Tony Craig rescued a point for the Monkeyhangers with a 90th minute own goal. Grown men wept. Others just reached for the vodka bottle as Brentford conspired to snatch a 2-2 draw from the jaws of certain victory – Harlee Dean having previously helped the visitors along by scoring their first (own) goal.

Still, I digress. There aren’t any prizes on offer for figuring out that, of course, Brentford super fan Natalie Sawyer is also donning her best Christmas jumper for this one.

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Who doesn’t like a Christmas jumper?

And if you’d like to see more of Jeff, Natalie and Griffin Park all doing their thing then the full video is below. Although Sky, don’t think I’m any happier about Brighton.

That said, it still beats QPR’s attempt to sleigh Paul McCartney.

Nick Bruzon

Move along, nothing to see here (especially for travelling fans)

12 Nov

Welcome back, Brentford fans. The Last Word has had a few days off as I’ve been concentrating on MK Dons (I suppose somebody has to) ahead of their visit next month. And what a few days it has been. We’ll be bang up to date with the Burnley TV announcement which has followed what could, politely, be called a period of ‘managerial upheaval’. Chris Ramsey at QPR – gone! Kit Symons at Fulham – gone! Gary Bowyer at Blackburn Rovers – gone. And all this hot on the heels of Guy Luzon at Charlton going before most fans had even left South-East London last month.

Defeat to the Bees saw the end of Guy Luzon at Charlton

Defeat to the Bees saw the end of Guy Luzon at Charlton

As I said after Ramsey’s departure, I take no pleasure in seeing anybody lose his or her job. Those sentiments still hold true. We’ve been through it ourselves already this season when the Marinus experiment (something that even now sounds like the sort of prog rock band BBC Billy Reeves might listen to whilst compiling a match report) came to a somewhat premature conclusion.

However, what is interesting to note is how soon these dismissals came after the respective teams had played Brentford. Blackburn dismissed Gary Bowyer after our 1-1 at Ewood Park, Luzon had gone within moments of Charlton being hammered 3-0 by the Bees at the Valley whilst at least QPR gave Chris Ramsey one more game after they’d lost to us. Then swung the axe.

Is there anything more to this than coincidence? Are Brentford still viewed by others as the yardstick of mediocrity? And, as such, failure to beat us is deemed to be the final straw on the proverbial camel’s back?

Anybody who saw what we did last season would be a fool to subscribe to that theory. Likewise, those who have troubled to actually look at what we have done this time around, especially under Lee Carsley. But people are very much set in their ways and attitudes, choosing to sneer about ‘stats’ and still laugh off Brentford as some insignificance of minor irritant – much like a mosquito troubling a T-Rex.

And that’s just the way I like it. We’ve now got international break where, subject to injuries, the likes of Alan Judge and Lasse Vibe could be on duty whilst John Swift has been called up for the England U-21s. Instead, those outside TW8 will no doubt overlook all this, which suits me fine.

Forget ‘Little old Brentford’ (urghh). Forget ‘#BigNewAmbitions’ (please, can we all forget about that). Move along, there’s nothing to see here. Let people ignore us or dismiss us. We’ve got ten days to drift into the back of peoples’ consciousness once more and continue our discreet push up the blindside of the Championship table. Moreso, with the likes of Jota and Sam Saunders pushing for selection, we’ve only got more opportunity to spring a few surprises.

Jota's Instagram account gives encouraging news

Jota’s Instagram account gives encouraging news

And then Sky TV has come along to promptly ruin things for us with that rarest of things – a televised Championship game that doesn’t involved Leeds United. Instead, our game at home to Burnley has now been brought forward to Friday January 15th at 7.45pm.

From a timing perspective, this one is a nightmare. Saturday 9 January (subject to TV, of course) sees the FA Cup third round. We then entertain Middlesbrough on Tuesday night – a huge challenge in it’s own right given recent form between our respective teams – before lining up against Burnley just three days after that.

It’s always a busy time of the year, no question, but purely from a fitness perspective to deny ourselves that extra night to recover can’t be a great thing. Middlesbrough and Burnley are at the business end of the table for good reason. They’ll be tough enough opponents as it is, without things being made any harder for us by powers outside of our control.

Then there are supporters. Not all of us have the luxury of living in West London. Whilst many do, there are a lot of Bees for whom the trek to Griffin Park is a carefully planned ritual. As one terrace observer put it to me last night, “It’s annoying. I can pull the ‘leave early/work from home’ thing every so often but twice in a week is now book a holiday or choose a game I’ll have to miss.”

@Gandalf3819 was equally frustrated on Twitter last night, adding, “That’s great, another game missed because some of us do shift work! Talk about selling our soul!” This was promptly followed by a hashtag that I don’t think the club will be using on the next marketing campaign.

Andre is coming back sooner than we thought (even without brackets)

Andre is coming back sooner than we thought (even without brackets)

Look. I have no doubt we’ll be told that this is totally outside of our control but, equally, I’d be interested to hear how hard we have fought against this. Or, indeed, does the club actually believe that it is in our own interests – after all, we do get increased revenue from the TV money.

With success comes TV money and the price of that is fixture upheaval. Just imagine what would have happened had we actually made it to the Premier League this season. I accept all that but did it really have to be that weekend?

The fans could be paying out for three games in a 7(seven) day stretch immediately after the Christmas and New Year period. A problem further compounded by the fact that Season Tickets don’t cover the FA Cup.

As for the players. Well, our squad may be big but it is notoriously fragile. One New Road wag asked me last week if Lewis Macleod is actually made out of balsa wood, following his latest setback for the development squad. The prospect of three games in such close proximity is one that must have the medics quaking and the recovery coach (I’m sure we must have one) filling the ice bath already.

Hey, it could just be me and, actually, people welcome this. That’s football and this is my opinion. However, I’m keen to see if the club or even BIAS, the independent voice of Brentford supporters, make any further comment.

Moving on, I mentioned MK Dons and their temporary role in shutting own the Last Word at the top end of this column. Well, my focus on them has been in regards to the ‘kit obsessive‘ article that appears in the matchday magazine. Specifically, as they’ve presented a challenge even bigger than facing Middlesbrough, Burnley and Team X over the space of a week. From a kit article perspective.

Whilst other clubs have afforded us the luxury of over a century worth of shirt design to select from, with MK we have just over a decade.

A mere 11 home shirts since they forced their way into existence has made it somewhat of a tougher challenge than normal. But after trawling through a back catalogue skimpier than Britney Spears swimsuit, we’re there.

And I think you might like this one. Well, I hope you might like this one. You might like this one.

On December 5th you can make up your own minds. Enjoy.

Nick Bruzon

To me. To you. To the Championship

26 May

So in the end it was Rotherham United, rather than Leyton Orient, who joined Brentford and Wolves in being promoted to the Championship this season.

Few who watched the League One play off final on Sunday could deny it was exciting. Some of the best goals ever to grace the stadium (in her old or new forms), more swings than a child’s play park and that most tense of conclusions – the, so-called, ‘lottery’ of the penalty shootout.

But then few who watched it could, honestly, have picked a winner. Paul, Barry and masked impersonators were seen on the BBC  chuckling all the way to the Championship

Paul, Barry and masked impersonators are chuckling all the way to the Championship

 

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.

Shakes fist angrily at footballing gods – a pain I know too well.

25 May

Brentford were denied a return of the 237 derby next season after QPR beat Derby County 1-0 in the play off for the Premiership on Saturday. The footballing gods then rubbed further salt in the wound by making us sit through a display of Champion’s League self-indulgence from Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo that would have made the twerking Miley Cyrus look like the shy and retiring type.

There’s no question he’s talented. But to see him strutting around half naked, like some coked up peacock on steroids, left a rather unpleasant taste in the mouth. You had to feel for Atlético Madrid after coming so, so close in regular time (or, ‘doing a Brentford’, as it felt watching that).

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.

Do we have an unforeseen kit clash?

24 May

Somebody call the United Nations.

The marketing chaps at Brentford seem to be turning the reveal of next season’s home shirt into a form of torture that wouldn’t have been out of place in the Spanish Inquisition.

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.

And the play off winners are….

23 May

This weekend Brentford find out who from Leyton Orient, Rotherham, Derby County and the Loftus Road mob will join them in the Championship next season.

Of course, it’s time for the annual end of season torture session at the W place in North London. Although, for once, Bees fans can watch the play offs with genuine excitement and interest given the impact they have on the forthcoming fixture list.

Will it be a trip to Yorkshire or that short jaunt across London to the shadow of the Olympic Stadium? Likewise, it’s a toss up between Pride Park (scene of August’s 5-0 League cup mauling) or a 237 bus ride to Shepherds Bush.

 

Image

Leyton Orient – big on motivation. I DO hope they get the chance to celebrate etc etc

 

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.

The top ten moments of season 2013-14

2 May

How do you shrink a season where Brentford achieved a club record points, celebrated like we’d won the FA Cup at Leyton Orient, and been promoted alongside Wolves into one article? Quite simply, turn it into the top ten moments of 2013-14.

This is my opinion and I’m sure yours will differ but, as we approach the final game of the season against Stevenage on Saturday, I can’t help reflect on what an incredible campaign it has been for The Bees

10: Sam’s freekick v Swindon Town . I still don’t know if this was a genuine accident or just the worst bit of acting since the good people at ‘Just for Men’ decided that Luis Figo was their marketing lifeline.

However, after my usual terrace muttering of “And this is Saunders territory” , the perma-tanned demi-God then fell flat on his face as he approached the ball. Take two and the result was spectacular. Wes Foderingham was left rooted to the spot as Sammy found the top corner. Some would say beaten by the strike, others, still shocked by the audacity of even trying that routine

 

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.