Tag Archives: Cesc Fabregas

Terriers left chasing the ball as Brentford remember a legend

20 Dec

soccer-memories-hillBrentford may have thumped Huddersfield Town 4-2 yesterday but it was a game that very much played second fiddle to Jimmy Hill. As news of his passing at the age of 87 spread around the football world, the terrace was awash with talk of this former Bee (who featured 87 times between 1949 and 1952) and his myriad accomplishments in the game.

Three points for a win, abolishing the maximum wage, TV punditry (he is acknowledged as being the first to introduce a panel, for the 1970 World Cup) and the first electronic scoreboard are amongst things credited to Jimmy.

Then, of course, there‘s his work as a TV presenter (primarily ‘Match of the Day’), his own forays into management, roles as a director and even a chairman.I could go on.

Suffice to say we’ve lost somebody whose influence on the game is still felt today whilst, for us terrace supporters, Jimmy was somebody we grew up with in our front rooms every weekend. We watched him, we listened to him, being honest we sometimes got annoyed with him but ultimately his opinion was one we always talked about.

Rest in peace, Jimmy.

But if Jimmy was very much one for pushing the envelope, yesterday’s opponents are a team currently trying to return to their former glories of top-flight success. The 1920s and 1930s saw them as one THE teams to beat but these days I’d imagine most fans would settle for staying in the Championship.

And after a minute’s silence in honour of Jimmy Hill (impeccably observed, for the record), Brentford and the Terriers locked horns. Thirty minutes later and it was effectively dead as a contest with the Bees having stormed into a 3-0 lead.

IMG_5571

View from the terrace – a minute’s silence for Jimmy prior to kick off

Sergi Canos got the first, after a sustained period of build up in which John Swift (also aided by a fortunate ricochet) was key. It was a delightful finish from just inside the box after Swift had threaded the ball through. The Liverpool loanee turned his man on a sixpence and fired home. 1-0 and not even five minutes on the clock.

Fifteen minutes later and the lead was doubled by Lasse Vibe who hit an absolute screamer past Jed Steer in the Huddersfield goal. ‘Worldly’ and ‘Thump’ were the first two comments on my social media timeline from the usual observers but even they fail to do justice to the power, precision and technique employed by the Danish international. It was an absolute screamer.

What a goal. What a fantastic goal,” exclaimed Mark Burridge on the Beesplayer commentary (and whose YouTube highlights are now online). I couldn’t agree more.

What a fantastic goal, indeed

Equal credit must go to James Tarkowski, whose defence splitting pass left Vibe onside and clear. Aside from this, he and recalled partner Harlee Dean (Jack O’Connell can perhaps count himself unlucky) had a quiet first period. Buzz and Buzzette could have played there and the score would have remained the same.

The third came via the boot of Alan Judge on the half hour. A low free kick taken from close to the touchline, and well beyond the area of what is commonly known as ‘Saunders territory’, eluded attackers and defenders alike to drift straight in. 3-0 on thirty minutes and game over.

Huddersfield gave us a scare scoring immediately into the second half. ‘Old’ Brentford would probably have gone on to concede another on 75, leaving us a squeaky final quarter hour. But, instead, we went down the other end and restored the three-goal cushion.

Alan Judge was, perhaps fortunately, deemed to have been fouled in the box. But the ref’s decision stood and the Irishman made no mistake from the resultant spot kick for 4-1.

back of the net Judge

View from the terrace – Back of the net !! (quite literally). Judge makes it 4

By my calculations, that now makes him the leading provider of assists in the top four divisions of English football. Yesterday’s article talked about how he, Matt Ritchie and Cesc Fabregas were all level on 20 since the start of last season. But with neither Premier League player providing a killer through ball or penultimate touch, I reckon that should now put Alan clear.

The other point of (personal) note from yesterday’s column was my own comment that, “I can’t envisage another 4-1, although that would be nice”. On a day when we remembered Jimmy Hill, it was just another reminder of how little most of us know about football punditry.

In the end, it wasn’t quite 4-1. Nakhi Wells pulled another back for Huddersfield whilst Jota and the impressive Max Colin also had chances to push the score beyond 4 and close to those mythical brackets that go with 7(seven) goals.

One day Brentford. One day.

Instead, the Bees move up to ninth and just two points off the play-off zone. With the busy Christmas period now upon us, the next few weeks could really see if Brentford have the ability to push on and emulate last season or if this will be a campaign of consolidation.

With Alan Judge on such form, Lasse finding the net and the likes of Sam Saunders, Josh McEachran, Max Colin and Jota back in selection contention could we start to dream the impossible dream?

Next up sees us at home to Brighton and Hove Albion who, of course, lost their unbeaten record after going down 3-0 to Middlesbrough yesterday. With the Bees scoring 8 in our last three home games, we have every opportunity to inflict two in a row on the Seagulls.

Can we do it? See you on Boxing Day to find out.

Until then, why not go to google and type in ‘Jimmy Hill’ ?

Visionary. Pundit. Footballer. Fashion Icon. Truly, there was nothing he couldn’t do.

Jimmy, you’ll be missed.

JS40283084

Nick Bruzon

 

The Judge is very much our ‘man of the moment’ as Terriers await

19 Dec

Brentford take on Huddersfield Town today for Head Coach Dean Smith’s second home game at Griffin Park. He’s picked up 4 points from his opening 9 and, being honest, can count himself unlucky not to have 7(seven). The linesman’s flag incorrectly denied Jota a winner at Fulham whilst Cardiff City did to us what we’ve done to so many – grab a 90th minute goal as they ran out 3-2 winners at their unimaginatively named Cardiff City Stadium.

Jota onside v Fulham

Jota WAS onside at Fulham (thanks, Channel 5)

It has been a period that has coincided with the return of Jota aswell as our first look at the impressive Josh McEachran. These, both luxuries not available to either Marinus Dijkhuizen or Lee Carsley but which , I am sure, Dean will be relying on more and more. That said, the BBC reports amongst other things that neither are in a position to last a full 90 minutes as yet so expect them on the bench.

Indeed, that BBC match preview contains a number of interesting facts and, specifically, one about Alan Judge. I can’t take the credit for this (and, you can find their full article here) but it was fascinating to read that no player in the top four divisions has provided more assists since the start of last season. He has set up 20 goals – a figure also matched, but not surpassed – by Matt Ritchie and Cesc Fabregas.

This is an incredible figure. Not least because I didn’t think hapless Chelsea had managed to score 20 goals as a team. Although in all seriousness, we all know how good a player Alan is but to see him named in such company, and have his contribution laid out in such a fashion, shows just how much of a danger man he has become. Moreso, given his current total of 8 league goals also sees him as Brentford’s leading scorer this season.

Judge pic 2

Alan launches himself at ecstatic fans after another goal…

The last time our paths crossed, in March, the Bees thumped Huddersfield 4-1 at Griffin Park. Goals from Chris Long (2), Alex Pritchard and Jon Toral saw us get back into the play off zone. This following our defeat away to the Terriers back in early December where three points would have seen us top the Championship table (although I blame the ‘Manager of the month’ awarded given to Warbs just before that one).

This time around Brentford are a little bit more off the pace as we sit in 10th place. Yet with the mid-table zone currently tighter than a hipster’s skinny jeans, victory could take us to within a point of the play-off zone as we enter the busy Christmas period.

However, with Judge on such prolific form and the team having played so well in our previous home game (the 2-0 over MK Dons) I’m going into this one full of confidence. I can’t envisage another 4-1, although that would be nice, but I’d just be happy to come out of it with a win. Moreso against a team who may be at the bottom end of the table but have picked up 6 points out of the last 9.

And I might have half an eye on the Premier League where Chelsea host Sunderland in the relegation six pointer and Bournemouth travel to West Bromwich Albion.

With the Judge, Fabregas and Ritchie all locked on 20 assists, there could be a very interesting sub plot to today’s action.

Nick Bruzon

Alan Judge corner Rotherham

View from the stand. Alan Judge – goals and assists