Tag Archives: Chris Martin

Don’t Panic. Or is it trouble? 7(seven) isn’t the magic number.

21 Feb

Derby County have ended their poor run. Brentford’s continues. A 3-1 victory for the Rams at Griffin Park was one which, if we are being honest with ourselves, they deserved on their first half performance alone. Equally, as we know too well, ‘deserving’ counts for nothing in football if you can’t take your chances. For Brentford to have been a goal up with ten minutes to go yet still lose (whilst shipping three) was just woeful. Derby wanted it more and got it.

The final whistle was greeted with a chorus of boos and I can well understand why. Regardless of our gratitude that Brentford are in the Championship,at present the Bees look all at sea and the stats don’t make good reading:

7(seven) defeats out of 9 games in 2016.

Only 7(seven) goals scored in those 9 games – take Preston out of the equation and its 4 from 8.

10 goals against in the last three games.

QPR now ahead of us in the league table.

GP v Derby

The overcast conditions matched the mood at Griffin Park

Indeed a wonderful first half performance from one of the old guard, David Button, was the difference between 0-0 and the game being out of sight before 3.45pm. A series of world class saves kept things level, the pick of which came from one of his own players.

Unmarked in the six yard box, Jake Bidwell volleyed a clearance straight towards the Brentford goal. That man Button was on hand to parry it to his left at almost point blank range and somehow out to safety.

But going in 0-0, it seemed as though Derby had blown their chance when Alan Judge gave Brentford the lead 7(seven) minutes into the second half. And oh, what a goal.

Picking the ball up inside his own half, Judge ran and ran down the right flank before reaching the edge of the box. With Kerschbaumer making a late, unmarked, run into the centre Judge ignored him and kept going before firing home to the far corner from the acutest of angles

Whilst not quite as narrow as Van Basten in Euro ’88, it wasn’t far off. Judge had no right to score from there yet, such is his confidence and ability, he made it look simple. What a goal and what a moment for the Bees. If nothing else, the media team would have breathed a sigh of relief as it means they won’t be combing footage of the development squad to find an entrant for February’s ‘goal of the month’ competition.

And that was the high point. With the Bees’ creative juices drying up as we looked to keep it tight, things went South in the final ten minutes. The first came as the Brentford defence (rightly) called for handball. Yet only Jeff Hendrick played on and, left in yards of space, slid it neatly between Button’s legs . The previously unbeatable ‘keeper was given no chance as the rest of his defence stopped running and just waved their arms in the air, seemingly more interested in having a private game of ‘who can hail a taxi first?’.

Was it hand ball? Absolutely. Should it have stood? Probably not. But it is one of the most basic lessons of football to play the whistle, not the ball. You can’t legislate for that level of schoolboy defending. Standing still and relying on a referee to make what you believe to be the correct call is as risky a defensive strategy as they come. And it was the wrong one. 1-1.

From that point on, we were dead in the water. Cyrus ‘the virus’ Christie gave Derby the lead four minutes later, tucking in from close range and breaking Brentford hearts.

With 87 minutes on the clock, Dean Smith opted to bring on one of his two attacking midfielders in Sergi Canos (I don’t count the largely ineffectual Swift). Why he or Sam weren’t introduced earlier, or even started, I have no idea but perhaps there was a belief our fragile team would hang on to a 1-0.

And, as time ran out, it almost happened. With no working scoreboard or fourth official’s timer, the game was well into Jota time when the chance to salvage something came. And then went. Jake Bidwell’s goalbound header was miraculously saved at the death by  Scott Carson.

The ‘keeper, who seemed to have taken the advice of Rams’ sponsor ‘Just Eat’ a bit too literally, dived to his left and somehow tipped Jake’s downward header away on the goal line. If Judge’s goal had been ‘not quite Van Basten’, this save was ‘almost Gordon Banks’. Again, the angle wasn’t quite as severe as with the famous predecessor but I still don’t know how Carson got down there. Well played , that man.

And with that, it was Doncaster Rovers all over again. The chance having been and gone for the Bees, Derby broke down the other end to put the game officially out of sight, courtesy of Chris Martin. Bees fans were left feeling yellow as the indignity of another defeat in that style was further compounded by an inevitable volley of Coldplay puns.

twitter

And this was at 0-0….

Being honest, whatever the logic behind the change in manager and decision to sell the players from last season, we are a pale shadow of the team that played with so much freedom and confidence 12 months ago. Such is the general vibe that the campaign objective now seems one of simply limping over the line and hoping we can hang in there for a fresh start in 2016/17.

But for Alan Judge and David Button, I have no idea where we’d be heading. Yesterday really would have been a wonderful chance to show a reaction after Brighton and Sheffield Wednesday. Instead, up against a team on an even worse run of form than ourselves, we ended up with the proverbial damp squib.

The only plus point of the day (aside from the genuinely unexpected arrival of the ‘Terrace Talk’ cameras into the upper room at The Griffin….) was the news that Matthew Benham is back on Twitter following his second period of self-imposed exile.

No matter how frustrating an experience some are finding it supporting the Bees at present, let’s hope people treat him with the respect he deserves this time around.

Having been spoiled to ambassadorial levels last season, the luxury of the Ferrero Rocher pyramid has now been replaced by what tastes like cold leftovers. That’s a hard thing to swallow but, whatever confusion is happening on the pitch, this is still the team we support and the club we love. Saturday’s wouldn’t be the same without it.

We’ve had a tough run of games and Tuesday night against Wolves won’t be any easier. Whilst we can’t rely on the likes of Judge and Button forever, it would be great to see if Dean Smith and his management committee can inspire some of the new breed to step up and show their potential over the coming games. It looked like we might do that a few weeks ago, only to have now taken three huge steps backwards.

That said, we are where we are. Crying over it won’t make a difference. Given the sheer lunacy of the season so far, frankly I’d be happy for another 13 points and a couple of local derby wins.

And for any County fans still reading, I’m not talking about beating the Rams at Griffin Park…..

leaving GP

Fans trudge out in the shadow of Denmark’s finest

Nick Bruzon

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Video killed the radio story. Or did it? (and Rams raider strikes again)

26 Oct

There’ll be plenty of time this week for us Brentford fans to look ahead to the next game, where a win on Friday night will see us within four points of the play offs and potentially as high as eighth in the Championship table. First though, the last of the weekend round up following the win over Charlton where, amongst other things, the Derby County Wikipedia saboteur seems to have struck again – this after Newcastle United were humped by Sunderland – and the phrase ‘Jimmy Hill’ was amongst those heard coming from AFC Bournemouth in the aftermath of their 5-1 shocker at home to Tottenham Hotspur.

After spending the vast majority of the Championship campaign TOTL (Top of the League), Bournemouth are rapidly heading back towards the BOTL. Ten goals ‘against’ in their last two fixtures isn’t great form but, probably, the least of their worries on Monday morning. Social media was ablaze with the story of how the phrase, ”F**king hell, it was like men against boys” was heard coming from the Public Address system during the Cherries 5-1 home defeat to Spurs.

It’s a problem us Brentford fans can only aspire to. Not so much the heavy defeat in the Premier League (they made it there last season, we didn’t quite manage it) but simply being able to hear something over the P.A. Whilst Bournemouth have, according to the BBC, begun investigating the incident, one Spurs fan has already come forward with his own explanation and taken ‘ownership’. All in the interest of saving the Bournemouth P.A. team a sacking and not at all to promote his own YouTube channel.

A Spurs fan by the name of Barnaby claims that it was actually he who uttered the fateful phrase, whilst preparing a post match article for his @spurredontv fansite, giving the explanation, “Basically what had happened was, when I turned the radio mic on, the frequency must have accidentally been the same as the Bournemouth tannoy and apparently the whole of the Bournemouth stadium heard me say, ‘F**king hell, it was like men against boys’

Potty mouthed Barnaby

Potty mouthed Barnaby

Several things don’t quite add up about this story, at least to the layman like myself. Primarily, the remarkable chain of coincidence needed to make it happen. Just look at the facts, as presented:

A random punter is able to accidentally tune his radio mic into the exact same frequency as that of the stadium he is visiting. Then, for just exactly long enough to swear down the line, insulting the home team, before ending his conversation. A conversation he had no idea was being played out live.

The ability for a stranger to tune a radio mic into the exact same frequency as that of a football stadium at the exact same time he was speaking that exact three second sentence is a concept I’m struggling to grasp. It’s hard enough to get a decent phone reception inside most sporting arenas, let alone anything achieve more complex.

Draw your own conclusions. Did Barnaby do it? Was it really an amazing accident? Is he taking the credit for a genuine foul up by the Bournemouth P.A. team? Or was it the caretaker wearing a rubber mask, trying to scare everybody away so he could recover civil war gold at his leisure?

Perhaps it is best we don’t know. Barnaby gets the publicity, Bournemouth are spared any (off pitch) embarrassment whilst we’ve all had a good laugh. And for those yet to see it, here’s the explanation….

Barnaby talks ‘tannoys’. Other forms of public address system are also available.

As for Steve McClaren, the former Derby County manager has seen his share of troubles at struggling Newcastle United this season. Those were only compounded on Sunday as his team went down 3-0 at Sunderland in the Wear-Tyne derby. Not so much in the defeat or his side being firmly rooted in the relegation zone but, simply, due to another appearance from the Rams’ Wikipedia phantom.

We’ve already looked at some of his or her recent efforts last week, as Nottingham Forest and striker Chris Martin were both touched by the hand of this cyber Banksy. Now it is the turn of former Derby boss, McClaren.

Going down 3-0 to your rivals is bad enough, without further having your nose rubbed in it via the medium of the World Wide Interweb.

McClaren's team are 'owned'

McClaren’s current team are ‘owned’

Three strikes in less than a week. This is now looking beyond coincidence. To date nobody knows who is doing this, at least publicly.

Could it be time for Barnaby to step forward?

Nick Bruzon

From ‘the village’ to The Valley. Does paradise await?

23 Oct

Brentford travel to The Valley on Saturday to take on a Charlton Athletic team currently stuck in the bottom three and with a record that anybody worried about the Bees recent form should take a long, hard look at.

The Addicks have picked up just one point out of the last six league games. Indeed, they’ve only managed two shots on target in 180 minutes of football (the first in the 1-0 loss at Reading and the other last time out, when they went down 3-0 at home to Preston). Brentford, meanwhile, followed last weekend’s home win against Rotherham with the midweek triumph at Molineux as Wolves were dispatched 2-0.

That’s the positive (for the Bees – sorry Charlton fans). Before we get too carried away, just think back to last season in what was, and moreso given our league position at the time, a calamitous performance.

Last time, out. Terrible manners but what a critic

Last time, out. Terrible manners but what a critic

Then again, it was at the height of ‘Village-gate’. We were stuck in the no-man’s land between ‘that statement’ being issued on the Tuesday, followed by a week of tumbleweed drifting through the Griffin Park media centre.

As a rule, I don’t particularly want to draw too many parallels to that period. It has been and gone. Like it or not, Warbs is at Rangers and the Bees have a new management team and a new approach. Even better, we’ve started winning again. Yet the Charlton game, of all, illustrated how important team spirit is. And when it is missing, the consequences can be catastrophic.

Even now, looking back, I’ve had to remind myself just how shambolic we were that day. With apologies to any terrace wags / observers who may be reading, the post mortem of this ‘performance’ (and that’s almost a breach of ‘trade descriptions’) from the Last Word review of season 2014/15 still seems generous:

How about Harlee’s non header for the opening goal? Look at Jonathan Douglas, whose meandering and sorties up the pitch then left a midfield hole big enough to park an oil tanker in. This was a game crying out for his experienced head to get a grip in the middle rather than go fannying around like Matt Le Tissier looking for a packet of fags.

The normally brilliant Alex Pritchard decided to show all the delivery skills of a drunken postman whilst Andre Gray just looked plain knackered. But then, with only the ineffectual Nick Proschwitz or the inexperienced Chris Long as alternatives, it’s no surprise. Moses seemed lethargic whilst Jota barely got a look in.

I could go on but what’s the point? A 3-0 defeat was the least we deserved. Only David Button came out of it with any kudos.

The game was so bad, some fans just caught up on their i-player viewing

The game was so bad, some fans just caught up on their i-player viewing

I take no particular pleasure in dragging this up again. Instead, it is done more to say that, if there is one game where I’d love to see the players prove a point, it is Saturday’s. Charlton cruised to the win that ended a 13 game winless streak and, to coin that most famous of phrases, we were lucky to get nil.

Interestingly, of those players named and shamed, only Harlee remains. With him and Tarks looking rock solid at the back, and Lee Carsley getting excited about the reinvigorated spirit in the camp, are we already in a better place than last time out?

Hopefully Harlee will crack out the Coldplay once more and, with it, another winning performance. There is as much about personal pride as anything else riding on this one.

And with Stuart Atwell as the man in the middle, we’d better make sure that volume is set to 11…..

Still, if Chris Martin isn’t enough to inspire us again, perhaps this is.

Football is sometimes called a village, and in any village, gossip and rumours can spread like wildfire, whether or not such rumours are true.

We’ve got a lot to put right on Saturday. I can’t wait to see us try.

Could it be paradise for Bees fans this time ?

Could it be paradise for Bees fans this time ?

Nick Bruzon

Unlikely source inspires Bees at Wolves as Derby ‘go rogue’

22 Oct

Like the 65 bus, Brentford wait ages for a win and then two come along at once. Lee Carsley made it 6 points from 6 as Wednesday night’s cracking performance at Wolves, a 2-0 victory for the Bees, followed hot on the heels of the weekend defeat of Rotherham United. We’ll also take a look at Derby County, where there seems to be a cyber saboteur at work. However, we can only begin at Molineux where a new chapter has been written in the recent history of Brentford and Wolves.

Given Brentford’s early season troubles, I went into this one with a feeling of trepidation. The stats weren’t a great omen either, given we’ve only managed a solitary point and single goal on our last two trips to the Black Country. However, that was nothing compared to the pre-match revelation from Harlee Dean.

Not that his phone only had 30% battery power but his choice of ‘game time’ music. Coldplay.

Seriously. Coldplay.

Who'd have imagined what would come next?

Who’d have imagined what would come next?

Officially the wettest band since records began, they are harmless enough if you want some background noise for your dinner party. But at a time when you want your team pumped up, this was more the stuff for forty winks on the coach back home. It looked like trouble.

How little I know. Who could have imagined the motivational powers possessed by Chris Martin (not the Derby County striker – don’t panic, we’ll get to him). If this is what he can do to our team then I’ve been well and truly put in my place.

Three hours and three points later I’m eating humble pie. And it tastes delicious. Harlee, if you are reading (you never know) then I can only apologise for my lack of confidence in your musical inspiration. Although I can’t help but wonder if you were somehow responsible for Jake and Tarks seeing…yellow

As for the rest of the game it was a case of Beesplayer for me, where the muffins sounded as delicious as the aforementioned pie (top listener tip though: summarising with your mouth full is never a good sound). As such, I’d suggest you stick to the official site, Beesotted, the BBC or other sources for the full match report. Sky does have the goals, and other close shaves, up already for those who can’t wait for the Burridge infused highlights later today.

The first was particularly delightful, simply because it allows the pun smiths to go wild. The Judge brought the Djuri-cin to play and the Austrian made it 3 from 8, albeit with the help of a deflection.

The second, at the death, saw Philipp Hofmann get onto a long ball from John Swift. The German caught the Wolves defence cold and, clean though, he made no mistake in rounding ‘keeper Emiliano Martinez to wrap up the points. The boos rang around Molineux and I’m already reading that, for Wolves, it may be a case of no Jackett required (that’s a Phil Collins one, not Coldplay).

All of which means that the Bees are now up to 15th in the table and just 7 (seven) points off the play offs with another 102 to play for. It’s far, far too soon to be getting excited given the start we had but, on the other hand, you can’t argue with two wins in a row and confidence certainly seems to be coming back to the team. And the fans. Roll on Charlton this Saturday.

Pre-match mention of Coldplay’s Chris Martin got me talking about his Derby County counterpart – and a mystery is unfolding. Who is the their cyber whizzkid? Although I have no doubt, not endorsed in anyway by the club, Derby seem to have been the victims of somebody ‘upgrading’ Rams related pages on Wikipedia.

Whilst (blah, blah) I don’t endorse any of these views, and neither do I have the time to pixelate any rude words (kids, you’ve been warned – look away now or ask an adult for permission) it began a couple of weeks ago when the page of rivals Nottingham Forest had been rejigged.

Nottingham Forest were the first victims

Nottingham Forest were the first victims

Then, last night, whilst looking for the current status of the aforementioned striker, one Ealing Road wag pointed out that Martin had also been got at. As quickly as it went up it’s gone down for the much more mundane confirmation that his middle name is actually Hugh.

But, for a moment at least, it was there. Regardless of whichever team you support, it takes a sorry individual not to enjoy this.

There was an awkward pause at the Christening

There was an awkward pause at the Christening

Is this coincidence or will the Derby hacker (not Chris Baird) strike again? We await the next update with intrigue.

Nick Bruzon

No more Coldplay. And a video to make Mike Sullivan, chuckle

31 Oct

Derby County are Saturday’s visitors to Griffin Park, to face a Brentford team still smarting from last weekend’s 3-1 reverse at Bolton Wanderers. It was a game which even featured Trotter’s fans singing, “How sh*t must you be, we’re winning at home?” (didn’t one of our own club figures once tell us off for doing that?) and so Bees supporters will, of course, be hoping we can bounce straight back from that one and prove them wrong.

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 along.

“Nobody wants to see THAT”

28 Aug

As gloating goes, it really was missing the point somewhat. Walking into the office on Wednesday morning, I was rounded on by my West Ham supporting boss (whose team edged past Cheltenham 2-1) and a Gillingham supporting co-worker (whose team didn’t even make the second round), keen to try and rub it in about the League Cup result at Derby. To be honest though, I didn’t mind. It’s the biggest cliché in football that a side can now ‘concentrate on the league’ but the fact of the matter is, that’s exactly what I was thinking.

Listening to the slightly flat sounding commentary on Tuesday, I’d been quite convinced that Uwe had done the right thing with the side he named. It was a chance to test youth and squad players in a cup we had no realistic chance of winning, whilst avoiding any further injury to those likely to start at the weekend.

So why then, 24 hours later, does it suddenly feel rather hollow given it was a team selection I agreed with and a headache of a tournament we don’t need?

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.