Tag Archives: Conor McAleny

Is victory a Long shot after strange injury update?

17 Apr

This is a curious one. Brentford take on Bolton Wanderers in Saturday’s ‘must win’ game where it is quite feasible we will be without the services of Everton loanee Chris Long. Despite being unable to feature in the midweek disappointment at Sheffield Wednesday after reportedly suffering from a knee injury (the third successive game he has missed after illness) he was able to play for the Everton U-21s yesterday. Where he promptly got injured!

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 on.

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And that silenced the Cop (acabana). Brazil have a Tony Gubba moment

24 Jun

For crying out loud, England. We were never going to win the World Cup but Joel Matip’s equaliser for Cameroon against Brazil last night really hit home as to what we are missing. To be out of the tournament with one group game still to play is all a bit rubbish but, more frustrating, is not being part of the tension and excitement in the knockout stages.

For a moment, with the scores being levelled, there was a very real threat of Brazil being knocked off the top of the table and left facing a second round group game against a rampant Netherlands team who had earlier made it three from three.

As the home crowd fell silent, all I could think of was the 1989 Brentford – Liverpool FA Cup quarter-final at Anfield and Tony Gubba’s iconic commentary.

““No Offside!! Cadette!!! Ohhh, he’s missed!! Sinton’s lovely little ball and Richard Cadette, top scorer with seventeen goals this season… how close did he come to putting this quarterfinal? Well, it would have been dreamland for Brentford, wouldn’t it? It was inches wide of the post. And that…silenced the Kop”.

Just as Brentford had their chance to claim one of the biggest scalps of all time, although were eventually undone by arguably the (then) best team in Europe, Cameroon had the favourites on the ropes. Whilst the final result was as expected (the host’s four goals the same as Liverpool eventually scored that afternoon) it was fun getting there.

England, meanwhile, aren’t at the races. The fat lady hasn’t even stepped out of the shower and done her hair, let alone started to sing, yet already we are packing our bags for the trip back to the airport. Very much a missed opportunity for players and fans alike.

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The wallchart takes shape – without England (but with Chile x2. D’oh!!)

Getting back to Brentford, the latest player whose name is being churned through the rumour mill is Conor McAleny. Given the impact he had at the start of last season, prior to that horrific leg break, I’d be very happy to see his return to Griffin Park. The Everton talent machine is certainly a well-oiled one, with Adam Forshaw and Jake Bidwell being the two obvious examples where we have benefitted.

Is their any truth to it? Well, it could just be a lot of paper talk – much like Clayton’s trip to Birmingham beach (a less salubrious place I couldn’t imagine – St. Andrews sand should be confined to the golf course) or Bristol City’s interest in Northern Ireland international Will Grigg currently seem to be.

We’ll see what happens but with England now dead in the water, I’ll take any opportunity to feed my football fix until some real news comes along.

‘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.

Some people are on the pitch, again

27 Mar

The big story from last night’s Scottish football (surely, an oxymoron if ever there was one) saw Brentford loanee Farid El Alagui spend the evening as an unused substitute for Dundee United. In other news, Celtic won the title.

Reading the reports and looking at the pictures  you’d think Celtic had won the FA Cup, the way their fans celebrated. Mind you, they’ve got form at this sort of thing, as Brentford fans may well remember from the pre-season ‘home’ friendly at Griffin Park.

To lose once in thirty league games at any level is an impressive feat but, ultimately, they are the thoroughbred in a one horse race. All it really means is that this season’s thoroughbred has the chance to become next season’s seaside donkey in the Champion’s League.

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.

INDEX – Brentford FC, our season so far

26 Nov

We’ve had an exciting 2013-14 League One campaign to date. Here is the Last Word’s summary on what has happened to Brentford since pre-season kicked off in anger, back in July.

JULY

22ND  Some people are on the pitch. Quite a few, actually. Fall out from the Celtic pre-season friendly

28TH When Harry met Sammy. Simon Moore rumours and Family fun day

30TH Ambassador. With these goalkeepers you are really spoiling us. Simon Moore leaves ; David Button joins.

AUGUST

2ND Sixteen into eleven won’t go. Cardiff pre-season friendly, One Direction and Buzzette

5TH It is, quite literally, a cup competition. Port Vale league opener, my top-ten cup performances and a caption competition

9TH The maddest game of football that ever existed. Sheffield United preview, Dagenham cup review & caption comp results

11TH When is a woman not a woman? When she’s an adult. A win against Sheffield United and Adidas women’s kit (or lack of)

16TH Always a legend despite the suspect hammy. The Last Word catches up with Paul Gibbs

18TH Pies, points and padlocks. Loyalty points, Gillingham (a) and Soccer AM

22ND Natalie Sawyer. Brentford FC. Jane Fonda Bluebird. What is the first XI, Walsall preview & internet search terms

25TH A life without risks is no life at all.  Conor McAleny injury and a win against Walsall 

28TH Nobody wants to see that. The drubbing at Derby

30TH I’d love to blame the ref but I just can’t (entirely)Goal free against Carlisle with some odd refereeing

SEPTEMBER

2ND And on that bombshell. Marcello Trotta returns

4TH Sheer Bliss for Philadelphia. The Last Word catches up with Gary Blissett

7TH Coming soon to Griffin Park – the chamber of horrors. My top ten worst kits of the season

8TH Now that, Alanis, is ironic. Another red card and another drubbing – Bradford City

10TH What do you get when you add 92+1 ? A preview of Simon Cox’s charity marathon

11TH On Tuesday my mind really was in the gutter. ‘Pay what you can’, a double loan swoop and the hedgehog gutter brush

15TH Brentford have their very own Tourjansky moment. Tranmere away, James Bond’s finest and Beesplayer

17TH Is it time to give Adi, das boot up der backside? More on this season’s shirt and my top ten of all time

21ST The A-Z of the season so far. Erm, is an A-Z. Of the season so far

24TH Brentford can’t end Orient’s record but I wish they’d change ours. Defeat to Leyton Orient and the horror of Guaglione

25TH Will Grigg. A fair decision? The tribunal names the price for Will Grigg

28TH Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? Will Grigg reaction and Coventry (a) preview

OCTOBER

1ST It was Colonel Mustard. In the press box. With the PG Tips. Loan updates, victory at Coventry, Richard Lee and ‘Teagate’

3RD Dear Andy Ansah. If you aren’t going to the World Cup… Football filming at Griffin Park. And the best film about the beautiful game. Ever

6TH Ten games in, TW8 faces its own Chernobyl. The GPG approaches meltdown as Brentford lose at home to Rotherham

8TH Martin Taylor extends loan but who are Brentford’s greatest signings? My personal view of Brentford’s top ten best ever signings

10TH Jay Tabb. Tractor Boy, Top Man. The Last Word catches up with Jay Tabb

11TH Brentford supporter’s marathon trek begins today. Simon Cox starts his charity trek

13TH Another Lamex Lament. Uwe has a post match ‘chat with the boys’ as the Bees lose at Stevenage

15TH England fans, Poles apart. Rod Hull 1 Bernie Clifton 0 THAT band wind me up. Give me Rod Hull over Bernie Clifton

17TH Robert Taylor. A legend in our lunchtime. Flashback to my interview with Robert Taylor, ahead of his return to Griffin Park

18TH Colchester United, we’re coming for you. The dust has settled after Stevenage as Colchester await

19TH Insomniacs click here. Old footballers and old records. On this day in history – from Happy Days to Panini stickers

20TH At home a loan (or three) help Bees return to form. Colchester put to the sword (eventually)

21ST Still paying the penalty. Is it time to move on? Flares in the crowd and lay off Marcello Trotta

22ND The things you miss for Brentford. Thanks, Beesplayer. Another win. Bristol City away and Uwe’s reaction to the home crowd

24TH Exclusive interview – Richard Lee talks back. Richard Lee updates the Last Word on those false rumours and his season so far

25TH Lets hope Uwe has the last word on Saturday. Putting Uwe’s comments into perspective and Shrewsbury preview

27TH Three is the magic number for Uwe (and Leroy). The Bees beat Shrewsbury in front of a big crowd. Leroy has kind words, too

27TH Football’s greatest cup competition. And also the FA Cup. FA Cup draw preview and another caption competition

29TH Don’t forget about Buzzette. A reminder of the caption competition

31ST The A-Z of Brentford. October 2013. The month in 26 lines

NOVEMBER

2ND Buses, books and balls – it must be Brentford. Brentford bus, Uwe’s book and orange balls

3RD The case for 7(seven). A win against Crawley, forthcoming games and brackets (seven)

6TH Marcus Gayle. It’s like going home to see your Auntie and Uncle. Marcus Gayle revisited and FA Cup preview

7TH Be careful what you wish for. Balls.

8TH Is this the oddest kit ever and the Buzzette prizewinner is named. Some bizarre kits as Natalie Sawyer reveals her captionwinner

10TH Brentford clean up Staines with massive win. 5-0 FA Cup win

12TH From Bees and books to BT. Champions League deal, ‘BT flatmate rage’ and ITV. Plus more on Uwe’s book

14TH And you thought the red back was a controversial shirt. The Brentford shirt has nothing on some of those to be worn at the World Cup

15TH Why curry, Crewe and Brentford beat Monsieur Wenger every time. League One website round up. Martin Allen’s moment of genius

16TH Bees on the Beeb. This article will self destruct in nine hours. Ahead of the Crewe game, you can catch up with Brentford on TV and radio

17TH Bring on Wolves. Bees skittle Crewe to make it six in a row. Brentford steamroller Crewe. Next up, Wolves

18TH From Brentford to Al-Wakrah. Wolves to the Wankdorf. A stadium round up sees Wolves fans get very angry about a very weak pun

19TH ‘That band’ play second fiddle to Team 54. Gibraltar and Brentford share a link whilst I apologise to Wolves (kind of)

23RD The irresistible force meets the immovable object. Wolves preview

24TH Wolves can’t blow Brentford’s house down. Brentford excellent as they hold Wolves

26TH Brentford magnificent as Peterborough look for their cajones An electric atmosphere at Griffin Park as Brentford show their class against Posh

 

Billy and Uwe

Since ‘that chat’ after Stevenage, Brentford’s form has accelerated somewhat. Uwe discusses this with Billy

The A-Z of the season, so far

21 Sep

With no game this Saturday and a rather slow news week for Brentford, I thought I’d catch my breath to look at the season, so far. So here it is,  using the oh so desperate medium of an A to Z list ….

A – Adidas. Our technical sponsor and shirt supplier (in theory). I said my piece on them in the previous column.

B – Beach. The preferred holiday destination of our former number one, if Herr Rösler is to be believed. (Just who is that watching the volleyball in Cardiff? below).

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C – Carlisle. A bizarrely disallowed goal for Toumani Diagouraga was about all we could take home from a game that ended up being an insomniac’s wet dream. 0-0 and, to paraphrase the famous Shankley-ism, both sides were lucky to get nil.

D – Donaldson. Guess who’s back? Clayton’s back. On form, that is. His wining goal against Walsall was followed up with two more against Tranmere.

E – El-Alagui.  Farid is fit again. Farid is scoring again. A last gasp equaliser at Gillingham and a virtuoso performance against AFC Wimbledon in the JPT. C’est magnifique!

F – Fulham. Comedy opportunities were taken down a level with the news this week that they are returning the Michael Jackson statue to Mr Al Fayed. No idea what he will do with this but please, Mr Benham, don’t get any ideas…

G – Goalkeepers. David Button, Jack Bonham, Richard Lee and Liam O’Brien. How many have we named already? And with rumours flying around at one point that Simon may have ben returning on loan, who knows who will be between the sticks by the end of the campaign.  Great to see Richard fit again, and my money is on him!

H – Hammered. It happens. We’ve had it at Derby and Bradford, conceding a total of nine goals without reply. What doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger – just no more repeats, please: -)

I – Internationals. Brentford’s (not, on loan’s) Will Grigg has come off the bench twice for Northern Ireland in recent months. He featured in the shock win against Russia and then again as the team came back down to earth in the Luxembourg game

J – JPT. The Bees have successfully negotiated the first two rounds of a competition that represents an excellent opportunity to finally lay the hoodoo of the ‘W’ place. Next up, Peterborough (a).

K – Keith Stroud. Has carried on where he left off last season, having shown 29 yellows and two reds in the 6 (six) games he has officiated so far this season. A stat so shocking it has necessitated the rarely seen  ‘pre-seven’ bracket.

L – Lionel Road with a small, but vocal minority making noises against the current scheme to build a new stadium, have you sent in your support yet? The club have made it very easy so please do get involved. Every response counts.

M – McAleny. The excitement, the ability, the horrendous bad luck. Conor was looking like another lad straight out of the Goodison Park barrel marked ‘talent’, until that awful injury put paid to his Brentford career after just three appearances. Get well soon.

N – Ninth. Where Brentford currently sit, as it stands. Only eight places off their anticipated final position.

O – O’Connor, Kevin. – With our club captain back to fitness, ‘Mr Brentford’ is getting ever closer to that 500th appearance. Full back; centre back; centre mid. Is there anything he can’t do? Has definitely recovered from the terrible injury and even worse video-bombing (below) he suffered last season.

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(Harlee Dean, allegedly, over the moon about his work on Beesplayer)

P -Penalty. We’ve scored one! Adam Forshaw has written himself into Brentford history by converting from the spot in open play. The goal, against Tranmere, secured the three points for Brentford.

Q – Qatar Airways. Still getting a free advert on the roof of the New road Stand. Come on, marketing crew….

R – Rainbow laces. Here’s hoping the boys will be showing their support to the anti-homophobia campaign on Monday night. Uwe’s backing it, as he told visitors to the club website this week.

S – Sky. Cripes, we are back in front of the Sky cameras on Monday v Leyton Orient. Nobody needs reminding how it went last time that happened.

T – Tranmere – ‘It ain’t over till it’s over’, sang pop music’s Lenny Kravitz on his 1991 hit parade troubling single.  Tell that to Tranmere Rovers. They were dancing in the vomitories of Prenton Park after pulling it back to 3-3 in the 90th minute. Until Adam Forshaw popped up, deep into injury time, to help bag the win.

U – United. Sheffield were trounced 3-1. (and that only tells half the story) on a sunny afternoon at Griffin Park. Adam Forshaw’s first half strike eclipsing Shaleum Logan’s from the previous week as an early contender for goal of the season.

V – Venta – another signing straight out of left field. Javi, a champion’s league veteran, is as comfortable queuing with the fans in the burger queue as he is on the pitch.

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W – Window (transfer)  – flippin’ ‘eck, Uwe! Marcello Trotta. A ballsy move but I hope, a brilliant one. Hasn’t been given a massive opportunity so far due to the red card incident at Bradford but the patches we have seen suggest this could be inspired stuff.

X – eX players. There are a few doing the rounds. Highlights include Charlie McDonald becoming acquainted with the penalty box at Oldham and Gary Alexander’s Van Bastenesque effort for Crawley as they stunned league high fliers Peterborough. However, the real surprise is seeing Lewis Grabban banging them in for fun at Bournemouth in the Championship.

Y – Yeovil Town. Oh dear.  Seeing them being torn apart on the Football League Show every weekend is so frustrating, knowing just how much better than them we would have been. If ever there was an incentive needed to get over the line this season, there it is.

Z – Zones. As it stands Brentford are only one point outside the dreaded play off zone (PLEASE get those four needed to take us into an automatic place).

‘A life without risk is no life at all’

25 Aug

Not my words (as ever) but those from the home page of Conor McAleny’s Twitter account. When I first wrote this on Sunday, news as to the extent of his injury in the game against Walsall had yet to be released. The only real information we had was Uwe’s interview from Saturday night where he described it as ‘Very, very nasty’.

The way he went to ground and the length of time he was being treated left us fearing the worst but hoping things weren’t as bad as they looked. Although there has been no official statement from either Brentford or Everton, Conor himself took to Twitter on Sunday evening to confirm:

Absolutely devastated about breaking my leg yesterday.. Never been this down in my life. No point dwellin on it now because thats football.. .. And these things happen. I know for a fact i’ll come back a stronger person physically and mentally. Thanks for the kind words people x “

It’s terrible news for a player whom, from the brief glimpses we have already been afforded as to his prodigious talent, would seem to have a fantastic future ahead of him.  So I’ll wish him good luck, a speedy recovery and fingers crossed we’ll see you back at Griffin (and Goodison) Park sooner than later.

On the pitch, it was a case of three more points in an exciting, albeit buttock-clenching, game. All the more impressive given the weather was wetter than Coldplay and Keane composing lovesongs whilst drinking dilute tea on the ocean floor. Brentford dominated the first half and Adam Forshaw must have thought he had bettered his goal against Sheffield United with a rasping shot that had the goalkeeper beaten all ends up.

ImageIf anything, he hit it too well and but for the crossbar (how many times have we heard THAT at Griffin Park?) could have had another contender for ‘goal of the season’. Certainly it was a strike reaching the 110% marker on the ‘Wellness scale of shot methods’.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Sixteen into eleven won’t go

2 Aug

The League campaign is finally here and I cannot wait. So much so that I finally cracked and went to a ‘pre-season friendly’ on Tuesday night.

I’m not, normally, the world’s greatest fan of these fixtures. They’re a little tease that struggles to properly fill the void of close season. Despite looking and sounding like the real thing, it somehow lacks punch. The footballing equivalent of alcohol-free beer. However, lured by an unexpected ‘green card’ from home base, the warm summer weather and our opponent’s recent transfer activity I decided to give it a shot.

The opposition – Cardiff City. Like Celtic reserves and Millwall before them, another higher level outfit and a really strong test. However, that’s where normal service ends…..

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.