Tag Archives: Daniel Farke

Result fails to match the experience. This is why our club remains like no other.

7 Nov

Well wasn’t that just the afternoon that was both simultaneously awesome and awful. On pitch, Brentford made it LLLL after going down 2-1 to Norwich City. Early goals for the visitors giving them a 2-0 half time lead which proved that little bit too much to overcome. International break cannot arrive soon enough. With it, the chance to regroup and refresh before we go again (shudders) with games against Newcastle United and Everton. It should have been a home win. It could have been a home win. Tim Krul twice denying Christian Norgaard from point blank range when it was odds on ‘goal’. The offside flag chalking off one for Mbeumo (not Boo-mo, Match of the Day. Cripes, how hard is it to do a little research? ) early into the second period. It was the correct decision, sadly, but with the Bees coming out like Thomas Frank had let off a few half-time fireworks, the impetus of halving the deficit so soon after the restart would have been immense. Instead, the marauding Rico Henry pulled one back on the hour but that was as good as it got.

Looking down on Pukki doing his thing

We don’t do full fat match reports on these pages. No bad thing given the frustration of that one. Norwich City, sitting ducks based on their current form. Instead, the prey became the predator. They were quickest out the blocks and had the lead within six minutes. The otherwise exciting Sergi left flat on his arse half way through a move that culminated in Mathias Normann being offered the freedom of the pitch. Waltzing through everyone, the Bees midfield and defence were more standoffish than a bunch of nervous teenagers at a school disco. Eventually he picked his moment with a low strike that stand in goalkeeper Fernandez couldn’t quite reach. 

Soon after, it was two. Pukki from the penalty spot after Charlie Goode (an early sub for Zanka) was adjudged to have brought down the Norwich man when clean through. He had no real choice and did the best of a bad situation but there was deemed sufficient contact and the ref pointed to the spot. 2-0. Game over. Despite the second half resurgence it was three points dropped. Norwich with a first win of the season. A deserved win. It wasn’t enough to save Daniel Farke who it was confirmed had left the club after the game. The Canaries board acting now in a bid to salvage their Premier League place. With Nuno Espírito Santo, Neil Warnock and Steve Bruce all now available, the next incumbent of that particular hot seat could be an intriguing decision.

That’s the football. Brentford played well in patches but that was it. Patches. The early season confidence taking a bit of a battering and providing for a frustrating experience on pitch. If you want to read more (somebody might) the Hollywood Bets column will be up shortly. Link to follow.

Yet off field, it was Brentford at their very best. At our most awesome. Sometimes you need to take a step back and appreciate just what a club we have. Just how that ‘family’ feel we had at Griffin Park has been retained. Anybody reading yesterday’s column may recall the fact that our Harry was spending the afternoon up on the gantry with fellow competition winner Luke Mitschke and the Ifollow commentary team of Mark Burridge, Karleigh Osborne and Charlotte Tanner. Well, he’s had his moment and, my word, one can’t thank the club, Mark and the rest of the team enough. 

H was bouncing off the walls before, a little nervous on the walk up to Lionel Road but once into the groove had an absolute blast. Gassing away on the mic and looked after like royalty. To give two youngsters the chance to get involved in everything from pre and post match analysis to actually commentating on a Premier League game something that they’ll never forget. All being well, the listeners enjoyed it. Certainly, we’ve had more than a few messages back. Specifically in regards to Harry’s on-air observation that clearly the referee was a Norwich City fan. Likewise, apologies to anyone who heard him raging off-mic at Tim Krul for manhandling Ivan Toney.

H, Mark and Karleigh preview the game. Or discuss ‘that’ goal for Bristol City. I’m not sure which

The view from up on the gantry nothing short of incredible. The highest point in the stadium but still felt on top of the pitch, with the action unfolding in a glorious panorama. Mark Burridge, cool as you like. Handling it all in his unflappable style. A huge pang of jealousy from yours truly at his ability to make it all seem so effortless. So natural. So much fun. Actually, not jealousy but respect. And also for his engaging Luke and Harry. Making their day so special.

What a view

We’ve said it many, many times before but there is no other club like it. Where fans feel like family. Where supporters still have the chance to get involved to such an extent. Even with Premier League status putting us more under the microscope and Covid continuing to ruin everything for everyone, to keep this ‘Griffin Park’ vibe was nothing short of wonderful. To keep it real and remember what we do so well just the best feeling. Cripes, the onfield stuff hurt yesterday but off it, Brentford were, and are, the best.

Thank you everyone. Long may it continue. Now here’s to Newcastle United.

Mark Harry and Luke at the end of a wonderful experience

Nick Bruzon

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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

What can you say? Where do you start?

28 Oct

Where to begin today? In the normal course of events, we’d start by talking about Norwich City v Brentford. Yet having gone to bed and then woken up with nothing but the horrific story from Leicester City at the forefront of the football news, I’m just in shock. As, it seems, is the entire football community. With no official word as yet, we’re still hoping for a miracle yet fearing the worst following the crash of club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s helicopter outside their King Power stadium following the Foxes 1-1 home draw with West Ham.

There are no words to describe what has happened. Moreso given how visible this was. We’ve all seen the images of the aftermath and they are terrifying. One can only feel for the families, the fans and all involved at a club who have done nothing but win friends over the last few years.

Who amongst us didn’t cheer when Leicester City defied those 5,000-1 odds to win the Premier league. Beat the top flight far cats time and again to keep up the pace, defy the pundits and win the league. What a refreshing breath of fresh air to those of us who don’t support the likes of Chelsea or Manchester City/United with their logic defying budgets and wealth of world stars at their disposal. What an inspiration to those of us supporting the likes of Brentford.

With the right stewardship, unfancied teams can triumph. They can beat the ‘bad guys’. They can make the dream a reality.

We went to Norwich City yesterday. We lost. 1-0. It wasn’t a great game in the grand scheme and it wasn’t a particularly classy goal to concede. Daniel Bentley’s penalty save from ex-Bee Jordan Rhodes one of the few highlights from a Brentford perspective. Neal Maupay somehow not equalising when most of us were already celebrating.

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Brentford press in the first half.

Despite this, it was what happened off-pitch at Carrow Road that showed me, yet again, how wonderful football can be. What an incredible family there is involved. From both sides.

It’s not even called into question that there will be no quarter given when the whistle blows. Nothing but backing the team, barracking the officials (in the unlikely event that they make a decision we can clearly see was incorrect) and enjoying the misfortunes that befall our opponents on the day.

Yet with HB fortunate enough to be one of two ‘away’ mascots on the day, there was only generosity and magnificence shown to him from start to finish on the occasion of his first Brentford road trip. Norwich were fantastic – let’s get that out there immediately. Staff, fans and players. Even manager Daniel Farke stopped by for a chat with HB, fellow mascot Harvey and Thomas Frank when the players arrived.

Nonetheless, it was Brentford who really raised the bar. The players all stopping for a photo and an autograph with a five year old who is fast shedding that customary shyness in their presence. A quick chance to stick our heads around the door of that infamous pink ‘away’ dressing room. A chance encounter with the ever friendly Chairman Cliff Crown (“Who’s that, daddy?” – sorry, Cliff). Kitman Bob being the legend that he always is and Peter Gilham clearing the scrum around the dugouts as the players warmed up, in order that Harry could get his picture with Thomas.

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Peter can now add ‘Minder’ to his many duties at Griffin Park

Big up to Harvey, too. The two lads were given the choice of who would get to lead out the team. He didn’t even question it but immediately offered the role to his younger counterpart. I can’t thank him enough but, equally, think this shows (once again) the attitude that runs throughout this club. Through so much of football. Yet which is so rarely seen in the wider world. Which needs to be talked about. That, actually, it’s not all those things the press love to highlight such as morons singing awful songs, chanting racist abuse and fighting. There’s a ton of great stuff happening too.

Which is as much as anything why, as an outsider looking in, we could all get behind what happened at Leicester City. They were an unfancied club but one doing things the right way. Doing it with the fans. And what a reward for doing so. Winning the Premier League. A Champions League run. Players now picked for England, and beyond, on a regular basis. And now this.

One can’t even begin to quantify the sheer awfulness of what we’ve seen unfolding. Of what may be announced over the next few hours or days. One thing’s clear though, the footballing world is united and sending nothing but love to Leicester City.

Nick Bruzon