Tag Archives: Dave Kitson

Will it be a red card for Mark or is all now forgiven?

27 Feb

Brentford travel to Rotherham United on Saturday afternoon, hoping to build on the back of Tuesday night’s 3-0 win against Wolves. On paper, the neutral would probably mark this as an ‘away’ on their coupon. The Millers are struggling in the relegation zone whilst online bookmakers show the Bees as slight favourites. But no pre-match bet can ever factor in that most random of elements – the referee. Today’s is one who, over the early stages of his career, managed to earn himself a ban for having at dig at Liverpool (amongst the several other clubs he managed to upset).

Mark Brown is our man in the middle today and, being honest, his stats are very impressive for this season. I don’t recall him troubling us in the past whilst 71 yellow and 2 red in his 21 games over 2015/16 suggest a record that is hardly in Trevor Kettle or Keith Stroud territory . The only slight caveat being that the four he has officiated at Championship level (he is yet to grace the Premier League) have seen 16 bookings and a red.

0,,10794~11206305,00

Mark Brown – as seen in his Football League website bio (worth a read)

Of course, this could just mean the Championship is a more physical place and, likewise, two of those games have involved Birmingham City. In those encounters alone, 11 of the 16 yellows, along with one of the reds, were shown.

During his first season as a referee, Brown himself was shown the red card. He received a three week ban in 2011 for making fun of then Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard on Twitter. Specifically, his highlighting the Reds’ unlikely chance of winning the Premier League that season.

The football authorities took a somewhat dim view of this although, personally, I think it simply demonstrates his excellent knowledge of football. Liverpool have struggled to win a raffle over the last 10 years but, maybe, this Sunday will be different.

Trawling the internet (or, rather, typing ‘Mark Brown referee’ into google) took me to the BBC, where November 2013 saw him upsetting Dave Kitson of Oxford United. His assessment included the terms “horrific“, “horrendous“, and “He is probably the most arrogant man I have ever come across on the pitch in my life”.

According to Burnley fan site, ‘Clarets Mad’, that debut season saw Brown “ridiculously” send off Kieran Trippier for two yellow cards. They go on to note that manager Eddie Howe (during his spell of not being a Messiah), “accused him of being too influenced by the crowd

All of this was a while ago, of course. Brown doesn’t appear to have troubled anybody too much in recent seasons and his forays into the Championship would seem to suggest his career is now on the rise. Here’s hoping. There’s nothing worse than a card happy ref to ruin what should, otherwise, be a fascinating contest between a side fighting for survival and a Bees outfit who will be keen to show that Tuesday wasn’t a one off.

I’m full of confidence in regards to Mark. Stats don’t normally lie and those previously mentioned instances are in the past. Besides (crowbar alert) we could have Trevor Kettle ruining the show. When I said at the top end that no pre-match bet can factor in the ref, there is always an exception. And it is Kettle.

His reputation has now become so synonymous in the football world with poor performance that supporters are placing bets on his awarding a penalty / showing red today ( at odds of 6/1 and 4/1 respectively, for the record). The game is the bottom of league two clash Dagenham and Yeovil. With all to play for in a desperate struggle, could this come in…?

Whilst, ordinarily, no-one wants to see those sort of bets come in (punters aside), the pun potential of “players in hot water”, “tempers boiling over” and “T. Kettle left the manager steaming” can never be overlooked.

They are always a favourite of the Bees Player commentary team who, as I get that crowbar out once more,  will be a lifeline for many today. The Bees’ travelling support has been wonderful this season but another trip to Yorkshire so soon after Sheffield Wednesday is a huge undertaking.

As such, I’d imagine today’s two man team of Mark Burridge (our commentator par excellence) and Ciaran Brett (whose punditry skills are fast growing on me and, being honest, is stronger when working in a less crowded commentary box) will have a significant audience. Certainly, I’ll be amongst them when the show goes ‘live’ at 2.30pm.

Whatever cracks were made at the top end of this column about it being an ‘away’ win, I see it as anything but a guaranteed. Simply put, Rotherham have to win given their precarious position at the wrong end of the Championship table.

Let’s just hope the Bees show the same commitment that they did against Wolves. Likewise, that Mark Brown continues the same form he has shown this season.

Rotherham table

Are bums starting to squeak?

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

Why this will be the best Cup Final day in years

30 May

Let’s be honest. As Arsenal and Aston Villa prepare to do battle in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday evening, for us Brentford fans there is little immediate interest. Any hope of enjoying a run in this oldest of tournaments (this is the 134th final) ended at the hands of Brighton in the third round as a 2-0 home defeat saw us bow out at the first attempt.

And stop! Hold that thought. Even if you don’t support Aston Villa or Arsenal there is plenty to keep the neutral involved as the BBC have restored one of the most noble cup traditions – wall to wall coverage in the build up.

Recent seasons have seen ‘the light channel’ treat our showpiece match as, almost, an embarrassing afterthought – offering little pre-match entertainment beyond Adrian Chiles (now residing in the ‘where are they now’ files) mugging up to camera behind a portable pitchside lectern.

But back on BBC, with Gary Linker at the helm, we are being transported back to those glory days of the late 70s/early 80s when the Cup final, and preparations for it, were a BIG thing.

Since Lineker wrestled the highlights from Chiles, the BBC have performed miracles

Since Lineker wrestled the highlights from Chiles, the BBC have performed miracles

Taking a quick look at the schedule of events, we are about to be spoiled in a manner not seen since the Ferrero Rocher ambassador hosted his last reception.

12.10 Football Focus – Dan Walker and guests looks ahead to the game between Arsenal and Aston Villa.

13.00 The FA Cup – Gary Lineker on the road to FA Cup glory. In which our host meets men whose careers and lives were changed by the FA Cup. Presumably , this will feature the contractual obligation of an appearance from Ronnie Radford and mention of his, so called, rocket.

14.05 TOTP2- One of the highlights of the day as Mark Radcliffe rounds up the best and worst football records from the TOTP archives. Hopefully we’ll be seeing Chas and Dave, Ossie Ardiles and his wonderful solo “In the cup for Tott-ing-ham” (and if you can live with the ropey footage, that magical moment crops up at 1.57).

Spurs: come for Ossie; stay for Chas and Dave in the greatest FA Cup song of all time

14.30 Pointless Celebrities – not an exposé on Kerry Katona and the cast of ‘gogglebox’ but, infact, a topical episode of the popular quiz show. Featuring footballers

15.25 The FA Cup – the road to Wembley – This, the story of this season’s tournament, told through the eyes of famous fans. Expect Piers Morgan to be mugging it up for the camera. Bonus points if the BBC have secured HRH Prince William (although David Cameron more likely – if he can remember who he claims to support)

15.55. Build up. Gary is back, again, with all the build up from the stadium.

17.15. The final. Five hours after it all began, we cut back to the stadium for live coverage of the game.

The only sour note to all this being that there isn’t an episode of ‘Allo ‘Allo in the fall guy position straight after. Should the game over run due to the ,so called, lottery of penalties then this would be immediately booted into touch to some graveyard slot on BBC 2. Or, more likely, never to be seen again despite the assurance that “this will be shown at a later date”.

I support Brentford but I love football and all the fine traditions that go with it. On Saturday, the BBC promise to have me hooked from start to finish.

And if you want to read more about how Brentford failed in the FA Cup (this time) along with the rest of the incredible events of 2014/15, the amalgamated Last Word season compendium: Tales from the football village (from Saunders territory to unchartered ground), is now available to download onto Kindle (and other electronic reading device) in full.

Running from July 2014- May 2015 it contains some additional material and is available for less than the cost of a Griffin Park matchday programme.

After the storm, some reflection

22 Mar

Talking in the pub last night and looking around cyberspace this morning it would be fair to say I wasn’t alone in ‘The Last Word’ assessment of Brentford, following the 2-2 draw with Millwall. Equally, having shot from the hip and now having had the benefit of sleeping on it, can we take any positives or even just reassess a column written in the heat of the moment?

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.

Buzette - now head and shoulders above Buzz

Buzette – now head and (almost) shoulders above Buzz

Clem - another game, another draw

Clem – another game, another draw

With these midfielders you are really spoiling us

21 Mar

Saturday really does have the feel of a pivotal point in the Championship campaign. With only eight games to go, six of the top nine face each other whilst Brentford have a home fixture against relegation bound Millwall. The likes of Bournemouth v Middlesbrough or Watford v Ipswich Town are sure to have Manish & co purring tonight but, for me, it is all about what happens at Griffin Park.

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.

Dougie  - recently signed his contract extension

Dougie – recently signed his contract extension

Slade in Flame as Bees burnt (and a shock at Bournemouth)

15 Mar

Well that was all a bit ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’. With Ipswich Town going down 4-1 in the lunchtime game at Middlesbrough, Cardiff City were all that stood between Brentford and a four point gap from the pack chasing the play off spots. But rather than take advantage of the opportunity, the Bees put in a sub par performance against a workmanlike opposition that we gifted two woeful goals.

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.

(the long arm of) Clem's law is broken - a rare win for the BBC man

(the long arm of) Clem’s law is broken – a rare win for the BBC man

And Murphy must score…. 66 is the magic number

8 Mar

Just when the Championship couldn’t get any tighter, it does. As Brentford and Ipswich Town shared a point in their 1-1 draw to consolidate 6th and 7th (seventh) places respectively, defeat for Middlesbrough and draws for Watford and Derby (thanks to Clayton Donaldson’s late equaliser) mean that the top four teams in the table all have 66 points.

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.

Woofy McWoofington shows his true colours once more

Woofy McWoofington shows his true colours once more

BBC FLS viewers see Murphy set to pounce

BBC FLS viewers see Murphy set to pounce

Clem can't make it 7 (seven) wins yet

Clem can’t make it 7 (seven) wins yet

Huge opportunity in promotion six pointer at Ipswich Town

7 Mar

Brentford travel to Ipswich Town today knowing that a victory will take us four points clear in the promotion places. And whilst there were to be no repeats of the week’s earlier favours from Leeds United when Bournemouth visited Fulham on Friday night, the opportunity for The Bees remains a stunning one to behold. We’ll get to the distasteful dilemma from Craven Cottage in a moment but can only begin at Portman Road.

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.

Sooty didn’t wait around to celebrate Jon Toral’s third against Blackpool.

Sooty didn’t wait around to celebrate Jon Toral’s third against Blackpool.

Emerging from the prematch huddle on Boxing Day. Still 0-0 (for 19 more seconds)

Emerging from the prematch huddle on Boxing Day. Still 0-0 (for 19 more seconds)

Lots of goals. Lots of points. Lots of tickets.

4 Mar

What a Wednesday! Brentford fans were able to take stock of a stunning 4-1 victory over Huddersfield Town last night before then receiving great news from Fulham with the announcement of ticket allocation for next month’s derby game. We’ll get to Craven Cottage shortly but for those still in need of a recap from last night, Huddersfield were the latest to try their luck at Griffin Park against the free scoring Bees.

7 (seven) in the previous 2 home games (3-1 v Bournemouth and then 4-0 v Blackpool) have now become 11 in 3. A 4-1 victory was the least we deserved as Chris Long took just four minutes to get off the mark on his full Brentford debut.

His second, following fine work from Jota (how often has that phrase been used this season?) restored Brentford’s lead after Harry Bunn had given the Terriers brief hope. But if that goal reinstated Brentford’s supremacy in terms of goals, what was more amazing was how things remained level in terms of players.

Bunn and James Vaughan were both incredibly fortunate to avoid bookings after preening in front of the home supporters like a pair of coked up peacocks. The reaction from the Ealing Road was hardly surprising but justice was soon delivered.

Alex Pritchard made it three before midfield man of the moment, Jon Toral, followed up his hat trick from a week before with a smart strike from distance. Bunn, meanwhile, eventually found his way into the notebook although referee Kavanagh must have been suffering xanthophobia when it came to Vaughan. A number of cynical challenges were shown nothing more than an inconsequential talking to for the Town number 9.

The video highlights are now on YouTube

 

But a victory of magnitude does, in the cold light of day, make such anomalies almost an irrelevance. The key points to remember are another +3 in the GD column, a refreshing alternative up front and, most importantly, three more points as Brentford hit the play off spots once again.

And then the ticket news from Fulham was announced. An initial allocation of 4000 (with the option for a further thousand) means we’ll take up a fifth of the ground for the Bank Holiday game on April 3rd. As ever, full information is available on the club website and you can read that here.

As we saw last season at Leyton Orient, huge travelling support to a local derby can make a monumental difference.

Here’s hoping for a very Good Friday.

A day of strange, strange results keeps the table wide open.

1 Mar

Brentford’s 1-0 defeat at Birmingham City on Saturday was just one of many slip-ups from the teams in the Championship promotion mix. Only Watford could take advantage of defeats for Derby County and Middlesbrough (along with Bournemouth dropping two points at home to Blackburn Rovers) to make any progress up the table. And then there was Clem at Crewe Alexandra…

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.

.

Clem predicts how many points he'll earn for Crewe

Clem predicts how many points he’ll earn for Crewe (or is that a crafty ‘pick’?)