Tag Archives: elbow

Incoming. Do we have incoming as Cup final more than delivers?

22 May

Well, that was a day. Manchester United and Mark Clattenburg beat Crystal Palace to win the FA Cup whilst North of the border, former Bees boss Mark Warburton saw his Rangers side go down to Hibernian in the Scottish equivalent. As for the main news, it would seem we have incoming at Brentford – Matthew Benham has fired up the cryptic clue generator once more.

But I need to start with the FA Cup final, simply because it had the footballing community gripped. And, as is so often the case, it was what happened off the pitch that provided many of the talking points. Certainly for the so called ‘neutrals’ – although how many can ever be neutral in a game involving Manchester United remains to be seen. Of those I spoke to, most were cheering on Goliath rather than David in the hope that Crystal Palace could lift that famous trophy.

Where do you start ? Alan Pardew’s dancing, surely. With Jason Puncheon giving Palace a deserved lead his manager couldn’t help but launch into an touchline routine as he channelled his inner John Travolta. And it was bad. Like the worst of dad at a wedding after a few too many beers. More Alan Partridge than Alan Pardew.

Yet who am I to criticise? If you win it makes you even more of a hero and adds to the moment. There can’t be too many managers to have seen their side take the lead in an FA Cup final and so fairplay to him for enjoying the moment. Even if it was, almost literally, a moment as United equalised within minutes.

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BBC viewers saw Alan Pardew in ‘wedding mode’

If nothing else, it is something that is sure to go down in Cup history like Trevor Brooking’s header (apparently, he scored once and West Ham won the cup), Chas and Dave, Radford’s rocket (yawn) and the White Horse.

I hadn’t realised this but apparently Palace and Manchester United had met in the Cup Final before. Back in 1990. I was out of the room at one point getting a drink but I’m pretty sure I came back just in time to hear that fact mentioned.

And then again. And again. And again. The BBC had a crowbar and they were going to use it. I had ‘1990‘ on my FA Cup bingo card (along with ‘Fellaini elbow‘ – which took longer than expected) more as a token gesture than anything else. Sure enough, the BBC obliged.

We had the obligatory feature with Ian Wright during the build up. Specifically revisiting the estate he grew up on and the patch of grass where he played football as a youngster. I’m sure we’ve seen variants of this before, many times, but it’s still such an inspirational story. I loved the fact the BBC had gone ‘old school’ and, like last year, had a whole series of final related shows and features starting about five hours before kick off.

Ah yes, before kick off.  When the players should have been walking onto the pitch proceedings were delayed as the FA Cup tried to go ‘Super Bowl’ – but on a budget of 50p. Instead of the Rolling Stones or Coldplay (thank heavens for small mercies) , we had Tinie Tempah bouncing around a purpose built stage on the centre circle.

Perhaps this delay was the reason for the subsequent ‘sound malfunction’ with the National Anthem. What a moment in any singer’s career. With the eyes of the world watching, this was her time to shine.

Yet  as the band started, former X-Factor contestant Karen Harding stood motionless, clutching the microphone to her waist and waiting for I don’t know what. “Has she forgotten to sing?” asked Mrs. Bruzon on the sofa next to me.

To be honest, I don’t know what happened. Stage fright? Abject terror? Brain freeze? Or just missed her cue? Even if there had been an issue with her earpiece, would the fact that there were 100,000 people in the stadium singing not have been a clue?

I guess we’ll never know the real reason. Karen joined the rest of us in time to sing the last 9 (nine) words. Like Pardew’s dancing, it was another moment that will be written into the FA Cup’s already voluminous history.

She got there in the end

As for the game, Jesse Lingard’s extra time winner was a goal to light up any Cup Final (Boom – the sound of another cliche going off). It was a wonderful strike to give United the lead after Juan Mata had hauled them back into it, courtesy of some brilliance from Wayne Rooney.

The X-men actor and England man revelling in his midfield position as he provided a stunning assist for the equaliser. Rooney’s name may not have been on it but his strength and purpose as he worked with the ball for what seemed an eternity deserve genuine recognition.

Mata’s equaliser had the additional bonus of meaning BBC coverage over ran further and, as a result, saw the subsequent cancellation of the alleged comedy ‘Mrs. Brown’s Boys’. It was only a shame that the same privilege couldn’t be extended to Michael McIntyre following full time.

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Mrs Brown – thanks Wayne and Juan

The other person needing special mention was referee Mark Clattenburg. Twice in the first half he stopped proceedings and denied Palace genuine goal scoring opportunity, instead bringing the ball back for their ‘advantage’. Once was bad enough but to do it a second time had even Alan Pardew making note.

The irony of former referee Mark Halsey’s comments last year that Clattenburg should have had the 2015 final were not lost. At the time he was quoted on the BBC as saying:

I’m amazed that they’ve not given him the final…

“I would imagine that Jon Moss will feel a little bit sheepish that he doesn’t really deserve it and Mark Clattenburg does.”

“How many times has Mark done massive games? He’s done the Uefa Super Cup this year, big Champions League games and earned plaudits. It just doesn’t make sense.

Well, Mark. There’s your answer.

At the end of the day (Clive), Manchester United won it. You can’t deny them their moment and, certainly, they celebrated like they’d just beaten Leyton Orient (Russell? Russell?? Russell……?). Players, fans and management were ecstatic. Understandably so.

Likewise, congratulations must be offered to Louis van Gaal and his team. I’m sure they’ll both grow from here and the Dutchman will be a force to be reckoned with next season. Now he has a first trophy under his belt, his stock is sure to be rising with the Old Trafford board.

As for matters North of the border, Hibernian beat Rangers 3-2 to lift the Scottish cup. Sadly it wasn’t quite to be for Mark Warburton although I’m sure he’ll be more than happy with a season that has seen his team promoted to the top flight.

David Gray scored a late winner for Hibs which, aswell as sparking a post match pitch invasion / riot (delete as applicable) also saw our own Matthew Benham launch the cryptic clue generator once more.

Matthew posting a YouTube video on Twitter is a well known sign in Brentford circles that a new player is about to come to Griffin Park. The only problem with these being that they normally require a doctorate in brain surgery in order to decode – even after you know the answer.

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Matthew posted this on Saturday evening

This one seems remarkably simple. David Gray singing ‘This Year’s love’. Surely there was more to this than Mathew’s intent to sign the Scottish full back?

His clues are never this simple. Sledge hammer like unsubtly just isn’t Matthew’s style.

Could this mark a new approach from our owner?  Transfer news being announced by a clue that even yours truly can unravel? Or is there a hidden message in there ?

I’ve not got the time to decipher David’s lyrics to try and find out whilst, being honest, nor would I want to. It’s for good reason the ‘Babylon’ singer is currently residing in popular music’s ‘Where Are They Now?’ files

As ever with Matthew, I’m sure the answer isn’t what it seems at first glance. It could be as simple as his having had a bet on Hibs to win the cup.

Then again, I’ll have my eyes on Brentford official this Monday. Just in case…..

And finally, as ever, The Last Word ‘season review’ : Ready. Steady. Go Again and the three year anthology : The Bees are going up remain available for download.  Should anybody want to go over this nonsense and relive these moments once more then you can do so now.

It has been a stunning few years. Here’s to more of the same.  We may have had a few lows (something about a penalty, the football village, the FA Cup, the pitch, the Marinus experiment) but there have been plenty more highs as the Bees made an unexpected challenge for the Premier League.

Thank you for reading.

Nick Bruzon 

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Excuses, excuses, excuses. And the latest from Clemwatch

31 Aug

Brentford moved up to a giddy eighth place in the Championship following Saturday’s 2-0 win at Rotherham United. This is some achievement – our joint highest league placing in a good 60 years and one that, equally, keeps us 15 places and seven points better off than Fulham. And for the record, stat fans, the Cottagers currently enduring their worst start since 1956-57

Rotherham boss Steve Evans was in typical sour form at full time.

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.

Transfer quote of the day as Bees prepare for Rotherham

30 Aug

Brentford travel to Rotherham United today for a Championship clash that, early last season, not many people would have predicted coming. That includes myself. Whilst I had complete faith in The Bees, I need to hold my hands up in regards to Rotherham.

On October 6th, the day after a 0-1 home defeat by the Millers, I wrote: “Ten games in to the season and the league table has now ‘taken shape’. No longer are we tiptoeing around unknown opposition, wondering if yesterday’s result was as bad as it seems or if the thrashing administered to Sheffield United was proof we’d got over last campaign.

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.

The joy of text. This one’s for Jake

9 Jul

I can only wonder what Jake Reeves thought last night as Germany humiliated Brazil 7 (seven) – 1. Whilst most people were focusing on the margin of victory, for me there was massive pay back for Luiz. Specifically, because of the horrific injury he inflicted on Reeves in February of last year as Chelsea finally managed to knock Brentford out of the FA Cup.

Indeed, the comparison had already been noted with the BBC commentary team highlighting the ‘defender’ for elbowing Miroslav Klose with an observation that (apparently) he’d done similar before at Chelsea. Didn’t we remember that in TW8 as social networks were awash with comments about Jake and, equally, pictures of Luiz crying his eyes out after the game.

Whilst Fred seemed to be the ‘blame’ figure for the Brazil boo boys, for me the headless chicken that was David Luiz seemed most culpable in a team performance that was about as shocking as they come.

I’m sure Jake is too much the professional to take any pleasure from what happened but, personally, I’m just not that good a man. So here’s the montage of just some of those shots doing the Twitter rounds last night.

Tears of a clown? 'Sideshow Bob' was all over Twitter last night

Tears of a clown? ‘Sideshow Bob’ was all over Twitter last night

The other thing to really get me excited was the return of brackets. Anybody who has read this column or ‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ will know of my love / obsession with what happens on that magical moment when the scoreboard ticks over to register a seventh goal. Brackets appear on the videprinter.

Any team who have managed seven goals or more have the privilege of their score also being written, in addition to the standard numerical format. Just to make the point that – this really isn’t a typo; they have been hammered by that many.

Moreso is the debate that accompanies this. I’m of the belief that the clarifying 7 (seven), should be in lower case font. Discreetly saying that there has actually been a goal-fest and it’s not some numpty in the production booth with fat-fingers.

Sky, on the other hand, go for a full upper case 7 (SEVEN). It’s a gauche block-capitalled effect to really push home the point that someone has been on the wrong end of a thrashing. It’s gloating for the sake of it.

Well last night the BBC, I’m very pleased to say, got in on the brackets act as their website videprinter recorded the fact with a third entry into the discussion: 7 (Seven).

Even the BBC got involved in the brackets

Even the BBC got involved in the brackets

You know what? I’ll take it. I was just thrilled to see the return of this football tradition (much like the 6.25pm World Cup proclamation of, “And for those of you just coming in from work, the score is…..”)
Remember this moment, I don’t think you’ll ever see brackets in a World Cup semi final ever again.

‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ (The story of Brentford’s season 2013/14, amongst other football related chatter) – is now available as a digital book. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from last season, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle / digital device.

 

A unique moment in World Cup history

A unique moment in World Cup history