Tag Archives: Excelsior

There is no Plan B. We’ll be in the Premier League in three years

24 Sep

Tonight we’re live around the world”. Not my words but those of compere Peter Gilham on Thursday evening as he introduced the latest Brentford fans’ forum at Griffin Park. The event gave supporters their first chance to quiz head coach Marinus Dijkhuizen, co-directors of football Rasmus Ankersen and Phil Giles, Chairman Cliff Crown and Chief Executive Mark Devlin on all matters Bees related. But what did we learn?

Primarily, what a great club Brentford is. This is something those of us who are bit ‘longer in the tooth’ are well aware of but, equally, it’s nice that some things don’t change. No question was off limits as fans were, once again, given the chance to voice their opinions to those whose actions shape so much of our lives as Brentford supporters.

So, to the salient points from almost two hours of Q&A:

The future: Rasmus noted that our short-term aim was to finish better than last season. Whilst still our target, we need to be realistic and look at the injuries. His fellow sporting director Phil Giles added, “We can’t even predict when Maxime is going to be back.”

Injuries: Marinus made the assertion that despite the large number of these, it was primarily down to bad luck rather than, for example, anything specific to the training regime. As he added “They’re all different. If we had five hamstring injuries then, yes”.

Despite the injuries, he backed his stance to leave us short on the bench for the Middlesbrough game (where, of course, we only named six subs, including two goalkeepers). The youths weren’t picked because, “You have to deserve it. At that moment there weren’t youngsters who deserved to sit on the bench

On the difference between English and Dutch football, Marinus has been surprised, “It is so quick it’s unbelievable”. Indeed, he got one of the biggest laughs of the night with the follow up comment that, “Last Sunday I went to Excelsior – Ajax and it was really boring”.

Stat based recruitment: Rasmus gave a long explanation on the subject. Effectively that it starts (and ends) with football-based decisions around what we need to take the club to the next level.

Whilst it then goes to the stats guys to conduct the next level of search, they filter it down to 3 or 4 names who then become the subject of traditional scouting techniques once more. “When you read the media you get the impression at the training ground its just robots walking around – that’s not the case.”

And talking of new talent, what about Sergi Canos? Whilst clearly a stunning prospect, he’s a player Marinus prefers to ease in to the action. After ten minutes against Leeds, he admitted, “I’m killed, gaffer”. That said, Marinus is looking to give him a couple of weeks to see if he’s ready to be used from the start.

The flipside being the older heads, in particular Jonathan Douglas who was the subject of one glowing supporter tribute. Phil admitted, “He WAS a popular player, as was Moses, as was Andre. I thought we’d replace him and we did, with Josh.” Aswell as singing his praises, Phil added, “ We’ve got a replacement who is ten years younger

The Lionel Road project sees ongoing progress. The CPO enquiry has been held and, whilst Cliff was happy with how that went, a decision is not expected until the end of the year. All being well, we’ll be on site by March/April of 2016 with the subsequent build taking two years.

He concluded this segment with the aspiration that, “My aim is to play our first competitive match at the start of the 2018/19 season. Hopefully in the Premier league.”

And so to THE key question of the night: “Marinus, will you ever give us a wave?”

Whilst it may require Roy to give him a nudge, the rest of the answer suggested this will indeed by forthcoming, along with a further explanation given for his apparent reticence to do so. “When I’m analysing the game, I don’t hear what you are singing. There are lots of supporters at away games – I’m not used to it. But I know how it works now…”

For me, one of the most telling (and passionate) answers was from Mark Devlin when it was suggested that, perhaps, the club was losing touch with the traditional fanbase. He was at pains to point out this was not the case and, more to the point, genuinely couldn’t even see any evidence of this taking place. He confirmed, “I am committed to the club, the community, the traditions and staying close to the fanbase.”

The example of season ticket prices, regardless of had we reached the Premiership, was cited – this a point that Cliff later reinforced, saying that given all the revenue streams from the Premiership, Matthew Benham certainly wouldn’t be looking to take advantage of the fans that way.

Whilst the club are definitely on the up and not ”The ugly cousins of West London anymore” , the challenge is to try and replicate our family feeling at the new stadium. As Mark observed, “You guys are the heartbeat of the club.

But it was Rasmus who really nailed it at the end of the night with the blunt but bold statement, “ It is not an option to not be in the Premier League. It has to happen in the next three years…. At the moment there is no Plan B. we’ll be in the Premier League in three years.”

Fighting talk or fantasy? There’s only one place to find out. And it begins again on Saturday at Griffin Park.

Thanks again to all involved for the opportunity to attend and hats off to Brentford FC for their ongoing willingness to engage supporters.

Nick Bruzon

Bees go Double Dutch to welcome in new era

2 Jun

In the end it was the least surprising managerial news since David Moyes got the boot from Manchester United or the rumours surrounding Mark Warburton were confirmed back in February. Marinus Dijkhuizen, from Eredivisie club S.B.V. Excelsior, has been appointed as the new head coach of Brentford football club. Coming with him “to assist” (presumably the deputy-head) is fellow Dutchman Roy Hendriksen.

Marinus’ name had been tossed around the media and social networks all last week, so his eventual appointment had been widely anticipated.

There was to be no shock out of leftfield although this is a bold enough step in the future of the football club as it is (especially considering the short term expectation levels he will be under in the eyes of some supporters, given the excellent two years under Warb’ guidance).

The official club site has the full interview with him here, although there can’t be many who haven’t already been through this with a fine toothed comb to see what nuggets they can glean about the new man.

 

To read the rest of this article, season 2015/16 is now available to download onto Kindle (and other electronic reading device) in full, as :   Ready. Steady. Go Again. : Brentford FC season review 2015 – 2016

Thanks for reading and all your comments over the course of the season. For now, it’s the annual clean up to make more space on the site for the inevitable follow up. However, ‘close season’ will continue in full, further along.

But wait, like all the best infomercials, there’s more. The last three seasons of the Last Word : Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup; Tales from the football village and Ready. Steady. Go Again are also available in one combined volume as: 

Brentford Football Club – The Bees are going up. Season reviews: 2013/14, 2014/15 & 2015/16 

We did. And we still are ! 

 

The waiting game sucks; let’s play Hungry, Hungry Hippos.

28 May

Not my words but those of Homer Simpson and, with almost three months until the Championship season starts once more, it could be a long wait for Brentford fans. That’s over 70 (seventy) days until we resume rivalries with the likes of Middlesbrough, Fulham and Wolves. As intriguingly, we’ll also be welcoming QPR back to a division they managed to leave for an entire season. Sadly, though, they’ll be without Joey Barton – what a midfield match up with Jonathan Douglas that would have been.

So until then, what have got to look forward to (apart from breaking out the Hungry, Hungry Hippos)? It’s only three weeks until the fixtures are published (June 17th, being the appointed date for that one) and we can start planning those trips around the country.

From a TW8 perspective, there’s no word on those two most important of things needed to start the campaign. A kit to play in and a new manager (or ’head coach’, given our new model).

At least in the case of the latter, Marinus Dijkhuizen from Dutch Eredivisie side Excelsior remains the name on everybody’s lips. If you believe what you read in the papers then he is, supposedly, set to be announced any day soon. Whilst there is no smoke without fire, I’ve been surprised by Matthew Benham too many times in the past to believe anything I read until I see it confirmed in print.

Certainly Griffin Park had nothing much going on for the casual observer yesterday, beyond the hum of machinery as work on the pitch continued.

Manager Watch: 12.32pm 27th May… No sighting

Manager Watch: 12.32pm 27th May… No sighting

As for the kit, there’s no word even on a release date. All we know is that it will be a bespoke Adidas design. As somebody who takes more interest in the history/selection of the Bee’s kit than is probably healthy, this is an announcement that I’m looking forward to as much as any over the summer.

Moreso, as the other clubs in ‘the pyramid’ have started to release their efforts with some of these even seeing the light of day at the back end of the season just gone. The always excellent ‘Historical Football Kits’ website have now officially ‘opened’ their 2015/16 gallery and for those interested in such sartorial matters, you can find that here. Crawley Town, Bradford City and Watford being among some of the braver/more creative (delete as applicable) efforts already on offer.

Until then, we’ve got the FIFA corruption case to keep us intrigued over the summer. This, following the arrest by the FBI yesterday of 6 senior officials, is sure to be a protracted affair.

That said, it also promises to be an entertaining one as the case for long desired clarity starts to build. The U.S. Department of Justice have already begun in style, mangling their metaphors with the declaration that “This is the World Cup of fraud and today we are issuing FIFA a red card.” Let’s hope they end up issuing something a little bit stronger than a stern talking to

Sepp Blatter, meanwhile, eventually released a statement in the late afternoon in which he described the events as ‘unfortunate’ although didn’t go as far as referring to football as a village. However, there was no word in this as to whether the current elections will be postponed or the World Cups of 2018 and 2022 re-evaluated.

As the clamour is sure to grow on both fronts, this may not be as quiet a summer as we might have thought a week ago.

And, in the meantime, if you want some further distraction until it all starts again, you can relive the events of 2014/15 in the amalgamated Last Word season compendium: Tales from the football village (from Saunders territory to unchartered ground)

Running from July 2014- May 2015 it contains some additional material and is now available to download onto Kindle (and other electronic reading device) in full for less than the cost of a Griffin Park match day programme.

The alternative is Hungry, Hungry Hippos

The alternative is Hungry, Hungry Hippos