Tag Archives: Fans forum

Dear Phil, Cliff, Rasmus, Mark, Dean and BIAS…..

6 Sep

Wednesday morning. The internationals are done. The dust has settled on a transfer window that saw Brentford lose several B team players aswell as selling three of our crown jewels to Birmingham City. Likewise, picking up the likes of Neal Maupay, Kamo, Ollie Watkins and Henrik Dalsgaard (amongst others) earlier in the summer. We are all now well acclimatised to the fact that Lionel Road plans have been changed. Having had time to consider it all, are you happy with it all? Are Brentford well placed for the future? Is there anything you’d like to know ?

And if you’d like to read more whilst helping the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust …. the rest of this article can now be found in the Kindle e-book Ten Times Better. Brentford FC Season review: 2017/18. Inspired by ‘that’ interview it contains the least bad of these columns in one, handy volume as it looks at our own campaign as well as wider divisional life and the promotion / relegation races.

As a bonus there’s a whole host of new material. New that is, for my pages. Specifically, all the programme articles submitted (both home and away where, if nothing else, you can get the original versions of both Birmingham City and Millwall).

In addition, There Is No Plan B. Brentford FC Season reviews: 2013/14 – 2017/18 takes us all the way back to the start of this latest leg in the journey. That penalty. League One. Harlee Dean was a hero. Jota was something we thought happened to the temperature for one week in July. Alan Judge had joined on loan whilst the Marinus Experiment was something nobody had contemplated. Bringing things bang up to date by the inclusion of this year’s volume alongside the four previously published campaign round ups, it has five seasons in one weighty tome. As weighty as a download can be, that is.

Relive the memories. See how often the same material gets regurgitated. Remind yourself about the likes of Betinho, Martin Fillo, Javi Venta and Marcos Tebar. Certainly, if there’s no Marcos Tea Bar at Lionel Road it will be an opportunity missed.

All proceeds from any sales will go to the Community Sports Trust. For less than the cost of a half / pint respectively, they may help while away some time on the commute. By the pool on holiday. In the bathroom. Who knows? It will certainly do some good for the Trust, whose work has been well documented at Griffin Park but you can read all about it on their site.

And if that wasn’t enough, I’ve been given something very special. A 2017/18 third team shirt with Lewis Macleod’s squad number on the reverse in the EFL typeface. Anyone with half an interest in Bees kits will know that these were never made available in the club shop.  Anyone who has read any of this before will know what a kit nerd yours truly is so when I say this is rare, take that in good faith!

To be in with a chance of owning it, download a copy of either before the end of June 2018 and you’ll go into a draw to win this. Just DM/tweet me (@NickBruzon) a copy of your purchase confirmation mail and I’ll add your name to the list before selecting a random Bees fan to win this on July 1st.

Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 16.13.22

 

fans forum panel

The forum has always had a strong panel

 

DIve5wtXcAAj4Ce

Jota. It really happened – and fans have been quick to debate

 

Nick Bruzon

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Big new ambitions? Or downsizing? What do you make of stadium news?

17 Aug

Thursday morning. We’ve all had time to digest the news out of Griffin Park. Namely that in a week’s time Brentford FC will be presenting plans to Hounslow council for an amendment to our design for Lionel Road  – the key points of which include : a location move (3 metres south),Premier League quality ‘outside broadcast facilities within the stadium itself, the relocation of BFC Community Sports Trust outside the ground and the capacity reduction from 20,000 to 17,250. The target date for all of this is now late 2019 / early 2020.

The statements on the club site and in the programme from Cliff Crown & Mark Devlin have gone on to further elaborate on the reasoning about this in what, I have to be honest (and I’d say this to their face) reads an awful lot like a game of buzzword bingo in places. Especially with regards to the housing element of the project which is so key to making it a success.

And if you’d like to read more whilst helping the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust …. the rest of this article can now be found in the Kindle e-book Ten Times Better. Brentford FC Season review: 2017/18. Inspired by ‘that’ interview it contains the least bad of these columns in one, handy volume as it looks at our own campaign as well as wider divisional life and the promotion / relegation races.

As a bonus there’s a whole host of new material. New that is, for my pages. Specifically, all the programme articles submitted (both home and away where, if nothing else, you can get the original versions of both Birmingham City and Millwall).

In addition, There Is No Plan B. Brentford FC Season reviews: 2013/14 – 2017/18 takes us all the way back to the start of this latest leg in the journey. That penalty. League One. Harlee Dean was a hero. Jota was something we thought happened to the temperature for one week in July. Alan Judge had joined on loan whilst the Marinus Experiment was something nobody had contemplated. Bringing things bang up to date by the inclusion of this year’s volume alongside the four previously published campaign round ups, it has five seasons in one weighty tome. As weighty as a download can be, that is.

Relive the memories. See how often the same material gets regurgitated. Remind yourself about the likes of Betinho, Martin Fillo, Javi Venta and Marcos Tebar. Certainly, if there’s no Marcos Tea Bar at Lionel Road it will be an opportunity missed.

All proceeds from any sales will go to the Community Sports Trust. For less than the cost of a half / pint respectively, they may help while away some time on the commute. By the pool on holiday. In the bathroom. Who knows? It will certainly do some good for the Trust, whose work has been well documented at Griffin Park but you can read all about it on their site.

And if that wasn’t enough, I’ve been given something very special. A 2017/18 third team shirt with Lewis Macleod’s squad number on the reverse in the EFL typeface. Anyone with half an interest in Bees kits will know that these were never made available in the club shop.  Anyone who has read any of this before will know what a kit nerd yours truly is so when I say this is rare, take that in good faith!

To be in with a chance of owning it, download a copy of either before the end of June 2018 and you’ll go into a draw to win this. Just DM/tweet me (@NickBruzon) a copy of your purchase confirmation mail and I’ll add your name to the list before selecting a random Bees fan to win this on July 1st.

Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 16.13.22

 

Lionel Road monorail

Lionel Road. A new look – sans monorail – is coming

 

Griffin park GP

Griffin Park. Wonderful but not a long term future

 

Nick Bruzon

The season begins with travel and transfer chaos. And a badge update

5 Aug

We’re all systems go. As Brentford prepare to start our own Championship campaign at 3pm on Saturday afternoon, proceedings begin in anger this evening as Newcastle United have the somewhat dubious honour of travelling to Fulham for Sky’s opening televised game. We’ve the fallout from yesterday’s opinion piece on the club badge and an interesting update concerning former Bee Alex Pritchard and his move from Tottenham to Norwich via another fans forum – this time Brighton’s.

First up, the response to yesterday’s piece on the Brentford badge. Well, judging by the reaction from various social media sources it seems there is a lot of love for the current version over our previous incarnation. For every comment such as the Castle “is a design classic. Like the Porsche 911 or Ray Bans Aviators” or the present one looking “like it’s been made using Microsoft Clip art” there was an awful lot of admiration for Andrew Henning’s modern day effort. I can’t deny it’s popularity amongst large numbers of our support.

Of equal interest were several calls for a redesign or even just a fan vote on which way to go. How about a new crest altogether? Especially with a 130th anniversary coming up in 2019. There’s plenty of opinion out there in yesterday’s comment’s page or on twitter.

Whichever you prefer  – and whilst I am #teamcastle it is clear we have many fans of the modern version – Joe Fenton (@Jaf1991) nailed it with the observation that , “I think we can all just be thankful we haven’t reverted back to the horror of 1989..”

Bees 89 cenenary badge

Next up Fulham v Newcastle United. The first game of the Championship and already we see the headaches that will face supporters with a Friday night trip from the North East to West London. It is a game where the visitors – those who aren’t making a weekend of it, of course –  will then rely on both TFL (good luck) and a sprint across town for the last train home. One that arrives just shy of 3am.

I’ve no doubt Newcastle will travel ‘en-masse’ for this one, such is the reputation of their fanbase . Many of whom may even be wearing shirts. But it does concern me that given the obvious  attraction of Sky to feature the former Premier League outfit (see also : Aston Villa) Saturday games are going to be the thin end of the wedge. And that’s an obvious impact for us. Indeed, our trip to Villa Park has already been put back a day to accommodate that weekend’s TV.

With the Bees travelling to Newcastle on October 15th, you’ve got to think that isn’t one that is going to be deemed TV-worthy.   But should Dean Smith and his team hit the ground running then who knows what subsequent changes to the schedule may soon be made? As it stands, Sky’s ‘live’ calendar only runs as far as September 26th and from a Championship perspective, the game two days earlier between Aston Villa and, erm, Newcastle United.

Could the Bees feature in that next batch? Will Newcastle become this years Leeds United  – at least in terms of TV exposure?  Here’s hoping some consideration is given to travelling supporters – but I doubt it .

Next up. Alex Pritchard. “We want you to stay” sang Bees supporters as he certainly made an impression whilst on loan from Spurs during our first season back in the Championship.A long sleeved yellow away shirt (not even Sam Saunders was afforded that luxury), fleet of foot and a fair few goals , he was missed by many last season.

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 06.22.13

What a shirt….

Whilst there had been hope that we might strike a deal with Spurs to bring him back, that was merely a pipe dream with Rasmus Ankersen confirming at our recent fan forum that he would just cost too much.

But with a transfer inevitable, it looked like Brighton were his next destination . Until Norwich City, already featuring another former Bee in the legend that is Sergi Canos, jumped in. Aside from making me think that Newcastle might not have things all their own way this season (the Magpies being every pundit, even Ian Holloway’s, favourite for the title) the move did spark an interesting update from Brighton’s own forum last night.

Nobody can deny Brighton’s honesty. And diplomacy, despite some clear frustration . Why blame an agent or another club when you can blame the traffic?

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not my words etc

Nick Bruzon

Please, Matthew. Can we have our castle back?

4 Aug

Season 2016/17 is almost upon us with Brentford preparing to travel to Huddersfield Town on Saturday. Yet before a ball has even been kicked in anger, I’ve already seen thoughts turning towards 2017/18. Specifically, in regards to the playing kit.

I’m not going to dwell further on this year’s offering, suffice to say that I love it (although, equally, recognise that it is not everybody’s cup of tea). We’ve discussed this one to the nth degree already.

However, what is of ongoing interest was Kitman Bob’s recent revelation that he is already getting close to looking at the design specs for next season. That’s 2017/18, just to be clear. Likewise, Mark Devlin’s insight into the design process given at Monday’s fan forum where he explained how the final selection involves oversight from a number of people at the club, all the way up to Matthew Benham.

Then, last night, supporter Stephen O’Brien offered his thoughts on this subject via Twitter.

Whilst I agree he has picked two absolute stunners (including my all time favourite in the home category), making a 100% clone of a previous effort perhaps isn’t the best way forward. If nothing else, Puma emulated / paid tribute to / ripped off (delete as applicable) both of the shirts  Stephen admires so much back in 2010-11. Are we ready for yet another identikit version so soon?

However, where I do agree 110% with Stephen is in his comments about the club badge. Perhaps it is a generational thing but for me nothing quite says Brentford like….the Castle.

Forget the debate about our current red to white ratio. If there is one thing that makes me instantly identify with our club then it is, with all due respect to both the Funky Bee and Buzzette, that badge.

Matthew, Bob, Mark and the other co-directors of shirt selection – please can we bring it back next season?

The Castle Badge

The Castle badge appeared (on and off) from 1976-1994)

Much as I’d love to be on your kit committee, I realise that’s never going to happen . However, at the very least why not throw a ‘badge’ vote open to the supporters ?

It wouldn’t be unheard of in footballing circles and given how much we look to engage with our fanbase, why not allow us to help make a decision about the club’s identity ?

If nothing else, our current effort is now entering a twenty-second season of use after first appearing in the 1994/95 campaign. That badge was also chosen by a supporter  – Andrew Henning designing it  in exchange for two season tickets. Don’t listen to the claims to ownership from TV ‘astrologer’ Russell Grant whom, it later transpired, simply offered guidance on the inclusion of the Middlesex coat of arms found in the bottom left corner.

Yet even after all this time, I still can’t warm to it. It just seems too busy and like our former ‘Spitfire’ font, maybe even just a little dated.  With a stylised beehive, the coat of arms,  a scroll, four quarters and several text blocks within the design there’s just too much going on. It now feels workmanlike and efficient rather than having the emotional significance of the Castle.

959px-Brentford_FC_logo.svg

The current Brentford badge

We almost changed over on the occasion of our 125th anniversary. A garish celebratory graphic based on our first ever badge was revealed, along with talk of having a simpler variant on the shirts. Instead, the idea was quietly parked and has never been mentioned since.

Much as I love the Castle, the thought of going all the way back to our origins was an equally wonderful one and it was a real shame this never put in an appearance in one form or another. But the point is mentioned as it shows the club have considered change.

With Brentford’s sartorial fate for next season already approaching discussion, why not take a chance to roll back the years?

Please Matthew. Can we have our castle back?

Nick Bruzon

What a mess. Where next for team in an 808 state?

4 Oct

What a stinker of a Saturday. Trying to be nice about QPR for a forthcoming programme article. Sergio Aguero, just axed from my fantasy team, almost achieving brackets single handed after five goals for Manchester City at home to Newcastle. England getting dumped out of the rugby World Cup by Australia before the qualifying pools have even finished. And Brentford, the normal hope of some weekly sporting excitement, hit rock bottom with a morale sapping defeat at Derby County.

This assumes Brentford had much morale left to sap after a stint which has been turbulent, even by our standards. Thinking back to last season and Villagegate, I think this has been even worse. At least, then, we had a manager in Mark Warburton that the fans loved and a fit squad of a quality we’d never seen before. Likewise, the team were playing scintillating football. And although the game at Charlton was probably the real low point, performance wise, we came back to reach the play offs.

However, the events of the previous ten days, and I begin with last Thursday, have probably surpassed that in sheer incompetence. I say last Thursday, because that’s when Cliff Crown, Rasmus Ankersen, Phil Giles and Mark Devlin sat in front of the fans to tell us how wonderful everything was. Marinus was there, too. That’ll be Marinus our head coach who, with the supporters out of the way, was subsequently dismissed three days later.

Despite two statements and a probing interview with our director of football (sorry, Phil, but there doesn’t seem to be anything ‘co’ about this relationship – at least, in public) we are still none the wiser as to why he went – beyond a ‘fundamentally different approach to training’. Likewise, why such a positive message had been given just days earlier.

Just what changed on the training ground on Friday?

Apparently it was nothing about results on the pitch – a good thing too, given we’ve lost both games since Lee Carsley has taken over. Lee, don’t forget, a man who has openly said he didn’t ask for the role or particularly want to go into management.

I feel for him, genuinely, and don’t want to paint Lee as any sort of bad guy. Likewise, when even the senior players are apologising on social media after the game then there has to be something intrinsically wrong in the camp.

Harlee and the Judge - not a 70s cop show but comments from our senior player

Harlee and the Judge – not a 70s cop show but comments from our senior players

I don’t envy Lee the task of trying to turn this around. The highlights, such as they are, present a sorry picture of missed tackles and one way traffic. Fairplay to the 808 Brentford fans who made the trip to Derby. I’d love to have been amongst you; part of me is glad I wasn’t – and that’s an awful thing to have to admit.

Instead, I had Beesplayer where it was literally the match and not much else. I.T. problems at the front end meant things didn’t start until about 2.45 and then the commentary team, I’m sure for legitimate reasons, couldn’t get off air quick enough.

There was barely time for Mark Burridge to ask the erudite Mark Chapman for any final words before the plug was pulled. Even Ciaran Brett, who had earlier given us the somewhat eye watering image that, “There’s a lot of Adam Forshaw in Ryan Woods”, didn’t get the chance of a further look in.

It’s a shame, because this is one time when some genuine discussion from the team about what had unfolded would have been very welcome. Instead, it was left to social media for more opinion and, for me, reviewing this Beesotted have hit it squarely on the head.

Fan feeling about the Derby game is summarised in one tweet

Fan feeling about the Derby game is summarised in one tweet

Plus points?

  1. We have two weeks off. Lee can get some serious one on one time with the squad and see what magic he can work on the players ahead of the home match with Rotherham United.
  2. At least we have already beaten Bristol City and Preston – two teams who seem in even worse shape than us.
  3. We didn’t concede in the second half. And almost scored.
  4. For all we are in a dark place now, the gap to the play offs is only ten points. And that’s not meant as an incentive for promotion but more an indication of how tight the table currently remains.

And this, for me, is the key point in all this. We’re ten games in, the table has taken shape and it doesn’t look pretty. BUT….if we can get our players back and a run together, then there is all the time and the space available to start climbing.

Let’s be honest, this time last year most supporters would have taken finishing ‘fourth bottom’ as a good thing. We ended up coming fifth. Personally, I felt we always had it in us to go all the way and said as much. Right now I’d bite your hand off for that previous aspiration.

Equally, I think we are better than that but in a campaign where rather than gelling as I had hoped we would, the team have only looked worse, you need to start somewhere.

‘Aim for fourth bottom’ is hardly a motivational message up their with the Olympic standard ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius’ . Equally, we need to be realistic, based on current events. Right now I’d love, with a two week break, if Rasmus, Cliff and the rest of the gang could host another fans’ forum.

Some might argue it is too close to the last one but, equally, so much has changed since then and supporter feeling is at a level I’ve never experienced before. That, in itself, is bonkers considering how excited we should be with the Bees back in the Championship and given a chance to consolidate. What harm would it do to face up to the fans for an additional ‘catch up’? At least, then, nobody could complain they haven’t been given the opportunity to speak?

Failing that, why not do an interview with Billy, Dave and the Beesotted camera rather than ‘club official’? As ‘voice of the fans’, they’re never shy and usually have their finger on the pulse.

Beesotted: Billy is never one to hold back (sorry Dave - I've no 'file photo')

Beesotted: Billy is never one to hold back (sorry Dave – I’ve no ‘file photo’)

We’ve chosen to go down this route and nobody said it would be easy but right now, with the approach hardly reaping rewards – and these things do take time – then if it is one we are to persist with, survival has to be the primary objective.

And that’s a sad thing to be saying this early into a season that had promised so much following the previous campaign.

Nick Bruzon

Matthew Benham (and Luis) make a great weekend even better

9 Feb

It would be fair to say that yesterday’s article attracted a mixed bag of comment from the Leeds United fans after their side had gone down 1-0 to fourth placed Brentford. Some of it fair and sporting; other parts evoking the spirit of John from Wolves (a frequent visitor to these pages last campaign).

That’s football – we all have an opinion and the multitude of options available in cyberspace make it all the easier for us to express it.

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.

A fair point. But twitter would get even better

A fair point. But twitter would get even better

Fat fingered spelling aside, this sounds great

Fat fingered spelling aside, this sounds great (and seems popular)

Time to ring the changes ?

6 Feb

Brentford head to Leeds United on Saturday with the news that Warbs has missed out on his second manager of the month award in three months. Instead, as suspected, Aitor Karanka of Middlesbrough emerged as a deserved winner for January. His side’s 1-0 win at Brentford last weekend being the deciding factor (although, by all rights, that is a game that should probably still be under way given the amount of second half timewasting that took place).

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.

Could the one time 'hottie of the year' (right) see more action ?

Could the one time ‘hottie of the year’ (right) see more action ?

Fitness questions as another MOTM nomination is earned

5 Feb

Early morning visitors to the official site may have had to check twice after seeing the story that Brentford manager Mark Warburton has not only been nominated for Manager of the Month, but he has also ‘won’ . Whilst Aitor Karanka of Middlesbrough is, surely, a shoe in for the January award after picking up 10 points out of 12 (including victory at Griffin Park) it is testament to Warbs that he has been nominated (along with Neil Redfearn at Leeds United and Steve Mclaren of Derby County).

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.

Slow news day? Surely this can’t be true?

4 Feb

I love an unusual headline – whether it be on the internet or the local press. But the one which appeared about QPR boss Harry Redknapp yesterday (or, should that be, former QPR boss Harry Redknapp) had me performing a double take. And moreso because of the immediate knock on this could have for Brentford and our own manager, Mark Warburton.

Harry Redknapp is no more (at QPR)

Harry Redknapp is no more (at QPR)

I can only wish Harry well although the whole thing does seem to smack of, what we could politely call, unfortunate timing. He waits until immediately after the transfer window has slammed shut, having failed to spend any money (a feat as rare as three points on the road for the Loftus Road mob), before deciding he has to walk away – although I apologise if that’s probably not the best choice of phrase in the circumstance.

And the Brentford spin off? Well, checking the shortlist for his successor, the bookmakers have Warbs at fourth favourite to be leaning out of a car window in the next transfer window.

However, before anybody gets overly concerned, Tim Sherwood is streets ahead at 1/10. ON. Indeed £18,269 of the first £18,763 was on the former Tottenham boss taking over at Loftus Road. Indeed, given the talk at the Brentford fans’ forum I think it safe to say that Warbs isn’t going anywhere for a while.

That said, it is always flattering to be associated with a top flight club and symptomatic of the success our manager (who you may not be aware is a former city trader) has had since taking over from Uwe.

So rather than worrying further about whether Warbs will be heading down the road, we’ll end this article here. Instead, here are a few comedy headlines. Whilst they may not have the same impact as the Redknapp knee, who doesn’t like a bit of ‘cow chaos’ ?

From our first away game of the season

Brentford suporters keep it 'local' at our first away game this season

Disturbing news from the world of theatre, via the BBC

Disturbing news from the world of theatre, via the BBC

The first of two entries from the Argus

Can't top that with any caption

Life imitating art

When life imitates art

The Argus strikes again

The Argus strikes again

But our winner is…

But our winner is...

Another penalty not to mention as Bees miss out to Boro

1 Feb

After all the build up it was Middlesbrough, with the returning Adam Forshaw in tow, who emerged the winners from Saturday’s table top clash with a 1-0 win over Brentford. It was a game the Bees can count themselves unlucky not to have got out of with at least a point but when you are up against the division’s meanest defence (a mere 18 Championship goals conceded in 28 games) then you need to take chances when they are presented.

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.

View from the terrace - the only goal of the game. Unfortunately

View from the terrace – the only goal of the game. Unfortunately

Also spotted on the terrace was this the result of a bet, an attempt to beat the cold weather or a stag night prank? Infact, it turned out to be the latter rather than the club looking to replace Buzzette during the transfer window.

Could Buzzette face competition before the transfer window closes?

Could Buzzette face competition before the transfer window closes?

S