Tag Archives: Ferrero-Rocher

Don’t Panic. Or is it trouble? 7(seven) isn’t the magic number.

21 Feb

Derby County have ended their poor run. Brentford’s continues. A 3-1 victory for the Rams at Griffin Park was one which, if we are being honest with ourselves, they deserved on their first half performance alone. Equally, as we know too well, ‘deserving’ counts for nothing in football if you can’t take your chances. For Brentford to have been a goal up with ten minutes to go yet still lose (whilst shipping three) was just woeful. Derby wanted it more and got it.

The final whistle was greeted with a chorus of boos and I can well understand why. Regardless of our gratitude that Brentford are in the Championship,at present the Bees look all at sea and the stats don’t make good reading:

7(seven) defeats out of 9 games in 2016.

Only 7(seven) goals scored in those 9 games – take Preston out of the equation and its 4 from 8.

10 goals against in the last three games.

QPR now ahead of us in the league table.

GP v Derby

The overcast conditions matched the mood at Griffin Park

Indeed a wonderful first half performance from one of the old guard, David Button, was the difference between 0-0 and the game being out of sight before 3.45pm. A series of world class saves kept things level, the pick of which came from one of his own players.

Unmarked in the six yard box, Jake Bidwell volleyed a clearance straight towards the Brentford goal. That man Button was on hand to parry it to his left at almost point blank range and somehow out to safety.

But going in 0-0, it seemed as though Derby had blown their chance when Alan Judge gave Brentford the lead 7(seven) minutes into the second half. And oh, what a goal.

Picking the ball up inside his own half, Judge ran and ran down the right flank before reaching the edge of the box. With Kerschbaumer making a late, unmarked, run into the centre Judge ignored him and kept going before firing home to the far corner from the acutest of angles

Whilst not quite as narrow as Van Basten in Euro ’88, it wasn’t far off. Judge had no right to score from there yet, such is his confidence and ability, he made it look simple. What a goal and what a moment for the Bees. If nothing else, the media team would have breathed a sigh of relief as it means they won’t be combing footage of the development squad to find an entrant for February’s ‘goal of the month’ competition.

And that was the high point. With the Bees’ creative juices drying up as we looked to keep it tight, things went South in the final ten minutes. The first came as the Brentford defence (rightly) called for handball. Yet only Jeff Hendrick played on and, left in yards of space, slid it neatly between Button’s legs . The previously unbeatable ‘keeper was given no chance as the rest of his defence stopped running and just waved their arms in the air, seemingly more interested in having a private game of ‘who can hail a taxi first?’.

Was it hand ball? Absolutely. Should it have stood? Probably not. But it is one of the most basic lessons of football to play the whistle, not the ball. You can’t legislate for that level of schoolboy defending. Standing still and relying on a referee to make what you believe to be the correct call is as risky a defensive strategy as they come. And it was the wrong one. 1-1.

From that point on, we were dead in the water. Cyrus ‘the virus’ Christie gave Derby the lead four minutes later, tucking in from close range and breaking Brentford hearts.

With 87 minutes on the clock, Dean Smith opted to bring on one of his two attacking midfielders in Sergi Canos (I don’t count the largely ineffectual Swift). Why he or Sam weren’t introduced earlier, or even started, I have no idea but perhaps there was a belief our fragile team would hang on to a 1-0.

And, as time ran out, it almost happened. With no working scoreboard or fourth official’s timer, the game was well into Jota time when the chance to salvage something came. And then went. Jake Bidwell’s goalbound header was miraculously saved at the death by  Scott Carson.

The ‘keeper, who seemed to have taken the advice of Rams’ sponsor ‘Just Eat’ a bit too literally, dived to his left and somehow tipped Jake’s downward header away on the goal line. If Judge’s goal had been ‘not quite Van Basten’, this save was ‘almost Gordon Banks’. Again, the angle wasn’t quite as severe as with the famous predecessor but I still don’t know how Carson got down there. Well played , that man.

And with that, it was Doncaster Rovers all over again. The chance having been and gone for the Bees, Derby broke down the other end to put the game officially out of sight, courtesy of Chris Martin. Bees fans were left feeling yellow as the indignity of another defeat in that style was further compounded by an inevitable volley of Coldplay puns.

twitter

And this was at 0-0….

Being honest, whatever the logic behind the change in manager and decision to sell the players from last season, we are a pale shadow of the team that played with so much freedom and confidence 12 months ago. Such is the general vibe that the campaign objective now seems one of simply limping over the line and hoping we can hang in there for a fresh start in 2016/17.

But for Alan Judge and David Button, I have no idea where we’d be heading. Yesterday really would have been a wonderful chance to show a reaction after Brighton and Sheffield Wednesday. Instead, up against a team on an even worse run of form than ourselves, we ended up with the proverbial damp squib.

The only plus point of the day (aside from the genuinely unexpected arrival of the ‘Terrace Talk’ cameras into the upper room at The Griffin….) was the news that Matthew Benham is back on Twitter following his second period of self-imposed exile.

No matter how frustrating an experience some are finding it supporting the Bees at present, let’s hope people treat him with the respect he deserves this time around.

Having been spoiled to ambassadorial levels last season, the luxury of the Ferrero Rocher pyramid has now been replaced by what tastes like cold leftovers. That’s a hard thing to swallow but, whatever confusion is happening on the pitch, this is still the team we support and the club we love. Saturday’s wouldn’t be the same without it.

We’ve had a tough run of games and Tuesday night against Wolves won’t be any easier. Whilst we can’t rely on the likes of Judge and Button forever, it would be great to see if Dean Smith and his management committee can inspire some of the new breed to step up and show their potential over the coming games. It looked like we might do that a few weeks ago, only to have now taken three huge steps backwards.

That said, we are where we are. Crying over it won’t make a difference. Given the sheer lunacy of the season so far, frankly I’d be happy for another 13 points and a couple of local derby wins.

And for any County fans still reading, I’m not talking about beating the Rams at Griffin Park…..

leaving GP

Fans trudge out in the shadow of Denmark’s finest

Nick Bruzon

If Bees Player was a band, then they’d be…

30 Dec

Sergi Canos – phenomenal”. Not my words but those of Bees Player commentator par excellence, Mark Burridge, as the Liverpool wunderkind made it 2-1 to Brentford at Reading on Monday.

We’ve all seen the goal by now, but that doesn’t stop the moment being recorded for posterity. And all the better to have a voice that is becoming as synonymous with the Bees as Peter Gilham to describe the action.

Whilst commentary wise it would be doing well to surpass the level of that Jota goal against Blackburn (but then what could top that?), the moment has been captured by a fan, for the fans. And it is a moment to savour. Moreso given that, on this occasion, it has been uninterrupted by the screams of hysterical pundits as has been a gripe in the past.

Come for the goal; stay for the second angle.

The only slightly sad note is that, in my personal opinion (for what it’s worth), Sergi’s strike has beaten Ryan Woods in terms of preference. Ordinarily a strike of the quality with which Ryan leathered that ball would have been goal of the month, if not the season. Thanks to Sergi it wasn’t even goal of the match.

That said, it was still a truly wonderful effort and one for which the 2,800 Bees fans present at the Madjeski can only be thankful to have witnessed. Truly, we have been spoiled in a manner befitting a dinner party hosted by the Ferrero Rocher ambassador.

And what Mark Burridge does on comms, Mark Fuller does just as well with the camera.

20151228-151811-20086-4x3277-2871932_478x359

Mark Fuller captures Ryan Woods celebration after THAT opener

I think that, sometimes, we take Mark’s pictures for granted – such is the consistent quality of his work. So do check out his gallery from the Reading game on the official Brentford website. This one really does capture the excitement felt by those who were there on Monday.

It was an odd one yesterday. News about the sad passing of both the former Newcastle United goalkeeper Pavel Srnicek and Lemmy from Motörhead bookended the day. Pavel was a hero to many and, by all accounts, one of the nicest men in football. The pointed arm and the lurid shirts were as recognisable as the quality goalkeeping. Truly, one of football’s most iconic figures and a huge shock to everybody to hear this sad news at the age of 47.

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 06.17.47

Twitter was awash with images of, and tributes to, Pavel

As for Lemmy…. Motörhead may never have been fashionable but they’ve always been there for as long as I’ve been listening to music. It’s hard to believe Lemmy was 70 already. Bomber, Overkill, Orgasmatron and of course, Ace of Spades are amongst those you may recognise.

If anything, they’ve been a bit like Brentford over the years. Unfashionable, unswerving, not often hitting the heights of popularity but a constant part in my life. And Lemmy passing makes me think how I’ll feel when Peter Gilham finally swaps his microphone for a seat in the director’s box or Mark Burridge takes the ‘Talksport’ gig.

I’ve always thought that if Beesplayer commentary had a musical style, then it would be Motörhead. Burridge is Lemmy – his instantly recognisable voice driving the comms at 100mph. And if that sees his current wingmen of Mark Chapman play the role of Phil ‘Filthy Animal’ Taylor and Ciaran Brett as Würzel then so be it.

What I’m trying to say, without sounding overly morbid, is enjoy what you’ve got and appreciate it whilst you can. Whilst I hope neither Peter or Mark are planning on giving up their roles any time soon, sometimes we can take for granted what we’ve got on our doorsteps.

Both are voices as familiar at Griffin Park as Lemmy’s was in the field of rock and metal.

Until then, here’s Motörhead….

Will there be magic at Middlesbrough?

20 Sep

Brentford head up to Middlesbrough today looking to bounce back from the 3-0 reverse to Norwich City in midweek. Whilst most people agree it was a much closer game than the scoreline suggests, the fact remains that Norwich won. That said, I still feel massively upbeat about both Brentford’s start to the season and huge swathes of the performance on Tuesday night. Let’s hope we’ve learned from 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 along.

Shirt news and a moment of genius from the programme

9 May

With Brentford fans, for once, able to enjoy the play offs (will it be Uwe’s Wigan Athletic or the Loftus Road mob who stay in the Championship; perhaps Leyton Orient will enjoy some Wembley FA Cup style celebrations) the mind starts to wander to other things.

For me, it’s two fold – next season’s shirt and looking to dig up the past from our previous, brief foray into the Championship.

On the former subject, the club has remained tight lipped, so far, beyond a reference to some form of special crest. Chief Executive Mark Devlin went a step further on twitter during the week when, questioned on the subject by several kit enthusiasts (football’s equivalent of trainspotters?) including myself, he has now advised:

“Goes on sale June 19. And has stripes on the reverse! Watch out for our teaser campaign.”

This is excruciating. I feel like a guest at the ambassador’s party. We can all see the butler in the corner, waiting patiently with that pyramid of Ferrero Rocher precariously piled on top of the silver platter. I’m desperate to bite into a hazelnut smeared in nutella but, until such time as ‘His excellency’ gives the barely imperceptible nod, the Roche (which a colleague recently assured me is the correct plural) remain off limits.

After two years of teabags and red backs, I’m itching to see the new shirt. Whatever this campaign is, I hope it starts soon.

As for the second issue, I’ve long ranted about Ray Biggar – the chronologically challenged referee who as good as sent us down to the third tier back in 1993 with the eight minutes of mysterious extra time that allowed Notts County to steal two points from The Bees. Well, I bought the programme from that game on eBay last week (£1.40 including p&p).

Would there be picture of the man? Perhaps a biography. I was just after some additional information about Ray – some explanation as to what caused him to do us such damage? But there was nothing beyond his name – incorrectly spelt – and place of residence. Noooo. I feel cheated.

Image

The Biggar file – I blame the editor

As though the butler had been summoned but then the first guest decided to take the bottom Rocher, thus causing massive pyramidic instability – the net result of which was a cascade of tumbling chocolates as they all fell to the floor.

However, any disappointment at this was soon tempered by the a flick through the rest of the programme, in particular the 8 page ‘Focus on the Club shop’ in which Bob Booker, Neil Smillie and Chris Hughton do their best to promote everything from rugby shirts and cardigans to waist coats and jumpers.

They don’t do marketing like this anymore – which is a real shame. You can see some extracts below. Given the various ‘hotties of the year’ still at the club, I reckon the programme team and club shop could ‘double up’ for a real winner next campaign.

Mike Sullivan, Mark Devlin, and Mark Chapman – over to you….

PS If any ambassadors are reading (they aren’t) and could explain correct protocol of how to ‘eat into’ the pyramid’ please do let us know.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Will money talk or the owner walk? Either way, this won’t end well.

17 Jan

From Brentford to Bournemouth, Sheffield United to Hull City and more good news coming out of the club – it’s been a busy mid-week period for all things Bees related.

The good news is still no news – on the transfer front, that is. None of the current first team have left Griffin Park whilst, tellingly, there aren’t even any rumours circulating. Although, understandably, the club would never comment on these things until they are fact (or sometime after, in the case of Farid and his paper work) they have been pretty much on the mark so far.

Chuba Akpom, and Alan Judge have both joined although all the talk of Rob Kiernan – as it stands – is yet to reap any material evidence. However, I’ll take that none of the usual ‘non-club’ sources are talking about any of our players leaving as a very positive sign.

That said, a very interesting piece of business is going on a league above us

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.

Now THAT, Alanis, is ironic.

8 Sep

I’ve never been a particular fan of Alanis Morissette.

Her self-pitying back catalogue of LPs is a spectacular example of ‘the law of diminishing returns’. The highlight of which is

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.