Tag Archives: football village

How can the same stuff happen to the same guy twice as Rangers meltdown? Can the same scoreline happen again as Bees travel North?

11 Feb

Well that’s been a busy few days off. Most of us have woken to news that Mark Warburton, David Weir and Frank McParland have, apparently, all ‘resigned’ at Rangers – something our former manager claims to know nothing about. With the Scottish club announcing that Graeme Murty is in charge, things could get interesting in the dugout at 3pm. Back in Brentford,  Josh Clarke and Dean Smith (nothing more than coincidental timing, I am sure) have both signed contract extensions whilst on pitch, not that one exists as yet, Hounslow council have given rugby club London Irish permission to ground share at Lionel Road. Yet all these are mere appetisers ahead of the main course – our trip to Preston North End.

Of course, we can only start at Deepdale. Brentford annihilated Preston 5-0 at Griffin Park earlier in the season and, based on current form, the casual observer would only expect more of the same. We’ve scored six goals  in our last two games – the first of the Hogan free era.

Aston Villa were despatched as simply as a half time balti pie offered to a hungry supporter. There was literally no resistance from the former Premier League team who were left looking somewhat like a pub side. The only disappointment being that 3-0 was scant reflection of a game where there was only one team in it.

As for Brighton on Sunday. 2-0 up and with a penalty opportunity to make it three, that one looked very much like another win fro the Bees. That it ended 3-3 was as much testament to the quality of our opponents (still very much promotion favourites and title contenders) combined with, perhaps, a touch of naivety from Brentford as the lead was retaken with 95 minutes on the clock. No criticism though. It was an honour to be part of the crowd for that one.

kk-post-goal-v-brighton

KK is in there, somewhere, celebrating a late, late ‘winner ‘ against Brighton

Yet, as we’ve mentioned before, part of this resurgence is as much down to Dean Smith’s new formation. Lasse Vibe just one of five players to get on the scoresheet in front of two wide men and two centre backs in Harlee Dean and Andreas Bjelland. More room in the middle. Jota destroying all comers and looking a class above anybody trying to stop him. With a bench that includes Josh Clarke and Sergi Canos aswell as the finally back in favour Konstantin Kerschbaumer and Alan McCormack, Dean seems to have got the balance just right. Can he do it again for a third successive game ?

Surely he’ll go for more of the same today? Although Preston are five points above the Bees, they haven’t won in four games. We know we have the beating of them and that was in a team without Jota. Yet the BBC report that with John Egan fit again, he could return to the starting line up.

All being well, this is nothing more than opportunistic journalism. And this is meant as no disrespect whatsoever to a player who has more than justified his own contract extension. Yet playing with a traditional back four, albeit one where the defence still push up, has been nothing short of revalationary. A breath of fresh air after what could, politely, be described as some turgid, sluggish and inconsistent performances.

Come on Dean, here’s hoping you have the same courage of your convictions away from home as at Griffin Park. The bookies still have Preston as favourites  – only 2 defeats in the last 12 at home likely helping their position – but the new look Bees are a force to be reckoned with. I can’t wait to see how we fare on the road.

img_5398

Jota helped destroy Brighton. And Aston Villa

Rugby is the other news to make us sit up and take notice – Mark Warburton at Rangers aside, where one can only wonder what on earth is going on. In a communications debacle to make our own media team seem like Pulitzer Prize winning journalists, the Glasgow club have released a statement to say he has quit whilst Warbs seems unaware that he has, supposedly, penned his resignation letter.

This is a situation where nobody comes out the winner. Aside from, perhaps, Celtic whose 27 point lead over closest challengers Rangers and Aberdeen seems even safer than ever. With alleged new destination Nottingham Forest already having named their interim management team, could Mark Warburton find himself temporarily out in the cold again?

It was 10 February 2015 when the story about his ‘replacement’ at the end of Brentford’s Championship season was leaked by The Times. The club handled news about that one terribly – the only way worse could have been had we included a hashtag – as Warbs , in public at least, carried himself with dignity whilst retaining the love of players and supporters alike.

Bees 1-0 v Watford Warburton

Warbs , Jota and the team on the day of village-gate 2015

Two years to the very day, it has happened again. Another announcement about his position, this time at Rangers, clouded in confusion and controversy. Who’d be a manger. Or  in a comms role…

As for the rugby, well it seems that London Irish will be the new tenants at Lionel Road, once the stadium is built. Hounslow Council have granted permission for a ground share at the new stadium. Official tell us us that “Progress on the implementation of the Brentford Community Stadium project is continuing apace, ahead of a moving in date of the season 2019/20. The full story is on the club website.

And finally, if you can get through all the adverts , pop ups and surveys on their site, (Get) West London’s Premier Journalist Tom Moore has another video. Do check it out, it’s well worth a look.

Until then, here’s to Preston.

Nick Bruzon

Could current form see one of our hopes go South?

16 Feb

Come on Middlesbrough. Last night’s 0-0 draw with Leeds United raises a worrying concern for Brentford fans. Specifically that we might have to play them again next campaign. Whilst Boro’ remain in the top two, their form has hit somewhat of a rough patch with two defeats , three draws and just two goals coming in their last five league games. For a team that has beaten the Bees 6 times in the last two seasons, there is a large section of the Griffin Park faithful that will be more than happy to see them promoted to the Premier League.

Of course, we must remember that most delicious of clichés. Namely that the league is a marathon not a sprint. Believe me, I’d be much happier having the sort of form that Middlesbrough are currently ‘enjoying’ rather than that of the Bees. The point is made more to illustrate how interesting the top of the table has become.

Just three points separate first placed Hull City and Brighton in fourth. Even Sheffield Wednesday, who of course put 4 past Brentford on Saturday, find themselves just two wins off the top as the race for ‘automatic’ has locked up once more.

It’s a lovely problem to have and one that, 12 months ago, we were caught up in. Village-gate had been and gone as, with the season’s low point of ‘Charlton away’ behind us, Brentford prepared to get back to winning ways. Of course, we didn’t quite make it despite a heroic effort in, arguably, the most exciting campaign in living memory. Fifth place saw us consigned to an eighth play-off campaign where the combination of a prospective visit to the ‘W’ place, along with games against Boro’, meant that usual service ensued.

That was then. This is now. Surely Middlesbrough have too much about them to trouble Brentford for a third, successive, season? Presumably recent acquisition and former Bee Jordan Rhodes will be the man to complete their stellar line up rather than the Faustino Asprilla to their Newcastle United? If nothing else, I just can’t see Aitor Karanka having a Keegan style meltdown

Any excuse to show this one.

Still, if Brentford fans think things are ‘bad’ at the moment (trust me, they aren’t), then do take a look at Leeds United. Despite some stunning signings of their own, including Stuart Dallas and the free scoring Toumani Diagouraga, there remains unrest at Elland Road. And not just from Steve Evans trying to find a tracksuit that fits him.

Controversial owner Massimo Cellino seems intent to take on the TV companies whilst fans, who had been promised a buy out, took to projecting images onto the stadium after the Italian went back on his word. The Yorkshire Post (@Yorkshirepost) were amongst those leading with some incredible images before kick off last night.

Leeds

Now THIS is how to make a point

Let’s not pretend all is perfect at Brentford currently. Despite Matthew Benham’s life saving investment over the years, many are frustrated by the subsequent decimation of the team that achieved so much last campaign. Current form sees us sliding down the table whilst Dean Smith can’t buy a win (or a goal) at the minute.

But like Middlesbrough, I’m sure this is just a short term thing. We’ve come too far to throw it all away and I’m convinced the rebuilding operation we’ve put ourselves on (team, rather than stadium) will continue over the summer. Like it or not, Brentford are on a path of consolidation now. Last year’s team are nothing more than a warm and fuzzy glow who will rank alongside the heroes of yesteryear.

Instead, let’s just hope that Phil and Rasmus know what they are doing when it comes to any summer recruitment. Barring a miracle / disaster, we’re going to have two London derbies to look forward too along with another chance to take on a Leeds United side who haven’t beaten Brentford in our last 6 encounters.

As for Boro’, perhaps its best all round if they just exit the Championship and do what a club of their size should, conceivably, have done last time out. Good luck in the top flight !

Until then, we’ve got a game against Derby County coming up. All being well, a run out against another play off contender will be just what the doctor ordered to fire us back to winning ways.

Princess Royal Middlesbrough

Never again will still be too soon

Nick Bruzon

The morning after the day before

24 Jan

Ok – first up, congratulations to the Bees on another three points. The 3-1 win up at Preston yesterday saw Brentford push back up to the 10th place in the Championship table. As ever, should you want a full / any sort of quality match report then I’d recommend the BBC, Beesotted or the clubsite. The regular reader will be aware that’s not really what we do here.

Instead, I want to focus on yesterday’s column, given the reaction – both on this site and social media. Comments (that I can publish) ranged from ‘dross’, ‘claptrap’ and ‘tripe’ to ‘great piece’ ‘exactly how I’m, feeling’ and ‘excellent spot on article’ .

Both viewpoints are more than welcome. It’s great we’ve got such a loyal fanbase, prepared to back this team through thick and thin. I’m not going to apologise for what I feel, what I am thinking or what I wrote. Neither will I go back and rewrite anything. This site is an ongoing document of the season – as we’ve done for the previous two.

However, what I will do is try to clarify a little more about what I meant – should anybody still be reading !

First up, and let’s be exactly clear, without Matthew Benham we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. Who knows what perilous state the club would be in or what lower league we’d be kicking around? I’ve said this many times on these pages and stand by it. However, this doesn’t mean I’m going to pretend to agree with all the methods being employed by the people at the top end of our club.

Whether we like it or not and whether we’ve had a choice or not, a team that had got us so close to the Premier League has changed beyond recognition. And, at present, in my opinion we aren’t as strong as we were last season. We’ve beaten Preston but have only won 4 games out of the last 12 – a run that includes the FA Cup defeat at home to Walsall. Likewise, we haven’t beaten a team in the top half of the table all season.

I understand that players come and go yet, at the moment, it feels like we are having to reconsolidate something that, on the pitch at least, didn’t need rebuilding. Of course we’ve got FFP rules to comply with but you can’t make such sweeping changes to a successful side (‘rip out the soul of the team’ was the phrase used yesterday) and expect to continue where we’d left off. The newcomers are finding their feet and, midfield especially, I think is a concern from a playing perspective.

I realise that no team has a divine right to be any good. I’ve said this many times – especially about the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Leeds United where supporters have some crazy expectation levels. Equally, I’ve heard it said many times that last season, ‘Brentford punched above their weight’.

I disagree. I’d say that last season we had a tremendous spirit, on and off the field, that helped us forge a stunning team with some great players. We got where we got on merit.

Dallas 2-0

View from the terrace – Last season saw an incredible team

I’ve stood through enough pain, heartache and inadequacy over the years to know how bad things can be and, believe me, I appreciate how good they are at present. At the end of the day (Clive) we are still 10th in the Championship table. That in itself is an incredible achievement in the cold light of day and not one to sniff at.

But also, having stood through that pain, heartache and inadequacy over the years I am desperate to see us do well at some point. Having almost made it last season, I really thought we’d have a chance to replicate Bournemouth and step on immediately.

Instead, the team that got so close is rapidly being replaced. The news about Toumani was the final straw for me. Certainly in terms of seeing that side become nothing more than the memory of what one correspondent called “a golden age”.

Look. The new crop will, I am sure, find their feet and their full potential at some point. This takes time. Equally, going up last season might have brought new headaches with the stadium being the least of them. That’s something we’ll never know – at least, not this year – but I won’t pretend it wasn’t an exciting journey. Infinitely better than 4000 fans watching a Rosenior or Butcher team. Equally better than knowing if Brentford Football Club would even exist.

Which brings me onto the other point. Brentford Football Club. Again, like it or not, it is changing as a place. As an entity. And this is the one that upsets me more than anything on field.

Griffin park GP

Griffin Park – still our home, for now

I’ve loved feeling a part of this club and part of a community where everybody knows each other – including players and staff. I’ve done my time on Bees United – a thoroughly enjoyable experience – and am in my fifth year of writing articles in the matchday programme. We still have a lot of interaction with supporters – on social media especially where Chief executive Mark Devlin and Kitman Bob are amongst our most prolific (and popular) users.

Yet, yet. So much of the other side feels different. The strange appointment of Marinus followed by the way he was then dumped immediately after the ‘positivity’ of the fans’ forum.

The lack of any noise out of the club when even opposition managers are telling us they’ve signed our players. Silence when every news site out there is saying that players are up at other clubs. To the point where one of them, number 26, refused to play against a team that he was keen to move to.

To hear about Toumani from Steve Evans and the player himself is just bonkers. At least Dean Smith has now come out and confirmed he’s having a medical.

We get updates on a fansite from one of our co-director’s of football. A fascinating interview with Phil Giles who came across as a really decent bloke. Great work, too, from Beesotted but why are they the ones having to do this?

Huge swathes of the team who served so well have now gone and, of those left, question marks still remain over how long we’ll be able to hang onto Alan Judge whilst defender 26 made a huge error of judgement.

The parade of FC Midtjylland around Griffin Park for a requested round of applause on their lap of honour. Crazy. How could anybody think that supporters of Brentford, despite Matthew’s obvious interest in FCM himself, would care about another team? That’s not how football works. We don’t do half and half scarves and we don’t follow two clubs.

Few people, if any, support West Ham and Brentford, Chelsea and Brentford, Liverpool and Brentford. Why would we care about FCM and Brentford? If nothing else, think of the Europa League headache that might occurred had we not capitulated in the FA Cup ? Brentford may choose to share a co-director of football (ours) and a chairman (theirs) with FCM but I have no allegiance to the Danes.

All this, off the back of last season’s Warburton-gate, ‘football is a village’ and even the interim #bignewambitions.

Matthew Benham has taken himself off Twitter again whilst even supporters (nice work, @beesbanter) are sharing pictures of Toumani in a Leeds United tracksuit. Even though still a Brentford player. Oh the irony that their own manager can’t find one to fit yet one of our players can.

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 22.38.21

@beesbanter were on the spot

It wouldn’t be Brentford if we did things quietly or normally. And, again, I’m still loving the fact we are in the Championship. A top ten side, no less.

But I won’t pretend our team is (currently) as strong as last campaign and I certainly won’t pretend to agree with how we handle ourselves off pitch.

Football is a game of opinions. We all love it. We all talk about it and we’ll all carry on following it. I’m a Bee for life, as (I hope) is my son. It does seem odd to sound moany when we are well placed but that’s just how I’m feeling at present.

Some may agree. Others may shoot me down. That’s fine, either way. We ARE being ambitious and radical. We won’t always get the simple things right.

I’d love to see us try though.

Nick Bruzon

Phil Giles gets personal

2 Dec

I hadn’t planned on doing a Brentford column today. The Huddersfield Town ‘kit obsessive’ feature for the match day programme needs completion and is tempting me like a siren. Although this particular siren is one bedecked in ‘Matchwinner’. All being well it could be a piece to rival that of the Hull City AFC article – a personal favourite from this season’s campaign to date.

huddersfield-town-goalkeeper-football-shirt-1993-1994-s_2349_1

Did Huddersfield’s 93-94 goalie shirt make the cut?

But then, like many Brentford fans, I received a ‘personal’ email from co-director of football Phil Giles yesterday following the appointment of Dean Smith as our new Head Coach.

In Phil’s own words, this was, “to give you a bit more insight into what has been happening over the last few weeks, on behalf of both Rasmus and myself.” The message, which has also been published on the club website and can be read here, then goes on to explain more about the thought process behind ‘The Marinus Experiment’, the excellent role played by Lee Carsley and the move for Dean Smith from Walsall.

Likewise, Phil elaborates on the coaching side of things, the club (and Matthew Benham’s) philosophy aswell as what he and fellow co-director, Rasmus Ankersen, are up to.

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 05.01.24

Phil (left) and Rasmus. Co-directors of football at Brentford

Fairplay to Phil, despite his previous assertion that, “In Lee’s last post-match press conference, he discussed the possibility that the Nottingham Forest game would be his last in charge,” he does now acknowledge that “After the Nottingham Forest game, Lee said that it would be his final game in charge.

That former statement was a point that particularly rankled yours truly, along with the general radio silence on the comms front. It is one area I’ve been somewhat critical of this season and as much because of the painful way that Mark Warburton and ‘Village-gate’ was handled back in February.

At times it has seemed as though Brentford struggled to learn from that lesson. Even down to painting a picture at the September Fans’ Forum that everything in the garden was rosy, Marinus wise, before sacking him three days later.

So for the club to update supporters so proactively needs to be applauded. We are where we are and you can’t backdate history to fill in the blanks of things that could/should have been said at the time. But this does now buck that trend. It is a statement out of keeping with most football clubs, let alone ours.

There is a distinct difference between saying nothing and going the other way – trying to explain the mindset behind your decisions and rationale. Phil’s message most definitely falls in the latter camp and was a very welcome breath of fresh air on the comms front. Whether anyone at the club has read these pages (you never know) or it just marks a new approach, either way the intent is very clear.

Nobody can doubt the passion of Matthew Benham and his team, the investment made in Brentford Football Club and the drive towards the Premier League. That’s the tough part and we are doing it so well.

Simple things, like communication, should be an absolute given. You may not agree with everything that was said in the message but how good just to see us making this effort.

Nice one, Phil!

Twitter wag PG

There’s always a Twitter wag  – I can’t take credit for this

Nick Bruzon

Judge becomes chief executioner on a day of huge significance

18 Oct

On a day of sporting dominance, one result which will go largely unnoticed outside a small corner of West London could have huge longer-term significance. Brentford beating Rotherham United 2-1 may not be up there for the neutral at a time that saw Bournemouth getting tonked 5-1 at Manchester City or New Zealand wiping the floor with France in the rugby but it mattered to us. A lot. We’ll get to the rest of that shortly (especially Bournemouth, who seemed to suffer some form of self-inflicted manager-of-the-month curse) but can only begin at Griffin Park.

It was a day of huge importance on and off the field. The club rightly celebrated the life of Martin Lange with a rousing minute’s applause before kick-off whilst it was also ‘kick it out’ day.

Both teams and all supporters applauded for Martin Lange

Both teams and all supporters applauded for Martin Lange

‘Kick it out’ is a thoroughly noble campaign and a shame that, in this day and age, such a cause needs highlighting with a specific day. Moreso, that when it comes around, we could still do more, as a club. There were people handing out leaflets and placards in their special yellow t-shirts whilst Buzz and Buzzette wore the campaign colours prior to kick off. I’d love if our team could go one better and actually wear the logo on the shirt for this sort of game, rather than the traditional sponsor.

Brentford have done this before. Most notably when Skyex generously made way to help celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Community Sports Trust on the silver shirt back in 2012. Perhaps it is something we might want to consider for next season, if Matchbook.com are reading?

Or, even, how about being trailblazers and doing this at another game later on this campaign? After all, the ideals of ‘kick it out’ are those that, surely, we should be aspiring to every week?

Where Buzzette leads, could the team follow?

Where Buzzette leads, could the team follow?

On pitch, we’d all absorbed the message that the season was due to ‘restart’ with the Rotherham game. And boy, what a restart.

Alan Judge opened the scoring with little over a minute on the clock. The Irishman looping a sweet volley straight back over the top of the Rotherham defence and ‘keeper Lee Camp from the edge of the penalty box. It really was a wonderful strike as Judge, my man of the match, caught the clearance first time and set up another contender for goal of the season.

In a game that, like it or not, word on the street had marked down as a relegation six pointer (although interestingly, the win sees us just 8 points away from the play offs) it was the perfect start. And then it stopped.

Lee Carsley’s boys put in plenty of effort but a new look midfield containing Sergi Canos, Ryan Woods and John Swift struggled to make further impact. Indeed, Rotherham had the better chances – in each half – and to go in leading on 45 mins was a scenario I’d have bitten your hand off for before kick off. It is only the second time all season we’ve taken the lead in a game!

It was a lead that didn’t last long. If Judge’s goal had been good, within minutes of the restart Joe Mattock hit a beauty past David Button from even further out than the opener. It was a shot that got higher and faster, leaving the Bees ‘keeper no chance as it screamed past him.

One thing Lee Carsley had promised us was fight and determination. Sure enough, we got it. United’s lead lasted barely ten minutes as that man Judge grabbed his second of the game. A bullet header (yes, you read that correctly) past Camp after getting on the end of a Jake Bidwell cross restored the lead. And that’s how things stayed until full time. Scorewise, anyway.

Having score two, Alan Judge tries to set up a third

Having scored two, Alan Judge tries to set up a third.

Being quite honest, the visitors had the better chances and the majority of possession. David Button was forced into a number of smart saves that reinforced, yet gain, the importance of both him and Judge to this team. Where we’d be without them, I dread to think, based on how things began this campaign. But, they ARE here and, more importantly, it was another win for the Bees.

The BBC stats just show how much the visitors did control affairs (shots especially) and, as one New Road observer noted afterwards, “I’d like to see Rasmus try and spin these”.

The BBC stats don't lie. Except they do. We got 2 goals to their 1

The BBC stats don’t lie. Except they do. We got 2 goals to their 1

I have no doubt that had Steve Evans still been in charge of the Millers he’d have complained afterwards how they murdered us, how we’d robbed them etc. etc. etc. Instead, both Neil Redfearn and Lee Carsley were much more realistic in their appraisals of our respective teams. The Brentford man, in particular, admitting how “we started the second half poorly”.

Talking to supporters after the match, the general theme of opinion seemed to be that Alan Judge was the standout player in a game that was otherwise much akin to a League One fixture in places. The flipside being that it was a hard fought contest between two teams that haven’t had the best of starts, for a number of well documented reasons. Ultimately, the only stat that really counts is balls in the back of the net – and that’s where Brentford were strongest.

With a mid-week trip to Wolves up next, those points and a win were vital. And if nothing else, for morale. It’s just great to get back to winning ways but the big question now, of course, is whether we can do it again?

Away from Griffin Park, my highlight was at the Ethiad where Manchester City routed Bournemouth. Whilst I have nothing but respect (and even a sense of ‘if only’) for the Cherries in what they achieved last season, I can’t help but feel they brought this on themselves a touch.

There can’t be many in football who don’t know about the ‘manager of the month curse’. Pick up up this award and instantly doom your manager to losing his next game. So on Thursday, when Bournemouth started trumpeting the success of Eddie Howe and his signing a contract extension to 2020, even creating a hashtag to mark the occasion, there was only one thing that was going to happen.

Sure enough, three down in less than half an hour eventually finished up as a 5-1 humping.

Eddiesigns - no painting over that scoreline

Eddiesigns – no painting over that scoreline

Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather have been where the Cherries were, playing at Manchester City, instead of struggling past Rotherham. Indeed, part of me still thinks we were the ultimate architects in our eventual capitulation last season where, catching everybody cold, we ended up in a position to cause one of the biggest upsets in sporting history. Then blew it with Village-gate and, perhaps, some tactical naivety late on when the team was crying out for a bit of change

That was then, this is now and there’s no point having any regret. We had the chance, lost out, but have had a taste of our potential. Being realistic, with a quarter of the season gone I think it would be a huge ask at this juncture to repeat last season.

Then again, there are still 105 points available…..

Nick Bruzon

Crunch. The sound of the PR machine moving in to gear.

3 Oct

A day before our trip to Derby County, co-director of football Rasmus Ankersen has ‘exclusively revealed’ more to Brentford supporters about why Marinus Dijkhuizen was replaced as head coach on Monday morning and, equally, the comments made by short-term replacement Lee Carsley after the defeat to Birmingham City.

I’m sure you’ve all seen the video by now – it’s at the bottom of this article for anybody that hasn’t. Likewise, it has been pretty much paraphrased by the local press – copy, past, no opinion, free column – so I’ll save you trawling through the full re-write in print.

Rasmus reveals 'all' on YouTube

Rasmus reveals ‘all’ on YouTube

However, for me the salient point was more what wasn’t said. Given we’ve had the best part of a week to put some positive spin around the news, following the vacuous statements released when the news first broke, I was hoping for more.

I’m not (totally) stupid. There was no way the club were going to air all their dirty laundry in public (that’s a metaphor, I know that kitman Bob Oteng does an excellent job) but to leave us hanging like this just causes more questions. Indeed, the stage was all set for a big reveal when Chris Wickham cut directly to the chase and asked the obvious question, “Why did we feel a change of head coach was necessary?

Along with admitting the club had made a mistake, Rasmus told him, “There were some fundamental approaches at the training ground that didn’t work to the level we expected…it hasn’t improved to the level we want to. In the end we felt the right decision was to make a change rather than protect something we didn’t really believe was going to work

Although he reinforced this point again, adding, “I completely understand how it looks. It wasn’t a decision based on eight league games but three months of training“, there was no explanation as to what the actual training ground problems were. Further, there was no attempt from Chris to get these answers.

Was it the spate of injuries? Were the players being forced to go on three hours of running around the pitch? Did Marinus not bother turning up? Was it limited to playing football manager on the PC? (crappy stats based joke).

The club have embarked on a new direction, something that was made clear as early as last February. Understandably, it’s has been a tough enough sell to get all the fans to accept this change in approach as it is. Frankly, the model is not one we are used to. So when the approach is deemed not to have worked, to not really elaborate on why is very much a missed opportunity.

Whereas Billy Reeves, the master of gentle probing, would have pushed on here, Chris / Brentford official (he may well have had a line to follow) seemed content with that and moved on to the subject of Lee Carsley. Specifically, his comments on Tuesday where he said he hadn’t put his hand up for the job and didn’t want it permanently

Here, at least, Rasmus told us what we expected to hear, and what should probably have been made clearer on Monday/ explained differently on Tuesday, “We always knew that Lee was not going to be a permanent option. He made that very clear to us when we started talking and we respect that but we feel we have a job to do in the short term and he’s the best man to do that….. In hindsight we could probably have dealt with it a bit better and we always knew Lee wouldn’t be our permanent solution”.

Lee spoke to Beesplayer after the game on Tuesday

Lee spoke to Beesplayer after the game on Tuesday

As I noted last time out, this isn’t a pop at Lee. I stand by that. Things can be taken out of context or said in the heat of the moment. Moreso, by somebody stepping in at the 11th hour. But, equally, we have an experienced backroom staff who, yet again, move with all the speed of Jonathan Douglas (certainly at the end of his time here) tracking back into midfield after a run up pitch.

I really thought we might have learned something from the football village. Likewise, and I need to be clear, I know we aren’t going to reveal everything. Much as I’d love if the club would, I’m just not that naïve. But surely there has to be a happy medium?

Even though Rasmus did go on to apologise to the fans and admit we should have handled things differently. I just don’t know why we failed to do so. It’s not hard. Surely?

The ironic thing is that we’ve been so good at straight talking in the past. The fans’ forums in particular being a place where questions have been answered to a surprisingly in depth, and honest, level. As such, to remove Marinus just three days after he and Rasmus had spoken openly to the fans smacks as a very much lost opportunity for us all to be able to put this to bed.

Instead, supporters will likely draw their own conclusions and mutter about conspiracies in the timing or being kept in the dark. And that’s the last thing we need right now. Derby County are going to be tough enough opponents as it is, without the fans on side.

It’s equally frustrating because pretty much everybody passing through the turnstiles has nothing but admiration and respect for Matthew Benham and what he has done for this club. The amount of money he has pumped in to, firstly, save us but then put the club on the path to hitherto unseen excitement has been nothing short of incredible.

We all know the stories of potential mergers, Dave W£bb, Ron Noades, bucket collections, Bees United and BIAS. Matthew has come in and done the hard part (investment) to a level that still makes me pinch myself.

It’s just a shame that those working around him can’t always do the easy part (talking to the fans), to the same degree. After all, with no fans there is no club. It’s just a team in an empty stadium.

That said, when it comes to 3pm I know full well that those lucky enough to make it up to Pride Park will do nothing but roar the Bees on. I’ll be shouting at Beesplayer for this one.

Hopefully for all the right reasons.

Here's hoping for a repeat of these scenes from last weekend

Here’s hoping for a repeat of these scenes from last weekend

Nick Bruzon

Here’s the full video, for those who haven’t seen it 

Is this really the end of the line for Dougie ?

22 Jul

Is the Brentford beard club going to lose its most famous member? In a move akin to Stevie G departing Liverpool, TW8 reacted to reports that Jonathan Douglas seems to have been declared surplus to requirements for the coming season and can leave the club. This, despite having a year left on his contract. And over in Gibraltar, local Champions Lincoln Red Imps hosted Matthew Benham’s other team, FC Midtjylland, for the second leg of their Champions League second qualifying round.

But first, Dougie. A seemingly nailed on selection under Mark Warburton, his time at Brentford looks as though it has come to an end.

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 ! 

Return of the Mac will see first look at our future

19 Jul

Finally, it feels as though things are getting closer. There has been plenty of build up from Brentford supporters, the club and the press alike but pre-season prep cranks up a notch today after what seems an interminable wait since Middlesbrough got one over us in the play off semis. With the Mark Warburton saga finally being closed out following his move to Rangers, and those incessant transfer rumours going silent, for now (Andre Gray to QPR, Hull City, just about anywhere being the chief concern) perhaps we can concentrate on the business at hand. A match. At Boreham Wood.

Sunday afternoon sees a 3pm fixture against the National League (former Conference) outfit who have recently been strengthened by none other than Charlie MacDonald. But it is less the opposition that is of interest than fans’ first chance to see Marinus and his team in action, first hand.

Hopefully not a sign of things to come

Just two of several posts promoting pyrotechnics

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 ! 

Matthew Benham wins at Twitter, again, as Bjelland joins Bees.

2 Jul

Well played to the local press as a second, rumoured, transfer was confirmed in less than a week. This time, Danish international centre back Andreas Bjelland was the man to join Brentford, from FC Twente, following hot on the heels of Konstantin Kerschbaumer.

As ever, all the pertinent information is available on the BBC, the club site, Beesotted and just about any other news source going. I’ll leave you to pick through those at your leisure, suffice to say that signing a player of this calibre (21 full international caps including three of their Euro 2016 qualifiers) is a massive statement of intent from Matthew Benham.

As ever though, this column is less about the ‘proper’ stuff and more about the associated bits on the side that may not get so much of a public airing. And whilst Matthew may be looking to make a statement on the pitch, off it he continues to lead the way.

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 ! 

Thumbs up for the new team

Thumbs up for the new team

 

KK ‘signs’ but is Bjelland next as the Red Imps draw?

30 Jun

What a Tuesday. Whilst the Brentford clubsite remained silent on the subject of transfers, with the exception of Alfie Mawson joining Barnsley, elsewhere it seemed that there was plenty to pick up on. No more so than in regards to Konstantin Kerschbaumer and Andreas Bjelland, where in the case of the former even his own Admira Wacker team took to Facebook to wish him well on his move. And there was Champions’ League intrigue where Lincoln Red Imps of Gibraltar faced FC Santa Coloma of Andorra in the first leg of a tie that would see the winners pitted against Matthew Benham’s own FC Midtjylland.

But we start in Austria and that Facebook announcement, confirming what we already knew after Matthew Benham’s video clue followed a leaked photograph on Friday.

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 !