Tag Archives: Gladiators

As Bees prepare for Wolves, who won Twitter last night?

14 Mar

Here we go again. Brentford continue one of our more unlikely rivalries of recent seasons as we prepare to entertain Wolverhampton Wanderers. Nobody needs any reminder of the epic League One campaign that saw us go neck and neck with Wolves and celebrate like we’d won the FA Cup as promotion to the Championship was confirmed three seasons ago (although if you would like to read more….. here’s the place) . And which former Manchester United player won Twitter last night ahead of the FA Cup clash with Chelsea?

Wolves Bees

Who will win the battle of Wolves v Bees ?

However, we can only start with tonight’s game at Griffin Park. It is an encounter which sees Brentford looking for the win that will take us back into the top half of the table whilst,for the visitors, things are somewhat more fraught. Only one point separates Wolves from the relegation spots currently filled by Rotherham (R), Wigan and Bristol City. Albeit they have slightly less bad goal difference and two games in hand.

But points in the bag are better than games in hand as one terrace wag is so fond of saying and failure to capitalise tonight will put Wolves right in the mire. Could Keith Stroud direct them back towards League One? Was Saturday’s 1-0 defeat of divisional whipping boys Rotherham (a win which ended a run of one draw and five straight defeats from the previous six games)  the sign of better things to come?

If Wolves picked up on Saturday, the opposite could be said for Brentford. Purely in terms of goal scoring where we failed to find the net in the league since the 0-0 draw with Norwich City on December 31 last year. Then again, we were facing a Huddersfield Town team with their sights on ‘automatic’ . This, after our own recent impressive form that had seen wins at Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest as well as the obligatory three points from Rotherham.

IMG_6343

View from the Braemar – three points and a lurid kit for Huddersfield on Saturday

But with exhaustion kicking in and Dean Smith promising changes, who starts tonight? Could Tom Field, Konstantin Kerschbaumer and Sergi Canos all make it off the bench? Rico Henry has been impressive since his return from that long injury but I thought he started to flag on Saturday whilst Nico’s injury niggles have been well documented. As for Sergi, having been rested for the Huddersfield game then a straight switch between him and Florian Jozefzoon is a substitution by numbers.

Here’s hoping for a big crowd tonight. Griffin Park under the floodlights is always a special place and it would be wonderful to see the Bees get back to winning ways. With 30 points still to play for the season is anything but dead as we look to follow up on our previous Championship finishes of 5th and 9th.

Not bad for a ‘tin pot’ team who many tipped for immediate relation from this higher division  but with the gap to 9th place currently 7(seven) points, a win tonight will be a huge step towards achieving that goal.

In other news, last night saw Chelsea reach the semi finals of the FA Cup after their 1-0 win over Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. Whilst his team may have lost, former Red Devil Mikael Silvestre won Twitter with this riposte to perennial name dropper, Ian Moose from Talk Sport.

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 05.38.49

Silvestre 1 Moose 0

There’s not much more to say, really. See you tonight.

Nick Bruzon

In? Out? Shake it all about.

1 Feb

Strap yourselves in for a bumpy ride , Brentford fans. Deadline day is here. Could James Tarkowski be off to Burnley? Is the sale of Alan Judge (Sunderland – presumably that one a joke) back on once more ? Are former Bees Adam Forshaw and Alex Pritchard heading for pastures new? Will Griffin Park see any newcomers?

It’s football’s craziest day as journalists everywhere dust down the phrases “snap up”, “Double transfer swoop”, “slams shut” and recycle archive footage of Harry Redknapp leaning out of a car window. With the ever excitable Jim White guiding us home alongside, amongst others, Bees’ fanatic Natalie Sawyer it promises to be as frenetic and torturous a day as ever.

For Brentford fans, at least, we can take solace in the words of co-director of football Rasmus Ankersen. After the last one closed in September 2015, the club quoted his own intentions for forthcoming transfer windows following the fans’ forum.

So far this time around we’ve seen the signing of Nathan Fox from Cray Wanderers and Emmanuel Onariase from West Ham United. Joining the long list of those who left in the summer have been Jota and then Toumani Diagouraga who, of course, joined Stuart Dallas at Leeds United last week.

As such, it’s going to be very interesting how we end today. Will anybody leave? Will anybody join? Will the squad be stronger? Or is the improving performance of several players, alongside those who remain, considered as the strengthening?

It’s the worst day in the football calendar, that’s for sure. With Dean Smith supposedly after two players, time is fast running out. Then again, Matthew Benham’s ongoing absence from Twitter means that any advance clues are now a thing of the past.

Rasmus, Phil and Dean could be hot footing it up the motorway or waiting at Terminal 2 to secure a deal as we speak. Nobody amongst us mere mortals, for all that we speculate and read, actually has a clue.

All I know is that with Jim White going into overdrive, as excitable as Wolf out of the Gladiators ranting down the camera,  none of us Bees will be able to relax until it’s over.

See you in 24 hours time……

Deadline day

Jim White – not just Natalie alongside him these days

Nick Bruzon

 

Brentford into the Woods as Jim White goes ‘Wolf’ on deadline day

2 Sep

The transfer window has ‘slammed shut’ and with it Brentford fans can breathe a sigh of relief. After a summer that has seen several big name departures and as many other rumours, we now know the make up of the squad. There was no David Button to Aston Villa (one of those heavily touted at various points in pre-season) or James Tarkowski to Fulham. Instead, we have only strengthened further, with the addition of Ryan Woods from Shrewsbury Town.

Joining Brentford for an undisclosed fee (although one believed to be in the £1million ball park) Ryan is described as a versatile player who has played right back, right midfield and even left back. He helped Shrewsbury gain promotion to League One last season and, on the way, was named in the PFA divisional team of the year. Such is his stature, even West Ham put in a couple of bids during the previous window although the Bees have been the ultimate beneficiaries.

Ryan – welcome to Griffin Park. Just take care on the training ground. After that previous business with twigs, more woods are the last thing we need !

Ryan Woods adopts that all too familiar pose

Ryan Woods adopts that all too familiar pose

We all know the deadline day routine by now. Jim White getting over excited in the Sky Sports studio, roving reporters doing their thing at stadia and training grounds all over the land, Natalie Sawyer helping see us over the line and Brentford fans sitting on the edge of their seats long into the night in the hope that nobody leaves.

Jim didn’t let us down and even seemed be channeling the spirit of Wolf out of the Gladiators as the window eventually came to a close. However, that was about it for familiarity.

Natalie was again missing for the final bow whilst the absence of WKD fuelled youths, banned after the dildogate affair 12 months previous, gave an almost ethereal quality to the reports flying in from empty stadiums. Thankfully, we were saved five hours of nail chewing with the decision made to stop proceedings at 6pm rather than nearer 11pm as is usual. And even better, nobody left Griffin Park.

Jim White had a new co-host as the window 'slammed shut'

Jim White had a new co-host as the window ‘slammed shut’

Given some of the other rumours that had been circulating pre-season, it would have come as no surprise had anybody else joined the likes of Andre Gray, Stuart Dallas or Moses Odubajo in leaving. For me, the fact that we have retained David Button is only excellent news. He has already had a standout start to the season following on from an excellent campaign last time out.

Likewise, with Andreas Bjelland already ruled out, hanging on to the likes of James Tarkowski and Harlee Dean was essential. We’ve done this and with the addition of Ryan, along with Marco Djuricin and Sergi Canos, there are suddenly a host of additional options going forward. Now it’s over to Marinus to see how he can use these to best effect.

The jury remains out for now on whether selling Moses, Stuart and Andre for around £12m will remain shrewd business or a fatal mistake. The fact of the matter is that they have gone and, much as I was desperate to hang on to Andre especially, there’s nothing we can do about it.

Indeed, the ‘in’ door has been a lot busier at Griffin Park over the summer with 12 players joining Brentford compared to the 6 (see also: Tony Craig, Jonathan Douglas and Will Grigg) who have been released or sold.

Have the club ‘over tinkered’ with a settled team? Has the ‘so called’ statistical model played much of a role (good or bad)? Will the new look squad gel to become even better than ever before? Most importantly, will supporters now give Marinus and the new system a bit of breathing space?

At 4 points from 4 games, we are only one ‘worse’ off than last season, when Warbs had us on 5 at this juncture. My main hope is that Marinus has us try to play football. Win or lose, Warbs certainly knew the way to goal.

I’ve got no major worries about the recruitment policy if it gets results. But I’d love to see the Bees start to find the back of the net. And you can only do that by going forward.

Still. The tools are now in place. We await what happens next with extreme interest.

Nick Bruzon

Slade in Flame as Bees burnt (and a shock at Bournemouth)

15 Mar

Well that was all a bit ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’. With Ipswich Town going down 4-1 in the lunchtime game at Middlesbrough, Cardiff City were all that stood between Brentford and a four point gap from the pack chasing the play off spots. But rather than take advantage of the opportunity, the Bees put in a sub par performance against a workmanlike opposition that we gifted two woeful goals.

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.

(the long arm of) Clem's law is broken - a rare win for the BBC man

(the long arm of) Clem’s law is broken – a rare win for the BBC man

Can we take advantage of today’s table top clashes?

14 Mar

Cardiff City today visit a Brentford team hoping to see if any breathing space can be found at the top of the Championship table. With the top four all on 66 points (and the next three breathing down their necks) something, finally, has to give as Norwich entertain Derby County and Ipswich Town travel to Middlesbrough. Championship leaders Bournemouth have the easiest task, on paper, as they welcome league whipping boys Blackpool.

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.

Forget the horses and Cameron Diaz. There’s mascot news

11 Mar

I spent a lot of  yesterday on social media, principally looking for early news about Brentford v Cardiff City on Saturday. To be quite honest, if you aren’t into horses (I’m not) it was like a wasteland out there.

There was nothing but tips and Cheltenham. Lucky punters showing off about their winnings and unlucky ones moaning about how much a loser had ‘cost’ them (and I know I’m a pedant but you’ve lost nothing except your stake – money you never had can’t be lost).

As for Ruby…. It (or as it later turned out, he) was everywhere. At times it felt as though, impossibly, the Kaiser Chiefs were trending. You couldn’t move for: Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby.

Not only was it a horse fest, I then had to think about the Kaiser Chiefs

Not only was it a horse fest, I then had to think about the Kaiser Chiefs

Good luck to horse fans. It’s not my thing and, at a time when I really needed social media to keep me sane, the only nag related piece of entertainment came from John Inverdale. The normally open shirted, chest-wigged commentator had a bit “of a ‘mare” live on the radio. Or what he called ‘ a slip of the tongue’.

And then it happened. I’ve still not got over the news about Cameron Diaz and the revelations about her support (or lack of) for Brentford. However, it would seem we have a new name in the frame to make up the ‘fab four’ of famous fans alongside Dean Gaffney, Rhino from The Quo and Natalie Sawyer.

Could Diaz be replaced on the celebrity Bees montage?

Could Diaz be replaced on the celebrity Bees montage?

Comedian Michael Legge (@michaelLegge on twitter) isn’t, it would be fair to say, a football fan. However, he has undertaken the mission to ‘get into it” as part of a Comic Relief fund raising effort.

Not only has he now chosen the Bees as his team to follow but, on Saturday against Cardiff City, he’s going to be a mascot. Not donning the Buzzette costume but walking out alongside the players and, one would imagine, captain Jonathan Douglas.

Presumably appearing in full kit (there’s no finer sight than a ‘grown up’ non-player sporting complete football apparel on match day), this will be his first ‘league’ game.

We have a new fan

We have a new fan

You can read about Michael falling in love with the game of football whilst I’d also recommend a listen to his work on the Dave Gorman podcast (episode 127 – Knights in Shining Armour from 17/07/12 , feat. Hunter from Gladiators, being a particular favourite) .

Whatever your thoughts about adult mascots, this is all for a great cause and there is a just giving page available. I’m sure we’ll hear more about Michael’s visit in the build up to the Cardiff City game.

And there was me thinking the only comic relief on Saturday was going to be Russell Slade.

Russell Slade - has gone down in Brentford legend

Russell Slade – has gone down in Brentford legend

Bees and Bolton set for gladiatorial combat – and that’s just HT

25 Oct

Brentford travel to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday for a game in which a win would see us move back to the fringes of the promotion race. With Bolton currently second from bottom and enduring a goal difference of -13, the lowest in the Championship, perhaps some Bees fans could be forgiven for expecting three gift-wrapped points.

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.

Strip tease continues as FA tell Barlow to ‘Take That’

1 Jun

What a Sunday – football just gets better and better. With Brentford releasing another ‘teaser’ image of their shirt over the weekend ahead of Monday’s launch, I feel more confident than ever we are in for a good one. And then, to round off the great news, word is spreading on the internet that Gary Barlow’s ‘Greatest Day’ has been dropped by the FA as the official England song at the forthcoming World Cup.

I’d said my piece on this when the news of the England song’s selection was first announced. You can read it in full, here, although the salient points were:

“Rather than the much touted prospect of Kasabian, fans are to be treated to a cover version of a Take That effort – Greatest Day. Despite the sheer laziness of having Gary Barlow (a man who comes over as so bland he’d probably have England play in beige) re-record his own song, worryingly he is accompanied by a seemingly random selection of other singers.

These include, in no particular order: Emma Bunton, Kimberley out of ‘Girls Aloud’, and ‘Sporty’ Spice Mel C – hey, she likes football and sings so why not? Then we get in to the realms of ‘who’ with the likes of Katy B ( I’m not sure if this is the comedian of ‘Big Ass’ fame) and someone/thing called an Eliza Doolittle (presumably a singer/band the kidz would recognise, rather than the character from ‘My Fair Lady’).

In footballing tradition, the England football team also join in. Except, they don’t. Instead, the sporting contingent (Mel C aside) is made up of ex-Internationals, with everybody from Peter Shilton, Gary Lineker and former Brentford player Kenny Sansom participating. I’m not sure why the current squad won’t be appearing on this , probably contractual, but I quite like the thought of Steven Gerrard trying to recreate the John Barnes rap.”

Whoever is picked in Barlow and crew’s place (does anyone have New Order’s phone number) HAS to be better than this, surely?

Just as long as they steer clear of either Robbie Williams – his ‘Let me entertain you’ being the most overplayed, and least appropriate, song in sporting history – or the (alleged) England Supporter’s band, then we should be just fine.

Painful though Barlow’s all-star cast were, the thought of Bernie Clifton and co parping through an off key version of the theme from’ The Great Escape’ might just have me reaching for the ‘off’ button.

There's no room at the (Bernie) Inn for the England Supporter's band

There’s no room at the (Bernie) Inn for the England Supporter’s band

England forsake the New Order for Dad’s Army (but good Bees news)

6 Mar

It was International night on Wednesday and, from a Brentford perspective, the great news was Marcello Trotta netting the second goal for Italy in their 2-0 win over Northern Ireland in the U-21 EURO 2015 qualifiers. Back home (and you’ll see what I did there in a minute) England beat Denmark 1-0 at the W place in North London. However, the big new was off the pitch with the announcement of out ‘official’ World Cup song .

I’m sorry, but I’m about as optimistic for the chances of the song’s Brazil 2014 success as I am about England progressing in the tournament. For the simple reason that the FA have, not for the first time, ‘played it safe’.

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.

Could we face an ‘away kit’ horror? Plus stadium news

27 Feb

So Louis Tomlinson out of One Direction made his debut for Doncaster reserves last night. Who cares? Let’s crack on with Brentford and other proper football.

I’ve written a few times this week about EURO 2016 qualifying – specifically the challenge that awaits in Group D where Gibraltar take on the likes of Scotland and Germany. I’ll say my last word on the subject (for now), as there was news yesterday with a big Brentford connection.

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.