Tag Archives: Harry Redknapp

Top ten Bees and win for Forest doom Blackburn.

7 May

A third season in the Championship. A third top ten finish for Brentford. Despite a 3-1 defeat to Blackburn Rovers, the ubiquitous ‘other results’ conspired to send the visitors down to League One and ensure the Bees continued their proud ascendency. Whilst  Birmingham City boss Harry Redknapp suffered a very squeaky bum and Mark Warburton at Nottingham Forest endured a short term scare, both managers recording wins meant that the three points and two goal victory margin were ultimately insufficient for Blackburn.

We’ll keep this brief, for now. Besides, what else can you say? Not much. It seems trite to revel in another team’s moment of misery. Rovers fully deserved their win and came so, so close to securing Championship survival. Brentford were very much observers in a first half that saw an early two goal lead given away and an improbable tale of survival almost unfold at Griffin Park.

Alas, it was not to be. As Nottingham Forest started to find the net in their own fixture up at the City Ground, so did Brentford. Lasse Vibe all but scuppering Blackburn’s slender survival hopes when he got on the end of a low cross from Harlee Dean, of all people. The captain finding himself in uncharacteristic territory out on the right but still able to deliver a killer ball into the box.

That was as good as it got. Rather than press home the psychological advantage, Brentford were unable to penetrate. Indeed, Harlee was the man still involved in the action, although not for any reasons he’ll care to remember.

I’m sure by now we’ve all seen the picture of him and Craig Conway engaged in what official would describe with the somewhat diplomatic phrase: ‘ the two debated the decision at close proximity’.

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Tom Moore shared ‘the’ moment on Twitter

This was sufficient to earn a yellow card and was followed up shortly afterwards with a second for a foul in the box. Red card and penalty were the obligatory next steps. 3-1 and effectively game over. Indeed, that’s where the scoring stopped and the game ended as Blackburn then had to endure ‘trial by TV’, waiting to see if Bristol City could equalise against Birmingham at the death. They couldn’t.

What else can we take from today? Well, it was a fond farewell for Alan McCormack whose decision to move on at the end of the season is one which has been made very public these last few weeks. The programme contained fitting tribute whilst the player himself made a gladiatorial entry to this footballing arena. His name ringing around three sides of a packed Griffin Park.

Sam Saunders was inducted into the Brentford Hall of Fame at half-time whilst even ex-Bee Sam Wood was in attendance. He, along with Maxime Colin, amongst those enjoying the sunshine on the forecourt at half time.

We’ll round up the season properly over the next few days. For now, there’s the Player of the year evening to prepare for and a few more celebrations so we’ll cut this one dead here.

Although, in true Columbo style, there is just one more thing.

Seeing Harlee’s flesh pressed up so close to another player did make me recall that this isn’t the first time we’ve been here. Whilst perhaps not in such close proximity, who could forget that cheeky gatecrashing of Chris Wickham’s interview with then captain Kevin O’Connor ?

Kev coach

Back in the day….

Nick Bruzon

Could Aston Villa kerplunk Brentford AND West Ham? Deadline day & match day are here.

31 Jan

What is your focus today ? Brentford v Aston Villa in the battle for three points or Brentford v West Ham in the battle for Scott Hogan’s transfer fee. Yes, it’s match day AND transfer deadline day in a bizarre crossing of the streams that can only end badly for everybody. Moreso, with yesterday’s rumour of the day being an apparent bid for Hogan from none other than Villa themselves.

crossing-the-streams

Don’t cross the streams…

That’s not happening, fact. And when I say fact, I mean more opinion. I’ve no inside knowledge but let’s look at the situation a little bit. The Villans are locked firmly in middle table, a mere three points above our own Bees. Despite a brief resurgence when Steve Bruce took over the reins early in the season, they’ve hardly set the world alight. 12 draws (usually 1-1) from their 27 games sees them hard to beat but hardly the sort of team that will have anybody rushing out to watch them. The football I’ve seen has been of a turgid, industrial nature as the draw specialists (they’ve had the most ‘single point’ games in the division), grind their way through the Championship.

Given Scott’s avowed intent to be playing Premier League football, any move to Aston Villa would be a bizarre one. A return to that top flight is a long way off and certainly won’t happen this campaign. The very soonest they’ll be scrapping to avoid relegation to the Championship would be August 2018. Is he really going to wait that long when, along with West Ham, Crystal Palace and Watford are amongst those reportedly touting for his signature.

I believe those two as much as I believe the Aston Villa rumour but, if there’s even a chance of playing in the top flight why would he tie himself to the Championship? Villa have a wonderful history and a magnificent stadium – nobody can deny that. But they aren’t a Premier League team. Not any more.

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Aston Villa hardly threatening the top flight at present

This smells of Tarkowski all over again. The day we were due to play Burnley, with the club looking to sign him up, he refused to play. I’m not suggesting for one second that Scott will attempt to pull the same stunt (assuming West Ham haven’t stumped up the requisite cash by that point) but is this enough just to put our danger man off his game? Is this enough just to keep him out of the squad as ‘negotiations’ take place? Is this enough to make an agent pick up the phone and comment how the hamstring looked a little stretched at Stamford Bridge on Saturday?

In my opinion, and that’s all it is, discount all the other nonsense. It’ll be West Ham or nowhere . I still hope it is nowhere, just so as we can demonstrate we are no longer the sort of club to be bullied in transfer negotiations. Scott will go at some point but let it be on our terms and moreso as, unless the master of surprise Matthew Benham has more than few hidden cards up his sleeve, there can’t surely be any time to bring in new blood.

Instead, this is just another game where preparation is disrupted by outside influence. I still can’t get my head around the craziness of the transfer window. Let alone holding a programme of Premier League and Championship fixtures as it ‘slams’ shut(TM).

Whilst most people will be looking to see Harry Redknapp eating out of a car window – surely something that he still has an obligation to perform, despite not managing a club since he bailed on doomed QPR two years ago because of a knee problem – in TW8 we’ll be left wondering who will even start tonight and who will be in the squad this time tomorrow.

Focus should be on the game. It should be on picking ourselves up and putting in a performance to prove the naysayers wrong after Chelsea.And it wasn’t just me on that front. For a very considered read then Billy Grant’s latest Beesotted column on the subject is well worth a look.

Dean has a lot to prove tonight and he has a lot to do to restore some confidence and cheer to the Brentford fans. He can do it, no question. He has the players to do it. But it would be a lot easier if we didn’t have any transfer related distractions hanging around.

See you at Griffin Park where, given my prediction skills, Scott will likely be on the opposition bench.

Harry REdknapp car

Will this be all that happens today?

 

Nick Bruzon

Football’s farcical 24 hours as one innovates and one goes a bit ‘Ratners’

31 Aug

This could be the most crazy 24 hours in modern football. We’ve already had the farce of last night’s Checkatrade trophy opening round where the lure of West Ham and Leicester City U-23 teams (please note, your definition of under 23 may vary) was not enough to persuade supporters to drop the proposed #BteamBoycott in this most maligned of tournaments. And then today sees ‘Transfer Deadline day’ as Brentford supporters join the rest of the footballing community in wondering if any new names will be coming through the ‘in door’ or if anyone is heading out?

Jim White, Natalie Sawyer and the rest of the gang lead the madness on Sky Sports before the window eventually ‘slams shut’ (TM) . You all know the drill by now. Yellow ties, yellow dresses and lots of cutting to empty stadia where nothing is happening. Plus, presumably, archive footage of Harry Redknapp leaning out of a car (subject to his sore knee).

To read the rest of this article, season 2016/17 is now available for download on e-book in the retrospective: Welcome Home, King Jota (Brentford FC season review 2016/17)

Priced at just £1.99, all sales are being donated to the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust.

Likewise any sales from the previous titles – Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup (2013/14), Tales from the football village (2014/15) and Ready. Steady. Go Again. (2015/16) – are also now going to the BFCCST.

Containing the least bad of the blogs from May 16 to May 17, you can pick it up, here. Its all for a great cause and,hey, you may even enjoy it…..

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Jim and Natalie do their thing on deadline days gone by

 

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Brentford’s most recent signing activity

 

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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

 

Transfer window set to slam shut for Brentford but is this it?

31 Aug

Tuesday is the day. The transfer window slams shut ( © Sky Sports) and, with it, the last chance to see who will leave or join the Brentford squad on a full time basis. Of course, the Bees have already stepped up their loan activity with the news that Sergi Canos has signed until January from Liverpool. But does this mean that all business has now been concluded? Or will Jim White and Natalie Sawyer be working themselves into a Griffin Park related frenzy on national “Harry Redknapp leaning out of a car window” day?

Canos is the latest to wield the Brentford FC signing shirt

Canos is the latest to wield the Brentford FC signing shirt

Brentford have certainly been profligate in recent weeks with several big name players leaving TW8 for Championship rivals. Andre Gray to Burnley, Moses Odubajo to Hull City and Stuart Dallas to Leeds United have been the names to really stand out. Not to mention the release of Jonathan Douglas to Ipswich Town. Factor in the freak injuries to Jota and Josh McEachran (the latter before a ball had even been kicked in anger) and it’s no wonder our attacking options have, according to many, been stifled .

But could this change? Monday’s new saw a signing that followed hot on the heels of striker Marco Djuricin to give, on paper, an added dimension of flair to the Brentford squad. In the Red Bull Salzburg loanee we have, at the least, a plethora of puns. Moreso alongside A. Judge (that’s Alan, of course). He is an Austrian international who already has two full caps to his name,

As for Canos, it really is a huge case of potential. I’d offer a word of caution in putting too much pressure on this young man’s shoulders. In recent years we’ve learned that for every loan gem from that part of the world (see Adam Forshaw, Chris Long and Jake Bidwell) there’s a potential Joao Carlos Teixera. For every unheard of youth prodigy (see Marcello Trotta) there’s a Betinho lurking in the wings.

Betin-who ?

Betin-who ?

Whilst we’ve done very well in the past in our recruitment, the previous management haven’t been infallible. Those lamenting the departure of Warbs should bear in mind he took several bites at the cherry to get things right. The second coming of Liam  Moore is another that springs to mind. And then out of it.

It takes time to build a team. There’s no denying we’ve taken an unconventional approach in allowing several well established players to leave (albeit for an incredible amount of money) before looking to rebuild from scratch. Likewise, that we’ve then had our cause hindered by injury – and one can only worry about the amount of twigs that may reach the training ground now that Autumn is almost upon us.

However, my guess is that any long term activity has come to a close and we’ll not be troubling Sky Sports News. This is the squad Marinus has to play with and, with quality players also on the mend, we could soon be in a much stronger place.

Certainly, that usual barometer of impending transfer news – Matthew Benham’s twitter account – hasn’t troubled the scorers since August 19th. And that was the wonderful coming together of fiction and fact that saw Alan Partridge’s ‘Youth Hosteling with Chris Eubank’ become a reality.

So unless we’re planning on signing the former World Middleweight Champion, this is probably it for any ‘inward’ activity on Tuesday. Welcome Marco and Sergi. Griffin Park is certainly a place of change at present but, equally, we’re a club who are on the up.

Farewell to the king as season wraps up

26 May

What a Bank Holiday Monday. Mr Brentford, Kevin O’Connor, has officially ‘hung up his boots’ whilst over at Wembley, Norwich City made an immediate return to the Premiership after ousting Middlesbrough 2-0. And then there was more managerial intrigue at Griffin Park where the name of Marinus Dijkhuizen was the one on everybody’s lips after Jurgen Klopp’s admission he could order a beer in Spanish seemed to rule him out.

Jurgen Klopp. Sorry, but before we get any further that does just bear repeating. Even to be mentioned in the same breath is utterly bonkers yet, at the same time, symptomatic of how fast Brentford are accelerating. Talking to a source close to the club this morning, there is no official news out there yet although a tongue in cheek thought that, now Carlo Ancelotti has been sacked by Real Madrid, could his sudden availability cause any shortlist to be redrawn?

Middlesbrough. Whatever you feel about the way they kicked us off the park and ran down the clock, I do need to spare a thought for their fans after yesterday’s Championship play off final. Nobody wants to go through that and, perhaps, Brentford most of all can share that pain after eight unsuccessful attempts to get promoted in this fashion.

Warbs was on the Sky Sports pundits panel (as Harry's knee seems to have recovered)

Warbs was on the Sky Sports pundits panel (as Harry’s knee seems to have recovered)

Worse, it means a return to arms for ‘that drum’ next season. I’ve long been an advocate of the thought that musical instruments should not be allowed within 100 yards of a football stadium (see also: Yeovil, Portsmouth – bell, Bernie Clifton’s alleged England supporters alleged band). The supporter equivalent of ‘goal music’, any team needing these to kickstart the atmosphere need to take a look at themselves.

On the plus side, it gives us a chance to test ourselves against a team who, being fair, probably gave us the hardest time of any other opponents all season. 4-0 and 1-0 defeats in the league were followed by 2-1 and 3-0 reverses in the play off semis. Just as I enjoyed showing Wolves how far we’d come since last season (the 4-0 home win being the last thing they probably expected) I’m already keen to see how we fare against Boro’ next time around. Whoever out of Klopp, Dijkhuizen, Ancelotti, Warburton (you never know), Redknapp (leftfield, but…) this is one encounter that is going to be key to our season 2015/16.

But one person who won’t be playing any part, on pitch, is club captain Kevin O’Connor. Social media was awash with tributes after the club finally got a hashtag spot on and made the following announcement :

no comment needed

no comment needed

What can you say? If ever there was somebody that typified a team, that had been through the lows and the highs, that wore his heart on his sleeve but always played the game in the fairest possible style – it’s King Kev. So few players see out their career at one club but Kevin, in his 501 games, has joined that elite group.

Even during the hullabaloo of, and subsequent fallout from, ‘that penalty’ he did nothing but carry himself with the utmost of dignity. Yet how sweet was it to see him nail that last minute spot kick in the play off semi final at Swindon in the very next game?

Over his 501 games, Kevin has played in just about every position for Brentford. Except goal. But even that almost happened – certainly if you were to believe Hayes & Yeading from a few years ago.

Could King Kev have ended up playing in goal?

Could King Kev have ended up playing in goal?

Anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting Kevin will know what an absolute gentleman he is. Whether lining up with the fans to try and buy a beer (that didn’t happen) at the impromptu street part following promotion against Preston, just stopping for a chat in Braemar Road after a game or at the pre-season fans’ days. Whatever the occasion he has always taken the time to welcome the supporters.

Kevin – you’ll be missed on pitch but, at the least, your legacy continues in the new role at Griffin Park. Thanks for all the good times.

And finally, if anybody is looking for some holiday reading or just wants to reflect on what has been, frankly, an incredible season then the 2014/15 review is now available for download. Featuring the least bad bits of the Last word, some poor editing and even a bit of new material you can get it here for less than the price of a Griffin Park Balti pie or matchday programme.

Thanks for reading – here’s to pre season.

Available - now. If you fancy the season in one , pocket size, place

Available – now. If you fancy the season in one , pocket size, place

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...

Missing pieces make for an unusual deadline day

3 Feb

In the end transfer deadline day ended up being as quiet as a Chelsea FA Cup crowd, with Brentford picking up a solitary signing in Blackburn Rovers left / centre back Jack O’Connell. Whilst there was no sign of the proverbial ‘double swoop’ so favoured by our local journalists, as important was the fact that our squad has remained intact. Perhaps the players taking heed of the warning that had reportedly been ‘fired’ at them by Warbs (is there any other way he delivers one?) not to ‘do a Forshaw’.

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.

Flaccid mannschaft fails to excite as Gibraltar rock Germany

15 Nov

Well that was unexpected. Gibraltar travelled to Germany and more than held their own against the World Champions in Friday’s EURO 2016 qualifier. With the German fans prepping their calculators and leafing through the record books in anticipation of a goal fest, they were left more than disappointed after limping to a 4-0 win.

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.

Even the BBC helped recognise the occasion ahead of kick off

Even the BBC helped recognise the occasion ahead of kick off

Will over confidence from Germany be fatal v Gibraltar?

14 Nov

Today is the day. With Brentford v Fulham still a week away, there can be only one place my attention is focused – Nuremberg, Germany where Gibraltar attempt the impossible. Beating the World Champions in their own back yard.

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.