Tag Archives: head

King Kev the Eighth. Will you be a part of history on Saturday?

21 Oct

Kevin O’Connor. Is there nothing he can’t do? With Brentford approaching our 4,000th league game this Saturday, the home encounter with Barnsley, many of us just coming in from work last night (or who had been home in the morning) would have received a letter from the great man himself.

We all know Kevin as Mr. Brentford. A ‘one club’ man who made 501 appearances between January 2000 and August 2014. A man who is fourth in the club’s all time appearance list(behind Ken Coote, Jamie Bates and Peter Gelson). A man who is still with the club, as B Team Head Coach. This, having taken up the role after Flemming Pedersen left during the week to take over as Technical Director of FC Nordsjælland in Denmark.

Kevin even judged the first ever ‘Last Word’ caption competition back in the fledgling days of these pages. That, a picture featuring himself and Simon Moore, saw Iain Roswell earn himself a Buzzette mug with the line: “After last year’s success of London 2012, there was a massive disappointment with the anniversary games.”

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He’s done just about everything at Griffin Park, short of taking the microphone from Peter Gilham to announce Scott Hogan as a goalscorer – sponsored by Siracusa. It’s a little Italian restaurant by Brentford lock. And that, I would pay good money to hear.

But in addition to all of this, Kevin clearly holds sway as a club  figurehead. And rightly so. Certainly one of the nicest footballers I’ve had the pleasure to meet, something that can’t be a unique feeling to yours truly.

So it was a timely reminder, if one were needed, to receive the letter telling us that you can still buy tickets for Saturday’s 4,000th with Barnsley. More to the point, that Season Ticket holders can pick up extras for just £10 each via the online ticket site.

If you’re reading this and know somebody who might want to come along, it’s £10. £10. Ten pounds. That’s not even three pints these days. For the chance to see Brentford make another thrust for the play-offs. For the chance to be a part of history and say “I was there” for game 4,000.

4,000. Just to put that into context, it means Kevin (and Peter Gelson, who will also be in attendance) have both played in pretty much an eighth of our entire history. A quarter of every Brentford league game, ever, between them.

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To quote one regular correspondent, RebelBee: “Saturday is huge, both for the occasion and the chance to move into the play off places. It’s another tough game and we need to fill GP and give the same vocal support we’ve seen on the road this past few days”.

And if that wasn’t enough to tempt you, don’t forget that singer Annelies (who has already sung ‘Hey, Jude, prior to the 4-1 demolition of Reading) will be back at Griffin Park. As ‘official’ tell us, “ The Voice contestant and University of West London student performed ‘Hey Jude’ pre-match before our win against Reading last month and now returns for our half-time show against Barnsley on Saturday 22 October.  Tweet us your requests at BrentfordFC and she’ll choose the best two”.

I can’t believe I’ve missed that one and, surely, it is now too late? Or is it? I’d love to hear her covering The Quo.

As if Saturday isn’t going to be special enough already….

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Annelies was at Griffin Park for the Reading game.

Nick Bruzon

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Who, cares? BBC ‘go again’ but will unbeaten April continue?

23 Apr

Today should be a day of excitement. Brentford have the chance to go above the Loftus Road mob in the table once more (only goal difference separates us now) whilst simultaneously relegating MK Dons. This is immediately followed by the FA Cup semi final between Everton and Manchester United. Yet, yet, yet – the words ‘shoddy BBC Doctor Who crossover’ are lurking to spoil things. Again.

First up Brentford’s trip to Milton Keynes. This is going to be a very interesting test of Dean Smith’s managerial process. One can only assume that, injuries aside, he’ll stick with the majority of the team that continued April’s unbeaten run, making it 13 points from 15 against Cardiff City in midweek.

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The Bees recorded a fine win on Tuesday night

Josh Clarke gave a very assured performance in the position that Maxime Colin has filled with aplomb this season. Yet, with Dean confirming that the Frenchman is “available but we have to just manage him” he has a tricky decision to make. Personally, I’d keep Josh in the side. He absolutely deserves it for his showing on Tuesday whilst, if nothing else, it gives Maxime a bit more recovery time ahead of Hull City and Fulham. Assuming he is even required.

Then there’s John Swift. In his absence, Brentford’s record reads: WWWDW . That’s some difference from the LLLL that preceded it .

The Chelsea loanee has featured heavily this season despite a mixed period of form. When he’s good he’s great; when he’s off the pace well, the less said the better. That’s the price of youthful talent. Yet Dean certainly seemed excited about his potential return when giving his updates to the press yesterday.

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Will we see him back today? I doubt it and, being honest, I hope not. At least, not in the starting XI . That’s not meant as a criticism of the player but more the point that our form needs to be rewarded. Very few players could expect to walk back into a winning team after such a lengthy lay off and, with all due respect to John, he’s not one of them.

That said, I’m sure he’ll be on the bench and from there we see what happens next. Sitting next to him will also be Scott Hogan. Surely it’s too soon for our ‘man of the moment’ to start a game despite the obvious excitement about both his recovery and his form. There’s next season for that. Now, let’s just keep easing him back and setting our watches for ‘Jota time’.

The other point from Dean’s press conference was his observation that, “People talk about a massive turnaround but in my eyes we haven’t played loads better than vs Charlton Athletic or Blackburn Rovers.”

Hmm. Not sure that’s a view which will be shared by many Brentford supporters. “Frustratingly grim” was the two word summary of this one following our inability to even take a point at home to ten man Rovers. I don’t want to overly dwell on that now –  I have eyes, I was at those games, I know what I saw. Let’s just take great comfort in the fact we’ve definitely turned the corner, even if Dean believes it’s just in terms of results.

Ok. The FA Cup. Tonight’s semi-final at Wembley (count the things already wrong in this sentence) between Everton and Manchester United should be one to get the juices flowing. Instead, the BBC have chucked a huge rock in the water. Specifically, by telling us that they’ll be using the game to announce the identity of Doctor Who’s new ‘assistant’.

Please. No. I like Doctor Who (much to Mrs Bruzon’s chagrin) and have what could politely be called more than a passing interest in the great game of football. These are big occasions in each field of interest but to jam them together just seems like some cheap-arsed attempt to boost audience figures. It is one that detracts from both events. To be honest, even making ‘an event’ out of a new cast member for the Sci-Fi classic seems like an unnecessary stunt, anyway.

The BBC have ‘form’ here. During the 2014 World Cup final, they crowbarred the trailer for the then forthcoming new series into the middle of the half-time analysis. It was a horribly awkward moment. Gary Lineker seemed genuinely lost for words as any momentum for the second half was immediately washed away. Even I switched channels to ITV, and for that to happen…

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Not even Rio Ferdinand’s ‘Easyjet’ look could detract from the awkwardness in 2014

I love the FA Cup. Please, BBC . At a time when every season sees further elements of tradition being stripped away from this oldest of tournaments, please don’t demean it any more.

And finally, from Peter Capaldi to another doctor who (sorry) is going to be doing his bit for charity on Sunday. Brentford head of medical Neil Greig, that is.

For anybody not aware, Neil will be taking part in Sunday’s London Marathon where he’ll be running on behalf of Havens Hospices. You can read more about this great cause, and also donate, on his Just Giving page.

Good luck tomorrow, Neil.

And if Scott bangs one in against MK, we know who deserves much of that thanks.

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Neil will be doing his thing tomorrow

Nick Bruzon 

Can Brentford repeat last season’s double six over Fulham?

12 Dec

Today’s the day. Brentford visit Fulham with Bees fans hoping for a performance and result even half as good as last season’s 4-1 thumping of our neighbours at The Cottage. Coming off the back of Jota’s late, late winner at Griffin Park (in the last minute, wasn’t it…?) six points and six goals against our nearest and dearest was more than anybody had a right to hope for. But that was then and this is now. So what about today?

I’ve had some ‘interesting’ observations (that’s the polite word) over the last two columns in regards to my own build up and lack of “A proper assessment of THIS game”. Whilst the regular reader will know we concentrate as much on the ‘other stuff’ that goes with Brentford as we do on previews/reports, if it stops Mr X from crying then here it is:

We’ll beat Fulham.

To enlarge upon that, I think that even the most optimistic amongst us would be pushing it to expect the same as last time out. Then again, looking at the facts, why not? Our own last performance, against MK Dons, was one that saw a 2-0 win, the woodwork thumped three times, decent penalty shouts denied, goal line clearances, an offside effort ruled out and the excellent Alan Judge presented with a Claytonesque moment when clean through in the first half. Frankly, it could have been brackets.

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Lasse Vibe had a goal denied by the flag against MK

Fulham, meanwhile, suffered a 3-0 hammering at the hands of Nottingham Forest and are still looking to replace manager Kit Symons. It’s now over a month since he was sacked although Stuart Gray has been named as an interim ‘Senior Coach’ , whilst the search for a permanent ‘head’ continues.

It’s no secret that Fulham have the second worst goals conceded record in the League”. Those aren’t my words but those of the Cottagers own in-house YouTube channel for an interview with Gray.

It’s an interesting piece (to be found at the end of this column) and certainly one any Brentford fan looking to get the opposition perspective would do well to watch. If only for some quite blunt questions and some honest answers.

We do defend with eleven; we do attack with eleven. What we haven’t done, we haven’t defended set plays very well so this week we’ve concentrated on showing the players where we’re going wrong,” said Gray when pushed on the defensive set up of the team.

Likewise, when the club acknowledge that, “Last season’s result smarts with a lot of Fulham fans,” he is savvy enough to admit that “bragging rights are up for grabs and that’s the most important thing.

I take all of this to mean we can expect a very turgid line up and formation from the home side. Priority one will be to avoid defeat and putting eleven men behind the ball will be the way to achieve this. So what about the Bees?

Well, as anybody who bore witness to the MK Dons game will know, when the midfield turns it on we are a force to be reckoned with. Moreso, given the attaking options on the bench presented by the likes of Jota, Andy Gogia and Sam Saunders (did somebody mention defensive frailties from set plays?).

Gray can park the bus all he wants but when the likes of a Jota, Judge, Saunders or Canos are running at you full tilt then not even Chelsea could stop them. Mind you, on current form Chelsea would be doing well to stop a team of pensioners.

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Stuart Gray’s pre-match talk suggests this is what we can expect

Likewise, Josh McEachran and Max Colin are both fit once more. Subject to fitness, I expect Dean Smith to, at least, start with the same team as last weekend . However, the return of Max Colin is the most intriguing one in my eyes. His performance prior to injury marked him out as potential game changer yet, in his absence, Nico Yennaris has done nothing but shine.

It’s fair to say that, perhaps unfairly, Nico has had his critics but my hasn’t he proven them wrong? At the end of the day (Clive), you don’t come through the ranks at Arsenal without being ‘any good’. I’m sure he’ll be picked again today but the chance for more competition amongst the squad and cover in case of injury can only be a good thing.

Victory for Brentford today would take us to within three points of fifth place, as things currently stand, and nine clear of Fulham. That said, the table is still so tightly packed that, perhaps, Stuart Gray has it right. At least in part.

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The BBC table shows just what victory would do – for either team

Bragging rights are up for grab but victory is absolutely key. Personally, I’d take the win above all else. Even if it came by a solitary goal. This time. If we can do it in style, then all the better.

After Marinus departed, Lee Carsley did a fantastic job in getting us to this position. Being honest, a lot of Brentford fans were probably expecting us to be more at the trapdoor end of the table, such was the mood around the place until Lee ‘did his thing’.

Following the news that Lee has now moved on himself (as expected at some point) following early completion of the handover to Dean Smith, what better way than to sign off than with a win.

See you at the game .

Nick Bruzon

The best and worst of football in one incredible video

13 Jul

To be honest, I wasn’t going to bother with a column today. Yesterday’s news was dominated with the Raheem Sterling from Manchester City to Liverpool saga that left a somewhat acrid taste in the mouth and had me reaching for the Internet’s ‘off’ button. And then I woke this morning to a text message from one Griffin Park terrace wag (wit, rather than wife. And/or girlfriend) pointing me in the direction of the latest bit of brilliance from Brentford.

I haven’t overly talked about the pre-season tour this year. Brentford are in Portugal and Peter Gilham’s tour diary / the photo montages are doing the usual great job of keeping us abreast of developments. There have been the challenges – go-karts and table tennis – the usual good weather, golf games, shopping malls and even some training. Plus, of course, the obligatory, karaoke slot for any newcomers to the Brentford set up.

Flemming showed his true colours on tour

Flemming showed his true colours on tour

Step forward, Flemming Pedersen. Our new head of Football Philosophy and Player Development certainly had a few people outside of TW8 sniggering when his role was announced.

Not only was this grossly unfair, we hadn’t even kicked a ball in anger and so what on earth evidence did they even have to judge this on?

If you haven’t been to the club YouTube channel as yet, please go immediately. Sometimes, the written word isn’t enough. This time, every laugh is rightly deserved for a video entitled “Brentford’s Flemming Pedersen murders I Just Can’t Get Enough by Depeche Mode”.

Frankly, murder is a generous description. Flemming may struggle to channel his inner Dave Gahan but he’s a true pro when it comes to player morale.

Great job, Flemming. Great job, Brentford. And enjoy.

You have been warned…..

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Nick Bruzon

Could Barry Ferguson’s words about Brentford come back to haunt him?

9 Jun

Forget about the ‘in play’, it’s all about Glasgow Rangers and Brentford today. Despite my well documented ineptitude at football betting (it’s bad enough that half time on TV is ruined by Ray Winstone’s disembodied head and geezer-shtick without paying for the privilege) the boredom of the summer months has seen some internet based research on that most hopeless of tasks.

And by research, I mean nothing more scientific than checking out the latest odds. Primarily on the Bees but also on Glasgow Rangers where Warbs is the bookie’s choice to be named the new manager at Ibrox. This, after admitting he has already spoken to the club and would take David Weir with him as assistant. Checking this morning, he is 1/6 on with even David being the third favourite (now THAT would be an interesting role reversal).

To be honest, it’s nothing really to do with us anymore but until Marinus has had a decent chance to get his feet under the table, Warbs’ popularity and success with Brentford means it is still somewhat tricky not to associate him with Griffin Park. All being well, Rangers’ chairman Dave King will name him shortly and then we can all move on.

 

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 ! 

Are Brentford about to unveil MT today?

25 Jun

With the evening’s football being overshadowed by Luis Suarez and his latest bite, you could be forgiven for missing the other news. I won’t repeat the column on Suarez, suffice to say that the graphic I’d put together left me having nightmares – with the miniaturised head of Russell Slade protruding from the Uruguayan’s mouth, much akin to the eponymous creature from the Alien movie.

However, what I will repeat is Matthew Benham’s proclamation that Brentford should be announcing a new signing today – initials MT.

Mr Benham loves a cryptic clue (see also: Mark Warburton replacing Uwe Rösler – one I still can’t work out, even knowing the answer). Of course, whichever name I suggest is sure to be wild speculation and miles off.

Moreso, as Matthew has not started following any ‘MT’ on twitter (much as he did with Alan Judge or Chuba Akpom). Chelsea and Ghana’s Christian Atsu being his latest ‘follow’, although that would be a CA.

Could one of these be pictured at Griffin Park today, holding a new Adidas shirt?

 

 

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View from the terrace – Marcello Trotta scores from the penalty spot against Gillingham

And if BBC Manish is reading (he isn’t) I very much enjoyed your coverage of the Japan – Colombia game on BBC 3 last night. However, was there really a need to make a point that it was women aged 18-24, more than any other gender group, who watched the Croatia game?

Come on Manish, this is the 21st century – who cares? Women play and watch football, too. Besides, the men were probably all busy doing the washing up and ironing.

‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’  – The story of Brentford’s season 2013/14 (amongst other things) is now available as a digital book. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from the last ten months, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle  / digital device.

Don’t do it Buzzette – when mascots lose their head.

4 Mar

It would be fair to say that Brentford mascots Buzz Bee and Buzzette are two of the better behaved in the football world . From Wolves to Wolfsburg and Dunfermline to Swansea, the age-old matter of mascots getting ‘carried away’ was brought to the fore again at the weekend.

You’ve probably seen the video clip sweeping the Internet from Sunday’s Bundesliga encounter between 1899 Hoffenheim and Vfl Wolfsburg. The game has since attracted the public interest  – less for the 8 goals and more for the ‘accident’ that befell the home team’s mascot, Hoffi the Moose, as they notched their fourth goal of a 6-2 win.

Rushing to celebrate with the players on the pitch, rather than leap the barriers Hoffi managed to trip over them and, quite literally, lost his head . For those who’ve had theirs buried in the footballing sand – which is almost where Hoffi ended up –  you can see the incident here.

Seeing this has put my in mind of some of the more infamous mascot moments. Whilst the downside of the next clip means you need to sit through a few seconds of Angus Deayton, stick with it. It’s the moment where Brentford’s League one rivals Wolves,  saw their ‘Wolfie’ take on all three of Bristol City’s ‘little pigs’ single-handed.

Sadly (for research purposes), I’ve been unable to unearth any footage of Swansea’s ‘Cyril the Swan’ who, amongst other misdemeanours, once performed a pitch invasion that culminated in his ripping the head off Millwall’s Zampa the Lion.

Cyril then proceeded to drop kick it into the crowd. That said, you can still read the original BBC report (check out the ‘old school’ internet) here.

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Cyril – about to punt Zampa’s into the back of the Cyg-net

However, my particular ‘lowlight’ of mascot mayhem is, almost certainly, Dunfermline’s Sammy the Tammy. Back in April 2011, he took to the field in a derby game with local rivals Raith Rovers in a home made tank before marching to the half way line and appearing to take pot shots at the opposition fans.

All this accompanied by the subtle soundtrack of ‘Two Tribes’ (go to war)., by pop music’s Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

The moment has been recorded for posterity, with Tammy losing his head (metaphorically rather than literally) about three minutes in.

Whilst there is nothing positive to be said about football violence, there is something mildly amusing about a punch up between a six foot anthromphised Wolf and some equally weighted piglets.

However, even I would draw the line at Buzz Bee, in a home-made Sherman, taking aim at the Fulham fans next season.