Tag Archives: Hodgson

Glenn, Slovakia, Saint Etienne. So Tough, for England

21 Jun

England are through to the last 16 of EURO 2016. Wales topped the group. Russia are going home (presumably to huge cheers all round). Slovakia are now hanging on for other results after a peculiar brand of anti-football that, fair play to them, shut out Roy’s boys and leaves them waiting to see if third place can be secured.

Those are the headlines as group B came to a close for England in St. Etienne but there was so much more to it than that. Roy tinkered. Roy lost out.

It was a demonstration, if ever us Brentford fans needed another one after some of the Marinus era performances, that stats and possession don’t win games. Although, to be fair, at least England managed some shots (come on Bees fans, it’s all good now !). The BBC figures show how one sided a game this was in all but the key category – goals scored – as the match ended 0-0.

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BBC stats don’t lie….

 

Jack Wilshere was anonymous whilst Postman Pat after an all night ‘bender’ would still have offered better delivery than Jordan Henderson showed. In what seemed to be a wonderful atmosphere – so loud even ‘that band’ were drowned out for vast swathes of the game – England had the chances but just couldn’t take them. Any of them. Not even one.

Then there was Glenn Hoddle. Oh, for some level of decent co-commentary on ITV. Talking to one New Road observer during the game, his take on it was that Glenn had been replaced by a random sentence generator. Another, that Sacha Baron Cohen was filling in for him.

Whatever the answer, his performance was the normal drivel infused nonsense . “I think that’s a tactical move,” he observed after one substitution aswell as noting that “Sturridge has just had a mouthful.”

Glenn went on to explain how the lack of England’s ability to breakdown Slovakia was because “We’ve got all footballers out there at the moment”, with the solution to this being a call for Andy Carroll.

I could go on. Those are but a handful of the examples plucked at random although , equally, perhaps it is something that ITV are putting in the water. Over in the Wales  – Russia game  my sources tell me how Tony Pulis noted that, at 3-0 up, “Wales will be happy to stay in front here” .

Yes. Gareth Bale made it 3 goals from 3 to see his team top the group by a point after what seems to be a steamrollering of Russia. I didn’t see it, can’t comment but can only say “well done”.

Outside of all this, England ARE through. England remain unbeaten. They now face a last 16 game agasint the second placed team in Group F which, all things considered, could have been a lot worse on paper. Mind you, so should a game against Slovakia have been. On paper.

It will take a better man than me to call who Roy & co face next out of Hungary, Iceland, Portugal or Austria. The only thing I’d say for sure is that given recent history, what chance another encounter with Cristiano Ronaldo? He of ‘cheeky wink’ infamy.

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Ronaldo, a cheeky wink never too far away

It isn’t all doom and gloom, whatever you read.

It would have been wonderful to top that group and failure to breakdown a bus parking defence has cost England dear in that respect. Yet is it that bad?

Roy has ended the group stages happy. Indeed having dominated three games to such a level that he told reporters after the game, “That gives me some sort of satisfaction.”

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A Slovakian bus, parked. England couldn’t get past

 

For now, though, the most important task of escaping the group has been achieved. There’s a few day’s break until Monday, 8pm, when England ‘go again’.

Until then, there’s four more groups to play out and, of course, the release of the Championship fixtures tomorrow (Wednesday). For us Brentford fans, this will make a nice diversion and a chance to see how our next 9 months will map out.

Until Sky get the carving knife out…

For now, here’s St.Etienne….

St.Etienne. So Tough. Why do I bother….

Nick Bruzon

What a first year in charge! The top ten moments

13 Dec

Brentford host Blackburn Rovers today for a Championship match that signifies Mark Warburton’s first year in charge at Griffin Park. And what a 52 weeks it has been with some epic encounters against the likes of Wolves and Fulham aswell as those legendary scenes after Leyton Orient.

As such, the Last Word looks back on the top ten moments since Warb’s announcement as our manager, in place of the Wigan bound Uwe Rösler.

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.

Massive praise to the Beesotted chaps for their own 'Slade FA Cup'

Massive praise to the Beesotted chaps for their own ‘Slade FA Cup’

Celebrate the new season (like you’ve won the FA cup)

10 Jul

It’s just over a month until Brentford begin their Championship campaign against Charlton Athletic. I don’t think I’ve looked forward to a season this much since 92/93 – it really does promise to be THAT exciting.

However, with the World Cup almost having run it’s course then how else can fans fill the void until the return of league action?

Well,for anyone suffering ‘Manish withdrawal symptoms’, there is still the chance to relive it all again. On holiday, on the way to work, even on the toilet.

As has been mentioned previously ‘The Last Word’ has been turned into an e-book. The best of the not so bad bits from the last campaign have been collated, tweaked, had some new material added and become a season diary of 2013/14.

Entitled, “Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…. (just don’t mention that penalty)” it is now available for your kindle.

And you can get it, here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Celebrating-like-theyd-won-Cup-ebook/dp/B00L31OJQG

Not sure if Mr Slade has a copy as yet

Not sure if Mr Slade has a copy as yet

This your chance to remind yourself how Brentford went neck and neck with Wolves or celebrated like they’d won the FA Cup at Leyton Orient. The mixed reactions to Marcello’s return and the shock departure of Uwe. Not to mention a new stadium in the offing.

Naturally, it focuses mainly on our attempt to escape League One for the Championship but, as anybody who has looked at this column over the last season will be aware, there are as many diversions into the general ‘goings on’ in the wider world of football. Adrian Chiles, Fulham’s self-destruction, Vincent Tan, No to Hull Tigers, the national team and THAT band. Just for starters.

Running from Celtic in pre-season to the denouement of the play off campaign, you can get it now. Enjoy.

 

Is this how they wash cars in the Championship ?

30 Jun

Q: What has three marigolds, two flip flops, a lot of tattoos and a squeegee?

A: Sam Saunders

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A cold day at the car park?

Team spirit is clearly alive and well at Griffin Park, judging by the video Sam and Harlee Dean shared of the wing wizard’s unusual car washing technique.

This isn’t the first time such clips have reached a wider audience. Harlee had previously made a very cheeky appearance in one of Kev’s Beesplayer interviews. Sam had, of course, released a video of Harlee’s romantic padlock to the good people at Soccer AM.

However this takes things to the next level and you can see the full video here. I just hope they aren’t David Button’s gloves.

Look out Florida – they’re coming your way.

‘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.

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Harlee has form at this sort of thing

Suffered from an accident at work that wasn’t your fault?

29 Jun

I can only imagine Luis Suarez is sitting at home right now, ringing through to the local equivalent of those ‘ambulance chasing’ compensation lawyers that alternate advertising space on ITV4 with payday loan sharks.

That is, if his anyone actually swallows his side of the story about the ‘bite’ on Giorgio Chiellini.

Except, stop. No. Don’t sue me Luis. I believe your explanation that …

“After the impact … I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent. At that moment I hit my face against the player leaving a small bruise on my cheek and a strong pain in my teeth.”

As excuses go, it’s pretty pathetic: “Serial biter blames accidental stumble for latest assault on his teeth”.

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Suarez – one way to stop any more accidental teeth pain

It’s up there with ‘The Dog ate my homework”, “My P.E. kit is in the wash” or Crystal Palace supporter Matthew Simmons’ assertion that he was just going to the Selhurst Park toilet and mentioned to a passing Eric Cantona that the number 7 (seven) should take an early shower.

And the worst thing about the Suarez case is that Diego Maradona, the previous panto villain of the World Cup, suddenly has the moral high ground after his 1986 ‘Hand or God’ (or, ‘punching the ball past the goalie’ as it is known in our house) knocked England out of the tournament.

At least he subsequently admitted what he had done. It didn’t make it any better to take but there was no attempt to come with an excuse that even Fergie (and this is the man who once blamed a defeat on his own team’s choice of grey shirt) would have been embarrassed to use.

Getting back to matters domestic, I found this list of various team’s ‘celebrity fans’ and their occupations whilst trawling the interweb last night. It makes amusing reading with some generous descriptions of what said supporter is known for and, perhaps, gives some clue as to which Championship ‘C-listers’ could be occupying the Brentford director’s box next season.

There’s no Rhino out of Status Quo for us although I’m pleased to see the inclusion of a ‘TV Broadcasting Big Cheese’ (their words) even if it isn’t Natalie Sawyer.

Clearly, a list that needs updating. That, or the Brentford PR people need to work harder. If only they’d mentioned it before….

‘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.

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.

Matthew Benham’s mystery MT overshadowed by the Suarez gnashers

24 Jun

You couldn’t make it up. With the media all set to deliver the fatal blow to England after a dismal World Cup, Luis Suarez has stolen all the headlines with his bite on Giorgio Chiellini. This, as Uruguay knocked Italy out in the same group stage as Roy’s Boys.

Words fail to do justice to the reaction after the Uruguayan committed this most heinous of offences for the third time in his career. Robbie Savage kept repeating the line, “It’s disgraceful, disgraceful” whilst Gary Lineker did his best to remain po-faced and serious when all he wanted to do was let rip.

Meanwhile on BBC 3, Manish (of football League show fame) and his guests attempted to play ‘keepie uppie’ in the studio with a tennis ball. Even Carlos Valderama had a crack in a feature that was about as far away from a mouthful of Italian shoulder blade as you could hope to get.

And if it proved a distraction from England then it has very much been the same with Brentford. Matthew Benham’s late afternoon announcement of an imminent signing (initials: MT), to be revealed tomorrow, has had supporters guessing as to who it could be?

Marcello Trotta? Martin Taylor? Matt Tubbs? Marcos Tébar? Or A.N.Other?

Anyone who has followed Mathew on twitter will recognise his love of a cryptic clue and so this is just as likely to end up being Mr T.

Whoever it is, with Clayton rumoured to be undergoing a medical at Birmingham City at the same time as Suarez was tucking into an Italian, I’m chomping at the bit for any news.

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Who is the mystery MT ???

As you may have also read (I’ve not mentioned it much), I’ve released an e-book. ‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’  the story of Brentford’s season 2013/14  (amongst other things) is now available to download for your kindle / digital device. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from the last ten months, you can get it here.

However, I’m not the only person writing about the Bees. Greville Waterman, who you may know from the fantastic series of ‘Big Brentford book of the….70s/80s/90s’ has started his own blog. I have to say it is a thoroughly good read and you can catch up with all from bfctalk, here.

The other blog site I’ve enjoyed (although seems to have gone a bit quiet in recent months) is: 101 uses for Russell Slade. Set up after being left with a surfeit of the commemorative Beesotted trophies following the Stevenage game, I’m hoping it gets going again over that painful ‘closed season’ period.

And if it helps, here’s my take on the next ‘use’. A Hannibal Lecter style facemask for Luis Suarez .

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Just one of the 101 uses for a Beesotted Russell Slade

And that silenced the Cop (acabana). Brazil have a Tony Gubba moment

24 Jun

For crying out loud, England. We were never going to win the World Cup but Joel Matip’s equaliser for Cameroon against Brazil last night really hit home as to what we are missing. To be out of the tournament with one group game still to play is all a bit rubbish but, more frustrating, is not being part of the tension and excitement in the knockout stages.

For a moment, with the scores being levelled, there was a very real threat of Brazil being knocked off the top of the table and left facing a second round group game against a rampant Netherlands team who had earlier made it three from three.

As the home crowd fell silent, all I could think of was the 1989 Brentford – Liverpool FA Cup quarter-final at Anfield and Tony Gubba’s iconic commentary.

““No Offside!! Cadette!!! Ohhh, he’s missed!! Sinton’s lovely little ball and Richard Cadette, top scorer with seventeen goals this season… how close did he come to putting this quarterfinal? Well, it would have been dreamland for Brentford, wouldn’t it? It was inches wide of the post. And that…silenced the Kop”.

Just as Brentford had their chance to claim one of the biggest scalps of all time, although were eventually undone by arguably the (then) best team in Europe, Cameroon had the favourites on the ropes. Whilst the final result was as expected (the host’s four goals the same as Liverpool eventually scored that afternoon) it was fun getting there.

England, meanwhile, aren’t at the races. The fat lady hasn’t even stepped out of the shower and done her hair, let alone started to sing, yet already we are packing our bags for the trip back to the airport. Very much a missed opportunity for players and fans alike.

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The wallchart takes shape – without England (but with Chile x2. D’oh!!)

Getting back to Brentford, the latest player whose name is being churned through the rumour mill is Conor McAleny. Given the impact he had at the start of last season, prior to that horrific leg break, I’d be very happy to see his return to Griffin Park. The Everton talent machine is certainly a well-oiled one, with Adam Forshaw and Jake Bidwell being the two obvious examples where we have benefitted.

Is their any truth to it? Well, it could just be a lot of paper talk – much like Clayton’s trip to Birmingham beach (a less salubrious place I couldn’t imagine – St. Andrews sand should be confined to the golf course) or Bristol City’s interest in Northern Ireland international Will Grigg currently seem to be.

We’ll see what happens but with England now dead in the water, I’ll take any opportunity to feed my football fix until some real news comes along.

‘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.

England go a bit Tourjansky. And are Brentford changing their tops?

23 Jun

With England limping out of the World Cup, watching any more of it seems a bit of a hollow exercise. The football over the weekend was very exciting (see: Germany, Ghana, Iran, Argentina, USA and Portugal) with even Algeria – South Korea, hardly the most scintillating prospect in advance, getting the blood pumping.

But these thrills are muted by the fact that every potential upset no longer has a knock on that could impact Roy’s Boys.

I’ve used this before but it is the archetypal example of my favourite analogy, a Timothy Dalton ‘Bond film’. The rest of the crew and cast may be the same, the action and the sound are identical but, ultimately, without the one-liners and raised eyebrow of Roger Moore it all seems to be lacking something.

Like Dalton, the World Cup still has a stunning supporting cast and incredible action but with our team of Victor Tourjanskys gone (and do check him out), it is definitely lacking a safari suit clad bite.

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England are reduced to a Tourjansky-esque cameo role on Tuesday

Brentford wise, things are just as downbeat on the surface. No real news coming out of the club, but rumour central in other sources. With Marcello Trotta, allegedly, no longer in the frame for a return, you may also be surprised to read that, “Bristol City boss Steve Cotterill is targeting highly-rated Brentford striker Will Grigg.”

Not my words (I’d have given him the respect of prefacing them with “Northern Ireland International”) but those of the Bristol Post. You can read the full story here but it would leave us rather short in the ‘striker’ position if we were to accept the supposed bid of £300,000….

Moreso given the talk about Clayton Donaldson being a shoe in to join Birmingham City, now his contract has expired.

I remember a similar situation the last time we escaped ‘tier 3’ to join the Championship back in 1992. Then, goal hero Dean Holdsworth was sold off on the cheap to Wimbledon and we were left with Murray Jones in his place. Ultimately, a packet of Murray mints would have done a better job as, despite a sterling effort, the former Grimsby man failed to find his eye for goal and Gary Blissett was left to do the work of two players.

However, if Brentford clear the decks up top (and it is a big IF – these are only cyber rumours at present) then this time I have a feeling things will be different. We’ve been too long looking to escape this division to then go and throw it all away.

Warbs and Frank McParland have a stunning knack for unearthing talent – just look who has come into the club in the last year or two. I’d hate to lose Clayton but, if it was to happen, then I’m confident that they have somebody lined up.

Now, does anybody have Lionel Messi’s phone number?

‘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

When in doubt, give it to the magician

22 Jun

Not my words but those of BBC World Cup commentator Jonathan Pearce as Lionel Messi gave Argentina the narrowest of victories over (insert your choice of patronising cliché : plucky, heroic, heartbroken, solid, minnows) Iran with a stunning last minute strike that could have been made on the Brentford training ground.

Pick up the ball deep in the heart of ‘Saunders territory’, hit it with the accuracy of a Forshaw or the fake-tanned wing-wizard himself and add a dash of International class c/o Northern Ireland’s Will Grigg.

It was a truly magnificent effort after a somewhat turgid encounter and, if not quite up there with Van Persie v Spain or Cahill v Netherlands, is certainly in my top three goals of the tournament. As ever, you can see the goal and the highlights on the BBC website.

Elsewhere, Germany held Ghana 2-2 in the proverbial game of two halves (apologies, I really have been eating cliché for breakfast. Just need ‘park the bus’ for a full house).

Four goals in a twenty-minute spell after half time made the opening 45 minutes, with both teams not so much parking the bus as struggling to get into the depot, a distant memory.

The excitement was cranked up with Miroslav Klose equaling the World Cup scoring record. Age may not have diminished the 36 year old’s eye for goal but it has caught up on his gymnastic skills. His celebratory somersault fell somewhat short and ended up less Olga Korbut and more Ronnie Corbett.

Getting back to Griffin Park, I’ve noticed the League table has now been updated on the BBC web page. It certainly makes great reading with Brentford already in the Championship play off spots (and Wolves currently rock bottom !).

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The BBC website already shows Brentford in the play off places

The World Cup may have come to a predictable, albeit premature, conclusion for England but it means all positive energy and thoughts can now be totally focused on the forthcoming Championship campaign.

There are less than 7 (seven) weeks to go until Charlton Athletic visit to kick things off and I can’t wait. If that isn‘t a more exciting prospect than watching veteran Teutonic gymnastics, I don’t know what is.

 

‘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