Tag Archives: hoops

Get a plate, a knife and a fork. Add some words. Start eating.

19 Apr

Sometimes it’s just too easy. The inevitable ‘shooting fish in a barrel’ of blog columns arrives as Brentford gear up for Saturday’s home derby with QPR. Whilst Fulham may have finished above us for the first time in three seasons (although there’s still much more to come on that front), once again the Bees will finish the Championship campaign clear of the not so super hoops. With just three games to go we’re 10 points ahead – Brentford on 60 to our neighbours’ 50.

Poor Ian Holloway. Whilst it looked at one stage as though he might turnaround what had become very much a damp squib of a season, normal form has now returned. Rangers’ current record in the league reads: LLLLL and , mathematically, they still aren’t safe. Only six points separate them from third bottom Blackburn Rovers. Themselves, a team who will no doubt be going hammer and tongs for a victory when they visit Griffin Park on the final game of the season. What an awkward one that could end up being.

But if the chance to go 13 points clear of the Loftus Road outfit and push them ever closer to the trapdoor wasn’t enough inspiration for Brentford this Saturday, there’s more. Much more. Whilst one can only have huge respect for all Jake Bidwell did at Griffin Park, moreso in a week that marked the three year anniversary since our ascension from League One, how good to show him he made the wrong call? If only for that #Jakejoins hashtag.

Indeed from out of that move we’ve not only seen the true emergence of Tom Field but, as excitingly, Rico Henry recover from injury and show just how the statistical model helped pick another former Dean Smith player. To have two such comfortable looking left side players really is a rare luxury and one that has provoked intriguing discussion as to just who should start in the full back berth.

Then, of course, we’ve got the chance to do the double over the neighbours. A 2-0 win for Brentford at QPR back in October was one that saw Romaine Sawyers hit an absolute screamer to double our lead. Writing about that one at the time, it was noted on these pages that : “”Sure, the QPR defence looked holier than the Pope (and were about as benevolent) but you still need the technique to put it away. What. A. Finish.

“The look on his face before he hit it”, opined one terrace wag to me, “you just knew what was going to happen”. And sure enough, it did.””

More of the same would be just wonderful.


View from the terrace – the net starts to bulge from Romaine’s rocket

But, of course, the biggest incentive of them all is ‘that column’, written by Ian Holloway in his pre-season guise as a pundit for Sky Sports. In it, he tipped Brentford to be relegated, saying we’d finish 23rd and incorrectly claiming we’d punched above our weight under Warbs.

“ Brentford are regressing. Mark Warburton got them punching above their weight. They still haven’t replaced Andre Gray and Alan Judge will be missing for the start of the season. They could be in trouble.”

Sorry, Ian. Punching above our weight? Regressing? The table doesn’t lie. It didn’t then. It didn’t under Dean Smith last year when we finished above both Fulham and QPR in the table (despite the early sale of Gray and the injury enforced absence of the Judge). It certainly doesn’t now. Brentford sit in 11th place. QPR are down down in 17th and still looking down the barrel of relegation.

I’m not Dean Smith. I’m just the numpty on the terrace. But even I can predict what his pre-match team talk might be on Saturday afternoon . Something Twitter correspondent Luis Adriano also noted might be making an appearance.

I can’t wait for Saturday. A West London derby is always a great thing but to have two of them back to back (of course, the trip to play off chasing Fulham is the following week) is a rare treat.

Here’s to a repeat of October. For more than one reason….


I’m sure this was full earlier? Still eight minutes to go

Nick Bruzon

Brentford draw, Swansea and Palace get Santa’s sack and 2016 is summed up in one tweet. A week (and a bit) in football – The Good , The Bad and The Ugly.

28 Dec

A bit late this week, or is it on time? The Christmas schedule always puts the calendar somewhat out of sync. Half way through the campaign and Brentford drew 2-2 with Cardiff City to shore up what is now looking like a mid-table season. At the top, Brighton’s fourth win on the bounce (this time over relegation bound QPR) saw them overtake Newcastle United in the battle to top the table. And at the other end Rotherham , Wigan and Blackburn Rovers occupy the relegation slots.

That’s the latest Championship action in nutshell. With double bank holidays throwing the calendar into confusion (today being Wednesday, I think) there has been so much more going on in the division and beyond. In the latest edition of our regular, weekly-ish feature  – we look back at those things you might have missed from the world of social media.

And, as ever, we start at Griffin Park where there isn’t a huge amount to add off a game where referee Simon Hooper dominated affairs. A shame, as it meant that first time around  we were denied moments such as this…..

Meanwhile, in the first of a Tom Moore double…. does he know something about Dean Smith that we don’t? Or do Get West London need a new pictures editor?


Tom has been keeping himself busy as he’s been covering events at hapless QPR, too. With the not so super hoops slithering down the Championship table to sit just three points above the drop zone, one can only imagine Ian Holloway is starting to shuffle uncomfortably in his own managerial hot seat. It only seems like a few months ago that he was tipping Brentford to be relegated whilst suggesting the Loftus Road outfit (currently 20th) would end the season 11th.Not that anybody will remind him of these in May….


A bit higher up the table, Gianfranco Zola has immediately rewarded the decision of the Birmingham City board to sack Gary Rowett.


This, something also picked up on by BBC man Phil Parry.


Lower down the league ladder, one can only rejoice in the fact that there’s an equally big fall out from a spot kick strop as Brentford suffered after ‘that penalty’.


In the Premier League, it was less Santa’s sack and more a managerial one. Or two. Bob Bradley was relieved of his duties at Swansea City whilst Sam Allardyce took over from Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace. It was nice to see worlds collide….

Big Sam was the instant source of further questioning following his appointment.


Although there can’t be any chance of Mr Pardew being out of work for too long.


Meanwhile non-league Bungay Town were quick to jockey for position despite Ryan Giggs being named as odds on favourite for the role at Swansea…


Getting back to matters on field in the top flight, Arsenal continued to display their ambition.


Leicester City took protests about Jamie Vardy’s suspension to another level.


The day after Boxing Day (Tuesday?) saw Liverpool v Stoke City in the televised clash. Despite the Potters having taken a deserved lead, normal service was resumed in some style.


The visiting manager refused to bend from his principles.


Principles which, once reminded of, deserve a repeat viewing just to remember how short ‘short’ shorts were back in the day.


But it wouldn’t be the festive period without a traditional Christmas message from the Queen.


Or in the case of former Everton ‘keeper Neville Southall, an untraditional one.


And there was a Christmas blast from the past.


Although, ultimately, you could sum up the period (and 2016 as a whole) in one tweet.


Finally, as ever, we close with Ian Moose and his birthday friend of the week. Which of his good friends from the world of football did the Talksport DJ wish happy birthday to, via the medium of a Twitter post and picture of them together?

Given it is a period that included December 25 I was half expecting to see him pose with Jesus. However, having checked the little book of footballing birthdays Manchester City’s Navas was born on November 21st.

Instead, this week his ‘good friend’ is none other than former Bee Chris Kamara .


Nick Bruzon 

Please let’s not do this again.

28 Oct

We’ll keep this short today. Last season’s trip to QPR was one of the low points of the season for many Brentford fans. It wasn’t that they were any good; it’s just that we weren’t. A 3-0 win for the Loftus Toad outfit was one of those proverbial games where we were lucky to get nil.

And the reason for that largely down to head coach Dean Smith opting not to play a recognised striker but, instead, having Alan Judge operating as the advanced midfielder. Or, rather, what was actually described as ‘a false 9’. It was a decision that, whatever the perceived logic, brought about inevitable consequences.image

Nobody went home happy. The only real incident of note during the game from a Brentford perspective being ‘fly on the wall’ to a conversation taking place in the row behind me. There, the emotion had clearly got to another fan who had been giving a running commentary down the phone to his, presumably, better half during the second half. As the Bees collapsed, his call reaching a sad denouement with the line, “Yes. I love you my darling. But we’re sh*t. Now please f**k off” .

Whatever happens. It can’t be that bad again tonight. QPR will no doubt be expecting more of the same in front of the Sky TV cameras. A chance for under fire boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink to see if his team can overtake the Bees who, of course, sit above them in the table. And this time we’ll have a striker.

At least, I’m hoping we’ll have a striker.

Dean, if you are reading (you aren’t), pleas tell me we’ll have a striker. I can’t go through that again. It means too much…


The day summed up

Nick Bruzon

We Came. We Saw. We Capitulated. But who is Brentford’s secret Zoolander?

13 Mar

QPR 43% Brentford 57%. What an afternoon! The Bees marched into Loftus Road hoping to achieve a rare double over our fiercest of local rivals and left it as clear and outright winners in the possession stats. It was as dominant and comprehensive a display of ball control as we could have hoped for going into a game of this nature and the Bees came out on top.

That QPR scored 3 goals to our 0 is almost a moot point. With head coach Dean Smith opting not to play a recognised striker but, instead, having diminutive Alan Judge operating as the advanced midfielder (or ‘false 9’, as I saw bandied around !?) in a 4-6-0 formation, its hardly a surprise.


Questionable decision making yesterday

Those expecting vitriol towards the players aren’t going to get it. Go to Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere. You could see what this meant to the likes of Alan McCormack and Harlee Dean. Our number 6 seemed to be in tears at the end of it and had to be directed towards those who remained of the 3,000 Bees fans. Nico Yennaris continues to grow and Sergi Canos impressed until he was, oddly in my eyes, removed from the field of play at the first substitution.

But despite the best efforts of Woods and Canos, speculative shots from distance don’t usually win games. It worked, once, at Reading, when two world class goals won us the match but that’s very much the exception to the rule. Instead, get the ball into the centre forward. Or forwards . Ryan Woods hit the post and KK had one tipped over late on but that was the only save of note I recall QPR ‘keeper Alex Smithies having to make.

Why Dean Smith chose over an hour of the derby, away from home, to mess about with an experimental formation missing any form of traditional centre forward I have genuinely no idea. Moreso, what on earth does it say about his thoughts on the development squad if picking nobody was deemed a more positive alternate to chucking one of the youngsters in to see how they coped?

Highlights – of sorts

Seriously? What just what was that team selection about? Or is he reading these pages?(no)

Comments during the week of “One would presume Macca will be brought in for QPR …. The only question being who fills the role of ineffectual striker – Hofmann, Djuricin or Vibe” and then yesterday morning of “We could play John Swift in goal with Harlee Dean up front and nobody would care if it meant getting on the 237 home with all three points in our back pocket” were meant in an ironic sense.

Not to be met with respective answers of “nobody” and “Not Harlee. But why not try the smallest man on the pitch who, whilst uber-skillful, isn’t a centre forward

What point was he trying to prove? Whatever it was it certainly didn’t work, no matter how much Dean thinks we were in that game . But hey, “We go again”. Right now I don’t want to overly dwell on it. Abject disappointment is the over-arching emotion. This is what it must feel like to be the parent who says, “I’m not angry. I just feel very let down”.

Brentford fans were reported to be fighting amongst each other and I saw a lot of anger being demonstrated towards those deemed ‘not loyal’, simply for sitting down or not singing Oldham’s song on 90 minute loop. The irony of the pair delivering that particular tirade at one chap in the front row then, between them, failing to return for the second half and slinking out after the third goal was not lost.


Brentford fans try to ‘up’ the noise levels

Behind me, the emotion had clearly got to another fan who had been giving a running commentary down the phone to his, presumably, better half during the second half. Even this call reached a sad denouement with the line, “Yes. I love you my darling. But we’re sh*t. Now please f**k off” .

Whether right or wrong, this is what it meant to supporters and choosing such a ridiculous time and place to experiment in this fashion shows just how badly Dean Smith called this one.

Still, out of darkness comes light. In a week that has seen Beesotted administer a gentle probing to Matthew Benham and Greville Waterman present his voluminous list of questions to Phil Giles in that marathon two hour interview, the Last Word has its own exclusive.

Who is Brentford’s next top model?

Half time was lit up when BBC Billy Reeves responded to a call of his name by performing a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ touchline sashay. Part Moonwalker, part Zoolander it was as smooth a transition from casual stroll to C&A model as you could ever hope to see. As one terrace wag noted ,” He accelerated from zero to catwalk in 1.2 seconds”.

If only we’d been able to show some blue steel yesterday.


Is there no end to Billy’s talents?

Nick Bruzon

BBC Billy has me worried about the Adidas shirt

3 May

I hadn’t planned a Brentford column this morning (too excited about the game) until Billy Reeves sent me a link to a story about the alleged new West Bromwich Albion kit for next season. I say alleged – it hasn’t been officially released although a quick trawl of the interweb suggests this is all but certain.

However, I note this because Brentford, like West Bromwich Albion, share a technical sponsor in Adidas. Brentford, like West Bromwich Albion, have a traditional shirt design of alternating stripes (the removal of which from the reverse has caused some recent controversy).

And West Brom, like Southampton before them, seem set to ditch the thick stripes for a plain shirt, offset by there merest hint of pin stripe.


Are these West Brom’s shirts for next season?

Theoretically still stripes, but a marketing man’s wet dream as they now have a shirt ‘more likely to go with jeans and be worn causally‘ i.e. not just in the football ground. Instead, what you have is more urinating on club heritage and a team that, rather, could now look like a poor man’s Fulham.

And it has made me realise, again, that team kit is not just about the colours but also the principle design. Of course, there are going to be variants on the latter and even Brentford had two season’s of the thinner version – that made us look as though we played in pink from a distance of anything over five yard away. But, by and large, the shirt has been predominantly red and white striped.

Imagine Celtic playing in all green, Peru ditching their sash or the Loftus Road mob dropping the hoops (actually, that wouldn’t surprise me in the pursuit of boosting Harry’s transfer kitty but who cares)

We haven’t seen next season’s, Championship, design as yet. That is anticipated in June, according to a recent twitter post from Mark Devlin , but now I am desperately hoping that the Adidas marketing men haven’t tried to lead us down a plain-fronted rabbit hole.

I am confident we won’t be going that way. If nothing else, the 125th anniversary of the club will, more likely, see something über-traditional whilst teabag-gate has, surely, made the Griffin Park top brass aware of fan feeling. However, until I see it I can’t be sure.

Whatever we’ve picked though, it’s too late. I’m nervous but excited about the big reveal and, perhaps, hoping West Brom have a third kit.

With the Baggies only four points above the relegation trapdoor, if their home shirt is all white and away shirt all red, what are they going to wear at Griffin Park next season?


The Bees have had thin stripes, teabags and old favourites – but what for 2014?