Tag Archives: hot

Matthew Benham and Roy help lift the mood as Gibraltar are bracketed.

8 Sep

Very much a day of mixed emotions yesterday as former Brentford goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny (now plying his trade with Arsenal) kept Gibraltar at bay in their EURO 2016 opener against Poland. And by kept at bay, I mean barely had a look in as the boys from the Rock were on the wrong end of a 7(seven) – 0 bracketing.

Despite an even first half, it ended up being the sort of rout that nobody likes to see. It took Brentford owner Matthew Benham, who had earlier given a positive reaction to the ‘hot seat’ idea for Lionel Road, to fully lift my post match gloom with another view of one of his favourite football headlines.

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.

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Lionel Road plans form as Gibraltar arrive on the Euro stage

7 Sep

No sooner had Brentford fan (or not, as it transpired)Cameron Diaz broken my heart this week than an idea has formed which could help bring her back into the fold. First, though, EURO 2016 qualifiers and if you aren’t bothered seeing Germany get brackets (seven) against Scotland then Sky Sports 3 has Gibraltar making their tournament debut on Sunday night.

The boys from The Rock have a ‘home’ fixture against Poland in a hugely significant game after finally becoming UEFA’s 54th member last May. I use ‘home’ loosely – the game will actually take place in Faro, Portugal – but it still promises to be an emotional experience for players, travelling supporters and those watching on TV.

It is a shame, from one respect, they’ll be rattling around a half empty stadium when a trip from Gibraltar to London would likely have been just as cost effective (thanks to the wonder of charter flights) and would have seen any number of stadia up for the task – international football at Griffin Park, perhaps?

But I digress – in a Group D that also sees World Champions Germany, the Republic of Ireland and the pool minnows, Scotland, it could be a fascinating qualification campaign. The smart money will be on Germany to walk it, of course, but I’m backing Gibraltar to pull off a shock this evening. And at 33-1 with some bookmakers for the win, worth a few quid…..?

Getting back to domestic matters, this week Cameron Diaz declared that although she wasn’t aware of The Bees existence, now that she is she’ll look into us.

As such, what better chance for the club to spring into action? To be quite honest, when it was announced last week that she’d be in London on a promotional tour, I’d have assumed the marketing and media chaps would have been all over it, anyway.

A new home shirt with ‘DIAZ, 9’ winging it’s way to her? A tour of Griffin Park? Perhaps an interview with Chris Wickham for Beesplayer?

But, it’s not too late. One thing I discovered whilst writing last season’s columns/book was an interesting fact about Swiss football. Whilst most people know that the home of domestic side ‘Young Boys’ is the ‘Stade de Suisse, Wankdorf’ what you may not be aware of is a unique feature – the, so called, ‘Hot Seat’.

The stadium has a solitary red chair amongst the other 31,999 black and yellow ones. It was the first one installed in the new ground (opened in 2005) and you can’t buy a ticket for it. Instead, a notable personality – usually linked to the club – sits there.

I love this idea and, as I’ve said before, think it would be fantastic if Brentford could try a similar scheme at Lionel Road. 19,999 red and white seats, and then one in a unique colour – or perhaps even yellow/black stripes?

In our case, the occupant could range from a deserving supporter to a local dignitary or ‘celebrity’ fan. (If nothing else, there’s a free programme article out of it every week).

And if we go down the latter route then what better guest to invite to use this ‘hot seat’ than Cameron Diaz? As Paul Davis told me on Twitter, “At least now we are on her radar”.

Mr. Benham, if you are reading (you never know) then how about it?

But even if Cameron does come good, she’s still down (down) the pecking order behind Rhino out of The Quo or Dean Gaffney.

Bees fans montage updated

Should Diaz be replaced on the celebrity Bees montage?

Nick Bruzon

Matthew Benham goes shopping as Bees go abroad

3 Jul

It was all go at Griffin Park yesterday as Brentford news appeared quicker than a Keith Stroud yellow card. Matthew Benham led the charge, with the announcement that he has become the majority shareholder in Danish Superliga side FC Midtjylland.

The Danish outfit, who finished third in the top flight last season, bear a number of similarities with the Bees – notably a strong academy programme, an 11.800 capacity stadium in their MCH Arena and a record that sees them always finish as runners up in major finals.

Matthew is quoted as saying that the two teams will be run independently (no bad thing given their supporter’s club is ‘The Black Wolves’ – I’ve seen enough of the Wolves last season to need some downtime) and you can read the full BBC story, here. Where this will lead, who knows but if Matthew’s tenure brings half as much success and excitement as it has done at Brentford then the Danes are in for some good times.

Back in TW8, the ticket office were proud to reveal details of the 5,000th season ticket sale, with supporter of 30 years, Louis McCubbin, being the man at the right place in the queue. He received a commemorative shirt for his trouble along with a mixed bag of comments on social networks.

Personally, I think that to have sold out over half of Griffin Park (home section) before a ball has even been kicked in anger is a fantastic achievement. The club could have put a massive hike on season ticket prices but chose not to – much to my surprise and pleasure.

So what if one supporter gets recognised? For me it is all about the significance of the achievement rather than an individual. Personally, I bought my season ticket on day one and for no other reason than to make sure I had a place when the next chapter of the Brentford story begins.

Abdi, Louis, Mads and Mark (l-r) celebrate the big 5-0-0-0

Abdi, Louis, Mads and Mark (l-r) celebrate the big 5-0-0-0

And as for that team, they are now in Florida having reached Tampa last night for their training camp. Harlee Dean’s ‘one word weather report’ was ‘HOT’ whilst who could forget the electrical storm as England warmed up for the World Cup campaign in Miami last month? It certainly could be hard work in those conditions.

Welcome to Tampa

Welcome to Tampa

Previous trips to Germany and Norway have seen Peter Gilham’s tour diary. So far (6.30, Thursday morning) this is yet to appear on the clubsite but, given the time zone, understandable. However, I’m hoping we soon get the chance to start reading what are always an amusing and enjoyable series of articles.

Whilst I have no doubt that this tour will see the players acting as responsibly as on previous ones, it did get me thinking about what happens when Brentford trips go wrong. Specifically, the first team ‘holiday’ that took place after we’d defied expectations (to the point the players had already booked a summer escape) to reach the final of the 1985 Freight Rover Trophy against Wigan Athletic.
Interviewing Danis Salman a few years ago, he described this saying:

“We’d already paid for the holidays out of our pocket and but it was going to be not even a week after we came back before the final. I turned around and said to the boys – we’ve got to cancel the holiday. You know what’s going to happen; we’ll go out to a hot country, and come back just a few days before a final a Wembley. I was the only person that had that view and was getting slaughtered. I just thought – this is our one chance, and the supporters, to go to Wembley and a have a great time.

We’d already played against Wigan – home and away – and I think I’d scored against them twice that year. But no, no – they wanted to go on holiday and yeah, true to word we got on holiday and had Chris Kamara, Terry Hurlock, myself. We had a good team that year but went out every day for a week.

We got beat three-one.

I have no doubt that the hardest that the lads will push the social side on this trip will be Sam Saunders topping up the tan. As Danis went on to add, “Modern day football would probably be totally different”.

As soon as the club’s ‘Adrian Mole’ gets writing, we’ll find out……

‘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.