Tag Archives: Hulk

With Brentford in a Field of Dreams (sorry) here’s one turkey from Christmas past before Cardiff on Boxing Day.

24 Dec

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all that. Brentford are preparing to host Cardiff City (for whom Sol Bamba – a terrace songsmith’s dream if there was one – will be missing) whilst Rangers fans will be crying into their sprouts at the prospect of no Jota under the tree. As for Matthew Benham, will he be the beneficiary of a £15million gift from West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa or even Reading in the New Year sales? This, of course, being the current suggested rate for a Scott Hogan.

Reading have probably got more chance of picking up Hulk Hogan than Scott. Why would he need to even consider going there? Besides, with the Royals already baulking at the prospect of having to pay £9million (as has been reported in the Birmingham Mail), adding another 6 to that is going to be well beyond their particular ball park.

reading-hogan

There’s more chance of Hulk than Scott

That is if we even sell in the forthcoming window. Eventually, of course, it will happen. Nobody is that naive whilst the simple mathematics of ‘one club players’ so rarely being a thing these days make it inevitable at some point. Yet in the short term, the tantalising prospect of seeing him and a returning Jota on the same pitch is one I’m still holding out hope for in the second half of this season.

Still, all that is to come. We have the festive games against Cardiff and Norwich City to before that. Scott will surely be the first name on the team sheet (unless he has a sick relative), closely followed by Tom Field. The left back “delighted” at having just signed a contract extension that will see him at Griffin Park until 2020.

For all that Scott is doing it at one end, few could deny the wonderful start that Tom has had to his own Brentford career. From a home debut agasint Fulham where his call up was so unexpected that even supporters were asking ‘Who?‘ when they saw his name on the team sheet, to a recent run in the side as Dean has switched to a three centre back system supported by Tom and Maxime Colin. It is no coincidence that we are yet to concede a goal in the League whilst Tom has been on the pitch.

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Tom in a field of dreams. A pun so bad we made it twice

Prior to all of that we have Christmas day ahead of us. Preparations here are remarkably under control with all shopping done (for once). Already I’m dreading that Columbo moment around 3pm when Mrs Bruzon asks for “ Just one more thing…..” from a by then heaving, and empty shelved, supermarket. So until that happens, here’s one we’ve run before but probably deserves another airing.

It is a story that, if being honest, I had completely forgotten about until an article in The Times a few years ago from none other than Mark Clemmit.

Mark, of course, is better known as Clem, the ever popular roving reporter for BT Sport and formerly of the BBC Football League Show. There, his own performance was the subject of a season long analysis in 2014/15 as to whether there is any support for many supporters’ long held belief that he ‘jinxes’ whichever team he follows. Specifically, that the team covered by the man with the mic that week would, at best, pick up a point. Indeed, by season end Clem teams had only tasted victory 7(seven) times out of 30

But we digress. The jinx factor aside, it is fair to say that Clem remains an endearing and well-respected pundit. Aswell as his TV work he has also been a prolific writer over the years and it was for the aforementioned paper that he chose to talk about Brentford a few years back. Or, specifically, what we tried at Christmas 1983

To me, 1983 doesn’t seem that long ago. Knight Rider, Blackadder and the A-Team graced our TV screens whilst big hits at the cinema included Return of the Jedi and Octopussy. On the football pitch, Stan Bowles was strutting his stuff for The Bees whilst Bob Booker was halfway through his first spell at Griffin Park.

That said, given as Bob made his final appearance for us in 1993 that doesn’t really narrow it down, such was the three-decade spanning length of his Brentford career. Even Roger Moore only lasted as Bond for 12 years although for all that I love his time in the role, even I have to step back in slight disbelief at the image, from the official movie poster, of 007 casually standing on the tail of a speeding aeroplane as he tosses a bad guy to his doom.

Octopussy

Roger’s wing walking (top left) a highlight of 1983

But the point being that, to me at least, 1983 still seems very vivid in the mind’s eye. As such, I was intrigued by the gem that Clem had unearthed, pertaining to Brentford’s Christmas fixture list. The ever-progressive club had, at one point, looked to revive an old festive tradition and arrange our game with Wimbledon for 11am on December 25th.

It seems madness now but not as crazy as the reasoning, given out by the Press Officer at the time. It was an attempt to get back to, and I quote, “The old idea of men going to football whilst ladies stayed at home to cook the turkey”.

Seriously? Was this just Clem having a joke at the expense of Brentford fans? Seemingly not. A quick trawl of the interweb reveals this gem elsewhere whilst, more importantly, it is directly referenced in the excellent “100 years of Brentford” book.

After protests from both sets of fans the game was rearranged for Christmas Eve and we promptly lost 3-4 in front of 6,689 fans.

Their numbers, presumably, bolstered by women who had been unchained from their cookers.

Here’s hoping for a better result on Monday against Cardiff City. See you there.

Nick Bruzon

Pre-season excitement builds as even Manchester United impress

24 Jul

I’ve no particular affiliation to Manchester United or the Premiership but this morning the Old Trafford outfit have achieved my favourite thing in football – videprinter brackets. Louis van Gaal scooped the prestigious Chevrolet Cup (a 21st Century Makita trophy?) in his first game in charge of the Red Devils as the won 7(seven) – 0 over LA Galaxy.

Being a Brentford fan, I’m always a lover of seeing the mighty fall flat at the hands of the under-dog. As such, last season’s campaign was of particular interest for us Premiership neutrals with team after team lining up to administer another beating to David Moyes’ team.

Brackets made their first appearance since the World Cup

Brackets made their first appearance since the World Cup

However, does this hefty win mean normal service will be returned? Or do pre season friendlies count for nothing? Well, with Brentford taking Barnet (the LA Galaxy of North London) apart 5-1 on Tuesday I’d certainly be taking positives from any victory. Further friendlies await against Nice (Saturday), CA Osasuna (Tuesday) and then Crystal Palace the following weekend .

Last season saw fine performances against Millwall (3-0) and Cardiff City (3-2) that were the precursor to our eventual promotion. I won’t take wins in the next ten days as a guarantee of the same but they will be great morale boosters. Moreso for the fans who seem to be chomping at the bit to get back to Griffin Park.

Full ticketing details remain on the club site but, for the price of a Central London pint, you can see the Bees in action as soon as this weekend.

Bring it on!! Football is (almost) back

And if you can’t wait for the new season, why not catch up on the last one? ‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ (The story of Brentford’s 2013/14 promotion campaign, amongst other football related chatter) – is now available as a digital book. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from last season, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle / digital device.

GP under lights v Cardiff 2

Griffin Park awaits last season’s warm up against Cardiff City

It’s only obvious if you know the answer. Thank you, Mr Benham

22 Jul

Obvious clue”. Not my words but those of Brentford owner Matthew Benham on Sunday night as he dropped another of his cryptic hints as to who would be joining the Bees yesterday.

In the end, the video of Bob Dylan’s Wigwam was neither Bob Booker (as suggested by Luis Adriano) or Patrick Bamford as, finally, it seemed I may have unravelled one of these. But no, instead my guess merely unearthed Dusty Bin once more as a Hogan transpired to also be a Navajo dwelling.

Not Patrick Bamford but a Navjo tent

Not Patrick Bamford but a Navjo hut

There’s more chance of Brentford winning the FA Cup than me getting one of these clues. Not that I’m complaining. Matthew’s continued investments, in quality, are a stunning thing to behold. When the only problem we seem to have is the inability to solve a riddle, then things must be good.

That said, I wouldn’t mind if he could make them a tad easier. Frankly, Matthew could come out and say, “We are signing Marcello Trotta” and I’d probably translate that to Tommy Smith becoming a Bee.

Although, to be fair, we are yet to pick up that ‘experienced pro’ that sides entering the Championship always seem to do – see also England International Kenny Sansom, 92-93.

So instead it IS Scott Hogan, as all the ‘unofficial’ clues were suggesting may be the case on Sunday, who has joined Brentford. Matthew retains his place as Brentford’s own Ted Rogers and Patrick remains a Chelsea player.

And what a signing Scott promises to be. Whilst you can read the full ‘Hogan’ fact file on the clubsite, for me, the telling facts are a PFA ‘team of the year’ selection and 17 goals in 33 league games last season. Of course, previous stats don’t guarantee a glut of goals (see also: Northern Ireland International Will Grigg) but the team seems set up to provide even more attacking options than ever before.

You can get your first look at Scott tonight, with the Bees due to travel to Barnet, against whom Warbs has promised he will be given a run out. And if you can’t make it, don’t forget there is live coverage on Beesplayer where you could also contemplate more intriguing questions:

Given the club’s ability for picking out young talent, just how good can Scott be?

When will  Mark Burridge & co first use the ‘Hogan’s heroes’ line or reference to WWE’s ‘Hulk’ ? (my guess, by 7.10pm tonight)

And, most importantly, assuming Hogan lives up to his promise, which member of club staff will attempt to grow the wrestler’s trademark blonde handlebar for Movember?

The chief executive? The programme editor? Mr Style? Or a fellow new boy?

Stranger things have happened – the artist’s impression (nobody has done it for real, yet… is below)

And if you can’t wait for the new season, why not catch up on the last one? ‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ (The story of Brentford’s 2013/14 promotion campaign, amongst other football related chatter) – is now available as a digital book. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from last season, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle / digital device.

Will anybody from the club go 'Full Hogan" this November??

Will anybody from the club go ‘Full Hogan” this November??

Hogan? Bam Bam? Or both? Do not adjust your set.

21 Jul

With most of the speculation yesterday about who may sign for Brentford focusing on Scott Hogan, club owner Matthew Benham added his own voice with the return of the ever popular ‘cryptic clue’. This now customary ‘air raid siren’ to announce an incoming signing went off last night as Bees fans were still wondering who will replace Birmingham City new boy Clayton Donaldson or Will Grigg, last seen visiting concrete cows at Milton Keynes.

Matthew’s clues have, in the past, been as tricky to answer as one of those from TV’s 3-2-1. Hosted by the late, great Ted Rogers, contestants on that show had more chance picking out the holiday from the booby prize by sticking a finger in the air than attempting to untangle the mystery rhyme.

A typical Ted Rogers clue. Matthew has a tough act to follow

 

However, last night even ‘your’s truly’ seems to have got this one. A twitter link from Matthew with the line “obvious clue” , led to this video of ‘Wigwam’ by Bob Dylan. Whilst being a great tune, the song is somewhat bereft of lyrics.

It seems obvious, but....

It seems obvious, but….

That said, it is only a short step from the Bob Dylan version to the song of the same name by The Sweet. And that includes the line: “Wigwam, Bam, gonna make you my man”.

Surely, with Patrick Bamford being the other name in the frame, it wouldn’t be that obvious? But I’d be very pleased if it was. VERY pleased .

The Chelsea youngster is already an England U-21 and has an extremely impressive strike rate at both MK Dons and Derby County. 22 goals from his last 45 games for these two is a more than potent ratio for a twenty year old. It’s just a shame that, if this does come to pass, we won’t get the chance to see him face off against Will, given MK failed to trouble the play offs last season.

Still, at the time of writing (6.30am on Monday morning) the Hogan and Bamford stories both remain speculation . Which, if either, could be true? Is Matthew deliberately sending us off course? Or have I just put 2+2 together and got 5? As ever, I’m sure the club site will be the place to find out.

Unless, of course, the players themselves tell us first on twitter (Moses Odubajo, I’m looking at you….)

And if you can’t wait for the new season, why not catch up on the last one? ‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ (The story of Brentford’s 2013/14 promotion campaign, amongst other football related chatter) – is now available as a digital book. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from last season, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle / digital device.

Is Bam Bam about to become a Bee? Sweet !!

Is Bam Bam about to become a Bee? Sweet !!

Could Warbs line up the ultimate double striker swoop?

20 Jul

With Will Grigg’s departure from Brentford to MK Dons (albeit on loan) confirmed the day after his ‘no show’ at Boreham Wood, the obvious question remains – who’s next in at Griffin Park? The Championship is getting closer and, as it stands, we seem to be lacking options up top.

Well, the rumour mill is going into ‘overdrive’ in regards to Scott Hogan of Rochdale. Stories are circulating on Sunday morning of a deal being agreed with a £750,000 price tag attached. How accurate, if at all, these will prove to be remains to be seen but, as it stands, (publically) he remains a Rochdale player.

However, Scott is someone that comes with a great reputation. Leeds United have, reportedly, also been keen and it is no surprise as to why. 17 goals in 32 games is a strike rate that speaks for itself and, rightly, earned Hogan a place in last season’s Division Two PFA team of the year.

Hogan - could he be a new Brentford hero?

Hogan – could he be a new Brentford hero?

The Bees back room staff have, generally, a fantastic eye for picking young talent and he sounds like just the sort of player to plug the gap at top. We have assembled a team with phenomenal attacking options from midfield – Alex Pritchard from Tottenham being the latest to join – but the set up is still crying out for somebody to round it off.

I can have no doubt that Grigg’s departure (along with the loss of Clayton, release of Farid and non return, as it stands, of Marcello) is all part of making way for an imminent new signing. Mark Warburton’s comment that “Will is too good to be regarded as a number two” is surely further indication of this.

However, as it stands, Matthew Benhan is yet to set twitter buzzing with another of his infamous ‘cryptic clues’. Hogan’s Heroes? Some WWE wrestling? Although then we could really be entering the realms of Beesplayer pun fantasy – with a double swoop to also include Zenit St. Petersburg’s Brazilian international?

With Hulk-Hogan in the team, surely the Bees would be unstoppable ?

And if you can’t wait for the new season, why not catch up on the last one? ‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ (The story of Brentford’s 2013/14 promotion campaign, amongst other football related chatter) – is now available as a digital book. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from last season, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle / digital device.

Hulk Hogan. It'll never happen - but Beesplayer would go into meltdown

Hulk Hogan. It’ll never happen – but Beesplayer would go into meltdown