Brentford travel to Aston Villa tonight knowing victory will take the Bees into the top six following last night’s opening games in the current round of Championship fixtures. Newcastle United hammered hapless QPR 6-0 at Loftus Road to retain second place whilst, over in the Champions League, Barcelona went one better and attained those legendary brackets as Celtic came home on the wrong end of a 7(seven) – 0 humping.
How’s that going?
If Brentford are to have any genuine aspirations for ‘automatic’ then ordinarily we shouldn’t take any real pleasure from seeing a team we need to trip up, winning so heavily. Frankly, Newcastle United are just about everybody’s tip for the top (although I’ve called Norwich City – erm…). Even Ian Holloway.
Yet there was something wonderful about watching Newcastle go further and further ahead as the goals poured in against QPR. There was something wonderful about all the pre-match bluster on twitter from the Loftus Road mob come crashing down around their ears.
At one point, it was neck and neck between them and Barcelona as to who would reach brackets first. With Celtic also 6-0 down, could there have been a double bracketing? Indeed, what is the collective term for brackets? Many thanks indeed to Carey Paton for her excellent observation that, surely, had both games ended 7(seven)- 0 then it would have been – a plethora pf brackets.
But I digress. As ever. From sitting just above the Bees on goal difference in 7(seventh) place going into the game, there is now clear air between Brentford and a QPR team who have slithered down to 14th. Can we take further advantage of this at Villa Park tonight?
Well, the main build up piece went up yesterday although if you’d like to read more…. it can be found here. Yet one of the questions posed was whether Dean Smith had given Roberto Di Matteo’s team talk for him?
Specifically in his quote of “They have had a big turnaround and I am not sure that confidence is fully back yet. There has been a big change around in players but they have only won one game out of their six so far. Hopefully it is the right time for us to play them.”
This, of course, part of a much broader and very warm interview in regards to Aston Villa and the family connection he shared. Yet, taken on its own, who knows what effect it might have, or if this could even backfire? My own feelings remain the same – it’ll be tough but it’ll be close. And I think at 4/1 Brentford remain just too good value. Then again, before anybody goes and puts the mortgage on an away win, please remember I am just the numpty on the terrace.
Yet if the Brentford head coach might have given Aston Villa a hand in the motivational stakes, have the Birmingham Mail also done the same for him? A brief opinion piece entitled : Aston Villa v Brentford: Time for an annihilation? appeared on line as part of the big match build up.
It’s here if you really want it, a snippet designed to lure you in (yes, I bit – deploy the fishing rod emoji) the jist of which being that Villa are, currently, creating lots of chances.
Quite likely. And, regardless, this was always one of the fixtures marked down as a potential potato skin for the bees. Yet if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last season or two it is that possession, chances and stats don’t win games. Taking opportunities when they arise and, erm, scoring goals is all that counts for those looking to take home the points. Blindingly obvious, perhaps, but our trip to Brighton on Saturday showed, yet again, how true that is.
Brentford played wonderfully, the second half especially. Nobody who was there would deny that. Yet it was as much our resolute defence against over-elaborate and profligate hosts as it was taking the goals when we could that won the game.
Can we ‘go again’ tonight? Or will the Birmingham Mail have called it correctly? Who knows but I’ll certainly be amongst 2,000 Brentford fans at Villa Park to find out.
The other question to come out of yesterday’s article was in regards to the picture of Ian Holloway.
Ian Holloway – lining up against…?
Specifically, who were the team playing against Bristol Rovers? The gut reaction was that it was Peterborough United and their infamous ‘pizza shirt’ . And, indeed, it seemed it was. Yet they weren’t alone in wearing a template that is a regular entrant to the ‘worst shirts of all time top tens.
A little bit more digging on the internet has revealed that Scunthorpe United also ran out in the same design.
It’s bad enough seeing them in a shirt with anything but Rainham Steel on the front – as engrained a part of football folklore as orange balls in the snow or brackets. Yet to then compound it by wearing something that looked like it had either been served up in a cheap Italian restaurant, or just regurgitated, is all kinds of wrong.
Then again, I’ve a soft spot for Rainham Steel. They are an iconic name amongst football supporters of a certain age and I know I’m not alone. Comedian Dave Gorman uses them as the barometer of exactly what it means to be a football supporter.
Yet Mr. Gorman, in his book ‘Too Much Information’, says it so much better than I could ever try to. We’ve seen this before but sometimes things do bear repeating.
The test of a real football fan (or just a kit nerd)