Tag Archives: Jo Tilley

The two most beautiful words in footballing parlance are back.

18 Aug

There are just two words to mention today for Brentford fans. You’d be forgiven for thinking these are Leeds and Barnsley. This, after their respective 90th minute goals in the latest round of fixtures denied three points for Fulham and turned a plucky away draw into a glorious defeat for QPR. You could even have Shane Duffy in mind after the Blackburn defender has endured what could be politely called a ’torrid’ a start to the season. But you’d be wrong. For me, it’s all about the most beautiful piece of alliteration in the English language…. Terrace Talk.

Yes, football’s most brilliant feature is back. And this time Sean Ridley is in charge.

To read the rest of this article, season 2016/17 is now available for download on e-book in the retrospective: Welcome Home, King Jota (Brentford FC season review 2016/17)
 
Priced at just £1.99, all sales are being donated to the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust.

Likewise any sales from the previous titles – Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup (2013/14), Tales from the football village (2014/15) and Ready. Steady. Go Again. (2015/16) – are also now going to the BFCCST.

Containing the least bad of the blogs from May 16 to May 17, you can pick it up, here. Its all for a great cause and,hey, you may even enjoy it…..

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The BBC table doesn’t lie (Although will tell a more accurate story after 10 games)

 

Jo Tilley Terrace Talk

Jo – Queen of the TT ‘walk and talk’

Nick Bruzon

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As the EURO winners show, what would be our Phoenix From The Flames ?

18 Jun

With EURO2016 now fully underway, Friday’s games saw Spain crank things up a notch and Croatia lose it – on and off the pitch. With much of what involves the England fans dividing opinion and generating some very contrasting views from those ‘on the ground’, there was no doubting what we saw on our TV screens yesterday. Plus, in an effort to blow away the current glut of Griffin Park tumbleweed, we have Brentford thoughts, updates and pictures.

First up, Croatia. 2-0 up and cruising against the Czech Republic, not only did they throw it away to be held 2-2 but their ‘fans’ have, surely, lined them up as the next nation to be given a suspended disqualification alongside Russia. This, after a shower of flares and firecrackers descended onto the pitch from the Croatian end as the game reached it’s denouement.

Combined with fighting amongst their own fans, they were ugly scenes that also saw one steward lucky to escape injury as a device went off in his face. Slaven Bilic, talking as part of the ITV panel for the Spain game, attempted to quantify it with the observation that “There are many fans who are against the FA”. That these are protests against a perceived Zagreb bias in Croatian football.

I can’t comment either way on that. My knowledge of the wider problems in European football extends about as far as when Gibraltar’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Belgium is going to take place. But what I can say is that, like the flare launched at England fans during the Russia game, one can only wonder again how security – with France on its highest state of alert – is working? Moreso, just what can UEFA do, if anything, to stop what should have been a wonderful tournament (and still can be) turning into one which will as much be remembered for all the wrong reasons?

As for Spain, a second clean sheet and three goals against Turkey saw them step up an ominous gear. Wth many people’s favourites France leaving it late to record their second victory, the Spaniards by contrast made their six points look simple. After 61% possession, 707 passes and 18 shots (although with goals to match those stats)  they’re already in to 10/3. Forget patriotism – grab that price whilst you can.

Just one other observation on the Spain game, which comes courtesy of Jamie Lovell (@jtlovell1979 ) on Twitter. I can’t take the credit for this but he put into words, wonderfully, the exasperation many of us were suffering from at the hands (or voice) of co-commentator Tony Pulis.

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For me, Clive

Look positive Jamie, at least it wasn’t Glenn Hoddle

Ok, back home and Brentford. I took a stroll past Griffin Park yesterday and couldn’t resist the chance to stick my head over the wall. I have to say the pitch is looking wonderful already.

Granted, the club took the steps to dig it up as soon as we’d played our last ‘home’ game ( if I recall, some sort of thrashing administered to Fulham, wasn’t it?). That, following the pitch-gate shocker at the start of the season.

But, you have to say, credit for what seems to be a job well done already. Here’s to seeing how the Bees perform on it when Championship action recommences in August.

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The pitch is looking luxuriant

And when it does, Brentford will find themselves joint 7th (seventh) favourites for the title. Checking my online bookmaker for research purposes this morning, this odds are now up and we’re priced 20/1.

Somewhat stingy for a team who, by our own head coach’s admission, were in a relegation scrap as recently as March? Or easy money for a team who have rediscovered the way to goal via Scott Hogan and those signings who have now ‘bedded in’ to the side? Either way, this is how the bookies see the Championship at present.

And finally, Euro ’96. Kind of. With the football in everybody’s faces at the moment, even the radio is getting in on the act. You can’t move on Absolute Radio at present for World in Motion or Three Lions. Which is no bad thing.

The latter, especially, bringing back all sorts of memories. And not just about how terrifyingly bad David Baddiel was at singing. Seriously, that was the best take?

But talk on the subject amongst some of my Brentford supporting friends led from there to the TV show from which it sprang, Fantasy Football League (of course, co-hosted by Frank Skinner). In particular, the ‘Phoenix From The Flames’ segment in which a famous moment from footballing days gone by would be recreated on a council pitch, featuring the original protagonists.

Specifically, conversation got onto the topic of which Brentford moment would we recreate? Perhaps with the wonderful Sean Ridley and Jo Tilley in the Baddiel and Skinner roles ?

That penalty’ is perhaps too obvious Besides, having not really been discussed in the media after the event, people might not remember. Other topics for consideration included:

Mike Grella destroying Bournemouth; Jota v Fulham; Paul Hayes and Will Grigg being less than on fire when taking home debut penalties; promotion v Preston; Gary Blissett knocking Manchester City out of the FA cup and inciting a banana wielding pitch invader; DJ Campbell giving Gary Breen nightmares.

In the end, though, we settled on cup action. Against Everton. Richard Lee’s penalty saves were the highlight for many but, equally, the pre-game footage of the respective club mascots still gets a watch every now and then.

Whilst the respective kids must be close to teenagers now, that would almost add to the recreation. That said, I’m not sure if we could afford Leighton Baines’ appearance fee.

Could this be recreated, Phoenix style?

Until then, here’s to a weekend of six games and, hopefully, some more magical moments.

Nick Bruzon

They celebrated like they’d won the FA Cup (quarter final)

27 May

That’s controversial. The Football Association have announced that FA Cup quarter final replays are to be scrapped. Brentford haven’t reached that stage since playing Liverpool in the 1988/89 campaign but this could still have significant impact. And following on from yesterday’s article about the most recent Terrace Talk double bill, we take a quick look at what the next logical step for next season could be.

But first, those changes to the FA Cup. Chief Executive Martin Glenn has been quoted as saying that as part of an ongoing review, this move “adds excitement”.   Whilst the replays will stay in place up to and including round 5, this move is also intended to help ease fixture congestion.

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The Bees haven’t played an FA Cup quarter final since Livepool in 88/89

Of course, we’ve already seen replays in the semis and the final itself disappear in recent years but those are played at a neutral ground. Or Wembley as it has been known since the national stadium was reopened.

And this is what strikes me as odd. You are changing the rules mid-tournament and handing a massive advantage to the home team in this quarter final stage.

The traditionalist in me would love replays to run all the way through to the final but that’s just not going to happen given the already overcrowded calendar.  At least, though, those games take place at a stadium that, travel aside, favours neither team. This is different.

The chance to hold on for the draw and bring them back to your place is gone. And does this mean that in the bid for further fixture review we’ll follow suit in the earlier rounds? Surely it should be all or nothing?

Instead of the ongoing devaluation of our oldest cup competition, if you want to ease fixture congestion then just scrap the Worthless aka League Cup. Most teams use this as an excuse to play the kids anyway – even Brentford who ended up on the wrong end of last season’s 4-0 humbling at home to Oxford United. Three goals down before 8pm (it had been a 7.45 kick off) we got everything we deserved after joining the ranks of those paying lip service to this tournament.

And while we’re at it, semi-finals at Wembley. Just no. No. The final should be a showpiece event. A trip to Wembley should be that rarest of treats and due reward for making the last round. Not a dress rehearsal to maximise revenue for the FA and cause supporters all manner of travel headaches. Villa Park, Hillsborough ,The Emirates and Old Trafford are amongst those which would be more than able to handle an event of this nature and restore some much needed tradition to the tournament.

Ah yes, but apparently Wembley allows the maximum amount of people to see the semis. That’ll be the sound of the woodwork being vacated. And by that logic, play the quarters there too. Hey, what about some plum fourth round ties?

As I say, this will all make little difference to Brentford, anyway. We’ve struggled to get past the 3rd round since that epic, Gary Blissett inspired run took us all the way to Anfield and the 4-0 loss at the hands of all conquering Liverpool (kids, ask your dads). The odd dalliance with the middle stages aside, from which I’d imagine Gary Breen is still having DJ Campbell inspired nightmares, we’re normally done by the end of January. But you can still live in hope.

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Bliss makes it 3-1 v his beloved Manchester City in the FA cup 4th round

Back to Griffin Park and yesterday’s article focussed on the brilliance of Terrace Talk. Which then got the mind wandering over the course of the day (outside of working hours, if you’re reading boss)  – how do we top it next time out?

First thought was a couple of ‘one-off specials’ . We’ve already talked about a kit launch special but how about a day in the life of Griffin Park? Jo and Sean taking us through the match day routine – from the Griffin Park gates being unlocked int he morning to the floodlights being turned off at the end of the day. All, of course, delivered via their own enthusiastic spin.

How about ‘Terrace Talk on the road’ ? Brentford travel well and it would give those who couldn’t make the game a chance to see things they would, ordinarily, get an insight on.

Or rather than Terrace Talk, could Jo or Sean take things to the next level with Dressing Room Talk ?  Cameras in the changing rooms aren’t a new thing but how good would it be to get the player’s take on Jo’s ‘big question’ before the game and, perhaps, their views on performance at full time.

Could it happen? Who knows? Just as long as those Terrace Talks cameras are back in one form or another then I’ll be a happy man.

Jo Tilley Terrace Talk

Will Jo do the ‘walk and talk’ next season?

Nick Bruzon

Plug time (regular readers know the score from here) : As ever, The Last Word ‘season review’ : Ready. Steady. Go Again and the three year anthology : The Bees are going up remain available for download. Should anybody want to go over this nonsense and relive these moments once more then you can do so now.

It has been a stunning few years. Here’s to more of the same. We may have had a few lows (something about a penalty, the football village, the FA Cup, the pitch, the Marinus experiment) but there have been plenty more highs as the Bees made an unexpected challenge for the Premier League.

Thanks for reading.

 

How do you top perfection?

26 May

“Just talk, don’t shout.” Not my words but those of Terrace Talk presenter Jo Tilley as Brentford released a special edition of the cult classic yesterday. Along with #BeeTheDJ and Kitman Bob’s BBGiveaway, Terrace Talk shows that when The Bees get fan interaction right, nobody does it better. Nowhere moreso is this illustrated than on a double bill ‘best of / outtakes‘ edition, featuring cameos from singing Sheffield Wednesday fans, Billy Reeves, ‘Emma’ and, erm, others…

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Billy, for once, on the receiving end of a gentle probing

I make no pretence in my thoughts that this feature suffered from some initial teething issues when it first burst onto our screens. But, like a caterpillar turning into a beautiful butterfly, the combination of Jo’s acting, a refined presenting technique and willing supporters has turned it into the ‘tour de force’ it is today.

In case you hadn’t guessed, I love Terrace Talk. Kudos, too, for Sean Ridley who also appears in the latest compilation. I have it on pretty good authority that ‘TT’ will return next campaign although if the club are now looking to manage their ‘close season’ content, what’s to say we won’t see any more ad-hoc specials?

I’m pretty sure there’s a couple of kit launches we’re going to have to get ready for. Fans are already pestering Bob for details although his lips are sealed. Indeed, I saw one suggestion that we might follow Ayr United in their latest efforts (a repeat of a previous stunt). That said, given a lack of misogynistic tendencies from our family club I just can’t see that ever happening.

Instead, it’s going to be a long, hot summer as we wait for the big reveal and any other club related news. Until then, why not enjoy Jo, Sean and even some of your own finest five minutes?

Herrrrre’s Terrace Talk…


Jo and Sean help make up our video dream team

Plug time: And finally, as ever, The Last Word ‘season review’ : Ready. Steady. Go Again and the three year anthology : The Bees are going up remain available for download. Should anybody want to go over this nonsense and relive these moments once more then you can do so now.

It has been a stunning few years. Here’s to more of the same. We may have had a few lows (something about a penalty, the football village, the FA Cup, the pitch, the Marinus experiment) but there have been plenty more highs as the Bees made an unexpected challenge for the Premier League.

Thanks for reading.

Nick Bruzon

What’s in the box? (without video – for now…)

10 May

I really didn’t think the end of the season could get any better for Brentford. The rebuilt team had rediscovered their mojo after hitting the low point of that home defeat to ten man Blackburn. From there, an epic run had taken us to a final position of 9th despite multiple high profile departures from last years’s squad over the course of the campaign. Life was good once more. Then Kitman Bob started to do his thing. Again.

To be honest, Sunday night’s ‘player of the year’ dinner – where Alan Judge and Sergi Canos swept the board – had already provided a moment of pure Twitter gold. Namely, ‘Brentford official’ capturing the moment that Buzzette arrived at the awards.

Buzzette arriving at Beespoty (1)

Buzzette (and Buzz) are brilliant. Non-stop energy and an unlimited supply of ‘high fives’ for our young  – and old – fans. Yet it is more than this. The beaming grins and desire to get involved in just about anything Bees related always put a smile on my face and do make me wonder if any performance enhancing substances have been involved. (kids, of course they haven’t ).

But the sight of Buzzette pulling a travel suitcase into a Heathrow hotel and waving to the (presumably) throng of paparazzi really did take things to a surreal level. Even by her anthropomorphic standards.

And when it looked like we’d hit a new high, things stepped up a level.

On the way home from work last night the phone started going crazy. Messages popping up alerting me to a Twitter update from Kitman Bob. Just for the record – specifically addressed to me rather than some ’stalker’ type ‘alert’ that goes off whenever our man from the boot room posts an update. ‘Kit obsessive’ merely being a nom de plume in the programme (honest !).

It’s here. Kind of. Next season’s gear. Brentford have specialised in the slow reveal over the last few seasons. Mark Devlin and Mark Chapman have intrigued us with their own take on the strip, tease. Now it is Bob’s turn.

Twitter was awash with questions after our enigmatic Kitman released the following picture. Granted most of them were from yours truly but I wasn’t, quite, alone…

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What’s in the box? Are there ANY clues to be taken from the picture? When do we get to see these for real?

I’ve given up guessing but Bob / Mark – if you are reading then any more clues would be gratefully appreciated.

And, when it does happen, how about a video for the launch?

Whether involving players, supporters or both? Perhaps a special ‘Terrace Talk’ as Jo Tilley leads the build up to the ‘reveal’, perhaps looking at fan favourites over the years in the pre-amble?

Or, of course, we could just try to emulate the aforementioned Blackburn Rovers. For any club to match their 2014 effort featuring ‘Birdy’ would, surely, be a challenge too much.

But, we’re Brentford. We’ve got great colours, an innovative approach, genius Jo, video whizkid Sean Ridley and even a few players who could probably do the ‘model’ thing (catwalk rather than Rasmus, Phil and Matthew’s stats).

If anybody can give it a go, it’ll be us.

Words aren’t enough 

Nick Bruzon

All good things come to an end. Or do they?

2 May

Monday morning and Brentford fans are still celebrating after the 3-0 humbling of Fulham on Saturday. With Burnley knowing that victory over QPR this evening will, but for a mathematical anomaly, ensure their promotion back to the Premier League, there is a very real chance that we’ll be London’s highest place team outside of the top flight before the Bank Holiday has ended.

As such, there’ll be more than a few good wishes towards Andre Gray later today. Especially, I’d imagine, from the accounts department where of course the terms of his sale to the Clarets remain largely a mystery and so nobody knows about any promotion clause.

But with the Bees in a position to cement their place above QPR, Fulham et al, there is a downside to all of this. Sunday saw the club releasing the ever wonderful highlights package which, if you somehow haven’t already seen, can be found at the end of this column.

It also released cult favourite – Terrace Talk.

Jo Tilley Terrace Talk

YouTube viewers see Jo do the ‘walk and talk’ as stewards prepare to hold back the crowd

It is also a day of sadness as it is, of course, the final home game of the season. Even more disappointingly some would say, it is the final terrace talk.

They aren’t my words but those of host Jo Tilley to introduce Saturday’s edition of the quite bonkers, but utterly compelling, pre-match chat with supporters. Leading in with a piece of poetry and a spin around the centre circle, topic of the day seemed to be “How are you doing?

I was already lost by the time we got to ‘funky bee’ jumper woman. My mind in turmoil as Jo’s opening words sank in. Presumably she’d meant the final Terrace Talk of the season? Not ever? Surely?

Yet as the video closed out with a final montage of the Fulham goals from the alternate angle, I’m still not sure.

Has it been fatally holed below the waterline following Sean Ridley’s quite brilliant turn as stand in host prior to the Bristol City game ? Or will Jo be back next season. Bigger and better than ever before?

Here’s hoping. I loved this weekend’s moment of realisation that, perhaps, asking the parents of debutant Tom Field for their highlight of the season was a question to rank alongside,”So, what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?

Matthew Benham. Mark Devlin. The media team. Jo. If any of you are reading (you never know) please can we have Terrace Talk back for 2016/17?


Hopefully Terrace Talk is just breaking for the summer

The other ‘last’ of the season (although I’m also hoping this will return next campaign) saw the final BBGiveaway pass us by with nobody securing that wonderful prize. Good luck to Bob in sorting that one out, despite some people coming awfully close 😉 .  Close counts for nothing – just ask Marcello Trotta.

Seriously though, I’d like to thank Bob for all he’s done this season. BBGiveaway has been fantastic and supporters have loved it. For me, the two highlights have been Bob’s own prediction of Jake Bidwell scoring his first ever Brentford goal along with setting 215 fans on a selfie-hunt with Peter Gilham.

Bob crystal ball

Mystic Bob – just HOW did he do this?

Nice one, Bob. Thank you ! You’ve made a lot of fans very happy. Nowhere else than Brentford would you get this level of brilliance.

Otherwise, there are just five days to go for us until the players can start packing for their holidays and the supporters can hang up their replica shirts for the summer months. We’ve still got Huddersfield Town on Saturday but, personally, I’m already looking forward.

The Fulham game seemed such an emphatic way to end the season at home that it feels as though we’ve already reached the end of the line.

Have no doubt Dean Smith will be shouting the boys on for one last push. I’m sure that come the weekend we’ll be back to the big match prep but, for now, it’s time to put the feet up.

Until then, why not enjoy the weekend goals once more?

Sam’s finish get’s better and better each time.

Nick Bruzon

Honours for Alan and Andre as a star is born

18 Apr

Alan Judge. He may have been missing from Saturday’s draw with Bristol City but he was the centre of attention on Sunday as Brentford went head to head with Burnley and  Fulham to see which club would have the honour of their man being selected as ‘Championship player of the season’. With the Judge up against former Bee Andre Gray and Cottager Ross McCormack in the final three, the winner was announced on Sunday evening.

It was a tremendous honour for Alan even to be named in this group. From the outside looking in, Brentford have failed to match last seasons heights and limped into mid-table after losing huge swathes of that squad. We’ve had to rebuild the team (and the pitch) yet Alan has been consistently brilliant.

The leading number of assists in the division is matched with his being top scorer for the Bees. Selection for the Irish National team saw a very real chance of his playing in the Euro 2016 finals, until that awful leg break suffered last weekend.

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Would Alan run off with the award?

His being shortlisted for this award was fully deserved but, in the end, it was the goalscoring prowess of Andre Gray that was telling. Massive congratulations are due to Andre as he not only picked up where he left off last season but has gone even better with Burnley knocking on the door of the Premier League once more. Thanks in no small part to his ability in front of goal.

Hey, in part this award was earned at Griffin Park. Whilst his sale to Burnley seemed inevitable given all the talk over the summer, Andre did start the season as a Bee. Indeed, his two game cameo saw goals against Ipswich Town and Bristol City as Brentford made it 4 points from our opening 6.   The rest though, is history.

Well done Andre. Fully deserved and, I have no doubt, his career will only go on to bigger and better things. I can’t wait to see how he does in the top flight next season.

That said , there was still great news for Alan. Whilst he may have just missed out on ‘Championship player of the season’ he did make it in to ’ ‘Team of the Season’ . This new award names the 11 outstanding players (and a manager) across all three divisions of the Sky Bet Football League.

Just to show how tough this one was, only 6 of the 11 slots went to Championship players whilst fellow nominee Ross McCormack missed out on selection. Interestingly, the League website tells us that selection was made as “a national judging panel then chose the final Football Manager Team of the Season with Opta’s player statistics assisting”.

See? Stats aren’t all bad 🙂 And does this mean we’ll have our eyes on any of the below over the summer…..?

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The League team of the season

Ok. A few other things from the weekend. Firstly, Toumani. He’s only been with Leeds United for three months and now he’s scored again. Ironic enough he did it on his full debut after keeping us hanging for so long but to nab a second so soon is just rubbing salt into the wound. In the nicest possible sense.

Bob’s big giveaway, that ‘one-of-a-kind’ signed shirt, has officially rolled over to the Fulham game. Nobody picked ‘Hogan,90’ against Bristol City and so we all have another chance to ‘go again’. Bob made the announcement on Twitter after the game although what method he has up his sleeve to find this a home is, as yet, unknown….

And finally, everybody’s favourite club feature, Terrace Talk, was back. With a new host. Don’t panic, Jo Tilley isn’t on gardening leave but due to her role at the Fan Zone, video content manager Sean Ridley stood in as a one-off host.

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For one night only….

As the regular reader will know, I love Jo’s work on Terrace Talk but having seen this,  all I can say is…Wow!!

Was there genuine panic in her voice at the end when she told our host, “Don’t steal my job” before he went chasing a duck (literally rather than metaphorically). Whilst I can’t really comment on the quality, or lack of, amongst some of the interviewees, could Sean have found a new role for himself? Or are we just lucky enough to have not one but two roving reporters who would give Clem a run for his money?

On Tuesday night against Cardiff City, we find out.

Nick Bruzon