Tag Archives: Josh Laurent

Are we stronger after the transfer window closes?

2 Feb

The transfer window has closed. Burnley got their man (one of them, at least), Alan Judge remains a Bee (for now) but no real inward activity for Brentford. Given our considered approach and much-derided model, that shouldn’t come as any real surprise. But is it the right move?

To be quite honest, one always feels a pang of disappointment when we have no news about inward signings. Such is the way we have been conditioned in recent seasons to accept a flurry of crazy, last-minute action. Instead, we also saw several untried names depart and the return of one player from a loan.

For me, and given where we are, there are several points to draw from yesterday.

First up, and being realistic, we aren’t going to leave the Championship this season. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love it to happen (upwards) but I think even the most optimistic of Brentford fans would accept this is as long a shot as a Nick Proschwitz hat trick. We’re 7(seven) points off a very strong play-off zone whilst current form isn’t great (4 wins in our last 13 games).

Instead, this will now be a period of consolidation. Which of the new boys can cut it and where will we really need to strengthen? Yoann Barbet and Maxime Colin have already shown they are class whilst Ryan Woods is getting better each game. Will the likes of Andy Gogia, Philipp Hofmann, Konstantin Kerschbaumer and Josh McEachran (who has also been in the rise in recent weeks after a disappointing start) be able to match the aforementioned players?

Don’t forget we have the untapped potential of Lewis Macleod still to be seen in first team action whilst record signing Andreas Bjelland and striker Scott Hogan continue their recovery from long term injury.

yoann-scarf-4x3277-2506113_478x359

Yoann Barbet has certainly made an impression recently

What is of infinitely more importance is what we do over the much longer summer window that, this season at least, ran from June to September. Will Alan Judge be sold? Will Harlee get a new contract? Will we look to extend the likes of Jake Bidwell and David Button? Will we continue the shredding of the previous squad? Will we be looking up to the Barclays Premier League or down to the Ryman equivalent?

Yesterday’s article included the quote made by Rasmus Ankersen back in September, saying : “The goal is to get stronger after each transfer window.”

Are we stronger now? Well, in terms of current playing strength I’d have to disagree. Although not as ruthlessly as some might expect.

No squad could afford to lose the likes of Jota, Tarkowski or Toums and honestly say it was stronger. The flipside of this is that the emergence of Max Colin and Yoann Barbet in recent weeks, who we hadn’t really seen much of in the early season, has been like getting two new players. Josh has definitely improved and we have the potential of those three long-term injuries to look forward to.

Financially, we’re in a better position for sure although officially nobody knows how much we’ve been paid for anybody this season. The question will be how, if at all, will this be invested at the end of the season?

As for James Tarkowski, the sorry story comes to an end with the player certainly seeming pleased with his move. Nobody could knock what he did in his time at Griffin Park and it was a shame it all ended in such confusing, angry and emotional circumstances. You can’t knock anybody for wanting to be close to a sick family member and, perhaps, it’s best that’s where we should leave that side of things.

The only other point to make on the subject is Burnley – what was with the official ‘signing photo’ ? The brilliance of his shadow mullet, the 1970’s veneer effect boardroom and awkward pose have not been missed.

As for our lower key departures, Josh Laurent is already at Hartlepool whilst Ryan Williams has been snapped up by football’s greatest tweeters – Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Few could dispute that Montell Moore has had his own issues and so, perhaps, a fresh start is best for all. Time will tell on that one.

I must admit, I did have to perform a double take when the message flashed up that R.Williams had left Brentford. Were the Scots looking for somebody to help build them a new stadium? Were their fans voicing too many opinions and so in need of being patronised? Instead, it was simply the departure of our much touted free-kick specialist.

Then again, with Alan Judge and Sam Saunders in the side, he never had a chance.

Nick Bruzon

 

The only winners were Holby City fans. And Oxford United

12 Aug

Well played Oxford United. Let’s get that out there first of all following their 4-0 Capital One Cup victory over a Brentford XI last night. To go three up within twelve minutes deserves credit at any level and, being honest, we were lucky it wasn’t more.

Let’s be equally clear, I don’t blame any of the youngsters on show. I’m all for using this sort of game to blood a couple of less experienced players. But don’t make so many changes and leave them with so little first team support. The lads were on a hiding to nothing against a physically stronger Oxford team.

For that, you have to look to Marinus and wonder why he felt it a good decision to give so many untested players a game simultaneously. He blamed injuries but have we really got that many just one game into the season? Let’s hope they can learn from this and we do see more of them being, gradually, phased in rather than another such baptism of fire

And if you are going to make such a decision then have the balls to stand by it. At a time when the new look side were crying out for some direction, Marinus’ body language spoke volumes. I’ve seen more animated statues as he cut a forlorn figure rooted to the edge of his technical area. Worse, there was no handshake for Courtney Senior when he came off. Indeed, it looked as though the youngster was actually given the cold shoulder as he turned to the head coach on reaching the dugout.

A similar snub was offered to the entire team at full time aswell as the crowd. Aside from a brief chat to the Oxford management and officials, he headed straight for the dressing room with no further word or sign being offered.

Perhaps this is just Marinus’ style and he does his talking in the dressing room. But at a time when the youngsters he’d chucked into the lion’s den needed an arm around the shoulder it was this that really upset me. Defeat I can take but at least back your team in public.

Marinus is a solitary figure as the action unfolds (note: your definition of action may vary)

Marinus is a solitary figure as the action unfolds (note: your definition of action may vary)

Andreas Bjelland had a debut to forget. Whether it was worry about a pitch that continued to cut up or first game nerves, he didn’t put a foot right as challenges were missed and clearances misdirected. As one wag in the New Road suggested to me, “He looks like a defensive Nick Proschwitz”. Harsh, perhaps, but matters became worse when his game to a premature end following injury just before half time.

But it’s not fair to single him out. Jack Bonham struggled with his distribution – Oxford’s third goal being an exquisite strike by Kemar Roofe who put the goalkeeper’s headed clearance straight back past him from 40 yards. Lasse Vibe barely had a touch whilst Nico Yennaris was played in an unfamiliar central midfield role.

Marinus would later describe it as, “An embarrassing performance from my team. After 12 minutes it’s game over. I think there was no organisation, no leadership in the team.” In layman’s terms, Holby City hadn’t even started on TV by the point we were 3-0 down.

Brentford practice kick off. Again. Holby starts in 3 minutes

Brentford practice kick off. Again. Holby starts in 3 minutes

Look. I like Marinus. He comes across as a genuine bloke and a wonderful straight talker. I have no doubt he and the team will bounce back and so I hope this is just one that we have to chalk up to experience. A heavy defeat at the hands of a better team.

Mistakes were made but at least they have been realised. Let’s just put it behind us and focus on the game at Bristol City. Three points there and this will all be forgotten about.

As for the youngsters. If any of them are reading then chin up. There was a lot of potential out there and I’m sure we’ll see the likes of Courtney, Josh Clarke, Jermaine Udumaga and Josh Laurent again. As Alan Hansen so famously said, “You can’t win anything with kids” and look what happened next.

For now though, we just have to take it on the chin.

Well done Oxford United.

Nick Bruzon

Is this a sign of the impending apocalypse?

23 Jan

Whilst this column is, primarily, about Brentford (and there’ll be more about the Norwich City game over the weekend) we aren’t afraid to look at other ‘issues’ in the world of football. And with Aston Villa due to entertain our Championship rivals Bournemouth in the FA Cup on Sunday, they don’t come much bigger than what could play out at Villa Park.

The regular reader will know of my interest in football jinxes.

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 on.

The apocalypse approaches… possibly

The apocalypse approaches… possibly

A night of surprise (and horror) as an exciting weekend awaits

22 Jan

And just when the top of the Championship table couldn’t get any tighter, it did after Brighton and Hove Albion beat Ipswich Town 3-2 at the Amex last night. Brighton who, despite our victory, ran Brentford close on Saturday did the Bees a massive favour. It is one that means another win at the weekend, when we visit Norwich City, will take us to within a point of the second and third placed teams.

To be quite honest, I’d forgotten all about that game as a night of channel surfing in our house (briefly) saw the horror of Mrs. Brown’s Boys winning ‘Best Comedy’ at the National Television Awards before I was able to switch to the football.

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 on.

Bees dunk Brighton as the albatross becomes a canary

18 Jan

Three fortunate points or well deserved? That was the question after full time at the Amex where Brentford recorded another league win, this time against Brighton and Hove Albion. With the majority of the teams around us, including a shock for Norwich City (given their ‘guest of honour’ – more later), also triumphing it keeps things very much ’as you were’ at the top of the Championship table.

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 on.

The Albion mascots - I feel like I've cheated on Buzzette

The Albion mascots – I feel like I’ve cheated on Buzzette

View from the terrace (arm, padded seat) - And Toral must score...

View from the terrace (erm, padded seat) – And Toral must score…

Clem was looking over his shoulder at the drop zone before kick off at Carrow Road

Clem was looking over his shoulder at the drop zone before kick off at Carrow Road

No trains. No Clem. No Judge? Bring it on!

17 Jan

Brentford travel to Brighton and Hove Albion today for one of the most hotly anticipated games of the season. When the Championship fixtures were released last year, this was one of first dates many of us looked for. A day out at the seaside in the sunshine and a short hop down to the South Coast were the fringe benefits to look forward to from this trip. Not to mention a new stadium with Brighton’s impressive looking Amex.

Instead, as popular music’s Meatloaf almost sang, one out of three ain’t bad.

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 on.

Manish confirms Brentford's job has become that bit harder

Manish confirms Brentford’s job has become that bit harder

This is Saunders territory. And an apology to Doctor Who

16 Jan

I need to begin today’s column with an apology following yesterday’s piece on the contretemps between Daily Mirror chief sport’s writer Oliver Holt and one Brentford fanatic (something the Mirror man was very sporting about later). Specifically to West Bromwich Albion, Gerry Francis and fans of BBC sci-fi. The article included a picture of the newest addition to the Baggies’ coaching staff, comparing him to ‘late 60’s Doctor Who’.

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 on.

Time to look in the mirror ?

15 Jan

So in the end, despite the other rumours flying around which we mentioned yesterday, it was midfielder Josh Laurent who joined Brentford, signing for the Bees on an 18 month development squad contract from QPR for the usual ‘undisclosed fee’. Josh, whose thoughts on signing can be heard on Beesplayer, adds even more competition to our midfield and certainly gives further evidence of the club’s desire to build for the future.

The other Bees update to catch my eye was not as clearly publicised.

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 on.