Tag Archives: Kick it out

What a way to nail our colours to the mast – on and off the pitch.

15 Aug

Oh my. With the paint still drying on Saturday’s draw at Stoke City, it’s been all go at Brentford. On pitch, we picked up where we left off in The Potteries with as comprehensive a win as they come against Southend United in the League Cup. Off field, Chief Executive Mark Devlin used the brief window between games to make about as powerful a statement as they come in recognition of the ‘Kick It Out’ campaign’s 25thanniversary.

First up, the last knockings of the Stoke game. Whilst those present were, quite rightly, salivating over our performance and perhaps disappointed to have ‘only’ picked up a point, it seems that those outside TW8 are now jumping on the Griffin Park bandwagon. And rightly so. Long has we sung about being the Barcelona of the Lower leagues and now it has been recognised, albeit the Bees are playing at a higher level these days. This one has been doing the rounds in the last 24 hours. If ever you wanted proof of how Brentford are set up to play and how it is all coming together, then here it is….

Then last night we travelled to Southend United for a first round league cup tie at Roots Hall. Whilst the home side hadn’t won a tie in this competition since 2010, it was the sort of game that always has the look of potential potato skin. Moreso, with head coach Dean Smith making 11 changes to the Brentford starting XI . His reward was progression via a 4-2 win for a team that included starts for Alan Judge and Ryan Woods (yes, cup tied !), amongst others regulars. Likewise, full debuts for Said Benrahma and Julian Jeanvier.

Said’s performance from the bench at Stoke had us purring. By all accounts, he played a blinder last night. Impressing from the off, scoring a stonker that sent ‘official’ twitter into meltdown and receiving a standing ovation from the visiting fans prior to his late substitution with Sergi.

Screen Shot 2018-08-15 at 06.07.15

Ewww. A GIF. But my word, what a goal !!

Who’d be a head coach? Good luck to Dean trying to fit those two in to the team on Sunday for the visit of Sheffield Wednesday. Talk about a nice problem to have in naming that side.

Once official had towelled itself clean from the celebration, it would excitedly go on to describe Said’s strike: Another debutant goal and a star has been born tonight!! Benrahma with an incredible bit of skill and run, he plays a one-two with Mokotjo and then fires home. @Benrahma2 has been unplayable at times tonight!

The star may have been born on Tuesday night, but the waters broke against Rotherham and the ambulance was definitely rushing to the hospital on Saturday. Those brief tasters of skill we had already been teased with suggested there was something special about the Algerian international. Sunday could be very interesting indeed.   

For those not able to get to this one, our own commentator par-excellnce Mark Burridge has hit the nail on the head in one tweet. Who needs a match report when you have social media use of this concise quality?

The other impressive Brentford performance was off field where a story with the rather vague headline of FROM THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE’S OFFICE transpired to be an all guns blazing message from Mark Devlin. Specifically, in praise of 25 years of ‘Kick It Out’ whilst also waxing lyrical about Brentford’s approach to diversity and our place as one of the most welcoming clubs in the country.

I couldn’t agree more. Yet for me, the key point was his no holds barred declaration that: 

For those that don’t share these views, we will not compromise on our values: We don’t want you at Brentford if you can’t accept that or if you behave in a manner which is incompatible with these values. 

Wow. Talk about nailing your colours to the mast. About saying there is no place at our club for discrimination or bigotry. Whilst this is not the sort of behaviour anybody wants to see on the terraces, social media or around the ground (and thankfully it is rare at best) talk about making it absolutely clear to anybody who may indulge in that sort of hate speak what the consequences might be. 

Impressive stuff. Great job, Mark. If you haven’t read the full story then you can do so, here.

And I can’t say anything more after that. Have a great day and bring on the weekend.

Buzzette kick it out

Buzzette does her thing for ‘Kick It Out’ last season

Nick Bruzon  

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Judge becomes chief executioner on a day of huge significance

18 Oct

On a day of sporting dominance, one result which will go largely unnoticed outside a small corner of West London could have huge longer-term significance. Brentford beating Rotherham United 2-1 may not be up there for the neutral at a time that saw Bournemouth getting tonked 5-1 at Manchester City or New Zealand wiping the floor with France in the rugby but it mattered to us. A lot. We’ll get to the rest of that shortly (especially Bournemouth, who seemed to suffer some form of self-inflicted manager-of-the-month curse) but can only begin at Griffin Park.

It was a day of huge importance on and off the field. The club rightly celebrated the life of Martin Lange with a rousing minute’s applause before kick-off whilst it was also ‘kick it out’ day.

Both teams and all supporters applauded for Martin Lange

Both teams and all supporters applauded for Martin Lange

‘Kick it out’ is a thoroughly noble campaign and a shame that, in this day and age, such a cause needs highlighting with a specific day. Moreso, that when it comes around, we could still do more, as a club. There were people handing out leaflets and placards in their special yellow t-shirts whilst Buzz and Buzzette wore the campaign colours prior to kick off. I’d love if our team could go one better and actually wear the logo on the shirt for this sort of game, rather than the traditional sponsor.

Brentford have done this before. Most notably when Skyex generously made way to help celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Community Sports Trust on the silver shirt back in 2012. Perhaps it is something we might want to consider for next season, if Matchbook.com are reading?

Or, even, how about being trailblazers and doing this at another game later on this campaign? After all, the ideals of ‘kick it out’ are those that, surely, we should be aspiring to every week?

Where Buzzette leads, could the team follow?

Where Buzzette leads, could the team follow?

On pitch, we’d all absorbed the message that the season was due to ‘restart’ with the Rotherham game. And boy, what a restart.

Alan Judge opened the scoring with little over a minute on the clock. The Irishman looping a sweet volley straight back over the top of the Rotherham defence and ‘keeper Lee Camp from the edge of the penalty box. It really was a wonderful strike as Judge, my man of the match, caught the clearance first time and set up another contender for goal of the season.

In a game that, like it or not, word on the street had marked down as a relegation six pointer (although interestingly, the win sees us just 8 points away from the play offs) it was the perfect start. And then it stopped.

Lee Carsley’s boys put in plenty of effort but a new look midfield containing Sergi Canos, Ryan Woods and John Swift struggled to make further impact. Indeed, Rotherham had the better chances – in each half – and to go in leading on 45 mins was a scenario I’d have bitten your hand off for before kick off. It is only the second time all season we’ve taken the lead in a game!

It was a lead that didn’t last long. If Judge’s goal had been good, within minutes of the restart Joe Mattock hit a beauty past David Button from even further out than the opener. It was a shot that got higher and faster, leaving the Bees ‘keeper no chance as it screamed past him.

One thing Lee Carsley had promised us was fight and determination. Sure enough, we got it. United’s lead lasted barely ten minutes as that man Judge grabbed his second of the game. A bullet header (yes, you read that correctly) past Camp after getting on the end of a Jake Bidwell cross restored the lead. And that’s how things stayed until full time. Scorewise, anyway.

Having score two, Alan Judge tries to set up a third

Having scored two, Alan Judge tries to set up a third.

Being quite honest, the visitors had the better chances and the majority of possession. David Button was forced into a number of smart saves that reinforced, yet gain, the importance of both him and Judge to this team. Where we’d be without them, I dread to think, based on how things began this campaign. But, they ARE here and, more importantly, it was another win for the Bees.

The BBC stats just show how much the visitors did control affairs (shots especially) and, as one New Road observer noted afterwards, “I’d like to see Rasmus try and spin these”.

The BBC stats don't lie. Except they do. We got 2 goals to their 1

The BBC stats don’t lie. Except they do. We got 2 goals to their 1

I have no doubt that had Steve Evans still been in charge of the Millers he’d have complained afterwards how they murdered us, how we’d robbed them etc. etc. etc. Instead, both Neil Redfearn and Lee Carsley were much more realistic in their appraisals of our respective teams. The Brentford man, in particular, admitting how “we started the second half poorly”.

Talking to supporters after the match, the general theme of opinion seemed to be that Alan Judge was the standout player in a game that was otherwise much akin to a League One fixture in places. The flipside being that it was a hard fought contest between two teams that haven’t had the best of starts, for a number of well documented reasons. Ultimately, the only stat that really counts is balls in the back of the net – and that’s where Brentford were strongest.

With a mid-week trip to Wolves up next, those points and a win were vital. And if nothing else, for morale. It’s just great to get back to winning ways but the big question now, of course, is whether we can do it again?

Away from Griffin Park, my highlight was at the Ethiad where Manchester City routed Bournemouth. Whilst I have nothing but respect (and even a sense of ‘if only’) for the Cherries in what they achieved last season, I can’t help but feel they brought this on themselves a touch.

There can’t be many in football who don’t know about the ‘manager of the month curse’. Pick up up this award and instantly doom your manager to losing his next game. So on Thursday, when Bournemouth started trumpeting the success of Eddie Howe and his signing a contract extension to 2020, even creating a hashtag to mark the occasion, there was only one thing that was going to happen.

Sure enough, three down in less than half an hour eventually finished up as a 5-1 humping.

Eddiesigns - no painting over that scoreline

Eddiesigns – no painting over that scoreline

Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather have been where the Cherries were, playing at Manchester City, instead of struggling past Rotherham. Indeed, part of me still thinks we were the ultimate architects in our eventual capitulation last season where, catching everybody cold, we ended up in a position to cause one of the biggest upsets in sporting history. Then blew it with Village-gate and, perhaps, some tactical naivety late on when the team was crying out for a bit of change

That was then, this is now and there’s no point having any regret. We had the chance, lost out, but have had a taste of our potential. Being realistic, with a quarter of the season gone I think it would be a huge ask at this juncture to repeat last season.

Then again, there are still 105 points available…..

Nick Bruzon

Brentford v Wolves – there’s more to this game than just football

22 Feb

The following article was originally published earlier this month. However, with Brentford v Wolves now being designated as the club’s ‘football v homophobia’ game after the Crawley match was postponed, it is reproduced here, as alluded to in today’s other column.

What would you do if I were to tell you that Sam Saunders, Will Grigg or, for that matter, any of the Brentford first team was gay?

To be quite honest one or all of them might be. I just don’t know. And, frankly, I don’t care. Without wanting to get preachy (and don’t worry, I won’t) an individual’s sexual preference should be as relevant to us as what brand of soap powder they wash their training kit in. Persil or Ariel – I neither know or, more importantly, have any interest.

This isn’t meant to trivialise the issues faced by the LBGT community. Quite the opposite. I just genuinely don’t understand why other people get so hung up about it.

I’ve been coming to Brentford since the late 1970s and, thankfully, unless I am being horrendously naïve, homophobia isn’t an issue that usually rears its head on the terraces. Indeed, in recent years the ever-evolving group of friends I watch The Bees with has included a couple whom, for months, I had no clue were in a same sex relationship. And why should I?

What has made me particularly happy is that one of them has since said to me, “Its got to the point where I’ve realised that the people I used to’ just watch football with’ have actually become my friends”.

This isn’t an attempt to paint yours truly as some paragon of virtue. Simply that one of the reasons I still love coming to Brentford – and will bring my son when he is old enough – is the friendly, community atmosphere that runs throughout our family of supporters and every aspect of the club. Things as nasty as racism, sexism or homophobia have never struck me as being a problem at Griffin Park.

Sadly, things aren’t that way throughout the wider football world. I’m neither eloquent nor intelligent enough to talk at length about homophobia in the game or explicitly promote the good work now being done to help combat the prejudice expressed by many. That’s why when we have a day like this coming Saturday – when Brentford face Wolves – I’ll leap on any opportunity where I can to get involved.

Aswell as another chance to see the League’s two best teams in action, with February being the international month of ‘Football v Homophobia’ (FvH), the club have selected this game to show their backing for this initiative.

It is an excellent chance for fans to show their support for this campaign but, equally, that Brentford is not a club where bigotry or discrimination of any form is welcome .

If you would like to learn more then you can visit the website at www.footballvhomophobia.com or catch up on the twitter feed at: @FvHTweets .

Brentford v Crawley – there’s more to this game than just football

5 Feb

What would you do if I were to tell you that Sam Saunders, Will Grigg or, for that matter, any of the Brentford first team was gay?

To be quite honest one or all of them might be. I just don’t know. And, frankly, I don’t care. Without wanting to get preachy (and don’t worry, I won’t) an individual’s sexual preference should be as relevant to us as what brand of soap powder they wash their training kit in. Persil or Ariel – I neither know or, more importantly, have any interest.

This isn’t meant to trivialise the issues faced by the LBGT community. Quite the opposite. I just genuinely don’t understand why other people get so hung up about it.

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.

The A-Z of Brentford – October 2013

31 Oct

As Brentford reach the end of October on a high and prepare to face Crawley Town at the weekend, it’s time to round up the best and worst of what happened over the month in another A-Z. Warning: includes some tenuous links.

A – Ashton Gate. This win at the home of Bristol City, our second successive victory in the league, propelled the Bees to seventh place in the table (despite Uwe’s brief aspiration for the Griffin Park support to be more like theirs). And better was to come.

B – Buzzette. ‘The Last Word’ launched another caption competition to win a Buzzette mug. Being judged by Natalie Sawyer, the best of the (printable) entries received so far are on line and you can still enter here if you are here quick.

C – Colchester United. A superlative final twenty minutes against the U’s, following a frustrating earlier period in which we went a goal down, saw Brentford cruise to a Clayton Donaldson inspired 3-1 victory.

D – Dallas, Stuart. Went on loan to Northampton and scored from the bench (not literally) on his debut. Now has two goals from his first three games for the Cobblers.

E – England ‘band’. THE most irritating thing in football. A reminder was received mid-month, if ever one was needed, that musical instruments should never be allowed into Brentford games. Hurrah for the Poland fans who finally drowned them out as we qualified for the world cup 2014.

F – Flares. The firey things, not the über -cool 70’s trouser. The 14 year old numpty who brought one into the Colchester game was subsequently arrested, banned from Griffin Park and was due to attend youth court at the end of the month. It really isn’t big, clever or injecting any sort of ‘Continental, colourful atmosphere’. Don’t do it, kids.

G – George (Saville) curled home a magnificent shot to put Brentford into the lead against Colchester. A contender for goal of the season, alongside Adam Forshaw against Sheffield United and Shay up at Port Vale.

H – Harris, Kadeem. My word, doesn’t Kadeem Harris look tasty? Cardiff City’s latest attempt to say “sorry we nicked your goalkeeper, even though we aren’t playing him’” looks like the proverbial ‘wing wizard’ that the Bees have been crying out for at times. The loan signing deservedly scored, on his debut.

I – Inquisition. Nobody expects the Stevenage Inquisition. Certainly not Billy Reeves and the rest of the press, as Uwe kept them all waiting whilst he ‘had a chat’ with the team after the Stevenage game. Whatever they discussed certainly seems to have worked. Three successive wins followed.

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Nobody expects the Stevenage Inquisition

J – Joao Carlos (Teixera). Returned to Liverpool after 28 days of a loan spell that saw him barely register on the Griffin Park radar. An unusual piece of business from start to finish, it will be very interesting to see if, longer term, the Portuguese U-20 was our biggest missed opportunity in years or another wunderkind who fizzles away.

K – Kick it out. The campaign for ‘tackling exclusion’ in football had a promotional day this month with everybody from players to mascots and even Buzzette (below) getting involved. You can read more about ‘Kick it out’, here.

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Buzzette shows her support for the ‘Kick it out’ campaign

L – Lee, Richard. Was handed back the gloves against Bristol City and made it three wins from his four appearances this season. Followed this up by giving an exclusive, and very open, interview to ‘The Last Word’.

M – Marcello (Trotta). Off the mark against Colchester United and then bagged the winner against Shrewsbury Town. Let’s hope the second chapter of the Trotta-Brentford story has a happier conclusion for the team.

N – Norris, Luke. Déjà vu? Luke Norris went on loan to Northampton and scored, on his debut. He’s gone one better than Stuart, though, and now has three goals from his first three games for the Cobblers.

O – The O’s. Leyton Orient are top of the table, as it stands, but the wining run has been stopped and their lead over Brentford is now down to 11 points.

P – Peterborough. The Posh (about as posh as allegedly Posh Spice ie not very) were 2-1 home winners in the JPT. I didn’t want to go to Wembley, anyway. Dreadful place.

Q – ‘Queuing up to get out’. Mark Burridge’s stirring description of the Bristol City fans as Clayton made it 2-0. Less a fire drill, more a full scale evacuation.

R – Rotherham. The fine win at Coventry/Northampton which closed September was immediately followed by a lacklustre home reverse to the Millers. Move along please, nothing to see. We won’t play this badly again. Ahh, hang on…

S – Stevenage. The less said about this the better. Out of the blocks like a greyhound following the Rotherham ‘display’, Clayton’s early goal was nullified by David Button’s questionable attempt to impersonate Johan Cruyff. Made Les Dennis’s take on ‘Mavis Riley’ look Oscar winning in comparison. A 2-1 defeat ensued.

T – Tabb, Jay. The Ipswich Town wide-man and ever-popular former Bee spoke to ‘The Last Word’ earlier this month about his career since leaving TW8 and his time at Griffin Park aswell as giving his thoughts on Brentford’s season so far.

U – Up. The direction Brentford are heading. Finished the month in 5th place after beginning it mid-table.

V – Venta, Javi. Had his contract terminated by mutual consent for personal reasons at the beginning of the month. A brave signing and a shame we never got to see Javi’s full potential. The flip side is the emergence of Allan McCormack in the cover right-back role. With three wins from three, could this be the tactical master-stroke of the season?

W – (The) Who. The match-day programme went all ‘Smash hits’ with an article about popular music’s ageing rockers. Bob Booker is a fan, apparently.

X – eXit music (sorry). Despite fine wins against Colchester and Shrewsbury, aswell as the loss to Rotherham, Griffin Park music lovers are still being tormented with those two ‘walk out music’ staples: ‘Celebrate’ by Kool and the gang, for three points, or the horror that is ‘Guaglione’ for a win/draw. Please Big Bee Radio. I’m begging you, change the record….

 Y – Yellow Cards. Even allowing for the appearance of Keith Stroud at Griffin Park for the final game of the month, only five bookings were made in our five league games over the period. And the one offered by Stroud seemed particularly innocuous.

Z – Zombie films, tenuous reference to. The month started in disappointing form with that defeat to Rotherham on October 5th. How things change and our next League game, 28 days later (I did say it was tenuous), sees Brentford in fifth place as they prepare to line up against Crawley Town.

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What a change in the 28 days between the Rotherham game and the impending Crawley fixture