Tag Archives: Madonna

Bustin’ makes me feel bad. Will Saturday be more Riley than Winkleman?

4 Mar

Brentford take on Charlton this Saturday, hoping for more of the same after cruising to a 3-0 victory at the Valley back in October. That result saw Addicks manager Guy Luzon, erm,  losing his job immediately afterwards and the Bees put in as one sided a performance as we’ve seen all season – even moreso than Wolves last Tuesday .

It was a game which had been completely at odds with Luzon’s first matchin charge of Charlton, their 3-0 win over Brentford that came at the height of last season’s Village-gate affair. That was a woeful performance from the Bees which, despite Warbs denial at the time, seemed to suggest a squad in disarray with just one thing – their manager’s future – as a point of focus. Thankfully, the Bees picked themselves up from that and confounded the expectations of most onlookers to make the play-offs. Where normal service resumed .

bees fans leave charlton shit 2

Last season, Village gate saw a real low at Charlton

And, of course, we couldn’t take this briefest of looks at recent encounters without a nod to Tommy Smith. It was he whose late equaliser secured a point in our first ever Championship game – the season opener at Griffin Park back in August 2014. How the place erupted and then gasped as Alan Judge almost stole a late winner, hitting the crossbar with a freekick taken deep in Saunders Territory.

So in 18 months our three games have turned out as D,L and W. What will it be on Saturday?

Dean Smith spoke yesterday in an article on the official site where they did their wonderful trick of warming us up for the quote by giving us the quote, noting: Dean said the only target for the team between now and the end of the season is to win as many matches as possible. If anybody was in any doubt, the next line proved this as readers were advised, “We don’t want to target this or that but our aim is just to finish as high as we can and to win as many games as we can,” said Dean.

Dean went on to add that he hoped to “get that winning mentality back” . It looked like that might happen after the Wolves game before normal service resumed at Rotherham United. 2 wins out of 11 in 2016 are a poor run for Dean and I would question that to get something back, does he not have to have had it in the first instance ?

Then again, if we play like we did against Wolves anything is possible whilst Charlton’s confidence must be as low as that of the team behind the forthcoming Ghostbusters movie. The trailer for this being universally panned upon release yesterday and the unfunniest thing I had the misfortune to sit through all week. At least, until I saw Claudia Winkleman standing in for everbody’s favourite mathematical model, Rachel Riley, on ‘8 out of 10 cats does Countdown’ last night.

How can it be THIS bad?

Still, it has been a week generally filled with more disappointment than a post match press conference for the development squad (whatever the score, the interviewee always seems ‘disappointed’). Ghostbusters and Winkleman aside,  Saturday saw that game at Rotherham United whilst Sunday saw the worst ever James Bond theme, Sam Smith’s title track from the otherwise excellent Spectre, pick up an Oscar. This, an effort so bad it had ousted Madonna’s ‘Die another day’ from the bottom of the ‘Best Bond’ list yet here it was being honoured in the most public of fashions.

Sometimes, life just isn’t fair. As Dean Smith would recognise, performances don’t always get what they are due. Let’s just hope that tomorrow we do what, honestly, we should. With a trip to Loftus Road the following weekend, we need everybody brim full of confidence.

Fingers crossed that Saturday is more Rachel Riley than Claudia Winkleman.

The brentford mathematical model final

artists impression of a mathematical model etc etc

Nick Bruzon

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Does Madonna know you’re here? Super Sammy does it again.

27 Jan

Oh Sammy Saunders, you are the love of my life. Oh Sammy Saunders, I’d let you…”. etc etc etc.   That’s plenty. You know the rest and this is a family publication. Yet full tribute is due to the ever popular winger who played a starring role as Brentford drew 1-1 with Leeds United at Griffin Park last night in the ultimate game of two halves.

That goal . Oh, that goal. Those watching in the stadium erupted. Those listening in at home on Bees Player, well I don’t know what they did but I can imagine. Picking up the ball close to the half way line, he ran at Leeds. And ran.

Like a modern day Forrest Gump (except enjoyable) nobody could stop Sam as the United defence parted like the Red Sea. And then, when he’d had more time to think about it than anybody wants or needs, he blasted it home into the bottom corner.

Charging straight through on the middle of goal is one of the hardest things to do – certainly in terms of a finish. Just ask Clayton. Much as I loved the big man, he was so much deadlier cutting in from the side or acting on instinct rather than given time to look into the whites of the goalkeeper’s eyes.

Yet Sam made no mistake and gave Brentford a deserved first half lead. His link up play with Max Colin down the right flank saw the Bees at their most dangerous as possession was dominated but goals failed to arrive.

And it was his removal from play, along with the arrival of Toumani Diagouraga on the hour, that saw the balance really shift. Leeds pushed and pushed as they were allowed into the game with Brentford unable to penetrate in the gusty conditions. Being fair, the visitors probably deserved their equaliser with the only surprise being that Toums didn’t get it (much to the relief of the bookies).

That it came from a very rare defensive lapse is almost a moot point. That’s football. These things happen and, ultimately, had we wanted the win then you need goals.

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Toumani makes his debut at Griffin Park as Steve Evans looks perplexed

Yoann Barbet had received glowing reports for his work at Preston on Saturday. Those who saw him in action last night for the first time could only agree. A few days ago I made some hard comments about, amongst other things, the strength of the team relative to last season. I stand by those yet, along with Maxime Colin, Yoann is looking like a fantastic acquisition from the new crop.

Calm, assured and oozing confidence. Tackles under pressure were made with a minimum of fuss and it felt as thought he’d been sitting alongside Harlee for months rather than just a few days.

Fair play to Josh McEachran, too. I though he had his best game in a Brentford shirt by a country mile. The midfield axis with Ryan Woods gives great hope for the future, if they can do this again.

John Swift remains a ball of confusion. For every deft touch and little shimmy was a ball into touch or a missed pass but, in the end, it was one of the old guard – Sam Saunders – who pulled the strings. I’m so pleased for him, too. Regular readers of these pages will know of my own admiration for our longest serving player as Sam showed, yet again, how dangerous a team can be when you run forward with the ball.

We even got a return to ‘Saunders Territory’ as everyone’s favourite number 7 (seven) briefly resumed free kick duties from Alan Judge. That said, I do have to ask what is going on with our ‘dead ball’ coach? Despite more walls than an ice cream shop we failed to find the back of the net. Just give it to Sammy and let him whack it.

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Bees 2 Leeds 2. The score in defensive walls

As for Steve Evans, it would be remiss not to talk about a visit from the ever popular Leeds manager. The Ealing Road were at their most vocal with the larger than life character (I said it was a family publication) being on the business end of most chants.

Does McDonalds know you’re here?” went one. I’m not sure if it was any better than the misheard equivalent that one terrace observer just behind me thought was being sung.

Why on earth would Madonna know he’s here?” was one question I never thought I’d hear asked. Worse, the mental imagery it then conjured up.

Some things are, perhaps, left in the dark recesses of the mind.

Nick Bruzon

Warbs the loan arranger as Birmingham City await

28 Feb

Friday’s build up for Brentford’s trip to Birmingham City (we’ll get to that game shortly) was filled with all manner of news; and not all of it good. I don’t mean over at Charlton Athletic, where the story about a couple caught by security cameras having sex in the centre circle turned out to be nothing more than a cheap publicity stunt to promote pitch hire. The club owned up to this fact yesterday morning and so rather than hitting the (centre) spot, it seems the amorous couple had been faking their orgasms.

Fair play to them. You have to admire a club with a sense of humour and the ability to have a joke –

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.

Sam prepares to drive to Wycombe

Sam prepares to drive to Wycombe

Is it time for a new badge? Or even an old one?

26 Feb

With all the talk last night surrounding Madonna taking a dive at the Brit awards, football almost passed me by. However, Bournemouth’s defeat to Nottingham Forest, following their 3-1 reverse to Brentford on Saturday, makes for interesting reading at the top of the Championship table. Leaders Derby County and second placed Middlesbrough now have a bit of clear air on the chasing pack with respective gaps of five and three points (plus superior goal difference) to third placed Ipswich Town.

Watching Bournemouth falling faster than the Queen of pop suffering a cape malfunction isn’t particular cause for celebration. They are too strong a team to write off and, indeed, Brentford themselves have just emerged from our own mini blip that saw three defeats out of four . Likewise, for those of us harbouring title hopes , a five point gap can easily be reeled in as evidenced last season when that was the size of our own gap over Wolves at various times.

So I’m not going to get overly hung up on the table top today but, instead, look inward to Griffin Park and another of those post-match pub conversations following the win over Blackpool. Amidst all the nonsense being discussed was one genuine nugget of relevance – the realisation that the current Brentford badge is now in it’s twentieth season of use on our home shirt after first appearing on the red and white during the 1994/95 campaign.

Jamie Bates in the club programme - new shirt and new badge

Jamie Bates in the club programme – new shirt and new badge

The badge was designed by supporter Andrew Henning (supposedly in exchange for two season tickets) and it has been a part of our history ever since. Indeed, TV ‘astrologer’ Russell Grant even claimed to have created it himself, telling none other than Clem (of the Football League Show and Clemwatch fame) that, “I designed it, with Keith Loring”.

The current Brentford badge

The current Brentford badge

This somewhat spurious claim (which you can see here, about two minutes in) was made on a Football Focus piece back in 2011. It later transpired that Grant had actually just given guidance on the inclusion of the Middlesex coat of arms found in the bottom left corner.

But this pub conversation did get me thinking all of yesterday. After twenty years, is it time for a change? This current incarnation has now been on our shirts longer than the popular ‘Castle’ badge which first appeared back in 1976. And with the end approaching at Griffin Park, could we reintroduce this as part of a ‘last hurrah’?

The Castle badge appeared (on and off) from 1976-1994)

The Castle badge appeared (on and off) from 1976-1994)

The Castle was, of course, bumped before when it was replaced on our shirts by the centenary ‘funky bee’ before returning after a season. It was a simple design (certainly a lot less ‘cluttered’ than the current version) and one which has huge emotional significance for supporters of a certain age.

I’d love to see it back and, although it has reappeared on the current ‘retro’ shirt, that version is of a design so big it is rumoured to be the (much like the Great Wall of China) one of the few man made objects visible from space.

But if not the Castle then the other alternative under discussion was one which was first touted this time last year, when it seemed the club were looking to reinvent our first ever badge . Indeed, it got to the point where a garish 125 years graphic was designed although the club were talking about having a less cluttered variant on the shirts.

The new take on our first badge - a great centre piece, even if the surround was all a bit 'Arsenal'

The new take on our first badge – a great centre piece, even if the surround was all a bit ‘Arsenal’

Much as I love the Castle, the thought of going all the way back to our origins was a wonderful one and it was a real shame this never put in an appearance.

Even if the exterior surround on the badge was proven to be generic rather than unique to the Bees, the interior was most definitely ours. Would it be possible to incorporate this into our kit next season?

The original badge (with a similar one from the time)

The original badge (with a similar one from the time)

And so if anybody is reading, then I’d like to put the thought out there. Has the current badge run it’s course or is it still relevant? Should Brentford look to go for something  different on our shirt next campaign? Perhaps celebrating part of our history as we prepare for the eventual departure from Griffin Park at some point in the next few seasons.

And apologies in advance but, much as I love it, should this thought be given any consideration then perhaps it is best if the Funky Bee doesn’t make any shortlist.

The Funky Bee. Destined never to appear on a shirt again

The Funky Bee. Destined never to appear on a shirt again