Tag Archives: Marcus Bean

A tale of two Sams as next season takes shape

24 May

Brentford find out over the next few days who out of Newcastle United and Hull City; Swindon Town and Preston North End; Middlesbrough and Norwich City will be joining us in the Championship. But before we even get on to those there can only be one place to start – Wycombe Wanderers, at Wembley, in the League 2 play off final.

Specifically the two Sams – Wood and Saunders. We all know about the huge contingent of former and current bees at Wycombe but these two, along with Marcus Bean, have been heroes to many of us in recent seasons. So to see Sam Saunders forced to leave the pitch after the game began, quicker than you could say “And this is Saunders territory” was heart breaking stuff.

He has been my favourite Bees’ player for years and I was gutted to see him go out on loan earlier this year. Moreso, because it was a time when the team might really have benefitted from the option of somebody with enthusiasm, impetus and ability.

However, with hopes of Toumani style resurgence, there was also the thought that a good run with Wycombe would see him back at Griffin Park bigger and better than ever before. Instead, his play off final lasted what was initially declared as under a minute and then down graded from 6 to 2 seconds after Will Atkinson inflicted a calf injury on our man immediately after kick off.

A day that had started so brightly for Sam Saunders ended in heartache

Sam’s twitter feed shows a day that  had started so brightly ended in heartache

Never have I seen such an outpouring of sympathy on social media for one player – and as much from Brentford fans and top brass. Sam’s likeability has been proven, yet again, and who knows if this could be the catalyst that sees him break back into our own setup next season. Here’s hoping.

As for Sam Wood, he has the mantle of seeing his decisive spot kick saved in the shootout by Southend ‘keeper Daniel Bentley. Like Sam Saunders, I was gutted to see him leave Brentford back in 2012 after four seasons but, to be fair, he has continued his great form. One of the nicest guys in football, he came back (with Marcus) for last season’s ‘legends’ game and proved to be as popular as ever.

Sam Wood, Marcus Bean and Glenn Poole at the previous 'Legends' game

Sam Wood, Marcus Bean and Glenn Poole at the previous ‘Legends’ game

So heart was in mouth as he stepped up with the scores locked at 7-6 and, despite hitting a powerful shot, saw Bentley dive to his left to keep it out. Given the Brentford contingent amongst the Wycombe set up, it was inevitable there would be some form of Bees connection in the headlines but who could have predicted these two events?

Chin up, lads. It’s been a stunning effort to get that far. Hope to see you both at Griffin Park again soon.

As for today’s action, the League One play off final sees Preston (a team who, incredibly, have a worse play off record than us) and Swindon Town do battle for the final place in the Championship. I’ve got a soft spot for Preston, given their own place in our history – being the team we beat last season to secure our own promotion. That aside, I’m just hoping for a good game of football with no specific preference as to who joins us.

And I say ‘final place’ because the play off takes place at the ungodly hour of 17.30, after the Premiership has played out. By then we’ll know if it is Hull City or Newcastle United who will be coming to Griffin Park next season. And whilst probability suggests it will be the latter, the way Newcastle have ‘hit the skids’ in recent months, rule out nothing.

One thing’s for sure, if this season was exciting then next year is already shaping up to be even better.

Sam Saunders with numpty - on the day we sealed promotion against Preston

Sam Saunders with numpty – on the day we sealed promotion against Preston

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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

Don’t do it, Mark. I’ve found something worse than the broccoli

20 May

As Brentford fans wait for Mark Devlin to reveal news of next season’s kit, FA Cup winner’s Arsenal have unveiled a shocker. You may have seen this already but, if not, get those sunnies out and we’ll get there in a moment.

First, though, it seems as though a farewell is in order. George Saville took to twitter yesterday with a couple of posts that suggest, unless he is going on a very long holiday, he’s played his last game at Griffin Park.

Nobody who saw George in action for the Bees could deny his obvious talent, his eye for goal and the long future that awaits him in the game. Could we see him next season with another Championship club (ahem) or, perhaps, a career in the Premiership awaits? Either way, Bees fans owe him a massive vote of thanks for his role in our promotion this season.

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I’m no Sherlock Holmes, but I don’t think George is coming back on loan again

One positive, for me, should George depart is that it now qualifies him to play for the Brentford legend’s team. Sunday’s Community day at Griffin Park saw the team run out as 3-2 winners over the ‘Skyex Allstars’. Many eras of former Bees turned out from Andy Driscoll and the watching Marcus Gayle right up to present day players in Sam Wood and Marcus Bean.

It was a cracking day in hot sun (perhaps Roy should have stayed in West London for England’s warm weather training) and is sure to take place again next season where the Bees will be aiming for a hat-trick of victories.

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Brentford legends preparing for action

Ok –  that kit. Most teams celebrate an FA Cup win with an open top bus parade or a reception in the town hall. True, Arsenal did the former but they have also launched a limited edition shirt to commemorate their victory.

It’s up there with the La Hoya Lorca ‘broccoli shirt’ or Madureira’s Fidel Castro tribute. Exiting club technical sponsor Nike have gone for a hybrid effort which, in their words is ’inspired by a selection of iconic Arsenal kits from the past two decades’.

So, not the offcuts from the factory floor which have been hastily sewn together, Frankenstein style, then?

I’m glad I’m not an Arsenal fan for many reasons but, primarily, because this is so bad I might actually be tempted to try and get one.

Surely Mark Devlin wouldn’t do this to us…….

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4-1 defeat? Move along, nothing to see here.

27 Apr

Have you bothered to watch the highlights (and I use the phrase in the loosest sense) this morning of Brentford succumbing 4-1 to Colchester United? Whether it was simply a case of an already promoted team having mentally ‘switched off’ (indeed, Wolves also conceded a late o.g. to be held at Coventry, in Northampton) or the Bees being outplayed by a team staring down the barrel of relegation, Warbs was making no excuses afterwards.

It was, what he later told the BBC, our “Worst performance of the season….by a long shot”.

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.