Tag Archives: midfield

Goals to Newcastle?

24 Aug

Tuesday saw rumours hitting overdrive after stories began to emerge suggesting that Newcastle United were looking to make a bid for Brentford supporters’ and players’ player of the year, Alan Judge. If the timing is a surprise, the player only having the screws removed from his leg (following that horrendous break inflicted by Luke Hyam of Ipswich Town in April) little over a week ago, the story was an inevitable one.

I was amazed he didn’t leave Brentford at Christmas and, but for that injury, would surely have departed in the current window following Euro 2016. He still might if this Newcastle story rings true.

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…..


View from the Braemar – how would the Bees go without Alan Judge?


Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 06.19.13

Scenes as Alan’s penalty helped confirm three points and promotion


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Mrs Brown – not the first time s(he) has produced a shock result

This is terrible, terrible news. Do ‘Radio Times’ employ any form of screening or was it just open to simpletons? She’s a man. A. Man.

Alan Judge celebrates

Alan Judge could soon deliver a blow to Brentford fans

Nick Bruzon

Billy’s gentle probing confirms Douglas departure as Bees go down.

29 Jul

After the high of victory against Stoke City at the weekend, Brentford came back down to earth with a bump, of sorts, following Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat at Luton Town. And elsewhere, there was a surprise turnout for the development squad at Dundee United.

First though, the Luton game. I wasn’t there – and fairplay to the 242 Brentford fans who did make it across – so it’s hard to say much in regards to the performance directly. I, like many, was reliant on Beesplayer where we learned as much after the game as during it.

Billy Reeves, who had used half time to give us a potted run through of his pre-Bees career (including a lexicon of fascinating facts about former band mate Sophie Ellis-Bextor) then flipped the tables. Having been gently probed by Mark Burridge at half time he adopted his own, more typical, role of interviewer to quiz Marinus.

theaudience - Billy has many strings to his bow

theaudience – Billy has many strings to his bow

I like Billy. A lot. We all know what we are going to get when he is in the hot seat and, as he had earlier told Mark, its because he is a fan. He asks those questions we want to know.

Sure enough – the big one on everybody’s lips at present is about Jonathan Douglas. We’ve all read the stories to suggest that he’s on his way out of Griffin Park but was it true?

So Billy put the question and Marinus was able to confirm in a very direct answer. I have to be honest I was surprised by the openness of his reply (but that’s no bad thing) as he told listeners, “He’s not part of the squadHe’s training separately…it’s better to move on, for his future, and for Brentford.”

This is a rapid fall from grace for the previously untouchable midfielder and one does wonder if anything else has happened behind the scenes to trigger such a course of action. Whilst the legs were clearly catching up on him in the second half of last season, don’t forget he was captain as recently as the Boreham Wood friendly.

Some will cry – Dougie was very popular with many supporters. Personally, I was of the opinion that his time had come. The goals were great but we were left exposed time and again last season by those meandering sorties up field that then left a gap you could park an oil tanker in.

With the midfield already providing problems of the best sort – and Dave Morley, alongside Mark B, really struggled to name his own starting XI for the season opener against Ipswich – perhaps Dougie has paid the price. I’d still expect more to follow him out of the door, though.

Dougie  - in happier times under Mark Warburton

Dougie – in happier times under Mark Warburton

Up front, Philipp Hofmann got the goal for Brentford – his second in as many games – which prompted more questions about that position. Specifically, Andre Gray. And only because, like Dougie before him, the other nagging rumour that won’t go away is in regards to potential bids for him. Hull City AFC are the latest team being inked to a bid.

Sadly Billy missed his cue on this one. You could almost hear the self-administered ‘slap to forehead’ as he realised, with our head coach having departed, that this was the other thing he really should have asked about. The official line from the club is that Marinus wants all his players to stay. I’d hope so.

Still, like the first team, this is all about getting back up to full speed. Billy’s gentle probing is always a great reason to stick around after full time for anybody unfortunate enough not to be at the game. Like the Bees, perhaps it was only natural that we might make the odd mistake as we get back into the swing of things after the summer break.

Besides, Billy did learn another key nugget of information. That the team to line up at Norwich City on Saturday will be 90% of the one Marinus expects to start against Ipswich Town, in the league, the following weekend.

Dave Morley – you’d better get your notepad ready.

And finally, Kevin O’Connor. Firstly, a reminder that 100% of any sales of my season reviews 2013/14 and 2014/15 are currently going towards his charity cycle ride this weekend. I had promised to donate anything raised and challenged my fellow author (although that is the loosest term when it comes to yours truly) Greville Waterman to do the same. Fairplay to Greville who has already weighed in with a very generous donation.

Certainly, that’s something I’ll match in the likely event it doesn’t get surpassed ahead of the designated time – next Saturday. Alternatively, if you’d like to contribute to the casue directly then you can do so at www.givey.com/ride100bfccst aswell as learning more about this event.

So perhaps it was with this cycle in mind that the development squad had a somewhat familiar face in the line up at Dundee United yesterday (and thanks to Andrew Gardner, @bodge1876, on twitter). Was it merely an attempt to keep fitness levels up or is Kev contemplating what Sid Waddell so famously once described as “The biggest comeback since Lazarus “?

Still got it, Kev..

Still got it, Kev..

Something has to give. But who or what?

11 Jul

Brentford have only gone and bought another midfielder. The much-rumoured transfer of Josh McEachran from Chelsea was completed on Friday as he signed a four-year contract at Griffin Park. And there’s news from two Championship stablemates where Doctor Assam Allam is trying it on again at Hull City AFC and Wolves, where the home team have been stung by the Bees before the season has even begun.

But first up, Josh. The newest, and possibly only, member of the #BrentfordFC moustache club put pen to paper on Friday. In doing so, he showed just how serious Matthew Benham and his fleet of coaches are about taking Brentford forward this season.

Josh signs for Brentford - no beard but a fine moustache

Josh signs for Brentford – no beard but a fine moustache

Marinus has already described him as, “A versatile midfield player who can play in a holding role and as a playmaker.” Certainly, the Internet is raving about the potential of this former England U-21 who played close to two dozen games for Chelsea before heading out on loan to a number of clubs including Middlesbrough, Swansea City and Vitesse, for whom he would have crossed swords with our new head coach last year.

Josh is an ambitious signing, make no mistake. However, I do wonder what it means for our already top-heavy midfield set up. By my reckoning, he makes it eleven players who will justifiably believe they are in contention for a start. Ryan Williams, Konstantin Kerschbaumer, Lewis Macleod, Sam Saunders, Jonathan Douglas, Marcos Tébar, Stuart Dallas, Alan Judge, Toumani Diagouraga and Jota will all be battling him for a central berth.

And that’s not counting Moses Odubajo or Alan McCormack, brought into the club as midfielders but, due to necessity, ended up being converted to defense where they’ve battled it out for the right back slot.

Those numbers are going to present Marinus with a headache, even if he was to adopt a Spanish 4-6-0 formation (and given our striking options, as it stands, that may not be as implausible as it sounds).

The other, more realistic, option is that somebody will be moving on. Could this see an end of the road, at Griffin Park, for some of our ‘elder statesmen’ with the likes of Jonathan Douglas and (please no) Sam Saunders making way as Marinus builds a new look team? Could some of the many rumours we’ve been reading about for the bigger names in our squad actually come true? I’m desperate to see the likes of Jota and Alan Judge next season – both of whom were among those who did nothing but impress last time out.

As I’ve said before, it’s always hard to see your heroes leave. I’ll be upset if pretty much anyone of the aforementioned players does depart but that’s football and Brentford are building for the future. The maths are stark but simple. Eleven (or thirteen) into five just won’t go.

Going back to territory we’ve visited in the past, Hull City AFC today face the latest challenge to their name. I’ve long been a supporter of the #NotoHullTigers campaign as controversial owner Doctor Assem Allam looks to rebrand the club, for the perceived marketing potential, as Hull Tigers.

You may not be aware but this Saturday sees the club face a vote at a meeting of the Football Association Council to see if his already rejected plans can be resuscitated. Whilst the word on the street is that he’s going to end up one unhappy tiger, nothing is ever guaranteed.

Good luck AFC. You’ve got one Bee behind you. I never tire of saying how lucky Brentford are with our owner. Here is yet another example of just how true it is to ha ve genuine supporter (since 1979) at the helm.

Its all in the name  - this Bees is backing Hull City AFC

Its all in the name – this Bees is backing Hull City AFC

And finally, from tigers to Wolves. And Bees. With the memory of our 4-0 victory from last season still fresh in the mind, not to mention our epic League One campaign, I’ve got a lot of time for the Molineux club. Recent history between us has seen nothing but exciting times and some cracking games as success followed for both our teams in seasons 2013/14 and 2014/15 (and which more than a few things were written about). There’s been a lot of good natured banter over the last few seasons and I genuinely can’t wait to resume the on pitch action once more.

As such, it was great to see the Bees have already got one over them before the season has even kicked off in anger. The club’s official Twitter feed sharing this shot on Friday of a swarm(ish) taking residence at Wanderers.

Insert your own Bees sting Wolves related headline, here

The Bees caused more pain for Wolves

The Bees caused more pain for Wolves yesterday

Nick Bruzon

Is victory a Long shot after strange injury update?

17 Apr

This is a curious one. Brentford take on Bolton Wanderers in Saturday’s ‘must win’ game where it is quite feasible we will be without the services of Everton loanee Chris Long. Despite being unable to feature in the midweek disappointment at Sheffield Wednesday after reportedly suffering from a knee injury (the third successive game he has missed after illness) he was able to play for the Everton U-21s yesterday. Where he promptly got injured!

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 big Forshaw question(s)

29 Jan

Only at Brentford ! With Saturday’s game against Middlesbrough already taking the expectation levels to fever pitch, things went through the roof yesterday with Adam Forshaw making a much anticipated transfer to our opponents following what they describe as “a brief stint at Championship rivals Wigan”.

A mere 17 games (that’s approximately a quarter of one, million, pounds per appearance) followed by a reported cut price sale, suggest that things didn’t work out too well .

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.