Tag Archives: minnows

Tin foil ready? Potato skins ready? A shot at FA Cup glory awaits….

7 Jan

Finally. The FA Cup third round is here. Brentford host Eastleigh on Saturday afternoon boosted by West Ham suffering a home humping at the hands of Manchester City last night. With the hapless Hammers going down in a game that very much threatened brackets at one stage – City having to settle for 5 rather than 7(seven) – their cup campaign is over. Which, as the principal suitors for goal machine Scott Hogan, can only be good news for the Bees – at least, in the short term.

That’s of no concern to Dean Smith. He has already told BBC Radio London that “If Scott Hogan is fit to play then naturally he will be in the team… If he is not then I won’t risk him. That is not because of any potential move away.”

There you go. Convinced? That said, I do wonder how much last night’s result from the West Ham Olympic stadium may have helped his fitness?

The one thing Dean can’t do, whomever he picks, is underestimate Eastleigh. The non-leaguers represent a huge potato skin for the Bees to slip up on. Putting the Martin Allen factor to one side, let’s not forget how they held Bolton in last year’s third round. Only an 87th minute equaliser from former Bee Darren Pratley sparing the (then) Championship side’s blushes. Even then, they still ran them close in the replay – taking the lead and later levelling things up before Pratley, again, popped up with the decisive goal in five.

Chuck in our own capitulation to Walsall the same weekend and only a fool would take the third round for granted.  Ours and Eastleigh’s were certainly picked out as ties that told the story of the round (the Spitfires even having a quagmire – sorry, pitch- inspection live on Football Focus). Yet as the minnows covered themselves in glory, for the Bees it was a case of wanting to slink away after being dumped out on a woeful afternoon.

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Young Bees and Eastleigh fans tell the story of last year’s 3rd round on the BBC (trophy friends?)

Dean has also spoken of that defeat this week, saying how “It was horrible for me because I wanted to play a full strength team but it was followed immediately by games against two teams (Middlesbrough and Burnley) who went on to get promoted.”.

Whilst hindsight is a wonderful thing, it was a strategy that saw the Bees lose both games anyway. 0-1 to our, so called, bogey team and then 1-3 to Burnley. The latter, in particular, featuring as one-sided a first half as you could fear to see before the Bees were able to make a fight of it at 0-3 down

But with a 9 day break unto our next game, at home to Newcastle United, Dean doesn’t have that issue this time around. So will he go full strength or make some changes?

I’d still expect the latter. I’d still expect Brentford to win. And if the likes of Alan McCormack, KK ,Sam Saunders or even (oh, please) Jota are included than that’s as much a case of picking hungry players with more than a point to prove and more than the ability to perform.

I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again. With tickets available on the day and starting from just £10 for adults where else are you gong to go? Ikea? Westfield? The mother-in-law’s?

Surely it can only be Griffin Park?

See you there.  But not before doing a bit of work with some glue, a roll of tin foil and the pizza box from the XXL I was forced to order last night given the lack of cardboard in our house.

The sacrifices you make for a shot at FA Cup glory….

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The FA Cup smelling of pizza will be ours

Nick Bruzon

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England. Fine on pitch; comedy off it. But not The Bees

9 Sep

It’s now ten days since Brentford last tasted Championship action, the 2-0 win at Rotherham, and with another 4 sleeps until Brighton visit Griffin Park I’m going up the walls. The EURO qualifiers have given partial respite but I still can’t get into these with the same passion as a domestic campaign on the doorstep.

Last night’s England game was an exact case in point. The team played well and deserved their 2-0 win. This wasn’t the ‘bore draw’ that many predicted and means they have, almost certainly, already qualified from the easiest group since records began.

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 along.

When in doubt, give it to the magician

22 Jun

Not my words but those of BBC World Cup commentator Jonathan Pearce as Lionel Messi gave Argentina the narrowest of victories over (insert your choice of patronising cliché : plucky, heroic, heartbroken, solid, minnows) Iran with a stunning last minute strike that could have been made on the Brentford training ground.

Pick up the ball deep in the heart of ‘Saunders territory’, hit it with the accuracy of a Forshaw or the fake-tanned wing-wizard himself and add a dash of International class c/o Northern Ireland’s Will Grigg.

It was a truly magnificent effort after a somewhat turgid encounter and, if not quite up there with Van Persie v Spain or Cahill v Netherlands, is certainly in my top three goals of the tournament. As ever, you can see the goal and the highlights on the BBC website.

Elsewhere, Germany held Ghana 2-2 in the proverbial game of two halves (apologies, I really have been eating cliché for breakfast. Just need ‘park the bus’ for a full house).

Four goals in a twenty-minute spell after half time made the opening 45 minutes, with both teams not so much parking the bus as struggling to get into the depot, a distant memory.

The excitement was cranked up with Miroslav Klose equaling the World Cup scoring record. Age may not have diminished the 36 year old’s eye for goal but it has caught up on his gymnastic skills. His celebratory somersault fell somewhat short and ended up less Olga Korbut and more Ronnie Corbett.

Getting back to Griffin Park, I’ve noticed the League table has now been updated on the BBC web page. It certainly makes great reading with Brentford already in the Championship play off spots (and Wolves currently rock bottom !).

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The BBC website already shows Brentford in the play off places

The World Cup may have come to a predictable, albeit premature, conclusion for England but it means all positive energy and thoughts can now be totally focused on the forthcoming Championship campaign.

There are less than 7 (seven) weeks to go until Charlton Athletic visit to kick things off and I can’t wait. If that isn‘t a more exciting prospect than watching veteran Teutonic gymnastics, I don’t know what is.

 

‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ – The story of Brentford’s season 2013/14 – amongst other things – is now available as a digital book . Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from the last ten months, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle / digital device