Tag Archives: Moneyball

There’s Toumani broken hearts on New Road

23 Jan

Preston await. Despite Brentford saying nothing (certainly by 10am on Saturday morning) we’ll be another man down. Just about every other source, including the player and his colleagues on Twitter, were talking about the sale of Toumani Diagouraga to Leeds United. The destruction of the team that took us to within a play-off semi final of the Premier League continues as fans have been left heartbroken by the dismantling of the side that served us so incredibly well.

Mark Warburton – gone

Andre Gray – gone

Moses Odubajo – gone

Stuart Dallas – gone

Jota – gone

Toumani Diagouraga – gone

Alex Pritchard – gone

Jonathan Douglas – gone

Nick Proschwitz – gone

Personally, and I know I’m in a minority, I’ve not shed any tears over the departure of Dougie. His time had come. Likewise, I can’t see anybody crying over the absence of Proschwitz from the team whilst Pritch was only ever a loan signing.

But you can’t remove this much quality and expect no reaction – on or off the field. Moreso when, Max Colin aside, those that have come in have hardly matched their predecessors in terms of ability and performance. With Toumani now gone I fear the midfield is going to be left with a hole you could park a juggernaut in.

Swift and McEachran are, currently, showing the solidity of tumbleweed whilst I saw one post on social media describing KK as having all the resistance of a wet piece of kitchen towel.

Whatever Rasmus and co think they are doing, you just can’t rip the soul out of a team, replace it with statistical niceities and sideways passing / ball retention then hope to pick up where you left off. There, I was rude about so-called, moneyball. Sue me.

IMG_6162

No more Toumani at Griffin Park. Thanks

Frankly, I dread to think what would have happened had Alan Judge not been in such imperious form or Lee Carsley performed such miracles after Marinus was brought in (great research there) and then so unceremoniously dumped. This, just days after he’d been paraded at the fans’ forum where we’d been given the message that everything in the garden was rosy. Hey, Rasmus even told us at that session that we’d be in the Premier League within three seasons.

Carry on like this and I’d agree – the Ryman Premier.

Look, this might all work out but, right now, our club feels a very different place to 24, even 12, months ago. And I’m not sure I like it very much. Selling Toumani to Leeds United really has been the last straw. I thought there might be chance he’d follow Warbs to Rangers but this just feels all wrong.

Not for the player, of course. I can only wish him the very best and offer huge thanks for everything he did. He was supporter’s player of the year for good reason and our loss is very much Leeds’ gain.

We never did see that goal we’d craved for so long but lump your mortgage on him doing it on Tuesday night. When, of course, Leeds United visit Griffin Park.

As for today, Preston North End see Brentford having lost four games on the spin. Dean Smith has stated the obvious and noted that he wants to get back to winning ways. As one New Road observer has noted, he was hardly going to come out with: “Well, Chris, I was thinking that losing 5 or 6 in a row might give us that extra impetus going into February”.

Apologies, Dean. But I’m just not in the frame of mind to be happy-clappy, nicey-nicey about our top brass at the moment. Results aside, the way the season has progressed has been really unlike anything those who have supported this club for more than a year (me, 1979) have known.

I’d love success. But at what price?

Let’s really hope things start kicking in on the pitch again soon.

And finally, it seems Absolute Radio DJ Christian O’Connell has a rival. Following yesterday’s piece in which we talked about the sad end to the Cameron Diaz story, it seems that none other than Bees Player commentator par excellence, Mark Burridge, is adding his two penneth into the mix.

He notes: “ I met Cameron Diaz in 2005 when she was filming The Holiday, (filmed in Guildford I believe) whilst staying at Pennyhill Park. ‘What’s Brentford?’ she laughed when I asked her…..so I explained who we were and she replied ‘I don’t know what Brentford is’….I then explained it was a story in an English newspaper about her knowing Dan Tana and picking up the bug to support us…..’Oh yes, I know Dan but I don’t know Brentford’…….this story was relayed on messageboards and been mentioned on Beesplayer for years. I claim the Cameron ‘outing’ prize’ Nick.

I have no idea who has officially ‘outed’ Cameron but OC, Mark – if either of you are reading this then, to quote Harry Hill, “There’s only one way to sort his out…”

Nick Bruzon

 

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As summer looms there is a plan B…and a plan C

6 Jun

Things are tough being a Brentford fan at this time of the year. With the League campaign not due to kick off until the weekend of 8/9 August, the next two months loom ahead as a long and painful wait. What has already seemed an interminable amount of time since Bournemouth were crowned champions and Norwich City beat Middlesbrough in the play offs promises to be all the worse as summer drags.

Actually, let me quantify that opening line slightly. This isn’t a scenario totally unique to Brentford. We weren’t alone in coming ‘so close’ and there are as many other teams who must be chomping at the bit to get started once more (Middlesbrough, I’m sure, having a point to prove) .

Likewise, for those who did make it. Without a doubt there will be more than one Bournemouth fan with their eyes on the local newsagent for when those first packets of Panini stickers are released.

The possibility of seeing the Sam Saunders tan immortalised in sticker form for all time is just too great an opportunity missed and so I’m desperate for us to restart and, all being well, go one(or two) better.

To read the rest of this article, season 2015/16 is now available to download onto Kindle (and other electronic reading device) in full, as :   Ready. Steady. Go Again. : Brentford FC season review 2015 – 2016

Thanks for reading and all your comments over the course of the season. For now, it’s the annual clean up to make more space on the site for the inevitable follow up. However, ‘close season’ will continue in full, further along.

But wait, like all the best infomercials, there’s more. The last three seasons of the Last Word : Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup; Tales from the football village and Ready. Steady. Go Again are also available in one combined volume as: 

Brentford Football Club – The Bees are going up. Season reviews: 2013/14, 2014/15 & 2015/16 

We did. And we still are !