Tag Archives: newsnow Brentford

Move along, nothing to see here (especially for travelling fans)

12 Nov

Welcome back, Brentford fans. The Last Word has had a few days off as I’ve been concentrating on MK Dons (I suppose somebody has to) ahead of their visit next month. And what a few days it has been. We’ll be bang up to date with the Burnley TV announcement which has followed what could, politely, be called a period of ‘managerial upheaval’. Chris Ramsey at QPR – gone! Kit Symons at Fulham – gone! Gary Bowyer at Blackburn Rovers – gone. And all this hot on the heels of Guy Luzon at Charlton going before most fans had even left South-East London last month.

Defeat to the Bees saw the end of Guy Luzon at Charlton

Defeat to the Bees saw the end of Guy Luzon at Charlton

As I said after Ramsey’s departure, I take no pleasure in seeing anybody lose his or her job. Those sentiments still hold true. We’ve been through it ourselves already this season when the Marinus experiment (something that even now sounds like the sort of prog rock band BBC Billy Reeves might listen to whilst compiling a match report) came to a somewhat premature conclusion.

However, what is interesting to note is how soon these dismissals came after the respective teams had played Brentford. Blackburn dismissed Gary Bowyer after our 1-1 at Ewood Park, Luzon had gone within moments of Charlton being hammered 3-0 by the Bees at the Valley whilst at least QPR gave Chris Ramsey one more game after they’d lost to us. Then swung the axe.

Is there anything more to this than coincidence? Are Brentford still viewed by others as the yardstick of mediocrity? And, as such, failure to beat us is deemed to be the final straw on the proverbial camel’s back?

Anybody who saw what we did last season would be a fool to subscribe to that theory. Likewise, those who have troubled to actually look at what we have done this time around, especially under Lee Carsley. But people are very much set in their ways and attitudes, choosing to sneer about ‘stats’ and still laugh off Brentford as some insignificance of minor irritant – much like a mosquito troubling a T-Rex.

And that’s just the way I like it. We’ve now got international break where, subject to injuries, the likes of Alan Judge and Lasse Vibe could be on duty whilst John Swift has been called up for the England U-21s. Instead, those outside TW8 will no doubt overlook all this, which suits me fine.

Forget ‘Little old Brentford’ (urghh). Forget ‘#BigNewAmbitions’ (please, can we all forget about that). Move along, there’s nothing to see here. Let people ignore us or dismiss us. We’ve got ten days to drift into the back of peoples’ consciousness once more and continue our discreet push up the blindside of the Championship table. Moreso, with the likes of Jota and Sam Saunders pushing for selection, we’ve only got more opportunity to spring a few surprises.

Jota's Instagram account gives encouraging news

Jota’s Instagram account gives encouraging news

And then Sky TV has come along to promptly ruin things for us with that rarest of things – a televised Championship game that doesn’t involved Leeds United. Instead, our game at home to Burnley has now been brought forward to Friday January 15th at 7.45pm.

From a timing perspective, this one is a nightmare. Saturday 9 January (subject to TV, of course) sees the FA Cup third round. We then entertain Middlesbrough on Tuesday night – a huge challenge in it’s own right given recent form between our respective teams – before lining up against Burnley just three days after that.

It’s always a busy time of the year, no question, but purely from a fitness perspective to deny ourselves that extra night to recover can’t be a great thing. Middlesbrough and Burnley are at the business end of the table for good reason. They’ll be tough enough opponents as it is, without things being made any harder for us by powers outside of our control.

Then there are supporters. Not all of us have the luxury of living in West London. Whilst many do, there are a lot of Bees for whom the trek to Griffin Park is a carefully planned ritual. As one terrace observer put it to me last night, “It’s annoying. I can pull the ‘leave early/work from home’ thing every so often but twice in a week is now book a holiday or choose a game I’ll have to miss.”

@Gandalf3819 was equally frustrated on Twitter last night, adding, “That’s great, another game missed because some of us do shift work! Talk about selling our soul!” This was promptly followed by a hashtag that I don’t think the club will be using on the next marketing campaign.

Andre is coming back sooner than we thought (even without brackets)

Andre is coming back sooner than we thought (even without brackets)

Look. I have no doubt we’ll be told that this is totally outside of our control but, equally, I’d be interested to hear how hard we have fought against this. Or, indeed, does the club actually believe that it is in our own interests – after all, we do get increased revenue from the TV money.

With success comes TV money and the price of that is fixture upheaval. Just imagine what would have happened had we actually made it to the Premier League this season. I accept all that but did it really have to be that weekend?

The fans could be paying out for three games in a 7(seven) day stretch immediately after the Christmas and New Year period. A problem further compounded by the fact that Season Tickets don’t cover the FA Cup.

As for the players. Well, our squad may be big but it is notoriously fragile. One New Road wag asked me last week if Lewis Macleod is actually made out of balsa wood, following his latest setback for the development squad. The prospect of three games in such close proximity is one that must have the medics quaking and the recovery coach (I’m sure we must have one) filling the ice bath already.

Hey, it could just be me and, actually, people welcome this. That’s football and this is my opinion. However, I’m keen to see if the club or even BIAS, the independent voice of Brentford supporters, make any further comment.

Moving on, I mentioned MK Dons and their temporary role in shutting own the Last Word at the top end of this column. Well, my focus on them has been in regards to the ‘kit obsessive‘ article that appears in the matchday magazine. Specifically, as they’ve presented a challenge even bigger than facing Middlesbrough, Burnley and Team X over the space of a week. From a kit article perspective.

Whilst other clubs have afforded us the luxury of over a century worth of shirt design to select from, with MK we have just over a decade.

A mere 11 home shirts since they forced their way into existence has made it somewhat of a tougher challenge than normal. But after trawling through a back catalogue skimpier than Britney Spears swimsuit, we’re there.

And I think you might like this one. Well, I hope you might like this one. You might like this one.

On December 5th you can make up your own minds. Enjoy.

Nick Bruzon

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And the winner is….announced very early but fully deserved

6 Nov

Brentford fans have woken up to the news that Saturday’s game against Blackburn Rovers has just been made all that harder. This, after Lee Carsley pipped Steve Bruce of Hull City, amongst others, to the much coveted ‘Manager of the Month’ award for October. And whilst, of course, Lee deserves nothing but the hugest congratulations, the associated ‘jinx’ that comes with it (scoop the award, lose your next game) will be something he needs all his powers to overcome.

Spoiler alert - its a Bees double for October

Spoiler alert – its a Bees double for October

Considering Lee’s long-term reluctance to take on this sort of role, one can‘t deny the impact he has had although, equally, he is quick to recognise the help provided by his assistant, Paul Williams. In an article that went live on the official site in the small hours of Friday morning (somebody may have been reading at 1.35am ) he said, “If I could cut the award in half, he would get the other half. I see this as a reward for a great team effort over the month.”

Whoever gets the kudos, to be recognised in such a fashion just five weeks after taking over from Marinus is an incredible achievement. The transformation has been a stunning one whilst, whatever else happens this season, Lee has guided us to victory over our fiercest rivals.

Whilst the jinx worthy amongst us may now be worried about what comes next on Saturday, the oft-quoted stat regarding the post-award defeat is one that has, to be fair, bypassed Brentford in recent years. Both Uwe and Warbs (twice) have managed to dodge it. Could Lee continue that trend at Blackburn?

Well, Brentford supporters will be hoping that October’s player of the month is available to help him with this challenge.

Alan Judge made it a Brentford double, picking up the onfield prize. And if Steve Bruce thought he might have had a shout for the managerial top spot after Hull City had stormed to the top of the Championship table, nobody could have disputed Alan’s reward.

Three goals and four assists have seen the Bees firing on all cylinders and the opposition left very much in his wake. His absence was definitely felt in Tuesday night’s game against Hull, such is the impact he has had. The club’s YouTube video, whilst ending on a precautionary note about his potential availability for this weekend, sees the Judge in enthusiastic form talking about the month just gone.

Congratulations due to Alan.

Whatever happens this weekend and this month, the season has a long way to go. Lee Carsley and his back room team have done a stunning job in reversing our fortunes. Regardless of results, it is as much the way we are playing football.

With the likes of Josh McEachran, Jota and Lewis Macleod due to return to first team fitness soon, that style of football is one we could be set to enjoy even more.

Nick Bruzon

Unlikely source inspires Bees at Wolves as Derby ‘go rogue’

22 Oct

Like the 65 bus, Brentford wait ages for a win and then two come along at once. Lee Carsley made it 6 points from 6 as Wednesday night’s cracking performance at Wolves, a 2-0 victory for the Bees, followed hot on the heels of the weekend defeat of Rotherham United. We’ll also take a look at Derby County, where there seems to be a cyber saboteur at work. However, we can only begin at Molineux where a new chapter has been written in the recent history of Brentford and Wolves.

Given Brentford’s early season troubles, I went into this one with a feeling of trepidation. The stats weren’t a great omen either, given we’ve only managed a solitary point and single goal on our last two trips to the Black Country. However, that was nothing compared to the pre-match revelation from Harlee Dean.

Not that his phone only had 30% battery power but his choice of ‘game time’ music. Coldplay.

Seriously. Coldplay.

Who'd have imagined what would come next?

Who’d have imagined what would come next?

Officially the wettest band since records began, they are harmless enough if you want some background noise for your dinner party. But at a time when you want your team pumped up, this was more the stuff for forty winks on the coach back home. It looked like trouble.

How little I know. Who could have imagined the motivational powers possessed by Chris Martin (not the Derby County striker – don’t panic, we’ll get to him). If this is what he can do to our team then I’ve been well and truly put in my place.

Three hours and three points later I’m eating humble pie. And it tastes delicious. Harlee, if you are reading (you never know) then I can only apologise for my lack of confidence in your musical inspiration. Although I can’t help but wonder if you were somehow responsible for Jake and Tarks seeing…yellow

As for the rest of the game it was a case of Beesplayer for me, where the muffins sounded as delicious as the aforementioned pie (top listener tip though: summarising with your mouth full is never a good sound). As such, I’d suggest you stick to the official site, Beesotted, the BBC or other sources for the full match report. Sky does have the goals, and other close shaves, up already for those who can’t wait for the Burridge infused highlights later today.

The first was particularly delightful, simply because it allows the pun smiths to go wild. The Judge brought the Djuri-cin to play and the Austrian made it 3 from 8, albeit with the help of a deflection.

The second, at the death, saw Philipp Hofmann get onto a long ball from John Swift. The German caught the Wolves defence cold and, clean though, he made no mistake in rounding ‘keeper Emiliano Martinez to wrap up the points. The boos rang around Molineux and I’m already reading that, for Wolves, it may be a case of no Jackett required (that’s a Phil Collins one, not Coldplay).

All of which means that the Bees are now up to 15th in the table and just 7 (seven) points off the play offs with another 102 to play for. It’s far, far too soon to be getting excited given the start we had but, on the other hand, you can’t argue with two wins in a row and confidence certainly seems to be coming back to the team. And the fans. Roll on Charlton this Saturday.

Pre-match mention of Coldplay’s Chris Martin got me talking about his Derby County counterpart – and a mystery is unfolding. Who is the their cyber whizzkid? Although I have no doubt, not endorsed in anyway by the club, Derby seem to have been the victims of somebody ‘upgrading’ Rams related pages on Wikipedia.

Whilst (blah, blah) I don’t endorse any of these views, and neither do I have the time to pixelate any rude words (kids, you’ve been warned – look away now or ask an adult for permission) it began a couple of weeks ago when the page of rivals Nottingham Forest had been rejigged.

Nottingham Forest were the first victims

Nottingham Forest were the first victims

Then, last night, whilst looking for the current status of the aforementioned striker, one Ealing Road wag pointed out that Martin had also been got at. As quickly as it went up it’s gone down for the much more mundane confirmation that his middle name is actually Hugh.

But, for a moment at least, it was there. Regardless of whichever team you support, it takes a sorry individual not to enjoy this.

There was an awkward pause at the Christening

There was an awkward pause at the Christening

Is this coincidence or will the Derby hacker (not Chris Baird) strike again? We await the next update with intrigue.

Nick Bruzon