Tag Archives: October

Climbing to new heights. Newcastle tickets on sale as Gibraltar start World Cup life

7 Sep

Championship football is getting closer once more. Brentford fans can take solace in the fact that Newcastle United tickets go on sale today (Wednesday) whereas this time next week we’ll have played in Brighton and be about to set off for Aston Villa. And in the World Cup qualifiers, to run off yesterday’s piece, we have the info from the Gibraltar – Greece tie. And it wasn’t what you might have expected.

We’ll keep it brief today, though. Newcastle tickets go on sale at 10. Brentford ‘official’ have full details although the pertinent points seem to be that we have plenty. An initial allocation of 2,330 with the option on a further block of 870 to push us over the 3,000 mark. If needed. Season Ticket holders seem to be amply catered and so, all  being well, that dance train ticket purchase  / gamble wit the TV schedules will reap its reward.

The other point of note being that tickets are in Level 7 (seven). For once, the clarifying brackets needed. Rather than pitch side, level 1, we’re up high. Very high. Anybody who has been to St. James Park before will know to bring oxygen and crampons given the height of The Leazes stand in which we will be housed.

DIGITAL CAMERA

Breathing gear. Check. Ropes. Check

At least we are behind the goal rather than in the top corner and will be no further from the action than at the back of London’s Olympic stadium. Interestingly, and you may not realise, that a ground which West Ham United moved to over the summer. If only somebody had mentioned it. A poor job from the media in failing to keep us properly informed .

Anyway, the club site has all the info and you can read it here. Phone lines and ticket booking open at 10am but there really do seem to be plenty to go around.

As for Gibraltar, it was a good game. Sure, Greece may have ended up as 1-4 winners but it was only a mini collapse before half time, which resulted in a three goal gap, that was the difference between the two sides.

In terms of performance, the boys from the Rock had definitely upped their game and gave as good as the got. This was by no means the one sided walkover most observers would have expected whilst Liam Walker’s equaliser was a fine effort.

But, as ever, goals not guts win games. I can’t wait for Gibraltar to continue taking these progressive steps and secure a first point. Or better. Rather than seeing themselves plucky losers for whom national pride is the thing, why not see themselves for what they are – a tight knit bunch of great players with the ability to cause an upset or two along the way. And then beyond.

The mini meltdown that saw the score go from 1-1 on 44 minutes to 1-4 at half time was inexplicable. Prior to then, things had been level. Even after that, the team still had their chances to reduce the deficit.

Instead, it is another ‘nil points‘ although, hopefully, a bit of a warning shot across the bows of their rivals. Gibraltar won’t just roll over and die. 45th minute aside.

As a final thought, stadium requirements dictate that home games need to be played in Portugal. Simple logistics mean this is often in front of a sparse crowd. Whilst, geographically speaking, Spain is next door for obvious reasons that can’t be used.

Why not take the team on the road? London is just a short flight away and the amount of ex-pats  / keen observers in England alone would be sure to stick a few more on the gate. International football at Brentford? Whether Griffin Park or Lionel Road?

I’ve heard crazier ideas…

Nick Bruzon

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The stuff of dreams becomes a nightmare

5 Nov

What a time of contrasting managerial emotions for Brentford and QPR. Hot off the heels of our derby day victory over the Loftus Road outfit (a three points that Derby County then enjoyed on Tuesday night) Rangers have parted company with Chris Ramsey. Lee Carsley, meanwhile, has just been announced in the shortlist for manager-of-the-month.

I take no pleasure in anybody losing his or her job. Regardless of the team. Indeed, it doesn’t seem like five minutes ago we were embroiled in Village-gate and Mark Warburton was hot favourite to take over at QPR. Instead, with Tony Fernandes announcing that he was close to announcing his ‘dream manager’, Warbs eventually went to Rangers (the Glasgow incarnation) whilst Chris Ramsey took over at Loftus Road.

How things changed. Rangers exited the Premier League; Brentford came to within a play off game of making it. And now, with the Bees on the charge once more, QPR continue their slide downwards.

No doubt their fans and top brass will be worried they are looking like following the recent likes of Wolves directly into the Division One. With it, will come potential games against the likes of Mansfield Town, Carlisle and Accrington Stanley next season. Whilst I can’t see it happening it does show how fleeting football form can be.

Lee Carsley, meanwhile, has received the expected ‘reward’ for an October that saw us pick up 12 points out of 15 and four successive wins. Will he scoop the final honour? Well, being honest, I expect it to go to Steve Bruce at Hull City – they were unbeaten and a point better off. Likewise, victory over us on Tuesday (albeit in November) saw them reach the top of the Championship table.

The Bees came close but couldn't get past Hull on Tuesday

The Bees came close but couldn’t get past Hull on Tuesday

Either way, it is a tremendous reversal of form following the days of Marinus and Roy.

And nowhere more has this been typified than in Alan Judge, who is also up for the player-of-the-month award. His four assists, three goals and scintillating play make him a very genuine candidate for this award. Ironically, former Bee Andre Gray, who has been scoring goals for fun at Burnley, could be a very serious rival for this one.

Whatever happens, I’d rather be in our situation than that of Rangers who, this morning, will be sorting through the monogrammed CR tracksuits and starting the search for their next dream manager.

As for us, whilst I’d hope Lee wins the prize I can’t look past Steve Bruce. Although, should he do it, then get ready to bet against Hull City at the weekend.

We all know how that jinx normally works.

Alan Judge - has been on fire (not literally) in October

Alan Judge – has been on fire (not literally) in October

Nick Bruzon

Judge and Djuri’ send QPR down as Bees pass trial by TV

31 Oct

Can Brentford take bragging rights, and 3 points, from QPR? That was the question posed in Friday morning’s column and the answer was very much a resounding, ‘YES’!!!

A 1-0 win, via the boot of Marco Djuricin, sent the Bees fans home ecstatic and the Rangers’ support skulking back to Loftus Road with their tails between their legs – all the pre-match bluster very much coming to nothing.

In front of a full house and the Sky TV cameras, Brentford were magnificent. As a game, it hadn’t promised to be much of a spectacle (we had only scored three goals and earned two points from our previous six league encounters) but when it really counted, in a Championship encounter, QPR just couldn’t match the Bees. And didn’t it feel great?

Sky TV capture the score and the moment for posterity

Sky TV capture the score and the moment for posterity

Lee Carsley’s fourth win in a row (for a man who doesn’t want a long term managerial role, he’s doing a very good job of putting himself in an untenable position) propelled Brentford up to 10th in the table, overtaking both QPR and Fulham. The days of Marinus seem a long way away already and our interim head coach could even be talking himself into a position for the manager of the month ‘poison chalice’.

With our games completed for October, the Bees remain the form side with 12 points and four wins from the month. Only Brighton, Hull and Derby come close to catching that although, of course, the rest of the Championship have a game in hand. In terms of emulating what happened when Warbs took over from Uwe, he’s not doing too bad a job. Oh for a repeat of that (although preferably without any mention of football being a village).

Still, all of this is a long way off. Back to the game which, being honest, produced a somewhat staid first half. Very much a cautious affair, it was waiting to explode into life but didn’t quite fire. Massimo Luongo (an alleged one time target for the Bees – back in those pre-season days of Bees bosses being poised to make double swoops, so beloved of our local journalists) hit the stanchion and the inside of the post late on in the opening 45 for the visitors. That was about as worried as we got all game.

Frankly, Rangers were a shadow of their reputation and past Premier League status. They offered little and this was a game waiting for them to be opened up. Like breaking into a can of corned beef, a tricky task but the reward was one so worth the effort.

Once we'd opened up QPR, the reward was all the sweeter

QPR – it was worth perservering

But if the first period had been quiet, the second was anything but. Clearly Lee could smell blood in the water because the Bees came out at 100 miles an hour. Marco Djuricin produced a great stop from one time England goalkeeper Rob Green before John Swift fired the resulting clearance just over. Alan Judge, set free by Toumani (GPG man of the match by a country mile), went down in the box when, perhaps, better opportunity awaited had he been able to stay on his feet. Referee Simon Hooper called “no foul” but it hardly mattered.

Seconds later came the moment. That man Judge, yet again, was the provider. Cutting down the left flank he played a fast, low cross into the box that Djuricin did wonderfully to fire past the helpless Green. It really was a goal about technique and positioning as the Austrian got himself in front of the defender to meet the perfect delivery. And didn’t Bees fans go crazy?!

Only Toumani getting on the end of it could have made the moment any sweeter. Even now, having slept on it, I’ve still got a goofy smile on my face at the thought of that hitting the back of the net. The noise, the excitement, the goal. Hey, even the flare (kids, don’t do them) added a certain ambience on this occasion.

It doesn’t get much better than this. If last season saw us become the much lambasted #Novemberkings, could we see a new hashtag appearing on Saturday? Not even I’d be so churlish as to deny us that – even just for one day.

The only down side was Alan Judge heading straight down the tunnel after being substituted. Hopefully this was nothing more than a precaution for a player fast becoming one of the Championship’s hottest properties.

Whilst it was great to be part of the action at Griffin Park, it did mean we were unable to follow ‘our friends at radio’. I have no doubt the Beesplayer team have produced another ‘Burridgegasm’ for Marco’s goal. Roll on the video highlights.

Likewise, we were denied a chance to hear Billy Reeves. The sometime Beesplayer host was doing his thing on BBC Radio London where I do wonder if his oft quoted ‘meridian line’ put in a real life appearance. Judging by the two-minute gap between the scoreboards at each end of Griffin Park, we were clearly playing in opposing time zones.

Still, this is all minutiae. 1-0 to the Bees is the only thing that counts this morning. We’re up to tenth in the table and, as it stands, just four points away from the promotion spots. That challenge is all to come though. For now, it’s just about enjoying the moment and the fact that we are the best team in this corner of West London.

Get in !!!

As it stands.....

As it stands…..

Nick Bruzon

4 goals, 42 shots, 74% possession. That’s some mathematical model.

25 Feb

Brentford blew aside Blackpool like a crisp packet caught on the breeze as they recorded a second win in as many games. The 4-0 scoreline does little to reflect the one sided nature of a game in which we registered 42 shots to the visitors 2 and had 74% possession. Blackpool, who spent much of the game with ten men following a red card for Charles Dunne, offered nothing and, being honest, could have made the long journey home on the wrong end of a bracketing had we been that bit more clinical.

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 BBC stats show just how one sided it was

The BBC stats show just how one sided it was

View from the terrace - Jon Toral and team celebrate his third goal

View from the terrace – Jon Toral, team and fans celebrate his third goal

However, I have a picture that suggests that there is an alternative which could keep both parties happy. If Matthew wants a mathematical model then our artist’s impression of how this could be accommodated would, I am sure, be a popular one.

Is this what Matthew means by a mathematical model?

Is this what Matthew means by a mathematical model?

Will it be three more points as Blackpool go West?

24 Feb

Brentford welcome Blackpool to Griffin Park on Tuesday night in what, on paper, seems an excellent chance to continue on our winning way after Saturday’s splendid 3-1 victory over Bournemouth. With the Tangerines already 12 points adrift of Championship safety and manager Lee Clark telling the BBC that he “may struggle to fill the substitutes’ bench” surely this has three points written all over it?

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.

Crisis? What crisis?

22 Feb

Normal service was resumed on Saturday at Griffin Park as Brentford’s 3-1 victory over Bournemouth saw the Bees back to winning ways once more. It was almost as though the previous ten days hadn’t happened – the only difference being the absence of sporting director Frank McParland who was tending to his leeks or whatever else it is you do on gardening leave. Brentford were, simply, magnificent.

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.

Aswell as 35 yard shots, Brentford also try the 'lining up for a bus' free kick technique

Aswell as 35 yard shots, Brentford also try the ‘lining up for a bus’ dead ball technique

Visiting supporters were in jubilant mood before kick off

Visiting supporters were in jubilant mood before kick off

For a game given the tongue-in-cheek nickname of ‘The tin pot derby’ by supporters of both clubs (as a reaction to the jealous jibes of our, supposedly, more illustrious divisional rivals), it was one played out with all the passion of the FA Cup final. But there is nothing ‘tinpot’ about either of these sides and the celebrations on full time certainly felt like Brentford had won that famous old trophy.

Jota has his eyes on the tinpot

Jota has his eyes on the tinpot

Tinpot derby awaits a reunited Brentford

21 Feb

Finally. We can concentrate on playing football again rather than talking about the manager and mathematical models. Brentford welcome Bournemouth to Griffin Park today for a promotion six pointer that, should the Bees triumph, will really lock things up once more.

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.

An unusual derby awaits

An unusual derby awaits

Hu-ra-ra Dougie's in

Hu-ra-ra Dougie’s in

The A-Z of Brentford – October 2013

31 Oct

As Brentford reach the end of October on a high and prepare to face Crawley Town at the weekend, it’s time to round up the best and worst of what happened over the month in another A-Z. Warning: includes some tenuous links.

A – Ashton Gate. This win at the home of Bristol City, our second successive victory in the league, propelled the Bees to seventh place in the table (despite Uwe’s brief aspiration for the Griffin Park support to be more like theirs). And better was to come.

B – Buzzette. ‘The Last Word’ launched another caption competition to win a Buzzette mug. Being judged by Natalie Sawyer, the best of the (printable) entries received so far are on line and you can still enter here if you are here quick.

C – Colchester United. A superlative final twenty minutes against the U’s, following a frustrating earlier period in which we went a goal down, saw Brentford cruise to a Clayton Donaldson inspired 3-1 victory.

D – Dallas, Stuart. Went on loan to Northampton and scored from the bench (not literally) on his debut. Now has two goals from his first three games for the Cobblers.

E – England ‘band’. THE most irritating thing in football. A reminder was received mid-month, if ever one was needed, that musical instruments should never be allowed into Brentford games. Hurrah for the Poland fans who finally drowned them out as we qualified for the world cup 2014.

F – Flares. The firey things, not the über -cool 70’s trouser. The 14 year old numpty who brought one into the Colchester game was subsequently arrested, banned from Griffin Park and was due to attend youth court at the end of the month. It really isn’t big, clever or injecting any sort of ‘Continental, colourful atmosphere’. Don’t do it, kids.

G – George (Saville) curled home a magnificent shot to put Brentford into the lead against Colchester. A contender for goal of the season, alongside Adam Forshaw against Sheffield United and Shay up at Port Vale.

H – Harris, Kadeem. My word, doesn’t Kadeem Harris look tasty? Cardiff City’s latest attempt to say “sorry we nicked your goalkeeper, even though we aren’t playing him’” looks like the proverbial ‘wing wizard’ that the Bees have been crying out for at times. The loan signing deservedly scored, on his debut.

I – Inquisition. Nobody expects the Stevenage Inquisition. Certainly not Billy Reeves and the rest of the press, as Uwe kept them all waiting whilst he ‘had a chat’ with the team after the Stevenage game. Whatever they discussed certainly seems to have worked. Three successive wins followed.

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Nobody expects the Stevenage Inquisition

J – Joao Carlos (Teixera). Returned to Liverpool after 28 days of a loan spell that saw him barely register on the Griffin Park radar. An unusual piece of business from start to finish, it will be very interesting to see if, longer term, the Portuguese U-20 was our biggest missed opportunity in years or another wunderkind who fizzles away.

K – Kick it out. The campaign for ‘tackling exclusion’ in football had a promotional day this month with everybody from players to mascots and even Buzzette (below) getting involved. You can read more about ‘Kick it out’, here.

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Buzzette shows her support for the ‘Kick it out’ campaign

L – Lee, Richard. Was handed back the gloves against Bristol City and made it three wins from his four appearances this season. Followed this up by giving an exclusive, and very open, interview to ‘The Last Word’.

M – Marcello (Trotta). Off the mark against Colchester United and then bagged the winner against Shrewsbury Town. Let’s hope the second chapter of the Trotta-Brentford story has a happier conclusion for the team.

N – Norris, Luke. Déjà vu? Luke Norris went on loan to Northampton and scored, on his debut. He’s gone one better than Stuart, though, and now has three goals from his first three games for the Cobblers.

O – The O’s. Leyton Orient are top of the table, as it stands, but the wining run has been stopped and their lead over Brentford is now down to 11 points.

P – Peterborough. The Posh (about as posh as allegedly Posh Spice ie not very) were 2-1 home winners in the JPT. I didn’t want to go to Wembley, anyway. Dreadful place.

Q – ‘Queuing up to get out’. Mark Burridge’s stirring description of the Bristol City fans as Clayton made it 2-0. Less a fire drill, more a full scale evacuation.

R – Rotherham. The fine win at Coventry/Northampton which closed September was immediately followed by a lacklustre home reverse to the Millers. Move along please, nothing to see. We won’t play this badly again. Ahh, hang on…

S – Stevenage. The less said about this the better. Out of the blocks like a greyhound following the Rotherham ‘display’, Clayton’s early goal was nullified by David Button’s questionable attempt to impersonate Johan Cruyff. Made Les Dennis’s take on ‘Mavis Riley’ look Oscar winning in comparison. A 2-1 defeat ensued.

T – Tabb, Jay. The Ipswich Town wide-man and ever-popular former Bee spoke to ‘The Last Word’ earlier this month about his career since leaving TW8 and his time at Griffin Park aswell as giving his thoughts on Brentford’s season so far.

U – Up. The direction Brentford are heading. Finished the month in 5th place after beginning it mid-table.

V – Venta, Javi. Had his contract terminated by mutual consent for personal reasons at the beginning of the month. A brave signing and a shame we never got to see Javi’s full potential. The flip side is the emergence of Allan McCormack in the cover right-back role. With three wins from three, could this be the tactical master-stroke of the season?

W – (The) Who. The match-day programme went all ‘Smash hits’ with an article about popular music’s ageing rockers. Bob Booker is a fan, apparently.

X – eXit music (sorry). Despite fine wins against Colchester and Shrewsbury, aswell as the loss to Rotherham, Griffin Park music lovers are still being tormented with those two ‘walk out music’ staples: ‘Celebrate’ by Kool and the gang, for three points, or the horror that is ‘Guaglione’ for a win/draw. Please Big Bee Radio. I’m begging you, change the record….

 Y – Yellow Cards. Even allowing for the appearance of Keith Stroud at Griffin Park for the final game of the month, only five bookings were made in our five league games over the period. And the one offered by Stroud seemed particularly innocuous.

Z – Zombie films, tenuous reference to. The month started in disappointing form with that defeat to Rotherham on October 5th. How things change and our next League game, 28 days later (I did say it was tenuous), sees Brentford in fifth place as they prepare to line up against Crawley Town.

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What a change in the 28 days between the Rotherham game and the impending Crawley fixture