Tag Archives: Peru

From Cristiano to Henrik via Rio. And more shirt news…

16 Jun

Ruddy hell – the World Cup ! Just where do you start? Having been upstaged in the Champions League final by Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo stuck it to his Real Madrid team mates in some style last night as Portugal drew 3-3 with Spain in a game that, on a personal note, also served as a timely reminder of yours truly briefly dabbling with Manchester United. In the loosest sense. Elsewhere, today sees the magnificent four game spread that also offers Brentford fans a chance to catch our man in action. Henrik Dalsgaard and his Denmark team face off with Peru on a day that sees games running from 11am right through to the conclusion of Croatia-Nigeria around 10 pm tonight. And on a Brentford note, there’s also shirt news imminent. Monday is the day….

First up, Portugal. Specifically, Ronaldo. He’s a genius. Pure and simple. So consistently incredible. Never failing to pull it out of the bag when it counts. Even the most churlish amongst us could only sit back and admire what he did last night. Even with the posturing, the preening and the strutting around like a coked up peacock. Despite all this, the sheer audacity of the man and his ability with a football still shone through. It was a performance that would have had Alan Partridge foaming at the mouth. That was liquid football and then some. Sheer brilliance.

The one down side to all of this was Rio Ferdinand in the BBC studio. It’s impossible not to like Rio. A legend for his country and a quite remarkable human being given the personal situation he’s been through. He always talks passionately about the game and with enthusiasm. Yet therein lies part of the puzzle. He doesn’t half go on about it. Clanggggg, The sound of another name being dropped. If he mentioned that he’d played with Ronaldo once he must have done it a dozen times. Nutritionists. Training. Manchester United. Fergie’s opinion. At home with Cristiano. We had it all.

There’s form here. Back in Brazil 2014 it was the same. Manchester United this. Manchester United that. I didn’t realise he’d won the Champion’s League. If only somebody had said.

Rio panel

Who could forget Rio, in Rio? World Cup 2014

Of course an ex-player is going to draw on their experience. That’s only natural and, to be fair, helps paint a picture of what we see going on. It gives an insight into something we might not have visibility of in the normal course of events. Just perhaps tone it down a little bit. Please. The past is great but there’s very much a present going aswell with a quite ridiculous game of football being played out last night. I’d love to have heard more about that. Not just from Rio but the panel where much of half time was devoted to features about England rather than dissecting the first half and the earlier games where those of us just coming in from work would likely have missed.

The brilliance of Ronaldo also detracted from two quite delicious goals score by Spain. Diego Costa levelling thing ups at 1-1, executing a wonderfully hit shot after holding off two defenders for what felt like an eternity. Yet it was nothing compared to the sweetest of volleys that Nacho fired home to give Spain a 3-2 lead. Rio and the panel were rightly purring about this one afterwards as the Spaniard wrapped his foot around a rising ball to swerve it hard and low past the ‘keeper and in off the post from outside the box. It was a stunner. A thing of beauty. To quote Partridge once more, He must have a foot like a traction engine.

And then Cristiano stepped up to score ‘that’ free kick and steal all the headlines with just minutes left on the clock. Whatever else you may think or say about him, and many have, there’s no denying he certainly has a sense of occasion   

With a free kick given in the heart of Saunders territory, there was an inevitability about what would happen next. Sure enough, he lifted it up and over the wall before it dipped into the back of the net. Yet in a moment of clarity, I knew it would happen. I’ve been there before. Ten years or so back I spent an 18 month secondment up in Manchester. For a Brentford fan, this was great. The likes of Bury, Rochdale, Stockport County and Accrington Stanley (never have I been so cold at an away game) were all on the doorstep. As was Old Trafford.

There were no split loyalties here. Aside from the fact the chances of our paths crossing were slim to zero, I was on tourist duty. Doing it for the love of football. Whilst weekends would see me in London and at Griffin Park, a Tuesday night would quite often afford one the chance to take in a local game. And with so many United season ticket holders living down South and unable to make it, there was usually a spare going around the office. Why not? It was that or watch Coronation Street.

One such was the game against Portsmouth. A 2-0 win for United but more importantly, once which provided a moment that stuck with me since. Cristiano Ronaldo scoring ‘that’ free kick from last night. Ten years earlier. It looked incredible then. It still does. Last night’s effort was a reminder of just how consistently good he has been throughout his career. To still pull tricks like that out of the bag even now. And at 33, I’d imagine there’s a few more of those to come.

Cristiano has done this before..

That was then, this is now. Waking up on Saturday morning, it’s his name all over the radio. He’s the one making the headlines on the sports pages. But tomorrow could it be Henrik Dalsgaard we are reading about?

-1I can’t wait to see our man in action. For those of us who are a bit longer in the tooth it’s quite ridiculous. The thought of Brentford having a player at the World Cup is bonkers. But I love it. If only because it shows just how well our set up and transfer model is working. Despite the confusion and frustration at times. Despite the short term heartache of that summer sale. Here is the proof. Likewise, Andreas Bjelland was desperately unlucky to miss out. Panini even going so far as including him in their World Cup sticker book.

Good luck today, Henrik. If you are reading (you aren’t) know that this little corner of West London will be cheering you on. I’ll watch as much of the World Cup as possible anyway. Yet now there’s even more incentive. Roll on 5pm.

And finally, Monday is the day. Yes, England are playing but in our house it’s something even more exciting. The Brentford ‘away’ shirt is launched. We’ve already had the sneak peak pic released this week. Now, we’re just 48 hours away from seeing this for real.

I can’t even begin to speculate what this is going to look like. I’ve run it through photoshop, played with the light settings and filters but it’s giving nothing away. Instead, we’ll just have to sit back in anticipation and await the reaction. I’ve got a feeling this is going to be interesting though.

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David Hunt – the biggest come back since Lazarus

And finally, I know I bang on about this a lot but my season reviews containing the least bad of the columns and some new content are now available for download.

The reason I bang on about this is because all proceeds raised are being donated to the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust. We all know about the great work they do whilst my own son has now started Saturday morning football training at one of their sessions. And he loves it. As such, I’d love to try and do something in return.

As additional incentive, I’d like to give one of you this ‘unavailable to the general public’ Brentford FC third shirt from 2017/18. I’ve got hold of it from a source close to the club and am giving it away to one supporter by means of a draw. All you have to do is download the 2017/18 season review (or the five-year compendium) to enter the draw that will take place at the end of the month – just DM/ tweet me the download confirmation email by June 30th and we’ll pick a lucky winner.

You can download Kindle e-book Ten Times Better. Brentford FC Season review: 2017/18 . In addition, all five seasons of the Last Word (previously available individually) have been bundled together in one giant volume. There’s a lot to plough through… There Is No Plan B. Brentford FC Season reviews: 2013/14 – 2017/18 is also available.

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THANK YOU

Nick Bruzon

 

 

 

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Who is the real Brains of the bunch? Is this our away shirt?

8 Jun

The atmosphere surrounding England in the forthcoming World Cup is, quite literally, electric but for me there is as much excitement in the drip feed of the new kits to be worn in the league next season. Of course, we all know what the Brentford home and goalkeeper efforts are going to look like but what about the away version?

It’s fair to say that nobody knows. Like the mid-season appointment of Warbs to the Griffin Park managerial hotseat, could it be as big a surprise? Well, the clues are out there for the eagle-eyed reader (for eagle eyed, see also: stabbing wildly in the dark).

As regular commentator Bernard Quackenbush mentioned the other day, the reveal of the Brentford kit very much resembled the opening credits of TV’s Thunderbirds. A close up of each ‘vehicle’ from which it would be impossible to recognise the final design spec until the camera pulled away for that wide angle ‘reveal’.

I quite liked this analogy, until I started to look a bit further into this year’s Adidas catalogue. Amongst their designs already released are those for Middlesborough (h) and West Ham (a). Both feature broad, diagonal sashes and, particularly in the case of West Ham, could have been taken direct from Gerry Anderson’s puppet laboratory (a more sinister sounding place, I’m yet to imagine).

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The Adidas ‘sash’ template for the forthcoming season. All a bit too ‘Gerry Anderson’

I have no issues with a shirt sash if done correctly – see Peru and Crystal Palace – but the latest Adidas effort is as subtle as Adrian Chiles desperately filling 40 minutes of lightning storm delayed England football last night. “Slow down”, he exhorted Ian Wright, “you’re talking too fast. Don’t you remember Poland? We’ve no idea how long we have to talk for”.

And given we seem to have thrown a lot of eggs in the basket marked ‘home and gk’, does this mean there is any room left for something special in the away design? Recent Brentford away efforts have seen black, yellow/black, black/gold, and the two-tone blue.

I’ve always been a fan of the latter but if we adopted this, with the aforementioned ‘sash’ template, then I can only see us with something very much akin to the West Ham model. And that would not be good.

Brentford away 2014??

Crudely photoshopped image of how a blue/blue sash kit might look

Still – this is all pure guess work. I have nothing more to base this on beyond unsubstantiated speculation and crazy theories. But it’s one to think about in the short term.

Our club hasn’t disappointed us so far and I am sure that, whenever the announcement is made (any comment, Mark Devlin?) we could be in for a treat.

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The Thunderbirds style home shirt ‘teaser campaign’. Number 4 is, erm, Gordon Tracy

Strip tease continues as FA tell Barlow to ‘Take That’

1 Jun

What a Sunday – football just gets better and better. With Brentford releasing another ‘teaser’ image of their shirt over the weekend ahead of Monday’s launch, I feel more confident than ever we are in for a good one. And then, to round off the great news, word is spreading on the internet that Gary Barlow’s ‘Greatest Day’ has been dropped by the FA as the official England song at the forthcoming World Cup.

I’d said my piece on this when the news of the England song’s selection was first announced. You can read it in full, here, although the salient points were:

“Rather than the much touted prospect of Kasabian, fans are to be treated to a cover version of a Take That effort – Greatest Day. Despite the sheer laziness of having Gary Barlow (a man who comes over as so bland he’d probably have England play in beige) re-record his own song, worryingly he is accompanied by a seemingly random selection of other singers.

These include, in no particular order: Emma Bunton, Kimberley out of ‘Girls Aloud’, and ‘Sporty’ Spice Mel C – hey, she likes football and sings so why not? Then we get in to the realms of ‘who’ with the likes of Katy B ( I’m not sure if this is the comedian of ‘Big Ass’ fame) and someone/thing called an Eliza Doolittle (presumably a singer/band the kidz would recognise, rather than the character from ‘My Fair Lady’).

In footballing tradition, the England football team also join in. Except, they don’t. Instead, the sporting contingent (Mel C aside) is made up of ex-Internationals, with everybody from Peter Shilton, Gary Lineker and former Brentford player Kenny Sansom participating. I’m not sure why the current squad won’t be appearing on this , probably contractual, but I quite like the thought of Steven Gerrard trying to recreate the John Barnes rap.”

Whoever is picked in Barlow and crew’s place (does anyone have New Order’s phone number) HAS to be better than this, surely?

Just as long as they steer clear of either Robbie Williams – his ‘Let me entertain you’ being the most overplayed, and least appropriate, song in sporting history – or the (alleged) England Supporter’s band, then we should be just fine.

Painful though Barlow’s all-star cast were, the thought of Bernie Clifton and co parping through an off key version of the theme from’ The Great Escape’ might just have me reaching for the ‘off’ button.

There's no room at the (Bernie) Inn for the England Supporter's band

There’s no room at the (Bernie) Inn for the England Supporter’s band

It’s almost here – June promises to be some month

31 May

What a summer awaits. In less than three weeks Brentford fans can start planning those trips to the likes of Fulham, Leeds and even a return to our friends at Wolves as the fixture list is published. By then, of course, the World Cup will have begun.

Despite the kick in the crotch of those standard half-time appearances from both the England Supporter’s band (stick to the ostriches, Clifton) and the disembodied head of Ray Winstone at, I can’t help but feel cheered by last night’s 3-0 home win over Peru. Could England do it in Brazil?

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The website of the self-appointed England band. Sorry, but their moribund parping is not for me.

Whilst blind optimism currently reigns supreme, regardless of how we fare I’ll be hooked into the 24/7 coverage (even the ITV games) – hoping England can upset the odds.

Anything could happen. The last two seasons at Brentford have shown that in even more crushing detail than ever before. It’s football; it’s exciting; it’s unpredictable; its tense; its emotional; it’s the best game on the planet. And with 32 of the World’s finest coming together next month, I’ll be watching.

But until then, Monday is the next big date in the Griffin Park calendar. Finally, we get our first full look at next season’s kit.

The club has, of course, been running a ‘teaser campaign’ this week – revealing little snippets to stoke the interest, ahead of the full unveiling. In addition, chief executive Mark Devlin has been dropping further hints in cyberspace via the medium of social network, twitter.

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A montage (training free) of those ‘sneak peeks’ that have appeared on the club website this week

Aswell as those four pictures that had appeared on the club website during the week ahead of the shirt’s 19th June launch date, ( a fifth launched on Saturday and you can see it, here),  Mark has dropped the intriguing clue that:

“It’s a bespoke design, which you may or may not approve of.”

Of course, we already know it will have stripes on the back and some form of special badge celebrating our 125th anniversary. We can also see evidence of black trim (perhaps reminiscent of the 91-92 promotion shirt); an embroidered Adidas logo and even what seem to be small areas of ‘ventex’ material (teabags to us mere mortals) around the shoulder area.

But the mention of a bespoke kit, rather than something out of the standard Adidas back catalogue, really has piqued my fascination.

I have an over keen interest in the history of the Bees shirt. I won’t deny it. However, even despite what we could politely call my ‘nerdish tendencies’ I’ve got a feeling that the club is going to show us something very special when we finally get to see this on Monday.

Much to Mrs. Bruzon’s despair, there could be another addition in the wardrobe by the time the World Cup starts.