Tag Archives: Peterborough United

Is Callum best for the Bees ?

28 Jul

Are Brentford going to announce the loan signing of Leicester City left back Callum Elder today from under the nose of Peterborough ? With Dean Smith having made no secret of his desire to replace Jake Bidwell following our former captain’s departure for QPR, the story is one which has been very widely reported.

callum-elder280-2561069

Whilst, ordinarily, the rumour mill is one which has been dismissed on these pages (with the exception of crystal ball wielding Beesotted), this season has seen it offered new found respect. That, following the widely predicted triple transfer swoop which saw the Bees boss snap up Romaine Sawyers, John Egan and Daniel Bentley in recent weeks along. Let’s not forget, also, the much touted departure of Jake.

If this latest story also proves correct it will see a long standing vacancy being filled. Left back has always been a position where cover has been, what we’ll politely call, thin. So much so that last season saw previously unknown Tom Field placed from the (then) Development Squad to make a wonderful debut in the 3-0 humping of Fulham.

Whilst Tom looks like he could be a stunning long term prospect, to heap it all on his young shoulders would be an enormous amount of expectation. Nobody can do it all on their own over an entire season – certainly in the outfield positions – let alone a relative newcomer. As such a new signing in this position has been one of the most widely anticipated moves of the summer.

Callum has yet to make his first team debut at Leicester but is already an Australian U-20 aswell as having featured in 18 games loan at Peterborough last campaign. Indeed, The Posh were hoping to retain Callum this time around but, with the player having signed a new contract at the Premier League Champions, director of football Barry Fry would seem to have had his heart broken.

It’s an exciting move for Brentford if the story plays out. Reading the sources, it certainly sounds accurate. This one has quotes and everything. The only thing missing is the description of Callum as a ‘starlet’. Surely de rigeur for any young international prospect? See : Liverpool starlet Sergi Canos.

Sergi Canos v Reading

The former Bee (and Liverpool starlet) will be plying his trade for Norwich

Lets hope that other Leicester rumour currently being suggested – any potential move of Scott Hogan being treated by all and sundry as rubbish  – is equally accurate.

And finally, if you’d like to read more…. No, not the e-book. Infact, the team at Beesotted have just published the first of their season previews. Featuring the thoughts of several bloggers and podcast contributors , it is a light hearted look at the best and worst of 2015/16 along with our aspirations for 2016/17.

You can read that one here.

Nick Bruzon

Advertisements

Who will win : Gareth v Charlie? And is there a knock on for Lionel Road?

25 Jun

There was double news out of Griffin Park yesterday. Josh McEachran is alive and (seemingly) well as he launched the club’s 2016/17 training gear whilst Brentford have announced another pre-season friendly. In the Euros , Wales v Northern Ireland is the big one today (although Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portugal side may argue otherwise as they take on Croatia and Poland begin proceedings against Switzerland).

91cd50bf5120dcc30a08711b65db4c72

Will Cristiano provide the highlights this weekend?

Yesterday was, without a doubt, one of the craziest days I’ve ever lived through. This column isn’t about politics and I don’t intend to overly dwell there now. There is enough great material out there for those wanting to vent their spleen, smack their head in disbelief or celebrate what has been deemed by the ‘out’ camp as, seemingly, ‘taking our country back’ (to the dark ages?).

But I’ll leave you this one observation, given Brentford have our future and Lionel Road intrinsically linked to the housing market. With the redevelopment of Griffin Park and the subsequent apartment blocks to be built alongside the stadium being key, the industry suffered what could politely be called ‘a bad day at the office’ after the results were announced.

Lauren Davidson and Rhiannon Bury, writing in the Telegraph, note in their end of day market review that, “Housebuilders Crest Nicholson, Bellway and Bovis were all in the top ten fallers for the day, dropping more than 24pc, alongside property developers Derwent London and Great Portland Estates, which fell 24.6pc and 22.2pc respectively, as fears about a fall in house prices caused investors to offload their stocks”.

Whatever the other ramifications for the country, from the perspective of a new stadium for Brentford, I do wonder what will happen if this is anything but a short term ‘blip’?  Still that’s a question for cleverer people than me to answer (i.e. just about anybody).

Whilst we still have a home at Griffin Park, we now know that another preseason friendly has been announced. Peterborough United being the visitors on 26 July. All being well it’ll be a chance to see the new kit in action for the first time and enjoy an evening in the sunshine. Besides, when the alternative is Holby City then evening fixtures can’t come around quick enough.

And although we are yet to see that new kit (the simultaneous launch date remaining July 23, unless somebody tells me differently) we’ve now been shown the club’s range of training gear. And there’s a hashtag, too….

Whilst it seems a more Adidas-centric one than something club inspired, this season #FirstNeverFollows. Apparently. Here’s hoping there are 23 other clubs following us when we wrap things up against Blackburn in May.

As for the gear, well it’s now on sale and looking good. Can we read anything into the ‘full kit’ from the fact that the famous ‘three stripes’ are now running down the side of the body rather than over the arms? Certainly its a look that other Adidas dressed clubs (especially in the MLS) have been sporting.

Likewise, it’s great to see Josh back. What a horrendous first season he had with double long term injuries sandwiching a tricky time on the pitch. Fingers crossed that, as with the incredible return of Scott Hogan at the end of 2015/16, Josh is now able to push on and, erm, go again.

Moving back to Europe once more, today sees the last 16 begin with 6 teams vying for a quarter final spot. As noted at the top end of the column, Wales v Northern Ireland is the game that will likely have most of us gripped. For some, the battle to see whether Gareth Bale and the other 10 can stop Charlie Lawson launching into another celebratory routine. I’m still terrified by ‘Big Jim’s’ farmhouse kitchen soliloquy whilst sipping on the Black Bush. For that reason alone I’d love to see how he tops it this time around.

For others, of course, we have the Brentford connection in the Northern Ireland camp. Stuart Dallas , Niall McGinn and Will Grigg’s on the bench/ fire (delete as applicable). Will these old boys prove the club wrong? Can they line up a quarter final shot at the winner of the Hungary / Belgium game? Or will Gareth Bale keep up his hot streak of 3 goals from 3 games.

Whoever wins through, across the first 7(seven) games, by the time England wrap up proceedings on Monday night in ‘game 8’ v Iceland, we’ll all be set for another exciting 2 weeks in Europe. I can’t call any of the winners. I’m not even going to bother trying.

Instead why not just switch off from the stress, grab a beer, sit back on the sofa and enjoy a weekend of sporting action. If this morning is anything to go by, Charlie is already getting in the mood.

You can check out his latest, pre game video, here.

Brilliant …..

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 05.45.31

How would Charlie celebrate a win over Wales?

Nick Bruzon 

Sheer Bliss for Brentford on Boxing Day

27 Dec

It’s been a while since we’ve been able to trot out some Chronicle style 80’s alliteration but the occasion of yesterday’s visit of Brighton was one that also saw Bees legend Gary Blissett, finally, inducted into the Brentford hall of fame. We’ll get to Bliss shortly but can only begin with a draw 0-0 between the Bees and the Seagulls that we can, perhaps, count ourselves unlucky not to have won.

David Stockdale in the Brighton goal pulled off a number of second half saves to kept the scores level as the game opened up a bit. The Brentford midfield looked a tad flatter than normal as clean sheets and snuffing out the opposition seemed the first order of the day. That said, Alan Judge was once more the standout man from that area when the Bees did take the game forward, as a series of second half chances were carved out only for Stockdale to keep Brighton in it.

The first from Judge saw the Irishman (surely a ‘shoe-in’ for Euro 2016 on this form) cut in from the wing and unleash a ferocious drive which the ‘keeper was able to parry over. Next up, the would be poacher turned would be provider, setting up Tarkowski for a header and certain goal. Again, the athletic Stockdale had to be at his best diving full stretch to guide it around the post with a stunning save.

Indeed, Mark Burridge in the Beesplayer commentary box would go one better and describe it as “Phenomenal“. Certainly, subsequent review of the  highlights pay testament to the true quality of the save. Finally it was Judge once more, from distance, forcing the Brighton shot stopper to dive to his left and tip away for another Bees corner.

Three great stops that, perhaps, denied three points for Brentford. However, we were ultimately the architects of our own result. Philipp Hofmann had the best chance of all, earning space in the box to get himself on the end of a Tarkowski cross with the goal begging and just Stockdale to beat. From six yards out.

This time, sadly, the save was anything but world class and that’s no disrespect to Brighton. With the whole of the target to aim at , the big German guided his header straight down Stockdale’s throat for a comfortable catch. And with that, scores remained at 0-0.

“He could have been the hero”. Not my words but those of Mark Burridge.

Full credit to Brighton. They closed us out and made chances few and far between. Likewise, a point against the long term league leaders is no bad thing whatsoever when, but for a bit more luck in front of goal (or a different ‘keeper), we may well have taken the win.

But there you go. Such are the margins in football and, perhaps, somewhat telling that this was the day we welcomed Gary Blissett into the Brentford ‘hall of fame’ at half time. His absence from this institution has been somewhat of an enigma but great to see if finally remedied.

Gary’s record speaks for itself and he remains a hero to Brentford fans of a certain age. Over six years from 1987 to 1993 he terrorised defences across the old third, and for one brief season, first divisions (what we know today as the Championship) . Notching 105 goals in 291 games (a strike rate of better than 1 in 3) alongside a variety of partners – most notably Richard Cadette and Dean Holdsworth – his FA Cup goals against Manchester City and Blackburn are the stuff of legend whilst the promotion clincher in the 1-0 victory at Peterborough has earned him a place in Brentford folklore.

image(1) copy

Bliss makes it 3-1 in the FA Cup v his beloved Manchester City

His performance in ’92-’93, where as an ever present his goals almost kept us in the old first division, demands equal recognition. If for no other reason than he’d seen Dean Holdsworth replaced with Murray Jones (think of a twentieth century Nick Proschwitz – nobody could fault the effort but, sadly the end product was somewhat lacking).

It wasn’t just as a goalscorer that Bliss made his name. He was also emergency goalkeeper – making his debut half way through a Championship game at home to Southend United in 1992 whilst Ashley Bayes shouted directions from behind the goal. Direction that Bliss ignored in a game that saw our first league win of that campaign.

His sale in 1993 , with relegation back to the third tier of English football confirmed, was an inevitable one but his reputation at Griffin Park has never diminished. Even close to a quarter-century later,  he remains as much a hero to supporters – this one specifically – as he did in his playing days.

Congratulations, Gary. Thoroughly well deserved.

brentford-fc-player-cards-2015-blissett

Gary still features in the Junior Bees Top Trumps (style game)

As a final thought, here’s a statistical question. When was the last time we played successive games against teams in day-glo yellow? Following the previous game at home to Huddersfield Town, Brighton turned out in an equally lurid yellow design that was easier to see than the stewards.

Despite what looked like a sell out away crowd, I counted less than three dozen on display amongst supporters – and they were easy to spot from 100 yards away.

I have no idea what Mark Devlin and kitman Bob have lined up for next season, if they even know as yet, but from this kit obsessive here’s a suggestion – perhaps neon isn’t the best look !

Black might be good (hint, hint).

image(1)

Neon yellow – not a great look

Nick Bruzon

Joyless Joey misses the point as Fulham await Bees

31 Mar

This time next week Brentford will have a much better idea of how serious our Championship promotion aspirations are. We’ll be waking up after the home game against Nottingham Forest whilst, before that, comes the trip to Fulham on Friday.

I really cannot wait for that one. Its been a long time coming and with over 6,000 Brentford fans present, The Cottage is sure to be rocking – as much as it can rock, given the deluge of foam hands reported to be on display. It would be fair to say that both Fulham fans and Bees are anticipating a lively afternoon with several of our respective ‘forums’ – cottagecorner and the GPG (amongst others) – running lengthy streams on what this game means and what they are expecting.

It's tight at the top with 7(seven) left to play

It’s tight at the top with 7(seven) left to play

For me, it is simply a chance to get another three points whilst, if we are successful, helping push our neighbours another step close to relegation. I’d love to take the moral high ground and say ‘this is just another game, with wining the most important thing’, but local pride counts for one hell of a lot. And whilst, sadly, Blackpool, Wigan Athletic and Millwall seem to be doing everything possible to tie up the bottom three, I can still dream.

We haven’t played each other too much in recent seasons but whenever the F word is mentioned I’m instantly taken back to season 1991/92. A 1-0 win at Fulham on October 5th (my 21st birthday game and one from which I still have the away shirt given that day –and will be worn on Friday) was followed by that end of season 4-0 demolition at Griffin Park.

Four up at half time, it was one of the most astounding performances I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing and, of course, was soon followed by promotion at Peterborough United. It’s probably an omen too far to compare this one to that but, at the least, we have already won the first game – the late, late show in front of the TV cameras at Griffin Park in November. Jota was the man of the moment, following up Harlee’s thunderbolt as a dominant Brentford turned around a 1-0 deficit.

Equally though, it’ll be great to get back to League action after an international break that seems to have lasted longer than Ray Biggar doing ‘injury time’. The positives have seen impressive performances from the likes of Moses Odubajo, Stuart Dallas and Alex Pritchard (who made it onto the pitch again last night during England U-21’s 3-2 win over Germany).

The downside of all this international football, lack of Championship programme aside, has been having to listen to the gumph spouted by Joey Barton about the likes of Gibraltar competing in the qualifying groups. Truly he is a joyless man (and that’s probably the politest thing I can say about him in print).

Not withstanding the rights of these UEFA members to compete (and nobody needs another lecture on the struggle Gibraltar have been through to become ‘team 54’), if you do away with anybody not deemed of sufficient stock then one wonders what is the point of even having a qualifying tournament.

Of 54 UEFA members, 24 will make it to the finals anyway – just under half. By Barton’s logic (surely an oxymoron if ever I heard one), why not take things a step further, dispense totally with the chance of upsets, romance, competition and just jump straight to a semi final pool involving Germany, Netherlands, Spain and Italy?

Let’s be honest, the likes of Scotland or Wales aren’t going to trouble anybody once we get to the finals in 2016 so what’s the point of cluttering the calendar giving them a chance to qualify or, heaven forbid, allowing them to play competitive football rather than friendlies?

Nobody has divine right to be ‘any good’. English teams aren’t exactly blazing a trail in European competition whilst the World Cup was hardly a glorious triumph (for the one ‘Home Nation’ to qualify). Despite the hype, it’s been a long while since the engravers have even had to be placed on standby yet the likes of Barton seem to think that only one result ever counts – England 1966. Move on Joey, wonderful though that was the footballing landscape has changed. Football is constantly talking about inclusivity – pushing teams that UEFA have granted membership to outside of their competition is hardly the way to demonstrate this.

This is one you could write a book on and, frankly, I’ve got better things to do than overly concentrate on the International game in a, predominantly, domestic column. But I couldn’t end this without a big ‘congratulations’ to Lee Casciaro and his Gibraltar team mates.

Their equaliser at Hampden Park against Scotland on Sunday was the stuff of dreams. A first ever goal in International competition for the boys from the Rock.

Us Brentford fans, of anybody, should know what it feels like to defy expectation this season. Whilst I can’t see Gibraltar coming close to being at the business end of qualifying for a while, the time will come.

Still, with the greatest respect to Gibraltar, for me it is all about Fulham on Friday. Bring it on….

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 06.34.53

Sky viewers saw Lee Casciaro make history

New Brentford ‘keeper sees red as Tuesday just got better

25 Aug

No sooner have Birmingham City left Griffin Park than Brentford are preparing for the next home game – a Capital One Cup tie with Felix ‘nil points’ Magath’s Fulham team on Tuesday. Whilst, no doubt, there’ll be further build up to the Fulham game in the next column, for now here’s a chance to catch up on those other things that there simply wasn’t enough space to write about following the draw with Birmingham (along with an 11th hour bonus).

My feelings on referee Robert Madley have been well documented in the past and, disappointingly, these were proven to be spot on as this fusion of Stroud, Biggar and Attwell once again showed all the decision-making ability of a tombola.

View from the terrace - David tells Madley to button  it, as Tony troops off

View from the terrace – David tells Madley to button it, as Tony troops off

The one positive for me is that at least I wasn’t alone in this opinion. Any thoughts of “Could it have just been me?” were dispelled with a read of Greville Waterman’s BFCtalk column on the subject. A very therapeutic piece for those of you seeing red about the card happy man in black.

Still, at least Robert wasn’t alone in having a stinker on Saturday. The BBC didn’t even have the excuse of having had to make a snap decision. I’m not sure which match their correspondent was watching but on returning home I read their website with amusement. Specifically the part of the match report that described how goalkeeper Tony Craig had been sent off – although at least substitute ‘keeper David Button had made some smart saves.

Not even West London's leading journo picked up on this one (although the BBC have, since, corrected)

Not even West London’s leading journo called this transfer swoop (the BBC have, since, corrected)

I wrote on Saturday about Natalie Sawyer and Hayley McQueen’s ALS ice bucket challenge. Later that day footage emerged of Matthew Benham completing his own, following a nomination from the Slough Town bound Alan Judge.

 

I’ve also had to rise to the challenge, following nomination from Luis Adriano. You can catch the wobbly action, some of the worst shorts Brentford have ever worn and the next set of nominees (and do feel free to encourage them along) here. Warning:it does involve some slipped pecs and paunch.

Sunday afternoon saw a thumping 4-0 win for Tottenham against the Loftus Road mob. A four goal defeat mirrors that suffered by Fulham the day before and gives a wonderful sense of symmetery to the bottom of the Premiership and Championship tables.

The BBC have, at least, got the tables right. Enjoy

The BBC have, at least, got the tables right. Enjoy

Interestingly, Monday morning sees the Daily Telegraph reporting that Fulham boss Magath only has one game left in which to hang on to his job. You can read their story, here and then think on about the significance of what that next game is….

As one correspondent put it, “Tuesday just gets better“.

A challenge to Beesotted, BFCtalk and the Brentford media team

24 Aug

On Saturday, rather than the traditional pre-match tub-thumping, the Last Word took things seriously (well, as serious as it gets) to talk about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Specifically, the one that had been performed by Brentford fan Natalie Sawyer (with her fellow Sky Sports presenter Hayley McQueen).

Not only has Matthew Benham since risen to the challenge laid down by Alan Judge but yours truly has also been on the receiving end of that icy gauntlet. Luis Adriano, fellow blogger and author (you’ll find his excellent work, Penalties, on Kindle) was the man delivering that clarion call to a charitable soaking.

I have, duly, accepted. And instantly realised three things.

1 – That a trip to the gym may be in order. Truly, the pecs have slipped.

2 – That whoever designed the Chad brand vinyl effect shorts of Brentford’s 91/92 promotion season didn’t know much about fashion. Or comfort.

3- Most importantly, that however silly you feel or look participating in this act of outdoor showering, the cause remains a noble one

Oh, there is a fourth thing. As this new found tradition dictates, I can also nominate. And so, in turn, I follow Luis Adriano’s literary line of thinking and challenge.

Billy the Bee – the face of Beesotted (please note: Beesotted has other faces)

Greville Waterman – fellow blogger and responsible for the excellent BFCTalk

Mark Chapman and Chris Wickham from the Brentford FC media team. You’ve read their match reports and programmes – who wouldn’t want to see the video?

So here it is. My lardy effort. Billy, Greville, Chappers and Chris – I’d love if you could accept. Given the amount of other Brentford related faces to have participated so far, think what a great spread it might make in the next programme.

More importantly, it’s for a great cause.

 

 

Brentford, Birmingham, Fulham and Clem. But who were the winners?

24 Aug

Birmingham City and Clayton Donaldson returned to Griffin Park on Saturday in a game where, perhaps, Brentford can count themselves unlucky not to have finished with all three points. With Birmingham a man (thanks, Mr Madley) and a goal up, they sat back in a second half that saw a Brentford side who, by all medical logic should have been dead on their feet, just push harder and harder for the draw and, almost, the win.

I’m not going to sour this fine performance with an overlong rant about Madley…..

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.

Clem makes a point as he finally earns one - as seen on the BBC Football League Show

Clem makes a point as he finally earns one – as seen on the BBC Football League Show

The day’s hottest video is also the iciest as Matthew Benham is challenged

23 Aug

Need to cool off before the Bees take on Birmingham City today? Well known Brentford fan Natalie Sawyer, alongside her fellow Sky Sports presenter Hayley McQueen, did this yesterday by participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

If you haven’t heard about this yet (it’s possible) it simply involves tipping a bucket of icy water over yourself and then nominating somebody else to participate in the ritual whilst the whole affair is filmed for social media. The point of the exercise being to raise funds for, and awareness about, ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – also known motor neurone disease).

Natalie and Hayley complete the challenge

 

With personalities from the worlds of sport and entertainment lining up to take part, it certainly has focused public attention on this awful disease. And as much of the interest seems to lie in whom the participants nominate next.

Natalie, for example, challenged ‘Mr Douglas’ who, presumably, is Brentford’s Jonathan rather than boxing’s James ‘Buster’. Although judging by the current state of Dougie’s beard, a bucket of icy water is the least he needs with the midfield legend fast becoming football’s Russell Brand (in the unkempt facial hair, rather than joke telling, stakes).

Like several others in the Brentford squad Alan Judge has also taken part. Unlike several others in the Brentford squad, it seems he has immediately earned himself a transfer to Slough Town. That’s what you get for challenging the boss…

A gauntlet is laid - to Matthew Benham and Slough Town

A gauntlet is laid – to Matthew Benham and Slough Town

And if Natalie’s video is proving popular, equally impressive from Friday is one posted by the Beesotted crew who found time to catch up with Clayton Donaldson ahead of his Birmingham City team visiting Griffin Park. You can catch the link to that one on their website, here.

For today though, it is all about ice buckets and good deeds.

I’d love to see the ALS challenge, which is now coursing through the higher levels of the club thanks to Alan Judge, extended further. If Matthew Benham does accept, then why not have the likes of Mark Devlin, Peter Gilham or even our media team alongside him?

Who wouldn’t donate to charity to see the likes of Chris Wickham and Mark Chapman give each other an icy soaking?

The donations start here…

Will the gloves be off for Clayton on Saturday ?

22 Aug

Birmingham City visit Griffin Park on Saturday as one of football’s fiercest, albeit unlikeliest, rivalries resumes after a twenty-year absence. Geographically, this is no Bees v Fulham or Birmingham v Wolves but, nonetheless, there was a time in the early nineties when the Blues were THE big one.

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.

Clayton meets his youngest and chubbiest fans

Clayton meets his youngest and chubbiest fans

Bees pair in PFA League 1 team of the year

28 Apr

The PFA League 1 team of the year was named on Sunday night and, not surprisingly, it was dominated by the two promoted teams – Brentford and Wolves.

Between them, the two sides have seven named with the Bees picking up a pair of selections in Jake Bidwell and, the man who had previously been named as Football League player of the year for League One – Adam Forshaw.

The full team is:

Carl Ikeme (Wolves); Sam Ricketts (Wolves), Danny Batth (Wolves), Harry Maguire (Sheffield United), Jake Bidwell (Brentford); Bakary Sako (Wolves), Adam Forshaw (Brentford), Kevin McDonald (Wolves), Ben Pringle (Rotherham United); Britt Assombalonga (Peterborough United), Callum Wilson (Coventry City)

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.