Tag Archives: Pointless

How soon is now? Where next for football’s toughest challenge ?

1 Jun

Desperate times call for desperate measures. With the hunt for the mythical adidas ‘green’ Brentford shirt hitting the buffers, yesterday saw a most unlikely source called into play – Fulham. Or, specifically, the score master general of a certain TV show (must. avoid.that ‘joke’.) Richard Osman. And up at Leeds United, normal service was resumed as Massimo Cellino chose to bring to end the rolling contract of his latest head coach, Steve Evans.

First up, kit. Specifically the talk around green shirts. Regular readers will know that this has been a two pronged approach over the last few days. The possibility that Brentford might wear a green third shirt during the forthcoming season then leading into a hunt for an item that seems rarer than a Leeds manager lasting more than six months – the mystery green shirt worn at Fulham in season 80/81.

wanted-reward-poster-background

Photo-fit recreation of the item in question

The question of next season’s third was one brought about by yours truly,based on nothing more than a wild guess. It was a guess inspired by a tweet from Kitman Bob and then further fuelled by Matthew Benham’s acknowledgement of the idea.

It would be fair to say that this has somewhat spiralled on social media since that point with the idea largely gathering favour amongst the Brentford faithful. Then, last night, chief executive Mark Devlin has taken the step of opining on matters himself.

I lover Twitter. I’ve said it many times but with good reason. I won’t deny that Brentford, in my opinion, have struggled with ‘official’ comms at times over the last year or two. It’s been a theme on these pages. But the flip side is how we respond to / interact with fans on social media (hashtags and memes aside). If you want to know something, just ask.

And sure enough, Mark has now given a further kit update, telling us:

Mark Devlin

Chief Executive, Mark Devlin

Gents – too late to change our choice of away kit next season. We will discuss the green option with adidas for the 2017/18 season.

We wouldn’t expect to retail a 3rd kit at present. Current plan is to retain the current blue away kit as a 3rd choice next season. We cant really justify retailing a 3rd kit”.

As for the question put to him by fellow kit enthusiast Luis Adriano for when the new home and away will be revealed, the answer is a simple, “Soon”.

So no green. For now. Chelsea-lite if a third kit is needed. But no further idea as to what we’ll be wearing home or away.

Instead, the question remains one of how soon is now? Much as I love the fact that Mark has taken the time to come out and share this news, I’m chomping at the bit even more.

As for the 80/81 effort, with the ongoing attempt to unearth further evidence of this one game wonder running cold, desperate times call for unusual measures. Feeling very much like ‘Christmas in the trenches’, I’ve invoked the help of Fulham official and ‘celebrity fan’ Richard Osman.

‘Official’ were (must. avoid. that ‘joke’) erm,  useless. Not even responding. Fair play to Richard though. He did cast the net further but, despite a couple of suggestions, the search remained..fruitless.

Indeed, further updates from Bees fans suggest such a task will prove to be football’s toughest challenge. Journalist Tim Street advising on Twitter that the chances of something coming out of the vaults are slim, given “Sadly, after various office closures and photographic department restructures, our archives don’t go back anywhere near that far.

As for Brentford memorabilia guru Paul Briers, his own follow up confirms what was feared, “The Middlesex chronicles’s picture archive was destroyed from what I gather. Not sold to an independent company – like Getty, coloursport, or alamy – or even digitised before it went to the incinerator.

The same also happened to Wakefield’s collection of negatives and plates, of Brentford, Chiswick and Ealing, sadly.

If only someone had an inkling that photos of a bygone era would now be so important……

Even pictures of the other 80/81 pastel blue adidas away shirt isn’t that common, no colour pictures that I know of just black and white.”

Sadly, it seems like this will be one search that will end up..failing to produce the necessary results. With that, I’m retiring the ‘green’ and, in the interests of being a good sport, that Osman/Fulham ‘joke‘. At least for a season.

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Must. Resist. That. Joke

And from retiring to sacking – Leeds United have done it again. Massimo Cellino has relieved Steve Evans of his head coach duties, stating that the ever popular manager has “completed the job he was brought in to carry out.”.

To be honest, Evans was on a hiding to nothing. Aside from Cellino’s reputation, his own quote about Leeds United, saying he’d never take the job as “I want to be the captain of a Cruiseliner, not The Titanic” has now come back to haunt him somewhat.

It means the Elland Road outfit will now be looking for head coach number 7(seven) in just over two years. That said, you have to ask just who would be crazy enough to step into a hot seat that makes the situations at Chelsea or Real Madrid look like the epitome of calmness and stability.

For all that certain sections of the Leeds faithful have knocked Brentford over the last couple of years for being ‘tinpot’ , I wouldn’t wish that scenario on anybody. It’s hard enough to enjoy football at the best of times, let alone when you are sitting on a powder keg.

Personally, I’m just gutted we’ll miss out on a legendary Steve Evans press conference next season. At least, in charge of a Leeds team still looking to finish above Brentford or even register a win since our return to the Championship. Beyond that I have no doubt Evans will be back in some form or another before too long.

Just where and when?

As for Leeds, expect Cellino to name himself as the next incumbent at this rate. Hey, if it worked* for Ron Noades…….

*(please note, your definition of worked mean vary)

Steve Evans Cruiseliner

Steve Evans  – his new Cruiseliner turned out to be anything but a love boat

Nick Bruzon

Plug time (regular readers know the score from here) : As ever, The Last Word ‘season review’ : Ready. Steady. Go Again and the three year anthology : The Bees are going up remain available for download. Should anybody want to go over this nonsense and relive these moments once more then you can do so now.

It has been a stunning few years. Here’s to more of the same. We may have had a few lows (something about a penalty, the football village, the FA Cup, the pitch, the Marinus experiment) but there have been plenty more highs as the Bees made an unexpected challenge for the Premier League.

Thanks for reading.

Can Harlee come out on top in this local spat ?

30 Apr

This is it. Brentford v Fulham. The final Griffin Park game of the season. The final BBGiveaway from Kitman Bob (and what a giveaway it is…….). The final chance to #BeeTheDJ. The final chance to try and resist making the obligatory Richard Osman / Fulham pointless ‘joke’. (Is that a piece of tumbleweed I see before me?)

We all know what this one means. It’s a fixture which has provided Brentford fans with nothing but stunning memories these last few seasons.

Who could forget Harlee’s absolute blockbuster to level things up at home last season where the centre back leathered a piledriver into the top corner from just inside the box?

It was a hammer blow that any player would have been proud of although we must also thank the Fulham defence who left him totally unmarked. Harlee had enough time to pick his spot, read the maker’s name on the ball (Mitre, for the record) and wave to his girlfriend before leaving Bettinelli flapping at air.

How good would it be to see him do that again? Moreso after the, so called, ‘twitter spat’ of the last few days.

But if Harlee hit a screamer it was nothing compared to Jota. In the last minute. Naturellement.

Who needs words?

Brentford Fulham BBC 2 - 1final score

Jota – his winner against Fulham at Griffin Park was quite exciting

Life doesn’t get better. Except it does.

Not one, not two, not three but four contenders for goal of the season followed in last season’s encounter at Craven Cottage. 4-1 was beyond the dreams of most Brentford fans before kick off as Fulham were left on the wrong end of what the BBC have declared as a thrashing.

I still get goose bumps, even now, thinking about Stuart Dallas scoring his second goal – absolutely leathering it from about thirty yards out, straight and true to the top corner. It was a rocket of a shot that, equally, owes a huge debt to Andre Gray who held off three defenders before rolling it back out to the lurking midfielder.

I’ve rewatched it again this morning. And then once more use for luck. It really WAS that fantastic a goal.

Watch it again..and again..and again 

This season, the trip to Craven Cottage ‘only’ saw two goals and a single point.

The linesman’s flag denied Jota a winning goal as he was adjudged offside when given the freedom of the penalty box to make it 3-2 to the Bees. That the Spaniard had been granted more space than a professional footballer should have any right to expect his hardly his fault.

Whilst disappointing , relatively, Brentford fans were still left celebrating another game unbeaten against our near neighbours.Mores, given our goal tally had risen to 8 from 3 derby games.

For all we’ve had some incredible times, I’d still settle for an awkward and scrappy 1-0. The chance to consolidate our position above both Fulham and QPR, whilst making it 10 points out of 12 from game against the Cottagers since our return to the Championship would be a wonderful way to end our ‘home’ campaign.

Especially if we leave them, pointless.

Damn.

IMG_5342

Can’t. Resist. Crap. Joke

Nick Bruzon

Lino’s flag saves Fulham from a pointless afternoon

13 Dec

But for a flag. Brentford and Fulham played out a 2-2 Championship draw as the Bees made it 8 goals and 7(seven) points from the last three league games against our West London rivals. But, being quite honest, we’ve left this one feeling somewhat hard done by after a rogue linesman denied Jota a late winner.

In front of almost 20,000 supporters, Brentford took the lead from the penalty spot. Jake Bidwell was tripped just inside the edge of the box, running at the touchline. He didn’t look that much of a threat, if we’re being honest, but…a foul is a foul. And when they happen in the box only one thing can follow.

Up stepped Alan Judge to thump it down the middle and leave a diving Andy Londergan in the Fulham goal with no chance. 1-0 and normal service resumed. Indeed, the pressure built but the Bees couldn’t find a way through and, instead, with half time approaching the home side began to press.

That said, they still needed James Tarkowski to head past David Button to equalise. Hey, it wouldn’t be Brentford without one of our centre-backs scoring an o.g.

The same player was beaten by Dembele as the Cottagers took a second half lead but it would transpire to be a short lived one. The man seemingly at the centre of everything, Tarks, headed Jake Bidwell’s corner goalwards to find Jack O’Connell for the equaliser. The celebrations from the visiting fans at that end were immense, but not as good as they would get….

As with our first goal, it was followed by a period of immense pressure that saw Brentford desperately unlucky not to score again. Lonergan was the difference between one point and three for the Bees. And, of course, we also have the elephant in the room. Or, should that be, on the touchline?

The linesman’s flag denied Jota a winning goal as he was adjudged offside when given the freedom of the penalty box to make it 3-2 to the Bees. That the Spaniard had been granted more space than a professional footballer should have any right t expect his hardly his fault.

That’s the only reason I can think for his being deemed to have encroached. But he looked ‘on’ from where the celebrating Brentford fans were standing and television would subsequently confirm the same.

Football League Tonight was essential viewing (not a phrase I thought I’d have been using back in August) to confirm what we all knew. The goal should have stood. And so, instead of Brentford taking the lead and building, Fulham were allowed back into the game and, in the end, a draw was probably a fair result – based on chances and possession.

Jota onside v Fulham

F. Off…. Channel 5 confirm what we all knew

But as we’ve said so many times – the only stat that counts is ‘balls in the back of the net’. So to have a legitimate strike ruled out and a potential extra two points that would have taken us sixth, denied, rankles somewhat.

On the positive side, that’s five unbeaten for the Bees and, much like Football League Tonight, considering how things looked a few months ago to be talking so positively now is just amazing. It is vindication, again, of the fact that the league is a marathon not sprint. Brentford are certainly a team who are building their momentum and the battle for sixth place, or beyond, could be a very interesting one over the next month.

The Mark Burridge infused highlights package from the club’s official YouTube channel shows what a good game it was.

As for the other stuff from the game, my man of the match was Jake Bidwell although I thought Toumani also had an excellent game. Jack O’Connell continues to impress and this now presents Dean Smith with an interesting selection choice for the trip to Cardiff City on Tuesday night.

Is Harlee Dean an automatic selection, now that the three match suspension for his stupidity against Nottingham Forest has been served? And if he is, who does he replace ? Or will be quite a statement of intent from Dean Smith as to what he does when the next team sheet is handed in

Fairplay to the majority of the Brentford fans. Despite us reading about the threat of some Draconian sounding police and stewarding beforehand, everything was all very good spirited – from supporters, stewards and constabulary.

Indeed, aside from yet another flare wielding numpty (the solitary line of half-arsed Christmas lights decorating the Cottage being about the only thing more embarrassing than our yoof element) the one ejection I saw was for Fulham’s own Beiber-lite in the second half.

Fulham flare

Despite their best efforts, it’s back to ‘sniffer school’

It was a cracking atmosphere (at our end) and The Bees were LOUD. Moreso compared to the wall of silence that came from the rest of the ground. If we thought the Chelsea fans were quiet at Stamford Bridge, this took things to a new level. Mind you, with Bournemouth overtaking Chelsea last night in the Premier League table, Fulham might be getting another West London derby next season.

That said, it certainly seemed that anybody who could travel for this one, did. You know the winter months are upon us when ‘jumper man’ switches from his summer waistcoat to the world’s greatest pullover.

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The world’s greatest jumper. Fact

Likewise, one supporter – who I won’t name but simply refer to as “Project Coordinator for the Brentford Community Stadium project team” – was seen stumbling down the steps on the way to his seat before kick off. A seat which, I am sure, in line with stadium regulations he sat down in for the entire game.

Even the great and the good from the opposition were out and about after the game. Brentford may not have won, but we can still feel very hard done by not to have left the opposition…..pointless.

Nick Bruzon

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one point – for Fulham

Will Dougie escape to victory? (as Uwe does Dallas)

5 Aug

And so the inevitable has happened with Stuart Dallas joining Leeds United from Brentford. The undisclosed fee of £1.25m (allegedly) represents tremendous value for Leeds if all goes to plan for the Elland Road outfit. Then, of course, there’s Jonathan Douglas signing for Ipswich Town. The same Ipswich Town we open the Championship campaign against on Saturday.

First up, Stuart. All I can say is good luck (genuinely) and thanks for all the memories. Talking to the Vital Leeds blogsite earlier, I couldn’t help but be drawn back to that game at Fulham back in April. I’ve never seen a ball hit the way Stuart leathered it from 25+ yards out to the top corner. What a screamer, what a crucially important strike and what a place to do it.

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 ! 

book 3 and 4 cover

Its all about the kit, man. And the Bees.

Nick Bruzon

Why this will be the best Cup Final day in years

30 May

Let’s be honest. As Arsenal and Aston Villa prepare to do battle in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday evening, for us Brentford fans there is little immediate interest. Any hope of enjoying a run in this oldest of tournaments (this is the 134th final) ended at the hands of Brighton in the third round as a 2-0 home defeat saw us bow out at the first attempt.

And stop! Hold that thought. Even if you don’t support Aston Villa or Arsenal there is plenty to keep the neutral involved as the BBC have restored one of the most noble cup traditions – wall to wall coverage in the build up.

Recent seasons have seen ‘the light channel’ treat our showpiece match as, almost, an embarrassing afterthought – offering little pre-match entertainment beyond Adrian Chiles (now residing in the ‘where are they now’ files) mugging up to camera behind a portable pitchside lectern.

But back on BBC, with Gary Linker at the helm, we are being transported back to those glory days of the late 70s/early 80s when the Cup final, and preparations for it, were a BIG thing.

Since Lineker wrestled the highlights from Chiles, the BBC have performed miracles

Since Lineker wrestled the highlights from Chiles, the BBC have performed miracles

Taking a quick look at the schedule of events, we are about to be spoiled in a manner not seen since the Ferrero Rocher ambassador hosted his last reception.

12.10 Football Focus – Dan Walker and guests looks ahead to the game between Arsenal and Aston Villa.

13.00 The FA Cup – Gary Lineker on the road to FA Cup glory. In which our host meets men whose careers and lives were changed by the FA Cup. Presumably , this will feature the contractual obligation of an appearance from Ronnie Radford and mention of his, so called, rocket.

14.05 TOTP2- One of the highlights of the day as Mark Radcliffe rounds up the best and worst football records from the TOTP archives. Hopefully we’ll be seeing Chas and Dave, Ossie Ardiles and his wonderful solo “In the cup for Tott-ing-ham” (and if you can live with the ropey footage, that magical moment crops up at 1.57).

Spurs: come for Ossie; stay for Chas and Dave in the greatest FA Cup song of all time

14.30 Pointless Celebrities – not an exposé on Kerry Katona and the cast of ‘gogglebox’ but, infact, a topical episode of the popular quiz show. Featuring footballers

15.25 The FA Cup – the road to Wembley – This, the story of this season’s tournament, told through the eyes of famous fans. Expect Piers Morgan to be mugging it up for the camera. Bonus points if the BBC have secured HRH Prince William (although David Cameron more likely – if he can remember who he claims to support)

15.55. Build up. Gary is back, again, with all the build up from the stadium.

17.15. The final. Five hours after it all began, we cut back to the stadium for live coverage of the game.

The only sour note to all this being that there isn’t an episode of ‘Allo ‘Allo in the fall guy position straight after. Should the game over run due to the ,so called, lottery of penalties then this would be immediately booted into touch to some graveyard slot on BBC 2. Or, more likely, never to be seen again despite the assurance that “this will be shown at a later date”.

I support Brentford but I love football and all the fine traditions that go with it. On Saturday, the BBC promise to have me hooked from start to finish.

And if you want to read more about how Brentford failed in the FA Cup (this time) along with the rest of the incredible events of 2014/15, the amalgamated Last Word season compendium: Tales from the football village (from Saunders territory to unchartered ground), is now available to download onto Kindle (and other electronic reading device) in full.

Running from July 2014- May 2015 it contains some additional material and is available for less than the cost of a Griffin Park matchday programme.

How keyboard warriors missed the point

24 Nov

Forty-eight hours after Fulham were beaten by Brentford in the Championship , their keyboard warriors were still fighting a desperate rearguard action to try and salvage some pride from Friday’s derby defeat.

If it makes the Cottagers feel better then good luck to them. That said, if you fancy a smile then do go and check out some of the remaining comments from Saturday morning’s post game review. Personally, I’ve better things to do than continue trying to reason with opinion so blinkered and out of touch with the current landscape that it would be more suited to a North Korean propaganda leaflet.

If anything it has made me realise, even more, just how much Friday’s win meant. To both sides.

Having thrown away their chance of two local games after last season’s capitulation denied them the Chelsea and QPR showdowns, Brentford were their only hope of winning such a fixture. And Fulham weren’t even close to coming second.

I’m not going to pretend I wouldn’t have been upset had we lost but, at the same time, winning was a sweet, sweet feeling. Especially doing so in such fashion. That said, there’s a lot of hilarious comment on twitter and certain fan sites referring to this as our ‘cup final’.

That’s as patronising as it is bitter. Who wouldn’t want to win a local derby? Who wouldn’t celebrate a win over their neighbours? Who wouldn’t get excited about climbing to just one point off the top of the table?

This is nothing to do with perceived club size or our respective teams’ past successes but, simply, current season form and a fine victory in a local derby.

And it WAS fine, with Brentford having totally dominated the game to the extent that, per the BBC, we had almost two thirds of the possession. In layman’s terms, that just means our opponents didn’t get near the ball for an hour.

Brentford had hold of the ball for an hour. The BBC stats don't lie

Brentford had hold of the ball for an hour. The BBC stats don’t lie

After Russell Slade’s sour grapes last season (also in a local derby) I didn’t think we’d be revisiting this territory so soon. The source may be different but the effect is much the same. And that speaks volumes about what Friday meant.

Anyway, that’s me just about done on this subject. Banter is close to getting out of hand and so, for now, I’ll leave Fulham (who are only one win clear of the bottom three) to whatever ambitions they have.

As for The Bees, I make no apologies for ‘bigging up’ Brentford on this Brentford related site. Billy Reeves nailed it later, noting about those ‘away’ fans who’d got upset: “That’s like criticising an autobiography for being self-centred...”

Well said that man.

BBC viewers got an extra viewing of the game on Saturday's FLS

BBC viewers got an extra viewing of the game on Saturday’s FLS

Football League Show provides another season highlight

23 Nov

With Brentford having a Championship day off on Saturday after demolishing Fulham on Friday night, our supporters were left to see if anyone would overtake the newly fourth placed Bees. Wolves, next up at Griffin Park, were the feature team on the BBC Football League show whilst Warbs, with time on his hands, was Manish’s studio guest. And as for Clemwatch, it gave us a chance to resume our scientific study as Charlton Athletic hosted the albatross of the roving reporting world.

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.

Even the London flood barrier fails to hold back Clem's deluge of poor results

Even the London flood barrier fails to hold back Clem’s deluge of poor results

Brentford 2 Fulham 1. Can it get any better?

22 Nov

Hugh Grant. Daniel Radcliffe. Keith Allen. Possibly Lily Allen. Are you listening? Our Brentford gave your Fulham one hell of a beating.

Like celebrity Cottager Richard Osman, Brentford left Fulham ‘Pointless’ on Friday night as the Bees stormed to fourth place in the Championship, one point off the top of the table, after an incredible stoppage time win.

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.