Tag Archives: press conference

Manchester United in Europe and Dean Smith dominate Derby build up

19 Feb

With Brentford preparing to take on Derby County this weekend, Dean Smith was in buoyant mood at yesterday’s press conference. There was more from the club’s ‘phone a fan’ scheme where Alan Judge was in the hotseat and, of course, European football has been at the forefront of our attention with Manchester United, amongst others, making the news.

But I wanted to start with a few quotes from Dean’s press conference in regards to the Derby game. The Bees recent form of nil points, no goals, 7(seven) against from the games with Brighton and Sheffield Wednesday isn’t great. But for those who think we are in free fall, spare a thought for our opponents.

A change in manager wasn’t enough to reverse the fortunes of a team who have lost four and drawn four from their last eight league games. It is a worrying run of form for a side that have come ‘so close’ in the last two seasons and would be looking to go one better this time around. That they still remain in the play-off zone is testament to their early season form and the Rams will, no doubt, be bang up for three points this weekend with Birmingham now breathing down their necks.

It is a view shared by Dean Smith who noted “They got beaten last week and will be looking for a reaction. You only have to look at their squad to know what a good squad it is.

Obvious but true. On the flipside, one can only hope the squad that Dean has left to play with can also produce a reaction. The performance against Wednesday produced some horror defending, outside of the redcard that we won’t be appealing despite the ongoing belief that the ref “couldn’t make that decision from where he was.

The one positive I guess is that at least our head coach has acknowledged this. He could hardly not, to be fair. “The manner of the goals we conceded was not good” would seem to be somewhat of an understatement but, if we can stop shipping them quite so readily, that’ll be half the job done. Then we just need to find our way at the other end …..

Next up, yesterday’s European football.

Cup fever had this corner of West London gripped last night with the draw for the Gibraltar Rock Cup. Glacis United face a nightmare tie with all-conquering Lincoln Red Imps. They, of course, reached the second qualifying round of this season’s Champions League, before narrowly missing out to Danish side FCM . And given our current fascination with all things Manchester United, their Gibraltarian equivalents (in name, at least) the rebranded Manchester 62 face College 1975. Ties to be played the week of March 16 and you can see the full draw below, c/o @GibFootballTalk.

rock cup. updated

On the subject of Manchester United, it would be remiss of me not to mention the Europa League.

If you think Derby County are on a bad run of form, Gary Neville hasn’t exactly had things easy since taking over as manager of Valencia . How that has changed! After getting his first league win at the weekend, last night he saw his team become the first to score five goals in the opening half of a Europa League game. Agonisingly, Valencia fell one short of a 7(seven) -0 bracketing as they eventually ran out 6-0 winners over Rapid Vienna.

And finally, Brentford’s excellent ‘phone a fan’ scheme continued yesterday with Alan Judge manning the switchboard and the club having to convince another fan that yes, our man of the moment really had just called them up.

As ever, the background detail on these stories is what really makes them. The motivational pep talks aren’t just confined to our press conference, if the white board in the ticket office is to be believed.

Nick Bruzon

Are points in the bag better than games in hand?

19 Mar

Brentford fans must feel like they are dreaming this morning after Wolves made it one point from the last six following last night’s shock defeat at Crawley. It was a result that few saw coming (myself included) and, following our own win over Leyton Orient on Saturday, has lifted spirits even further.

The proverbial ‘favour from other teams’ is all well and good but don’t forget that, as it stands, Wolves are still top of the table. That’s a fact. They are a point clear (effectively two with their gargantuan goal difference) and so still the team in the box seat.

Brentford, of course, have the ultimate destiny back in our own hands but Wolves have the points advantage. The two clichés in football I probably find have some actual resonance are, firstly, ‘The League is a marathon not a sprint’ (see Bournemouth last season) but also ‘Points in the bag are better than games in hand’.

Having to play that ‘one off’ game can bring its own pressures and this was no better illustrated than last night. The psychological advantage of getting a win when your rivals aren’t playing is immense – if you can get it right. Hand in hand with that goes the extra pressure of knowing what said win will do – as was illustrated last night with the game effectively turned into a mini cup final.

Wolves manager Kenny Jackett gave a very honest press conference afterwards, saying that the game “passed us by and that is a big frustration, particularly when it is one of the games that we have in hand” (perhaps Russell Slade should take note on how to speak to the media after a defeat).

As big a frustration for me, as a Brentford fan, was trying to keep track with the game. Although ‘Beesplayer’ does give access to every commentary (a very handy function, IF it works) mine seemed locked on the Charlton match. So, instead, I was stuck with the BBC ‘live text’ updates on their 21st century videprinter.

Its not an easy way to watch a game due to the torturous update speeds and generic descriptions as to the action.  Last night’s game seemed to consist of efforts from 35 yards but were these the sort of ‘fizzing pile-drivers to test a goalkeeper’, Adam Forshaw style? Or were they hopeless punts from distance that had less chance of going in than a Miguel Llera set piece?


If anything, he hit it too well….or did he??

Watching a game on the BBC is a great way of knowing what is happening, if you are a fan of factual football. However, as a way of getting that genuine ‘gut feel’ as to who is on top and how things might turn out, then it is about as much help as Robert Madley.

Still, even I couldn’t fail but be moved to excitement by what happened just after the mid-way point of the first half. It began, ironically when you consider how many games Crawley have lost to the weather, raining goals.

Then it stopped. And the torture of waiting began.

But…. We all know the final score. Wolves remain top and, although the bookies still make them favourites for the title and promotion, Brentford have control back.

Coventry on Saturday will not be an easy task whilst I have no doubt that League One will throw up more than a few surprises before the season ends.

I’ll happily accept any gift from another team but, ultimately, it counts for nothing if we can’t do it ourselves. Fortunately, I have every confidence we will.


Wait 24 minutes for a goal, then three come along at once

Lets hope Uwe has the last word on Saturday

25 Oct

I’ve got a lot of time for Brentford manager Uwe Rösler. Despite, if I’m being honest, not always understanding his formation (I get the impression that sometimes he thinks that centre forwards – or birds – are the only things which should use wings) you can’t deny what he has done with the team.

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.