Tag Archives: Robin Van Persie

East coast or East Fife? Striker search continues as Dutch disappoint

6 Jul

There was plenty of football going on yesterday but the only news from a Brentford perspective was the latest Florida tour diary. As ever, you can find this on the club site where, amongst other things, Peter Gilham explains his reference to the ‘1930s weather’ questioned in yesterday’s column. Instead, it was left to Fulham to try and provide the clues…

Given our current (experienced) striker situation, I ended up scouring cyberspace for news of Marcello Trotta where, I am ashamed to say, I ended up on a less than salubrious website. If Mrs. Bruzon checks my ‘search history’ there’s going to be an awful lot of awkward explaining as to why I was looking at: www.fulhamfc.com

However, whilst the Bees were on the East Coast of the USA, our neighbours were in the more modest surroundings of East Fife, who they took on in a preseason friendly. Despite the appearance of my favourite footballer, A.Trialist, along with his brothers, A.Trialist 2 and A Trialist 3, there was no room for Marcello in a team that saw 22 players taste match action (and I accept that to use the word ‘action’ in the same context as a Fulham game is an odd one).

What does this mean? Could he be coming back to Griffin Park for a third, and this time permanent, spell? Does Italy beckon? Is it something as simple as a knock picked up in training that precluded him from taking part?

Without wishing to disturb those of a sensitive disposition (look away, now), as it stands Marcello still remains as a fixture on their published squad list. Although, by the same logic Clayton Donaldson is still a Brentford player, as of Sunday morning. So make of that what you will.

As seen on the FFC website on Sunday morning (edited)

As seen on the FFC website on Sunday morning (edited)

I guess that what this all goes to say, in a long-winded fashion, is that I’d love to see Marcello back. Whether it is simply wishful thinking or has any chance of happening, then who knows? However, these are sentiments I couldn’t possibly have imagined having 12 months ago.

Away from Brentford, there was still the World Cup. Costa Rica were beaten by a Holland team who are fast falling from being the darlings of the tournament (after Robin Van Persie’s stunning goal helped destroy Spain 5-1) to it’s bad boys.

Arjen Robben’s admission of diving against Mexico was bad enough (as was the commentary last night for praising him when he hadn’t taken this option) but the subsequent antics of goalkeeper Tim Krul left a rather unpleasant taste in the mouth.

Well done to Holland in getting through, but it would have been so much nicer if this could have been done with a modicum of sportsmanship rather than Krul ‘squaring up’ to every Costa Rican as they approached the penalty spot.

It was, for once, a terrible example to any young children who might have ben watching. I’ve no problem with doing everything you can in the rules of the game to win a win – indeed, this was what his 119th minute appearance was all about (although I’d suggest more to get the upper hand through this element of surprise than any superior ability).

However, if you can only attain those levels by diving or acting the schoolyard bully, rather than whilst treating your opponents with respect, then that’s when the ‘beautiful game’ becomes very much an ugly scrap.

‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ (The story of Brentford’s season 2013/14, amongst other things) – is now available as a digital book. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from the last ten months, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle / digital device.

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When in doubt, give it to the magician

22 Jun

Not my words but those of BBC World Cup commentator Jonathan Pearce as Lionel Messi gave Argentina the narrowest of victories over (insert your choice of patronising cliché : plucky, heroic, heartbroken, solid, minnows) Iran with a stunning last minute strike that could have been made on the Brentford training ground.

Pick up the ball deep in the heart of ‘Saunders territory’, hit it with the accuracy of a Forshaw or the fake-tanned wing-wizard himself and add a dash of International class c/o Northern Ireland’s Will Grigg.

It was a truly magnificent effort after a somewhat turgid encounter and, if not quite up there with Van Persie v Spain or Cahill v Netherlands, is certainly in my top three goals of the tournament. As ever, you can see the goal and the highlights on the BBC website.

Elsewhere, Germany held Ghana 2-2 in the proverbial game of two halves (apologies, I really have been eating cliché for breakfast. Just need ‘park the bus’ for a full house).

Four goals in a twenty-minute spell after half time made the opening 45 minutes, with both teams not so much parking the bus as struggling to get into the depot, a distant memory.

The excitement was cranked up with Miroslav Klose equaling the World Cup scoring record. Age may not have diminished the 36 year old’s eye for goal but it has caught up on his gymnastic skills. His celebratory somersault fell somewhat short and ended up less Olga Korbut and more Ronnie Corbett.

Getting back to Griffin Park, I’ve noticed the League table has now been updated on the BBC web page. It certainly makes great reading with Brentford already in the Championship play off spots (and Wolves currently rock bottom !).

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The BBC website already shows Brentford in the play off places

The World Cup may have come to a predictable, albeit premature, conclusion for England but it means all positive energy and thoughts can now be totally focused on the forthcoming Championship campaign.

There are less than 7 (seven) weeks to go until Charlton Athletic visit to kick things off and I can’t wait. If that isn‘t a more exciting prospect than watching veteran Teutonic gymnastics, I don’t know what is.

 

‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ – The story of Brentford’s season 2013/14 – amongst other things – is now available as a digital book . Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from the last ten months, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle / digital device

‘Chiles understudy’ sees Spain given a real clogging.

14 Jun

The World Cup exploded into stunning life on Friday. Brazil’s lucky win over Croatia seemed a distant memory after the Netherlands devastated Spain – leaving them bloodied and bruised, like a gored matador awaiting the fatal blow. Much as I love Brentford, and can’t wait for their foray in the Championship, this was the standout match from three games of truly world-class football we could only aspire to.

As ever, if you want the match reports (or the highlights) then read the BBC. For me the salient points of the day’s activity were:

ITV, who I had lambasted yesterday, redeemed themselves somewhat with first use of World Cup favourite, “For those of you just coming from work, the score is”. Sadly, I was still coming home from work, so missed this moment although am reliably informed that 6.25pm was the time; Mexico – Cameroon the game. For the record, a 1-0 win for the Central Americans.

Unfortunately, their oversized score graphic doesn’t seem to have shrunk any overnight and still takes up more screen space than Adrian Chiles. Please ITV, slim this down a bit or, at the least, move it more into the corner.

The BBC then had their turn and seem to have taken the very short-term view with their choice of panel. How they must have laughed a few months ago, at the thought of using Rio (Ferdinand, that is) in Rio (de Janeiro).

Sadly, nobody back home was laughing at his continual name-dropping. I didn’t realise, and you may not have caught this, but apparently he used to play for Manchester United

As one correspondent put it to me afterwards, he has “All the screen charisma of an 18 wheeler lorry reversing very slowly around a corner”. An ironic statement, given that’s much the same as his defensive turning circle

Still for all the downside of Rio (who looked positively distraught at having to stay behind afterwards to answer Facebook questions whilst, presumably, the rest of the panel went out for a few cold ones), the BBC had the pick of the games.

Spain 1 Netherlands 5. The Dutch masters (sorry) obliterated Spain, the highlight for me being Robin Van Persie’s exquisite header to level things. If ever you wanted to see footballing perfection then this was it.

The timing, the run, the dive, the connection and the precision. It makes you wonder if David Moyes might still be in a job had he got this sort of form out of the Manchester United man last season.

Then there was more use of the referee’s spray paint (isn’t this just shaving foam?). Whatever it is, I love this idea although am waiting for one of them to ‘go rogue’ and start freestyle art on the pitch.

Proceedings were rounded off with Chile racing into a 2 goal lead against Australia before allowing them back into the match. The Aussies, presumably put off their game by the awful kit they’d been forced to wear – the rather camp looking combination of tight yellow shirt/shorts and long white socks.

Whilst Chile held on to win 3-1, it was a much tighter, and more exciting affair, than it had any right to be after the Australian ‘no show’ for the first fifteen minutes.

That was Friday. Today sees the first outing for England, who play Italy on the spray painted (green, not white) pitch of Manaus. It promises to be an exciting day of football although, after the fifteen goals from the opening four games so far, I’m betting Roy’s boys will bring these back down to earth with a 0-0 bump.

But don’t listen to me – as somebody much wiser than me pointed out last night, my twitter observations are much akin to a #Chiles-understudy. And, to be fair, he’s probably right.

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Referees ‘paint’ – comes in three sizes

Why Curry, Crewe and Brentford beat Monsieur Wenger every time.

15 Nov

League One is an infinitely more exciting place than the Premiership. Fact!

Sure, the (so called) fat cats of the top flight may have the cash, the World Class players and the huge capacity stadia. They may have their games cancelled because of International fixtures and they may feature as much on the front of the newspapers as the back.

But what they don’t have is that ‘real’ human interaction.

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.