Tag Archives: Ross McCormack

Honours for Alan and Andre as a star is born

18 Apr

Alan Judge. He may have been missing from Saturday’s draw with Bristol City but he was the centre of attention on Sunday as Brentford went head to head with Burnley and  Fulham to see which club would have the honour of their man being selected as ‘Championship player of the season’. With the Judge up against former Bee Andre Gray and Cottager Ross McCormack in the final three, the winner was announced on Sunday evening.

It was a tremendous honour for Alan even to be named in this group. From the outside looking in, Brentford have failed to match last seasons heights and limped into mid-table after losing huge swathes of that squad. We’ve had to rebuild the team (and the pitch) yet Alan has been consistently brilliant.

The leading number of assists in the division is matched with his being top scorer for the Bees. Selection for the Irish National team saw a very real chance of his playing in the Euro 2016 finals, until that awful leg break suffered last weekend.

Judge pic 2

Would Alan run off with the award?

His being shortlisted for this award was fully deserved but, in the end, it was the goalscoring prowess of Andre Gray that was telling. Massive congratulations are due to Andre as he not only picked up where he left off last season but has gone even better with Burnley knocking on the door of the Premier League once more. Thanks in no small part to his ability in front of goal.

Hey, in part this award was earned at Griffin Park. Whilst his sale to Burnley seemed inevitable given all the talk over the summer, Andre did start the season as a Bee. Indeed, his two game cameo saw goals against Ipswich Town and Bristol City as Brentford made it 4 points from our opening 6.   The rest though, is history.

Well done Andre. Fully deserved and, I have no doubt, his career will only go on to bigger and better things. I can’t wait to see how he does in the top flight next season.

That said , there was still great news for Alan. Whilst he may have just missed out on ‘Championship player of the season’ he did make it in to ’ ‘Team of the Season’ . This new award names the 11 outstanding players (and a manager) across all three divisions of the Sky Bet Football League.

Just to show how tough this one was, only 6 of the 11 slots went to Championship players whilst fellow nominee Ross McCormack missed out on selection. Interestingly, the League website tells us that selection was made as “a national judging panel then chose the final Football Manager Team of the Season with Opta’s player statistics assisting”.

See? Stats aren’t all bad 🙂 And does this mean we’ll have our eyes on any of the below over the summer…..?

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The League team of the season

Ok. A few other things from the weekend. Firstly, Toumani. He’s only been with Leeds United for three months and now he’s scored again. Ironic enough he did it on his full debut after keeping us hanging for so long but to nab a second so soon is just rubbing salt into the wound. In the nicest possible sense.

Bob’s big giveaway, that ‘one-of-a-kind’ signed shirt, has officially rolled over to the Fulham game. Nobody picked ‘Hogan,90’ against Bristol City and so we all have another chance to ‘go again’. Bob made the announcement on Twitter after the game although what method he has up his sleeve to find this a home is, as yet, unknown….

And finally, everybody’s favourite club feature, Terrace Talk, was back. With a new host. Don’t panic, Jo Tilley isn’t on gardening leave but due to her role at the Fan Zone, video content manager Sean Ridley stood in as a one-off host.

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For one night only….

As the regular reader will know, I love Jo’s work on Terrace Talk but having seen this,  all I can say is…Wow!!

Was there genuine panic in her voice at the end when she told our host, “Don’t steal my job” before he went chasing a duck (literally rather than metaphorically). Whilst I can’t really comment on the quality, or lack of, amongst some of the interviewees, could Sean have found a new role for himself? Or are we just lucky enough to have not one but two roving reporters who would give Clem a run for his money?

On Tuesday night against Cardiff City, we find out.

Nick Bruzon

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Bittersweet news for Alan Judge but how did we miss that?

15 Apr

How quickly have Brentford become accustomed to Championship life that a week without a Tuesday night fixture seems like a long one? Bristol City can’t visit soon enough as we’ll have had a whole 7(seven) days since that win at Ipswich Town.

It has been a week which has seen us with an awful lot to dwell on and no real news of any substance. Alan Judge is, of course, now out of hospital following surgery on the horrific injury he suffered at Portman Road – from where there has been pretty much radio silence despite the somewhat ‘controversial’ (that’s me being polite) comments made by Mick McCarthy after the game.

Maybe something has happened behind the scenes. Let’s hope so. The Judge himself has been putting a brave face on things in public, sharing that emotional message and then a follow up photograph when he left the hospital to return home.

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Alan shared this picture as he left hospital

Here’s hoping Alan has a quick recovery. Good wishes have been pouring in from supporters all week whilst it sounds as though he’s had a steady stream of visitors since the weekend. Amongst them, Dean Smith and many of the players.

Sam Saunders revealed on Twitter that he and Harlee Dean had been to check up on their team mate. Was there genuine regret at the fact that they’d “offered to bed wash him can’t believe he turned it down!“?  Dean, meanwhile, used his press conference yesterday to confirm he’d been to see the player at the weekend who was “obviously a bit down”.

An immediate reaction of the one described by Dean is only to be expected. It would be a sickening blow for anybody, let alone a player on such form and with the Euro’s beckoning.

Thinking about it though, the reaction to Sam’s suggestion is also to be expected. Certainly, if his bed wash technique is similar to his car wash technique…

Sam Saunders

Would you take a bed wash from this man?

On the plus side, if one can be taken from such a situation, there was positive news for Alan when his nomination for the Football League’s Championship player of the year award was announced yesterday. In a final 3 that also includes Fulham’s Ross McCormack and Andre Gray it is due reward for Alan’s wonderful season.

He’s the leading goal scorer for the Bees and has provided the  highest number of assists for any Championship club with  11.  Indeed, checking the stats yesterday he’s currently joint 7th overall goal scorer in the league with 14. Whilst one would expect him to slip down the ranks over the remaining weeks of a season that been brought to a premature end, it’s well worth marking that figure at this point to show just what a pivotal figure he has been for Brentford

Interestingly, Lasse Vibe’s recent hot streak has seen him storming up the blindside and he’s now only two behind the Judge in joint 12th place for the Championship’s overall top scorer. That puts him level with Jordan Rhodes at a fraction of the price. Let’s hope he can move clear against Bristol City on Saturday.

Prior to that game, don’t forget that Waterman’s Park hosts the Bees Fan Zone from midday. Featuring a whole host of free activities such as Urban Cage Soccer, Obstacle Challenge and FA Skills sessions (amongst others) there will also be visits from Buzz,Buzzette and some of the First Team Players.

This was a cracking event when it took place last season and sounds as though it will be similar this time around. Yet again, it showcases Brentford as a wonderful community club with a whole host of activities laid on for our younger fans. As ever, you can read more about the event on the club site.

And finally, issue 3 of Season Ticket holder news letter ‘The Buzz’ hit my email box yesterday. Containing the usual mix of recipes , interviews (Sergi Canos) and Dream XI (Lasse Vibe) it also has ‘Social Club’ – those social media highlights we may have missed.

Well, fair play to the club because I’d certainly missed this one. I’ve heard of ‘footballing royalty’ but this takes things to another next level…

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If ever the club were looking for a caption competition….

The best Christmas present some fans could have hoped for.

25 Dec

I wasn’t going to write anything today but the combination of a two-year old son and a potential visit from Santa has meant the excitement levels have been raised somewhat in our house. But that’s just me – at the time of writing Harry is fast asleep and, I’d imagine, dreaming of Buzzette (or, again, is that just me?). With a home game against Brighton tomorrow and Christmas today my focus should be elsewhere. Yet I still can’t help think about poor Fulham and, to a lesser extent, Bournemouth. This, following the announcement of their failure in the Financial Fair Play audits for 2014/15 that, for the record, Brentford passed.

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Dreaming of Buzzette….

Audit’. Is there any less thrilling word in the English language? It ranks in the top five of those to avoid at this time of year along with, ‘Next’, ‘Mrs’. ‘Browns’ and ‘Boys’ .

Ordinarily something that would send you to sleep, the news of Fulham breaching regulations (or, technically, ‘cheating’) has brought a smile to the face of many Brentford fans. See also : Bournemouth who, just for the record, did also pip us to a Premier League promotion slot that season.

I’m not bitter about that part. Our season was stunning and, regardless of anybody else’s spending, I think that with a tad more squad rotation in the final quarter The Bees might have done it. It is simply noted as a statement of fact for you to draw your own conclusions or form your own opinions.

Indeed, ongoing compliance with these rules is partly the reason that Brentford have had to sell the likes of Andre Gray, Moses Odubajo and Will Grigg. To ensure that our own expenditure remains within the limits laid down by the footballing authorities.

Likewise, I’m not one to overly laugh in the face of our rivals. After all, Christmas is a time when we are encouraged to remember the needy and those less fortunate.

The somewhat bland statement issued by Fulham tells you so much about their own precarious state. You can read it on their website if you want, but their key admission would seem to be that : The embargo arises as the Club made an adjusted loss greater than the £6m limit allowed by the Football League in the year following relegation. The Football League has since recognised this limit is low, especially for clubs recently relegated with Premier League overheads in place, and the limit has now increased to £13m per annum. Unfortunately Fulham’s embargo falls in the final year of the previous limit, but the Club does not anticipate being in breach in future years.

Going on to blame their own purchase of Ross McCormack and Matt Smith (Doctor Who?), the club’s additional justification about this being a ‘low’ limit conveniently fails to mention all those lovely parachute payments designed to help such huge spending teams avoid this sort of situation. Amongst other things. In what world is a loss of £6million deemed ‘low’ but £13million is probably something to worry about?

As I say, today is not the day to laugh at anybody. Moreso given their budget breach didn’t actually achieve anything. 2-1 and 4-1 to Brentford, wasn’t it? Instead, I’ll simply bid you a happy Christmas, suggest you avoid BBC1 tonight and hope to see you all at Griffin Park for the Brighton game on Boxing Day.

Christmas TV

Warning: he’s back

And finally…. Whereas yesterday I offered our reader the gift of music and, specifically, ‘The Quo’, we’ll finish up today with the gift of artwork. Stunning artwork.

I have no idea who produced this but hats off. It is absolutely in my all time favourite pictures of the year.

As one terrace wag involved in sharing this with me noted, ”Thing is, you can imagine Marinus just ignoring a unicorn if it was there.”

Happy Christmas.

Marinus unicorn

Simply brilliant

Nick Bruzon

How on earth did he do that? I’m not even sure he knows

10 Dec

There was great news coming out of the club yesterday with the announcement that Toumani Diagouraga has signed a contract extension to keep him at Griffin Park until 2017. Already one of our longest serving players since joining in January 2010, The long legged midfield player is now approaching 200 games for The Bees in all competitions (that’s the club’s line, not mine, from the official press release)”.

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.

Could the Bees go top? Or will the Terriers bite back?

6 Dec

Brentford head to Huddersfield Town today in a game that is loaded with significance and opportunity. I wrote yesterday about the retrospective importance of this game, going back to the pain inflicted on the Bees by Huddersfield back in 1995. However, this is now about looking forward and the fact that, quite simply, a win could see us go top of the Championship table.

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.

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.

Have we been spared some pain or missed a great day out?

3 Sep

Russell Slade celebrated like his team had won a JPT first round match last night after Leyton Orient beat Peterborough United 3-2. Good luck to him. As a Brentford supporter, it’s one thing that’s not on the agenda for this season and, hopefully, not for a while.

That’s meant as no disrespect to the trophy but simply means that Brentford will, all being well, be playing in the Championship. Or beyond….

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.

The ultimate irony as Brentford and Manchester United go down

27 Aug

On a night where the eyes of the world were focused on a Brentford striker it’s ironic that it was one out on loan, Northern Ireland International Will Grigg, who grabbed the headlines as his brace (that’s two. goals.) started the rout of Manchester United. Typically, as a much changed Bees side drew a blank in the 1-0 defeat to Fulham, Grigg remembered where the goal was as United ended up over half way to a 7(seven) goal bracketing. His MK Dons team, of course, dumping them out of the Capital One Cup 4-0.

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.