Tag Archives: sash

Dark arts and fine goals. Plenty to keep us talking whilst waiting on the kit.

4 Jul

England humped Ukraine 4-0 in the Euro 2020 last eight, setting up a Wednesday night semi-final against Denmark. This, despite the best efforts of one Brentford legend. The Danes earlier victors over Czech Republic with dynamic Brentford duo Mathias Jensen and Christian Norgaard once again helping see that one out. A 60,000 crowd will be present at Wembley to see what has already been dubbed: Phil v Rasmus. At least, in TW8. By one person. And in domestic news, or rather, lack of domestic news we’re only six weeks away from the Premier League kick off with Arsenal yet still remain in the dark about what we’ll be wearing. Come on Bob, show us the kit.

First up though, the Euros. Wasn’t that quite the stroll in the end? The Denmark game certainly whetted the appetite for what felt like the main event later in the evening. Their 2-1 win crowned by a defence splitting pass from Joakim Maehle with the outside of the boot to tee up Kasper Dolberg for the Danes’ second just before half time. It was a moment of sublime skill. The ball delivered with all the finesse of Postman Pat, falling perfectly for Dolberg and all but ensuring progression before the quartered oranges had been served up and the tea poured. 

Perfection

The Czechs pulled one back early into the second period but that was as good as it got. The Brentford connection coming on to help settle any nerves and steer the team through. What a contrast from that awful moment in the game with Finland. What a way to recompose yourselves. Team spirit and incentive like never before. England won’t have it easy on Wednesday evening, that’s for sure.

If Gareth Southgate had urged caution and not getting carried away after the win against Germany, he’s going to have his hands full expecting the same restraint this team around. Football’s coming home etc etc being the quite understandable refrain. England were magnificent. Ukraine made to look non-existent. Harry Kane answering his recent critics in some style with a brace to follow up his goal against the Germans. The first coming with just four minutes on the clock and any pressure that might have been felt immediately dissipating. It stayed at the solitary effort, albeit never under threat, until half-time. And then – boom. First Harry Maguire and then Kane with his second put it out of sight within five minutes of the restart. My word. It was nuts. 

With Jordan Henderson making it four just after the hour, young Harry turned to me and asked, “Dad? Do you think they’ll get brackets?”. Cripes, I’d have put nothing past them although sadly, it wasn’t to be. Instead, England had to stick on a mere four goals. Kane almost hitting the hat-trick with a blockbuster of a shot that would have rivalled Ivan Toney at Wembley in the ‘Imagine if that had gone in’ stakes.

Who cares whether it was 1, 2 ,4 or 7(seven)? Nobody. All that matters in a tournament is getting through and last night saw two teams doing it in style.  We talk about the Danish spirit but the same could be said for England. Gareth Southgate would note this after the game, saying that, “We’re in the semi-final because of that spirit….I’ve seen lots of nations go out of tournaments because they haven’t got the spirit these boys have got.”

There was nothing going to stop this one. England with the momentum to see past any attempt to beat them. By fair means or foul. Even from the Brentford contingent with Natalie Sawyer regaling listeners to her Talksport breakfast show on Sunday with the story of how her other half ordered Chicken Kiev for dinner in the pub. Any attempt to call in the dark arts and sabotage the England effort. 

Oh, Dougie. Nice try but such nonsense will never work. Honestly, who believes in such omen related stuff…? Instead, we’ve got our magic shirts on and lucky table already reserved for Wednesday evening. It’s going to be monstrous. It’s going to be magnificent. With England having played the quarter final out in Rome, the morning has been full of laboured puns about Italian jobs and London calling once more for what will be an epic clash. 

Tasty.

Morale and momentum is high. The opposition not really being given a thought at present. Could Brentford derail the national express? Imagine the meltdown if Jensen or Norgaard popped up with a late winner or key moment ? If a certain cult hero started loading up on the bacon sandwiches? Roll on Wednesday night when we find out which way this one’s going to go.

Back in Brentford, well nothing. No news. No sighting. The obvious question being – Where? Is? The? Kit? Come on already. We’ve just over a month until the Premier League starts with that Arsenal game yet no clue. Not even a sighting of updated training gear. No idea what our latest attempt to reinvent the red and white stripes will look like. No clue as to whether we’ll be looking to new ‘away’ colours. The hot money / wishful thinking (delete as applicable) still favouring the sartorial thing of beauty that is the sash. Think Peru ’78. Southampton. Crystal Palace. Think Manchester City pulling off one of the best efforts in modern times whilst Hull City AFC have been blessed by Umbro this time around….. 

Who doesn’t love a sash?

It can’t be long, surely? With some sort of deal with ‘The Turmeric Company’ already hinted at by Brentford official, could this dictate a new shirt sponsor or (please no) vivid yellow-orange change colours? Will it drop from nowhere? A street art ‘fly poster campaign? We’ve even used the fans a few times. Kitman Bob – if you are reading (you aren’t) I remain available. One things for sure, the less serious, more light hearted campaigns are always well received.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter who launches it. We just want to see it. At this rate, I’m seriously concerned we’ll be running out in shirts v skins when Arsenal come calling.

Is this a clue?

And as a final thought, the entire Last Word from 2019/20 aswell as all the programme articles (previously unpublished on line) and our season-finale guest columns from Natalie Sawyer and Kitman Bob remain available for download. The later in particular, my favourite column of the season as the inside story of the big build up to Wembley was revealed. With all proceeds going to Rob Rowan’s memorial fund for CRY, we couldn’t be looking to try and help a better or more personal cause to Brentford FC. If anybody can spare a few quid to help and wants to get hold of an amazing story, told averagely, then they can do so here. THANK YOU.

Nick Bruzon

Forget KLM, Top Man, JVC. Dave Gorman gets to the point

23 Sep

It’s all a bit quiet on the Brentford front this week and, frankly, after the mauling at Middlesbrough that suits me just fine. A chance for everyone to take stock and put the wheels back on ahead of Leeds United visiting Griffin Park on Saturday.

There’s no JPT action tonight (fortunately) and so if that’s your bag then I’m sure there’ll be commentary on Newport v Swindon somewhere. Likewise, (not so fortunately after we gifted Fulham their only positive result of an otherwise hilarious season) there’s no Capital One Cup.

That said for those still watching in that one, the highlights would seem to be Will Grigg getting the chance to test his shooting boots against Bradford – a tougher task than previous opponents Manchester United – and Middlesbrough hoping to prove that Saturday was no fluke with a visit to Liverpool.

So I hadn’t really planned on writing anything today, keeping the powder dry for Leeds at the weekend. Then I saw a tweet published by Billy Reeves. Specifically in regards to comedian Dave Gorman.

I’m very much a fan of the lumberjack shirt sporting, powerpoint wielding comedian whose new book ‘Too much information’ is out now. And I guess, theoretically, that makes him (unsubtle plug time) a label mate of yours truly on Amazon.

However, the proper point being that Billy shared an extract of this new work yesterday that really, to me summarised, exactly what it means to be a football supporter.

You can have your variations on stripes and sashes, but there are certain things that make a kit iconic. Those details that, every once in a while, transcend even the team colours themselves to be universally associated with a team

Move over KLM, Top Man, JVC and Ramsay Ladders. This, for me, nails it.

And Mr. Gorman says it so much better than I could ever try to.

The test of a real football fan (or just a kit nerd)

The test of a real football fan (or just a kit nerd)

Possibly the only thing ,lumberjack shirt aside, in common with Dave Gorman

Possibly the only thing in common with Dave Gorman

Who is the real Brains of the bunch? Is this our away shirt?

8 Jun

The atmosphere surrounding England in the forthcoming World Cup is, quite literally, electric but for me there is as much excitement in the drip feed of the new kits to be worn in the league next season. Of course, we all know what the Brentford home and goalkeeper efforts are going to look like but what about the away version?

It’s fair to say that nobody knows. Like the mid-season appointment of Warbs to the Griffin Park managerial hotseat, could it be as big a surprise? Well, the clues are out there for the eagle-eyed reader (for eagle eyed, see also: stabbing wildly in the dark).

As regular commentator Bernard Quackenbush mentioned the other day, the reveal of the Brentford kit very much resembled the opening credits of TV’s Thunderbirds. A close up of each ‘vehicle’ from which it would be impossible to recognise the final design spec until the camera pulled away for that wide angle ‘reveal’.

I quite liked this analogy, until I started to look a bit further into this year’s Adidas catalogue. Amongst their designs already released are those for Middlesborough (h) and West Ham (a). Both feature broad, diagonal sashes and, particularly in the case of West Ham, could have been taken direct from Gerry Anderson’s puppet laboratory (a more sinister sounding place, I’m yet to imagine).

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The Adidas ‘sash’ template for the forthcoming season. All a bit too ‘Gerry Anderson’

I have no issues with a shirt sash if done correctly – see Peru and Crystal Palace – but the latest Adidas effort is as subtle as Adrian Chiles desperately filling 40 minutes of lightning storm delayed England football last night. “Slow down”, he exhorted Ian Wright, “you’re talking too fast. Don’t you remember Poland? We’ve no idea how long we have to talk for”.

And given we seem to have thrown a lot of eggs in the basket marked ‘home and gk’, does this mean there is any room left for something special in the away design? Recent Brentford away efforts have seen black, yellow/black, black/gold, and the two-tone blue.

I’ve always been a fan of the latter but if we adopted this, with the aforementioned ‘sash’ template, then I can only see us with something very much akin to the West Ham model. And that would not be good.

Brentford away 2014??

Crudely photoshopped image of how a blue/blue sash kit might look

Still – this is all pure guess work. I have nothing more to base this on beyond unsubstantiated speculation and crazy theories. But it’s one to think about in the short term.

Our club hasn’t disappointed us so far and I am sure that, whenever the announcement is made (any comment, Mark Devlin?) we could be in for a treat.

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The Thunderbirds style home shirt ‘teaser campaign’. Number 4 is, erm, Gordon Tracy

BBC Billy has me worried about the Adidas shirt

3 May

I hadn’t planned a Brentford column this morning (too excited about the game) until Billy Reeves sent me a link to a story about the alleged new West Bromwich Albion kit for next season. I say alleged – it hasn’t been officially released although a quick trawl of the interweb suggests this is all but certain.

However, I note this because Brentford, like West Bromwich Albion, share a technical sponsor in Adidas. Brentford, like West Bromwich Albion, have a traditional shirt design of alternating stripes (the removal of which from the reverse has caused some recent controversy).

And West Brom, like Southampton before them, seem set to ditch the thick stripes for a plain shirt, offset by there merest hint of pin stripe.

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Are these West Brom’s shirts for next season?

Theoretically still stripes, but a marketing man’s wet dream as they now have a shirt ‘more likely to go with jeans and be worn causally‘ i.e. not just in the football ground. Instead, what you have is more urinating on club heritage and a team that, rather, could now look like a poor man’s Fulham.

And it has made me realise, again, that team kit is not just about the colours but also the principle design. Of course, there are going to be variants on the latter and even Brentford had two season’s of the thinner version – that made us look as though we played in pink from a distance of anything over five yard away. But, by and large, the shirt has been predominantly red and white striped.

Imagine Celtic playing in all green, Peru ditching their sash or the Loftus Road mob dropping the hoops (actually, that wouldn’t surprise me in the pursuit of boosting Harry’s transfer kitty but who cares)

We haven’t seen next season’s, Championship, design as yet. That is anticipated in June, according to a recent twitter post from Mark Devlin , but now I am desperately hoping that the Adidas marketing men haven’t tried to lead us down a plain-fronted rabbit hole.

I am confident we won’t be going that way. If nothing else, the 125th anniversary of the club will, more likely, see something über-traditional whilst teabag-gate has, surely, made the Griffin Park top brass aware of fan feeling. However, until I see it I can’t be sure.

Whatever we’ve picked though, it’s too late. I’m nervous but excited about the big reveal and, perhaps, hoping West Brom have a third kit.

With the Baggies only four points above the relegation trapdoor, if their home shirt is all white and away shirt all red, what are they going to wear at Griffin Park next season?

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The Bees have had thin stripes, teabags and old favourites – but what for 2014?