Tag Archives: Scottish

I’m glad I support Brentford rather than one big fish in a rapidly stagnating pond. And Dean speaks

5 Jul

Football is slowly waking up. This time last year, we were talking about Lincoln Red Imps of Gibraltar beating Celtic 1-0 in the Champions League qualifiers. Quite possibly the most embarrassing results in Scottish football history (to add to an already long list) yet last night they were equalled by fellow Glasgow side Rangers when the fourth best team in Luxembourg, part timers Progrès Niederkorn, knocked them out of Europe. And closer to home, Brentford boss Dean Smith has been up in front of the Sky sports cameras.

Ordinarily these pages wouldn’t look at the Scottish game but Rangers have held a bit of a fascination in recent years, given the circumstances which saw former Brentford boss Mark Warburton both join and leave the Ibrox club. “You walk around the stadium, the first time for me this morning, and you smell the history” he said upon becoming their manager in June 2015.

I’m sure this morning they’ll be smelling something rather different North of the border and Warbs will be very pleased with his decision to resign prior to joining Nottingham Forest. Internet bookmaker PaddyPower have already declared Celtic as league Champions prior to a ball being kicked although, to be fair, most bookies have them as 1/9 on at best to lift that particular silverware.

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Other bookmakers are also available

For all the ongoing talk about these two ‘giants’ of Scottish football joining the English Premier League, the totally one sided nature of their domestic league along with results such as those against Progrès or Lincoln show how out of touch they sadly are these days. A point made all the more apparent as after limping past the Gibraltarians last season, Celtic then endured complete capitulation in the group stages, failing to reach the Europa League whilst also suffering a 7(seven) goal bracketing.

Winning at home is nice, but to watch such consistently uncompetitive football must become a somewhat soul destroying affair. Where’s the genuine competition? Where’s the excitement? What’s the point when you win your league by a country mile or get kicked off the park the moment the competition hots up a bit. With your closest historical rival a shadow of their former selves, it really gives off the impression of going through the motions. Give me the Championship any day of the week.

Which is why the return to our own league campaign cannot come soon enough. Nobody could claim this division is one sided. Anything but, with Newcastle United’s title win going right down to the wire last season whilst Brentford have claimed more than their fair share of illustrious scalps over the last three campaigns. Three top ten finishes have surprised more than a few people outside of TW8 (most notably Ian Holloway) and I’m desperate for us to give this division another try.

The good news is that the Bees are now back in training and yesterday, ‘official’ released a video of head coach Dean Smith talking to Sky Sports News.

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Dean Smith spoke to Sky

In the interview, which you can see below, Dean sounds über positive. He talks about having had lots of fresh ideas and sharing our own sentiments that its good to be back after a long break. He has confirmed his top six aspirations along with a desire to keep hold of last seasons squad. Moreso given our strong finish to the campaign.

Then, somewhat randomly, the interview changes tack with the second half being taken up with a discourse on penalties. The recent England – Germany U-21 game. Dean Smith’s philosophy on penalty taking. As a player and as a head coach. It went on. I was half expecting him to be quizzed on Marcello Trotta.

A shame really,, as this was a somewhat wasted opportunity from Sky to dig into our plans, our set up and mindset. To find out how Dean has continued the great work already done by Warbs, Lee Carsley and, of course, the team behind the team.

A missed opportunity?

Then again, I’m more than happy being the underdog. Being that unfancied, under the radar team. Catching the likes of Leeds United, Derby County, Aston Villa, Mr Holloway et al with their pants down.

Nobody can deny the likes of Rangers and Celtic have huge stadiums, even bigger fan bases and plenty of historical honours. Likewise that Griffin Park is still only a 12,000 capacity ground with a trophy cabinet that is emptier than Arsenal’s.

But who wants to be the one big fish in a rapidly stagnating pond of tadpoles? A fish that gets gobbled up the moment any invasive species appears from the continent. The Championship, and beyond, is where it’s all at. Where the real action happens. Where real football takes place.

It’s July 5th. This time next month proceedings begin in anger with out trip to Sheffield United. I really cannot wait. It promises to be even bigger and better than ever before.

Nick Bruzon

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Life’s a pitch for Birmingham and Rangers as Bees get the picture

13 Aug

Life is never quiet at Brentford. The Birmingham City game, scheduled for Tuesday night at Griffin Park, has been put back a month due to the state of the pitch. And up in Glasgow, the Daily Record has ben laying in to us after publishing an article with Harlee Dean where the centre back has, apparently, been criticising Rangers manager Mark Warburton for his approach to set pieces.

It’s not the first time we’ve managed to upset the publication, through no fault of our own. Regular readers may recall last season’s bizarre attack on us from Barry Ferguson when Lewis Macleod joined from Rangers.

Now they have run an interview with Harlee (why he was talking to them, I have no idea) where he is purported to have said, “Last year we didn’t have one session on set-pieces and it showed on the pitch. That was Warbs’ way. Perhaps that’s where we fell short”.

Harlee took to Twitter to immediately leap to his former manager’s defence.However, even if taken out of context then I really wouldn’t be surprised.These are sentiments, regardless of how true they are, that I’d agree with based on what I saw last season.

Harlee states his admiration for Warbs following the interview

Harlee states his admiration for Warbs following the interview

Don’t take it short, it never f**king works” was a regular cry coming over the terrace whenever a corner kick was awarded. It was a cry usually ignored. As for free kicks – the absence of Sam Saunders was the death knell, Alex Pritchard deflections aside, for anything around the 25-yard box.

That said, if Harlee has been taken out of context on this occasion then perhaps he should just give the press a wide berth in future. It was only a few months ago that he gave an interview about the impending play off semi final with Middlesbrough, where he said, “Set-pieces and counter attacks are all they have got”.

We won’t talk about what happened next.

As for the Griffin Park pitch, we have finally succumbed to the inevitable following the 4-0 defeat to Oxford United in the cup.

Matthew Benham's team played the wrong game on Tuesday, as one New Road wag noted

Matthew Benham’s team played the wrong game on Tuesday, as one New Road wag noted

It will come as no surprise to anybody with eyes in their head but the club have spoken to the League and now got permission to postpone the game against Birmingham City. There had been no improvement from our opening day draw with Ipswich Town as chunks were being cut out of it with all the finesse of a drunken pensioner attempting to use a 9 iron for the first time.

Nobody could believe what they were seeing out there – the footballing equivalent of Victor Tourjansky in his trio of Roger Moore era ‘Bond’ film cameos. However, when even the Head coach and CEO are publically lambasting this then it was obvious something was going to have to give.

Whilst a disappointment for many, this is only a good decision. Aside from the impact it was having on our brand of football, the surface was presenting a serious injury risk to players.

Victor Tourjansky surveys the Griffin Park pitch form the hospitality lounge

Victor Tourjansky surveys the Griffin Park pitch from the hospitality lounge

Instead, Birmingham now visit on September 29th in a run that sees us play three successive home games over a ten day period. Let’s hope this beds in a bit better second time around.

And finally, we’ve updated our team profile pictures. Vistors to the official site would have seen the players posing in what seems to be a Garden centre – or perhaps Kew Gardens.

There was no sign of Lewis Macleod although given his aversion to twigs, perhaps best to keep the former Rangers man away from shrubbery.

Is Lewis hiding in the bushes?

Is Lewis hiding in the bushes?

Nick Bruzon

What happens next as Rangers prepare to announce Warbs ?

15 Jun

Former Brentford manager Mark Warburton is today (Monday) finally set to be revealed as the new man in charge at Rangers. Swapping the English Championship for the Scottish, he takes David Weir with him and puts to bed one of the most rumoured, but prolonged, stories doing the rounds.

Brentford fans have, of course, known since February that Mark and David would be leaving us following the Football Village affair prior to the home game against Watford. But until the stories about Rangers started to circulate last month, most of us assumed he would be staying South of the border.

News sources as diverse as the BBC, Herald Scotland and even City A.M. (worth reading that one for the input of Brentford fan, reporter and podcaster Billy Grant) are now reporting that Mark will be officially unveiled in a 2pm press conference on Monday.

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 !