Tag Archives: Sepp Blatter

Putting the ‘beautiful’ back into our game. THIS is why I love my club

23 Dec

What can you say? Brentford have done it again. With most fans looking forward to the Boxing Day clash with Brighton, Tuesday night saw the focus on our Junior Bees as Griffin Park opened its gates for their now annual ‘Meet the players Christmas party.’ And, as ever, Brentford showed just what a great family club we are.

The squad was out in force signing ‘player cards’, posing for photographs and taking part in all manner of football related activities. Also present were Buzz and Buzzette, along with chairman Cliff Crown.

But it was the attitude that really impressed me. To a man, they were nothing but absolutely welcoming to our young fans (along with mums and dads) when, being honest, they may well have preferred to be sat indoors in front of Holby City on what was a wet and windy evening.

IMG_5648

A very happy two year old

To put on an event of this nature so close to Christmas shows, yet again, what a fantastic family environment we have at Griffin Park. The players and all others involved in the set up were an absolute credit to the club.

It’s very easy to criticise and, at times this season, I have done. However, even the most Scrooge-like amongst us could only have been impressed by what happened last night. For a team knocking on the door of the Premier League (and with the Bees just two points outside the play-off zone, we all know how significant a win over Brighton at the weekend could be), it was so refreshing to see how down to earth Brentford remain.

The sport has, rightly at times, come into much criticism for having a reputation of avaricious greed whilst Messrs Platini and Blatter are hardly portraying the beautiful game in a beautiful light at present. Yet what happened at Griffin Park was a wonderful check to remind us what is at the heart of football.

Great job all round – and THANK YOU. If nothing else, I’ve now got a son who worships Buzzette. Not bad compared to this time last year.

HB and Buzzette xmas 2014 2015

Left – December 2014. Right – December 2015

The other news of note was the fantastic ‘wall of fame’ that has sprung up behind the Braemar Road stand. I know Bournemouth did something similar a few seasons back and I’d always thought this might be a nice touch if we could make our own attempt.

Well, we have, and I have to say it looks absolutely stunning. Do get along early on Saturday for a look. Honouring players from Jimmy Jay via the likes of Ken Coote, Jim Towers and George Francis it takes us on a trip through the annals of club history, right up to Kevin O’Connor.

A stunning piece of artwork and one which has the memories flooding back. If only for Gary Blissett and his short shorts.

Will any of today’s players join that illustrious list? On Saturday, we’ll take another step on the journey to finding out.

Wall of fame

Some of the more recent entries on the ‘wall of fame’

Nick Bruzon

 

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How to make friends and influence people…or not

29 May

As Brentford fans wait for the managerial void to be filled (May 30th being Mark Warburton’s last day in that role) there was plenty going on elsewhere yesterday as Southend United and Charlton Athletic did their best to alienate league rivals and supporters respectively. Meanwhile, the rumour mill was linking Everton and Brentford, again, although this time with a player moving away from Griffin Park.

First up though, social media. I’ve long had a sense of nervous trepidation when clubs use their official ‘twitter’ accounts for (alleged) comedy purposes or ‘getting down with the kidz’. At best it falls flat on it’s face in a cringeworthy mess; at worst it is nothing more than bullying. Very few get it right.

I’ll spare you another lecture on #trophyfriends – our own efforts in this field are legion (whether through the official club account or employees stating their opinions regarding the team). That said, Mark Warburton and (especially) Matthew Benham seem the exception to this rule with the latter providing a number of genuinely amusing moments over the season and his use of cryptic video clues to reveal transfer news.

Matthew Benham - genius and winner of social media

Matthew Benham – genius and winner of Twitter.

Then Charlton Athletic came along and seemed to buck the ‘official trend’ . Their comment when all at the Goldsands were celebrating a promotion for Bournemouth stopped the football world dead in its tracks and made us all think….what if? This, from the club that had earlier released the security camera footage of a couple ‘scoring’ on the centre spot after breaking into The Valley (not a euphemism) – later revealed to be a stunt to promote pitch hire.

Charlton Athletic - former kings of twitter

Charlton Athletic – former kings of twitter

Then yesterday it all came crashing down.

Seemingly, the club have taken exception to one of their supporters having the temerity to suggest they invest more on the pitch than off it. Putting aside his grammatical faux pas (‘there’ rather than ‘their’ ranks alongside ‘expresso’ as typos to infuriate) was there any other reason to respond in such cutting fashion? Moreso, via that most heinous of social media weapons – a meme (surely something which should be outlawed by the Geneva convention)?

Putting down their own fans - via meme….

Putting down their own fans – via meme….

But if this act of humiliating/bullying (delete as applicable) a supporter in front of thousands was bad enough, Southend United went one better (or should that be worse?) in regards to Leyton Orient.

In a time when we are, rightly, being constantly asked to show respect on and off the pitch, they’ve really let things fester after a spat that seems to have started in February. Revenge may be a dish best served cold but this is nothing more than kicking a fellow team in the nuts when they are down. Let’s see if they live to regret this in 12 months time…

Southend United - gracious winners

Southend United – gracious winners

As for Brentford and Everton, several news sources were suggesting the Goodison Park team are showing an interest in England U-20 star, Moses Odubajo. Hopefully, this is just one of the numerous rumours floating around cyberspace that we will be deluged with as the papers desperately look for something to talk about over the summer months.

Moses has made a fantastic step up from League One to the Championship; moreso, as somebody who started as a winger and had to be shifted to right back after injury to Alan McCormack – a position he went on to occupy for the rest of the season.

Mind you, it shows how well we have done even for it to be suggested that Everton are looking at a player form the Brentford first team, rather than us raiding their youth system as has happened so many times in the last few seasons.

And finally, in the latest updated from the FIFA scandal, Sepp Blatter released another statement saying that he was totally unaware of any wrongdoing and couldn’t possibly be expected to police FIFA. Or, rather, football as he conveniently removed as much reference to his own, allegedly, corrupt organisation as was possible.

In the end it all ended up sounding a little bit ‘Bart Simpson’…

Any excuse to crowbar The Simpsons into this blog.

The amalgamated Last Word season compendium: Tales from the football village (from Saunders territory to unchartered ground), is now available to download onto Kindle (and other electronic reading device) in full.

Running from July 2014 – May 2015 it contains some additional material and is available for less than the cost of a Griffin Park matchday programme. Including all the info on our own social media highs and lows, along with a full review of the season just gone, it’s the e-book that nobody is talking about – but that you might well enjoy.

   

The waiting game sucks; let’s play Hungry, Hungry Hippos.

28 May

Not my words but those of Homer Simpson and, with almost three months until the Championship season starts once more, it could be a long wait for Brentford fans. That’s over 70 (seventy) days until we resume rivalries with the likes of Middlesbrough, Fulham and Wolves. As intriguingly, we’ll also be welcoming QPR back to a division they managed to leave for an entire season. Sadly, though, they’ll be without Joey Barton – what a midfield match up with Jonathan Douglas that would have been.

So until then, what have got to look forward to (apart from breaking out the Hungry, Hungry Hippos)? It’s only three weeks until the fixtures are published (June 17th, being the appointed date for that one) and we can start planning those trips around the country.

From a TW8 perspective, there’s no word on those two most important of things needed to start the campaign. A kit to play in and a new manager (or ’head coach’, given our new model).

At least in the case of the latter, Marinus Dijkhuizen from Dutch Eredivisie side Excelsior remains the name on everybody’s lips. If you believe what you read in the papers then he is, supposedly, set to be announced any day soon. Whilst there is no smoke without fire, I’ve been surprised by Matthew Benham too many times in the past to believe anything I read until I see it confirmed in print.

Certainly Griffin Park had nothing much going on for the casual observer yesterday, beyond the hum of machinery as work on the pitch continued.

Manager Watch: 12.32pm 27th May… No sighting

Manager Watch: 12.32pm 27th May… No sighting

As for the kit, there’s no word even on a release date. All we know is that it will be a bespoke Adidas design. As somebody who takes more interest in the history/selection of the Bee’s kit than is probably healthy, this is an announcement that I’m looking forward to as much as any over the summer.

Moreso, as the other clubs in ‘the pyramid’ have started to release their efforts with some of these even seeing the light of day at the back end of the season just gone. The always excellent ‘Historical Football Kits’ website have now officially ‘opened’ their 2015/16 gallery and for those interested in such sartorial matters, you can find that here. Crawley Town, Bradford City and Watford being among some of the braver/more creative (delete as applicable) efforts already on offer.

Until then, we’ve got the FIFA corruption case to keep us intrigued over the summer. This, following the arrest by the FBI yesterday of 6 senior officials, is sure to be a protracted affair.

That said, it also promises to be an entertaining one as the case for long desired clarity starts to build. The U.S. Department of Justice have already begun in style, mangling their metaphors with the declaration that “This is the World Cup of fraud and today we are issuing FIFA a red card.” Let’s hope they end up issuing something a little bit stronger than a stern talking to

Sepp Blatter, meanwhile, eventually released a statement in the late afternoon in which he described the events as ‘unfortunate’ although didn’t go as far as referring to football as a village. However, there was no word in this as to whether the current elections will be postponed or the World Cups of 2018 and 2022 re-evaluated.

As the clamour is sure to grow on both fronts, this may not be as quiet a summer as we might have thought a week ago.

And, in the meantime, if you want some further distraction until it all starts again, you can relive the events of 2014/15 in the amalgamated Last Word season compendium: Tales from the football village (from Saunders territory to unchartered ground)

Running from July 2014- May 2015 it contains some additional material and is now available to download onto Kindle (and other electronic reading device) in full for less than the cost of a Griffin Park match day programme.

The alternative is Hungry, Hungry Hippos

The alternative is Hungry, Hungry Hippos

Golden balls but where were the Bees?

13 Jan

My social media time line was nothing but Ballon d’Or, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as the results of the FIFA player of the year, goal of the year and World XI (amongst others) were announced on Monday. Whilst undoubtedly prestigious awards, the accompanying hot air and time taken to string it out was as painful as listening to a Steve Evans post match interview. But nowhere near as funny. Besides, the whole thing was rendered largely meaningless to me by the lack of any Brentford players in contention for selection.

Where was Jonathan Douglas jostling with Ronaldo for the main prize or David Button forcing Manuel Neuer out of the team? Much as Brentford have come on leaps and bounds, we are still some way off being forced to don the dinner jackets and meet Sepp Blatter. Which, given the hype and tedium of all that surrounded this, is probably no bad thing.

Instead , I gave up on it to read about the Creme egg scandal gripping the nation and wonder what will happen, should the club perform their annual ‘programme and confectionery’ promotion for season ticket holders later this season.

Creme eggs - all change at Cadburys

Creme eggs – all change at Cadbury

But catching up this morning on the fall out from the ceremony, I noticed one honour that had got little or no mention at the time, certainly relative to the shootout between Messi, Neuer and Ronaldo – Sepp Blatter’s Presidential award. Rather than being the right to host the World Cup for whoever handed over the biggest bag of cash (because, of course, that would never happen) this rank is, and I quote, “bestowed upon a person or institution that has made a superlative contribution to football without seeking to monopolise the limelight”.

And whilst long serving Peter Gilham was not up for nomination (yet) it went to a 90 year old former Japanese player and current journalist, Hiroshi Kagawa who covered his tenth World Cup finals last year. So modest is Kagawa that, talking about the event, he said “I was sceptical about coming to this ceremony today. But my friends in Japan said I must come – even if only to meet Manuel Neuer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, and bring back some autographs”

Does FIFA have a decent heart amidst all the rumours of corruption and self-serving? One can only hope.

 Long serving Kagawa receives his award (no autograph book for Sepp, though) 

Embed from Getty Images