Tag Archives: Shaleum Logan

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.

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Tangerine dream becomes a Halloween nightmare.

2 Nov

You have to feel for Blackpool supporters. With chairman Karl Oyston doing his best to make friends and influence people, the visit of play off chasing Ipswich Town on Saturday coincided with the arrival of new manager, Lee Clark. And where new managers and controversial owners go, Clem from the Football League show is sure to follow.

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.

Nice work PG as Norris chucks Bees

4 Jul

And relax. After a two day break the World Cup is back tonight. Fortunately, there has been plenty to keep us occupied in the last day or so – and not just at Brentford but everywhere else from Gibraltar to Florida and beyond.

Starting with the Bees, the big news for me was not the announcement of our home friendlies against Nice and Espanyol. That said, these are both very exciting fixtures against teams in their domestic top flights and are sure to be a stern test for Brentford. I’d imagine there’ll be big crowds at each (let’s hope the ticketing arrangements are done differently to the Celtic affair) whilst I’m particularly intrigued by the French visit.

Nice’s goalkeer is David Ospina who, of course, is currently plying his trade in the World Cup for Colombia andis due to play this evening against Brazil. It will be very interesting to see how he fares against Brazil international striker Neymar and then compare this to the performance of Northern Ireland International Will Grigg. I’m banking our man will score more than the, so called, “poster boy of Brazilian football” (© everywhere) .

Neither was it the announcement that Luke Norris has turned down a contract offer at Griffin Park and, instead, chosen to join the home for retired Bees (not Wycombe Wanderers) at Gillingham. Good luck with that, Luke.

It’s a shame he’s chosen to leave as, one would have thought, the challenge of breaking into a Championship side would have been a huge lure. However, I’m sure he has his reasons. For us, it will be interesting to see what happens next with Brentford’s dwindling attacking options.

For me, though, THE news was something I’d hoped for in the previous article – the return of Peter Gilham’s tour diary. You can find this, here, on the official site as PG keeps us up to speed with the latest news from our training camp in Florida. I won’t ruin the surprise, suffice to say that I’ve learnt a fascinating fact about footballer’s ‘flight socks’.

Coming soon to a bookshop near you?

 

Top stuff, Peter. I’m glad it’s back and I’ll be staying glued. Keep up the great work.

Away from Griffin Park, it is incredible to think that despite ‘pre-season’ barely underway and the World Cup only at quarter final stage (or, ‘the round of 8’ as FIFA would probably call it), qualifying for European competition has already begun.

Last night saw former Bees Shaleum Logan and Niall McGinn both on the score sheet as Aberdeen beat Daugava Riga 5-0 in the Europa League qualifying rounds.

However, this was a mere appetiser for the main European story and it is here I must apologise to Lincoln. Not City, now of the Conference Premier, but Red Imps, the champions of the Gibraltar Premier Division.

Regular readers will know of my Gibraltarian heritage and fascination with all things ‘Team 54’ (being the name by which our national side became known as they, finally, became UEFA’s newest members in May 2013). It received several columns over the course of last season and, indeed, I’m hoping to travel to Germany this November to see them in UEFA qualifying action.

However, Wednesday night saw the Lincoln Red Imps become the first Gibraltarian team to begin a Champion’s League qualifying campaign where, despite taking the lead, they were eventually held 1-1 at home by HB Torshavn of the Faroe Islands.

Whatever the result, this was an event of huge footballing significance and so I apologise for not mentioning this yesterday. Well done Lincoln – now finish the job on the return leg. The lure of a tie with Partizan Belgrade awaits the winners!

Similar congratulations to College Europa, for an equally historic moment last night. Despite going down 0-3 in Liechenstein to FC Vaduz, they’ll be sure a big crowd as the Europa League makes it’s debut in Gib for the return leg.

Who knows where this will all lead but I’m already looking forward to that moment in a few years time where Peter Gilham’s tour diary comes from a Champion’s League qualifier from ‘The Rock’.

Stranger things have happened……

‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ (The story of Brentford’s season 2013/14 and a smattering of ‘Team 54’ ) – 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.

 

Chuck jeans

Farewell to Luke ‘Chuck’ Norris – man of ‘action’

Some people are on the pitch, again

27 Mar

The big story from last night’s Scottish football (surely, an oxymoron if ever there was one) saw Brentford loanee Farid El Alagui spend the evening as an unused substitute for Dundee United. In other news, Celtic won the title.

Reading the reports and looking at the pictures  you’d think Celtic had won the FA Cup, the way their fans celebrated. Mind you, they’ve got form at this sort of thing, as Brentford fans may well remember from the pre-season ‘home’ friendly at Griffin Park.

To lose once in thirty league games at any level is an impressive feat but, ultimately, they are the thoroughbred in a one horse race. All it really means is that this season’s thoroughbred has the chance to become next season’s seaside donkey in the Champion’s League.

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.

“Your vocabulary is as crude and as blunt as the football Brentford play”

16 Feb

Not my words but those of a visiting Wolves fan to this site, only yesterday. Its a fair point, in part. Whilst my ‘style’ probably is of the unsophisticated sort associated with a humble blog rather than a Premiership /League One matchday programme, the same cannot be said about Brentford’s style of play. Just ask Crewe.

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.

Brentford and Wolves already ahead of the game – its deadline day.

31 Jan

Warning: It’s deadline and stress could ensue.  At the top of League One, Brentford and Wolves have already been reshuffling this week with things reaching a head yesterday.

Starting with the team currently leading the play off pack, Wolves have signed Leon Clarke for three quarters of a million pounds from their League One rivals Coventry City– more than double what they originally allowed him to leave Molineux for seven years ago.

On paper, a good signing (whatever the cost) but given the strength in their squad already, is this a piece of over tinkering akin to Newcastle signing Faustino Asprilla in February 1996? T

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.

At home a loan (or 3) help Bees return to form

20 Oct

Well, that one wasn’t so much the ‘game of two halves’ as ‘the game of Brentford’s two personalities’.

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.

The A-Z of the season, so far

21 Sep

With no game this Saturday and a rather slow news week for Brentford, I thought I’d catch my breath to look at the season, so far. So here it is,  using the oh so desperate medium of an A to Z list ….

A – Adidas. Our technical sponsor and shirt supplier (in theory). I said my piece on them in the previous column.

B – Beach. The preferred holiday destination of our former number one, if Herr Rösler is to be believed. (Just who is that watching the volleyball in Cardiff? below).

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C – Carlisle. A bizarrely disallowed goal for Toumani Diagouraga was about all we could take home from a game that ended up being an insomniac’s wet dream. 0-0 and, to paraphrase the famous Shankley-ism, both sides were lucky to get nil.

D – Donaldson. Guess who’s back? Clayton’s back. On form, that is. His wining goal against Walsall was followed up with two more against Tranmere.

E – El-Alagui.  Farid is fit again. Farid is scoring again. A last gasp equaliser at Gillingham and a virtuoso performance against AFC Wimbledon in the JPT. C’est magnifique!

F – Fulham. Comedy opportunities were taken down a level with the news this week that they are returning the Michael Jackson statue to Mr Al Fayed. No idea what he will do with this but please, Mr Benham, don’t get any ideas…

G – Goalkeepers. David Button, Jack Bonham, Richard Lee and Liam O’Brien. How many have we named already? And with rumours flying around at one point that Simon may have ben returning on loan, who knows who will be between the sticks by the end of the campaign.  Great to see Richard fit again, and my money is on him!

H – Hammered. It happens. We’ve had it at Derby and Bradford, conceding a total of nine goals without reply. What doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger – just no more repeats, please: -)

I – Internationals. Brentford’s (not, on loan’s) Will Grigg has come off the bench twice for Northern Ireland in recent months. He featured in the shock win against Russia and then again as the team came back down to earth in the Luxembourg game

J – JPT. The Bees have successfully negotiated the first two rounds of a competition that represents an excellent opportunity to finally lay the hoodoo of the ‘W’ place. Next up, Peterborough (a).

K – Keith Stroud. Has carried on where he left off last season, having shown 29 yellows and two reds in the 6 (six) games he has officiated so far this season. A stat so shocking it has necessitated the rarely seen  ‘pre-seven’ bracket.

L – Lionel Road with a small, but vocal minority making noises against the current scheme to build a new stadium, have you sent in your support yet? The club have made it very easy so please do get involved. Every response counts.

M – McAleny. The excitement, the ability, the horrendous bad luck. Conor was looking like another lad straight out of the Goodison Park barrel marked ‘talent’, until that awful injury put paid to his Brentford career after just three appearances. Get well soon.

N – Ninth. Where Brentford currently sit, as it stands. Only eight places off their anticipated final position.

O – O’Connor, Kevin. – With our club captain back to fitness, ‘Mr Brentford’ is getting ever closer to that 500th appearance. Full back; centre back; centre mid. Is there anything he can’t do? Has definitely recovered from the terrible injury and even worse video-bombing (below) he suffered last season.

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(Harlee Dean, allegedly, over the moon about his work on Beesplayer)

P -Penalty. We’ve scored one! Adam Forshaw has written himself into Brentford history by converting from the spot in open play. The goal, against Tranmere, secured the three points for Brentford.

Q – Qatar Airways. Still getting a free advert on the roof of the New road Stand. Come on, marketing crew….

R – Rainbow laces. Here’s hoping the boys will be showing their support to the anti-homophobia campaign on Monday night. Uwe’s backing it, as he told visitors to the club website this week.

S – Sky. Cripes, we are back in front of the Sky cameras on Monday v Leyton Orient. Nobody needs reminding how it went last time that happened.

T – Tranmere – ‘It ain’t over till it’s over’, sang pop music’s Lenny Kravitz on his 1991 hit parade troubling single.  Tell that to Tranmere Rovers. They were dancing in the vomitories of Prenton Park after pulling it back to 3-3 in the 90th minute. Until Adam Forshaw popped up, deep into injury time, to help bag the win.

U – United. Sheffield were trounced 3-1. (and that only tells half the story) on a sunny afternoon at Griffin Park. Adam Forshaw’s first half strike eclipsing Shaleum Logan’s from the previous week as an early contender for goal of the season.

V – Venta – another signing straight out of left field. Javi, a champion’s league veteran, is as comfortable queuing with the fans in the burger queue as he is on the pitch.

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W – Window (transfer)  – flippin’ ‘eck, Uwe! Marcello Trotta. A ballsy move but I hope, a brilliant one. Hasn’t been given a massive opportunity so far due to the red card incident at Bradford but the patches we have seen suggest this could be inspired stuff.

X – eX players. There are a few doing the rounds. Highlights include Charlie McDonald becoming acquainted with the penalty box at Oldham and Gary Alexander’s Van Bastenesque effort for Crawley as they stunned league high fliers Peterborough. However, the real surprise is seeing Lewis Grabban banging them in for fun at Bournemouth in the Championship.

Y – Yeovil Town. Oh dear.  Seeing them being torn apart on the Football League Show every weekend is so frustrating, knowing just how much better than them we would have been. If ever there was an incentive needed to get over the line this season, there it is.

Z – Zones. As it stands Brentford are only one point outside the dreaded play off zone (PLEASE get those four needed to take us into an automatic place).

Is it time to give Adi,Das Boot up Der Backside?

17 Sep

It almost feels like heresy asking this question.

For years, the legendary 1980-81 Adidas top has been the ‘Holy Grail’ for Brentford fans and shirt collectors. A ‘one season only’ deal with the German giants, you’ve more chance of Keith Stroud keeping the red card in his pocket (latest beneficiary – Shane Lowry, Millwall v Derby, Sept 15th) than finding one of these. As stylish as a night out with Sam Saunders, Shaleum Logan and Allan Cockram ‘dressed to kill’ (not literally, that would be murder) the optimistic request to see if anybody has a spare is a regular visitor to the GPG. Indeed, you can see where it ranks in my all time top ten home shirts (not that I have one) further along.

As such, when the rumours and leaked photographs were confirmed, and the announcement was made that Adidas were returning as our technical sponsor, the excitement was palpable. Moreso given the previous campaign’s lack of stripes on Puma’s ‘tea bag/string vest’ effect back.

ImageInitial reaction was positive. A bold yet simple design whilst an unperforated back meant there was no way you’d leave a sunny game looking as though you’d fallen asleep on a bed of nails. There were still no stripes on the reverse (league regulations – to which Sheffield United were immune – apparently) but, at least, a vivid red akin to the British Lions rugby team.

Dare I say it; I actually find this a good look (although I also have a penchant for the white yoke of the Osca ’83). A touch of black, perhaps on the famous stripes, would have been the cherry on the sartorial cake but that aside, a very well received shirt.

So far, so good. Until you tried to get hold of one. Initial supplies were delayed, despite advance order, to the point where even the players had to go on the pre-season tour of, ironically, Germany in generic training wear and last season’s strip.

Whilst our female supporters have been spared the indignity of having their bra straps on show this time round, they’ll have to do it in a man’s shirt (or, ‘home’ as it is branded). The world’s most famous sport’s manufacturer doesn’t do a female fit shirt, although to be fair this also seems to be an issue for the clubs they supply in the Premiership. Look at Southampton or Fulham’s websites, for example, and you see the same ‘home’ shirt.  Indeed, you have to go up as high as Chelsea before finding an English team for whom they produce a female specific fit. Welcome to the 21st century!

Then there were the issues with the sponsor on the away kit before, finally, new supplies were received yesterday (Monday).

Except if you are an adult ‘XL’. You’ll have to wait until Christmas if you’d like one of those but, hey, at least it’s not a common size.

Now I don’t hold the club particularly responsible for this. They have been at pains to make out how they have been let down. That said, it seems a farcical situation. Do Adidas want to have their cake and eat it- a massive branded shop, a contract with an upcoming club but then no supply? Have the club sold their soul for the thirty pieces of silver that is the panache of an Adidas deal, and now have to suffer the consequences of a supplier who doesn’t appear to give a monkey? Have the Germans even made a statement of apology to the club and fans?

It’s a massive shame as it is a great kit and, with stripes on the back already confirmed for next season, there is still hope for a ‘best ever’ Brentford shirt. Assuming we’ll have them in the club shop.

I just hope somebody in Brentford’s marketing team is able to renegotiate the deal in our favour because, as an outsider looking in, we seem to be over the proverbial barrel. After the Puma sizing debacle you’d think we’d learn. Fingers crossed, then, that someone is given an almighty boot in the Adidas branded ball bag and pulls their finger out. Its time we earned our stripes.

The top ten Brentford home shirts.

Much to Mrs. Bruzon’s despair, my side of the wardrobe is taken up with Brentford shirts I’ve collected over the years. Various tops have become ‘the lucky one’ before some previously unforeseen twist of fate (usually Stroud related) has necessitated a new ‘lucky one’. Over the summer, I was talking to Mark Chapman about the feature the club have now started on old shirts in the match day programme and it got me thinking. I’ve already published my top ten league horrors from this season but what are my top ten Brentford classics? Well, with a bit of help from the good people at the ‘historical kits’ website (which is well worth a mooch around), here they are….

Image10:  2004-05 Our Sponsor is St George. Why not add a horizontal red bar to fashion a St. George cross? As marketing ideas go, it’s so ridiculous it’s genius.

 

 

 

 

 

Image9 : 1998-2000 Memories of Hermann, Ron Noades (there were a couple of good ones), Lloyd Owusu and that last game ‘winner takes all’ title decider at Cambridge United. We won.

 

 

 

 

 

Image8: 1992 -94 Farewell Osca. Goodbye Chad. Welcome Hummel. Finally, a brand you’d heard of outside West London.  The great Danes supplying a shirt that had the honour of seeing Brentford’s brief foray into the second tier of League football.

 

 

 

 

 

Image7: 1904-05 Its not red and white but was worn in our first ever season at Griffin Park. Bonus points awarded by the humungous error that saw the ‘Toffs’ retro shirt company try to reproduce this from a colourised b&w photo – oops.

 

 

 

 

 

Image6: 2000-02 Play off pain but Paul Gibbs; BBB; Paul Evans. We had fun getting there and looked good to boot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image5: 1976-77 Central badge; no sponsor. Awesome stuff. We should try it again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image4: 1988-89 Pin stripes & a funky bee. They shouldn’t work. They didn’t. But, actually, time is a great healer and the memory od seeing Gary Blissett & co embark on THAT cup run probably helps this sit higher up than it has any right to do so.

 

 

 

 

 

Image3 1980-81 This is it. The Adidas effort. Everybody wants it .I love it. Could we be going down this route next year?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image2: 1983-84 This. Is. Brilliant. The Marmite of Brentford shirts. To some, an abhoration. To others (well, me) it’s brilliant. Given the choice, I’d take this over the Adidas every time. What WERE they thinking?

 

 

 

 

 

Image1 1990-92 KLM sponsored. Chad manufactured. Title winning. Simple but stunning and the most evocative of memories. My all time favourite, hands down

‘A life without risk is no life at all’

25 Aug

Not my words (as ever) but those from the home page of Conor McAleny’s Twitter account. When I first wrote this on Sunday, news as to the extent of his injury in the game against Walsall had yet to be released. The only real information we had was Uwe’s interview from Saturday night where he described it as ‘Very, very nasty’.

The way he went to ground and the length of time he was being treated left us fearing the worst but hoping things weren’t as bad as they looked. Although there has been no official statement from either Brentford or Everton, Conor himself took to Twitter on Sunday evening to confirm:

Absolutely devastated about breaking my leg yesterday.. Never been this down in my life. No point dwellin on it now because thats football.. .. And these things happen. I know for a fact i’ll come back a stronger person physically and mentally. Thanks for the kind words people x “

It’s terrible news for a player whom, from the brief glimpses we have already been afforded as to his prodigious talent, would seem to have a fantastic future ahead of him.  So I’ll wish him good luck, a speedy recovery and fingers crossed we’ll see you back at Griffin (and Goodison) Park sooner than later.

On the pitch, it was a case of three more points in an exciting, albeit buttock-clenching, game. All the more impressive given the weather was wetter than Coldplay and Keane composing lovesongs whilst drinking dilute tea on the ocean floor. Brentford dominated the first half and Adam Forshaw must have thought he had bettered his goal against Sheffield United with a rasping shot that had the goalkeeper beaten all ends up.

ImageIf anything, he hit it too well and but for the crossbar (how many times have we heard THAT at Griffin Park?) could have had another contender for ‘goal of the season’. Certainly it was a strike reaching the 110% marker on the ‘Wellness scale of shot methods’.

 

 

 

 

 

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.