Tag Archives: skyex

Brentford relax as QPR & Manchester United clash

15 Sep

Brentford fans were able to take it easy on Sunday, basking in the satisfaction of another three points at the weekend (Brighton being the benefactors). With Norwich City next up, a win on Tuesday night will take us above the, currently second placed, Canaries and the returning Lewis Grabban. That’s one to look forward to tomorrow but for now I need to complete the weekend review with the ‘devil and the deep blue sea’ decision that was Manchester United v QPR on Sky.

Specifically – two questions. First up, who to cheer for? Manchester United had, prior to this game, actually endured a worse start under Louis van Gaal than they had under David Moyes. As somebody who supports a team traditionally seen as an underdog, there’s always a particular pleasure in seeing the larger clubs come a cropper. And in England they don’t (Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal aside) come much bigger than United.

Last season’s spectacular fall from grace was a thing of beauty for all of those outside of the Home Counties and Greater Manchester to behold. The traditional United fanbase stunned by their team’s unprecedented self-destruction as even Europa League qualification evaded them.

So when things continued in the same vein this campaign, I won’t pretend I wasn’t pleased to see more of this. Cripes – even Will Grigg managed to rediscover his prolific shooting boots against the Red Devils. But then Louis went shopping and normal service looks like it has been resumed – well, it was fun whilst it lasted.

United allowed Will Grigg to rediscover his early Brentford form

United allowed Will Grigg to rediscover his early Brentford form

But if we didn’t cheer for United then the alternative was the Loftus Road mob. I can’t imagine any circumstance where I’d willfully hope they won. No offence to any QPR fans who may read but, like Fulham, a victory over our West London neighbours is always one to savour. Any sign of our geographical rivals tripping up is a moment to appreciate how good life can be.

So in the end, it was one of those where you just sat back to see what the footballing gods throw at you. With United meting out a 4-0 thrashing that, at one point, looked like it was heading towards those fabulous brackets that come with 7(seven), it’s fair to say that this Brentford fan was left happy with the outcome.

Second question. United play in red shirts, white shorts and black socks. QPR play in (predominantly) blue and white shirts, white shorts and white socks. In theory, this shouldn’t have presented any kit clash beyond, perhaps, a switch to blue shorts.

So why, short of some Fergiesque excuse about being unable to see each other against the crowd, did the visitors need to don their third kit? Moreso as it is almost identical to the home version. Socks and shorts are both white but the shirt simply drops the blue.

It seemed a totally unnecessary exercise in justifying a superfluous third kit. One for the marketing men to answer. Still, if they carry on with results like this then there may be a rather hefty fine to pay. Going to need to shift more than a few extra shirts to cover that one.

Interestingly, Brighton’s blue and white didn’t seem to present any problems against our red and white in the weekend game. With the club now posting their YouTube highlights, you can savour that fine win once more (and see how two teams cope with a non-existent kit clash).

 

View from the terrace - there was no problem picking out bue and white against red and white at Griffin Park

View from the terrace – there was no problem picking out bue and white against red and white at Griffin Park

Seagulls left following the trawler as Clem works more ‘magic’

14 Sep

Brentford sailed into the Championship play off zone after a thrilling 3-2 win over Brighton. In a performance considered by most to be our best since going up, the Seagulls had to be content with scraps as the trawler marked ‘S.S. Brentford’ left Brighton floundering in her wake.

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.

Despite Exeter City dropping two points, Clem's form still remains better than that of Fulham

Despite Exeter City dropping two points, Clem’s form still remains better than that of Fulham

What were they thinking? The best of the worst

13 Sep

Finally, match day! Brentford welcome Brighton to Griffin Park for a Championship clash that could see a win for either side take them into the play off zone. No doubt the interweb will be awash with match previews and talk on this subject, so I’d like to make my focus on our visitors slightly different – with due apologies in advance to any Brighton fans who may be reading.

As a self confessed kit-nerd, the Last Word has plenty of features on the best and worst of the shirts Brentford have worn over the years. We’ve had some pretty decent stabs at changing the red and white stripes around but, with a few odd exceptions, they follow a fairly similar template.

Like the Bees, since their inception as Brighton and Hove Albion for the start of the 1901-02 season our visitors have largely worn stripes – albeit blue and white. However, unlike the Bees they have experimented with these to a level that has fluctuated between stunning to “What were they thinking”?

In the first of a semi-regular feature, the Last Word is delving into the kitbag to look at the best, although largely worst, of our opponent’s kits through the ages.

The best : 1985-87. Remember the controversy at Griffin Park when we lost our (back) stripes for two seasons? Not only does this remove them from the front but then replaces them with horizontal ones – both thick (shoulder) and pinstripe (main body).

By all rights this should look like a prototype for the Loftus Road mob yet somehow, thanks to the class of Adidas, it works. A retro classic.

Despite ditching the stripes, it's a modern classic

Despite ditching the stripes, it’s a modern classic

The unfortunate design : 1989-91 Supplied by the good people at Sports Express this goes straight to the bottom of the pile for it’s uncanny resemblance to a Tesco carrier bag. A masterstroke in subliminal advertising or just a really, really bad design? Either way, one that should never be recycled.

Must.Resist.Deliberate  'Tesco bag / shirt (l-r)' caption mix up

Must.Resist.Deliberate ‘Tesco bag / shirt (l-r)’ caption mix up

The worst : 1991-93 deckchair If the Tesco bag was a fashion faux–pas, the club were only destined to repeat the same mistakes with their next attempt. On the surface, nothing wrong with this Ribero effort, until you see it in conjunction with the shorts.

I can only imagine that, with five minutes to go until the kit design had to be submitted and nothing ready, the club marketing director took a look at the deckchairs on Brighton beach whilst heading into work and job done.

'Massacre Mark' with your predictions, goes the text. Why bother - the kit does a good enough job

‘Massacre Mark’ with your predictions, goes the text. Why bother – the kit does a good enough job

The away shirt : 1991-93 There were a few contenders but the Chewits kit, unveiled at the 1991 play off final (they lost) has to scoop the honours. Seriously, what WERE they thinking?

Even worse, the club compound the felony by running this with matching shorts – was this an early 90’s thing at the Goldstone?

Truly a stomach churning, headache inducing effort that was more reminiscent of the popular 80s sweets than an away kit designed to strike fear into the opposition.

1991-1993 saw record sales of Alka Seltzer in the Brighton area

1991-1993 saw record sales of Alka Seltzer in the Brighton area

 

The play off final 'reveal' saw the mascot in an equally dismal effort

The play off final ‘reveal’ saw the mascot in an equally dismal effort

From the best shirt to the worst – with a video nod to Eric

6 Sep

Over the last 13 months since this column has been running, our reader may have realised I’m somewhat of a Brentford kit nerd. A quick search of this site with the word ‘kit’ will also show pieces on what we, our Championship rivals (and beyond) have worn. Likewise, some of the quirkier efforts through the ages. Hull City AFC and their tiger stripes, the Coventry City T, Spanish broccoli, beer and octopus designs being some of the best.

However, whilst reading a thread on GPG this morning in regards to Brentford shirt, it suddenly dawned on me. I’ve written about our best ever home and, equally, away shirt. There’s also been a piece published on what are, in my opinion, our worst ever away tops.

But I’ve never completed the story by talking about my least popular home effort. Until now.

By and large, our home kit has generally been pretty good over the years and so to compile a top ten or even top five would be, largely, a pointless exercise. That said, two do stand out for me and both are from recent years.

In second place is the 2012/13 effort. On the surface, I really liked this. Thick stripes, a decent shade of red and even a solitary touch of black on the shoulder was a nice touch. Then you turned it over.

Where were the stripes? Not only had they been removed ‘due to football league regulations’ (that, seemingly, Sheffield United were able to circumnavigate) but they’d been replaced by a teabag. Whilst the front of this was standard shirt material, the reverse was some sort of perforated ventex effort. It meant our female fans had their bra straps on display whilst it gave all of us the chance of gaining a polka dot sun tan.

As for the stick on ‘Skyex’ sponsor patch. It was the first appearance of this much maligned piece of low budget kit design – a trend that has continued into the Adidas regime and blighted their, otherwise, sterling efforts.

Fantastic front but that horrible, horrible back. No stripes; just teabags

2012/13 – Fantastic front but that horrible, horrible back. No stripes; just teabags

But that’s nothing, to me, on the previous season’s effort. 2011/12 is, in my opinion, the most awful of all the shirts we’ve ever had.

It’s not just that there are too many red stripes, relative to a classic Brentford shirt, yet not enough to bring it into the cult territory of the ‘funky bee’ 1989 centenary effort. Although that’s a poor start.

Then chuck in the black collars. They’re floppy!!? Think Eric Cantona, but after a few too many Kronebourgs.

The only point of a collar on a football shirt is so as you can stand it up – preferably just at the point of entering ‘Saunder’s territory’. Nothing is more likely to put the wind up the opposition than a midfielder with a known eye for goal, making this final adjustment before striking a free kick.

Cantona shows how a collar, if it has to be incorporated into a football kit, should be treated.

 

So we have too many stripes and a pathetic collar but the ultimate crime is the red shoulder patches and double black trim. Adidas have their famous three stripes, so Puma decide to copy this but go one less. Why?

It’s an awful choice and this entire upper makes us look like hotel doormen. Perhaps some people like it but, personally, I won’t even have this one in my collection.

Talk about Puma seeing out their contract in style. Or lack of .

Marcel Eger models my worst ever Brentford shirt

2011/12 – Marcel Eger models my worst ever Brentford shirt

A 5-1 win, shirt news and who had an unusual pet?

23 Jul

Brentford continued preparation for life in the Championship with a 5-1 win over Barnet on Tuesday night. The score speaks for itself although hopefully the missed penalty (and I blame myself for bigging up Mr. Reliable less than a week ago) will get less mention than that other one, which certain areas of the media (i.e. all of them) saw fit to mention a few times (i.e. every week) last season.

The club site has the full match report for those that didn’t catch it live or on Beesplayer. You can find it here. However, for me there were a few other things to catch the eye yesterday.

Being a shirt geek, I was pleased to see that the trend of the club releasing quality kits this season has continued with the latest in the retro range. Mark Devlin released pictures to twitter yesterday of retail manager Maz holding up what appears to be a variant on the 1974-75 top. Black cuffs, long sleeves and the castle badge are all present in what will make the battle for my ‘shirt budget’ this year an even harder fought one than before.

Coming soon to a club shop near you

Coming soon to a club shop near you

I really am a fan of the castle badge – it was the one on the shirt when I first started watching the Bees – and so was always sad when it was replaced in the mid 90’s by the current effort. The turreted shield made no real sense to me as to how it tied into the club but, regardless, it has always been synonymous with Brentford.

That said, it will still be going some to beat the latest efforts from Spanish outfit, Deportivo Lugo. With Espanyol no longer visiting next week, I’d have paid good money to see Lugo named as our new opponents – sporting either their Octopus shirt or lager…top.

lugo2

I like the castle but I love the octopus

The other thing to catch my eye was the search for a picture of Kenny Sansom in Brentford colours. He’d received a mention in yesterday’s article about new signings but I’d been unable to finds such an image on the interweb.

Thankfully, Ray Biggar has since come to the rescue (and that’s a line I never though I’d use about the chronologically challenged referee). Not only did the Notts County 1993 matchday programme (from ‘that game’) have a centre spread on the former England international but it also had a number of personal facts about the man himself.

If the media team are reading (you never know) then what chance the ‘player’s pets’ feature reappearing this season? Although I’d be impressed if any of the current team can better Kenny’s.

Kenny Sansom - as seen in the programme

Kenny Sansom – as seen in the programme

And if you can’t wait for the big the new season, why not catch up on the last one? ‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ (The story of Brentford’s 2013/14 promotion campaign, amongst other football related chatter) – is now available as a digital book. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from last season, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle / digital device.

Who sanctioned this? And more shirt news

15 Jul

So distracted had I been by Rio Ferdinand’s Roger Moore tribute show yesterday that I forgot to mention the other salient Brentford and World Cup news from Sunday. Firstly, Gary Lineker’s awkward ‘reveal’ of the trailer for the new series of Doctor Who was the straw that finally pushed me to ITV.

Don’t get me wrong, I like a quick spin in the Tardis but the almost embarrassed segue from half time analysis in a, supposedly advert free show, killed the mood of the game stone dead whilst, at the same time, setting my more geekish tendencies into an elevated state of nerdery.

It was an unnecessary distraction that just pushed me to the light channel. If we were going to get adverts and hideous monsters, then I may aswell just go for the full Adrian Chiles experience.

From Rio Ferdinand’s jacket to this….

 

From a Brentford perspective, there were also more snippets of shirt news lurking out there in cyberspace – a preview much more welcome than a face full of daleks. A quick trawl of twitter will help you locate these but I’m very pleased to hear that the castle badge will return in some form on merchandise in the club shop.

More importantly, it seems the club are looking at one part of the 125th anniversary celebrations being a game with some commemorative wording added to the badge on our new shirt. With the potential for some of these to be on sale, too, I can already hear Mrs. Bruzon hiding my wallet .

It did also get me thinking about what is the correct protocol for this sort of commemorative wording? Around the club badge in a circular pattern or horizontally – whether underneath it or more centrally?

Commemorative wording - generally spells tears

Commemorative wording – generally spells tears

My own preference is for the horizontal – under the club badge. I’m not an owl and so, bereft of the ability to rotate my head through 360 degrees (or whatever it is they can do) struggle to read the circular text.

Does it matter? Probably not. I’ll still buy one if the possibility arises but I just know what I prefer – whatever the rules are on this sort of thing.

‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ (The story of Brentford’s 2013/14 promotion campaign, amongst other football related chatter) – is now available as a digital book. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from last season, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle / digital device.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of pre-season

11 Jul

Championship. Championship. Here come the Bees in the Championship”. Not my words but those of Billy Reeves and Bee Faction in their promotion celebrating, ‘Hey Brentford’ song. Still available on free download, this terrace anthem has been my earworm for most of the summer.

And thankfully so, with the gap from promotion to the Championship an excruciating wait. Fortunately, this has been just one of numerous distractions to keep me occupied.

Some bad : the departure of Clayton Donaldson, the leak of the away kit and the most cringeworthy tweet to ever come out of ‘official’ channels. I have no idea who ‘drives’ @brentfordfc on Twitter but the reaction to the phrase ‘#trophyfriends’ was one of almost universal embarrassment.

Please - NEVER again

Please – NEVER again

Still, that was very much the thin end of the wedge and there have been more positives to focus on than I could shake a stick at.

So here they are: the top ten moments of the close season

10: The play offs. An odd place to start, especially given our track record, but wasn’t it great to watch the annual torture session at the W place with so much direct interest for Brentford? Who from Rotherham or Leyton Orient would be joining us next season and who would suffer that ultimate kick in the knackers? Likewise, could Uwe do us a huge favour and keep the Loftus Road mob in the Championship.

In the end, it was Rotherham who celebrated like they’d won the FA Cup and Wigan Athletic who will be visiting Griffin Park for the final game of 2014/15

9: Pre-season friendlies. A complete contrast to last season where, instead of a full priced game against a Celtic reserve side, whose support were allowed free reign of Griffin Park, we’ve got visits from the continent. There could even be a smattering of World Cup stars present as both Nice and Espanyol visit, with tickets starting form as little as £5 for adults. Great work.

8: The World Cup. Putting England to one side, it has been a stunning diversion from the pain of pre-season. From the second day destruction of Spain by the Netherlands right up to the hosts being on the wrong end of a 7(seven)-1 semi-final bracketing, this has really been captivating stuff. The likes of Algeria and Costa Rica have helped demonstrate that cup football is one of the most exciting sports on the planet – moreso when there is this much in such a short space of time.

The World Cup gave us plenty to chew over

The World Cup gave us plenty to chew over

7: Diaries. Peter Gilham’s tour diary is always a great read. A fascinating view behind the curtain as to what really makes up a pre-season training camp – for both the players and the backroom staff. Moreso, it’s a sign that the campaign is almost upon us.

Always a great read

Always a great read

6: The roof is finally covered. At last. They squatted in TW8 for longer than the Kew Bridge ‘Eco village’ but Qatar Airways have finally been evicted from the roof of the Bill Axbey stand on New Road. We await news as to who replaces them with intrigue.

Going.Going.Gone

Going.Going.Gone

5: Team morale. It seems stunning. What goes on tour doesn’t necessarily stay on tour, when it comes to Brentford. Sam Saunders car wash, wearing nothing more than flip flops and three marigolds, and Harlee Dean being slapped in the face with a wet fish by Will Grigg are both videos I never thought I’d see. But am very glad I have

4: That moment when news sources recognise us. We know we’re a Championship team but others, outside of West London, are not always so quick to keep tabs. So when the likes of ‘News now’ move the Bees to their Championship page or the BBC have us as sitting in the new League table, it put a little tingle up the spine

3: Ticket prices. These increased, but marginally. The price rise was a token one and nowhere near the amount I would have expected from a club with a limited capacity (relative to our rivals) and now playing in a higher division. This really was a bold decision and they have been instantly rewarded with over 5000 sales. Thank you!

2: Mark Devlin’s strip tease. Of course, I mean the teaser campaign that has led to the unveiling of our home kit. I liked this idea – despite my desperation to see the ‘full reveal’ – and we’ve been rewarded with a great shirt. The away shirt, in particular, aside from the cracking design spec, achieves that rare feat of making the stick on sponsor’s logo look marginally acceptable. And when that happens, you know something good must be happening.

The family friendly strip tease

The family friendly strip tease

1: The Fixture list. If there was one thing to crank up excitement about next season, it is the moment when the fixtures are revealed. Away trips can be planned, Christmas is saved with a home fixture on Boxing Day and Uwe visits on the last day of the (hopefully) regular season. Oh, and there’s a return of the derby against Fulham

And if you need any reminder of how we got here, ‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ (The story of Brentford’s 2013/14 promotion campaign, amongst other football related chatter) – is now available as a digital book. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from last season, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle / digital device.

From the best to the worst

2 Jul

I wrote last night about both our new Championship away shirt aswell as my top five Brentford ‘change’ kits of all time (you can read it here if you’d like to see what topped the list).

However, subsequent talk (and not about the ludicrousness of FIFA’s ‘round of 16’ – it’s ‘last 16’. I’ll also accept: Second round) got me thinking further.

Whilst the top five were quite easy – although featured a very tough omission in the Osca navy /red – what was the worst we’ve ever had?

Image

One of the best

Puma win this race hands, down. The black and gold of 2009/10 comes close. Too shiny with very odd gold side panels and trim. Black is not a great away colour, anyway, and always seems one designed by the marketing men for sales over style (“good with jeans”).

Image

It’s not good, but there is worse

But it was the previous season’s effort that really scrapes the bottom of the barrel. And more disappointingly, since I’ve always seen blue as the traditional ‘away’ colours for the Bees.

However, Puma’s offering was truly horrific. It shouldn’t have been. There was nothing too fussy / garish about it whilst it had two shades of blue. But what a shade – pastel ‘baby blue’. The short of thing a newborn might wear – until he vomited on it (which would be an improvement).

Image

Baby blue? What WERE they thinking?

We’ve had some true classics in the past whilst next season’s Adidas yellow is right up there. But you’ve more chance of me supporting the Loftus Road mob than wearing one of these.

Worst. Away shirt. Ever.

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

 

Spoiler alert: Brentford gear up for the Championship with new look

1 Jul

For those who still have the image of Sam Saunders wearing not much more than three marigolds seared onto their retinas, here’s a diversion. (Assuming they want a diversion). Teams visiting Brentford in the Championship next season will see something different.

Finally, after years of squatting rent free on the New Road roof, the Qatar Airways advert has been painted over. I’ve long advocated that, if they weren’t prepared to stump up the cash / cover this themselves, the word “Don’t” (or worse) should have been added to the front of this – at a jaunty angle.

Image

Before: View from the terrace. Squatter about to be evicted

 

Thankfully, now, there is no need. Chief Executive Mark Devlin released the following picture yesterday afternoon to show the much-maligned advert had been painted over. Even better news, though, was his subsequent confirmation that this was because of a new sponsor – to be announced once timings have been agreed.

Image

After: Who is the mystery new sponsor?

Could this be a nostalgic return for KLM? Perhaps another airline? Given the club’s proximity to the Heathrow airport flight path that would make perfect sense. Or have the club joined forces with Skyex for a giant shirt transfer to be stuck over the roof?

Either way, given the stadium’s visibility from the air I’d suggest that this announcement needs to be exquisitely timed.

Now, if he could just release a picture of the away kit, that would really crank up the excitement levels a notch.

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