Tag Archives: Standard

Football is back as Blades set the standard and Bees miss out.

6 Aug

Another season begins, another round of opening day disappointment for Brentford. The Bees left Sheffield United on the wrong end of a 1-0 defeat which could have been more – the second of the hosts two disallowed goals subsequently being deemed very unlucky to be chalked off. Yet on a day dominated by home teams where only three away goals were scored in the Championship, including one for Hull City in their 1-1 at Aston Villa (as predicted yesterday – I’m still in shock), Bees fans should remain upbeat.

As ever, Sky have the highlights online already whilst the BBC, official, Beesotted and the likes are your place for match reports. This one moreso, where the long arm of the wife and her plans meant it would have been easier to escape from Alcatraz than TW8 yesterday. Yet despite an enforced absence from Bramall Lane, I was full of optimism.

Even the London Evening Standard had failed to put me off my stride on Friday’s journey back from work. Their typically supportive piece on the Bees highlighting our opening day win record. Or, rather, our opening day lack of win record.

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And now make that six. Yet it so easily could have been at least a point.

Most people will point to the double opportunity presented to Nico Yennaris and Lasse Vibe in the second half. Understandably so. It was the proverbial gilt edged chance. With Jota’s shot from outside the box only parried by Blackman in the Sheffield United goal, and the aforementioned players in acres of space just yards out, the ball was headed first against the crossbar and then over.

I’ve rewatched it a few times. You can look to the looping trajectory and height of the ball as it approaches our players. Blackman did well to put them off their stride, too. Yet being honest, one would still have expected to see the net ripple. Only the good people at TheIntakeGroup, Pinders, H.E. Barnes and Sky Bet taking any pleasure from seeing this one again….

Lasse and Nico at Sheff U

If ever an image summed up an afternoon. Sky have it in full

That’s football. Let’s not forget the staggering miss from Lucas João at Griffin Park last August when that other Sheffield side, Wednesday, were the visitors. Just yards out and unmarked in front of the goal, the back of the net was at his mercy as a Fernando Forestieri pass found its way past Daniel Bentley. João was even afforded the luxury of having a couple of stabs at the before somehow conspiring to hoof it clear of the bar.

I could also refer you to Daryl Murphy at Ipswich Town a few seasons ago. One that still sticks in the mind as the Bees were, once more, the beneficiaries of an impossible to miss opportunity being somehow missed with goal gaping and an unmarked player just needing to tap it it in.

It happens. A lot. Obviously we’d have preferred a goal but I’m not going to get hung about it. Besides, overall performance comes across as a largely positive one with the Bees dominating possession and shots at 59%/41% and 12/9 respectively.

Probably not what our performance deserved” said head coach Dean Smith after the game and while he may well be right, as we’ve said many times on these pages that its balls in the back of the net being the only stat that really counts. Sadly for us, Sheffield United aced that column by 1 to 0.

Still, at least our head coach acknowledged this too, noting: “Unfortunately, it’s about putting the ball in the back of the net and we didn’t take our chances today. Billy Sharp’s had one and has ended up winning the game.” And you can read read/see his interview in full on official.

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Dean does his thing at full time

Fair play to the Blades for doing so, too. The warning about their form and their packed house was there for all to see in advance. Safe to say they didn’t let the occasion get the better of them and, subject to the result of the Bolton – Leeds game, are one of eight sides on three points after this opening round of games.

I’d have loved three points. You can bet Sheffield United will be chuffed to bits with their win. And rightly so. On the plus side, we’ve now got a brace of home games in quick succession. Mark Warburton brings his Nottingham Forest team to Griffin Park on Saturday before we host Bristol City three days later. And there’s the small matter of the League cup first round at Wimbledon on Tuesday night.

After months of inactivity, the games are suddenly approaching us thick and fast. And I love it .

Nick Bruzon

Sub-standard stats mask the true price of football

15 Oct

I can only imagine the Brentford media team are standing by to swing into action on Thursday morning after the Evening Standard published a bonkers report late last night, claiming it was cheaper to watch Arsenal than the Bees. In a clearly sensationalist bit of headline grabbing (presumably meant to lure people to their website, and yes – I bit) they have made this incredible statement. All of which is a shame for no other reason than it will now distract from yesterday’s genuine read – Beesotted’s summary of Matthew Benham and his presentation to the Matchbook Traders Conference.

But I need to start with the Arsenal ‘story’ where, I suppose, we should be glad that the Standard actually remembered Brentford exist with their latest story on the cost of football. The column by Tom Dutton (@TomDutty on twitter) ignores the fact that a Brentford season ticket is still cheaper than attending four ‘top category’ Arsenal games. Instead they have focused (incorrectly – and we’ll get there) on a twist of circumstances as the lead for their whole column.

Gunners fan can, theoretically, pick up a ticket for the home game with Bournemouth for £27. That being the cheapest price band for the only league game they have declared in their lowest pricing category.

I’ve taken a look at the Arsenal website this morning and it is true. Should you want to go to their Emirates stadium on a Monday night immediately after Christmas, (December 28) and sit in the bottom corner then there may well be a £27 ticket available to ‘Joe Public’.

That is, should any remain. Even the club’s home page notes that this is: “Subject to availability should any tickets remain after sales to Members”.

The Standard’s report fails to note that this membership is a cheapest price £25 whilst, incidentally, you have to pay £15 just for the privilege of getting on the waiting list for a season ticket. That said, they do also highlight the £97 category A seat for a single game and the over £1,000 cheapest season ticket price.

The Standard have never had a particular good relationship with Brentford, preferring to concentrate more on the Premier League than the clubs in London who have made up their traditional target audience. And when we have been mentioned, it is more a cheap shot at our expense for their own means – headline grabbing.

Good luck to them. It must be sad to be so desperate for readers. Moreso, and as supporter Thomas Knight had noted, given that supporters can get into Saturday’s league game against Rotherham for just £10, applying the same logic their article is already fatally holed below the waterline.

Griffin Park - watch an entire season for less than four Arsenal tickets

Griffin Park – watch an entire season for less than four Arsenal tickets

The other much more pertinent piece of Brentford related news was the aforementioned appearance by Matthew Benham. Billy Grant’s article is a fascinating one and, whilst not able to put any questions direct to our owner, does raise several interesting thoughts.

Specifically the observation on Marinus Dijkhuizen that, “They pulled in all the necessary references. But he also admitted that the club had also received one bad reference.

This reference they ignored – a fatal mistake – as they were so sure that Dijkhuizen was their man.”

Whilst the full reasons behind Marinus departure still remain muddied (anyone?), it does beg the question why such a potentially critical piece of information wasn’t investigated further?

I’m not going to steal Billy’s thunder any further. I thoroughly recommend that, if you haven’t already, then do take a look at the full article on the Beesotted website.

I’d love the chance to put these sorts of questions to Matthew. It takes a brave man to admit he’s made a mistake so fairplay for doing so. And so decisively.

It would be intriguing to find out why.

Matthew and Beesotted always make a good team

Matthew and Beesotted always make a good team

Nick Bruzon

Tinpot derby awaits a reunited Brentford

21 Feb

Finally. We can concentrate on playing football again rather than talking about the manager and mathematical models. Brentford welcome Bournemouth to Griffin Park today for a promotion six pointer that, should the Bees triumph, will really lock things up once more.

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 on.

An unusual derby awaits

An unusual derby awaits

Hu-ra-ra Dougie's in

Hu-ra-ra Dougie’s in

Sexy football awaits as Warbs mystery deepens

14 Feb

It’s a real shame that the build up for today’s game at Charlton Athletic continues to be overshadowed by uncertainty around the managerial situation at Brentford. So anticipated was a statement from the club yesterday that Sky News sent a TV crew to Griffin Park but, alas, nothing was forthcoming for their report. Not even a WKD fuelled bunch of teenagers.

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 on.

An open letter to Matthew Benham…and Banksy

10 Dec

Could the ‘post-Uwe’ Brentford revolution be starting already?

Since the announcement was made about Herr Rösler joining Wigan, club owner Matthew Benham has been on prolific ‘social media’ form.

Firstly, with the return of a ‘cryptic clue’ that, as before, had me flummoxed. A ‘YouTube’ video link to ‘Coutances – Soundtrack (The Science of Sleep)’, performed by Dick Annegarn has left me no wiser as to what Matthew is trying to imply. Quite how this ties in to Mark Warburton (assuming it is him named as our manager this morning) I have no idea. However, this was merely the tip of the Benham inspired twitter frenzy.

Not surprisingly, given the current stories about Sam Sodje and DJ Campbell being involved in alleged betting offences, Matthew has had more than a few things to say on the subject. As the owner of smartodds.co.uk he, if anyone, should have an opinion on this subject and his comments make very interesting reading. There can’t be many Brentford supporters on twitter who don’t follow him but just incase, you can find these on @matthew_benham.

So far so good but what really piqued my curiosity were his comments in regards to the music at home games. The catalyst for this being the request from @tinpotgamer, asking, “Also, please don’t have two home ends. It’s on a par with goal music and giant flags.”

The response was almost immediate and as direct as you could hope “there will never, ever, ever be goal music”.

This was, pun alert, ‘music to my ears’. I love watching the Bees and there can be very little, Keith Stroud aside, to ruin my enjoyment. That said – win, lose or draw the one thing to consistently upset me is our tired selection of full time ‘exit music’. I’ve ranted about ‘Guaglione’ and ‘Celebrate’ before – tired dirges that are on a par with Robbie Williams and his ‘Let me entertain you’ for the songs most likely to be heard in a football stadium (see also: Queen: We are the champions – although never after a Brentford play off campaign).

So, with Matthew on a rich vein of public interaction, this was the time to put the point directly to the man at the top. “On that note, could we also retire the awful ‘Guaglione/Celebrate’ as our ‘sad/happy’ post game walk out music?”, I asked.

The resulting reply was a joy to behold. A positive. To quote: “yep, music needs a shake up for sure, before the game, when players walk out, ht, ft, only ‘hey jude’ sacrosanct

Could we have heard the last of (not so) Kool and the gang? Has Guaglione parped its last moribund farewell? One can only hope. Come Oldham on Saturday I’ll be paying extra attention to the Ealing Road P.A. – and not just, for once, because it is largely unintelligible.

The other discussion I had on Monday night was one regarding the roof on the Bill Axbey stand. Talking in the pub to fellow supporter Colin Campbell we came up with a couple of suggestions as to what could be done with the ‘Fly Qatar Airlines’ advert that still, presumably now rent free, occupies Europe’s largest advertising board. If they won’t stump up the cash to extend the lease (and, to be fair, why would they) then rather than repaint the entire roof, why not just add our own ‘DON’T’ (possibly at a jaunty angle) at the front end of their slogan? Given the amount of airline traffic that passes overhead, it might get somebody’s attention.

Alternatively, I lay down a challenge to the street artist, Banksy. Whilst, normally, there is nothing big or clever about graffiti, I’d happily see if he could sneak in under cover of darkness to decorate this space in his own unique style. It’s a win-win scenario. He gets the chance to decorate the largest ‘canvas’ possible; we inherit a piece of art, possibly worth more than Griffin Park itself.

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.