Tag Archives: Stoke

Palace and Arsenal write a chapter for our next season as Bees beat QPR. Again.

11 Apr

With Brentford safe in the Championship for another season and the playoffs a leap too far, thoughts turn to who we’ll be facing in 2017/18. Last night’s Crystal Palace – Arsenal game has given more than a few clues as to how that’s going to pan out. Elsewhere, there was sad news for QPR who have had to make a somewhat embarrassing retraction (stop sniggering) whilst local news site Get West London appear to have finally jumped the shark.

First up Crystal Palace. For a time it looked as they were being slowly sucked towards the Premier League relegation battle. A 0-4 thumping by Sunderland, swiftly followed by a reverse at the hands of Stoke City, had eyes lighting up in West London as the Eagles slid down, down (deeper and down). Could we have another local fixture, with the Bees going to the Palace next season? Would there be a kit obsessive programme feature including that most iconic of shirts, the red and blue sash sported by Brentford legend Neil Smillie?

crystal-palace-neil-smillie-vince-hilaire-36951-p

Then Big Sam and his troops got their act together, won four in a row and despite hitting a bump at Southampton, had the pleasure of playing Arsenal last night. And what a pleasure it was for the neutral. A 3-0 win for Palace makes their own safety a lot more likely and, with it, a straight shoot out between Hull City and Swansea City for the privilege of joining all but mathematically doomed Middlesbrough and Sunderland at Griffin Park next season.

It’s a shame from one respect. I was quite looking forward to the prospect of a hop across London to Selhurst Park next season. It would have been a new ground to see Brentford play at but instead we can do nothing but offer Palace congratulations on a job well done in recent weeks.

The other factor is the listening to those self-entitled numpties at Arsenal TV and Piers Morgan, somehow thinking that because they had that run back in 2003/04 when they were dubbed the undateables or whatever it was, they are entitled to be any good over a decade later. Yawn. Seriously yawn.

Anyone thinking Brentford fans moan or give our managers stick needs to look to North London. There, they take expectation to a new level with ‘Wenger’ receiving 128K worth of tweets on the UK trend list as at the time of writing (6.30am).

The biggest irony being the silence in the Emirates when they are playing. If they made half as much noise mid-game as they do once the team has lost then perhaps Arsenal might be an intimidating place to come rather than the glorified library it is so derided as being.  For the neutral, it remains wonderful, if slightly nauseous, unintentional comedy. No supporters in the land are as full of their club’s own self-importance relative to its actual ability (I know , I know – they won the FA Cup). Long may it continue.

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Twitter: Come for Monkman; stay for Wenger

On the subject of unintentional comedy, we only need to look a few miles up the road to West London rivals QPR. Already 6 points behind the Bees in the League table, now they’ve lost out to us in the player of the year awards stakes.

Whilst Brentford’s own event all but sold out within days, the not so super hoops have been forced into an awkward climbdown within a week of tickets being made available for their £119 a head do. In a brief article on the clubwebsite entitled ‘POTY EVENT CANCELLED the club has been forced to admit that, “a lack of sales has resulted in the event being cancelled”.

Here’s to Saturday week when we can really hope to compound a miserable season for our near neighbours. Fifty years on; never forget.

And finally, Get West London. Whilst it would often be easier just to follow the player feed on Twitter than read their stories, yesterday saw things reach a new low. The aforementioned journalistic jumping of the shark, if you will.

Brentford fan wears Bees shirt with BREXIT 16 on the back .

Thus proclaimed the headline on one of yesterday’s post Cardiff pieces. It went on to add – The shirt about the decision to leave the European Union sparked debate on social networking site Twitter.

Sorry, this is news how? This is a story because? Stop the press  – Football fan has political opinion. This is Donald Trump levels of news. Or lack of.  It was something that ‘sparked debate’, apparently. Or, in actual fact, led to a few references to it on Twitter.

What next. Man wears jaunty Castle Badge jumper to winter game? Transfer exclusive: Jugde to sign for Brentford?

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Coming next, on Get West London

Now I’m the first to admit writing drivel from time to time. Then again, I’m neither a journalist nor paid for the privilege. Just a self-confessed numpty on the terrace with an occasional blog column.

Come on Get West London, you can do better than this. Supporters deserve better than this. With five games and two local derbies to come, things aren’t at Arsenal levels of quiet. Just yet.

April fixtures

We’ve got all this to come still

Nick Bruzon

Great work, all round, from the Brentford FC family

27 Jul

Fresh from the win over Stoke City on Saturday, the excitement levels amongst Brentford fans have cranked up another level with the arrival of season tickets and membership packs. And it has to be said they are nothing but impressive with congratulations due to all concerned! This really is an effort of Premier League levels!

We’ll get on to all of that along with a few other mentions in a moment but, first, the other stuff from the Stoke City game.

Stuart Dallas and his wonder strike for the second goal. Watching it again on the YouTube highlights I couldn’t help but have my eye drawn to something in the crowd. Had somebody lost a bet? Are things that bad up the road that they are fleeing the sinking ship like rats? Or was it simply a sartorial ‘faux pas’ that was realised only once en-route to Griffin Park?

Answers on a postcard

Answers on a postcard

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 ! 

Moore of this please (despite key absences in easy win)

25 Jul

Well that was disappointingly simple. As Brentford ran out 2-0 winners over Stoke City in Saturday’s pre-season friendly at Griffin Park, supporters were left with more questions than answers. Were Brentford really that good? Were Stoke really that bad? Is that really the end of the road for Jonathan Douglas? And that’s just for starters.

The Bees were, simply, dominant. True – this was a low key friendly but you can only play the team in front of you. And, being blunt, Stoke City barely showed up. It was the archetypal example of that most favourite of commentating clichés. Namely, ”If you knew nothing about either team you’d be mistaken as to which was the Premiership side”.

As one Stoke fan, Phil Oxford of Canadia, put it to me later, “Thankfully these pre season things are generally about getting fit and proving to the board you need to spend money on new players“. It’s one theory, I suppose.

Andy Gogia, Jota, Toumani and captain Harlee Dean were amongst those who impressed in an all round team performance where nobody had a bad game. Indeed, Marinus’ formation lost none of the passing play seen under Mark Warburton yet seemed to have a much more balanced look to it with none of the gaps we’d suffered from at times last season.

View from the terrace - Marinus has even ditched the 'bus stop' corner

View from the terrace – Marinus has even ditched the ‘bus stop’ corner

Debutant Gogia had already won over the crowd with a number of impressive feints and touches before he opened proceedings with a deflected shot from distance, Alex Pritchard style. And the second came from Stuart Dallas, with wonderful strike at the far post – from a corner….. It bears repeating.From. A. Corner.

Our set pieces from in front of the box may have been lacking the finesses of a certain Mr. S. Saunders but the corner routine had us smiling. A goal and, as importantly, a complete dearth of the unfavoured ‘short’ version. “They never f***ing work”, as one terrace wag is always happy to remind us – a point I’m inclined to agree with. As such, it was great to see them ditched with such success.

With the previously favoured ‘bus stop’ routine also removed from the corner repertoire, how much of a sign has already been made in regards to technique? What hasn’t changed was the quality and power of the strike from Stuart Dallas. After net busters last time out against the likes of Fulham and Wolves, he has already picked up where he left off.

If you want the full report then, as ever, I’d suggest the BBC, the official site or the likes of Beesotted. I’m more interested in those other questions that has us talking on  the terrace.

First up, Dougie. Will he ever play for Brentford again? After being told he could leave the club, this is the second successive game against Premiership opposition where he hasn’t even been in the squad (following the ‘behind closed doors’ run out against Tottenham). Truly, nobody is untouchable.

What is the state of the pitch? Certainly, it seemed as though this was cutting up very heavily – right from the off. I’m no expert on these things but one would presume the heavy rain the day before hadn’t helped the freshly laid grass and, after time, it will bed in.

View from the terrace - divots and soil are already appearing

View from the terrace – divots and soil are already appearing

What is it with our training ground? After last season’s freak injury to Lewis Macleod, where the Rangers old boy was sidelined after tripping over a twig, the curse has struck again. Josh McEachran has, according to West London’s Premier journalist Tom Moore, broken his foot and will be out for three months. This, following a freak training ground accident – although this time a coming together with Toumani. Anything but a twig…

Josh signed for Brentford - but now looks like he'll be out for 3 months

Josh signed for Brentford – but now looks like he’ll be out for 3 months

And talking of Tom Moore. Where has he developed his previously unseen sense sense of humour? And will it survive past pre-season? Here’s hoping. His twitter feed already had me amused with his description of the second goal – below.

Tom Moore - 2015 version

Tom Moore – 2015 version

He then went one better in a post match report .  I’m childish, and make no apologies for the fact, but it was only his use of the word ‘taken’ rather than ‘pulled’ stopped the innuendo monitor going into overdrive.

Accidental or deliberate choice of words….?

Accidental or deliberate choice of words….?

But, most importantly, where was Buzzette? Our favourite mascot was conspicuous by her absence with only Buzz in attendance. All being well there’s nothing more sinister to this than her being a bit late getting back from holidays.

Hopefully Buzzette will return

Hopefully Buzzette will return

So. What did we learn? Quite simply, the loss of Mark Warburton may not be felt as keenly as the doom-mongers may have predicted. That’s not to take anything away from what he achieved but that time has been. Now, both he (at Rangers) and Brentford face new challenges. In his place, Marinus has lined up a team, and squad, to be reckoned with.

Of course, it all counts for nothing until the season begins in anger but I’d rather be winning these games than losing them. There are just two weeks to go until the season begins. After today, I’m looking forward to it even more than ever.

Nick Bruzon

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And , as ever , to read more about what Brentford have done over the last two seasons (through the eyes of a supporter) then the amalgamated Last Word compendiums  are available for your kindle. Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup (2013/14) and Tales from the football village (2014/15) tell the full stories of our promotion and subsequent life in the Championship.

Featuring the best of the not so bad columns and some additional, previously unseen material, they’re still available for less than the price of a match day pie if you want some summer reading before the big kick off (™) arrives.

Getting a good vibe about The Hoff

24 Jul

With Brentford due to entertain Stoke City in Saturday’s friendly, could we have a new look centre forward pairing? For those unfamiliar with such a concept in recent seasons that’s two strikers, playing up front, together – at the same time. TW8 was gripped with excitement at the news that German Under-21 Philipp Hofmann has signed from FC Kaiserslautern.

Finally, an option to help support Andre Gray up front and of international calibre to boot. A player who participated in this summer’s U-21 tournament in Serbia, Marinus has described him as “a target man, physically strong, and a good header of the ball

The Hoff signs

The Hoff signs

For those of you with a statistical leaning, he comes in at 6 foot 4 and a half inches. Certainly the opposite to Andre Gray and very much in line with that description of his being a ‘target man’. And whilst, on paper, some aspects may put one in mind of a certain Nick Proschwitz, I’m fairly sure that’s where the analogies will end. You don’t represent your country all the way up from U-18 to U-21 without being ‘any good’.

The full story, for those who haven’t read it, is still on the club site where he is another addition to the lexicon of obvious descriptions. Chris Wickham’s article names him as, “The tall Germany Under-21 international “, (see also the oft used: long legged midfielder – Toumani).

The other piece of note from the article was his use of the baseball cap. Indoors. And backwards.

I’m certainly not down with da kidz but I’d always thought that, if one was to be worn, it had to be perched precariously on the head. Preferably at a jaunty angle. What a shame Richard Lee, of course of ‘Dr Cap’, fame is no longer with the club to put him right on such matters.

Personally, I think its just a shame that The Hoff didn’t pose in his club kitt.

Bad headlines await this season

Bad headlines await this season

In all seriousness though, Phillip looks like an excellent signing and I can’t wait to see if he makes his bow against Stoke tomorrow.

But wait. There’s more. Possibly. Rumours have been sweeping the Internet and Swedish media that the Bees are due to unveil another striker this morning (Friday). Is Danish international Lasse Vibe about to join us from IFK Göteborg?

I’m getting queasy just at the use of the word ‘international’ so many times in one page but, if this does unfold, will be another stunning statement of intent from Matthew Benham. The centre forward, who has 9 appearances under his belt for the national side, was a recent target for Reading and, supposedly, the Bees have fought off competition from Schalke for his signature.

He's got that Vibe

He’s got that Vibe

Will this transpire or is it going to be another rumour that falls flat? Well, Beesotted think its true and they, for me, have been the one source (outside of official ones, of course) to get all the summer transfer activity spot on.

That’s good enough for me. I’m already looking forward to those “Don’t hassle the Hoff” and “Good Vibes” headlines that one can only hope will follow.

Come for the puns – stay for the goals.

Nick Bruzon

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And , as ever , to read more about what Brentford have done over the last two seasons (through the eyes of a supporter) then the amalgamated Last Word compendiums  are available for your kindle. Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup (2013/14) and Tales from the football village (2014/15) tell the full stories of our promotion and subsequent life in the Championship.

Featuring the best of the not so bad columns and some additional, previously unseen material, they’re still available for less than the price of a match day pie if you want some summer reading before the big kick off (™) arrives.