Tag Archives: Swindon

Can Sam make it three-in-a-row on Boxing Day?

26 Dec

Boxing Day and Sam Saunders. Two things that seem inextricably linked and for good reason. With Brighton visiting Griffin Park today, the last two seasons have seen this fixture, and Sam in particular, provide some contrasting memories. Games against Ipswich Town (2014) and Swindon Town (2013) have seen the popular wing wizard shine (and that’s not the tan) as each encounter saw the Bees with a chance to top the league.

Sam Saunders black kit

Sam – back in black and better than ever

And today we have a similar scenario. Whilst most of the nation are rolled out on their sofas recovering from the excesses of the 25th , 12,000 of us will be in Griffin Park to see if Brentford can beat Brighton and, should other results fall correctly, reach the play off zone. At present, of course, we’re only two points off sixth place.

That latter requirement, ‘other results’, would also require the somewhat distasteful prospect of a QPR victory – over Ipswich Town at Portman Road. I can’t imagine many in this part of West London could, in all conscience, cheer for that. At least not at this stage of the season.

So instead, let’s just focus on ourselves. Dean Smith has picked up two wins from two at Griffin Park since taking over as Head Coach. More importantly, the manner of victory – with 6 goals scored (and 10 in his 4 games in charge) is what has impressed. That said, even he was talking about cutting things out at the other end. And no moreso will this be a requirement than against a side smarting from their first defeat of the season on Saturday.

Middlesbrough, of course, secured top spot in the Championship after hitting 3 past the Seagulls without reply. And with Boro’ having a 14 point lead over Brentford, the top of the table will, for once, something we can’t aspire to – at least on Boxing Day. But that doesn’t mean we can’t hope for some more Saunders’ magic.

The same fixture last year saw us lose 4-2 to Ipswich Town, conceding after 19 just seconds and going 3 down at HT before it finished 4-2 to the visitors. The only silver lining was the late substitute’s appearance from Sam.

He made it 3-1 within five minutes of coming off the bench and halved the deficit at the end, practically stealing the ball off the toes of the dithering Nick Proschwitz to stab it home from close range as the ref signalled injury time.

But it was Boxing Day 2013  against Swindon that saw a moment of quality from Sam that still has us smiling. The infamous ‘fall over’ routine – below

Did Sam mean it? Swindon Town 2013

To score a free kick of that quality was impressive enough but having gone flat of his face beforehand, even moreso.

Too much fake tan making the boots slippery? Old man’s legs giving up? (he remains the Methuselah of the squad – although not to look at, I am told, or see run around – what energy). Might it just have been an elaborate training ground routine, along the likes of the Gary Blissett ‘fake hissy fit’ (season 92/93) in an attempt to confuse the opposition?

As I wrote at the time, “Well, if the later, then give that man an Oscar. It was a display of football acting that’s not been seen since Luis Figo’s ‘Just for Men’ advert. And if an accident, then a massive pat on the back for composing himself at a time that the Bees were under a spot of pressure”.

I did talk to Sam at the end of the season and know the answer although don’t want to kill the magic of the mystery by revealing it. For all I know, it may well by common knowledge, anyway.

Instead, I’ve got my fingers crossed for three years in a row. Sam Saunders scoring on Boxing Day is one seasonal tradition us Brentford fans could definitely embrace.

Screen Shot 2015-12-26 at 08.12.12

Figo – unsurpassed acting skills

Nick Bruzon

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Lots of goals. Lots of points. Lots of tickets.

4 Mar

What a Wednesday! Brentford fans were able to take stock of a stunning 4-1 victory over Huddersfield Town last night before then receiving great news from Fulham with the announcement of ticket allocation for next month’s derby game. We’ll get to Craven Cottage shortly but for those still in need of a recap from last night, Huddersfield were the latest to try their luck at Griffin Park against the free scoring Bees.

7 (seven) in the previous 2 home games (3-1 v Bournemouth and then 4-0 v Blackpool) have now become 11 in 3. A 4-1 victory was the least we deserved as Chris Long took just four minutes to get off the mark on his full Brentford debut.

His second, following fine work from Jota (how often has that phrase been used this season?) restored Brentford’s lead after Harry Bunn had given the Terriers brief hope. But if that goal reinstated Brentford’s supremacy in terms of goals, what was more amazing was how things remained level in terms of players.

Bunn and James Vaughan were both incredibly fortunate to avoid bookings after preening in front of the home supporters like a pair of coked up peacocks. The reaction from the Ealing Road was hardly surprising but justice was soon delivered.

Alex Pritchard made it three before midfield man of the moment, Jon Toral, followed up his hat trick from a week before with a smart strike from distance. Bunn, meanwhile, eventually found his way into the notebook although referee Kavanagh must have been suffering xanthophobia when it came to Vaughan. A number of cynical challenges were shown nothing more than an inconsequential talking to for the Town number 9.

The video highlights are now on YouTube

 

But a victory of magnitude does, in the cold light of day, make such anomalies almost an irrelevance. The key points to remember are another +3 in the GD column, a refreshing alternative up front and, most importantly, three more points as Brentford hit the play off spots once again.

And then the ticket news from Fulham was announced. An initial allocation of 4000 (with the option for a further thousand) means we’ll take up a fifth of the ground for the Bank Holiday game on April 3rd. As ever, full information is available on the club website and you can read that here.

As we saw last season at Leyton Orient, huge travelling support to a local derby can make a monumental difference.

Here’s hoping for a very Good Friday.

A day of strange, strange results keeps the table wide open.

1 Mar

Brentford’s 1-0 defeat at Birmingham City on Saturday was just one of many slip-ups from the teams in the Championship promotion mix. Only Watford could take advantage of defeats for Derby County and Middlesbrough (along with Bournemouth dropping two points at home to Blackburn Rovers) to make any progress up the table. And then there was Clem at Crewe Alexandra…

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.

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Clem predicts how many points he'll earn for Crewe

Clem predicts how many points he’ll earn for Crewe (or is that a crafty ‘pick’?)

The Clem and Keith show provides distraction from the chaos

15 Feb

Amidst all the mayhem and chaos surrounding Brentford as they lost out at Charlton Athletic, I completely missed Sunday’s other news earlier. Namely, that coming from the Priestfield, Gillingham, where new manager Justin Edinburgh was the main draw for Clem from the Football League Show. The game with MK Dons was the one selected for our favourite roving reporter’s feature match and, as such, a chance to see whether Gillingham could become only the sixth team all season to take three points when ‘the albatross’ is in attendance.

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.

Clem catches up with Justin before making it 7(seven) unbeaten.

Clem catches up with Justin before making it 7(seven) unbeaten.

As believable a transfer rumour as the average plot in Neighbours

26 Jan

With the dust settling on Brentford’s win at Norwich City we can ease into the last full week before Natalie Sawyer and Jim White officially declare the transfer window as slammed shut. And typically, as befits this time of year, a rumour has surfaced although this is one more out of leftfield than usual.

We’ll get there in a moment but, first, if you haven’t seen them,  the goals from Carrow Road went up on the official YouTube channel yesterday. Whilst those of us who were able to travel with their friends to the game or caught The Football League show afterwards would have already seen these, the club version have the advantage of being spliced with Mark Burridge’s Beesplayer commentary.

I’ve said it before and I’ll likely say it again but this is one of my favourite things to come out of Griffin Park, off field, this season. So fair play to the media team and creative gurus behind putting this together so quickly.

 

Ok. Transfer rumour time. As you may have read, The World Game website is reporting that Brentford are in the chase for Swindon Town’s Australian international midfielder Massimo Luongo, who is valued at AUD$4m (just over £2.1m at current rates).

David Magrone, the player’s London-based Australian mentor (presumably that’s Antipodean for ‘agent’) is the only person to make any quote in the article, aside from some of the hilarious comments afterwards, saying,” Brentford is an option for him but it’s important that he takes his time because there is plenty of interest from elsewhere also.”

The piece, which you can read here if you want, also notes that that Luongo, currently starring for the ‘Socceroos’ in the Asian Cup is allegedly attracting interest from Wolves, Sevilla and a host of German clubs.

Luongo is on twitter (although Matthew Benham is not a follower)

Luongo is on twitter (although Matthew Benham is not a follower)

It’s an interesting theory but I think there’s more chance of me starring in Neighbours than this one coming true. Given that Swindon are currently in the box seat for promotion to the Championship, selling a player rated as one of their top assets would seem an unlikely strategy.

Likewise, have you seen the state of our midfield? This is one area where we are bursting at the seams with quality. From the long serving feet of Jonathan Douglas to the untapped potential of young gun Lewis Macleod, the likes of Jota, Alan Judge, Toumani Diagouraga, Stuart Dallas, Sam Saunders, Jon Toral and Alex Pritchard are all in the mix for a starting place. Nine players! And don’t forget, also, that we’ve had to reinvent Moses Odubajo as a right back given the injury to Alan McCormack.

Still, one thing that Brentford have done is build for the future and we do have a habit of picking out some exciting players. However, I’ll dip my toes into the water and suggest that this one is probably a rumour too far.

Of course, I’m just the numpty on the terrace rather than anybody with any meaningful inside knowledge so do treat any transfer suggestions you read here with a huge pinch of salt rather than as being of any meaningful substance.

And, if you’d like to put the question of any new signings directly to the people that do have the answers, then don’t forget the fan’s forum takes place on Thursday night at 6.30pm. Chairman Cliff Crown, Chief Executive Mark Devlin, Sporting Director Frank McParland, Manager Mark Warburton and Assistant Manager David Weir will be taking questions from 6.30pm in the Hive.

See you there.

I've got more chance of appearing in Neighbours

I’ve got more chance of appearing in Neighbours

Bluebirds slayed by Bees; Robins shot down by Clem

21 Dec

Brentford made it an incredible 7(seven) Championship wins out of eight at Cardiff City yesterday as they lined up a second v third place Boxing Day shootout with Ipswich Town at Griffin Park. Elsewhere in the football League, highflying Swindon Town were the beneficiaries of a visit from Clem……

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.

Clem may have had a grip on Swindon's baubles but he couldn't hand them a win

Clem may have had a grip on Swindon’s baubles but he couldn’t hand them a win

Excuses, excuses, excuses. And the latest from Clemwatch

31 Aug

Brentford moved up to a giddy eighth place in the Championship following Saturday’s 2-0 win at Rotherham United. This is some achievement – our joint highest league placing in a good 60 years and one that, equally, keeps us 15 places and seven points better off than Fulham. And for the record, stat fans, the Cottagers currently enduring their worst start since 1956-57

Rotherham boss Steve Evans was in typical sour form at full time.

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.

Transfer quote of the day as Bees prepare for Rotherham

30 Aug

Brentford travel to Rotherham United today for a Championship clash that, early last season, not many people would have predicted coming. That includes myself. Whilst I had complete faith in The Bees, I need to hold my hands up in regards to Rotherham.

On October 6th, the day after a 0-1 home defeat by the Millers, I wrote: “Ten games in to the season and the league table has now ‘taken shape’. No longer are we tiptoeing around unknown opposition, wondering if yesterday’s result was as bad as it seems or if the thrashing administered to Sheffield United was proof we’d got over last campaign.

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.

We’ve been here before – the top ten of our last Championship campaign

7 Aug

With Charlton Athletic due to visit Brentford on Saturday in our Championship opener I made a somewhat outlandish claim in yesterday’s column as to where I think we’d finish the season. I stand by that and I’d hope history repeats to help this happen – the last time The Bees entertained Charlton at this level saw a 2-0 win for us back on Nov 7th 1992.

That said, I hope there aren’t too many more similarities between the forthcoming campaign and that one, given 1992/93 saw us return to League One (as is) after a solitary season. At times the season was exciting; at others, it offered nothing but the bitterest frustration.

Regular correspondent Bernard Quackenbush asked for ‘my memories’ of this and, whilst somewhat hazy, it did get me thinking. So here are the top five highs and lows from the last time we tried try our luck in English football’s second tier.

The lows:

5: Dean Holdsworth. If Wigan Athletic fans are wondering why Brentford supporters are so upset about the Adam Forshaw talk, this is why.

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.

Three great points but is there a cover up happening?

12 Mar

Another game; another 2-0 win for Brentford after an off-key first half. But with Wolves and Leyton Orient both recording away wins, the gap at the top of League One remains as tight as ever despite our own three points against Tranmere.

It really was a case of déjà vu. Just as on Saturday, fans were left wondering how the Bees could play such scintillating football in the final half hour after failing to really spark in the opening period. Indeed, you could make a case for us to be lucky to go in all square, after Rovers hit the bar twice in the first 45.

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.