Tag Archives: Terrace Talk

Honours for Alan and Andre as a star is born

18 Apr

Alan Judge. He may have been missing from Saturday’s draw with Bristol City but he was the centre of attention on Sunday as Brentford went head to head with Burnley and  Fulham to see which club would have the honour of their man being selected as ‘Championship player of the season’. With the Judge up against former Bee Andre Gray and Cottager Ross McCormack in the final three, the winner was announced on Sunday evening.

It was a tremendous honour for Alan even to be named in this group. From the outside looking in, Brentford have failed to match last seasons heights and limped into mid-table after losing huge swathes of that squad. We’ve had to rebuild the team (and the pitch) yet Alan has been consistently brilliant.

The leading number of assists in the division is matched with his being top scorer for the Bees. Selection for the Irish National team saw a very real chance of his playing in the Euro 2016 finals, until that awful leg break suffered last weekend.

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Would Alan run off with the award?

His being shortlisted for this award was fully deserved but, in the end, it was the goalscoring prowess of Andre Gray that was telling. Massive congratulations are due to Andre as he not only picked up where he left off last season but has gone even better with Burnley knocking on the door of the Premier League once more. Thanks in no small part to his ability in front of goal.

Hey, in part this award was earned at Griffin Park. Whilst his sale to Burnley seemed inevitable given all the talk over the summer, Andre did start the season as a Bee. Indeed, his two game cameo saw goals against Ipswich Town and Bristol City as Brentford made it 4 points from our opening 6.   The rest though, is history.

Well done Andre. Fully deserved and, I have no doubt, his career will only go on to bigger and better things. I can’t wait to see how he does in the top flight next season.

That said , there was still great news for Alan. Whilst he may have just missed out on ‘Championship player of the season’ he did make it in to ’ ‘Team of the Season’ . This new award names the 11 outstanding players (and a manager) across all three divisions of the Sky Bet Football League.

Just to show how tough this one was, only 6 of the 11 slots went to Championship players whilst fellow nominee Ross McCormack missed out on selection. Interestingly, the League website tells us that selection was made as “a national judging panel then chose the final Football Manager Team of the Season with Opta’s player statistics assisting”.

See? Stats aren’t all bad 🙂 And does this mean we’ll have our eyes on any of the below over the summer…..?

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The League team of the season

Ok. A few other things from the weekend. Firstly, Toumani. He’s only been with Leeds United for three months and now he’s scored again. Ironic enough he did it on his full debut after keeping us hanging for so long but to nab a second so soon is just rubbing salt into the wound. In the nicest possible sense.

Bob’s big giveaway, that ‘one-of-a-kind’ signed shirt, has officially rolled over to the Fulham game. Nobody picked ‘Hogan,90’ against Bristol City and so we all have another chance to ‘go again’. Bob made the announcement on Twitter after the game although what method he has up his sleeve to find this a home is, as yet, unknown….

And finally, everybody’s favourite club feature, Terrace Talk, was back. With a new host. Don’t panic, Jo Tilley isn’t on gardening leave but due to her role at the Fan Zone, video content manager Sean Ridley stood in as a one-off host.

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For one night only….

As the regular reader will know, I love Jo’s work on Terrace Talk but having seen this,  all I can say is…Wow!!

Was there genuine panic in her voice at the end when she told our host, “Don’t steal my job” before he went chasing a duck (literally rather than metaphorically). Whilst I can’t really comment on the quality, or lack of, amongst some of the interviewees, could Sean have found a new role for himself? Or are we just lucky enough to have not one but two roving reporters who would give Clem a run for his money?

On Tuesday night against Cardiff City, we find out.

Nick Bruzon

It’s good to talk. On the terrace or elsewhere

7 Mar

Anything more to add after Brentford put in that anti-performance against Charlton? Having rewatched the action via highlight reel I’m still struggling to find (m)any positives. And with The Bees next facing the trip to Loftus Road and the derby with QPR, it’s clear a rapid ‘bucking up’ of ideas is needed


For what they’re worth

Can Brentford take anything positive?

Well, surely it can’t be possible to be that poor again? On a day when even Buzzette was reported to have lost her head, c/o Lasse Vibe in the warm up, it’s clear nobody had a good afternoon.

That said, at least she was able to get up and ‘go again’ rather than suffering the ignominy of being the first ever mascot to be stretchered off Griffin Park. Parents have been spared having to explain a decapitated anthropomorphic Bee to traumatised youngsters. A case of attempted insecticide, perhaps?

The other good news pre kick off is that #BeeTheDJ (our one decent Twitter hashtag) really works. Griffin Park rocked to The Quo and ‘Down,Down’. Many thanks indeed to Big Bee Radio.

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Kinder eggs and The Quo – enough to keep all ages happy pre kick off

Likewise, at least we won’t get whipped by Hull City on Tuesday night. A trip to Humberside so soon after the Charlton debacle was probably the last thing we’d have needed. Whilst the cancellation of our game due to the cup replay with Arsenal is frustrating, at least there is some silver lining.

Instead, it is QPR next up. As with last season’s low point, also Charlton (although away) the reaction seen in the following game was just what the doctor ordered. A 3-1 pasting of eventual champions Bournemouth put the spring back in Brentford’s step and allowed us to push on for the rest of the campaign.

Could we get more of the same on Saturday? I hope so.

Short term I’d be happy simply to hear our co-directors of football come out and talk about how they see things have gone so far this season. Especially after the weekend. More importantly, how do they feel things will go from here?

I’d love for them to just be honest. The fans aren’t stupid whilst, equally, we know how much Matthew Benham is backing this club. Last year was brilliant but our team deserved what they got. Let’s not hide behind ‘over achieved’ . Just as Leicester City are proving this year, talent and team spirit count for so much more than multi-millions.

Then again, if the mountain won’t come to Mohammed… For all that people are, understandably, frustrated about certain aspects of the current set up – on and off field – if you approach our staff (and many of them have contacts on the Internet / are visible on match day thanks to the confined nature of Griffin Park and her environs) you might be pleasantly surprised.

I’ve had lengthy discourse with one senior figure this week to try and explain supporter feeling whilst the Beesotted team are never shy to duck away from approaching club figures. And, of course, we have supporter organisations like BIAS and BU.

Whether directly or through one of these groups; with a voluminous list of questions or a one off observation, IF you want an answer then why not try and make your voice heard? What’s the worst that could happen? That said, all being well we’ll hear more out of the club soon.

The final good thing about the weekend, and probably my highlight, was another outing for ‘Terrace Talk’. You all know the score by now as Jo Tiley does her thing with a camera and those supporters eager to spill the beans on her question of the day.

This week’s topic is ‘favourite derby game memory‘ and, despite no mention of the wonderful 4-0 over Fulham back in 1992, the video doesn’t disappoint .

Oh for the power to look ahead and see if Saturday at QPR might make this list? Until then, here’s Jo….

Nick Bruzon

Don’t Panic. Or is it trouble? 7(seven) isn’t the magic number.

21 Feb

Derby County have ended their poor run. Brentford’s continues. A 3-1 victory for the Rams at Griffin Park was one which, if we are being honest with ourselves, they deserved on their first half performance alone. Equally, as we know too well, ‘deserving’ counts for nothing in football if you can’t take your chances. For Brentford to have been a goal up with ten minutes to go yet still lose (whilst shipping three) was just woeful. Derby wanted it more and got it.

The final whistle was greeted with a chorus of boos and I can well understand why. Regardless of our gratitude that Brentford are in the Championship,at present the Bees look all at sea and the stats don’t make good reading:

7(seven) defeats out of 9 games in 2016.

Only 7(seven) goals scored in those 9 games – take Preston out of the equation and its 4 from 8.

10 goals against in the last three games.

QPR now ahead of us in the league table.

GP v Derby

The overcast conditions matched the mood at Griffin Park

Indeed a wonderful first half performance from one of the old guard, David Button, was the difference between 0-0 and the game being out of sight before 3.45pm. A series of world class saves kept things level, the pick of which came from one of his own players.

Unmarked in the six yard box, Jake Bidwell volleyed a clearance straight towards the Brentford goal. That man Button was on hand to parry it to his left at almost point blank range and somehow out to safety.

But going in 0-0, it seemed as though Derby had blown their chance when Alan Judge gave Brentford the lead 7(seven) minutes into the second half. And oh, what a goal.

Picking the ball up inside his own half, Judge ran and ran down the right flank before reaching the edge of the box. With Kerschbaumer making a late, unmarked, run into the centre Judge ignored him and kept going before firing home to the far corner from the acutest of angles

Whilst not quite as narrow as Van Basten in Euro ’88, it wasn’t far off. Judge had no right to score from there yet, such is his confidence and ability, he made it look simple. What a goal and what a moment for the Bees. If nothing else, the media team would have breathed a sigh of relief as it means they won’t be combing footage of the development squad to find an entrant for February’s ‘goal of the month’ competition.

And that was the high point. With the Bees’ creative juices drying up as we looked to keep it tight, things went South in the final ten minutes. The first came as the Brentford defence (rightly) called for handball. Yet only Jeff Hendrick played on and, left in yards of space, slid it neatly between Button’s legs . The previously unbeatable ‘keeper was given no chance as the rest of his defence stopped running and just waved their arms in the air, seemingly more interested in having a private game of ‘who can hail a taxi first?’.

Was it hand ball? Absolutely. Should it have stood? Probably not. But it is one of the most basic lessons of football to play the whistle, not the ball. You can’t legislate for that level of schoolboy defending. Standing still and relying on a referee to make what you believe to be the correct call is as risky a defensive strategy as they come. And it was the wrong one. 1-1.

From that point on, we were dead in the water. Cyrus ‘the virus’ Christie gave Derby the lead four minutes later, tucking in from close range and breaking Brentford hearts.

With 87 minutes on the clock, Dean Smith opted to bring on one of his two attacking midfielders in Sergi Canos (I don’t count the largely ineffectual Swift). Why he or Sam weren’t introduced earlier, or even started, I have no idea but perhaps there was a belief our fragile team would hang on to a 1-0.

And, as time ran out, it almost happened. With no working scoreboard or fourth official’s timer, the game was well into Jota time when the chance to salvage something came. And then went. Jake Bidwell’s goalbound header was miraculously saved at the death by  Scott Carson.

The ‘keeper, who seemed to have taken the advice of Rams’ sponsor ‘Just Eat’ a bit too literally, dived to his left and somehow tipped Jake’s downward header away on the goal line. If Judge’s goal had been ‘not quite Van Basten’, this save was ‘almost Gordon Banks’. Again, the angle wasn’t quite as severe as with the famous predecessor but I still don’t know how Carson got down there. Well played , that man.

And with that, it was Doncaster Rovers all over again. The chance having been and gone for the Bees, Derby broke down the other end to put the game officially out of sight, courtesy of Chris Martin. Bees fans were left feeling yellow as the indignity of another defeat in that style was further compounded by an inevitable volley of Coldplay puns.

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And this was at 0-0….

Being honest, whatever the logic behind the change in manager and decision to sell the players from last season, we are a pale shadow of the team that played with so much freedom and confidence 12 months ago. Such is the general vibe that the campaign objective now seems one of simply limping over the line and hoping we can hang in there for a fresh start in 2016/17.

But for Alan Judge and David Button, I have no idea where we’d be heading. Yesterday really would have been a wonderful chance to show a reaction after Brighton and Sheffield Wednesday. Instead, up against a team on an even worse run of form than ourselves, we ended up with the proverbial damp squib.

The only plus point of the day (aside from the genuinely unexpected arrival of the ‘Terrace Talk’ cameras into the upper room at The Griffin….) was the news that Matthew Benham is back on Twitter following his second period of self-imposed exile.

No matter how frustrating an experience some are finding it supporting the Bees at present, let’s hope people treat him with the respect he deserves this time around.

Having been spoiled to ambassadorial levels last season, the luxury of the Ferrero Rocher pyramid has now been replaced by what tastes like cold leftovers. That’s a hard thing to swallow but, whatever confusion is happening on the pitch, this is still the team we support and the club we love. Saturday’s wouldn’t be the same without it.

We’ve had a tough run of games and Tuesday night against Wolves won’t be any easier. Whilst we can’t rely on the likes of Judge and Button forever, it would be great to see if Dean Smith and his management committee can inspire some of the new breed to step up and show their potential over the coming games. It looked like we might do that a few weeks ago, only to have now taken three huge steps backwards.

That said, we are where we are. Crying over it won’t make a difference. Given the sheer lunacy of the season so far, frankly I’d be happy for another 13 points and a couple of local derby wins.

And for any County fans still reading, I’m not talking about beating the Rams at Griffin Park…..

leaving GP

Fans trudge out in the shadow of Denmark’s finest

Nick Bruzon

Will form go out the window in today’s ‘Game of Throws’?

20 Feb

Saturday and game on. Brentford await the arrival of Derby County in a Championship game that sees two teams who, it would be fair to say, are currently going through a dip in form. We’ve talked enough about the results against Brighton and Sheffield Wednesday to warrant any further regurgitation of those facts. Suffice to say that Bees fans will, surely, be looking for something a bit more positive now we are back at Griffin Park after a nightmare road trip.

Derby are faring even worse than us at present and this was a point really hammered home by the arrival of yesterday’s match preview email. The description of ‘current form’ is one which, whilst technically accurate, highlights the sticky patch both clubs have currently hit. The question is, who will be the first to pull themselves out of it?

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The club’s ‘current form’ graphic

Well, my online bookmaker (used purely for research purposes) has the Bees at a very generous 21/10, Derby 13/10 and the draw 23/10. All of which makes the Rams slight favourites but, really, suggests that nobody has a clue. I can’t call it.

Then again I can’t even call which options Dean Smith will start with today. The main thing we can say for sure is that central defence will feature Jack O’Connell and Harlee, following last week’s red card for Yoann Barbet.

Whilst, of course, the likes of Alan Judge, David Button and Jake Bidwell also name themselves, the rest still remains somewhat up for grabs in terms of a guaranteed start. And the return to fitness of Alan McCormack adds a further option in centre mid.Regardless of whether he is picked, if nothing else surely this makes ‘Return of the Mack’ an absolute shoe-in for #BeeTheDJ today?

Get the crowbar out

I have it on good authority that the other thing returning for this game will be Terrace Talk. I have no idea where or when Jo and her camera crew will appear but do keep your eyes open for a chance to shine in our latest, and greatest, social media feature. Terrace Talk was conspicuous by its absence for the Leeds game so here’s hoping its back with a bang today.

Talking of social media this brings us (with all the subtly of a McCormack challenge) to Snapchat. Anybody like myself, confused as to why we’d changed our twitter profile picture to something resembling a white tadpole in a dress, soon found the answer on the club site.

Of course (?!), this was just our own take on the logo for the popular photo sharing app which ‘BrentfordFC’ have now joined . Personally, I’ve never used this before but, having signed up, it’ll be interesting to see what our media team send through over the course of a match day.

As for our Twitter account, this morning the ever direct annette c has since noted “What the f*@ is Brentfords new display picture thing?! Ew. Get the crest back please!!”

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BrentfordFC are now on Snapchat

It really is all happening today at Griffin Park. Along with the ever popular ‘free chilli’ in the Hive (get in early) we’ve also got our ‘new shirts for old’ promotion running in the club shop.

But for me (Clive) Kitman Bob Oteng has beaten Jo, chilli, the club shop and BeeTheDJ in one fell swoop when it comes to pre-game excitement .

Yes, its the return of his cryptic quiz. Bob is to giveaways what Matthew Benham was to transfer clues. And today’s competition sees supporters given, quite literally, the chance to win the shirt off Toumani’s back. Likewise, a pair of boots. Promising us a debut qualifying question, those up early saw the unveiling of his latest attempt to bamboozle Brentford fans.

What a prize. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the black ‘third’ shirt is stunning. Here’s hoping for a chance to finally guess one right.

Nick Bruzon

What’s the talk about ‘Terrace Talk’ and Lloyd?

14 Jan

Burnley visit Brentford tomorrow and the Bees will, no doubt, be looking to bounce back from Tuesday night’s defeat to Middlesbrough. Despite playing fantastically at times, that goal just wouldn’t come and, as such, we played the ultimate price. You know what happened by now though.

Instead, to coin that most jarring of phrases, “We go again” . Whilst ordinarily I’d suggest you file that one next to: “every little helps” (bad grammar that doesn’t actually mean anything), “expresso” (the word is espresso – is it that hard to pronounce the letter ‘s’ ?) and “You support Brentwood. In Essex?” as things to get under my skin, I’m kind of desperate for that to happen this time around.

All the plaudits in the world for nice approach play and some cracking chances don’t disguise the fact we lost. Albeit to the League leaders. But there was still plenty in there to inspire and give cause for optimism that we can go one better against Burnley in front of the TV cameras on Friday. And I can’t wait for that chance to come.

The other thing to emerge from Tuesday night’s game, and a subject we’ve not discussed as yet in this column, is the latest ‘Terrace Talk’ video. In a feature that seems somewhat familiar to those that Beesotted have being doing for years, the club have now jumped on the ‘fan interview’ bandwagon.

Hosted by matchday programme contributor Jo Tiley, the initial criticisms are obvious and I feel somewhat like a cat toying with a spider saying anything nasty on this one. It has been accused of being a blatant rip off of a fan produced feature introduced by a presenter who seemed to suffer from volume issues at first (the microphone is what helps us hear, there’s really no need to shout).

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Jo Tiley presents the latest edition of Terrace Talk

Yet.Yet.Yet… I love it. It shouldn’t work given the high profile comparison yet somehow it does and is fast becoming cult viewing. The interviews feature a good cross section of guests – both fans and club figures. Vice-chairman Donald Kerr appears alongside supporter John Hirdle, amongst others, in this latest issue whilst I’m sure I saw Buzzette’s minder in the post Walsall edition.

Jo has definitely refined her presenting technique, too, and even managed to root out an Arsenal fan (who was apparently hospitalised with frost bite) in this one. I’m very much looking to see her do battle with the Sky team on Friday. Come on Jo ! Why not even see if you can rope one of their team in for a chat?

Hey, with Lloyd Owusu deservedly being welcomed into the hall of fame (and more on this tomorrow), he’d be a cracking guest to bag. Or even how about that as a subject of discussion?

Which player do supporters think should be entered into this elite group ?

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Lloyd Owusu – back at Griffin Park this Friday

At the end of the day, Clive, a good idea is going to see similar ones follow suit. Coke and Pepsi; Grandstand and World of Sport. The Last Word and, erm… well, you get my drift.

Terrace talk may come over as the club take on Beesotted, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a crack aswell.

Keep up the good work, Jo. Here’s to the next edition.

terrace talk – the latest edition

Nick Bruzon