Tag Archives: the

It’s official! Nobody saw this coming (especially Alan Irwin)

2 Sep

It’s official – Brentford have signed Portugal U-21 striker Betinho on loan from Sporting. Just read that again! Brentford have signed Portugal U-21 striker Betinho on loan from Sporting. The story is so incredible sounding that you wouldn’t believe it to be true if it you’d read it any place other than in club news or on the BBC.

It’s official  – the deal to take Adam Forshaw to Wigan Athletic from Brentford has finally gone through, a week after the price finally reached an acceptable level (you can’t blame Dave Whelan for trying his luck).

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.

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Three stunning pictures as the times are definitely changing.

29 Aug

We’ll get to the pictures in a moment but I need to start with a follow up on yesterday’s column regarding the video reports produced by Brentford and Birmingham City supporters (specifically: Beesotted and Davo’s diary).

One of the questions left open was whether Birmingham City joining forces with Davo, thus allowing him to show the pitch whilst posting his ‘independent’ production on the official site, left his work open to ‘editorial input’ or ‘selling out’?

Well, I’ve been contacted by several supporters to shed further light on this topic. Shane Ireland summarises the reasoning and, clearly, if this is an accurate reflection then it suggest Birmingham City are moving with the times.

It seems the Football League filed copyright complaints and the footage was, initially, removed from YouTube. However, some swearing aside, the version that now features on the clubsite is the same that appears, once more, on Davo’s own YouTube channel.

You can see his comments in full, along with others, on yesterday’s piece but to summarise Shane tells me :“The move by which BCFC allowed Davo to continue producing his content was a very popular one when they announced he would be doing it for the club’s official YouTube channel at the start of last season.

As BCFC could clearly see how enjoyable his videos were, they essentially ‘employed’ him in a position where he made his fan videos for the club, allowing him to set up a new YouTube channel in the process, which proved an extremely popular decision.

The videos which are uploaded onto BCFC’s official channel are very similar to the one’s Davo uploads to his own, with only the noticeable swearing edited out. The club even keep in the ‘all we care about is BCFC’ line from our ‘We don’t care about Carson’ song.”

Could Brentford step in to do something similar with Beesotted? Would Brentford want to step in to do something similar with Beesotted? Indeed, would Beesotted be happy to go into a ‘partnership’ with the Brentford media team?

These aren’t questions for me to answer but one thing’s for sure; they certainly seem to be working well for Davo, Birmingham City and, more importantly, their supporters. And if one club has set precedent then I’m sure it’s only a a matter of time before others look to follow.

Right, picture time. Browsing Twitter this morning, I stumbled across this from @antiquefootball. Ted Drake of Arsenal being carried off the pitch at First Division (we have been there, kids) Brentford back in 1938.

They certainly did things differently back then. Less a stretcher and more a sack of spuds.

The 1930s saw Griffin Park host top flight football and primitive medical techniques

The 1930s saw Griffin Park host top flight football and primitive medical techniques

Next picture. Ever wondered what World, European and double Olympic champion Mo Farah would look like, posing with Buzz, Buzzette and an oversized novelty cheque?

There’s a really important story on the club website about the partnership between his ‘Mo Foundation’ charity, the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust and Sport Impact.

You can read the story in full on the official site and, in the short term, here’s a preview of that picture.

Forget the Olympics. Meeting Buzzette is, surely, the highlight of Mo's career to date

Forget the Olympics. Meeting Buzzette is, surely, the highlight of Mo’s career to date

Final picture – the FA Cup preliminary round takes place on Saturday. Exotic sounding teams such as Thurnby Nirvana, Prescot Cables, Runcorn Linnets and Spoting Khalsa give their fans the chance to wave a home made (preferably tin foil) trophy at a game.

It’s something we’ve all (I hope) done – including yours truly, pictured below (NOT one of the 3 pictures).

Nothing says FA Cup tradition like a home made trophy

Nothing says FA Cup tradition like a home made trophy

However, it seems that this is a tradition that extends to the very top of the footballing pyramid. The 1987 Cup final between Coventry City and Tottenham Hotspur saw, probably, the finest example ever of this noble art.

The place: an empty Wembley stadium.

The channel: BBC1

The cup waver – none other than Des Lynam.

Viewers to the build up show for that day’s final were treated to the below. Frankly, football doesn’t get any better than this.

Great work, Des.

Des Lynam rocks the moustache, sports jacket and home made trophy combo

Des Lynam rocks the moustache, sports jacket and home made trophy combo

Birmingham City and Brentford fans – trailblazers or sell outs?

28 Aug

With the disappointment of Adam Forshaw and Tuesday night against Fulham put to one side, I’ve been trawling the Internet for a different Brentford story. And thanks to a most unlikely source – Birmingham City – I’ve found one.

It’s no secret that even outside of ‘official’ circles we have several fanatics involved in promoting Brentford FC. And, by promoting, I mean more along the lines of ‘getting involved’.

The work of the Beesotted crew is, of course, a longstanding yardstick by which to judge others but then we have all other levels of involvement.

There are the bloggers such as myself and Greville Waterman with his BFCtalk; the fanzine teams such as Thorne In The Side; the authors, such as Luis Adriano or, again, yours truly (‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA cup’ and ‘Penalties‘ are still both available on kindle). Even the supporters themselves, through the medium of fancam.

Which brings me on to Birmingham City. For all the past rivalry and banter their fans are, ultimately, much like our own. You get those who travel, those who like a drink in an ‘away’ pub, those who arrive two hours early to clap the players off the coach and those who write the blogs, publish the fanzines and shoot the home produced videos. Diehards who each contribute their own small piece to the labour of love that is ‘supporting your team’.

In the case of Birmingham City things are slightly different. Trying to find a picture of Clayton Donaldson in a ‘blue shirt’ I stumbled across the below video by a chap called Davo. Like the Beesotted ‘match videos’ it features the visit to the opposing team and various fan interviews.

 

However, unlike the Beesotted videos – their equivalent from the Birmingham game being below – there are two distinct differences which, I’d wager, are probably related.

 

 

The first difference being that the Birmingham video shows actual ‘on pitch action’. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t BAFTA winning quality and you are never going to say to yourself: “Sorry Manish. I would tune in to the football league show but, to be honest, why would I want your multi-angle HD coverage when I’ve seen a blur of Clayton through the back of somebody’s head?

That said, what they do have is an added sense of ‘being there’. We can’t all be lucky enough to travel and this footage just adds to the sense of still remaining part of that giant football family.

Frankly, I love it. I think this is a great touch to complement a really well put together piece of work. Even for the ‘home’ team, it gives a unique view on the game as, in the case of Brentford, we’d never see action from the Wendy House.

To be honest, I’m not sure how Davo is able to get away with this. As the Brentford fancam adverts constantly tell us, “Under the terms of the Football League’s broadcast agreements, supporters are not allowed to publish any footage taken from inside a ground when a Football League match is taking place..”

But here’s the trade off and, I’d guess, that second key difference. A version of the Birmingham City video is also available via the official club site. And with any ‘official’ publication you are liable to the possibility of censorship and editing,

Not just that but a potential loss of respect from the very people you are appealing to. If the likes of T.I.T.S. or GPG could only exist through official club channels, there’d be immediate accusations of “Sell out” all round. I love these sources purely because they ARE independent.

That’s not to knock the club. They produce their own highlight packages and Beesplayer features. Football is a business and they are appealing to their consumers – the fans. The media team are trying to promote ‘brand Brentford’ and why should they allow anybody else to muscle in?

And this is where we come back to the earlier ‘Manish’ point. It’s one which has also been highlighted by the Premiership recently looking to prosecute people for publishing highlight clips on YouTube.

I’m not a (complete) idiot and realise that there are things such as contracts, licensing agreements, exclusivity deals etc. However, there is also such a thing as technology, which is ever evolving.

Social media and mobile phones are going to present people with more and more opportunity to share these sort of clips. Technology which is going to be harder and harder to police. Just ask Getty images!

These are clips that, of course, are hardly of the highest quality (relative to the TV coverage or official highlights packages) and unlikely to steal any potential viewing figures. I could watch either of these two video reports but I’d still, also, want to catch up on the Football League show or club YouTube site.

I could read Greville’s latest blog column but I’d still make sure I juxtaposed this with Chris Wickham’s match report.

The point being, as ever in a very roundabout fashion, that I’m not sure what the footballing authorities (at whatever level) are scared of?

People are never going to turn away from official coverage because some well organised fans have bolstered their video report with thirty seconds of match footage shot from the back of the terrace. Reports which have all the more credibility for the fact that they remain independent.

Our clubs do an excellent job of Youtube and ‘player’ footage.

Davo at Birmingham has produced a really impressive piece of work that has the bonus of ‘unique’ match footage although who knows if/what the club have held back. Even if nothing, supporters will always have their suspicions that this is just more ‘club speak’.

Beesotted have the innovation of prematch ‘pub debate’ followed by, action free, match reports. That said, they still push the envelope and were, for example, the ones ‘on the ground’ with a video camera at the post-Preston impromptu promotion street party

All these teams produce different pieces of work but all complement each other. Is there really no margin for a bit of crossover? Like it or not, social media is going to make this happen more and more.

Whilst, rightly, I can’t see the likes of the BBC, the clubs or the Leagues allowing fans to transmit full match footage, is the odd minute or two of handheld camera footage REALLY that big a threat? Indeed, could you argue that this brief taster will only drive supporters towards official sites to see ‘the real thing’.

Or is money and exclusivity that big a deal that any threat should either be obliterated or legitimised through an official partnership? I do find it interesting that Birmingham City have even had to go down a partnership route. Is it a case of embracing change or simply ‘making a deal with the devil’ ?

My take on it? Official footage is high quality but a few minutes of supporter shot film gives that true feeling of being part of a fanbase; of supporting your team; of stoking further interest. And given how the club’s bottom line is, surely, to attract ‘customers’, then what easier way to do this?

If the video crews, bloggers and fanzine writers are prepared to do this then, surely, they are just saving the marketing teams a bucketload of effort and providing hours of publicity?

One thing’s for sure, we haven’t seen the last of fan shot video reports. The only decision being how hard the clubs and League want to police them or, if done in moderation, how much they are actually prepared to accept this, unintentional, free advertising.

Looking for Clayton, I ended up with Davo's diary

Looking for Clayton, I ended up with Davo’s diary

Are the Wolf Pack suffering a relegation hangover? Brentford stay top.

4 Jan

Has sport gone crazy?  Brentford are still at the top of League One after Wolves lost at Gillingham last night.

That can’t be correct but I watched the game on Sky. I’m sure I saw Bees fan Natalie Sawyer doing an admirable job in remaining neutral as Wolves , the former league leaders, were beaten by Brentford old boys.

Then I got out of bed at 5.30 this morning to see England (the cricketing equivalent of Wolves?) are being beaten once more by Australia. Sport isn’t ‘broken’

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.

The A-Z of Brentford – October 2013

31 Oct

As Brentford reach the end of October on a high and prepare to face Crawley Town at the weekend, it’s time to round up the best and worst of what happened over the month in another A-Z. Warning: includes some tenuous links.

A – Ashton Gate. This win at the home of Bristol City, our second successive victory in the league, propelled the Bees to seventh place in the table (despite Uwe’s brief aspiration for the Griffin Park support to be more like theirs). And better was to come.

B – Buzzette. ‘The Last Word’ launched another caption competition to win a Buzzette mug. Being judged by Natalie Sawyer, the best of the (printable) entries received so far are on line and you can still enter here if you are here quick.

C – Colchester United. A superlative final twenty minutes against the U’s, following a frustrating earlier period in which we went a goal down, saw Brentford cruise to a Clayton Donaldson inspired 3-1 victory.

D – Dallas, Stuart. Went on loan to Northampton and scored from the bench (not literally) on his debut. Now has two goals from his first three games for the Cobblers.

E – England ‘band’. THE most irritating thing in football. A reminder was received mid-month, if ever one was needed, that musical instruments should never be allowed into Brentford games. Hurrah for the Poland fans who finally drowned them out as we qualified for the world cup 2014.

F – Flares. The firey things, not the über -cool 70’s trouser. The 14 year old numpty who brought one into the Colchester game was subsequently arrested, banned from Griffin Park and was due to attend youth court at the end of the month. It really isn’t big, clever or injecting any sort of ‘Continental, colourful atmosphere’. Don’t do it, kids.

G – George (Saville) curled home a magnificent shot to put Brentford into the lead against Colchester. A contender for goal of the season, alongside Adam Forshaw against Sheffield United and Shay up at Port Vale.

H – Harris, Kadeem. My word, doesn’t Kadeem Harris look tasty? Cardiff City’s latest attempt to say “sorry we nicked your goalkeeper, even though we aren’t playing him’” looks like the proverbial ‘wing wizard’ that the Bees have been crying out for at times. The loan signing deservedly scored, on his debut.

I – Inquisition. Nobody expects the Stevenage Inquisition. Certainly not Billy Reeves and the rest of the press, as Uwe kept them all waiting whilst he ‘had a chat’ with the team after the Stevenage game. Whatever they discussed certainly seems to have worked. Three successive wins followed.

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Nobody expects the Stevenage Inquisition

J – Joao Carlos (Teixera). Returned to Liverpool after 28 days of a loan spell that saw him barely register on the Griffin Park radar. An unusual piece of business from start to finish, it will be very interesting to see if, longer term, the Portuguese U-20 was our biggest missed opportunity in years or another wunderkind who fizzles away.

K – Kick it out. The campaign for ‘tackling exclusion’ in football had a promotional day this month with everybody from players to mascots and even Buzzette (below) getting involved. You can read more about ‘Kick it out’, here.

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Buzzette shows her support for the ‘Kick it out’ campaign

L – Lee, Richard. Was handed back the gloves against Bristol City and made it three wins from his four appearances this season. Followed this up by giving an exclusive, and very open, interview to ‘The Last Word’.

M – Marcello (Trotta). Off the mark against Colchester United and then bagged the winner against Shrewsbury Town. Let’s hope the second chapter of the Trotta-Brentford story has a happier conclusion for the team.

N – Norris, Luke. Déjà vu? Luke Norris went on loan to Northampton and scored, on his debut. He’s gone one better than Stuart, though, and now has three goals from his first three games for the Cobblers.

O – The O’s. Leyton Orient are top of the table, as it stands, but the wining run has been stopped and their lead over Brentford is now down to 11 points.

P – Peterborough. The Posh (about as posh as allegedly Posh Spice ie not very) were 2-1 home winners in the JPT. I didn’t want to go to Wembley, anyway. Dreadful place.

Q – ‘Queuing up to get out’. Mark Burridge’s stirring description of the Bristol City fans as Clayton made it 2-0. Less a fire drill, more a full scale evacuation.

R – Rotherham. The fine win at Coventry/Northampton which closed September was immediately followed by a lacklustre home reverse to the Millers. Move along please, nothing to see. We won’t play this badly again. Ahh, hang on…

S – Stevenage. The less said about this the better. Out of the blocks like a greyhound following the Rotherham ‘display’, Clayton’s early goal was nullified by David Button’s questionable attempt to impersonate Johan Cruyff. Made Les Dennis’s take on ‘Mavis Riley’ look Oscar winning in comparison. A 2-1 defeat ensued.

T – Tabb, Jay. The Ipswich Town wide-man and ever-popular former Bee spoke to ‘The Last Word’ earlier this month about his career since leaving TW8 and his time at Griffin Park aswell as giving his thoughts on Brentford’s season so far.

U – Up. The direction Brentford are heading. Finished the month in 5th place after beginning it mid-table.

V – Venta, Javi. Had his contract terminated by mutual consent for personal reasons at the beginning of the month. A brave signing and a shame we never got to see Javi’s full potential. The flip side is the emergence of Allan McCormack in the cover right-back role. With three wins from three, could this be the tactical master-stroke of the season?

W – (The) Who. The match-day programme went all ‘Smash hits’ with an article about popular music’s ageing rockers. Bob Booker is a fan, apparently.

X – eXit music (sorry). Despite fine wins against Colchester and Shrewsbury, aswell as the loss to Rotherham, Griffin Park music lovers are still being tormented with those two ‘walk out music’ staples: ‘Celebrate’ by Kool and the gang, for three points, or the horror that is ‘Guaglione’ for a win/draw. Please Big Bee Radio. I’m begging you, change the record….

 Y – Yellow Cards. Even allowing for the appearance of Keith Stroud at Griffin Park for the final game of the month, only five bookings were made in our five league games over the period. And the one offered by Stroud seemed particularly innocuous.

Z – Zombie films, tenuous reference to. The month started in disappointing form with that defeat to Rotherham on October 5th. How things change and our next League game, 28 days later (I did say it was tenuous), sees Brentford in fifth place as they prepare to line up against Crawley Town.

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What a change in the 28 days between the Rotherham game and the impending Crawley fixture

Welcome (and ‘sack the editor’ !!)

23 Jun

Axed from the extended Brentford FC programme for season 2013/14 after four year’s voluntary service (for somewhat unclear reasons), here’s a chance for our reader to continue picking up ‘The Last Word’ column.

You won’t find match reports/pictures already seen on the website or articles about old football shirts here. Nor will you find the ‘manager’s notes’ from the previous programme. That said, you probably won’t find much quality but, at least, it will be free and unedited (in a content, rather than grammatical, fashion).

So, like ITV football –  it may be ugly. It may be full of hot air. It may spout the odd cliché. But, on the flip side, you won’t have the annoying ‘BT’ flat mates popping up after five minutes of broadcast (They say – “He’s reeling one in”. I say – “All sounds a bit stalker-ish”)

Until match day, feel free to check back in. I may add something Griffin Park related. Otherwise, we’ll go live at the beginning of August when the Bees travel to ‘Fat Bob’s’ Port Vale for the opening game of the campaign