Tag Archives: Thunderbirds

What next after a super Tuesday?

15 Jul

Brentford have played their first game under Marinus, Birmingham City (second up at Griffin Park this season) have launched a stunning new kit and Will Grigg has joined Wigan Athletic. Meanwhile, elsewhere in Europe Matthew Benham’s other team, FC Midtjylland, were in Champions League action against Lincoln Red Imps of Gibraltar.

First up, though, Portugal where two Brentford teams (the line up changed at half time) cruised to a 3-0 victory over SC Farense. With only Chris Wickham’s match report and Twitter to rely on, I’m not sure how much we can take from this. Likewise, in a game where 22 Brentford players were used.

Certainly, it seemed comfortable and, as Chairman Cliff Crown noted on twitter at half time, the only thing Jack Bonham caught was a tan – a reference to our dominance rather than his ability. Which, by that logic would then make Sam Saunders a world-class goalkeeper.

Chairman Crown bought comms and match action via Twiter

Chairman Crown brought comms and match action via Twiter

Despite us changing the line up at half time, notable absentees included Andreas Bjelland, Josh McEachran and David Button (read what you will into any of that) but good to see Marcos Tebar get a run out. As interesting was the description of our line up in the aforementioned report as a 4-3-3 throughout with two deeper lying midfield players but their wide attackers pushed high up the pitch.

Sunday at Boreham Wood and then the following Saturday at home to Stoke City give Bees fans, barring a small hardcore who made it over to the Algarve, their first chance to see this in action. I can’t wait.

One player who won’t be there is Northern Ireland International Will Grigg, who has joined Wigan Athletic for a fee rumoured to be GBP1,000,000. Club owner Matthew Benham took to Twitter to offer him his best wishes, saying: “v unlucky in 13/14 with intl call ups, niggling injuries and the form of Marcello, still scored vital goals for us though. Then had a great season at MK last year”

Will seemed an excellent signing, on paper, for Brentford and got off to a flying start with a brace, and a missed penalty, on his home debut against Sheffield United. Sadly, things went downhill from there and a record of 5 goals in 34 games tells its own story.

View from the terrace - Will was denied a home debut hat trick

View from the terrace – Will was denied a home debut hat trick

That said, as he has proven with both Walsall and MK Dons, he can certainly find the net at that level and so who knows just how well he’ll do in future. Good luck, Will.

From our own perspective, it does present an interesting problem as it leaves Brentford with Andre Gray as the only recognised striker on our books (although you could have said the same last season given the way things worked out for Nick Proschwitz). Will Matthew be flexing the chequebook, scouring the European lower leagues of even promoting from within?

The youth team are chomping at the bit whilst we’ve more midfielders than you could shake a stick at. Could Jonathan Douglas or even Harlee Dean (who has been pressed into emergency action before) prove a statistical enigma that nobody had considered previously? Whilst it would mean they were pulled from their traditional positions, competition in those slots is already sure to be tough with some quality players joining the club.

Whilst the Dougie/Harlee suggestion is, perhaps, too far a flight of fancy, stranger things have happened. With four weeks until the big kick off (™), expect more news on that soon. One thing’s for sure, Andre was desperately crying out for some support last time out and I don’t expect us to make the same mistake this time around.

Although we won’t be seeing Will at Griffin Park in league action this season, barring an 11th hour transfer then Clayton Donaldson will be back with Birmingham City. And, it has to be said, he’ll be looking good.

The St. Andrews outfit launched their new kit last night and it is a stunning effort. Whilst the club were keen to point out it harked back to their 1875 incarnation as Small Heath Alliance, the universal reaction was – Thunderbirds. Let’s hope Clayton isn’t pulling the strings for them when they visit.

5 4 3 2 1. Birmingham City are go!

5 4 3 2 1. Birmingham City are go!

Finally, the Champions League. David certainly met Goliath last night as Lincoln Red Imps of Gibraltar travelled to Danish Champions FC Midtjylland for the first leg of their their second qualifying round. There can’t be (m)any Brentford fans unaware that Matthew Benham owns FCM whilst, on a personal note, my own Gibraltarian roots do mean this column is often peppered with references to football life in UEFA newest member.

Indeed, the build up to last night’s game saw the local Gibraltar Chronicle offering Matthew’s Bees a promotion and Premiership place we haven’t, yet, earned.

If only

If only

The final score saw the Danes run out to a narrow 1-0 win, as both Kyle and Lee Casciaro came close for the visitors in the final few minutes. With the return leg to come next week on the Rock, this is anything that the foregone conclusion it looked like when the draw was made.

Could the Gibraltarians cause the shock of the season before league action begins? We’ll keep you posted.

Lincoln Red Imps prepare for kick off

Lincoln Red Imps prepare for kick off

Nick Bruzon

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As ever, should you want to read more about  Brentford  (through the eyes of a supporter) then the amalgamated Last Word compendiums from the last two seasons 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, through the eyes of a supporter.

Featuring the best of the not so bad columns and some additional, previously unseen material, they’re just another way to get through a few days over the summer as we wait for any more transfer news to be confirmed and the season to start.

Who is the real Brains of the bunch? Is this our away shirt?

8 Jun

The atmosphere surrounding England in the forthcoming World Cup is, quite literally, electric but for me there is as much excitement in the drip feed of the new kits to be worn in the league next season. Of course, we all know what the Brentford home and goalkeeper efforts are going to look like but what about the away version?

It’s fair to say that nobody knows. Like the mid-season appointment of Warbs to the Griffin Park managerial hotseat, could it be as big a surprise? Well, the clues are out there for the eagle-eyed reader (for eagle eyed, see also: stabbing wildly in the dark).

As regular commentator Bernard Quackenbush mentioned the other day, the reveal of the Brentford kit very much resembled the opening credits of TV’s Thunderbirds. A close up of each ‘vehicle’ from which it would be impossible to recognise the final design spec until the camera pulled away for that wide angle ‘reveal’.

I quite liked this analogy, until I started to look a bit further into this year’s Adidas catalogue. Amongst their designs already released are those for Middlesborough (h) and West Ham (a). Both feature broad, diagonal sashes and, particularly in the case of West Ham, could have been taken direct from Gerry Anderson’s puppet laboratory (a more sinister sounding place, I’m yet to imagine).

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The Adidas ‘sash’ template for the forthcoming season. All a bit too ‘Gerry Anderson’

I have no issues with a shirt sash if done correctly – see Peru and Crystal Palace – but the latest Adidas effort is as subtle as Adrian Chiles desperately filling 40 minutes of lightning storm delayed England football last night. “Slow down”, he exhorted Ian Wright, “you’re talking too fast. Don’t you remember Poland? We’ve no idea how long we have to talk for”.

And given we seem to have thrown a lot of eggs in the basket marked ‘home and gk’, does this mean there is any room left for something special in the away design? Recent Brentford away efforts have seen black, yellow/black, black/gold, and the two-tone blue.

I’ve always been a fan of the latter but if we adopted this, with the aforementioned ‘sash’ template, then I can only see us with something very much akin to the West Ham model. And that would not be good.

Brentford away 2014??

Crudely photoshopped image of how a blue/blue sash kit might look

Still – this is all pure guess work. I have nothing more to base this on beyond unsubstantiated speculation and crazy theories. But it’s one to think about in the short term.

Our club hasn’t disappointed us so far and I am sure that, whenever the announcement is made (any comment, Mark Devlin?) we could be in for a treat.

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The Thunderbirds style home shirt ‘teaser campaign’. Number 4 is, erm, Gordon Tracy

Would the real A.Gomez please stand up? A programme poser.

25 Apr

Our reader may recall the weekend’s ‘unseen pictures’ article from promotion day in which I wondered whether the Burnley supporters had got one over the Brentford programme team back in the mid-90s?

The picture in question, supposedly from the Burnley London supporters club (but more likely Benny Hill), was just one of many from a stash of publications that contained a cornucopia of unintentional comedy aswell as, more importantly, presenting a fascinating documented history of the club – ranging from fashion to the general look and feel of Griffin Park though the ages.

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Denny Mundee wins a man of the match award in 1994 ( in front of the club ‘Thunderbirds’ wall). His tailor awaits Marcello’s call

As evident was the real interaction with the supporters and nowhere was this better seen than through the letter’s page. In these days of instant email and fan forums, the ‘open letter’ is becoming much more of a dying art.

Which is a real shame because is something the club specialised in for years. Where else would you find gems such as this that has, genuinely, had me wondering all week if Gomez met Gomez?

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Without doubt the matchday programme has stepped up it’s game over the years  (it is award winning this season) and has traditionally encouraged supporter interaction. We see this of course, with Andrew’s kind souvenir donation whilst I had four enjoyable years writing ‘Where Are They Now’ and (the previous incarnation of) ‘The Last Word’ but that’s not what I’m pushing for.

Instead, I’d love it if we could see a return of the ‘old school’ letter’s page. Perhaps, “Ask Mark” (which could refer to Devlin in his role as chief executive or Chapman as programme editor).

I understand that any publication is always going to look at ways to improve whilst some may see letter writing as a backwards step. However, with a club that is as open as Brentford, then what a great opportunity for supporters to share their views in print or pose any questions on a regular basis?

Failing that, how about reproducing a few historical curios from ‘programmes of the past’? The club is not beyond a bit of nostalgia, as we’ve seen with this season’s ‘old shirts’ feature.

Of course it is important to move forward but at the same time, there’s no harm in remembering where we’ve come from.