Tag Archives: Uruguay

Everton lend a hand but are the players revolting?

18 Mar

Nobody could deny Thursday wasn’t interesting at Brentford. Matthew Benham’s cryptic clue was (I am assuming) unravelled when the news was announced that we’d signed striker Leandro Rodriguez on loan from Everton. Doctor, Knee, exit – Leandro, Rodriguez, Everton. Of course! I guess that’s why Matthew is the multi-millionaire club owner and I’m just the numpty on the terrace.

The signing of Leandro marks an attempt to arrest our barren patch in front of goal that came to a sad climax last weekend when, of course, head coach Dean Smith elected to go into the derby clash at QPR with no striker on the pitch. Whatever point he was trying to prove backfired spectacularly as the Bees failed to trouble the scorers and rarely looked like coming close.

That said, we are where we are and this can only be seen as a step in the right direction. The Everton youth production line has certainly been a beneficial one for the Bees in the past. Club captain Jake Bidwell and Adam Forshaw both joined Brentford from Goodison after initial loan spells whilst, but for injury, Conor McAleny and Chris Long both looked set for big things. Here’s hoping that, without wanting to put too much pressure on the young man’s shoulders, the Everton-Brentford connection can do it again.

The other interesting thing about this transfer, assuming you find this sort of thing interesting, was in regards to the announcement of the news. It’s often been noted how ‘off the pace’ we look compared to our rivals and, again, this would seem to have been the case yesterday looking at the release time of stories on the News Now website.

10.31: Everton striker Leandro Rodriguez leaves on loan. Liverpool Echo

10:59: Brentford sign Everton Uruguayan Forward Rodriguez. Beesotted

11:18: Dean Smith makes first Brentford signing as Everton striker joins on loan. Get West London

11:40: John Swift called-up to England Under-21 squad. Brentford FC – Official Site

13:09: Rodriguez Loaned To Brentford. Everton FC – Official Site

13:20: Leandro Rodriguez signs on loan from Everton. Brentford FC – Official Site

13:22: Brentford sign Everton’s Rodriguez. BBC

And with that, it was officially all ‘official’.

Leandro signs

Breaking – everywhere else first. Leandro puts pen to paper

I’m sure it was a case of waiting until the ink had dried on the paperwork but for Beesotted to be almost two and a half hours ahead of the club with this comm does make me wonder how they do it. And ‘official’ don’t. Or just can’t. Moreso as, whatever protests you’ll hear from fans/staff, Dave and Billy are pretty much on the money with everything they run on their site. Who was that last interview with? Oh yes, Matthew Benham.

No doubt the local press get wind of these things from their ‘sources’ and our hands are tied to an extent but, at least, surely we could ‘turn the key’ at the same time as Everton? Or had they just ‘gone rogue’?

Still, at least we were all ahead of the BBC whilst, unlike with Toumani, pictures of Leandro wearing a Brentford tracksuit hadn’t appeared all over social media two days earlier. Compared to that, three hours isn’t too bad in the grand scheme!

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As somebody once said

The other news of real interest yesterday, where the club most definitely did have the lead, was the update given by Alan McCormack during the press conference from the Jersey Road media centre. The ‘live tweeting’ of press conference updates by ‘Brentford official’ HAS been a real positive in recent weeks. This one was no exception as Alan revealed that Jake Bidwell had orchestrated a ‘players-only meeting’ the Monday after the QPR debacle.

In a subsequent article that you can read in full on the club website, he has been quoted as saying , “We all sat on our own and we said what needed to be done: what needed to happen this week and every week towards the end of the season…..a few people said a few things. We spoke about what we are good at and what we need to do better. Everyone wants to win as much as the player beside them. The attitude of the players in training on Monday, Tuesday and today has been exceptional

 Wow. Are the players revolting? Is Dean losing his dressing room? Or was this a sign of Jake making his mark as captain and the squad facing up to those areas where perhaps they could be doing things differently? Let’s all hope this is very much the latter.

Either way, the last time we were advised of a frank ‘dressing room discussion’ came following the League One clash at Stevenage where Uwe was man enough to listen to his players and then tell all to Billy (Reeves, not Grant).

Following that, the rest was history. Stunning history . Brentford put it all behind them  to embark on that epic unbeaten run en-route to promotion and the Championship. Here’s hoping for more of the same against Blackburn on Saturday.

Three points and I’m sure we’ll celebrate like we’ve won the FA Cup. Now where have we heard that one before…?

Billy and Uwe

Uwe once elaborated on a frank discussion – the rest was history

Nick Bruzon

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Suffered from an accident at work that wasn’t your fault?

29 Jun

I can only imagine Luis Suarez is sitting at home right now, ringing through to the local equivalent of those ‘ambulance chasing’ compensation lawyers that alternate advertising space on ITV4 with payday loan sharks.

That is, if his anyone actually swallows his side of the story about the ‘bite’ on Giorgio Chiellini.

Except, stop. No. Don’t sue me Luis. I believe your explanation that …

“After the impact … I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent. At that moment I hit my face against the player leaving a small bruise on my cheek and a strong pain in my teeth.”

As excuses go, it’s pretty pathetic: “Serial biter blames accidental stumble for latest assault on his teeth”.

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Suarez – one way to stop any more accidental teeth pain

It’s up there with ‘The Dog ate my homework”, “My P.E. kit is in the wash” or Crystal Palace supporter Matthew Simmons’ assertion that he was just going to the Selhurst Park toilet and mentioned to a passing Eric Cantona that the number 7 (seven) should take an early shower.

And the worst thing about the Suarez case is that Diego Maradona, the previous panto villain of the World Cup, suddenly has the moral high ground after his 1986 ‘Hand or God’ (or, ‘punching the ball past the goalie’ as it is known in our house) knocked England out of the tournament.

At least he subsequently admitted what he had done. It didn’t make it any better to take but there was no attempt to come with an excuse that even Fergie (and this is the man who once blamed a defeat on his own team’s choice of grey shirt) would have been embarrassed to use.

Getting back to matters domestic, I found this list of various team’s ‘celebrity fans’ and their occupations whilst trawling the interweb last night. It makes amusing reading with some generous descriptions of what said supporter is known for and, perhaps, gives some clue as to which Championship ‘C-listers’ could be occupying the Brentford director’s box next season.

There’s no Rhino out of Status Quo for us although I’m pleased to see the inclusion of a ‘TV Broadcasting Big Cheese’ (their words) even if it isn’t Natalie Sawyer.

Clearly, a list that needs updating. That, or the Brentford PR people need to work harder. If only they’d mentioned it before….

‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ (The story of Brentford’s season 2013/14) – amongst other things – is now available as a digital book. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from the last ten months, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle / digital device.

Are Brentford about to unveil MT today?

25 Jun

With the evening’s football being overshadowed by Luis Suarez and his latest bite, you could be forgiven for missing the other news. I won’t repeat the column on Suarez, suffice to say that the graphic I’d put together left me having nightmares – with the miniaturised head of Russell Slade protruding from the Uruguayan’s mouth, much akin to the eponymous creature from the Alien movie.

However, what I will repeat is Matthew Benham’s proclamation that Brentford should be announcing a new signing today – initials MT.

Mr Benham loves a cryptic clue (see also: Mark Warburton replacing Uwe Rösler – one I still can’t work out, even knowing the answer). Of course, whichever name I suggest is sure to be wild speculation and miles off.

Moreso, as Matthew has not started following any ‘MT’ on twitter (much as he did with Alan Judge or Chuba Akpom). Chelsea and Ghana’s Christian Atsu being his latest ‘follow’, although that would be a CA.

Could one of these be pictured at Griffin Park today, holding a new Adidas shirt?

 

 

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View from the terrace – Marcello Trotta scores from the penalty spot against Gillingham

And if BBC Manish is reading (he isn’t) I very much enjoyed your coverage of the Japan – Colombia game on BBC 3 last night. However, was there really a need to make a point that it was women aged 18-24, more than any other gender group, who watched the Croatia game?

Come on Manish, this is the 21st century – who cares? Women play and watch football, too. Besides, the men were probably all busy doing the washing up and ironing.

‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’  – The story of Brentford’s season 2013/14 (amongst other things) is now available as a digital book. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from the last ten months, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle  / digital device.

Matthew Benham’s mystery MT overshadowed by the Suarez gnashers

24 Jun

You couldn’t make it up. With the media all set to deliver the fatal blow to England after a dismal World Cup, Luis Suarez has stolen all the headlines with his bite on Giorgio Chiellini. This, as Uruguay knocked Italy out in the same group stage as Roy’s Boys.

Words fail to do justice to the reaction after the Uruguayan committed this most heinous of offences for the third time in his career. Robbie Savage kept repeating the line, “It’s disgraceful, disgraceful” whilst Gary Lineker did his best to remain po-faced and serious when all he wanted to do was let rip.

Meanwhile on BBC 3, Manish (of football League show fame) and his guests attempted to play ‘keepie uppie’ in the studio with a tennis ball. Even Carlos Valderama had a crack in a feature that was about as far away from a mouthful of Italian shoulder blade as you could hope to get.

And if it proved a distraction from England then it has very much been the same with Brentford. Matthew Benham’s late afternoon announcement of an imminent signing (initials: MT), to be revealed tomorrow, has had supporters guessing as to who it could be?

Marcello Trotta? Martin Taylor? Matt Tubbs? Marcos Tébar? Or A.N.Other?

Anyone who has followed Mathew on twitter will recognise his love of a cryptic clue and so this is just as likely to end up being Mr T.

Whoever it is, with Clayton rumoured to be undergoing a medical at Birmingham City at the same time as Suarez was tucking into an Italian, I’m chomping at the bit for any news.

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Who is the mystery MT ???

As you may have also read (I’ve not mentioned it much), I’ve released an e-book. ‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’  the story of Brentford’s season 2013/14  (amongst other things) is now available to download for your kindle / digital device. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from the last ten months, you can get it here.

However, I’m not the only person writing about the Bees. Greville Waterman, who you may know from the fantastic series of ‘Big Brentford book of the….70s/80s/90s’ has started his own blog. I have to say it is a thoroughly good read and you can catch up with all from bfctalk, here.

The other blog site I’ve enjoyed (although seems to have gone a bit quiet in recent months) is: 101 uses for Russell Slade. Set up after being left with a surfeit of the commemorative Beesotted trophies following the Stevenage game, I’m hoping it gets going again over that painful ‘closed season’ period.

And if it helps, here’s my take on the next ‘use’. A Hannibal Lecter style facemask for Luis Suarez .

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Just one of the 101 uses for a Beesotted Russell Slade

England down but not (quite) out. At least Brentford shone.

20 Jun

I have to start with the World Cup and England being beaten by Uruguay. My one word match report: Suarez.

Whatever you say about England’s failings or those things we did well (erm, Wayne Rooney scored. A World Cup goal) the ultimate difference between the two teams was a world-class striker. Say what you want about him, and many have – including my own proclamation at 9am in the office that “Suarez is knackered – he won’t do anything tonight”, but the quality of his finishing and the timing of his runs was magnificent.

With the England defence less holding the line and more tied up in knots by it, twice he opened us up as easily though we were nothing more than a jar of caramel spread.

Poor Roy looked shell-shocked afterwards. Captain Steven Gerrard didn’t even face the cameras. But, are there any positives?

Firstly we are still in it. Unlike deposed champions Spain or Australia

We can still qualify for round 2. All we need is Italy to beat Costa Rica; England to beat Costa Rica; qualified Italy to beat a Uruguay side also in need of three points; goal difference to do us a favour.

Likewise, demoralised by defeat I didn’t stay up to sit through Japan and Greece drawing 0-0. That was an extra 90 minutes of sleep I wouldn’t ordinarily have had.

Best of all though, unless the ITV sound quality was as bad as their World Cup jingle (which sounds like a Nokia 3310 ring tone and must have taken all of ten seconds to come up with) Bernie Clifton and his ‘England Supporter’s band’ were nowhere in evidence. Being on the brink of going out is frustrating enough but then having to watch Suarez destroy us, sound tracked by a flaccid rendition of ’Love will tear us apart’, would have been a final kick in the knackers.

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It could have been so much worse last night

Back at domestic level, earlier in the day the Brentford club shop held the launch of next season’s home shirt. This was another great event with players and Natalie Sawyer, amongst others, in attendance over the course of the afternoon and doing a great job on behalf of the club. As ever, they couldn’t be more welcoming.

The only thing missing was a ‘sneak peak’ at the away shirt….

England may be standing on the edge but at least anticipation for the forthcoming Championship season is cranking up nicely.

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Proud dad takes his son shopping – not even I’ve got one of these shirts yet

(‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ The combined story of Brentford’s season  2013/14 – amongst other things –  is now available on kindle. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from the last ten months, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle )

Fairplay, Phil Neville (oranges are not the only shirt – for Bees)

17 Jun

It’s official. ITV are in danger of running the BBC close in the World Cup coverage stakes. Monday’s 4-0 demolition of Portugal by Germany (poor Cristiano…. stop sniggering at the back) saw my favourite line trotted out for a second ‘light channel’ 5pm game.

For those of you just coming in from work, the score is…” appeared just after 6.20pm, in what now seems to be it’s regular slot, after a similar airing for Mexico – Cameroon. As on Friday, I was still coming home at that point but, regardless, remain excited that in these days of over size score graphics some traditions continue.

The other piece of broadcast news was the second weapon in ITV’s armoury – Phil Neville. Whilst universal criticism of the former Manchester United player may have continued after his robotic performance during the England game, he has been man enough to acknowledge his shortcomings.

In a brief, but hilarious, interview on BBC Radio 5 live (which you can hear here) Phil has promised us he’ll “show a little bit more excitement” when he’s back on TV for the next England game.

On pitch yesterday, the BBC continued giving us Doctor Phil’s ‘cure to insomnia’ by broadcasting the Iran – Nigeria game. The one positive for both teams is that they remain unbeaten but a 0-0 draw, in a group containing Argentina and Bosnia-Herzegovina, helps nobody – least of all the viewers who had to struggle through the dullest game of the tournament so far.

The USA rounded things off with three points against Ghana. The opening goal coming before most viewers had taken their seats – the winner after most had gone to bed. It was an exciting game but the Africans must be rueing their profligacy in and around the penalty box.

Back home, Brentford have announced details of Thursday’s shirt launch. You can read the full details on the club website but, suffice to say, we can be there but still catch the England game later in the day. With players, club staff and Bees super fan Natalie Sawyer promised to be in attendance, I think I might try and sneak out of school early to pop along to the 4pm event.

The other news that intrigued me was a comment I saw on Twitter last night, suggesting that in 2013/14 we might have gone for an orange away kit. It won’t take a genius to track that one down but, novelty value aside, it really has got me desperate to find out what next season’s change kit will look like.

News on that one is thinner than Warb’s hairline – the only thing we know being that orange is not an option this time round. Until then, here’s my crude take – featuring obligatory ‘iron on sponsor’ – of what orange could have been….

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Could this have been our away shirt? No – but I quite like it

 

Was this the worst performance ever? Come on England.

15 Jun

Not the football team. I thought England did really well against Italy in their opening World Cup game last night and, to be fair, were unfortunate to come away without at least a point. Indeed, there was enough from Roy’s boys in the opening 15 minutes to excite more than the whole of the ‘no show’ in South Africa 2010 put together.

In a tournament that has been all about goals, goals, goals the England – Italy game delivered more and was anything but the dour, cautious 0-0 this numpty predicted. Ok, we lost but we played well in doing so. With the emphasis being very much about England on the front foot rather than camped in the defensive third, I’m anything but downbeat about our chances of progress.

My disdain is more for Phil Neville. The BBC really have dropped the ball in their team selection at the World Cup. The likes of Lineker, Shearer and Henry are still street ahead of anything ITV have to offer but are they taking it for granted?

Things got off to a bad start on Friday with the Manchester United referencing Rio Ferdinand. He continued name-dropping on Saturday (yawn) but things then hit a real low when we switched to the main game.

Phil Neville, as analyst in the commentary box, seems to have had all the charisma surgically removed from him prior to taking his seat (that is, assuming he had any charisma in the first instance). For a game that kicked off at 11pm, the last thing a tired audience needed were the soporific tones of this human Horlicks. It was like listening to a robot. He really was that monotone.

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Just one more needed to complete my sticker album

Ironic, considering we really needed a robot on the pitch. Daniel Sturridge’s fine equaliser saw a celebration that was less Peter Crouch and more seasick scarecrow.

To compound the felony, with both Leighton Baines and Andrea Pirlo having second half set piece efforts in front of goal, Phil couldn’t even give us a, “And this is Saunders territory”.

The BBC still has far too much in the tank to be worried by ITV but their choice of Phil Neville seems a really odd one. His brother, Gary, does a fine job on Sky – I’m the first to admit. Clearly, it doesn’t run in the family.

Or perhaps, with the selection of Rio, the thought is that Manchester United’s fallen stars are the future of football punditry.

I hope not.

Strip tease continues as FA tell Barlow to ‘Take That’

1 Jun

What a Sunday – football just gets better and better. With Brentford releasing another ‘teaser’ image of their shirt over the weekend ahead of Monday’s launch, I feel more confident than ever we are in for a good one. And then, to round off the great news, word is spreading on the internet that Gary Barlow’s ‘Greatest Day’ has been dropped by the FA as the official England song at the forthcoming World Cup.

I’d said my piece on this when the news of the England song’s selection was first announced. You can read it in full, here, although the salient points were:

“Rather than the much touted prospect of Kasabian, fans are to be treated to a cover version of a Take That effort – Greatest Day. Despite the sheer laziness of having Gary Barlow (a man who comes over as so bland he’d probably have England play in beige) re-record his own song, worryingly he is accompanied by a seemingly random selection of other singers.

These include, in no particular order: Emma Bunton, Kimberley out of ‘Girls Aloud’, and ‘Sporty’ Spice Mel C – hey, she likes football and sings so why not? Then we get in to the realms of ‘who’ with the likes of Katy B ( I’m not sure if this is the comedian of ‘Big Ass’ fame) and someone/thing called an Eliza Doolittle (presumably a singer/band the kidz would recognise, rather than the character from ‘My Fair Lady’).

In footballing tradition, the England football team also join in. Except, they don’t. Instead, the sporting contingent (Mel C aside) is made up of ex-Internationals, with everybody from Peter Shilton, Gary Lineker and former Brentford player Kenny Sansom participating. I’m not sure why the current squad won’t be appearing on this , probably contractual, but I quite like the thought of Steven Gerrard trying to recreate the John Barnes rap.”

Whoever is picked in Barlow and crew’s place (does anyone have New Order’s phone number) HAS to be better than this, surely?

Just as long as they steer clear of either Robbie Williams – his ‘Let me entertain you’ being the most overplayed, and least appropriate, song in sporting history – or the (alleged) England Supporter’s band, then we should be just fine.

Painful though Barlow’s all-star cast were, the thought of Bernie Clifton and co parping through an off key version of the theme from’ The Great Escape’ might just have me reaching for the ‘off’ button.

There's no room at the (Bernie) Inn for the England Supporter's band

There’s no room at the (Bernie) Inn for the England Supporter’s band

It’s almost here – June promises to be some month

31 May

What a summer awaits. In less than three weeks Brentford fans can start planning those trips to the likes of Fulham, Leeds and even a return to our friends at Wolves as the fixture list is published. By then, of course, the World Cup will have begun.

Despite the kick in the crotch of those standard half-time appearances from both the England Supporter’s band (stick to the ostriches, Clifton) and the disembodied head of Ray Winstone at, I can’t help but feel cheered by last night’s 3-0 home win over Peru. Could England do it in Brazil?

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The website of the self-appointed England band. Sorry, but their moribund parping is not for me.

Whilst blind optimism currently reigns supreme, regardless of how we fare I’ll be hooked into the 24/7 coverage (even the ITV games) – hoping England can upset the odds.

Anything could happen. The last two seasons at Brentford have shown that in even more crushing detail than ever before. It’s football; it’s exciting; it’s unpredictable; its tense; its emotional; it’s the best game on the planet. And with 32 of the World’s finest coming together next month, I’ll be watching.

But until then, Monday is the next big date in the Griffin Park calendar. Finally, we get our first full look at next season’s kit.

The club has, of course, been running a ‘teaser campaign’ this week – revealing little snippets to stoke the interest, ahead of the full unveiling. In addition, chief executive Mark Devlin has been dropping further hints in cyberspace via the medium of social network, twitter.

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A montage (training free) of those ‘sneak peeks’ that have appeared on the club website this week

Aswell as those four pictures that had appeared on the club website during the week ahead of the shirt’s 19th June launch date, ( a fifth launched on Saturday and you can see it, here),  Mark has dropped the intriguing clue that:

“It’s a bespoke design, which you may or may not approve of.”

Of course, we already know it will have stripes on the back and some form of special badge celebrating our 125th anniversary. We can also see evidence of black trim (perhaps reminiscent of the 91-92 promotion shirt); an embroidered Adidas logo and even what seem to be small areas of ‘ventex’ material (teabags to us mere mortals) around the shoulder area.

But the mention of a bespoke kit, rather than something out of the standard Adidas back catalogue, really has piqued my fascination.

I have an over keen interest in the history of the Bees shirt. I won’t deny it. However, even despite what we could politely call my ‘nerdish tendencies’ I’ve got a feeling that the club is going to show us something very special when we finally get to see this on Monday.

Much to Mrs. Bruzon’s despair, there could be another addition in the wardrobe by the time the World Cup starts.

Brentford to Brazil via Carlisle and Wigan. And a jinx resolved.

7 Dec

After the excitement of Thursday night at the Hounslow Civic Centre, things have taken a bit of a dip. We’ll get to Uwe, Brentford, Dave Whelan and Wigan in a moment but I need to start with England. And, specifically, the World Cup.

As the fate of Lionel Road was being decided, Greg Dyke and Roy Hodgson were en-route to Brazil for the World Cup draw where the news that we’d all been fearing was confirmed. The England ‘supporter’s’  ‘band’ are intending to travel.

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.