Tag Archives: Valley

An afternoon of domination but….

25 Aug

Charlton Athletic 1 Brentford 0. What I want to say after this one isn’t printable at present. Besides, those same thoughts have already been penned this morning for the match day programme ahead of Derby County visiting on Saturday. Albeit less sweary….!

It was more a case of striking when the opportunity presented itself. And since nobody wants duplication – least of all the editor – this is your lot for today. Pick up the magazine should you somehow have any interest in yours truly’s opinion on this result and the broader situation.

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Not my words…. etc etc

 

We’ve all seen it now, anyway.  Over two and a half thousand travelling to The Valley by boat, tube and other means. And if not, the EFL highlights are here.

Very much a case of Shoulda Woulda Coulda at the death. Oh well. At least it gives an easy option if anyone is playing #BeeTheDJ at the Derby game.

Catch the action

If anyone fancies being the DJ..

Nick Bruzon

 

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As Ipswich visit Brentford, Charlton go mad and Solo goes home.

13 Aug

Finally. Match day at Griffin Park. Brentford entertain Ipswich Town with the smart money wondering just which of our players they’ll attempt to break this time around (hey, we may aswell get it out early). Charlton Athletic, already as popular as a Mexican at Donald Trump rally, have ‘gone again’ whilst, with Lasse Vibe continuing his quest for Olympic gold, USA goalkeeper Hope Solo has done her very best to make events at the Valley seem (relatively) sane.

First up though, we can only start with the Bees where Ipswich Town are the first visitors to Griffin Park in 2016/17. It would be fair to say that Brentford very much ended with the advantage over Ipswich last time around.

To read the rest of this article, season 2016/17 is now available for download on e-book in the retrospective: Welcome Home, King Jota (Brentford FC season review 2016/17)
 
Priced at just £1.99, all sales are being donated to the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust.

Likewise any sales from the previous titles – Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup (2013/14), Tales from the football village (2014/15) and Ready. Steady. Go Again. (2015/16) – are also now going to the BFCCST.

Containing the least bad of the blogs from May 16 to May 17, you can pick it up, here. Its all for a great cause and,hey, you may even enjoy it…..

Bru Ipswich Brentford

Bru celebrated (too soon) as Ipswich opened the scoring last season

 

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other pubs are available too

 

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Nick Bruzon

Double goal 7(seven). You couldn’t have made that finish up.

8 May

9th. We’ve finished 9th !!  Brentford continued their stunning run to the denouement of season 2015/16 with a 5-1 humbling of Huddersfield Town. In a quite bonkers afternoon that saw Middlesbrough promoted (sorry Brighton fans, genuinely, but ‘manager of the month’ rarely lies) and Burnley crowned as Champions amidst bizarre scene at Charlton, Scott Hogan took his strike rate to something that must be approaching an average of 5 goals a game whilst Liverpool loanee Sergi Canos bid a very fond farewell.

Where do you start from the Huddersfield game, though? For a season that saw Brentford involved in what Dean Smith agreed was a relegation scrap as recently as 19 March, things have taken a turn for the surreal. We’ve scored 24 goals and won 7(seven) out of the last 10 games. Formwise, that puts only Brighton above us. Five more of the goals total coming yesterday to make it 9 for the season against The Terriers alone.

We don’t, generally, do match reports on these pages. The highlights are already doing the rounds and , if you haven’t seen them yet, do take the time to catch up with these. The quality of every goal – from Sergi Canos grabbing the opener on just 21 seconds  – to substitute John Swift blasting the fifth home as we approached full time is to be admired. Lasse Vibe shot home from the edge of the box after a delightful ball from Canos whilst man of the moment Scott Hogan grabbed another two.

Having spent muchh of the last 18 months with his leg in a brace (I’d imagine) how brilliant to see him now grabbing one on pitch. A brace, that is. The opening 64 minutes was the longest we’ve seen Scott in action since the oh-so gradual and carefully managed return from that sickening injury. Having lasted 45 minutes in the previous game (the 3-0 over Fulham) making it as far as the hour allowed Hogan to get the goals which took his total to 7(seven) for the season. Not a bad return !

Sergio Canos also made it 7(seven) for the campaign in what was, barring some form of transfer coup over the summer, his final appearance for the Bees. Surely he will only be Liverpool bound when the next campaign kicks off in August ? Certainly, his twitter feed suggested that this would be the case.

Sergi sign off

If this transpires to be the case then we can all, truly, say we’ve had the pleasure of watching a prodigious talent emerge. I’d love to see Sergi back next time around and, whilst stranger things have happened, can only imagine a place at Anfield will be calling.

His mood was one shared by all the players on social media. After what must have been some horrendous pressure at various points this campaign and some harsh, albeit warranted at times, criticism of the set up the flip side is that when they have been let off the leash it has been an absolute joy to watch.

Rasmus nailed it in the recent video when he noted that a team wins three in a row and you think they’ll never lose again. Certainly, that’s how it has felt.

Lasse and Sam tweet

Lasse wins at Twitter as the squad end in high spirits

Injury has forced a rejig in the midfield with Josh McEachran and John Swift undergoing an enforced rest. Nico has stepped up in style whilst Scott has made his well documented return. KK and Gogia have started to show what ‘the model’ (please note: traditional recruiting is also involved) has suggested whilst even an experienced pro like Sam Saunders has pushed onwards and upwards. With this has come the results.

The only slight disappointment was on Bees Player where the assertion was made of Dean Smith supposedly berating Scott Hogan for not going down in the box but, rather, staying on his feet, with the Bees 1-0 up. I’m all for winning games but I’d much rather we did it by fair means. Let’s hope this was simply a misinterpretation of the conversation rather than a terrible example for any young children who may have been watching etc etc

That said, we won. Handsomely. We’ve finished the season in 9th place which would be an incredible achievement in its own right. Let alone when you factor in the challenges of FFP enforced sales, The Marinus experiment, pitchgate and that quite dreadful start to 2016. I stand by what I said about these things at the time but, equally, who isn’t thrilled at how Brentford have emerged from all of this?

For the record, Fulham and QPR also both recorded  final game victories. As such, although we ended the season as the top side in London outside the Premier League, the lead over our West London rivals remained at a ‘mere’ 14 and 5 points respectively.

wpid-mind-the-gap-2014-06-23-08-03

QPR and Fulham could only watch the red and white express

Are we the finished article? No. But I’m not alone in feeling tremendously positive going into the summer break. Given the low points of the season have ben particularly painful, to end it on such a high has left all around Griffin Park with a huge buzz. Who knows just what a fully match fit Scott Hogan will do whilst we have the added advantage of finally saying goodbye to Middlesbrough.

Whether you believe in bogey teams or not (and for somebody who swears by ‘lucky pants’ and the ‘motm curse’, to criticise would be somewhat hypocritical) nobody can deny that in 4 league and 2 play-off encounters since our return to the Championship, Brentford’s record with Boro’ reads:  P: 6  W: 0  D: 0  L: 6 .

For now, it’s time to catch our breath once more. Hey, when we went up to the Championship on that famous day against Preston,  if you’d have been offered 5th and 9th from our first two seasons there wouldn’t have been anybody amongst us who wouldn’t have bitten the hand off to secure that.

I love seeing the Bees do well. I thought that last season was not the “punching above our weight” that so many people claimed but, actually, a wonderful triumph of ability and team spirit based around the infectious warmth of Mark Warburton. We got where we got on merit.

With that well documented parting of the ways, this season was always going to be a tough one. Moreso given the other issues noted above. I stand by my assertion that we could have handled ourselves better off-field, comms wise, but you live and learn. Hindsight is always wonderful.

Something, perhaps, the owners at Charlton Athletic could learn. Amidst understandable  scenes at The Valley, their supporters showed just what they thought of the people in charge. Even ‘official’ twitter had somewhat of a Freudian slip (or sabotage from within the ranks? ) as their campaign came to a sad climax.

Charlton poison 2

Whatever you’ve thought about our lowest points this season, things could have been an awful lot worse. Still, sad though I am for Charlton, their fate lies elsewhere.

For Brentford, we’ve got watching the play-off finals to look forward to and the final Premier league fixtures to see who joins us next season. There’s the new shirt to be released whilst the promise from Kitman Bob that his BBGiveaway will return.

Oh,and there’s been the small matter of Euro 2016 in the summer. Whilst Alan Judge will be missing, could the presence of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane at yesterday’s game have any additional significance? The local press believe he was checking on Town winger Sean Scannell but with Scott scoring those two goals, could there be a surprise call up in the offing?

I’ll leave that thought here……

However, as a final observation, for me (Clive) Twitter user @MrJamie88 nails it in words and pictures better than most could hope to.

Enjoy.

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Do the body and legs match?

Nick Bruzon

Football reaches an all time low

22 Apr

Match day is almost upon us once more. Brentford visit MK Dons knowing that a point will be sufficient to confirm the home side’s relegation back to League One. Over in Italy meanwhile, AC Milan used last night’s Serie A game with Capri to come out with something so cringeworthy as to make #trophyfriends and #BigNewAmbitions seem tame in comparison.

First up, MK Dons. There was genuine sadness amongst many supporters when Charlton joined Bolton in being relegated to League One. The controversy going on at the club surrounding owner Roland Duchatelet and the set up at The Valley has blighted their campaign, culminating in that bizarre ‘telling off’ administered to fans back in mid March.

For all that people have moaned this season about some aspects of life at Griffin Park, our ‘problems’ are, on the surface, just a drop in the ocean compared to those of the Addicks. It’s always been a great club to go and visit (especially pre-match) and for that reason alone I’ll be sad to see them outside of our league next year. Here’s hoping they bounce back fast.

Yet, on the flip side, I can’t imagine there’ll be any tears shed amongst supporters if MK Dons join them. This most divisive of clubs have done nothing but upset football fans up and down the country since their relocation and rebranding of Wimbledon FC 11 years ago.

Closer to home, we’ve had our own runs in with the club. Manager Karl Robinson left “shaken” (not my words but those of the Daily Mirror – I know) after claiming to have had a pint glass thrown at him by Bees fans back in 2012.

Chief Executive Mark Devlin, of course, categorically denied the claims – if for no other reason than we all know it’s physically impossible to find a pint glass within 100 square metres of Griffin Park on Match Day. All we have are those flimsy plastic things to wash down the free chili.

Whilst charges were never pressed by the police, not unsurprisingly that memory still lingers amongst Brentford supporters. Ordinarily I’d say it would be wrong to take pleasure in another club’s misfortunes and I’m sure Dean Smith will only be interested in keeping our unbeaten run going as we close in on QPR.

But for the Bees fans, I’m sure that a win or draw this Saturday will be treated far more excitedly than the point(s) would, ordinarily, warrant. Here’s to the weekend – whether you follow on BeesPlayer or live at Stadium MK, I’m sure there’ll be plenty of Bees fans with their fingers crossed for the right result come 5pm.

MK League one

Could this happen on Saturday?

ok – Italy. We all know that football is becoming much more corporate these days and the fans so, so sterile. Whilst I’m not advocating a return to the dark days of hooliganism by any stretch, the library at Arsenal or tourist trap at Stamford Bridge show how our stadia are becoming soulless arenas of polite applause. Our game is littered with fans wearing half and half scarfs whilst sporting selfie sticks and listening to ‘goal music’.

Yet AC Milan have taken this to the next level of awfulness after performing a pre-match haka on the San Siro pitch before kick off for last night’s match against Capri.

This, bad enough. The haka, from a sporting perspective, belongs exclusively to New Zealand. And they’re welcome to it. What on earth has the haka got to do with football? Or Milan?

Promoting skin-care company Nivea is the answer. One part of the Milan haka involves them rejigging the traditional dance to mimic the application of face cream.

Sometimes words just aren’t enough. The shameless appropriation of another team’s culture and history is below.

Not that such an act has anything to do with Saturday.

Nick Bruzon

And you thought football was a village…..we aren’t alone!

16 Mar

In a season where communications, or lack of, have been one of the key themes for Brentford supporters trying to get our heads around the club’s new direction it seems there is a similar sentiment across London at Charlton Athletic. That said, the ‘problems’ faced by the Bees seem miniscule compared to those at the Valley. Yet given how raw last season’s ‘Village-gate’ affair still feels to many, yesterday’s press release from the Addicks has struck a chord in what some might deem a similar scenario. Namely, that of a patronising and nonsense packed ‘official statement’ on a club website.

Football is a village’ is a line that will be forever steeped in infamy at Griffin Park. If ever we were looking for an opposite to, “They celebrated like they’d won the FA Cup” then here it was. To this day, I still don’t know who came up with that gumph, who thought it was our best response to the leaked stories surrounding Mark Warburton and why, in retrospect, nobody has come out and suggested we might have played that one a little bit better. Still, enough has been said about that sad event on these pages to warrant further discourse (although if you’d like to read more…..)

Then, yesterday, it all come flooding back as the Charlton media team decided to crank the Village factor up to 11. To be fair, they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Sunday’s home win against Middlesbrough which, hot off the back of a victory at Griffin Park has given them renewed hope of survival, was one marred by a number of protests against Roland Duchatelet and chief executive Katrien Meire.

Amongst other things, a coffin made an appearance whilst several whistles in the crowd did their best to disrupt the players. Kick off was followed by a deluge of beach balls onto the pitch and several fans walked out on 74 minutes – to signify the amount of goals Charlton have shipped so far this term. There was even a somewhat unsavoury pitch invasion which, against type, the watching Sky TV cameras gave full prominence to .

I can sympathise with the club in wanting to do something. Likewise, they’ve even waited on this until Tuesday in order to let the immediate heat go out of the situation and then give it their most considered response. But there are ways of doing something and then ways of doing something. If I didn’t know better I’d suggest our own comms team had been transferred out of Griffin Park and taken up residence at The Valley.

Last Sunday, some individuals did not come to The Valley to watch the game and support the team, but came to create disorder on the pitch and interfere with the players and the game. Disorder which is, allegedly, needed to drive change in ownership and management

Those aren’t my words but the opening salvo of a ‘toys out the pram’ response that makes the football village seem almost Shakespearean in comparison.

Other ‘highlights’ include, “Some individuals seem to want the club to fail. This is a confused approach, since following this logic leads to exactly the opposite of what we all want: staying in the Championship” and

Allegations regarding the CEO are misrepresented and are continuously used as a method to discredit and fuel personal abuse, hatred and with a risk to personal safety”.

You can read the full statement on the Charlton website. It’s a sorry state of affairs for their supporters, many of whom I have no doubt are backing the team to the hilt. Instead, at this time of need, they are all being tarred with a brush of ne’er do wells in a statement that reeks of paranoia.

Football is, without doubt, something bordering on a religion and obsession to many. It is part and parcel of our lives, our friendships are based around it whilst, for many, the choice of club is a generational thing handed down by parents keen to pass on the torch. Simply put, we are bound to our teams in a symbiotic relationship where everything that happens to them impacts us one way or another.

Sure, Charlton had to make some sort of reaction. Yet given the frustrations which have been building over the course of this season and came to a head on Sunday, doing it in such a fashion is yet another example of a club owner’s failure when it comes to making friends and influencing people.

For all those unhappy with certain aspects at Brentford this year, please have some perspective. Whilst we’ve certainly hit a bump in the road on the pitch, off the field Matthew Benham and his team have started to open up more to the fans in the last week whilst you can’t deny he is a Brentford fan through and through.

Football isn’t a village, it’s more than that. Our top brass would do well to continue realising that.

Please let’s not ever release a statement like this (again).

Nick Bruzon

bees fans leave charlton shit

It stinks at Charlton

 

Bustin’ makes me feel bad. Will Saturday be more Riley than Winkleman?

4 Mar

Brentford take on Charlton this Saturday, hoping for more of the same after cruising to a 3-0 victory at the Valley back in October. That result saw Addicks manager Guy Luzon, erm,  losing his job immediately afterwards and the Bees put in as one sided a performance as we’ve seen all season – even moreso than Wolves last Tuesday .

It was a game which had been completely at odds with Luzon’s first matchin charge of Charlton, their 3-0 win over Brentford that came at the height of last season’s Village-gate affair. That was a woeful performance from the Bees which, despite Warbs denial at the time, seemed to suggest a squad in disarray with just one thing – their manager’s future – as a point of focus. Thankfully, the Bees picked themselves up from that and confounded the expectations of most onlookers to make the play-offs. Where normal service resumed .

bees fans leave charlton shit 2

Last season, Village gate saw a real low at Charlton

And, of course, we couldn’t take this briefest of looks at recent encounters without a nod to Tommy Smith. It was he whose late equaliser secured a point in our first ever Championship game – the season opener at Griffin Park back in August 2014. How the place erupted and then gasped as Alan Judge almost stole a late winner, hitting the crossbar with a freekick taken deep in Saunders Territory.

So in 18 months our three games have turned out as D,L and W. What will it be on Saturday?

Dean Smith spoke yesterday in an article on the official site where they did their wonderful trick of warming us up for the quote by giving us the quote, noting: Dean said the only target for the team between now and the end of the season is to win as many matches as possible. If anybody was in any doubt, the next line proved this as readers were advised, “We don’t want to target this or that but our aim is just to finish as high as we can and to win as many games as we can,” said Dean.

Dean went on to add that he hoped to “get that winning mentality back” . It looked like that might happen after the Wolves game before normal service resumed at Rotherham United. 2 wins out of 11 in 2016 are a poor run for Dean and I would question that to get something back, does he not have to have had it in the first instance ?

Then again, if we play like we did against Wolves anything is possible whilst Charlton’s confidence must be as low as that of the team behind the forthcoming Ghostbusters movie. The trailer for this being universally panned upon release yesterday and the unfunniest thing I had the misfortune to sit through all week. At least, until I saw Claudia Winkleman standing in for everbody’s favourite mathematical model, Rachel Riley, on ‘8 out of 10 cats does Countdown’ last night.

How can it be THIS bad?

Still, it has been a week generally filled with more disappointment than a post match press conference for the development squad (whatever the score, the interviewee always seems ‘disappointed’). Ghostbusters and Winkleman aside,  Saturday saw that game at Rotherham United whilst Sunday saw the worst ever James Bond theme, Sam Smith’s title track from the otherwise excellent Spectre, pick up an Oscar. This, an effort so bad it had ousted Madonna’s ‘Die another day’ from the bottom of the ‘Best Bond’ list yet here it was being honoured in the most public of fashions.

Sometimes, life just isn’t fair. As Dean Smith would recognise, performances don’t always get what they are due. Let’s just hope that tomorrow we do what, honestly, we should. With a trip to Loftus Road the following weekend, we need everybody brim full of confidence.

Fingers crossed that Saturday is more Rachel Riley than Claudia Winkleman.

The brentford mathematical model final

artists impression of a mathematical model etc etc

Nick Bruzon

Liverpool loanee playing with the big boys but Jota is still King

27 Oct

With three successive wins under the belt and the small matter of a derby game with QPR on Friday, it’s fair to say that things are again moving in the right direction for Brentford. With Liverpool loanee Sergi Canos apparently picking (current) club over country for the win over Charlton rather than the Spanish U-19s, team spirit would seem to be as alive and well in the first team as it is on the terraces at Griffin Park.

And nowhere moreso was this demonstrated than on Twitter yesterday where our Spanish contingent seems to have been up to all sorts of training ground high jinks. Canos started it, along with Marcos Tebar, but Jota has certainly finished it – for now….

It all began with Jota’s car. A very sleek looking white number (what I know about motor vehicles you could write on the back of a stamp) but with added ‘go faster stripes’.

“Now Comes autumn”, said Canos’s caption as he and Tebar took ownership for this prank. Is this really how they do things in Liverpool?

What Sergi Canos started...

What Sergi Canos started…

Retribution was swift. And wet. Very wet. Jota putting the boot in (quite literally) along with the reminder for any young upstarts not to play with the big boys.

With Canos now training in a wetsuit, his only comeback was the rather ominous sounding note that “you have won the battle but not the war”… Could there be more localised autumnal weather heading towards the Brentford training ground?

....Jota finished

….Jota finished

Still, you can understand The Three Amigos (damn, couldn’t quite make it without obligatory cliché) being in such high spirits following wins for Brentford over Rotherham United, Wolves and Charlton Athletic. And the club have released a compilation video to highlight a quite breathtaking eight days of football.

Starting with Alan Judge and his wonderful volley against Rotherham, it runs through all the recent Bees action, culminating in Lasse Vibe’s strike from the win over Charlton on Saturday. I’m still not sure which is my favourite in what, with three goals and three assists, seems to be a show reel for the Irish international.

The first against Rotherham was a stunning bit of technique and timing that had the entire ground on it’s feet at the quality of the effort. But watching the Charlton highlights, the way Judge flicked on with his head before embarking on that huge run and cross really needs to be seen again. And again.

If there is any disappointment to be found with this, it is the reference to our “Magnificent Seven” that accompanies the video. Surely everybody knows this should be a Magnificent 7 (seven)?

Welcome to the Alan Judge show

And finally. It seems like it was Barnaby, in the car park, with the rogue radio mic.

Following yesterday’s story as to the entire crowd at AFC Bournemouth being treated to the phrase “F**king hell, it was like men against boys “ over the public address system, the Cherries have been happy to accept the explanation offered by one Tottenham fanatic, preparing to make a fan video. Namely, that he just happened to have tuned into the exact same radio frequency that Bournemouth use around the stadium at the exact same moment he was having a pop at them.

Several supporters have been in touch to clarify that Bournemouth’s own ‘man with the mic’ indeed had the mic nowhere near his lips at the time of the incident. Moreso, Bournemouth have also issued a statement confirming it was, indeed, Barnaby who uttered the fateful profanity.

I’m still not entirely convinced by the ‘accidental’ angle but the important thing is we’ve all had a good laugh and, likewise, been able to remember that even in the uber-sanitised world of the Premier League, scope remains for this sort of comedy gold.

Nick Bruzon

“Is there anything he cannot do”? Judge inspires brilliant Bees

25 Oct

Not my words but those of Channel 5 ‘Football League tonight’ commentator Paul Walker to describe Alan Judge. That, after Charlton Athletic had been walloped 3-0 by a resurgent Brentford team for whom the Irishman, as last weekend, was chief destroyer. With two assists and a goal that sent Charlton to another defeat (and saw their head coach Luzon his job at full time), it’s no wonder that clubs such as Swansea City and Bournemouth are rumoured to be interested in a player who is very much our man of the moment.

Those present at The Valley witnessed, the first fifteen minutes aside, as dominant a performance from Brentford as one could hope for away from home. Being quite honest, Charlton had more than enough chances to have taken an insurmountable lead during an opening spell that saw them cut us open like a hot knife through a Swiss cheese.

Simon Makienok, coming over like a cross between Max Zorin and Andy Carroll, won’t enjoy watching the play back of that one. Thankfully, rather than a goal hungry Bond villain, we were looking at somebody with the finishing skills and positional awareness of Nick Proschwitz. And having failed to take their opportunities, Charlton paid the ultimate price.

Max Zorin - crowbarred excuse

Max Zorin – crowbarred excuse

The first for the Bees came via the head of John Swift. That man Judge sending over an inch perfect cross from the right which the on loan Chelsea midfielder made no mistake with. It was all made to look far too easy thanks to the precision of the delivery and the technique used to connect. But better was still to come.

Alan McCormack, but for a couple of inches, would have had a contender for goal of the season. Running onto a pass from Marco Djuricin, he hit it first time from 25 yards, only to see it rebound off the underside of the stanchion. It had the away crowd on their feet, cheering a certain goal as Stephen Henderson was left flapping at air. Alas, it wasn’t to be, but if the first half saw Brentford end on top and with a slender lead, things continued to accelerate in the second.

Judge turned from provide to poacher, curling a beauty past Henderson from the corner of the box for 2-0 to send Bees fans bonkers. It was a finish to rival the best of any he has scored and will only highlight further the talent this man has. Judge has always been quality but the step up in his game this season, when all around have struggled at times, only gives more evidence as to why the likes of Bournemouth and Swansea are being linked with him.

I love Lee Carsley’s approach. Rather than sit on 2-0, Brentford carried on pushing. Lasse Vibe made it three, becoming another beneficiary of Judge’s perfect delivery. DHL could learn a lot from this man, such was the quality. Picking up the cross-field ball, Vibe beat Henderson at his near post from just inside the box to wrap things up with minutes left on the clock.

Not even Brentford could cock it up from here” said one terrace wag and, sure enough, we didn’t. At one point it looked as though Harlee might even have made it four, coming close with his head from a dead ball.

View from the stand - Harlee almost makes it four

View from the stand – Harlee almost makes it four

Judge will, rightly, get the headlines but what pleased me so much was the all round team performance. Nico Yennaris looked assured at right back whilst Jake Bidwell continued to probe down the left. Ryan Woods’ vision and passing looks like he will be another with the potential to play at a higher level whilst Alan McCormack bossed the midfield.

Even David Button had one of his ‘heart in mouth’ sweeper moments that saw him break out of goal to round not one but two Charlton players before playing it out. Rush of blood to the head or just further evidence of the confidence sweeping through this team?

Nine points, 7 (seven) goals scored, just one against and two clean sheets from our last three games show that whatever had been bothering the camp (don’t start…) now seems a distant memory. Lee Carsley has the players enjoying their football and, as importantly, so are the fans.

The goals were stunning, as was the vast majority of the performance. Even the Beesplayer team hit all the right notes – but then any commentary which includes a denouncement of Mexican waves and supporter bands will only ever meet with approval.

Great comms, as ever, from Mark Burridge

I feel for Charlton, genuinely. Nobody likes to see a team in this predicament and I’d thoroughly recommend a read of the Charltonaesthetic blog, to give a beautifully worded account of things from their perspective. If this page is the cheap knock off, then ‘aesthetic’ is very much the Bayeux tapestry of football wordsmithery (is that even a word?)

A disgraced Luzon crabs in and out of his hiding cave like an insidious Megadrive villain….. As the crowd stand and boo the decision, a collective consciousness drops and we realise we’re all embroiled in the Roland Prison Experiment. Left in charge, how far out of control will Luzon’s radical decisions spiral? What lengths will fans go to protecting fellow inmates Charlton from further harm? It’s a dastardly scheme for sure.”

That’s a talent in writing I can only admire, so please do go and enjoy the full article.

The players were in jubilant mood on social media after the game, most of who were bigging up Alan. Yes, he deserves every plaudit but so do all the others.

Harlee, Tarks, Lasse and the rest of you. Thanks for a great day out and reminding us just how good this team can be

Now, if we could just do the same on Friday night…..

Back to school for Charlton - but not at a water based college

Back to school for Charlton – but not at a water based college

Nick Bruzon

What can we expect after midweek shock ?

24 Oct

Brentford travel to Charlton today hot off the back of those two successive wins – against Wolves and, previously, Rotherham – that have seen us finally start to climb the Championship table. Charlton meanwhile, as was noted in yesterday’s column, go into the game hot off the back of two shots on target over the same period.

With the Addicks nestling in the relegation zone and, seemingly, Brentford now freed from the shackles of our early season problems, we even go into this game as slight favourites. That’s not me being overconfident but simply a fact quoted by my online bookmaker who, should Mrs. Bruzon be reading, I use purely for research purposes only.

Don't shoot the messenger. The bookies have us as favourites

Don’t shoot the messenger. The bookies have us as favourites

But then you can understand why, as a neutral, they have adopted this view. Recent results have seen Brentford get to within 7(seven) points of the play offs whilst a win at The Valley will bring us just two points off the 19 we had at the same time last season – 13 games into the campaign.

Charlton, meanwhile, seem to be very much on a Luzon streak. They’ve been beaten 6 times in their last ten games, scoring just 8 goals over that period.

Whilst it sounds good (on paper), I won’t be putting the deeds of the house on an ‘away’ win. All the stats in the world count for nothing on matchday if you take victory as a given and I just don’t believe the hype. Surely Charlton can’t be that bad and something has to change at their end? Likewise, it was only a few weeks ago that the Dijkhuizen / Hendriksen era came to an end and the team started to look at getting back on their feet.

Are we steady yet? No, if I’m being honest. Absolutely the signs are there and Lee Carsley is making all the right noises – plenty of positivity tempered with an acknowledgement of improvement areas.

Indeed, the win against Wolves on Wednesday is something that should fill us with confidence – a commodity that money just can’t buy, no matter how many millions you have in the bank. Talking to long time Last Word correspondent and Wolves fan ‘Rustymini’ after that game, he was sporting enough to note: ”Brentford thoroughly deserved their win. Far more lively and far more structured”.

Bees fans and scoreboard at Wolves, c/o Rustymini

Bees fans and scoreboard at Wolves, c/o Rustymini

Those of us who had the misfortune to sit through Burnley (a) or some of the first halves under Marinus (and I’ve struck the Oxford result from the record) would struggle to comprehend the concept of ‘lively’.

That said, its one I’m loving the sound of and can’t wait to see first hand today. Next stop, Charlton. See you there.

And, doing my best Columbo (kids, if you need to ask, go and watch some – now), just one more thing.

If you haven’t seen the update from last night’s academy game (a 2-1 home win over Bristol City) then prepare for a treat. Not only did it feature more Sam Saunders but, as excitingly, Lewis Macleod. And, when he can stay away from the twigs, just take a look at what he can do….

What a finish…

Nick Bruzon

Hats off as a great season comes down to the wire.

2 May

Today’s the day the Championship gets settled. Brentford fans all know the maths in regards to our game and those involving Derby County and Ipswich Town. Meanwhile, at the very top of the table Charlton are the only ones who can stop Bournemouth getting promoted although (and I apologise to Watford fans) it will be the Cherries who lift the Silverware. Plus we’ve the latest from Steve Evans at Rotherham United

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.

Who am I to argue??

Who am I to argue??