Tag Archives: Wolf

Last game at Griffin Park – all you need to know about tickets so far.

18 Feb

Contender, ready! Gladiators, ready! Thus demanded (or asked, I was never quite sure) referee John Anderson back in the day. And it has the feel of a titanic struggle as the Barnsley tickets go on sale this afternoon. On the surface, an innocuous fixture but in practice the last time Brentford will get to run out at Griffin Park (officially – there’s always the possibility of the play-offs….).  In the role of the plucky contenders, we have the non-season ticket holding members. Lined up in Wolf’s clothing, TAPS. And with the club already warning that “We have significantly more Members than available tickets for this game”, expect somebody to end this one unhappy.

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Who will end up unhappy?

What are the club to do though? Already the hard luck  / panic stories are coming out on social media and the tickets aren’t even on sale. Moreso given the apparent worry / fear of Griffin Park being flooded by tourists (especially those on apparent Scandinavian package deals). We’ve had high demand games before and things have generally worked out for those wanting to get in. Yet this is next level. As emotive as they come and demand is absolutely sure to outstrip supply – even with the Ticket Access Point (TAP) tiering.

Club Members with 900+ TAPs (one per Member):
From Tuesday 18 February at 4pm to Tuesday 3 March at 4pm

Club Members with 750+ TAPs (one per Member):
From Tuesday 10 March at 4pm to Tuesday 24 March at 4pm

All Club Members (one per Member):
From Tuesday 31 March at 4pm 

You can absolutely understand everybody’s desire to get in for this one. The club could charge double and it would still sell out. They could but they won’t. They don’t really have any alternative as to how tickets go on sale. These are member only (with ST holders guaranteed a place so excluded from buying) and then members raked by TAP rather than an ‘all-in simultaneously’ bundle or even a lottery. In my opinion, and for what it’s worth, this is the fairest way possible.

Absolutely somebody will miss out that almost certainly deserves to be in there. Somebody will buy a ticket for their brother/mother/cousin who has been once in a blue moon. We’ll no doubt have our usual contingent of visitors from abroad (something which, for the record, nobody seems to have had kicked off about previously). This one is different though…

This one is huge. This one will have Brentford fans that miss out up in arms. That’s natural. We all want to go. We’ve all got reasons for not being able to attend certain games. We’ve always used Season Tickets and TAPS as a means of attempting to reward the most loyal supporters previously.

How could it have been done differently? Delegate attendance to a random away game as a means of prioritising for tickets? We’ve done that in the past – oh, the joys of a midweek coach trip to Wrexham in the fog and rain. But what about loyal supporters with prior commitments that weekend? A lottery is even worse whilst giving all members simultaneous access was a recipe for website meltdown and even huger fan upset as ‘deserving’ supporters with a long history could well have missed out.

Reading Jamie Cureton 2002

2002 – demand was ferocious.

Brentford are in a lose-lose scenario here. Whatever they do will upset somebody. Only Season Ticket holders are guaranteed access and whilst it’s easy to pontificate in that situation, one can’t help but feel for those that do miss out. I’ve been there before back in the  dark days of being so skint there were weeks I couldn’t even afford a match day ticket for Division One fixtures. Let alone the luxury of a season ticket. Of having to hope somebody somehow had a spare or trawl around the outskirts of Griffin Park to get in to the promotion decider with Reading (thanks, Jamie Cureton). My own cousin Charles from Gibraltar, who has been bringing a close to 100% record with him since the 80s, will likely miss out. That’s how it goes, sadly.

The club have made the best of trying to untangle this Gordian knot of a problem. It was always going to be impossible to keep everyone happy in advance. Asking Keith Stroud to keep the cards in his pocket or getting a cat into a bath tub would have been easier. 

That said, before fans get any more anxious than they already (and understandably) are, the club has also offered a further rays of light should the tickets indeed sell out. The article on the subject, which you can read in full here, notes that : 

A limited amount of additional tickets are likely to become available at a later date once we have a clearer understanding of the requirements we need to fulfil for various parties, including, but not limited to, the EFL and Brentford FC partners, the opposition club and players. As such, further sales information will follow in due course.

Likewise, there is also the prospect of the Brentford Ticket Exchange closer to the time whilst I’d be amazed if Utilita don’t run some form of competition. This seems to be de-rigeur at present and, whilst they don’t announce the winners or even get kick off times correct, it is another avenue of possibility. Woudn’t have happened on Siracusa’s watch, that’s all I’ll say about our goal sponsors.

So hold steady. Don’t panic. Easier said than done, I realise. Just be ready to sign on at the appointed hour and then cross you fingers that our server is up to the job. Failing that, get following Utilita on Twitter. 

Otherwise, we’re relying on Leeds United not falling apart (nobody wants that) and the prospect of our last game turning out to be our penultimate game with the play-offs coming in to contention……

Nick Bruzon

As Bees prepare for Wolves, who won Twitter last night?

14 Mar

Here we go again. Brentford continue one of our more unlikely rivalries of recent seasons as we prepare to entertain Wolverhampton Wanderers. Nobody needs any reminder of the epic League One campaign that saw us go neck and neck with Wolves and celebrate like we’d won the FA Cup as promotion to the Championship was confirmed three seasons ago (although if you would like to read more….. here’s the place) . And which former Manchester United player won Twitter last night ahead of the FA Cup clash with Chelsea?

Wolves Bees

Who will win the battle of Wolves v Bees ?

However, we can only start with tonight’s game at Griffin Park. It is an encounter which sees Brentford looking for the win that will take us back into the top half of the table whilst,for the visitors, things are somewhat more fraught. Only one point separates Wolves from the relegation spots currently filled by Rotherham (R), Wigan and Bristol City. Albeit they have slightly less bad goal difference and two games in hand.

But points in the bag are better than games in hand as one terrace wag is so fond of saying and failure to capitalise tonight will put Wolves right in the mire. Could Keith Stroud direct them back towards League One? Was Saturday’s 1-0 defeat of divisional whipping boys Rotherham (a win which ended a run of one draw and five straight defeats from the previous six games)  the sign of better things to come?

If Wolves picked up on Saturday, the opposite could be said for Brentford. Purely in terms of goal scoring where we failed to find the net in the league since the 0-0 draw with Norwich City on December 31 last year. Then again, we were facing a Huddersfield Town team with their sights on ‘automatic’ . This, after our own recent impressive form that had seen wins at Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest as well as the obligatory three points from Rotherham.

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View from the Braemar – three points and a lurid kit for Huddersfield on Saturday

But with exhaustion kicking in and Dean Smith promising changes, who starts tonight? Could Tom Field, Konstantin Kerschbaumer and Sergi Canos all make it off the bench? Rico Henry has been impressive since his return from that long injury but I thought he started to flag on Saturday whilst Nico’s injury niggles have been well documented. As for Sergi, having been rested for the Huddersfield game then a straight switch between him and Florian Jozefzoon is a substitution by numbers.

Here’s hoping for a big crowd tonight. Griffin Park under the floodlights is always a special place and it would be wonderful to see the Bees get back to winning ways. With 30 points still to play for the season is anything but dead as we look to follow up on our previous Championship finishes of 5th and 9th.

Not bad for a ‘tin pot’ team who many tipped for immediate relation from this higher division  but with the gap to 9th place currently 7(seven) points, a win tonight will be a huge step towards achieving that goal.

In other news, last night saw Chelsea reach the semi finals of the FA Cup after their 1-0 win over Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. Whilst his team may have lost, former Red Devil Mikael Silvestre won Twitter with this riposte to perennial name dropper, Ian Moose from Talk Sport.

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Silvestre 1 Moose 0

There’s not much more to say, really. See you tonight.

Nick Bruzon

In? Out? Shake it all about.

1 Feb

Strap yourselves in for a bumpy ride , Brentford fans. Deadline day is here. Could James Tarkowski be off to Burnley? Is the sale of Alan Judge (Sunderland – presumably that one a joke) back on once more ? Are former Bees Adam Forshaw and Alex Pritchard heading for pastures new? Will Griffin Park see any newcomers?

It’s football’s craziest day as journalists everywhere dust down the phrases “snap up”, “Double transfer swoop”, “slams shut” and recycle archive footage of Harry Redknapp leaning out of a car window. With the ever excitable Jim White guiding us home alongside, amongst others, Bees’ fanatic Natalie Sawyer it promises to be as frenetic and torturous a day as ever.

For Brentford fans, at least, we can take solace in the words of co-director of football Rasmus Ankersen. After the last one closed in September 2015, the club quoted his own intentions for forthcoming transfer windows following the fans’ forum.

So far this time around we’ve seen the signing of Nathan Fox from Cray Wanderers and Emmanuel Onariase from West Ham United. Joining the long list of those who left in the summer have been Jota and then Toumani Diagouraga who, of course, joined Stuart Dallas at Leeds United last week.

As such, it’s going to be very interesting how we end today. Will anybody leave? Will anybody join? Will the squad be stronger? Or is the improving performance of several players, alongside those who remain, considered as the strengthening?

It’s the worst day in the football calendar, that’s for sure. With Dean Smith supposedly after two players, time is fast running out. Then again, Matthew Benham’s ongoing absence from Twitter means that any advance clues are now a thing of the past.

Rasmus, Phil and Dean could be hot footing it up the motorway or waiting at Terminal 2 to secure a deal as we speak. Nobody amongst us mere mortals, for all that we speculate and read, actually has a clue.

All I know is that with Jim White going into overdrive, as excitable as Wolf out of the Gladiators ranting down the camera,  none of us Bees will be able to relax until it’s over.

See you in 24 hours time……

Deadline day

Jim White – not just Natalie alongside him these days

Nick Bruzon

 

Brentford into the Woods as Jim White goes ‘Wolf’ on deadline day

2 Sep

The transfer window has ‘slammed shut’ and with it Brentford fans can breathe a sigh of relief. After a summer that has seen several big name departures and as many other rumours, we now know the make up of the squad. There was no David Button to Aston Villa (one of those heavily touted at various points in pre-season) or James Tarkowski to Fulham. Instead, we have only strengthened further, with the addition of Ryan Woods from Shrewsbury Town.

Joining Brentford for an undisclosed fee (although one believed to be in the £1million ball park) Ryan is described as a versatile player who has played right back, right midfield and even left back. He helped Shrewsbury gain promotion to League One last season and, on the way, was named in the PFA divisional team of the year. Such is his stature, even West Ham put in a couple of bids during the previous window although the Bees have been the ultimate beneficiaries.

Ryan – welcome to Griffin Park. Just take care on the training ground. After that previous business with twigs, more woods are the last thing we need !

Ryan Woods adopts that all too familiar pose

Ryan Woods adopts that all too familiar pose

We all know the deadline day routine by now. Jim White getting over excited in the Sky Sports studio, roving reporters doing their thing at stadia and training grounds all over the land, Natalie Sawyer helping see us over the line and Brentford fans sitting on the edge of their seats long into the night in the hope that nobody leaves.

Jim didn’t let us down and even seemed be channeling the spirit of Wolf out of the Gladiators as the window eventually came to a close. However, that was about it for familiarity.

Natalie was again missing for the final bow whilst the absence of WKD fuelled youths, banned after the dildogate affair 12 months previous, gave an almost ethereal quality to the reports flying in from empty stadiums. Thankfully, we were saved five hours of nail chewing with the decision made to stop proceedings at 6pm rather than nearer 11pm as is usual. And even better, nobody left Griffin Park.

Jim White had a new co-host as the window 'slammed shut'

Jim White had a new co-host as the window ‘slammed shut’

Given some of the other rumours that had been circulating pre-season, it would have come as no surprise had anybody else joined the likes of Andre Gray, Stuart Dallas or Moses Odubajo in leaving. For me, the fact that we have retained David Button is only excellent news. He has already had a standout start to the season following on from an excellent campaign last time out.

Likewise, with Andreas Bjelland already ruled out, hanging on to the likes of James Tarkowski and Harlee Dean was essential. We’ve done this and with the addition of Ryan, along with Marco Djuricin and Sergi Canos, there are suddenly a host of additional options going forward. Now it’s over to Marinus to see how he can use these to best effect.

The jury remains out for now on whether selling Moses, Stuart and Andre for around £12m will remain shrewd business or a fatal mistake. The fact of the matter is that they have gone and, much as I was desperate to hang on to Andre especially, there’s nothing we can do about it.

Indeed, the ‘in’ door has been a lot busier at Griffin Park over the summer with 12 players joining Brentford compared to the 6 (see also: Tony Craig, Jonathan Douglas and Will Grigg) who have been released or sold.

Have the club ‘over tinkered’ with a settled team? Has the ‘so called’ statistical model played much of a role (good or bad)? Will the new look squad gel to become even better than ever before? Most importantly, will supporters now give Marinus and the new system a bit of breathing space?

At 4 points from 4 games, we are only one ‘worse’ off than last season, when Warbs had us on 5 at this juncture. My main hope is that Marinus has us try to play football. Win or lose, Warbs certainly knew the way to goal.

I’ve got no major worries about the recruitment policy if it gets results. But I’d love to see the Bees start to find the back of the net. And you can only do that by going forward.

Still. The tools are now in place. We await what happens next with extreme interest.

Nick Bruzon

Bees and Bolton set for gladiatorial combat – and that’s just HT

25 Oct

Brentford travel to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday for a game in which a win would see us move back to the fringes of the promotion race. With Bolton currently second from bottom and enduring a goal difference of -13, the lowest in the Championship, perhaps some Bees fans could be forgiven for expecting three gift-wrapped points.

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.

United’s ‘Greek Ruins’ offer Keane a chance for some sport relief.

26 Feb

As a Brentford supporter, the prospect of us suffering the same fate as Manchester United, stunned by Olympiakos in last night’s Champion’s League game, is probably still a few seasons away. At least, for now, the closest we’ll get to ‘European’ football at Griffin Park is being ‘The Barcelona of the lower leagues’.

Whilst I’d always hope to see our domestic clubs do well against their continental rivals, there’s a perverse pleasure from the ongoing decline of Manchester United. Fergie jumped ship at the right time and David Moyes is now finding it a lot trickier to pick up the pieces than probably even he imagined.

As entertaining, though, is the ‘Roy Keane’ show on ITV that accompanies our Tuesday night coverage.

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.