Tag Archives: Wycombe Wanderers

Lunga off target, Kamohelo en route and Leeds / Wycombe go kit crazy

7 Jul

All the talk in Brentford circles yesterday was about the imminent signing of Kamohelo Mokotjo from FC Twente. There’s not much these pages can add on what’s already been said – South African international defensive midfielder, currently undergoing medical – so we’ll leave the bulk of that one to the likes of Beesotted for now . Besides, there was more kit news out there – with Leeds United and Wycombe Wanderers the latest to dazzle.

First up though, two further points on the Mokotjo story, assuming it proves to be correct. Given Beesotted are getting behind it, you can assume this one is a fairly safe bet. Their record on rumours is second to none.

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Is Mokotjo about to become a Bee ?

Both are observations from Twitter. First up, from South African Manchester United fan Lunga Biyela. His bio describes him as a sports writer although it also refers to to both “May the Force be with you” and “#JediBatman”. Additionally, his ‘pinned’ tweet is a lightsaber battle montage and his header photo shows a brass band at a Man U game so I’m not sure how credible a footballing authority we can take him to be.

That said, he had an opinion on the move. An opinion which was somewhat ridiculed and tells you all you need to know about how much many football fans still have their heads buried in the corporate sand. Nice to see Brentford fan Roy Beckerson, amongst others, winning that one.

Screen Shot 2017-07-07 at 05.57.41The other thing of note was a bit closer to home and came via Ben Plumb. Given the recent cringy nonsense from alleged ’Steve Bruce’ & co at Aston Villa (if nothing else, would he REALLY call the boss a solitary ‘Dr’ in a text conversation) , a request has been put out there.

Of course, the club are saying nothing – no change there – but a flag has been raised. Nice one, Ben. Couldn’t agree more. Given me a signing shirt/scarf and picture of the player with pen poised over contract any day.

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Next up – kit. Wycombe Wanderers and Leeds United were amongst those to go yesterday. Starting with Leeds, the Elland Road outfit’s just has to be seen to see believed.

Not so much the gold trim or extraneous amount of Kappa logos but more the fit. It is less stitched together as practically painted on. I can only imagine this is going to look horrific on anybody who has ever eaten a cake or half time pie. Even Sir Bradley Wiggins would struggle in this one.

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The official blurb is great. The shirt is described as Kombat Skin 2018 technology which will be impossible for the opposition to grab whilst, at the same time, magically improving performance standards. Given their recent scores against Brentford, it’ll take more than a spray on shirt to help Leeds on that front .

On the plus side, my sources close to Elland Road (Gibraltar) tell me this is purely the player version. There’s no need for fans to go on a crash diet as it does also come in a more forgiving supporter ‘friendly’ sizing.

As for Wycombe – their new goalkeeper shirt is very much a sight for sore eyes. Or, should that be , a cause of them. It is absolutely stunning. I love it. Whilst not as stylish as our own red ‘away’ from last season, even to call them lurid would be something of an understatement.

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Let’s be clear – I love these. What brilliant shirts. Supposedly designed to put opposition strikers off, you can’t deny they are eye-catching . Perhaps something for our own kitman Bob to think about next season ?

AUTHOR’S PLUG – (it’s all for charity).

And if you’d like to read more about last season including  wins over Villa and Leeds, amongst others then please don’t forget (how could you?) that the regular season review e-book remains available for download. This one is titled ‘Welcome home, King Jota’ and this time around it is for a great cause. All funds raised are being given to the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust. Likewise, any subsequent sales from the previous versions.

Containing the least bad of the blogs from May 2016 to May 2017 and a bit of new material too, you can pick it up, here. It’s just £1.99.

So why not do something great to help our club. What else will £1.99 get you? What better way to spend some time on the commute to work, the beach, by the pool or even hiding out in the toilet at the office?

For less than the cost of half a pint on match day, it’s the season review that has been designed to fit in your pocket (if you are using an i-phone).

Nick Bruzon

 

No fight, No clue, No nothing. Worst. Display. Ever (and that’s just Dean) as Bees go down at Chelsea.

29 Jan

Chelsea 4 Brentford 0 . Well played Chelsea. You can only beat what is put up in front of you and what comes next is by no means meant as either criticism, or over exuberant praise, of our hosts on Saturday. But that was atrocious.

An FA Cup scoreline most outsiders would have expected before kick off yet one which, with the players at Dean Smith’s disposal could have been so much closer. More to the point, with the players at Dean Smith’s disposal it should have been one which involved some passion and fight. Instead, he rolled over and had his belly tickled.

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Stat of the day going into this one..

The BBC match report has the highlights as does Match of the Day on the I-player, approximately an hour and nine minutes in. If you must do it to yourself, I’d suggest going with the latter option purely for Gaby Logan’s sub-Partridge introduction to the game “Two years ago Chelsea lost out to League One Bradford City in the Fourth round. Today’s opponents also started with ‘B R’ and ended in ‘Ford’ but could Brentford give the Premier League leaders another FA Cup thumping?

The answer was a categoric “No”.

It is said that games can hinge on a single moment. This one was the exact moment Dean Smith set up his team. Chelsea were never going to be at full strength with matches against Liverpool and Arsenal in the coming week. Even I could see that and my managerial experience has been limited to two games at the helm of the Brentford legends.(P2 W2 D0 L0. Just saying).

The only chance of getting anything out of this was to go for it from the off, get in their faces and then grind it out later on if needs be when Chelsea brought their big guns on.

Instead, we stuck to the five defenders and four midfielders in  a system totally devoid of any attacking intent. Tom Field was demoted to the bench. Jota and Josh Clarke sat along side him, with Scott Hogan helping make up the numbers. Wing backs without wings. I’ve seen more flare and width on a kipper tie. Brentford invited Chelsea to come at them and it was a tactical decision that was doomed to fail.

We will be going all-out to win the game” promised Dean on Thursday. His team and their tactics – a Marinus era display of sitting deep then passing it sideways and backwards rather than forwards – gave the impression that we would be going all out to sneak a turgid draw.

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Was this Dean’s game plan, left on the Stamford Bridge steps?

It was total exhibition stuff from Chelsea. Rather than Diego Costa, I was half expecting Antonio Conte to bring on the Harlem Globetrotters in the second half .

The opening forty-five was so abject from Brentford that the biggest cheer from the visiting fans came at half time with the news that Paul Hayes had put Wycombe 2-0 up at Spurs. Along with the likes of Aaron Pierre, Myles Weston and Sam Wood (Marcus Bean and Sam Saunders having to be content with a place on the bench) The Swans giving a perfect lesson in how to take on a below strength team at the business end of the Premier League in their own back yard.

I heard supporters berating Romaine Sawyers and Josh McEachran – claiming the latter had been more interested in his recent ‘golf photos’. Neither had great games, granted, but they were as much a product of the tactical decisions going on around them.

Tom Field was dropped. Why, Dean? Why? Even if he was as tired as you made out, at least start him for an hour then bring on Barbet for the defensive role once we are ahead. Given the line he’d spouted two weeks earlier about trusting his players in regards to ‘not picking’ Scott Hogan (because of course, that was your decision and not at all influenced) then why his sudden reversal? Tom had absolutely nailed that position in the last few months and this was as big a slap in the face as a manager/head coach (whatever) could deliver.

There was no attacking intent on the left. Barbet either too scared, or simply not allowed, to try and take it forward. No width on the right. Josh Clarke and Jota were both overlooked in favour of a 5-4-1 formation in which all 5 sat back and all 4 passed it sideways. And backwards. It was an open invitation for Chelsea to come at us. It was an invitation which required no RVSP and no second chance. It was an invitation which came with a party bag marked ‘goals’. Only Daniel Bentley and the linesman’s flag keeping the first half score respectable.

It was abundantly clear what was going to happen. Invite them on and pay the inevitable price.

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Pre kick off. Yet worse was to come. Much worse

Just look at the way the two managers/head coaches (whatever) performed. Smith, cutting a solitary figure standing motionless on the edge of his technical area. He was a man reverting to the same abject characteristics of his ill-fated predecessor, Marinus Dijkhuizen. He was a man displaying all the passion of a waterlogged stats graph and about as much technical ability.

His opposite number Antonio Conte was like a man possessed. A demented conductor, directing an orchestra of understudies. There he was, driving them on with every gesticulation. A man constantly encouraging his team and barking out orders. This, despite them being two up against a side whose sole purpose seemed to be ‘don’t lose’.

As for the Scott Hogan decision, who knows what was going on there? If there was any chance of taking anything out of the game he should have started. Or been dropped. There’s no room or place for wishy-washy nonsense. Whatever point either he or Dean are trying to prove at the moment is not in the best interests of this team.

The opening twenty minutes of the second period showed just what would happen if we decided to cross the half way line. Attacking the Shed end that housed the 6,000 Brentford fans we began the half the way we should have started the first.

And then it fizzled out as Chelsea started to play again.

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An impressive arena. A less than impressive performance

Only poor finishing and Dan Bentley had kept the scoreline vaguely respectable in that first period. With Romaine Sawyers (whose role yesterday eludes me) unable to go forward,  three static central midfielders passing it amongst themselves and the defence stretched (how can five men get stretched?) the only question was how many Chelsea would get. That it was only two, and eventually four, is a miracle in itself.

In Matthew we trust” , I wrote earlier this month. Well I stick by that. The problem being his trusted lieutenants. The players are there. The talent is there. The motivation and formation isn’t.

For gosh sake, I could have done a better job at motivating them and setting up yesterday . If that was a team designed to go ‘all-out to win the game’ (Dean’s words, not mine) then perhaps he needs a new dictionary or coaching manual.

We haven’t got a divine right to roll over anybody before us. Likewise, Chelsea are where they are for good reason. Roman’s roubles have allowed them to build a squad that is sweeping all before it in the Premier League. But if our ultimate fate was to lose, at least show a bit of passion. A bit of fight . Make a half-arsed attempt to try and get something out of the game instead of trying to chase it when it was already lost.

The most attacking intent shown by anybody vaguely connected with Brentford was from the paunchy geriatrics in the upper tier at full time, as a crazy punch up ensued amongst some agitated supporters.

Instead, we were left with the aforementioned stat of the day from Standard Sport still holding true. We’ve never had a better chance of putting this one to bed. Instead, there was no kapow from Dean Smith.

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Nick Bruzon

As Sam says farewell does ‘that song’ still apply? And Wigan appear out of nowhere.

21 Jan

Sad times. Sam Saunders has left Brentford for Wycombe Wanderers. We all suspected this was coming after the midweek update from co-director of football Rasmus Ankersen to West London’s premier journalist, Tom Moore. And then, on the eve of our trip to Wigan Athletic, the news was confirmed.

I said my piece on Sam during the week. It’s available here. Feedback at the time from the likes of Twitter and Facebook was unanimous in agreement. A first for The Last Word but, undoubtedly, this due to the calibre of the man being discussed. Likewise, when the news was confirmed, the tributes were legion, with this one from Tom Cox being my pick of the bunch.

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So there’ll be no regurgitation today from your’s truly. Instead, here’s the farewell message from the man himself. Even in leaving, he hasn’t failed to raise a tear and a smile. That song….

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Whether ‘that song’ still applies remains a matter of conjecture for married men and women everywhere. One thing that will definitely remain in perpetuum is the area known as ‘Saunders territory’. It’ll be a long time coming until somebody in red and white can hit a dead ball at goal so sweetly and so consistently. So long, Sam. And thanks for all the goals.

As for Wigan Athletic on Saturday, it seems to have almost crept up on us. Aside from Sam, all the talk of West Ham, Scott Hogan, Chelsea and the FA Cup tickets has provided a huge diversion. All of a sudden it is match day morning and Wigan await.

Club sponsor 888sport have the home side as favourites. I don’t see it. Brentford were magnificent for huge swathes of the game against Newcastle United whilst, of course, won handsomely at hapless Birmingham City on our last road trip. A blockbuster form Nico Yennaris sealing the points in that one.

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The bookies here rarely wrong. But surely this is too generous?

Will Scott Hogan feature against Wigan? Unlikely. Given Dean Smith’s comments prior to the Newcastle game followed by an abrupt u-turn when the teams were announced. Something one could just about give him the benefit of the doubt over until the striker failed to make it off the bench. The whole thing smelt very fishy.

Perhaps that’s why we are priced at almost 2-1 to beat a team buried deep in the relegation quagmire. A team who are only being kept off the bottom of the table by virtue of Rotherham United’s ongoing ineptitude.

Brentford are stronger with Scott Hogan, no question. But even without him, Lasse Vibe has started finding the back of the net, Josh McEachran was amongst those to have a great game against Newcastle United whilst the deliciousness of Jota is a luxury we are beginning to enjoy the taste of once more .

There’s more to the team than just one man. How Dean Smith juggles those pieces is, as ever, the conundrum.

At 2.15 we find out.

Nick Bruzon

Football’s farcical 24 hours as one innovates and one goes a bit ‘Ratners’

31 Aug

This could be the most crazy 24 hours in modern football. We’ve already had the farce of last night’s Checkatrade trophy opening round where the lure of West Ham and Leicester City U-23 teams (please note, your definition of under 23 may vary) was not enough to persuade supporters to drop the proposed #BteamBoycott in this most maligned of tournaments. And then today sees ‘Transfer Deadline day’ as Brentford supporters join the rest of the footballing community in wondering if any new names will be coming through the ‘in door’ or if anyone is heading out?

Jim White, Natalie Sawyer and the rest of the gang lead the madness on Sky Sports before the window eventually ‘slams shut’ (TM) . You all know the drill by now. Yellow ties, yellow dresses and lots of cutting to empty stadia where nothing is happening. Plus, presumably, archive footage of Harry Redknapp leaning out of a car (subject to his sore knee).

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…..

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Jim and Natalie do their thing on deadline days gone by

 

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Brentford’s most recent signing activity

 

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Nick Bruzon

Top transfer rumours of the summer reviewed as Chelsea enter the fray

4 Jul

Summer’s here and news is slow. The potential signing of Chelsea midfielder Josh McEachran is the latest story to intrigue Brentford supporters, with his being the name on everybody’s lips on Friday.

Having already added Konstantin Kerschbaumer to our ample midfield, is there really any truth to this latest rumour? At this rate we’ll have enough central players to make up a second Brentford team (or Wycombe Wanderers, as I saw one Twitter wag refer to yesterday).

Who knows? Several sites have reported this one as imminent although with no leaked pictures, there is nothing concrete to suggest any level of accuracy for a player who, on paper, would be a wonderful signing for Brentford.

Is Josh next on Mr Benham's shopping list?

Is Josh next on Mr Benham’s shopping list?

Beesotted have run with this one and, to be fair to Dave, Billy and the team, they are more often than not on the money when it comes to this sort of subject. Unlike some of their rivals in the press.

Indeed, looking at the twelve major transfer rumours of the summer so far, only three have come to fruition. One out of four ain’t bad (as Meatloaf didn’t even get close to singing) but it also shows how much hot air and desperate padding does the rounds this time of year if you think that nine of these ‘hot leads’ have, so far, failed to materialise.

Rumoured OUT

Jota – Swansea City (No sighting)

Andre Gray – QPR (No sighting)

Tony Craig – Millwall (No sighting)

James Tarkowski – Fulham (No sighting)

Moses Odubajo – Everton (No sighting)

David Button – Aston Villa (No sighting)

Rumoured IN

Carlton Cole – free agent (No sighting)

Yoann Barbet – Chamois Niortais (CONFIRMED)

Konstantin Kerschbaumer – Admira Wacker (CONFIRMED)

Michiel Kramer – ADO Den Haag (No sighting)

Andreas Bjelland – FC Twente (CONFIRMED)

Josh McEachran – Chelsea (No sighting)

Konstantin and Andreas are 2 of the 3 rumours to deliver, so far

Konstantin and Andreas are 2 of the rumours to deliver, so far

No doubt more will be come clear over the coming weeks. Especially as Marinus has the boys back in training. I’ve no idea what our starting XI would be right now, such is the change in infrastructure and personnel we have already started to see. This before you then factor in the head coach’s personal preferences (assuming ‘the model’ has room for these) and any other transfer activity – whether from the above rumour list or out of left field.

I’d hate to be a journalist at this time of year – scratching around to find stories out of nowhere and waiting for leads to pay off. No doubt we’ll see more of these over the coming weeks and no doubt some might happen – if you chuck enough mud then some will, eventually, stick. Likewise, if you believe them all then we’ll have no team left.

Brentford fans are getting worried about the likes of Jota and Andre, in particular, leaving but there’s been no substance to any of this. The papers love to talk and supporters love to read it.

Personally, I can’t help but feel that with our numbers ever increasing the ‘out door’ will, eventually, swing. You can’t run a side on a bloated squad and so somebody, somewhere, is going to be upset sooner than later.

But equally, I can’t help but feel that Matthew Benham knows exactly what he is doing. He wants success for this club, no question, and he’s not going to do anything to jeopardise that.

Brentford are on the up, make no mistake. The press may not have too much of an idea about who is staying and who is going but we’ll find out eventually. And when it happens, let’s all just show a bit of faith and confidence in our owner. He’s invested heavily, and very well, so far.

Long may this continue.

Nick Bruzon

Should you want to read more Brentford related thoughts (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 the transfer news to be confirmed and the preseason tour to start.

Thanks for reading.

A tale of two Sams as next season takes shape

24 May

Brentford find out over the next few days who out of Newcastle United and Hull City; Swindon Town and Preston North End; Middlesbrough and Norwich City will be joining us in the Championship. But before we even get on to those there can only be one place to start – Wycombe Wanderers, at Wembley, in the League 2 play off final.

Specifically the two Sams – Wood and Saunders. We all know about the huge contingent of former and current bees at Wycombe but these two, along with Marcus Bean, have been heroes to many of us in recent seasons. So to see Sam Saunders forced to leave the pitch after the game began, quicker than you could say “And this is Saunders territory” was heart breaking stuff.

He has been my favourite Bees’ player for years and I was gutted to see him go out on loan earlier this year. Moreso, because it was a time when the team might really have benefitted from the option of somebody with enthusiasm, impetus and ability.

However, with hopes of Toumani style resurgence, there was also the thought that a good run with Wycombe would see him back at Griffin Park bigger and better than ever before. Instead, his play off final lasted what was initially declared as under a minute and then down graded from 6 to 2 seconds after Will Atkinson inflicted a calf injury on our man immediately after kick off.

A day that had started so brightly for Sam Saunders ended in heartache

Sam’s twitter feed shows a day that  had started so brightly ended in heartache

Never have I seen such an outpouring of sympathy on social media for one player – and as much from Brentford fans and top brass. Sam’s likeability has been proven, yet again, and who knows if this could be the catalyst that sees him break back into our own setup next season. Here’s hoping.

As for Sam Wood, he has the mantle of seeing his decisive spot kick saved in the shootout by Southend ‘keeper Daniel Bentley. Like Sam Saunders, I was gutted to see him leave Brentford back in 2012 after four seasons but, to be fair, he has continued his great form. One of the nicest guys in football, he came back (with Marcus) for last season’s ‘legends’ game and proved to be as popular as ever.

Sam Wood, Marcus Bean and Glenn Poole at the previous 'Legends' game

Sam Wood, Marcus Bean and Glenn Poole at the previous ‘Legends’ game

So heart was in mouth as he stepped up with the scores locked at 7-6 and, despite hitting a powerful shot, saw Bentley dive to his left to keep it out. Given the Brentford contingent amongst the Wycombe set up, it was inevitable there would be some form of Bees connection in the headlines but who could have predicted these two events?

Chin up, lads. It’s been a stunning effort to get that far. Hope to see you both at Griffin Park again soon.

As for today’s action, the League One play off final sees Preston (a team who, incredibly, have a worse play off record than us) and Swindon Town do battle for the final place in the Championship. I’ve got a soft spot for Preston, given their own place in our history – being the team we beat last season to secure our own promotion. That aside, I’m just hoping for a good game of football with no specific preference as to who joins us.

And I say ‘final place’ because the play off takes place at the ungodly hour of 17.30, after the Premiership has played out. By then we’ll know if it is Hull City or Newcastle United who will be coming to Griffin Park next season. And whilst probability suggests it will be the latter, the way Newcastle have ‘hit the skids’ in recent months, rule out nothing.

One thing’s for sure, if this season was exciting then next year is already shaping up to be even better.

Sam Saunders with numpty - on the day we sealed promotion against Preston

Sam Saunders with numpty – on the day we sealed promotion against Preston

A surprise source unearths a real Christmas turkey

30 Dec

As Brentford spent Christmas going down to both Ipswich Town and Wolves, it seems that away from the field various sources were busy either writing about, or preparing articles on, the club’s home fixture from the 1983 festive period.

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.

Roger's wing walking is in the top left corner

Roger’s wing walking is in the top left corner

It was still a merry Christmas, despite the result(s)

29 Dec

Brentford slipped to sixth place after defeat at Wolves, our second loss in as many games, made it a Christmas break that may want to be forgotten. That said, whereas the Boxing Day reverse was a game that was practically over as soon as it had begun, at least this match saw the Bees rediscover their fighting spirit.

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.

Clem went to Shrewsbury and bore witness to a 0-0 draw

Clem went to Shrewsbury and bore witness to a 0-0 draw

Clemwatch – round 8. Normal service resumes…

5 Oct

Wycombe Wanderers entertained Northampton Town yesterday in a game that saw Adams Park graced with a visit from The Football League Show roving reporter, Clem.

I have to doff my hat to anybody with the confidence to start their feature standing next to a urinal. But that’s what Clem did.

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.

Clem prepares to meet Wycombe - as seen on the BBC Football League Show

Clem prepares to meet Wycombe – as seen on the BBC Football League Show

Have we been spared some pain or missed a great day out?

3 Sep

Russell Slade celebrated like his team had won a JPT first round match last night after Leyton Orient beat Peterborough United 3-2. Good luck to him. As a Brentford supporter, it’s one thing that’s not on the agenda for this season and, hopefully, not for a while.

That’s meant as no disrespect to the trophy but simply means that Brentford will, all being well, be playing in the Championship. Or beyond….

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.