Tag Archives: YouTube

The morning after the night before. And it STILL feels magnificent.

21 Feb

Brentford 5 Birmingham City 0. It was a night which began with such promise – the words of our former captain still ringing loud and clear. It was a night which ended with a scoreline that was beyond even our wildest dreams. I had an ecstatic Aston Villa supporting friend text me from his holiday at 4.30am. It woke me up. I didn’t care !

At one point during the game, I even saw one of the Braemar Road regulars having to explain to his son what brackets and the videprinter were. “Well, imagine a TV camera pointing at a really old TV screen….”, he began.

Harlee

How IS that working out for you?

Ordinarily I’d sleep on things before writing the post match article. Yet sometimes you have to go with the gut and so I did it last night upon returning home. You can find it it here. Now, having managed to grab a few hour’s sleep, this should be the time for a more considered view. A more mature piece. A lengthier column. But. But….

I make no apologies for the fact I still have a huge grin on my face. Besides, it’s not always about length. And when even Brentford official got in on the act at full time (quite beautifully), perhaps here was the ultimate lesson in why:

One: It never pays to open your mouth before engaging your brain.

Two: Football fans NEVER forget.

There’s not much else to say beyond, thanks for the motivation. And the cash…

Yes. We really did ditch Kool and The Gang

Nick Bruzon

Harlee offers an alternative to going again. Dean conjures up strange images.

18 Nov

Footballers, eh? Normally the first to come out with anodyne soundbites about how the boys did well well or that despite the defeat (for which we apologise to the fans – it wasn’t good enough)  ‘we go again’. But with Brentford heading into Saturday’s game with Blackburn, club captain Harlee Dean has given a really interesting, and honest, interview on ‘official’ as part of the big match preview.

Talking about his own performance, current form, team mates and, of course, the threat posed by Blackburn it recognises our own, what we’ll call, ‘blips’ .

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Harlee speaks to the press on Thursday

Fairplay to Harlee. I’m not normally one for these interviews. If nothing else, the technique of previewing what a player is about to be quoted on and then quoting it , often verbatim, still rankles. This one has a classic example and does make me wonder if we have problems with the required ‘word count’:

Harlee, who has missed just two games all season, feels that a mid-table position is where The Bees deserve to be based on the opening 16 games of the season but has aims on being much higher.

“I feel the team should be where we are but we could be a lot better,” said Harlee.

But it is a small gripe. It’s great to hear our captain being so open, so honest and saying what we can all see. The question now is one of how we follow up these words. As he notes:

“The boys will be honest that a few of them have been good in spells and then dropped off…..  We can easily do it but we all have to be consistent, not just for one game or for 135 minutes, but for two, three, or four games in a row and see where it takes us.”

If you haven’t read the full interview yet, you can find it on ‘official’. Alternatively, the whole piece is on the Brentford YouTube page which you can find below.

Harlee. Great words, great jumper 

Dean Smith also gave his press conference, where ‘official’ began by telling us he is expecting Blackburn to offer both “a tough test” and a “stern examination”. I had to double take on reading that opening gambit. Visions of daleks gliding onto the Ewood Park pitch were soon dispelled upon noting it said stern examination rather than extermination (and with it, the photoshop imagery hit the ‘trash’ folder). That’s what writing this nonsense so early in the morning does to you!

Like Harlee, Mr Smith also noted that “The consistency element is something that we are working on.” Certainly the right mantra and let’s hope it sinks in. Consistency , consistency, consistency. Repeat it enough and, like saying Candyman, Candyman, Candyman into the mirror – will it magically appear?

On Saturday, we find out.

And if you’d like to read more, Dean’s full interview is also available on Brentford official.

In the meantime, the thought of Doctor Smith and the Daleks has been niggling. Here’s hoping Blackburn can be exterminated on Saturday (in the nicest possible terms).

dean-dalek

Nick Bruzon

Who is joining (or leaving) today? Matthew is back !

17 Mar

Fire up the old Brentford. Matthew Benham is back. On Twitter that is. Whilst he has already returned after a brief mid-season hiatus, Wednesday saw him teasing us with another spin of the ‘cryptic clue generator’. On a day in which this column bemoaned the Charlton Athletic school of comms, it made a refreshing change to see Matthew at his fan teasing best .

What does it all mean? Of course his use of a video clip is traditionally associated with somebody new coming in to Griffin Park. That said, his clues are as hard to understand and unravel as Claudia Winkleman doing the maths on Countdown. Even when you know the answer.

So what can we learn from this? Is somebody coming in today? Certainly, Dean Smith has been very vocal about his desire to dip into the loan market.But any attempt to translate the sequence has , so far, proved as futile as going into a fierce London derby, away from home, with no strikers in your starting XI.

The clip is the Doctor Knee sketch, from Chris Morris’s series Jam. Soundtracked by Brian Eno, it features actors David Cann & Amelia Bullmore ( best known for playing Sonja,the Ukranian girlfriend of TV’s Alan Partridge  – Don’t get Bond wrong !).

But watching the video for a scripted clue or a lead from one of the main names has, as ever, proven pointless. The only Chris Morris I know, in a footballing sense, is now in his 50s and no longer troubling the good people at Panini.

Then it hit me. What if Matthew has changed his modus operandi and is hinting at something else?   Assuming we aren’t signing a player with an injured knee (when would we ever do something like  that?) this could mean one of two other possibilities.

1 – That Scott Hogan is in line for a recall on Saturday following his well documented stint with the Griffin Park medical team. Has that period officially come to an end? Whilst, surely, too soon might we see him make a cameo from the bench? After all, he has been increasing his playing time for the development squad.

2 – That it may be somebody leaving us. The final scene of the sketch see the patient going through the ‘out’ door. If not the case of Scott leaving the doctor’s surgery, perhaps a departure (player or staff; on or off field) is imminent at Brentford? But who? And replaced by……?

Brian Little in for Rasmus or Phil as co-director of football? A rejig in the comms team? Peter Gilham finally hanging up his microphone?

I can’t see any of those happening and, besides, I’m normally as off target as Nick Proschwitz when it comes to unravelling Matthew’s clues.

Instead, we’ll await any update on Brentford official with intrigue. Then fail miserably to backwards translate

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Chris Morris is now past the prime of his 1988 heyday – playing wise

  Nick Bruzon

 

 

Jota shows how to do it with class

17 Jan

With the news of James Tarkoffski refusing to play against Burnley still leaving a worse taste in the mouth than a stadium burger, it was news of another player who is leaving Brentford that brought nothing but good vibes and best wishes from the Griffin Park faithful. With Jota confirming his much anticipated 18 month loan move to SD Eibar in Span, it sees the departure of one of the most exciting players we’ve had the pleasure to see play in living memory.

Probably more important in the immediate short term was his method of delivering this news. A heartfelt and emotional letter shared on social media. “This isn’t “goodbye” but more of a “see you later” he notes about a decision “based solely on personal circumstances” . A glowing tribute to the club, his team mates and the supporters also includes the news that he has signed an additional year’s contract extension with Brentford.

Jota

Jota – will now be rushing into action for Eibar

The letter is still up on Twitter or you can read it in full at the bottom of this article. As a supporter I’m gutted but from a personal perspective you can only appreciate the situation he has found himself in and respect this decision. Contrast this with the news from Friday night prior to the Burnley game just to see who leaves Griffin Park with their head held high and nothing but best wishes and who skulks off with their tail between their legs.

Jota. In the last minute”.

It is a phrase and chant that has become as familiar as, “Ooh Richy Cadette in the back of the net”, “ Big Ben Burgesssss” and “Owusuuuu” But then again, why wouldn’t it?

If ever there has a been a player to turn it on in style, at THE most important time, it was Jota. The moment of his goal against Nottingham Forest, and that solo run across Griffin Park towards the directors’ box in celebration, was something I’ll never forget. But the goal at home to arch rivals Fulham was the last minute winner to top them all.

The goal wrapped up a deserved three points as, with the clock well into the 90th, it looked as though our chance to secure all three points and second place, our highest league position in 62 years, had gone. Then Jota arrived. His shot from distance left the goalkeeper flat-footed and sent the crowd bonkers.

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Jota – his winner against Fulham at Griffin Park was quite exciting

And what he did in the home game, he repeated at Craven Cottage. With the game surely safe at a mere 3-1 to the Bees, and the Brentford supporters reminding our hosts what happened previously with (another) rendition of “Jota, in the last minute”, the Spaniard duly obliged. Again. A beautiful half volley into the roof of the net from twelve yards out gave the scoreline an almost surreal feeling.

Even this season, but for a rogue linesman he’d have tied up another win at Craven Cottage. With the scores locked at 2-2 his beautiful header, in acres of space, secured the points before the official’s flag took them back with an ‘offside’ decision that TV subsequently proved wrong.

You can pick your Jota moment. For many, it was the wonderful solo goal up at Blackburn Rovers which inspired the infamous ‘Burridgegasm’ up in the Beesplayer commentary box. An incredible run and strike that summed up just how good he really can be and how lucky Eibar are to have him back in Spain.

Mark Burridge and Jota – the dream team

Flicking through my own season review (the cover of which was inspired by that goal against Forest), it’s incredible just how often his name comes up in relation to some trick, run, assist or stunning goal. You can’t replace a player of this ability yet, at the same time, one who always came across as a welcoming and friendly individual.

Brentford’s loss is very much Eibar’s gain. Despite our loss, I’ve never seen a player depart with such an outpouring of love and respect. Social media was awash with good wishes and tributes as the news broke. Such is the measure of the man.

Farewell, Jota. And THANK YOU. I hope we see you again.

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A heartfelt letter from Jota

Nick Bruzon

And now Rangers join the mix as Brentford staff respond to rumours

8 Jan

Amidst the glut of Sheffield Wednesday and Burnley related transfer rumours currently doing the rounds at Brentford it was one out of leftfield, from Rangers, that had Bees fans talking yesterday. The BBC were among the news outlets to confirm that Mark Warburton had made a bid, which has been rejected, for supporter’s player of the year Toumani Diagouraga.

But first those longstanding stories about Alan Judge and James Tarkowski were finally confirmed by Dean Smith in an interview on the club’s YouTube channel. Whilst I don’t for one second believe anybody of any significance pays any attention to this column, fair play to the media team for putting the rumours which we’ve all read about direct to the Head Coach. And you can see this on the video, where he also expands on the Jota situation, below.

Dean Smith speaks

As mentioned in Tuesday’s column, I really didn’t think that was our style (discussing rumours up front). Yet Dean confirmed, “We’ve had bids for Alan Judge and James Tarkowski but we’ve turned both of them down” although didn’t go so far as to confirm these were Sheffield Wednesday and Burnley. And the reason, “We’re in a position where we don’t want to sell our players at the moment…we want to keep our better players at the football club”.

So all the right noises and just what supporters would hope to hear. Sentiments echoed, likewise, by co-director of football Phil Giles on the latest Beesotted podcast – which you can find here . Stay for the full hour twenty experience or jump straight to Phil’s piece 11 minutes into the playback. Either way, very well worth a listen and hats off to Dave and Billy for nabbing another exclusive. Phil comes across very well whilst the probing questions certainly bear a considered listen.

As for Toumani, well it was no doubt Mark Warburton would be hoping to take some former players to Rangers. Indeed, Warbs has already signed up former golden boy Harry Forrester after his jumping ship for the dream of Championship football with Doncaster quickly turned into a nightmare.

But the bid to lure Toumani sees a significant step up in Mark’s intent, given this a player who is still a regular in a Brentford team pushing for the Premier League play offs. Was the £100,000 bid, which of course was rejected, just the first salvo in a bidding war to lure the ever popular midfielder.

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Toumani, Sam, Buzz and Buzzette. Bees for years and massively popular

Whilst there’s no doubt we have a huge selection in the middle of the park, Toumani is surely one of the first names on the teamsheet, around whom the others fit. If nothing else, there’d be huge disappointment if he leaves – for Rangers or elsewhere – prior to scoring a goal.

What happens next is going to be a very interesting test of the club’s ambition versus the obvious lure presented by a lorry load of cash. Whilst I’m just the numpty on the terrace rather than any insider, I’m not that stupid as to realise that every player does have his price. Indeed, this is something Phil discusses on that Beesotted interview.

Are we prepared to fight for our players – as seems to be the intent from the first round of bids? Or is this simply just a case of playing the waiting game? With the transfer window remaining open for the best part of another four weeks, there’s simply no reason to jump at the first bid – if that is our long term goal.

My own personal feel for all of this is that at least one of these three will leave before Jim White declares the window as officially slammed shut. If nothing else, the financial rewards for playing top-flight football, with buckets of TV money sloshing around, do help compensate some of this initial investment. As long as the bidding club do then make the ‘promised land’, of course.

Dean Smith did acknowledge an element of rotation will be in effect on Saturday. This works for him in potentially camouflaging any sales we may be considering. Tuesday night against league leaders Middlesbrough, a game where surely your first choice XI need to start, will be a very different and interesting selection.

Until then, despite all the speculation and opinion, there’s nothing any of us can do to stop or influence matters. Alan Judge will leave the Bees at some point in his career as, I’d suspect, will Toums, Tarks and most of this team. Let’s just hope it isn’t until the summer time, at the least.

Despite our slow start to the campaign, this team is tearing up the blindside. I’d love to see it given at least another six months to see what we can do. Will money talk or will we hold it altogether?

The next few days could prove to be extremely ‘squeaky bum’ time for those wanting to hang on to our current squad.

Nick Bruzon  

Can Brentford repeat last season’s double six over Fulham?

12 Dec

Today’s the day. Brentford visit Fulham with Bees fans hoping for a performance and result even half as good as last season’s 4-1 thumping of our neighbours at The Cottage. Coming off the back of Jota’s late, late winner at Griffin Park (in the last minute, wasn’t it…?) six points and six goals against our nearest and dearest was more than anybody had a right to hope for. But that was then and this is now. So what about today?

I’ve had some ‘interesting’ observations (that’s the polite word) over the last two columns in regards to my own build up and lack of “A proper assessment of THIS game”. Whilst the regular reader will know we concentrate as much on the ‘other stuff’ that goes with Brentford as we do on previews/reports, if it stops Mr X from crying then here it is:

We’ll beat Fulham.

To enlarge upon that, I think that even the most optimistic amongst us would be pushing it to expect the same as last time out. Then again, looking at the facts, why not? Our own last performance, against MK Dons, was one that saw a 2-0 win, the woodwork thumped three times, decent penalty shouts denied, goal line clearances, an offside effort ruled out and the excellent Alan Judge presented with a Claytonesque moment when clean through in the first half. Frankly, it could have been brackets.

Vibe 2-0 no

Lasse Vibe had a goal denied by the flag against MK

Fulham, meanwhile, suffered a 3-0 hammering at the hands of Nottingham Forest and are still looking to replace manager Kit Symons. It’s now over a month since he was sacked although Stuart Gray has been named as an interim ‘Senior Coach’ , whilst the search for a permanent ‘head’ continues.

It’s no secret that Fulham have the second worst goals conceded record in the League”. Those aren’t my words but those of the Cottagers own in-house YouTube channel for an interview with Gray.

It’s an interesting piece (to be found at the end of this column) and certainly one any Brentford fan looking to get the opposition perspective would do well to watch. If only for some quite blunt questions and some honest answers.

We do defend with eleven; we do attack with eleven. What we haven’t done, we haven’t defended set plays very well so this week we’ve concentrated on showing the players where we’re going wrong,” said Gray when pushed on the defensive set up of the team.

Likewise, when the club acknowledge that, “Last season’s result smarts with a lot of Fulham fans,” he is savvy enough to admit that “bragging rights are up for grabs and that’s the most important thing.

I take all of this to mean we can expect a very turgid line up and formation from the home side. Priority one will be to avoid defeat and putting eleven men behind the ball will be the way to achieve this. So what about the Bees?

Well, as anybody who bore witness to the MK Dons game will know, when the midfield turns it on we are a force to be reckoned with. Moreso, given the attaking options on the bench presented by the likes of Jota, Andy Gogia and Sam Saunders (did somebody mention defensive frailties from set plays?).

Gray can park the bus all he wants but when the likes of a Jota, Judge, Saunders or Canos are running at you full tilt then not even Chelsea could stop them. Mind you, on current form Chelsea would be doing well to stop a team of pensioners.

Fulham bus

Stuart Gray’s pre-match talk suggests this is what we can expect

Likewise, Josh McEachran and Max Colin are both fit once more. Subject to fitness, I expect Dean Smith to, at least, start with the same team as last weekend . However, the return of Max Colin is the most intriguing one in my eyes. His performance prior to injury marked him out as potential game changer yet, in his absence, Nico Yennaris has done nothing but shine.

It’s fair to say that, perhaps unfairly, Nico has had his critics but my hasn’t he proven them wrong? At the end of the day (Clive), you don’t come through the ranks at Arsenal without being ‘any good’. I’m sure he’ll be picked again today but the chance for more competition amongst the squad and cover in case of injury can only be a good thing.

Victory for Brentford today would take us to within three points of fifth place, as things currently stand, and nine clear of Fulham. That said, the table is still so tightly packed that, perhaps, Stuart Gray has it right. At least in part.

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The BBC table shows just what victory would do – for either team

Bragging rights are up for grab but victory is absolutely key. Personally, I’d take the win above all else. Even if it came by a solitary goal. This time. If we can do it in style, then all the better.

After Marinus departed, Lee Carsley did a fantastic job in getting us to this position. Being honest, a lot of Brentford fans were probably expecting us to be more at the trapdoor end of the table, such was the mood around the place until Lee ‘did his thing’.

Following the news that Lee has now moved on himself (as expected at some point) following early completion of the handover to Dean Smith, what better way than to sign off than with a win.

See you at the game .

Nick Bruzon

Crazy capers, Christmas jumpers and Paul McCartney (kind of)

11 Dec

With Brentford set to play Fulham on Saturday, I was reminded of a simple yet wonderful truth. “Caper is a stunning word”. Not my quote (although certainly sentiments I agree with) but those of one New Road wag with whom I was discussing the forthcoming game. A discussion which led, at a tangent, to popular music’s Wu-Tang Clan and from there to an abhorrent video coming out of QPR, which we’ll get to shortly.

Fans of the group (Wu-Tang Clan, not QPR) will, I am sure, be aware of their ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’ album. A 31 track effort of which there has only been one copy ever produced and that sold at auction for USD2million to drugs baron (in a medical sense) Martin Shkreli.

However, the story took a bizarre turn on Thursday when an alleged clause in the sale contract, detailing how the group could regain possession of their record, was made public. Specifically via the medium of legally planning and attempting “to execute one (1) heist or caper to steal back Once Upon A Time In Shaolin.”

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Is this for real? Who cares .

I don’t know what the best part of this is. Bill Murray? The stunning use of brackets? Or just the phrase “ execute one (1) heist / caper” ? Truly, a pair of words more commonly associated with slapstick comedies or trashy crime thrillers.

The byproduct of reading this was my thinking more about how I could crowbar either one into today’s article. And with Brentford and Fulham about to meet at The Cottage once more, a cheap bit of photoshoppery and sledgehammer like unsubtlety, in combination with the aforementioned comedy, seemed the obvious solution.

For once, PG isn’t Peter Gilham …

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Coming soon to a stadium near you?

As for QPR, words fail me…

Whilst Alan Partridge may have famously noted, “ Wings – the band that The Beatles could have been”, nobody deserves to be treated this badly.

I’d recommend you don’t press play. Not even in an ironic sense. Words can’t describe just how toecurlingly bad this is . Where’s Keith Stroud and his red card when you need him?

You have been warned. Watch this at your own risk

That wasn’t the only video to see the light of day on Thursday. Griffin Park, so often the location for film crews needing a local football ground, has starred again.

This time in a promotional film for Sky Sports and their coverage of Football League fixtures over the Christmas period. Given their spannering of my trip to Brighton, I shouldn’t really be over indulging in their promotion but there are a number of aspects that caught my interest.

Primarily, as one observer on the Ealing Road has pointed out, Kurt and the marketing chaps really have taken Peter Gilham’s much touted new public address system to ridiculous levels.

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“This is Brentford Control…”

Then, of course, there is an appearance from another familiar face in Brentford circles. And I don’t mean Jeff Stelling who, to the best of my knowledge, has never had any involvement with the Bees or our fans – certainly beyond a squeal of excitement as we locked horns with his beloved Hartlepool back in October 2012.

That, a game which saw a brace from Paul Hayes – his first goals for the Bees – before Tony Craig rescued a point for the Monkeyhangers with a 90th minute own goal. Grown men wept. Others just reached for the vodka bottle as Brentford conspired to snatch a 2-2 draw from the jaws of certain victory – Harlee Dean having previously helped the visitors along by scoring their first (own) goal.

Still, I digress. There aren’t any prizes on offer for figuring out that, of course, Brentford super fan Natalie Sawyer is also donning her best Christmas jumper for this one.

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Who doesn’t like a Christmas jumper?

And if you’d like to see more of Jeff, Natalie and Griffin Park all doing their thing then the full video is below. Although Sky, don’t think I’m any happier about Brighton.

That said, it still beats QPR’s attempt to sleigh Paul McCartney.

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

Video killed the radio story. Or did it? (and Rams raider strikes again)

26 Oct

There’ll be plenty of time this week for us Brentford fans to look ahead to the next game, where a win on Friday night will see us within four points of the play offs and potentially as high as eighth in the Championship table. First though, the last of the weekend round up following the win over Charlton where, amongst other things, the Derby County Wikipedia saboteur seems to have struck again – this after Newcastle United were humped by Sunderland – and the phrase ‘Jimmy Hill’ was amongst those heard coming from AFC Bournemouth in the aftermath of their 5-1 shocker at home to Tottenham Hotspur.

After spending the vast majority of the Championship campaign TOTL (Top of the League), Bournemouth are rapidly heading back towards the BOTL. Ten goals ‘against’ in their last two fixtures isn’t great form but, probably, the least of their worries on Monday morning. Social media was ablaze with the story of how the phrase, ”F**king hell, it was like men against boys” was heard coming from the Public Address system during the Cherries 5-1 home defeat to Spurs.

It’s a problem us Brentford fans can only aspire to. Not so much the heavy defeat in the Premier League (they made it there last season, we didn’t quite manage it) but simply being able to hear something over the P.A. Whilst Bournemouth have, according to the BBC, begun investigating the incident, one Spurs fan has already come forward with his own explanation and taken ‘ownership’. All in the interest of saving the Bournemouth P.A. team a sacking and not at all to promote his own YouTube channel.

A Spurs fan by the name of Barnaby claims that it was actually he who uttered the fateful phrase, whilst preparing a post match article for his @spurredontv fansite, giving the explanation, “Basically what had happened was, when I turned the radio mic on, the frequency must have accidentally been the same as the Bournemouth tannoy and apparently the whole of the Bournemouth stadium heard me say, ‘F**king hell, it was like men against boys’

Potty mouthed Barnaby

Potty mouthed Barnaby

Several things don’t quite add up about this story, at least to the layman like myself. Primarily, the remarkable chain of coincidence needed to make it happen. Just look at the facts, as presented:

A random punter is able to accidentally tune his radio mic into the exact same frequency as that of the stadium he is visiting. Then, for just exactly long enough to swear down the line, insulting the home team, before ending his conversation. A conversation he had no idea was being played out live.

The ability for a stranger to tune a radio mic into the exact same frequency as that of a football stadium at the exact same time he was speaking that exact three second sentence is a concept I’m struggling to grasp. It’s hard enough to get a decent phone reception inside most sporting arenas, let alone anything achieve more complex.

Draw your own conclusions. Did Barnaby do it? Was it really an amazing accident? Is he taking the credit for a genuine foul up by the Bournemouth P.A. team? Or was it the caretaker wearing a rubber mask, trying to scare everybody away so he could recover civil war gold at his leisure?

Perhaps it is best we don’t know. Barnaby gets the publicity, Bournemouth are spared any (off pitch) embarrassment whilst we’ve all had a good laugh. And for those yet to see it, here’s the explanation….

Barnaby talks ‘tannoys’. Other forms of public address system are also available.

As for Steve McClaren, the former Derby County manager has seen his share of troubles at struggling Newcastle United this season. Those were only compounded on Sunday as his team went down 3-0 at Sunderland in the Wear-Tyne derby. Not so much in the defeat or his side being firmly rooted in the relegation zone but, simply, due to another appearance from the Rams’ Wikipedia phantom.

We’ve already looked at some of his or her recent efforts last week, as Nottingham Forest and striker Chris Martin were both touched by the hand of this cyber Banksy. Now it is the turn of former Derby boss, McClaren.

Going down 3-0 to your rivals is bad enough, without further having your nose rubbed in it via the medium of the World Wide Interweb.

McClaren's team are 'owned'

McClaren’s current team are ‘owned’

Three strikes in less than a week. This is now looking beyond coincidence. To date nobody knows who is doing this, at least publicly.

Could it be time for Barnaby to step forward?

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