Tag Archives: Zenit

Pre-season excitement builds as even Manchester United impress

24 Jul

I’ve no particular affiliation to Manchester United or the Premiership but this morning the Old Trafford outfit have achieved my favourite thing in football – videprinter brackets. Louis van Gaal scooped the prestigious Chevrolet Cup (a 21st Century Makita trophy?) in his first game in charge of the Red Devils as the won 7(seven) – 0 over LA Galaxy.

Being a Brentford fan, I’m always a lover of seeing the mighty fall flat at the hands of the under-dog. As such, last season’s campaign was of particular interest for us Premiership neutrals with team after team lining up to administer another beating to David Moyes’ team.

Brackets made their first appearance since the World Cup

Brackets made their first appearance since the World Cup

However, does this hefty win mean normal service will be returned? Or do pre season friendlies count for nothing? Well, with Brentford taking Barnet (the LA Galaxy of North London) apart 5-1 on Tuesday I’d certainly be taking positives from any victory. Further friendlies await against Nice (Saturday), CA Osasuna (Tuesday) and then Crystal Palace the following weekend .

Last season saw fine performances against Millwall (3-0) and Cardiff City (3-2) that were the precursor to our eventual promotion. I won’t take wins in the next ten days as a guarantee of the same but they will be great morale boosters. Moreso for the fans who seem to be chomping at the bit to get back to Griffin Park.

Full ticketing details remain on the club site but, for the price of a Central London pint, you can see the Bees in action as soon as this weekend.

Bring it on!! Football is (almost) back

And if you can’t wait for the new season, why not catch up on the last one? ‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ (The story of Brentford’s 2013/14 promotion campaign, amongst other football related chatter) – is now available as a digital book. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from last season, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle / digital device.

GP under lights v Cardiff 2

Griffin Park awaits last season’s warm up against Cardiff City

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It’s only obvious if you know the answer. Thank you, Mr Benham

22 Jul

Obvious clue”. Not my words but those of Brentford owner Matthew Benham on Sunday night as he dropped another of his cryptic hints as to who would be joining the Bees yesterday.

In the end, the video of Bob Dylan’s Wigwam was neither Bob Booker (as suggested by Luis Adriano) or Patrick Bamford as, finally, it seemed I may have unravelled one of these. But no, instead my guess merely unearthed Dusty Bin once more as a Hogan transpired to also be a Navajo dwelling.

Not Patrick Bamford but a Navjo tent

Not Patrick Bamford but a Navjo hut

There’s more chance of Brentford winning the FA Cup than me getting one of these clues. Not that I’m complaining. Matthew’s continued investments, in quality, are a stunning thing to behold. When the only problem we seem to have is the inability to solve a riddle, then things must be good.

That said, I wouldn’t mind if he could make them a tad easier. Frankly, Matthew could come out and say, “We are signing Marcello Trotta” and I’d probably translate that to Tommy Smith becoming a Bee.

Although, to be fair, we are yet to pick up that ‘experienced pro’ that sides entering the Championship always seem to do – see also England International Kenny Sansom, 92-93.

So instead it IS Scott Hogan, as all the ‘unofficial’ clues were suggesting may be the case on Sunday, who has joined Brentford. Matthew retains his place as Brentford’s own Ted Rogers and Patrick remains a Chelsea player.

And what a signing Scott promises to be. Whilst you can read the full ‘Hogan’ fact file on the clubsite, for me, the telling facts are a PFA ‘team of the year’ selection and 17 goals in 33 league games last season. Of course, previous stats don’t guarantee a glut of goals (see also: Northern Ireland International Will Grigg) but the team seems set up to provide even more attacking options than ever before.

You can get your first look at Scott tonight, with the Bees due to travel to Barnet, against whom Warbs has promised he will be given a run out. And if you can’t make it, don’t forget there is live coverage on Beesplayer where you could also contemplate more intriguing questions:

Given the club’s ability for picking out young talent, just how good can Scott be?

When will  Mark Burridge & co first use the ‘Hogan’s heroes’ line or reference to WWE’s ‘Hulk’ ? (my guess, by 7.10pm tonight)

And, most importantly, assuming Hogan lives up to his promise, which member of club staff will attempt to grow the wrestler’s trademark blonde handlebar for Movember?

The chief executive? The programme editor? Mr Style? Or a fellow new boy?

Stranger things have happened – the artist’s impression (nobody has done it for real, yet… is below)

And if you can’t wait for the new season, why not catch up on the last one? ‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ (The story of Brentford’s 2013/14 promotion campaign, amongst other football related chatter) – is now available as a digital book. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from last season, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle / digital device.

Will anybody from the club go 'Full Hogan" this November??

Will anybody from the club go ‘Full Hogan” this November??

Hogan? Bam Bam? Or both? Do not adjust your set.

21 Jul

With most of the speculation yesterday about who may sign for Brentford focusing on Scott Hogan, club owner Matthew Benham added his own voice with the return of the ever popular ‘cryptic clue’. This now customary ‘air raid siren’ to announce an incoming signing went off last night as Bees fans were still wondering who will replace Birmingham City new boy Clayton Donaldson or Will Grigg, last seen visiting concrete cows at Milton Keynes.

Matthew’s clues have, in the past, been as tricky to answer as one of those from TV’s 3-2-1. Hosted by the late, great Ted Rogers, contestants on that show had more chance picking out the holiday from the booby prize by sticking a finger in the air than attempting to untangle the mystery rhyme.

A typical Ted Rogers clue. Matthew has a tough act to follow

 

However, last night even ‘your’s truly’ seems to have got this one. A twitter link from Matthew with the line “obvious clue” , led to this video of ‘Wigwam’ by Bob Dylan. Whilst being a great tune, the song is somewhat bereft of lyrics.

It seems obvious, but....

It seems obvious, but….

That said, it is only a short step from the Bob Dylan version to the song of the same name by The Sweet. And that includes the line: “Wigwam, Bam, gonna make you my man”.

Surely, with Patrick Bamford being the other name in the frame, it wouldn’t be that obvious? But I’d be very pleased if it was. VERY pleased .

The Chelsea youngster is already an England U-21 and has an extremely impressive strike rate at both MK Dons and Derby County. 22 goals from his last 45 games for these two is a more than potent ratio for a twenty year old. It’s just a shame that, if this does come to pass, we won’t get the chance to see him face off against Will, given MK failed to trouble the play offs last season.

Still, at the time of writing (6.30am on Monday morning) the Hogan and Bamford stories both remain speculation . Which, if either, could be true? Is Matthew deliberately sending us off course? Or have I just put 2+2 together and got 5? As ever, I’m sure the club site will be the place to find out.

Unless, of course, the players themselves tell us first on twitter (Moses Odubajo, I’m looking at you….)

And if you can’t wait for the new season, why not catch up on the last one? ‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ (The story of Brentford’s 2013/14 promotion campaign, amongst other football related chatter) – is now available as a digital book. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from last season, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle / digital device.

Is Bam Bam about to become a Bee? Sweet !!

Is Bam Bam about to become a Bee? Sweet !!

Could Warbs line up the ultimate double striker swoop?

20 Jul

With Will Grigg’s departure from Brentford to MK Dons (albeit on loan) confirmed the day after his ‘no show’ at Boreham Wood, the obvious question remains – who’s next in at Griffin Park? The Championship is getting closer and, as it stands, we seem to be lacking options up top.

Well, the rumour mill is going into ‘overdrive’ in regards to Scott Hogan of Rochdale. Stories are circulating on Sunday morning of a deal being agreed with a £750,000 price tag attached. How accurate, if at all, these will prove to be remains to be seen but, as it stands, (publically) he remains a Rochdale player.

However, Scott is someone that comes with a great reputation. Leeds United have, reportedly, also been keen and it is no surprise as to why. 17 goals in 32 games is a strike rate that speaks for itself and, rightly, earned Hogan a place in last season’s Division Two PFA team of the year.

Hogan - could he be a new Brentford hero?

Hogan – could he be a new Brentford hero?

The Bees back room staff have, generally, a fantastic eye for picking young talent and he sounds like just the sort of player to plug the gap at top. We have assembled a team with phenomenal attacking options from midfield – Alex Pritchard from Tottenham being the latest to join – but the set up is still crying out for somebody to round it off.

I can have no doubt that Grigg’s departure (along with the loss of Clayton, release of Farid and non return, as it stands, of Marcello) is all part of making way for an imminent new signing. Mark Warburton’s comment that “Will is too good to be regarded as a number two” is surely further indication of this.

However, as it stands, Matthew Benhan is yet to set twitter buzzing with another of his infamous ‘cryptic clues’. Hogan’s Heroes? Some WWE wrestling? Although then we could really be entering the realms of Beesplayer pun fantasy – with a double swoop to also include Zenit St. Petersburg’s Brazilian international?

With Hulk-Hogan in the team, surely the Bees would be unstoppable ?

And if you can’t wait for the new season, why not catch up on the last one? ‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ (The story of Brentford’s 2013/14 promotion campaign, amongst other football related chatter) – is now available as a digital book. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from last season, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle / digital device.

Hulk Hogan. It'll never happen - but Beesplayer would go into meltdown

Hulk Hogan. It’ll never happen – but Beesplayer would go into meltdown