BRENTFORD 2 BLACKBURN ROVERS 2

BRENTFORD 2 BLACKBURN ROVERS 2

Having outplayed the visitors for much of the first half, the Bees trudged off at the interval a goal down and probably singing under their collective breath a snatch of Randy Newman’s ‘Lonely at the top’: ‘All the applause. All the paradesBut it’s just a crazy game.’ Crazy it certainly was, with Blackburn on their way to a severe drubbing until Ethan Pinnock misjudged the flight of a speculative punt from goalkeeper Christian Walton, allowing striker Adam Armstrong to lob neatly over David Raya.

The Bees resumed where they had only just left off, peppering the opposition with shots that were ballooned over the bar, ricocheted around the visitor’s penalty area like a pinball or sped wide of the posts like a wayward Guy Fawkes Night rocket. Rovers bungled one other chance and home fans were allowed the consolation of looking up the possession statistic that showed Brentford so far in front that they might soon win the ball outright. We’ll get a goal soon, won’t we? Well, no, as a matter of fact.

Nine minutes into the second period a skirmish in the Brentford area ended with referee Tim Robinson judging Raya to have fouled John Buckley when attempting to reclaim a ball that had slipped from his grasp. Harsh maybe but, hardly surprisingly, Armstrong gracefully accepted the invitation to score his second, competently from the spot.  Whereupon Brentford suddenly showed signs of falling apart. With Rovers muscling their way into a game in which they had showed all the signs of being destined to finish second, the home strike force went from the finely-tuned BMW to second-hand Ford Fiesta, while the defence wobbled like a jelly on a plate.

In no game since skipper Pontus Jansson was sidelined through injury has his absence been so noticeable. Pinnock and Julian Jeanvier, struggling in the heart of the defence, more and more appeared like lonely souls (You’d think I’d be happy but I’m not’ – R Newman), unsure what to do other than deliver a short pass of dubious quality to someone else with a similar lack of ideas. Even stand-in captain Henrik Dalsgaard, usually so impeccable, delivered a back-pass so pathetic that he clasped hands to head as Raya somehow reached the ball and save the catastrophe of going further behind while simultaneously doubtless wishing he hadn’t left Blackburn for West London last July.

A game-changer became imperative if embarrassment was to be avoided and it came just after an hour’s play. A long ball deep into Rovers’ half from Dalsgaard was captured by an under-pressure Ollie Watkins and a fluid turn and immediate volley saw him score his twenty-first goal of the season, one of such quality it brought a tear to many an eye.

And, with substitutes in place or about to be so, Brentford resumed the bombardment seen earlier on, to little avail until Mads Roerslev, having replaced Jeanvier, bustled and bruised his way into the Blackburn area before being up-ended by a defence now verging on panic. Said Benrahma, whose finishing had fluctuated from unlucky to woeful until then, slotted home the penalty, leaving a little under twenty minutes for the home side to batter the visiting defence in search of that much-required three-pointer.

An electric afternoon and a fair result, said those of generous spirit, and one that showed the validity of the motto on Blackburn’s club crest Arte et Labore (Skill and Labour) – is no idle boast.

‘Lots of the second,’ sniffed my mate Charlie.

Brentford: Raya, Dalsgaard, Jeanvier (sub Roerslev), Pinnock, Henry (Dervisoglu), Marcondes (Baptiste), Norgaard, Dasilva, Mbeumo, Watkins, Benrahma.

Blackburn Rovers: Walton, Buckley (Gallagher), Nyambe, Lenehan, Adarabieye, Bell, Travis, Downing, Johnson, Samuel (Bennett), Armstrong.

Share
BEES GIVE NEW BOOST TO MENTAL HEALTH CAMPAIGN

BEES GIVE NEW BOOST TO MENTAL HEALTH CAMPAIGN

Brentford Football Club are bringing staff and fans together for a special event about mental health as part of the Duke of Cambridge and EFL’s Heads Together campaign.The Middlesbrough game, when players wore special warm-up shirts and the playing shirts had the Heads Up logo on the front, kicked off  the biggest ever conversation on mental health.Now the club are partnering with the Brentford Community Sport Trust to host a mental health awareness evening in The Hive on Monday 24 February. There will be a screening of a  short film called “Steve” which was created by Ben Avers whose close friend took his own life. It’s a hard hitting film and a good chance to bring fans and the local community together to talk about mental health. especially considering that 75% of suicides in the UK are male.

Venue: The Hive, Brentford FC, Braemar Rd, Brentford TW8 0NT

18.30 arrival for a 19.00 screening to finish at 21.00

There is a film trailer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEp5ck-DYzI.

The screening is open to all but the club ask that anyone interested in attending please register here: www.brentfordfc.com/steve

 

Share
NEW HOME FOR BEES UNITED AGM

NEW HOME FOR BEES UNITED AGM

Bees United’s Annual General Meeting is the chance for members to be updated on progress, ask questions and vote for board members.
For the first time it will be held in Brentford Football Club’s new offices at 27 Great West Road, TW8 9BW, overlooking the new stadium. The date is Saturday 7th March at 12 noon, before the home match against Sheffield Wednesday. Another new feature is that the club’s CEO Jon Varney will join us to take your questions and talk about the future of Brentford in the new stadium. There will also be a chance to look down from the office balcony into the stadium. If you are already a BU member check our latest newsletter which went out on 3rd February for details of how to register. If you are not yet a member go to the Join page on this website, sign up and you will be emailed the details,

 

Share
The January Transfer Window

The January Transfer Window

The January Transfer Window is generally anticipated with dread by all Brentford fans – and with good reason too given that the likes of James Tarkowski, Toumani Diagouraga, Scott Hogan, Sam Saunders, Lasse Vibe, Ryan Woods, Chris Mepham, Alan Judge and Nico Yennaris have all left the club during that period, often for massive transfer fees.

Brentford are renowned throughout the game as a stepping-stone club which unearths and buys young, promising and talented players who have generally gone under the radar and escaped the attention of their bigger brethren and then hones and develops them given the quality of their coaching, puts them in the shop window and finally sells them at the right time once they have been replaced and their preset value has been met by another club generally much higher up the food chain.

January is traditionally a time when clubs panic and overpay for that special player who might just score the goals that they need to win promotion, or that rugged defender who can help stem the flood of goals conceded and ensure that they avoid the threat of relegation.

Brentford have always taken advantage of this and obtained huge sums for the likes of Hogan and Mepham in January.

Turning the model round on its head, January is not the best time to buy players as they are invariably over priced and clubs have to pay that January premium.

Given their commonsense approach it is not surprising that Brentford have rarely looked to buy and strengthen in the January Transfer Window. That is traditionally done and better left, to the close season.

The last time the Bees looked to be active in the January transfer market was way back in 2015 when promotion seemed a possibility but Mark Warburton decided not to import fresh talent when offered the opportunity, given his faith in his current squad and his fear that the exceptional team spirit could be affected by new arrivals. In retrospect, a bad decision despite the club reaching the Playoffs, as an exhausted and weakened squad had run out of gas by the time the dreaded Playoffs came around and Middlesbrough found us to be easy meat.

Ever since, January has been a selling month rather than an acquisitive one. Sergi Canos and Florian Josefzoon did arrive in January 2017 and Emiliano Marcondes the following year, but they were the exceptions rather than the rule.

January is therefore a month when the Directors of Football either switch off their mobile phones or sit back and wait for the offers to roll in and generally allow one of the crown jewels to depart.

This year was different however. The Brentford squad is packed with talent, and teams in the Premier League with money to burn covet many of our players. Surely somebody would make an offer we could not refuse for one of the BMW front three, Said Benrahma, Bryan Mbeumo and Ollie Watkins, who have all been in devastating goal scoring form?

Maybe they did, although Phil Giles stated that this had been a “quiet window” with no offers received for any of our players. Predators realised that with the Premier League in our sights with a place in the Playoffs highly likely and with the top two also a realistic target that it would be patent madness for us to weaken the squad this January.

We all like to dream and I cannot believe that any Brentford supporter has not imagined opening next season in our new state-of-the-art stadium in the Premier League.

For the first time since we reached the Championship back in 2014 Brentford ended the Transfer Window significantly stronger than when it opened on 1st January.

Two major signings were made and they were typical, trademark Brentford signings – much coveted young, brilliantly talented, skillful footballers who can only improve and whose arrival will enhance the quality of the squad and left our rivals gnashing their teeth in frustration.

Central midfielder Shandon Baptiste glides effortlessly over the grass and is a box-to-box player with quick feet, massive dribbling ability and a keen eye for goal. His Oxford United teammate, Tariqe Fosu is a pacy winger who can beat a man on either side of the pitch and will provide an additional goal threat to support the BMW partnership. Oxford United fans were figuratively slitting their wrists in anguish when they heard the news of the departure of their two brightest stars.

Brentford’s promotion rivals also looked up and took notice once again at how well our club is run and the way in which we operate, quietly, with stealth, and below the radar, before we pounce and sign the prospects that so many others covet.

There was talk of bringing in another striker to support the predatory Ollie Watkins but the right player could not be found at the right price and Halil Dervisoglu, another talented youngster will undoubtedly become Brentford’s 1,000 Football League player and receive his chance to shine.

The Brentford B team also replenished its stock bringing in the immensely talented attacking midfielder Paris Maghoma from Spurs who has already caused great excitement and contributed an eye-catching long-range goal for his new teammates. Aaron Pressley, a promising and tall centre forward from Aston Villa will also be given his chance to shine.

It is a fact of football life that with every arrival comes a departure and in January the club bade farewell to faithful retainers in our longest serving player, Josh Clarke, so dogged by injury and so feared by all fans of Queens Park Rangers. He did us proud and will surely find a new berth very soon.

Tom Field never kicked on after so promising a start and now has the chance to build a career at Scottish Championship Dundee and he also leaves with our best wishes. A local boy – he was one of us.

Neither Canice Carroll, Ali Coote or Joe Hardy received a first team chance at Griffin Park. Tough tackling Carroll did not make his mark during a loan spell at Carlisle but has earned a contract at Stevenage and can hopefully help keep them in the Football League. A real enthusiast, he deserves to succeed. Coote had played senior football in Scotland but never managed to break through at Griffin Park and now hopes to do so at Waterford.

The enigmatic Hardy, a predatory B team goal machine never did quite enough off the ball or worked hard enough outside the penalty area to earn a first team opportunity. He has returned to his native North West and has received an unexpected opportunity at Liverpool where he has already scored three times for their Under 23 team. Who knows what the future holds for him, but we should all wish him every success as the B team philosophy is not only to develop first team players for Brentford but also to ensure that those who do not make it here ideally make a career for themselves elsewhere.

Normally January is a month for us Bees fans to dread – this year it is one for us to rejoice.

Share
WHY BAD NEWS FOR SARACENS IS GOOD NEWS FOR BEES

WHY BAD NEWS FOR SARACENS IS GOOD NEWS FOR BEES

The statement by Premiership Rugby that Saracens are to be relegated at the end of the season is bad news for the club and its supporters but undoubtedly one of the consequences is good news for Brentford Football Club.

To understand why here’s how the bottom of the Rugby Premiership table looked before the news on Saturday. Saracens, despite a 35 point penalty for breaches of the player salary cap in past seasons, were winning enough games to catch up the clubs immediately above them, including London Irish, and overtake them. If Saracens pushed Irish into last place that would relegate them to rugby’s second tier, the Championship. That would be very bad news for London Irish who next season move to Brentford’s new stadium as tenants. As in any sport rugby attendances go down when clubs go down, as do other financial indicators such as beer sales. 

Then on Saturday the Premiership Rugby authorities announced that however the table looks at the end of the season the relegated club would be Saracens, that’s an extra penalty for failing for bring their player salaries within the limit in the current season.

The bottom line for Brentford is that their tenants next season will definitely be in the Rugby Premiership even if they lose every game for the rest of the current season. London Irish will bring more supporters to our stadium than they would if they were relegated and beer sales, of which BFC as landlords take a cut, will be higher. 

Share
BEES GOAL DIFFERENCE PROVES A POINT

BEES GOAL DIFFERENCE PROVES A POINT

The scale of Brentford’s 5-1 victory at Hull again shows the potential significance of goal difference come the end of the season.The Bees now have a goal difference of +26 which is the best in the division. The only comparable figures are the top two,WBA and Leeds, at +20 and + 19 respectively. So effectively Brentford have a point advantage over them all. Our match report on the Hull game is at https://www.beesunited.org.uk/match-reports/hull-city-1-brentford-5/

I

Share