I really wasn’t going to update my blog this morning until I just got up and read Nick Bruzon’s excellent article (http://tinyurl.com/p3q89r8) which gave me a very generous and totally undeserved plug.
I had it all planned out so carefully.
A quick meeting first thing this morning, so that I could pretend (more to myself than to anybody else) that I had made some minimal contribution to work, and then off to Blackpool for the latest episode of Brentford’s Championship journey.
That’s all a bit too straightforward though so I have also decided to stop off on the way to the match at the National Football Museum in Manchester, sort of on the way, or not too far a detour.
There is really no connection between my intended visit and the announcement a few days ago that the two goal nets that saw so much action in last week’s epic Dagenham & Redbridge versus Brentford Capital One Cup match are to be put on display there.
I shall have a good look out for them later on today although it might be a little bit too soon for them to have been despatched, and given how cash strapped Dagenham are, I am surprised they can afford to replace them with a new set.
Anyway, I shall let you know how I get on as the NFM has long been somewhere I have wanted to visit.
As for tonight, who knows what we will see and how well we will do.
Blackpool are dangerous opponents and totally unknown given the sudden influx of new players, some old and familiar names, others totally new to me, and I suspect Mark Warburton too.
Will they come out at us like a wounded animal, keen to prove all the doubters and mockers wrong or will they sit back, cowed and demoralised, just waiting for the first goal to go in before they sink to another defeat?
What formation will they play, or indeed who will they play in tonight’s team?
As some of you know, I am a great fan of Mike Calvin’s recent book “The Nowhere Men” which highlights and demonstrates the hugely important role that scouting plays in today’s game.
Teams are forensically analysed in advance by future opponents and it is rare that their playing formation comes as a total surprise on the actual day of the match.
Whilst I understand that Uwe Rosler was pretty anal in terms of thinking about the opposition and planning for how he would set his Brentford team up to counter them, Mark Warburton was a total breath of fresh air last season, concentrating solely on what Brentford could do to hurt the opposition rather than worrying about the other team.
This season he has already stated that things have changed to a degree and that his players want and need to know more about their forthcoming opponents and how they are likely to play.
We are coming up against household names and international players pretty much every week now and we need to be better prepared, without losing sight of the fact that we have to remain positive and impose our style and skill on our opponents, as indeed was the case on Saturday at AFC Bournemouth.
Today is difficult as Blackpool are a totally unknown quantity.
Will Nile Ranger and Francois Zoko play together up front alongside Ishmael Miller?
Will they play three at the back.
Perhaps the safest bet is for us to just concentrate on ourselves tonight and not really think about them.
Hopefully the Bees can take on board some of the hard lessons already learned against Charlton and AFC Bournemouth.
We need to be more clinical and start taking our chances as they will be far fewer in number this season.
We have to get midfielders into the opposition penalty area and not leave our lone striker so exposed and isolated.
We have to be more careful and accurate with our passing and not give the ball away cheaply in dangerous areas – a failing which cost us the game on Saturday.
I really have my concerns about playing only one striker given our current personnel.
Last season we played in a similar way with Trotta supported by two wide men in Donaldson and either Dallas or Judge.
That worked well as Donaldson was a constant threat and would support the central striker coming in from the wing and using his pace, strength and aerial power.
We don’t have that dynamism now and Gray has lacked support in the opening matches and he has been dwarfed by giant defenders.
We also need to show greater strength as some teams, and I suspect Blackpool will be one of them, will attempt to bully us off the ball and not allow us to play our normal game.
Bournemouth pressed us high, preventing Button from throwing the ball out to his defenders. He was forced to kick the ball long and the ball was invariably lost as we offered little aerial threat or challenge until Proschwitz came on.
Conundrums for the manager to solve, but we are still a work in progress and I suspect there will be a few more changes in personnel and perhaps formation over the coming weeks.
Hopefully tonight we will get our first sight of either or both of our two new Spanish midfielders who both come with high reputations. That is certainly a prospect that excites me.
Maybe too in a week or so Adam Forshaw will return to the fold – I can but hope!
What I really hope for tonight is three points.
We need to get off and running with our first Championship victory and where better than Blackpool to get it?
Hopefully I will have a tale to tell tomorrow of a Brentford win which would send increased confidence flooding through the team and supporters alike.
Let’s wait and see.