Another Day…..Another Match – 16/9/14

beeNorwich City come to Griffin Park tonight looking for the victory that would take them to the top of the Championship table.

Conversely a Brentford win could conceivably move them from their current sixth place to second in the table.

Frankly, I find it hard to write these words without bursting into peals of hysterical laughter.

Brentford have more than surpassed the expectations of everybody except perhaps Mark Warburton by winning three of their first six matches and amassing a tidy eleven points.

I wrote the other day about the need for us to lose our inferiority complex and simply accept and rejoice in the fact that we have become a team to be reckoned with.

Tonight will be a case in point.

Norwich have a recent Premier League pedigree, are packed with experienced and expensive International talent and fully expect to return in triumph to the top flight this season.

We simply need to demonstrate and believe that, on the night, we are as good as them, if not better.

They have weaknesses that can be exploited, and Brentford can take heart from the insipid first half display that saw Norwich trail Cardiff by two clear goals on Saturday as well as an awful performance that led to an opening day defeat against fellow promoted team, Wolves.

There will also be added spice with the return of two former Bees in Lewis Grabban and Michael Turner.

Lewis had three short spells at the club and ended up with a so so record of only seven goals in thirty-two games before being released, apparently on Mark Warburton’s say so, just after the arrival of Uwe Rosler.

Grabban’s increased maturity and impressive goal scoring record over the past three seasons would imply that the wrong decision was made, although I don’t recall too much dissent at the time, as he only rarely displayed consistency or a real goal threat at Griffin Park.

Of course it’s easy to be wise after the event!

Michael Turner metamorphosed from the gauche and weak youngster I remember being bullied into submission by the burly Clive Platt one late Summer’s afternoon at Peterborough back in 2004, into a strong, confident Premier League defender.

We were outsmarted when we sold him to Hull City and received a mere fraction of his real value, but that was in the bad old days when we were considered to be fair game by any predator.

Norwich will certainly provide us with our hardest test to date, but if we can reproduce the quality of football that we played in spells on Saturday then why should we not come out on top again?

We were totally mesmerising for twenty-five minutes in the first half with our approach play, interchanging and confidence on the ball all of a standard not seen in living memory at Griffin Park.

A six point weekend against the likes of Brighton and Norwich would be beyond the dreams of every Brentford supporter, but we are now genuinely good enough to give anybody a game.

We just need to believe in ourselves and trust in the team to deliver.

Mark Warburton is a great advocate of utilising the entire squad, and given how much Saturday’s efforts must have taken out of the team, plus the long journey and difficult match to come next Saturday at Middlesbrough, it wouldn’t surprise me if there are a few changes to tonight’s starting lineup.

Hopefully Betinho’s international clearance will have been finalised and he can take his place in the squad, although Andre Gray was highly impressive against Brighton.

Tony Craig, Stuart Dallas, Jon Toral and Marcos Tebar are all champing at the bit and will be challenging for a starting role.

Tim Robinson is the referee, and is not one of my favourites, being picky and pedantic in the extreme.

We saw him twice last season and he gave soft penalties to both Crewe and MK Dons.

It seems that there has also been a last minute surge of interest that might yet result in another five figure crowd, and I would love someone to tell me the last time we had consecutive attendances of over ten thousand on a Saturday and the following midweek.

1972 or 1978 perhaps?

The Bees came out on top the last time Norwich came to town, again on an early season Tuesday night, when a rare Ryan Dickson header from a David Hunt long throw, followed by Hunt’s free kick, driven through a tentative defensive wall, gave us a famous two-one victory.

A repeat tonight would be extremely welcome, and would not come as a massive surprise given just how far we have come in so short a time.


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