The loan window closed last night at Griffin Park without anybody either jumping in or being defenestrated.
In truth, no real surprises there as Mark Warburton had already made it crystal clear that he was more than happy with both the quality and depth of his squad and was fully content to make do with what he has until the transfer window opens again in January.
When interviewed at the training ground yesterday he seemed blissfully unconcerned about the ticking clock and rapidly approaching deadline and, when asked if he expected any movements in or out, merely commented without an apparent care in the world that Frank McParland was dealing with all transfer matters back at the club today and would let him know if anything happened.
Not a major priority then!
Would I have liked a new loanee?
The answer is a qualified “yes”.
We have cover in pretty much every position and there is now a plethora of talent unable to even claw a seat for themselves on the substitutes’ bench.
Nico Yennaris, Sam Saunders and Marcos Tebar are now fully recovered from injury, add further depth to the squad and are all challenging for places.
Montell Moore is also performing exceptionally well in the Development Squad and is a real talent whose time might surely be coming fairly soon.
All that being said and agreed, I would still have been happier if a new striker had been brought in who could cover for our existing trio of Andre Gray, Nick Proschwitz and Betinho.
I do not intend to go over the why’s and wherefore’s of the quality of each of them, and what they bring to the party, as I have done it to death in previous articles, but I simply feel that we are going into a packed Christmas programme and another option up front would be extremely helpful as a contingency should injury or another misfortune befall one of our strikers, who we will need to wrap up in cotton wool.
The problem of course, is finding somebody who is available, affordable, fits in with and adds value to the squad and, in our current situation, with Gray excelling and our only playing one striker, is prepared to accept that he will be unlikely to start any, or many, games.
Those are hard boxes to tick and I suspect that we were unable to find someone who matched that exacting bill.
Danny Graham, for example, who is likely to play against us on Saturday, would have cost us top dollar and expected, quite naturally, to have come in as first choice.
That was not going to happen at Griffin Park given Andre’s recent performances where he has excelled.
I yesterday suggested that the best option would be a young and unproven talent from the Premier League, but on reflection I can see what a risk that would have been, as, whilst there are certainly such players around, whether they would be able to step up to the plate in the Championship is highly open to doubt given the quality and physical demands of the competition.
Rhys Murphy anyone?
Saido Berahino certainly had the ability in front of goal and was a precocious talent, but he fell short in other areas, and, given the unity of the current squad, and how well things are going, we cannot afford to take any chances.
To be honest, I am delighted that Mark gave such a public show of confidence in his current squad and am also fully aware that last minute arrivals are never generally the best planned and can sometimes reek of being panic buys.
The squad is certainly talented enough, as has been shown by our wonderful November which has so far seen four straight wins, two over major promotion hopefuls, ten goals scored, a rise to an unprecedented fifth place in the table, the emergence of Andre Gray and Toumani Diagouraga as match winners and major influences, plus a growing awareness that there really is something incredible happening at Griffin Park under the noses of an unsuspecting football world.
Mark Warburton is certainly well in the running to be Manager of the Month for November, and the two aforementioned players will also have a good shout of being nominated as Player of the Month too.
I have no problem in mentioning both of these facts, as this is “New Brentford”, a club that simply rises to every challenge and obstacle put in front of it, and I very much hope that we have to face the so-called curse of the Manager of the Month as I am certain that we will just ignore it and get on with our game.
We face a tough challenge tomorrow in Wolverhampton Wanderers, who will be smarting after three straight defeats and only gaining one point in four games.
We need to take care as they will be a wounded animal determined to prove that their recent poor results are merely a blip and not the start of a catastrophic plummet down the league table.
I am not going to write a match preview here, but simply remark that whilst there are merely another three valuable Championship points at stake, there is also a little matter of pride and revenge to consider
Three – nil was a harsh scoreline, but they were far better than us on the day and fully deserved their victory.
It has to be said, however that some of their players (are you listening Mr Henry) rather over celebrated at the time and went way beyond what are normally considered acceptable bounds of behaviour.
I am sure that Russell Slade might have something to say on this delicate subject at this point, given his complaints after our win at Brisbane Road, but there really is a massive difference between making your delight at achieving a crucial victory perfectly clear by celebrating amongst yourselves, and provoking the home fans by gesticulating and taunting.
I am pretty certain that something might well be said on this emotive subject before the game in the home dressing room.
Bring it on!