Who Are Yer? – 22/12/14

arsI went to a family party last night still on a high following Brentford’s wonderful win at Cardiff, but I was soon brought crashing down to earth.

There were several guests there who purported to be serious football fans, so naturally I gravitated towards them to exchange gossip and perhaps even bask in the glow of our recent achievements.

Surely they would be up to date about our progress and be full of admiration and praise?

To my surprise and disappointment any mention of Brentford – or Brentwood as some clown insisted on calling us – produced shrugs of dismissal and total ignorance and disinterest.

The nation, or certainly this small cross-section of it, has not taken much or, indeed, any note of our progress to date, and to those few who had heard of us at all we were plainly still “Little Old Brentford”.

Nobody I spoke to had any idea which league we were playing in let alone how we were taking the football world by storm.

When I started to put them straight I saw their eyes glaze over and smug little patronising smiles appear on their faces.

They had little or no interest in discussing or even finding out about anyone or anything that existed outside the cloistered and hallowed halls of the Premier League.

Football at a lower level did not register with them and in their eyes did not even count, or exist.

Whilst the overwhelming majority of the people I approached scuttled away from me as fast as their legs could carry them, relieved at their close call, a few stopped to listen after I succeeded in cornering them and cutting off their escape route.

livI fully realise that I shouldn’t have expected anything different, but their comments were totally demoralising and merely highlighted their indifference to our mere existence:

Aren’t you the club with a pub on all four corners of the ground?

Now what league do you play in?

Brentford Nylons isn’t it?

Doesn’t that German bloke manage you?

Has Trotta taken any more penalties for you?

And best of all:

How’s Ron Noades doing these days?

Nobody I spoke to had any conception of the club we were developing into or our massive growth and progress over the past couple of years.

Initially I was innately depressed by what I had heard, but on further thought I think it was all to the good.

We are like a stealth bomber, flying deadly but undetected, well under the radar, or the outsider making a late run to come home on the rails.

Nobody knows, or even cares who we are or where we are going, and they are totally unprepared for what we Brentford fans know will happen over the coming years – or maybe even months!

Our momentum appears to be unstoppable – and so few people outside our rapidly growing fan base have any idea what is actually happening under their very nose!

That being said, seeing is believing.

I have done my best to show my missionary zeal by trying to convert a few of the sceptical, ignorant and uninitiated to the true faith.

This season I took a Liverpool supporter to the Brighton and Sheffield Wednesday matches, an Arsenal fanatic to the Derby County game, a Queens Park Rangers supporter to the Fulham local derby (I smuggled her into the ground under a vow of silence) and finally, a West Ham season ticket holder to witness the thrashing of Wolves.

None of them had ever visited Griffin Park beforehand and I had not given any of them a big build up about the team, its style of play, and what to expect.

I could see their bemused and irritated expressions when they had to fight their way through the packed crowds in the Braemar Road forecourt to get hold of a tepid cup of stewed tea and I had to apologise repeatedly for the long, snaking queue for the toilets which resulted in some desperate leg crossing on the part of some of my guests.

They were all used to the semi-comfort of The Emirates Stadium and Anfield and were taken aback by the grassroots reality of the matchday experience Brentford-style.

The Griffin though did merit universal approval as they appreciated the chance to enjoy a pre-match drink and mix safely with supporters from both teams, something that is unheard of nowadays in the anodyne, segregated sterility of the Premier League.

What all my guests also shared in common was a sense of utter disbelief, amazement and appreciation at the quality of the fare that they were privileged to watch.

Brentford’s positive approach, total attacking policy and the sheer quality on display came as a real surprise to all of them.

None of them believed that football of this quality was on offer outside the Premier League – or indeed, too often within it!

Alex Pritchard recently commented that we played in the same manner and nearly as well as Spurs and you could almost see some of my guests nodding their heads in agreement.

Andre Gray, Alex Pritchard and Jota in particular were all picked out as potential Premier League stars, not that you need to be a super-scout to predict their likely futures.

They were nonplussed when I remarked we had many more of that ilk currently bubbling under and coming nicely to the boil in our burgeoning Academy.

The West Ham fan said that he had seen more efforts on goal in one match than in the entire season to date at Upton Park.

Surprisingly, what they all commented upon was our policy of leaving a minimum of two players in attack when we were defending a corner, something that none of them had ever seen before and they admired our chutzpah, without really appreciating that we are, in fact, more dangerous from opposition corners than our own.

bees fansThe atmosphere generated by ten thousand roaring Bees fans was also commented on by my guests who acknowledged how intimidating a packed Griffin Park was to the opposition.

They all left the ground wreathed in smiles and excited at the level of pure entertainment they had been fortunate enough to witness.

What’s more they have all expressed an interest in coming again before the end of the season, so real progress is being made.

We are pathfinders and proselytisers and each of us has the responsibility of educating our friends about just how good we are.

Not that many of them are ready, or have the interest or imagination, to really care.

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13 thoughts on “Who Are Yer? – 22/12/14

  1. I will overlook the rangers supporter,they don’t have any,😀, cos everything you say is true and always has been. I never stop the testing of do called prem supporters about their footy knowledge or total lack of it. There are fans???,who never actually go footy,don’t know who their local team is at any level and I am afraid I treat them with contempt,and show it. I pass thus message on to these people,I know nothing about politics so keep quiet. So please you arm chair fans,you know nothing,feel nothing, see nothing,taste nothing,do please just keep quiet.

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    • Well greveille no disrespect to your family but it seems like Roy kean said about some Man U fans there just there for the shrimps sandwhiches lol thou i always wore bees in my heart and outside with pride what we achieved already this season has no word to describe what comes afterwards is well in the languge where i been living for the last 37 years LA RESTE CA LE CREAM have a great Xmas to all you bess fans and have a thought for me who has to wait every Saturday for sky sports to give the football results thou they did say last W-k after the bournemouth result and i quote THEN LOOK AT Brentford or something like that so many fans i looking down this xmas and us LITTLE Brentford are looking up yes and what ever the final result we can be so proud i know iam
      ps here my neighbours are asking whats that red black shirt hanging with the xmas lights well its one of mine brentford shirt i smuggled out when leaving but SHCUCCH if the old board room of the time i was playing new they would most properly asked to pay them back with 37 years on interest lol

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      • Great stuff, as is the article (always). Well done for “smuggling out” the Brentford shirt. I love the idea of players doing this. Shows you cared about the club to want to keep it! Happy days to be a Bee. I quite like the fact we are STILL under some people’s radar.

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  2. Great post Greville, sounds like the party from hell!

    Re the corners, I was watching the Liv-Arsenal game and noticed Arsenal had all their players (many midgets like our own team) back badly defending corners. What is the point of Santi Cazorla in the box, much better out on the halfway line taking people out of the box?

    Not sure how long we will stay under the radar, some poor Ipswich fan had the temerity on the GPG to call us long ball and generated 5 pages of outrage in a couple of hours in return. Our fans are starting to believe. Like all bees fans, believing in our team has often been a challenge, but we are starting to build momentum.

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    • I read those GPG comments with amusement and hope Ipswich really are as ignorant and unprepared for us as most of our other opponents.

      Second half of the season will be even tougher but we are up to the challenge!

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  3. Totally the opposite here in Wimbledon and it started two seasons ago all my neighbours young and old who support Chelsea are now keeping a close watch on brentford and im now so used to hearing in Wimbledon high street the shout of ‘ c’mon you bees’ from a guy wearing a Chelsea shirt but it’s said with meaning. Near enough everyone I speak to in Wimbledon sutton and surrounding areas are genuinely chuffed that brentford are finally coming into view. I would not be surprised if we see the new stadium full every home game and then I hope I bump into a football fan who will ask me ‘ aren’t you the club with a pub on each corner of your ground’ my reply………OH YES THAT’S US LOL.

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  4. Went out to dinner with a mate (a Spurs fan) and his missis on Saturday night. Apart from the general catch-up (we hadn’t seen each other since the summer) and the inevitable movie conversation during which our wives’ eyes glazed over, much as your family members’ did when you mentioned Brentford (best/worst Clint Eastwood movies on this occasion: for me Outlaw Josie Wales/Paint You Wagon respectively, although he did make a strong case for Unforgiven/Any Which Way You Can), there was a brief Brentford interlude. He seemed surprisingly unaware of the Championship table and was surprised when I told him we were third and could even go top on Boxing Day. ‘Enjoy it while it lasts’, he said, damning us with condescending praise. When I replied that yes, we were probably 2 or 3 years ahead of schedule, I think he genuinly thought that I had lost the plot.

    Seen from the outside, I suppose it’s understandable. After 60 years in the lower regions of the Football League, it must be even more difficult to grasp that this is a ‘new’ Brentford than it has been for Bees fans. Easier for them to think about it as a Sutton Utd v Coventry or Hereford v Newcastle moment – a brief moment in the sun. In that light, I’m happy to take the condescension and the pat on the head. For the time being at least.

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  5. To be fair to those partygoers I’ve already largely forgotten about league one pretty much. I have a vague knowledge that Bristol City are top(?), Swindon are somewhere close behind and that Orient n Yeovil are awful. The rest? Not a clue.

    Even that knowledge / interest is only because we were there recently. Why would a Man U or Gooner fan care about or follow a league they’ve not been part of lately?

    Tis the way of the world old chap 🙂

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