How The Professionals See It – 6/2/15

R PooleLike most Brentford supporters, I thought that we were incredibly unlucky to lose last Saturday’s crunch match against promotion rivals Middlesbrough and I said as much in my match report which bemoaned our poor fortune on a day when every loose ball seemed to fall to our visitors and nothing really went our way.

As regular readers of this blog know, our former striker from the early 70’s, Richard Poole remains a fanatical Brentford supporter nearly forty years after he last played for us and he had been keenly looking forward to the rare opportunity of watching us play given that the match was televised live in France where he has lived for many years. I eagerly awaited his verdict on our performance but was somewhat taken aback by the harshness of his analysis:

Well I have now watched the match seven times and in my opinion I felt it was a correct result. Yes we could have won or at least drawn the game but remarkably this is the first time I have seen my Brentford play since I left England all those years ago. To be totally honest after hearing so much about how well we play and I am just like all of you Brentford through and through, I felt that there were far too many flaws in our play. For example, we have not got a real goalscorer in the side but that does not matter if we can at least get enough men into the box when attacking, which we certainly did not do. I realise that seeing a match on television is not the same as being there and obtaining a full perspective but there is a lot we should have done better. One thing I find a bit strange was that in one corner of the ground there was a big sign saying COME ON YOU REDS, whereas in my time it was “Bees” not Reds and this must be a new thing, at least for me.

I liked the way Brentford kept playing the ball from the goalkeeper to all the defenders who were all comfortable on the ball, but I feel that Button should know when to do it and more importantly, when not to do so, as sometimes it was far too dangerous. Our number six, Dean, was who for me was at fault for the goal and I thought had a bad game but his partner, Tarkowski looked like he was an excellent ball player. Diagouraga and Odebajo quite impressed me too but when we did get into a position to centre, who was  even in the penalty area apart from Andre Gray? We never had enough bodies in the vital areas and you just cannot score goals if you do not put players in the box. Yes we had chances, but if I am right this is a common problem and happens a lot this season at Brentford.

This is the only match I have seen and I appreciate that I have criticised some players who might well be perform far better in another match but I can only comment on what I saw on Saturday and I am sure Mark Warburton knows what he wants from his players and I also understand that you have to make allowances for us only just being promoted last season. It is so easy to find fault when watching on television or from the terraces and I do so love my Brentford!

The pitch loks great but I feel the stands have had their hearts ripped out by the 2 tier stand at Brook Road which looked like a couple of sardine boxes. I am glad that you saw  Stewart houston and Roger Cross and I am pleased that they both look the same but I have to tell you that I have changed with my grey hair. I only wish I was as heavy when I was playing as I am now as I could have used it at the time as I had outgrown my strength! Did you know that Brentford put me on a diet of steak and Guinness to fill me out? 

I would love to come to London and see a Brentford match before they leave Griffin Park, but I will have to see as times are hard for everyone at the moment but I do like reading your thoughts on the Bees and when I look back perhaps I loved this club maybe too much particularly in my last two years at the club when it really did not work out well for me. Even now when I see pictures and reports about me a tear comes to my eye and how I wished I could have given the people around me and the fans what they deserved.

The fans are living the dream this season but how many have passed on without ever seeing our Brentford where they should be or where they will be either this year or in the near future. We will get to the Premier League and we might still be Little Brentford and long may all the supporters of other teams keep calling us that! We all dearly love our Brentford in whatever division we play in and that’s something which is ours and can never be taken away from us.

Let’s just hope that Richard can manage to make it over to London and ideally see us play one more time at his beloved Griffin Park.


8 thoughts on “How The Professionals See It – 6/2/15

  1. What a fantastic read and in a couple of points I agree with Richard especially with regard to David button knowing when and when not to play the ball out it is so simple and thats why it’s a worry we just need to be more aware and careful. also he is spot on with his comments on why we have few bodies in the box however it must be said we have perhaps been unlucky in not scoring as many goals as we should have. great to hear his view though.


  2. Interesting seeing Richard Pooles views, and as an ex pro they carry weight for me. I am sure as well on a coldly objective analysis the views reflect our season. Good in parts, not scoring enough and a bit dodgy at the back.

    A friend who used to come to the bees 15 years ago but has long deflected to Chelsea came with us to the boro game. Interestingly his comments were similar to Richards. He talked of the one footedness of Jota, the lack of cutting edge, the defensive mistakes.

    I think what Richard is saying though would not be news to MW. He never seems happy with what is going on, always is looking to improve. Perhaps us fans have become a little comfortable with what is now nearly 3 years of positive news.

    As a bees fan I take a bit of a different perspective, particularly comparing all of this season to the dark days. Of course we could be better, but for what is still a small club we are fighting well over our weight. If as fans we are overstating the quality, it is because we have been starved for so many years.


  3. Reading Richard’s piece made me think of the old Hemingway quote – “We all had a girl – and her name was nostalgia”. Sorry Richard – football is very different to the way it was when you played – different attitudes, different skills, different tactics. You are looking at TODAY’S Bees with your PAST playing pro eyes.

    As for Steve’s comment on Jota (above) – when did anyone see Stan Mathews use his left foot?


    • Maybe there’s something in some of what you’ve said Larry and I know that you’ve been watching the game longer than most.

      I applaud you for trying to adapt your attitudes and remain contemporary and you are right, that was the first Brentford game Richard has watched since he left but his key points in terms of choosing the right time to play the ball around the back four, support the main striker and get men up into the box are ones that I would bet the overwhelming majority of Bees fans share – whatever their age or vintage so I cannot agree with the main point that you have made.


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