There was a good response to Dave Washer’s recent article which provided his view on how many points we need to obtain in order to ensure Championship survival.
edmundpw queried the points total that was suggested by Dave:
Where does the idea that sixty points are required come from? Can anyone find an instance of when fifty-five wasn’t enough? And quite often fifty is more than adequate.
He is quite correct in what he said as the most points gained by a relegated team that I can remember was when Peterborough went down on the last day of the season in 2012/13 in heartbreaking circumstances despite having an incredible fifty-four points. A points total that I would bite your hand off for at the moment.
Rebel Bee took a gloomier view on the current situation:
A good read from Dave, but I’m a bit more pessimistic and need to see some signs of recovery before being able to contemplate safety. I expect Rotherham will be a very hard game – more typical of the division below us, and our lack of physicality worries me.
All that matters is that we find a way to win, then we can push on a little. Lose and I think we may be looking for another head coach, part of me thinks that somehow we will get out of trouble, but there is no science behind this, just hope. At least you’ve gone for some predictions.
A view that was also shared by Andrew Martin:
The number of points needed is a tough one, saturdays game is massive. Rotherham will have a new manager so the players will want to impress. I think it is vital for us to score first, to give the players and fans a lift, the first clean sheet this season will also be massive for the confidence of the players, fifty points is always a target to aim for, but it may need more or even slightly in a very competive championship.
Mike Rice also advocated caution:
I hope Lee Carsley has been studying the recent Birmingham versus Rotherham game, which Rotherham won two-nil, arguably one of the more surprising results so far this season. I have a (depressing) feeling this will be nil-nil as we try to keep a clean sheet at the expense of an attacking threat.
If we lose at home to Rotherham, it will be difficult to imagine who we can beat this season, placing an awful lot of pressure on the shoulders of young players who have barely played for us, or not yet played at all.
Dave Washer took note of everything that had been said and then came back with the following riposte:
Thanks to Greville for publishing my ramblings and thanks too to everyone who has taken the time to post a comment. To be honest, nothing I wrote was based on any particular kind of watertight analysis, and to take edmundpw’s point, the whole sixty point equation was really just me looking at fifty possibly being enough for survival and then sticking an extra ten on top just to be sure!
Reading the comments from Rebel Bee and Mike, I cannot disagree with your somewhat downbeat appraisal of the situation. The article was not so much based on what I truly believe will happen in terms of us picking up points, as much as giving me a set of targets for us to hit if we are to have any chance of staying up this season.
Like Rebel Bee I also think Rotherham will be a tough game – even more so now that they have a new manager in charge – and I think anyone who rocks up at Griffin Park next Saturday expecting a guaranteed three points is living in a dreamworld. We must expect that Neil Redfearn will have them fired up and well prepared for an intense battle. However, we can only hope that our reluctant manager has also imbued his Bees side with the same kind of battle-ready mentality.
This is a genuine six-pointer and whoever wins will gain a massive psychological advantage. However well Rotherham defend and whatever kind of resilience they show on the day, we have to be ready to match and exceed them in all areas across the park. Quite simply, this is the day for every single Brentford player to step up, work their socks off and get the result we so desperately need.
If, as expected, Tarkowski partners Dean at the back, they need to show a resilience that has in the main been completely absent this season. If McCormack is reinstated at right back, he has to match his unquestioned tenacity with a capacity to support and feed whoever is playing on the right side of midfield – just as Odubajo did so brilliantly last season. And on the left, captain Bidwell needs to finally stand up and be counted, combining his defensive duties with a strong attacking performance that will inspire the rest of the team.
In midfield, Diagouraga needs to be the fulcrum that breaks up the opposition play and starts our attacks, whilst Ryan Woods and John Swift (if indeed he actually starts the match) need to be tenacious and rapier-like in their forward play, giving Marco Djuricin the kind of service that his undoubted finishing will hopefully feed off with one or possibly more goals.
As for the remaining players that will start the match, Alan Judge has just to keep doing what he has done so far over the first ten games, take the game by the scruff of the neck and exert his undoubted ability on the Rotherham back four, whilst Vibe (if selected) has to step out of the shadows, realise that we need him to have his best game yet in a Brentford shirt and hook up with Djuricin in a potent and dangerous attacking partnership.
Of course, I hope that all of that will happen. I also hope that Sergi Canos will come on and make a goal or two and that we will run out comfortable winners and send us home happy for a change. But as I sit here writing this with just under six days to go, I can honestly say I really don’t know what will happen. I can see us winning it, I can see us drawing it and, God forbid, I can also see us losing it as well!
All we can do is cheer them on from the first minute until the last, keep everything crossed and pray that these two weeks have given them a chance to regroup and discover some kind of collective spirit and common purpose.
The nightmare scenario: we lose to Rotherham, lose at Wolves and then lose to Charlton. If it’s five defeats out of five from Carsley’s first five games in charge, I predict that we will then be looking for our third manager since the start of the season!
What stands out a mile from all the heartfelt, pragmatic and even in some cases, pessimistic, comments expressed by everybody above, is that realism rules and nobody is under any illusions and is expecting anything against Rotherham other than a tense battle. The gauntlet has been thrown down to Lee Carsley and his squad and the supporters expect – nay demand, a performance from them all next Saturday.
Nothing less than total commitment will do and if the players show the required level of energy and tenacity and tackle, cover and press like demons, then maybe, just maybe, our superior technique will shine through and we can obtain a morale boosting and much needed victory.
The alternative hardly bears thinking about.