A Good Day – And Almost A Perfect One – 1/12/15

A day jam packed with action and activity has left every Brentford supporter exhausted and exhilarated and extremely excited about the future prospects for the club.

As expected Walsall manager Dean Smith was named as Head Coach after a compensation deal was agreed with his former club, whom he served with distinction for almost five years.

He will be joined by his assistant, Richard O’Kelly, which as far as I am concerned is almost as good news as the appointment of Smith as they work hand in glove and O’Kelly has gained an exceptional reputation as a gifted and innovative coach.

Lee Carsley will remain until the end of the year to help in the transition process however it is expected that he will then leave the club with our thanks and gratitude ringing in his ears for a difficult job wonderfully well done.

Just to recap, when he took over as interim Head Coach the Bees were languishing in nineteenth place and were on the road to nowhere. Impeccably assisted by the popular Paul Williams, they worked in tandem to turn the situation around and his back to basics approach worked a treat and restored belief to what was a faltering squad and his achievements were deservedly recognised with the award of the Manager of the Month Trophy for October.

He was in charge for ten games which produced a total of five wins and seventeen points and he relinquishes control with Brentford a mere three points shy of the playoffs and looking firmly upwards rather than down.

Dean Smith and Richard O’Kelly were amongst the crowd at Bolton last night but they will take charge today and they both must be delighted with the quality of the material they have been left to work with and further develop.

Paul Williams is away on England duty at the present time and ideally his future will also be decided shortly and we all hope that there will be a role for him at the club within the new management structure given his popularity with the players and the beneficial affect he has had on them.

Brentford came away from the Macron Stadium with one point when three really beckoned had good chances not been squandered by Lasse Vibe on two occasions and John Swift. Jake Bidwell too came within inches of scoring that long awaited and elusive first goal when his header drifted just wide after he was found quite brilliantly by Alan Judge, as usual the best and most inventive player on the pitch.

In truth this was a frustrating game for the Bees who interspersed some breathtaking one touch football which had the commentators on Sky Sports purring with appreciation, with a lot of careless passing and squandering of possession which allowed a limited but forceful and committed Bolton team back into a match which the Bees should have put firmly beyond them. We really let them off the hook and have only ourselves to blame.

As is customary, some of the defending was casual in the extreme with Tarkowski doing his best to gift Bolton another goal from a short back pass with barely a minute on the clock. He and O’Connell defended manfully but this was a match for the suspended Harlee Dean, and the home team outmuscled us at set pieces and always looked dangerous when the ball was in the air and won far too many second balls with Woods, in particular being regularly muscled off the ball. The equaliser was soft with a cross half cleared by Woods and returned with interest by Danns with a bouncing volley through a crowd of players from just outside the penalty area which squeezed in off the post.

John Swift scored with a Premier League quality curling effort from long range after he and Judge had combined beautifully and he was booked for diving on the stroke of halftime when a penalty kick could just as easily have been given – another major turning point.

Pretty much every fifty:fifty decision went the way of Bolton but they also had more possession than us, a measure of how careless we were with the ball, with possession conceded with monotonous regularity.

And yet from time to time we got it right and tore holes in a porous home defence as we broke with pace and menace. Vibe worked hard but missed his two chances. He had too much time when sent clear before the break by Bidwell and Amos stretched out a long leg to save, and then, near the end, after some scintillating one touch play had torn the defence wide open, Vibe could not beat the keeper who saved well at full stretch.

Button too made a crucial point blank save from the lurking Ameobi when a loose ball fell his way and a game that we could have won comfortably had we scored that elusive second goal ended all square.

We are so close to being an exceptionally good team as our vision and skill on the ball is often of Premier League class. Judge and Swift were always on the same wavelength and worked well together and Diagouraga won every loose ball and also survived a horror challenge from Mark Davies that surely merited a red card from a benign referee who totally shirked his duty.

Yes of course we have weaknesses and shortcomings. We are susceptible to high balls and set pieces and teams that try and overpower us, but try and play football with us and we are likely to come out on top.

We are also profligate in front of goal and miss far too many chances and let teams off the hook. We are lacking in quality up front until Djuricin returns and rely far too much on our midfield to score goals.

That being said McEachran, Colin and Jota are close to returning to fitness and might be followed soon after by Djuricin and even Lewis Macleod so we are going to get even stronger as the months progress.

A mere two months ago we were looking down the barrel of a gun with the bottom three beckoning and the locals muttering and beginning to fear the worst. Changes were needed and they were made and the team now is fitter, far more solid and confident, moves the ball from back to front far quicker and is much better equipped for the demands of the Championship.

Maybe another playoff campaign is going to be a step too far this season, but who knows? Dean Smith will be sure to want to make his mark and put his own stamp on things, but I suspect that he will not make too many fundamental changes as the way that we set up and play totally suits the players that we currently possess, as is evidenced by the quality of our football, the results that we are achieving and the fact that this is patently a happy camp at the present time.

Three points tonight would have made this a perfect day but despite the two dropped points, things are going remarkably well at the moment and I fully believe that they will be getting even better quite soon once Messrs Smith and O’Kelly get to work.


9 thoughts on “A Good Day – And Almost A Perfect One – 1/12/15

  1. Spot on assessment, Jekyll and Hyde display for me plus 2 very big calls went against us. Something is wrong when Harlee is banned for 3 games for a bit of handbags, and a leg breaking challenge right in front of the referee gets a tame yellow – ridiculous! Add to that the Swift penalty shout, which he got wrong and it all could have turned out differently.

    On the play a draw was fair. We can’t defend properly or deal with physicality – and we don’t have a striker! Woods was poor last night but has done well, Maxime Colin should probably come back in for Yennaris now, the other summer overseas signings are not looking to be up to the level required. 2 points dropped for me, although they don’t lose many at home.

    Smith has plenty to work with and plenty to do, i’m still of the mind that the sooner we get to 50+ points the better.

    Warm welcome to our new head coach, and thanks to Lee for what you’ve done to steady the ship.


    • Another incisive summary and “spot on” with the two most contentious refereeing decisions or should I say blunders!Let us hope we can take all three points against MK Dons to mark the arrival of the new coaching duo.


      • Do I watch Brentford through “red and white rose tinted glasses” or am I right in thinking that a vast majority of the contentious refereeing decisions this season have gone against the Bees? Perhaps my biggest gripe is the increasing number of opposing teams whose players blatantly set out to “con”referees by throwing themselves to the ground and feigning injury at the slightest hint of physical contact.As soon as they get a free kick or their opponent “carded” they make miraculous recoveries within a matter of seconds.Harlee Dean and JamesTarkowski are the biggest victims of this form of cheating but how many times doyou seeAlan Judge penalised for “flooring” opponents over 6 feet tall. I am grateful that Brentford players appear to be under instructions not to retaliate by employing similar tactics. Finally, How Mark Davies escaped being sent off last night is a complete mystery !!


  2. Have to agree – we have one known enforcer type player in Alan Mac, he has a bit of a reputation if you listen to commentators. Yet I’ve never seen him challenge in the way that Davies, Ameobi and Pratley did last night. We’ve been on the wrong end of too many this season already.

    As for us being close to really good Greville, i’ll hold back a bit on this myself. We need to be far better at both ends, my feeling is that we can be very competitive in a pretty average Championship if we improve significantly. Still need to beat a few top half sides.

    Finally to PR and comms, it seems BFC are listening, I received a fairly detailed email from Phil Giles today outlining the situation re the coaching position, covering MD/LC through to the appointment of DS. This is a long time coming but welcome, and pretty much all we ask right?

    Well done Phil Giles.


  3. Agreed again. We are a bit too naive and nice and we seem to be on the wrong side of far too many decisions too.

    I know I sound deluded bit I can see just how good we can be.

    Of course we need to get some basics right first.

    I see an article coming in this.

    “What Dean Smith needs to do.”


  4. How things can change in 24 hours! From what I’ve read Dean Smith seems to be an ideal choice. I understand why a new ‘head coach’ would feel comfortable, but I hope it means working with the team we have, and not imposing on what Lee has build.

    I am sorry to see Lee go – maybe I misread but I was under the impression that he would stay at Griffin Park. If it his his choice to go, then all the very best to him. Like Warbs, he has been a model of integrity. It is so noticeable because it seems in such short supply in football these days – players conning refs, tackles which outside of the football pitch would be prosecuted for GBH etc. I think that Brentford on the whole come out pretty well – good words from Phil Giles acknowledging the Marcus situation.

    I didn’t see any mention of Paul Williams – I presume he remains at Griffin Park.

    Finally, this Head Coach title – how difficult is it for the press to call Dean that and not our new manager? just lazy journalism.

    I hope the transition is as smooth as we hope it to be. We will soon find out this Saturday. can’t wait.


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