Resilience! – 24/1/16

I tried to tell it just as it is in my article yesterday and I stand by every word that I wrote about the problems that we currently face in order to progress, but I also made it totally clear that for Brentford to maintain a top ten place in the Championship is a truly fantastic achievement given the fact that we are competing against far better funded teams pretty much with one hand tied behind our back.

Yesterday was a time for all the talking to stop and for actions to speak louder than words and the Bees stepped up to the plate and turned the form book on its head by ending a run of four consecutive defeats with an exceptional performance leading to a three – one victory at Preston.

Had we lost then the knives would have been out and confidence would have further drained away but a week is a long time in football and we can now forget about the last week or so from hell and concentrate on what lies ahead – firstly a mouthwatering home clash with Leeds United and then the end of the Transfer Window, which cannot close quickly enough for our liking.

There was further scandalous muckraking journalism on the Sky Sports website last night claiming how angry and upset Alan Judge was at our apparent reluctance to offer our star player a new contract commensurate with the eight million pound transfer value we have apparently put on his head. This drivel has surely emanated from an agent desperate to stir up some late interest in his client before the window clangs shut.

I suspect the truth might lie in the fact that Judge’s representative has apparently insisted on a ludicrously low buy out figure being inserted into any new contract offered by the club, thus making it impossible for a new extended deal to be agreed.

This one will run and run until the beginning of February and Judge’s wonderfully taken goal at Preston will obviously make scouts and managers take note of his quite obvious class but I remain hopeful that we will not receive an offer that meets our valuation of him and Alan remains a Bee until the end of the season and that we will enjoy the rare and wondrous sight of a Brentford player competing at Euro 2016 this Summer.

The Bees made four team changes at Preston with Barbet, McEachran, Saunders and Vibe replacing O’Connell, the soon to be departed Diagouraga, Canos and Djuricin, and Lewis Macleod was named in the travelling squad for the first time this season but did not make the final cut.

Brentford controlled long periods of the game and their slick, accurate pass and move style of play made Preston look clumsy and agricultural in comparison. The Bees comfortably out possessed and out passed the home team and scored with all three of their shots on target. Preston managed to outfoul the Bees and also had four players booked to our two.

They also somehow managed to retain a full complement of eleven players for the entire match despite the ghastly Garner and Gallagher giving the referee every opportunity to send them both off but what can you expect when the official is called David Webb?

Our performance was both controlled, disciplined and resilient with Colin the best player on the field and never losing his composure despite receiving a ridiculously soft booking. Barbet too more than justified his promotion and his wonderful long diagonal pass from left to right led to Judge’s instant control and incisive run inside from the wing, leaving his marker trailing behind him in his wake like a constipated camel before he finished clinically for our second goal.

Bidwell had given us the lead with a perfect angled free kick from the edge of the box which took a slight deflection but is surely his goal despite it currently being deemed an own goal, but we squandered our advantage immediately afterwards when a typical neanderthal long up and under was not dealt with by Dean, who had been forced to turn, and the loose ball was eventually poked in by Reach.

We recovered from that self inflicted setback with Woods and the immaculate McEachran seizing control of the midfield, Saunders playing his role as senior pro to perfection and Swift’s energy and trickery on the ball was also far too much for Preston to cope with and they were unable to catch him even to kick him as they chased shadows.

We fully earned our halftime lead which was almost stretched by Woods and Bidwell just before the break but the second half was a far less comfortable affair as we were pushed back and after Doyle and Vibe had both missed early chances at either end of the pitch, Preston took control and for fifteen minutes the home team laid siege to our goal.

Huntington’s header hit the bar, Garner had a goal disallowed for offside and Button made a stupendous save when Garner deflected a Johnson shot and the big keeper somehow changed direction in mid air to turn the ball onto the crossbar for a match winning save that totally beggared belief. His aberration against Middlesbrough is now totally forgotten and firmly put behind him!

Just when a equaliser seemed inevitable, the tide turned and we found our second wind. Kerschbaumer made a valuable contribution with his energy and running after replacing the exhausted McEachran and Canos, the destroyer of Preston at Grifin Park earlier this season, made a similar impact when his immaculate and audacious flick enabled Colin to run through a challenge into space and cross low for Swift to finish Preston off with a clinically taken low shot which also took a helpful deflection and beat the straining goalkeeper.

Brentford fully deserved and had totally earned that slight stroke of good fortune and this was a performance to be proud of as the players simply rolled up their sleeves, worked hard, silenced a vociferous crowd, ignored the intimidation they faced on the pitch as well as a weak and inept referee and played Preston off the park for large portions of the match with some eye catching football.

Suddenly the world seems a far happier place and let’s hope that we can put our recent poor spell of results behind us and that this victory will give us the impetus and confidence to maintain a challenge for the playoffs. And why not? Despite the unavoidable loss of some leading players, yesterday clearly demonstrated that there is still so much talent and ability in the squad and that they are certainly playing for each other and the team.

Colin is a star in the making and Barbet also made a positive impression. Josh McEachran faced a tough task in proving that he is fit, robust and resilient enough to play in the key holding role alongside Ryan Woods, particularly at a tough and unwelcoming bleak Northern outpost and he came through with flying colours. There is also the imminent prospect of Lewis Macleod being given the opportunity to show us what he can do.

There is an old and wise saying that patience is a virtue and yesterday showed that there is so much for us all to be proud about and that those in charge of our club understand far better than us supporters exactly what needs to be done in order to ensure that we maintain our progress and development as an established Championship club. We need to trust them more whilst still retaining the right to question where necessary.

We also have to repeat the mantra that margins are so narrow in this incredibly tight division. We could quite easily have lost at Reading and also picked up points against Birmingham and Middlesbrough. Such is the way of life in the Championship. Yesterday too, for all our dominance turned on one piece of magic from Button.

This was a good day for the club and everybody associated with it and we should all simply enjoy the moment, take a deep breath and look forward to the future with renewed vigour and confidence.


9 thoughts on “Resilience! – 24/1/16

  1. I recently stated that I was more hopeful than confident that Dean Smith would be able to turn things around after four defeats in a row. After yesterday’s display I am now confident again.And what a wonderful performance from David Button !


  2. Think yesterday’s deserved win against a form side and the biggest home defeat of the season has certainly rammed the words down the throats of the many so called fans who are doing their best to undermine our club during a difficult time.I am lucky I was with real fans yesterday drinking having a laugh before the game listening to different takes on players then on to the ground and cheering to team from the off.Some of the miserable gits should turn off their computers get off the sofa and join us it might just make your lives a lot happier.Your point about Judge and his agent and Sky i agree is damaging but they get paid to do just that unlike the same damage our own supposed fans put about on social media what’s their excuse.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry Bill, but going into ‘civil war’ mode with other fans is totally counterproductive. You have to accept that things have happened this season which have raised concerns among sections of the fan base; you might not agree with them and of course some people express these concerns better than others, but berating other fans, some of whom have been following the club for many years and therefore deserve more respect than you’re giving them, is going to achieve nothing and is actually going to be quite damaging.

    It’s quite possible you’re right and that things are better than many people are making out, but you have to agree that these two transfer windows have been very traumatic and have had a very negative effect on the mood at GP.


    • Civil war ?what are you talking about I post nothing different than I would say to their face.I will always admit when I’m wrong and has happened many times over my life time.I always respect other people’s opinions what I won’t do is ignore miss information about my club being put about by so called fans with an agenda to diss our owner and I couldn’t care less how long they have been supporting our club.We are about 10 points off from where we were last season which is far from a disaster that some are making out.There is a nasty undercurrent at our club from so called fans who sit behind there key boards posting nonessential crap who couldn’t hold a face to face discussion or fight their way out of a wet paper bag and I’m prepared to smoke em out.Hope that helps

      Support our club support Matthew Benham he is our club


  4. Fantastic win at PNE and just what we all needed. Credit to DS who has come through a toughfew weeks? The performance of Woods, Colin & Barbet suggests that our recruitment may be showing more promise than I thought. Barbet must now be given a few games after 2 strong performances against PNE is his 2 starts. Really encouraging also to see the enthusiasm of some of the new boys and loanees – who want to wear the shirt and do well despite some unrest around the squad. We now have to look forward, I really do hope that we can resolve the contract issues with Alan Judge and Harlee Dean, but all said and done we have to put faith in those that want to give everything for our club going forward, and move on those that don’t to our best advantage. X

    Hard for me to say but it has to be done, I’m now convinced of that.

    The scars from the split between Mathew & MW are slow to heal and have divided us, extreme views on either side of the debate aren’t helping and holding us back, it may take the rest of this season for us all to finally move on. But we will.

    As Gordon says the 2 transfer windows have been awful for everyone – I hope that we can find ways to manage our way through these better in future.

    4 more wins and we are safe – Leeds up next, things could be worse.


  5. As I said before, I just don’t see that infighting among the fans (the so-called pro-Benham and anti-Benham factions) is going to achieve anything.

    Personally, I don’t know one fan who isn’t grateful to Matthew Benham for what he’s done for BFC, However, it hasn’t been the smoothest 12 months we’ve had and for that reason I can understand SOME of the concerns raised by people; as long as this is done in a constructive manner, I am prepared to respect their views without necessarily agreeing with everything.

    We have had a remarkably united fan base over the last few years before this season, and quite frankly the sooner we get back to this the better.


    • There are barely 20 reports on the GPG from aome 600 fans who were there yesterday and I didn’t see any of our fans fighting each other which covers your United fans comment.Its the ones sitting behind there keyboards at home that are the problem.


  6. I have thought long and hard about all these comments and I think that the main problem is the novelty of our situation.

    We are swimming in uncharted waters and are facing problems that we have never experienced or had to deal with before.

    We are all learning as we go and quite naturally we all feel unsure of ourselves too.

    I think my articles yesterday and today summarise how I feel about matters.


    • In respect of managing our way through transfer windows, and our players being pursued by other clubs, by fair and foul means – you are dead right.

      The best way I can support MB & Brentford is to continue to buy my season ticket, and all the other merchandise, keep up my BU membership and do as many away games as I can – where I always back the boys. But it’ll be a dull old world if some genuine fears can’t be aired without such polarised and extreme views on either side of the debate – not healthy either.

      It’s the window that’s made everyone cranky – we’ll get used to it.


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