Benham’s Gamble – 21/2/16

Three weeks ago, as soon as the Transfer Window closed with us three first team players down and the squad weakened and diminished, I described Brentford’s likely approach for the last three months of the season as follows:

Our strategy for the remainder of the season seems to be quite simply to hunker down, retreat into our bunker, make do with what we are left with and simply count off the days and get through the season before readdressing matters in the Summer and hopefully coming again next season.

I thought very carefully before I gave such a damning judgement and even did my best to verify my words and opinion before I committed them to paper and, indeed, I was assured by a very senior club contact that my assessment was entirely correct.

At the time I fully understood the rationale behind such an apparently negative and craven policy given our financial constraints and the fact that our transfer targets in January had all eluded us and we were quite simply not prepared to pay over the odds.

I realised that the majority of the supporters would not be happy, but I made the point that as long as we remained competitive on the pitch and continued to play our customary brand of exciting attacking football and won more than we lost, then perhaps we would be able to muddle through without getting holed below the waterline.

So what has happened since? Has the gamble paid off?

We have faced (I hesitate the use the word played) three of the leading Championship teams in Brighton, Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County and have emerged with our tails firmly between our legs after three heavy defeats with only one goal scored and a massive ten conceded.

It could be argued that, given our weakened and parlous state, all of these defeats should have been anticipated and we simply have to revise and lower our expectations and just accept that for the time being we are unable to match teams of that calibre.

If you take this line of thinking further then it would also be entirely fair to say that we should be patient, and delay further judgement until the fifth of March by which time we will have played against three more teams in Wolverhampton Wanderers, who are on the same amount of points as the Bees, Rotherham and Charlton whom we have all beaten already this season and in the case of the last two are engaged in a desperate fight to avoid relegation.

Five points or more from these games would perhaps confirm that we will be able to bumble along for the rest of the season and continue to hold our own and finish in a reasonable position in the Championship table.

That is all for the near future and we will certainly know far more about our short term prospects in a fortnight’s time but the prospect, however unlikely, of losing the next three games against teams who we would normally expect to beat is both worrying and frightening as our last three defeats have highlighted and confirmed that without mincing words, we are in a sorry and shambolic state at the moment.

Yesterday’s three-one defeat against Derby was a case in point. Afterwards, manager Dean Smith argued about narrow margins, and the fact that the game had turned on a couple of key incidents and that the final score could quite easily have been different.

Superficially and on a cursory glance, he is, indeed, quite correct in what he said. Had the officials penalised Tom Ince for handball when the ball crashed against him before bouncing unerringly to the unmarked Hendrick who equalised with ten minutes to go and if Bidwell’s last gasp header not been stopped by a combination of the swooping Scott Carson and Jacob Butterfield on the goal line then we would have come away with a draw and Chris Martin’s three-on-one breakaway goal with the last kick of the match would surely never have happened.

I am afraid that I will not buy or accept that explanation or reading of the match, nor, I suspect will the overwhelming majority of Brentford fans. We were absolutely battered in the first half where we played more like the away team, and a poor one at that.

We adopted a negative 4-1-4-1 formation with Yennaris sweeping up in front of the back four which featured O’Connell for the suspended Barbet. Woods moved to the right side of midfield with McEachran and Judge in the middle and the ineffable Kerschbaumer on the left and Vibe replaced Hofmann up front.

We were playing a Derby County team packed with expensive talent but also totally devoid of confidence after collecting three points in their first six games of 2016.

Surely we should have had a go at them given that we also desperately needed a win and were playing at home, but instead we set up in total damage limitation mode with no width or visible attacking intention? Yes, we certainly needed to tighten up after conceding so many soft goals recently, but surely not at all costs, as seemed the case yesterday where it appeared that a goalless draw was the summit of our ambitions.

We did threaten three times before the break, ironically all from set pieces which worked extremely well yesterday, a rare positive to take out of the game.

Yennaris was unable to get any power on a free header and then a beautifully worked and inventive corner kick routine (poached from the Bournemouth playbook, I believe) saw the ball cut back hard and low towards the edge of the box, Kerschbaumer jump over the ball and Judge had the time and space for a firm and well placed effort that forced Carson into a decent save.

Our best opportunity came when O’Connell stole in at the back post behind the straining Derby defence, and with Bradley Johnson hanging off him, could only head Judge’s clever free kick narrowly wide of the far post.

Otherwise it was a procession towards the home goal as Derby ran rings around us, quick to outmuscle us and pick up the second balls, winning the majority of the challenges and playing around and through us with a series of incisive one-twos.

Poor Lasse Vibe must have had a contagious disease, so isolated was he and we were barely able to get the ball out of our own half of the pitch.

Derby would have been out of sight and home and hosed had it not been for David Button who played Derby County on his own and made five exceptional first half saves, including keeping out Bidwell’s involuntary close range poke towards his own goal. He also thwarted Hendrick twice in close succession, Bent, and most memorably, Russell when the keeper somehow kept out a perfectly placed effort arrowing towards the far corner.

Quite frankly, we got out of jail and could and should have slunk off the field three goals down at the interval so poor and inept had been our performance.

To give Dean Smith his due, he changed our approach after the break and tried to get the team to play more in the Derby half and stretch the two lumbering central defenders who had enjoyed a totally untroubled game to date.

Our efforts were rewarded after fifty-two minutes when Alan Judge scored a goal entirely of his making when he robbed Hanson in midfield and roared down the right flank. He could not be caught and although forced wide he hit a brilliantly angled right foot shot that screamed past Carson for a goal of total and utter brilliance.

The game had turned in an instant and surely the Bees would take full advantage as confidence suddenly flowed through hesitant limbs and Derby heads went down?

Well, yes and no as we kept the visitors away from Button who was able to take a well-earned breather, but we never seemed to have the self-belief or incision to go for the jugular and seek the second goal that would surely have cemented victory.

Substitutions also played a crucial part in the outcome of the match. Derby were able to bring on players of the calibre of Martin, Ince and Blackman whereas we were restricted to the likes of the be-gloved Swift, Djuricin and Canos.

Slowly and inexorably we dropped twenty yards and retreated deeper and deeper into our shell and this seemed a self-inflicted move entirely of our own making rather than being caused by the sheer force of Derby pressure.

Where was the manager at this crucial point of the proceedings to encourage and exhort us to move up the field?

From a winning position, however unexpected and undeserved, we unforgivably conceded the initiative and invited Derby onto us and the inevitable occurred with two quick goals turning the game, once again, on its head.

Job seemingly done, Derby now made a similar error of judgement, sat back, ceded us the initiative and we dominated the last five minutes and should have scored four times.

Djuricin has lacked fitness and sharpness but he surely had to convert one of the two glaring chances that came his way, but he ballooned a snap shot high over and then criminally put his close range near post diving header over the goal with the net beckoning. Keogh almost deflected a cross into his own net and then Bidwell’s header from a Judge corner seemed to be arrowing its way in before being hacked off the line before Martin stole away to thrust the final dagger in our heart and seal the victory.

On the one hand we could have been looking at a thrashing had Button not performed his heroics but we were then unable to seize the opportunity to win the match when it unexpectedly presented itself to us.

This was not a Brentford performance as we have become accustomed to see and enjoy and we seem to have totally lost our way.

The defence is nervous and porous. The midfield where only Woods and Yennaris make any apparent effort to cover and tackle, does not protect the back four and lacks width and pace. McEachran is a luxury that we cannot afford as for all his skill on the ball he is a totally one dimensional player who contributes nothing to our defensive efforts and Kerschbaumer flitted in and out of the match to little apparent effect as well as carelessly losing his man when Christie scored the crucial second goal.

We have completely lost our pace, brio and incision. There was one isolated incident in the second half when we combined quickly down the left and almost tore the opposition wide apart before the move broke down on the edge of the penalty area but that was a rare exception to our plodding mediocrity.

Vibe improved after the break when he received some limited service and used his pace to stretch the Derby back four, but we were slow and stilted in our play, and perish the thought, more resembled a mid table Division One team than a Championship squad renowned for its invention and skill on the ball.

It surely cannot be denied that the team which won promotion in 2014 was far stronger in midfield and attack boasting as it did the likes of Forshaw, Saville, Douglas, Judge, Donaldson and Trotta, than is our current motley crew.

The Brentford that we know and love, cocking a snoot, out playing, out working and out pressing our so called betters has disappeared without trace for the time being at least and Ian Holloway, so often an admirer of our approach, has also noticed and remarked upon the difference in our recent play:

Brentford don’t look the same this season. They have lost their midfield security after selling Toumani Diagouraga. This time last year they had Jonathan Douglas and Diagouraga and now they have Josh McEachran from Chelsea and he doesn’t provide the same protection. They have started to leak goals, which is not good.

Salutary words that we would do well to take notice of and act upon.

Three statistics merely confirm our current malaise. Yesterday we only had a possession rate of forty-two per cent and, more worryingly, we only played one hundred and sixty-two passes, less than half our normal number, and our pass completion percentage was a pathetic sixty-one, which implies that we played far more hit and hope long balls than normal.

As I said – that is not the Brentford that we expect or even want to see.

Leaving aside some of the extremists on social media who have a totally unrealistic sense of expectation, there were far more worrying mutterings in my earshot coming from some of the hard core supporters both at halftime and as they left the ground feeling flat and deflated.

Most were bemused at how far and how quickly we have fallen and there was a sense of despondency and in some cases a reluctance to return to Griffin Park for the time being. This is worrying in the extreme.

Let’s face facts, we have taken a gamble, an educated guess that we already have enough points on the board and just about enough left in our tank to get us over the line, crawling if necessary, without sliding inexorably into relegation trouble, or indeed, perish the thought, the dreaded bottom three.

Everything Matthew Benham does is calculated and the fact that you can still get odds of two hundred and fifty to one against the Bees going down suggests that he has got it right yet again but this is a bet that he cannot afford to lose and even if it comes off what will have been its overall cost?

Our supporters rightly pay good money to watch a team compete and play a brand of football that stirs the soul and warms the heart. That is not happening at the moment and quite frankly seems a long way away for the remainder of the season.

I am not sure what else can be done now. We are stuck with a weak and ill balanced squad that currently appears unable to play the Brentford way. The decision has been taken not to go into either the transfer or now the loan market and even should we change our mind and attempt to bolster the squad I have serious doubts as to whether we could at this late stage obtain short term recruits who could provide the quality, steel, impact and experience that we need.

We are now hoist with our own petard and will simply have to see how matters turn out and if Dean Smith is capable of organising and motivating his limited squad and getting them to put on performances of the necessary calibre.

It is harsh and totally unfair to criticise a manager who has not been given the opportunity to build or put his own stamp on his squad but I would like to see far more from him in terms of how he selects his team and sets them up.

We need to toughen up and become less of an easy touch but also maintain a sense of invention and positivity.

Not an easy task at the moment and much will be revealed and become apparent over the next fortnight.

 

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42 thoughts on “Benham’s Gamble – 21/2/16

  1. I didn’t realise how generous the odds on relegation were, just had a couple of quid on it at 200/1.

    Almost every move the club have made this season has been seemingly wrong. Whilst the buying and selling policy is entirely sensible and each player move makes sense on it’s own, the result is clearly a weak team and a manger who seems hopelessly out of his depth and unable to get anything out of the players left.

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  2. How are we going to convince anyone half decent to sign for us?

    Why do we not play 2 up front?

    Is the the new ground ever going to have work started on it?

    It’s so sad to read some of the comments on facebook, but there is obviously something seriously wrong inside the club, football is a simple game, we need a decent centre half, a tough tackling ball winning midfielder, 2 speedy attacking wingers, and a couple of strikers who can actually score goals, (Peter Gelson, Terry Hurlock, Steve Phillips, Andy McCulloch, John O,Mara etc all spring to mind from the past).

    It seems we have far too many chiefs and not enough decent players.

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    • Recruitment at the end of the season will be OK, as long as we get there whilst remaining in this division. That is all that concerns me at the moment.

      All we have to do is identify decent players and pay them enough money to attract them.

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  3. Fair analysis, Greville.
    We all miss the excellent football of last season, sadly now totally lost with all the changes in the past 12 months. And we can all be critical of the Benham experiment, at least recent decisions made in its name. In terms of what’s been lost v what’s been gained performance by the decision makers has been poor. Most of us have seen organizations where a change of owner or ‘boss’ has been followed by mass replacement of an old guard. Sadly BFC does not have the ability to replace like with like, although that, we are told, is how it will happen – and be largely self-financing. I’m sure we all hope that it will. One day. However, those of us who have been around for a while will not hold our breath.
    The great hope is still Lionel Road. Let us hope that will be the great success envisaged. Meanwhile, despite last year, let’s put ambition back to sensible levels. And I do hope someone is putting in a serious programme to bring in another 10,000 people every week to fill LR. That will take a lot of work plus success on the pitch. If we go there with crowds of around 10,000…
    And, of course, we have to stay in this league which will take some dramatic changes. This year with one win, one draw, and seven losses is not sustainable. I’ve seen enough matches, never to have high expectations. But with so many ‘ineffable’ (spot on word, Greville) performances on and off the pith at the moment, I am finding it all a bit mystifying as to where it is all going.
    Time for a Plan B?

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  4. The heart and soul has been ripped out of the side and it is showing right now Grev. God knows where we would be without Judge. With him hopefully we will have enough to scrape the pre requisite three more wins to survive, but on recent showings i wouldn’t be so sure. Rotherham and Charlton will be the games to indeed show just how bad we are right now. Lose them both and it may indeed start to be full panic mode. I remember 1992/93 oh too well. I am afraid we are a soft touch at the moment, especially in midfield and i don’t see that changing anytime soon. Maybe Mccormack when back fit can improve us in this area or maybe an old head can be brought in on loan to get us over the 50 point mark, though i much doubt the club would go along with that as it is against stated policy. They might just have too though. One thing is for sure Ankersen, and Giles failed miserably in the recruitment of players of suitable quality last summer and have to do much much better next time or next season could be disastrous.

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    • On walking away from GP yesterday I quickly came to the conclusion that the least said the better about the result and our approach to the game from the first minute to the last. So my mind switched to the enthralling prospect (?) of endless hours of media discussion on whether our country should stay in or get out of the EEC! That prompted an immediate return of thoughts about football and hopes of a more positive performance against Wolves on Tuesday. Because regular followers of this blog site will know that I am an eternal optimist and a great believer in the ‘change of direction’ announced by the club just over a year ago!! Then I was struck by just another nagging thought. Could there be two opposite outcomes of a change of direction? I quickly dismissed that negative thought and told myself I needed to show more patience and that the promises of a brighter future,as a result of a greater use of statistical analyses, would soon be fulfilled !!

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  5. Great words out of adversity – top blog today.

    Smith’s decision to introduce Swift & Djuricin when we had something to hold on to was staggering, and in my view cost us at least a point. where was Macleod, and why not use the experience of Saunders to try to help see our the final minutes?

    As for the summer, the recruitment task is huge and have a think as to the number of players we need to find. The DoF’s haven’t been able to recruit well to date, so why should it be different in the summer.

    Honestly I can’t see where our next point is coming from.

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  6. We are on a poor run of results without getting much luck.Hopefully we will all get behind the club and get us back to winning ways.Meanwhile it’s hardly Armageddon.

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  7. I can forgive a team that loses but where the players put their heart and soul into the game.

    From the off Derby wanted it, maybe around a third of our players didn’t. Apart from the back four, and Woods, Yennaris, Judge and Vibe, the rest just bottle it faced with a 50/50’or abit of physicality. Play nice attractive football by all means, but I remember the Brazil team in 1970, and they had players – including Pele -, who weren’t above mixing it when necessary. I read a quote from Gentile this week, when asked to explain his playing style, and he said “football is not for ballerinas”. Swift, KK, McEachran take note. And speaking of the last 3, someone should tell them that it is us spectators who watch the game, and not the players.

    The other uncomfortable truth is that the term goal scoring forwards just does not apply to our forwards.

    I for one do not feel comfortable and will continue to do so until we reach 50:points. Lose if you must, but at least go down fighting, otherwise, you are earning your money under false pretences.

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  8. Spot on, as usual, Greville.
    Is it unfair to say that our Directors of Football appear to have have performed poorly (3 ‘strikers’ with no ‘strikes’ between them since mid December and a number (not all) of overseas players that still show no signs of adapting to the Championship, after 7 months), yet it’s Dean Smith who is touted on social media as the sacrificial lamb.
    Our previous DoFs seemed to have more contacts and knowledge of the up-and-coming youngsters in the British game – finding loanees like Bidwell, Long, Forshaw, Pritchard, Rhodes etc – yet now we’re to believe there is no-one of a better calibre than we already have?

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  9. Great blog. Pretty much sums it all up for me. The main point I would raise would be the team selection. I still don’t know what Kerschbaumer was actually doing stuck out on the left and, whilst I think Yennaris has done well at right back this season, I wasn’t sure what he was adding in midfield. He is no Diagouraga and he is no Douglas either. Sadly, Vibe again looked totally ineffectual but much of that was not really his fault. He simply cannot be expected to play the lone striker role with his sleight physique and lack of presence. I would actually love to see him given a chance as part of a 2 man attack on Tuesday night, sitting behind Djuricin and in front of Judge and Swift.

    Actually, now that I’m banging on about formations, I’d like to touch on something I was thinking about after the battering at Sheffield Wednesday. Namely, the way that we completely discount the 3-5-2 formation in this country. I for one would like to see DS give it a go against Wolves and see how we fare – could we do a lot worse than played 3, lost 3, GF 1, GA 10? The more I think about 3-5-2, the more it appeals to me! Think about it: Dean, O’Connell and Barbet repelling all Wolves attackers, Judge, Woods and Swift bossing the midfield, Colin and Bidwell bombing up and down the flanks and Vibe and Djuricin forming a cohesive 2-man partnership in attack!

    Yes, I know it hasn’t worked that well at Man Utd this season, but I still have fond memories of when Bobby Robson employed 3-5-2 at Italia 90 (with Walker, Butcher and Wright as the three central defenders) and it nearly got us all the way to the final!

    I know our current woes are about more than a simple change of formation, but after such a dismal run I would love to see the manager trying something different and new. To me, 3-5-2 gives us extra firepower up front and greater cover in defence – and I firmly believe that both Bidwell and Colin are fit enough and attack-minded enough to be up to the task.

    Just a thought.

    Apart from that it’s all eyes to 7.45pm on Tuesday and a game from which we need to get something – for the morale of the squad and everyone associated with the club, if nothing else. To lose a 4th game on the spin – and to another side on the same number of points as us – would be a huge psychological blow and make next Saturday’s game at Rotherham even more of a six-pointer!

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    • I think we are trying to experiment a bit at the moment. We have yet to find a formation that suits our remaining squad members or the best permutation of players – and no, I have no idea what the best possible team is!

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    • Thanks, Peter! Sadly I’m not convinced that the manager is reading this (sorry, Greville!) But whether he is or not, it just seems to me that at least considering something like 3-5-2 might make sense. I’m not saying it’s the magic answer (otherwise everyone would be doing it). But is it not worth considering all potential ways of winning a game of football? To me it’s just about open-mindedness and trying to out-think your opponent. And what the heck is wrong with that?!

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  10. Huge game tomorrow and we have to stop the rot, in truth we really all need to get to GP and get behind the team for the 90 minutes. I hope he selects a similar side to the Leeds game which seemed to give us a platform to win points.

    What would really help is if we did hear a few words of encouragement from the top, I say this sincerely and without any agenda, MB is the heart of our club – so please just a few words now to lift us.

    Bees fans are all over the place and have been all season, it is totally understandable – whatever our differences over the stuff that has gone on we cannot self destruct. The world will look very different if we can get those 3 points against Wolves.

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    • That’s it in a nut shell,but regarding a word from the top there has been enough statements regarding how the club is run sadly it goes over a lot of fans heads or they just want to moan.Matthew Benham was not very vocal last season when we were doing well why would he now he’s very much a private person.The bottom line is we have a new manager who has not made 1 of his own signings yet and has to asses what he’s been presented with and you can only assess these players by not only seeing them in training but in games.We have some very talented fans who seem to know how good a player is after seeing them in half a dozen games or some even just on bees player.Lets just get behind the team and owner and show how much we care.

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      • I don’t agree – is it so unreasonable just to ask for some words to help pull everyone together? Is it really that hard? I don’t think so, MB uses twitter so he’s hardly a recluse is he. Very little is said ever, and then you say it goes over fans heads – how does that work? We live in an age of communications, the Danish DoF is a master of the art other than where BFC are concerned it’s a total cop out.

        With respect here’s something that seems to have gone over your head – DS will never make his own signings, he may have input as to what he needs, and a say from the selections offered, but he will never sign a player for our club.

        i absolutely care – BFC is my life, and don’t have to prove it to anyone, i’ll be there tomorrow giving my best to try and help the team to a win.

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  11. Excellent summary, Greville – well written. This bit:
    “It is harsh and totally unfair to criticise a manager who has not been given the opportunity to build or put his own stamp on his squad but I would like to see far more from him in terms of how he selects his team and sets them up.”
    is especially pertinent to me. Saturday was a gilt-edged chance to end our woeful run and it wasn’t taken. So now we need to do the job over Wolves and get a confidence boosting win before facing those teams lower down the table.

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      • I think it’s right not to have a go at DS, after all he has inherited a difficult task. What I would question though is the team selection against Derby. I still don’t know what Kerschbaumer was doing out on the left. I have nothing against him as a player and I think he deserves a chance – but he offered nothing going forward and didn’t provide much cover in defence either. As frustrating as Swift can be, at least he can do something when it comes to posing an attacking threat.

        I guess the manager’s logic was to try to keep it tight after shipping seven goals in the previous two games, but that tactic seemed to actually have the opposite effect. Personally I would prefer to see us play the likes of Canos and Swift and try to attack and win games. Hopefully that’s what we’ll try and do tomorrow night.

        The simple fact is that this season our record against the top 8 is appalling (P14, W0, D1, L13) – but fortunately against the bottom 10 it’s a different story (P12, W6, D5, L1). Ultimately that will determine where we finish. A win against Wolves would be great, but it’s the games against Rotherham, Charlton, Bolton, MK Dons, Blackburn etc. that will decide our fate come May 7.

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  12. No much I can add beyond what has already been said, most if which I agree with 100%
    Personally I do not understand the facination of this lone striker it worked when we had Clayton and then Gray because they both had raw pace and they were suppored especially last season with pace on the flanks. We now have no pacey wingers and so we ask Vibe who though quick doesn’t have the physical strengths to play a role he is not suited to. I too would like to see Vibe and Djuricin play together and if that means losing one of the luxury midfielders then so be it or adopt as someone else suggested a 3-5-2 which I believe Smith used at Walsall. I am not sure on the expectation on Josh is someone I know who follows Chelsea U21 closely purrs about his skills but also made it clear he is not battler or midfield general – he just doesn’t have the body strength never has and never will do. Like we all know we lack the midfield ‘boss’ who not only disrupts the opponents but also organizes and commands our team, and dare I say it tears them off a strip when they aren’t doing their job. I like Bidders but as Skipper he can’t do that from full back we are desperate for a Ledbetter or Barton player/leader – Macca can do the role but how far off he is I don’t know. Without a good NCO Sgt Major type to boss the team then young heads drop and we have seen the result over the last 3 games.
    I am on the fence with Smith I will agree he can’t be judged till he builds a team of his liking but the subs on Saturday were not good, from that moment we sank deeper and deeper and invited them forward this was either the managers plan and if it was not why was he not screaming his expectations from the sidelines . Personally I think the team was set up for damage limitation om Saturday but the endless shuffling of the midfield selection is working against us.

    It’s going to be a long end to the season, the memories of 92/93 still hurt and I see a lot of comparison in not just the results but the shuffling of players with no real quality to change anything. Our cupboard is bare save for Mcleod and he has yet again vanished so our fate lays in the hands of Smith and what troops he does have.
    At the moment the summer and who we recruit is for another day for moment it’s got to be a game at a time and try and turn this around. On paper we should win the games we need to my fear is morale, something isn’t right within the team at the moment and when you face an uphill struggle team togetherness and team spirit help with the day. The morale and confidence is shot to pieces and that can be your own worst enemy

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  13. Rebel Bee suggests that Dean Smith will never make his own signings etc. I am not so sure as I think things are a bit more flexible and less structured now.

    George Evans was surely a Smith suggestion as is Romaine Sawyers who could possibly be coming our way at the end of the season.

    I think that the jury is out on this suggestion.

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    • I am quite prepared to accept that DS has input and can make recommendations, but unless something significant has changed he won’t be making signings, which is what was suggested. The DoF’s are there provide him with a selection of players for the positions he wants to fill. Otherwise we’re more or less back to the system MW worked with?

      There again, maybe things are less structured now as you suggest – it would be interesting to know – but that’s way too much to ask right?

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    • That just highlights the miss information that is peddled around.where is the evidence of that absolute garbage.Smith has actually spoken about his input into future signings that Rebel must have read or heard about.What would be the point of Mathew Benham responding to lies about the set up at the club.

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      • What is the garbage / lies being peddled?

        I can be wrong or misinformed sure – of course things can easily be cleared up with communication, but apparently that’s not our style.

        To repeat i’m sure DS has input and involvement into signings but it is incorrect to say that he should have time to build a team with his his players – that wasn’t the gig for Marinus and it isn’t for him either. Unless we’ve changed things significantly.

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  14. Hi greville hope you had a good break.Well my opinon for what it is worth i think our lack of ambition after last season could be our down fall.Yes i know the money the ground ect but after last season exploits i think we should had built on that which quite frankly we did not and this season so looks like the first season i came to Brentford1972/73 where we went up to the third divison and done nothing to try and stay up with nearly the same side as well selling what was then our best player John Omara.Yes i know we are well better off than then but ARE WE!I hope so do not forget all the calculations ect do not come to anything in football ITS A FUNNY OLD Game they say and i can understand the fans after so much suffering over many years we HAD or have something to build on only the next months will see where all this brings us .For me i hope its just a hippcup even if we stay up by the skin of our teeth i take that but then iam not forking out each week like you fans to watch our BFC and quite understand all these fans view

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  15. Well let’s hope that those involved are clear how player recruitment works. None of us has a clue. But we do know that it isn’t working this season.

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  16. OK fellow Bees, I’m going to share some overly-optimistic superstition here. I travelled to Asia the day before the Brighton game & just arrived back now, the day before the Wolves game. Quite a choice of 3 games to miss…

    I was sad when offloading my Brighton & Derby tickets, although in hindsight these were perhaps not the worst games to have missed. I didn’t even get to watch highlights of the first two of the three missed games – maybe not so much to be gained from doing that now?

    So, the old superstition engine (three shockers while I was away…) is now indicating a changed spirit & much better performance tomorrow, with this disastrous spell coming to a welcome end!

    Please, your positive energy for the team tomorrow everyone & see you at the match!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Greville, I am sad to see that anyone who does not agree with some of the views expressed by Bill Benn should now be branded as peddlers of lies and garbage as well as being disloyal moaners! What is going on here?

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  17. This is my take on things that I have put on another website. Apologies to those who have read it before.

    Believe me, it does not fill me with joy having to write this, despite what I’m sure certain people will tell me:

    I have held off for a long time on this in the hope things might turn the corner, but after today I am finally off the fence.

    I realise this will be open to the GPG ultra-loyalist mob, but I don’t care. Come and ‘dig/smoke’ me out if you want.

    We have gone an extraordinarily long way backwards in the last 12 months. I am long enough in the tooth to take us being most of the way down the table in this league as long as we’re competitive, but we’re not even that at the moment. We’ve got a goalkeeper playing out of his skin, but we’re still letting in three a game or more.

    The manager seems incapable of motivating the team, which of course underwent more turmoil in the transfer window. Without any replacements, even on loan.

    Confidence is shot, never clearer than when we concede and then do the same again shortly afterwards.

    We are relying on the bottom three continuing to be useless. But if Warnock does some tub thumping at some stage, you never know. The old dinosaur loves nothing more than getting out of a relegation battle. It could happen, and despite some people thinking we’re safe with 40 points (??), I’m arguing that we’re still some way short. We can’t buy a point at the moment. Remember 1993? Rushden and Diamonds the year of the Great Escape? Stranger things HAVE happened.

    A couple of years ago, I’d have said that we were one of the best run clubs in the country. Then we got involved with FCM. The more the interest has been divided, the worse we have become.

    Then there’s everyone’s favourite motivational speaker Mr Ankersen. Indeed, the Chairman of FCM. And co-DOF of Brentford. Three roles, but apparently no conflict of interest. The guy who said they had had ‘a great transfer window’ while we lost two more first-teamers without being replaced. Well, absolutely great Rasmus, but ours was dire. Oh, and you told us we were looking to be stronger after every transfer window. Didn’t happen really, did it?

    By the way, please tell us Mr Ankersen what qualifies you for your post at BFC? I’d have said an encyclopaedic knowledge of the English leagues and contacts throughout the game are what’s needed. We recruited brilliantly before you because of these contacts, but what have you done? A couple of decent guys but in general a load of poor left-field signings who are not up to it.

    Dean Smith says we’re not going into the loan market. Another decision well wide of the mark. Finding some equivalent of Chris Hargreaves (yes, I know he played in the league below) who could do a limited ball-winning job, show some leadership and pass the ball to someone who could do more with it (ie. Judge) would make a massive difference. Instead we have MacEachran, the softest defensive midfielder I’ve ever seen (oh sorry, he was the Douglas replacement) and someone who gets a nosebleed as soon as he gets anywhere near the penalty area.

    I could go on and on, however in conclusion:

    Sorry MB, you have been far too influenced by Rasmus Ankersen. I’m sure he does a great job at FCM, but we need someone else in here as this split roles mullarkey clearly ain’t working.

    Equally, sorry to say, but dividing your loyalties between two clubs does not work. We are the ones suffering.

    A lot of mistakes have been made over the last 12 months, not least the appointment of Mr Dijkhuizen. That didn’t look good so soon after the fallout over the ‘previous incumbent’. Acknowledging these mistakes and learning from them would be a big step forward.

    I keep hearing how we’ll get (limp) through to this summer and then magically we’ll put things right. Well, with every defeat, the task of recruiting pretty much a whole new team looks more and more difficult.

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  18. I have just had the opportunity to read through all of these responses and thanks again to everybody for their input.

    I am delighted if we get conflicting and disparate views here but I would simply ask if we cut out any personal comments and accusations.

    Disagreement is fine. Decorum and manners are a must, please.

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  19. Thanks Greville…

    Huge game tomorrow. Wolves are our benchmark team. Promoted with them two years ago, pipped them into the playoffs on goal difference last year and stuck on 40 points with them now. Seems like a draw might be the likely outcome.

    Without old heads or a leader in the dressing room, the young guys in the team need a shot of confidence. Get something out of the game tomorrow, then take a bit of belief into three potentially easier games.

    C’mon you Bees!

    Like

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