Paul Grimes Has His Say – 16/3/16

Paul Grimes was not entirely convinced by what both Matthew Benham and Phil Giles said in their recent interviews with Beesotted and myself and given that he remains angry and frustrated about the current situation he has given vent to his feelings and sent me a long and emotive article which clearly sets out his concerns and what he feels must be done in order to improve matters and get us back on track.

I would just like to remind everybody of the immortal comment of Evelyn Beatrice Hall:

I do not agree with what you have to say but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.

Here is what Paul wrote:

My old drama teacher used to say to me that comedy was all about timing! I then had to take his comments on board and present them and one week as I enacted the role of the drama teacher talking to a pupil I chose my lines carefully;

” Comedy young man is all about t-t-t-t-t-timing”. A little stutter added and then, hey presto, laughter.

As I observed last week’s jousting between BIAS and this blog to get interviews with Matthew Benham and Phil Giles out to the public before the big derby I felt an uplifting chuckle amongst my pre-match nerves. Having read both articles and other social media feedback I found myself thinking about my drama teacher again. 

Pause, take a deep breath and hit your mark!

So that’s what I did and to be fair I needed to because the outpouring of love from the rose tinted brigade and those that can’t bear to read any negative opinions about the club almost had me reaching for the sick bucket.

Let’s break it down a bit.

It was a fantastic article from Besotted first and a great coup for Billy and Dave to get an interview with the usually publicity shy Matthew Benham.

Good set of questions and forthright answers from the owner. But was I happy with what the owner replied? Not really.

Firstly there seems to be this yes men mentality around the club this season and none of the questions really challenged Matthew in my opinion. 

One wonders if there was a remit before the interview such to only ask the type of questions that he was prepared to answer? 

There are no follow up questions to the crucial answers Matthew gives.

On Smith for example, Matthew is very happy with Dean. That’s it? What about the long term plan and Dean’s understanding of it?

What about asking him to elaborate o his win record and underachievement as a lot of the supporters are now doubting him.

Then there is this clamour that Smith has to be given the chance to build his own team. I am not so sure about that!

Isn’t Dean in the Head Coach role? Wasn’t one of the reasons for having a Head Coach to prevent any Manager using the players at his disposal as an excuse for poor performance?

Lee Carsley coached this same set of players to better performances than Smith has done. 

Which brings me on to timing.

Why was this interview given BEFORE the game on Saturday?

The result of the four local derbies and bragging rights amongst friends is all we are clinging onto this season so Saturday’s performance and result was always going to have great significance. 

I can’t comment on the performance as my leg is in plaster so I wasn’t there but I was glued to the live text commentary and the all important stats and my blood was boiling as Smith pondered his next move after the second goal. That had come soon after sending on Vibe and dispensing with the false nine set up. Then it hit him, Saunders and Kerschbaumer! 

Not Djuricin? Not two up top? After all we are two down. Now we are three down and no surprise because we had gone from playing a false nine to playing with only nine because Vibe is knackered according to Smith and Kerschbaumer is contributing absolutely nothing.

Anyway I digress, but that is what this match in particular does to Bees fans of a certain age. 

Back to the article, and in particular the public backing of Smith. It made me wonder if Matthew has decided enough is enough and by hook or by crook we are sticking with this because there is no more money being thrown at it this season.

I have had my Eureka moment and I have just realised This is not a Comedy and nobody is laughing!

Let’s now consider the Phil Giles interview.

Before I do that I wanted to start by reminding the readers that Greville came in for a bit of personal stick from one fan who likened his style of questioning to perhaps that of a blunt instrument and as unfair as that was I have to say that my first thoughts on that matter was to sympathise with the fan’s comment. I think that as Greville is a well respected Bees United Director I think its fair to say that he would not be seen by many fans as a boat rocker and thus I guess the fear was that the questions would not represent the animosity that is felt by many to the job being done by Giles and Ankersen.

So maybe on  behalf of some of those fans that perhaps have a different and in this writer’s case certainly, a less informed opinion to that which Greville has of the club and how this season is panning out here is my thoughts on them both.

To start with I was disappointed that the Beesotted lads gave Matthew just one short question about the supposed alienation of his Co-Directors of Football from fans like me and his answer to me smacks of a pre-interview agreement not to press him on this subject.

So Let me take it apart. and maybe ask some probing questions that maybe the Beesotted boys might have done.

 It’s a team effort. So that is Giles, Ankersen and yourself Matthew? Was Marinus appointed by this team? The mistake that was made by not following up on the poor reference, whose decision was that Matthew?

Was Marinus involved in signing Kerschbaumer, Gogia, Vibe, Bjelland, Barbet, Colin? What did he know about any of them except Bjelland ? What stats were compiled about these players and were these stats put to Marinus to consider or did one of the team take a more proactive lead in this area?

So are we laying the failure of any of these to make any kind of first season impact at the feet of Marinus or are the Directors of Football to blame? Or is it a collective failure?

When were concerns first raised about Marinus and Roy and their training sessions and the ability of the new players within the management team or squad? Was it in Portugal? How were the comments made and to whom? Were those comments passed onto the rest of the team?

Was the whistleblower encouraged to communicate with the executive management team or was he singled out as a troublemaker? Any regrets over that part of this new transition period, Matthew?

I think I have tried to show how the interview could have expanded and I don’t think Billy or Dave who both know me will say I have done them a disservice by making the points I have because they speak to fans every week and they know that some of us want the same thing they do but we have the luxury of not having to take such a soft stance with the questions we would like answered.

So onto the Giles interview and his opening gambit is and I quote

” I understand the current frustration among our fans”. Well without being too disrespectful Phil I don’t think you do.

So let me put it to you straight, The Co-Directors of Football along with the owner selected Marinus and he turned out be a mistake.

Not a great start.

Then there was your colleague’s comments about our short term ambitions. Naïve but once it was out there expectation levels amongst our fans went haywire and on the back of last season’s success we all looked forward to seeing the new look team.  A new look squad signed by the executive team based on the same identification process that had been available to Warburton. So here is a question Phil, were those first seven signings the same seven players that were offered to Warburton that he turned down in January?

If so, on whose expert opinion was that decision made?

Add in Pitchgate, losing to Oxford, losing Bjelland none of which that you can be blamed for and then we lose Jota as well and things are not going well at all.

Then the ineffectiveness of Kerschbaumer, Gogia, Vibe, Djuricin, Hofmann, Barbet and to a lesser extent Colin, and the poor start, and now Phil you might finally be getting an understanding of the frustrations of the fans.

In comes Lee Carsley who starts by contradicting the statement given by the club regarding his appointment and then with the help of an International Break gets the team behind him and the recovery begins. But due to his unwillingness to do the job the executive team are looking for a new man to come in. Paul Williams comes in and Carsley talks him up but he also leaves and is now in caretaker charge at Forest and the executive team settle on Dean Smith as the new man to take us forward.

A centre half in lower league football with a win percentage of thirty-two percent in his managerial career who if he maintains only that form would give us between fifty-eight and sixty-two points in a season with draws thrown in. Inspired choice or just the most cost effective?

Are you getting a sense of the frustration Phil? I hope so and maybe now that you may understand the concerns of Brentford fans perhaps you might want to revisit your answers because had you have been interviewed by me and not Greville you would not be getting off so lightly.

Then to set the tone properly I want to mention George Evans. Smith gave the lad a platform at Walsall and he had been mentioned way back in December as being our first Smith signing so why was he not tied up Macleod style on the first of January before the FA Cup game where he demonstrated clearly what a good player he is going to be? Quite frankly Phil, who bodged this signing, You or Rasmus?

When you are done and you have answered the questions then do I think you are in position to make your opening statement and then you can answer the softly put questions that Greville has compiled and then and only then will I want the chance to re-read your answers.

Ok,  so what next? Well I believe Smith is a short term, cost-effective appointment with poor tactical awareness as was demonstrated on Saturday, not for the first time. The improvement required by him alone in his ability to affect positively his win percentage just does not seem to me to be forthcoming nor likely.

So now or in May he has to go. Sorry if you disagree but the stats don’t lie. He is another mistake by the Co-Directors of Football and (if you like) by the owner if he wants to be seen as in that executive team.

Benham is not shy to address mistakes as proven with Marinus and I expected that decision to be made in the fullness of time right upto that interview last week. Sadly I think results will continue to go against Smith and Matthew Benham will have to take his medicine once more.

Giles makes a point of stating how young our team is and right now this team needs a Darron Gibson type or perhaps come the end of the season we could highjack Tom Adeyemi who will be available from Cardiff, is the right age, ability and who seems to have lost his place at Leeds to Toumani.

Then there is the forward line which can only be described as a complete failure. Short term we need a striker with either pace and/or strength who can play up top alone so Glenn Murray springs to mind short term with maybe Hogan adding the pace very soon off the bench at least. Hofmann needs to learn how to play as a back post striker so I would call up Crawley or Oldham and find a way to tempt them to take him on loan as he might find an ex-Bee or a youth team coach at those clubs who might just be able to bring out the player that lots of fans think could be in there.

Vibe needs a rest so he would be on the bench at best from now until end of season. Djuricin then has a ten match trial to ensure the option is taken up in May albeit for me off the bench.

At the back I think it’s time to add a loanee centre half, yes that’s right five at the back. Macca at Right back. Woods in front.

On the other side Bidwell and McEachran with Judge a loanee midfielder and possibly a loanee centre forward. Quite simply a new spine that in old money has a spine.

Hogan and Djuricin off the bench if we get a Murray in along with Yennaris, Swift, Canos, O’Connell and Bonham.

If I never see Kerschbaumer in a Brentford shirt again it will be too soon.

So what do we need?

Well I think we need three loan signings, yes three, and the reason is not to avoid relegation, it’s to ensure this club remains attractive to the players who the owner wants to target in the Summer and thus the message to Giles and Ankersen would be if you two want another stab at this in the summer right now before the loan window closes, show us you have the ability to get the right short term players in as after a week of interviews and following eight defeats in eleven games right now, actions speak louder than words!

I could go though Paul’s words line by line and try and rebut much of what he says but as I stated the other week I feel that it is important for me from time to time to allow Brentford supporters to have their say whatever their views, as long as they are expressed decently and without abuse. That being said, there are certainly points that Paul makes that will have many supporters nodding in agreement as well as others reeling in horror.

So I have published it pretty much as it was submitted and now it is up to you to comment, agree or disagree according to your own opinion.


16 thoughts on “Paul Grimes Has His Say – 16/3/16

  1. Fair enough comments with regards to the summer signings.
    I have mentioned similar on other threads,GPG and Brentford Loyal and got abuse for it.
    Brentford Loyal i got thrown off because i disagreed with the man who started it.
    I have been talking about our recruitment all season now and i have little or no confidence in our DOFs,but i thought you gave a good interview Greville and i congratulated yourself in obtaining one and Phil Giles either needs replacing next season or he works alongside someone with a vast experience in the Football League.
    Rasmus should concentrate his days in Denmark.
    Dean Smith has a difficult job on his hands.I wish him luck as he needs it,but he has my support.
    All good interviews that give a lift and then you watch us play and it is back to squsre one.
    Matthew is surrounded by yes men and we know that so that is how he runs his business.
    It works for him and who are we to say otherwise.
    One thing is for sure though,i have never known the club so more divided than at the present time.
    Or have i?


  2. You say that you could rebut much of Paul’s contribution Greville, but I think all of his questions are very pertinent.

    However, I have a philosophical point. The tenor of both interviews was that mistakes have been made, and that they have been learned from. We are where we are, but it’s upwards from here. Maybe not too much elevation during the rest of this season, but the summer will see a real difference. Therefore Paul raking over old coals serves no purpose. The powers that be have learned their lessons.

    As regards the timing, it might have been better after the QPR game. If we’d won, the interviews would have provided added good feeling. Now we’ve been mauled, they leave a sour taste, and make me want to ask Paul’s questions myself.

    Finally, Paul makes a good point about Smith. He’s been employed as a coach on the assumption that his career record had previously been hampered by a lack of funds at Walsall. He says all the right things and has a progressive attitude. But is it a case of the emperor’s new clothes? He is rapidly heading for a Brentford record on a par with Leroy. As Paul says, “Sadly I think results will continue to go against Smith and Matthew Benham will have to take his medicine once more.” I so desperately want him to be wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A very good read Paul. I do not agree with all the points you make but you do so with obvious sincerity.I am somewhat surprised that in his summing-up,Greville should refer to it as a “rant” But like all of us he is entitled to express his opinion.!


  3. “I am here to encourage Brentford supporters to have their say whatever their views”. Why? I thought this was your blog with YOUR views. If I want to read all and sundries views then there are various facebook groups and messageboards


  4. Good on you Greville, for sharing your blog and for allowing other opinions to be aired and discussed.

    I thought Paul’s piece was pretty fair, albeit hard hitting & critical, and I don’t think it is fair simply to call it a rant. I’m always interested in your views and give a lot of credence to what you say, so I’d also be intrigued to see your rebuttal of the main points Paul makes. I say this without any implied criticism of the excellent Beesotted piece and your interview with PG – also excellent. But clearly there are now more questions.

    And here’s one from me – where is Rasmus?

    Despite the warms words from last week, and the critical fixture to come, there still seems to be an air of complacency around our plight. Wednesday already and no player movement yet, this may happen still but each passing defeat is accompanied with DS stating that he hopes to “get one or two in next week”. All of the extensive contacts that Dean has should have produced something by now, so is it an issue with the DoF’s?

    The mind wanders and I do worry if there is more to this that we know, are we pulling up the drawbridge and going with what we have? Is relegation somehow being contemplated given the delays on Lionel Rd?Are there deeper financial issues that we aren’t; aware of? Hard to imagine how relegation helps anyone but as the weeks roll by I am beginning to wonder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “And here’s one from me – where is Rasmus?”

      Saw him walking from the tube to Loftus Road on Saturday. Was engaging with fans the whole way and although I lost sight of him upon entry I assume he was in the away end. Clearly when Benham and his two-headed DoF monster drew straws for PR duties Rasmus lost out!


      • Cheers for that Lew, fair enough – I haven’t seen him the forecourt at GP (where he normally hangs out) for months.


  5. One point I would like to comment on regarding the Interview with MB which does not seem to have been challenged by anyone is regarding Marinus. MB uses the anecdote regarding the difference between English and Dutch football culture. To the best of my knowledge Marinus was Dutch when he was interviewed and remained Dutch when he managed Brentford,If the culture difference was going to be important, why employ him in the first place?, This was then compounded by MB saying that MD’s training methods were unsuitable for the Championship. Really ? Were his methods not checked out ? Mike Rice in the post above makes a good point regarding the Emperor’s new clothes. I have thought this for quite a while now ( For younger posters, check out the lyrics of the Danny Kaye song) .


  6. To put this into context, Greville contacted me ahead of publishing Paul Grimes’ comments because he was concerned that the reaction might be a little toxic and damage the reputation his blog now has for being a venue for measured, cogent posts and posters.

    I replied….

    Hi Greville,

    It would be easiest for me to say ‘don’t use it’ but the reality is that he makes many points that are quite pertinent.
    The question for you – with your blog site at a crossroads following last week’s furore – is do you want to censor the views of fans or do you want to be a forum for ALL views however unpalatable some of them may be.
    It’s a tricky one really. My inclination would be to run it with a foreword expressing how it doesn’t necessarily chime with your take on the the situation, but it’s not my blog.

    Your call mate.


    He used it and I’m glad he did.


  7. A few quick thoughts on the interviews, the summer signings, the players who left and the relevance of game plans.

    To me the most important point that came out of the MB interview was that we lost £15m during last season. My understanding of last season’s FFP was that £6m was the maximum loss that was allowed without sanctions being applied. Hence the need to raise £9m in sales to stay within the League rules and therefore the inability to tell Burnley that Gray is under contract to us and is staying. Much to my surprise (as I thought he was a shadow of the player he was last season), it seems to have been the loss of Toums, and possibly Tarks, that has really thrown a spanner in the works. I hadnt appreciated just how much work Toums must have got through in midfield. I thought Woods had the energy and could take on that role (and still believe he can if asked to). As for Tarks I thought one of the two left footers could step in, but despite both of them being good players who I think are more than capable at this level neither seem to have Tarks ability to play his own game and cover for all of Harlee’s limitations.

    Getting back to the £15m loss, a good chunk of that must include the summer signings which , although undisclosed, were reported as Bjelland £2m, Hoffman £1.25m, McEachran £750k, Vibe £750k, KK £350k, Barbet minimal, Gogia & Wiliams free. As to Marinus involvement, who will ever know. Gogia & Williams were very early and almost certainly DoF/Statsman long odds punts. Marinus’ first interview talked about how keen he was to work with Gray, Toums, Tarks & Button and of his support of the “new methods” that had thrown up Barbet who he thought will become a quality centre back. I think it is fair to presume that Marinus & Roy had significant input on the other signings as he picked them in his early teams. Then we bought in Colin, Woods, Djuricin, Canos & Swift once the season was underway Of the signings (pre-season and deadline day), I give my personal opinion of each below:

    Bjelland – we may find out next season
    Hoffman – his performance for Germany U21s against England U21s last March at the Riverside showed he has genuine ability. So far we have not played to his strengths (2 up front) and he has had very few minutes since September to show what he can do. Would like to see him given some game time.
    McEachran – has obvious ability but doesnt appear to be too sure as to what his role is. Needs to grow into a specific role in the team
    Vibe – looked really good when given his first run up of successive appearances front after Djuricin’s injury. Was leading goalscorer in Sweden when we signed him from a team involved in Champions League qualifiers
    KK – I was away for much of august & september and missed nearly all of KK’s appearances. The first time I saw him was against Wednesday (Marinus last game) and thought he played quite well. since then he has only been allowed a few cameo roles but did look good away at Wolves (i was one of the 276 that night) and in the games against Hull and last Saturday was the player who came closest to scoring with two rasping shots (hit the post when 1-0 down against hull and forced a very good save from Smithies near the end on Saturday). needs to be given a run of games.
    Barbet – I have been impressed by him. He tackles well, is reasonable in the air, has great distribution and good positional sense. Once he learns that Harlee goes wherever Harlee wants and part of his job is to anticipate that, along with covering for Jake after he has belted up field and is slowly ambling back into position – I think he will be the real find amongst the new boys
    Gogia – the only time I saw him was when he came off the bench against Leeds after scoring in 2 U21/reserve team games. He got 15 mins and manged one beutiful turn to get into a shooting position outside the box but unselfishly set-up Djuricin who fluffed a great chance to win the game by needing a heavy second touch
    Colin – signed for £1m from a team involved in previous season’s Champions League group stages. Good enough to be on the bench for both games v Arsenal last season. Clearly a class player who has looked good when fit. Could be a real star next season
    Woods – Shrewsbury’s star player who has stepped seaslessly up to championship level despite being asked to play a different role nearly every week. Should keep improving
    Djuricin – looked sharp under Lee Carsley then got injured. Rumoured to have had a falling out with DS – certainly not the same player since coming back from injury
    Canos – very young and raw but immensely talented. Have we handled him correctly by limiting his appearances? He seems to show more energy than some in our midfield and certainly has more positional sense when filling one of the wide attacking roles. I genuinely feel he could have been this season’s Pritch and possibly a better bet than Judgey as a false 9 BUT when picked he is always first to be subbed and has spent far too many games sitting on the bench
    Swift – Lee Carsley’s one signing, apparently went to DoFs on day 1 and asked for him. Clearly talented but doesnt have positional sense and his decision making is not yet developed enough to take advantage of the chances he could create with the right pass or a shot. I can only assume we have got one of those loan agreements we used to get where Chelsea are paying the full wages on condition he plays in every game he ia fit. I cant understand why he has had so much game time in comparison to Canos and Gogia – unless it is a long-term ploy where he is being deliberately played out of position so bad reports get back to Chelsea who dont offer him a new contract in the summer and we pick him up for free and then play him in his proper position and he instantly turns into the next Judgey

    Finally, a quick word on game plans. You may have noticed DS is very keen on these. He develops a different one for each opponent and talks about them at length when they have failed in his press conferences. How can it help build the partnerships (Jota, Odubajo – Toums, Douglas – Craig, Dean/tarks) that are so vital to every successful team. I am sick of hearing commentators talking about Leicester and Spurs saying how consistent selection and a consistent pattern of play is how those teams have beaten the odds in the Premiership this season. Especially when we seem to be set-up to play a different way each week (I fully expect to see 3/5 at the back against Blackburn on Saturday). When he won his player of the year award last season, Toums went out of his way to say his success was down to Warbs have no game plan just telling the guys to go out there and play there natural game, make use of their talents and not to worry about making mistakes because no-one was going to be blamed for anything going wrong. That’s what we need for these last 10 games – not a false 9 playing in an alien 4-1-5 formation.Or one week having 2 in from of the back four with orders not to get more than 10 yards in from of them and 4 days later a different middle two in midfield being told to get forward and support the front 4. Lee Carsley got the team going again by giving very simple instructions; run hard, pressurise the opposition and shoot on sight. This worked as well. What we are seeing at the moment is some potentially very good players not appearing to be sure what their role in the team is which leads to huge gaps opening up in key areas of the park. DS please leave all those complex game plans at home and just tell the players to go out run their balls off, tackle everywhere on the pitch and shoot whenever you get a chance.

    Come on you Bees. We can still make a decent fist of the last 10 games – tell everyone it is their chance to stake a claim for one of the limited first team places that will be available next season


  8. I have no problem with reading others’ views on the current situation.
    I hope all feel better for getting things off their chests.
    I also hope my fellow supporters can put questions regarding last season, the summer signings and sales, Lee Carsley et al, on hold and focus on supporting the team for the remainder of the season.



    • It’s possible to do both – so long as we all try to get behind the side on match days I think it’s healthy to express opinions in places like this. Trouble is we are human & it’s not easy to create a noisy hostile environment for the oppo at GP if goals start going in our net.. We are all bit fragile atm. A few of the staff amd players need to step up, as much as the fans do too.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I thought Greville’s original interview was absolutely fine. Phil is a professional and was never going to give any honest revelations unless Greville had taken some sort of weapon into the interview with him! Whereas Matthew completely avoided any talk of the DoF’s in his interview & deflected attention onto Smith’s role instead.

    Today’s writer makes good points, but like any blog whether its written by Greville, Nick Bruzon, Beesotted or whoever we are never going to agree with the points or approach made 100% every time.

    Personally my feeling is the progress of FCM in the Europa League this season has deeply affected us. Rasmus’ attention in the transfer window was clearly on FCM, and even gave an interview to The Guardian(?) stating that he had a good transfer window! A number of eyes were taken off the ball at GP and were focussed on Herning and a date at Old Trafford, and this has greatly contributed to our current situation. We need a redeployment of resources this summer and need to make a distinction of who is working for Brentford and who is working for FCM.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed with that Bernard – Completely innocent and open question but does anyone know what MB’s investment in FCM is to date, and whether their relative success in the past 2 seasons has helped him to recoup any of this? We hear plenty about the huge sums pumped into BFC, but I have no idea how much his commitments to FCM are costing him. And before anyone jumps on me – yes it is his money and I know that we have been the beneficiaries of quite a chunk of it.


      • Greville,found the comment from Jim Levack very interesting. As a relative newcomer to your blog site,I have become virtually addicted to it.For me its great appeal is that I can express opinions that I know you will not agree with but will not censor unless I break the ground rules.And I am sure that at least 95 per cent of your other followers feel the same way judging by the content of their contributions. By the way I am far too old to switch to Twitter or Facebook(thank goodness) as one of your contributors suggests. He appears to be only interested in your views. Maybe letters or phone calls would suffice? And if he is really “bored of reading drivel ” he has a very simple solution !!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. The fallout from what happened last February has been damaging for everyone connected with BFC, including our owner. Ironically the one who has come out best from it would seem to be our former manager, whose reputation continues to rise. The whole thing is sadly ‘very Brentford’.

    To sum it up in the briefest terms, we went for revolution not evolution, and it hasn’t worked.

    More than ever we need all the fans to pull together for the common cause. Yes, I’ve had my disagreements, normally by questioning some of the goings-on at the top, but it’s time for everyone to unite and help the club to safety. However, remarkably enough the players and management have got to help us do this by showing some fight and character – we need something to spark off. Starting Saturday hopefully.


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