Tippy-tappy Frustration! 20/8/16

I have been thinking about picking and choosing my away games this season given my other commitments and a determination to have a bit of a life outside Brentford.

Unfortunately I allowed myself to be enticed by the allure of six points and two decent performances at home in the last week and took myself off to Rotherham.

Having watched the Bees play and manage to lose in all sorts of idiotic manners over the years, defeats on their own do not necessarily upset me as I am totally inured to them.

What matters to me so much more is the way we play and whether or not we deserve to get something out of a game.

My verdict on today’s 1-0 defeat at Rotherham is short and not very sweet.

We lost to probably the worst team in the Championship, assuming of course that our last two decent performances were not a mere flash in the pan.

Rotherham were limited, lacked flair or much ability on the ball but played within their limitations, got the ball forward as quickly as they could and tackled and pressed like demons. They were happy to let us play unhindered in our own half but formed two solid banks of four that we struggled to penetrate.

Most of their chances came from our giving the ball away or over elaborating, most noticeably when Vibe dithered just outside our box, gave the ball away to Brown and was only rescued by a stupendous save by Bentley. The goal came when a simple through ball caught us square and appealing in vain for offside as Ward ran through to score easily. Close but it appeared just onside to me. There looked as if there had been a foul on Hogan as the move developed but nothing was given.

They always tried to get the ball into the area quickly, something we could learn from.

Brentford started poorly and got worse and took nearly twenty minutes to put together a move of any note but one that should have counted when Colin was put away and his low centre was stabbed inches wide by Vibe who missed a gilt edged chance. From time to time we clicked and moved the ball with menace and Sawyers almost set up Hogan but the ball slipped away from his feet directly in front of goal.

We played the ball carefully and slowly across the back four going forwards and then back with monotonous regularity with Hogan making a series of runs that were ignored and the ball would eventually be given away.

Macleod and Sawyers ran into blind alleys and Wood and Yennaris, industrious as they were, showed little incision.

In short we got nowhere very, very slowly.

Egan did have two headers from corners, one easily saved and he then didn’t get enough on the ball from a great position in front of goal.

The second half meandered on just like the first. Rotherham were happy to sit back content with their lead and confident that we would not hurt them. We totally dominated possession as the stats will show but rarely broke them down.

Hogan’s snap shot hit the keeper and he arched backwards to head inches wide. Late substitute Ledesma was more competent than most and had a last minute shot pushed wide by the seriously underworked Lee Camp.

Bentley too had nothing to do after the break except start us up on yet another attack doomed to go nowhere.

Possession for possession’s sake is no use to anyone and we lacked directness, pace and it has to be said, the bravery to try something different.

I can barely remember any Brentford player trying to beat a man and we always tried to play one pass too many on the edge of the box. Our crossing was execrable, too often hitting the first man.

You have to beat the likes of Rotherham if you are to achieve anything in this league and we can’t even suggest that, as has been the case in previous matches, that they tried to kick us off the pitch because they didn’t.

They were certainly more incisive and determined in the challenge but that was fair enough.

We were simply competent, average and ineffectual and everyone was waiting for someone else to take responsibility and make something happen.

We failed to impose ourselves and we have thrown away three points that were there for the taking.

Talk of challenging for the top six is a mere chimera. Expectations need to be managed and not unrealistically raised. On today’s form we will do well to avoid the bottom half.

Defensively we were OK but wasteful in possession when challenged. Colin was particularly guilty and gave the ball away carelessly and we missed Barbet’s peerless ability to change the direction of the play with a forty yard pass. Elder too needed to get forward more as he offered little threat.

The midfield were all much of a muchness. Competent but uninspired and Sawyers soon drifted out of the game. Macleod too did little to stand out and Vibe frustrated on the right wing, constantly checking back and losing possession. Woods too for all his effort and energy never hurt the opposition neither did Saunders nor McEachran when they came on.

Hogan ran into too many blind alleys and as usual lacked support but was our only real goal threat.

Hofmann was left off the bench today hopefully a hint that will be taken by him and his agent.

At least the powers that be can be under no illusions regarding what we are lacking. Pace, incision and something a little bit out of the ordinary.

We are far too predictable and are solid, well organised, technically competent but are entirely lacking in imagination, originality, pace and directness. A few more bodies in the area would also be very welcome.

You have to make something happen to succeed and today we were far too passive, blunt and uninspired.

Creativity costs money and I think that we are going to have to pull a few rabbits out of the hat before the end of the Transfer Window if this is not to be a long and frustrating first half of the season but are we able to spend money, or indeed should we given our finances? That is a conundrum for the owner.

Despite the negative tenet of my comments a fit Alan Judge or Sergi Canos would go a long way towards making us a decent team. I suspect though that we will have to hope in vain and make do for the most part with what we have.

So today provided more questions than answers but nothing that wasn’t entirely clear before we travelled.

We are a decent, honest and respectable Championship team and for this I rejoice. Are we able, capable or willing to take that next step to improve the squad, address our weaknesses and move into the next level?

Watch this space.


13 thoughts on “Tippy-tappy Frustration! 20/8/16

  1. Thank you for an honest & realistic appraisal.,albeit a bit depressing! Having attended the Forest game on Tuesday I saw a lot to feel encouraged about albeit we were probably a shade fortunate to get 3 points.
    Today however it seems we failed because of our inability to get beyond their full backs & create chances for Hogan to test Camp.
    I understand JoshClarke was rested following 2 games in a week & the returning Vibe was recalled to play wide right.I think this highlights our lack of options in that area,a problem that has been apparent for far too long.Vibe is not a wide player, it is not his best position.
    Playing Mc Cleod on the left is wasteful too,he is a No 10.Again our paucity of wide ,pacy players is underlined.
    I find it inexplicable that we had no striker option on the bench either, albeit I agree with your comment about Hoffman.It meant that chasing the game as time ran out we bring on…..Josh Mac Eacran to save it.This doesent equate surely?!
    Oh well ,on we go into the final week of this window.Lets hope Dean Smith gets his belated presents from the DOF’s as an injection of some pace & incisiveness is badly required.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Top post Greville, your comments replicate what I and everyone around me in the Braemar Paddock have been saying for weeks. We lack the creativity and pace to go any further than mid table in this league. What is particularly worrying, is that if you, me and others who follow the team can see this – why can’t the D of F and the Head Coach see it! Indeed, if they can see it, why haven’t they done something about it? After all, they have had all summer and the first few weeks of the season. I note we are after an 18 year old winger from Arsenal, someone who will probably be cannon fodder for the hard man defences of Blackburn, Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds and alike. What we need are experienced players with pace and vision who can make a difference. I wait with baited breath to see what will happen in the last week of the window but deep down I think I will be disappointed.


    • They are well aware of what we need but we can’t afford to bring in or pay experienced Championship players who would expect at least twice what we can pay them in wages.

      If we’d sold Judge then maybe we could have afforded a Kemar Roofe as it is we are struggling and it will be kids and more kids I am afraid. Not palatable to hear but it’s the truth.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good report & one that I totally trust, not having been there, your sense of frustration is palpable.

    I felt this game was pivotal in trying to figure out where we may end up with this squad as it stands. Whilst the loss is not a disaster & we show signs of being more robust defensively, it is my view that the current squad will struggle. A point or better yesterday & we may have been able to comfort ourselves with the notion that we just had enough. We don’t!

    It is good that you continue to point out the financial handicaps that we are having to contend with. That said other sides with limited means are recruiting & we need to redouble efforts to give this capable squad what we all know it needs.

    My personal view is that DS has seen enough of Hoffmann, Josh & possibly even KK – and that one or all will be moved on in the next 10 days. Lasse Vibe needs to get with the program pretty quickly too, friend who were there yesterday said he was very poor.

    As you have done Greville, we all have to to recognise the problems & box clever to fix them. Objective criticism is useful, but finally our brilliant supporters have to turn up in big numbers & back the people entrusted with the task of keeping us safe in this division.

    Starting again next Sat with the visit of another of our Yorkshire bogey teams.


  4. In retrospect we were very average against a poor team. We dominated possession but they let us have the ball until we were 40 yards from their goal and we did not have the pace or nous to break them down. Camp had nothing to do and made 3 easy saves.

    Vibe really should have scored early on, Hogan got the ball stuck under his feet when right in front of goal and his header was unlucky and inches wide but we created damn all.

    The player you mention dare all IMO not up to it but I honestly see very little happening this week.

    Unless I have read it completely wrong and please God I have we will not be spending any money.

    This time last year w had a great last few days in the window signing Woods as well as Canos and Djuricin. I would love us to sign a young kid with some track record and much potential but I am not sure that we will or can invest and we are also being priced out.

    I hope/expect to see a young untried and untested winger and perhaps a striker too of the same ilk but both on loan and maybe, just maybe Hofmann will be moved out also on loan.

    So my message is, do not get excited, do not expect anything and perhaps we will get a bit more than we hope for.

    Oh – and it is Sheff Wed next week too!


  5. A somewhat negative appraisal of yesterday’s events Grenville which will only set the moaners off.

    I look forward to meeting you however at the book signing next week.


    • 1. My name is Greville

      2. Where you there yesterday? I thought my comments were fair, accurate and honest but I am happy to listen to the views of others who witnessed the game.

      3. If you were, I would be really interested in hearing your views on the performance and, just as importantly, its implications on the squad and how it could realistically be strengthened

      4. I too look forward to meeting you next week. Let’s hope Peter Gilham manages to find me a squad player to join me!


      • Thank you Greville for your critical but objective analysis of the Bees’ disappointing defeat at Rotherham..There is little I can add to your blog and the comments that followed.But I have just one question. Does anyone carry out a statistical analysis of the “performance” of the two Directors of Football with particular regard to the recruitment of players required to add quality,pace and strength to the first team squad ? I appreciate the many difficulties they face but I believe many Brentford fans would be interested in hearing an answer to that question!


  6. They will be judged on or after 1 September rin the light of who we have managed to bring in or move out and whether the squad is stronger and better equipped to face the challenges ahead.

    That is fairly straight forward but what is not so easy is knowing the constraints under which they are working and whether they have been given a realistic budget with which to work.

    The key questions surely are:

    1. Are the optimum players on our radar

    2. Why are we unable to get deals over the line – is it purely money or other considerations


  7. Arguably 2 to 3 of our best current players were signed on the DoF’s watch last season (Woods, Colin & Barbet). Unfortunately we still have 3 or 4 of last summer’s signings who are just not at the level needed in our system. It is a hit and miss process and time / patience is always needed, but I can’t help feeling that we will have to cut our losses on a couple in this window. There is a serious chunk of long term budget allocated to guys that DS deems not able to compete for squad slots, let alone starting positions.

    I’ve heard people saying that other clubs have caught us up and that our innovation is being copied and out purchased. It’s an interesting thought although the loan targets that we’ve all talked about would hardly be under the radar and widely known amongst our rivals. I wonder if there aren’t a few more gems to be found in Ireland, Scotland and in particular across continental Europe. I know the DoF’s took stick for going that way last time, but ironically I feel this is now where we should be searching.

    These aren’t complaints or comments made maliciously, just observations about the game and club we all love.

    Interesting 10 days ahead. Rumours of Mawson going to Sunderland for £3M show you how mad it has all become, still if we have a sell on it’ll help us a bit.


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