Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Jota Scores One of The most unusual penalties of all time


The sequence of photos shows Jota scoring an injury time penalty to put Brentford 3-2 ahead having conceded an 87th minute Rotherham equaliser making it 2-2. A hand ball decision was given against Semi Ajayi and the first photograph below is of the young Brentford debutant, Justin Shaibu appealing for the penalty. 00007401.JPGThe whole of the second half was played in constant rain making the surface slippery. The photographs show Jota slipping when striking the ball and ending up horizontal while scoring an excellent penalty. The celebrations speak for themselves.

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River Wey at Pyrford Lock


A nice location and a splendid place to walk. Even better with the good company of the ODG Wolf. Better known as DOG.

The Anchor pub sits right at Pyrford Lock with a fierce weir around half a mile downstream. 

You can mostly walk on both sides of the river however on the right side when walking away from the pub past the golf course there are a few private areas. 

Next to the Weir is an area of the river known for its dragonflies. 

Martin Allen Sacked by Eastleigh


Eastleigh have one of the largest budgets in the conference if not the largest . Yet they sit in 15th place in National League. Two places below minnows Boreham Wood and four places below Bromley. A mid table finish will not be regarded positively especially as after handing Martin Allen a huge contract only months ago. 

The club have not disclosed the reasons behind the termination of contract but nothing yet points to anything other than poor results including a 1-0 home defeat to Macclesfield last night. 

Fourteen games in charge do not suggest the club has much patience with poor results. Especially after 7 games without a win and winning only 2/14 games. The next manager will be the fourth of the season and fans may well ask who is doing the choosing and why such poor choices. The type of manager chosen seems the experienced type but not the up and coming younger managers with flair. Chris Todd and Ronnie Moore are well within the former category. 

Decision making also seems not a forte of the club with Allen getting rid of 19 players and bringing in 13 new faces in only 84 days. Let’s see what happens next. Maybe a learning that success rarely  can be bought overnight and stability is often key as is a manager who can truly motivate his team. Martin Allen when at Brentford was regarded as one of the best motivational managers they ever had although tactically not always supreme. Has he lost that knack? Will he manage again? Or is this farewell? 

Owners Can Ruin Football Clubs. Fact. Why Do They Do It? 


Three of our best known football league clubs are in trouble. Two played in the top tier not so long ago . How can this happen? They all played one night last week 

  1. Orient. Or as it should be Leyton Orient. The club has had more managers this season than home wins and currently is second from bottom in league 2 and nonleague looks a realistic prospect next season. 2660 fans turned up to watch a 1-0 home defeat against Morecambe. Another club in financial trouble. Only a few seasons ago Orient were beaten in a playoff final for promotion to the Championship. The theme behind the fans concerns is the ownership of the club and the behaviour of the owners. 
  2. Coventry had 11,672 watching them play Wycombe. This sounds positive until one realises that this is the semi-final of the Checkatrade trophy and Coventry sit bottom of league 1 having won 4 of their 29 games scoring a meagre 23 goals. They are effectively 9 points from safety and look doomed. The owners Sisu are at war it seems with the fans . 
  3. Blackpool. It seems only yesterday that Blackpool were in the premiership under the maverick manager Ian Holloway. Under the care of the Oyston family the club has plummeted down the league and resides in a mid-table league 2 position. Their crowd last night for the 0-0 game versus Crawley was a meagre 2080

Why do owners allow their clubs to fail like this? In each of the three cases it is not so clear what the gain for the owners really is. I don’t have the answer.  But for an owner to oversee such catestrophic failures of the extent that conceivably each of these teams could be non-league or not even in existence in a few seasons is far from a miserable speculative view. What is their gain? Can it simply be pure management incompetence? Surely no commercial gain!


Similar stories are heard at Charlton and Blackburn. Blackburn won the league not that long ago and are making a series of catastrophic managerial appointments seemingly twice a season. What Tony Mowbray will bring to them is beyond me. 

Night Travel on German Railways. A curious activity


For complicated reasons I had to catch the 4.13 am train from Aachen to reach Düsseldorf airport . I could have  got a direct service if I was prepared to take the 2.53 am train. 

Aachen station was thankfully open and a curious mixture of travellers greeted me. A few sleeping on benches and a few on the concourse itself. No shops of course were open and the only entertainment came from some Rap music a young guy was playing through his portable stereo system.  

The train itself was empty and took an unusual meandering route via the Dutch border. Ticket inspectors looked alive and well with energy levels suggestive of a caffeine overdose. A few passengers joined the train at the quiet stations however mostly this was my view during the journey. Why do these night trains run? I am not sure. To provide a service for sure but do they also collect fellow rail workers? The trains to some extent run through the night. 

Even by 5.34 am at Düsseldorf the station remains quiet with only seemingly one other passenger adorned with suitcase heading presumably to the airport. 

Thankfully the trains are mostly on time which has not always been my experience with German trains. But for me I remain grateful for night train travel

Wrongly placed adverts that make you laugh. Sheffield Wednesday 1 Brentford 2 . Did the referee cause incontinence? 


Carlos Carvalhal had some interesting thoughts as the Sheffield Wednesday manager after their side were beaten 2-1 at home by Brentford. The referee was making according to him everyone nervous. But are his concerns really enough to warrant a large advert for a male incontinence product? 

Painshill Park – Some Flooding Returns. Photos 


The recent heavy rain has meant that as in many years the rivers and streams running through Painshill have broken their banks with some localised flooding. 

This is Sutton Football Club. Arsenal fans should prepare for a real football ground. Photos 


The ground is only 0.5 miles from the town centre and the first hurdle for fans will be parking. Strongly advise travel by train. 

The second hurdle will be the relative lack of toilets! So don’t drink too much beer. 

The third hurdle will be the absence of prawn sandwiches and quiche…. in fact not so many food outlets . 

But this is a real ground. Real football with real football smells. You can see a comprehensive set of photos on my football grounds website 

Www.footballgroundz.co.uk

But a few here to sample taken at the FA cup second round tie versus Cheltenham. 

If You Ever Wondered Where Narnia Was Filmed. Maybe Stadtpark in Vienna?


A bitterly cold day in Stadtpark Vienna. Even though the temperature was marginally warmer at minus 6 it felt far warmer than minus 7 in the dark last night. 

Few people ventured into the park. The ducks huddked together in the small areas of unfrozen lakes and river. The Wienfluss, Vienna River, divided in theory the park into sections however it was not always easy to discern frozen water from frozen grass. No little cafe shops were open. The pathways were slippery with ice and frozen leaves. 

The views reminded me of Narnia . Just bleak. A variety of signs advertised prohibition of anything pleasureable. No dogs. No football. 

I have never been to Moscow but this is how I envisage Moscow might look and feel. Even Bruckner looked cold. The leaves on the ground looked like they were there under duress. The graffiti art was the only brightening feature looking a little out of place. 

What Logically is going on at Brentford? Are we heading for relegation in the next 2 seasons?


The last six months have given us no real clue as to the ambitions nor the route to achieve these ambitions  at Brentford. We have gone from being a playoff contender a few years ago, to a steady mid-table side, through now to a side that unless radical changes happen are relegation candidates either this season or next. These are not baseless stupid comments, having watched Brentford for over 50 years, but real worries based on what I see on the pitch each week.

img_3407-1Amongst fans there has been clarity for at least 9 months that what is needed to move the club forward and arguably to retain championship status until Lionel road is completed, is a shopping list that comprises : a manager who can manage ( motivate and have a Plan B), some physically larger players in midfield ( where we have the smallest non-combative group in the championship and maybe the whole league), two strikers and some exciting wide players. In addition with all the hype of our B team and previously academy, the expectation that at least 2-3 players will emerge each year. So what has happened? Pretty much nothing. No strikers have been signed and the ineffectual pairing of Vibe and Sawyers float around upfront achieving little inspires nothing other than apathy. For the first time in many years I was embarrassed to be a Brentford supporter at Stamford Bridge. The odd glory goal from either of them does not deflect from the fact that they score few goals and are often absent in games. Hoffman in my opinion is not good enough for this league and for both him and his development would have been better going on a season loan to a league 1 side to play football for 90 minutes instead of the occasional 10-15 minutes. Our midfield has got even less combative. Many recent games the question could be asked did any player make a timg_3405le? Jota has been brought back ( with murmurings that he too might move on at the end of the season), and has yet to start a game. Arguably the best crosser of the ball Tom Field for some bizarre reason has not even been selected ( despite being the best player on the pitch in the Newcastle game).

To all this, why? Why do players not want to come to Brentford? There are good players in the three leagues below us who we might sign in all these roles. Why has the football become so sterile recently? Why the plethora of collapses and “inquests”? The appalling nature of the Fulham, Blackburn,Wigan and Chelsea defeats should raise a large red flag amongst fans. What exactly is wrong?

I cannot answer that and will not pretend to be a football manager however I have seen managers manage and teams play with utmost passion and workmate and succeed. Has anyone else watched Lincoln city play? Their workmate is a joy to behold. They are not the most gifted players on the planet but they work hard and are well organised. Danny Cowley, their manager, I would take at Brentford tomorrow. His skill set is aligned with Warburton. Yes, that calibre, and he has shown that consistently too. What do we get? We get Dean Smith who in my opinion fails to motivate his team, select his team, change things when Plan A fails and importantly has zero relationship with the fans. What would it have cost him to meander the 50 yards from his dugout to the away end at Chelsea to thank the fans? Occasionally even to do that at Griffin Park. At the recent Eastleigh cup-tie, the reception that Martin Allen received must have embarrassed Dean Smith, but he should learn what the Brentford fans expect. We do not demand sides that win all the time ( nice if they do, but not essential), but what we do demand is passion, hard work and some respect. I have a huge issue with the tedious style at the moment. Brentford mostly are boring to watch as at Chelsea. A slow tempo that gets slower. Why has Smith not utilised any of the players with real pace of late? Josh Clarke, Tom Field and Jota are three names that should be on the team sheet before anyone else. Why does he persist with the anaemic Yennaris, who in my view contributes nothing? Why play Barbet at full back? Barbet is a fourth choice centre back who has not shown great progress and who also needs regular football. My view is irrelevant but I do not see him as a championship player ever. But to play him at full back? img_3409

Tomorrow is the close of the transfer window and I hope Brentford make some sensible signings. However I fear there is some malaise in the club for all the above reasons that we seem unable to sign players from lower leagues. We need to be signing and improving 5-6 such players annually. Dan Bentley and John Egan  are the only players this year in that category (And when will Rico Henry actually play? Why are we signing players who are injured who cannot play for 6 months? We are a small squad ).

As always I hope to be proved totally wrong the rest of the season. Yennaris will play like a manic Jonathan Douglas and be transformed as Toumani was. Doubt it though. I am very concerned that we have a poor manager, and a team that must be considered relegation candidates. img_2193-3

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