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

Archive for the month “January, 2017”

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

AC Hotel Bella Sky Copenhagen 

An architecturally curious hotel. Divided into two towers. There are good and bad points about this hotel. Let’s start with the negatives. Expect a scowling unhappy taxi driver as the hotel is around 4 km from the airport. An estare agent might describe the hotel as having good access to conference facilities, ideal when watching a concert at Bella Centre. Bryan Adams arrives next month. And perfect if looking for a new home. So let’s translate that lot into reality. 

The hotel is a superb looking building. It is connected to a large congress centre next door and a few yards away is the main entrance to Bella Center. The whole complex has car parks around it. The land next door is a massive building site. There are seemingly hundreds of new build houses under construction. So there is little point in coming to this hotel unless you have a specific need to. Some bus stops outside . A metro station about third of a mile away. 

The hotel is generally busy and there are queues for both check-in and check-out. A large breakfast room with a superb breakfast but a curious quirk. On arrival at the self service buffet breakfast one is invited to fill in a card with room number etc. There is also a section to leave a tip! I wonder if non EU tourists might be confused into leaving tips thinking it the norm or being unaware that it is self service. This is not a practice I much care for . 

The hotel itself is modern, comfortable and warm, but not cheap. Avoid the minibar where a small chocolate bar will cost you £2.50 or to be precise 20DK. As per Scandinavian norms the rooms have wood flooring and duvets that you struggle to make fit the bed. The staff are nice and efficient and the ambience is good. This is a hotel for the business traveller and preferably when someone else is paying the bill. 

There is too much tolerance of appalling behaviour in football . Notts County are taking the right steps 

A number of clubs have had players found guilty of either racist or sexist abuse of players and officials. Arsene Wenger felt it appropriate to physically abuse a fourth official last weekend.  Seemingly clubs are tolerant of this behaviour and wrongly in my opinion stand by their players at least in public. Although some of these acts indeed are done in a red rage and suggest the emotional lability of adult ADHD many culprits have a lot of previous form. 

Notts County currently residing in the relegation places in league two are having tough times on the field. They have however sacked their manager John Sheridan and released the reasons why. For this I applaud them. Sheridan not only abused the officials following a defeat by Wycombe but also threatened to knock them out. He was sacked for gross misconduct and given arguably a pointless five game touchline ban. His reward for this behaviour was to be appointed manager at Oldham in league one only ten days later.  Chairman Alan Hardy said such behaviour would not be tolerated by any employee.”This is a family friendly club which aims to be a pillar of the local community”  . In the referee’s report, referee Ilderton said Sheridan repeatedly swore at fourth official Matthew Donohue and also threatened to “knock him out”.

Far too often clubs do not castigate their players for offences that frankly are not acceptable on or off the pitch. Shelvey at Newcastle is a case in point . Players continue to give the impression that they feel they are superior to their paying public and the rules of the world need not apply to them. The papers today report that Granit Xhaka the Arsenal player was questioned over claims of racial abuse to an airport employee when a friend arrived late for a flight and was denied boarding. People and footballers do make mistakes and have a higher prevalence of emotional volatility than the general population however the simple reality that they are mostly more affluent than the general public cannot be seen as a reason why they should not pay the consequences. 

Notts County can thus be applauded for taking not only the correct decision but making public the reasons why. 

Can You Drink The Water In Urinals?

And thanks for the clarification that the water in the gents urinal in Orly airport is non-drinkable…. does this mean that someone actually asked this as a question or worse drank it?? 

Anyone Know Who Might Own These Keys? 

Someone has found them under car seat. Devon or Cornwall areas possibly.  The finder has no idea whom they belong to . 

The Husky Who Discovered Ice In UK. What did he do? A short video

A four month old puppy. Three quarters Husky and the rest Cocker Spaniel. Which is actually a great mix and represents brilliance from the breeder . The mixture tend to ameliorate the bad bits of both. As long as you like exercising them. Or they exercise you ? He is called Wolf and discovered Ice in the park. Here is his attempt to remove it. ttps://

Sunrise in Suburbia 

Just simple random photos of a nice sunrise on a cold morning . Sometimes it is nice just to take a few minutes to look around at what nature gives us. Even on a freezing cold morning. 

Rumour is True. Sun arrives in Surrey. Motspur Park 

Even a few hours of sun is enough to remove some of the water . Vast improvement over yesterday . Not every white dog returns black and boggy. 

Some artistic license with these photos. Enjoy 

A Very Wet Park. 

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