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

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Brentford 3 Stoke 1 . Learnings for both sides


This was not the result most fans of either side predicted. Many Bees fans, maybe half , would have taken a point before the game. The reality was that a resurgent Brentford side played their best football this season and possibly for a few seasons and dominated the game from every angle.

  1. Stoke expected to get something out of the game . Nathan Jones came with a good track record but expecting anything to change in a few days is dreaming. He had no time to change anything of note other than motivate his players.
  2. Commenting as a Brentford fan there were several Stoke players who seemingly are not at the standards they used to be. Berahino was an exciting prospect and looked sensational years ago on loan at Brentford. Yesterday he was not part of the game. Shawcross was unlucky with the own goal but looked an aged and slow defender. His time has surely gone. Afobe looked superb yet got little service of note . Hard working and a simply brilliant goal. The defence looked poor, and trust me Bees fans know how to spot a poor defence. Jack Butland was anything other than commanding.
  3. Brentford made Stoke look average. Their tempo and work rate was the best this season. Mokojoto and Sawyers were simply brilliant. 10/10 performances maintained all 95 minutes. This was a bad day for any club to come to Griffin Park and the performance was echelons higher than the win that got a scrappy 1-0 win over a dismal dispirited Bolton side before Xmas.
  4. Brentford were set up superbly . The midfield had the engine of a Rolls Royce and not of a lawnmower. None of the dismal midfield displays of negative passing were seen and although not wanting to be critical, the lack of Yennaris, MCLeod and Josh was a positive one
  5. The debate over Bentley and Daniels was not even addressed as cannot recall a single save Bentley had to make.
  6. Henrik Dalsgaard had a good game, not a great one, but maybe his confidence is back. The set up of three central defenders , all actually wonderful footballers in their own rights, allowed Henrik to play in the more right midfield area where he does actually play even when a traditional full back
  7. Thomas Frank and Brian Riemer we’re visible in the technical area, shouting, cajoling but never critical. This is good to see for the fans and maybe the team too.
  8. Maupay has his usual superb game as did Said Benrahma.

Overall Brentford were brilliant more than Stoke were poor. Brentford need to carry on with this tempo and maybe Stoke need to jettison a few players simply past their prime .

Lastly I loved seeing the great reception Ryan Woods received . Nice Brentford fan behaviour for players we respect . And a privilege to see not only a few minutes of Peter Crouch but also him posing with young fans after the game and again the nice Ealing road reception he got when warming up.

Neither side will go up nor down this season and it will be interesting to see where they finally end up .

The Full Hogburger might be the best football food item around


Football food is far from idyllic. In general nonleague clubs serve better and cheaper football fare. One of the best food items is served at Met Police football club. They play in Esher at Imber Court and participate in Evostik Southern League Premier South and are well worth watching .

They have recently started serving The Full Hogburger. For £5 you can have a superb burger cooked properly in a toasted bun. But on top there is a large sausage cut in half , cheese, onions and a thick slice of back bacon. Tasted delicious. They do not serve chips but there again you hardly need them. If there is a criticism it is that the burger is huge and not so easy to eat. This is a real meal! Football league clubs might learn here

The Underground Upside Down


Distracted By The Moon Over The Ealing Road End During Brentford v Bolton


During the second half of the recent game versus Bolton, the view over the Ealing Road stand was as good as any I have seen in years watching Brentford. So instead of photographing Neal Maupay rampaging through the Bolton defence , I spent 5 minutes capturing this beautiful moon.

When we move to Lionel road I will miss hugely Griffin Park and moments like this will forever be remembered.

These three photos were taken only a few minutes apart and using different exposures. Don’t let anyone ever say it’s easy to photograph the moon. Sometimes you get lucky and some of the trees behind the Ealing Road stand can be seen in front of the over exposed moon making an interesting image.

How Do You Spell Brentford In Serbian?


Ridiculous fact number one for Xmas eve is that only 3 championship teams are spelled the same way in Serbian…. one of those is Brentford! My favourite is Lids….

St Asaph In North Wales. A curious little City with a Cathedral


Anyone with a spare few hours in North Wales, somewhere near Denbigh or Rhyl, might do worse than visit St Asaph. A city that has an impressive cathedral (with a cafe), a small high street ( with a couple more cafes) and some nice park walks. This makes it sound larger than it really is.

St Asaph

St Asaph

St Asaph is a city and community situated on the River Elwy in Denbighshire, Wales. In the 2011 Census it had a population of 3,355 making it the second-smallest city in Britain in terms of population and urban area. Along with Chelmsford and Perth it is also one of the youngest cities having been granted that status as recently as 2012.  It is in the historic county of Flintshire. It is also home to the smallest cathedral in Britain. Trip Advisor lists the top eight attractions in St Asaph, but clearly they were feeling generous that day. It used to have a hospital but that closed in 2012. 00004643000046420000464000004641

My recommendations? Park in the small car park next to the cathedral. Spend maybe 30 minutes in the cathedral and another hour or so walking around before finding a cafe for some lunch or coffee.

A few photos to show what I found in my hour in this curious little city.

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Street Art in Malta. Who killed Daphne? Daphne Caruana Galizia. Assassinated by car bomb


I am always curious as to the motives for street art . But in this case who is Daphne? Is she real? A TV character? A quick search through google reveals the answer. Daphne Caruana Galizia, a Maltese journalist who was assassinated October 16th. Daphne Anne Caruana Galizia was a Maltese journalist, writer, and anti-corruption activist, who reported on political events in Malta. This street art was a random scrawl on a wall near the seafront. FE226E2D-28B9-4B99-91C9-D46448487D4C

Wikipedia and others report her journalism as “In particular, she focused on investigative reporting into government corruption, nepotism, patronage, allegations of money laundering links between Malta’s onlinegambling industry and organised crime”.

On 16 October 2017, Caruana Galizia died in a car bomb attack close to her home, attracting widespread local and international reactions.

In Dec 2017 three men were arrested in connection with her murder and 45 journalists have established The Daphne Project to conclude her investigation.

This story will continue to run. In May 2018 two laptop and three hard drives were handed over to German police by her family. The original belief that her laptop was destroyed by the car bomb was wrong as that laptop had not been used for two years. The family had refused to hand these over previously to the Maltese authorities.

A shrine to her of flowers and candles has been regularly destroyed and replaced. 

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Time to Be Frank About This Brentford Performance. A Very Poor Day


On a day when 9,400 Brentford fans turned up on a cold evening to watch a game that was live on Sky and with South Western Railways adding to the festivities by striking, with no trains to Brentford, the shame was that the team did not repay the fans. Possibly the best way to get to the game might have been by boat!

Admittedly injuries and suspensions played their role however the manner of the 2-1 defeat was far more disappointing than the perennial failure to beat Middlesbrough. In many ways the worst nightmare came true, the chosen midfield were hopelessly over run and defensive errors again allowed simple goals. So what did go right? Neal Maupay had a superb game, never gave up working and running off the ball, however the midfield of McEachran , Yennaris, McLeod and Canos, frankly offered nothing. Sergio Canos tried hard as always, but looked a little short of some of the quality we know he has. The rest were frankly abysmal. I do not like criticising  Brentford players, but sometimes it must be done. McEachran seems to have the occasional good game, and is a good passer of the ball, but he lacks physical ability (important against many Championship teams), and has scored a single goal in his time at Brentford. Yennaris can be good, sometimes, but was anonymous all game. McLeod had the worst game I can recall in a Brentford shirt. It was not that he did things badly, far from it, he did nothing at all. His workmate was exceeded by many fans in the stands. He failed to deliver anything meaningful from midfield, failed to tackle, and in the 20 seconds before he was substituted, was strolling back from an attacking position whilst a Boro forward was rampaging towards our goal. It was like he had given up. As a Brentford fan I totally accept errors and missed goals, but cannot accept a frank lack of effort. So as a group our midfield neither created for the forwards nor gave protection to the defence. The saving grace of the game was the neat goal from Alan Judge and the running and efforts of the substitutes, Marcondes and DaSilva. Both must start tuesday.

Boro were a typical Pulis/Warnock side, a slightly poor type of Cardiff. Players all 6ft and above, pushing, fouling and producing generally unattractive football. At this level this type of play can be successful, although a Brentford side on form would have beaten them yesterday. Their second goal was gifted from defensive error. We have some of the most talented central defenders I have seen at Griffin Park, but as a unit they are the opposite of cohesive. Defensive coaching must be a priority for the rest of the season.

Any other positives from the game? Maybe. Alan Judge scoring was a great moment, lets hope his improvement continues . Marcondes looked sharp and interested. DaSilva looked strong and direct.

Many Bees fans have been rightly positive up until now, but social media suggests that the tide is turning. Thomas Frank needs to improve results urgently before we become embroiled in a relegation battle. We need some battling from the players and that means team selection needs changing. For me Yennaris, McEachran and McLeod have had their chances and it is time for them to move on. Maybe Frank needs to assemble a team of his own choosing? The worrying thing sitting a month away on the horizon is the transfer window. Brentford are not going up this season and we might fear player sales.

An Hour In Heidelberg


Heidelberg is a town around an hour from Frankfurt. A pleasant town it seems although an hour to see it is not extensive. A few photographs to give a flavour of what you might see.

The large Police sign amused me a little in comparison with the minute street sign. The deckchairs in the NH hotel reception were fairly unusual. Simply changing a photo to black and white takes you back 50 years or more. The low clouds over the river give an aura of spookiness.

The Magic Of the FA Cup. Met Police Fc 0 Newport County 2


Whichever way you looked at this, Met Police were never favourites to win this game. They sit three divisions below Newport County and have crowds that are usually around the 100-120 mark. Contrary to popular belief they have had no serving police officers playing for them since 2015 and many players are youth team players who have come through the junior clubs that Met Police run. Any league side wanting to learn how to run their academies and compete against the larger clubs might look no further than Met Police. Their your teams have had enormous success in recent seasons.

There are far better match reports out there than I can write, but watching the game close-up whilst photographing gave an excellent position to compare the two teams. The result Met Police 0 Newport County 2 was probably a fair result overall, the strength and physicality of the league professionals won out in the end. Some of the photographs emphasise the youth of the Met Police players compared to seasoned professionals such as David Pipe who is 35years and still playing well. young and old However having said that neutrals might not disagree that Met Police were the more skilful side to watch and certainly the more entertaining . The best player on the pitch was 25 year old Jack Mazzone, who having watched a number of times this season, makes me wonder why he is not playing at a higher level. A strong intelligent and hard working number nine who has good skill. I would go as far as saying that if he was playing for Newport yesterday the scoreline might have been even greater. 00004938physicality 2

Joe Day the Newport keeper was a real conundrum. Prior to the game the away fans were telling me he had saved them many points this season and a world class save, I don’t exaggerate, in the first half to deny Jack Mazzone, may have tipped the game. The second half though was a different affair and although he came and commanded his area by viciously punching balls away, he also dropped balls and was lucky not to concede a couple of goals simply through errors. 00005004

The real story of the game though was the torrential rain that swept in just before kick off that gave fans ( except Newport fans who were under cover) and photographers a tough time. The rain was a real deluge and i have tried to capture some of the wetness in photographs on my photographic site.

chrisbushephotography.com/2018/11/11/fa-cup-football-in-torrential-rain-at-met-police-v-newport-county/

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In the end this was a game that on a different day could have had a different result, but Newport County worked hard and although their goals were maybe a little fortuitous, they might have had a couple more in the end.

00004941Pain and emotionJack00004990000049850000497300004972000049691K4A67191K4A663300004954000049400000493700004942Lastly lets not forget the Newport County fans who were great. Chatting before the game they were a nice group of supporters and all will wish them well in the next round.

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