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

Archive for the category “championship goalkeepers”

The Worst Brentford Performance I can Recall. Who is taking responsibility?


On Feb 24th I wrote an article after the Wolves game essentially saying that the clouds had lifted over Griffin Park .I was in retrospect very wrong to suggest that the dire spiral that Brentford had descended into over the last 2 months was over.

https://arcticterntalk.org/2016/02/24/the-clouds-lift-over-griffin-park-brentford-3-wolves-0/

The reality is that is has got a whole lot worse and Brentford now must be potentially fearing relegation if not this year then next unless a whole load of changes are made.

Today we lost a home game 1-2 to an appalling Charlton side who had the benefit of the worst goalkeeper in the Championship, Nick Pope. And frankly we deserved to lose.

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The game was of a standard that frankly under the trade descriptions act should not belong in the “football” league. Better skill and certainly better commitment can be seen weekly free of charge on many park football pitches.

I will not deal with Charlton other than to say that they were poor and relegation certainties and one wonder why Sanogo the tall striker on loan from Arsenal needs to handle the ball almost every time it comes near him.

Brentford lacked desire, application, effort, skill, height, speed, accuracy of passing, and ability to get players in the box. Other than that they did well. Dean Smith seemed unable to turn the tide and his substitutions apart from being poor and not leading to any improvement were utterly incomprehensible. Taking off their most creative player, Sergi Canos, was not the best option, and bringing on Sam Saunders, who contributed zero, Phillip Hoffmann ( did he touch the ball in the 20 minutes he graced the pitch?) and Lasse Vibe, were frankly absurd changes.

Some will blame the sale of Tarkowski and Diadouraga. I don’t. They would not have made much difference today. Something was very wrong in the state of Denmark. Brentford did not compete, although I would abstain from including Bidwell and Swift, who did put in the work and were the best players on the pitch.

Brentford fans do not mind losing to a better side, but to lose in this appalling manner to an equally dreadful side needs some explaining and responsibility needs to be taken and changes need to be made.

FullSizeRenderIMG_2222Who is at fault here? Should Dean Smith be sacked already? There is a case for the defence that he only has the players he has. There is a better case for the prosecution that he is neither trying to change things with the players he has, for example bring in youngsters like Jan Halldack, or change the system if his players cannot perform in this system. He also appears unable to motivate his side to perform the kind of work rate that all successful sides do and which we were doing under Lee Carsley. And this is the man in indictment against him. Many of these players were involved in Brentford wins last autumn. The role of the co-directors needs also some discussion. What we can say with certainty is that they are not visible. That is not always a crime and in many cases a cloak of invisibility is a good thing, however when things are going horrifically wrong then some explanation is needed. At the very least a Fans Forum seems a sensible option to at least explain the direction of the club in the next 6 months. Most of the players brought in last summer are not good enough and lack basic technique. My own view is that even given time and opportunity , Hoffmann, Vibe, Djuricin, Kerschbaumer and Gogia, will not become championship standard. The jury is also out on Ryan Woods who increasingly is muscled off the ball and needs a strategy to become more involved in the game. Increasingly Marco Djuricin is looking out of his depth and I remain underwhelmed by his goal scoring rate and his work rate.

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What should and will worry the club are falling attendances and no doubt lower season ticket sales than this year. Empty seats help no one.

At this stage of the season we need to ensure enough points to avoid relegation and make a decision then over Dean Smith. We also need to stop making excuses over players who have been with the club almost a year and chronically under perform. The main value of a striker is calculated by goals scored and it is clear Brentford do not have a striker meeting that definition. Most fans would like to see the back of Phillip Hoffmann.

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Lets hope the way forward is not now down.

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Brentford 0 Middlesbrough 1. An unlucky evening for Bees


On the face of it Brentford a mid-table side were beaten by the league leaders and in my opinion, Champions elect. There however was a lot more to this game that on balance should be very encouraging for Brentford.

The most important thing is that this group of players are playing hard for their manager and to their potential. The second most important thing is that the fans back the team even in unfortunate defeats such as this. So what was the story of the game? We learned that David Button is an excellent goalkeeper but made one error that cost us the goal and the points. But long before Brentford should have been 2-0 up at least with chances missed and decent saves by the Middlesbrough keeper. Despite all the transfer speculation, and that is all that it is, Diadouraga and Tarkowski started and played decent games. The man of the match who improves with each performance is Maxime Colin, and for once our defence looked more solid than of late. Sam Saunders got a rare start in midfield and did not disappoint . What was apparent though was that Bees have no strikers. Lasse Vibe tries hard but he is not a lone striker and realistically would slot in to midfield in place of Saunders. Hoffman when he came on was invisible. A pair of strikers would make the world of difference to this side. The other fact that cannot be hidden is that Brentford must be the smallest side in the Championship and maybe the league. A midfield of Judge, Saunders, Woods is not a physically threatening vision. Does this matter? Maybe and maybe not.

I am encouraged by the excellent performance tonight but still wondrous at why we have not signed not it seems threatened to sign some strikers. To raid the lower leagues possibly.

But even though the rain came down again and this was the second 1-0 home defeat in 4 days there is plenty of reason for optimism. IMG_1230IMG_1232IMG_1233IMG_1234

 

What have Weekend Offenders and Foot Long Hot Dogs got to do with Birmingham 2 Brentford 1 . Jan 2nd 2016


Sadly an awful football game. The first half was maybe the worst football, if one can describe it as that, all season. Neither team able to pass to another player and nothing to note other than an awful looking tackle in the 45th minute by ex-bee John Toral on Jake Bidwell. Half time arrived with the Brentford crowd baying for a red card and possible execution.

The second half was better though not by much. Brentford leaked their usual two goals with the second resulting from another error from Harlee Dean. Brentford in between scored a goal, a tap in after a goalkeeping error. Frankly this was the sort of game that neither side deserved any points. The referee was also abysmal, Graham Scott. He was finicky to the extreme. Booking an excessive number of players and stoping the game on any any pretext at any time. He ran Keith Stroud a close second in the worst referee of the week awards.

A strange Brentford team performance after recent very strong ones. Raised questions about possible tiredness? Issues behind the scenes relating to transfers?

The team was also a little unusual in that Jota was neither in the side nor on the bench, for which there may be multiple reasons but is he being transferred was the one being discussed? Alan Judge had his quietest game for months. Maybe tired, maybe took a few heavy tackles , maybe again is a transfer allegedly to Middlesbrough for 12 million on his mind? James Tarkowski had his worst game I have seen him have, but still looked good! Again, transfer issues? Tiredness? Who knows.

On the positive side Gogia looked interested when he came on with 20 minutes to go. Neither Hoffmann nor Vibe are strikers we want playing upfront alone.

So, a strange game. St Andrews is a decent ground but we always seem to lose there every time i go……so maybe all my fault.

Weekend offenders was a great piece of graffiti on a wall and foot long hot dogs smelled great. They were maybe the highlights today.

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Reflections on Away Day at Reading FC Madejski Stadium


Away fans have a few minimum expectations when travelling. Mostly that they will get there, be able to park and be able to find the ground. Reading football club make a great effort to ensure that these are met.

Their website gives good parking information and in fact on the presumption that unless one arrives at 2 am that the official car parks will be full, the two big car parks around the ground on a derelict piece of wasteland and on the greyhound stadium site together hold 1500 car parking spaces for 7£ each. Each well signposted from the motorway. The expected downside was an approximate 45 minute wait to escape after the final whistle.

The ground is situated just off Junction 11 of M4 and is surrounded by food outlets including KFC where I had the worst chips ever, and that includes school food. But in terms of availability there is a decent selection of fast food. The stewards were just normal stewards, if that term applies. The ground is maybe 10 minutes walk from the Reading Gate food outlets and shops.

The ground gives great views. There is not a bad view in the ground including from the penultimate row JJ in the away end. Maybe the only surprise was that the front seats in the lower tier of the away end were not available for use. Not everyone wants to sit perched in the sky.

Altogether a good away day for an away fan.

 

Brentford 0 Brighton 0 . What does Lager have to do with it?


An excellent fast paced championship game on Boxing day 2015 surprisingly resulted in no goals. There are enough match reports to mean little point me adding to the details. It is the bigger picture though which is interesting , simply is this a prequel to the play off game with these two sides involved again?

Brighton were either average or Brentford made them look average. Nico Yennaris proved again that he is not a full-back but could be a decent midfielder. David Button had a day off. Philip Hoffman should have won the game for Brentford in the final minutes.

The game was played in good spirit with few fouls and none of note. Darren Deadman as referee was better than usual and actually not too terrible, but would either side clamour to have him back again, unlikely. A capacity 12,200 crowd gave an excellent atmosphere for a 1 pm kick off, which traditionally seem unable to provide the same atmosphere and noise as 3 pm kick offs.

The game was end to end and what was clear is that neither side had a potent striker who could have provided the goals that the game deserved. A 2-2 draw would have been a good pre-match bet and probably a reasonable score. Both sides are clearly good but maybe with Brentford improving and Brighton on the decline?

For me the best teams in the championship are Middlesborough and Hull City and these teams may get the automatic places. Perennial play off contenders Derby, Burnley, Ipswich may again make the play offs. Brentford and Brighton are also contenders with Sheffield Wednesday an outsider too.

The big surprise of the day however was being able to get an easy parking space in the Watermans Centre car park  where the graffiti on a window of an office either suggested folks trapped inside demanding Xmas supplies or a prequel to a Lager advert. Great graffiti.

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Favourite Football Photos of this weekend


Carshalton AFC Juggling

Carshalton AFC Juggling

Chasing Shadows

Chasing Shadows

Leighton Town FC  Two headed monster

Leighton Town FC
Two headed monster

Almost a goal but not quite. Carshalton v leighton

Almost a goal but not quite. Carshalton v leighton

Sam Muzarek

Sam Muzarek

Hand ball

Hand ball

Ipswich 1 Brentford 1. A day out in Suffolk


The first thing one realises is that Ipswich is nearer than one thinks, that the ground is a neat ground and that there is ample car parking nearby for 4-5£. Walking to the ground one passes a nice Weir, and not David Weir. A few curious signs like ” drive at walking speed”. The last time I was here I got entry with Bobby Robson telling the officials I was an Ipswich Town player. I can say he was genuinely a lovely man who also cooked a great fried breakfast. The fans and the stewards are a friendly bunch. The game itself is end to end and Brentford although having been on top in the first half were totally under the hammer in the second and only the miss of the century from Darryl Murphy stopped Ipswich taking all 3 points. Man of the match was David button, who has become a really accomplished keeper and most likely best in division, except his kicking game. Brentford played well but on the negative side Liam Moore was a liability and eventually taken off, rare to substitute centre backs in a game. His error allowed ipswich the goal and his many other errors almost allowed them more goals. On the positive side, the team worked well and in a strange kind of way deserved a point. As usual, Jake Bidwell and the midfield impressed with both work rate and skill. This is a Brentford team with a real eye on the playoffs.

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