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 tag “beesotted”

Reflections on Birmingham 2 V Brentford 1 Away Day. Jan 2nd 2016


Trips to Birmingham have never been without incident and this one is no exception. The nonsense of buying tickets began on tuesday night with the announcement that sales of tickets from Brentford, having reasonably been on sale for four weeks, would cease lunchtime wednesday, but Birmingham in their wisdom decreed no match day sales. Can anyone explain to me why? Why do clubs not want bigger crowds, especially in the holiday season when often plans are not cemented till the last minute. This ridiculous decision was then reversed maybe 48 hours later. Thankfully Twitter and Mark Devlin kept us updated. A number of tickets were sold at the last minute and these needed collection at the ground.

The nonsense continued on match day with no-one in the Birmingham ticket office seemingly aware that these tickets were somehow being escorted to the ground. A random vision of the sign ” Collections” on a gate at the away end gave at last a clue where tickets might be collected. Two unhappy looking souls distributed tickets after checking for names on an envelope. And giving the impression they were auditioning for a role in a prison behind bars.

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A number of positives need to be stated. Firstly all the staff at the ground, the stewards and in fact the fans are super friendly, and it was a pleasure to listen in to a conversation on how awful a referee Keith Stroud is. Parking is also easy. Travelling through the suburbs of Birmingham is frankly non unlike the opening of a horror movie. But ground parking is easy and anyone prepared to walk 10-15 minutes can find free easy street parking. Lower Dartmouth street is my recommendation.

And there are a few sights in Birmingham, somewhat unexpected within yards of the ground. And a good few sights totally expected. The ground is in a sort of area that is an admixture of urban housing and small industrial estates. With a few curious bars and shops thrown in for good measure.

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On the way to the ground one walks past canals that look pleasant although here there seemed either a small gravestone or a miniature ” angel of the north”. Street cleaning also seems an optional extra, though maybe a little cruel to say that on Jan 2nd.

IMG_1079The ground itself is a great ground now. Three sides have been re-built and this is one of the better Championship grounds. The whole area smells  that gorgeous football smell of onions and cooking burgers.

IMG_1084Views are excellent all around the ground and access is quite uncomplicated. With one notable exception, the tannoy system is so quiet that I did not realise there was one. The game however was dire and will be covered in a different blog. Overall this was a good match day experience. And lastly I should mention that £20 for a ticket is really a very reasonable  price in 2016.

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A visit to Craven Cottage. Reflections on Fulham Football Club and Brentford


The West London Derby between Fulham and Brentford is always a feisty affair . Two local tesm, one very much on the way up and the other on the way down and currently without a manager. There is no need to go over the events of the game. An entertaining 2-2 draw where both the score and the result were a fair reflection of events on the field.

A visit to Craven Cottage though is always a pleasant affair. A few verbals but no fighting among fans and Fulham fans generally, though deluded about their place in the football hierarchy are not such a bad lot.

There is no reason other than insanity to drive to Fulham as parking places are delusional and do not exist in reality, so arrival by train and then walking along the river gives an interesting perspective to the ground. The ground is set essentially at the end of a park and within curiously 300 yards of Fulham Palace. Which raises the first question. Why not the name Fulham Palace? Crystal Palace versus Fulham Palace has a nice ring to it. The Palace is actually quite a beautiful building.

Because of the local derby and a failure often in reality by the police and the club to establish a need for stewarding and policing it is a fair comment to say that things were overdone. This game did not not need police horses, who provided free manure for all fans walking back through the park after the game, and conveniently if one has no time to pick it up one can merely collect it on ones shoes. A fair question was raised as to why if fines are given to dog owners for failing to pick up their mess, why does not the same criterion apply to horses and in this case the police and their horses? The stewards were pleasant enough but this is the first time to my recollection that I have ever been asked to open my coat on entry to a football ground. Overkill might be the simplest way to describe things,and seemingly an ineffective overkill too as pyrotechnics were let off in the Brentford end on at least two occasions. For me this is stupidity and potentially dangerous but mostly unnecessary.

In the ground the views are good and the food a major improvement on years gone. I did vow many years ago never to eat Fulham burgers again however despite their extortionate price they were relatively harmless. The sausages however could have benefitted from cooking and there was no way raw sausage was going anywhere near my digestion.

The whole football experience though was a good one and one that any neutral might have enjoyed. Fulham football club is really though not a cheap place but harmless enough and can be enjoyed. And as an additional benefit the Fulham Burger never killed me nor injured me in any way.

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Brentford get promotion on an exceedingly Good Friday


Having followed Brentford for 50 years days like this are rare and rarely are they better. Looking at the maths just before lunchtime it became apparent that Bees had a chance of being promoted yesterday if they won and results went their way. Both happened. A tense game but perhaps more easily won than score suggests 1-0, a penalty at that, and Bees also missed another at the Ealing Road end…..

But the outpouring of happiness could only be seen in a small club over achieving and now wondering how much further we might go? We are no smaller a club than Fulham. Indeed in those days when Fulham flirted with relegation from Division 4, their crowds were in the 3-4000 mark and Bees rarely got anywhere as low as that in comparable times.

What has happened? Well Mark Warburton has happened. A manager in his first job taking over a third of the way through the season. Without doubt he improved the play and the players. He signed only a small number of good players instead of dozens of me-too’s. My own view that may not be shared by all is that he is a far superior manager to Uwe. That is a compliment and not a put down to Uwe.

These photos below show the exact moment we thought we had won promotion ( in fact because of that crazy Wolves v Rotherhams game, ending 6-4 eventually, we were a little premature).

Just enjoy and share these photos!

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Brentford Football Club Charity Song for Phillipines. Come on You Brentford


Football fans are not usually associated with melodic tunes nor inspirational lyrics. A group of Brentford fans associated with a local group, According To you, have got together to produce a single entitled ” Come on you Brentford”. This is neither a number one nor does it pretend to be. What it is , is a humble tune sold for a humble price 99p in iTunes. All proceeds going to the Phillipines disaster fund. The music collective “Soundhive” also should take a lot of credit. Korea Foods have paid all the production costs.

Perhaps if everyone who read this could share this information ( and my blog if they like), a few souls will indeed purchase this great little tune. I paid up my 99p this morning and the tune is driving my wife mad but quite liked by my children! A decent result.

Why my passion here? Well having been to the Phillipines a number of times and seen the poverty yet resilience of the folks there, they deserve to be helped. On my main photographic web site my front page is a photo taken of the seafront in Manila. This is no average seafront. This is a family living by rescuing empty bottles from the sea and what is eupemistically termed the beach.  These are real people. Do they types of folks deserve to lose the little that they have through a natural disaster? I do not think so. 99p. What else does that buy? Please do spread this story widely to the media in your area and country and buy the record. And by the way, Brentford are a great little football club in league 1 in England and would love to hear how you all are doing. The link to purchase is below, but iTunes is easy for most

http://bit.ly/18lIfm6

 

The complete history behind this project can be found on this great website

http://fb.me/2xqV8XHAf

 

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Should Brentford sack Uwe Rosler now?


Football fans are basically and usually inherent kind souls who although ranting away on a saturday with murderous chants, often then reflect, and certainly turn up the following saturday.  At Brentford there has been much discussion about what our expectations are this season, what our budget is and hence what should the manager be doing to achieve this. My own humble view ( n=1), is that Uwe Rosler is not the man. I have become disenchanted gradually over the last year. Nothing specific. no one thing. Others do not agree, some vehemently disagree. Anyway I pulled together a few thoughts this afternoon and posted them on Beesotted ( the most excellent and balanced of fanzines/websites). Here I repeat them with a poll. I genuinely want to know am I wrong?

 

My own views differ. It is not about Stevenage nor 3 defeats. It is about the poor management at the end of last season  and the continuing poor management this season. Combined with some abysmal signings. Let us recall we have scored 4 home goals the lowest in the league. We have even scored 3 of them in one game against arguably the worst side in our league. We have conceded 13 away goals almost the worst. This persistent poor form is down to Rosler not down to injuries nor bad luck. It is clear where our deficiencies are . Goalkeeper. Central defence. Defence generally. A roulette wheel approach to team selection. Our best players were on the bench last week. 
This is not a panic opinion but a considered one that also notes Roslers refusal to explain to the fans any of his more bizarre selections. We cannot waste any more time nor money . Finally I am not enjoying this brand of football this season.

 

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