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 “Brentford Football Club”

West Bromwich Albion Fans


Recently there have been some negative things said regarding the actions of the Birmingham city fans. It is worth acknowledging that the WBA fans on a recent visit to Brentford were superb.  Noisy from the start and good humoured throughout on a windy day where football was a difficult spectacle. They packed the away end and showed great banners.

Talking with them while photographing the game they were there to enjoy themselves and fully support their team. A few photos of the fans . The full set of photos from the game can be found at

Brentford 0 WBA 1 Photos

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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 .

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.

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.

Why Brentford Are A Real Team.Some Post-Match Millwall Thoughts


Usually when I post musings and photographs after a  game I go through and find my best 20 action photos and write a few words around these. Here I want to do something a little different.

Things have not been good recently at Brentford. Not many good results, some social media distractions amongst fans and generally the mood of optimism that was with us a month ago had partially evaporated. There was ill-advised talk that Thomas Frank had only a few games to save his job ( ridiculous I know) and many ideas regarding team selection (myself included). This was an important game in the context of where the season might go from here.

Griffin Park at sunset in November

Griffin Park at sunset in November

We all know Brentford won 2-0 and although there were a few scares along the way, Brentford were the better footballing side and generally had the higher work rate. Something very different struck me strongly yesterday, perhaps I miss this sometimes, but Brentford are a real team. They worked hard for each other and have a true bond with the fans. The bond is important. We learned this week how strong that bond can be and the results of a good bond with the sad news emanating from Leicester city.  No doubt I will post more comments and photos during the week, but these are the ones that captivated me . They are not my best action shots, these will follow, but these show the real emotion and bond between players, fans and the manager.

  1. Neal Maupay. This guy really cares and works hard. On this occasion he had made a great run but his final shot was inches away. This was one of the many opportunities Brentford had to make the score 2-0. 0000482600004824
  2. Said Benrahma. Looking through the photos the players photographed the most are Said and Moses. It was lovely to witness the celebration after the game as Said walked back alongside Braemar Road. He embraced a few fans and the looks on their faces says it all. 00004860
  3. Daniel Bentley. He has had a tough month and no-one would argue that he has lost form. This result and the clean sheet meant a lot. 00004866
  4. Thomas Frank. This was an important game for not only the team but also himself, and the justification of his team changes, and perhaps some of the changes he did not make. His bond with  Neal Maupay is clear and so wonderful to see. 000048560000485400004853
  5. Moses Odubajo. His first game as first choice left back. A long spell of injury the last few years at Hull City. The way he worked tirelessly all game and created havoc in the Millwall defence was immense and enjoyable to see.  0000480300004777
  6. Sergi Canos. Sergi is returning to the form we know he has but he has had to work hard to get there. His enthusiasm is immense to watch and no doubt rubs off on the team too. 00004784
  7. The whole Brentford team. They were a team and it showed before, during and after the game. 00004743

In the context of the season the result and the performance was critical and the obvious bonding between fans and team will be important in the months ahead. Brentford are a good team, a young team, mistakes will be made (by players, manager and fans) but lets keep this tight bond going.

Something Wrong At Brentford . The More Difficult Question Is What?


Anyone watching Brentford earlier in the season saw that we were a good team. Few teams if any looked better than us. This wretched run has now made some question even if relegation is a possibility.

It’s more simple than that . We are a mid table side that was full of confidence but after a series of events has lost confidence. My personal belief is that the players knew Smith was going long before it was announced . Weeks even. Having watched Brentford for many years , around 50 , I can spot when something behind the scenes is causing issues.

This leads to uncertainty amongst the players. Frank may be a good or a bad manager. We simply do not know , however it is unlikely he will have the same beliefs as Smith. Some players such as Josh have reverted to the abysmal form of last season. His lack of consistency for me combined with his inability to tackle means he is not one of our untouchable players, however to make wholesale changes last night was not the clever option. Moses will struggle to come up to speed , literally, after his injuries and lack of game time , and as he needed to play last night it could be argued that changing the midfield formation was not the time to do this. Having said that Yennaris is also a hideously inconsistent player who should have done better both last night and in general. Dan Bentley losing form has also cost us 3-4 points at minimum.

Frank needs to look close up at the team. My suggestion would be to revert to a single captain, a leader . That narrows it down to Dalsgaard or Barbet. The trouble is that the petulance and poor discipline that Dalsgaard can show suggests that to keep things calm he might not be the man.

So to put it simply my team selection for Norwich would be the usual back four, Kamo and McCleod , Watkins, Maupay, Benrahma, Sawyers and Daniels.

Daniels is a good shot stopper, like Andy Woodman, but currently falls down literally from not being able to command his area and come authoritatively for crosses, also like Andy Woodman. A goalkeeper coach is critical here to bring him on.

Some players must realise they are in the last chance saloon. Sawyers can perform. He can be premiership material but equally at times can be dreadful. Consistency is the key . Frank needs to select his best team and stick with them for 4-5 games. He also must not be afraid to make early changes in a game. If a player is poor for 20 mins take him off. Warnock does not do everything right in my book but this Warnockesque activity is what the team needs. Substitutions need also to be logical not pre-planned

Lastly do not play players where they are poor. Barbet is actually a good footballer but he has never been nor will be a good central defender. At times I would have played him as an old fashioned number nine as Plan B.

Brentford are a work in progress. We need as fans to remain realistic and supportive but also to be appropriately critical. That is important . Let’s have a rethink after the next six games of the Frank regime.

Brentford ease to a 2-0 win over Hapless Sheffield Wednesday . What are the learnings for the Brentford fans?


There are plenty of good websites that will give far better game reports than I am capable of. Sheffield Wednesday came to Griffin Park in some degree of turmoil with a transfer embargo being lifted only two days previously.

Brentford fans were in good voice pre-game and a positive atmosphere pervaded everywhere, with one exception the two poor guys selling the half time lottery tickets were struggling and at the time we entered, one had sold none and the other two tickets. IMG_1654IMG_1648

The sun was shining and the pitch looked perfect. Brentford strolled to a 2-0 win that should have been far more emphatic, with five one on ones with the keeper failing to register a goal. IMG_1649

Dean Smith has a clear vision of his best team and the Bees were unchanged from last saturday. Ryan Woods making it to the bench. Sheffield Wednesday despite bringing 1500 fans were poor. Their whole demeanour pre-game and during the game was heads down and misery. Their style was also poor with mostly route one humping of the ball to their strikers, who looked disinterested . The gangling Atdhe Nuhiu who is a Kosovo Albanian professional footballer who plays  for the Kosovo national team, looked at times almost amateur. Wikipedia gave his salary as 300,000 euros in 2012. Astonishing if true. Their manager looked equally lost and bored in equal measures standing on the touchline often alone with none of his coaching staff visible. Jos Luhukay is a Dutch football manager and former midfielder. In January 2018, Luhukay was appointed as  manager, but it seems likely that on this form he will not see out the season until christmas.

Brentford were superb in their football, confident, skilful and at times cheeky. So what did we learn from today?

  1. The distribution of Dan Bentley has improved hugely and it is hard to think of a better English goalkeeper currently with the exception of Jordan Pickford. This is not hyperbole but fact.
  2. Henrik Dalsgaard needs to be more cautious in his tackling. Following a yellow card today another dubious tackle went unpunished and a different referee would have dismissed him.
  3. The defence is settled. The central defensive pairing of Mepham and Konsa surely is the best we have had in the last 10 years. Both players are light years in ability away from Dean and Egan. Chris Mepham is already premiership class.
  4. Neal Maupay has improved his all round game and looks a fine player. His finishing can and will improve. He can budget for 20-25 goals this season.
  5. Sergi Canos needs to up his game. At times today he was invisible. He may come under pressure for his place in the next few weeks.
  6. A settled squad and an unchanged team pays dividends this early in the season. I do not recall the quality being present so early in a season nor the fitness levels
  7. Brentford can push for promotion.
  8. That Griffin Park is going to be full most weeks, so buy season tickets right now
  9. There is a New Road mystery though. Where do you buy Pizza? We saw a guy return with a slice of pizza. Anyone know?

Rarely have the Brentford fans been so positive about a season and a team. 00003219

Wage Bills In Championship


Just seeing these numbers make one realise two things. It’s not all about money. Some teams with big budgets do badly and little old tinpot Brentford do rather well. One example might be Norwich with a wage bill triple that of Brentford or Middlesbrough which approaches five times that of Brentford

Brentford 2 Bolton Wanderers 0. A Comfortable Victory Against A Poor Bolton Side.


The reality was that Brentford were clearly the vastly superior side in skill, technique and work rate and thoroughly deserved the victory which could have been more comprehensive. 00001530

Without doubt to give perspective Bolton were the second worst side to visit Griffin Park this season with Burton being the worst. Both sides also make me wonder why does anyone pay to watch their brand of prehistoric football?  Bolton lacked any skill or style, and their version of football consisted of not having any player under 6ft and many over that, and just kicking the ball in the general direction of the sky. Curiously about their only player who was not gigantic was a full back called Little. Not everyone on social media would however agree with my sentiments. But frankly the few chances that came their way derived from long throw ins or errors in gifting the ball to Bolton in dangerous situations.

There was also cabaret to be had with the antics of Phil Parkinson in his touchline boudoir seemingly disagreeing with each and every decision made by the referee, to the extent of clear fouls ( shirts being pulled, players being pulled down) seemingly being within the spectrum of normal play in his not so humble opinion.

Neal Maupay

Brentford were not at their best today but that did not matter. The impressive Florian Josefzoon caused problems all afternoon and although Vibe did not have his best game, he caused enough mischief to have had a reasonable game.

There were some real positives though today. The distribution of Dan Bentley was superb. His throwing the ball out makes a real difference. Chris Mepham again had a great game and John Egan is not going to get back into the side easily, if at all. Nico Yennaris had a decent game too and right back may be his best position, however he gave the ball away far too many times and often in dangerous positions. It was also good to see Neal Maupay score a back heel goal in the final minutes. Although this may have looked easy, he actually finished it very well and hopefully his confidence will return.

To return to Bolton, my prediction is relegation. They will fail to trouble sides who play football although undoubtedly will get a few points against the Burton and Sheff Wednesday style sides that rely on kick and run ( both the ball and the player) and sit perilously near the relegation zone. Bolton and Burton will go down, and the third place is open for auditions from Sunderland, Birmingham and Hull.

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If John Stead Had Been Playing For Brentford Would The Score Have Been different? Thoughts After A Dismal Day


Although no-one likes losing a game, frankly this was a game that Dean Smith clearly thought little of. Despite his post-match protestations, this was a  truly abysmal ineffective Brentford performance. Few would disagree with that and most might go further and ask why this might have happened. 00001572 copy

A very different Brentford team with 8 changes found it hard to get going and a half time score of 0-0 was about right against a physical Notts County.  The difference between the sides was a well taken goal from John Stead who is having a superb second half of his career at Notts County. 00001545 copy

With so many new faces it was maybe harsh to expect the kind of football and passing we are used to simply because the players have not played before together.  Individually a couple of the players had nightmare games for different reasons. Josh McCeachran was not only ineffective but gave the ball away numerous times and had his weakest game in a Brentford shirt. For all his skill, it is difficult to see what he gives to the team and his absence of physicality makes things even harder. Neal Maupay worked 100% but it seems does not have either the talent to succeed or the confidence, either way he again did not score and in the second half with multiple balls coming from the right from Florian Josefzoon one might have expected a goal or two. It is difficult to see how he can turn this around frankly. Alan Judge came on and had a decent 20 minutes and Marcondes also seemed a little unsure of his positioning but did show some promise. 0000152100001571

The reality of the game was that it should have been 0-0. Notts County worked hard but did not inspire, and although they will undoubtedly gain promotion, my guess is they will have a short stay in League 1 unless they sign a few more creative souls. I was not pleased to see their brand of physicality  ( which translates to fouls).

If Dean Smith wanted to win this game then he could and should have made perhaps only 4 changes. What he probably learnt was that his ” reserve” players are not perhaps quite up to Championship standard currently.

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The body language at the end showed it all, disappointment  , but simply the side was not good enough to score against a team two divisions below.  John Stead looked a decent player and with the number of balls that got into the box in the game, my suspicion is that if he were the Brentford forward, he might have had a hat-trick.

JM00001542000015271K4A7847000015230000151500001538Alan Judge will most likely be eased back over the next few months and realistically will look to be 100% by the start of next season. On positive notes yet again Chris Mepham played well and Florian worked hard but his final balls could be better. As we enter the transfer window yet again we are all thinking we need to sign 1-2 strikers. The argument that we already score lots of goals is not a good one, as with a pair of different styled strikers we might score a lot more. Some unanswered questions might be:

  1. Why has Justin Shaibu not featured more this season?
  2. What is the plan with Theo Archibald? Has his off-field antics caused behind the scenes problems?
  3. What to do with Neal Maupay?
  4. How could Brentford possibly consider selling Lasse Vibe?
  5. With our midfield and defensive players often getting balls into the box, is there not a solid argument for having a large centre-forward as either Plan B option or as yesterday, Plan A?

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