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 “championship”

The Jota Situation. Very complex to interpret this right now


All Brentford fans would have seen the upturn in results and performances after the New Year with the return of Jota, and this was evident from his very first game in the FA cup against Eastleigh. Not only were his performances excellent but it was also the impact he had on the rest of the team, the work ethic was better, the smiles returned to faces and in many games he made the goals that Lasse Vibe scored. The Spanish contingent with Sergi Canos cannot also be underestimated. That relationship is a good one both on and off the pitch.

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Jota smiling on his Brentford return

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Jota on the wing

We know very little right now other than that the Brentford hierarchy are not agitated by these rumours of an imminent bid. This means one of two things. They are confident he will stay, possibly with an increased contract offer. Alternatively they are resigned to him going, expect an overinflated fee and have replacements lined up.

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On social media the fans views are broadly those who feel that selling him

sends a message that Brentford are not really aiming at promotion, and feel let down, or those who take a more realistic view that at the moment Brentford simply cannot refuse to sell a player if the price is right.

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Jota

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For what it is worth I will give my view. I think Jota should stay. Two reasons. Firstly from his own viewpoint he has had a shaky couple of years until January. We cannot ignore that he returned to Spain to Eibar and whatever the reason for his return ( some unspecified issues) they clearly impacted his performances and his psyche. He mostly did not get into the Eibar first team. Jota would benefit from a season of stability to demonstrate consistency . Secondly, even in this era, loyalty should be rewarded and for him to stay and then in a year (if he wishes) to leave at a higher price, would be the best solution for all concerned. What is required though is a contract extension. Brentford cannot and should not be in a position to allow him to leave for zero money in a year. Another year playing at the top of the championship would not be such a bad thing as for me if I were a premiership club I would be cogniscent of the above but also would wonder if he really is ready to claim a first team place?

At the current time he is with the squad for their pre-season European trip and the musings are that he is not disturbed by the rumours of an imminent bid. Let us see what happens. West Ham,Burnley, Newcastle and Everton , need to make their own decisions based on the above.

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Wandering Around In Wolverhampton. A day out at Molineux.What is it like for away fans? And Hoffman was 15/2 to score the first goal. Wolves 3 Brentford 1


Lets start with the game. This was not a classic at all. The first half was low tempo and there were  serious indications that 0-0 might suit this game. The second half revolved around Brentford essentially giving three goals away. The first and most important one was an error by josh McCeachran giving the ball away and Wolves run 65 yards and score. The second one Daniel Bentley will be dissapointed not to have a free kick, and the last one when Brentford were chasing an equaliser was a typical last minute breakaway goal. This was never a 3-1 game and in fact 1-1 might have been a fair reflection of the play. Brentford were not at their best today and the midfield contributed little either creatively nor goal wise. The Brentford goal however was a beauty, a shot from Kalkai that was unstoppable. Wolves were not that great and seemed to be auditioning to be a mid-table side. The crowd of 20,000 contained 631 Bees who made a decent amount of noise.

The referee was abysmal. all 20,000 spectators were agreed on that one. He failed to see a clear Wolves handball in the penalty area that I saw from maybe 75 yards away. The linesman too. I despair about officials these days.

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Molineux is a decent ground and the fans/stewards a friendly bunch. The cost of 30£ though was at the steep end, though not as much as the 43£ being charged today by Sheffield Wednesday. The ground is on the edge of town and essentially in the University campus area, surrounded by university buildings and flats. An ASDA completes the splendour. This is a real city ground. Parking is easy enough and £5 will buy you a parking space in one of the local car wash sites and decent travel advice would be to enter the city via the M54 so taking the long way round. The club strive to keep their young fans happy and there was a small fair ongoing in the car park area of the ground which contained amongst other things the smallest Nando’s in the world. Other unusual sights included a barbers shop as part of the ground. Does any other club have a barbers shop integral in the ground?

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Inside the ground it is clear that this ground has and can accommodate premiership football. Four decent size stands and away fans are unusually given the lower tier of one the stands that run pitchside, so get a decent view. My only quibble is the huge area between the pitch and the stand that allowed a large wide grass strip where stewards sat on chairs, or in one mans case, slept in his chair.

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So a good day out, little pricey but a ground well worth seeing. Lastly 21 Bet might want to have a re-think about both the odds and the plaeys they lay odds against. I almost choked on the prospect that the odds of forst scorer were equal almost for Hogan, who was playing, and Hoffmann who was not even on the bench. Curiouser and curiouser.

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Are Brentford Fans Turning Their Back on Their Team? Sergi Canos Family was the highlight of Loftus Road Debacle


This was another dire day for Brentford. Lets be clear I am a supporter who was there at Accrington on the terraces when it was minus 6 and if needs be will be there next season. But realism needs a place right now.

IMG_2317Firstly the facts. Brentford are currently the worst club in the championship. Anyone at the game yesterday and last week will know that. The form league table does not lie. The table also shows that we have the worst defence.

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So yesterday when 3000 Bees fans discovered that the team selection included no striker there was little optimism that we would score a plethora of goals.

In the warm up David Button indeed looked like the most likely striker with excellent ball control.

David Button

David Button

We were right. The game has been excellently reported elsewhere but to summarise we were better with Alan McCormack in midfield to give a little bite until we went a goal down and then frankly gave up. The defence was at times torn apart and the QPR strikers rampaged down the middle through our central defence almost at will. I am not a fan of Poulter, who can consider himself lucky not to be sent off for two yellow card offences, but the difference between the chaos he caused compared for example with our Hoffmann ( unfit it seems yesterday) was interesting.  Even strikers with little talent can cause chaos. Brentford never looked like scoring a goal with the potential exception of long range shots, and for me only Sergi Canos  and David Button can come out the game with any great credit. Things were dire and no sign of getting any better. Some fans seemed to want to consider throwing themselves off the upper tier!

IMG_2335The undoubted highlights of the day were the omelette before the game at one the nice street cafes around Shepherds Bush and meeting Sergi Canos family in the upper tier stand. Lovely people who seemed as bemused as we were at the decision to take Sergi off who was without doubt working hard and probably the best player in our team. In fact the substitutions yesterday were frankly ridiculous and it showed. If we are to be treated to a fans forum this season one of my first questions would be to explain how Sam Saunders and KK are the right players to bring on when chasing the game and 2-0 down.

Sergi Canos Family. CF Nunes was Sergi's old team in Spain

Sergi Canos Family. CF Nunes was Sergi’s old team in Spain

Highlight of QPR v Brentford

Highlight of QPR v Brentford

A separate article is needed to describe the QPR day out in fans terms however I am unsure that the plethora of stewards and police on horses were really needed.

IMG_2337Having said that there were reports of fighting amongst Bees fans apparently on the basis of ” you are not loyal enough”. We do not need any Brentford fans who fight for any reason if this allegation is true, though I did witness homophobic abuse from a single middle aged male in the front row of the Upper Tier.

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So as we now enter a relegation battle and many fans have correctly identified that we have been in one for 4 weeks already, the question we might ask is will we be here at Loftus Road next season? And reviewing the fixture list makes interesting reading, our final two games of the season against Fulham and Huddersfield may be in fact be huge relegation battles. Frightening.

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Brentford Team Formation

Cheap Football Is Possible.Cost of £7.90 per game in The Championship. Huddersfield Town Leading the Way in 2016-17


The costs of football have been spiralling out of control in some clubs, the recent debacle of Liverpool trying to recoup a few extra pounds on a few extra seats and in that process pushing prices up to £77 have been well reported. As have the fans response, by walking out of a game and the subsequent result was a retraction of that ridiculous pricing.

The Championship side Huddersfield Town have however followed other clubs like Bradford City in making their season ticket prices so cheap that it remains to be seen the numbers that will take up this offer. For next season 2016-17, adult season tickets are priced at £179 for the first 10,000 season tickets sold. The rationale is mathematically simple. Championship clubs have an extra 2 million pounds TV revenue next season, and Huddersfield are diverting 1 million of that to fund this season ticket pricing reduction. This equates to a per match cost of £7.90 which is often less than I might spend in the tea bar at half time at Brentford on a burger and tea.

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This is affordable and in fact brings the cost of league football to be cheaper than non-league. Many of the lower tier ” proper” non league clubs ( by which I really mean have a few stands and maybe terraces,and do not play in essentially roped off fields, trying to be descriptive not rude here!) who live at the Ryman league standard or above , charge £8-10 entrance, Molesey 8£ if I recall correctly and Carshalton 10£ ( both recommended by the way).

An interesting scenario and one we should watch avidly to ascertain the take up in Huddersfield of this exceptional offer. Other clubs should take note. Watching the Cardiff V Brighton game on TV last week one might be excused for thinking that the ground was empty as the cameras focused on the lower tiers only. Would it not be better to fill the ground? Numerous aspects are possible. Reduced prices for televised games? Buy one get one free? Free food, drink and a programme?

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Bradford city are a class example. A club in League 1 not looking like an immediate return to the Championship is likely. For 2015-16 season their season tickets cost £149 for 23 home games. This is £6.50 per game, again little more than lower non league entrance costs. And this was actually £50 cheaper than the 2014-15 season ticket cost. Perhaps the only surprise was that junior season tickets were priced at £99, when a lower cost might seem a logical way to enhance the younger fan base. Especially with the curious meanderings at nearby Leeds United, for those not local these two cities share an airport, Leeds-Bradford airport. And anyone who might be cynical that this is a short term option consider that Bradford City have been running this cheap season ticket scheme since 2007 when the adult season ticket cost was £138.

 

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The Clouds Lift Over Griffin Park. Brentford 3 Wolves 0


There is no doubt that Brentford have been a spiral of disaster the last 2 months, and this is reflected in the win ratio of 1 win in the previous 9 games, and in the plethora of negativity that followed the Derby debacle on saturday. Something had to change.

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Clouds over Brentford seen while flying in for the game

Fans arrived late as often they do for an evening fixture giving the impression till almost the last minute that there would be no crowd. In fact almost 9000 hardy souls braved a bitter and literally freezing evening to watch an entertaining game.

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Griffin Park By Night

There was little agreement before the game on what the outcome might be and even less agreement on the team selection other than something had to change to bring back the fighting spirit and work rate that we saw earlier in the season. In reality the summoning of two of the best players in the club, John Swift and Sergi Canos gave the side width and skill, and Nico Yennaris recovered from a hideous performance in central midfield on saturday to have an excellent game at right back. The work rate in midfield was probably double that of saturday and from the start the elevated work rate and the chances created got the crowd going. In the end a 3-0 victory did not flatter Brentford and it should have been greater. We must not however lose site of how abject Wolves were. Watching the game it was difficult to believe that they had 40 points this season and sitting seemingly in mid-table security. They were poor, very poor. Never the less a good performance that should keep the crowds interested for the remainder of the season. Yet margins are thin in this league, with Brentford comfortably winning 1-0 in the second half, only a superb save from David Button kept the Bees ahead. Conceding a goal then might have led to one of the many Brentford collapses we have seen this season.

Were there any downsides to the game? Only one for me. No cornish pasties. What kind of football catering does not have cornish pasties, forcing me to sample a Chicken Balti pie, which I can sum up as saying could be a vegetarian option lacking anything I could find that resembled chicken. Edible none the less.

Lastly a strange emerging feature of watching Brentford lately. As the crowd streams out of the New Road stand, a group of 2-3 steward looking characters in cheerful fashion thank the crowd for coming and have a safe trip home. Brentford are emerging into the customer service era and will achieve that for me when cornish pasties return.

So the gleaming clouds were an omen and indeed the sun was truly shining on Brentford and their fans at 10 pm last night.

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The Skies above Brentford before kick off

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Clouds Gleaming over Brentford

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Floodlights over Brentford

A final thought. I will miss this old ground when it goes. We know it has to and understand why but the character and atmosphere is what sums up real football , even in the absence of cornish pasties.

A Lot of Questions at Brentford Football Club


A miserable afternoon ended with Brentford losing 1-3 to a moderate Derby County side. But for many grumbling Bees fans that was not the main issue. More worrying aspects include the recent sale of key players, no replacements, absence of anything resembling a striker who scores goals and seemingly a roulette wheel that randomly chooses the midfield players. And more importantly deafening silence from the hierarchy as to what is happening and what the plans might be. IMG_1882

For some reason that I cannot begin to fathom two of the better players were left on the bench when the team were crying out for creativity and players that in football fan parlance ” make things happen”. Sergi Canos and John Swift. Swift has his critics, but I am not one of them. He is not the box to box midfielder that maybe Douglas was, but he has far superior skill and this is his first season playing competitive football. The roulette wheel was spun and out popped Kerchbaumer and Yennaris.

  1. The first question is what exactly do either of these two bring to the team? Yennaris to be fair shows some promise as a potential wide midfielder , but not I hasten to add as a first-choice, and surely not ever as a combative central midfielder. And anyone who reads the Sky report on the game would have read words  ” a lack of presence in midfield”.
  2. The second question is why we persist with a non-goalscoring non-forward, Lasse Vibe? Vibe began the season as a wide midfielder and looked comfortable there and scored goals. Sky report a ” toothless attack” and many fans would say we have an absence of attack.

Frankly Derby outplayed and outfought Brentford all game bar the 15 minutes following a superb solo effort from Alan Judge, who must be wondering what he is doing in this team and how so much can go wrong from 4 months ago. Many fans have that question too. Is Dean Smith not the man for Brentford? I have no opinion on that but am questioning his team selection. The Derby fans also witnessed their first victory since Xmas. IMG_1880

A bigger problem though is the size of the Brentford players, who often looked like midgets when compared with the larger size specimens on display from Derby. Woods, Vibe, Judge, together equal the size of a single large Bradley Johnson. Physicality is needed in this league and in this regard Brentford are not competing .

In fact in general Brentford are neither competing nor explaining to the fans how they plan to compete. If ever a time for a Fans Forum it is now. But there is a deafening silence from the owner and his minions.

Many worried faces today and few signs that anything will improve soon. And who chose these players and on what grounds were they chosen. There was clear evidence of fan disenchantment today that is increasing by the game. One win in nine games is not acceptable. Not to the fans anyway. IMG_1879

 

All Football Fans Should Consider supporting The Charlton Petition


Many football clubs go through lean patches for various reasons, sometimes chance, sometimes bad management, sometimes overpayment of players. But there has been a plethora of clubs just so badly managed for reasons that often defy reality that deserve the support of all football fans.

As a Brentford fan we have had our share of problems with owners such as David W£bb in the past and have come through to be a much stronger club. Clubs like Exeter City are essentially fan owned. So my sympathies are with Charlton who have always been a decent a friendly club that can be epitomised by their own fans clearing The Valley of rubbish such that they move back in not so many years ago.

Charlton are going through tough times and the fans view is that there is serious mismanagement .They have started a site where most information can be found.

http://ourcharlton.org.uk

This is the essence of what they are saying, but I urge you to visit their website for the full information and to sign the petition. The photograph below is of Brentford who are lucky enough to have Matthew Benham as an owner, but without him who really knows where we would have been.

We want our Charlton back
We demand that the current owner of Charlton Athletic, Roland Duchatelet, takes every step to find a successor (or successors) who understands how to run a football club, is willing to invest sensibly in the team and appreciates the critical role of fans in building success. We want Roland out – before it’s too late.

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Dear James Tarkowski. An open letter.


Sadly last night you were not “dear” to the 10,000 fans who having worked to earn the money to watch a football game that you were supposed to be playing in. You clearly felt it right to “go on strike” or refuse to play in the game. Why would that be? It seems that you are not brave nor maybe stupid enough to reply on twitter to the stream of invective and vitriol that I have been reading all evening from Brentford fans. So I have to surmise what the issue might be.

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No Camera even this large would have found James Tarkowski at Brentford.

Brentford played Burnley and we assume you and your agent have had contact with Burnley who have made an inadequate offer for you. Brentford who have trained you and improved you over the last two years quite reasonably need payback for that. After all who else will pay the coaching and fitness staff whose services you have used freely to improve.  And while on the topic of pay, maybe I should remind you of the games you have missed through red cards and suspensions, and of course those when you were injured. The club supported you through all this. You indeed have been a good player. Not a world beater. You will never for example be an international player like some of your team colleagues. I assume also that you have an issue with Brentford rejecting the bid as it would lead no doubt to higher wages. Brentford have stated, or the media has at least, that a bid of 4-5 million £ would buy your services. Presumably Burnley will pay that if they agree with the valuation. So, back to the game tonight versus Burnley. Why would you say you were not wanting to play? I can again only guess that you did not feel comfortable opposing the team you hope or imagine or know will sign you. Or worse, did not want to be part of a team that would beat Burnley? This is not how football or life works. You are under contract, legally to Brentford and presumably have been paid in accord with that contract? So you might not want to play, but in short you have to. You owed that to the fans and the club. But you declined this kind offer of team selection. So in short your loyalty is with the potential new club Burnley, who may not be blameless in all this by unsettling you and offering ridiculous low transfer bids, but your real loyalty is to yourself and your selfish desire to secure more money, without a thought for the fans, coaches and others who got you as far as this. In short you have let down everyone who has helped and supported you in your career. IMG_1246

A quick look at twitter reveals extensive vitriol towards you not only from fans but from those who know football from your side, players like Marcus Gayle, and journalists. You really have chosen to upset a lot of people. Football supporters who even have no connections with Brentford.

IMG_1248 So if You were watching the game on TV tonight you would have seen a Brentford team clearly unsettled by your selfish, arrogant and stupid behaviour lose an important game. You would also have heard 10,000 Bees fans chanting and singing your name, followed by expletives. You will go down in football history as one of the bad guys, who decided that they were more important than the game, the fans, the clubs and the very fabric of football. You will certainly be remembered in years to come but not for your football prowess. Any club who signs you in years to come will take all this into account as will your fellow footballers. How do you feel about letting down not only the club and fans, but also your fellow professionals. I think it is fair to say you have shown all of them a total lack of respect. I do look forward to hearing your side of the story.

 

Lets Remind Ourselves of the highlights of Burnley before Tarkowski and Judge decide.


Some of the Brentford fans had the pleasure of a day out at Turf Moor earlier this season. The stewards and fans were friendly enough and maybe we were unfortunate to lose 1-0 to a sloppy goal from defensive error. But would I want to live there?

Judging by the news Burnley are after signing the whole Brentford squad, the fans, the badge and most likely the urban architecture that is Brentford! Today allegedly having a 2.3 million offer rejected for James Tarkowski. A ridiculous bid.

Lets take a look at what Burnley the town and the football ground was like and maybe Tarkowski and Judge may form a different view of where they want to play their football.

  1. A Night out in Burnley. If these were the new ideas from the new owners, what exactly were the old ones like?
A night out in Burnley

A night out in Burnley

2. Maybe not much different to many Northern towns but this is what the streets looked like around the ground

Burnley Streets

Burnley Streets

3. Uninspiring architecture here at the away fans entrance

Away Fans entrance

Away Fans entrance

4.The ground itself

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Lovely Wooden Seats

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Football Joy to end 2015. This cheating has to stop. Why should Fraser Fyvie not be banned from football for 3 years? What is wrong with players and supporters of our great game?


A few pieces of football news just floated by on various media sources. All highly depressing.

  1. Sheffield United are investigating allegations of racism by their fans at their home game with Bradford City last monday.
  2. Coins were allegedly thrown by Bradford City fans towards Sheffield United striker Billy Sharpe in the same game.
  3. Stuart Milleker, an alleged ” Notts Forest fan” has been banned from attending football matches for three years after entering the field in the game versus Derby County and attempting to grapple a Derby player.
  4. Fraser Fyvie, a Hibernian player, has been banned for two games for feigning a face injury in a successful attempt to get a Rangers player sent off. 

The most depressing part of this story above is the cheating by Fraser Fyvie and the even more depressing part is that few saturdays go by where I do not visualise cheating in this guise in a game that I see. Sometimes total simulation and more commonly gross exaggeration of an injury, usually timed to help the team in a difficult or final moments of a game.

What occurs to me is that often the punishment does not fit the crime. Players, managers and fans all are quick to point out the failings of referees. Myself included. Keith Stroud in his performance in the Reading v Brentford game two days ago was exceptionally poor. However what chance do they have with the ” clever” feigning of injury by players like Fraser Fyvie? One also presumes this is the not first time he has attempted this party trick and presumably been successful before. His behaviour also means that if becomes more difficult for referees to stop a game for injury if in the back of their minds is a ” cry wolf” scenario. Why has he not been banned for three years? Why only two games?

Football is a game and is played both on and off the pitch with volatile emotions. But it is a game. Players should not cheat, fans should not try to harm players and racism in 2015 is simply moronic. IMG_0998

 

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