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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

Archive for the tag “neal maupay”

Brentford overcome the anti-football team Ipswich town


The game itself was a hard fought fairly dire at times 1-0 win resulting from a penalty that might not have been given on some days. Brentford continue their march towards a play-off place, which is unlikely but certainly possible. 00002387

The game was sad to watch really . Ipswich came with no intent to actually play football and were the definition of anti-football. Many photos show some of the pulling and pushing, and although no side are angels, this was frankly quite bad. All the things I can recall from old division 4 football when playing some of the teams like Workington and Bradford PA.  There was endless pushing, pulling, shirt pulling, general fouling and little else. Much of the Ipswich training manual must consist of where to run to get a new tattoo judging by the decor on view.

00002430 The Ipswich fans generally did not much like McCarthy and many wonder why he has not walked now rather than announce his grand exit for the end of the season. If this is his style, then Sir Bobby Robson will be turning rather more in his grave than some of the Ipswich strikers did during the game.  I recall Ipswich well as a child and my claim to fame was spending time at Sir Bobby’s house ( where the lawn was in fact the extra turf from Portman Road following a build of a new stand), having him cook breakfasts ( they were superb) and him getting me into games by telling the turnstile guys I was an Ipswich youth player. But I also recall that they played real football back then. McCarthy

Luke Hyam received the expected welcome based on his nasty tackle two years ago, but more so on his refusal to apologise. Frankly he was poor and there was nothing to really show why he had been restored to the team. Alan Judge made his first home start also since his leg break. hyam00002391

I found the Ipswich fans generally amusing with chants like ” we are the numbskulls” presumably in reference to comments from McCarthy. McCarthy cut a sad looking figure, not so tall as I had imagined and generally looking worn down. This surely will be his last football tenure.

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The game itself had few clearcut chances from either team, though towards the end Dan Bentley made some excellent saves, that are probably routine for him. Brentford lacked creativity in midfield and seemed to miss Flo Jo. For me yet again Josh McCeachran looked average at best and not maybe the standards we need next season.  Yoann Barbet looked a composed footballer but needs to reduce the number of bad passes that accompany his array of excellent ones. The left back berth is his to keep until next season. Romaine Sawyers certainly had his most physical game for Bees and the fact he was marking Hyam may have had something to do with that. His push on Hyam almost into the dugout in the early minutes set the tone for him. He also defended far more than most Bees fans realise, including myself. It is only when looking at defensive photos that I noticed how often he is there often behind the central defenders. 000024111K4A1593

Some Bees fans still think we have a chance of the playoffs but for me we are in the top 10 teams but not the top 6.  Bees lack the physicality to be a play off team and the points dropped against the “big” sides are what has cost us in addition to the missed chances. The recent “addition” of Chris Mepham has helped hugely. 00002469

The look that Martyn Waghorn gives Chris Mepham here is priceless. Lastly, did anyone else notice Mick McCarthy and Nico Yennaris having a cosy chat while they walked out before the start of the game. Anything in that at all?

As always Barbet is an extra spirit in the side and adds something that is immeasureable. For me he might be the next Brentford captain. Barbet

Having said all that we did win and we do still have a chance of the playoffs. Onwards and upwards……

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?

Brentford v Barnsley. What did we learn from this festival of football? Talking points


  1. Never knowingly watch Barnsley ever again. Another club in the lower reaches of the championship  who seem to think that mathematically drawing each game 0-0 will preserve their league status. The time wasting tactics we saw yesterday ranging from their goalkeeper wasting time two minutes into the game, and  added to by curious injury delays towards the end, were very much old league four behaviours. Simply dire.  As a footballing side they were adequate when trying to come forward but little better than that. In 2017 this kind of gamesmanship has no place and one wonders of the mentality of manager Paul Heckingbottom or his assistant Jamie Clapham.
  2. Never undertake the role of Barnsley performance analyst (Alex Bailey, what exactly do you analyse? Minutes of time wasted when score 0-0?)
  3. Brentford are not improving at knowing how to unlock defensive minded teams. We are a far better side in terms of skin levels yet seemingly not any better than teams like Sunderland, Burton and Barnsley, with disappointing home draws in recent weeks. The team seems not set up to do this and importantly no sign of a Plan B either.
  4. Josh McCeahran had a poor game and is not suited to playing in front of the defensive unit. He did not tackle and gave the ball away in highly dangerous situations. This was a curious decision by Dean Smith. It is difficult to argue that he should be starting games as he also offered little in attacking options either.
  5. Team selection and tactics. To put Kamo and Nico on the bench was perhaps an odd selection. Players need to be played who are in form and both are in the best performing 11 players at present. Ryan Woods is out of form and this worries me as is reminiscent of the form of players like Tarkowski and Toumani shortly before their departures. Why is Florian not playing? A player in good form and a set ball expert. There is plenty of room for both Sergio and Florian in the same team. 00000198
  6. Route one football at Brentford? We have never been known for this style of football. Our current squad are also not suited not frankly capable of playing this way, yet against Barnsley and Burton, for periods of the game this was our style. Justin Shaibu is the only squad member capable potentially of playing in this style ( and why has he not been on the bench recently?).
  7. Neal Maupay. Enigma or unlucky? The season has not gone well for him and some fans are starting to turn on him. He should have scored more goals but yesterday his level of service was zero. He is not a midfielder yet was having to win the ball to be able to do anything with it. For me he has the potential but needs the team set up to provide far more crosses into the box. He also I suspect is a confidence player.
  8. Is Dean Smith getting the best from his squad? Putting aside the few folks with persistent negative views, others are questioning his team selection, tactics and ability to out manoeuvre the opposition, especially when changes need to be made during the game. His choice of central defenders have come under scrutiny  and I am a critic here too. Our central defence is the weakest for many seasons regardless of international players we have playing there. As an ex-central defender he must see that too and I would like to see changes in the transfer window.
  9. Are we going anywhere this season? My opinion is not. We are a mid-table side. We will not make the top six, and unlikely to be in the bottom six either. We should take this opportunity to blood the youngsters or move them on. Chris Mepham should be starting and Ilias should be given a run of 4-6 games to assess potential.
  10. Why do the half-time draw sellers stand both outside the gents toilet ( for their sake, the smells are not lovely) and blocking the entrance to the steps up into the stand in New Road?  I do not much like this way of making a minuscule amount of money and £2 a ticket is a lot of money frankly for a small prize. The simplest way to make a sensible amount of money would be to make catering available to supporters in their seats in the stands. Trays of hot drinks and burgers etc. All priced sensibly maybe with pre-paid vouchers. To sell 300 extra hot drinks and 300 extra burgers would make a decent amount of money and provide a service.
Neal Maupay

Neal Maupay

Brentford 3 Sunderland 3. Another draw, more defensive errors yet this might be the real turning point of the season. The superb Florian Jozefzoon


There have been enough doom and gloom posts in the last 24 hours. It does not take a mathematician to realise that giving away three goals makes winning a match incredibly difficult. Yet in fact Brentford almost did that.

Florian Jozefzoon shoots to create the tap in for Yennaris

Florian Jozefzoon shoots to create the tap in for Yennaris

Lets start with the negatives. In the first half for long periods Sunderland outplayed us with a strong and energetic form of football, skill was not a major component , yet Brentford gifted them three goals. The obligatory goal from the ex-Bees player Lewis Grabban was the prelude to an error from Dan Bentley (keepers make mistakes and also win us games) and an incredibly stupid penalty to concede by Ryan Woods. Our defending yesterday was not good, but it was also not bad. In a purely defensive role Henrik Dalsgaard had maybe his best game for us. Our central defenders were hardly immense but also not error prone. What is the real strong negative and something Brentford must stop doing, is giving away stupid penalties. In three of the last 4 home games, it is the ridiculous penalties that have cost us (almost)  the points. Rico Henry (V Reading), Henrik Dalsgaard ( V Millwall) and Ryan Woods yesterday. Defensive coaching must encompass and limit the desire, need and tendencies to concede pointless penalties, when in fact in all three cases challenges could have been better or not made at all.

Ryan Woods meets Lee Cattermole

Ryan Woods meets Lee Cattermole

Now onto the positives. Brentford dominated the second half and we saw a team in bad form ( Sunderland) lose their confidence entirely after an excellent Florian goal. A sublime free kick. Brentford came close to winning the game and if the referee had added on 10 minutes instead of the obligatory 5 minutes, Bees would have won this game. Our football was good, tackling was strong and we did have our chances. And before we talk about lack of luck, lets remember the good fortune of the Neal Maupay goal from a deflection. In short  Brentford looked good. Why? in my view it was down to Henrik Dalsgaard and Florian combining superbly on the right. The work load was high, the running fast and they never gave up. So why have these two players suddenly produced such a superb performance? Before yesterday both had performances that might be termed “patchy”. Maybe it is the coaching behind the scenes?

Florian Jozefzoon

Florian Jozefzoon had a superb game. His best in a Brentford shirt

Henrik Dalsgaard

Henrik Dalsgaard had his best game attacking and defending and looked the Danish international that he is

Florian Jozefzoon

Florian Jozefzoon yet again stretching the Sunderland defence

Henrik Dalsgaard

Henrik Dalsgaard

Although we should have won this game, importantly we did not lose it. We are in a relegation battle right now and on any given weekend might end up in the bottom three. So it was crucial not to hand three points to Sunderland.  There are games coming up we must win, Burton for example and QPR, and there are games me must get a point from (Cardiff and Leeds).

Yesterday we looked a coherent attacking side in the second half. There are some unanswered questions ( such as why the Sergi Canos hair style and colour) and can Neal Maupay regain a run of form. Overall however I feel positive that we can scrap our way out of this relegation battle and may potentially be a lower mid-table side. Where we go from there is another question.

Neal Maupay

Neal Maupay unlucky not to score

Jason Steele

Jason Steele had an uncomfortable afternoon in goal.

Henrik Dalsgaard

Henrik Dalsgaard makes another tackle

Ryan Woods

How did Ryan woods get up there?

Ollie Watkins

Ollie Watkins

Lasse vibe

Lasse Vibe

Florian Jozefzoon

Florian Jozefzoon

Neal Maupay

Neal Maupay

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Brentford 1 Millwall 0. A home win before halloween . A strange game but huge relief.


Seems a long time since Brentford have been in a relegation battle and have had to wait almost until the end of October before claiming a first home win. At the end of the game there was relief all around, players,staff and fans. 00000218

So what was different and why did we win? Probably the answer is Daniel Bentley who is rapidly looking premiership material. Two world class saves and then in the 81st minute a superb penalty save gave Bees the points. Brentford if the truth is told did not play to anything like the heights of previous games and the game was the scrappiest seen this season. The team however battled all game and work rate could not be faulted.

Millwall were the poorest footballing team Brentford have played this year, with their main tactics seemingly to kick the ball as high and long as possible, and pushing their opponents endlessly, with the referee ( worst this season) allowing so much pushing and shoving to go unpunished it became unbelievable at times. Certainly Millwall are not a team I would pay willingly to watch. vibe

When rating the Brentford players the only ones who maybe had quiet or not their best games were Dalsgaard and Yennaris. Dalsgaard in the first half gave the ball away upfield a number of times and hardly rushed back to correct matters. He needs to remember his position is right back and thats his priority. Bjelland for me does not have the overall ability of Barbet and that could be a straight swop. Yennaris had a quiet game, and although he has had some good games, his overall contribution is not a fraction of players like Woods and Watkins.

Having said all that, Bees won the game and have the three points that overall they deserved ( as in many games this season). But, we are not out of the wood yet. A few more wins are needed in the next six weeks . 00000169

A few questions for Dean Smith include what would be against starting Lasse Vibe in place of Maupay ( who missed an excellent chance in the first half). The defence again needs some attention. Bees got away with it today thanks to Dan Bentley , but it needs to be tighter and at times more physical.

Time tonight to celebrate and hope that now the team can relax and move forwards over the next few weeks. The rest of the season? There are some worse teams than Brentford, including Millwall and Reading, but will we get above the mid-table milieu? I don’t think so. Success with this group of players would be 12th place.

Lastly Romaine Sawyers was superb. His goal was well taken and he almost added a carbon copy minutes later, but his overall work rate must have doubled since last season and his place on the team sheet should be an easy decision. He looks and is playing with a confidence, and I suspect we have not yet seen the best of him.

My beer will taste good tonight.

Thoughts on Team for Bristol City. What are the Brentford fans saying on social media?


As much as it ever can be possible , Bees fans on social media seem united that some changes need to be made for tuesday but there is no need for panic. To summarise what has been posted and discussed since the weekend:

  1. Although Bees will always score goals there was concern over the lack of involvement of Vibe on saturday. Mostly fans agree that Watkins should start and possibly Maupay as well. I feel this criticism of Vibe is a little harsh and although have no objections with polls being posted of the best Bees player in a game, I am against highlighting the worst performing player as was done at the weekend in an online local newspaper poll. Vibe got little or no service and that is down to midfield. My hunch is that Vibe will start upfront but that Watkins will also start behind him in midfield.
  2. Midfield came in for the most criticism , and much of it fair and factual. The return of Woods will be much welcomed and there would be little surprise if the enigma that is Josh McCeahran is on the bench replaced by Watkins. Yennaris did not exactly propel himself towards a starting role tomorrow and Sawyers may take his place.
  3. The defence certainly needs a shake up. The individuals and the system need careful looking at. Concerns are growing over the need for Harlee Dean to be both marshalling the defence and also providing the leadership the team need. Egan did not have a good game on saturday and seemingly has not progressed as one might have hoped. How Dean Smith will call this is difficult to predict, however if Dean and Barbet start it would not be a huge surprise. Bjelland looked slow and predictable on saturday and most fans agree that he is not a first choice centre back at present. Rico Henry did not have a good game at all, but escaped most of the more vehement criticism. One big and interesting question is the right back position. Maxine Colin can be considered unlucky to have lost his place, however Henrik Dalsgaard is a very good and exciting player. The problem is that he was rarely seen in the right back position. For me and others he should play in the team but in a midfield role. Will he get another chance at right back tomorrow? I suspect he will. 1K4A2916
  4. Dean Smith quite rightly has come under scrutiny after two unexpected defeats and the manner of those defeats. Defensive frailty has been the keynote finding in both league games. Another bad result tomorrow will certainly put some pressure on him to turn things around soon. He continues to have both supporters and detractors.
  5. Jota. Without doubt he is an incredible player, but he certainly was not that on saturday. Difficult to speculate why, but transfer rumours cannot ever help matters. I expect to see him back to his best tomorrow .

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My prediction tomorrow is a close Brentford win, maybe 2-1 or even 1-0.

Brentford 2 Southampton 2. A competitive entertaining pre-season game. What did we learn?


A decent crowd turned up to watch a surprisingly competitive pre-season game that saw Bees use their new signings. A draw was a fair result with each side donating a goal. Brentford looked the sharper side early on and scored with a nicely worked goal from Vibe.  Two Charlie Austin goals put the visitors in front before a howler from the fierce looking Fraser Forster gifted Brentford a late but deserved equaliser. goal

So what were the main learnings? Here are my thoughts:

  1. Fans will turn up in decent numbers for a pre-season game especially if the new players are on show
  2. Despite all the rumours Jota looked fit, interested and made a few Southampton defenders look quite silly at times, being allowed to run around them and then across the penalty area. 1K4A2935
  3. I am no expert in physical fitness but for me these players looked far fitter than in previous seasons. The game was played by both teams sensibly, with a few good challenges but nothing rash nor dangerous.
  4. Daniel Bentley looked a class goalkeeper making a couple of excellent saves, whereas Forster looked distinctly rusty.1K4A2921
  5. The Brentford style this year will be an attacking style using the wing and the concern will be not whether we score goals, which we will, but how to concede less. It is complex to read anything into a single game but to me the body language of Harlee Dean was not positive. Is he on his way out? Will it be Barbet and Egan in central defence? Dalsgaard looked solid at full back and Colin had his usual good game. Difficult to predict the right back starter. Good to see Mokotjo defending also as last line of defence. 1K4A2986
  6. Kamo Mokotjo looked good, scary and solid. He reminded me of  Toumani speeded up. He did make a few mistakes but rapidly corrected them. It is hard to see Yennaris getting many games. 1K4A2979
  7. Lasse Vibe is a class player. His hairstyle this year will be curious. Probably still our first choice striker. Neal Maupay and  Ollie Watkins both looked good and created mischief in the Southampton defence. vibe1K4A29331K4A3036watkinsshot2
  8. Florian J looked good too, maybe fitter, quicker and more stylish than last year. florun

 

Brentford fans will be looking forward to the season knowing that the size and strength of the squad means there will be healthy competition for places, and allows for injuries and suspensions. Why will we not be a top 6 side?

A full set of photos can be found on chrisbushephotography.com

 

 

 

 

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