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 “notts county”

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.


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?

There is too much tolerance of appalling behaviour in football . Notts County are taking the right steps 

A number of clubs have had players found guilty of either racist or sexist abuse of players and officials. Arsene Wenger felt it appropriate to physically abuse a fourth official last weekend.  Seemingly clubs are tolerant of this behaviour and wrongly in my opinion stand by their players at least in public. Although some of these acts indeed are done in a red rage and suggest the emotional lability of adult ADHD many culprits have a lot of previous form. 

Notts County currently residing in the relegation places in league two are having tough times on the field. They have however sacked their manager John Sheridan and released the reasons why. For this I applaud them. Sheridan not only abused the officials following a defeat by Wycombe but also threatened to knock them out. He was sacked for gross misconduct and given arguably a pointless five game touchline ban. His reward for this behaviour was to be appointed manager at Oldham in league one only ten days later.  Chairman Alan Hardy said such behaviour would not be tolerated by any employee.”This is a family friendly club which aims to be a pillar of the local community”  . In the referee’s report, referee Ilderton said Sheridan repeatedly swore at fourth official Matthew Donohue and also threatened to “knock him out”.

Far too often clubs do not castigate their players for offences that frankly are not acceptable on or off the pitch. Shelvey at Newcastle is a case in point . Players continue to give the impression that they feel they are superior to their paying public and the rules of the world need not apply to them. The papers today report that Granit Xhaka the Arsenal player was questioned over claims of racial abuse to an airport employee when a friend arrived late for a flight and was denied boarding. People and footballers do make mistakes and have a higher prevalence of emotional volatility than the general population however the simple reality that they are mostly more affluent than the general public cannot be seen as a reason why they should not pay the consequences. 

Notts County can thus be applauded for taking not only the correct decision but making public the reasons why. 

Brentford 0 Notts County 0

A game that was billed as a 6 pointer and in the end the draw killed the hopes Brentford may have had of reaching the play-offs. This however takes their unbeaten run to 7 games, five wins followed by two goalless draws. Any Brentford fan being fair and rationale will agree that we are not in the top 6 best clubs in the division and that this team would be relegated immediately with very few points. A few weeks ago I wrote a rant saying that Uwe Rosler must go and I stand by my comments. Odd? Stupid? I stand by my comments because with a good manager we would be in the play-offs and would not be needing to go through this exercise of pretending we are good enough for promotion.

The game was a reasonable enough one and one that Notts County should have won 2-0 by half time. They missed two open goals and hit the bar with a great shot. Other than that not a lot happened apart from a Saunders free kick being headed off the line. Brentford played to their ability but hampered by having no serious strikers. Clinton Morrison cannot run, shoot, head, so his position in the team is maybe curious. An experiment that clearly has not worked as shown by Leon Legge being introduced as a second half substitute centre forward……..Some cruel wag at half time suggested that bringing on Simon Moore upfront would be an advantage…………

The reason why we have had a good run is down in part to three things, firstly some luck, secondly playing some woeful Lancashire teams ( Bury,Rochdale,Oldham) and lastly keeping a settled side. The roulette wheel that is Roslers picking machine must have broken 7 games ago. There is the essence of a decent team here but it takes 3 seasons to build a side and get out of this league. This maybe, just maybe, counts as the first of these. And this is assuming we buy two more strikers, minimum in addition to Stuart Dallas, that we keep Adam Forshaw and Jake Bidwell ( both of whom will do well at this level and give them a chance of moving upwards) and that we stop signing average midfield players, who are no better than what we have and keep them on the bench.

Man of the match? Sam Saunders for his work rate, his dead ball kicking was poor for him yesterday. I also remain unconvinced by Harlee Dean.

Florence in Italy

An interesting day and its only halfway through. A few days ago I made a strategic decision that I would not travel to florence on saturday, as would be sensible, but travel on sunday so that I might watch the Brentford v Notts County game, which had given Brentford fans some slight hope of a play-off position. The game ended 0-0 and with it Bees chances of the play-offs. My penalty for this travel crime was that I had to fly out of Luton airport on a 7 am Easyjet flight. Working backwards this entailed getting up at 3.30am and a taxi journey to the airport. The taxi must have taken the most circuitous route to the airport known to mankind. Maybe the sat-nav calculated the shortest route but it was a strange one. The driver was a pleasant Romanian soul but in sited on talking to me all the journey and ended up by asking me how he might stop biting his nails………….

Luton airport is a horrible place. Where they can charge you for something they do and where they cannot they still do anyway. Firstly, this financial frenzy began with having to pay to be dropped off by a taxi, £1 ok not going to bankrupt anyone but not necessary and not kind. This donation to Luton airport allows 10 minutes of drop off time. To exceed this 10 minutes costs a mere penalty of 80£. Now at 5 am the airport was not so busy but I suspect there are days when it would be seriously busy and a queue might develop on exit to pay this fee, and suppose the queue took longer than 10 minutes and everyone was being fined 80£? In the airport the usual selection of average to hideous food at extottionate prices, all being sold from kiosks with stupid names. A fee again to buy those plastic bags to put one’s liquids in. A fee to go through the sensible paced security ( called fast-track, but I suspect the advertising standards authority might withhold a case against them). People everywhere pushing in, standing and blocking anyone passing and folks looking dead on the seats, you get the picture. Put simply,I hate Luton airport.

Easyjet flight to Pisa was on time taking off but late landing as French air traffic controllers were refusing something or other, work most likely. Now arriving at Pisa for a novice might be complex, but I remembered the system. Buy a ticket from a miserable mute man in a box who charges an extra fee plus the cost of the train ticket to Florence. The timetable advertised a train at 11.03 and dozens of folks stood waiting and waiting and waiting………never came. The station I can tell you for sure is not twinned with either Kew Gardens nor Wisley. Despite having a similar amount of foliage growing between the tracks. Everything looked run down and tatty and sad.  So we all clambered aboard what looked liked a first world war relic, a two carriage train covered in graffiti, nice graffiti but still graffiti, and went off at no more than 5 mph to Pisa Central. There are no signs at Pisa Central. Again grateful to have done this before. Found a train going to SMN, which is one of the Florence stations, but what confuses many folks is that Florence is called firenze. The train was packed. There is some rumour of a strike by Trenitalia but the real problem would be actually being able to tell the difference when they are on strike. The trains are old and this one was packed. There were a curious mixture of passengers. One couple caught my eye and also the camera on my blackberry. A younger woman who had clearly spent many hours putting on her make up, the blue make up around both eyes made her look as though she had gone 12 rounds in a boxing match. Her clothes and also those of what I presumed to be her mother can only be described in terms such as this. Imagine going to a car boot sale and being foxed not only to buy but to put on all remaining items of clothing. None of whom match any other item, style nor colour. Totally bizarre. Mother had a pair of glasses on that Austin Powers and maybe Joe 90 would be proud of. They covered essentially her whole head and making matters even more curious were pink. Covering her head was maybe a good strategy as her hair looked like it had been set on fire then microwaved and painted red as a final punishment to all non-colour blind people. From her ears hung what can only be described as awful silver looking blackberries. and she spent the whole journey sitting on the edge of her seat perched like a small crow. I have seen circus folks looking more sartorially elegant. The end of this part of the story is arriving with suitcase, and coat at 1 pm at the Congress centre. A 9 and half hour journey.

I have now taken my humble belongings to the hotel and again a magical extra fee payable only in cash! 3 euros a night city tax, but why only in cash? The hotel is fine, Malaspina, stayed there before 2 years ago during the ash cloud debacle.

notts County 1 Brentford 1

Seems like quite a feisty game. Rosler was sent to the stands. notts got an unjust penlaty and Donaldson scored one of the great Bees goals of all time it seems! anyway just got the great news that kimberley is now a fully fledged scuba diving instructoress!!! Wonderful news

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