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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 “romaine sawyers”

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.

Brentford 2 Bristol City 2. Learnings and Thoughts


For a neutral this was an exciting game that was never sorted until literally the last kick of the game. Brentford fans will point to the statistics that show on paper their marked superiority  and Bristol fans will simply point to the score, and suggest that they might actually have won the game in the eight minutes of added time. Indeed bar an incredible clearance from Barbet that may have happened. Nevertheless Brentford have points tally of one point from three games, and with an away fixture at Ipswich ( who have 9 points), this may soon become one point from four games.

Social media gives a wide spread of opinions why Brentford did not win last night, focusing mostly on awful defending (again) through to the referee. Lets try and take a closer look. For me these were the key learnings and thoughts from last night:

  1. Brentford have uncovered the next premier league star in Ollie Watkins. He works hard and has great pace, can shoot and as he did last night score with headers too. He will now be the first name on the team sheet. Romaine Sawyers was also impressive, not only with his midfield play but also his ability to track back and defend. His partnership with Watkins was excellent and this can only improve.
  2. Yennaris had an unmemorable game both as captain and midfield player. He did so little and we have far better options on the bench and also in the B team. The sad news about Ryan Woods family also gives real perspective to all this.
  3. During pre-season one imagines that the manager would try out various defensive combinations and formations and decide upon a first choice. That seems far from the truth as the central defenders last night were the two whom were on the bench for the Forest debacle. Dean did give leadership and is our best central defender. Barbet however is not. He is prone to errors and made a critical one early on when the Bees confidence was high, and arguably derailed the Brentford side for the first half. There is no doubt he is a skilful player and he does the long pass better than anyone in the squad, there is much to build on, but as a central defender he would need to reduce massively the number of errors. For me the partnership of Egan ( who also has not impressed this season) and Dean is the one to use moving forward. Bjelland was shall we say not missed.
  4. Maxime Colin had a very decent game at the unfamiliar left back position but a fit Rico Henry will be a bonus when he returns. Henrik Dalsgaard also had a decent game but does need to be aware that he is a right back not right sided midfield player. Am I the only one who worries that his throw ins are illegal?
  5. Jota had a better game, not his best game, but the signs were there of improvement. His lack of form and unpredictability this season is a two-edged sword. Will it discourage suitors from making an offer? Will he regain his form of old if he stays at Brentford and signs a new deal?

On balance this was an encouraging game, but Dean Smith will be well aware that this is little margin between the best and worst teams in the division. If Bees continue to ship goals like this then make no mistake we will be in a relegation battle. This is a team in development but to allow the development defence must be solid.

Brentford tie players down to long term contracts


A tongue in cheek selection of photos. Muscle stretching exercises . Not noticed these before on the pitch. Maybe a good tactic to use with Hogan? 

What do we think of the whole QPR experience?


Bees fans this morning will wake up buzzing after one of the best performances for a long while. The team were skilful, competitive and persistent throughout the whole 90 minutes hardly giving QPR a real scoring chance. Two superb goals and a well deserved 2-0 victory that in reality should have been 4-0 on chances not taken. We also saw one of the goals of the season in any league from Romaine Sawyers who had an excellent game and thought the goal will get the headlines, the tracking back and workmate was what is needed at this level and either he or Ryan Woods would be my man of the match. Was it my imagination or did the workrate and tempo double from last weeks sorry performance against Barnsley? QPR fans will wake up knowing that there are real clouds over their club and any chances of a rapid return to the premiership are non-existent. img_0005

QPR however were totally a disappointment. They seem to want to set their club up as a major club with ” serious” stewarding, high prices and advocate a match day experience. The reality is that they are seemingly throwing money away that they can surely ill afford to lose. The numbers of stewards were excessive, almost to the point of being irritating, they did not know basics like where to direct people to their seats and sometimes got in the way of visibility in the goalmouth. Walking down South Africa Road past the entrance stewards were exhalting to turn this way or that way to get to the correct turnstile. If in fact I had followed their advice I would be watching the game from Hammersmith. Arriving at the Upper Tier entrance one entered what can only be desribed as a cage where three sets of stewards searched me ( no bag nor in fact anything on me), one steward having to ask his supervisor how to frisk someone.  The searching clearly did not work with a large flare being set off after a Bees goal. A further search at the turnstile and then three more sets of stewards ” directing” fans. Totally unnecessary. The Bees fans were well behaved and despite banter ( that has gone on for 50 years) most fans have little dislike of QPR other than an intense rivalry. Put simply, would we engage in violence with them, other than no doubt the occasional drunken episode, probably not. The stewards then directed me to the wrong seat, wrong direction, but more importantly a disabled couple were made to climb up and down steps a couple of times before being correctly directed. The food offerings were beyond abysmal. Mary Berry and her soggy bottom would have had a field day. The Chicken ( almost absent in fact) balti pie was totally soggy after its microwaving efforts at heating it. The person serving had no idea how to operate the till, nor the price, nor could calculate the change from a £5 note, the pie was £3.50. No alcohol was served to away fans suggesting that QPR still live in the dark ages.

My seat in Row C in the upper tier and labelled a gold seat, presumably gold relates to the money QPR made from me £34 for this seat with restricted visibility . The restriction was being unable to view the goalline and much of the goalmouth. On the positive side an excellent sound system, playing real music. Pete Doherty as an example. img_2726

The area around the ground is a residential area and one wonders about the joys of living there on match days. The local roads were strewn with rubbish, broken glass bottles and other discarded football materials. The roads were gridlocked before the game and generally having a football ground in this area seems now a poor choice.

In terms of the experience it was a poor one and QPR should look at the reality and effectiveness of their ” customer experience”. I would rate it at maybe 3/10.

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Brentford 1 FC Kaiserslautern 1. The Bees are back.Photographs and Thoughts.


On a hot sunny afternoon this was a good workout for both teams that played a competitive match in terms of effort without a great deal of end result or indeed physicality.

There was the curious sight of the scoreboard using maybe a bad acronym for FC Kaiserslautern…….1K4A4368

1K4A4547bestAs is the norm a number of substitutions in the second half rendered any interpretation of whether this was a good or bad display meaningless. Overall Brentford played with the same style as last season and looked a decent side. No one stood out today on either side. The work rate however was superb for a pre-season game. 1K4A4468

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FC Kaiserslautern brougt almost 1000 fans it seems and there was a fair amount of cabaret between their fans and the Brentford stewards, mostly all good humoured and in fact well stewarded with no incidents that I saw.  If their fans can be described as having a uniform it would be multiple tattoos and a flag per person, the noise from them was massive. They played an open style of play and it was no surprise that their goal came from quick running down the wing with an accurate cross on the floor that was finished neatly. In contrast Brentford goal came from an own goal scored from a corner.

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Own goal gives Brentford the lead

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Sam Saunders

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A busy Maxime Colin

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Romaine Sawyers

From the new players Romaine Sawyers looked industrious and moved seamlessly at times from central midfield to the wings. Sam Saunders played the game more like it was a league game and looked fit and interested throughout.

There were a number of nice touches in the game, not least the minute silence for the Munich victims, and the general noise and support from the FC Kaiserslautern fans. At times even a little too vociferous and some needed reminding that a minute silence means just that!

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The stewarding was also appropriately relaxed and fans had a great afternoon in the sun.

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