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 “ryan woods”

Brentford v Leeds. Even the Star of Bethlehem arrived


After two superb away wins and that curious but positive draw against Sunderland , Brentford fans were in optimistic mood with a nicely positive atmosphere prior to kick off.

In fact a beautiful evening to watch football. New Road was even treated to a sunset .

Shame the Leeds fans were unable to maintain a minutes silence for remembrance. Although to be fair many were expecting the referee to whistle to start the minute of silence. We were however treated to far too many renditions of his whistle during the actual game .

The game was superb end to end stuff. Brentford worked hard and in most areas for most of the game were superior to Leeds. But let’s start with the negatives. Too often Leeds were allowed space to attack through the middle and far too much time to shoot from the edge of the box. Bees were also slow to close down players again allowing far too many shots from around 20 yards. The good news was that Brentford were technically superior in every area.

Brentford took the lead after a keeper error allowing a simple finish. The luxury of another missed penalty did not put Bees off and if anything inspired Ollie Watkins to have maybe his best game. Leeds equalised curiously in an identical manner. Dan Bentley dropped the ball again allowing a simple finish. In many regards this was a copy of the Reading game except Bees then upped the tempo and deservedly scored 10 minutes from time . A nice free kick from Barbet who had a good game and finished the game off in injury time with a nice move down the left , the ball pulled back to the edge of the box and Ryan Woods scoring the best goal of the game.

If Brentford fans thought they had defensive issues, Leeds have far more serious issues. Goalkeeper Andy Lonergan looked dubious all game with plentiful handling errors. Defensively there was a lack of talent and skill with the ball going in any random direction often however out of play. When Leeds attacked they showed flashes of good play but so many unforced errors meant that many of their attacks ended as throw ins.

For Brentford this was their best team performance of the season. The side looked quick, skilful, hard working and effective. Chris Mepham looked solid coming on for the injured Bjelland. Yennaris had probably his best game I have witnessed with clever passes combined with a high work rate. Mokojoto was an ideal substitute stretching the Leeds defence with clever runs.

Nine points in a week does not come along very often and we have been shifted acutely from a relegation battle to a potential play off battle. There is a long season ahead but this game showed what Brentford are capable off. And for once Sky was there to capture it all

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

00000525

Nostalgia with Brentford programmes over the last 70 years. Football really does change. Part 1. 1971-2011


With around 4000 programmes to go through you may be viewing a number of posts from me over the next few months. I pulled a random bundle out that were mostly Brentford programmes and a few surprises too.

Sometimes I hear moaning about the cost of programmes but did you realise that back in 2011 Brentford fans were already paying £3 for their programme? A few names in the Charlton line up one recognises, Ben Hamer ( what a wasted career he has had to date, languishing in premiership reserve teams last few years), Yann Kermogant ( who in contrast has been immense) and Jason Euell. A few names in the Bees squad that I really do not recall, Blair Adams, Dale Bennett and Kirk Hudson for example. Pim Balkestein, who to me deteriorated rapidly during his time with Brentford, Mike Grella ( one of the worst Bees forwards of all time) and the wasted talents of Myles Weston and Sam Wood, who had the talent to progress far higher than they ever did. A young Sam Saunders adorns the front cover. IMG_2755The next programme was from 1978 and forms a series of programmes from games against teams that have sadly become non-league along the way. Brentford v Workington programme cost 10p and reflected that Paul Bence was the Bees captain of the time. Anyone who ever went to Borough Park, Workington, might be surprised to know that the record attendance there was 21,500 v Man Utd, back in 1957-58. A lesser surprise is that Workington never had a player capped. A few interesting hairstyles of that time were viewed in the programme. FullSizeRenderIMG_2754A few names in the Brentford team that I recall well, Gordon Sweetzer, Roger Cross and Jackie Graham. For those that never saw Jackie Graham he can best be compared to a latter day Ryan Woods. Small, bustling, energetic and always 100% energy player. The programme notes make “sombre” reading with talk of hooliganism amongst Bees fans. In fact this was almost entirely the topic of the first page. Some context though is that this relates to the theft of a Brentford scarf from a fan (by another Bees fan) and warnings of no fireworks please! The game was played on November 3rd.

The final programme in this sequence comes from Brentford v Scunthorpe in 1971. This is a signed programme and seems to have maybe 8 autographs on the front cover. I cannot recall how I managed to get this! Maybe others can untangle some of the names on the programme. I can find Peter Gelson, Gordon Phillips, Bobby Ross . IMG_2749

Ipswich 1 Brentford 1. A good point for Bees but should have been three . Some good signs for next season


Being fortunate enough to photograph the game one gets fairly close to the action and able to see some of the little things that might get missed. Let me start with the highly supportive nature of Dean Smith to all his players after the game, and also the embrace between Toumani and himself.

A fairly wet night and a fairly boggy pitch certainly not of the Griffin Park standard. Ipswich is a very friendly club and when arriving to collect press pass one is greeted by a serious of smiling and mischievous souls in the ticket office, all wearing smart clean blazers and ties. In fact I cannot fault the Ipswich club at all. Nice people, who deserve a good and decent football team. Whether they deserve mick McCarthy as a manger is a separate question. The fans I spoke to were mixed in their views.  Inconsistency of the team was a common theme. As a negative though the entrance price of 35£ for adults is excessive, 25.50£ for concessions, and 24.50£ for under 20. There is no need to charge these prices.

0000775900007758000077180000768300007680

There are plenty of good match reports online so no need for me to repeat much. This game was not a classic but was fully competitive until the last kick of the game. Although both sides are truly mid-table and arguably satisfied with a point, even in the 4 added minutes both pressed for a winner.

The goal was a nice pass from Romain Sawyers and a neat finish from Yennaris.

00007692

Nico Yennaris scores

Brentford played the better football. Ipswich did a lot of shirt pulling and pushing and a few dubious tackles and manoeuvres . Maybe someone in the FA or the Referees select committee can explain to me how this “rugby league” tackle ( illegal even there and seriously punishable in the NFL in USA) was not given as a foul. The role of assistants talking to the referees arises weekly. How this was not given as a foul against Vibe I am unsure.

00007711.JPG

An interesting style of tackling from Ipswich 

Brentford looked well set up with Woods looking more solid and winning more than his share of the 50-50 balls. The full backs looking better with every game. Maxime Colin has improved enormously this season.

00007688

Maxime Colin demonstrating an interesting style of tackling

00007689 Bjelland went off injured, without having an inspiring game, and Barbet came on, who still looks suspect to me. 0000767300007763

Justin Shaibu had 20 minutes and as against Rotherham caused all manner of problems to the Ipswich defence and was unlucky not to score. The days of Hoffmann are truly over and he needs to move on. 000077610000774400007746

So I take away a lot of positivity in this team and performance. The sort of game a while agao that Brentford would not have drawn. The worry remains over the number of goals conceded. This will improve.

Sergi Canos is such an exciting talent and could be a truly great player.

0000770200007703Rico Henry looks a class player and fast coming forward.

00007713

Rico Henry

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.

img_2722

A worrying Brentford performance. Brentford 1 Sheff Wed 1


Although the result shows a draw this game should go down in the annals as a game that could start a season of struggle.  Many fans struggled to get to the game on time due to roadworks in the area  and to avoid the dangers of Knotweed. 


In short Brentford with the exception of Daniel Bentley and Ryan Woods were poor. Off the pace all afternoon. Abysmal tactics. Disjointed substitutions.  I am struggling to recall a single tackle Brentford won and if they won a single header then I missed it. 


Sheff Wed should have been even 4-0 up at half time . An astonishing miss from under the crossbar will go viral on Twitter later. Brentford were second to every ball.  The Brentford goal from Vibe was a comedy of errors from the keeper Westwood who having kicked the ball against Vibe then watched it trickle into his net. 

The referee managed later to send off two players when really he should have had better options. The game hardly contained a meaningful foul. 

The Sheff Wed equaliser had been coming and when it did arrive in injury time the Brentford players played the remaining minutes seemingly hanging on to the point. 


Why were Bees so poor? Certainly the physical presence of their opponents was one factor yet that does not explain the abysmal work rate.  The whole midfield were anonymous and with the exception of the tenacious Ryan Woods one might have been excused not knowing that Yennaris and McCleod were even playing. 

In contrast Daniel Bentley was superb making world class saves. So simply there is no real explanation for this poor performance. But a worrying sign of what might lie ahead. 

Darkness Descends Over Bolton


No Bees fan will object to 6 points in a week even though the opposition was truthfully dire. For the first time in many weeks or even months, Bees fans came to the game with an expectation of winning. A healthy 3-0 victory a few days previously at Nottingham Forest provided the belief that winning against the bottom side in the Championship would be a likely outcome.

FullSizeRender-2

Griffin Park looking good under floodlights

FullSizeRender-3

Brentford seem to be praying for victory

The evening was perfect for football and even the River Thames at Brentford looked pleasant enough doused in muddy water. A few strange items, like an old toilet residing beside the water filled with what I hope was old leaves.

IMG_2759

River Thames at Brentford

IMG_2762

Outdoor toilets

FullSizeRender-1

New Road

The game was far from a classic but as much as Brentford ever do, they won this game easily at a canter. The Bolton defending was dreadful and frankly a decent Ryman South team might also have beaten them last night. The evening was perfect for football and the result turned out also to be perfect, a 3-1 victory, marred ever so slightly by Alan McCormack giving away a penalty. Brentford played decently enough and a few sparks of what we saw earlier in the season began to emerge. Oddly Nico Yennaris was the man of the match, although Lasse Vibe took the plaudits for his two goals, but Yennaris in central midfield looked comfortable and is learning how to tackle, though was outmuscled a few times . This was an encouraging performance that meant the game was over before half time with Brentford leading 3-0.  It was surprising that as many as 350 Bolton fans made the trip on a tuesday evening to watch their appalling side.

IMG_2765IMG_2773

Lets focus on Bolton. They were without doubt the worst side to visit Griffin Park this season and were as awful as Blackpool last season. Their likely trajectory will be similar too as this team looks poor even by League 1 standards, and I could back Colchester bottom in league 1 to beat this current Bolton team. They seemed generally poor footballers, but also dispirited and at times totally disinterested. There were no redeeming features. The defending was non league. Emile Heskey was an unused substitute but his body shape looked more likely to succeed in WWF than in professional football. Time to call it a day. Even he when warming up in front of the cheerful New Road crowd failed to acknowledge the generous applause he got. Darren Pratley committed enough fouls to have got a lifetime ban and seemed slow in pace and thought. A shadow of the former footballer he was.

So two wins in a few days essentially means that we will not get relegated and talk is of aiming for a top ten finish. But we should not get too carried away. Some of our defending was again dire last night. David Button almost gave a goal away by giving the ball away a few yards from goal and Harley Dean made numerous errors that somehow went unpunished. This was however an improved performance with the team looking more balanced than for a long while. Saunders and Woods out wide and Yennaris and McCormack more centrally gave the midfield a formation that seemed to work. Vibe scored two goals and the second one a very neat header. So we are in a lower mid-table position and thats probably right, maybe even slightly flattering. But it is a building block and we are staying up and Brentford fans will have woken up happy this morning.

IMG_2761

River Thames at Brentford

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

 

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.

IMG_1245

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.

 

A Very Wet Brentford Performance.Brentford 0 Walsall 1


As Brentford fans some weeks are best forgotten and it is better to remove those bees coloured spectacles and see the game for what it was. Brentford were comprehensively beaten by a hard working and decent Walsall side.

An excellent turn out from Walsall that filled the away end.

Fans arrived mostly by car but the potential was there to arrive by boat if they wished, and with such a wet game that might have been a good option. IMG_1179IMG_1178

The first half ended 1-0 to Walsall which is how the game ended but it was totally one-sided. The second half was better for Bees once Alan Judge came on, but frankly they never really seemed likely to score with the exception of one excellent save from the walsall keeper.

FullSizeRender-1

Why were Brentford so bad? Conspiracy theorists will no doubt argue that the cup is not important or maybe that transfer speculation had upset the side. I don’t know, maybe both are true. But the reality was that Walsall were the better side, their work rate was higher , their players seemed technically better. The five players brought in from last week did nothing to suggest they should be chosen next week. The swirling rain made watching even from Row G a rather wet experience. The plus point was the introduction of Marco Djuricin half way through the second half.

FullSizeRenderIMG_1193

Hands on head time maybe?

IMG_1185

The Bees fans on Twitter formed their views of this game which align with mine above. What we learned for sure was that Bees have no strikers. Midfield needs strengthening . But above all the worry that it was not the result but the performance that is most of concern. Players like McCormack did not perform. Swift looked undone by the physical attention of the Walsall players. Hoffman just looked poor really, not a championship player.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: