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 “sergi canos”

Were Aston Villa that bad? Or were we that good? Thoughts after the night before


A very wet evening heralded an excellent game of football that even torrential rain could not dampen nor actually have much effect. A sell out crowd of 12,000 including 1,600 Villa fans saw an end to end game that at times could have gone in any direction. IMG_6569

The scoresheet will confirm that Brentford won 2-1 but that hides a lot of the game. The few minuscule words that The Times chose to post about the game really were both clueless and gave their readers no feeling of anything about the game. So lets go back to the start. Brentford have a whole series of injuries that have disrupted their starting eleven for around 2 months now, yet even with players out of position and squad players coming in, the results have been quite superb. So looking at some of  the players who were absent from last night: Egan, Henry, Dalsgaard, it is clear that the Bees defence was not first, nor second choice but maybe third choice. Nico Yennaris at right back and Joann Barbet at left back, two players not always first choice this season, playing out of their regular positions. On paper this was a team that Villa managed by the ever increasing frame of Steve Bruce should have been looking to beat comfortably. Certainly thats the view from their hordes of fans on social media. In fact Brentford looked the most comfortable they have all season in defence, with the exception of the Villa goal scored too easily. 00000513

Brentford have turned into a hard working and maybe fitter side than earlier in the season, and are playing as a team. They are also some of the best football I have seen at Griffin Park over the years. The players have a game plan and it works. The return from injury of Sergi Canos has been crucial as has the return to form of Florian.

The pitch is now in excellent condition considering the recent weather and rainfall, and yet this is Brentford, were before the game smiling stewards were trying to sweep away the rain behind the New Road stand but at a slower pace than the rain that was falling!

The return of Alan Judge to the bench was warmly applauded and we might expect to see him starting a game soon.

My impression of Villa was actually positive. They were a hard working team in the first half and probably shaded the game on points. Always a threat when coming forward but as the game went on they failed to have a plan B and arguably gave up after Lasse Vibe’s 52nd minute winner. The last 10 minutes were the usual panic stations and especially as both Brentford central defenders were off the pitch with bloody head injuries, with goal line saves keeping Villa out. 00000487

Despite negative comments on social media my impression was they are a side that will be in the playoffs. The fans are shouting to maybe have Bruce out but they might look at their alternatives and instead stick with him. Do they really want a Pulis, Warnock or Pardew? Their football was not as good as Brentford and on the night it showed, but on other nights they will beat similar teams because of their speed in attack and physical size. What however surprised Brentford fans was the odd role given to Hogan. We know he is a good player, but we also know he is a confidence player, and a player that needs service in the box. He could slot back in at Brentford in the correct role and start scoring goals again. But a real lesson for not only Villa but also Birmingham and Norwich, do not just buy the best player, but look at the system they have been operating in and why they have been the best player. The simple reason why Canos, Jota and Hogan have not flourished after leaving Brentford. IMG_6583

The football played by Brentford was superb last night, there were no defensive errors ( bar one that we got away with) and we made good substitutions at the right time. The other thing we learned last night was that we do need to give Lasse Vibe a new contract. For me he has vastly improved this last 2 years and has at least another 2 years left of Championship football. He also is a stable influence on the side and is likely to feature in the World Cup in 2018. Nico Yennaris for me had his best game in a Brentford shirt, not only his positional sense but his cajoling and encouraging his team colleagues. Could this be his best position? I would not be alone in thinking that Henrik Dalsgaard would be better in midfield . Chris Mepham was superb and a casual observer would be surprised to learn he has only started a handful of games. Sergi Canos had a superb game despite his Malfoy like hairstyle, and is getting better by the game. Romaine Sawyers also had one of his best games and also looking better each game. Even Keith Stroud had an average game, when our expectations are that he will ruin any spectacle. A question to ask him is his interpretation of the advantage rule though.

Villa do not need to panic and although automatic promotion is beyond them, the playoffs certainly are not. Their hope might be that they do not meet Brentford there. This was one of the great nights under the lights at Griffin Park and when we move to Lionel road this is what we will miss.

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Reflections On An Away Day At Queens Park Rangers


For fans not so familiar with London, Queens Park Rangers play at Loftus Road in West London, which is about 1.5 miles from Hammersmith and near to Shepherds Bush. The area is a curious area  and on the good side with many “expensive” cafes thats serve excellent food and a plethora of oddly named hotels. Take the New Century Inn. Not entirely clear which century it was new in but a good guess might be the 19th century and not much has changed since then. There also seems to be a desire to dig up every piece of ground nearby and the building works and roadworks are numerous.

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The cafes are good though and it may be better to feed in one of these than chance the dubious food on offer in the ground at also very extortionate prices.

Highlight of QPR v Brentford

Highlight of QPR v Brentford

A strong recommendation is to travel by underground as there are many underground stations in the vicinity , Wood Lane, White City, Shepherds Bush Market and Goldhawk road. Parking will be 7 kinds of nightmare and I do not recall seeing anywhere to park like a reasonable car park at all.

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As with all ex-premiership clubs, habits die hard and there is overkill with hundreds of stewards and police horses. The local fans however seemed in general terms pleasant enough. A number of barricades are in place mostly to stop cars but expect a little interest from the stewards at any barrier for any reason. IMG_2324IMG_2326IMG_2327

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IMG_2329Expect to be searched going into the away end and expect confusion as the entry for the Upper Tier stand behind the goal for away fans is on the opposite side of the ground for  that of the Lower Tier Stand. The searches are friendly enough but on the excessive side.

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The walk from the nearest tube stations takes maybe 10 minutes maximum. Almost all the local pubs are home supporters only, so anyone in search of alcohol may need to head a little way away from the ground. If you have time to visit the dentist then the curiously named Batman Dental Surgery is an option opposite the ground. IMG_2325

The away fans are given the stand behind one goal and if you are in the front few rows as I was you are hardly 5 yards away from being on top of the goal. A very tight ground, that generates a good atmosphere.

Entry to away end

Entry to away end

 

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Having said all that the views are excellent for the away fans. However another remnant of premiership football is the high cost of tickets, £32 for mine and the £3.50 programme.

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IMG_2335A few curious signs and pieces of information emerge on the walls of the away end. Not entirely sure what they add to the spectacle but interesting anyway.

IMG_2334This is a good day out for away fans and a trip to be encouraged but it would be good if the club realised that most fans do not create trouble and an excessive degree of policing and stewarding is a negative and expensive and unnecessary phenomenon.

 

Ipswich 1 Brentford 3. Photos to Show that The Old Brentford Are Back


The result was important here as this seals the impossibility of relegation and takes Brentford up to 13th in the table and a maximum of 9 points in a week. The game was marred by the terrible injury to Alan Judge who after a reckless challenge from the seemingly unrepentant Luke Hyam suffered a double fracture of his leg.  After the tackle and when the players became aware of the seriousness of the injury it was clear that tackles on Hyam were strong and Jake Bidwell had words for Hyam as he left the pitch.

00002703 I cannot recall such anger from a  Brentford team over a challenge such as this. At a minimum it was reckless and the conspiracy theorists argue that Hyam picked his man. The only person who truly knows is Luke Hyam. What I will comment is that having seen the tackle in real time and watched it on TV many times, that there was no necessity for this tackle. It was dangerous, reckless and is the type of tackle that can end careers. there seemed little sympathy in the ground even from Ipswich fans at his eventual sending off. Good management might have dictated that he was replaced as he became a peripheral figure after that unpleasant challenge. And as of 24 hours after the incident he has posted nothing on his Twitter account to offer anything resembling repentance or even good wishes to Alan Judge. He will be a marked man at Brentford for many years to come.

What was both refreshing and encouraging for next season was to see that the workrate and tackling so much missing this last few months was clearly back. The midfield were both skilful and combative and Sam Saunders for me had one of his best ever games in a Brentford shirt. Lass Vibe scored two superb goals that maybe he might not have scored even 2 weeks ago.

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Sergi Canos gave the kind of display that should make Brentford want to sign him on a permanent contract and the 18,845 crowd included  559 Bees fans who made more noise than the 18,000 Ipswich players. Canos ran, tackled and fought for every ball. He was magical.00002822

The introduction of Jonathon Douglas in the second half did galvanise Ipswich a little and Douglas was involved in most of the decent passages of play that Ipswich had. My own view is that I would have him back at Brentford any time.

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Ipswich Town are a friendly football club and to some extent one wonders if that hampers their desire to return to the top tier. Certainly there was nothing in evidence to show that Mick McCarthy has great tactical or even motivational tactics to produce. Talking to the local fans it was clear that they feel his time has come and he should move on. The fans and the stewards are some of the most friendly football fans in our division.

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Sam Saunders epitomised the spirit shown by the Brentford players as in the photograph below.

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Even the fringe Brentford players when they came on,  and will surely feature more in this injury melee that surrounds Brentford , did their part. Gogia looked interesting and created trouble for Ipswich and Kerchbaumer also had his best game in a Brentford shirt. The photo below of a snarling Jonathon Douglas is a classic.

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Mention has to be made however of the defence who have been heavily critiscised this season, by many including myself. They were imperious. Maxim Colin was both skilful, creative and tough tackling and is the kind of player we need in the summer to boost our chances of promotion next season. Harley Dean shows the dominance to contain Freddie Sears and make him look almost anonymous. 00002828

00002830The only negatives apart from the dreadful injury to Alan Judge, were the cost to get in that Bees fans had to pay £32.50. This is too much for Championship football. Even for the home fans excluding travel, this takes the cost of a game over £100 for a couple.

But this week and maybe the day belonged to Lasse Vibe who looked every inch a Danish International striker. We should applaud him. 00002817

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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

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.

Reading 1 Brentford 2. A few thoughts, reflections and comments.


There are plenty of eloquent match reports and informed opinions on the various blogs and message boards. So no need for a detailed match report. What does need saying though is that fine margins make results. Brentford were the better side but Reading gave the impression, certainly in the second half of working a bit harder.

The neutral would have enjoyed this game, with end to end movement, an awful referee and three truly excellent goals that would have graced any Champions league game never mind the premiership or championship.

Will Brentford fans see two better goals from their side this season? A 30 yard shot from Ryan Woods that gave the keeper no chance and came out of nowhere at a time that Brentford were not on top, was maybe bettered by the effort from Sergi Canos that he both made and scored. He took an excellent pass from Ryan Woods, and produced two sublime touches with his right foot then switching to his left foot to hit the ball home. The Reading goal from Garath McCleary was made by Matej Vydra, a player I would not mind in Brentford colours, with again a wonderful passing movement that one cannot criticise the Bees defence for conceding.

Those that say we should use our pitch to share with other teams, football or rugby, might like to take a look at the awful pitch at Reading especially in the penalty area and corner regions. It was fairly terrible.

The other point of note was the woeful performance, again , of referee Keith Stroud. He was without doubt the worst official I have witnessed in 2015. His decisions were error strewn, with both sides left in bemusement at times. Most bookings were incomprehensible, with the exception of the sensible decision to give two yellow cards to Michael Hector, both deserved. The first one for a crude and potentially dangerous challenge on Alan Judge might have been deserving of a red card and the second one for some poor simulation in an attempt to win a penalty was also well deserved. But otherwise Mr Stroud annoyed both sets of fans and players with odd and seemingly random decisions that defied the many rules of football that I am aware of. It would be a pleasure not to witness that charade again this season or ever maybe.

Brentford did not play to their best. The defence looked more solid. James Tarkowski started the game hobbling in the warm up and seemed to finish that way too, but was excellent. Ryan woods scored an amazing goal but gave the ball away so many times that this is an area of real concern for the team. However other than the goalscorers the Man of the Match for me was Maxime Colin. An imperious display.

Are Brentford play-off contenders? The mathematics say they are but they need to improve on their goal scoring records. They are playing well and have improved enormously since August but need a clinical striker.

Was Brentford 2-1 Rotherham one of our most important games ever? A few thoughts and photos


This might sound ridiculous to the casual football observer and critic but this game rates up there with play off finals in order of its importance. The increasing turbulence and mutterings of discontent against the owner, manager,players and no doubt the programme sellers has been assuming absurd proportions. Last season was a one off. A group of committed players, playing well beyond their potential at times, a few good slices of luck  and importantly a relatively injury free season allowed the stars to align and Brentford to achieve an outcome almost undreamt of.

This season has been a disaster so far this is true. Some of the more worrying elements come in almost forgotten metrics such as a significantly reduced number of travelling fans, less vocal support from the home crowds and most worryingly for me, the reduced tempo and work rate that has been the norm this season. Of course the results are important but the manner of the performances are what dictates the pleasure or displeasure levels of the Brentford faithful.

What we saw yesterday was a spirited performance that maybe deserved the 3 points despite being at times the weaker side. The work rate was high and the effort cannot be faulted. The performance of Jake Bidwell was one of his best in a Brentford shirt.

There can be no doubt we were lucky to win and the neutral observer would have scored this as a draw. An exciting game played by two teams who found it difficult to defend well.

The three points are like gold dust. They give us some breathing space, introduce a winning mentality confidence and importantly consign Rotherham to at least another week below us in the relegation zone. That we are beating the weaker sides is actually very important. All the three sides we have beaten represent sides that will be in bottom 8 places come the end of the season. Relegation for Brentford would herald another difficult mountain to climb to escape League 1 and we can see how difficult that is for large clubs such as Sheffield United. However this season ends we need to end it in the Championship and one can argue that the re-building process can now resume. I personally think some of the new signings will be successful at Brentford and some will not. I also think based on yesterday that Lee Carsley is moulding a unit in his style of play, more rugged and physical than maybe we have been used to. Let us see how that works out.

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Brentford Sack Marinus Dijkhuizen. Some Thoughts


News emerged a few hours ago that Brentford had sacked Marinus Dijkhuizen after only 8 games in charge. The reasons may be fairly clear.  Not only poor results ( for which he cannot be soleley to blame), but the insipid manner of the performances with a lower work rate and tempo than under Mark Warburton gave cause for concern very early on. Visually Marinus failed to motivate from the touchline, often giving the impression he was simply a spectator at the game rather than an active component to what was going on on the field. Any coaching that was done,and their was precious little evidence of it, came from his coaching assistant. His failure to bond at all with the fans was also notable.

in hindsight at the Bees forum last week, not only was the atmosphere flat, suspiciously so, but the lack of obvious communication between Marinus and Rasmus Andersen, Phil Giles, Cliff Crown , was obvious to the watching eye. they hardly spoke to each other and some of the questions that were addressed to others normally might have gone to Marinus. This was both before the forum, during and after. The bond I hoped and expected to see between coaching staff was absent.  Again in hindsight, a dead man walking. Crowds were also falling, and after 3 sustained seasons of increased crowds with incredible support for the players, this was starting to vanish. Numbers of away fans were frankly minimal compared to last season. Atmosphere at home games was nothing like last year. Put simply we have gone backwards. Where we have exciting talent on the bench, Sergi Canos, there were reasons/excuses why he did not start a game. The interaction between players and coaching staff at games looked poor and minimal. A few tweets from senior players also caught my eye, sometimes what they did not say as much as what they did.

There will be debate over this, and already comment has been made that we do not want to be ” another Leeds” but if something is wrong then it needs to be changed. Marinus seemed an intelligent and likeable man, but did he motivate me or inspire me,  not at all, and one wonders if that at the end is the simple aspect that was wrong. Brentford fans demand clear high work rate on the pitch, they forgive mistakes, but will not forgive insipid performances. I wish Marinus well, but do imagine that the Football League is not the right place for his talents and maybe a return to Netherlands might be the best option.

Marinus Dijkhuizen at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Marinus Dijkhuizen at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Marinus Dijkhuizen at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Marinus Dijkhuizen at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Marinus Dijkhuizen and Cliff Crown at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Marinus Dijkhuizen and Cliff Crown at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Marinus Dijkhuizen at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

Marinus Dijkhuizen at Bees Forum 2015 Sept

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