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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 “Thomas frank”

Time to Be Frank About This Brentford Performance. A Very Poor Day


On a day when 9,400 Brentford fans turned up on a cold evening to watch a game that was live on Sky and with South Western Railways adding to the festivities by striking, with no trains to Brentford, the shame was that the team did not repay the fans. Possibly the best way to get to the game might have been by boat!

Admittedly injuries and suspensions played their role however the manner of the 2-1 defeat was far more disappointing than the perennial failure to beat Middlesbrough. In many ways the worst nightmare came true, the chosen midfield were hopelessly over run and defensive errors again allowed simple goals. So what did go right? Neal Maupay had a superb game, never gave up working and running off the ball, however the midfield of McEachran , Yennaris, McLeod and Canos, frankly offered nothing. Sergio Canos tried hard as always, but looked a little short of some of the quality we know he has. The rest were frankly abysmal. I do not like criticising  Brentford players, but sometimes it must be done. McEachran seems to have the occasional good game, and is a good passer of the ball, but he lacks physical ability (important against many Championship teams), and has scored a single goal in his time at Brentford. Yennaris can be good, sometimes, but was anonymous all game. McLeod had the worst game I can recall in a Brentford shirt. It was not that he did things badly, far from it, he did nothing at all. His workmate was exceeded by many fans in the stands. He failed to deliver anything meaningful from midfield, failed to tackle, and in the 20 seconds before he was substituted, was strolling back from an attacking position whilst a Boro forward was rampaging towards our goal. It was like he had given up. As a Brentford fan I totally accept errors and missed goals, but cannot accept a frank lack of effort. So as a group our midfield neither created for the forwards nor gave protection to the defence. The saving grace of the game was the neat goal from Alan Judge and the running and efforts of the substitutes, Marcondes and DaSilva. Both must start tuesday.

Boro were a typical Pulis/Warnock side, a slightly poor type of Cardiff. Players all 6ft and above, pushing, fouling and producing generally unattractive football. At this level this type of play can be successful, although a Brentford side on form would have beaten them yesterday. Their second goal was gifted from defensive error. We have some of the most talented central defenders I have seen at Griffin Park, but as a unit they are the opposite of cohesive. Defensive coaching must be a priority for the rest of the season.

Any other positives from the game? Maybe. Alan Judge scoring was a great moment, lets hope his improvement continues . Marcondes looked sharp and interested. DaSilva looked strong and direct.

Many Bees fans have been rightly positive up until now, but social media suggests that the tide is turning. Thomas Frank needs to improve results urgently before we become embroiled in a relegation battle. We need some battling from the players and that means team selection needs changing. For me Yennaris, McEachran and McLeod have had their chances and it is time for them to move on. Maybe Frank needs to assemble a team of his own choosing? The worrying thing sitting a month away on the horizon is the transfer window. Brentford are not going up this season and we might fear player sales.

Why Brentford Are A Real Team.Some Post-Match Millwall Thoughts


Usually when I post musings and photographs after a  game I go through and find my best 20 action photos and write a few words around these. Here I want to do something a little different.

Things have not been good recently at Brentford. Not many good results, some social media distractions amongst fans and generally the mood of optimism that was with us a month ago had partially evaporated. There was ill-advised talk that Thomas Frank had only a few games to save his job ( ridiculous I know) and many ideas regarding team selection (myself included). This was an important game in the context of where the season might go from here.

Griffin Park at sunset in November

Griffin Park at sunset in November

We all know Brentford won 2-0 and although there were a few scares along the way, Brentford were the better footballing side and generally had the higher work rate. Something very different struck me strongly yesterday, perhaps I miss this sometimes, but Brentford are a real team. They worked hard for each other and have a true bond with the fans. The bond is important. We learned this week how strong that bond can be and the results of a good bond with the sad news emanating from Leicester city.  No doubt I will post more comments and photos during the week, but these are the ones that captivated me . They are not my best action shots, these will follow, but these show the real emotion and bond between players, fans and the manager.

  1. Neal Maupay. This guy really cares and works hard. On this occasion he had made a great run but his final shot was inches away. This was one of the many opportunities Brentford had to make the score 2-0. 0000482600004824
  2. Said Benrahma. Looking through the photos the players photographed the most are Said and Moses. It was lovely to witness the celebration after the game as Said walked back alongside Braemar Road. He embraced a few fans and the looks on their faces says it all. 00004860
  3. Daniel Bentley. He has had a tough month and no-one would argue that he has lost form. This result and the clean sheet meant a lot. 00004866
  4. Thomas Frank. This was an important game for not only the team but also himself, and the justification of his team changes, and perhaps some of the changes he did not make. His bond with  Neal Maupay is clear and so wonderful to see. 000048560000485400004853
  5. Moses Odubajo. His first game as first choice left back. A long spell of injury the last few years at Hull City. The way he worked tirelessly all game and created havoc in the Millwall defence was immense and enjoyable to see.  0000480300004777
  6. Sergi Canos. Sergi is returning to the form we know he has but he has had to work hard to get there. His enthusiasm is immense to watch and no doubt rubs off on the team too. 00004784
  7. The whole Brentford team. They were a team and it showed before, during and after the game. 00004743

In the context of the season the result and the performance was critical and the obvious bonding between fans and team will be important in the months ahead. Brentford are a good team, a young team, mistakes will be made (by players, manager and fans) but lets keep this tight bond going.

Something Wrong At Brentford . The More Difficult Question Is What?


Anyone watching Brentford earlier in the season saw that we were a good team. Few teams if any looked better than us. This wretched run has now made some question even if relegation is a possibility.

It’s more simple than that . We are a mid table side that was full of confidence but after a series of events has lost confidence. My personal belief is that the players knew Smith was going long before it was announced . Weeks even. Having watched Brentford for many years , around 50 , I can spot when something behind the scenes is causing issues.

This leads to uncertainty amongst the players. Frank may be a good or a bad manager. We simply do not know , however it is unlikely he will have the same beliefs as Smith. Some players such as Josh have reverted to the abysmal form of last season. His lack of consistency for me combined with his inability to tackle means he is not one of our untouchable players, however to make wholesale changes last night was not the clever option. Moses will struggle to come up to speed , literally, after his injuries and lack of game time , and as he needed to play last night it could be argued that changing the midfield formation was not the time to do this. Having said that Yennaris is also a hideously inconsistent player who should have done better both last night and in general. Dan Bentley losing form has also cost us 3-4 points at minimum.

Frank needs to look close up at the team. My suggestion would be to revert to a single captain, a leader . That narrows it down to Dalsgaard or Barbet. The trouble is that the petulance and poor discipline that Dalsgaard can show suggests that to keep things calm he might not be the man.

So to put it simply my team selection for Norwich would be the usual back four, Kamo and McCleod , Watkins, Maupay, Benrahma, Sawyers and Daniels.

Daniels is a good shot stopper, like Andy Woodman, but currently falls down literally from not being able to command his area and come authoritatively for crosses, also like Andy Woodman. A goalkeeper coach is critical here to bring him on.

Some players must realise they are in the last chance saloon. Sawyers can perform. He can be premiership material but equally at times can be dreadful. Consistency is the key . Frank needs to select his best team and stick with them for 4-5 games. He also must not be afraid to make early changes in a game. If a player is poor for 20 mins take him off. Warnock does not do everything right in my book but this Warnockesque activity is what the team needs. Substitutions need also to be logical not pre-planned

Lastly do not play players where they are poor. Barbet is actually a good footballer but he has never been nor will be a good central defender. At times I would have played him as an old fashioned number nine as Plan B.

Brentford are a work in progress. We need as fans to remain realistic and supportive but also to be appropriately critical. That is important . Let’s have a rethink after the next six games of the Frank regime.

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