A piece of graffiti seen on boxing day 2016 suggests that office workers may be trapped inside their office since Xmas. Their only hope was to paint graffiti on their windows and demand supplies. An insider however informs the blog that there was only enough paint to produce a single word. The word agreed upon was painted on the window. LAGER. Visitors to Brentford football club for their boxing day fixture against Brighton however seem not to have been in generous mood and no lager donations were spotted being provided. Little movement was seen in the offices as of late last night.
An excellent fast paced championship game on Boxing day 2015 surprisingly resulted in no goals. There are enough match reports to mean little point me adding to the details. It is the bigger picture though which is interesting , simply is this a prequel to the play off game with these two sides involved again?
Brighton were either average or Brentford made them look average. Nico Yennaris proved again that he is not a full-back but could be a decent midfielder. David Button had a day off. Philip Hoffman should have won the game for Brentford in the final minutes.
The game was played in good spirit with few fouls and none of note. Darren Deadman as referee was better than usual and actually not too terrible, but would either side clamour to have him back again, unlikely. A capacity 12,200 crowd gave an excellent atmosphere for a 1 pm kick off, which traditionally seem unable to provide the same atmosphere and noise as 3 pm kick offs.
The game was end to end and what was clear is that neither side had a potent striker who could have provided the goals that the game deserved. A 2-2 draw would have been a good pre-match bet and probably a reasonable score. Both sides are clearly good but maybe with Brentford improving and Brighton on the decline?
For me the best teams in the championship are Middlesborough and Hull City and these teams may get the automatic places. Perennial play off contenders Derby, Burnley, Ipswich may again make the play offs. Brentford and Brighton are also contenders with Sheffield Wednesday an outsider too.
The big surprise of the day however was being able to get an easy parking space in the Watermans Centre car park where the graffiti on a window of an office either suggested folks trapped inside demanding Xmas supplies or a prequel to a Lager advert. Great graffiti.
Arriving on a thoroughly grey day never makes any city look appealing but after an afternoon here I am struggling to see what might make Gothenburg a city to attract visitors. The airport is a fair way out from the city and the thick grey cloud that was covering the ground was relentless when viewed as the plane came into land.
The city itself one might say pretends to have potential. There are canals over which small bridges allow the pedestrians to connect to the squares and other streets. The main square is lined by hotels with the main Central Station on one side. All sounds promising until hoardes of East European, mostly women, attack each passer by through the square to demand money for some magazine, that I presume is the Romanian or Bulgarian equivalent of The Big Issue. Its wrong to say they are threatening but correct to say that they are persistent and in your face.
The buildings all look rather grey and similar and the shops are those one might find in any European city centre. Trams and buses are plentiful and have a good go to knock over any pedestrian who dares to cross the tram lines.
There are a few parks dotted around including one advertising itself as a kind of botanical gardens, except there were few plants to see at this time of year. The water in the canals is dirty with rubbish thrown in of the usual kind, bottles, cans and plastic bags, however uniquely there was a white plastic chair adorning the water too curiously a lifebelt too floating in the water, presumably unused. It cannot be the fault of the paths nor the trees but every single leaf in Sweden seemed to be squashed on the pebble paths making many areas slippery and at a minimum visually unattractive.
On the positive side there were some unusual signs. For example within the train station a sign proclaimed “HAGS” ” made in Sweden”. This seems a little unfair as there is cause to presume they are made also in very many other countries.
The train station was also packed full of a variety of different little cafes and eateries serving delicious looking food, however the venue of eating within a train station just does not seem right to me and the visual accompaniment of the Romanian sellers/beggars, also takes the appetite away a little. Some nice Chocolate muffins though were talking to me. The graffiti painted on the outside of the trains was good enough to rival that on the trains in Essen Germany and The Watermans car park in Brentford. The highlight of my little walking expedition was no doubt the burger restaurant Max. Not only were the burgers delicious and huge, but I managed to order my meal via a machine that gave me all my options in Swedish. The chocolate cheesecake however pictured below is one of the nicest food items I have ever eaten, bought in a little cafe in the station.
The people also seemed downcast. I cannot recall a single smile when outside the hotel. The staff in Max looked like a group session of ECT or bulk purchase of Prozac might be an option to be considered. Why was no-one smiling? Apparently the theory put forward is that they regain their inner happiness when the weather improves, which by my reckoning is 5-6 months away.
Crime however rears its ugly head everywhere and Gothenburg was no exception with a car with its window smashed in on a fairly main street behind the Radisson Hotel. The migrant issue in Sweden is also topical currently with the murder of Alexandra Mezher who was working on a night shift at a refugee centre for unaccompanied migrant children in Molndal near Gothenburg. According to the Swedish Migration Agency violent incidents have doubled in asylum facilities since 2014. Sweden also receives five times more asylum applications relative to its size than its neighbour Denmark, receiving 163,000 applications last year 2015.
The usual excellent European graffiti was evident with the colour of trains being markedly improved by the graffiti. This seem a european thing rather more than a UK thing, and oddly this is type of crime that it a funny way adds to the pleasure.
Would I be tempted to return here for leisure? Not really. I may be missing something but I do not get Gothenburg at all.
The last time Brentford beat QPR was in 1965 and not so many of the capacity crowd last night were even born then. This game was thus a time for celebration. A capacity crowd of over 12,000, some useful money from Sky for live coverage, and the fourth consecutive victory in a season when 2 weeks ago some wondered if we would win 4 games all season. All achieved with eseentially the same players. There is no need to give a match report and all Bees fans were there or watching on TV. A high tempo game, maybe too scrappy in parts. If I were a betting man i would place good money, and lots of it, on QPR not only failing to gain promotion this season but also failing to get in the play offs and sacking their manager certainly this side of xmas.
Some of the peripheral things around a capacity crowd caught my eye last night. How good does Griffin Park look under lights, how scary burger sellers can look ( a lovely man actually and a nice burger too) and the strange things one finds on top of cars parked in the Watermans car park .
The firework or whatever incendiary device it was certainly lit up Griffin Park after the goal. A great night. What price a second victory at Loftus road later on in the season?