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 “west london”

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.

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.

 

Brentford 0 Middlesbrough 1. An unlucky evening for Bees


On the face of it Brentford a mid-table side were beaten by the league leaders and in my opinion, Champions elect. There however was a lot more to this game that on balance should be very encouraging for Brentford.

The most important thing is that this group of players are playing hard for their manager and to their potential. The second most important thing is that the fans back the team even in unfortunate defeats such as this. So what was the story of the game? We learned that David Button is an excellent goalkeeper but made one error that cost us the goal and the points. But long before Brentford should have been 2-0 up at least with chances missed and decent saves by the Middlesbrough keeper. Despite all the transfer speculation, and that is all that it is, Diadouraga and Tarkowski started and played decent games. The man of the match who improves with each performance is Maxime Colin, and for once our defence looked more solid than of late. Sam Saunders got a rare start in midfield and did not disappoint . What was apparent though was that Bees have no strikers. Lasse Vibe tries hard but he is not a lone striker and realistically would slot in to midfield in place of Saunders. Hoffman when he came on was invisible. A pair of strikers would make the world of difference to this side. The other fact that cannot be hidden is that Brentford must be the smallest side in the Championship and maybe the league. A midfield of Judge, Saunders, Woods is not a physically threatening vision. Does this matter? Maybe and maybe not.

I am encouraged by the excellent performance tonight but still wondrous at why we have not signed not it seems threatened to sign some strikers. To raid the lower leagues possibly.

But even though the rain came down again and this was the second 1-0 home defeat in 4 days there is plenty of reason for optimism. IMG_1230IMG_1232IMG_1233IMG_1234

 

A visit to Craven Cottage. Reflections on Fulham Football Club and Brentford


The West London Derby between Fulham and Brentford is always a feisty affair . Two local tesm, one very much on the way up and the other on the way down and currently without a manager. There is no need to go over the events of the game. An entertaining 2-2 draw where both the score and the result were a fair reflection of events on the field.

A visit to Craven Cottage though is always a pleasant affair. A few verbals but no fighting among fans and Fulham fans generally, though deluded about their place in the football hierarchy are not such a bad lot.

There is no reason other than insanity to drive to Fulham as parking places are delusional and do not exist in reality, so arrival by train and then walking along the river gives an interesting perspective to the ground. The ground is set essentially at the end of a park and within curiously 300 yards of Fulham Palace. Which raises the first question. Why not the name Fulham Palace? Crystal Palace versus Fulham Palace has a nice ring to it. The Palace is actually quite a beautiful building.

Because of the local derby and a failure often in reality by the police and the club to establish a need for stewarding and policing it is a fair comment to say that things were overdone. This game did not not need police horses, who provided free manure for all fans walking back through the park after the game, and conveniently if one has no time to pick it up one can merely collect it on ones shoes. A fair question was raised as to why if fines are given to dog owners for failing to pick up their mess, why does not the same criterion apply to horses and in this case the police and their horses? The stewards were pleasant enough but this is the first time to my recollection that I have ever been asked to open my coat on entry to a football ground. Overkill might be the simplest way to describe things,and seemingly an ineffective overkill too as pyrotechnics were let off in the Brentford end on at least two occasions. For me this is stupidity and potentially dangerous but mostly unnecessary.

In the ground the views are good and the food a major improvement on years gone. I did vow many years ago never to eat Fulham burgers again however despite their extortionate price they were relatively harmless. The sausages however could have benefitted from cooking and there was no way raw sausage was going anywhere near my digestion.

The whole football experience though was a good one and one that any neutral might have enjoyed. Fulham football club is really though not a cheap place but harmless enough and can be enjoyed. And as an additional benefit the Fulham Burger never killed me nor injured me in any way.

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Pay what you want to watch Brentford v Stevenage. 22nd Dec.


Strange but true. Brentford ask a minimum of 1£ only but you can choose what to pay if you buy your ticket beforehand up until 4 pm friday evening. Why are they doing this? Perfect sense. They have around 2000 season ticket holders, who do not begrudge them doing this at all, and will make it up to their season ticket holders later in the season with some offer one suspects. So 2000 have already paid. The expected crowd for a home game the saturday before Xmas is never high, maybe 5000 maximum and possibly lower. Stevenage will not bring armies of fans and most likely will bring around 200-300 only. Folks will not pay 1£, they are likely to choose to pay a median amount of between 5-10£ in my opinion.

So a good PR activity, a good day out. Lets hope this works. A few years ago a home game versus Peterborough was sponsored by a company (maybe St George Homes?), and they essentially made it free to get in. Result, great crowd,great atmosphere and home win! So spread the word and call Brentford to buy your tickets over the phone or online. Lets fill the ground. Already two sides have sold out, so don’t delay.

Stuart Dallas. Footballer at Brentford. A League 1 club in West London.


In a few years remember the name Stuart Dallas. A young Northern Irish footballer who joined Brentford last summer. He played ostensibly his debut game tonight in the FA Cup win over Bradford 4-2. He had a great game, good skill, good effort and my humble prediction is that he will go far. You heard it here first!

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