Derby County’s ‘agricultural’ playing style at Griffin Park earlier this season really frustrated Brentford fans who were stunned that one of the division’s biggest spenders and most illustrious clubs had resorted to such extreme negativity in the 1-1 draw. Whether it be a long-ball strategy to take advantage of an opponent’s perceived defensive frailties, or unorthodox free-kick routines employed to cause confusion in front of the goalkeeper, the use of ‘extreme’ tactics has always been a bone of contention among football fans – especially if those football fans support Brentford, including those employed by our own team! However, frustrating tactics are nothing new, as this 1933 extract from the brand new Big Book of Griffin Park perfectly illustrates.
“Bees supporters gave Hull’s offside game a poor reception on Saturday, with Hull City looking like becoming one of the most unpopular clubs in the Second Division unless they decide to abandon their hundred per cent offside game. One must, in fairness, be prepared to allow that they have brought this game to a high standard of perfection; it is scientifically conceived and brilliantly operated, but – and the but in this ease is the crux of the whole matter – it renders good football impossible, and that is what the people pay to see.”
“Obviously something drastic must he done about it, for if it extends the only possible result must be a solid falling off in the gate. There was a crowd of 20,000 at Griffin Park on Saturday, and the Hull tactics resulted in unprecedented scenes of barracking, culminating in an argument between Brentford supporters behind the goal and the visiting goalkeeper, who had to be escorted from the ground by the police.”
All Brentford fans during the 1933-34 season also agreed on a less confrontational theory, that new signing, Dai Hopkins, was a truly class act – and the player would go from strength to strength in the years that followed as the Bees clinched top flight football and had a team full of top international players. This magazine cover, from 1935, has been adapted into a limited edition print, which are currently available here www.beesotted.com.
The brand new Big Book of Griffin Park book is crammed full of over 1000 Brentford stories and photographs, which really capture the spirit and soul of Griffin Park – the publication is a perfect way to celebrate a ground we all treasure.
If you haven’t got one already, make sure you get your own copy of this limited edition run by visiting the Brentford club shop or buying online via shop.brentfordfc.com.
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