Beesotted regular, and seasoned football journalist, Jim Levack, shares a little post-match tale from the Griffin Park Press Room on Tuesday night, with Brentford and Derby County sharing the points after a very one-sided encounter.
I like to have a rant to anyone who’ll listen after a game if things haven’t gone our way. The Press Room guys, Ian and Dave, know by now to just let me get on with it until it blows over.
But after the Derby game I collared a couple of lads tapping out some post-match analysis for their Derby readers with a three-minute moan about their side.
Cynical, thuggish, industrial were just a few of the adjectives I used to describe the Rams until one of them knocked the wind out of my sails in an instant.
“You have to do what you have to do to get a result,” he insisted, as I noticed the Ram logo on his fleece. I was, I realised, in a war of words with a couple of the Derby media team.
I hit back with “I honestly thought Derby were better than just hoofing the ball clear and sticking 10 men behind the ball, especially when almost everyone in your matchday squad has Premier League pedigree”.
It was at this point that I was, for once, speechless when he came back quick as you like with a line that all Bees fans should cling to as a reminder of just how far we’ve come.
“What’s the point in us trying to play you at football? There aren’t many teams in this division who’d be stupid enough to try that against Brentford,” he said.
It was like a punch to the solar plexus. People from established Championship clubs – and don’t forget this bloke was from the media team who will have been privy to the Derby management chat and build up – just aren’t meant to sing the praises of little old Brentford.
It did get me thinking though whether we now have a reputation as a team that loves to play pretty football but lacks the cutting edge to turn that technical superiority and mastery of the football into goals.
Certainly Derby and one or two others before them this season have been happy to adopt an overly physical approach to stop us in our tracks – and it seems to work.
So have Brentford been rumbled? I don’t think so, but certainly the surprise factor that we once had has now gone, along with the wing trickery of Jota that hopefully Marcondes will replace.
Fact is, as the Derby man said, we do play a brand of football that even the likes of Vydra, Nugent, Keogh and Forsyth aren’t confident of stopping unless they park the bus, and that should be a massive compliment to each and every Brentford player.
We are light up top despite the incredible workrate and desire of Neal Maupay and it was telling that the goal we scored came from the first occasion a decent cross came in to a striker who got across his man… both simple elements of the game.
Brentford do lack an experienced striker to give us a Plan B, someone a little more robust and aerial, although Shaibu’s time will come.
So next time you think about booing – and yes, Matthew Benham was bang on with his criticism – just remember we have a passing and moving team that even the so called big clubs in this division are terrified of.
That said we don’t want to be known as the best footballing side that ended in mid-table, so it will be interesting to see if we strengthen in the final third come January.
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