Brentford are now eight games unbeaten and coming off the back of two great away victories at Preston and Birmingham. meanwhile Leeds had lost six of the last eight games and were coming into this match off the back of a 2-1 loss at home to Derby. Billy Grant caught up with Matt Beedle (@matthew_beedle) from Leeds blog Right In The Gary Kellys (@RITGK) to get the lowdown on life after Cellino, how Stuart Dallas fits in nowadays and who should Brentford fans be wary of out on the pitch on Saturday.
Leeds had a great start to the season but it’s got a little sticky the last month or so with 2 wins and 6 losses in the last 8 matches. What has been going wrong???
Our home form has been so unpredictable this year and I think it’s partly down to a demanding crowd. I said after about five games that we’ll win more away from home due to us playing better on the counter attack. Every team goes through a rough patch in the Championship so we’re hoping this is our worst run of form all season.
Are Leeds fans relieved the Cellino has gone? In retrospect, what was the most bonkers thing he did at Leeds?
We are so relieved! He was just completely mental and now we have Radriazzani the club feels relatively normal again and going the right direction. The most bonkers thing he did was probably appoint Dave Hockaday as head coach, who in their right mind would do that? To be honest there’s plenty but the last I heard Hockaday is the head of sport at a college in Gloucester somewhere so that highlights how bad of a decision it was.
Your manager – Thomas Christiansen – has stepped in after Gary Monk walked out on you. Fans seemed happy with him but there seems to be a few whispers from a section of the support who believe he’s not the right man for the job. Why is this?
I think it’s down to his lack of Championship experience, which will only come if he gets given time. It’s a weird one because we don’t have an ‘in between’ performance. We’re either really good or really bad. Lee Johnson at Bristol City is a great example, they stuck by him and they’re sitting in fourth at the moment. I’d stick by Christansen, he’s a centre back and a left back away from having the right tools at his disposal so that doesn’t help him.
I see you have just employed Gianni Vio – the free kick coach responsible for the interesting ‘Christmas tree’ free kick we took at Birmingham last season (below) which we got dogs abuse from the Birmingham fans for. He caused a bit of a rumpus – initially being allegedly banned from the training ground by a previous management regime after being bought in to give a few tips to a Brentford team who were not delivering on free kicks before being employed by Brentford in the Dean Smith era.
Apparently when he left us we were top six in scoring from free kicks – much higher than when he started. Not sure why he left but we have another free kick coach who seems to be really delivering see Barbet’s free kick against Bolton – below) so it could be the battle of the free kicks this weekend. Do you reckon he’ll up your free kick game?
I hope so. I hope he can help our corner taking as well. We can never beat the first man so hopefully he can improve us.
Gianni Vio created this infamous Christmas Tree Free Kick Formation for
Brentford – used at Birmingham in 2016
Yoann Barbet’s Free Kick Against Bolton
Saying that, you do have a few decent players in your side. Who do you rate?
Yeah, I’d say Samuel Saiz is one of the best players in the league in my opinion. He’s certainly the best player Leeds have had in many years. Ronaldo Vieira is back in the side now and he’s doing really well again this year after a superb season last year. There’s plenty of others such as Luke Ayling, Alisoki and Eunan O’Kane but they’ve been too inconsistent the last few weeks.
And how is ex Bee Stuart Dallas?
I’d say he’s been really unlucky not to be in the side at the moment but he’s certainly one of our most important players. He scored some vital goals against Sunderland and Birmingham but like I say he’s been unfortunate not to start. He had a family bereavement a few weeks back and was back in the squad with in a week, he’s a proper professional.
Why did Diagouraga not fit in?
Toumani was a player that i was quite excited by when we signed because he always stood out when he played against us for you. He was a regular under Steve Evans (who signed him) but featured in Leeds’ 3-0 defeat on the opening day of last season and since that day he didn’t get a look in under Garry Monk. Was best for both parties for him to leave.
Brentford isn’t the best place for teams to come when managers are under threat. Simon Grayson didn’t last too long after playing us (one week). Neither did Jimmy Hasslebaink at QPR (sacked a week later) and Gary Rowett at Birmingham (sacked two weeks later). Does this worry you?
A little, I’m one for stats like that. There is an international break after the game so if Christiansen was to get sacked it would make sense but I highly doubt that he will!
Saturday we’re on the box … 5.30pm KO on Sky (who have just moved our Boxing Day match to 7.45pm which has promoted some Bees fans to cancel their Sky subscription in protest). Should make for a lively atmosphere. Loads of pubs in Brentford .. check the pub guide below. Brentford are now unbeaten in 8 league matches scoring 8 goals in our last 3 matches. We play football on the floor, passing the ball around loads and we try to stick to that playing style no matter how tough we are finding it. How do you think the game will pan out?
We don’t have a good record at Griffin Park but this year we have played well away from home and play better against teams who like to get the ball down and play. I reckon it could be a fairly even game and it wouldn’t surprise me if the points are shared with goals in the game.
PUBS IN BRENTFORD
For Leeds fans coming down, you are probably aware there plenty of pub options pre-match and all are most welcoming and away-fan-friendly (as it should be).
We are now back to the traditional four pubs around the ground, following the reopening of the Royal Oak.
The Griffin is closest to the away end (like 30 secs walk) and is very popular with away fans – but also very, very busy. The New Inn is on the other side and is also popular with away fans. The Princess Royal and the Royal Oak are the other options.
Other pubs slightly further afield for the more creative amongst you include (and this is by no means a definitive list) …. The Globe (Windmill Rd) is the Beesotted pre-match pub. This boozer & The Lord Nelson (Enfield Rd) are both incredibly friendly and cosy away-friendly pubs and about 1 min walk from each other …. frequented by ‘away fans in the know’.
The Plough (Northfields Ave) in Northfields is a decent stop-off if you are coming by tube to Northfields. The ‘Northfields run’ makes a much better pub crawl route than South Ealing – getting off at Northfields station, turning left and stopping off at The Plough (2 min walk), The Lord Nelson (10 min walk from The Plough) & The Globe (1 min walk from The Nelson) en-route before ending up at The Griffin (8 min walk from The Globe) by the away turnstiles.
There’s also a relatively new tiny microbrewery pub in Northfields called The Owl and The Pussycat (Northfields Ave)– right turn out of the station away from the ground as opposed to left.
There is a pub right by Brentford station referred to as … the Pub by Brentford station.
For ale head to the Magpie and Crown pub on Brentford High Street. The Royal Horseguardsman (Ealing Road) can probably hold 15 of you at a push.
The Brewery Tap (Catherine Wheel Road) is a cosy boozer by the river. And if you are super adventurous, get off at Kew Bridge and visit One Over the Ait (Kew Bridge Road) – a spacious boozer right next to Kew Bridge with a beer deck overlooking the river – and The Express Tavern (Kew Bridge Road) – an ale pub with a retro feel.
A quick Google search and you’ll find them all. There are many many more too if you have a look around.
Parking is pretty easy away from the ground going up towards and over the A4 Great West Rd (ie. North) via Ealing Road or Windmill Road.
Getting to Brentford from town – many fans get the tube to Waterloo (Northern, Jubilee lines) or Vauxhall (Victoria Line) then take the Overground train to Brentford.
This is relatively straight forward but can actually take longer than if you get the tube due to waiting times (overground trains come every 15 mins and the journey from Vauxhall or Waterloo to Brentford is 30 mins on the fast train – 51 mins on the slow train – so you could find it takes you over an hour including the journey from Kings Cross/Euston/Paddington).
Many fans choose the tube over the overground. It’s 35 minutes to Northfields station from Kings Cross or Euston (less from Paddington) and then 15 minutes walk to Brentford from there (4 mins on the bus) – more if you take the Northfields to Brentford pub crawl outlined above (Plough, Lord Nelson, Globe, Griffin) of course. If you’re feeling lazy you could take the E2 bus from outside Northfields station to either outside The Globe pub (3 stops – serves The Lord Nelson too) or Brentford FC (4 stops).
You can check out Transport for London’s guide to travel on the Tube and Overground.
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