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Is The Championship Really Too Scared To Play Brentford At Football?

Is The Championship Really Too Scared To Play Brentford At Football?

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.

Jim Levack



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About The Author

Dave Lane

Beesotted Editor Since 1990


  1. Mark Hardy

    Good article…and my feeling exactly, as stated elsewhere.
    If/as we progress to the upper echelons of UK footie with what is probably the most (potentially) exciting play I’ve seen at Griffin Park for years, what else did we expect other than for teams to ‘park the bus’ when playing us?
    What continues to worry me is Dean’s apparent continued inability to a) expect them to do it … and b) change and adapt quickly and decisively when his starting pattern is simply not working.
    But…if the Club reckon he’s still the man to take us to The Promised Land, well…they haven’t got much wrong in the last few years!
    Sounds churlish, but I’m still not convinced…

  2. Pete

    I am a Rams fan & saw the match on Tuesday plus the Bristol City one. They have been conceding lots of goals in their previous away matches & Gary Rowett has been trying to change personnel plus playing formation , It had been very much a work in progress & I think the overriding aim was to be more difficult to play against on Tuesday, after conceding too many late goals There is no on field organiser/general who takes the match by the scuff of the neck & it didn’t take a coaching genius to see what was wrong on Tuesday. They needed someone like Chris Martin to be an outlet for the defensive clearances. Mid table is the best my team will achieve this season.

  3. David Carney

    Once again Jim, quite correct, but I am not so sure the problem is one of lack of goals scored by not breaking down the opposition. Rather it is the defensive lapses that are at the core of the problem.
    There are five teams in the table above Brentford that have scored the same or less goals and Preston sit in 5th place with the same number of goals scored.
    Sloppy goals conceded change the dynamics of the game significantly as well as losing points. There have been 4 or 5 goals conceded quite unnecessarily putting Brentford under pressure and allowing opponents to try to then close down the game or provide a comfort buffer. Either way, those goals conceded eased the fear of the opposition and gave them both a buffer and allowed them the luxury of parking the bus, etc.
    The silly goals also put pressure on the forwards and anxiety has crept in. Unfortunately this inevitably results in less goals scored.
    So jim, you are no doubt correct there is the fear factor, but when the problems at the back are sorted out the numbers suggest Brentford will roar up the table.

  4. HerzyBee

    Well expressed Jim, couldn’t agree more, ‘insiders’ are taking us more seriously, certainly Rowetts tactics, as brutal and uspohisticaded as they are, haven’t changed from his Birmingham days. t Boro yesterday, we did very well, although they weren’t the Boro of two or three years ago. We demand respect now, and have earned it



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