Brentford fans witnessed one of the most one-sided games they’ll ever see at Griffin Park last night – but this wasn’t an FA Cup First Round mis-match against non-League minnows, the Bees’ overwhelming 76% of the play occurred against an unadventurous and boring Derby side who some fancy as being promotion candidates.
However, scoring just one goal from all that possession, especially as Dean Smith’s side only managed two shots on target all evening, is a big frustration, and adds fuel to the fire of those who would seemingly like to watch ‘worse’ but ‘more effective’ football, but after taking the lead, Derby’s band of giants effectively shut up shop. Unlike Brentford, The Rams have a hugely experienced side that were prepared to sit back and soak it all up, rather than take Brentford on in a game of football.
That’s not to say Brentford were unlucky again, or it was simply spoiling tactics that stopped Brentford from getting more out of the game. Something still isn’t clicking at the top end, with Neil Maupay looking isolated and not getting the service he needs – none of the midfielders were able to thread through the ball he was asking to run on to, and he struggled to hold the ball up when longer balls were played in. But with Vibe still unavailable, and Shaibu (so far) seen as more of an impact sub by the head coach, we are lacking options.
As you will hear in the Pride of West London Beesotted post-match podcast there are contrasting views on the Derby match, from fans of both teams, but I’m sure you’ll agree it makes excellent listening. Click the link above,
To Brentford’s credit, after going behind to Joe Ledley’s header on 15 minutes, we played Derby off the park. True, they came up against a big luminous yellow wall, but I am personally proud to see my team playing this brand of flowing football… Although we’re clearly not where we had hoped we would be this season so far, and unlikely to challenge at the promotion end of the table this campaign until we stop leaking goals and have a striker on top of his game, this ‘work in progress Brentford’ are arguably the most entertaining team in the Championship.
The patient approach play eventually produced an equalizer thanks to a lovely run and cross from Florian Jozefzoon, who teased his defender before crossing for Ollie Watkins to bundle home from inside the six-yard box – and the lid was lifted off of Griffin Park. It was the least we deserved.
No, I’m content with seeing my team trot out draws and defeats week in week out, but we’ve all seen how delicious Brentford are when it all clicks. The last four season’s experience in this division, with the three top ten finishes and impressive victories up and down the land should not be forgotten – they simply cannot be forgotten. And based on that experience, and knowing its a nine month season, there is nothing I see that says anything other than ‘quality Championship football’ and that will, thankfully, not change for the foreseeable future.
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