UPDATED STORY BELOW: Brentford’s returning hero, Alan Judge, has issued the club a transfer window loan ultimatum… to either involve him in the match-day squad and give him valuable minutes on the pitch, or he’ll look for a loan deal away from Griffin Park before the end of January. That message, made in an interview with the Sunday Times, puts manager Dean Smith in a very awkward situation.
It is clear that the player is itching to get his career back on track after his horrific lay-off through injury – and we all know what Judge is capable of when he is at his best – but the team are on a superb run of form at the moment and I’m sure the manager feels hesitant to either take too much of a risk too soon with Judge, or sacrifice anyone from a team that has won five of the last six Championship matches.
Judge told the newspaper; “I’m not one to make a fuss, but if by the end of January I am not playing I will need to go on loan. Hopefully people will remember what I did two years ago and think ‘he’s worth taking a punt on’.”
Brentford B team action is never going to keep a player of Alan’s undoubted caliber content – but this is almost a Catch 22 situation and could turn into a battle of wills if the situation is not handled correctly.
The Brentford squad is a clearly a close-knit and unified camp at the moment, without any dominating egos… and as we have seen repeatedly in recent years, no one player is allowed to dictate what’s in the best interest of the team as a whole.
I’m a massive fan of Alan Judge for what he’s helped our club achieve since he arrived from Blackburn Rovers and I can certainly see why he feels confused about not being part of the match-day squad, I’m sure all Bees fans agree with that.
However, going to the press should have been avoided in my view… it does sound like a ‘come and get me’ and Brentford deserve better than that in the circumstances. Unless this is all part of a game of cat and mouse to recoup some money on the player now he’s back and has demonstrated that he’s match fit?
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****UPDATE: SINCE THIS STORY BROKE, BEESOTTED HAVE DONE A WEE BIT OF DIGGING AROUND. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT ALAN JUDGE IS NATURALLY FRUSTRATED FROM NOT PLAYING – AS WAS WRITTEN IN THE ARTICLE IN THE TIMES BY PAUL ROWAN – HOWEVER, THERE HAS BEEN NO ULTIMATUM GIVEN. THERE SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN AN ELEMENT OF SENSATIONALISM IN THE TIMES ARTICLE *******
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