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Are We Nearly There Yet? Oh, a distraction… Pt 1

Despite the fun of the ‘Great adidas Brentford Striptease’ campaign, I’ve continued to get more and more agitated here on the way to the 14/15 Championship season. See, there’s been little else to get excited about although yep, I know we always leave signings until the right player comes up. No need to panic that we’ve ‘missed out’ on the likes of Chris Basham, Zak ‘Son of Andy’ Ansah and Cesc Fabregas. Oh and I won’t be despairing that Chuks Aneke looks likely to join Leeds. That’s Chuks Aneke, who, now released by Arsenal, hardly made Crewe Alexandra take League One by storm. League One – remember it? Pah. We’re Championship now.

Are we nearly there yet?

I have been told there’s a little event which might be a distraction though, so right now, while I’m sitting in front of a laptop screen watching these words appear, slightly further up the living room, the television shows moving images from a stadium in Brazil. #BRAvCRO as they call it these days. Ah yes, the FIFA World Cup. That should keep me away from www.stoopidtransferrumours.com and such like, trawling for any reference of possible Bees signings before they hit the BFC specific websites.

So, I’m going to give it a go. Give the internationals a chance. I’m still fidgeting though. Ever since 1978, football has been Brentford. The drunken hazes of Italia 90 & Euro 96 apart, three Lions have meant far less than a single Bee. If England were playing Ireland and Macca, King Kev or Judgey were in green I’d be supping Guinness and speaking like Louis Walsh. Well, I mean I’d be supping Guinness and speaking like Colin Farrell.

They’ve now kicked off and I’m viewing the likes of Neymar, David Luiz, Hulk and Fred strutting around but still thinking about Bees. That’s right, they’ve got some bloke called Fred up front. I can’t help but think of old manager Fred Callaghan and I envisage the rather rounded, arguably argumentative, former gaffer trying to bust through the Croatian defence. I still struggle to comprehend that the Samba Boys have someone called Fred. He could have at least changed it to Fredinho.

Are we nearly there yet?

Golazo. BRA 0 CRO 1. Own goal. Marcelo has muffed it, which makes me think of Marcello muffing it and I hope Marcelo will redeem himself like Marcello did. I’m tempted to see if there’s any news on Trotta’s next club. Will we get him? Do we need him?

The fact it’s an own goal makes me think of Pat Kruse. One of the players in the team I fell in love all those years ago. One I also remember for being in the Guinness Book of Records for the quickest own goal when he was at Torquay United. I think he put the Gulls 1-0 down within ten seconds. Wowzers. He was also one of many players I think fell out with Fred; that’s our Fred not Brazilian Fred who should be called Fredinho. The own goal makes me think of Pat Kruse and I try to remember when he was moved on. I think it was 1982. I check on Wikipedia. It was 1982. That was the first World Cup I watched on telly.

In World Cup Month 1982, I recall being in ‘Jeffreys’ hairdressers in Brentford while the Italy Brazil game was on. I always remember this establishment due to their advertisement board outside displaying ‘Have It Off at Jeffreys’. I was ten and a half and loved going in to see Tracey and having it off. I’m pretty sure a rather modernised Jeffreys even features on that brilliant Brentford based comedy ‘People Just Do Nothing’ – catch it on iPlayer while you can Brentfordians.

Back to Jeffreys Version 1982.0 and a classic 3-2 game was taking place but even then I was waiting for the new Division Three season to start. Yeah yeah Paolo Rossi might have bagged a hatrick that day but I’d rather have been watching Paul Walker bagging some more Mars Bars in Adnams just across the Albany Parade from Jeffreys.

Are we nearly there yet?

Ouch. Neymar has just elbowed one of the Croatians.  This sends my mind racing to the most famous elbow ever (accidental) and why I’m actually so glad Pat Kruse put into his own net when he was with Torquay United.

Their former player John Uzzell never looked like he was a looker. The pictures of him after he cheek butted Gary Blissett’s elbow though showed him as the ugly mate Peter Beardsley would go on the pull with to try and look a more favourable option. The Neymar elbow makes me recall the letters I wrote to the authorities saying there was no way Bliss meant to smash his swinging elbow into the defender’s defenceless face. The Neymar elbow makes me remember Mike Bateson, the Torquay chairman who was so vocal in his desire to get Bliss prosecuted. I’m left wishing Neymar elbowed Bateson and everyone else down in Devon who tried to get one of ours locked up.

Are we nearly there yet?

Golazo. 1-1 Neymar. Neymar thinking about his elbow (Neymar = neigh mar, neigh more, no more?). That goal was well soft too. The Croatian keeper should easily have got that and I’m left thinking of all the times I’ve been left thinking, “’sake, the keeper should have got that”. I’m taken back to Ashley Bayes and wondering how this teenage half Bee half rabbit in the headlights managed to carve out a career of hundreds of games in professional football. I check out his Wikipedia page and I’m left seething at two facts it laughingly tells me. Firstly, he left us for Torquay f***ing United – what is it with that club and links via BFC to Brazil vs Croatia? Secondly, and more mockingly when I consider my career since he debuted for us, I see he would have been in my year at school and is still listed as a professional footballer. Makes you sick.

Are we nearly there yet?

Penalty. Soft one as well. How soft? As we’re in Brazil, let’s just say it’s as soft as Pele when he hasn’t taken his tablets. All Bees must have some nervous chemical reactions in their bodies when they hear the loud whistle and see the ref pointing to the twelve yard spot. I think again of Marcello. Not Marcelo. I wonder if I’m the only Bee who thinks of April 27th 2013 whenever a pen is awarded in any game. Anywhere. Even the kids over the park. If there’s a penalty my brain reboots to Donny at home. I’m pretty sure I’m the only Bee, ok human, who thinks ‘must tweet a link to my novel’ whenever one is awarded in any televised match though.

It’s a nervous run up from Neymar. He’s feeling the pressure but, Come On Lad, you’ve only got the eyes of a nation on you, it’s not the same pressure as our borrowed, young, Italian put himself under. Neymar then hits it across himself at some height to the keeper’s right. In slow motion, it’s quite clearly going to crash against the bar and eventually come out to Luka Modric on the wing who will take it up field and cross to someone like Jamie Coppingerovic to tuck under that old QPR reserve goalie.

It doesn’t though. The keeper gets a hand to it and it’s another golazo.

Are we nearly there yet?

Both these keepers are shit. My brain re-images Bayes, moves on to McCullough, I hear a loud Aouf noise then I wonder if Murray Jones was coaching at Crystal Palace when Lewis Price was there. I briefly consider if I was a kid growing up on the Copacabana would I ever allow myself to be put in goal? I hope not. If you’re a Brazilian child, you want to be Pele (on the football pitch, not in the bedroom), you want to be Zico, you want to be Ronaldinho, you want to be Ronaldo (on the football pitch, not in the money-gets-you-in-oh-my-word-they-don’t-seem-to-be-the-women-I-thought-they-were-bedroom, ‘allegedly’).

What Brazilian kid wants to be a goalkeeper? The kind of kid who leaves Internazionale of Milan for the English Premier League but ends up at Queens Park Rangers of Shepherds Bush.

I don’t know how much of the Brazilian players names they make up and how much are actually are on their birth certificate. Maybe Fred Not Callaghan is actually called Fred. I’m pretty sure Hulk’s parents probably didn’t decide on Hulk when he entered this mad world but, while I’m not linking him to Terry Hurlock (pretty sure there was at least one lady in Braemar who used to call him that), I’m thinking why can’t he and the keeper swap names. Imagine Hulk in the all green goalkeeper top. That would work so well. Hopefully FIFA would allow matching face-paint and Super Sammy Saunders would no longer be the only Super Hero playing football for a living.

Are We Nearly there yet?   

Well, this first game of the 2014 World Cup is nearly over and it’s given me a slight distraction on the way to the 2014/15 Championship Season. Oh hang on, another Golazo. Oh no… Oscar… Osca… OSCA… After adidas, there was OSCA… Bukta, adidas, OSCA. I’m back thinking of football kits and more specifically Brentford Football Club strips of the early 1980s.

If you know your football kits and their referencing, you’ll agree the King of Football kits is John Devlin, author of the True Colours books. He makes Bruzon and myself look completely unbothered and his illustrations are genuine works of art. Forget the 1503/1517 Mona Lisa you should see his 1986/1987 Homa Pisa* kit drawing.

Anyway, via Twitter (hi, I’m @LuisAdrianoUK – add me) I directed him to the piece I wrote on here about the recent strip teaser campaign and he was complimentary. He’s since indicated he would be interested in an article for Back Pass magazine featuring 1980s Bees kits. Oh my gosh. Imagine that. Imagine his iconic drawing style capturing the half blank, half striped front from the DHL emblazoned kit Liverpool found themselves up against at Griffin Park. Oh Griffin Park, I miss you. Oh Griffin Park, next time I see you we will be almost there. We must be nearly there. That distraction was rubbish tonight. It didn’t help at all.

Look, are we at least nearly, nearly there yet?

Sorry, yep, made that up – he tends to focus on British and international kits. You should see his Coventry away 1979/80 Admiral chocolate brown strip, didn’t have the same ring to it.

 Luis Adriano