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Having a peep around the message boards and ) coming out of East Yorkshire and to find out that that Hull fans are not 100% impressed by Chuba Akpom’s dedication to the cause will come as no surprise to myself … and no doubt to most Bees fans .. and Nottingham Forest fans … and Coventry fans either.

I for one was excited about Chuba Akpom’s arrival at Griffin Park. Christ we even gave him his own song – despite him only being here a few weeks.

Akpom came to Griffin Park of the back of some great performances for Arsenal U21’s. In particular I remember the game just before he joined us when Arsenal beat Posh 6-1 in the FA Youth Cup and Akpom scored a hat trick.

Our old friend Peterborough Telegraph journalist Alan Swann, jealous that we had beat most teams to his signing, commented that Akpom would have to get used to a different style of football under Brentford – implying that we played a less exciting and more neck cranking style of football which would not suit the Arsenal protégé.

Ironically four weeks later, it was Akpom who was sent packing back to The Emirates after failing to impress in West London.

When it came to men against boys as opposed to boys against boys, Akpom couldn’t deliver.

Mark Warburton was – as usual – gracefully diplomatic.

“He made an immediate impact both in training and in matches.

The difficult aspect was that he came to us at a time when the team was performing exceptionally well and as such, it was impossible to make unenforced changes.

This meant Chuba did not perhaps get as many minutes on the pitch as he might have initially expected’.

Read into that what you may.

The rumours that he had punch ups with a least three Brentford players still circulate post his departure which makes you wonder.

From the fan’s point of view, he just wasn’t interested. His body language said ‘What the hell am I doing here?”

I remember seeing him come off the bench for Trotta on a freezing cold day up at Shrewsbury. It was bitter. The wind was blowing hard. That was a game you had to be 100% committed.

He has no interest. You could see his head was back in The Emirates.

That was the last time he (reluctantly) pulled on an Brentford shirt.

Coventry manager Steven Pressley was less diplomatic when he sent Akpom packing only 2 months later at the end of an aborted loan spell to Coventry.

“I think we have a slight problem in respect of loan players. At the end of the day they return to their clubs …..  and it’s not their concern because it doesn’t affect them moving forward. But for me and the fans it’s a huge concern and I have to make sure we’ve people here with the right attitude.”

However, this article wasn’t meant to concentrate on Akpom in particular. But more to highlight how players from so called ‘bigger’ clubs do .. or do not .. , pull on the colours of their loan club and give 150%.

Talking of giving 150%.

Lets take the anthesis of Brentford’s Akpom expeience.

Sergi Canos.

On loan from Liverpool – Sergi has got the total respect of Bees fans for his application and ‘never say die’ attitude.

He even turned down playing training with Spain U19s so that he could remain in contention for the QPR game. And he has begged Klopp to stay at Brentford for the rest of the season.


canos happy canos happy

His newspaper interviews and tweets get you excited as he is brimming with enthusiasm and love for his –albeit – temporary team.

As a fan, that’s the attitude you want to see.

And as an employer that’s the attitude you want to see.

Flipping back to Akpom. He reminds us of John Bostock who came to Brentford full of hype from Tottenham and was billed as the next biggest thing. He, like Akpom, visibly thought the move to the football league was a ‘step down’ and Brentford was below him.

And his performances showed it.

Andy Scott sent Bostock packing back to Spurs and Harry Redknapp gave him a right good rollocking for not impressing his temporary bosses. That was the beginning of the slippery slide down and out for the young lad who, I believe, is currently plying his trade with Oud-Heverlee Leuven in the Belgian 2nd Division.

Wind back to 2015.

Attitude is everything.

And if Sergi Canos does his time at Brentford and ends up back in Liverpool 3 months later, like the other ‘he bleeds Brentford red and white’ loanee before him – Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczęsny – Bees fans will wish him all the best in hopefully a very successful future.

Coz that’s how it works in this game …

And this is not a direct attack on Akpom.

But more a frustration with having to ‘put up’ with players from so called ‘bigger teams’ coming to us ‘smaller clubs’ who don’t apply themselves when dropping down the leagues.

The fact is – it’s us clubs who make or break a lot of these Premier League academy Players.

Look at Bidwell and Forshaw. They could be still running up and down the country playing for Everton U21s or could have signed terms with Everton and never get a start.

Between them they have played around 300 league matches. Bidwell is only 22.

That’s some experience.

And has set them in good stead for their future careers.

So when these young whipper-snappers from Tottenham. And Arsenal. And Everton. Come knocking on our doorstep.

Don’t take it the wrong way.

We’re happy to have them.

But we don’t want to feel grateful that these players have agreed to ‘lower’ themselves to play for us

As if that’s the way that they feel, we would rather they stayed at home and enjoy being a big fish in their small U21 sea thank you very much.

Billy Grant


Update 17th Dec:

After being subbed by Steve Bruce, Akpom was suitably peeved as can be seen in this TV clip. Hull fans were’t too impressed by his actions

After the match, Steve Bruce was quoted as saying “I’m not going to take notice of a 19 yr old who throws his toys out of the pram” also adding that he had thick skin and he had no problem handling players with attitudes.

Maybe that’s just what Akpom needs.

akpom quote









The question you have to ask is though … is it passion …. or petulance?