The Bees are looking fresh after a wee dabble in the transfer market followed by a 3-0 mauling of Aston Villa in midweek. Brighton we’re left reeling after a 3-1 defeat up at Huddersfield. Billy Grant caught up with Jem Stone (@JemStone) to find out if it’s squeaky bum time at the Amex as Brighton enter the ‘consolidation’ part of the season.
It was looking all two horse race-shaped in the Championship – with Brighton and Newcastle looking dead certs for promotion. It’s not looking so certain now is it?
You are correct. We could go back top at 5pm on Sunday, have won a paltry 7 games out of the last nine, and that fourth defeat of the season coming as early as the first week of February now adds up to a disastrous 8 losses in two long seasons. Its definitely a crisis.
More seriously, we’ve 6 more games in February and 2 home games coming up against Ipswich and Burton next week even if you block our way. Let’s see. And oops Newcastle won again didn’t they.
You’ve had some decent games though. What goes down as your best performance so far this season ?
Our 5-0 thumping of Norwich (apologies for mentioning the words 5-0, thumping and Norwich) probably convinced us that this might be our year especially as we learned to love hat trick striker Glenn Murray all over again after his inexplicable time away with THEM. However the more cautious of our fans are worried that despite grinding out the results, its a long while (Norwich was months ago) since we’ve turned it on. Yet we keep grinding out the victories (several last gasp winners, holding on with 10 men, mostly single goal margins.). Poor us.
Which teams do you think are a serious threat to Brighton’s automatic promotion hopes ? I’m not talking temporary threat like Sheffield Wednesday. I mean proper threat.
Dirty Leeds United.
I’ve been to every single Bees match so far this season home and away. And to me the best teams I have seen are Newcastle and Huddersfield who surprised us on the first day of the season beating us 2-1 after we thumped them 5-1 last day of the season. They surprised you too didn’t they?
They didn’t only surprise us, they ran us ragged for a humiliating 45 minutes. We barely got a sniff of the ball and then kept giving it away. Izzy Brown was majestic and had a stunning match leaving our star French winger; Knockaert looking thoroughly isolated and by the end fed up.
The transfer window has shut. We finally offloaded striker Scott Hogan for £12m to Villa and bought in huge fan favourite Sergi Canos from Norwich (via Liverpool and Brentford) for £2.5m and Florian Jozefzoon from PSV Eindhoven for 50p. He’s almost certain to feature against you. Happy with the business you have done?
One of the few bright things about Thursday was seeing Chuba Akpom for the first time. He looked impressive (Chuba started his loan career at Brentford a few years back. Rumour has it his attitude got the best of him and Warburton sent him packing early before a few of his temporary team mates would have shown him the door themselves -Ed).
Yetour – new Arsenal loanee – is likely to be on the bench against you. We’re obviously relieved you are Hogan-less after still feeling bruised about your visit in September (Did i mention its our only home defeat this season ?) and that Canos looks a smart buy-back.
Van La Parra was on fire on Thursday for Huddersfield. The Huddersfield midfield were unrelenting. On our day, we play very similar to that. We completely over-ran Villa on Tuesday. Do you think Brighton’s defence will be able to combat that?
That was quite a result for you lot and I’m sure all the sweeter given their recent acquisition. I’m really surprised about Villa. They’ve really under-performed this season and look to struggle to even make the top 6 even with that million dollar frontline of Kodija and Hogan. We were lucky to get away with just a draw with them at our place.
Midfield is the battle today. Kayal was sacrificed after 45 minutes on Thursday and is clearly not match fit after 4 months out. However thankfully reliable Dale Stephens will be back breaking up play. If he lets Harlee Dean take control. We’re in trouble.
Is Lewis Dunk being suspended a problem for you ?
Yes. Dunk is hardly an inexperienced Championship defender being 24 now, yet still can’t avoid stupid bookings (ref back chat, unnecessary tackles in the opponents half, throwing the ball away) and that enforced absence of the Dunk – Duffy partnership will bring hope for Canos and Vibe (what a game he had against Villa).
Frustratingly our reliable CB stand-in, Conor Goldson, was sidelined this weekend for the rest of the season due to a heart problem and likely replacement, Uwe Hünemeier, hasn’t started for us for over 18 months.
That Bruno chap can be a bit naughty can he not ? Will he survive the whole 90 minutes at Griffin Park?
But . What. A. Beard. Leave the poor old (36 and as fit as a fiddle) bloke alone.
PS: Get him to give away a booking in the first ten minutes and we’ve had it.
Could finally be our first draw in ten games. 1-1.
PUBS IN BRENTFORD
For Brighton fans coming down, you are probably aware there plenty of pub options pre-match and all are most welcoming.
There are now only three pubs around the ground, following the closure of the Royal Oak.
The Griffin is closest to the away end (like 30 secs walk) and is very popular with away fans – but also very, very busy. The New Inn is on the other side and is also popular with away fans. The Princess Royal is the other option.
Other pubs slightly further afield for the more creative amongst you include (and this is by no means a definitive list) …. The Globe (Windmill Rd) is the Beesotted pre-match pub. This boozer & The Lord Nelson (Enfield Rd) are both incredibly friendly and cosy away-friendly pubs and about 1 min walk from each other .. frequented by ‘away fans in the know’.
The Plough (Northfields Ave) in Northfields is a decent stop-off if you are coming by tube to Northfields (it’s a much better pub crawl route getting off at Northfields than South Ealing) before making your way down to the ground (normally stopping off at The Globe and Lord Nelson en route).
There is also a pub right by Brentford station always referred to as … the Pub by Brentford station.
For ale head to the Magpie and Crown pub on Brentford High Street. The Royal Horseguardsman can probably hold 15 of you at a push. The Brewery Tap is a cosy boozer by the river. And if you are super adventurous, get off at Kew Bridge and visit One Over the Ait right on the river – beside the bridge – and The Express Tavern – a good olde fashioned ale boozer. There are loads more too.
A quick Google search and you’ll find them all. There are many many more too if you have a look around.
Parking is pretty easy away from the ground going up towards and over the A4 Great West Rd (ie. North) via Ealing Road or Windmill Road.