With the weekend well and truly behind us, Beesotted contributor Paul Harrison gives a round up of events happening in and around Griffin Park and The Championship.
Pontus is back. Hello. Hello
The two goals conceded at Cardiff ultimately boiled down to a lack of leadership and inexperience in defence. And although Luka Racic did a sterling job stepping up to the starting 11, that Pontus Jansson sized hole is still gaping.
Good news then.
Pontus Jansson posted on his instagram today (Tuesday) that he was very close to a return for the Bees and is gutted not to have been able to play for the Bees in the last couple of months.
Thomas Frank has also come out and said that the captain is getting “much much closer” to a return, and is in training.
On the Beesotted Pride Of West London podcast last week, we mentioned that or sources said Pontus was close to returning. But they would not be putting him back in the side until they felt he was ready.
Looks like that time is soon.
Mathias Jensen, who was hauled off after nine minutes at Birmingham, is also “a couple of weeks” away from featuring on the pitch.
Sergi Canos’ rehabilitation is also progressing nicely, with a recent update on his Twitter.
— Sergi Canós Tenés (@sergicanos) February26, 2020
Having these three back for the final run could be key in our quest for promotion.
Summer transfer deadline moved
In line with the Premier League’s decision to return summer transfer deadline day to September 1st, EFL clubs have agreed to mirror the change.
For the past two seasons, the transfer window has shut one day before the opening fixtures were played – all in an effort to prevent last-minute disruption to playing squads. However with the European leagues not following suit, the impact on British clubs tended to cause more disruption than before. Bigger clubs in particularl felt at risk of losing key players to the swirling European giants with no opportunity to replace them.
But what does this mean for Brentford?
2017 was the last time we had an end-of-August deadline. And we all know how that went.
Harry Redknapp’s last-ditch triple swoop for Harlee Dean, Maxime Colin and King Jota didn’t particularly help Birmingham City out. But some could argue that losing them didn’t help settle our squad either.
Having said that the decision was certainly merited six months later when the Bees hammered the Blues 5-0 at Griffin Park.
Just last summer though Neal Maupay left for Brighton after scoring 28 goals in 49 appearances with little time to sign a replacement No. 9, leaving many fans angry.
A little bit of luck and a lot of judgement has seen Ollie Watkins step up and replace those goals – more than matching the Frenchman’s output with 22 goals after 36 league games.
Still that does not take away from the fact that this coming summer we could be back to square one with clubs making their customary last minute swipe for our players three weeks into the season.
Watkins linked with West Ham? Or not?
It’s started again. Maybe it never stopped. The Premier League vultures are supposedly once again circling around Ollie Watkins.
Chelsea and Crystal Palace have been loosely connected with our 20-goal sensation. And you can see why both of them would be interested – albeit for different reasons.
To be fair, no transfer window would be complete without West Ham being linked to one of our players. And today, there have been reports linking Watkins with West Ham with Moyes looking to overhaul his creaking squad.
Sebastien Haller is the Hammers’ only natural centre forward, and although Michail Antonio has done a decent job deputising there recently, it’s apparent that a striker is one of their top priorities.
Hammers News suggest that we value Watkins at £20million. But depending on both clubs’ league positions come May, if Watkins were to go anywhere Brentford and West Ham know that figure is well short of the mark.
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A point gained at Cardiff, or two points dropped? Hard to tell.
Looking through social media suggests that many of us would’ve taken a point before kick-off. But many of us also expected all three after racing into a 2-0 lead inside twenty five minutes.
Bryan Mbeumo’s free-kick was delicious though. It’s nice to read that we snapped him up in the summer ahead of Southampton – a club equally as renowned for unearthing gems. L’Equipe reported that the Saints had a bid rejected for Mbeumo by Troyes in the summer, ahead of his move to Griffin Park. Another piece of evidence in our favour for having one of the world’s best scouting networks.
The rest of that Cardiff game was tainted by poor officiating, with Will Vaulks’ cynical knee to the head of Christian Norgaard going bafflingly unpunished by referee Simon Hooper.
Thomas Frank has since passionately complained about the decision, something very unbefitting of his character. Says a lot.
The Great Griffin Park Travesty
The latest episode of the Beesotted fans show was on Love Sport Radio on Monday. On the subject of poor refereeing, Billy The Bee Grant and xG Dave Anderson had plenty to talk about concerning last Saturday’s decisions.
They also discussed a number of the greatest Brentford travesties witnessed at Griffin Park, including dug-out-gate, pitch-gate and that gut-wrenching Marcello Trotta moment vs Doncaster.
Go check it out …
B team romp to victory in Cyprus
Neil MacFarlane’s B team were on top of their game, cruising to a 6-0 thumping of Pafos FC in a friendly fixture on Monday.
Jaden Brissett returned to action by scoring twice, having spent three months out injured.
There were also goals for Matej Majka, Fredrik Hammar, and Arthur Read before halftime, with Nick Tsaroulla slotting a penalty after the break.
Pafos, who finished 7th in the Cypriot First Division, fielded what appears to be a largely rotated side but there was space for a few first team regulars.
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Adam Nemec , a Slovakian striker who only retired from international football last year having scored 13 goals for his country, was notably kept quiet by the young Bees.
MacFarlane’s side will continue their stay in Cyprus before taking on a Rangers XI at Griffin Park on Tue Mar 10th KO 7.30pm.