Beesotted’s Jim Levack looks back at a night to remember, but asks why is it Brentford still aren’t getting the credit they deserve from another top club scalping as well as Jurgen Klopp’s post match saltiness.
I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for the straight-talking, affable, friendly, mischievous and until recently, hugely successful, Jurgen Klopp.
He’s a true champion for his adopted city and club, and like Thomas Frank appreciates football’s place on the planet. People come first.
So when he damned with faint praise the schooling his once all-conquering reds had been subjected to by lowly Brentford, I lost a little respect for the big German.
Fair enough he admitted we were good at what we do, before then suggesting it was borderline illegal dark arts stuff… all the time tellingly, never once looking the reporter in the eye. He never looks at the floor when he’s won.
His is a narrative that’s echoed by a national media that salutes an Ødegaard through ball as the work of a genius before giving the briefest reference, if at all, to a carbon copy one from Norgaard or Toney. Ditto Raya’s saves.
Let’s look at the facts. Brentford beat Man City away, City were variously described as “off key”, “having one eye on the World Cup” or “suffering a bad day at the office”.
A 2-2 draw with Spurs saw the media focus turn to Brentford squandering a two-goal lead, how wonderful it was that King Harry was back after his Doha woe and Tottenham’s first half shortcomings.
West Ham away and Moyes’ insistence that his side were “better than Brentford in both halves” was happily swallowed by all but the local press, whose headline writers bemoaned “woeful” West Ham, “awful” Bowen and “poor” Benrahma.
Liverpool then was the fourth time in as many games that the Bees had, fortunately for us, come up against a poor or out-of-sorts side. You can see there’s a theme emerging here.
It’s one that even the likes of Lineker and “bang average” Micah Richards feed off. A few months ago, Brentford were a novelty, a one-season wonder, second season syndrome fodder. Only a handful of the less lazy broadsheet writers can see what’s happening at the Gtech, but they’re drowned out by the grey noise.
The so-called big clubs hate playing us because they’re expected to win. If decisions start to go against them, their players are programmed to surround the ref as Klopp’s did on at least five occasions.
It’s entitled behaviour and it led to Bryan’s winner as the defender dropped to the floor after the merest contact. How many times do Brentford lay hands on the match official? Tellingly, after Ben Mee was shoved in the back by Kane, he got up and got on with it.
A Villa fan mate of mine left a message on my post-match Facebook rant at Klopp with these salient words… and he’s dead right.
“If Toney plays well a pundit says ‘Chelsea need a new striker – he would be perfect’ – further disrespecting the small team who’ve had the temerity of ruining their prepared Premier League narrative despite the league table never lying and usually just reflecting the wages spent table.”
But, and it’s a big but, there’s a bit of a dilemma here.
Because while we’re continuously overlooked by the media – even one of my heroes Ian Wright scoffs at the mention of our name – we remain the division’s circus act… albeit a bloody good and extremely well drilled one.
So long may the narrative continue, and we remain well and truly the Billy Smartodds outfit of the Premier League.
I’ll leave you with this analysis of Klopp’s side from the usually supportive Guardian, whose reporter wrote: “We have to wonder just why this side seems so susceptible. Perhaps it’s bad luck, perhaps it’s related to the relentless intensity Klopp demands or perhaps it’s simply evidence of an ageing squad in need of rejuvenation.”
Or perhaps it’s just that on the day Brentford were the better, more humble TEAM and not just a collection of sullen, arrogant individuals who sulked like teenagers when the opposition ignored the rule book and didn’t roll over.