Brentford returned to Griffin Park today with a lively performance against Premiership side Stoke in their first home friendly of the season.
Whilst visiting manager Mark Hughes bemoaned the TW8 turf, in truth he will know that his team were well beaten today.
The decisive moments came once in each half – a deflected Andy Gogia 30 yarder giving the Bees a half time lead followed by Stuart Dallas slamming the ball home with unruly contempt following Stoke’s failure to clear a corner.
If any Brentford supporters were concerned that our crisp passing game might have headed North in Mark Warburton’s kitbag, they will gave gone home today content that our fluent flowing attacking football style remains.
Whilst the chat in the pub before the game was about the chance to see the new signings (minus Josh McEachran who has cracked bones in his foot and is out for three months), many of the old guard also took the chance to shine.
A strong core of Button, Dean (no beard, fancy haircut), Toumani and Gray gave the home debutants a firm foundation on which to perform.
Gogia and Jota were our wide outlets in the first half and each took it in turn to bamboozle the Stoke defence with some lovely touches – whilst the nature of Gogia’s goal was fortunate it was a deserved reward for some scintillating attacking play.
At the back Bjelland and then Barbet showed defensive steel coupled with competency on the ball whilst Kerschbaumer blew away the shadows of out-of-favour Jonathan Douglas with an impressive display of stamina from the first to last whistle. He could be a key man this season.
Strikers Hoff and Vibe also showed the odd moment of promise – Vibe looks keen to shoot with either foot whilst the tall German youngster showed his mettle in a tussle with the no-nonsense Charlie Adam.
Stoke had the odd moment of quality but Peter Crouch and co were despatched back to the midlands without the chance to partake in a robot dance.
Today was a good day in West London, with the promise of many more to follow from this talented squad. It’s a great time to be a Bee.