Brentford lost to ten-man Blackburn Rovers this weekend, the latest in a sequence of defeats that has dragged the club into a relegation scrap. Despite the arrival of a new striker, Leandro Rodriguez from Everton, and the return of Scott Hogan, the Bees created little in the way of clear-cut chances, and Rovers’ late strike was enough to secure all three points. The performance was enough for some fans to be reaching for their crossword puzzles in search of clues that will help end this awful run.
With Rodriguez starting, and Sam Saunders replacing Swift – dropped for his tasteless social media post on Friday – Bees fans were hoping for more creativity, and although this was an improved performance on both the Charlton and QPR second half outings, the lack of a cutting edge was just as evident unfortunately.
Alan Judge looked a shadow of his usual self as the home side struggled against a robust team of giants, but Rovers demonstrated they are certainly better equipped for rolling their sleeves up and digging in for the points.
Barbet’s free-kick was the closest the Bees got to a goal in the first half, Steel in the Rovers goal tipping the shot wide – that was just one of three on target all afternoon – and it was David Button who was the busier of the two stoppers.
As you will hear in the Beesotted Pride of West London post-match Podcast and in the Beesotted Terrace Video, the sense of desperation is spreading, because for all their possession there was a certain inevitability that it would all come to nothing yet again.
The second half saw the introduction of Canos, Vibe and Hogan as Dean Smith looked to take advantage of the dismissal of Hanley for his second bookable offence, but half an hour with a numerical advantage ultimately meant nothing – Rovers grabbed the winning goal and it was a chorus of boos that met the final whistle a split second after Harlee Dean blazed over the Ealing Road stand.
There really are no positives to take from this match – Brentford look lightweight and impotent – the formation, and the selection to play within that has stopped creating chances, and when half chances do come our way, there’s nothing clinical about the Bees.
Thankfully there is a two-week international break now, time in which to reflect, regroup and prepare ourselves to put this sorry situation right, starting at Nottingham Forest and then on to Ipswich Town.
Neither will be easy matches, and with the teams directly below us in far superior form, you’d have to be a pretty positive Bees fan not to see that we are being sucked into a genuinely perilous relegation battle.