Beesotted contributor Jim Levack shares his thoughts on some of the post-Brighton reaction as a depleted Bees team went down by the odd goal in three at The Amex.
We live in a knee-jerk world where instant gratification and opinionated comment is the norm. And that’s never truer than in football.
Social media means everyone and anyone can air their opinion, whether it’s utter nonsense, bang on the money or slightly left field.
Freedom of speech quite rightly allows even the most ridiculously ill-informed people to air their views or spout their venom with impunity.
In the hours after the Brighton defeat, Twitter and facebook were a bubbling cauldron of nastiness, the performance variously described as “rubbish” and “useless”.
It was anything but, given the circumstances. But those circumstances are of no interest to these attention seekers. In fact, it gives their 120 characters even more leverage.
It’s forgivable to an extent. They are, by and large, new fans who have never once experienced genuinely “rubbish” football. A trip to Gillingham away in the Cup or hoofball at Bury on a cold Tuesday night should be prescribed.
Emotion plays its part in the reaction to any defeat. Of course it does, unless you’re the always measured and composed Thomas Frank, who mercifully has the ability to block out the waffle.
But it seems there are two distinct camps whenever Brentford fail to hit the heights – the hating moaners or the defenders.
Publicly I sit in the latter camp. If I criticise, I do it constructively or to a private Whatsapp rather than reach for lazy, sometimes personal jibes against our players. Why? Because never once during their meteoric rise from League 1 to the top flight have they given anything less than 100% effort.
The Brighton reverse was no exception. A 2-1 defeat with stand-in left and right backs, almost £200m worth of strikers missing, World Cup midfielders suspended or on the treatment table, four defenders battling back from injury.
That isn’t “rubbish”. Especially when you consider that the patched up, makeshift side that represented us at the Amex came close to nicking a point despite everything.
We also have a manager who has never once used an unprecedented horrendous injury list as an excuse. Contrast that with Newcastle’s Eddie Howe who bleats on about it at every opportunity.
In the same vein, there’s the massive disparity in budgets and wages, but the keyboard warriors don’t care about that either. It would weaken their already feeble point.
One Facebook post from the wonderfully named Conor Griffin summed it up. A line up of 11 players all unavailable to the club with the second lowest budget in the Premier League that would beat almost any other in the division on its day.
But no. That’s still not enough to get these serial whingers who will no doubt pile in on me – btw I don’t care – to stop and think before they post. And one of them regularly Tweeting criticism of individual players and the team is allegedly a journalist! So much for impartiality.
This next game at Sheffield United would have been tough enough with the possible new manager bounce and never-ending injuries, without the ramblings of fools who should be extolling the unquestionable effort of the squad that make the trip up north.
I’ve no idea if the players read Beesotted. If they do I hope they realise that, as in many aspects of life, these people are a very noisy and tiny minority. Like a stone in a tin can, they are the modern-day ‘football village’ idiots.
Most of us look at performances, the bigger picture and don’t fall for the knee-jerk responses that even the commentators and pundits now seem to seek.
One minute they hate VAR, the next they’re asking for it to send players off for innocuous incidents. One minute Brentford are an incredible breath of fresh air, the next their injury list is a mere incidental to the incredible success story.
It’s all noise, and fortunately we have a management team and, hopefully, players who understand that and will go on making more unbelievable memories for us.
When they do, the haters will fall silent… until the next single goal defeat and the chance to be important armchair gaffers once more.
Most of us who have watched Brentford for more than ten minutes know how incredibly lucky we are in every single aspect of the running of the club and our supremely talented footballers.
Those that don’t probably need educating, but that would mean a stint in League One again. And no one wants that.