Spread the love


England’s last game at Brazil 2014 took place last night, and following their eliminating first two losses, I doubt I was the only one dawdling, rather than rushing, on my way home from work. The three mile walk I take every weekday, mostly as a means to de-clutter my mind from numbing sales numbers, as usual had me scrolling down my Twitter timeline. As my finger continuously flicked my screen, I was taking limited notice of any tweets hashtagged #ENGvsCOS. After a particularly hard day at the office, the walk can sometimes feel like it’s taking forever, but even then it is nothing like this long wait for the start of the 2014/15 Sky Bet Championship season. Are we nearly there yet?

As the ongoing post-mortem into English football played out in groups of less than 140 characters, I found myself trying not to nod off and reading someone’s retweet of Jamie Carragher’s Twitter debut, “Hi all, finally joined.” Like everyone else, my mind heard it in the obligatory Scouse accent. I can’t tell you if he followed that up with anything more enlightening because, like a pilot announcing we are actually nearly there, I was woken from my daze by the polar opposite of @Carra23’s RT. A fellow Bee had picked up on Matthew Benham declaring, “should be announcing a signing tomorrow. MT #brentfordfc”.

From the plodding along, reading Chelsea fans highlighting Frank Lampard’s impressive pass completion rate and non Chelsea fans highlighting Frank Lampard’s impressive meal completion rate, I suddenly had a spring in my step. At first I thought, “oh Matthew, you are a one, you’ve muffed your own initials up”. Then it hit me. MT? That’s only the initials of the new signing.

I won’t lie; I’m a huge Marcello Trotta fan. While most men, including I gather most of the current Bees squad, like to declare some kind of man crush on Andrea Pirlo, and Luis Suarez chose to give a love bite to Giorgio Chiellini, Trotts is my favourite Italian dish. Ok, maybe that is taking the man crush thing too far but you get what I mean. To come back from ‘that kick’ and play a huge part in finally getting us out of Hell is the stuff of legend. If I was a teacher I would be banging on and on about his bouncebackability and what a lesson it should be for whatever you kids choose to do with your lives. Not all our fans will remember the last time we left the third tier in an upward trajectory, so long has been the wait. Indeed, Marcello himself was just a foetus when Dean Gaffney was “getting Benstead’s glove”.

Back on Airplane Analogy, the kid going to Disneyland, bored of the distractions already thrown at him, has been given a puzzle book to try and prevent him asking are we nearly there yet? His Dad is a bit of a joker and likes to give him puzzles that are a little bit different. Previous games include ‘Guess The New Manager’ using a video clip from Donnie Darko. This particular kid was certain Donnie was short for Doncaster, and the new manager was the then respected Sean O’Driscoll. Wrong. A follow up game two and a bit years later, saw some other film soundtrack played and again this kid couldn’t get it right. Convinced it was the then respected Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, he came out with all kinds of stupid links to prove it was the Norwegian. In truth, the kid could probably have been given a whole loaf of bread and not worked out the correct answer.

So, the new puzzle. MT? Back to reality and I laughed out loud at the numpty who made MB point out that MT were the initials and it was, “not Taylor”. Of course it’s not Taylor! Duh! This was a puzzle that even I could work out!

I was by now dreaming of the 4th April next year and possibly the most exciting part of this 2014/15 Championship season excursion. I was visualising myself amongst a swarm of Bees asking Lily Allen, Hugh Grant, the Ghost of Michael Jackson and various tourists if they were listening to the song that we were singing.  I was seeing Trotts’ out there on the Craven Cottage turf but with an advert for SKYEX Cabs emblazoned across his chest. The match between promotion chasing Brentford and relegation threatened Fulham was surprisingly all square going into the final minute. Sorry, going into the 95th minute. There was a scramble in the box, an arm from that lanky streak of piss who was on loan at Yeovil goes up and hits the ball. The ref puts his whistle in his mouth…

As I get more and more into my imagery I spot another BrentfordFC hashtag. It’s from one of the many ‘insider transfer knowledge’ accounts I follow. Usually they are some spotty little kid pretending to be a Football Agent and reposting ridiculous untruths from that Football Rumours site. “#BrentfordFC have signed ex Real Madrid youth player Marcos Tebar from Almeria.” I laugh out loud again as I seem to recall one of the more respected GPG posters commenting they had made this up for said Rumours site.

I allow my imagery to get as far as Trotts placing the ball on the spot. Another tweet comes through about Tebar. Doubts start entering my mind just like I’m sure they must if you someone is telling you to give the ball back to the skipper and nominated penalty taker. I withdraw myself from the situation. I take myself out of Craven Cottage and it becomes more and more likely I’ve been fooled again by a pissing puzzle.

Eventually I’m home and after a couple of, what will go on to become rather embarrassing, Tweets about Trotta, someone has pointed out that Tebar = “bingo” as far as the Puzzle Master is concerned. It looks increasingly likely that the MT is as much Matthew Taylor, no, it’s as much Margaret Thatcher, as it is Marcello Trotta.

I’ll be honest, whether I’m the kid on the plane to Disneyland or the dick on the way to the 2014/15 Championship season, the puzzle, or rather my failure to get it right, has given me the right hump. I consider it could be a double bluff and maybe we will be seeing Marcello holding the new adidas kit aloft tomorrow after all. From the way we are going though, I just can’t see that it won’t be Tebar. Hands up, I know little about him. In fact I have about as much knowledge on him as I did on Adam Forshaw before we signed him. I’d like to say I could talk to you all day about him, just like I could about James Tarkowski before he moved down with his dog. I can’t.

You see that’s it. As much as I post who we should sign and get rid of on forums, as much as I tweet my worldly advice to anyone who will read, my football knowledge is so limited compared to the people who matter. Messrs Benham, Warburton, McParland and Weir just for a start each have more knowledge in their brains than I can access through my collection of Championship and Football Manager games.

Those moments on this journey where I read that Clayton’s going to Birmingham, Grigg is off to Brizzle, leaving us with Luke Norris who might even decide he wants first team football elsewhere rather than biding his time and continuing to develop with us. Those times where I panic and post sarcastic comments that we must be looking to play 4-6-0 next season because we’ll be left with no strikers. Calm down dearest. Our guides on this journey to the 2014/15 Championship have everything under control. Are we nearly there yet? The answer is no.

We’re nowhere near there yet. There WILL be new signings. Oooh, but Rotherham have already signed loads of players. Rotherham are like a kid who’s been given more pocket money than usual and has rushed down the high street to find only Oxfam is open. Rather than wait, they want to spend their money immediately and are snapping up jigsaw puzzles (yes, I hate puzzles) where some of the pieces will be missing. We’re biding our time, knowing that we might be going to much better shops far and wide. For our clothes, we’ll even be visiting classy foreign boutiques whereas Steve Evans has just paid for a stained Slazenger polo top, which is unlikely to fit his excessive frame.

I have to do this… Thank you Mr. Benham. You are really raising Tebar with the signings we’re making. Sorry, call that payback for the annoying puzzles. The puzzles are annoying because I continue to get them wrong. The caveat here is that if it happens to have been Trotta all along then the puzzle will make me look even worse given this whole article. I hope our owner keeps them coming though. One day I might even get one right. In the meantime, I’m about to look up players of all nationalities with the initials CM. That way, if there’s a similar tweet before the squad fly off to Florida, I won’t be going overboard on my love for Conor McAleny. Despite my success rate at the puzzles being Bees-Play-Off-esque, I’m still so looking forward to this upcoming season that I have to ask once more, are we nearly there yet?

Luis Adriano