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Is Promotion Realistic for Brentford? – Fans’ Season Predictions

Is Promotion Realistic for Brentford?  – Fans’ Season Predictions

With the new season approaching and Brentford finding themselves extremely active in the transfer market. Billy Grant talks to Brentford fans asking them what their highs and lows were from last term, how they think Brentford’s rivals will do and what their expectations are for the forthcoming season. 

Nick Bruzon, @nickbruzon
Braemar Road Paddock
Final Position: 3rd

Last season’s highs
I’m assuming we’re all taking the ‘jaffa cake’ as a gimme.

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Maupay at Leeds. Maupay at Griffin Park v Leeds. Regular five goal hauls at home. A win on the road – at Middlesbrough. Fulham proving that you you can’t just spend your way to success. Or even survival. Thomas Frank winning over the crowd

Last season’s lows
Collapse at QPR away. Swansea away. The cup was bad but the league was even worse. Actually, Swansea at home, too. 1-0 down with the clock still reading 00 and three down on 27 ( which included close to a quarter hour of injury break). So pretty much anything involving Swansea. Hey, at least we didn’t sell them Woodsy.

What are your expectations for this season?
Top six minimum. That’s not greedy but just realistic based on how we finished. Based on the calibre of our divisional rivals. And based the strength of our squad. Signing Pontus Jansson could be a masterstroke or a complete carnage. I’m genuinely excited about seeing him in Brentford colours and think our DoFs (and Mr. Benham) have again proven themselves ahead of the chasing pack. He’s going to be awesome.

Which player was top boy for you last season?
I’m genuinely torn between the two obvious candidates – Neal Maupay and Said Benrahma. So I’m going to go for Sergi Canos. He’s an absolute hero to my boy and you can’t deny the passion, enjoyment, desire and sheer pleasure he exuded whenever pulling on the shirt last season. Some of those goals, and celebrations, made me go all fanboy and man-crush.

Who will win the Ian Holloway Trophy – awarded to the team that does far better than the pundits predict?
There are so many unfancied teams like Brentford/Luton/Leeds/Charlton/Millwall etc that I think any one of these could pull what may be deemed a surprise out of the bag. For me though, Hull City are the caged Tigers looking to break free. If only for that stunning shirt

What team will do far worse than the pundits predict?
Frank Lampard’s former club Frank Lampard’s Derby County. Top six for the last two seasons but the wheels are about to come off well and truly.

It’s the last season at Griffin Park. If you had the chance to bring something (anything at all), what would you take to Lionel Road?

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The floodlights. Or the four corner pubs. Both part of what make Griffin Park something special

What is your best Griffin Park memory before this season?
Where to start? Man City in the FA Cup. Newport in the Leyland DAF Southern Zone semi. Evans, from the half way line against David Moyes’ Preston – and then again up at Burnley a week later. Seeing Stan Bowles. ‘That penalty’ if not the best (anything but) is certainly one of the strongest. Jota in the last minute v Fulham.

Who are we kidding – it has to be promotion v Preston. If only for the fact that we almost cocked up our own pitch invasion with Rotherham almost pulling off the the mother of all injury time comebacks elsewhere. But, we did it !!!

What position will Brentford finish this season?
3rd. And then we WILL win the play offs.

Liberal Nick, @nickcarthew
Ealing Road left side
Final Position: 7th

Last season’s highs
Neil Maupay standing in front of the Leeds supporters, arms outstretched. That’s why he will be a Brentford legend.

Last season’s lows
Off field – the tragic early death of Rob Rowan. It undoubtedly affected everyone at the club.

On field – Our total capitulation at Swansea in the Cup. We could/should have gone far in that tournament.

What are your expectations for this season?
We will finish just outside the play – offs as post October 31st every player not holding a British passport begins to question whether they want to say in the UK.

Which player was top boy for you last season?

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Romaine Sawyers. Some of the through balls and passes he made deserved a highlights reel all of its own.

Who will win the Ian Holloway Trophy – awarded to the team that does far better than the pundits predict?
Luton Town will have passionate support. Probably won’t be challenging for promotion but a mid table finish will be a success for them.

What team will do far worse than the pundits predict?
I think QPR might be rated highly by pundits because of who their manager is and what he achieved with us. Warburton’s problem is that at Loftus Road he doesn’t have the back up and support he enjoyed when with us. Could easily be in a relegation battle.

It’s the last season at Griffin Park. If you had the chance to bring something (anything at all), what would you take to Lionel Road?
It’s pretty dark where I live in Devon. One of the floodlights would be useful when returning late at night from matches.

What is your best Griffin Park memory before this season?

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Too many to mention. But one that really stands out is the DJ Campbell goal versus Sunderland in the Cup. Griffin Park was rocking that January afternoon.

What position will Brentford finish this season?
7th

‘xG Dave’ Anderson, @DavidAnderson_1
As high as possible in the Braemar Road
Final Position: 3rd

Last season’s highs
Highs and best moments generally centre around Benrahma and Maupay. They had a frightening year and seemed to develop a telepathic relationship almost immediately.

Whatever the scoreline or game state, seeing a short, low centred Benrahma continually pick the ball up in space and in the same move turning and then running at disturbed defenders got you out of your seat and put a smile on the face. Not since the former days of King Jota has a player excited me as much and for immediate impact in The Championship, let alone TW8, Benrahma will go down as one of the greats.

Special mention for a majestic Sawyers’ pass against Middlesborough which split through approximately 99 of their players for Dalsgaard to cut back to Benrahma to set up win against Boro for the first time in a very long time.

Last season’s lows
The second half of the FA Cup match against Swansea was a real low point.Mainly because the first half performance was so controlled and positive but also because every possible flaw and frailty was ruthlessly exposed live on the public broadcaster.

It was an embarrassing and undeserving half of football that produced the most “memeable” goal of the season and possibly earned Dan James a huge move to Man United. At least some good came out of it.

What are your expectations for this season?
I see a strong season ahead, especially big improvements defensively.

Some major questions in the squad have been answered with the purchases of Jansson and Pinnock and then just in front of them with Nørgaard.

Combine a new level of defensive stability with the attacking nous inbuilt into the clubs DNA, this could be a superb final year at Griffin Park.

Which player was top boy for you last season?
Romaine Sawyers. An absolute baller that Thomas Frank somehow turned into an all round box-to-box machine. What a complete pleasure it is to watch him play and keep the ball moving and sorry to regurgitate my twitter ramblings but I really believe he’s just like the great artists Van Gogh or Monet.

His true worth to the club and his ability will only be recognized now that he has gone. West Brom have got a steal. He will be very much missed.

Who will win the Ian Holloway Trophy – awarded to the team that does far better than the pundits predict?
This is hard as it is such a tough league to call. My surprise packages are going to be Stoke and Luton. I see the bookmakers undervaluing both of those sides this year. I like the look of what Jones is doing strengthening his squad with a couple of the best performers at lower Championship clubs in Gregory and Powell. Also weeding out the bad eggs and moving on players not deemed to fit in with his ideas.

With Luton, I see a lot of Jones’ original handiwork still prominent in terms of style and shape. It feels like they’ve had their soul ripped out as they necessarily continue supplying the squads of bigger clubs in this country. But it shows how good the catchment area is up there and their continued belief to trust the fearless nature of attack minded youth will see their model continue and surprise a couple of the static Championship sides who haven’t quite kept an eye on the age ticker.

Luton to finish above QPR

What team will do far worse than the pundits predict?

Huddersfield could be in for a bit of a shock. They looked really bad last year and could surprise a few people with how their style of play transfers into Championship football.

K Ahearne-Grant could be handy up-top at this level but there’s something I don’t like about Siewert, an aging Jonathan Hogg and the chemistry across the up there. Mooy is class but can they keep him and Billing who was one of their major standouts in a poor side. They could be shocked at how quickly the second tier is vastly improving across the board.

It’s the last season at Griffin Park. If you had the chance to bring something (anything at all), what would you take to Lionel Road?
Turnstiles. There’s something very raw about kneeing those old things to get into the ground before a game. The future will probably consist of a hologram greeting you or biometric code working out what you had for breakfast on this day three years ago before entry is granted.

Traditional turnstiles forever for me.

What is your best Griffin Park memory before this season?

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Jota in the last minute against Fulham, a spine tingling release of emotion. Even the left side of The Ealing Road was moan free and incredible that night and it was one of those special occasions under the lights that you don’t want to end. Jota wasn’t bad was he.

What position will Brentford finish this season?
3rd! Just pipped to the top two spots by Leeds and Fulham.
Playoff Final win v Bristol City (that is correct, yes)

Ali Mullaley, @alimullaley
Ealing Rd
Final Position: 3rd

Last season’s highs
The win at Boro away – travelled more in hope than expectation. Maupay’s last minute goal v Villa. Beating Blackburn 5-2 having been 2-0 down.

Last season’s lows
The first 20 minutes v Swansea at home. The second 45 at Swansea in the Cup. Both truly appalling.

What are your expectations for this season?
With Sawyers now gone, that depends somewhat on whether we manage to hang on to Maupay. If we do, this could be a special season. I also expect to do a lot of crying at the end of it!

Which player was top boy for you last season?
Sawyers. He just makes us tick. When Sawyers plays well, Brentford play well. He plays passes no one else plays and has also added work-rate and tackling to his game to become the complete player. I love him.

He’s be badly missed.

Who will win the Ian Holloway Trophy – awarded to the team that does far better than the pundits predict?

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Millwall. Underestimate them at your peril.

What team will do far worse than the pundits predict?
Hopefully not us! Leeds won’t cut it again. I fully expect Bielsa to walk at some point.

It’s the last season at Griffin Park. If you had the chance to bring something (anything at all), what would you take to Lionel Road?
All of it. To the last brick.

What is your best Griffin Park memory before this season?
So many. Jota in the last minute is right up there. Almost beating Chelsea in the Cup. However, beating Everton in the penalty shootout in the League Cup just edges it. Richard Lee – legend!

What position will Brentford finish this season?
3rd. Followed by the predictable defeat at Wembley, sadly.

Jim Levack, @jimblee1
Ealing Road
Final Position: 2nd

Last season’s highs
Maupay’s goal at the death against Villa shut a few of my mates up… temporarily.

Last season’s lows
The loss of Robert Rowan cast a dark pall over the club, the effects of which were far more damaging than we may ever know. Our away form was a general low which ultimately cost us a top six spot.

What are your expectations for this season?
Depends if we keep our game changers. If we keep mist I can see a top two finish. If not, we will have another spell of acclimatisation which will see us fighting just outside the top six.

Which player was top boy for you last season?
Romaine Sawyers makes passes in the final third that no one else can and us key to how we play. He’s added workrate to prodigious talent to become one of my all time favourite Bees.  I’m gutted he’s gone. Then there’s edgy, nasty, horrible Neal… nice guy off the pitch but a (insert expletive) on it.

Who will win the Ian Holloway Trophy – awarded to the team that does far better than the pundits predict?
Bristol City will have decent momentum from last season and have added quietly to their squad with a sustainable approach and money behind them

What team will do far worse than the pundits predict?
Cardiff. There’s only so much of Colin W that players can take. He’ll have moved on by Christmas

It’s the last season at Griffin Park. If you had the chance to bring something (anything at all), what would you take to Lionel Road?
Good friends, familiar faces and the atmosphere

Team that will do better than expected?
Millwall are building quietly and are always hard to beat

What is your best Griffin Park memory before this season?
Man City in the Cup. Dallas last min goal v Derby. Promotion in the 70s and 4-0 Fulham by half time

What position will Brentford finish this season?
2nd

Robin McMichael, @robinmcmichael
Ealing Road
Final Position: 4th

Last season’s highs

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The Alan Judge free-kick away at Arsenal just beats Maupay in the last minute against Villa at home. 10,000 Bees fans behind the goal and one of those moments that further cemented Judge’s position in Bees folklore. With Griffin Park’s curtain call approaching, the Maupay vs. Villa goal was special.

Last season’s lows
Away at QPR. Obvious choice, for obvious reasons. Nothing more to say. Moving right along…

What are your expectations for this season?
Excitement. I can’t remember feeling this hyped for a season since 2014/15. Throw into mix all the factors at play: our transfer market activity, the final season at our sacred home, lots of London teams in one league and a decent away kit. That’s a recipe for some enthralling football and emotional scenes.

Which player was top boy for you last season?
Neil Maupay. His goals, assists and consistency were essential to another season competing at this level and his improvement from 2017/18 was incredible. Sawyers, Mokotjo and Benrahma also had great years.

Who will win the Ian Holloway Trophy – awarded to the team that does far better than the pundits predict?
Luton Town – they seem to have a great setup and have a lot of momentum from promotion last year. They’ve sold well and haven’t spent the money in a panic. I can see them sneaking into the top half of the table.

10th.

What team will do far worse than the pundits predict?
Leeds, as I have predicted every year. They haven’t let me down yet

7th.

It’s the last season at Griffin Park. If you had the chance to bring something (anything at all), what would you take to Lionel Road?
Turnstile 5 from the Braemar Road. Call it nostalgic, but I‘ll have it as the gate into my front garden otherwise.

What is your best Griffin Park memory before this season?
2004/05 play-off second leg against Sheffield Wednesday. Losing on aggregate with 10 minutes left and no way back. The entirety of Griffin Park, to a man woman and child, sung their hearts out in appreciation for the players’ efforts, right through to the final whistle and thereafter. Football is perfection sometimes.

What position will Brentford finish this season?
4th.

We will make play-offs. That’s not even cautious optimism at this point. We’ve made a real statement of intent. I think we’ll lose before we get to Wembley (it’s Brentford in the play-offs, for crying out loud.)

The Dutchman, @BrentfordDutchman
Ealing Road
Final Position: 4th

Last season’s highs
Maupay Villa at home, after a long day on the beer with non Bees who loved it and finally understood

Last season’s lows

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Late goals conceded. The slow start under Thomas Frank

What are your expectations for this season?
Hard to say whilst the window is open. But as it stands today, top two, if we lose key players then top ten. Maupay is key. Top class and we have no cover.

Which player was top boy for you last season?
Love Sawyers, but Maupay is our first proper class but at the same time, aggy star for years

Who will win the Ian Holloway Trophy – awarded to the team that does far better than the pundits predict?
Millwall. Acclimatising nicely. Shrewd buys

What team will do far worse than the pundits predict?
Maybe us, see above

It’s the last season at Griffin Park. If you had the chance to bring something (anything at all), what would you take to Lionel Road?
All my Bees mates. Healthy and well

What is your best Griffin Park memory before this season?
Too easy to go recent. At least five Jota moments. But Fulham 4-0 by half time in 1992 to pretty much guarantee promotion was unreal. Man City in the cup 4th round too.

What position will Brentford finish this season?
4th. We will lose the playoffs

Greville Waterman, @grevwaterman
Braemar Road D Block
Final Position: 5th

Last season’s highs

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The way the entire club came together after the tragic death of Rob Rowan
Maupay vs Leeds – both times
Said’s Benrahma’s hat trick against Hull City
Smashing QPR at home
Knowing that Fulham would be back next season

Last season’s lows
Rob Rowan’s death
Watching an excellent goalkeeper in Bentley totally lose his game and fall apart
The collapse against – take your pick
⁃ QPR
⁃ Sheffield United
⁃ Swansea

What are your expectations for this season?
We continue to play the Brentford way with vibrant attacking football
We defend far better and eliminate the daft defensive and goalkeeping errors that have plagued us
We leave Griffin Park with dignity and hopefully success under our belt

Which player was top boy for you last season?
Neil Maupay who gave so much to the team and even without his 27 goals added so much value.

Who will win the Ian Holloway Trophy – awarded to the team that does far better than the pundits predict?
Barnsley who sell well and buy cleverly. A microcosm of ourselves

What team will do far worse than the pundits predict?
Middlesbrough. Rudderless and need to clear the stables and bring in lots of fresh blood

It’s the last season at Griffin Park. If you had the chance to bring something (anything at all), what would you take to Lionel Road?
The Brentford sign over the Braemar Road forecourt

What is your best Griffin Park memory before this season?
My first time there when we hammered QPR back in 1965.

What position will Brentford finish this season?
Ask me in a fortnight when we know what squad we are left with. Being optimist I will say 5th and we break our Playoff hoodoo.

Edward The Headwood Langdon, @Head_Langdon
Ealing Road
Final Position: 5th

Last season’s highs
Maupay last minute at home to Villa was absolute limbs. Loved it. Benrahma’s hat-trick against Hull was also pretty special.

Last season’s lows
When we could not see a way of getting out of the slump at the end of Smith’s tenure and into Frank’s. So many defensive questions. Post-game beers became arguments.

What are your expectations for this season?
A much more competitive season from the bees, where we won’t roll over – especially on away-days. More steel has been added that we (me) have been crying out for for ages.

Which player was top boy for you last season?

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Kamo Mokotjo was so important for us last season when he played. He added some control and aggression with a tempo to out-play most midfields. His performance away at Leeds was exceptional.

Who will win the Ian Holloway Trophy – awarded to the team that does far better than the pundits predict?
I think Millwall have done a nice couple of moves, so I reckon they will do a good job this time around.

What team will do far worse than the pundits predict?
I nailed this last year, with Stoke. Talksport have predictably gone for big names in their list.

I’m going Stoke again.

It’s the last season at Griffin Park. If you had the chance to bring something (anything at all), what would you take to Lionel Road?
The turnstiles

What is your best Griffin Park memory before this season?
DJ Campbell’s goals in the FA cup against Sunderland

What position will Brentford finish this season?
5th

Dave Laney Lane, @Beesotted100
Ealing Road
Final Position: 5th

Last season’s highs

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There were quite a few at Griffin Park. But I think it has to be the amazing comeback against Blackburn Rovers, or playing Leeds off the park over Easter. I’ll plum for Leeds’ falling apart.

Last season’s lows
Swansea away in the FA Cup second half where the wheels came off I think… although the early Thomas Frank days were pretty dire too.

What are your expectations for this season?
If we’ve not lost Maupay and Benrahma (I would have added Sawyers but that ship has sailed unfortunately), then I think we are shaping up to give the playoffs a real go this campaign. A lot depends on retaining the best from last season and hoping the new influx settles in well.

Which player was top boy for you last season?
Neal Maupay by a nose… Romaine Sawyers was excellent but Maupay was a revelation and some of his goals out of the very top draw.

Who will win the Ian Holloway Trophy – awarded to the team that does far better than the pundits predict?
Queens Park Rangers, i think they’ll do better than most predict and finish second bottom rather than bottom.

What team will do far worse than the pundits predict?
Leeds United, they stand a risk of being found out after last season, and unless they get off to a good start the pressure cooker atmosphere may explode again.

It’s the last season at Griffin Park. If you had the chance to bring something (anything at all), what would you take to Lionel Road?
The wonderful atmosphere of night matches under the lights. Griffin Park is special and I will miss that especially.

What is your best Griffin Park memory before this season?
Beating Newport County on that balmy Friday evening to secure a place at Wembley in 1985. A brilliant atmosphere before, during and after the game on the Royal Oak.

What position will Brentford finish this season?
5th. We will win the playoffs

Gem, @theamazinggem
Ealing Road
Final Position: 7th

Last season’s highs
Bringing my baby boy to his first match, on my birthday, and beating Villa in the last minute. One of my life’s highs never mind the season.

Last season’s lows
Turning up to Arsenal to find the club couldn’t really be bothered to, and then having to walk for nearly 2 hours, heavily pregnant to get a tube home. I was lucky enough to miss the Swansea aways.

What are your expectations for this season?
My expectation is that fans’ expectations are going to be really high (mine included). I think with us all wanting so much for this season to be a big one on the pitch, we’re going to get pretty impatient when things don’t go our way. I’m going to try and just enjoy it but we’ll see!

Which player was top boy for you last season?
Neal Maupay. Standing behind the goal over the years it becomes really obvious what a rare thing a ‘proper’ striker on form is. We used to joke that all we needed for success was a boot on a spring in the box – Neal is that boot and so much more. I think we’ll miss him even more than we think if (when) he leaves. Sawyers was incredible again also.

Who will win the Ian Holloway Trophy – awarded to the team that does far better than the pundits predict?

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Charlton. I think they’ll stay up and maybe manage middle bottom half of the table. It’s going to be hard as there’s still a lot of nonsense going on there, but I think they’ll have enough momentum from last season to at least miss the bottom three.

What team will do far worse than the pundits predict?
Leeds. I still think they’ll do well, but predictions that they’ll walk the league seem way off to me. Apart from anything I don’t think the sale of Jansson is going to be as transformative as people imagine. Someone like Bielsa will find someone else to fight with.

It’s the last season at Griffin Park. If you had the chance to bring something (anything at all), what would you take to Lionel Road?
It’s a close run between a floodlight, and the Ealing Road terrace, but the terrace wins. The floodlights are an icon of Griffin Park, and there is nothing better than the ground lit up for a night match. But standing at football is so important. And whilst I’ve worked for years to get standing at the new ground, and it will come eventually, it will never be like the terrace at GP and that will be a loss.

What is your best Griffin Park memory before this season?
This is impossible. Honestly I think the best memories are the ones that aren’t of a specific match at all. Just the feeling of being there. The repetition and familiarity, going somewhere you’ve always been. For a single game though, while it’s hard to look past promotion to the Championship…

I’d say beating Hudderfield in the play-off semis in 2002. Losing to them on penalties in ’95 is probably my earliest proper memory of really supporting Brentford, and it straight away broke my heart, so winning the match seven years later just felt amazing.

What position will Brentford finish this season?
I feel playoffs so I’m going to say 7th because it’s the hope that gets you!

Billy Grant, @billythebee99
Ealing Road
Final Position: 4th

Last season’s highs
Smashing Rotherham 5-1 on the first day of the season. We looked unstoppable that day

Finally beating Boro on their patch was a wonderful feeling.

Maupay stepping up a couple of notches scoring for fun to wipe the smug grin of Talksport Moose’s face after the abuse he got after his goalmouth miss at Cardiff last season.

The feeling we had pulling Arsenal out of the hat which was much better than the game itself

Last season’s lows
The unexpected death of Rob Rowan was the all time low of last season for me.

Swansea away on a Sunday in the cup was pretty horrendous. Losing to QPR on their patch wasn’t great.

When the reality sunk in that our defence had NOT really improved despite adding reinforcements and we were still letting in silly goals

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I was also quite gutted that a certain Pontus Jansson scored a late equaliser for Leeds to deny us a well deserved victory at Elland Road

What are your expectations for this season?
Before we signed Pontus Jansson I would have said ‘lets see how it goes’. But the reality is – we’ve tightened our defence (in principal) which will make us a better team. Whoever goes up front and in midfield, even if we score 10% less goals than last season, I believe we will do better overall than last term with a tighter defence.

We were three wins (some may say three away wins) off the playoffs last season.

In principal, if we don’t have any bad luck with injuries, playoffs should be achievable.

Which player was top boy for you last season?
Neal Maupay was the main man for me. Watching back some of the goals he scored, he’s a top top player.

Who will win the Ian Holloway Trophy – awarded to the team that does far better than the pundits predict?
Barnsley. Under the radar. Everyone has written them off before the season has kicked off

What team will do far worse than the pundits predict?
Derby County. They will be still reeling from the playoff loss and losing Frank Lampard. Plus they spent a lot of money gambling on promotion last season. Not sure if they will be able to do the same again this time around

It’s the last season at Griffin Park. If you had the chance to bring something (anything at all), what would you take to Lionel Road?
If I could take home the Wendy House and store it for a future grand daughter (assuming I have a grand daughter) I would like to think it would go down very well

What is your best Griffin Park memory before this season?
Beating Manchester City in the FA Cup in the rain was a truly fabulous day.

Beating Sunderland was special but we were bought down to earth with the sale of DJ Campbell a few days later.

I loved a load of the hate corner days as well. I remember the playoff semi-final against Bristol City which took us to Wembley and fans were literally hanging from the rafters. Absolutely brilliant

Stan Bowles first match for Brentford against Burnley. How exciting was that? And he almost scored on his debut too.

Random games that we didn’t even win but left a lasting impression. Losing to Liverpool 4-1 in the Milk Cup but Gary Roberts scoring our only goal in front of 17k fans. Losing to Fulham 1-0 in 1982 was an amazing atmosphere right at the beginning of our rivalry. That loss stuck with me for years.

And of course winning promotion to the Championship when PNE came down on Gentry Day. Matt Benham and Mark Warburton hanging with fans outside The Griffin and later that evening, the players and fans in The Lord Nelson drinking beer together and playing darts. All very Brentford.

I would have also said when we beat Bradford 6-1 – a few days after Cadburys head office sent me 50 boxes of chomp bars. The chocolate was subsequently distributed by our crew to all and sundry on the New Road terrace – to be later lofted pitch-wise after every one of the six goals went in.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite make the list as I did not make it the end of the game as I was ‘removed from the scene of the crime’ by the local constabulary for ‘chocolate distribution’.

What position will Brentford finish this season?
4th.

I’m going to presume that even if we sell more between now at August 8th, the DoFs will get the full complement of players in and we won’t be left short (as we arguably were last summer even though Woods was the only player we didn’t really replace>

Finally – playoff joy for The Bees

Ian Westbrook, @ianwestbrook
Braemar Road D Block
Final Position: 4th

Last season’s highs

Three things for me:
1 – Some of the amazing home performances – Stoke, Wigan, Villa, Blackburn, Hull, Leeds. There was some sparkling football in those matches, and others, at times. Especially under the Griffin Park floodlights

2 – Being at the Rotherham away game with my son which we won 4-2. Having had several fruitless away trips before that last season, the relief and joy at actually seeing us win on the road with some cracking goals was immense. And the players’ celebrations at the end showed that it meant something to them

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3 – Finally seeing us play Arsenal – a fixture I had hoped to see for many years.

Last season’s lows
Most of the away games I went to, especially QPR, Hull and Reading – all really disappointing performances. Hull tops it as it was so blooming cold!

What are your expectations for this season?
Lots of emotion throughout the season as people each week attend their last-ever game at Griffin Park. I can’t imagine how I am going to feel at the end of the Barnsley game, even if we have something to celebrate.

On the pitch, I expect to enjoy more sparkling football and to see a stiffer defence that makes fewer mistakes than last season. I am also expecting to enjoy some more successful away trips than last season.

Which player was top boy for you last season?
Obvious maybe, but Neal Maupay. Watching him last season, it was clear that he enjoyed what he was doing and seemed to care about the club and doing well for us. His finishing was phenomenal and a joy to watch. Outsiders don’t realise how much work he does outside the penalty area and that he can go back to the halfway line to retrieve the ball sometimes. That and his “sh!thousery” make him a fantastic player to have on your side.

Who will win the Ian Holloway Trophy – awarded to the team that does far better than the pundits predict?
I think Charlton might surprise a few teams. They carry the momentum from the end of last season into this one and retaining Lee Bowyer as manager could inspire them into a solid top half of the table finish at the very least.

I will go for 9th.

What team will do far worse than the pundits predict? 
Middlesbrough. I think Jonathan Woodgate has a hard job on his hands and his inexperience could be a key factor. Also Boro have lost players like Aden Flint and Stewart Downing without bringing in replacements.

I reckon they will finish around 15th.

It’s the last season at Griffin Park. If you had the chance to bring something (anything at all), what would you take to Lionel Road?
My seat! I’ve sat on the same piece of plastic since moving seats in the mid-80s and I will miss it! Having said that, I am hoping the club will auction off bits of Griffin Park and I can buy it to put in my garden!

What is your best Griffin Park memory before this season?
Celebrating promotion to what was then Division 1 (now the Championship) on the pitch after coming back from Peterborough in 1992. It was the first time in my Bees-supporting life we had escaped the bottom two divisions and was such a special evening. Manager Phil Holder and the players all came out in the directors’ box to wave to the crowd and we then all spent the evening in the pubs around the ground.

What position will Brentford finish?
Depends on who is in the squad on August 9 – the day after the transfer window shuts. It seems inevitable we will have lost Romaine Sawyers, which is a huge blow. But if we can keep Neal Maupay and Said Benrahma then I still feel we can make the play-offs.

I’ll go for 4th.

However, if we lose one of them, then I think it’s too many goals and assists to replace at such short notice so I think we will finish 8th

Gary Paul, @GaryPaul73
Braemar Road Paddock
Final Position: 9th

Last season’s highs
The 1st day of the season. Bees hitting 5 on a sunny day.

Finally managing to Beat Middlesbrough,

Watching Leeds fall apart again at Griffin Park

The FA Cup 5th round. A crap draw, when there were so many decent teams left in the bag. Then watching Brentford play like Brazil 70 in the first half and emerge playing like Jossy’s Giants in the second half, thus missing out on a six round glamour tie against Man City.

Last season’s lows
Maupay getting knocked out and the capitulation at Loftus Road.

Preston away defeat confirmed for me that the team was going nowhere and needed a radical overhaul.

The damp squib of a 1st half at the Emirates

What are your expectations for this season?
Viewing it with trepidation. The start we made really got believing we had a chance, despite dropping points in away matches. The disruption and Thomas ending up taking over the team without a full coaching set up, worries me about how well we deal with the inevitable personnel churn that is inevitable, considering our operating model.

If we have a good first half to the season, we need to be on the front foot regarding incoming players to replace the inevitable outgoing players we will have. We will have too much quality to be scrambling around in 16th/17th like last year, but I suspect not enough quality to for a top 6 finish

Which player was top boy for you last season? Why (briefly)?
Maupay. (puts on teary Geordie accent) He scored so many goals

Who will win the Ian Holloway Trophy – awarded to the team that does far better than the pundits predict? Position? Why?

Embed from Getty Images

Luton. The bigger teams will have forgotten what playing at Kenilworth Road is like. They are on an upward curve, seem to be getting their stadium situation sorted out etc. They won’t be heading for the Premier League, but they will do well.

What team will do far worse than the pundits predict?
Leeds. Although they have kept the manager, the team will not be as strong as last year. The rumoured FPP issue means that there has been some cloth cutting.

It’s the last season at Griffin Park. If you had the chance to bring something (anything at all), what would you take to Lionel Road?
Standing Areas and the pubs. Hopefully it will not be long before safe standing can be installed. But nothing can replace the “leaving the pub at 2:54pm and still making kick off at 3pm” vibe that Griffin Park has, especially for those of us that operate on BMT (black man time)

What is your best Griffin Park memory before this season?
Beating Preston to finally, get out of League one and the drinks and celebrations with Players management and board in the pubs around Griffin Park. With the impending move to Lionel Road, I suspect we have seen the last of scenes like that

What position will Brentford finish this season?
9th

I don’t believe we have improved enough to go significantly higher. There is also the risk that we lose top stars before the season starts. Should we have a good season, the whole thing starts up over again in January.

Do we have enough to get through this churn? I am not so sure. Are we going to be able to keep Maupay, Benrahma and Watkins for a full season, will the introduction of the likes of Jansson instil the defensive steel needed to avoid the capitulations that caused so many points to be dropped and have we replaced Sawyers range of passing.

The squad is still quite thin and 46 games is a lot to get through without significant injuries or poaching from clubs with more money than brains.


Sav
, @sav_kyriacou
Ealing Road
Final Position: 4th

Last season’s highs
Maupay’s last minute winner against Villa at Griffin Park had that amazing explosive feeling that you only get at Griffin Park under the lights.

It’s moments like that which make me hate the idea of VAR.

Last season’s lows

Embed from Getty Images
The second half of the cup game at Swansea. We were so good first half and just fell apart. The high-to-low was what made it more painful than a regulation loss.

What are your expectations for this season?
Assuming we keep most or all the players currently in the transfer frame I expect an improvement in away results and a much better finishing league position. The greater experience in the squad is the key.

Which player was top boy for you last season?
Sawyers. He makes us tick and is an absolute joy to watch.  He will be sorely missed now that he has been transferred to WBA

Who will win the Ian Holloway Trophy – awarded to the team that does far better than the pundits predict?
I don’t know who is predicting what but I reckon QPR will exceed expectations and stay up!

What team will do far worse than the pundits predict?
Boro with their rookie manager.

It’s the last season at Griffin Park. If you had the chance to bring something (anything at all), what would you take to Lionel Road?
The new ground only seems to have two floodlight pylons. We could take a couple over to keep them company.

What is your best Griffin Park memory before this season?
Jota’s last minute winner against Fulham is hard to beat. Another of those floodlit explosive moments.

What position will Brentford finish this season?
The table currently has us as 4th.

I’ll go with that but genuinely think we could finally win a playoff final!

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About The Author

BillytheBee Grant

Following Brentford for 30 years plus now .. write .. blog .. videoblog .. podcast ... photograph ...eat .. sleep .. Brentford .. am known to attend the occasional England match too (12 tournaments now) so am hardened to failure ... On the board and national council of the Football Supporters Federation. ... organised husky dog racing for a living back in the day ... as you do .. You don't wanna go up!!

2 Comments

  1. J Wills

    It would be amazing to think we could gain promotion with are last hurrah at Griffin Park ! But I still think it’s one step to far at the moment. And as much as its great for Brentford to have a transfer model of buying cheap and selling on for huge profits, there has to come a time where keeping a strong settled side intact is what is needed. Selling our very best players right on the verge of the season opener is very unsettling, and blooding new players takes time, it’s almost like playing a computer game to the point of winning, and then pressing the reset button! But we always have hope, and watching Brentford for the past 34 years, hope is something we have been living on. But on the other had this is not a normal season and every fan needs to give everything to push the boys on! It’s going to be a bumpy ride ! But that’s why I love football and more importantly Brentford. U Beeeeeeeeeeeesssssssss

    Reply
  2. David Carney

    I don’t understand why everyone is focussed on weaknesses rather than strengths, leading to a fear to embrace success for Brentford.
    The defence was woeful last year and has been at best average every yearn the Championship. This weakness has been addressed by the bucketload over the summer which should reduce goals conceded enormously. This alone should guarantee an automatic promotion place.
    Life in football is losing and gaining players in the transfer window. The DOF’s have shown they are head and shoulders above other clubs having continued to recruit outstanding talent and helped Brentford move from a financial basket case to a profitable club with an enormously exciting future.
    I just don’t understand the negativity

    Reply

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