Winning a place in the Premier League as a Brentford fan is, without doubt, a dream come true. I Tweeted the morning after the play-off final win something I’d often said down the years; “just once in my lifetime, I’d love to see us in the top flight”. But I never quite believed we’d see that day. We have seen that day.
The dream still seems more than a bit surreal right now, and I’m sure until the fixture list comes out, and even right up until we kick off the campaign and play the first match, or perhaps taste defeat, the Wembley bubble should be allowed to drift on without being popped.
Strengthening the team becomes a priority, and there will be pangs of guilt, or regret, as one or two difficult decisions are made. Sentimentality versus doing what’s best to help us not only survive, but thrive, means some tough choices will be made. But made they must be. Will the nucleus of the squad remain as-is, with some of the fringe players allowed an opportunity to step up, or will the directors of football move quickly to work their magic on the biggest stage by replacing and upgrading? It’ll be fascinating to witness.
I am waiting with bated breath to see what Phil Giles and Rasmus Ankersen have up their sleeves. Our directors of football, and the owner Matthew Benham, aren’t just here as a tick-box exercise – our club’s success has been planned, invested in, modelled, remodelled, then finally executed – so there’s total trust from me on that score.
What more do they have to prove, seriously? Yes, the outside world will question whether we can survive using the (choose your own Brentford Bingo favourite) model, but the trio have nothing to prove to their own fans.
I’ve pledged that, for as long as is humanly possible at least, social media isn’t going to burst that Wembley bubble either… yes, the #teamslikebrentford patronising indifference to our club’s success will be cranked up, as ex-Word presenter and Super League sympathiser Terry Christian underlined yesterday, but hey, we’re used to that… we laugh in their faces and sing “we’re just a bus stop in Hounslow” right back at them.
That’s great – i’d prefer a team with a large-ish following with maybe some genuine ambition thats all. Give me a Notts Forest, Sunderland, Derby, Birmingham City , Cardiff, Middlesborough, West Brom, Sheff United , QPR, Fulham etc . I just think of Brentford as Rugby Union area
— terry christian (@terrychristian) May 29, 2021
The press coverage will be on a scale we can’t yet imagine, and at stages I’m sure we’ll question whether it’s the same Brentford any more… pundits will have their say on the club and the team from every corner of the globe… even Roy Keene will be forced against his will to mumble some sort of opinion (maybe even praise but I doubt it) on The Bees, but we need to take this all with a pinch of salt, for as long as we can at least, because the fabric of our club won’t be allowed to deviate too much with real Brentford fans at the helm. There will be changes, of course, there has to be, it would be neive in the extreme to expect anything other than an evolution, but Brentford will remain Brentford, I’m sure of that.
I’m also predicting the troll-like demands of some within our ‘own ranks’ will be insisting on wins every week, regardless of reality or the standard of the opposition, and will no doubt once again be calling from Thomas Frank’s head on repeat after only getting a draw at Anfield or Old Trafford. They embarrassed themselves last season and will no doubt continue to do so. They cannot be allowed to ruin things for the rest of us, or define what we think.
Mates, and mates of mates, asking if you can get them a ticket for them, after never being interested in Brentford, may become a ball-ache too, so thankfully, sell out New Griffin Park crowds will mean availability is filled by hardcore Bees, people who will sing and get behind the lads like never before… because they will be needing us at critical stages and we’ve already shown the new stadium can truly generate a wonderful atmosphere.
As most people go back to work this morning, and the brilliant weekend is forced to make way for ‘real world priorities’, please just take a moment and make a pledge… a pledge to enjoy every moment, to embrace the humility, positivity and passion our club encourages its players to demonstrate… come on… puff your chest out with pride, remember that feeling from Saturday evening, and say one more time…. “WE ARE PREMIER LEAGUE, SAY, WE ARE PREMIER LEAGUE”.