Having spent most of his life stuck in League One, Beesotted contributor Luis Adriano has decided to keep in touch from Brentford’s new home in The Championship. Here is the first, of what will probably become quite a few, Letters to League One…
Dear League One,
So, it’s no longer a case of are we nearly there yet?
We’ve finally arrived at The Championship and, knowing how much I’ve harped on over the years about wanting to take this journey, I thought I’d keep you up to date with my some of my adventures.
Listen, I think we should get one thing straight right now. Don’t think of these as letters ‘home’ and it’s certainly not a case of missing you already. Sorry for being harsh but I’d been planning to leave you for years and it is my complete intention to never see you again. I have to be honest, there have been times when you have absolutely sickened me to the pit of my stomach and I got bored of you so long ago, I can’t even remember when.
OK, I’ll try not to be too disrespectful.
For this first letter, I thought I’d just give you a quick breakdown of some of what has happened here in the Championship already. There’s so much written these days about what’s going on, which is nice, that I’ll try and be a bit different. As the weeks progress, I’ll keep you up to date of anything interesting here and I may also share a few thoughts about what is happening back with you. I do know you so well after all.
Charlton, aka Sub-Standard Liege, proved to be a decent first Championship test for the Mighty Bees. Coming from a goal behind to force a draw, at least we already have a point on the board. Yes, more than we got last time we played an equivalent league game twenty-two years previously and also a better return than last time the Addicks came to Griffin Park.
Other than a period early in the second half, you’d have to say Jim Davidson’s favourite team weren’t too offensive and we’ll face tougher battles in the month’s ahead.
We’ve played our first League Cup game too and our defending over in Dagenham was about as funny as one of Jim’s old pantomimes. Defensively there were just about as many boobs too but if ever a match goes to penalties, there’s only one man you want in goal. You’d have to think Louis Van Gaal would have subbed Tim Krul had Richard van Lee been available to him in his World Cup penalty shoot outs.
Obviously one of the most sought after Griffin Park tickets this season was always going to be for the visit of Fulham. Having put as much effort into joining the Championship as we did, it’s nice to see Felix Magath really getting into the swing of things in trying to take his team all the way to meet you.
Outgoing captain Brede Hangeland recently gave Sky Sports News a great reference for the stirling work ‘Penfold’ is doing at the Cottage.
Talking of the proven techniques he has been using to destroy his players confidence, Hangeland stated, “he is very difficult to work with. He has a reputation of being a very strict manager, which he is.
“His main tool is to try and mentally and physically batter his players and then hopefully get some results out of that. Is that a right fit for English football? I don’t think so personally.
“Rather than help us try and avoid relegation, he made things worse and harder for us.”
So, before Danger Mouse is due to return to our screens in 2015, it seems Penfold is trying to get as many defeats on the board as he can.
Hangeland meanwhile, seemed to doing his best Hugh Grant impression when he added divinely, “I think things will get worse before they get better and I really think that what’s happening now at the top of Fulham is very disconnected, and very far from the Fulham that I know and from the Fulham fans.”
Magath responded to this criticism with more of his own, laying into £11million (yes, I know) new signing Ross McCormack and his lack of fitness.
Speaking after a pointless visit to Portman Road, the hamster who is often mistaken for a mole commented, “Ross came to us with a lack of fitness and not at the beginning of pre-season. He is not at the same level as the rest of the players.
“I wanted him to be fit when we signed him but at the moment he is not in the right shape”.
The team from up the River, are still in the League Cup despite scoring six goals less than Dagenham & Redbridge.
Hopefully they may end up conceding just as many as the Daggers though as the second round draw, where they enter the competition, brought their first competitive trip of the decade to TW8 forward by a few months.
The fun has already started in reminding their fans of #BeesUpFulhamDown and you sense it will soon be a case of #BeesThroughFulhamOut. Having said that, there is always the caveat of six league points being far more important than a place in the hat for League Cup Round of 32, if they sneak a dodgy win.
Sorry that this letter is already becoming just passage after passage of more pointing and laughing at our near neighbours. It’s all too easy to get carried away at their plight.There are more things happening in the Championship than just the capitulation of a post Al Fayed FFC.
One game in and we have our first sacking. Huddersfield, a town fast becoming most famous for a six second video clip of a teenager filming herself in her mother’s automobile, got rid of Mark Robins after a 4-0 home defeat to our next opponents Bournemouth.
Who’ll be second in the sack race? It won’t be Warbs for sure.
I have said previously how I think there are more than enough worse teams, just beginning with B, to prevent us finding ourselves in the bottom three come May. I have long fancied Bolton to struggle and I wouldn’t even be surprised if Dougie becomes another Freedman from his job if he loses at home to Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
Blackpool still seem to be everyone’s B favourites for relegation though. Although they now seem to be acquiring players at the rate Rotherham were straight after their Wembley Play Off final, they remain bookies favourites to tumble down to you from the Championship.
Please give my regards to Russell Slade. I do feel for him. Unlike Penfold, he actually seems to be trying to motivate his players but has the same round, well oval, number of league points so far. At least he was also able to preside over a penalty shootout win in the League Cup: a feat you feel is made all the more difficult without Dickie Lee in your goal.
Harry Forrester meanwhile seems to be trying his best to get noticed again. With his goal in the first Donny league game being followed up by one in the League Cup, it will be interesting how his season pans out if he can avoid the physio’s table. If he can keep injury free, I can see his career getting back on track and only heading in One Direction*.
So, like most letters, there’s been a fair bit of mumbling along but once more, let’s just take another moment to snigger at Fulham.
The Bees are down in Dorset at the weekend against a team I fancy for a top six finish. The result will no doubt lead to either of the extremes our fans are capable of. A defeat and everyone will be convinced this is just another one off vacation away from where we belong. A victory though and we’ll be certs for the 2015/16 Premier League.
With the realisation that it will probably be 2017 before we live in Lionel Road, I’ve spent a few moments considering how nice it would be to give Griffin Park at least one season of top flight football in this millennium.
In all honesty, I have no desire to see the likes of Rooney, Costa, Lukaku or Sanchez being superbly marshalled by Tarkowski and John Terry, being made to do a Gary Breen impression as Andre Gray glides past him a la DJ.
There are two reasons why I would love to see us in the Premier League before we move across town.
Firstly, imagine how great it would be to see a life-like replica of GP on FIFA2016 etc. Just how realistic would EA Sports manage to make the moaning coming from New Road, the flares from the Ealing Road yoots, and the tightly squeezed arses in the paddock seats? Could they even get a CIG Peter Gilham out there on the pitch geeing up the faithful in a manner which should make him immune from snidey message board criticism?
Secondly, #GotGotNeed. Boys of all ages love a good football sticker album. Just ask around the ground every fourth year which Dads are taking ‘their children’s’ World Cup albums rather seriously.
However, forget the bundles of fifty packs you’ve bought over the summer trying to get hold of goalkeeper Boubabcar Barry to complete your two pages of Ivorians, imagine instead you were attempting to get a David Button to complete your Brentford team.
If I got to peel the back of that Brentford badge shiny and stick it in a Topps Premier League sticker album, I think my life just might be complete.
Anyway, that’s all until another time. You’re League One, I’m Championship and the Premier League is still out of reach.
I’m not missing you in the slightest and just looking forward to seeing how we cope against Muff. I daresay I’ll let you know how we get on and tell you about some other things which may, or may not, be of interest.
Yours in the Championship,
*I believe this loose connection to nearly-but-not-quite Donny co-owner Louis 1D Tomlinson allows me to hashtag #OneDirection when I mention this piece on social media.