Liverpool’s visit on Saturday is one of the things to look forward to about being in the Premier League.
While Brentford are not in the top flight as tourists, these special days are still there to be savoured for Bees fans, especially for those of us who remember the years in the lower divisions.
It is even more enjoyable given our solid start to the season.
Liverpool are one of the most famous clubs in the game and their list of honours is huge.
– 19 Football League/Premier League titles
– 6 European Cup/Champions Leagues
– 7 FA Cups
– 8 League Cups
– 3 Uefa Cups
They start the weekend second on goal difference to Chelsea in the Premier League after an impressive start to the season.
The Reds have won four league games, keeping a clean sheet each time – with their only goal conceded in a 1-1 draw against the leaders.
When you add in their cup results against AC Milan in the Champions League and Norwich in the Carabao Cup, they have scored three in each of their last four matches.
WHO’S IN CHARGE
Jurgen Klopp will celebrate six years in charge of Liverpool in a fortnight’s time – making him the club’s longest-serving manager since Rafael Benitez (2004-2010).
He replaced Brendan Rodgers in October 2015 after spending seven years in charge of Borussia Dortmund, where he won two German league titles and led them to one Champions League final.
Jurgen started his managerial career at Mainz, the club where he spent the majority of his playing career.
He ended Liverpool’s 30-year wait for a league title in 2020, and has also led them to two Champions League finals, winning the second of them.
In May 2015, reports linked Jurgen with the vacant Brentford manager’s job following the departure of Mark Warburton, but they came to nothing!
WE’VE MET BEFORE
Brentford and Liverpool have only ever met on a handful of occasions, with the most recent matches being in the cups.
Our first-ever meeting was in the FA Cup third round in 1905/06 – when as a Southern League club, we travelled to Anfield to face First Division Liverpool who beat us 2-0.
Almost 70 years later, the Bees, then in Division Four, returned to Anfield – this time in the second round of the League Cup. We got off to a dream start when Roger Cross gave us the lead in the 10th minute, but our chances of a shock win vanished in the final quarter of an hour of the first half as Ray Kennedy and Phil Boersma struck as the Reds ran out 2-1 winners.
We met in the second round of the competition again in 1983/84, by which time we were in Division Three. This stage of the competition was then played over two legs, and the first was staged at Griffin Park. Ian Rush gave Liverpool the lead midway through the first half, but within a minute Gary Roberts equalised and it stayed that way until half-time.
Michael Robinson restored the visitors’ lead early in the second half and Graeme Souness made it 3-1 soon afterwards, before Rush completed the scoring in a 4-1 win.
In the second leg at Anfield, fewer than 10,000 fans turned out to see Brentford, unusually wearing an all-white kit, go down to a 4-0 defeat thanks to a Souness penalty, and then second-half strikes from David Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish and Robinson for an aggregate score of 8-1.
However, the meeting most people remember is the 1989 FA Cup quarter-final clash at Anfield.
Cheered on by around 7,000 Brentford supporters, most of us waving inflatable Bees, Richard Cadette nearly gave us an early lead, when through one-on-one with Bruce Grobbelaar, but his shot rolled agonisingly wide of the far post in front of the Kop.
But that was as good as it got for us, as Liverpool, with John Barnes in scintillating form, turned on a brilliant display to win 4-0 with goals from Steve McMahon, in the 15th minute, and after the break Barnes and two from Peter Beardsley.
Liverpool: Grobbelaar, Ablett, Staunton, Nicol, Whelan, Gillespie, Beardsley, Aldridge, Houghton, Barnes, McMahon. Subs not used: Watson, Burrows.
Brentford: Parks, Feeley (Bates 83), Stanislaus, Millen, Evans, Cockram, Jones, Sinton, Cadette, Blissett, Godfrey (Sealy 75).
Brentford midfielder Allan Cockram, who played in that tie, and some of the Bees fans who were there, reflected on the day in this special Beesotted podcast.
This is only the sixth season in which we’ve met in the league, with the previous five being in our spell in the top flight (Division One) either side of World War Two.
The Bees only won three of the 10 matches – two at Griffin Park and one at Anfield – drew three, and lost four.
Our past league results (Brentford score first) are:
1935/36 – (H) L 1-2 (A) D 0-0
1936/37 – (H) W 5-2 (A) D 2-2
1937/38 – (H) L 1-3 (A) W 4-3
1938/39 – (H) W 2-1 (A) L 0-1
1946/47 – (H) D 1-1 (A) 0-1
DID YOU KNOW?
Brentford and Liverpool possess the two longest-serving tannoy announcers in the country.
“Mr Brentford” himself – Peter Gilham first delighted Bees fans with his dulcet tones in October 1969 and George Sephton took over microphone duties at Anfield in August 1971.
Peter is now the Bees’ football liaison officer, and is so respected by the players that Pontus Jansson insisted that they lifted the play-off trophy together at Wembley in May.
Mike Hughes of BBC Radio Merseyside looks at Liverpool’s start to the season, explains the secret of Jurgen Klopp’s success and looks forward to visiting the Brentford Community Stadium.
Q – How would you assess Liverpool’s start to the season?
A – It’s been an excellent start to the season for Liverpool. Four wins and a draw from five league games so far tells its own story. More impressive though has been a return of the swagger and the style we’ve come to associate with Liverpool, that perhaps was absent for parts of last season as their injury-ravaged squad, fought tooth and nail to ensure they’d be playing Champions League football this season.
There’s a poise and purpose to their play that underlines their Premier League title credentials. When you consider that table-topping Chelsea are the only team to prevent Liverpool from winning this season, it indicates that Jurgen Klopp’s team have the capability to see off even the very best sides. Chelsea too have the look of a side who have serious title ambitions, but they were very fortunate to escape from Anfield with a 1-1 draw recently.
Q – What transfer business did Jurgen Klopp’s side do over the summer?
A – It was a relatively quiet transfer window for Liverpool. Ibrahima Konate was the sole summer signing. Recruited from RB Leipzig at a cost of £32m, he’s been bought in to increase the Reds’ central defensive options.
Liverpool suffered horrendous injury problems last season. Jurgen Klopp used almost 30 different pairings throughout the campaign. Konate only made his Premier League debut against Crystal Palace last weekend, but looked keen, confident and assured alongside Virgil van Dijk.
When I say Liverpool only signed one player, it’s more accurate to say one major signing. The addition of 16-year-old Kaide Gordon from Derby for £1m (rising to a possible £3m) could prove to be an exciting one.
He’s a pacy left-footed forward, who mainly plays off the right but has the versatility to switch to a number of roles.
Q – What is more important to the Reds this season – Premier League or Champions League success, or are all the competitions a top priority?
A – Jurgen Klopp would probably answer that question by saying: “It’s like trying to pick your favourite child! You can’t favour one more than the other. You love them both the same.” Some fans would prefer one above the other, but success in either and/or both competitions is how Liverpool measure their standing in the upper echelons of the game.
Q – Jurgen Klopp is Liverpool’s longest-serving manager since Rafael Benitez – how good a job has he done and what is the secret of his success?
A – Jurgen Klopp is one of Liverpool’s greatest-ever managers. He stands alongside the greats of yesteryear that have to lay the foundations of long-term footballing success at Anfield. He has the charisma of Bill Shankly, the tactical understanding of Bob Paisley, the self-confidence of Kenny Dalglish.
But for me his finest quality is that he is a manager who doesn’t rely on recruiting more players to improve his team. Jurgen Klopp turns his talents towards making every player he works with a better player than they were before. He continues to make a remarkable job of it. Jurgen Klopp was made for Liverpool and Liverpool were made for Jurgen Klopp.
Q – Which of the Reds’ lesser-known players should Brentford fans keep an eye on?
A – Liverpool don’t really have too many lesser-known players, but there are definitely some players that go under the radar more than others.
Fabinho probably fits into that bracket, even though he’s a world-class talent. He can sense danger before it’s even presented itself as a possibility in Liverpool’s defensive third.
He covers the ground with rapidity but has an economy of style that makes him appear almost like a “Roll’s Royce” amongst holding midfielders.
The most underrated factor in the Liverpool team is their hard work. They have endless energy and there isn’t a team in the Premier League that work harder than Liverpool.
Q – From what you have seen on TV, what do you think about Brentford’s start to the season?
A – I don’t think anybody can be anything other than very impressed by Brentford’s start to the season. For now at least they’ve become lots of fans’ “second team”. It stems from their years of pain and heartache as the goal of Premier League football continued to elude them – and almost always at the final hurdle.
Thomas Frank favours a possession-based style of football. But there’s an intensity about their play that tends to disallow “passing for passing’s sake”.
Ivan Toney is another star in the making. Liverpool fans will always keep a look out for Sergi Canos, who they signed from Barcelona in 2013. Even though he didn’t make it at Anfield, there was always the belief that he had the capability to become a Premier League player.
Q – How excited are you about seeing your first game against the Bees and making your first trip to our new stadium?
A – Everyone at BBC Radio Merseyside is thrilled at the prospects of having a new Premier League stadium to visit. The atmosphere for the first game of the new campaign against Arsenal was fantastic…. and that was only watching on TV! It seems like the Brentford fans are really enjoying their newfound status. Why shouldn’t they?
Q – Finally can you give me a possible Liverpool line-up and formation please?
A – The team for Saturday will be something like:
Trent Alexander-Arnold (if he recovers from illness-James Milner if he doesn’t)
Virgil van Dijk
HOW TO FOLLOW THE GAME IF YOU CAN’T BE THERE
If you can’t get to the Brentford Community Stadium for Saturday’s sold-out 5.30pm kick-off, there are various ways of following the game.
TV – The match is being shown live on Sky Sports, with coverage starting at 5.00.
iFollow – If you want Brentford commentary, iFollow audio coverage is available again this season via monthly or seasonal passes. Coverage starts half an hour before kick-off and is advert-free and on Saturday, Mark Burridge and Gemma Goodwin from Brentford Women are your commentators.
PUBS IN BRENTFORD AND TRAVEL NEWS
For Liverpool fans coming to the Brentford Community Stadium for the first time, there are plenty of pub options pre and post-match and all are most welcoming and away-fan-friendly (as it should be).
The pub areas are split into two zones. There is the area around Brentford’s old Griffin Park stadium. The pubs there are still very busy on match day frequented by Bees locals before heading down the road to the stadium at Kew Bridge which is only 15 mins walk.
Then there is the area in and around the stadium in Kew Bridge.
It is possible, if you have a good early start, to savour a few pubs in and around Griffin Park and Brentford zone before heading off to the pubs in the Kew zone or even vice versa if you so fancy.
Pubs in Griffin Park/Brentford zone
When at Griffin Park, Brentford was well known for its four pubs – one on each corner of the ground. Three are still operating.
The Griffin is closest to the old away end and has always been very popular with both home and away fans and has its regulars who still make the journey down to the new stadium from there on matchday. The New Inn is on the other side which used to also be popular with away fans before the move. The Brook pub is the other option if you want to savour a pub in and around what is left of our old home. Worth a peep if you want to reminisce about old Brentford.
About five minutes’ walk away from the old ground are two pubs which are enormously popular. The Globe (Windmill Rd) is a “lively but comfortable” pub on matchday. Incredibly friendly and cosy, it has always been popular with a selection of away fans who fancied having a beer a few minutes further walk away from the ground without having to queue six persons deep. After the move to the new ground, The Globe has retained many of lot its regulars from the Griffin Park days and with screens throughout the pub and in its sheltered beer garden, it shows both Premier League and EFL football before and after each match.
Meanwhile around the corner, The Lord Nelson (Enfield Rd) is another incredibly friendly and cosy away-friendly pubs about one minute walk from The Globe. Again with a TV screen for live sports and a lovely beer garden, this is another pub frequented by “away fans in the know”.
The other pub worth checking out in the Griffin Park region is The Black Dog Beer House, formerly The Albany, on Albany Road, if you like your real ales.
There are plenty of other pubs in and around Brentford High Street including real ale pub Magpie and Crown (Brentford High Street) and the cosy Brewery Tap (Catherine Wheel Road) near the river.
For a Griffin Park area pub crawl before heading over to Kew we recommend the following: Take the Piccadilly line to Northfields station. Turn left and walk for 2 mins and you will come to The Plough (Northfields Ave). Then walk to The Lord Nelson (10 min walk from The Plough) & then The Globe (1 min walk from The Nelson) en-route before hitting The Griffin (8 min walk from The Globe) and then The Black Dog (2 mins from The Griffin). You can also try and do the other three pubs on the corner whilst down here if you fancy.
Then you can then either walk (15 minutes from The Globe/The Nelson and The Griffin/Black Dog ) or take a train from Brentford station (which is five minutes walk away from both The Globe/The Nelson and The Griffin/Black Dog) or a bus (237/267) to Kew Bridge.
Trains run at 24 and 54 minutes past the hour to Kew Bridge from Brentford and take 2 mins.
Pubs in the Kew Bridge zone
Right next to Kew Bridge station, you will find the Express Tavern – an ale pub with a retro feel. The pub has been refurbished in readiness for the new football season and needless to say, is popular before the match due to its close proximity to the stadium.
Across the road by the river is One Over the Ait – a spacious boozer right next to Kew Bridge. This pub is situated on the location of the now-demolished Oxford & Cambridge pub where Brentford Football Club was founded in 1889.
Across Kew Bridge and the River Thames, there are two pubs on Kew Green – the Cricketers and the Greyhound – very close to the pier where Brentford fans have embarked on their away journeys by water to F*lham, Orient, Charlton, West Ham and even Southend.
North of the river along hoity-toity Strand on the Green, you will find The Steam Packet, in an old Cafe Rouge, and The Bell. A bit further down are The City Barge and the Bulls Head – two pubs side-by-side in which you would often see Ant and Dec hanging out.
There is also The Pilot which you can get to coming out of the BACK entrance of Gunnersbury station and we believe the old John Bull pub at the front of the station has been refurbed as The Gunnersbury but we have never been there so can’t give it a 👍🏾or a 👎🏻
Transport to Brentford and Kew Bridge
The simplest on paper to get to Brentford FC from town is to get the tube to Waterloo (Northern, Jubilee lines) or Vauxhall (Victoria Line) and then take the Overground train to Kew Bridge, which is right by the stadium. Brentford is one stop further on if you are on an ‘Original Griffin Park Pub’ mission.
With trains from Waterloo being only twice an hour (22 and 52) and taking 28 minutes, we normally recommend people jump on the tube from Kings Cross or Euston and head to Northfields or South Ealing on the Piccadilly Line as it is quicker (including the time getting across London and waiting at Waterloo) and trains are more frequent.
It is only 40 mins max station by tube to station meaning you could be in a Brentford pub within an hour of embarking your train at Kings Cross, Euston or Liverpool Street.
The other station option is Gunnersbury. You can walk to the stadium from Gunnersbury tube station (District line) in 25 minutes or take a bus (H91, 237, 267, 110), but note that it is closed for entry for one hour after the match.
For the Brentford/Griffin Park pubs you can get the Piccadilly line tube to Northfields station from King’s Cross or Euston (35 minutes) then walk down to The Plough, The Globe, The Lord Nelson and The Griffin and other pubs from there.
The new stadium is around 25 minutes’ walk from South Ealing station – if you don’t fancy Gunnersbury – or you can get on the 65 bus from across the road which will drop you almost outside in 15 minutes.
You can also pick up the 65 bus from Ealing Broadway (district and central line) which will take you to the new stadium in 25 minutes.
You can check out Transport for London’s guide to travel on the Tube and Overground.