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BillytheBee emerges from the Lamex stadium, Stevenage despondent after a shocking performance from The Bees. With too many questions flying around, his match report falls apart as he then moves into voicing some of the questions that all the fans have been asking over the past few weeks

There’s a definate malaise revolving around the current Brentford team at the moment.

Saturday’s 2-1 defeat away to Stevenage was yet another in a series of poor results for the Bees this season.

More disappointing though was the manner of defeat. It was poor. No fight. No ideas. No passion. But what is even more worrying for the majority of Brentford fans out there is, in the short term, we can’t realistically see things getting any better.

The game started brightly for the Bees. As it often does. Nice passing. Good energy. Confidence. Trotta’s header saved in the first minute then McCormack also denied a certain goal with the follow up. Then Forshaw had a free kick deflected over the bar for another close chance. So it was no real surprise when the Bees went ahead – Douglas gets a lovely little dink from Trotta and lofts the ball over the advancing keeper for Donaldson to score the easiest of goals from close range.

All looking rosy for the Bees. But it was obviously far too plain sailing so in attempt to even things up a bit, Button has another Bradford-esque rush to the head two minutes after Brentford take the lead … tries to take on Zoko when it was easier to clear the ball. Fluffs it. Ball rebounds off Zoko and ends up in the back of the Brentford net. Cheers!!

And after Stevenage had plunged the dagger into Brentford’s heart, they then twisted it. Bees clear a Stevenage corner but when ball is played back into the area, Brentford are unable to capitalise on a number of opportunities to clear and Zoko is there once again to bang the ball into the back of the net.

From there on in it’s tails up for Stevenage and tails down for Brentford as their game just went to pot. It was embarrassing at times.

Uwe Rosler has stated that the team are low in confidence. There is no doubt in that showing at The Lamex Stadium that there is something missing. But let’s look back over this season because we’re not 100% sure that’s the crux of the problem.

We play Port Vale off the park. Fans and players were high on confidence at the start of the season. We go one goal ahead but fail to defend our lead – giving away a silly goal (story of our season?).

Sheffield United next and the way we wipe the floor with them. Everyone was sure were going to win the league. Confidence is sky high at this stage.

Then we play Gillingham and don’t really deliver. Lots of pretty foorball. No end game. But we get a fortunate last minute goal to rescue a point.

The following week we scrape an unconfident win against Walsall, lose 5-0 in the cup unnecessarily to Derby then fail to score against Carlisle – a team that everyone and their dog were knocking goals in against. We then get bashed up at Bradford with 10 men, scrape an extremely enjoyable win against a Tranmere team who is unable to score against anyone – but manages to put three past our defence … before being embarrassed on the TV by Orient.
We beat Coventry away but then we were low in confidence against Rotherham the following week. How does that work?

Do I need go on?

What I’m trying to say is …. I personally don’t think it’s simply lack of confidence which is making us perform so poorly. We shouldn’t have been lacking in confidence against Gillingham and Carlisle. We beat Walsall but not convincingly. We’re drawing and losing to teams that we would be beating hands down last season. No there is something else very wrong going down at Griffin Park. And no one can quite out their finger on it.

If you haven’t had an opportunity to watch the Beesotted Brentford fans’ views videos, check this Stevenage one out. After the embarrassing result today you would expect a load of ranting rabid testosterone fuelled men banging on about it being a “man’s game” and “how we don’t like it up us”. But no. There are a lot of very balanced views out there. People who are actually sympathetic to the situation and have taken time out to analyse where they feel the problems lie.

The common thread amongst most of the conversations in terrace-land is .. Yes there is a lack of confidence at the moment. But that has been generated because of a constant reshuffling of the team …. a confusion as to what type of football we are meant to be playing (we keep talking about being a ball playing team …. But at the same time we have a tendency to constantly hoof the ball) … Tactics are mentioned again and again ….

In general, fans are disappointed that we are not playing to our full potential. And just because we have very good players, that alone doesn’t give us the right to win games.

Our inability to break down a dogged Stevenage defence with our four-man central midfield combination was a mute point. Our main playmaker Forshaw being thrown out wide on the wing where he has less chance of getting the ball and making plays has confused people. McCormack on the left wing has confused people even more.

Needless to say, every decent team relies on a settled defence. Moore leaving for Cardiff has obviously had a greater effect on the team than we may have thought initially. But after Button’s rash tackle against Bradford had prematurely elevated Richard Lee back to the No 1 goalkeeper spot, fans are confused as to why he did not keep his place after three excellent performances between the sticks.

His defence are obviously comfortable with him marshalling them. If Lee is still recovering from his injury and still not quite fit then this is something that should be have been relayed to the fans as Rosler is putting himself under unnecessary pressure by seemingly making changes for changes sake.

And up front. We’re just not firing on all cylinders. Trotta didn’t have a bad game. But he didn’t have a great game. And to single him out in a team of 11 under-performers would be unfair. But against a team like Stevenage who are big and strong and were always going to battle us from day one, why wasn’t Farid put in the mix? The view from the boss is that he’s more of an impact player and suits us more when we play more direct. Fair enough. So question asked once again … Why did he not make an appearance against Stevenage?

He’s been seen to turn around games one-handedly with his determination and enthusiasm alone. Never mind his goals. Surely this type of game was more up Farid’s street than Trotta’s or even Norris – a kid who is being asked to deliver single-handedly in a side who is lacking in passion and confidence or even Dean – who seemed to be playing up front at the back end of the game.

The next three games are crucial. At Beesotted we are normally more positive than most. But this is Defcon 5. Like Sheffield United, we’re on a worrying downward spiral. We know it. You know it. Uwe knows it. He wouldn’t have kept the players in the dressing room for 90 minutes if he didn’t feel there were serious issues that needed to be addressed.

We’ve been to every single game this season so we’ve see all the highs and the lows. And it’s now not a simple case of “BeeLieve” and “Keep the faith”. There have to be some serious decisions made over the next week if we are going to rescue our season.

Whether that’s sticking with one team – one who not only have passion but are also comfortable playing each other – and moving forward with that same team in consecutive games – as top of the league Orient do.

Or choosing a tactic that suits the players we have and sticking to it.

Or maybe something else more fundamental or hard-core.

… that’s not for us to decide.

We’re not paid hundreds of thousands of pounds to make these decisions. That’s what you employ a management team for. We just pay hundreds of thousands of pounds (collectively) to watch it.

One word to the Brentford hierachy. Don’t underestimate the fans’ opinion. There is always a feeling within general football management that the fans don’t know what they’re talking about when it comes to matters in the pitch – even Brentford has been guilty of certain members of staff lambasting fans for their supposed lack of loyalty and knowledge when questioning decisions being made on the pitch. This isn’t true. We watch the game week in and week out. And although everyone may not be fully clued up in finest coaching and tactical nuances of the modern game, in general we know our onions. And we know when things are going right. And when they’re going wrong.

Speaking to a member of the Brentford management team at an industry function earlier this week, he told me he only watches the Beesotted videos when we win. Maybe he and all the management team and players should take time out to watch these videos after every loss as well. They could do worse than take on board some balanced unbiased comment from the terraces.

But this isn’t a time for pointing fingers. This is a time for Brentford to knuckle down and get things sorted. And maybe acknowledge the errors of their ways. Because if the team continues to carry on in an ‘Emperors New Clothes stylee’, by the time the king realises he is naked … We’ll be riding the bottom of the league with Sheffield United as opposed to up the top with Wolves and Peterborough.

And that’s a situation that we really don’t want to be getting ourselves into