A week is a long time in football. Well no, let’s be honest, it’s not really. It’s still just seven days which, the older you get, the quicker they fly by. This time last week, #ENG hadn’t kicked a ball in the 2014 World Cup Finals. This time this week, there’s no point kicking any more Brazucas; Stevie G and pals might as well just down Zambucas. There wasn’t even time to think it was all over. It just was and, forget that worthless game with Costa Rica on Tuesday, it is now.
So that distraction, the one I was saying might keep my mind temporarily off the long journey to the 2014/15 Sky Bet Championship season, has proved terribly temporary. Back on Airline Analogy, it’s as though I was given a calculator to play with to keep me amused. I’ve typed in 55378008 and 5318008 and turned it upside down, dropped it on the floor and can’t be arsed to pick it up. The impatience is impeding my thoughts and I want to shout at the top of my voice, “are we nearly there yet?”
In the meantime, I’ve been reading one of the attractions I was hoping to see when we got there will probably not be working. Well no, what I mean is I’ve been reading that Clayton Donaldson doesn’t want to be part of the Brentford assault on the second tier. On a previous trip, this might have caused me to throw a bit of a hissy-fit but I’m pretty calm about this one. I think they’ll be plenty of other fun things to see and be entertained by. While even I’m now starting to get confused by the constant switch between analogy and reality, I’ll stick to the latter for a while.
‘Star striker leaves to join Birmingham City’ has an all too familiar ring to it for us Bees fans. The dark days following W£bb selling Nicky Forster to the then Gold-Sullivan-Brady bunch of 97, derailing our Promotion Express were, for me, a damn sight more hurtful than those after the arguably life-saving injection of cash DJ Campbell’s sale brought in nine years later. With the benefit of hindsight, that income was a real Steve Brucie Bonus which was definitely nice to see, to see nice. At the time, it might have felt we were witnessing history repeating itself and same old Brentford not wanting to go up.
It has however been widely reported that without that sale we would have been in Administration within days. When I first take my seat in The Lionel Road Community Stadium, I hope I can spare a moment to think back to that era and how lucky we now are to have survived it. If Gary Breen hadn’t done his dance of death to make Dudley look so deadly, and Brucie and other assembled Premier League representatives hadn’t looked on so impressively, life could be so different. Maybe we wouldn’t be too far from Lionel Road. Maybe Brentford Football Club, Est 1889, would have gone to the great football league in the sky with the likes of Aldershot, Newport, Stockport etc. I think AFC Brentford is already taken, so maybe some other variation would have been set up and we’d be traipsing over to watch them play at Gunnersbury Park.
But we’re not. The future is bright, and when players leave Warburton’s wonderful work in progress for a club in as much turmoil as the 14/15 version of Birmingham City, I think it could now be they, rather than us, who will miss out. Don’t get me wrong, I bare Clayton no grudges and wish him much happiness moving from England’s capital to its second city. I’m sure, especially as a recently married man, he must be delighted that his monthly income will no doubt have significantly risen. It’s not ridiculous to imagine he has managed to double his money and this at a time of his life where it is important to set himself up for the future. His contract with us just ran out, it’s not as though he has demanded a move mid-season and threatened to just sit in the centre-circle or whatever those rumours were that flew around when a previous striker around his age felt it time to move on. He’s bid his time, considered his offers and, going by press reports, seems more than likely to head to Brum. Good(ish) luck to you, we move on.
It’s a sign of how far we’ve come that reports we have bid £2million for a younger, arguably potentially better, model are not being laughed off as completely ridiculous. Others have already pointed out the added irony that we could be replacing our West Midlands heading top scorer with a Callum, just as we did back in 2006. The general consensus is that Coventry’s Wilson would prove a far better replacement should we capture him than poor Mr. Willock brought in to replace Campbell.
So writing this I had forgotten, for a while, all about the minute, ie tiny, 180 minute, ie tiny, distraction of England’s World Cup campaign. I’m not about to shout, ”are we nearly there yet,” just right now as, having convinced myself he’s off, until we replace Clayton, there does seem to be a bit of a gap in our striker positions. I’m sure we’ll be fine and someone decent will be paraded before the team head off to Florida. That is for their pre-season training camp and not another part of Airline Analogy off to Disneyland.
Ok, it was a shit distraction, but I have in all seriousness spent quite a few moments today thinking about it. I’ve been trying to establish why I have just been so unbothered about the national team and their record of Played 2, Won 0, Drawn 0, Lost 2 ahead of a final game against a team with the opposite record.
A Scottish colleague asked me after the Italy and before the Uruguay game what would I rather witness in my lifetime. His options were:
- Seeing England win the World Cup, or
- Seeing Brentford win the Champions League.
He seemed genuinely shocked when I admitted I’d trade the World Cup if the Footballing Gods could promise me a last minute equaliser at The New York Stadium in the 14/15 Championship Season. Oh, are we nearly yet? Well, have we signed a striker or two or three first?
I meant to write an in depth piece here tonight on why I struggle to find any pride when the Three Lions are in action. Funny thing is, I can’t even be arsed to do that now. It’s still just all about Brentford in my head and those magnificent games we will have week in, week out between August 2014 and May 2015. I might come back to this another time and go into detail about how I feel a lack of empathy towards Scousers miserably earning between one and three hundred grand a week who fail to take a Finals tournament by storm compared to other Scousers earning considerably less but completely happy to cheerfully take fans money on the tills in the Club Shop at new kit launch day. I also don’t see any of the England players as passionate as say, Sam Saunders when he is miked up for BeesPlayer radio commentary.
For me, boy the whole World Cup is over. It’s like the Johnstones Paint Trophy when the Bees have been knocked out. No need to show any interest in how the rest of the tournament gets played out. Well done everyone who read that line and thought stuff that, we’re not even entered in that any more.
The shops on the High Street are already on Half Price for England flags and assorted nonsense and the supermarkets have loads of alcohol at the front of their stores. I think they should have seen this coming and their Point Of Sale material a week into the Finals should always have been ready to switch to, “England are out – Drown Your Sorrows”. Apparently, our economy may genuinely suffer as retailers intended to milk the World Cup for that bit longer than they got to. Oh well. Have that on your conscience Roy.
I’m bored again now. I hope you aren’t. I’ll take another look at the new Bees kit. Nice. I’ll take another look at the new Bees fixtures. Even nicer. We must be well on the way to the first season in the second tier since 1992. One last question for now: Are we nearly there yet?