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Beesotted crew member, Louis Boyd, sits down with a nice warm glass of mulled wine and scribbles down some nicely roasted chestnuts on this crisp pre-Christmas Sunday… As the Bees prepare to take whatever the January transfer window throws at us… Will Uwe come-a-knocking  and, if so, will Mathew Benham really flick him the v-sign?

With the first transfer window of Mark Warburton and Uwe Rosler’s respective reigns at Brentford and Wigan looming, it was encouraging first to see Matthew Benham tweet that he had no intention of selling his prize assets this winter and then see Mark Warburton give a balanced and realistic assessment of the squad to a local paper.

A quick glance across the tabloids and internet has Clayton Donaldson being watched by Crystal Palace, Partick Thistle offering Farid McGamechanger a return to Scotland on loan (with a view to extend) and Uwe Rosler looking to raid GP not just for George Savile, but also for Adam Forshaw and Marcello Trotta with the former also being watched by QPR and the latter having ‘crunch’ talks with the new Fulham management whilst simultaneously talking to Reading, Watford and a host of Italian sides.

The domino effect of having our manager move up for the first time, brings up that familiar nervousness and trepidation of a January, Brentford the bridesmaids punching themselves out early and living up to our selling club in the worst kind of ways, selling low and buying lowest. But Matthew Benham’s money is starting to chip away at this and the continuity Mark Warburton’s accession should bring will ensure fire sales and panic buys are a thing of the past.

As it stands our new manager is completely au fait with our squad but so is our previous one, given two years to win promotion with a decent transfer kitty and crucially a decent wage structure, one area we may not be able to compete with. I trust with Warbs’ links, Benham’s financial smarts and our extensive ‘scousing’ network of MacParland & Weir we have plans b, c, and d in place should the offer of tripled wages become too much for the likes of Bidwell, Dean, Forshaw, Donaldson to resist. Do we turn it round and now ask Wigan for ‘favours’ and first dibs?

The flattering price of having a young in form team isn’t just the fear of losing the marquee names but also keeping the cameo actors happy and that will be another big factor for Warbs to contend with. As the first eleven has picked it self for the past two months, Warbs will have decsions to make about the rest of the squad. Hayes has already gone, hopefully a rare miscalculation for the team’s scouting network and Scott Barron will need to decide to either d the same or put up with third place left back and first place social secretary at the club.

How long Logan and Lee remain happy to be the football league’s most highly thought of substitutes will remain to be seen, with injury and suspension the quickest route back following our exit from all cup competitions. Warbs has made a point of stating that he is happy with the attitude and application of the entire squad, not just the form eleven, even Nugent and Filo who have probably had the least impact since arriving. Whether this is honesty or diplomacy might be irrelevant as both aren’t ours long term and Filo may fancy warming a third bench under Rosler should the chance arise.

Warbs has stated he has his own transfer targets already primed, we just have to hope that he isn’t carrying the same shopping list as Wigan now and don’t know whether the situation at Cardiff will make it easier or harder for us to extend Harris’ loan or have we had enough try before we buy and make him the new Dean/Forshaw/Bidwell?

There is also the half a million pound elephant in the room, too expensive to be benched, to exotic to play on international weekends. At least Grigg has a run until March before going abroad to not play for Northern Ireland, where he can make a claim to be Warbs’ main man.

The coming month looks set to work the club hard on the pitch and off, let’s hope we remain a club that see’s opportunities where previously we saw challenges. Up the Bees!

Louis Boyd