Regular Beesotted contributor Jim Levack is holed up in pirate county and had to miss the Bees’ win at The Valley, but he’s not too far away to be able to credit the brilliant Alan Judge for his central part in Brentford’s resurgent form over the past three matches.
Trying to get wifi connection in deepest Cornwall isn’t normally too much of a problem, such is the incredible scenery, great ales, log fires and the occasional pastie or two.
But when it’s matchday, you’re taking advantage of a rare child-free weekend at it’s just gone 4pm with the Bees on the crest of a wave of form, the lure of Rick Stein’s cod and chips wasn’t really doing it for me.
My wife looked at her watch, saw the time and knew why I suddenly appeared even more vacant and distant than usual… my body was with her in Padstow, but my soul was hundreds of miles away at The Valley.
Time ticked by very slowly and we parked up at Trebarwith Strand, one of my favourite spots on this earth, where I ran to a pub and asked – no demanded – their wifi code.
Within 10 minutes Trebarwith had become even more of a favourite haunt as the classified score came in – another away win, nine points in a week, Carsley turning things round etc etc: it was my wife’s turn to look utterly disinterested.
Of course the scoreline barely told the story of a game where we could and should have been behind early on, but dug in to take things by the scruff of the neck and go on to record an ultimately emphatic win.
I had been at Wolves so knew how organisation, tempo and pressing had effectively nullified them as the game wore on, and guessed the same had happened in south east London.
Just as at Wolves Alan Judge was the catalyst for the win, just as at Wolves, Carsley cleverly integrated the new Continental – there I’ve said it – boys late on, and they responded with the decisive goals. Just as at Wolves, players were prepared to put bodies on the line for the cause. Just as at Wolves, Nico Yennaris further cemented his claim for the shirt, another piece of managerial motovational genius.
Carsley was happy to laud Judge’s contribution, but the former Everton man is a proper footballer’s football manager, the kind of bloke who’s been there, seen it and done it in the English game so was also keen to applaud the contribution of four or five other key players pivotal to the recent revival.
Yes Judge is doing his international cause no harm whatsoever, yes three or four others are following his lead and yes, the sooner the remainder get bang up to speed – and they will – we will eradicate those little spells of edginess from our game like, I’m told, we had at Charlton.
The lack of wifi in the south west saw me trying to catch up with the post match analysis and the Beesotted guys’ frustration at supporters eager to deride the contribution of the new Continental signings and a small minority seemingly happy to see us lose if it proves their argument right.
For the record I sit somewhere in the middle… and see no reason why they can’t either.
I was highly sceptical of the policy of buying lots of untested Continental players and throwing them straight in to the hurly burly physicality of the Championship en masse. It would do their development and confidence no good at all – I’m glad to say Lee Carsley appears to be of the same mind.
The more versatile Djuricin aside, he has gone back to basics with a starting eleven who know and understand the English game, bringing the likes of Hofmann and Vibe on later in games to let them scare the life out of a jaded opposition.
They have both scored late on, both looked more resilient than when they started the season and as a result will both feel more integrated into the side.
By mid-season I can see both being in a stronger position to make an impact from the start of games… but not yet. At the moment there is a key role for Alan Judge to play as the cement that is binding the other – yes new, Continental – elements together.
The rumour mill inevitably starts when a player like him is on fire as he is, but he’s a shrewd fellah and will hopefully realise that playing well at a club in transition and possibly more importantly, playing every game, will afford him the best chance of getting a ticket on the plane to France 2016.
In January, Brentford will face a true test of their resolve when Judge’s crucial role as a bridge between the old and the new will come into stark context.
By then some of the Continentals will hopefully be more settled and some may not, just like with any new signing. In my opinion, Vibe, Hofmann, Gogia and even Kershbaumer will be far more used to the English game and may have doubled or even trebled in value by May.
So those Brentford fans vehemently opposed to the new approach are burying their heads in the sand if they actually want us to to lose games because of it.
If they do, then I would urge them to give it a chance, because under Carsley we have a manager capable of gradually merging the two philosophies as we are now seeing and hearing… when we eventually have wifi.