BillytheBee treks as far north in England as is humanly possible to see the mighty Bees hopefully pick themselves up after the Wolves debacle. And he found himself hanging with all sorts of characters .. From Stirling … And Dundee … And Falkirk … And Glasgow …. And Edinburgh .. All come down in their droves to support (in your thickest Scottish accent) The Mighty Bees
Brentford embarked on their longest away journey knowing that they had to get the Wolves game out of their system. A win against relegation strugglers Carlisle would have got the Bees right back on track. But they came up against a resolute Carlilse team determined not to be humiliated once again.
Mark Warburton was forced to change the team that lost to Wolves. The injured pair of Harlee Dean and Alan McCormack were replaced by James Tarkowski and Nico Yennaris. And that change of personnel was to prove to be instrumental in deciding this game – Brentford lacking the fire and passion that McCormack and Dean inject into the team and were unable to break down a Carlisle side who put up two banks of four for Brentford to try and break down. They defended doggedly and were happy to take a point.
In the first half, just like against Wolves, dominated possession without really creating many clear cut chances. Clayton Donaldson had an excellent opportunity to put the Bees ahead in the 12th minute as he picked up an Alan Judge cross and curled his shot in – just missing the post.
Trotta, Forshaw and Douglas had half chances as the Bees tried to make their possession count. Carlisle had very little opportunities to score. But all in all the half was described by one fan as “watching paint dry” as Brentford laboured through the half desperately trying to make things happen.
Yennaris had had not much to defend as Carlisle were fairly toothless. However, he looked a bit shaky at times in possession (maybe low on confidence) and gave the ball away needlessly on a number of occasions and will need to sort out that side of his game as against a Rotherham or Orient, that could prove to be fatal.
James Tarkoswki you can see he has done this before. He fitted into the back four like a glove looking commanding in that centre back role – dominating and confident with even the odd Hermann Hrediersson-esque mazy run in him too.
The second half saw the game pick up a bit with Carlisle having a few early pops on the Bees’ goal – Amoo, Noble and Byrne all having a pop. Judge still had his shooting boots on and the Carlisle keeper pulled off a fantastic flying save from one of his 30 yarders. Donaldson has the ball in the back of the net but it was flagged offside – no one quite knows where the offside was given as Donaldson actually beat two men before rifling the ball into the back of the net.
Bees also had chances from Forshaw, Trotta and Grigg, who could have stolen the points at the end as he came on for yet another 15 minute cameo. But it wasn’t to be. A lethargic performance that created very few clear cut chances led to the Bees coming away from Brundell Park with a point.
Mark Warburton said after the game that teams had now worked out how to play against us. They pack the midfield, defend in numbers and try and hit us on the break. The worry from many fans was have teams have found us out? Wolves came with a game plan and so did Carlisle. The conclusion was we haven’t become a bad team overnight. But the worry is the options on our bench do not give us a suitable “Plan B”.
Injuries to players like Saunders and McCormack does not help our cause. But every team has injury problems and we should by now be able to deal with that. There was a conversation on the train home about the amount of injuries we seem to be picking up as of late and if our squad is actually deep enough to deal with it. We were the fittest side in the league but since Uwe Rosler unexpectedly poached (yes he was poached. He didn’t just leave) our highly regarded conditioning coach chris Haslam, we have been left hanging. We had plans in place if the manager went. But we seem to have been less prepared for this loss and maybe it’s affecting us more than we think.
Brentford have three important games coming up now. The two home games against Bradford and Tranmere are crucial. 6 points are a must. Secure those and the Orient game becomes even more key. After this weekend, Wolves and Orient have presumed that the promotions spots are theirs. The pressure is now off the Bees to a certain extent and we now concentrate on doing the job in hand.
Our destiny is still very much in our own hands. Let’s now take the bull by the horns and get on with the job.