After a ropey old start, you now sit in 11th place in the table after an excellent October. While fully aware that you taught us a footballing lesson when you visited our place and at the risk of sounding patronising, that's alright isn't it? The world hasn't caved in and after the whole Warburton/Marinus Dijkhuizen farrago, you'd take that wouldn't you?
Brentford admitted they made a mistake in employing Dijkhuizen. He’s a lovely bloke…and no doubt a good coach; just not right for Brentford. After the Warburton debacle, the Bees over-thought the next move. It’s too complicated to explain exactly why Warburton left … but the simplest way to put it … was he and the owner had different visions as to how the club should be run. Shame. The fans loved him. But we have to move on.
Dijkhuizen was trying to get Brentford to play a different style of football - more Dutch … slower and more technical - and it wasn’t working. Or it wasn't really what we wanted either. Carley (Lee Carsley) has taken us back to the way we played last season. So, if you wipe the matches under Dijkhuizen, our record actually doesn’t look too bad. Won 4, lost 2, drawn 1. Our season started after the last international break early.
Saying that, all the talk at the moment (as you will hear in the Beesotted 'Pride of West London Podcast' below - in which we also speak to Forest Fan Stephen Moon from London Trickies), is about our new manager who looks like it will either be Dean Smith (Walsall) or Pep Clotet (Swansea No 2).
As I said, wrong man for Brentford. He did very well with a minuscule budget (€1m) with his previous team Excelsior in the Dutch Eredivise - keeping them up. However, the gulf between the bottom of the Eredivisie and Brentford at the top end of the Championship was probably a lot bigger job than anyone realised. He’s got himself another job pretty pronto - managing NEC Breda in the Dutch 1st Division. Good luck to him
It's difficult to keep up with the player churn down at your place. Josh McEachran? How is that working out? What have you done with the Andre Gray money? Spent it on fine craft beer or very promising young players?
McEachran is one of about 15 injuries we’ve had this season. Most of them long term. So in a way, you are seeing a second string Brentford team. Well not quite. It’s like a first and a half string Brentford team. Injuries to:
Andreas Bjelland - our record signing Danish international who had barely kicked a ball for Brentford before he went down on a dodgy pitch.
Josh McEachran - who hasn’t kicked a ball for us since signing from Chelsea via Vitesse.
Jota - our midfield maestro. Sorely missed.
Lewis McLeod - Rangers wondered who also hasn’t kicked a ball for us in a year.
Maxime Colin - right back signed for Anderlecht who played a few games before getting a long-term injury.
Recently Marco Djuricin - a striker signed on loan (with a view to a permanent signing) from Red Star Salzburg in September. Clinical finisher and causes problems with his movement off the ball. He’s out till after Xmas after sustaining an injury just before the international break.
And that’s just to name a few. (We know how you feel, to be fair.)
So not moaning. But we have been massively unlucky with injuries this season. On top of that Andre Gray left for quite a lot of money for Burnley - who will probably be promoted. Odubajo left for Hull for decent money - who will probably be promoted. Stuart Dallas left for Leeds (more money) and Jonathon Douglas left for Ipswich (out of favour).
So yes it has been a turn-around. And as we don’t spend big money on players (€2m for Bjelland was the most we’ve spent on anyone), the players we bring in using our methods to identify players that no-one has ever heard of often means that they don’t often hit the ground running - needing a good 6 months to a year to really bed in.
A lot is said and written about Brentford's strategic planning. The whole shebang isn't actually run by a brain stolen from a maths geek and kept in a vat, is it?
Not really. We do operate very much out of the box. Our owner has a computer model that he built and owns - and has made him hundreds of missions of pounds - which identifies players from all over the Globe who we then take a look at closer to see if they would work out at the club. So players like Jota, Odubajo, Andre Gray and new striker Djuricin were all identified by his model.
On top of that, we also do traditional scouting to bring players in. So midfielder Ryan Woods was scouted. As was loan players John Swift (Chelsea) and Sergi Canos (Liverpool) who have all done very well for us so far this season.
So, contrary to what the press will make you believe, its a mix and match between using new technology and traditional scouting to identify new players.
The lovely Griffin Park with its terracing, walk across the pitch to the dugout and the pubs...are you staying there or eyeing up a new pad?
Griffin Park, unfortunately, will be our home for only two (or maybe three) more seasons. We have a new pad lined up in Lionel Rd by Kew Bridge Station - only half a mile up the road. We will miss it of course. It is old. Falling apart. But it is small and creates a great atmosphere. And yes it has terracing which is what all away fans seem to love. The new stadium is meant to be earmarked for Safe Standing. But we will have to get a few changes in the regulations to see that go through.
As for the pubs, everyone loves the Brentford pubs. Kind of reminds me of Forest. There are loads of pubs - not just the three on the four corners (one closed down). None with bouncers. All of them open to home and away fans. I implore Forest fans to go further afield and tuck right in. A Beesotted guide can be found on Beesotted website. There's some advice for away fans here too.
Give us a reason you'll win:
Because we’re back playing decent football again. Djuricin being injured is a bit of a worry but Vibe has stepped up to the plate. Our goals come from all over the pitch. And as long as Judge is fit, he will cause you problems.
Give us a reason you'll lose:
Defensively, we have been a bit suspect at times. But saying that, under Carsley we seem to have got ourselves much more organised all over the pitch and even went 4 games without conceding a goal before the sloppy goal we let in against Blackburn. So if we lose, it will be because we have slipped back into Brentford from earlier in the season.
Our heartfelt thanks to Billy Grant for his time and detail.