The Bees versus the Bundesliga, terracing, twinkle toes and The Wall. @clarebearthomas was there to witness what happened when Daniel beat Goliath and Norwich stole away back to Norfolk with three precious points.
We Are Giants
So little old underdogs Norwich joined in the giant killing fun this weekend, and did a win. Much was made of Farke’s comments pre match, with the suggestion that we were not favourites for the game spurning outrage amongst the Norwich massive. I’m not sure what planet some people are on, but I imagine it’s bathed in a rose hue. Brentford were above us in the league, unbeaten at home since the first day of the season, and were on a great run having won five out of the last six – the only loss to the Wolverine Machine. Perhaps ‘underdogs’ was the wrong word, maybe ‘partially-under-but-with-their-tails-still-wagging-dogs’ would have been better but Farke’s English skills probably wouldn’t stretch that far. Especially given Dieter Mien is still hanging around.
The first half was a pretty even and thoroughly entertaining affair. Just the usual twinkle toes special to set us apart. Norwich had plenty of the ball and had some good chances, but there was never really anyone in the right place to put them away, and it’s too much to ask that our no.9 may be in the penalty area. Or chase down a second ball at all. Or run. Or even jog a bit. Or win a header...
Never-the-less, at half time the giant killing was on; Norwich looked good, full of the energy that was so lacking last weekend, and the early goal had silenced the buzz of the Bees. Second half was a little different. It was a good job I remembered my glasses. In fact, binoculars may have been preferable. But the defence was resolute. Long gone are the days of the Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee. Timm, Zimm and Himm (poetic licence) were outstanding. Defending is definitely not dead. And on the rare occasion the ball passed The Wall, there was Angus. It’s weird, not having that fear anymore, because Angus will get it. Catch it. Save it. He just will.
Daniel Farke’s described the second half perfectly; ’it felt longer than at Chelsea’. He was not wrong, but we held on and buzzed off with three points from No Longer Fortress Griffin Park. Splendid stuff.
Right Back at You
After Ivo Pinto’s VDI (Vehicular Disembarkment Injury) the right back position was even more wide open than normal. But in stepped Harrison Reed, and did so brilliantly. As much as we all love Ivo ‘#pitchwaryellowarmy’ Pinto, he isn’t particularly good at defending and more often than not relies on his pace to get himself out of trouble. Lacking that jet pack, Reed instead had to position himself well, and wasn’t afraid to actually tackle. And he also managed the novel act of crossing the ball in the penalty area, but unfortunately it was too much to ask that our no. 9 be in the penalty area or busting a gut to get on the end of a ball whizzing in front of the open goal.
Even the introduction of Sergi Canos, so clearly desperate to hurt us like we hurt him, didn’t faze Reed. Amazing considering he had to deal with the glare of Pepe Le Pew’s hair, too. All in all it was a job very well done for the birthday boy. If Ivo’s VDI doesn’t clear up in time for next week then we have more than an able back up.
Oh, Oh, Oh, He’s Magic
As yet another opposing player took to hacking Maddison down the usual cries from the fans of ‘he’s just too good for you’ rose up. Somewhere behind me a Norwich fan instead cried ‘he’s just too good for us’.
Yup. Let’s enjoy him while we can.
I'm Still Standing
Griffin Park really is a special away day. Pubs aside, it’s a Proper Football Ground™, one which we will no longer see the like of in the not too distant future. As someone who has grown up in the all seating era, to stand on the terrace is such a joy. Apart from when we scored and the massive bloke behind me decided to celebrate with the massive bloke in front of me and I was squashed like a Clare Sandwich (I was consequently rather relieved we didn’t score again or I may not be here to write this).
Aside from dicing with death by sandwich, I love it. Yes, there was a large pole in front of me (a metal one, not the bloke who was the bread to my filling), but somehow swaying from left to right to catch a glimpse of the players only added to the occasion.
For me, a trip there is even more special. My mum’s side of the family were Brentford fans as far back as my great great grandfather in the late 1800’s. We all take pleasure from being in a PFG™ steeped in history, but squint a bit and I can see my ancestors standing in the main stand, donning their jaunty flat caps, singing ‘play up Brentford’ and waving that clicky clacky thing around their heads (don’t know how they got that past security). I feel a little bit at home there, and love that I’m standing in the footsteps of my great great grandfather, even though I’m in the ‘wrong’ end. With planning permission for a new stadium approved, I will be more than a little sad when Brentford say goodbye to Griffin Park. We all have to savour these places while we still can.
Where on earth did the ref get five minutes of injury time from? No goals. No injuries. Subs yes, but five minutes? One got the feeling he wanted play to continue until Brentford scored (he clearly didn't factor in The Wall).
No doubt we were last on the vidiprinter. Jeff Stelling must have washed all his make-up off and been putting his coat on to go home.
Ain't No Substitute
With the sight of three new Germans on our bench to add to our collection, things felt positive. A Champions League finalist, Speedy Hernandez and a striker who actually scores. So, with Norwich needing a fresh impetus in the second half, and Nelson surely needing replacing, excitement mounted at the sight of someone pulling on the yellow jersey.
WHO WOULD IT BE?!
Seeing Mr Lazy#1 replaced by Mr Lazy#2 was possibly the most underwhelming substitution of the season. Pfft. CT