Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Playing at Home this Weekend? Oh Dear.

Brentford’s first defeat away from home since August 13th came on Monday after a well battled game against league leaders Charlton, but I can’t help but ask why can’t this form be transferred to Griffin Park?

It’s easy to blame Uwe Rosler and his tactics, any one brain celled Neanderthal could do that, but I fear it’s far from that. In fact, I think it’s quite the opposite. Uwe and the players have more than proven, on their day, that they can play sensational football, and have also demonstrated that they have players that can run circles round opposing players, bombard the goal and dictate the game.

However, 1 win in the last 5 games just simply isn’t good enough, especially for a team that is intent on challenging for the play-offs. So where does the blame lie? Well, maybe a lack of confidence about playing in front of our own fans, a small minority of who seem to just turn up to boo the team at half time, might be the answer.

Clayton Donaldson, or “Donaldinho” to the Griffin Park faithful, has proved at Crewe that he is a mammoth goal scorer, scoring 28 goals last season. Unfortunately, that form just hasn’t transpired at Brentford, and seems even more so at Griffin Park. However, his impact of the bench just cannot be ignored, and despite the goal drought, I’ll bet my hat that we are a better team with him on the pitch then without, and it will only be a matter of time before the man comes good for The Bees.

In terms of youngsters, I thought we had a real gem of a player at the start of the season with Jake Reeves. The 18-year-old was a revelation in pre-season, and although young looked right at home with Jonathon Douglas in the centre of the park. Sadly, in my opinion, it was a shame to see him less and less on the team sheet and more and more in a suit and tie handing out sweets before the game, but hopefully we will see him back on the pitch in the red and white stripes sometime in the future.

Of course, it’s simple to charge the lack of goals and wins at Griffin Park to a certain Charlie MacDonald, and I’m certain this topic will come up again and again this season. I won’t get bogged down on the issue and will say only this: Charlie is gone, and it’s time to concentrate on Gary Alexander, Clayton Donaldson and Mike Grella and get behind them as much as we did with Charlie MacDonald against MK Dons.

Consistency is a major part of any play-off push, and I’m going to put it bluntly. We simply do not have any. America has more consistent diplomacy missions to North Korea than Brentford have football games. One week the team can play like Barcelona, the next like Accrington Stanley, or dare I say QPR? Consistence is key, and that applies both to the performances and the team selection.

Uwe made a huge mistake selecting Emmanuel Oyeleke in the middle of midfield against a powerful and well disciplined MK Don’s side. He may as well have pressed the large red “self-destruct” button on his office table. I don’t blame Oyeleke with what happened in that first half, but I know he is one for the future and I sure hope that hasn’t destroyed his confidence.

As a result of all these things, I just can’t see Brentford challenging for the play-offs. We are not strong enough mentally or physically, and I’m just sorry to say we haven’t got the players required for that – this season. I trust that Uwe Rolser was, and still is, the right man for the job at Griffin Park and that will show next season when he has been able to stamp his seal on the club. Until then we’ll have to be contempt for a mid-table or near-play-off finish, and just hope we can give more ‘sure of ourselves’ performance at home. Oh, and we will have to hope that Clayton Donaldson will find his shooting boots and silence his critics, as I’m sure many Griffin Park regulars and I would. 

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