Bad day at Brentford without a drumroll
Brentford won for the first time at home this season with yesterday’s comfortable win against the Clarets who could, in the end, be considered fortunate to only lose by the three goals.
This was, for most of the game, an awful performance and there could be no complaints whatsoever at the result, our biggest away league defeat since we went down to a 4-0 behind closed doors defeat at Spurs in February 2021.
It was a day when we conceded three goals, saw another against us strangely ruled out, had a player sent off and missed a sitter when virtually nothing went right and to cap it all, the rain was heavy as we left the ground so for those with a further walk than myself it would have been a dousing.
I was quietly confident yesterday morning when I left home. Brentford are not one of the top clubs in the Premier League, they’ve had a difficult start with only one win to boast and I thought this might just be the right time to play them.
I never thought I’d make an away trip where the discussion was about drums. If I reported that I struggled to find anyone in support of what I think is a downright ridiculous idea, I should be reporting that I found absolutely no one at all who didn’t condemn it. Many were also very critical of the email that was sent out to SOME season ticket holders, and I often heard the words patronising and offensive to describe it. Having said that, I couldn’t find anyone who answered to Ginger Baker, Phil Collins or even Charlie Watts.
Will the club go ahead with it despite the opposition? To be honest, it really wouldn’t surprise me at all if they did, but if any of our directors were at Brentford yesterday they must surely have heard what proved to be the loudest chant of the day:
WE’RE BURNLEY FC – WE DON’T NEED A DRUM
Back to the events on the pitch and Vincent Kompany made three changes to the team that had been beaten by Chelsea two weeks earlier. Out went Vitinho at right-back with Connor Roberts coming back in. Dara O’Shea was preferred in the centre of defence ahead of Hannes Delcroix while the biggest surprise was perhaps Josh Brownhill losing his place to allow a return for Zeki Amdouni. The good news was Ameen Al-Dakhil being able to continue his run in the team. Delcroix and Brownhill were on the bench but there was no place for Vitinho; neither was there for Aaron Ramsey who had been used as a substitute himself in that Chelsea game.
The teams came out to Hey Jude as is always the case at Brentford and the game was preceded with a minute’s silence for the victims of the Israel-Gaza conflict, which I have to say was impeccably observed. That was followed by the players taking the knee which I must report was not without abuse from the away fans inside the ground.
It didn’t start well for us and we might have fallen behind early in the game. Stationed in the right-back corner at the end we were defending in the first half, and in an area that is now fully rail seated I am pleased to report, I had already seen the assistant referee’s flag go up for offside before Neal Maupay found the net after the ball had been headed to him by Collins. Referee Josh Smith signalled offside but then we had the VAR wait. Did we get away with this one? My understanding of the offside law is perhaps clouded but I can’t see why that goal wasn’t allowed.
We seemed to benefit from it and for a short while I did think we were becoming to look the more likely but this Burnley team are masters at shooting themselves in the foot and we did just that again to allow Brentford to take the lead. It was Sander Berge who gave the ball away cheaply which led to Bryan Mbeumo breaking on the right. His ball across eluded James Trafford and then O’Shea for Yoane Wissa to tuck in at the far post.
Somehow we kept it at 1-0 but it took some outstanding goalkeeping from Trafford to keep it that way in the closing minutes of the half. He made some outstanding saves and then we almost snatched an equaliser when a Mike Trésor ball across saw Amdouni bring a good save from Mark Flekken, the only save he was asked to make all afternoon.
It surely had to be better in the second half. Surely we’d get things sorted at half time. It meant Luca Koleosho coming on for the ineffective Wilson Odobert but I was astonished to see Trésor back out there after his first half performance.
The second half started OK for us. Koleosho won a free kick right at the beginning of the half when he took on the Brentford player down our left wing. It prompted me to suggest he’d done more in two minutes than the two wide starters had done in the entire first half.
With around a quarter of an hour remaining, Brentford won a throw in down their right wing. With a two goal lead, you might have thought they would have shown more caution but, goalkeeper apart, their player furthest back was less than ten yards outside our penalty box and that allowed us to break once we’d cleared the ball. Brownhill, one of the substitutes who had come on, played a ball across perfectly for Lyle Foster on the left. I thought he was going to come in and shoot but a couple of less than perfect touches led to him then playing the ball across to Koleosho.
There it was, the gaping net in front of him. All Koleosho had to do was place the ball into that empty net with his right foot. Astonishingly, he tried to do something, I know not what, with his left foot. It was hardly a shot and it very definitely didn’t go anywhere near goal.
As poor as we’d been, this would have made it 2-1 and left us facing, I suspect, a very nervous Brentford team. Two minutes later, Wissa got clear of Roberts who pulled him back, got a second yellow card, and we were down to ten men.
Despite being two behind, Kompany quickly brought on Delcroix, sacrificing Jacob Bruun Larsen who had been on for around fourteen minutes. That was probably to try and see the game out at just 2-0 but that didn’t happen with Saman Ghoddos scoring with another outstanding strike. It was his first Brentford goal since he netted in their 3-1 defeat at the Turf which will be two years go next week.
There were seven additional minutes for us to endure before we were put out of our misery. It really had been a shockingly poor performance to follow on from the week’s drumgate. It was sad to see and hear the booing aimed at the players from some Burnley fans as they came over at the end. Some of those players looked shellshocked although they will know that the performance just wasn’t anywhere near good enough.
Being on the coach, it wasn’t far to go in the rain and the journey home featured talk on the game as much as anything. Over reacting, as fans are prone, to do after a big win or a sorry defeat, I dared to suggest this was potentially our worst ever Premier League performance but the consensus was that we shouldn’t discard the awful 4-0 defeat at West Brom in 2014.
We remain third from bottom with neither Bournemouth, next week’s opponents, nor Sheffield United having won yet. It has to get better; it has to get a lot better or we will be in serious trouble this season.
The teams were;
Brentford: Mark Flekken, Kristoffer Ajer (Mads Roerslev 76), Nathan Collins, Ethan Pinnock, Vitaly Janelt, Frank Onyeka (Saman Ghoddos 84), Christian Nørgaard, Mathias Jensen (Yehor Yarmolyuk 76), Bryan Mbeumo, Neal Maupay (Michael Olakigbe 88), Yoane Wissa. Subs not used: Thomas Strakosha, Mathias Jorgensen, Ben Mee, Ji-soo Kim, Ethan Brierley.
Yellow Cards: Kristoffer Ajer, Frank Onyeka, Mathias Jensen, Vitaly Janelt, Saman Ghoddos.
Burnley: James Trafford, Connor Roberts, Ameen Al-Dakhi, Dara O’Shea, Charlie Taylor, Josh Cullen, Sander Berge (Josh Brownhill 66), Mike Trésor (Jacob Bruun Larsen 66, Hannes Delcroix 80), Zeki Amdouni (Nathan Redmond 76), Wilson Odobert (Luca Koleosho ht), Lyle Foster. Subs not used: Arijanet Muric, Jack Cork, Anass Zaroury, Jay Rodriguez.
Yellow Cards: Sander Berge, Connor Roberts, Josh Cullen.
Red Card: Connor Roberts.
Referee: Josh Smith (Lincolnshire).
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