So last night Brentford could have conceivably lined up with a starting 11 of Button, Yennaris, Tarkowski, Bjelland as a back three, midfield five of McLeod, Machechran, Tebar, Jota and Gogia with two up front in Hogan and Hoffmann. That would leave Super Sammy Saunders to come off the bench. All of those players with the exception of the goalkeeper are out injured and almost all of them, perhaps with the exception of Tebar and Yennaris would demand a starting spot.
So when Dijkhuizen named his team last night it pretty much picked itself. One or two of us would have perhaps gone for O’Connell over Barbet but by all accounts he gave a decent account of himself.
Injuries happen in football and you can of course point to the length of the list and indeed the severity of the injuries and ask questions about why these players are picking them up and ask if this is down to the new system in place? Starting with the obvious, Hogan occurred last season and has twice suffered an ACL rupture, incredibly unlucky and there is no medical team in the world that can prevent that happening. Having suffered the injury myself, I know only too well that it is a chance occurrence and just happens. Bjelland likewise, we blamed the pitch at the time but they are now distancing themselves from this. Machechran was as a result of a blocked shot. Another freak accident made even more unlucky as it was Toums that took the shot! It’s about the only thing he has managed to hit in the last few years! McLeod has been out since we bought him and appears to be complex. Has this been mismanaged early on? Who knows. Tebar and Gogia are muscle injuries which you would hope would heal soon. Tebar suffered the same injury last year so I do wonder if this a recurrence of that. Jota’s injury can be put down to to none other than our former talisman Jonathon Douglas whose clumsy lunge damaged ankle ligaments. Saunders is an ongoing saga and looks like as he reaches the twilight of his career, the niggling injuries are catching up with him and no one really knows what the injury to Tarkowski is other than it kept him out of last nights game and he is likely to miss Saturday as well.
So whilst the list looks daunting it appears to be just bad luck. The big concern is of course that a lot of the injuries are long term and by the time they are back, will it be too late to save the season. Well I think the answer to that lies in the last two performances. At Leeds on Saturday and last night against Middleseborough, we saw a team that was prepared to battle and give it a go and they did so with a great deal of quality. At Leeds we could have won the game and I came away buoyed by the way we played. At Boro you can argue that they are the best team in the league and that they deserved the win but after getting ourselves back in the game with a fortuitous Lase Vibe goal, we let it slip. Yet straight after the restart we went back down the other end and Djuricin was guilty of a big miss. Lase Vibe again the creator with a devilish cross that found Djuricin unmarked and three yards out but he skewed it high and wide. We then went down to another Adomah goal and 3-1 suddenly starts to look like we were well beaten but from the bees player commentary and from the Beesotted boys it would appear as if that was far from the case.
We now enter three absolutely crucial three home games. Whilst another three defeats wouldn’t see us relegated by October it would have a profound affect on confidence. Three wins and all of a sudden everything is rosy and we’re back in the hunt for a playoff push. Somewhere in between and I don’t think we will be too disappointed.
it really has been a tough start but encouraged by recent performances we now have an excellent opportunity to unite the group and settle the fans down. It is a big month and hopefully by the end of it we will not only have lots more points on the board but a few players back. It might be worth considering what would have happened had we not strengthened the squad and kept a tight group like Warbs would have wanted. We really would be on our knees then.
Keep the faith
Up the Bees
The BIAS blog is the space to challenge perceived wisdom, entertain readers and inform our members. The views expressed are those of the author and they don’t necessarily represent BIAS policy and (pay attention journalists) shouldn’t be attributed to BIAS.