Brentford 0-1 Birmingham - Match Reports

Brain-dead Bee

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We looked OK in the first half, were unlucky not to score and gave away a goal by not being alert at a free kick.

Then in the 2nd half we completely ran out of ideas. Lack of options on the bench was one factor, but we became over-reliant on long diagonal balls to the wing-backs
 

Lionel Bart-At

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We looked OK in the first half, were unlucky not to score and gave away a goal by not being alert at a free kick.

Then in the 2nd half we completely ran out of ideas. Lack of options on the bench was one factor, but we became over-reliant on long diagonal balls to the wing-backs
As I suggested before, the dynamics of the game changed completely following their goal. The opponent transformed from being a side half-interested in going forward to one totally focused on shutting us out. Denied us any space to work with in their defensive third, unlike pre-goal where we had the opportunity to tear them apart as we threatened to do. Not the first time we have seen this at GP in the last three seasons. Total non-football. We need plan B and C to stand a chance. See post 149.
 

sonofabee

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We weren't unlucky yesterday, we didn't win because of poor finishing. Hopefully once the transfer window dust settles we won't have to start another game without a striker.
Sorry I think we were given they only had one effort on goal, a freakish header from outside the box.
 

IDontBeeLieveIt

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I second this.

Indeed, I believe that these CBs we have at our disposal ATM fit a 4-3-3 better. None of them can bring the ball out like Mepham, Barbet, or Konsa could, so playing three CBs leaves too few people up the field imho.
I don't think they lack the ability to bring it out personally.
However if your centre-backs DO bring it out, and are head-up looking for a pass, if nobody is moving into space then the safe thing to do is play it between themselves. Unless you want them striding into the deeply stacked Brum players which would be suicide and invite breakaways if they lost it.
When Brum are sitting deep that means 10 or 11 players in front of the 3 CBs and 7 Brentford players for them to aim at. Five if Rico and Henrik aren't advanced (and most of that game Rico seemed very conservative and played it back to Pinnock - with Dalsgaard mostly upfield as an aerial outlet rather than one on the deck).
So in reality they did only have 5 options to pass to, most of the time, who were surrounded by 10/11 Brum players (or more simply......two midfielders and a load of Brum players).
Even with good movement from all 5 it's a tough ask to find someone and build a move.
I think Marcondes is getting undue grief (or mixed reviews let's say) because he recognised the mismatch/problem and was coming deep to give us more movement or an outlet to start attacks.
Da Silva and Jensen both sat very deep for much of the match, and their heatmaps show them virtually never straying beyond the opposition edge of the centre-circle, (Da Silva did briefly once I remember near their box). However they were very rarely on the move when the CBs had the ball, to give them an option, so it was lump it up to Henrik time far too often (which was a valid tactic but made us one-dimensional and Brum started to address the issue in the 2nd half and subbed the kid at LB).
The difference watching Leeds yesterday with a player like Forshaw, was he would be determinedly moving and giving options when the CBs had it, receiving it, and moving it on quickly. We lacked this from our outnumbered midfield and without it.....where can the three CBs lump it apart from Henrik?
 

Eieieio

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My very brief thoughts-

- had we gone ahead as our opening play deserved, Brum would have had to come forward and that would have created space in midfield which would have better suited our play.

- we hit a brick wall at 60 minutes and apart from a brief burst of energy after Forss came on, it never really felt like we’d come back.

- while we changed who was sitting where across the front three, we didn’t really change overall formation as far as I could tell (correct me if I’m wrong, did we change when Zamburek came on?). Given lack of bench options, think we need a plan B for when teams are proving so difficult to break down.

- our defenders were solid but didn’t help really to get our attacks going. Would have liked to see them carry more - there was a lot of horizontal passing, particularly from Pinnock (although I thought he had a decent game overall!). I thought Jansson was great though. Very glad he’s on our team.

- think our midfield are going to take time to settle, particularly as with a changing look to our forward line, they will take time build that kind of non verbal understanding that Benrahma has with Maupay for instance. If Jensen has a couple of players in front of him that know where he is going to look to play them in, more chances will come. Think we didn’t create enough good final balls vs Brum because it wasn’t quite clicking (and credit to Brum they excelled in their anti-football tactics).

- we’ll play much better teams, but after seeing us dominate possession and having seen our solid our back line looked, I have no doubt we’ll have a good home record this season and that our success will hinge on away performances.

One final note: DaSilva showed glimpses of fantastic potential. Crowd got on his back in last few minutes but his legs has gone. I thought he had a really good first half. Hope he doesn’t become you romaine sawyers esque Boo boy for some fans.

The game also left me feeling very excited about what Norgaard night bring to that team, as well as Valencia.

Next game we must start Forss or Marcondes in the striker role. Watkins far better/more comfortable in other positions.

Amen.
 

Eieieio

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Sorry realise my brief thoughts weren’t that brief
 

kevalutonbee

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Home defeat. AFAICR that loss was more due to it being against Wolves and Steve Bull, together with Big Tel doing his knee for the season.
That and we missed a penalty. See it even happened in the early 90's too
 

liverbee

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I was amazed by Josh Da Silva control and vision on Saturday. The longer the match went on, after the gut wrenching goal, the whole team looked more worried. The crowd was unhelpful and sometimes much worse. The result was bad enough, but the crowd reaction was worse.
 

nick logan

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We looked OK in the first half, were unlucky not to score and gave away a goal by not being alert at a free kick.

Then in the 2nd half we completely ran out of ideas. Lack of options on the bench was one factor, but we became over-reliant on long diagonal balls to the wing-backs
I thought we were a lot better than ok.

If we had scored first we would have battered them
 

PJ

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I thought we were a lot better than ok.

If we had scored first we would have battered them
:imwith:
Loads of positives from Sat. Should have had at least 4 goals in the first half.
Jensen impressed, love the fact he`s so two footed.
Could have done with a couple of different options on the bench to change things in the second half, but that will be addressed before our next game.
 

mhead bee

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I thought we were a lot better than ok.

If we had scored first we would have battered them
Agree.

A huge amount of frustration as we squander chances and let a free header in, this has been the story of so many games in the last few years and you can’t help people feeling a bit like Groundhog Day.

Win on Saturday and all is forgotten.
 

Adam

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Thought defensively we were class, PJ especially. Can’t be many games in our history we have restricted the opposition to one shot (a 25 yard header at that). Just unlucky it went in, but that’s football for you.

A lot of posts criticising our inability to breakdown teams who sit back and defend with every man behind the ball for 90 minutes. Please can you all get in contact with the club? As I’m sure they would love to hear your ground breaking ideas on this given the fact that nearly every/club manager finds it hard to counter these tactics. It’s the reason why we see non-league teams getting results frequently in the FA Cup, and how Tony Pulis has made a career. If there was a simple antidote to toxic football like that then no one would play with every man behind the ball...
 

IDontBeeLieveIt

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Thought defensively we were class, PJ especially. Can’t be many games in our history we have restricted the opposition to one shot (a 25 yard header at that). Just unlucky it went in, but that’s football for you.

A lot of posts criticising our inability to breakdown teams who sit back and defend with every man behind the ball for 90 minutes. Please can you all get in contact with the club? As I’m sure they would love to hear your ground breaking ideas on this given the fact that nearly every/club manager finds it hard to counter these tactics. It’s the reason why we see non-league teams getting results frequently in the FA Cup, and how Tony Pulis has made a career. If there was a simple antidote to toxic football like that then no one would play with every man behind the ball...
Obviously men behind the ball is harder to break down. Everyone knows that. Please can you contact the club with the ground breaking knowledge that you've realised it's more difficult.
Perhaps while you're at it can you tell them there's no point even trying and that we might as well go for 10 centre-backs on the field instead since the number of them obviously doesn't matter at all (to you).
 

Leicester Bee

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Don't agree we deserved to lose.
Sorry mate, last four words are rubbish
On balance of play, sure, we deserved to win. My point was that we failed to score from the chances we created in the first half. We then conceded. We then failed to create any more clear cut chances and looked pretty aimless in the second half. Therefore, on that basis, we deserved to lose. Fine lines tbh. Any one of our earlier chances goes in, and we'd potentially have won by a country mile. The importance of us scoring first is going to be massive.
 

Adam

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Obviously men behind the ball is harder to break down. Everyone knows that. Please can you contact the club with the ground breaking knowledge that you've realised it's more difficult.
Perhaps while you're at it can you tell them there's no point even trying and that we might as well go for 10 centre-backs on the field instead since the number of them obviously doesn't matter at all (to you).
Touchy!

Where did I say there was no point trying to break it down? The fact is we come up against this tactic more times than not at home, and on average we win more than we lose playing the exact same way we did on Saturday.

Saturday they got the first goal which meant the task was 10x harder ;-) . My point is some people think we should deploy better tactics to counter this. Do they not think everyone at the club knows this? And every other team that’s been frustrated in the same position. Plus, Brum were probably the most negative team I have seen come to GP since we have been in the Championship. Reminded me of the Celtic Barcelona game a few years ago (why didn’t the best team in the world play tactics to counter those negative tactics FFS!!).
 

SH

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It is ignorant to ignore xG, and it only confirms that we should have won but didn’t take our chances or create enough to stop them getting lucky
One to cut out and keep. The day we played the invisible men... and lost :cry:

xG.jpg
 

IDontBeeLieveIt

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My point is some people think we should deploy better tactics to counter this. Do they not think everyone at the club knows this? And every other team that’s been frustrated in the same position. Plus, Brum were probably the most negative team I have seen come to GP since we have been in the Championship. Reminded me of the Celtic Barcelona game a few years ago (why didn’t the best team in the world play tactics to counter those negative tactics FFS!!).
I don't think every managerial decision, taken by every manager ever, is always correct, no. Far far from it.
Furthermore, I don't know the specifics of what game you're referring to, so I can't comment on that, but I'm guessing Barcelona didn't sit with three centre-backs playing the ball between themselves whilst 11 men stood in front of them.
Brum made it difficult for us but we also made it difficult for ourselves imo.
 

SlumanBee

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Late with my report but we were very good first half, those three efforts and Marcondes well saved from Lee Camp and the game would have been well and truly over.
Raya not to blame for the goal, the header was an absolute fluke to fly in like that - yes, he was unmarked but everyone was picking up players in the box which is where the delivery was meant to go!

Jansson was good, absolutely nothing wrong with what happened near the hoardings, the ball wasn't out and he needed to make sure. Unfortunate, but nothing wrong with it.
The Dalsgaard ploy was well worked early on but when they finally took the young lad off we needed to look elsewhere. Da Silva and Jensen both far too deep, and our midfield has always supported one of those 'laid back' types but two was just a bit much when they had 11 men behind the ball. Limited options on the bench.

I'm worried that it will just never happen for Marcondes. His cross bar shot was much much simpler than he ended up producing, and some misplaced passes were ALL the right idea, but just weren't coming off!
I'm also worried that when Forss came on, we just couldn't get him in the game at all. It really was a frustrating afternoon against a very poor champ side, Crowley looked good early on but i'm not sure 3 passes were made in our half.
 

Adam

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I don't think every managerial decision, taken by every manager ever, is always correct, no. Far far from it.
Furthermore, I don't know the specifics of what game you're referring to, so I can't comment on that, but I'm guessing Barcelona didn't sit with three centre-backs playing the ball between themselves whilst 11 men stood in front of them.
Brum made it difficult for us but we also made it difficult for ourselves imo.
Fair points. But prior to the goal, and even just after it, the formation and tactics were fine and we were creating chances. 3 at the back or 2 at the back I don't think our task would have got any easier second half. When we swtiched to two at the back and stuck another player in an advanced midfield position it did nothing. I think our biggest problem was that we had no options from the bench.
 

Eieieio

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glad we're probably already topping the justice league.
 

Oceanbee

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Lots to be positive about.
First real game with so many new players settling in.
As stated by many, we do need better plans to break down negative defensive teams.

2nd half showed up lack of alternative plans, particularly with that long diagonal ball in the air to Dalsgaard.
However, he was my MOM. 100% effort by him throughout, and he was really working hard to break down Brum’s 11 man defence

Thought good efforts from most of the team. Rico was definitely not making his usual fast overlapping runs - not match fit?
Ollie not the lead striker (no one’s going to buy him at the moment based on Saturday). Marcondes had good touches, but playing too deep too often, in order to pick up the ball.

Josh DS will improve noticeably over this season. Could become our new Sawyers, but with more goal scoring ability that needs to be unleashed.

Jenssen had a good debut, but thought he needed to create more incisive balls through their packed defence.
Personally, I would have taken Ollie W off, and left Marcondes on when Forss came on. I think those 2 would link up well.

Sergi was typical Sergi ! Total enthusiasm but a slightly cooler head needed to take more advantage of his chances, or provide more assists for others.

Pinnock and Jeanvier both solid and reliable, but so much sideways passing as they couldn’t spot any gaps ahead to make telling passes.

Pontus is our new hero. Not afraid to have a long "chat" with the ref in the second half to point out that the ref was being misguided in his decisions.

Then after he had been fouled, with a boot left in, he showed what he thought of that by "accidentally" dispatching a Brum player into the arms of the New Road!
We have needed a tough, no nonsense but skilled player. He’s the man, and we’ll benefit from his presence as player and captain.

Disappointing on the day to lose to a negative 1 shot only team. Even Brum fans on the way out could see that they weren’t up to much.
Thought their ironic chant of "one shot is all we need to win the League" was spot on!

But I can see many positives for us.
Perhaps, in a strange way, this loss will do us a lot of good.

It will make us even more determined to get the first goal, and to work out a plan to defeat 11 man defences.

Plus, it’s good to get a loss out of the way early. Good cold shower to make sure we don’t think we’re invincible!

Just wish the EFL would close the transfer window before the start of the season. Clubs need to know their actual squad from the first kick-off, and no later than that. Typical football administration organisation - no real practical thoughts.
 
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IDontBeeLieveIt

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Fair points. But prior to the goal, and even just after it, the formation and tactics were fine and we were creating chances. 3 at the back or 2 at the back I don't think our task would have got any easier second half. When we swtiched to two at the back and stuck another player in an advanced midfield position it did nothing. I think our biggest problem was that we had no options from the bench.
No doubt, but tbf to TF, we had diddley squat on the bench - at least in terms of "game changers".

Should still have found a way, mind (imo).
True - I was a little surprised Kamo wasn't in the team let alone on the bench.
I know he's just come back from a rest, but at the very least he'd be fresh, and we could always take him off if he was flagging (though he's the sort of person who rarely is). Some might say he's not match fit.....but whenever we put him in that'll be the same issue (I don't believe it is much of one really).
Or we could have switched to Marcondes as the attacking-most midfielder in a 4-3-3 with Jensen and Da-Silva behind. With Forss coming on as striker for a CB and Watkins going on the wing. I reckon that would have probably given us a little more threat rather than the three CB's playing keep-ball.
TF definitely didn't have a lot to work that's for sure with but imo we could have gone for it a bit more rather than petering out in the 2nd half.
 

West Wilts Bee

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On balance of play, sure, we deserved to win. My point was that we failed to score from the chances we created in the first half. We then conceded. We then failed to create any more clear cut chances and looked pretty aimless in the second half. Therefore, on that basis, we deserved to lose. Fine lines tbh. Any one of our earlier chances goes in, and we'd potentially have won by a country mile. The importance of us scoring first is going to be massive.
Agree if you don't take your chances, then the likelihood is you will lose.
 

Brentford 4 Life

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4-3-3 with the fullbacks pushing up.
But that’s 4 defenders for one striker (that didn’t have a sniff all afternoon). Personally I prefer 3 at the back at home which allows us to permanently push another player further forward.
 

IDontBeeLieveIt

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But that’s 4 defenders for one striker (that didn’t have a sniff all afternoon). Personally I prefer 3 at the back at home which allows us to permanently push another player further forward.
It's two at the back instead of 4. Both full-backs push up, just as they would with three at the back, if you're dominant and they're putting everyone behind the ball.
3 at the back gives you less players further forward - which is the problem.
 

Brentford 4 Life

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It's two at the back instead of 4. Both full-backs push up, just as they would with three at the back, if you're dominant and they're putting everyone behind the ball.
3 at the back gives you less players further forward - which is the problem.
That would be a very positive approach but would both our full backs and wingers really have the room to bomb on with their 4 midfielders and 5 at that back as well?

I would maintain that 3 at the back allows you to push an extra player into midfield and obviously an extra player further forward - it worked brilliantly until they scored and then we were never the same again, but I’m not sure three at the back is to blame for that.
 

IDontBeeLieveIt

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That would be a very positive approach but would both our full backs and wingers really have the room to bomb on with their 4 midfielders and 5 at that back as well?

I would maintain that 3 at the back allows you to push an extra player into midfield and obviously an extra player further forward - it worked brilliantly until they scored and then we were never the same again, but I’m not sure three at the back is to blame for that.
Instead of having 3 CBs passing between each other and nobody near them it would be 2 CBs and an extra midfielder. That's why many of us are arguing for 4-3-3. The full/wing backs would be forward in both formations when dominant.
Against a side that's going to be dominant against us, or attacking most of the time, I understand a 3-4-3, but I think it's quite a conservative formation, and unless we're against stronger opposition I think 4-3-3 will get us more points.
Three at the back isn't to blame for Brums tactics, they just got more compact and deeper because we were playing well, and we weren't good enough to break it down, and the formation is just one aspect that doesn't help with that, with more CBs sitting there essentially unused, whilst the rest are outnumbered, and struggle to break them down (along with the thin squad - due to all the transfer turmoil).
 
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The key problem is that none of our three central defenders is as confident bringing the ball out of defence as Barbet, Mepham or Konsa. This has to change and I suspect it will be Pinnock who takes on this mantle.
 

jlove

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The key problem is that none of our three central defenders is as confident bringing the ball out of defence as Barbet, Mepham or Konsa. This has to change and I suspect it will be Pinnock who takes on this mantle.
It was very difficult to tell from the one game. Pinnock was constrained by every pass from him to Henry coming straight back but it seemed Jeanvier was willing to go further forward with the ball. Both need to get a better understanding with their respective wing backs and, assuming we are playing 3-4-3, more confident play from the central midfielders. We can assume that all will be very different with Nørgaard on the pitch, though, either allowing a 4-3-3, or being the natural link in the 3-4-3.
 

swr22

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But that’s 4 defenders for one striker (that didn’t have a sniff all afternoon). Personally I prefer 3 at the back at home which allows us to permanently push another player further forward.
I think the idea would be that the fullbacks would push high up so that the two CBs could look after Brum's lone attacker, rather than the 3 that actually wound up back there.
 

TW3Bee

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Unlucky in the first half, hitting the frame of the goal three times, and then conceding a sucker punch goal.

Obviously Birmingham brought everyone behind the ball after that and there was just no way through.
 

Brentford 4 Life

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I think the idea would be that the fullbacks would push high up so that the two CBs could look after Brum's lone attacker, rather than the 3 that actually wound up back there.
Sounds nice, whether it would have worked in practice against such an organised side, who knows. 343 (in theory at least) gives us a man further forward than 433. If we had been really bold we could have pushed one of the 3 CB’s further forward (and I don’t mean throwing them up front as a last ditch attempt). On the day I don’t think formation was the crux of our problems.
 

IDontBeeLieveIt

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Whatever side of the debate you're on (343 v 433). It wouldn't have been a magic bullet and wasn't the crux of our "problems" I agree.
Watkins did alright centrally but imo it's probably still not his best position, and combined with that, him not being on the wing gave us less width / ability to beat a man down the flank.
Virtually all our activity came down our right side as a result, with Canos and Dalsgaard, with the latter winning countless headers and Canos running either side.
In the absence of Benrahma, and all the new boys, I think we'd have been better off with Watkins on the flank, and Marcondes central (either way we needed a proper winger on the left - and Rico being less conservative - he didn't seem to want to go it alone).
The 4-3-3 debate portion simply would have provided an extra body in midfield and therefore more options for everyone to pass to and more movement. The 3 CBs essentially were left facing a wall of brum players and no option bar a risky pass to outnumbered players, punting it to Dalsgaard, or trying to beat a man themselves (which would be fairly suicidal with so many back and less gaps).
 

swr22

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Sounds nice, whether it would have worked in practice against such an organised side, who knows. 343 (in theory at least) gives us a man further forward than 433. If we had been really bold we could have pushed one of the 3 CB’s further forward (and I don’t mean throwing them up front as a last ditch attempt). On the day I don’t think formation was the crux of our problems.
4-3-3 in this context with the fullbacks pushing up is effectively a 2-5-3 when you are attacking, though.
 

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