The Athletic, Bees Journo Jay Harris

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Taken from the article:


To celebrate Jay joining The Athletic we are offering a 50% ‘welcomebrentford’ discount code to Brentford fans. Simply follow the link here.

To follow Brentford with The Athletic, click here.
 

Garybaldbee

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Anyone signed up for this ? Is it worth it ?

I signed up a couple of months ago and have been disappointed with it. There is lots of interesting content but, naively, I thought a dedicated football site would have the time and space to go beyond the big clubs that dominate all the usual news stories and cover all levels of the game, including Leagues 1 and 2 and non league, in real depth.

Instead coverage is massively weighted towards the clubs that have assigned correspondents, which essentially means those in the PL and a handful of some of the larger clubs in the Championship. There is little or no coverage beyond that. So you get streams of stories on Derby, Fulham and Sheffield Wednesday, all of whom have dedicated reporters, but nothing at all on, say, Stoke, Middlesbrough or Huddersfield. If you want detailed coverage of specific clubs it's great, but it's not really a general site for balanced news coverage.
 

fallacy

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Athletic is top notch and always have some very interesting, in depth reads. Offers on all the time so definitely worth the £17 a year I pay
 

hanworthbee

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I signed up for a 12 month deal at a £1 a month , last year paid about £20 for the year and we'll worth it imo.you can subscribe to different leagues etc or authors and I prob read 5 or 6 articles a day and with no annoying ads or pop ups etc

And to now get a dedicated bees reporter is the icing on the 🍰
 

Invipai

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Yes it's worth it, but not for breaking news or anything like that (you can see that on Twitter/anywhere else). They do good deep dives into subjects, which is what I like reading mainly. About a year ago I remember reading a deep dive article on West Ham's owners since they took charge, and the many bizarre/poor elements from that. Took about or just over 15 mins to read, but was blooming interesting. That's when it's good.

Having a Brentford reporter will mean we'll get a couple of articles a week going up. If there's a good time to join it would be now.
 

Rob-BEE

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Anyone signed up for this ? Is it worth it ?
For quality and credibility of journalists, it is very good and a level above the main stream media. Whether it's worth it is probably an individual thing, as to how much you value in-depth analysis, tactical insight etc.

As others have said Bees specific coverage has been very limited (but no more limited than anywhere else!), but should obviously be much better this season, so this could definitely make it worth the outlay now.
 

Jay Bee

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Keep an eye out for offers. I just signed up at £1 a month for the next 6 months. It's definitely worth that...
The "welcomebrentford" link is £2.49 per month - where did you get a £1 a month offer?

I also did a trial before and it grated that they published so little on the Championship beyond their favoured "big" clubs with dedicated journalists - though I knew that was their policy when I signed up - I understand why they think this model works but they can't expect fans of other clubs to take any interest if they show no interest themselves.

Anyway every PL club has a journalist and now we have ours - let's see how it goes.
 

Guildford Bee

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The "welcomebrentford" link is £2.49 per month - where did you get a £1 a month offer?

I also did a trial before and it grated that they published so little on the Championship beyond their favoured "big" clubs with dedicated journalists - though I knew that was their policy when I signed up - I understand why they think this model works but they can't expect fans of other clubs to take any interest if they show no interest themselves.

Anyway every PL club has a journalist and now we have ours - let's see how it goes.

The £1 a month offer doesn’t seem to be available at the moment.

I’d agree they could do a lot more on the EFL though their impact of Covid stuff has been great.

The European coverage has improved since it launched as well. If you’re interested in Italian football the subscription is worth it for James Horncastle’s stuff alone.

It’ll be interesting to see how quickly a young reporter who is completely new to Brentford can build up links with the club.

It’s been a while since there’s been a journalist properly on the Brentford beat.
 

Banana

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It’ll be interesting to see how quickly a young reporter who is completely new to Brentford can build up links with the club.

It’s been a while since there’s been a journalist properly on the Brentford beat.
Yes I would agree. A bit disappointed that they haven't gone with an established BFC "name" as it were.
 

Guildford Bee

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Yes I would agree. A bit disappointed that they haven't gone with an established BFC "name" as it were.

Yeah.

I think they’re very focussed on developing a new and diverse generation of writers although there are some notable exceptions (Phil Hay etc)
 

Banana

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In all seriously, it has been staggering that someone with some gravitas hasn't latched onto us in the past decade. More fool them.

I can think of about 1,000 more suitable candidates. It's up to the Arsenal Fan to prove himself.
 

Simon C

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In all seriously, it has been staggering that someone with some gravitas hasn't latched onto us in the past decade. More fool them.

I can think of about 1,000 more suitable candidates. It's up to the Arsenal Fan to prove himself.
With a fanbase our size there is almost certainly no money in being a Brentford beat writer. The Athletic have only done it to fill a gap. They went around all the big clubs and threw the kitchen sink at anyone halfway respected a year or so ago.

Their Burnley version is an actual 15 year old (based on his profile photo).
 

Banana

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With a fanbase our size there is almost certainly no money in being a Brentford beat writer. The Athletic have only done it to fill a gap. They went around all the big clubs and threw the kitchen sink at anyone halfway respected a year or so ago.

Their Burnley version is an actual 15 year old (based on his profile photo).
Yes, the Leeds reporter etc.

They could have gone after (say): Jim Levack, Greville Waterman, Dave Lane. Billy Reeves, or anyone else we know. But they decided to go after no-one you ever heard of and is an Arsenal supporter. Brave.
 

Guildford Bee

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Yes, the Leeds reporter etc.

They could have gone after (say): Jim Levack, Greville Waterman, Dave Lane. Billy Reeves, or anyone else we know. But they decided to go after no-one you ever heard of and is an Arsenal supporter. Brave.

Is Dave Lane even a journalist? Or Greville for that matter (I know he writes a lot)?

I can think of someone not on your list who may have been ideal fit but I’m not surprised they’ve gone for a young writer.
 

Banana

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Is Dave Lane even a journalist? Or Greville for that matter (I know he writes a lot)?

I can think of someone not on your list who may have been ideal fit but I’m not surprised they’ve gone for a young writer.
No and No

But it just gives one a insight as to who they have appointed. i.e. NOT a BFC journalist with tentacles into the club.
 

Aussie Bee

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Can someone post their log in details? half the time they work lol
 

Invipai

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Yeah, they would have hired a qualified journalist first and foremost, rather than someone who's written about the club basically as a hobby. The Athletic have a high standard of journalism though, I would expect them to be very good, and I'm sure they will grow decent connections with the club shortly.

This is a massive opportunity for him though, hopefully that will be backed up by his work.
 

Edmundo

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I welcome the fact that it's someone who will be coming fresh to BFC. If he is up to the job (and I'm sure The Athletic would hope he is), it won't take him long to get himself up to speed. I guess we'll find out soon enough - if he starts spouting the usual superficial stuff, then we will be disappointed. I would think if Jay is good at his job, he will soon start explaining the BFC way properly to the wider world. But will he find insights that are new to us?
 

Simon C

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They don't expect us to get relegated to and to redeploy him. I don't blame them either
 

rebus

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Yes, the Leeds reporter etc.

They could have gone after (say): Jim Levack, Greville Waterman, Dave Lane. Billy Reeves, or anyone else we know. But they decided to go after no-one you ever heard of and is an Arsenal supporter. Brave.
Why do you have to support the same club in order to write about them?
 

stevil

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The "welcomebrentford" link is £2.49 per month - where did you get a £1 a month offer?

I also did a trial before and it grated that they published so little on the Championship beyond their favoured "big" clubs with dedicated journalists - though I knew that was their policy when I signed up - I understand why they think this model works but they can't expect fans of other clubs to take any interest if they show no interest themselves.

Anyway every PL club has a journalist and now we have ours - let's see how it goes.

I was a lapsed subscriber (for the reasons you outlined), so I think the £1 offer may be part of their retention programme. Like you, I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes now we're properly represented...
 

rebus

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So they don’t get veiled Twitter threats from you basically saying “you ain’t Brentford so I’m watching you son ..”!

😂
😂

it was a warning against lazy journalism more than anything else. I think he’s got no chance of making an impact to be honest.
 

hanworthbee

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I'm hoping the club also see this as a good opportunity to show what we are about so will make things easier for him to get stories etc
 

w6bee

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I think it is better to have someone who does not have a connection to the club so they can give a dispassionate view. Otherwise you risk them appearing to be just a mouthpiece for the club. It is up to him to demonstrate his journalistic skills to dig out the stories and insights into the Bees that add value.
 

Newbee

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There seems to be a lot of interest in Brentford from EPL fans outside of the UK - they like how we’ve done things differently plus the underdog factor.

As mentioned above this is a good opportunity for the club to grab the attention of potential fans/followers and lock them in long term..
 

Mbee

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I was with a journo pal on the weekend discussing the Athletic. He was describing it as the story behind the story, so exploring the inner workings of issues etc. Rather than breaking transfers / gossip, it apparently delves into the detail. Interestingly it’s apparently a terrible business model as losing substantial money.
But for the cost of less than a pint a month I reckon I’ll give it a try.
 

wibs

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Frank Onyeka picked up a telling nickname during his early time with FC Midtjylland.

After moving to the Danish club from the Nigerian academy side FC Ebedei, his team-mates started calling him “Free-kick Frank” — not in honour of his dead-ball ability but a reflection of his propensity to fly into challenges on the training ground.

Midtjylland’s players were frustrated with Onyeka’s overzealousness at first but then quickly realised this was indicative of a player who will do everything to help his team succeed.

Svend Graversen, Midtjylland’s director of football, can recall those fiery early training sessions but reveals what impressed him the most was Onyeka’s mentality.

“He was a hard-hitter and had a lot of toughness,” Graversen tells The Athletic. “He was not the best technically and he had a lot to develop, but he had a great mindset to help the team shine and knew what he needed to give to the team.”

Brentford

Onyeka celebrating a win for Midtjylland in February 2018 (Photo: Lars Ronbog / FrontZoneSport via Getty Images)
Churchill Oliseh, the founder and manager of FC Ebedei, says Onyeka always stood out to him.

“We found him at Iyekogba, on the outskirts of Benin City,” Oliseh adds. “These groups of players are largely ignored by the Nigerian teams because there is a local disconnect, but Frank was the definition of an exceptional player. I was the only one recognising his endowment. Not his friends, family or local league teams.”

Ebedei have had a partnership with Midtjylland since 2003, and several other Nigerian players have represented both teams, including Genk forward Paul Onuachu and Dynamo Moscow’s Sylvester Igboun.

Onyeka spent 18 months in Midtjylland’s academy before he made his first-team debut and, during that time, worked on improving his passing and first touch.

He scored in his first two matches but was struggling to identify his best position on the pitch. Graversen, though, insists that worked in his favour and only enhanced his reputation.

“He played as a centre-back, left-back, winger and as an attacker before he found his position as a No 6,” he says. “There was no bullshit. He just had the mindset of coming into the team and showing himself no matter the position and how limited his minutes were.

“We changed the team after the 2018-19 season and it was the time for Frank to come into midfield. It was an easy decision but it was hard to replace the team’s captain (Jakob Poulsen) as he did. With the speed and recovery possibilities he had, we were good.”

“Within two seasons of being in the first team, he had evidently become a star waiting to shine,” says Oliseh. “He realised his immense talent, speed, vision, superior judgement and better applied them.

“Midtjylland have the know-how, patience and honesty, plus a family setting that has crowned our efforts. Frank blossomed at Midtjylland. I have shed tears of his joy seeing his development and progress.”

Onyeka won the Danish league twice, lifted the 2018-19 Danish Cup and played a key role in helping the club to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League for the first time in their history last year.

Midtjylland were drawn in Group D alongside Liverpool, Ajax and Atalanta, eventually finishing bottom on two points. They received praise for earning draws against Liverpool and Atalanta, with Onyeka’s stock continuing to climb as he started all six group matches.

Liverpool, Brentford

Onyeka playing against Liverpool in December 2020 (Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)
Graversen believes Onyeka clearly demonstrated throughout that competition that he possesses the potential to play a “major role” in big games. Now, the stage is set for the 23-year-old to shine in west London after he signed a five-year deal with Brentford.

There will be a lot of competition for places in midfield, which is only set to increase now that Shandon Baptiste has returned from injury and Josh Dasilva is slowly working his way back to full fitness.

“Frank will come in and help with pressuring teams,” says Graversen. “I’ve spoken to (Brentford head coach) Thomas Frank. They have a fantastic team and control games, but that will be difficult coming up from the Championship.

“By combining with (Mathias) Jensen, (Christian) Norgaard and (Vitaly) Janelt, Frank will complement them. They have quality on the ball, but he will help them win it and make the midfield more complete.”

Onyeka has clearly been drafted into the side to help disrupt opposition attacks. In all of their pre-season fixtures so far, Brentford have set up with a very aggressive high line and, if Onyeka can help the team win the ball deep in their opponent’s half, then the likes of Bryan Mbuemo, Sergi Canos and Ivan Toney should be able to cause defences all sorts of problems.

“I think he’s very dynamic,” Frank tells The Athletic. “He covers big areas of the pitch and he’s a fantastic pressing player, especially going forward.”

Strong performances in the Premier League this season could also help Onyeka on the international stage. Despite his success at Midtjylland, Onyeka has only made appearances in friendlies for Nigeria so far, but Graversen expects that to change quickly.

“He will be a central midfielder for Nigeria, he has the quality,” he predicts. “Give him a year or two and he will be an important part of the team.”

For now though, as long as “free-kick Frank” helps his new team to avoid relegation, one corner of London will be very happy indeed.
 

HaylingBee74

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A great article about Frank, I see a problem ahead I think will become many fans favourite with his style of play and that is before we have even seen him kick a ball in action. But I could say the same about fellow new signing Kris.
Already Ivan, Rico, Bryan, Christian, Sergi are our own possible current favourite, what a wonderful ‘problem’ to have.
 

swr22

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I was with a journo pal on the weekend discussing the Athletic. He was describing it as the story behind the story, so exploring the inner workings of issues etc. Rather than breaking transfers / gossip, it apparently delves into the detail. Interestingly it’s apparently a terrible business model as losing substantial money.
But for the cost of less than a pint a month I reckon I’ll give it a try.
It was almost bought by the NY Times for a lot. With ZIRP and VC backing, what you lose on margin you can always make up for in volume (and an exit or IPO at a mad valuation)
 

Downbeat Bee

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Why do you have to support the same club in order to write about them?

The Barney Ronay line is The Athletic's model potentially makes it difficult not to 'go soft' on a club.

Generally, I would have thought it is an advantage as a journalist not to support the club you are writing about.
 

Banana

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Anything in the Atletic I can't find out about on here?
Anything anywhere that you won't find here? Probably not.

But stories get broken elsewhere all the time. e,g, Warbsgate.
 

swr22

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Anything in the Atletic I can't find out about on here?
Marginal other details but the worth is mainly from its coverage of the wider football scene and potentially other sports too. I like Michael Cox on tactics, Ornstein is pretty good, and I appreciate the US sports coverage too.
 

hanworthbee

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Anything in the Atletic I can't find out about on here?
They don’t break stories just delve into them…for instance i don’t think onyekas nickname has been mentioned on here..free kick frank escept for the copy and paste article
 

wibs

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I didn't think it was the best article to be honest, though I am a big fan of THE aThletic and soe of their articles, especilly with players here you get a grasp of all sorts of behind the scenes stuff
 

Guildford Bee

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Anything in the Atletic I can't find out about on here?

On Brentford? We’ll find out over the next few months.

For general football writing, I’d say it’s well worth it.

Adam Crafton, in particular, is an excellent young writer who’s done some really good investigate stuff on some of the crisis clubs.
 

Invipai

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The article suggested that 'Josh Dasilva is slowly working his way back to full fitness', which we know on here to not be true. (He's working on not being on crutches).

But yes, for a first piece it's fine, he only joined on Monday. I'd expect deeper stuff to come out over the next few months.
 
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