The writing is on the wall when you need to walk under a motorway to get to the ground.
For those that don’t know London well, Brentford’s new ground is next to the Chiswick Roundabout which signifys the end of the M4 as it comes into the capital.
The walk to the stadium is not an inspiring one.
As we exited Gunnersbury station, there was no murmur of fans exited for the home teams first top flight game in god knows how long. Infact there were no fans around at all. The only noise was from the cars on the dual carriageway.
The walk to the ground was soulless. No burger vans, flag or scarf sellers. Not single pub bar the one directly opposite the station. Not even a tout.
You cross under the motorway and head to the ground. And what a soulless place it is.
Surrounded by a new build housing estate still under construction; there is not a soul to be seen bar Arsenal fans.
And then you get to the turnstile.
A 30 minute queue to get into the stadium as there were only 5 turnstiles available to away fans. This will only cause problems later in the season and is an accident waiting to happen.
The inside of the ground is no better.
The best way to describe it is “a little bit shit”. And that is probably an understatement.
God knows what the architects were thinking when they designed this for awful stadium.
With the huge TVs in the roof and a corner that just collapses; it is one of the worst grounds I have been too.
At least Fulham is on the edge of a beautiful park, next to the river and is a cracking ground.
And the atmosphere. You wouldn’t think it was Brentford’s first top flight on god knows how long (the second time I have said that).
The crowd was a bit like what you get at Fulham. Bunch of students and locals who probably didn’t realise Brentford had a team until they got promoted.
But what can you expect from a team that are basically Leyton Orient of South and West London.
With Chelsea, Fulham and QPR drawing in fans, Brentford have never had much of a following.
I imagine they will hope to draw in a new fan base from the thousands of new build flats rising in and around the area. A bunch of key workers who fancy a day out. They will probably try and take Fulham’s tag of being “London’s friendly club” and have “neutral end” for most games.
Brentford’s fan base looked like they were there were at the game for an appetiser before a night out. Not their first football game in 18 months.
Any ground that “doesn’t serve beer at half time to away fans” can immediately get in the bin. And Brentford is in that bin.
Not only was alcohol a big NO in the away end, but there was no pies, burgers or anything; bar coke, sprite or water.
And to top it all off, Gunnersbury station – the nearest to away fans – is shut after the game leading you with a 10 minute trek to Chiswick Park where you have to head West to Acton before heading back East.
No beer, no atmosphere, a ground under a motorway. I won’t be itching to return.