Tag Archives: Brentford

Brentford Community Stadium: No Beer, No Atmosphere – Ground Review

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.



5 hours from Blackburn all for a 0-0

Following the legends match at the Emirates where I was part of the prawn sandwich brigade, next match was an U21 match away to Coventry City in the Checkatrade Trophy.

This was a good test as it was against Coventry’s first team. We won 3-0 with over 200 Gooners in attendance made it a satisfying evening.

Next stop was a trip to St James’s Park, Newcastle; always a decent place to watch football with the city centre stadium with walking distance of plenty of pubs. For a reason that still makes no sense to me, we were booked on the 6:12am train from Kings Cross meaning that my alarm was set for 3:30am!

What with my other half being away on Saturday night and 10 hours of drinking, this trip was only going one way and it did……

The match was uninspiring but a 2-1 win, but it meant that for the first time in an age, we won two away on the bounce!

Following a heavy head on Sunday, Monday saw me venturing up to Blackburn for an U23 match. There was a bad accident on the M6 which meant diversions and missing the first 13 minutes. On the way home, I counted 18 different sets of road works, therefore arriving home over 5 hours after our departure; the match itself finished 0-0, not a great day all round!

The only thing I took back with me from Blackburn was a stinking cold which was to stop me going to a few youth & academy matches.

Following this seasons Europa League debut with a easy win against Ukrainian side Vorsla Poltava, I saw our U23s thrash Liverpool 4-0 at Borehamwood.

Next up was a 2-0 home win against Everton where the highlight was keeping our first clean sheet of the season followed by a home Carabao Cup versus Brentford, a team we’ve not played in a competitive match since the 1940’s which we won 3-1.

Next up is the last match of a run of 4 home matches against Watford followed by a trip to Baku, Azerbaijan. Lots of sun and cheap alcohol, what could possibly go wrong?


Match Report: Arsenal 3 – 1 Brentford

Arsenal (2) 3 Brentford (0) 1

Carabao Cup (EFL Cup) Third Round
Emirates Stadium, Drayton Park, London N5 1BU
Wednesday, 26th September 2018. Kick-off time: 7.45pm

(4-2-3-1) Leno; Lichtsteiner, Mustafi, Holding, Monreal; Elneny, Guendouzi; Mkhitaryan, Smith-Rowe; Iwobi, Welbeck.
Substitutes: Bellerín, Ramsey, Lacazette, Torreira, Martínez, Kolasniac, Nketiah.

Scorers: Welbeck (2), Lacazette
Yellow Cards: Welbeck, Lichtsteiner

Referee: Mike Dean
Attendance: 49,586

Our first appearance this season in the Carabao Cup (aka The English Football League Cup) comes around again tonight, with a home tie against Brentford, who currently hold seventh position in the Championship; of course, The Bees didn’t always play in lowly divisions, as there was a time when they were one of our rivals back in the old First Division before the corrosion of relegation and decline set in for them in the post-1945 football world. Apropos to Brentford, they do actually play an important part in our history, as our 2-0 victory at the Old Place on 2nd May 1939 was filmed and used in the feature film The Arsenal Stadium Mystery, which incidentally was the last official league match before hostilities broke out four months later.

Back to tonight. Straight from the kick-off, Arsenal assumed dominance, but to be fair, it did look rather dicey in the goalkeeping department (again) with just a minute or so on the clock. A simple pass-back found Bernd Leno lose his footing and as the ball slipped away for a Bees corner, a collection of hands on heads from home fans could be seen around the stadium. Whoops. All forgotten though, three minutes later when, after a short corner from Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Mattéo Guendouzi looked up, and wasted no time in getting the ball across to Danny Welbeck who opened the scoring with a sublime header. Although shell-shocked Brentford started to come back into the match, our defence held firm, and thus became the bedrock for more forays into the opposition 18-yard box. It was one of these attacks that the second goal came rather inevitably eight minutes before half-time. Building from the back, we appeared to simply move at a canter through The Bees’ midfield in a familiar pattern of perpetual movement; Leno-Lichtsteiner-Mkhitaryan-Iwobi-Monreal-Welbeck. And it was indeed so that Danny Welbeck got both his second (and Arsenal’s too) of the night by merely stroking the ball into the net after this wonderful exhibition of pass-and-advance. Despite one or two failed attempts, we went into the break the leading team on the night, and deservedly so.

Returning after the break, we carried on where we left off, with missed chances that should, by rights, increased our goal tally. Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan must have regretted their squandered efforts, as  literally out of nowhere, Brentford got one back just before the hour with an incredibly well-taken free-kick that hit the back of our net. How can it be? Suddenly the mood in the stadium went from one of elation and confidence to one of nervousness and doubt all around for a period of time. In an effort to score again, Emile Smith-Rowe was subsituted for Alexandre Lacazette, and things started to look a bit better for us, briefly. After more close Bees’ chances, we made two more substitutions, and as per usual more wasted chances in front of the opposition goal became the fate of our strikers. But wait! A breakaway, a chance, and Alexandre Lacazette puts the match beyond doubt with our third and final goal of the night. A minute later, this game was done, and we can all be thankful that Mike Dean blew the whistle when he did, and we therefore find ourselves in the hat for the fourth round draw on Saturday.

Arsenal really made hard work of this victory in North London this evening. We allowed Brentford back into the match on several occasions, when by rights, we had enough talent and firepower to put this game to bed quite early on in the proceedings, but we denied ourselves the luxury of an early win by mere indecision and, it has to be said, periods of self-doubt, which Mr. Emery must quickly stamp his authority on when the team get back to London Colney tomorrow. Watford lie in wait for us on Saturday afternoon; we have to firm, dominant and ruthless at The Emirates then, and show everyone (not least our supporters) our true credentials in the Premiership race. Remember everyone, keep the faith, get behind the team and the manager, as these early days are going to be crucial for our future success in all competitions. Stick with the winners.

Victoria Concordia Crescit.


Too Dearly Loved To Be Forgotten: Arsenal v Racing Club de Paris 1930-1962 by Steve Ingless (Rangemore Publications, ISBN 978-1-5272-0135-4) is now available on Amazon.