Ahead of our 2019 opener against the Bees of Brentford I’ve been chatting with editor of the Beesotted fanzine, David Lane:
So, a bit about you and your Brentford supporting journey mate. How did you get involved with the fine Beesotted site?
Beesotted started as an inky, paper fanzine in 1990 and has moved with the times into the digital world. We now have a weekly London-wide radio show on LoveSport, a twice-weekly Podcast, produce videos and have the biggest independent Brentford Twitter account. It keeps us busy!!
Do you get to watch them live regularly? Season ticket?
Bill and I who run Beesotted have only missed a handful of games between us over the past 6 years or so, and have been regular home and awayers since the early ’80s… we were there when we were sh!t!
Despite a dodgy spell after Dean Smith departed to Villa, things have picked up a bit haven’t they? Going forward, is Thomas Frank the answer?
I’m delighted that the dismal losing run has ended, for the moment at least, but personally, I’m not convinced about Frank long term. I’ve been outspoken on that front, but am always open minded and if he proves me wrong, I would be delighted. He’s made some brave changes in the past couple of games which you have to give him credit for.
His appointment was, presumably, made on the grounds of continuity. Has he changed much in terms of how the side plays?
Yes, he’s tinkered with the formation somewhat which makes us less predictable, and the players are clearly adapting to new ideas. It’s still been a hugely disappointing couple of months though. We are a decent side, however, and we know the players are among the best in the championship on their day.
How is owner Matthew Benham perceived by Bees’ fans? Presumably, he’s been the driving force behind the new stadium?
The vast, vast majority see Benham as the saviour of the Bees, without him we would have arguably been non League by now. It is fascinating that a handful of fans don’t trust him and despite £100m of investment and a new stadium on the way, they claim he’s up to no good. The conspiracy theorists tend to be from the stereotypical ‘flat earth, fake news’ brigade or have an obsessional love of the negative.
Fair to assume your move is going to be smoother than Tottenham’s?
Yes, let’s hope so!! The move in date has been pushed back a little to ensure that I believe. I still hate the thought of leaving Griffin Park though. It’s going to be traumatic for many fans.
We know a fair bit about Neal Maupay and Ollie Watkins. Who else have impressed this season?
We have threats in Said Benrahma, Sergi Canos, but you’re right, we rely heavily on Maupay’s fox in the box abilities.
You up to speed on our Germanic revolution? Your thoughts? Can we…?
Yes, we have been paying attention… he seems a decent guy and it’s good to see he’s playing good football. Can you? No, I don’t think you can ?
Finally – standard – a score prediction?
3-2 to Brentford
“Another year over… a new one just begun“. And so, to 2019, which has the *potential* to be a good one, at least on the green grass of Carrow Road. It also has the potential to produce squeaky bums on a scale not seen since Luke Chambers’ late header threatened to scupper our decade of gloating. Perhaps Timm and Grant would like to take over again and settle the collective nerves?
Anyway.. Brentford … what do we reckon?
Penney predicts: We’ll simply be too good for them but our defence is currently wobbling so it will have to be a 2-1 City from me as I think clean sheets are like rocking horse poop just now.
Andy assumes: A defeat after a long unbeaten run isn’t always the worst thing. Can act as a reset and revitalise the troops. We’re too good to let one loss stop us. 2-0 Norwich
Gaz guesses: One thing we have been particularly good at this season is reacting positively to any setbacks. Hopefully, this will be another example. I’ll go 2-1 City.
Cookie concludes: Enough of the emotional rollercoaster madness. A dull and lifeless 1-0 City away win, please.
Stew suspects: I’ve faith we’ll bounce back, as we did after the Stoke defeat. 2-0 City
The oppo’s opinion: 3-2 to Brentford
Siri says: Brentford 2 – Norwich 3