An errant doggie-bag drifted across the steps the steps of WV6 on 65 minutes, landing upon its resting place.
It wrapped itself around the base of a Row Q seat, beneath the trainers of an impotent old soul, who honestly thought he’d seen the back of days like these.
“We’re making them look like Real Madrid!,” he shrieked.
Moments later, the linesman on the far side indulged our pathetic attempts to hit the net by keeping the flag down until we had found it, with Brentford backing off in benevolence, thus allowing us our little moment. Max Kilman missed.
It was ever thus.
Bruno-ball, as far as I can make out, is a team full of players with good intentions who are literally incapable of scoring goals in open play or otherwise, with just one tap in goal all to show from our players in 450 minutes of trying. In other words, a steaming pile of turd that the doggie bag was inexorably floating towards, until it was rudely interrupted.
Another interpretation is a team in dire need of three or four new signings to banish any threat of relegation.
Funny that, as Bruno Lage said (on August 6): “I think we need three or four guys (more players) in different positions. I don’t say now the positions. Top players to help us to be competitive, because, see the good example is what happened with Raul last year.
“I think we have a good squad, we can improve it, we have one month to work on that and two weeks to work on the pitch to be competitive. That’s the plan.”
In short, back me or we’ll be making Brentford look like Galacticos in front of our own fans, who we haven’t scored in front of all season. The wait goes on and most worrying of all when compared to Spurs and Man Utd, this performance was genuinely dire.
To criticise the head coach after this horror-show would therefore be missing the point completely; Nuno said the squad was too small before he was sacked and Bruno has said the same since he came in. It’s smaller now than at any point in four years.
The mad-panic to sign Kieffer Moore at 10pm on deadline day is probably the most damning commentary of this squad, which has no track record of scoring goals aside from Raul, who is a pale imitation of his former self since his miraculous return. That’s not a criticism, but just a statement of fact as he shuffles around the field at least two yards off the pace in both body and mind. It’s tragic to see and he needs help. It should be a sight to make Jeff Shi hang his head in shame. Quite how we’re pinning our hopes on a striker who was close to death a year ago is a question that only he can answer. That a £35 million ‘generational talent’ cannot be trusted in his place raises further questions that Jeff must hope we’re stupid enough not to ask.
(Roll the Insta footage from Compton on Thursday morning, as we score goals galore in uncontested Dudley/Cradley scenarios that we’re somehow supposed to get excited about. The social media team doth protest too much).
The sight of Raul hurling his headband into touch with 10mins left told us all we needed to know about the way he’s feeling right now.
If he’s not scoring – which he barely threatens these days – then who is going to lighten the load in his absence? Traore has proved beyond reasonable doubt that he’s utterly useless in front of goal, while Trincao looks more like a feather in the breeze, traversing here and there with underlying beauty until he floats away when dispossessed. Joao and Neves might chip in with a goal or two a piece over 38 games, while nobody will ever score from a set-play while Moutinho is over the dead balls, as he’s literally incapable of crossing them past the front post. His deliveries, for far too long, are genuinely shameful.
With Ivan Toney and Mbeumo the very antithesis of anything we have in our squad, then we can expect little more than the hiding we got today, which could have been more, but for profligacy in front of goal. The subsequent timewasting was the worst I have ever seen in 35yrs of attending home games, but only a by-product of what we brought upon ourselves.
Watching those two Bees against our leaden-footed back three was a sight for sore eyes, and one that was etched into our retinas when entering the final throes of the transfer window. We all knew that spectacles like this were inevitable. Fosun wouldn’t know 2004 or 2012 because they weren’t there, but new signings were imperative in order to avoid a dice with danger at the lower reaches of the Premier League.
There’s only so many performances Bruno can get from this lot and he’s used up four already. That 3pts is all we have to show is a worry at best.
At worst, a 0-2 defeat at home to the likes of Brentford is all we can realistically expect for the foreseeable, thanks to a thumb-twiddling transfer window of doggie-bag proportions.