Often Partisan

GAMEDAY: Brentford at home

The first match of 2016 sees Blues take on Brentford with both teams nicely poised just underneath the playoff picture. Can Blues make it three home wins in a row?


Brentford lie one place above Blues in eighth having a marginally better goal difference record – +3 to Blues’ +2. The Bees won their last away game to Reading, which was their first victory away from home since October 24. They’ve kept two clean sheets in ten games but have only failed to score once in that period.

John Swift is in the Bees squad having extended his loan spell from Chelsea until the end of the season while Jota may remain on the bench.


The big question for Blues is if Dimmy Gray will come in for Viv Solomon-Otabor while rumours swirl around about Gray’s future. Solomon was raw at first in the win over MK Dons but grew as the game went on and it would not be surprising to see the 20-year-old get his second successive start.

Paul Robinson will probably continue in central defence with the veteran insistent he’s worth one more year of playing time.


Graham Scott takes charge of this game. It’s his ninth game of the season, and in that time he’s shown 39 yellow cards. His last Blues game was the 2-0 defeat to QPR in March 2014. Two players – Paul Robinson and Paul Caddis – were booked that game.

Suspension Watch

7 Yellow Cards: Maikel Kieftenbeld
4 Yellow Cards: David Davis, Jonathan Grounds, Stephen Gleeson and Paul Caddis
3 Yellow Cards: David Cotterill
2 Yellow Cards: Jonathan Spector, Paul Robinson, Jon Toral and Neal Eardley
1 Yellow Card: Tomasz Kuszczak, James Vaughan, Michael Morrison, Clayton Donaldson, Andy Shinnie, Shane Lowry and Demarai Gray.

The cutoff date for 5 yellow cards to attract a suspension is November 30, 2015
The cutoff date for 10 yellow cards to attract a suspension is April 9, 2016

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61 Responses to “GAMEDAY: Brentford at home”

  • Andrew says:

    Could win this. If we do it’ll gauge how well the season is going. 2 wins over the Christmas period would be good going.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Plenty of speculation in the media regarding Gray’s impending departure.
    If V S-O starts today instead of Dimmi, it may mean the rumours are correct.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Same team as against MK Dons for me. No need for changes.

  • Mitchell says:

    No better time for VSO to start his second game. He will have great support from the fans and his confidence will be sky high. We are looking long term here and back him now through good and not so good performances. This player to me has everything.

  • AdamTrueBlue says:

    VSO for me as well, with the confidence he gained against MK expecting a good performance from him. If Dimmi doesnt go then he might rise to the challenge.

  • KC says:

    However good VSO develops it is still a very Gray day for the club where once again we cannot hold on to our own due to the mess upstairs. Perhaps he was always destined to move on but I still find it very sad. When we first came in to the Prem there was not much coming out of our youth system. It took some time to sort it out but then some great talent was moved on to help keep the club solvent due to the financial mess and probably individual greed and extravagance at Director level. If only we could have kept some of the talent and developed accordingly.Hopefully the Gray money will be spent wisely on improving the team. In GR we trust but it is not an easy task.

  • Texas Pete says:

    I hope the daily mirror is returned to the bathroom where we can rely on it for scoops. Hopefully we will get a win today and I would love to see our VSO and Dimmi both play in the side with fire in their bellies and leave out the young loanee Toral. Then we win 4-2 with those two getting two apiece.
    Though I will be happy with a draw.

  • Mitchell says:

    Looks like Gray has played last game.

  • With the imaginary heebee jeebee’s gone at home , with storm frank out of steam , its time we breathed a bit stardust over Stan’s , come on blues time to kick on , fame awaits

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Same team as for MK Dons. Lowry is on the bench, but no place for Halford.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    According to Radio WM, Gray is having a medical at leicester.

  • Once again kuszczak has come closest to scoring for blues in the first half , let’s hope they get payed for that half , is that a white line in the middle of the pitch or the Berlin wall , are we playing 11defenders , just joking ,COME ON BLUES…

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Colin Tattum said that Gray asked to leave.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Phew, that was close. Kept going until the end. Well done to the lads.

    (Novak scored a hat trick for Chesterfield… Mark Duffy got the only goal for 10-man Burton) and The scumbags lost again. Great weekend. :)

    • Shirley Blue says:

      We can do better than Novak or Duffy – they are both doing well playing at a level suited to their abilities. Hope the Donaldson injury isn’t serious. I don’t think he would have played in the FA Cup anyway so hopefully a week or so is enough to sort it out. , Tremendous result with only 38% possession against a very decent Brentford side. Just a mention for a player who has struggled recently and had a lot of stick. I thought Jonathan Grounds did well today. I am sure a left back is on the shopping list but he still going to be a very useful player to have around. Also Vaughan did a great job coming on for Donaldson and I would think he is already on the list to at least extend his loan.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        My point was (and I should have made it clear) is that the better they do, the more chance that their foster clubs will sign them up.

        • Shirley Blue says:

          Cheers Staffs – I just assumed knowing you are a Novak fan.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            It’s not a case of being a fan SB, I support all Blues players, whether I like them or not. There are players, past and present that I can’t/couldn’t stand, but I keep that to myself because it’s not relevant. I support them whilst they’re at the club. By the same token, I couldn’t care less about them when they’re gone. I’m a simple soul like that. :)

          • Tony says:

            Staffs was a Clark fan, Novak was signed by Clark end of story

  • Dave S says:

    So, goalkeepers can smash a forward to the ground with their shoulder because they have the ball in their hands?
    Watch it tonight (if the naff show show it) another penalty not given, it wasn’t shoulder to shoulder it was assault.

  • mattblue says:

    Just got back from the game.

    Maghoma was terrific on the right. he changed flanks with Viv after half time and it improved both of their games.

    Kieftenbeld had an excellent game, fought well for the cause and deserved his goal; Vaughan was very selfless passing it to him when he could have had a go himself.

    Overall, this is as good a game as I’ve seen Blues play this season. For me, we just need a left back as Grounds has been inconsistent; at most, a third choice striker to Donaldson and Vaughan. Vaughan needs to be extended and Donaldson looked as though he’s rushed back from injury.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Pluses and minuses from the Brentford game.
    Pluses…..The performances of Robbo, V S-O, Donaldson and Vaughan.
    V S-O gets better the more he plays and could be the permanent successor to Dimmi.

    Minuses….In the first half particularly the inability to pass to a team mate and retain possession.
    How many goals would we score if we had 78% possession rather than 38%?

  • steve says:

    More possession doesn’t mean you win the game. Ask Man Utd. Check the possession for our 6 -1 hammering of Reading. It’s what you do with the possession you have and at the moment we’re doing ok. Sky showed some figures the other day and you’d be surprised the number of games won by teams with the least possession.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Exactly – it’s when you lose possession you are at your most vulnerable. It might work for us that we have got to play nearly all of the teams above us at home yet and we can play on the counter-attack.

    • Richard Granfield says:

      Steve…….I am going on the logic that you can only score when you have possession of the ball.
      If that logic is accepted. The more possession you have the greater the chance you have of scoring.

  • southcoastblue says:

    Good result. I really didn’t think we’d get three home wins on the trot.

    So now we need to catch up 10 points on Derby in the next 21 games (or win the play offs) to be in the prem next season. The Vile have to make up 12 points from 18 games to be in the prem next season. Just saying.

  • david l says:

    BBC reporting that the Gray move to Leicester is a done deal – but that he’ll be loaned back to us for the rest of the season.

    Well. if so, I’m pleased that he’ll get his chance to prove his talent on a bigger stage – he deserves it.

    But, please, don’t bother coming back…we need people who are focussed on the long term greater good of the club. Make much more sense to use the game time to develop someone (VSO?) who will be here next season, and who has shown as much talent and drive.

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      Not sure I like the idea that he’s being loaned back.He lost his place in the side and Maghoma is now ahead of him on merit.VSO’s progression would also be affected.

      • Shirley Blue says:

        Makes sense to me – if it happens we have got 4 players to cover the two wide attacking midfield positions and GR can focus on other positions that need more urgent strengthening in the transfer window. It shouldn’t affect his effort levels because he will want to impress the people at Leicester before next season. He might not be first choice for us any more but not bad cover off the bench so doesn’t have to get in the way of VSO’s progress.

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    Good luck to DG and even if we are slightly underselling him it still represents a great deal for the club.
    He always seemed to be like a Ferrari stuck in the garage when the money would be better spent on an extension to the house that we could all use.
    It throws a different complexion on this window for sure and we can maybe have a look at the likes of Tom Bradshaw amongst others and we haven’t been able to do that for a long time.

  • Acocks blue says:

    Would have him back any day, but would never start him as long as viv or mags is fit. Any other championship club would rip your hand off for a such impact player on their bench.

  • El bakhtaoui of Dunfermline might be worth a punt as a striker 23, it doesn’t matter how much possession the other side has , as long as it is not all around our penalty area, hourihane as an attacking central midfielder or tesche as an attacking c .midfielder , this squad is small but improving and something to be proud of if you haven’t got £200 million to spend on a new team, get in there city ……..kro

  • steve says:

    Everton are trying to hijack the deal. i hope this isn’t gonna drag on. we need to do our business.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Unless we can start a bidding war and get more money.

      • Hillfield Blues says:

        Don’t they just have to activate the release clause leaving Gray to negotiate the best deal for himself?
        Don’t know for sure but all for the better if we can.

        • Shirley Blue says:

          Isn’t the release clause just a minimum such that once offered we have to allow the player to talk to the club who have offered it. If more than one club is interested then surely the fee can increase and the player can negotiate for the best deal he can for himself and decide which club he prefers to join from a footballing sense. If say Everton are prepared to pay £5m and DG wants to go there we can’t be bound to accept Leicester’s lower offer just because of the release clause.

          • almajir says:

            I think you don’t understand what a minimum fee release clause is

            Basically, if a fee of a set amount (3.75mil in this case) is offered, Blues MUST accept it. No ifs, no buts.

            The only person who is going to get more money out of more than one club being interested is Dimmy.

      • Dan Hickman says:

        If the clause fee is met we have to accept it, the only bidding war would be his wages…

  • Mitchell says:

    Loaning back of Gray might be good. Take Zaha who signed for MU and returned to Palace on loan.Did well. GR himself may not like the idea in the long term but if that’s how Leicester want the deal done-then why shoot ourselves in the foot. Gray together with three quality additions could just swing that final 6th spot come May.

  • Mitchell says:

    What I noticed about VSO yesterday was his movement off the ball. Like Gray when he came into the team VSO look all at sea. This highlighted to me how well GR has done with Gray-especially tracking back etc. and helping out over the pitch. Really good prospect VSO and I am looking forward to his overall game improvement during the next 5months.If he could get someone clever in midfield to feed him dozens of great passes he could become a legend at Stans.

  • Dave Mann says:

    First off I would like to congratulate Demari Gray on his proposed move to Leicester city , a great move for him and money to strengthen the team for us , Do we want him back on loan ? for me NO, Did we miss him yesterday ? for me NO… A good solid performance from Blues again , second half the better with Toral and Maghoma working brilliantly together for the first goal and Vaughan and Kieftenbeld for the second, Kuszczak mistake for there’s but the ball did bounce just in front off him but still should have dealt with it … Two points of sixth , Three points of fifth , I think it’s game on again for the top six without question .. Forest and Derby away coming up but let’s get sweet revenge on Bournemouth in the cup next Saturday , that would do very nicely .. Good luck Dimmi and please no come backs !!! Kro

  • There is talk that we won’t be able to spend all the money , as per usual , which will bring the amount down , so we are going to have to act quick to get a goalscorer, as it would not be acceptable to not get somebody in, after letting our greatest asset go on the cheap with no return no return on our quest to get back where we belong , good result blues

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think Rowett will get about £1.5m and the rest will go in the tommy tank.

      • Hillfield Blues says:

        If as reported the money is upfront it will allow us to compete with the wages of higher profile players.Actual fees for players might not come into it as there are quite a few players out of contract without clubs.
        Either way I would be a bit disappointed if GR was only given 1.5 million tbh.

  • Dave Mann says:

    That’s three players wages and transfer fees so £500,000 per man on there wages and any fee we pay plus trying to get Toral and Vaughan hooked up for longer if not permanently , I wish Mr Rowett the best of luck . Kro

  • Richard Granfield says:

    IMO we need a midfielder who can dictate play from the centre and give better service to our wide men and striker. Someone like Luke Freeman, Diego Fabbrini, Robert Tesche or someone we haven’t heard of of similar calibre. This type of player(s) is a much higher priority than a new left back or central defender IMO.

  • KC says:

    Absolutely right Richard. Top priority.

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