TOWN 0 BRENTFORD 1: Prophet Paolo saw it coming

BRUTE FORCE: Town find Brentford an immovable object during the 1-0 defeat

BRUTE FORCE: Town find Brentford an immovable object during the 1-0 defeat

First published in Sport by

PAOLO Di Canio is a prophet. In the build-up to last night’s clash between his Swindon Town side and Brentford at the County Ground the Italian had aired his worries that the 4-1 victory over Yeovil on Saturday may have caused his players to relax too much as they prepared for the visit of the Bees.

And somehow he managed to see into the future, as the Robins were unable to deal with a Brentford strategy that was a credit to its German architect, Uwe Rosler.

The west London outfit came into the game with brute force as their major weapon. Like Sheffield United before them they went at Swindon with aggression and Town couldn’t adapt accordingly.

The Robins were wasteful throughout the 90 minutes on a rain-soaked surface at SN1 and, though Brentford were only slightly more impressive with ball at feet, they managed the all-important breakthrough in the 59th minute when Clayton Donaldson smashed home the winner.

After an underwhelming opening 10 minutes, Brentford enjoyed the first sight of goal when Donaldson broke from halfway and pulled the trigger from 20 yards, only for Wes Foderingham to leap to his left to turn the ball to safety.

Swindon struggled to manipulate possession into anything that resembled a meaningful chance in the opening quarter.

The closest the Robins came was when James Collins failed to control Gary Roberts’ neat reverse pass which would have had the striker bearing down on goal.

With the ball dividing its time equally between the turf and the damp Tuesday night air, neither side were covering themselves in glory from a purist’s point of view.

This was the pugilist side of the game. Rough and ready and unrefined, a series of little punches in midfield as both teams looked for the all-important knockout blow.

Former Swindon captain Jonathan Douglas took the term all too literally in the 27th minute, poleaxing his opposite number Simon Ferry in halfway and earning a yellow card for his troubles.

Bookings don’t usually warrant a paragraph of their own in match reports, particularly not in those involving Paolo Di Canio’s Swindon Town over the course of the past 18 months.

But there was an utter dearth of creativity and quality. The ball spent more time in the sky than a British Airways pilot, at heights that would have made even Felix Baumgartner a little dizzy.

Only Douglas seemed capable of keeping possession on the floor but his Brentford teammates lacked his composure and, though the Bees were marginally the better team in the opening period, it was Town who almost grabbed a half-time lead.

First, in the 41st minute, Chris Martin saw his savage 20-yard drive pushed wide by Simon Moore in the Brentford goal and a minute later the same player’s volley from close range was blocked on the line by a visiting defender, while Matt Ritchie was unable to lash home the rebound.

It was a frantic end to an otherwise down-tempo first half and both sides came out for the second period with similar intent.

At one end, Douglas sent a pathetic effort from range well wide before Roberts latched onto an errant pass from the Bees midfielder and delivered a delicious low cross that neither Martin nor Collins were able to stab home.

Jay McEveley, again one of Town’s most reliable players on the night, picked out the forehead of Simon Ferry in the 54th minute but the Scot could only nod wide and Swindon were made to pay for failing to take their chances in the 58th minute.

Paul Hayes managed to pick out Donaldson and the former Crewe forward created space in the area to thrash a left-footed effort beyond Foderingham, who had no chance from close range.

Town immediately surged forward in search of an equaliser and, after Ritchie saw his 20-yard drive deflected out for a corner, the winger’s cross was headed over by Martin.

But quickly Swindon’s play regained its unwanted, stodgy qualities. Too many long balls down the channels, not enough to feet.

A direct result of a gameplan of disruption employed by Brentford? Or a comedown after the buzz of the weekend win? Who knows, but it was desperately disappointing.

Di Canio tried midfield pairings of Ferry and Hollands and Hollands and Bostock, but neither were able to take control quite like the Ferry-Bostock axis has in recent weeks.

Up front Martin, Collins and Storey all worked hard but that magic spark that lit up the County Ground on Saturday was nowhere to be seen.

Instead the Robins reverted to the type most associated with their home performances of the past eight weeks.

Crosses were underhit, overhit and mishit and when one of the home team finally did manage a pin-point centre – Ritchie in the 88th minute – Martin could only nod a free header wide, unmarked from six yards out.

The natives grew restless. Martin headed over again as the hosts tried every angle possible to sneak through the Brentford defence but the goal was not forthcoming.

It’s one home league win in six now for Town, but the statistics aren’t the damning factor. Di Canio could see this performance coming, it’s a shame he was right.

Comments (16)

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6:50am Wed 21 Nov 12

Swindon1984 says...

Think the above says it all, chances few and far between and wasted when we had them, never got into a rythym of passing, poor performance and result. Credit to Brentford, they made it awkward for us.
Think the above says it all, chances few and far between and wasted when we had them, never got into a rythym of passing, poor performance and result. Credit to Brentford, they made it awkward for us. Swindon1984
  • Score: 0

7:55am Wed 21 Nov 12

Rebel_phish says...

The trouble is, we just cant seen to string a series of results together at the moment. Yes, we created a few chances, but just as in previous matches, we can't put in in the net. Our conversion rate of the chances we get is poor. When we get them we need to bury them.

The only positive to take out of last night is that despite the loss, we havent lost ground on the top group.

Tranmere, Sheffield U, Stevenage, MK Dons and Notts County only managed draws and with Crawley losing as well we are still well in the mix, only 6pts off the pace.

Yet it is very tight at the top: 7 points separate the top 9 and 10 points separate the top 11.

Staying positive, if we can just find our form, increase the chances per goal ratio, this league is still for the taking.
The trouble is, we just cant seen to string a series of results together at the moment. Yes, we created a few chances, but just as in previous matches, we can't put in in the net. Our conversion rate of the chances we get is poor. When we get them we need to bury them. The only positive to take out of last night is that despite the loss, we havent lost ground on the top group. Tranmere, Sheffield U, Stevenage, MK Dons and Notts County only managed draws and with Crawley losing as well we are still well in the mix, only 6pts off the pace. Yet it is very tight at the top: 7 points separate the top 9 and 10 points separate the top 11. Staying positive, if we can just find our form, increase the chances per goal ratio, this league is still for the taking. Rebel_phish
  • Score: 0

8:10am Wed 21 Nov 12

sadgit says...

Has to be Ferry & Bostock for me,
Why keep changinng a winning formula Paolo.
My neck is still aching this morning.
Has the ball landed yet?
Has to be Ferry & Bostock for me, Why keep changinng a winning formula Paolo. My neck is still aching this morning. Has the ball landed yet? sadgit
  • Score: 0

8:32am Wed 21 Nov 12

old town robin says...

Very good account from Sam of what we witnessed last night.

3 wins, 3 draws and 3 defeats at home, 12 points from a possible 27, not relegation form, but then neither is it the kind of return to get us promotion.
Very good account from Sam of what we witnessed last night. 3 wins, 3 draws and 3 defeats at home, 12 points from a possible 27, not relegation form, but then neither is it the kind of return to get us promotion. old town robin
  • Score: 0

8:33am Wed 21 Nov 12

old town robin says...

sadgit wrote:
Has to be Ferry & Bostock for me,
Why keep changinng a winning formula Paolo.
My neck is still aching this morning.
Has the ball landed yet?
agree with that, so why did he change it.
[quote][p][bold]sadgit[/bold] wrote: Has to be Ferry & Bostock for me, Why keep changinng a winning formula Paolo. My neck is still aching this morning. Has the ball landed yet?[/p][/quote]agree with that, so why did he change it. old town robin
  • Score: 0

8:37am Wed 21 Nov 12

Psychedelic Syd says...

Ferry and Bostock for me too but only if we decide to play it on the ground. Too many changes to the team. What a depressing game. Best forgotten quickly. Thought Joe Devera was better than most last night but beyond that I'd rather not think about the match again.

Roll on Notts County. COYR!
Ferry and Bostock for me too but only if we decide to play it on the ground. Too many changes to the team. What a depressing game. Best forgotten quickly. Thought Joe Devera was better than most last night but beyond that I'd rather not think about the match again. Roll on Notts County. COYR! Psychedelic Syd
  • Score: 0

8:58am Wed 21 Nov 12

HOOKEY says...

f your not going to play macca at the back then put him back in midfield his to good to be left out
f your not going to play macca at the back then put him back in midfield his to good to be left out HOOKEY
  • Score: 0

10:27am Wed 21 Nov 12

Redgollum says...

The DiC still hasn't signed a decent striker. We can afford to let a goal in when the other guys are doing the business.
The DiC still hasn't signed a decent striker. We can afford to let a goal in when the other guys are doing the business. Redgollum
  • Score: 0

11:37am Wed 21 Nov 12

glasred says...

PDC is not a prophet.....his predictions before the match set the stage!
How silly to say he wished we were playing away from home and that some of his players may fall short.
Your a great manager PDC but ever heard of the law of attraction!!
YOU GET WHAT YOU EXPECT!
PDC is not a prophet.....his predictions before the match set the stage! How silly to say he wished we were playing away from home and that some of his players may fall short. Your a great manager PDC but ever heard of the law of attraction!! YOU GET WHAT YOU EXPECT! glasred
  • Score: 0

11:37am Wed 21 Nov 12

glasred says...

PDC is not a prophet.....his predictions before the match set the stage!
How silly to say he wished we were playing away from home and that some of his players may fall short.
Your a great manager PDC but ever heard of the law of attraction!!
YOU GET WHAT YOU EXPECT!
PDC is not a prophet.....his predictions before the match set the stage! How silly to say he wished we were playing away from home and that some of his players may fall short. Your a great manager PDC but ever heard of the law of attraction!! YOU GET WHAT YOU EXPECT! glasred
  • Score: 0

12:03pm Wed 21 Nov 12

TheBlackHand says...

If he is a prophet can you let me know the lotto numbers for Saturday
If he is a prophet can you let me know the lotto numbers for Saturday TheBlackHand
  • Score: 0

12:23pm Wed 21 Nov 12

LionelHutz says...

Dire game. Not as bad as Orient or Colchester but still bad. Didn't think Brentford necessarily deserved to win, a 0-0 would've been a fair reflection.

On the plus side, it seems no one else in this league is capable of putting a string of wins together either. January is key - if we get it right, we'll win the title. That's as much a reflection on the mediocrity of this division as it is a compliment for Swindon.
Dire game. Not as bad as Orient or Colchester but still bad. Didn't think Brentford necessarily deserved to win, a 0-0 would've been a fair reflection. On the plus side, it seems no one else in this league is capable of putting a string of wins together either. January is key - if we get it right, we'll win the title. That's as much a reflection on the mediocrity of this division as it is a compliment for Swindon. LionelHutz
  • Score: 0

12:44pm Wed 21 Nov 12

stanharlands6shirt says...

Psychology within football teams is everything.
Keep telling players they are bad, are rubbish, etc and they not only start to believe it, they start to play like it..

I still believe we have potentially one of the, if not, THE most, talented squads in this league, but after yet another 460 mile round trip I am so disappointed to watched another game of hoof ball.

Last seasons team were I believe a less talented squad, BUT they had an inner belief that they were better than everyone else, because even though he chastised them regularly, the manager, the leader, kept leading....telling them they WERE the best in the league and that by the end of the season he would prove it.

LEADERSHIP WITH A CAPITAL "L".

In addition last seasons less talented team took most teams apart by playing football on the deck.
This season we have sunk to often at present to the level of many of the teams in the league and adapted a hoof ball approach.

Our point against Sheffield United masked the fact that once again we took to the skies in search of a way forward.
In 90 minutes of football not once from a goal kick or after the ball had arrived back at Wesley's feet, did the ball go out wide to one of our full backs.NOT ONCE.
Our new chairman, bless him, before the Sheffield United game at his question and answers session, stated,
"what I find really attractive and surprising is the way Swindon look to play football from the back and through midfield".

Clearly Swindon, following orders are no longer a " TIPPY TAPPY" team that work hard to retain possession by playing a passing game.
We all too often now are surrendering possession by lumping the ball forward.

We seem to have lost sight of the fact that, to paraphrase the Paolo DiCanio of last season, he stated "When the ball is played on the ground we can beat anyone,when the ball is in the air, everyone is equal "

So we now have a team that on some days are equal and have proved they can fight in the trenches of league one and can gather a modest amount of points....but we are witnessing regularly that it will not be pretty and there's never a guarantee.

We also have another team that when let off the leash can play a sublime style of football that has everyone excited and wanting to watch more.
A team that pass out from the back, through midfield, looking after the ball as we progress forward with finesse and a strategic passing game plan.

Of course this is the real world and even Barcelona get beaten sometimes, as all passing teams can at any level, but unlike Swindon at the moment, they never throw away their passing game ethos.

So after I arrived back home at 2.00 in the morning, as I went to my bed, tired and disappointed, I made a little prayer
in hope.

Dear God,
please help Paolo to recall that last season in another hoof ball league we still played football on the ground.....and won.
Please can we once more look to occasionally try to play from the back.
Please can Martin have a ball played up to his feet...he looks tidy, but needs the ball to feet to go from tidy to DANGEROUS.
Please next time we have a winning team, can, injuries aside, they be given the chance to win again without change.
Please can you help Paolo to give us some positivity, even in defeat
Finally have I lost faith in our players or our manager. No I still believe in this team and this manager, but I can never forget that the best and most enjoyable Swindon sides I have watched over the years, have always been the ones that play with the ball on the ground.

THIS SIDE CAN AND HAVE PROVED THEY CAN DO IT.

PLEASE LORD, NO MORE HOOF BALL. .

.
Psychology within football teams is everything. Keep telling players they are bad, are rubbish, etc and they not only start to believe it, they start to play like it.. I still believe we have potentially one of the, if not, THE most, talented squads in this league, but after yet another 460 mile round trip I am so disappointed to watched another game of hoof ball. Last seasons team were I believe a less talented squad, BUT they had an inner belief that they were better than everyone else, because even though he chastised them regularly, the manager, the leader, kept leading....telling them they WERE the best in the league and that by the end of the season he would prove it. LEADERSHIP WITH A CAPITAL "L". In addition last seasons less talented team took most teams apart by playing football on the deck. This season we have sunk to often at present to the level of many of the teams in the league and adapted a hoof ball approach. Our point against Sheffield United masked the fact that once again we took to the skies in search of a way forward. In 90 minutes of football not once from a goal kick or after the ball had arrived back at Wesley's feet, did the ball go out wide to one of our full backs.NOT ONCE. Our new chairman, bless him, before the Sheffield United game at his question and answers session, stated, "what I find really attractive and surprising is the way Swindon look to play football from the back and through midfield". Clearly Swindon, following orders are no longer a " TIPPY TAPPY" team that work hard to retain possession by playing a passing game. We all too often now are surrendering possession by lumping the ball forward. We seem to have lost sight of the fact that, to paraphrase the Paolo DiCanio of last season, he stated "When the ball is played on the ground we can beat anyone,when the ball is in the air, everyone is equal " So we now have a team that on some days are equal and have proved they can fight in the trenches of league one and can gather a modest amount of points....but we are witnessing regularly that it will not be pretty and there's never a guarantee. We also have another team that when let off the leash can play a sublime style of football that has everyone excited and wanting to watch more. A team that pass out from the back, through midfield, looking after the ball as we progress forward with finesse and a strategic passing game plan. Of course this is the real world and even Barcelona get beaten sometimes, as all passing teams can at any level, but unlike Swindon at the moment, they never throw away their passing game ethos. So after I arrived back home at 2.00 in the morning, as I went to my bed, tired and disappointed, I made a little prayer in hope. Dear God, please help Paolo to recall that last season in another hoof ball league we still played football on the ground.....and won. Please can we once more look to occasionally try to play from the back. Please can Martin have a ball played up to his feet...he looks tidy, but needs the ball to feet to go from tidy to DANGEROUS. Please next time we have a winning team, can, injuries aside, they be given the chance to win again without change. Please can you help Paolo to give us some positivity, even in defeat Finally have I lost faith in our players or our manager. No I still believe in this team and this manager, but I can never forget that the best and most enjoyable Swindon sides I have watched over the years, have always been the ones that play with the ball on the ground. THIS SIDE CAN AND HAVE PROVED THEY CAN DO IT. PLEASE LORD, NO MORE HOOF BALL. . . stanharlands6shirt
  • Score: 0

1:18pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Psychedelic Syd says...

And so say all of us ..........
And so say all of us .......... Psychedelic Syd
  • Score: 0

5:50pm Wed 21 Nov 12

dreamofacleansheet2 says...

Carried, but rest assured come February Paolo will be telling them we will win the league. It's just his way. Don't go to early.... A valuable lesson in life....
Carried, but rest assured come February Paolo will be telling them we will win the league. It's just his way. Don't go to early.... A valuable lesson in life.... dreamofacleansheet2
  • Score: 0

8:39pm Wed 21 Nov 12

the wizard says...

TOWN 0 BRENTFORD 1: Prophet Paolo saw it coming


IF that is the case then why didn't he do something about it rather than same old, same old, same old hoooooof ball.

Total pants and shows how limited his tactical ability is, and the extremes of his imagination. We had one period when we played the ball and that was in their box at the end of the first half.
I believe he is revealing the limits of his ability by putting out teams that cannot deal with an opposition that puts five across the middle. The same tactic has been used against us to good effect at CG this season and the visitors have always run out the winners. Should have learned from his mistake long ago but is he too Pig Headed, well it looks like it, escape route, ah yes, that old chestnut, blame the players. League One obviously a bigger challenge than was first thought. Fascinating as he self proclaims himself as a Premier Manager, excuse me while I have a chuckle, and feel sorry to an extent for the players who I still believe can put a good run together this season. The problem is the lack of ideas coming from the bench on how to deal with the situation. Others do, we don't.
TOWN 0 BRENTFORD 1: Prophet Paolo saw it coming IF that is the case then why didn't he do something about it rather than same old, same old, same old hoooooof ball. Total pants and shows how limited his tactical ability is, and the extremes of his imagination. We had one period when we played the ball and that was in their box at the end of the first half. I believe he is revealing the limits of his ability by putting out teams that cannot deal with an opposition that puts five across the middle. The same tactic has been used against us to good effect at CG this season and the visitors have always run out the winners. Should have learned from his mistake long ago but is he too Pig Headed, well it looks like it, escape route, ah yes, that old chestnut, blame the players. League One obviously a bigger challenge than was first thought. Fascinating as he self proclaims himself as a Premier Manager, excuse me while I have a chuckle, and feel sorry to an extent for the players who I still believe can put a good run together this season. The problem is the lack of ideas coming from the bench on how to deal with the situation. Others do, we don't. the wizard
  • Score: 0

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