Having lived about 10 minutes’ walk from Griffin Park until recently, I managed to get to quite a few Brentford games so always found the comparison between them and us quite interesting particularly. Football seemed to be much less of a priority in people’s lives than what it is up here; which was reflected in the match-day atmosphere. I don’t think they could ever create a Wycombe/Brighton/Carlisle type atmosphere but equally I think young, raw players are allowed time to make mistakes and ultimately develop without added pressure from fans (either in the stadium or on social media.) Even if we are not actively booing, the sub-conscious moans and groans after a player error are much more noticeable at Hillsborough. I think it’s a major reason why we have generally targeted so many older, experienced players who are expected to handle it better.
In the current squad, Da Cruz has already been written off by many after a handful of appearances, but as a young, cheap European import, he is a typical example of the type of player you would expect to succeed at Brentford and be sold on for profit; much to our envy. Ultimately, he may not turn out to be good enough but if he was at Brentford I am sure he would be allowed more than 5-6 games (mostly as a sub) before the verdict was made. As much as fans may be “entitled” to voice their grievance at poor performances, from my experience it seems to be much less of a factor at clubs like Brentford, Bournemouth, Brighton, Southampton etc who have a much better track record with developing players and a major reason why I think we would struggle to copy the “develop and sell” model.