Our performances so far this season have been poor, there’s no getting away from it.
Yes, we’ve mostly got the right results and I could happily live with that.
I haven’t looked at the table yet, but I think we’re 5th with a game in hand on at least a couple of the teams above us.
You quite simply can’t knock that.
But I think I’m in the majority when I say that it isn’t good enough.
Even though it’s very early in the season, I find it at least a little concerning that we can’t dominate what on paper ought to be inferior teams.
And I’ve seen nothing to convince me that we’ll be able to dominate teams more akin to our level either.
My big fear is that even if we were to get to a play-off final again this season (I really don’t believe we’re going to get automatic promotion as it stands) , we’d bottle it because of Bruce’s tactics, a la Fulham.
Which is where Brentford come in.
They play very good football and with our defence, I suspect they will be well capable of playing through us if they’re on their game.
There is the fact that we often tend to up our game against the better sides (and I’ve often wondered if a subdued atmosphere against lesser clubs mostly works against us) but Brentford are a bit of an exception and we have a very poor record against them.
There aren’t any major injury problems on either side, the usual apart.
So it mostly revolves around how Bruce is going to play this.
We all know that Bruce has criticised himself for not changing it up enough last season.
Yet it’s blindingly obvious that he also has massive favourites and he’s loathe to change them up.
I’d suggest Adomah is a good example.
Yes, he’s been great for us and you should stick with players who have done the business and give them every chance.
But there comes a time when a player needs taking out of the spotlight for a while.
Will Bruce do that with Adomah?
I very much doubt it.
So I don’t expect any changes really.
Which means I don’t see much change in how we approach the game either.
We’ll have a defence with players playing out of position in front of a dodgy goalie (when we let Steer go out on loan????).
With McGinn, we might well have the midfield sorted in the middle, with Grealish and Hourihane involved.
There’s still the nagging doubt about Kodjia, but scoring doesn’t seem the major issue.
It’s creating the chances in OPEN play, or rather, not, that concerns me.
I see Brentford definitely getting a goal.
Which puts us at a one goal disadvantage, because I worry that Bruce will try to contain Brentford and we might struggle to score.
Winning this would be a great result, even though it really shouldn’t be anything special, given that we’re at home.
And I’d go so far as to say that a draw will be a better result than that against Ipswich.
We really don’t want to see our home record go this early into the season.
I’m going for an optimistic 2-1, but more realistically predict a 1-1.
Which probably says a lot in itself.
The resources available to both clubs are incomparable, as much as we’ve been in trouble lately.
Game 4 of my predicted 10 or so.
We either keep scratching the results or Bruce changes his game.
Which only leaves him one option, I’d say.
Because I don’t see him changing anything much.
He doesn’t know any different.