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Question Time: Brentford with @billythebee99

Time to find out everything we can about the team that's going to beat us this week!

Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

As easy as it is to forget about the actual footballing side of things at the moment when it comes to Bolton Wanderers, with all that talk of take overs and debts being wipes, we must still endure actually watching our beloved Whites on the pitch.

This week, or next week rather (cheers Sky), Wanderers will face Brentford in front of the TV cameras and under the flood lights, in a bid to finally earn their first win in what will be 79 days. Yes, I'm still keeping count.

So now our attention turn to our opponents who are, quite possibly, one of the most interesting teams in the division right now. A summer experiment with European talent initially failed, but with a new man in charge things have started looking up again.

Here's Billy Grant, of the brilliant Besotted Blog, to give us all the inside info:

1) So... Brentford's little summer experiment with Marinus Dijkhuizen didn't exactly work out, did it?

We made a mistake in hiring Marinus. The club has admitted that. Can't get it right all the time. Personally, I feel the club were over-thinking the appointment because of what happened with Mark Warburton - making sure they found the perfect man.

Long story short - they thought that with him having survived in the Dutch Eredivisie with a tiny budget (€1m for everything), he would be able to guide Brentford to success. The reality was the gulf between the bottom of the Eridivisie and the top of the Championship was much larger than anyone realised. Also, cultural differences between England and Holland were underestimated by both Brentford and Dijkhuizen.

2) What are your feelings towards the board for their decision to get rid of Mark Warburton in favour of their new strategy, to then abandon it so quickly?

I'm not going to get embroiled in whether the club did or did not get rid of Warburton as it's not as simple as that. The club has a long-term vision and believes that the sporting director and head coach set-up is the way forward. The main reason why Warburton left (great manager by the way) is because he wanted total veto on signings. The club made a decision that the head coach would not have total veto - mainly because they wanted to have some input into what players were put into the pot using their black box.

With Dijkhuizen, the mistake was made and rectified quickly. The club could have stuck with him for a season and found ourselves themselves a pickle. Lee Carsley came in and, to be honest, was the perfect person for the job. He is more than happy to focus on coaching and buys into the Brentford philosophy. But he stated from day one that he didn't want the gig full time.

So we have the strange situation of Carsley having told the world the victory over Forest was his last as caretaker manager as he would be going back to the U21s. That leaves the fans waiting with baited breath for the club to appoint the new manager - rumoured to be either Swansea No 2 Pep Clotet or Walsall manager Dean Smith.


So there is every likelihood that the club could be without manager for the Bolton game. If you check the Beesotted Pride of West London Podcast below, in which we speak to you guys, we joke that we will have to call a Manager Agency to bring in a temporary manager in for the match on Monday.

3) How is new manager Lee Carsley doing?

Carsley has done really well. He started off on a bit of a dud note - losing to Birmingham City at home then, when the fans were looking for some sort of comfort in a secure manager, stating that he didn't want the gig. He lost his first two matches .. we had an international break .. then we went on to win four games in a row before losing to Hull City and drawing away to Blackburn Rovers. We beat Nottingham Forest last weekend so that makes five wins, one draw and one loss in the last seven matches - not bad.

What is more encouraging for us is Brentford have returned to the style of football they were playing last season - fast free-flowing passing football. Unfortunately, that was substituted for a more Dutch-style slower tactical football under Dijkhuizen that quite simply didn't work... and wasn't us.

Fans want Carsley to stay in charge. Or have some input in the new management set-up. But he has made his mind up that he wants to continue coaching academy kids.

4) Who would you want in as manager come the end of the season, or now?

Our new manager could be in place by the game on Monday. To be honest, I have no idea. The ethos of Brentford means that anyone from Swansea would be a very good fit - a non-name brand coach who subscribes to playing attractive football. But I know nothing really about Clotet other than what I see on Wiki - and that is not a good indicator really. If you were to take that attitude, we would never have employed Uwe Rosler (who sort of rescued a Norwegian team from relegation before being replaced) .. and Mark Warburton (who had no managerial experience at all .. except sort of semi-leading Brentford in a caretaker behind-the-scenes role to a defeat against Carlisle in the Johnsons Paint Trophy).

5) You lost key players like Andre Grey, Moses Odubajo and Stuart Dallas in the summer, are they being missed?

Of course you are going to miss players like Andre Gray and Moses Odubajo. Gray we signed from Luton in The Conference for £500k and sold for £9m in 12 months. Shame but for a small club like Brentford, that was too good money to turn down. He improved massively over the season. He was struggling with coping with The Championship when he started at Brentford. But he learned and got better and better.

Odubajo went from right wing to right back after an injury to McCormack and it was the making of him. With his runs from deep, he was suddenly causing much more problems for defenders.

Dallas was a shame. OK he got more money at Leeds but the club is all over the place. If he stayed at Brentford, he would have played week-in and week-out, and that's what he wanted to secure his place for The Republic of Ireland who will be at the Euros next summer.

More to the point is our injuries. We have loads. Like over 15 this season. A lot of them long term. So the facts that the person who replaced Odubajo was injured within a few weeks and Gray's replacement is also injured until after Christmas is something that we are having to deal with.

6) You replaced said players with lots of Europeans I'd never heard of before. How have they all settled and are any of them any good?

We had never heard of them either. That's all part of where Brentford is going. rather than chasing players that everyone is chasing, our owner uses his computer system (the one that has made him hundreds of millions of pounds) to find players from all over Europe and throw them into the pot to be checked out by our scouts for potential signing.

So Jota (another player out with a long-term injury) was identified using the owner's little black box. Twelve months after no-one had heard of him, a bunch of Premier League teams were chasing him.

These players are naturally cheaper (Bjelland is our record signing at €2m. He's a Danish international and got a long term injury too at the start of the season) their wages are cheaper, but more often than not, it takes them a bit of time to acclimatise to the British game. Only a few of them actually hit the floor running. So we have to deal with this. It may take 6 months. It may take a whole season.

Some of them have great potential. Djuricin, who we signed from Red Star Salzburg with a view to a permanent signing, looks like he started to get to grips with The Championship - and has a real eye for goal. Unfortunately, he also just got injured. Vibe looks like a class player at times. Whereas Kerchbaumer is full of energy but needs to channel it better.

It's hard to say how good these new players are because so many them are injured (Colin, Bjelland, McEachran, McLeod, Djuricin).

On the plus side, in the New Year when they all come back into fitness, it's going to be like having a whole new team. We also have players currently getting game-time, like right back Nico Yennaris, getting enough experience to become real solid back-ups.

7) Aside from those players, who should Bolton fans keep an eye on on Monday night?

Alan Judge is a top boy. Causes all sorts of problems. Sergio Canos is well lively too. Alan McCormack has been playing really well in midfield as an enforcer - steadying the ship. Goalkeeper Button will play in the Premier League in the next few years.

8) What would be a successful season for Brentford? Play offs still plausible?

I said 10th at the beginning of the season and I'll stick with that. Saying that, however, the league is not as strong as last season when we finished 5th. If we get our injuries sorted and a striker hits some form, we could be sniffing around the playoff places once again.

9) How will Brentford try and play their football on Monday?

Passing football. Uwe Rosler came in and started to get us playing good passing football. Mark Warburton took over the reigns and really rammed it home. We had a blip with Dijkhuizen but we're back on track again with Carsley.

10) Are there any Bolton players that worry you at all?

Not sure. Your team are on a bit of a downer but you have some decent players so we mustn't rest on our laurels. Gary Madine played for Blackpool against us last season - that game when we had 42 shots on goal - and he wasn't great.  We always liked Darren Pratley. He's an ex-Bee.

11) Dean Holdsworth looks as if he'll be buying the club soon, any fond memories of the striker?

Dean Holdsworth features in a limited edition Brentford Legends poster we recently produced. He was great. Top scorer in the season that we last got promoted to what is now called The Championship with 39 goals. Naturally we sold him to Wimbledon in the summer and bought a few absolute donkies in his place and got immediately relegated. But he was great for us and had a great song too.

My random Dean Holdsworth tale. I used to run the Husky Racing championship for a beer company (of course) and Dean Holdsorth's then wife was a husky racer so I got him to take our fanzine Beesotted (yes we've been going that long) husky racing on Hampstead Heath - as you do.

12) Finally, how do you see the game going and what's your score prediction?

As long as we are not too complacent and play like we have been playing recently, we should win. The real change in our play over the season has been the ability to hold the ball and control the play. Against Wolves recently at Molineaux, we pretty much controlled the game from start to finish - which was refreshing as earlier in the season we would lose the ball in key positions and often find ourselves one goal down.

I'm hoping for a 2-0 win to The Bees.

You can follow Billy on Twitter @billythebee99,the Beesotted Blog @Beesotted, and you can even check out their Youtube channel by clicking here.