A Season In Review: Brentford


In this series of 20 articles, we take a look back at the Premier League season, focusing on each team individually. We take a look at transfer window activity, managerial changes, and key points throughout the season.

Check out the previous edition of this series here, featuring Bournemouth!

Transfer Windows

Brentford, like a few of the other teams I have covered so far in this series, did not really lose anyone throughout the season during the transfer windows.

The only two players of note that left, were Marcus Forss to Middlesbrough, and Christian Eriksen who left on a free transfer to go to Man United. Other than that, it, again, was very much a case of building on what they already had.

Ben Mee and Thomas Strakosha both arrived on free transfers, whilst Kevin Schade arrived on loan from Freiburg, which has now been turned into a permanent deal.

Brentford then brought some youth into their ranks. Mikkel Damsgaard joined from Sampdoria, Aaron Hickey from Bologna and Keane Lewis-Potter from Hull.

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Brentford’s transfer window did not set the world on fire, nor did it show the rest of the league they meant business this season. They did what they have done the past few seasons, and bought smartly.

They have invested in the areas they felt weak in, and they will have pinpointed the exact kind of players that they needed. An average transfer window from them really, but it could have been much worse for them.

Key Games

You could look at Brentford’s 4-0 win against Man United and think that is was the point their season really got underway and people started paying attention to them, but this was only two games into the season, and United had not fully settled under Ten Haag yet.

It was actually their win against the other side of Manchester that kickstarted their season. On the 12th of November, just before the Winter World Cup, Brentford travelled to Man City, hoping to sign off on a positive note before the break.

Ivan Toney gave Brentford a surprise lead after just 16 minutes, but Phil Foden equalised in first-half stoppage time to send the teams in level. City continued to dominate the ball and pushed for a winner.

But Brentford did not want to follow the script. Ivan Toney broke away in the 98th minute, and sent the away end into raptures, scoring a late, late, dramatic winner for The Bees.

Despite the World Cup break being directly after that game, Brentford came back and continued their good form. They actually only lost 1 in 14 games after beating Man City, an impressive feat.

They have also set themselves up nicely for next season, after winning 5 of their last 6 games of the season, beating Chelsea, Spurs and Man City again. It will be very interesting to see how they manage next season.

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Cup Competitions

Carabao Cup

Brentford entered the Carabao Cup in the second round and got given an away tie against League Two side Colchester United. A professional showing ensued as they brushed them aside, winning 2-0, courtesy of goals from Lewis-Potter and Sorensen.

Their reward, was a third-round tie against another League Two club, this time Gillingham. A strong side took to the field, and Gillingham fans may have feared the worst when Ivan Toney scored within the first three minutes.

Gillingham held firm and waited for their chance, and when it came, they took it. Despite having 19% possession, and only one shot on target, Mikael Mandron equalised for the League Two side with 15 minutes to go.

The game ended up going to penalties. A clean set of penalties from both sides made it 5-5, and Alex MacDonald stepped up to make it 6-5 for Gillingham. Damsgaard stepped up knowing he had to score to keep his side in it, and missed.

Premier League side Brentford was knocked out, in the third round, at home, to League Two side Gillingham, who had 19% possession and 1 shot on target. Shambolic from Brentford, especially considering the strong team they fielded.

FA Cup

Brentford’s FA Cup campaign was an absolute disaster. A home time against a struggling West Ham in the third round. This was a competition that they could have gone far in, and considering how hard they were to beat at home, expectations were high.

They did not meet these expectations however, as they slumped to a 1-0 defeat, sending them crashing out of the tournament at the first time of asking. A real missed opportunity here to try to get some silverware.

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Season Overall

Thomas Frank has done a brilliant job this season with Brentford. He has made them so hard to beat at home, losing just twice there in the Premier League all season, and their attacking talent has been phenomenal at times.

They just missed out on a European spot this season, but that should be something they will be aiming for next season, and if they can continue to due shrewd business in the transfer window, I do not see why they cannot make that jump.

They will be without Ivan Toney for nearly all of next season after he was punished for breaking the rules regarding betting. This is a massive loss for them already. Toney managed 20 goals in the league this season, and they are now going to have to replace him, which will not be cheap.

They will need to buy, as nobody else at the club can fill his role. Bryan Mbeumo is their next top goal scorer with 9, but he is not an out-and-out striker. They need someone with pace and power, someone that fits Toney’s build.

Brentford really needs to perform better in both domestic cups next season. They cannot be getting knocked out by League Two sides at home. They should be reaching the quarter-finals, minimum.

All in all, a brilliant second season in the Premier League for them, and if they can continue to build and move in the right direction, we could see them in Europe in a few seasons!

Keep an eye out for the next issues of this Season In Review, which will feature Brighton!

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