Brentford had one of the biggest falls this season. They went from a team that’s fighting for a straight promotion, to a team that’s trying to avoid relegation. We wrote earlier this season about their lack of ambition, and right now you can see them struggling at the bottom. With Dean Smith they were quite consistent. They played good attacking football and he made the players perform at their best level. After he left for Aston Villa, everything went down.
We can’t really blame the players. We saw them playing under Dean Smith, and they were more than great. They used to score a lot of goals and defence was more organized. Thomas Frank did his best to continue the same style of football, but it’s not only that they are not scoring as many as they did; they are conceding quite a lot of goals. Right now they are only three points above relegation zone and they can easily finish this year at the bottom fighting for survival.
Keeping Neal Maupay in the team?
One of the most important things for Brentford in January is to keep Neal Maupay in their team. However, it’s not only that they have a habit of selling their key players; they will have a hard time keeping him in the team if they are struggling in relegation zone. He is a young striker with a lot of potential and even if Premier League clubs don’t go for him in January, there will certainly be interest from Championship clubs that are fighting for promotion this year and need a proven Championship striker, like Stoke City. Neal Maupay is not in his best form at the moment, but the whole team is not in the best form currently. He has 13 goals and 6 assists this season and that might be the number that will get him a ticket out of Brentford. If Thomas Frank keeps his job until January, it is hard to say if he will be able to keep his team in the league without their key player. So keeping Neal Maupay has to be the most important thing for the club at the moment.
Board should consider changing a manager?
I don’t like to slate managers, but sometimes they have to go before they got the club even in bigger problems. Thomas Frank had enough time to make changes; he took a good team and started to lose. Going from midtable to relegation zone is certainly not what the club wanted and maybe the board should consider changing a manager? For me, taking Thomas Frank was always a risky choice from the club as they needed someone just as good as Dean Smith to continue their good form. He did tried to replicate the same style of football, but they gave him the contract way too soon, before he even had the time to prove himself. Brentford should certainly go for some proven Championship manager. The first choice to come in mind has to be Slavisa Jokanovic. He got the promotion with Fulham and Watford, he plays the same attacking style of football and he is certainly someone that can make positive changes. It’s up to the board to show ambition and bring in someone like him, or continue to trust Frank Thomas and risk relegation.
Changing the style of play?
While Thomas Frank is still in charge, he should try to change the style of football. It’s always nice to see the team playing an attractive football, but there is no fun in losing every game. I do understand that he was appointed to continue with the same football that Brentford was playing under Dean Smith, but right now that doesn’t work. Although they are conceding a lot, with more defensive approach they might concede less and start getting more points. Right now, they have to think like a team that’s fighting for survival.
There is a chance to improve in next few games?
Before they play against Oxford United in FA Cup, Brentford will have four league matches. Some of them will be really tough, but others can be the good opportunity for Brentford to improve and try to get in good form. Home game against Bolton this weekend is the one they have to win. Bolton is the only team that’s in worse form than Brentford and home win against them can be a big boost for the team. It will be hard for them to get a good result against Brimingham and Norwich, but away game against Bristol City might be another chance for them to improve.