Featured image courtesy of DR/Danish Broadcasting Corporation
"We're just a bus stop in Hounslow" is the cry at every Brentford game but currently the feeling among fans is will this bus stop's stay in the Premier League be temporary?
The infrastructure of the club, coaching and playing staff has stamps of top flight quality but despite a promising start the sh** has got real. While teams at the bottom start collecting points Brentford have embarked on a run of five defeats in the last six games. MOTD pundits among others across the media barely acknowledge the run as they’d rather discuss the larger sides in the division, Brentford are still regarded the plucky underdog which is cute being among the elite.
As the mini winter break commences and players fly off around the globe, team management will be looking over their shoulders nervously, rightly so, as the next game is away to champions elect Manchester City. The five following games will determine the clubs' reality going forward as they play Palace (home), Arsenal (away), Newcastle (home), Norwich (away) and Burnley (home). Ten points minimum and Brentford will be on 33 points leaving maybe one more win to stay up for sure.
To achieve the ten points in those games though, some in-house changes need to occur and the most pressing is incoming transfers. With just over a week to go in the window, so far the Bees have only loaned in a goalkeeper but it's plain to see so much more is needed.
January transfers are frowned upon by so many within the football community but the names linked with Brentford are long-term targets from the last two windows bar one, Mr Christian Eriksen.
According to Twitter, his arrival is imminent and a transfer which does not follow club policy. Pontus Jansson's arrival three years ago was another which did not follow policy but in the grand scheme of where the club is now his signing was a game changer. The recruitment model tends to be; buy potential and sell on at the right time. It’s a great business model but when running a football club with fans who strive for success, the young talent needs experienced rocks to support them if they are to drive on. Jansson has been that for the club in the Championship and now to survive this season the arrival of Eriksen could be key.
After his near death experience last Summer I have my personal doubts regarding him playing football again but if he passes all relevant medical examinations who am I to judge? Purely based on football ability this is a player, who in the past has been one of the best in Europe. Domination of games is out of the question due to his lack of activity but magical moments which decide matches is a possibility. This type of player is what Brentford are missing, creativity of the highest order needs to fall to Toney, Mbeumo or Wissa not Jensen, Canos or Janelt via the before mentioned forwards.
The Dane coming to The Community Stadium or any other arrival leads into another sore subject with supporters - the formation. 3-5-2 worked to lead the club into the Premier League and at the start of this campaign, but it’s now cramping forward play whilst not preventing goals flowing into their net. The cry from all inside the stadium is 4-3-3 and if Eriksen arrives this is perfect for him to fit into but also does not ask too much from the current squad, all that’s lost is one centre back. Other long term targets like Brennan Johnson, Aaron Hickey, Keane Lewis-Potter and Mykhaylo Mudryk also fit into the crowd, out of system maybe, yet is Thomas Frank waiting for these weapons before changing team outlook?
Fans are accustomed to attacking football while keeping possession, it was never going to be the case during the debut season but so often it’s been obvious that teams in the top flight are not as good as you think, small edges create wins. The bus stops stay may be temporary but I do not sense many complaining if it becomes permanent. Brentford are the most prepared side to stay in a generation but bad decisions could alter a fan bases' hope!