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GETTING TO KNOW: Brentford

10 August 2020

Our Championship previews continue, with a look at Brentford...

Stadium: Brentford Community Stadium (Opening 2020/21 season)

Capacity: 17,250

Year Formed: 1889

Nickname: The Bees

Most League Appearances: Ken Coote, 514. 1949-64

Most League Goals: Jim Towers, 153. 1954-61

Record League win: 9-0 v Wrexham, 15th October 1963 – Division 3

Record defeat: 0-7 v Swansea Town, 8th November 1924 – Division 3 (S)

Last five years

2019/20:              3rd in Championship – 81 points (Lost in Play-Off Final)

2018/19:               11th in Championship – 64 points

2017/18:              9th in Championship – 69 points

2016/17:               10th in Championship – 64 points

2015/16:               9th in Championship – 65 points

Manager

Thomas Frank was appointed as Brentford Head Coach in October 2018. He first arrived at the Bees in December 2016 as Assistant Head Coach and was promoted into his present position following the departure of Dean Smith to Aston Villa.

Last season he led Brentford to 3rd place in the Championship, defeat to Barnsley on the final day of the campaign meaning they missed out on the automatic promotion places. In Tuesday night’s Play-Off Final, Fulham beat the Bees 2-1 to secure promotion to the Premier League.

Frank did not play football professionally but has an extensive coaching background in his native Denmark.  He began his coaching career with the U8 and U12 teams at Frederiksværk BK and he moved on to Hvidovre IF in 1998, B93 in 2005 and Lyngby in 2006. In July 2008, he was appointed manager of the Denmark Under 16s and Under 17s teams.

Frank was named as manager of Danish Superliga club Brøndby IF in June 2013, and led the side to 4th and 3rd place finishes in his first two seasons in the job. However he departed in March 2016 after receiving criticism from his Chairman, under a fake name, on an online forum.

Squad

Brentford impressed with their style of play last season, and Frank will be keen to keep his side together.

Though David Raya was caught off his line for the Play-Off Final opener, the keeper impressed throughout the season having joined from Blackburn at the start of the campaign.

24-year-old striker Ollie Watkins netted 24 times during the league campaign, and a number of Premier League clubs are reportedly looking to secure his signature.

Winger Saïd Benrahma was on the scoresheet 17 times in the Championship, while fellow wide man Bryan Mbuemo scored 15 goals.

There is also a lot of quality in Brentford’s midfield too, with Josh Da Silva notching 10 league goals and plenty of assists coming from Emiliano Marcondes (seven) and Mathias Jenson (six).

Frank’s side have improved at the back this campaign, with the considerable help of Sweden centre-half Pontus Jansson, who they signed for a reported £5m from Leeds in July 2019 - their goals-against total of 38 was the second-lowest in the division.

Brentford will be starting life in a new stadium too next campaign, with Griffin Park’s 116-year history at an end.

Familiar Face – Neil MacFarlane:

With no current playing connections amongst The Bees squad, we’ve gone to the backroom staff for our familiar face.

Neil MacFarlane, who was assistant manager to Steven Pressley during his spell at the Sky Blues, is currently the Brentford B team boss, a role he has held since May 2019.

MacFarlane joined the Sky Blues in March 2013, and remained after Pressley departed two years  later – Neil staying with City until July 2015, after working with Tony Mowbray for a further three months. McFarlane took charge of the Sky Blues, alongside Dave Hockaday, for a game as caretaker between the two permanent appointments – a home win over MK Dons.

Having worked with Pressley previously at Falkirk, he linked back up with him at Fleetwood Town and Pafos in Greece. MacFarlane joined MK Dons as assistant in December 2016, before taking over as Kidderminster boss from May 2018 to January 2019.

Connections:

Some of the players to have appeared for both sides include:

Bill Glazier, Zain Westbrooke, Jay Tabb, Craig Pead, John Salako, Jack Astley, Ted Winship, Hermann Hreidarsson, Nick Proschwitz, Wayne Turner, Martin Grainger, Chuba Akpom, Robbie Simpson.

Micky Adams and Terry Butcher have managed both sides, while Jimmy Hill played for Brentford before going on to manage Coventry City.

CCFC v Brentford Head to Head: Won – 22, Drew – 11, Lost – 23

Last Time We Met – Brentford 3-1 Coventry City, 22nd March 2014, League One.

The Sky Blues were beaten 3-1 in the Legaue One game six years ago. Clayton Donaldson, Marcello Trotta and Alan McCormack scored for the hosts, with 8,572 in attendance at Griffin Park.

City had taken the lead after just 6 minutes through Callum Wilson’s goal, but they came away empty handed.

Team: Joe Murphy, Cyrus Christie, Blair Adams (Danny Seaborne 59), Jordan Willis, Jordan Clarke, Carl Baker, Franck Moussa (Mark Marshall 59), Conor Thomas, John Fleck, Nathan Delfounso (Chuba Akpom 59), Callum Wilson.

Fact:

Brentford played in the first ever Football League game to be held at the original Wembley Stadium.

They faced temporary tenants Clapton Orient on 22nd November 1930, losing 3-0 in front of a crowd of 8,319 in the 127,000 capacity at the time venue.    


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