How Brentford Have Thrived in Their First-Ever Premier League Season

Jacob Walstow

How Brentford Have Thrived in Their First-Ever Premier League Season

The Bees were buzzing to be in the Premier League. For the first time since the 1946/47 season, Brentford was back in the top flight of English football. With six games left to go, the side from West London looks like they will get a second season in the big time. Let’s see how Thomas Frank’s side looks to have achieved this.

Before last May, you could never mention the term ‘play-off’ in a certain part of West London. In nine previous attempts, Brentford had never been promoted via the play-offs. Against Swansea City, it would prove to be 10th time lucky as they defeated the Welsh side 2-0.

This was a defining moment for the Bees. If they could break the 30-year playoff curse, why couldn’t they survive in the greatest but hardest league in the world?

A Dream Start for the Bees

Come the 13th of August, Brentford were able to fill the Brentford Community Stadium for the first time since their move from Griffin Park. Arsenal were the visitors in the London derby and what followed was pure magic.

Goals from Sergi Canos and Christian Norgaard eased Thomas Frank’s side by a newly formed and then mentally weak Arsenal. Three points were on the board and at a rocking Brentford Community Stadium, the sky was the limit.

The first seven games in the Premier League suggested that the Bees had all the credentials to stay up. Losing just one of their first seven, the away form was incredible, gaining eight points from four games including stand out victories at European chasing Wolves and West Ham.

It was the home game against Liverpool that showed however that this Brentford side deserved to be in the Premier League. A six-goal thriller played out in West London, with the Bees coming behind twice after leading to gain a deserved point, against arguably the best team in the world.

Brentford had the talent and the mentality to deal with life in the Premier League. The Premier League will always bite back and Brentford was soon to find that out.

After their victory at the London Stadium on the 3rd of October, Brentford would then go on to win just 3 of their next 20 games. At the end of this run, the Bees would lose 9 out of 11.

During this period, Frank’s side had picked up just 12 points, the second-worst in the league, with only Everton doing worse.

Goals became a problem at both ends of the pitch as well. Only Everton and Norwich had scored fewer than Brentford’s 17. At the other end of the pitch, only Leeds and Norwich had conceded more than Brentford’s 38.

Eriksen’s Introduction has had a Positive Impact

The slide seemed unstoppable and by this point, a team once seventh in the league after matchday seven was now in 15th and just three points above the drop.

For the first time in the season, Brentford was looking in real danger of making an instant return to the Championship. A January signing however looks to have made all the difference.

Christian Eriksen had not played football since that eventful Euro 2020 game against Finland. Having a cardiac arrest on the pitch, the Denmark international was lucky to survive let alone play again.

Rules in Italy meant that Eriksen wasn’t allowed to play for Inter again due to the former Spurs playmaker having an ICD device implanted. A prior relationship with the Brentford manager got the ball rolling and in January, Eriksen would return to the Premier League.

It’s safe to say that the Danish international has had an unbelievable impact. Making his full debut in the relation six-pointer at Carrow Road, the Denmark international played the full 90 as Brentford eased past Norwich 3-1.

Eriksen has since gone from strength to strength, getting an assist in a 2-0 home win against relegation rivals Burnley. His star performance back in the Premier League was at Stamford Bridge, where the former Tottenham starred as Brentford thrashed Chelsea 4-1, their first win against their London rivals since 1939.

Ivan Toney has also raised his game thanks to Eriksen’s arrival. eight-goal involvements in his last five games for the Englishmen means Brentford now sit 13th in the table, 12 points clear of relegation.

Four of Brentford’s remaining fixtures are against teams below the Bees in the table, making safety now almost a certainty.

The Bees look like they’re flying to safety in their first-ever season in the Premier League. Sitting fourth in the form table from their last five games, the sky could be the limit for Brentford in future campaigns.


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