Brentford 2022-23 season preview: Bees well-equipped to swerve second-season syndrome despite Eriksen exit

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The headline story of Brentford’s summer has been Christian Eriksen’s decision to turn down a new contract and head to Manchester United.

The Danish playmaker’s departure after he successfully rebuilt his career during a short-term stint in west London last season was certainly a blow, but it shouldn’t prove disastrous to their hopes of avoiding the dreaded ‘second-season syndrome’.

Brentford have been busy on the transfer front and are approaching only their second season at Premier League level with confidence and optimism.

Standard Sport’s Malik Ouzia looks ahead to what Thomas Frank hopes will be another memorable campaign.

How have they done in the window?

The club transfer record has been broken twice in signing Aaron Hickey and Keane Lewis-Potter, while former Lazio goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha and ex-Burnley centre-half Ben Mee look excellent signings on free transfers. Eriksen aside, the core of last term’s crop remains intact.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Tactic to look out for

For much of their first Premier League season, Brentford used a back three and played Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbeumo in tandem up front. However, a shift to a 4-3-3 looks likely in order to get men such as Yoane Wissa and Lewis-Potter into the attack more regularly.

Breakthrough star?

Josh Dasilva, who is looking for another breakthrough. The midfielder was one of Brentford’s best players in the Championship but spent a year out injured and never got the chance to get up to speed after returning in February. Still only 23, Dasilva can finally prove his talent at the top level.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Is the manager under pressure?

After delivering promotion and then top-flight survival last season, it would take an alarming downturn for Thomas Frank to get the boot, particularly given he arrested a slump after the New Year, albeit with the help of Eriksen’s arrival.

Success would be?

After finishing 13th last year, there may be aspirations for improvement but simply staying in the division would be marked down as a success, given the notorious challenge of a second season in the top-flight.

Showpiece results and performances against the biggest sides punctuated last season, too, and more of the same would keep the feel-good momentum around the club rolling.

Failure would be?

Relegation. Brentford looked so at home in the top-flight, from the opening night of last season, so failing to consolidate that position would be a major blow and likely result in an exodus of key players.

Player of the year will be?

Christian Norgaard. Somehow still not quite getting the recognition he deserves outside Brentford but the Dane was superb last term. Another with a World Cup to look forward to.

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