With much debate recently with rival supporters about the merits of Brentford’s incoming use of the loan system, Mark Warburton yesterday acted to send out a couple of our own players for regular playing time with Toumani Diagouraga joining Portsmouth for a month and youngster Josh Clarke heading out to Braintree.
The concern from some fans appears to be that this could leave us slightly thin for our promotion push – particularly in the case of Diagouraga who has put in some impressive peformances at League One level during his time at Griffin Park.
At the recent fans forum Warburton was keen to admit that football is a game of opinion and, judging by recent squad selections, the Brentford boss sees youngster Jake Reeves above Toumani in our pecking order.
It should also be noted that both Nico Yennaris and Kevin O’Connor could fill holding midfield positions from the bench, with the added option of Alan McCormack switching from right back to the centre of the park or Alan Judge dropping backwards from our triple pointed attack.
“Dave” – for all his strengths – can sometimes slow the ball down in midfield which is a benefit in some matches but can certainly slow down a swift counter attack. It’s definitely fair to say that shooting is not his strong point too – whereas team-mates such as Forshaw, Saville and Judge have a much keener eye for goal.
One further factor, perhaps overlooked by some, is that Diagouraga tends to find his form after a run of regular appearances and can be a bit less effective than others as an impact player – so an immediate recall clause in any loan deal, plus regular first team action on the South Coast in the meantime, might actually be a positive in our run in and not a negative.
It’s fair to say, whether we see Toumani in a Bees shirt again or not, that the player has done nothing other than work his socks off on the pitch for Brentford and that he has been an important part of our progression as a club over the last few years.
Presumably his removal from the wage bill might also free up further revenue to potentially bring in another player more suited to Warburton’s brand of pass and move football – with former loanees Kadeem Harris and Conor McAleny currently returning to full fitness at their parent clubs.
Perhaps the cost of progression is a constant evaluation of our playing squad and whilst it’s been similarly difficult to say farewell recently to Shaleum Logan and Farid El Alagui our current league form remains incredibly strong. As supporters we perhaps become more emotionally attached to players but for the club to continue to improve we might just have to get used to waving goodbye to some of our recent solid performers.
Keep the faith – we’re Brentford FC, we’re top of the league.