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Brentford suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Norwich City this weekend, in a match that Dean Smith’s side were completely outplayed and out thought.

The starting eleven looked attack-minded on paper, however, on grass, Norwich seemed to be able to attack at will and the Bees’ midfield looked light and totally ineffective – its hard to single out individuals on what was an all round below acceptable standards display – but there looked to be passengers in certain positions with Sawyers and Vibe looking well off the pace and poor Scott Hogan unserved.

Without adequate bite in the middle of the park Brentford stood off City, who found their wide men able to deliver quality crosses – and pretty much from the first whistle to the last – the visitors were on the back foot. You would not have known that Norwich had lost their previous five games as under-fire Alex Neil’s side ramped up the pressure and racked up the goals.

Two-down at the break, it then got worse on the second period.

Daniel Bentley had a torrid afternoon, and in truth, it could have been worse had the Bees shot-stopper not parried away several other goal-bound shots – goals four and five triggered an exodus from the away end and there were boos at both the half time whistle and even more anger at the end. There was a really decent away following at Carrow Road, and they expected better.

I’m not going to run through the goals, that would be too depressing, more important is to look at where we go from here and how we can pull out of what is becoming a desperate run of results.

As you will hear from listening to the post-match Pride of West London Besotted podcast (link above), several fans have pointed out how critical next Saturday’s game against Burton Albion will be in Dean Smith’s career.

Whether we are quite at the point that the powers that be start to question what has really been achieved in the year since he joined Brentford, or there is a degree more patience and belief than some fans were demonstrating in East Anglia, only time will tell.

In the perilous run of form that had many calling for Smith’s head last season, from my perspective at least, I felt it was all too soon… that he had not been given a fair crack of the whip… that it still wasn’t ‘his’ team as such… that we needed to give him this season to show what he was really capable of.

But a year into the role… things are a little different now. Again, I’m not advocating any knee jerk reactions, as until the Carrow Road trouncing, there had been decent displays despite the run of defeats, but there was absolutely nothing positive yesterday. Nothing.

Burton will not make life easy for anyone next weekend, lets not kid ourselves or become delusional, they are in this division on merit and will come at us like terriers and look for a win – if we aren’t set up right, or the players are asked to play yet another system for another week running – then the pressure will really be on Smith. It’s going to be an interesting afternoon to say the least.

Dave Lane