Its a hugely exciting time to be a Brentford fan – with a momentous Championship season just a few weeks away, and a shiny new stadium looming large on the horizon – the arrival of four high calibre defence-minded players shows that we have learned the lessons from the past couple of seasons, and are rebuilding from the back in an attempt to irradiate the frailties and lapses. There could be more signings to come, too.
It really isn’t an exaggeration to say that we could be real contenders this season. The signing of Pontus Jansson is a landmark statement of intent, have no doubt, it is a ’sit up and take notice’ transfer that will change attitudes and elevates that stature of Brentford Football Club. He is definitely a player who will receive a lot of press attention, and the club will be aware of the back story and reports of the more outspoken side of the Swede’s nature.
As we all know, our club is not one that encourages egos or an over-blown sense of entitlement – we hear that Pontus is an intelligent and confident leader on the pitch – and we certainly need that edge at the back and a more dominant approach to defending. However, it would be a big disrespect to Ethan Pinnock and Christian Nørgaard to let their arrivals fade in significance to the arrival from Elland Road. Thomas Frank will no doubt be underlining the team spirit ethos and togetherness as soon as Jansson arrives at the Austrian training camp… it would be amazing to be a fly on the wall in the coming days to see how the new arrivals are welcomed and integrated. My hunch is it will be a shot in the arm for all concerned.
We know that coming forward, the Bees are blessed with pace (Benrahma), punch (Maupay) and panache (Canos) – some of the Champagne football we have witnessed is unrivalled in living memory at Griffin Park – and although we’ll be looking over our shoulders until the transfer window closes and hoping we can keep hold of Maupay, Benrahma, Kamo, Sawyers et al – the proactivity and enterprise we have shown in our transfer activity so far shows we seem to have all bases covered.
The internet and social media is full of Brentford-related Clickbait right now, with each newspaper seemingly taking it in turns to link Neal Maupay with one club or another … today’s ‘red hot gossip’ is that the Frenchman has agreed terms with FOUR different clubs with a bidding war about to ensue… whether there’s any grain of truth in that, or not, time will tell, but nothing I have seen from our Directors of Football suggests they wouldn’t be primed and ready if a £20m-plus treasure chest is dangled in front of their noses.
In years gone by I would have been wracked with anxiety about losing these players, and of course I’d rather they stayed than left for pastures new, but the powers that be at Griffin Park have shown, once again, that if you sell a Chris Mepham (for example), that allows us to bring in the spine of a new first team… and with the shrewd sell on clause policy, when we do sell, extra windfalls often come our way for year after a player leaves – as we will hopefully see again if James Tarkowski leaves Burnley for the reputed £40m fee that has been doing the rounds.
The structure of the club, with a Head Coach working alongside two Directors of Football, has been a demonstrable success, with a B-team set-up adding a production line of work-in-progress young blood when required… and combine that with being able to identify quality from Scandinavia (Brentfjord)… I doubt there has ever been a squad as athletic and gifted as the current one.
I, for one, plan to make the most of the season ahead, and am relishing the campaign kicking off against Birmingham City on August 3rd… Bring it on!
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