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Brentford contributor Viney Bee takes a break from changing nappies to give his thoughts on the new season. With Brentford signing up a number of extremely talented players … with little or no championship experience … to strengthen their squad, he gives his opinion the Bees will get on this season.

Well, the new season is nearly upon us and in all of my years supporting the mighty Bees I have never seen such a strong squad going into a new campaign so I thought I’d share my thoughts on our squad depth and possible tactical plans.

I personally see our strongest formation as 4-2-3-1. We play an attacking style based on possession and high pressing.

Our wingbacks give us support in the final third while our 2 midfielders dovetail so one can go forward whilst the other stays back to cover any counter attacks.

We play beautiful and entertaining football and I’m sure that the clueless supporters of the “big clubs” will have a hell of a shock when we play their team off the park.

I have no doubt that we’ll be a top 15 side this year and relegation isn’t even a possibility.


I’m still not 100% convinced by David Button. There is no doubting he is one of the best keepers that we have had at Griffin Park in recent years. But his distribution and concentration quite often let him down and that could lead to us being punished by the more clinical strikers in the Championship.

We have Richard Lee as a backup and overall we have to be happy with our goalkeeping options going into the season.

Wing backs

Jake Bidwell is one of the best young left backs around. He has maturity beyond his years, he is a strong defender and has a cross on him that many Premiership wingers would be proud of.

The monster, Alan McCormack, will be our first choice on the other flank, a proper no nonsense hard man that was, in my opinion, our best player last year. Waiting for his chance is Nico Yennaris, a young and talented right back that can also play on the left.

I think we’re looking good on the right but we could do with another left back to challenge Jake and keep him at the top of his game.

Centre backs

Tony Craig, Harlee Dean and James Tarkowski are all fantastic players that will challenge each other for a starting place.

Three into two doesn’t go so we’ll rotate between them and it’s a very nice problem to have.

I think Raphael Calvet will go out on loan to get first team experience now that we have the Finnish Irishman Daniel O’Shaughnessy in our development squad.

I’m delighted with our options at the back and if we can stay injury free, we’re looking strong.


I can’t see Forshaw going. We’ll demand £4-5m for him and Wigan will be reluctant to pay that. I am disgusted with Rosler and Whelan for trying to unsettle him with a ridiculous bid but, that is football and no player is bigger than the club so if he goes, he goes.

At the moment, we have a few options in the middle. Jonathan Douglas, Adam Forshaw and Marcos Tebar will be our key players. We also have Diagouraga, Jake Reeves, Alex Pritchard, Alan Judge and Alan McCormack that can play there. I’m not sure that Diagouraga or Reeves are real starting options and we need Pritchard, Judge and McCormack in other positions.

We possibly need one more midfielder to come in and, I’m sorry to say it, but let Diagouraga go. He’s been a great servant to us but is he Championship quality? I’m not so sure.

Attacking midfielders

We have signed some amazing players in the close season – Alan Judge is simply brilliant, he can play on the left, right or through the middle and will cause problems for any defence he comes up against. Blackburn obviously didn’t watch him last season or they’re hiding Messi somewhere.

Moses Odubajo looks a real handful. He’s quick, skilfull and will rip defences apart. We’ll forget all about Donaldson because Moses looks the real deal.

What a signing Alex Pritchard is! He was second only to Adam Forshaw last year in the football league player of the year and, Like Judge, can play anywhere. He likes to run at defences, has bags of talent and even more confidence.

I’d personally play with these 3 as our attacking midfielders with Pritchard on the left, Judge in the middle (swapping with Pritchard) and Odubajo on the right. There’s no point in Griffin Park having seats anymore because when one of these boys gets on the ball, no-one will be sitting down.

Scott Hogan and Andre Gray were also brought in to back up in these positions. We don’t yet know the situation with Tommy Smith but if he signs, he’ll probably be Moses’ deputy.

Stuart Dallas will also play a major part this season. He’s always looked dangerous and will chip in with a few assists this year.


I have no doubt whatsoever that Andre Gray will easily make the step up into the Championship and will become another DJ Campbell but hopefully with a bit more loyalty. He showed that he had no problem playing against Crystal Palace and I think he’s good for 10-15 goals this year.

Scott Hogan looks a good signing. It’s unfortunate that he’s picked up a knock but he’ll be back soon and he’ll hope to lead the line as soon as he’s fit. I also want to mention the Rochdale fans and the classy way that they supported his move to us, they appreciate that he didn’t move in January and are grateful for his contributions in their promotion season. He did it in the right way (like Simon Moore did with us) and I’m glad to have such a gentleman on board.

We do need one more out and out striker that is capable of 20 goals. I would love to see Patrick Bamford in a Brentford shirt but all signs are leading to him going to Middlesbrough.

Andy Delort’s name has been thrown about but at the moment he’s going to train at Leeds, wear a Brentford shirt and play for Charlton. I think we’ll get a striker in on loan rather than buying someone.

Wow, I’ve even surprised myself with our strength in depth! Our academy is also starting to bear fruit and we’ll see cameo roles from the likes of Charlie Adams and the impressive Montell Moore this year.

With a couple more signings promised, including a striker before the Charlton game, we really have nothing to worry about and everything to look forward to. We’re proving that we can compete with the big boys. Hogan chose Brentford over Leeds. He, like many, other want to play for a club with an exciting future. Not one that relies on their past achievements.

Now roll on Saturday!!!


Up the bees