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With just one more preseason friendly to go until the Premier League season kicks off, Jim Levack shares his thoughts on what he’s learned from our warm up matches this week.

Sharper and faster 

Brentford still look ever so slightly off the pace. It might only be by milliseconds but speed of thought and decision-making will need to be better by the time Arsenal come to west London. That’s what friendlies are for, but watching the last two test matches against Premier League opposition has emphasised the gulf from the Championship. The first five minutes at Old Trafford were an eye-opener, but we grew into it and by the end looked more than a match.  We need to be a little nearer the top end of that learning curve before Friday the 13th to hit the ground running, but be prepared – it might take a little longer to really get to the pace of it. Dither on the ball and it’s gone.

Technically we’re fine 

With the ball, we’ve shown already that we have the players to punish sides. Yes, we’re going to need a little more quality in the final third but the build-up and passing through the lines in both friendlies has been Premier League standard. Players like Sergi Canos and Tariqe Fosu have plenty about them and will flourish in the top flight because they’re unknown quantities at that level. The second season might not be so easy.

Turnover terror 

 A misplaced pass in the middle was calamitous but not catastrophic in the Championship, but we saw the threat it could bring against both Uniteds. A misplaced pass and the likes of De Bruyne could be wheeling away finger shushing to mouth, but that’s an area that will improve with hard minutes and a few mistakes. Remember Harlee Dean gifting Fulham an opening goal. Multiply that by five. Mistakes like the one that led to Said’s goal WILL more often than not be punished, but if we learn from them – fast – most right-minded Brentford fans will be fine.

 Hosgeldiniz back Halil… cok guzel* 

The Turkish striker looked lively, intelligent and capable of slotting into Brentford’s high turnover system. He’s only 21 but has clearly learned plenty in his dozen games with Galatasaray and the Euro experience. Clever use of his body, neat turns and powerful, direct running with one or two cute passes on the break, he was my first half stand out. If he knuckles down with the right attitude and is prepared to reinforce the first choice threat of Ivan Toney, he has a bright future as a Premier League player. *Welcome back Halil… very good

Refs are still dodgy 

Brentford should expect nothing from Premier League officials, who will naturally look after the players they’re on first name terms with. Darren England, usually pretty consistent, let a fair bit go against West Ham including a nasty looking challenge on Frank Onyeka that left the Bees’ new signing in a heap. The official then allowed play to continue, unaware of the Nigerian’s distress. Poor. Minutes later the air from the Hammers keeper’s glove brushed past a defender. Head injury. Whistle blown. The gamesmanship and yes, cheating, to come this season will make Swansea look like saints.

Bees fans are a class act 

 Yes, it was only a friendy and the response might have been different in a league game, but the reaction from Bees fans to Said’s strike warmed the old cockles. By and large we’re a fair and decent bunch and it does us great credit within the game.

 Moyes is a miserable sod 

The Scot did a decent job with Said – arguably holding him back until he was up to speed (see Sharper and Faster above) – but he’s a right killjoy. How lovely it would have been to take Said off with a few minutes to go to allow him the ovation his service to Brentford, and that goal, deserved. But no. There’s no room for emotion in Moyes’s world. Is that the way things are in the Premier League? Nah, I’m certain Thomas or Dean before him would have done the right thing.

Jim Levack