Beesotted contributors The Gowler and Paul Kowalczyk (@BeesBreakdown) give us the tactical and statistical lowdown of Brentford’s win at West Ham
Brentford set up in their 3-5-2, with Zanka, Pinnock and Mee as the back 3. The only change from Boxing Day was Josh Dasilva replacing Janelt. Baptiste and Onyeka were still missing from the matchday squad. Jansson would return from injury as a late substitute after Toney went down with a worrying injury.
Thomas Frank typically plays a 4-3-3 against teams below the top 6 or teams that don’t hold much possession. Instead, Brentford used the same 3-5-2, but against West Ham it looked a bit different. Ben Mee and Zanka stayed wide in possession, while Roerslev and Rico Henry pushed forward.
Nørgaard had a brilliant game and showed why he’s instrumental to what Brentford does. Nørgaard would cover Ben Mee or Zanka if they were pulled too far to the wings on defence. Dasilva brought an attacking threat while not looking out of place on defence and brought a lot of energy containing the West Ham attack.
Possession: West Ham 39% – 61% Brentford
xG: West Ham 1.2 – 1.5 Brentford
Big Chances: West Ham 0 – 2 Brentford
Other Brentford stats:
Total Shots: 9
Tackles won: 8 (50%)
Aerial duels won: 14 (45%)
A huge 3 points on an away day for the Bees. Brentford has been impressive in their 3-5-2 recently and have displayed different ways to get the job done. Thomas Frank again showed how good he can be planning and changing tactics for different opponents. Brentford continues to play well when they allow opponents to hold possession because of their sound defence.
West Ham weren’t able to consistently threaten the Bees because of the way they set up. Brentford were more than happy to let West Ham hold the ball in midfield and forced them to wide areas. These tactics helped prevent Rice from playing line breaking passes behind the centerbacks. Brentford limited Rice and Paquetà to switches of play and passes to the wing, which the Bees could easily handle.
Nørgaard showed how valuable he is on both sides of the ball. He cut out passes, won back possession, and started counters. Dasilva showed flashes of brilliance, but Thomas Frank will still want more consistency out of him.
Looking ahead, Bees fans will hope Toney’s injury isn’t as serious as it looked. He is such an instrumental component of the team and does so many things at an elite level. Not just his goal scoring will be missed if the Bees lose him for an extended period of time.
An underrated aspect of Toney’s skillset is not only his passing, but his defensive ability. The Bees have a clear plan to all work together on defence and Toney did an excellent job cutting out passing lanes to win back possession. Brentford wouldn’t be able to sit back in their mid/low block without Toney and Mbeumo dropping back to help defend.