Last week’s 2022/23 Premier League fixture list unveiling was another landmark moment for the club – securing a second season in the top flight was something I was still buzzing from – seeing the schedule for the next campaign was just further proof of what an amazing job Thomas Frank and the players had done.

Having a year under our belts is as daunting as it is exciting however, 22/23 is going to be no easier and we all know that Brentford are going to be pushed every inch of the way in games that every team is desperate to win… with quality oozing from every side in the division in varying degrees. We have everything, yet nothing, to fear… but last campaign underlined we are here on merit and we will go again confident that Brentford have to further concentrate on taking our brave brand of football to the opposition.

It was perhaps inevitable that nerves would play a part last season, and the injury-list-exaggerated losing streak had alarm bells ringing – during the season ahead there will no doubt be similar times when it feels we can’t buy a win or feel hard done by. Experience now shows that, if we stay true to our selves, remain focussed and allow young players to blossem, then there’s every chance we will not only survive again, but perhaps even improve on last season’s position. One step at a time, however.

I’m hoping the ‘will he won’t he’ situation with Christian Eriksen will be resolved in the coming days and provide us all with a huge shot in the arm ahead of pre-season training camp – Phil Giles and Thomas Frank will then know the true lye of the land and be able to dip into the transfer market ‘one way or the other’… if Eriksen stays it goes without saying that life becomes so much easier to identify the other attacking ingredients that could propel us forward. A right back and reserve goalie are essentials regardless of #CE21’s decision. But back to the fixture list.

The curtain raiser against Leicester City away has already moved to the Sunday of the opening weekend, which is more than an annoyance for all those fans who had booked transport, a situation that could have been identified faster and communicated better, and provides a quick reminder that the fixture list is anything other than set in stone. But that aside, there are so many mouth watering fixtures to look forward to.

The Bees fared pretty well against the top sides and household names – only failing to take any points from Manchester City and Manchester United from the top seven – and I personally can’t wait to welcome Manchester United back to New Griffin Park for the first home game of the season and putting that right.

The following week sees Brentford reaquainted with our old foes Fulham at Craven Cottage – it proves to be a classic with both teams playing attacking football – in fact there’s only one West London side not in the top flight this season…. I can’t seem to put my finger on who though? Oh well.

Games against Everton, Crystal Palace, Leeds United and Southampton follow, before we host Arsenal again in the last fixture of September which, in my eyes at least, constitutes a decent and not overly daunting start to the campaign. All will be toughies, but there are points to be grabbed there, and with a similar outlook that saw in, then saw out 2021/22, we could do well.

We just need a certain Dane to give the thumbs up, to give us all some clarity, then I just might get really excited. We may be tipped the ‘struggle’ again in many pundits’ eyes, and they may be right, but I have no doubt that we will not only survive, we will thrive again! What are you expecting from the new season? Share your thoughts in the comments section below or on @beesotted via Twitter.

Dave Lane