Okay, so maybe ‘never’ is a bit of an extreme way to put it, but Brentford really need to secure promotion to the Premier League this season if they want to avoid further years of torture in the championship.
Thomas Frank’s side has a history of losing bottles, having needed just one win from their last two games last season to take a place in the top two, only to lose both outings – one against a sincere sub-par Stoke page and other against a Barnsley team that only avoided relegation with the permission of Wigan’s points deduction.
Brentford hardened their hearts in a playoff game against Fulham last year Shaun Botterill / Getty Images
Do not worry, with easily the best group of the four clubs involved in the playoffs, you would have liked them to climb promotion at Wembley a few weeks later – only they lost it too.
Frank’s side barely came out of second gear when Fulham ran 1-0 winners to take a place in English football’s top table.
Although he saw a number of their star talents, including Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma, were picked by the Premier League clubs the following summer, Brentford reunited and thanks to even more brilliant work in the transfer market – something that has become a feature of the club’s development. recent years. – they looked good for the campaign again this season.
You already know what’s coming, right?
After a 21-match unbeaten league run saw them within pipe distance of the Premier League, the wheels have started to fall off for the bees once again. Only three wins from 11 and a run with four draws in their last four challenges have threatened to secure their status as a championship club for another year.
Thomas Frank’s husband is in the middle of a terrible form run | Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA / Getty Images
But their season may not be over yet.
With Norwich’s place at the top of the championship already as good as confirmed, Watford’s second place is the only side that Brentford have a realistic hope of capturing.
Frank’s man tracks the Hornets with nine points, but still with a game in hand and a home collision with Xisco’s side to get on the campaign’s penultimate match, if they can rediscover their form from earlier in the season they could still achieve their dream of promotion.
So why is it so important that they do it this year?
As we have already indicated, Brentford’s transfer policy and ability to dig up hidden gems have become the cornerstone of their “success” in recent years. But is it really profitable for a club to earn its valuable assets every summer and continue to replace them?
Brentford will do very well to hang on to the likes of Ivan Toney | Ashley Western / MB Media / Getty Images
Southampton were a prime example of a club that adopted a similar transfer strategy not so long ago, but without any real success – such as Champions League football – they actually became more of a springboard for a football club for players.
Eventually the wheels fell off and the club could not continue to replace its star players with similar levels of quality, and the Saints slipped back to the days of fighting for Premier League survival – Brentford must avoid following a similar pattern.
The success of former Brentford players in the Premier League too late makes the above scenario an even more likely reality.
Like James Tarkowski, Ezri Konsa and Watkins have all proved to be Premier League players, while Benrahma and Neal Maupay both create top careers for themselves as well.
Ollie Watkins has excelled at Aston Villa this season Alex Livesey – Danehouse / Getty Images
Gone are the days when Premier League clubs dive into the championship as part of their summer recruitment was billed as a bargain hunt, and Brentford are now top of the list when it comes to top teams that choose where to track future stars.
If the bees fail to secure promotion this season, they are unlikely to retain the posts of Ivan Toney, Rico Henry, David Raya and Josh Dasilva to name a few, and they may be in a position where their squad is completely decimated.
They will no doubt have a transfer war chest at their disposal if the above-mentioned players were released, but replacing them with similar quality is far from easy, and Brentford could be put into several years of struggle as they try to build a total squad.
So it’s now or never really. Over to you Brentford.