On the aspect of Ivan Tony’s torso are eight letters describing his direct assault on the Premier League this season: FEARLESS.
After two performances that bubbled with trade and aspiration, the Championship prime scorer opened his Premier League account final season for the third time when he requested in Brentford’s 1-1 draw towards Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon.
‣ Premier League‣ Championship‣ League One‣ League Two
Ivan Toney scores, no matter opposition. ? pic.twitter.com/wI23p1fL9D
– 90min (@ 90min_Football) 28 August 2021
While doubts inevitably swirled round Tone’s potential to switch his productive contact from the Football League to the highest flight, the striker himself was by no means one in all that quantity. “If you see yourself as a winner, you will be a winner, you will make sure you become a winner,” he advised The Guardian the evening earlier than the season. “If you see yourself as fearless, you will be fearless.”
Brentford supervisor Thomas Frank has additionally been steadfast in his assist of the 25-year-old and declared earlier than the match: “100% Ivan will score.”
“Goal”, plural, is the operative phrase there as a result of Brentford merely can’t afford to go too many video games with out their quantity 17 having a significant affect on procedures on the sharp finish of the pitch.
Tony’s frankly ridiculous 31 strikes final season had been not solely record-breaking, but additionally together with a powerful ten assists – solely Emi Buendia, by the way the scorer for Aston Villa’s equalizer on Saturday, additionally hit double digits for each objectives and assists throughout the 2020/21 championship marketing campaign. Tony’s 41 aim contributions accounted for greater than half of Brentford’s complete league figures, the best share any participant on different groups can boast.
56 – Since the beginning of the 2019-20 season, Ivan Toney has scored extra league objectives than another participant at the highest 4 ranges in English soccer (56). Clinical. pic.twitter.com/n9UmZ4dErR
– OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 28, 2021
When Saman Ghoddo’s nook kicked to Sergi Canos on the fitting aspect of the field, Toney had his again to the ball, as a substitute turning his head to find the gaping Aston Villa’s complete protection had left across the penalty space. Via a fragile and uncharacteristic Pontus Jansson spin, Canos meandered a cross to the remoted Toney who shot a pointy end within the higher nook.
Although the final result of this transfer can be celebrated loudly by all these ready on the “bus stop in Hounslow”, as Frank depressingly described Brentford, it was one other deal that served because the bees’ rescue a bit trigger for concern.
Much just like the membership’s first Premier League aim ever towards Arsenal, Brentford took benefit of Aston Villas’ failure to administer a nook satisfactorily. Together with Christian Norgaard’s collective effort on the opening day from an extended throw – as there have been numerous from each side on Saturday – Brentford’s assault has thus far been dominated by stable bullets.
In reality, over the weekend, as a lot as 70% of Brentford’s anticipated objectives (xG) got here from lifeless balls (per Opta). Last semester, the championship’s prime scorers relied solely on mounted industries for 18% of their attacking menace. This drastic distinction is certainly affected by the early phases of the marketing campaign, however the sharp rise in the standard of the opposition and Brentford’s adaptation to it’s undoubtedly an element.
Tony’s look ahead to a Premier League aim took lower than three video games, however one other sort of deal, penalties, has masked a sticky spot that the striker ended up with on Saturday. Nine of Tone’s league objectives final season had been from the spot and his inaccurate accuracy of 12 meters pale out a penalty with out a penalty from his final 11 video games earlier than the weekend.
Brentford can calm down within the worldwide break undefeated from their opening trio in Premier League matches with only one conceded aim, 5 factors on the board and their talismanic ahead on the scoreboard.
This is hardly the time for insane concern a few shaky entrance line, however a recognition of what may be improved to allay these fears deeper into the season. In any case, Toney will stay fearless.