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2023-24 Brentford Player Ratings – Matchweek 37

2023-24 Brentford Player Ratings – Matchweek 37
Jamie Moore's Diary - jockey talks Goshen and Ascot rides

A dramatic final few minutes on the South Coast saw Brentford eventually secure a first ever victory in the blue away shirt on its final run.

It was a win that saw a dominant Bees side convert possession to points late on in a game that could easily have gone the other way, had the officials and VAR taken a different stance on some key decisions.

Cherries striker Dominic Solanke seeing two first-half goals denied him. The first thanks to VAR, 25 minutes in to the game. Antoine Semenyo spotted handling the ball in the build-up, trying to regain control after Sergio Reguilón had intercepted his initial run forward.

Solanke’s choreographed celebration, which saw him sporting an orange mask (based on Japanese Manga character Obito Uchiha, apparently) eventually cut-short. Oh dear. Nobody likes to see that.

The second, direct from referee Matt Donohue ten minutes later. The man in the middle blowing the whistle before Solanke had even unleashed his goal bound effort after calling for a foul on Nathan Collins. As such, VAR given no chance to even try and intervene and very much a warning for Brentford of what might come. As we have said many times possession is all well and good, but…

Then again, it wasn’t just the home side left feeling frustrated by VAR. With the game entering the final quarter hour, Ivan Toney found himself clear in the box after getting on the end of a fast move involving Damsgaard, Jensen and Wissa. It seemed certain he would shoot but instead Bournemouth’s Zabarnyi was adjudged to have pushed him over. Penalty awarded.

The inevitable review coming to the conclusion that the striker had manoeuvered himself more towards the approaching defender than the ball. Some would say Toney drew the foul before going over the second hands touched his back. Others, that he was protecting the ball. We’ve all seen them given and whilst from one angle it looked nailed on, from others the question is perhaps more why the shot wasn’t taken earlier when the chance seemed to present itself?

In the end it was all academic. 0-0 became 0-1 Brentford with 86 minutes played. Flekken’s intelligent distribution feeding Wissa who played the most exquisite of cushioned passes onto Bryan Mbeumo. This time around there was nothing stopping The Bees. The Cameroonian firing home hard and low from just inside the box. Travers in goal left no chance and surely nothing more to do beyond see this through to the final whistle. Not even Leeds United could fall apart from here…

It’s Brentford, innit? Just minutes later the equaliser. Solanke the man once more, climbing above Ethan Pinnock to steer home a perfectly weighted header. One which was all about trajectory and position rather than power. The warning signs had been there all afternoon and now, finally, he was able to pull on his mask. Even if the moment felt somewhat as though its thunder had been long stolen.

Still, if Bournemouth wanted to dress up as Japanese ninjas that’s on them. Brentford still had a game to finish and with time added on disappearing at a rate of knots, the Mbeumo/Wissa combination struck again.

This time around it was Wissa with the goal – timing his run to the corner of the six yard box with absolute perfection after a 1-2 with Bryan. The finish slammed high into the net. The Bees retaking the lead and holding on to it until Mr Donohue finally called time 13 minutes in to the additional 9 he had awarded.

2-1 Brentford the final score. 6 unbeaten in the last 7 (seven). Only one game to go – the visit of Newcastle United this coming Sunday – before the players legitimately hit the beach.

Until then, we have our penultimate game-by-game top five. As always, we give five points for first, four for second place, three for third etc with the totals added up game by game to find an overall winner after game 38.

With things still tight at the top after the Fulham game, could there be any more late changes?

2023-24 Brentford Player Ratings from Matchweek 37 (vs Bournemouth)

1st (Star player: 5 points) – Yoanne Wissa
One can only expect Yoanne to be hammering on Thomas Frank’s door at Jersey Road this week, demanding a place in the starting XI.

Despite a solid and dominant Brentford performance, it was undoubtedly his arrival into the field of play just after the hour mark that was the extra spark needed. That woke the genie in the bottle marked Mbeumo. That turned what was looking like a hard fought draw into a win as glorious as the South Coast sunshine.

The pass to release Bryan for the Brentford opener was one of those worth watching time and again. Perfect placement and technique to free his team mate.

Wissa’s finish for the eventual winner, the epitome of calm. If there was any pressure, it wasn’t showing. One of ‘those’ moments he seems to specialise in, like West Ham away in that first top flight season. The right man in the right place at the right time. With the right finish at the death.

2nd (4 points) – Sergio Reguilón
That’s two second places in a row for Sergio. The interaction with the crowd and his celebration clear. The ability on the pitch second to none.

He seemed to be involved in every key passage of play over the 90 minutes. Every break down of play and build-up down the flank. Nobody getting even part way close to his stats count. 9 crosses and 7 (seven) tackles illustrating his importance to the team performance as a whole.

If Newcastle does turn out to be his final game in a Brentford shirt, there are sure to be a whole host of clubs looking clamouring for his signature over the summer based on what he has done in recent months.

3rd (3 points) – Bryan Mbeumo
Wissa may have provided the fresh legs and second wind but Bryan was there from start to finish. Involved immediately and never letting up. He might had found the net in the first-half, with one pick up from KLP in particular looking like it might be the one to break the deadlock.

When the goal eventually came, it was tucked away with dead-eye precision. No hesitation. No stress. No chance for the goalkeeper. A player who has given his all this season, despite injury and the absence of high profile partners in the first half of the campaign, probably deserved this more than anybody.

The pass and move for the second goal so reminiscent of that against Luton Town a few week’s earlier. Teammates reading each other’s game to perfection. Better timing and delivery than Postman Pat with a Swiss clock

4th (2 points) – Keane Lewis-Potter
Another game where KLP only got the first hour but, as with Fulham last week, did enough in that period to warrant a place on the board.

Provided a couple of our more noticeable contributions before eventually being subbed out but it was as much one of those where he gave it his all in that period. Never looked anything other than 100% enthusiastic and commited. He did really well to open up the chances for others and whilst there was to be no goal this time around, that level of creativity only bodes well.

KLP is one a of a clutch of players (see also Sergio and Mikkel Damsgaard) that seem to have been a regular to the top five in the last half-dozen games or so. That consistency coinciding with just one defeat for the Bees since the reverse at Burnley in mid-March. Keep up this up and competition for places could be very tasty next season.

5th (1 point) – Mark Flekken
So close to giving Mikkel Damsgaard another mention in this column. For me though, having the reliability from Mark in nets played a key part in the win. With Bournemouth more dominant in the attacking third, having a solid last line of defence is always paramount. Stopped just about anything that came at him via legitimate means – including one double effort from Semenyo and then Cook (the later strike moving in the air) – and in my opinion, no real chance with the goal.

Let’s not forget either his presence of mind to free Wissa for the opener. It is the sort of play out we’ve been so spoiled with in previous seasons and so wonderful to see it becoming part of our armoury once again.

2023-24 Brentford Player Ratings – Top 5 Players Overall (after Matchweek 37)

All of which means that with just one game to, any one of three players could still scoop the season long ‘star player’ award. With Wissa just one point outside the top five, there really is every opportunity for things to change when Newcastle visit the Gtech…

1st – Bryan Mbeumo (46 points)
2nd – Ethan Pinnock (45 points)
3rd – Christian Norgaard 43 points)
4th – KLP (35 points)
T5th – Mathias Jensen, Sergio Reguilón (33 points)

Follow @NickBruzon on Twitter.

Jamie Moore's Diary - jockey talks Goshen and Ascot rides
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