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Brentford Player Ratings – Gameweek 17

Brentford Player Ratings - Gameweek 17

Who has Nick picked out as the best 5 Brentford players in their 2-0 defeat to Brighton and has that affected his Top 5 Overall players after Gameweek 17?

One can only wonder what Thomas Frank did to upset Santa this year.

A 2-0 defeat in Brighton was bad enough given both the unseasonable kick-off time (8pm, Boxing Day) and travel nightmare inflicted on those brave enough to hit the South Coast.

To compound the sense of misery, the game was then played with Vitaly Janelt missing through Covid and Rico Henry absent thanks to his hamstring. It ended with Christian Norgaard (fifth yellow) now also in line to miss the game with Manchester City and Bryan Mbeumo quite possibly joining him after being subbed out late on in the first half.

Yet the real kicker was a complete no show – first half primarily – from those selected to start this one. Dial in anywhere near a similar performance at home to City on Wednesday and we could well be bringing out the brackets. The Premier league champions are in ominous form at present – hitting 7 (Seven) past Leeds just before Christmas and then a further 6 against Leicester City yesterday.

We could be polite and say the enforced break, with the Manchester United and Southampton games postponed as a result of the pandemic, was responsible for impacting our preparation. Breaking our routine. Making squad selection that bit trickier. Chuck in a late, late kick off played in a half empty stadium (thanks a bunch, Sky) to really give things the surreal edge.

We could, but it would only tell half the story of a lethargic, flat showing from Brentford who needed a two-goal deficit and a (presumable) half-time rollicking to get the blood pumping. By that point, Trossard had placed the most exquisite of chips over the onrushing Fernandez followed by who else but Neal Maupay hammering one home. The Brentford defence carved open like a turkey and the ball threaded through the legs of Matthias Jensen before our former favourite did his thing in some style.

The second half saw vast improvement but that oh-so familiar feature for 2021/22 – an opposition goalkeeper in inspired form. Brentford came knocking but Robert Sanchez was equal to everything thrown at him.

The second half momentum gradually wore off and with our substitutions used early, there was nothing else Brentford could do but huff and puff towards the line. Thomas Frank forced to reflect on a selection and performance that was very much out of character. Wondering now who he will have left to face Manchester City. How he turns what remains of his defensive options from straw to bricks.

The other challenge is finding the top five performers for Brentford. Ordinarily, no problem but on this occasion something that may see us with options slimmer than the last knockings of the Christmas Quality Street. Nothing but toffee pennies, coffee and orange creams. Can we find a rogue green triangle buried away? Moreso, given we can’t award a place to the travelling fans who were the only ones to put in a consistent display of effort.

Dominic Thompson, Sergi Canos and in particular Matthias Jensen don’t come close to a look in. The rest, not far off. Perhaps on this occasion it’s as much a case of looking at the least bad. At those who tried to put a shift in and made the best of a very bad day at the office.

Brentford Player Ratings from Gameweek 17 (vs Brighton)

1st (Star Player) – Shandon Baptiste
Given the precarious state of our midfield, Shandon put in a proper shift.

The only one looking as though he wanted to take the game to our opponents he had two early chances that looked as though it may be our evening until things fell off a cliff after the opening salvo.

With the team much more dominant in the second period, he forced one world class / jammy (delete as applicable) save from Sanchez after connecting with a ball from Wissa. It had goal written all over it but somehow the Brighton ‘keeper got a leg to it. Had it gone in, we may well be telling a different story

2nd – Ethan Pinnock
Consistently strong at the back whilst his threat at the other end remains one which, being honest, I’m still not sure how we get away with. The purple patch with which we opened the second half saw Sanchez follow up the earlier Baptiste save with one from Ethan’s header. And when he was finally beaten, Pinnock saw another cleared off the line by, checks notes, ‘hairy defender’. (Cucurella, presumably).

3rd – Christian Norgaard
Very unfortunate with the booking yet starting a game in a midfield missing both Vitaly (covid) and Matthias (no show) meant he was once again left with acres to fill.

One man can only be spread so thin or cover so much ground yet our glimmer of hope was the dynamic building between him and Shandon. With Janelt also out for City, his are going to be big boots to fill.

4th – Ivan Toney
Ran his socks off at both ends but spent much of the game in isolation. Cripes, he’d have gotten better service at Fawlty Towers.

As much of the conundrum facing Thomas is how he can use his best scorer in a goal scoring position. That’s a problem for the Manchester City game. Ivan gets in today based on pure effort.

5th – Pontus Jansson
Like the other four, he never stopped.

Tested the Brighton defence early in each half and might have ended up with his second Bees’ goal for the trouble. Alas, not. Yet in a game where two brutal goals were conceded but the main defensive input was up the other end (see also Ethan), it tells you as much as to how much about how Brentford were strangled. Equally, just who were the only ones that looked as though they may not only limit the damage but possibly even haul us out of it.

Brentford Player Ratings – Top 5 Players Overall (after Gameweek 17)

All of which means Ivan and Christian are now tied at the top of the Brentford Player Rating charts. Rico remains third despite not playing and Bryan fourth. Sergi and Vitaly are tied in fifth whilst Shandon and Ethan are tucked in just behind. On current form, expect to see them both troubling the top of this particular chart pretty soon.

T1st – Ivan Toney, Christian Norgaard
3rd – Rico Henry
4th – Bryan Mbuemo
T5th – Vitaly Janelt, Sergi Canos

What do you make of Nick’s Brentford Player Ratings? Talk with him on Twitter @NickBruzon.

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Brentford Player Ratings - Gameweek 17

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