Everton Joy Puts Brentford Achievements in Perspective


Watching Everton celebrate Premier League survival following their dramatic 3-2 comeback at home to Crystal Palace showed the value of top-flight football to the fans and the club. It also helped to put into perspective Brentford Football Club’s achievements in the 2021/22 season.

The Merseyside club have been ever-present in England’s highest league since 1954, while the Bees had not kicked a ball at that level since 1947. Yet, as Everton clinched the three points they needed to stay up, Thomas Frank’s men were ranked 11th in the table and still with a chance of a top-10 finish.

Relegation favourites

At the start of the campaign, the West London club were third-favourites for the drop in the football betting odds, priced at 5/4 just behind Norwich and Watford, who were priced at odds of 10/11 respectively. The previous season, they finished 10 points behind Norwich in the Championship and had none of the Canaries’ recent top-flight experience.

As Frank put it, it was a “miracle” that they survived, let alone ended the campaign pushing for a top-half finish. The club never looked in danger of the drop and enjoyed some impressive results including a 4-1 win away to Chelsea, league doubles over West Ham United and Everton, and a home win against Arsenal. They achieved this mean feat by playing some exceptional football along the way. The Danish coach was rewarded with a Manager of the Season nomination alongside the likes of Pep Guardiola, Eddie Howe, Jurgen Klopp and Patrick Vieira.

An analysis of the expected goals and expected points stats suggests that they should be around nine points better off than they are. So, if anything, they have underperformed during the campaign. There is no doubt, however, that Brentford fully deserves its place in next year’s Premier League lineup.

Modern approach

The club will now try to consolidate their position, but it will continue to do so on a shoestring budget. The club made it to the Premier League using a data-focused approach, which has been compared to the Moneyball strategy first used in US sport. The club’s owner, Matthew Benham, has been credited for implementing a system that has taken a decade to come to fruition.

The club’s modest revenue was boosted by smart work in the transfer market. They had the 14th highest wage bill in the Championship in the year they finished third and were promoted. Nonetheless, Premier League survival means they could now look forward to increased revenue of at least 50 million a year over the next five years.

Understated coach

Frank must also take huge credit for the way he has dealt with losing his top players while continuing to improve results over the last three and a half years. He won just one of his first 10 games in charge but soon turned their form around, leading them to the promotion and breaking their playoff curse. In addition, he has gone about his business in an understated fashion.

Frank recently signed a new contract that committed him to the club until 2025. Surprisingly, he is rarely linked to other clubs and has hinted he could quit football and go travelling if he ever leaves Brentford. However, he has stated that he would like to complete 10 years as a Head Coach. Brentford fans will be hoping he spends them all in West London.