Push Notification



Championship 2018/19: Hull City vs Brentford

Brentford were left counting the cost of yet two more defensive mistakes as the Bees suffered a 2-0 defeat at lowly Hull City. The Tigers sat just above the relegation zone as they swept Brentford aside with two goals in just nine first-half minutes.

In this piece, we will look at how Brentford suffered their seventh defeat under at Thomas Frank in yet another poor showing.

More defensive mistakes

It seems the penny hasn’t dropped for the Brentford players, as the Bees conceded yet two more avoidable goals in yet another error-strewn performance.

The opening goal is a representation of how poor Brentford’s concentration has been in both defence and midfield throughout Thomas Frank’s reign as Brentford head coach. The first phase of play in the opening goal shows a poor level of concentration from Henrik Dalsgaard and Romaine Sawyers. The first mistake is Dalsgaard, who is guilty of ball watching and leaving Jackson Irvine unmarked and in acres of space.

Along with Dalsgaard’s mistake, Sawyer’s shows a complete lack of effort and enthusiasm in closing down Markus Henriksen, who is able to loft the ball up in the air to Irvine. Along with poor effort of closing down the ball, Sawyers is also guilty of being in the wrong position, closing down from the side of Henriksen rather than goal side, which would put more pressure on the Hull midfielder in his attempts to find Irvine.

Hull City Brentford Championship Tactical Analysis Statistics
Sawyers and Dalsgaard both at fault for Hull’s opening goal on Saturday.

However, the worst mistake in the build-up to the goal, was that of Chris Mepham and Rico Henry. After initially doing well and clearing the ball upfield following a long throw, Chris Mepham fails to move upfield quick enough, and alongside Rico Henry, is guilty of playing Jackson Irvine on side on the far side of the field. Like Sawyers, Henry is guilty of not showing an ounce of effort, and can be clearly seen walking in the top middle of the picture highlighted in yellow.

Hull City Brentford Championship Tactical Analysis Statistics
Mepham’s and Henry’s poor attempts at clearing the penalty box leave Irvine onside.

The second goal proved to be just as shocking as the opening goal, however, featured just one individual mistake rather than the past collective mistakes Brentford have been guilty of under Frank. Dalsgaard is once again at fault as he misjudges the flight of the ball horrendously to allow Kamil Grosicki in behind himself, and running at the Brentford defence.

Hull City Brentford Championship Tactical Analysis Statistics
Dalsgaard makes yet another mistake in misjudging the flight of the ball.

This is not an analysis of his match, however, after making the mistake, Dalsgaard is then guilty of poor attitude as he sulks rather than chasing down Grosicki and atoning for his error. This further strengthens the argument that Brentford defenders have a lack of concentration in defence.

Hull City Brentford Championship Tactical Analysis Statistics
Dalsgaard sulking rather than atoning for his error.

Further along in the move for the second goal, Julian Jeanvier’s attempts at jockeying Grosicki down the line are quite poor as he finds himself quite a way ahead of the Hull Winger rather than side by side. This inadvertently allows Grosicki to cut inside and get a shot off at goal.

Hull City Brentford Championship Tactical Analysis Statistics
Jeanvier attempt to jockey Grosicki down the line.

After being allowed to cut inside and have a shot on goal, goalkeeper Daniel Bentley doesn’t do enough to prevent Frazier Campbell from poking home. His save is pushed straight back into the middle of the area, to Campbell’s feet, rather than wide and to safety.

Hull City Brentford Championship Tactical Analysis Statistics
Bentley palms the ball straight to the feet of Campbell, who pokes home for his and Hull’s second of the game.

Toothless in attack

Despite being poor defensively, Brentford have maintained a strong attack under Frank and have scored in all but two of his games in charge this season, versus Bristol City and Norwich City. However, Brentford proved to be short of creative ideas in attack as they only had two shots on target, of the 14 shots they managed to muster at the KCOM Stadium on Saturday.

Majority of Brentford’s lack of creativity came down to a structured and concentrated performance from the Hull City XI. There was always 11 men behind the ball whenever they were defending deep. This closed the spaces in the middle of the pitch and made it easier for Hull to curve any quick build-up play from Brentford.

Hull City Brentford Championship Tactical Analysis Statistics
Hull City’s shape off the ball frustrated Brentford.

However, there were times when Hull City had committed too many men forward and were being counter-attacked, or they had lost the ball in their own defensive third. Such situations were counteracted by pressing the Brentford man on the ball, to close the space down and stop any potential build-up play.

Hull City Brentford Championship Tactical Analysis Statistics
Two Hull players closing the Brentford player on the ball.
Hull City Brentford Championship Tactical Analysis Statistics
Four Hull players swarm the Brentford man on the ball.

The two images above strengthen our point that Hull frustrated Brentford by closing down the man on the ball. The commitment and endeavour helped Hull in claiming a crucial three points as Brentford lost by more than one goal for the first time under Frank since he took charge this season.

Final thoughts 

In a frustrating afternoon, Hull City managed to get their tactics spot on as they preyed on a shambles of a Brentford defence. A solid defensive performance from the entire Hull XI helped in reducing Brentford to just two shots on target and having to play the majority of their football in wide areas to help compensate for the lack of space in the middle of the pitch.

However, Brentford afforded yet another team victory with two horrible defensive moments. Before the October international break, the thought was that Brentford were fighting for a play-off spot. However given the terrible run of form that has seen the club lose seven of their last nine Championship fixtures, the club should be looking over their shoulders and hoping to avoid relegation and patch up a leaky defence that averages two goals against under Frank.

If you love tactical analysis, then you’ll love the digital magazines from totalfootballanalysis.com – a guaranteed 100+ pages of pure tactical analysis covering topics from the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga and many, many more. Get your copy of the FIRST of two December issues for just £4.99 here or preorder the SECOND of the December issues with an annual membership right here.