Championship 2018/19: Norwich City vs Brentford
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Emiliano Buendía bundled in a solitary goal to see off a hopeless Brentford side, as Dane Thomas Frank saw his side lose 1-0 away to Norwich City. The Bees once again came up short, as they made it three losses in their last three games, and nine games without a win in all competitions.
In this analysis, I will look at how Brentford once again struggled away from home, as they extended an unwanted away record in what is surely going to dent their hopes of achieving promotion this season.
Shocking Brentford Concentration
In a game which held such high stakes, it was rather worrying to see that both Brentford and Norwich lacked the necessary quality to see the each other team off. Despite the goal and eventual win for Norwich, the Canneries struggled to put a shocking Brentford defence to the sword in what should’ve been an easier win. The Bees also struggled to create and covert chances against a Norwich defence which has conceded the third most goals of the top eight teams in the Championship, 17 goals.
The winning goal itself was the epitome of how poor the Brentford defence and midfield are. A long ball forward by centre-back Tim Klose saw Argentine midfielder Buendia played through on goal as he coolly slotted in past a hapless Daniel Bentley.
The lack of closing down from midfielder and captain on the day Romaine Sawyers shows just how poor Brentford were as they conceded yet another sloppy goal. In the image below, the Brentford man is seen standing just yards away from Klose as the centre-back prepares to launch the ball forward.
This shows a real lack of commitment and enthusiasm, which is probably why Brentford find themselves in the middle of eight game win-less run in the Championship. The ease at which Klose is allowed to launch the ball and find a team mate shows just how much quality and skill the game lacked in a game of very few goal mouth chances.
The lack of commitment continues further on in the attacking play as left-back on the Ezri Konsa allowed his man and the eventual scorer to run off the back of him without tracking the run.
Things could’ve, and should’ve got a lot worse for Brentford just before half-time as yet again the Bees switched off in key defensive positions. Norwich striker, Jordan Rhodes missed a penalty on the stroke of half-time that would’ve doubled the Canneries lead. Nevertheless, the penalty was missed after a good save by Bentley, who got down low to his left-hand side.
In the build-up to the cross which saw a foul for the penalty, Sergi Canos and Nico Yennaris are guilty of allowing an easy cross into the Brentford penalty box. A one-two between Jamal Lewis and Todd Cantwell sees both Yennaris and Canos lose all concentration as the ball is played over Canos’s head after he allows Lewis to run off the back off him despite being in close attention just seconds earlier. Yennaris is guilty of not putting enough pressure on Cantwell, as the chip over Canos’s head is all too easy for the young Englishman.
As the cross is played deep into the Brentford box, Ollie Watkins, like Canos earlier in the move, is guilty of losing Max Aarons as he brought down the wing-back for Norwich’s penalty of the afternoon. If Watkins was concentrating, he would’ve been goal side of Aarons, which would’ve meant that he got to the deep cross first and thus would not have given away a penalty.
Lack Of Quality Upfront
In a game of decent chances, the lack of quality upfront was stark and clear for all to see as just eight of the 22 shots on goal from both teams actually hit the target. The level of chances created should’ve seen more goals in the game, namely the missed penalty from Norwich’s Rhodes.
However, Brentford once again showed a lack of composure and quality when in front of goal, as the Bees failed to convert chances that could’ve seen them snatch a point on a difficult away trip. Brentford striker and the Championship’s top scorer Neal Maupay missed a guilt edged chance to snatch an equaliser as he hit the bar with 20 minutes to go in the clash. Given the form and stature of Brentford’s main man the miss was a shocking lack of both composure and quality from only a few yards out with a gaping goal.
As you can see in the image above, the chance requires no words of critique from myself, as Maupay himself will realise just how bad a miss it was in what could’ve been a priceless away point at play-off hopefuls Norwich, who have now won seven of their last nine Championship games. Brentford created five goal scoring opportunities, of which four of the shots from the opportunities came from outside the Norwich penalty box.
If Brentford are to have any hopes of promotion to the Premier League, manager Thomas Frank will have to drastically improve the sides defending and composure upfront, as well as their concentration during key moments on the pitch. A lack of all of these aspects have been very key during the clubs nine game win-less streak in all competitions, as the Bees have struggled after a very good start to the season.