Brentford – Tottenham Hotspur: The Suffering Is Necessary (2-2)

The clash of two clubs from the capital marked the return of the Premier League— and a typical state of affairs. Brentford battled their way into the lead to take charge of the contest, but a turnaround tinged with regret left the Spurs faithful ambivalent at the final whistle.

Tactical analysis and match report by Emmanuel Adeyemi-Abere.

Times are exciting for those associated with football in the west end of London. Back in the top flight for the first time in 74 years, Brentford adapted to life in the Premier League last season, ending up in 13th place, 11 points clear of the bottom three. The buzz of heady heights has not disturbed Thomas Frank, whose astute management has found new ways to sting the establishment. However, his most lethal asset is still Ivan Toney, whose ten goal haul renders him one of England's sharpest strikers.

Toney's brace against Manchester City bagged a 2-1 win over the league champions in the last round of fixtures before the World Cup. The FA has charged him for breaching betting rules, but Frank still picked him and Bryan Mbeumo as Brentford's front two. Indeed, only one player lost his place from the eleven that started in that victorious display at the Etihad. Frank Onyeka made way for Christian Nørgaard to sit at the base of the midfield, and Vitaly Janelt moved forward next to Mathias Jensen.

The future seems more precarious for Spurs. Antonio Conte's classic cycle at the helm of a struggling outfit had taken its turn for the better, inspiring an ascent into the Champions . . .

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"Possession as a philosophy is overrated. Possession of the ball as a tool is underestimated." João Cancelo stan (19) [ View all posts ]

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