Dean Smith and Brentford season preview

Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) previews Dean Smith and Brentford ahead of the upcoming 2017/18 Championship season.

Background

Brentford finished last season in fine fettle, averaging more than two goals per game following the January return of Jota, recording their third successive top-ten finish since promotion. They are now two years into a new blueprint under co-director Rasmus Ankersen and manager Dean Smith is proving to be a comfortable fit for the scientific approach that goes on around him. The Bees get busy in quiet corners of the transfer market and six new players have been ushered in with little fanfare or competition from elsewhere.

Personality

Smith isn’t the most high-profile manager on the circuit because he is fairly relaxed and seldom makes headlines. Extremely balanced and level-headed, he is an excellent administrator who is respectful of rank and treats his players equally. He doesn’t indulge the whims of individuals and there’s no hierarchy based on ability, everybody is made to feel included and encouraged to express themselves socially within the group. Team bonding sessions often revolve around simple pleasures, like quiz nights and camping trips.

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Verdict

In a league that resembles a high-stakes crapshoot more and more every year, Brentford boast an enviable level of stability that enables them to operate under very little pressure. A lower mid-table finish is about par based on resources but the Bees box clever to maximise their prospects through marginal gains and could feasibly be a dark horse in the promotion race. The upheaval of two years ago, when wholesale changes were made, is now a distant memory. The squad is settled and the foundations are solid.

Prediction: top half

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