Farke's men face their second tricky opponent at Carrow Road in 5 days, with the arrival of Brentford.Tom Parsley spoke with Billy the Bee from the Beesotted podcast to hear what mood we find the Londoners in...
Tom: We'll start off reflecting - does Dean Smith move on with your blessings after a job well done or is there much animosity towards him for jumping to a championship rival?
Billy The Bee: Dean Smith has been good for Brentford, I would say that most Bees fans acknowledge that. The 'new Brentford' was started by Uwe Rosler, who taught us to play the passing game, then that was carried on by Mark Warburton who got us promoted from League 1 and to the Championship Playoff Semi-Final. But it was Dean Smith who moulded Brentford into a top 10 finishing side in the three years he was in charge, which is no mean feat. Especially when you do well and other teams constantly come in and steal your best players
Smith dealt with dressing room politics (olde skool and new skool players in the same room) striking players (Tarkowski trying to force a move to Burnley), young players getting grief after the Bees went on a bad non match-winning run, that sort of stuff. Plus to be fair, he just dealt with the fact that he had important players like Scott Hogan, Lasse Vibe, Jota, Maxime Colin etc. taken from him and concentrated on making sure we just continued playing better football, developing (with his coaching staff) the new players we bought in.
And he's a nice bloke .. if you ever met him, you will see he is a really good bloke, so personally I (and surely many Bees fans) wish Dean Smith well personally , but as football fan we also hope he does fairly average with Villa because they are gunning for the same promotion spot that we are aiming for.
How would you rate the season you have had so far (Smith departure aside) and how does that tally with this season's expectations?
Strange season.Started off as world beaters. And currently limping along.Expectations were tempered somewhat from last season with most people predicting another top 10 finish. But our start was tremendous. We came out the traps playing some stunning football.Beat Rotherham 5-1. Should have beaten Stoke. Winning all our home games. Somehow fluffing it away.Then something happened.We had Maupay sent off after the Villa game retrospectively.He was out for three matches. Keeper Bentley uncharacteristically made a number of unforced errors which cost us the match including a couple against Reading. We play Arsenal in the cup, brought 9000, and have such a limp first half it's embarrassing.We then get a Benrahma sent off against Reading and Mepham gets sent off at the weekend - meaning we have to reshuffle the team. We look back and suddenly we've gone from world beaters to egg beaters - havingnot won a match in 8.
Dean Smith would often go on these win-less runs.Sometimes winning maybe one or two matches in 20. It seems he's left us with another of his winless streaks and it's now Thomas Frank's job to fix it.
Midweek against Preston was typical of where we're at currently.Score three goals away from home and still come back with no points after some calamitous defending and another erratic goalkeeper mistake.
What about Norwich on Saturday, calamitous defending / goalkeeping isn't ideal against one of the league's form teams. What is your plan for stopping our impressive run?
I guess the good news for us is also the bad news for you. All runs have to come to an end sometime.We wont continue not winning. And you wont continue winning. On Saturday I can pretty much guarantee we will be back to our usual back four of Dalsgaard. Mepham & Konsa - two class 20 year old centre backs.And Barbet. We were looking solid at the start of the season - bar the occasional silly mistake - so first things first, tighten up the defence. Then we need to start taking control of midfield again.
We create chances normally, it's taking them that's sometimes a problem. Saying that watch back to the Preston game- we may have lost but we scored some goals.
We're definitely lacking confidence at the moment.Probably to be expected with such a young side. But the talent is there.So you never know.We may surprise you.
I was going to ask who we should look out for, thanks for giving us those names to admire, what about for Norwich, who do you fear?
Neal Maupay is the obvious player to watch he's scored 11 goals this season and he was suspended for three matches. His score rate is one goal every 93mins - a goal a game. Nearly 4 shots per match he averages and 4 shots per goal.
So on paper he's due a goal on Saturday. He's a tricky forward who we saw touches of his ability last season when he had a ridiculous amount of chances but his finish rate average. This season he's getting the chances and - on the whole - finishing them.
For Norwich of course we know Jordan Rhodes. Met him down the Brentford training ground when he played for us. We gave him his first proper break - on loan from Ipswich - and we're the only team he actually has won a medal playing for (second division champions 2009). We should have bought him but were trumped by Huddersfield who allegedly paid lb1m for him - huge money in those days.
I guess the theory is keep him quiet and we've got half the job done but it doesn't always work like that.
Always like to see young players coming through. 20 yd old Jamal Lewis made his debut last season for Norwich when we beat you just before Xmas. He came on half way through the second half and looked decent.He hasn't looked back since.
Let's round things up with a prediction then, I'll say a bullish 3-1 to Nodge.
I'll be happy for Brentford to steady the ship a bit. A 1-1 draw would suit us fine for now.
You can check out the Besotted Pre-Norwich Podcast here:
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