- Brentford’s 2022/23 Premier League aims are analysed by BBC Radio London’s Phil Parry
- Leicester City tackle the Bees in their season opener on Sunday at King Power Stadium (2pm kick-off)
- Parry believes they will continue to implement their core values of safety, security and stability while kicking on this term
- Live coverage of the match begins on LCFC Radio from 1pm
Under the tutelage of Thomas Frank, Brentford operated without fear during their maiden Premier League campaign in 2021/22, finishing 13th and registering memorable wins against Arsenal, West Ham United and Chelsea along the way.
According to Parry, their task now is to build on last year’s exploits while ensuring the characteristics that served them so well are still maintained against England’s elite sides. First up is Sunday’s visit to Filbert Way (2pm kick-off).
“Obviously, they were delighted with last year,” he told LCFC TV. “In the end, they finished very strongly, very positively, and the Christian Eriksen story was a lovely extra bit of the season as well. He certainly had a positive impact, and he certainly got the Club and the fans quite excited about his presence and his involvement, even if it was on a half-a-season basis.
“Going into the summer, it’s always the case of not assuming anything, not taking anything for granted. Just because you stay up, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to become a regular. You still have to work very hard, so I still think there is some excitement and nerves, just understanding that the Premier League doesn’t get any easier.
“You can’t stand still, you can’t tread water, you have to be progressive and you have to make changes and adapt. You’ve seen players go out to make room for other players to come in. [There’s been] some interesting signings, some good experience, some newer players and younger players coming in to work on the model that they’ve had in the past. The transfer window is still open, it’s not quite finished yet, so it’s been a summer where they’ve gone on and done some work.”
Denmark star Christian Eriksen made an inspirational return to football last term, helping Brentford finish 13th in the Premier League.
Brentford have made summer moves for highly-rated youngsters Keane Lewis-Potter and Aaron Hickey, while seasoned centre-back Ben Mee has arrived from Burnley to bolster their defence.
“He’s vastly experienced, is Mee,” Parry continued. “He comes into a back line, and you always need depth in the Premier League. That probably got shown again last year. A couple of players picked up an injury or a knock, and then suddenly you’re maybe a little bit light in certain areas, so I think he comes in and offers that experience as well as we know what quality he has.
“Signing a younger, exciting player (Keane Lewis-Potter) from Hull again fits the model. We’ve seen it time and time again, Brentford are not the only club to have done it, but it’s certainly something which they’ve used to great effect in the past. Ivan Toney was one of those, Ollie Watkins prior to that as well, so he comes into a club that has that pathway of taking players that have got something that they can offer and putting in faith and trust that they can make the step up as well.
“I don’t think their business is finished, we’ve been seeing the work that’s potentially been going on with [Mikkel] Damsgaard this week and him fitting the bill. It’ll be interesting to see after pre-season what Josh Dasilva comes back like, because he will be a new signing in many respects.”
On the opening day of the 2021/22 season, Brentford stunned Arsenal with a 2-0 victory at Brentford Community Stadium.
The London outfit gained a great deal of Premier League knowledge last term, and will be eager to add to that when they get their 2022/23 season underway at King Power Stadium. Through August, they also tackle Manchester United, Fulham, Everton and Crystal Palace.
“Those players that played and succeeded last year now know what to expect in the Premier League and will push themselves forward,” said Parry. “With Brentford, you always get the impression and you’re always fairly assured that there is a plan to what they’re doing, and that plan is about the safety, security and stability of the club, but also to ensure that they’re worked hard to get to where they are and they don’t take that for granted.
“Pre-season has been good, there have been a couple of results that maybe they’ve not been so pleased about, but then they beat Real Betis last time out. Pre-season is a weird situation anyway really, managers talk about performances and getting games, but I think they will travel up to Leicester feeling as buoyant and confident as they should do.
“You always want to start positively, I don’t think they’ll be able to beat the start that they had last year with that 2-0 win on the Friday night against Arsenal, at home, under the lights, a raucous atmosphere.
“It will be different, this certainly will be a more difficult start to the season in that respect because it’s an away journey. The kick-off time has moved around a little bit and Leicester as a home team… everyone wants to start positively.”
All times BST.
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