Brentford Disrupting Top 10 Balance Should Come As No Surprise

The Bees are in a strong position to qualify for the Europa League for the 2023-24 campaign
14:00, 06 Feb 2023

It’s brilliant when a plan comes together, and that is just what is happening at Brentford as they sit in seventh in the Premier League. The Bees secured their eighth win of the season on Saturday as they defeated struggling Southampton 3-0 at the Gtech Community Stadium.

By now, Brentford sitting comfortably inside the top 10 should come as a surprise to no one. They are one of the most organised clubs in the world and have been for the past decade. They have followed a stats-driven model of recruitment which has also informed their footballing ethos, the combination of which has seen them climb from League One all the way to the Premier League.

As a club which had not played in the top-flight of English football since 1946-47, many expected them to immediately become relegation fodder despite the feel-good nature of their ascent to the top flight. How wrong their critics were. 


The data model that Brentford have implemented from top to bottom has been in effect since owner Matthew Benham began to take greater control of the club following his initial investment in 2009 and they have not looked back since its inception, evolving both on and off the pitch. Benham and former co-director of football Rasmus Ankersen helped to revolutionise the method for success on a limited budget and it has seen the Bees soar.

When they reached the Championship in 2014-15, they shocked everyone by finishing in the play-off spots under Mark Warburton, but they were ultimately defeated by Middlesbrough in the semi-finals.


They never finished lower than 11th in their seven-year stint in the second tier, despite having to compete with the riches of sides dropping down from the Premier League with parachute payments. But the west London club were still able to remain in the conversation due to the incredible work done behind the scenes, with big profits made on players they had plucked from the lower leagues or abroad at a low price. They received £28 million and £25m respectively for the sales of Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma in recent years, replacing the former with Ivan Toney from Peterborough United for an initial £5m which would only reach a maximum £15m depending on a number of clauses. And Toney has gone on to be an incredible addition now worth that higher fee many times over.

Staying true to their methods, Brentford kept on the path that they had set themselves and eventually got their just rewards in 2020-21 as they defeated Swansea City in the Championship play-off final. Since their introduction to the Premier League they have ruffled a few feathers and proven why they deserve to be where they are. They made an excellent first impression as they beat Arsenal 2-0 at home on the opening day and this was soon followed by an impressive 3-3 draw with Liverpool, showing the sort of form which has now become commonplace at the Gtech. 

Avid viewers of the top flight were confident that their relegation prediction for Brentford was coming to fruition when they went on a winless run of eight matches (which included seven losses) between January and February 2022, but the Bees have still never sat in the relegation zone at any point of their Premier League existence.

After that sticky run Thomas Frank’s side went on to win five out of their next seven and eventually stayed up comfortably, finishing in 13th spot 11 points clear of the bottom three. They did excellently in their debut campaign but they’re doing even greater things in their second run as they are currently sitting above both Chelsea and Liverpool and have put themselves in a really good position to qualify for the Europa League.

The Bees are performing like a top-10 side and that high performance stretches further than just the players on the pitch and the coaching staff in the dugout. For a club that was expected to struggle among the big fish, they are defying the vast majority of common expectations. 

A lot of praise has been directed towards Brighton & Hove Albion this year, and rightly so because they have an excellent thing going on the south coast, sitting in sixth with a recruitment model similar to Brentford’s. But when you consider that the Seagulls have been a consistent Premier League side for the past six years, it makes Brentford’s disruption of the top 10 in barely a season and a half that much more impressive.

Brentford are 10/1 to finish in the top 10 with Betfred*

*18 | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change

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