Brentford 2022/23 season preview and prediction: Why Brentford could be even BETTER this season

Brentford 2022/23 season preview and prediction: Christian Norgaard of Brentford celebrates after scoring their team's second goal during the Premier League match between Brentford and Arsenal at Brentford Community Stadium on August 13, 2021 in Brentford, England.
(Image credit: Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)

The Brentford 2022/23 season preview and prediction was originally printed in the Season Preview edition of FourFourTwo. Subscribe today! (opens in new tab)

From the outside looking in, you’d think Brentford’s plan would be simple Premier League survival, but Thomas Frank and his team have other ideas. Ahead of the 2021/22 campaign, Bees players only had a few minutes’ top-flight experience between them, but 12-goal Ivan Toney, Rico Henry and Christian Norgaard – boasting a league-high 80 tackles last term – showed they are more than capable of mixing it at this level. 

15 goals from set pieces helped – only Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal hit more – as the west Londoners finished 11 points clear of the relegation zone in 13th place. The mid-season switch to 4-3-3 put more players in the final third, and the Bees will be aiming to better last term’s achievement – and they’ll firmly believe that they can.

Brentford 2022/23 season preview and prediction: The lesson from last year

As brilliantly as Brentford did, there were times the Premier League’s demands exposed a lack of depth. At the halfway stage, injuries mounted up and the team lost nine games out of 11 from Boxing Day. 

The return to fitness of key players, most notably goalkeeper David Raya, turned things around. Christian Eriksen’s arrival was quite helpful, too. The quality he added to the midfield can’t be overstated, exemplified by his show-stopping display in the incredible 4-1 victory at Chelsea.

The lesson is two-fold – sign three or four players to guard against another injury crisis, and diversify to find other ways to match Eriksen’s creativity. Brentford picked up more wins (seven) in the 10 league games he started than in the 28 he didn’t (six). Their goal ratio doubled as well.

The coach: Thomas Frank

Thomas Frank Brenford manager

(Image credit: PA)

Thomas Frank outdid even winning promotion by steering the Bees to Premier League survival with plenty to spare. The Dane has built a great rapport with his players and the supporters, is tactically astute and refreshingly open in the media. The top flight’s manager of the year for 2021/22 in all but name.

The owner: Matthew Benham

Brentford would be nowhere were it not for Matthew Benham. Well, they would be somewhere: League Two or lower, most likely. A genuine fan, he has facilitated a stellar rise courtesy of savvy investment and a determination to defy accepted football wisdom. His fellow Bees supporters completely adore him.

The mood around Brentford…

Everyone is loving life at Brentford.

A second successive Premier League season, the move to the new ground has proved a success and Frank, plus a few important players, have signed long-term deals. The last time a team promoted from the play-offs finished above the bottom five was 2013/14.

The one to watch

Josh Dasilva, Brentford, Arsenal

(Image credit: PA)

Before the Bees’ promotion, many tipped powerhouse midfielder Josh Dasilva to thrive in the Premier League. A complex hip injury ruled the England Under-21 man out for most of last term, but he accumulated some game time towards the end of the campaign and if he can get a full pre-season behind him, hopes are high he’ll finally be able to show what he’s capable of.

Most likely to…

Hit the post. Bryan Mbeumo, 22, struck the woodwork seven times last season – a ridiculous stat, down to a mixture of bad luck and wayward finishing. The talent is there, time he got ruthless.

Least likely to…

Become a social media influencer. Star striker Toney was twice filmed making derogatory comments about the club last season. Bees fans didn’t seem to care, but it’s probably best if the big man stays away from other people’s camera phones for a while.

The fan's view: Nick Bruzon (@NickBruzon (opens in new tab))

Last season was dreamland for Brentford, to quote the late, great Tony Gubba. Every pundit was defied with the Bees putting in a stellar performance and not being far from a top-10 finish.

This season will be different because we’re no longer the surprise package. People now know we can deal out a few bloody noses along the way. Just ask Chelsea. 

Our key player will be galloping left-back Rico Henry. How he wasn’t called up for the post-campaign Nations League matches was as baffling as how atrocious England were.

Our most underrated player is Mathias Jensen. In the shadows of fellow Danish Christians Norgaard and Eriksen, he’s no less vital. 

I’m least looking forward to playing Newcastle. The butt-kissing of Saint Eddie has conveniently overlooked the Saudi blood money. Horrific regime. Horrific decision to embrace it. Let’s not pretend otherwise. 

The fans’ opinion of the gaffer is that he’s a top, top manager. There’s zero pressure on him. He’s got passion, tactical diversity and an ability to adapt our paper-thin squad.

If he left, he should be replaced by me. That’s how likely it is to happen.

The pantomime villain will be Kurt Zouma. “That’s how your cat felt,” was the chant after he was kicked off the pitch just half an hour into West Ham’s defeat at Lionel Road. Fans never forget.

The one change I’d make would be getting supporters who’ve only recently jumped on the bandwagon to cut club suits some slack. Our Twitter ‘experts’ forget we’ve reached this point on a net transfer spend of -£52m over the past five years.

We’ll finish top 10.


Injuries didn’t help last year, but the Bees were serious candidates to go down until March. This may be tough.

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Brentford journalist