I discuss which players I believe are worthy of getting in the starting line up and why.
Throughout the campaign so far Brentford have looked very good going forward and we have a lot of different options available enabling us to try new things and see how different players work together. For me the major issue has been at the back. I am not saying we have bad defenders just that they have not seemed to adapt to the pace and tempo of what the championship brings as quickly as our attacking options seem to have done. Jake Bidwell, Harlee Dean, James Tarkowski and Alan McCormack are all great players but they need to begin to work much harder because we have conceded 9 goals in 3 games which is not good enough from a back four that should be coping much better. I noticed at the Norwich game that we were pressing very high up the pitch but not getting back quick enough and this led to silly mistakes and eventually a goal. I praise Mark Warburton for wanting to try and score a lot of goals but he needs to get his back four in order as if we want to succeed in the championship we need to concede less goals. Now onto the players and who I believe should be picked for the weekend fixture.
GK- David Button
Button has been a commanding figure on and off the pitch for Brentford recently and his experience comes in key when we are in high pressure matches. David has shown he has the ability to make top class saves and we all know he is capable of keeping many a clean sheet in the future. For me there is no better option.
LB – Jake Bidwell
Bidwell is noted for his great pace down the wing but also his great ability to make superb tackles and excellent clearances. His pace down the wing allows us that extra attacking threat but by having Jake on the left we know we have someone who will defend properly and attack when we need him to. His crossing is brilliant and I particularly like the skill he uses when pressing up the pitch. Throughout the season he has done everything expected of him and deserves his place in the starting X1.
CB pairing – Harlee Dean and James Tarkowski
Although as I mentioned earlier a lot of goals have been conceded recently this pair have started nearly every game together and have formed a strong working relationship which I believe is crucial in a newly promoted side. I think that as long as these two learn to get back when they need to and only press higher on certain occasions they can be an excellent pairing for us. James Tarkowski has been mostly very good this season and this is the same for Harlee Dean but they must keep their focus for the game on Saturday.
RB – Alan McCormack
In a few games recently Warbs has tried Moses Odubajo as a right wing back and this has simply not worked. Firstly because Moses is not a defender and secondly because this prevented him from making his deadly runs down the wing that we are so used to seeing this season. Al McCormack is the best option to fill this position. Not only because of his determination to do his best all the time but also the strength and character he brings to the field. He has a great ability to run through the middle and make first-class passes all across the pitch and I believe he can still do this from playing at right back. He has the discipline and control that is required at this position and is the complete right back in my opinion.
CM pairing – Jonathan Douglas and Alan Judge
Jonathan Douglas a club veteran and more importantly an outstanding footballer. His control with the football is superb and the strength and presence he has on the pitch brings more positives to the Brentford side. If he plays this will be his 150th appearance for the club and he fully deserves that achievement. Although he may be older than most our team, I think we need that in this league and especially after promotion Jonathan will show the youngsters how it`s done and keep them calm in high pressure games. His experience will be crucial in us staying up this season. Alan Judge. Although he may not be the biggest name at the club he certainly is one of the biggest players and will play a key role in our campaign this term. With 3 assists already this season that shows just how important he is. Judge has the ability to go forward as well as hold his central midfield role. He is disciplined, quick and most importantly has a great shot. His unique way of creating a goal provides us as a team with a huge advantage over a lot of teams. Both these CMs are very important to our setup and deserve to play on Saturday.
The attacking army – Stuart Dallas, Alex Pritchard, Moses Odubajo and Andre Gray
I`ll start with Dallas. Although hampered by a slight injury problem he is back and raring to go. He has scored 3 goals already this campaign and I am delighted he has taken his goal-scoring ability from League one and into the Championship. Stuart has excellent control of the ball and can make piercing runs down the wing or through the middle. He has a powerful shot that would trouble some of the best goalkeepers. He has great patience and waits for his chance and when it comes he almost always takes full advantage. Alex Pritchard the assertive youngster in our team. He has taken to life in the championship brilliantly and is showing huge promise for the future. I would like to have seen a few more goals from him but what he is doing at the moment is fine. His penetrating pace, solid shot and powerful passing are great attributes that us fans are delighted about. Pritchard adds an excellent attacking option and has proved during the season that he is capable of doing great things with the ball. Moses Odubajo. What can I say? Certainly one of the fan`s favourites. Not only for his great personality but amazing skill and technical abilities. 2 goals already makes him second top goal-scorer. Every match he puts in 100% and does everything he can for the team. We love to see him running down the wing and I hope it continues this Saturday. Andre Gray seems to be the first choice striker at the moment and why not? He is young and very talented. With 3 goals to his name there is no doubt about his ability and against a very nervous looking Leeds team we expect him to take full advantage. He is a very commanding figure with a great shot and excellent strength. A perfect striker and all these four players make my starting line-up for Saturday.
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