Arsenal v Brentford: Brentford’s chance of survival and a comparison of player values

By Bulldog Drummond

As for Brentford the BBC tell us, “The Bees could lose five consecutive away league matches for the first time in 11 years.”

In short, they won three of their opening seven Premier League fixtures this season, but their subsequent three victories have spanned 18 games.

So these web sites really are starting to get the hang of this notion that things change as we go through the season.  And the most recent run has been pretty grim for Brentford

Date Match Res Score Competition
11 Jan 2022 Southampton v Brentford L 4-1 Premier Lge
16 Jan 2022 Liverpool v Brentford L 3-0 Premier Lge
19 Jan 2022 Brentford v Manchester United L 1-3 Premier Lge
22 Jan 2022 Brentford v Wolverhampton W L 1-2 Premier Lge
5 Feb 2022 Everton v Brentford L 4-1 FA Cup
9 Feb 2022 Manchester City v Brentford L 2-0 Premier Lge
12 Feb 2022 Brentford v Crystal Palace D 0-0 Premier Lge

That gives them 18 goals against in seven games with four goals scored.  Hopefully we will get an early goal tomorrow and then they will have to try and come forward a little more.

Brentford came up through the playoffs last season, and surviving in the Premier League having come up that way is jolly difficult.  In fact of the playoff promoted teams there has been a fair number of them that go back down again.  In the years from 1995 and 2021 (27 years), 13 of the playoff teams went down immediately the following season…

Team P W D L F A GD Pts PPG
14 Brentford 25 6 6 13 26 40 -14 24 0.96
18 Norwich City 24 4 5 15 14 50 -36 17 0.71
19 Watford 23 4 3 16 23 43 -20 15 0.65

Watford are performing at 1.33 points per game worse this season than last season.  Norwich are performing at 1.40 points per game worse this season than last season.  And Brentford are performing at 0.93 points per game worse this season than last season.

The situation is such that most clubs that come up from the Championship to the Premier League know that their stay might well turn out to be a short one.

Indeed the number of Championship teams that establish themselves in the Premier League for more than a year or two is very small and is mostly made up of teams that were established in the Premier League before, and simply had a bad season, dropped down and came back.  Clubs that are primarily Championship sides rarely establish themselves in the Premier League for more than a couple of seasons.

Thus the Premier League is not exactly a closed shop, but it is a shop that tends to offer short term membership only, to clubs except those that have been established before.

So the name of the game for Brentford is initially survival, and if not, going back down to the Championship in a state that allows them to rebuild.

This we can see particularly through the value of their players.  The following data is extracted from Transfermarkt – the value of the players reflects that site’s estimate of their market value.

No Player Age Contract expires Market value
25 June 30, 2025
26 June 30, 2024
23 June 30, 2026
22 June 30, 2026
30 June 30, 2022
24 June 30, 2023
25 June 30, 2023

This compares with Arsenal’s value listing which includes Saka at £58, Odegaard at £37.8m, Partey at £36m, White at £36m, Smith Rowe at £34.2m , Tierney at £28.8m, Pepe at £27m … and we haven’t even got to Martinelli yet.

These figures are not what players will sell for but the estimation of a market value – clubs often pay well over the market value for players in the belief that the player’s value will increase over time.  But the key point here is that both lists are taken from the same source and so use the same basis.

And these figures express neatly why many clubs coming up from the Championship go back down very quickly.

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