Thomas Frank continues to excel at Brentford
Small clubs have made their mark on the top half of the Premier League table before. Burnley, for instance, finished 10th in the 2019/20 season and seventh in 2017/18. In 2016/17, Bournemouth made their place in the top half stick too. Brentford, though, are setting a new standard for the Premier League underdogs.
Victory over West Ham kept Brentford in ninth place in the table. That puts them higher than Chelsea, West Ham and a number of other clubs that boast more resources and wage budgets than the Bees. Thomas Frank, however, has built a team capable of holding its own against anyone in the division.
Brentford have beaten Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool this season and have taken four points off Chelsea in two meetings for good measure. On their day, Brentford are one of the toughest opponents to play against in the Premier League, as underlined by some of the teams they have bettered over the course of the 2022/23 campaign.
Frank is the mastermind behind the entire operation at Gtech Community Stadium. Brentford were a club heading in the right direction before the Dane’s arrival in 2018, but Frank took the Bees up into the Premier League and has kept them there. He is the complete modern manager in the way he uses charisma to get across his tactical ideas.
Under Frank, Brentford have been moulded into one of the most effective counter-attacking teams in the league. Ivan Toney is the Bees’ figurehead, but the likes of Bryan Mbuemo, Christian Norgaard and Ethan Pinnock have thrived to come consistent Premier League performers. Frank knows how to get the most out of his squad.
It was only last December that Frank signed a new contract to tie him to Brentford until the end of the 2026/17 season. This was a smart move by the Bees because Frank is looking increasingly attractive to bigger clubs like Tottenham Hotspur who are currently searching for a new manager to take over this summer.
Several high-calibre managers have been mentioned in relation to the Spurs vacancy with Luis Enrique, Mauricio Pochettino and Julian Nagelsmann all believed to have been on the shortlist at one time or another, but Frank deserves to be seen than more than an outsider for the position. He could be the man Tottenham need.
This isn’t the first time Frank has been linked with another Premier League club. Indeed, the Dane was reportedly on Aston Villa’s shortlist following the sacking of Steven Gerrard and while they ultimately hired Unai Emery instead Frank’s comments around that time suggest he isn’t in a rush to move on from Brentford.
“I understand the bookmakers, I’m a good manager,” he said when asked about the vacancy at Aston Villa last year. “Joking aside, I’m very happy here. I’ve said that many times. “I have unfinished business to do here at Brentford. I think it’s also [important] to worship the good you have.”
Despite this, one wonders if Frank might change his mind were the call to come from a ‘Big Six’ club. Graham Potter found it impossible to turn down Chelsea when they requested his services in the season, convincing the Englishman to leave a long-term project at Brighton for a new challenge at Stamford Bridge.
Frank would obviously hope to enjoy more success at a new club than Potter did at Chelsea, but the principle stands – it is isn’t every day a ‘Big Six’ comes calling and so Frank might feel compelled to jump at an opportunity to take charge of Tottenham Hotspur or another team near the top end of the Premier League table. If Potter was deserving of a ‘Big Six’ gig, Frank is too.