Frank sure that Mbeumo can step up to the plate in wake of break-up of Brentford's famed BMW
By Yann Tear at Brentford Community Stadium
Thomas Frank is confident Bryan Mbeumo can rise to the challenge of maintaining Brentford’s reputation as a team with one of the most potent attacks in the division.
The loss of Ollie Watkins to Aston Villa and the likely departure of Said Benrahma would make the winger the sole survivor of last season’s famed BMW forward line, which plundered goals galore against Championship defences.
And a sumptuous strike to open his account for the season in the 3-0 dismantling of Huddersfield Town at the new Brentford Community Stadium was a perfect statement of intent.
Is he ready to take on extra responsibility?
“Definitely,” said the Brentford boss. “If you looked at Bryan in the Birmingham game, he created three chances and at Southampton he got two more. Today the first big chance was his and that goal today was just pure quality – dropping his shoulder and then bang, curling into the top corner.
“I have big expectations of him. I don’t know if we can have bigger expectations than we did last season, but I hope he can progress and do a lot.
“Right now, we look like a strong team [with what he have]. Said [Benrahma] has been training like a beast but it’s no secret there’s a lot of things going on so I decided not to include him in the side today.”
Another player Frank wants to see take more of centre stage is Rico Henry, he set up the breakthrough goal in the second half with a searing run which paved the way for a Josh Dasilva strike.
“I think he was superb today,” Frank said. “Last year I think he showed that potentially he was the best defensive full-back in the league because he has such quick feet. He anticipates situations so well. He’s so aggressive. He must be so irritating to play against, if you are a winger.
“But what we need to develop in his game is that composure on the ball and his assist numbers need to be so much better than last year and the assist for the first goal was brilliant – he just kept running down the side. The winger was running after him the whole game.”
A win in their first home game in the new stadium augurs well for the season ahead – and the hope of making the venue a tough place for visiting – even without fans.
“We all want to create that fortress straight away in the new stadium and I thought: Can you do that without the fans? I think you can,” Frank said.
“If you get the results and we can continue winning at home, we will probably feel good and comfortable here and play with confidence.
“So, of course I’m pleased because we need to make it a fortress. Now we’ve got the first win and that’s very good. Right from the first minute we were much more intense than at Birmingham [last week].
“We want to play nice football and dominate on the ball, but a big part of football is winning the duels and 50-50 balls, like today.”