Some incredible deals in there, particularly the fact you exchanged one great keeper for another whilst keeping a £15m difference. The other deals with Eze and Harit are also superb. Particularly looking forward to see how Eze manages!
A Swarm Of Bees - Unleashing The Swarm (EP33)
We start the year at the 6th place after a great win over league leaders Manchester United, just one point from top 4 and 9 points from the 1st spot! As presented in the last episode our first match for 2022 was FA Cup tie against Huddersfield which we won easily 5-0. Also we got Ebere Eze from QPR only in the 2nd day of the window so he is available for selection in all our matches. We have excellent chance to maintain in our position because of the fixures we have or even fight for something more!
The other new signings plus the next round for the FA Cup were the last events of January so we won't see them in action in this episode.
We will miss only Pedro Chirivella in the first matches, but he will return finally in the second part of the month.
Brentford vs. West Ham
As in the first match against them, it was very close up until the very end. We get quickly upfront with goals by Majer and Ollie Watkins, but the boys thought that we have already won and we started the second half really slow. Our local rivals scored one and that wake us up so we didn't loose the initiative. In the final minutes Watkins banged one more after an assist from Gouiri, sealing his Player of the Match award. Amine himself scored with the last kick of the game to continue his good form. Thompson, Benrahma & Baptiste each with one assist for the nice victory over the Hammers.
Sheffield United vs. Brentford
After the brilliant games since the beginning (4 goals in 2 matches) we gave Gouiri one of his rare starts in the Premier League but it didn't turn well. Sheffield played really well in the first half and in the end of it scored great goal, we were down. And then Alexander Isak entered the field! Hattrick in the space of 29 minutes turns the whole game upside down! Absolutely phenomenal (POTM)! Our wingbacks again provided the needed passes as Thompson gets 2 assists, Beijmo - 1. The home team was crushed and in the final minutes received one more goal scored by Patrick Roberts after good pass by inform Shandon Baptiste!
We are flying through January with 3 wins in 3 matches so far.
Bournemouth vs Brentford
We meet another team fighting against relegation and again they were giving everything they have to get the points. The cherries didn't have so many chances to score, but used the set pieces perfectly, scoring twice from corner kicks. It was nice that we answered pretty quickly on both occasions with Ollie Watkins scoring 2 more and winning POTM! In the final minutes we tried to push them but there was too little time and they get away with an important point. Isak & Mbeumo assisted for the two goals, but didn't have enough luck infront of the goal.
Pedro Chirivella finally returned to the pitch after the injury in the first days of September.
Brentford vs. Everton
Another meeting with Everton and we were ready for another dull strategic match. (4 matches against them, 2 goals for both clubs in those...). Alexander Isak didn't think that way though. 2 goals by him in the first half and we were happy to finish the first half with 2 goals lead, but their winger scored beautiful solo goal in the last minute of the half. The second half was the same old story with not many chances for both teams, a lot of fouls and many unsuccessful passes. We were defending well and in the 85' Ebere Eze started great counter attack having his first assist to Isak who scored for his second hattrick in this month! No doubt he won POTM again! After the goal Everton were distracted and let another one - this time scored by our captain Pontus Jansson!
I start to hate Everton for just playing them too many times. In just one month we will meet again, for the 4th time this season, this time in the FA Cup. They also are lurking outside the top 6 but close enough to make trouble so this win was vital!
Brighton vs. Brentford
Brentford FC finished the month with a perfect team performance! We got used to playing teams that are in danger of loosing their PL status so we knew how to defeat the Seagulls! After just 24' we were 2 goals closer to the win as Mathias Jensen took the things in his hands (feet), first scoring one of his beauties and then assisting Thilo Kehrer for the second goal. The danish midfielder won the Player of the Match performance even though all of the players were brilliant. In the end Gouiri finished his best month for us with another goal. (he finishes the month with 5). Baptiste with another assist to his name.
Player of the Month
No doubt that the Swedish striker was our best player for the month. Alexander Isak scored 2 hattricks (6 goals), added 1 assist and won POTM twice! Tremendous performance and I'm very happy with the player that he is turning into! Massive boost to his confidence, also we gave him new contract, scrapping the €33M clause so if the big sharks want him they will have to pay good for him! He is now joint third best goalscorer in the league with his 13 goals so far!
Amine Gouiri also had impressive month - scoring 5 and assisting 1, Dominick Thompson & Shandon Baptiste contributed enormously both with 3 assist through the month.
Jensen & Watkins continue with their superb form from the start of the season! They are the most important players from the first day I got this job and 2,5 years later - they still lead the team to glory!
LEAGUE TABLE & VERDICT
Without a doubt our BEST MONTH since we were promoted to the Premier League! 4 wins & 1 draw in the league and 2 more wins in FA Cup! We are flying! I'm so happy with the team! We ended our first season last year with 53 points total, now we have 54 pts, February is just starting and we are in the top 4, BABY! Massive upgrade, so no matter where we finish - we are better than last year - that's enough for me! We tend to score late in the game, which is fine by me, my nerves will survive probably.
Watkins (13 goals) & Isak (13 goals) are joint 3rd goalscorer in the league only after Greenwood (19) & Lautaro Martinez (17) .
There is one thing that I fear - top 6 teams move in package, there is just 7 points difference between 1st & 6th position. We could suffer a lot from this in the end of the season if we have a crisis and this is the thing that bothers me a lot.
The title chase is open and as the things look will be open to the final days probably. Manchester United still lead the race, however Liverpool, Chelsea & BRENTFORD are very close! We are in the title picture, holy fck. City & Tottenham are also 1 wrong result away so it will be really interesting how the things will come out. In the other end Leicester (which had great team which we are gonna attack for new players) are 90% going down alongside Blackburn. Sheffield still have some little chance but I think they won't be able to pull it off.
From the next month we will be able to use our most expensive signing - Amine Harit. Also Eze will play a lot more, Chirivella is back from injury and we don't any injured player! The situation with the goalkeepers is difficult, maybe Henderson will get 1-2 starts.
Because we have only 3 games in February & 4 in March I will cover them in one episode. A lot of tough fixures will decide our fate: Liverpool (H), Burnley (H), Norwich (A), Everton (H - FA Cup), Manchester City (H), Tottenham (A), Southampton (H).
Thanks for reading once again & hope you enjoy it.
Jack - Actually Raya refused to go to Sheffield and will stay with us, so now we have too many good keeper and not enough matches for all of them.