What a Finnish. Could we have a new FT Index?

12 Nov

Sure. You can do it for Brentford against FulhamL at Lionel Road but can you do against France in Paris on a Wednesday night? On your international debut. The answer was an emphatic YES with Marcus Forss giving Thomas Frank an even bigger selection headache (of the nicest sort) when he opened the scoring in a 2-0 win for Finland at the Stade de France. Picking up the ball in midfield after a mistake from Moussa Sissoko of Tottenham, he shrugged off the two defenders trailing in his wake to burst trough and lash a trademark thunderbolt past Steve Mandana into the back of the onion bag. What a finish. What a man. With the Denmark squad seeing the contingent of Bees committed for previously documented reasons, it was about as good an evening as it gets for the Bees. What next, though?

Marcus has the eye of the t,t,t… Eurasian Eagle Owl

If Marcus hadn’t already been knocking on Thomas’s door with his performances to date, this is only going to have increased the pressure for him to be given a starting berth even more.The calls for a return to the two up top which almost salvaged a draw from the Stoke City debacle (the game at the Bet365 rather than one of Billy Reeves favourite prog-rock bands) will only be growing. You can’t drop Ivan Toney – he’s on fire as the leading scorer in the Championship – but how on earth do you leave out Marcus now?

Cripes. Who’d be a head coach? Everybody’s an expert from the safety of their keyboards and the terrace but try doing it for real. Of course, we’ve got opinions and are all entitled to them. For what it’s worth, my own would be taking the chance to go for it when Wycombe visit on Saturday week. Play them both from the off. Go for broke and look to put a smile back on the face after the frustration of Norwich and Middlesbrough. Whilst tinkering with the defensive formation is, and always has been, metaphorical a car crash of the worst sort (four heads are way, way better than five), increasing the numbers at the other end of the pitch is always a bold and positive call. It has worked for the short, sharp periods when we’ve tried it but how about a full on 90 minutes? 

The halcyon days of Deano and Bliss, the FT index or for those of us with longer memories, the terrible twins George Francis and Jim Towers, always bring a smile to the face. The rose tinted memories of goals flying on for fun and Brentford winning game after game (play-off campaigns aside – move along, nothing to see there) are always associated with those strike partners. Could Thomas have now stumbled across the latest dynamic duo? Circumstance alone giving him no choice but to lead from the front? 

Forget the BMW. That was so 2019. A new FT Index of Forss and Toney rather than Forster and Taylor could be the most unexpected outcome of an already weird season. 

The FT index – had some amazing support, too

Let’s be honest, its not our way. Normally. But then this isn’t the normal season. Anything but. If we have any pretensions of hauling in table toppers Reading then at some point the draws will need to start being converted to wins. Last season’s incredible goal difference replicated. With a run of four games against teams in the bottom half of the table now approaching, this really feels like the best time to go for it. If we are going to look at building a regular Plan B of Toney and Forss together, now is the perfect opportunity.

It’s a big IF, of course. We’ve talked long and hard about the need to avoid player burn out. Let’s not forget either that there are nine games in December including that cup quarter-final with Newcastle United. I can’t see Thomas overly pushing it there. If anything, it’s going to be a period where we make full use of the squad. More rotations than an over oiled magic roundabout. But now is the time where we can, perhaps, afford to mix it up a bit. To go for the much fancied strike pairing and see what comes from there. 

Marcus and Ivan both have the taste for goal. Whilst the ‘no dickheads’ policy is one which permeates a squad where spirit seems high, will either player be truly happy keeping the bench warm when they are banging them in for fun? Good luck answering that one, Thomas. In the nicest sense.

Nick Bruzon

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