You’ve got to feel a little bit sorry for Brentford this season.
After a 1-1 draw away to promotion rivals Leeds United in early October, the Bees were flying under Dean Smith, and were up to 6th in the Sky Bet Championship table, just six points off the automatic promotion places.
But then, in a drastic turn of events, Smith was gone – the 47-year old had departed for boyhood club Aston Villa, which ultimately was too much for the West London club to contend with.
Nearly three months later, the Bees have dropped like a stone under Thomas Frank – they have won just two out of fourteen games under the Dane’s management, and are down to 18th in the table, six points off the relegation zone.
It was always going to be hard for Brentford to deal with Smith’s departure – his attractive brand of football and attacking philosophy had transformed the Bees from lower-half strugglers to real promotion contenders.
The likes of Sergi Canos, Romaine Sawyers and Ollie Watkins all flourished under Smith’s management, but the latter has come under scrutiny by fans in recent times, with many questioning if the 23-year old is still performing to his best.
Here, we look to answer that question and take a look at his stats this season compared to this point last season.
It’s fair to say that Watkins was Brentford’s star-man last term – at this stage of last season, he scored seven goals and produced three assists, and ultimately ended up with eleven goals and five assists in all competitions.
This season, he seems to have picked up from where he left off last season, despite the Bees’ plight down the table. He has scored seven goals and has produced one more assist than this time last season, with four to his name thus far.
He may have started one more game, but in fewer minutes, he has scored the same amount of goals and produced one more assist – which squashes rumours that he has dropped in form.
Given time, he could be the man to turn the club’s fortunes around.