Brentford and Ollie Watkins still searching for consistency despite Millwall win

3 min

Brentford’s incredible 3-2 win over Millwall was not only an impressive comeback but arguably a perfect microcosm of the Bees tumultuous season so far.

And no player epitomises the club’s inconsistency with the ability to frustrate and dazzle in equal measure than their forward, Ollie Watkins.

Having failed to convert a first-half penalty to put Brentford one-nil up, Watkins then gave away a 55th minute spot-kick as the Lions roared into a two-goal lead.

Flash forward to the fourth minute of stoppage time and the Griffin Park scenes as Watkins tapped home a winner to seal an unlikely three points.

Polar opposite feelings for Watkins and Brentford, a running theme for both as the Bees increasingly find themselves relying on the 23-year-old this season.

With ten goals in each of his last two seasons but with a tally of eight already, there is already a significant improvement for a player boss Thomas Frank does not even believe is a natural ‘number nine’.

Speaking after a hat-trick away to Barnsley, Frank said: “I think the way he converted himself to a number nine from a number 10 is impressive, not only today but for the season.

“We’ve been working very hard with him to arrive in the box in the right positions.”

READ MORE: EFL London Clubs Match Report Round-Up: 19.10.19

Yet just a few days later there was a sense of invisibility from Watkins that countered Frank’s praise as the forward struggled to make an impact in the 1-1 draw at home to Bristol City.

At the end of last season Griffin Park was a fortress that expected goals from a dynamic Brentford forward line led by the clinical Neal Maupay.

This term they have been harder to come by other than the late flurry against Millwall and an impressive 3-0 win over Derby County.

Although Maupay’s departure was always inevitable, the loss of Sergi Canos through long-term injury is another unforeseeable blow to a side that have recorded just two wins from six home matches.

Said Benrahma, although picking up two assists against Millwall, has also failed to hit the same heights as last season while summer-signing Bryan Mbeumo is clearly still finding his feet in the rigours of the English game.

Although Mbeumo grabbed the equaliser against Millwall, the 20-year-old came on for fellow-forward Nikolaos Karelis who was stretchered off moments before the break. 

While the extent of the injury is unknown, it still nevertheless puts further emphasis and pressure on Watkins’ young shoulders to find the necessary goals to win games.

Reliability and a clinical edge in front of goal is a pre-requisite in the Championship and although Watkins’ incremental improvements are a step in the right direction, an even higher level of consistency is needed now the player has firmly taken centre stage.

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