Brentford manager Thomas Frank has been likened to fictional football coach Mike Bassett after his side’s loss to Arsenal.
The Bees barely laid a glove on the Gunners, who were impressive throughout at the Gtech Community Stadium in a 3-0 scoreline.
Asked by talkSPORT’s Sam Matterface what he put the result down to, Frank replied: “A couple of things. First, I would say that Arsenal, as I said before, are in a very good place and they deserved this today, there is no doubt about that.
“If you play against a team that, before the game, was number one and after the game they are still number one, I think this shows they are title contenders.
“I know Mikel Arteta will say that they [will take it] one game at a time, which is the right thing, I probably would have done the same, so I understand him in that aspect.
“We needed a 10 out of 10 performance, which we didn’t, but the big but, I still think we performed quite well today in many, many aspects but the results are overshadowing the performances.
“Did we stick to the game plan? I think we were aggressive, I think we got forward, I think we went at them but when we don’t hit our highest and they showed true quality moments – the set-piece, and every single set-piece that we concede I’ll always be disappointed, all the individual details that happened.
“And the second thing, I think also a little bit better defensively from us but a beautiful cross from [Granit] Xhaka and a great header from [Gabriel] Jesus and then you think, ‘okay, we stick to the game plan and keep going, [keep] disciplined, let’s go second half’ and then they showed why Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in the world.
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“They had [Martin] Odegaard, who is one of their best players and captain out, they just swapped him in with a £35million player [Fabio Vieira] that curled in a goal from 24 yards. Game over.
“In that aspect they hit us in the right moment all the time so when we beat United 4-0 everyone is over the moon and saying, ‘wow, fantastic’. And it was fantastic but probably not a 4-0 win and lose 3-0 to Arsenal – probably not a 3-0 win either but a deserved win and our performance was still at a good level.
“I think we’ve played seven games this year and I think we have been quite consistent in our performances and that’s the thing that will make us be in a good place.”
But Groves didn’t think Frank’s response was adequate given the Bees’ display, likening him to the main character in the film Mike Bassett: England Manager from 2001.
He told the Sunday Session: “We like Thomas Frank, don’t we? We like what he does and his interviews but that was like listening to Mike Bassett.
“Basically, ‘cor, they were good, weren’t they?’
“And I’m going to have to disagree, and Brentford fans can argue, but Brentford didn’t play well today, they didn’t put Arsenal under any pressure. They weren’t intense. He’s misread that game completely.
“They are sitting ninth, there is no panic at Brentford, don’t get me wrong, but why didn’t you just say ‘we weren’t ourselves today, we weren’t at it the way that we should be’, and then he just tells you about a £35m player. Brentford fans don’t care about that, he didn’t say about how much Man United cost, did he?”
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