Shine A Light - Brentford FC

Last updated : 20 October 2011 By Jacob Daniel

There are a few words that you could legitimately choose to sum up Brentford's start to the season - 'inconsistent' would be a front runner, but we'd have to plump for the phrase 'just about good enough'. Brentford reached that stage in pre-season when they could no longer be a dark horse because they'd become everybody's dark horse. The culmination of the investment in the club by a multi-millionaire fan, the appointment of an ambitious young manager and a host of impressive summer signings was the Bees being tipped as the 'ones to watch' in hastily compiled pre-season previews across the board. Those signings included the likes of Irish international midfielder and general steady midfielder Jonathon Douglas from Swindon, Crewe's much courted 27-goal striker Clayton Donaldson and Celtic's enigmatic Northern Irish winger Niall McGinn. Added to experienced German defender Marcel Eger and young former Manchester City full back Shaleum Logan, both thanks to new man Uwe Rosler's wide ranging contacts, the Bees looked set for a strong start.

Sat comfortably in upper mid-table, you could argue that they've done enough for it to be considered a 'good start'. Eight is probably one place below where they should be if you were compiling a table based purely on resources and playing talent and that's only thanks to our surprising assault on the League One summit. Brentford's pre-season business seemed to leave them marooned on their own in seventh - without the squad or resources to really compete with the division's 'big six' but having spent enough on wages for proven Football League players to be legitimately considered as their most likely challengers. It's certainly been a topsy turvy start, with their form at Griffin Park failing to match some fairly impressive results on the road. A 4-0 thrashing by Huddersfield on their own patch was particularly unedifying, as was a failure to beat slow starts Scunthorpe and turgid defeat to Tranmere. Leyton Orient were on the end of a 5-0 beating though, which shows the goalscoring potential in their side - the Bees also stuck three past Charlton at the Valley, albeit in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. Away from Griffin Park they have generally been impressive, beaten only at Sheffield United in their first trip away. It does have to be said that Exeter, Walsall, Wycombe, Oldham and Carlisle is hardly a fear-inducing list of the division's most tricky away trips, though. In conclusion, we're still not sure on Brentford. Too erratic to be considered genuine contenders but with too much potential to be considered also rans. They'll probably finish seventh.

Uwe Rosler is probably one of the division's most worldly managers, with his time not just in football but in life having given him plenty of experiences to draw upon. Having recovered from cancer, the former Manchester City striker and German international is starting to impress in his first managerial job in England. He did fall on his feet by landing the Brentford job - Griffin Park was as close to a blank canvas as you were going to be able to find in League One this summer, but his contacts have allowed him to make effective us of the wages made available by a host of summer departures and the club's new chairman. Favouring a continental style of football based around possession (expect Brentford to line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation on Saturday), Rosler is following in the foot steps of plenty of his contemporaries when it comes to young managers making their way in the lower leagues, but he must drill some consistency into his side if he is to meet expectations this year.

Niall McGinn - The Northern Irish international surprised a few people when he chose Brentford as a temporary destination from Celtic this summer and his pace and trickery has caused problems for a few League One defences already this season. The former Derry City man has the same problem with consistency as his team, but if he is on form at Meadow Lane then the Notts full backs could be in for a tough afternoon.

Toumani Diagouraga - Formerly of Watford, Hereford United and Peterborough, tough tackling central midfielder Toumani Diagouraga is re-establishing himself at Brentford after struggling to break through at London Road. A formidable physical presence, Diagouraga is also capable of picking out an incisive pass or getting forward to support the strikers, making him one of the division's top box-to-box midfielders.

Clayton Donaldson - Three goals in thirteen games is hardly the return expected of powerful striker Donaldson considering the pre-season rush to seal his signature, but the sheer pace and presence of the former Crewe man will cause Notts problems on Saturday. Notts were one of the sides to miss out on the man who scored 27 goals for Crewe last season, with him allegedly settling for a wage of fifty quid and a Crunchy bar each week at Griffin Park as he was so keen on Uwe Rosler's vision of establishing the club as West London's fourth largest powerhouse, Donaldson will be looking to spark his season into life at Meadow Lane.