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Brentford’s Moneyball experiment hits the skids

Brentford have sacked head coach Marinus Dijkhuizen after nine matches and placed Lee Carsley in charge until the end of the season.

Dijkhuizen’s assistant, Roy Hendriksen, has also left the Championship club.

Brentford won only two of their eight league games under the Dutchman, 43, and are 19th in the table.

Former Blackburn, Coventry and Everton midfielder Carsley, 41, had been working as manager of Brentford’s development squad.

Dijkhuizen was appointed head coach by Brentford in June, following the controversial departure of previous boss Mark Warburton.

It was confirmed in February that Warburton, who went on to lead the Bees into last season’s play-offs, would leave the club at the end of the campaign.

Warburton had guided Brentford to promotion from League One the previous season.

A former striker, Dijkhuizen had previously been manager at Excelsior in the Netherlands, where his side finished 15th in the Dutch Eredivisie.

Editor’s Note: Well who would have thought it, there’s actually more to Football than Analytics. Brentford’s brave experiment has been exposed early on in the season. Is this the owner getting cold feet and reverting back to “normal” procedures?, how much of this was down to Mark Warburton’s coaching? – it’s no coincidence that Rangers are now reaping the benefits and now are playing a totally transformed style of play this season.

Brentford fans will point to having a lot of injuries this season so far and that things were starting to turn the corner albeit slowly but whenever there is the risk of relegation the one thing you don’t have when trying to implement a radical new process at a club is time. If it was an American Sport such as Baseball where Moneyball was first born there is no trapdoor to a league below so ideas can be given the time to cultivate and then you can reap the rewards.

But in this instance it seems as if the long term plan has been halted for short term change. Some could argue that Brentford punched well above their weight last season in reaching the Play-Offs and are now at a more natural position but it all seems to be a radical departure from the analytical approach in a bid for Championship safety. Has the Moneyball Metric idea been scrapped forever or has it just been parked in first base?. I guess we will have to watch this space.

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