Adapting to Brentford, ‘particular’ Thomas Frank, leaving Burnley & extra

For 11 years, Ben Mee was the lynchpin in a imply Burnley backline.

In his seven Premier League seasons with the Clarets, he grew a status as one of many division’s extra constant centre-backs. You knew what you have been getting. You did not need to play towards Burnley. You did not need to go to Turf Moor. Mee was a giant a part of that sentiment.

Burnley bit off a little bit greater than they might chew final time period, and have been relegated again to the Championship on the ultimate day of the season.

“Leaving Burnley was powerful after a very long time being there. 11 years is an effective period of time in a soccer profession,” he first says to 90min as a part of a sit-down for Green Football Weekend.

“It was a pleasant problem for me to maneuver away from there as properly. Obviously it did not finish on an excellent be aware with being relegated, however I feel the membership was altering, prepared for a change, and so they’ve moved on and achieved properly this season within the Championship. That’s nice.”

Now underneath the stewardship of Vincent Kompany, Burnley look shoo-ins to return to the highest flight as second-tier champions. Mee’s love for the membership continues to be evident in the best way he talks about them, rigorously selecting his phrases of affirmation.

But Mee can be centered on the longer term. He not too long ago admitted that the possibility to affix Brentford on a two-year deal versus different provides of simply 12 months gave him and his household assurances they wanted. Having performed nearly solely within the north in his profession, it additionally gave him the possibility to expertise a brand new metropolis, a brand new neighborhood.

Planet League’s Rich Holmes & Sustainable Clarets’ Cat Jebson be a part of Shebahn Aherne to have soccer’s local weather dialog forward of Green Football Weekend. If you’ll be able to’t see this embed, click on right here to hearken to the podcast!

“Coming right into a membership like this, I’ve settled in very well. A brand new problem for me. I really feel a bit revitalised by the challenges that I’ve confronted. I’ve been having fun with taking part in in a distinct system underneath a brand new supervisor with new gamers at a brand new membership,” he continues, clearly stressing his delight at working and residing in ‘new’ environments.

Mee performed for a decade underneath Sean Dyche, a charismatic and uniting determine, one who was basically the voice of Burnley up till his shock sacking in 2022.

His present head coach is of an identical mould in Thomas Frank, and Mee – who transitioned right into a part-time teaching function for Burnley on the finish of final season – prefers that charming and at occasions bewitching type of administration.

Sean Dyche, Thomas Frank

Dyche and Frank are ‘particular’ in accordance with Mee / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

“I feel it is essential they’re the center and soul of the membership,” he says adamantly. “They’re the leaders, folks you see daily in and across the coaching floor. Staff and gamers look as much as them.

“They’ve received a giant job to steer the group. It’s an essential job, it takes a particular individual to have the ability to do this, and I feel the 2 managers I’ve labored underneath for a very long time – Sean Dyche and now Thomas – do incredible jobs. They’re very totally different of their approaches, however equally good at doing their job.”

Dyche memorably led Burnley to a shock seventh-placed end on the finish of the 2017/18 season, securing qualification to the Europa League.

Such an identical dream has been floated in Brentford circles in current weeks following an outstanding run of kind that has seen them take seven factors from a potential 9 towards Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool.

But Mee refuses to be drawn on making European qualification a goal for the Bees. He will not even attempt to choose similarities between this Brentford cohort and that iconic Burnley facet.

“I feel there’s loads of qualities on this Brentford facet. We’re on an excellent run on the minute, we have proven our high quality towards the larger groups. I feel the best way the league is now there’s a chance for a workforce like Brentford to complete excessive up, however the focus is the close to future, upcoming video games, and then you definately get a way of the place you are going to be within the subsequent month or so,” he says with seriousness slightly than marvel.

“We’ve received some massive video games [coming up], had an excellent [result] towards Bournemouth final day trip. After taking part in properly towards massive groups, it was essential to go towards a workforce decrease down as properly. That was an essential victory.”

Ben Mee

Mee scored in a memorable thrashing of Manchester United this season / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

This club-wide need to minimize a European dream stems from Frank’s insistence on being ‘assured however humble’, a need to be ‘impressed slightly than shocked’.

Within Brentford’s partitions, they understand how good they’re. They know what they’ll obtain. It’s more durable to see their progress and imaginative and prescient from the surface generally, which is why some are shocked at their current stand up the desk.

“One factor that is shocked me most is the squad depth we have now,” Mee admits. “The gamers coming out and in of the workforce. It’s solely a number of the lads’ second season within the Premier League, and the way snug they’re taking part in and doing properly, taking it of their stride. They had an excellent season final 12 months. Hopefully we will end increased this season and keep it up the best way we’re going.

“I do not assume something that I’ve discovered right here I did not know earlier than, however I do know extra about it. It’s been nice. The method a formation units up, performs, to be concerned in it helps for positive. Obviously from the surface, you do see it and find out about it in soccer, however being concerned in it has definitely helped me, I’ve tailored to it and am having fun with it.”

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