16 May 2024

Thomas Frank enjoying ‘perfect football life’ at Brentford amid Man Utd links

16 May 2024

Thomas Frank appeared to distance himself from reports he is in contention for the Manchester United job as he spoke of a “perfect football life” at Brentford, hinting he could see out his career at the club.

The 50-year-old Dane has been linked with taking over at Old Trafford, with United boss Erik ten Hag’s position looking increasingly uncertain and speculation that new minority owners Ineos could seek a change in the summer.

Should they do so it has been reported that Brentford manager Frank is high on a list of possible replacements.

Despite a difficult campaign that has seen the squad plagued by injuries and suspensions, the Bees have secured a fourth successive season in the Premier League under Frank, who guided them to promotion from the Championship in 2021.

They have come to be seen as the model for any club looking to break into the top flight and consolidate on a modest budget, while their Danish coach enjoys a growing reputation as both a man-manager and someone who can get the best out of players technically.

“It’s the perfect football life,” said Frank, whose side host Newcastle on the final day of the season. “I think it would be for any manager our player or staff member. We are not Arsenal or (Manchester) City or Liverpool, a club of that size that compete for titles.

“There’s so many good things here. So many structures and processes and people that in my opinion make this the best possible place for a lot of people to work at.

“The culture is good. There’s a good atmosphere. We are pulling in the same direction, we are aligned. That’s not to say it’s not stressful or tough.

“But there’s many good things here. I think sometimes you need to acknowledge what you have.”

Brentford ended last season in ninth, the club’s best league finish since 1937/38, and went into the final day with a chance of qualifying for Europe.

The current campaign has been the most challenging since the team was promoted, with lengthy injuries to key players such as Rico Henry, Josh Dasilva, Bryan Mbeumo and Ethan Pinnock – as well as losing last season’s top scorer Ivan Toney to a ban for gambling offences – having a knock-on effect on results.

I never know what’s going to happen in the future. Maybe I’m staying here for the rest of my time in football

Nevertheless, Frank has kept the team in the division with room to spare, and when asked whether he could achieve all of his personal ambitions at Brentford he replied: “I can’t see why not. I think ambition is many things.

“I never know what’s going to happen in the future. Maybe I’m staying here for the rest of my time in football. Am I going to another club? Maybe that’s also a good opportunity. But you never know.

“What I know is that I’m very happy here. Ambition is ‘how can I make the perfect club? How can we try to maybe win something?’

“How can you beat the odds and maybe one year qualify for Europe? You never know, I don’t want to set any aims.”

Brentford received a further boost earlier on Thursday with defender Ben Mee signing a new one-year deal.

The 34-year-old, who joined the Bees from Burnley as a free agent in 2022, has been sidelined by injury since February and would have been out of contract this summer.

“He was unlucky with injuries this season but has been recovering well from the season-ending injury he got at West Ham, so we expect him to be taking part in pre-season one way or another,” Brentford director of football Phil Giles told the club website.

“He is an important and popular member of the squad, so I’m really pleased he is with us next season too.”

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