Meet the man hired to take Brentford’s Moneyball method forward

Whoever was tasked with replacing the impressive Mark Warburton as head coach of Brentford next season was going to have a high bar to match.

It seems the tough task will be Dutchman Marinus Dijkhuizen’s to attempt, after he was confirmed as the former city worker’s successor early on Monday morning.

Already the 42-year-old looks hard-pressed to match the play-off spot Warburton managed. A quick look at the Eredivisie table shows his Excelsior side finished one place above the relegation zone this season, finishing winless in the last nine league outings.

Luckily for the former striker, the Bees brass don’t judge a manager’s success on the league table, preferring instead to take a far more statistical and analytical approach.

Brentford owner Matthew Benham was able to fund his purchases of both the west London club and Danish outfit Midtylland from professional gambling. The formula he used to build his wealth in that domain has been transferred to the boardroom.

Midtylland have just won their first Danish league title using Benham’s model, which, amongst other things, places a higher emphasis on the randomness and luck that is often overlooked in professional sport.

So, while Excelsior’s results this term may not reflect favourably on their boss, they may not necessarily apply to Brentford’s reasons for employing him.

Warburton was shown the exit door because he couldn’t get on board with Benham’s way of running the football club. Dijkhuizen wouldn’t have been hired if he didn’t want to buy in to the “Moneyball” method and, so long as he lives up to the expectations set by the owner’s model, he won’t be in danger.

Ladbrokes make Brentford 14/1 chances to win the Championship next season.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.