'Nothing to suggest Flekken cannot have a successful career'

Brentford fan's voice graphic
Brentford fan's voice graphic

Ian Westbrook, Beesotted podcast

New Brentford goalkeeper Mark Flekken has, it is fair to say, had a mixed start to his Bees career.

The 30-year-old Netherlands international was our first summer signing in anticipation of the departure of David Raya, which happened when he joined Arsenal near the end of the transfer window.

And the first sight Bees fans had of Raya's successor was in the Premier League Summer Series.

There were question marks over a couple of goals Flekken conceded in that pre-season tournament in the United States, but he also immediately impressed with his distribution, as well as looking good with his feet.

Since the start of the season, Flekken has seen both ends of the spectrum.

A brilliant double stop he made against Crystal Palace was nominated for the Premier League's official save of the month award.

But after making a great first-half save at Newcastle United on Saturday, he failed to gather a ball in a crowded six-yard box after the break and the Magpies scrambled it home – the 'goal', however, was disallowed.

He then conceded the decisive penalty, although Aaron Hickey was more responsible with his backpass.

Fans unhappy with Flekken should remember that Raya took time to settle in at Brentford and at the end of his first season, he was caught out by Joe Bryan's quickly taken 40-yard free-kick in the play-off final defeat by Fulham at Wembley.

However, he recovered to become one of the club's best keepers and there is nothing to suggest Flekken cannot have a successful career with the Bees.