Thomas Frank faced various questions regarding Ivan Toney’s return from an eight-month ban for betting offenses, as he previewed Brentford’s upcoming home game against Nottingham Forest.
Frank, known for his thoughtful responses, surprisingly didn’t provide a detailed answer regarding Ivan Toney’s return. Frank, usually engaging and willing to delve into deeper thoughts, brought up David Beckham post-1998 World Cup when asked about the possibility of Toney facing criticism from opposition fans.
“I hope that won’t happen but I know there will be some banter and probably more than banter and stick,” the Bees manager said.
Thomas Frank acknowledged that the sense of injustice could provide “an edge” for Ivan Toney, making it a fair starting point to explore the emotions within the player since November 2022, or possibly even earlier.
Toney has actively addressed the situation through interviews since last May when his suspension was announced, admitting guilt to 232 breaches of the Football Association’s betting rules spanning nearly four years from February 2017.
And when asked by the media if he thinks Toney is sorry for his actions, the Dane explained: “The way he plays football is the way he lives his life. If there’s something good, he still moves forward. Something bad or whatever, injustice … leave it in the past, move forward. He doesn’t play on anger. He plays on smiles, energy, positive thinking.
“Ivan is so good at staying focused – next action, next shot, next pressing situation, next set, link-up.”
The eagerly anticipated return of Toney has been noted as the biggest comeback in the Premier League since the iconic Eric Cantona Kung-fu kick fiasco.
If the 27-year-old can pick up from where he left off in front of goal then perhaps he could force himself into Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the European Championship in the summer.