Archive for July, 2001

Barnet match report

roger6 @ 12:44 am Tuesday 31 July 2001

A warm if cloudy summer’s evening, and the chance to see Sir Ray’s mystery captures. All for just two quid. Are we ready for life in the 1st division? Well, on the evidence of last night at Barnet, I am little bit worried the same problems we had last time in Division 1 may come back to haunt us. Lack of midfield, strikers missing chances. Although it was only a friendly…
Judging by sun tans much of the Saddlers team have spent the summer on holiday, although they all looked in good physical shape.
Spare a thought for Barnet fans though. Times have changed since I was last year, 9 years ago, watching them stuff a 3rd division Saddlers side 3-0. The sloping pitch remains. Relegated back to the conference, they face the prospect of visits to Yeovil – and only 3 sides to their ground, as they can’t afford an away end. The manager knows a half decent offer will see any number of his players depart. Season ticket holders still have to pay 300 quid…
Sir Ray started off with the two new wingers on show – Herivelto Moreira and Carlos Garrocho. In the opening 45 they did contribute some crosses, but the team did look like two different units – the Walsall old-guard passing to each other – the new boys waiting on the flanks for a ball that never came. Communication between the team is obviously going to take a few weeks – a danger of making signings so close to the season? Didn’t stop Darren Byfield missing a couple of golden chances, firing wide of an open goal on two occasions – Dean Keates contributing by blasting over when well set, and Jorge Leitao completely mistiming a jump for a header when the net beckoned. Byfield and Leitao worked very hard – Jorge tracking back energetically, Byfield looking quickest player on the pitch.
Second half, no changes – and Barnet started to boss the midfield. Worrying, with West Brom less than 2 weeks ago. Several times midfielders made charging runs straight through the middle – and Brightwell / Aranalde were caught by the ball over the top down the flanks. Barnet opened the scoring on 65 minutes when Wayne Purser fired into the far corner.
Ray changed it round, the new wingers were replaced by trusty Pedro and Paul Hall, and the game changed. Tom Bennett took a corner, Pedro rose unchallenged, and a goal was scored – one of the softest you’ll see. The Nigerian Ofondile came on – he’s only about 5 foot 1, in the Roger Boli mould – looked quite quick, but didn’t really have enough time to make an impression.
The final whistle went – we all trudged home. Verdict: new boys did not overwhelm me. If first choice midfield is Deano and Bennett, it’s too thin for the higher league. We need a decent central midfielder.
Walsall: Walker, Brightwell, Aranalde, Tillson, Barras, Moreira, Bennett, Keates, Garrocho, Byfield, Leitao.
Subs: 70 mins – Hall for Moreira, Matias for Garrocho, Ofidile for Leitao, Harper for Walker

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3 new signings

roger6 @ 12:45 am Monday 30 July 2001

WALSALL FC have this morning announced the signing of three more players.
They are Brazilian winger, Erivelto, Portuguese outside-left, Carlos Garrocho and Nigerian striker, Adolf Ofodile.
All 3 were involved in the recent successful tour of Scotland.
Nigerian striker Adolphos Ofodile (21) made a name for himself last season playing for German fourth division side FC Magdeburg when he scored the winner that knocked out giants Bayern Munich in the German Cup.
Winger Erivelto was born on the 11th September 1980.
That’s the sum total of my research into these 3 latest imports into Walsall’s foreign dynasty…

2 new signings

roger6 @ 12:45 am Friday 20 July 2001

As revealed by Jack on the message board – Walsall have signed goalkeeper Lee Harper and midfielder Dino Mennillo on Bosman free transfers. Harper was out-of-contract with QPR and the 29-year-old has been brought in to provide competition for recognised Saddlers number one Jimmy Walker. Director of football Paul Taylor has swooped said: “We’re pleased to have signed Lee, the talks have been going on for a while and now he’s agreed and he’s in the process now of moving his family up here.” Making a far longer journey is 25-year-old Mennillo, a left-sided player who has moved to Walsall from Australian side Wollongong Wolves. Taylor said: “Dino came highly recommended to us and we have decided to give him a shot. “He’s rated highly in Australia and now he has a chance to show what he can do in English football.”

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