Archive for October, 2001

Stockport 0 Walsall 2

roger6 @ 12:35 am Wednesday 31 October 2001

At last – an away win! A tremendous response from the whole Walsall team last night to the Gillingham debacle saw the Saddlers comfortably beat bottom-of-the-table Stockport and raise fans hopes that maybe we can stay up. Fans give their reaction on the message board:
The Doffer – superb result although against a very, very poor side. Well done Brett and a great debut from Matt who won everything in the air. Jimmy made a fine save when we were 1 up and my man of the match has to go DARREN WRACK. Bring on the Bruce, manager elect of the woeful men of Brum and watch us shatter his dreams – the Midlands will be a nightmare for the Bruce.
Paul G – Looking a little better tonight. If we had drawn both of the last away games we would be feeling pleased but to have won one and lost one is more profitable. We have four wins now – in 99-00 we had four wins on New Years Day. 2 or 3 more victories before xmas and we could be on course to get out of trouble. Of our two former Stockport men I thought Bennett was superb for most of the night. Together with Thorgyson he got through an enormous amount of work. However I feel they are too similar to keep together if we are to attack the better sides in this division – i.e. anyone else. Angell was slow, won little in the air, seemed to misjudge the bounce of virtually every ball and was far too easily bundled of the ball for my liking. Yes he did pop up with the goal but he surely is not the answer to our goalscoring problems. Goodman and a rejuvenated Leitao must be ahead of him in the pecking order. Finally Matt Carbon had an excellent game. It’s a little early to say he may be our defensive saviour and it was a desperately poor side we played tonight – but for his first competitive game in months he won every ball in the air and
was first to the ball on the ground.

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Poor Saddlers Lose Again

roger6 @ 12:35 am Saturday 27 October 2001

Walsall’s sorry away form continued today as they crumbled to their seventh league defeat on their travels 2-0 at Gillingham. Sir Ray was open and honest enough after the game to say how poor Walsall played. He’d been hampered in the morning by late injuries to the troubled Matt Carbon and Pedro Matias – meaning the 11 he put out was not by any means his original choice. Walsall now travel to Stockport on Tuesday, the basement club who were today thumped 4-0 at home by Millwall. Here are a few Walsall fans reactions to Saturday’s defeat:
Jim – Chettle gone, Carbon complaining of sore calves, losing to a team that hadn’t won in 5 matches, missing out on a quality loan signing from the Villa, not spending a penny of our ‘profits’, our ‘scouting’ system centred on 35+ has beens that happen to be playing in attractive holiday destinations arround the globe, conceding a hatful of goals in stoppage time, the uncanny ability to reproduce an exact carbon copy of our last time in div1, not been able to sell out our home games against opposition that we wont be playing against for a long time at this rate…. the list could go one for quite a while longer.
Stu – does Ray Graydon know his best side? How many players have we tried in centre midfield this season? 1)Bennett 2)Simpson 3)Keates 4)Curtis 5)Wrack 6)Herivelto 7)Matias 8)Thorgersen . I dont think I have missed anyone out there have I? How many striker’s have we used this season?
1)Leitao 2)Byfield 3)Goodman 4)Angell 5)Wrack 6)Herivelto 7)Matias and that doesnt include Ofodile!!! How many striker partnerships have we used? 1)Leitao & Goodman 2)Leitao & Byfield 3)Byfield & Goodman 4)Leitao & Wrack 5)Wrack & Byfield 6)Goodman & Herivelto. Again, dont think I have missed another combination out there!!!

Walsall 3 Rotherham 2

roger6 @ 12:36 am Tuesday 23 October 2001

Two goals and an assist from recalled Pedro Matias capped a successful if topsy-turvy night at Bescot last night as Sir Ray and the team soundly answered the critics with three valuable points in a 3-2 win against improving Rotherham. But it was nervy – gilt-edged chances missed to score a fourth, followed by an incredible two goals conceded in injury time. A good night in particular for one Walsall fan down the bookies – our regular panel give their verdicts on the game:
Wryley Saddler – Over the bloody moon, I had Saddlers to win 3-2 and Matias to get the 1st goal, 2 quid at 150-1 92 mins played and still 3-0 to us. I said to my mate what price 2 Rotherham goals in minute, probably a million to one at that point. Sorry we gifted two stupid goals but I went home with 300 quid in my pocket, and we held on to bloody win. What a night.
Shaun – the two late goals took the gloss of what was again for 60mins a good preformance , can understand RG taking off the players carrying injuries but can’t understand why we have to sit on the 18 yard line and defend when the ball is in the opposition’s half.
Paul G – a good result against an improving millers team who will fight to the death to stay up.
Dave Gittins – A real game of 2 halves tonight, we looked dynamite 1st half 3-0 up and 2 goals disallowed. I don’t know what happened at half time but we did not have the same flair second half. We contained Rotherham without really threatening (apart from Herivelto’s missed open goal). A late scare from Rotherham, I’m just pleased we only had three minutes of stoppage time and not more otherwise we could have been discussing dropping three points.

Last Gasp Disaster

roger6 @ 12:37 am Saturday 20 October 2001

A deflected 90th minute winner gave Wednesday the points, and Saddlers fans will once again have to spend the weekend in deep disappointment.
Darren Byfield had given Walsall the lead on 19 minutes in a first half that we dominated. But Terry Yorath made switches at the break and brought Wednesday back into the game.
Is this the end of the Doffer? He vowed not to visit the message board again if we failed to get a point at Hillsborough. Let’s hope he can come back – the capitalised postings were light relief amongst the gloom of relegation places…
What a irony on a gloomy day like today – Michael Ricketts scores the winner for Bolton at Manchester United. Whatever the terms of his transfer from Walsall to Bolton – the board are going to look mugs if he leaves Bolton for millions.
Hull Saddler gives his views on the game: Completely & totally unbelievable.In the first half Wednesday were one of the worst teams that I can remember seeing.Their passing was abysmal.Their confidence looked non-existent.They looked at least one division standard below us.How an earth we only managed to score one goal is beyond me . If ever there was an opportunity to kill off an opposition then this was it. A second goal would have seen their crowd on their backs & I’m sure that they would have collapsed.Well at least we were going to go on to improve our goal difference in the 2nd half.What happens ? We start to give them far to much time on the ball & they gain in confidence.I have always been quite keen on Gadsby but apart from the one forward run he made his defending was dire.He continually backed off their substitute wide on the left,letting him take the ball unchallenged deep into the area & I must admit it did not come as a total shock when a move excactly like this led to their equaliser. I cannot understand why he was not substituted earlier as anything would have been an improvement.
What has happened to jorge? I’m afraid I cant see him scoring the type of goal he scored last season against Cambridge – picking up the ball on halfway ,accelerating with pace, brushing off defenders before sticking it in the net.The saddest thing to me is the way he seems to have given up.The one thing you could guarantee about him was that he would put their defenders under pressure when we lost possession.Today he seemed to be strolling half-heartedly towards them. Where before he would have challenged & conceded a throw in, now they were able to bring the ball away quickly and launch an attack.I’m sure he is lacking in confidence but someone has to motivate him, sit him down & make him watch his goals from last season to remind him what he is capable of.
I thought Roper made a number of clumsy unnecessary challenges (I assume Brightwell is injured?)& I agree with another thread that Chettle should be signed up.
Pedro had 2 good chances when he came on but was disappointing.
I did think that Darren Byfield gave an absolutely wholehearted display.He looked dangerous whenever he was involved.I know in the past that he has been criticised for being greedy but there were a couple of occasions when I felt he could have tried to have gone all the way himself.I presume this is the result of only the 1 goal before today affecting his confidence.
The less said about the killer effect of that injury time goal the better.I just felt total disbelief. I fear for the rest of the season when we come away pointless from a game against such opposition.I only hope that I hear better things over the internet on Tues night

Walsall 0 Coventry 1

roger6 @ 12:37 am Monday 15 October 2001

Seven and half thousand turned up, as well as ITV’s camera crew, but it still wasn’t enough to avoid the same old story – Walsall missing their chances and getting punished by a classy strike. David Thompson’s 30-yard thunderbolt sailing into the roof of the net just 14 minutes in the only difference between the sides on the scoresheet at least.
Plenty of differences elsewhere though – namely the value of the squads. We saw a few players yesterday at Bescot earning upwards of 10k a week on the Coventry side – and in Lee Hughes somebody who cost a pound over £5 million. No wonder the club is apparently £30 million in debt…
Much talk on the message board this morning about Sir Ray’s 3-5-2 formation – with split views on whether it worked. Most agree Darren Byfield should have been MoM with tireless running. Jorge looked lacklustre for my money, and too often the Saddlers resorted to the punt over the top. Views from the fans:
ShropshireSaddler – Why is Graydon playing players out of position? We won’t score goals while we have two defenders (Gadsby and Aranalde) playing in front of the midfield. The balls delivered into the box are appalling. We’re back to last season when Brightwell used to loft the ball in from 40 yards out. The success we had early this season was when Herivelto forced his way to the byline and got crosses in. Now we play Herivelto in some sort of midfield role asking him to defend for most of the game.And we wonder why
he’s not a effective! Then we bring Matias on and we’re obviously reverting to 4-4-2 – oh no we’re not. We continue 5-3-2 and play MAtias on the right side of midfield.
GeordieSaddler – earlier in the season we carried Bennett for half a dozen games, now Jorge. I thought there were times yesterday when we bossed the midfield, and that’s against a team who were in the premier league last season.
The Doffer – totally outplayed 1st half, 2nd half no confidence in front of goal
Addo – Gadsby & Aranalde deliver predictable balls and are uncomfortable in the final third. Pedro was wasted on the right of midfield. Wrack wasted at wingback. Angell given nothing to feed on.

Walsall 2 Norwich 0

roger6 @ 12:38 am Wednesday 10 October 2001

Relief for all who follow the Saddlers last night – our first win since the opening day, 2-0 at home to Norwich. Meaning we’re out of the relegation zone! The message board’s been alive with reaction – a selection of posts are below together with your usual comprehensive guide to match reports available on the web.
paul g – Almost surreal. Saddlers win, Bennett plays well, Angell plays and Byfield scores. We were all so surprised to see a goal that no one seemed to realise what it was when it eventually came. Another new team line up but at least we kept the same formation. It was a brave but necessary move to pick such an
attacking side. If it was to work we really needed Bennett to be on top of his game and fortunatly we got the Bennett of two seasons ago. Chettle has done wonders for the defence. The comeback of Wrack continues to amaze. Jimmy is back. Byfield looked the part at last and Jorge even seemed to be coming into it as the teams confidence returned. We seem to have found a way to accomodate Herivelto into a 5-3-2 formation although he can be frustratingly greedy at times. Still can not see what Curtis adds. Presumably he was brought on to shore up defensively although we seemed to lose more ground when he appeared. He did OK in his cameo but why include Angell after publicly stating this week he has no role to play in the squad? Is this some mind game to throw the opposition? steve – Once we were 2-0 up didn’t Herivelto look as if he was enjoying himself. His touch is brilliant, although he was guilty on 1 occassion of keeping it too long when Byfield was free to have a go.
the doffer – superb, glorious, great result. What a strike frombyfield, I knew when the team was put out we had a great chance, lets hope there’s more from darren – we played some tasty football in the 1st half
alan – I can’t be the only one to have noticed how well Bennett played. I honestly think on that form, he is getting back to his best
anonymous – did anyone see the performance of our post and crossbar? Quality defending by them and by far the most expensive “players” in our team, must have cost at least a few hundred quid, and without doubt far fitter then Matt Carbon.

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