Archive for May, 2012

Saddlers Release Seven

Neil @ 2:50 pm Wednesday 09 May 2012

The Saddlers have announced that they will be releasing seven players this close season, Jon Macken, Olly Lancashire, Kevan Hurst, Anton Peterlin, Ryan Jarvis, Connor Deards and Johnny Haynes.

Macken has been one of the team’s better players and has been missed when not in the team for his hold up play, but age and injury are taking their toll now. He will be difficult to replace.

Peterlin, you always felt, was a gamble, being picked up late last closed season and, although he has done a job, he hasn’t looked good enough to hold down a first choice place.

Hurst and Lancashire are the only ones that might be considered to be surprises, but Hurst has had a season ruined by injury and hasn’t looked the same player since his return. Lancashire, I suspect, is felt to be too good for third choice, but not good enough to displace the first choices, so falls between two stools.

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roger6 @ 12:37 pm Monday 07 May 2012

A great final day for all Saddlers on Saturday at a club that symbolises a lot of what is rotten with society. If the franchise owners haven’t committed enough crimes against football by transplanting a club 60 miles from their actual home and fans, they’ve compounded their shame by plonking an Ikea right next door – a store that defies logic, insults intelligence, and causes marital rifts by forcing you to walk three times round a shop before collecting a single item in a brown box in a warehouse that then can’t be put together because it is a missing a single screw and the instructions are written in Swedish by a child.

On to the football, which was by all accounts excellent from the Saddlers, and insipid from the promotion chasers. Let’s hope Huddersfield do the world a favour and turn them over in the play-offs.

WFC Rob was there and offered his usual considered thoughts on the message board:

Very solid, professional performance from us and we looked very comfortable in keeping them at bay. Walker never had a save to make, yet we missed a couple of really good chances (Nicholls’ was an absolute sitter) and a better final ball could have seen us score three or four. We basically let them have the ball to see if they could play through us. They didn’t.

Nobody had a bad game, although I thought Nicholls and Paterson were a bit wasteful with the ball at times. Chambers and Mantom had Smith and Potter shackled for most of the afternoon, whilst the whole back four were just a brick wall. Ledesma could have done better in front of goal, but the sorts of positions he gets himself into are too hot for most sides at this level to handle. MK Dons resorted to cynical fouls to try stopping him yesterday – not the first time we’ve seen an opposition resort to that.

It just goes to show what a difference pressure and confidence make. A neutral would have thought we were closer to the top of the league than the bottom.

Our fans were great yesterday, but theirs were truly embarrassing. If you can’t get excited with your side potentially 2 games from Wembley and 3 from promotion, when can you? That said, Huddersfield will rip them to shreds if they play like that in the week.

As for the comments about the ground being clean, a certain part of the away end was left in a bit of a state by the kid who spent the first half asleep before using the half time break to puke up the morning’s drinking session. Nice.

Great away day overall.

The Franchise vs Walsall Preview

Neil @ 3:15 pm Friday 04 May 2012

For much of the last month, fans were thinking that the season eas going down to the wire and tomorrow’s visit to the plastic football team at the Franchise was going to be crucial. Instead, last Saturday’s results have left this game as a meaningless fixture for the Saddlers, in terms of League position, anyway. It isn’t for our opponents, of course, as they go into this fixture just two points ahead of Huddersfield, also at home tomorrow, against Yeovil. The results of these two games will decide which of the two will have home advantage in the second leg of the play off semi finals. That was the reason for Huddersfield resting three or four playes against us last week (including scoring sensation Jordan Rhodes) and it will be interesting to see whether Karl Robinson takes a similar view of the fixture against us.

Dean Smith has lost the services of probably his most influential player, since his arrival on loan, and the scorer of the goal last week, Florent Cuvelier, whose loan period has finished. Returning to the sqad will be Manny Smith, whose suspension is over, a fit again Adam Chambers and George Bowerman, also recovering from injury. That means a fully fit squad.

As for the Franchise, leading goalscorer Dean Bowditch, fellow striker Charlie MacDonald and midfielder Alan Smith are expected to return. They all started on the substitutes’ bench in last week’s win at Rochdale as Karl Robinson made wholesale changes.

Robinson, however, will be tempted to field his full-strength starting XI in a bid to secure the win that would guarantee a fourth-place finish and home advantage in the return leg of that play-off semi-final with Huddersfield.

Stephen Gleeson is expected to revert back to his more accustomed role alongside Darren Potter in midfield, with 16-year-old Brendan Galloway, handed his first start at Rochdale, making way. Midfielder Daniel Powell is hoping to return to the side following his one-game ban.

Predictions?

Despite some people playing for new contracts for the Saddlers, I think the opposition will want this more than we do, as they look forward to the play offs. Granted, we might well play better with the pressure off, but I really cant see us getting anything from this one.

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