Well, by all accounts a disappointing outing to the Imps and a lucky escape to blag a replay at home. With the draw being made since then, if we get past Lincoln we have a home game against either Mansfield or Slough. So here’s a poll to enjoy!
Meanwhile, UTS regular Sadders was at the match and this is how he saw it. There’s some harsh words in there for some of our players, who might want to think long and hard about the performances they’re (not) turning in at the moment:
Pathetic, woeful, slow, pedestrian, un-creative, lacking pace, lacking defensive ability, lacking guile, lacking height, lacking presense. Tremendously crud, awful, David Dickinson, crud, lacklustre, childish. Lincoln hammered us, we were pathetic. Back to the dark days of Hutchings, perhaps even worse at times. I dont blame Smith (who by the way kept the players on the pitch at the end hopefully to give them a roasting of their life time) he had no Taylor, no Brandy, no Cuvelier – I’d have gone with the exact same system as him, the only thing I’d have considered was leaving Bowerman on the bench and putting Baxendale back into a 4-5-1. Smith made the right changes IMO, Jones looked lively when he came on and Williams is bigger in size than any other striker in our side. The players need to take a long look at themselves, no urgency, no passion, no 1st balls, no 2nd balls, no presence, no strength – they just werent bothered. We had all the ball in the 1st half, but continued to play it at training pace across the back four, despite repeatedly have opportunities to drive 10 or 20 yards further forward, this allowed Lincoln’s 2 banks of 4 to sit in comfortably awaiting our mis-placed pass.
Hemmings is the biggest disgrace to play for this club in yonks. Not one jot of anything he showed today replicates that of a league player. He was weak, slow, couldn’t be bothered, didnt track back, showed no effort, no pace, didn’t beat his man, didnt break up play, didn’t defend, didnt attack – he just brought nothing but an arrogant ‘chip on the shoulder’ attitude – loan list him or tear his contract up now, we’l soon see how arrogant he is when he repeatedly checks his phone for an agent’s call – only to find Hednesford Town are the only team willing to give him a trial. The ‘We want Hemmings off chant’, the ‘Hemmings is a winner’ and the huge goal like cheer when he left the pitch were 100% thoroughly deserved – if he plays in a Walsall shirt again, its a crime of managerial proportions.
Jamie Paterson, yes – The Messi of league one. The fancy flicks, the pace, the skills, the turns. Oh sorry? It was almost like I was standing in his boots then. Note to yourself Jamie, you play in league one, you need to pass the ball like a lower league player, you need to look up before you pass, you need to stop running into blind alleys, you need to stop playing with such a stroppy pathetic ‘arrogant’ attitude – if we release you, who exactly do you think is going to take a gamble on a young kid released by lowly Warsaw? Macclesfield? Barnet? Accrington? You’l be lucky.
As for the rest. Holden and Butler were caught too square frequently, Holden is over the hill sat on his farm. To slow, easily shrugged off the ball and totally not up to it – shame as I like the man. Butler once again couldn’t keep his mouth in order and ended up giving 2 stupid fouls away because he’d wound himself up and got frustrated – note to self Andy, we as fans love you for you ‘up and at them attitude’ but please try not to get booked and give risky free kicks away because you can’t as a captain of a football team keep your mouth shut for more than 3.2 seconds.
Adam Chambers worked hard and put a couple of spicy tackles in, but went missing like most of last season and found himself in ‘crab mode’ at numerous points in the first half – especially on 2 occasions where he decided to play a 10 yard pass sidewards or backwards when he had a pass forwards on. James Chambers was relatively solid, but his ball retention in the 2nd half was poor and he was not his usual composed self. Featherstone had his worse game, his ball retention was the worst of anyone and despite ‘always’ trying, he was thoroughly lightweight, thoroughly wasteful and the only thing he tried to do was get at my patience.
On to David Grof. Why on earth do half of our fanbase back this clown? 3 times today he nearly cost us, flapping for a corner, parrying a weak long distance effort to the feet of Jamie Taylor and not communicating with Butler almost causing a goal both in the 1st half and 2nd half. The man is a walking liability. He is very close at times to being on Jon Brain level of liability. He can’t command his box, his kicking is generally hit and miss, his shot stopping is dire, he gets beaten from distance, he’s a walking ‘chip’ candidate, he instills no confidence in the squad or the defence and he is a ‘walking clanger’. Yet some people have him primed as the next candidate for Joe Hart’s position at City. Talk about blinkers, he’s mostly dire.
The only players that can take anything from the game are Grigg, who again tried hard, ran the channels well in the opening 20 minutes and did look like scoring for once. Bowerman works hard but doesn’t really have any attributes to his game bar the actually scoring part (okay that’s a good thing, but in a side like this it’s really not) and Purkiss who was literally standing that far over on the right hand side at times he wasn’t in the lines of play!
Sorry to sound so doomful and ‘write slashy’. But today wasn’t an off day like Bury was last week, this was 10 times as bad, this was lazy, un-motivated. This consisted of little attacking play, this consisted of arrogance from half of our squad and this consisted of quite frankly at times an embarassing lack of quality. This isn’t a worrying sign, this is a sign that we really need to pull the trigger on some loans before we lose all momentum and memory of a very good opening start to the season.
Without Cuvelier we looked less than a conference side. We had no physical edge against a bigger Lincoln side and our football was more ‘tippy tappy’ and ‘side to side’ than a conference side. If you can’t hoof it and get results, then you have to play football and get results – correct? We were frankly terrible at both today. Okay so Lincoln were up for it and had absolutely nothing to lose, but they were miles better than us, better on the ball, more penetrative, they had a classy looking little striker in Jamie Taylor, they had it over our backline all afternoon and for it – they looked far more threatening. If I was a Lincoln fan tonight, I’d be truly devastated. It says it all that I felt embarassed celebrating a Walsall FC goal.
This wasn’t a bad day because we drew to a side 50 places below us, this was an embarassing day because we had a squad that thought they’d walk all over Lincoln City and they were well and truly taught a lesson. Not been this dissapointed/angry about a performance since the darkest of dark days under Hutchings. Finally, an apology to Lincoln fans – I apologise that you will have drive 80 miles to our ground on a cold Tuesday night in 2 weeks, I apologise you will have to spend your hard earned cash on playing a replay against us and finally, I apologise that you wont be sat tommorrow afternoon watching the draw in the comfy knowledge that you have a place in the 2nd round, as you justly deserved.
- We get a 2nd crack at it.
- We can’t play that badly again in any official fixture this season.
- Jake Jones looked lively.
- Hopefully Hemmings wont play in our team ever again.
Grof 1 – Useless excuse for a goalkeeper. A flying purple potato.
Purkiss 6 – Tried his best. Got forward at times, still frighteningly slow though.
Holden 4 – Given the run around by a BSP striker.
Butler 5 – Skinned too easily and gave fouls away, won his fair share of headers though. Nothing like captain fantastic.
J Chambers 6 – Solid enough at the back, frustratingly wasteful in possession.
Paterson 0 – Have fun in the reserves Jamie.
Featherstone 2 – The logic behind football is to pass the ball to one of your own players Nicky.
A Chambers 5 – Best of the midfield, tried hard but lacked the bite of recent weeks.
Hemmings 0 – Are you loan listed yet Ashley? Detestable little prat.
Bowerman 4 – Goal is a goal, but brings nothing else.
Grigg 7 – MOTM. Won a few headers, brought others in to the game and generally was a bright spark in an otherwise terrible occasion.
Jake Jones 6 – Impressed, showed the energy and passion we lacked all afternoon.
Williams – Won 1 header, but isn’t ready for pro football yet.
I understand the budget constraints in our club, but we are better than this, surely?