Walsall’s Worst Goalkeeper?

Exile @ 10:42 pm Sunday 22 December 2013

There’s been a bit of debate recently on the messageboards as to who was the worst keeper to wear the gloves for Walsall. We’ve narrowed it down to four awful examples from recent memory, and now it’s over to you to decide!

Was it Jonny Brain, whose 17 suspect appearances for Walsall were sandwiched in between being Macclesfield’s player of the season before (they were relegated), and Nantwich’s after?

Could it be Richard McKinney, who had just three games and was behind Murphy, Oakes and Coleman at Paul Merson’s Walsall before being released?

There was also Allen McKnight, often nicknamed McKnightmare for his regular keeping cockups. He played 8 times for Walsall at the rag end of a career of bit parts, and his next contract was in South China.

Finally, how about Andy Petterson, whose three-match spell leaked ten goals in a season where we were relegated on goal difference?

here’s the poll:

Who was the worst between the sticks?
  • Petterson (48%, 119 Votes)
  • Brain (33%, 81 Votes)
  • McKnight (13%, 32 Votes)
  • McKinney (6%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 246

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Walsall 0-0 Crawley: TV Hangover?

Exile @ 9:58 pm Saturday 23 November 2013

No full report yet on the message board, probably because it’s a pig to get home from that place, and they’re all alcoholically confused (sober drivers excepted)…

So, here’s a poll instead:

Do we need a striker?
  • Yes! It's as plain as the nose on my face! (77%, 174 Votes)
  • No! Who needs a striker when you play total football! (23%, 52 Votes)

Total Voters: 226

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Will be interesting to see what you think!

Meanwhile we can say with confidence that the game ended up a well earned point/two points wasted depending on which armchair you were in.

Book launch: Alan Buckley at the match this weekend!

Exile @ 8:28 pm Wednesday 16 October 2013

Don’t forget (or if you didn’t know, then here’s an announcement!) Alan Buckley will be at the Saddlers Club before and after the Stevenage game this weekend to sign copies of his book “Pass and Move: My Story”.

The book costs £15 per copy for Saddlers Club members and Trust members, £18 for non members.

Come along and have a chat with a living legend!

Walsall 0 Bradford 2

roger6 @ 4:40 pm Sunday 06 October 2013

Disappointment at Bescot yesterday as the Saddlers lost 2-0 – you can give your view via the message board but in a change to the usual format here are some reports from elsewhere on the web

Dean Smith refused to be disappointed with the Bantam’s wonder strike that led to the first goal reports Sky Sports.

The Birmingham Mail wondered how Smith will deal with Walsall being less effective at home than they are on their travels

The Yorkshire Post offered these reflections

Grigg – where there’s a Will, there’s a way…

Exile @ 6:41 am Friday 23 August 2013

Brentford’s fan site, the whimsically named ‘Beesotted’ has decided that they are the voice of reason regarding transfer fees for young strikers. Their leader plaintively written here, is by someone who obviously has little grasp of the world outside Brentford, and sounds a clarion call from the poorly financed underdogs who are perennial relegation favourites.

They write:

I cannot recall the last time two League One teams exchanged a player for a seven figure sum, let alone one who’s [sic] contract had lapsed for £1m plus – they’ll be lucky to get half that in my opinion – with £350,000 being more likely according to those ‘in the know’

So apparently Will Grigg is worth a maximum of £350,000 according to the Bees man ‘in the know’.

Where’s the logic? Here it is(n’t):

We believe that Brentford and Doncaster Rovers settled the Harry Forrester ‘conflict of valuations’ by being realistic and with a shared desire not to drag things out by taking the issue to a tribunal. If Walsall insists on going that route and not bartering to establish a realistic figure, then what does Smith expect?

How dare we expect our striker, proven as developed and improved over five years, to be worth as much as £350,000 when Harry Forrester was flicked on without a tribunal? How dare we not accept their pitiful offer gratefully. That’ll be the Harry they signed aged 20, not 15, beating off Ajax, then expected a lottery win when he left to step up a league after two seasons, not five+ years, because they weren’t actually that good. Sorry, but that’s no comparison.

Here’s a hint – the tribunal is used when clubs can’t agree. If Brentford’s derisory valuation (believed to have been as low as £150,000) doesn’t match up to Walsall’s expectation, then of course there’s no agreement, which is why there’s a tribunal for youngsters (at the moment, the EPPP may change everything to the detriment of us all).

The Bees bleating about Walsall’s comments from Dean Smith being a “very dull sound bite” is a bit sad. If they’d played ball this could have been sorted. Walsall are not the club dragging the chain on this issue, and Brentford are the club playing a striker they’ve not paid for. If their Beesotted editorial is a reflection of the club’s thinking, here’s our independent response: buzz off!

Pay before you play. Pay up, Brentford. We’d not be waiting on the tribunal if you hadn’t tried to take the mickey.

Alan Buckley – passed and moved

Exile @ 9:11 pm Thursday 22 August 2013

Saddlers Hero Alan Buckley has his autobiography coming out soon. ‘Pass and Move’, written with Paul Thundercliffe, tells his story, including his extensive Walsall career as both player and manager between 1973-1978 and 1979-1986, where his exploits included the incredible ’90 minutes from Europe’ season.

Alan will be available for book signing in the Saddlers Club from 12pm and from 5pm, before and after our match against Stevenage on October 19. If you’re a member of the Supporters Trust you can pick up a copy of the book at the signing for only £15, £18 for non-members. Time with Alan is priceless! Pass and Move info here.

UTS thanks the Saddlers Club for making this happen for Alan, after the club reasoned that they’d not sell enough tickets to justify a gala evening book launch party on premises and cancelled plans.

League Cup – Stoke ticket prices

Exile @ 9:30 pm Monday 12 August 2013

Stoke have announced that the league cup match against Walsall will be a discount affair.

Stoke have chosen to show up their neighbours, Port Vale, who Walsall got past in the first round, by charging two quid less for the second round game. Tickets cost just £12 for adults, and only £6 for concessions – kids under 17 and crusties. Hopefully that will reflect the quality of their product on the pitch as Walsall make short work of their reserves and youth!

Buy tickets from the club ticket office – they’re on sale from ‘later this week’ so check back with the official site for more. official site link

The game is on Wednesday August 28 and kick off is 7.45pm at the Brittania Stadium.

Walsall 3-1 Tranmere: Earnest Hemmings’ Way

Exile @ 9:16 pm Sunday 04 August 2013

Had to get that awful pun in some time this season. Sorry.

On to the game, where by all accounts a bright and energetic Walsall put Tranmere to the sword. UTS regular kshammer was there, and his report follows:

Cracking first win against a team we made look very poor. Maybe they are actually poor, maybe they’re not, but from the off we taught them a footballing lesson for half an hour or so and it made me all the happier that I haven’t got to watch the kind of dross all season they will have to. They scored from their first serious effort and it knocked us off our stride a little. After half time they, expectedly, came at us a bit but the third goal ended the game and we again were in control. The outright skill, pace and tricks of Lalkovic and Hemmings matched that of the Brandy/Pato roles and if the team keeps it up, there’s no reason why the attack can’t score a similar amount of goals. Very promising start all round…

O’Donnell – not a lot to do but looked ok. Early days but I have concerns about him not coming off his line enough at times – hopefully I’m wrong.
Chambers – solid as ever.
Benning – good game and showed signs of improving reading the game despite some rough treatment from one of their many donkeys.
Downing – misread one ball over the top but is a Rolls Royce.
Butler – solid at the back as usual. May be disappointed he didn’t score.
Chambers – solid, another committed display.
Mantom – don’t understand the criticism – did ok. Early on in the game he was particularly involved.
Baxendale – maybe not his best game but thought he was neat and tidy.
Hemmings – we called him MOTM before they did officially. Was a thorn in the side of Tranmere all game with pace and skill – hopefully it will be his year.
Lalkovic – real box of tricks. Loads of skill, put plenty of effort in and just needs the ball to feet whenever possible. Could be the gem of the team.
Westcarr – two goals, worked hard, linked play well – another 99 games like this and maybe he’ll win people over The decision to stop the game by the ref when he was about to shoot was disgraceful and robbed him of the match ball.

Featherstone – did a job
Hewitt – came on late, no real time
Sawyers – looked bright, few nice touches of promise

See it differently? Glasses have more rose tint? Talk about it on the messageboard! Match thread: click here for link

Poll: Where will we finish this season?

Exile @ 10:27 pm Sunday 28 July 2013

The squad appears to mostly in place, the fixtures are out and we kick off for real this weekend. You know the drill – now vote!

Where will we finish this season?
  • Upper mid table (7-12) (48%, 277 Votes)
  • Mid table mediocrity (13-20) (21%, 123 Votes)
  • Playoffs (3-6) (20%, 112 Votes)
  • In League Two (21-24) (6%, 32 Votes)
  • Automatic promotion (1st or 2nd) (5%, 29 Votes)

Total Voters: 573

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Chelsea Striker Signs On Loan

Exile @ 9:46 pm Monday 15 July 2013

Milan Lalkovic, the 20 year old Chelsea forward, has reportedly signed on loan for six months. He’s a highly regarded product of their academy and is now a fully-fledged member of the reserves there.

Apparently he can play up front, on either wing or as an attacking midfield player, so it looks like we’ve solved the Brandy / Grigg / Paterson problem at a stroke! Seriously, he looks like a great asset to have up front, albeit only until Christmas, so we’d better work on getting to the magic fifty points as fast as possible (ha ha).

How do you feel about this?

How do you feel about Lalkovic on Loan
  • Excited! (87%, 433 Votes)
  • Meh! (13%, 65 Votes)

Total Voters: 498

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He’s Walsall’s first external signing of the closed season, and we look forward to seeing who else Deano will bring in. While it’s entirely possible that Ada Viveash had something to do with Walsall being chosen for Milan’s development, it should not go unreported that this is a big deal for Walsall, and shows that other clubs are taking notice of our set-up and pedigree for developing youth, which bodes well for the future, both in terms of loan players and also getting the signatures of some of our local youngsters ahead of the rest of the Midlands pack.

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