UpTheSaddlers Forum

5 points off relegation


… here we go again.

… one season on & still trying to stay in this league with the same back 5.


Last season taught me about the complacency of thinking a team safely in mid table in February couldn’t possibly be dragged into a relegation fight in April.

Worry aswell is bottom teams have really picked up now. You have Bradford not just winning games but smashing teams, Wimbledon have picked up a few wins lately and I had Scunny as worst team in this league and they’ve just gone and won their last two without conceding. Add in Bristol Rovers revival…

Think you’re going to need a few more points than 50-51 to stay up this season.

January will tell us much. Would be nice for the team to actually decide to turn up for games against the bottom 6 from now on, that might help.


Again we’re restricted by the the players we can get in .

We need someone to invest , and bite the bullet , and spend some proper money , and get a team that is capable of keeping us out of this ■■■■


Not surprised one bit , only a matter of time before the penny pinching will catch up with the club.


Obviously need to get a defender or two in but ahead I’d say options of Edwards/Dobson/Kinsella/Jarvis/Cook should be enough.

The player with the best game management in the squad is Chambers imo so if he can get himself fit and be available to be put on with 10 minutes left when the team are holding onto 2-1 leads I think that would be a boost aswell.


It’s 1 win in 10 isn’t it ?

2 points across the Christmas period from a possible 12.

Something needs to change, we start so slowly in games.
I have watched our pre game warm up and it’s pathetic. Either this or our pre game preparation needs a different approach from the coaching staff and management


Next 4 fixtures…


Then got Rochdale at home the following week. In August these were all wins and draws,

Two wins from that and nothing to worry about. More Bristol Rovers “performances” though…

We will know more in next four weeks anyway. Time for more players to step up like Cook has done in last six weeks.


After 26 game JW had one more point and a goal difference that was 11 goals better than what we have at the moment. This is now way me saying we were better off under the previous regime but goes to show how equally poor this season is compared to the last. Keates has some good grace due to his previous status at the club…but for how long ?

He has been backed (to a point) by the board and achieved not much at all. I truly hope we can pick up a couple of results soon to consolidate in mid table but at the moment it does not look likely


Reality is way club is run mid table in league one is just what happens.

Think back last decade and 15/16 is the exception. How many other seasons have Walsall finished even in top 10 of league one?

DK is doing his best but like Smith in his first 3 seasons he is still very green in football league management compared to vast majority of managers in this division.

Likes of Karl Robinson and McCall must have 200-300 games under their belt and both manage teams below Walsall. Keith Hill aswell.


Always thought appointing Keates would be a risky move. He’ll get lots more goodwill than Whitney ever got, despite us being just as bad, if not worse.

For me, we do have some very poor players at the back, but that is just no excuse for complete passive defending. Keates needs to sharpen up fast


Just reading the Charlton match thread and it’s worth remembering the team have still put in excellent performances recently.

Just last Saturday for example against one of the most in form teams in europe. At Posh which I saw with my very own eyes. Any game against Sunderland this season.

Of course small details are costing wins but that shouldn’t be confused with everything is awful/useless as in the last few months of John Whitney.

Big problem is for whatever reason the team just don’t turn up in games they are more than capable of winning.

Things would be less complicated with 4 points from Bradford/Bristol Rovers which the team should’ve been capable of.

That obviously needs to change in the next four weeks.


Keates is struggling. It’s a pity because we got off to a fine start which should have made any relegation chat all but redundant.

I think he consigned Plan A to the bin too quickly. We may have been abject at Luton and Southend but we had done alright with wingers to that point.

The “bad decisions” he berates the players so publicly for could equally be laid at his door. Seeing games out requires a plan that everybody is rehearsed in. It seems we fall into ad libbing when in front going into the last ten minutes. We end up neither being ruthless in seeing sides off by going for the jugular nor being good enough to nurdle the time away so we fall into nothingness with square pegs in round holes all over the place.

Russell Martin as player coach . If you’re creating a fanfare when bringing your mates to the club then you need to be sure they can deliver. I really hope it is a fitness thing and Martin comes back looking more like the quality leader Keates built him up to be.

Despite signing his own goalie, two new centre-backs and a full-back our back five is still the Whitney back five. One or two of them have improved a bit, one or two have regressed. But individually and collectively they aren’t good enough.

There a pluses too. Despite the stats suggesting we were better off this time last year, I think we’ve all seen enough to know that we now have a better manager. But my, that is a low benchmark and he’s only just above it. I just hope he can sort that defence out and see off a few of what on paper look like easier fixtures in January. Like everyone, I’d love to see Keates succeed here and hope he’s simply having a few managerial growing pains just now.


Is Conor Johnson worth a game or two? I was impressed when he played that single game a few weeks ago?