Are we all behind deano?


Are we all going to get behind deano and give him our full support??? It does take a bit of time for him to get his own team together. Yet there are supporters already talking about getting rid,??? I believe given time he will get it right . What do you think discuss???



I’m fully behind him. Think it’ll all come good once he can get rid of the rest of Whitney’s signings and bring his own in, only then can he really put his own stamp on things. To be honest even if we went down I’d trust him to make the right changes and give us the best chance of getting back up.



WHY do people continually call for managers’ heads when the real problem is staring them in the boat race?

The same restrictions that are on Deano will be on the next cheap option and so the cycle continues. It really isn’t rocket science.

If anyone would want to succeed for Walsall it would be Deano. Who else is going to come in? Bonsers luck in appointing miracle workers has run out.




Free pass just like Whitney had in 16/17.

It is his first season managing in league football remember.

Next season is time to judge although of course he’ll still have the same restrictions trying to form “his” squad.



We can all judge next season . This year is about staying up and asembling a squad that can push for the play offs next season. Think we all got ( myself included) a bit excited by the start we had to the season.At least we have shown a bit more ambition with transfer fees and contracts. Let’s hope it continues.UTS

1 Like


I think it is OK after 40 odd games and almost two transfer windows in charge, to take a view as to whether you think he is doing well or not / will do well or not. What is clear is that he is working under the same constraints as his predecessors and that Bonser is a constant in all of this. Therefore a comparison with Whitney or Smith at this stage of their tenure is not unreasonable.

So far, I think he is doing OK but nothing to get excited about. Signing Cook was probably his best decision, however, some of the others don’t look the quality that we would need to bother the top six anytime soon.

Style of football is OK but nothing special, and some of his his in game decisions / tactics are questionable.

I cannot see why anyone should be calling for his head now though, maybe if we are relegated, in which case he would have achieved something not seen since Merson was in charge. Even then I’m not sure changing it would be a benefit as the better players would be off and a new manager would be expected to get us promoted with an even smaller playing budget.



I’m behind him but anyone who thinks he’s totally blameless is deluded. He’s made many mistakes. I back him 100% though. We were expecting to go down so him keeping us up would be an okay first full season.



I think on balance he’s done a good job. I expected this season to be far worse than it has turned out so far. We could get sucked into that situation but I’d rather have faith than assume that will happen.

I was an adamant defender of Whitney but I think this side has a much better foundation to build on. Defensively there have been no improvements at all and that has been his biggest failing so far, hopefully it is addressed.

But as always, being Walsall manager is like swimming with one hand tied behind your back so that is always built in to my expectations of any manager.



Judging by the fact we have paid fees for a number of his signings I personally think he has received better backing than his predecessor. In light of this I think his achievements have been bang average. Replace Cookie with Ozzie and situation is very similar, we have a team being propped up by a single talisman.

JW was never going to succeed once he lost the fans but Dean still has a good chance. However as stated previously all WFC managers have to operate under very tight budgets, if he can keep us up what’s the point in getting rid. We may as well stick with one of our own but he isn’t ever going to be another Ray Graydon.

1 Like


Agree with you on this…he has done Ok. My biggest concern is his in game management. His failure to respond at Bolton and when Scunthorpe retook the lead are the most recent examples.If we get relegated(which I think is unlikely) then it might be necessary to think abut a change but ,on balance,I would give him the first chance of getting us back up.



Whitney never had to inherit the team Keates did. This one was much worse than the one Whitney inherited, who was allowed to add a lot of players, including a striker for 300K.

So far Keates has been given undisclosed fees (probably agents fees) and 35K for Ferrier.

I also love that staying up, which was about as positive as anybody was about our chances before this season, is now seen as a task anybody should be able to achieve and proof Keates will “never be a Graydon”.

1 Like


What could he do realistically against Bolton? Chuck Johnson on at 2-2 chasing the game? Because we were fine going forward, managed three goals against a Championship team (for now anyway).



The reason we still talk about Graydon 20 years later is because there will never be another. They come around once every 30 - 50 years!

We all need to get real with these comparisons. I’ll be lucky to see another in my lifetime - while the board we have are in place, anyway…

1 Like


In short, yes - but I don’t think he’s as blameless as the club present.

It fascinated me at the Focus Meeting that the club kept saying 75% of the players arent Keates’ (often interchanged with "75% of the budget used isnt Keates’ " depending on the argument they needed) so I did some sums.

In terms of heads, from what could be considered ‘the squad’, 54% of them were brought in or extended by Keates. 55% of the Gillingham squad fall into the bracket ‘Keates players’. To me, this is more than enough to make a managers mark and weaken the excuse ‘not my players’ to explain 1 win in 8.

It would be interesting to work out how many of the football leagues managers have 100% their ‘own’ players but I bet its not many. The last manager I can recall leaving a club was Mourinho and there are still players there that were there when he arrived; he was sacked for not getting them to perform. To me, the interview question for managerial applicants is not “how quick can you spend this budget on your own players?” but “What can you do with my squad that the other guy couldn’t?”

In terms of budget - I dont know without real figures. However what you’d probably call ‘high-earners’ seems split 50/50 between non-Keates players (Edwards,Lehy, Devlin, Chambers and maybe Morris) and Keates players (Cook, Ismail, Gordon, Osbourne and maybe Martin for this exercise).
Again, I dont know the specifics but for the clubs claim of 75% of the budget to be Whitneys, Devlin and Lehy would have to be on 3 times as much as Keates marquee recruits, which I’m not sure I believe to be honest… though I could be wrong.



Whitney did lose a fair few of Smith’s best players at the end of 15/16 though. Bradshaw and Sawyers the best examples.

1 Like


I don’t know about percentages but I’d argue it’s more to do with who are the issues and who aren’t. Lets take that squad:

Liam Roberts - Youth Product and a good one in my opinion. Still needs to improve but may well do.

Norman - Keates. Too early to say.
Johnson - Keates. Has never let us down when he’s played. Seems a cheap replacement option and has done that job as well as can be expected for me.
Guthrie - Whitney. Very good start to the season but has returned to the player we all know he is. Weak in the challenge. Immobile. Surprisingly poor in the air.
Leahy - Whitney. A brilliant player going forward at this level but is simply a defensive liability.

Devlin - Whitney. See Leahy
Osbourne - Keates. For me a fail. Too immobile and Kinsella is a better option
Edwards - Whitney. Without question a success.
Jarvis - Keates. A masterstroke to bring him in for Ginnelly I think he improves us no end.

Cook - Keates. Obviously a success.
Gordon - Keates. One for the future and brought in as a third choice striker. Something we never had under Whitney. At times we only had 1! Looks a prospect but has a long way to go.

Dunn - Keates. A cheap back up, about all we can hope for on our budget.
Laird - Keates. Too early to tell. Seems a solid back up option.
Dobson - Whitney. Looks to have tailed off again since the end of last season and the beginning of this (where he was outstanding).
Ismail - Keates. Again, for me, a fail. Looks disinterested.
Morris - Youth Product
Kinsella - Youth Product
Mussa - Keates. Too early to tell.

When I look down that list, yes I agree the percentages are off (although we will never know what the wage splits are) the problems with this squad look to be more Whitney signings than Keates.

1 Like


You could say the same for Keates losing Ozzy and Edwards (although hopefully we see an improvement now he has Edwards back).

The difference is Whitney lost them from a promotion chasing side. Keates lost them from a team who barely scraped safety.



Spot on. This continued claim that Whitney inherited a great squad is nonsense. He inherited a squad which was completely torn apart when we didn’t get promotion and he had a huge rebuilding job to do.

As for keates, there are some really good assessments. There are some areas where there is good reason for optimisim. I like that we’re signing hungry players from non-league and accept some will be hits and some misses. And I think, generally, he has an idea about the way he wants to play. But there are also some glaring deficiencies in his management at the moment and, as has been well explained above, the idea that it’s not his squad just doesn’t wash. It’s his job to get the best out of what he has and the number of goals we’re letting in is way in excess of last season, when we had the same defenders, so he’s clearly not doing that. However, in our predicament, it wouldn’t be easy to find anyone better and I think, on balance, we’re probably better to stick with him and hope he learns, even though I suspect we might get relegated

One thing that does strike me about keates is the lack of any other staff getting involved on match day. During the game, he stands there with hands in pockets saying nothing but I don’t see anyone else offering anything. I think it’s fine for a manager to be calm and considering what he needs to do, but I would expect an assistant or coach to then be barking orders and getting involved during the game. I wonder why nobody is?

1 Like


The first team squad players whom Keates has signed, or given extensions to contracts, or brought in on loan (some previously here on loan) are:
Chris Dunn
Kory Roberts - long term injury but still given a new contract in October 2018.
Connor Johnson
Scott Laird
Dan Scarr
Joe Edwards
George Dobson
Zeli Ishmail
Matt Jarvis
Isaiah Osbourne
Omar Mussa
Andy Cook
Morgan Ferrier
Josh Gordon
Jack Fitzwater
Kane Wilson
Connor Ronan

First team players who were already under contract when Keates came and have not signed extensions:
Liam Roberts
Luke Leahy
John Guthrie
Nicky Devlin
Adam Chambers
Kieron Morris
Liam Kinsella
Qamaruddin Kouhyar

Keates has chosen to either bring to the club, repeat loans, or extend the contracts of 16 of the first team players this season (plus the injured Kory Roberts), while 7 of the first team squad are still here on the same terms as they were under Whitney.



In the summer Osbourne, Morris, Ismail, Leahy, Devlin and maybe Guthrie will all be released so decent scope for proper rebuild of squad.

If Laird does enough would give him one year deal and he can back up and cover LB (would expect a young signing like we’ve seen with other areas of defence) and CB.

Kory Roberts will be back next season but really CB leader is needed. Guthrie simply isn’t one of those although guess he might get new deal as he’s league one experienced now.

Any squad building however will be made redundant by cashing in on Cook and then having to replace 20 goal forward and all that.