Barnsley (A) 8th Sept, 3pm


#161

Barnsley manager on Radio Sheffield.

Interviewer: “Are you worried that other teams will do what Walsall did and stop Barnsley playing?”

Stendel: “No, because other teams aren’t as good as Walsall.”


#162

fantastic praise for our team from someone who has an idea how the game is played :wink:


#163

And we are down to 4/1 to finish in top 6 now


#164

Whaaat?

Ronan was absolutely superb. Never stopped running all game, picked out some great passes and was my MOTM.


#165

Couldn’t agree more his sublime little through balls - fantastic addition .


#166

I hope there was a few more than that, SaddlerHQ.

No official figure released but hopefully it was closer to 400-500.


#167

Disagree. He was rightfully questioned after Blackpool. Today he’s answered the critics and I couldn’t be happier.


#168

It was announced on the PA as exactly 400. Mind you one of those was my Huddersfield supporting mate that I had dragged along, so 399 Saddlers.


#169

Great away day again. On thing that strikes me about this season is how much some of last season’s under-performers have improved under Keates. Morris has been the obvious one in recent weeks, but I thought Devlin was superb yesterday, Leahy continues to improve and I enjoyed him winding up their bench at the end. There’s a real “Keatesesque” streak running through this team, shows what a decent manager he is that you can see his personality and philosophy in the way his team plays.

As for Barnsley, yes they will be up there and have obvious quality, but that must have been Kiefer Moore’s quietest game of his life, and I certainly would love to come up against them in the play-offs again come May. I bet they wouldn’t fancy us as much this time around.


#170

How has he answered his critics , he only played 10 minutes ??


#171

Blockquote On thing that strikes me about this season is how much some of last season’s under-performers have improved under Keates. Morris has been the obvious one in recent weeks, but I thought Devlin was superb yesterday, Leahy continues to improve and I enjoyed him winding up their bench at the end.> Blockquote

Now don’t get me wrong Geordie, I’m thrilled and delighted with what Keates has managed to achieve and what he’s brought to the club, but I think there’s more to it with a couple of those you mentioned. Fair enough when it comes to Morris, he’s underperformed for 3 years now yet I know he’s highly thought of at the club so it seems Keates is getting the best out of him.

But for both Devlin and Leahy (the former in particular), we’re now seeing both of these players settle into English football. They’ve both come from Scottish lower league football where the standard isn’t as high and the intensity, both physically and mentally, isn’t the same. Both started last season well and then tailed off and I’m sure that had to do with tiredness. Also, don’t underestimate the effect of moving from where they did to live in Walsall! Devlin, in particular, lived in Ayr, which has some wonderful coastline and scenery around there and, all of a sudden, he’s in the middle of the West Midlands conurbation. That takes some getting used to and when he disappeared for several games last season, my inkling was that he’d headed back up to Scotland for a spell.

Anyway, as you say, great to see all 3 of them performing to a high level, long may it continue.


#172

Well, he played 10 minutes and scored a goal with the time and finesse we saw at Tranmere. No rushing. No snatching. A quality finish. It wasn’t him trying too hard and dragging it wide or smashing it straight at the keeper. That’s been a big criticism by many and he answered those critics in yesterday’s goal. Hopefully he’s calmed down a bit now and will score many more


#173

Yep think he will be asset more at home than away , think he would of been isolated had he started yesterday. Always nice to have options, crazy to think Zeli wasn’t involved either.


#174

I’m not sure what people were expecting from Cook but I think we’re getting exactly what we were going to. See my post above in response to Geordie re Devlin and Leahy - this season, perhaps it’s going to be Cook who some fans don’t understand. The lad has played non-league all his career, he’s used to being top dog at his club, he’s probably not and never has been football league fit, his worth being measured in the goals he scores.

He came in, he made an immediate impression, his level has dropped off a little these past few games. That’ll be down to physical tiredness and mental tiredness as he adapts. Give him a chance, he’ll come back stronger if we back him.


#175

Huge fan of Cook myself however one thing he can control is his weight and fitness, that unfortunately is a huge reason why people had potentially questioned him.

Gets that right and I can only see him going from strength to strength.


#176

Andy Cook’s career average for goals comes in at around 0.4 per game. His record for Walsall is 4 in 10 appearances, exactly 0.4. So whatever he’s been doing in the Conference all these years, it would appear that he’s now doing it in league one. I don’t honestly think he can do much else! If he had scored two or three more goals as people are suggesting he could or should have done, he would be the top scorer in the division.

I’m very happy with his contribution so far. If he scores 15 plus goals this season it will be a real success story, if he continues at his current ratio it will be over 20.

The piece of managerial business that was the sale of Baka, against the backdrop of signing Cook, Ferrier, and Gordon is starting to look like a masterstroke. Just to put it in perspective, those three between them have already matched the 8 goals Baka scored in the whole of last season. While Zeli and Morris have each matched the three goals that Oztumer had at this point last season.

With those goals in the team, coupled with the fact that we havn’t conceded more than a single goal in any league game its little wonder we’re unbeaten in 7, which by the way is the longest unbeaten start by Walsall FC at this level, and the second longest at any level.

Yesterday also saw the deployment of a “plan b” for the first time this season, which was another very encouraging marker for the Keates era.

Chuck in Shrewsbury being win-less and bottom 4 and I can’t think of anything there isn’t to like about this season so far!


#177

You cheer in a way that the locals think you are being sarcastic. Only failed once so far and that was many years ago.


#178

Trying to decide on my man of the match.
Nominations:

Roberts for 3 brilliant saves
Devlin - has he ever played a better game for rhe Saddlers?
Guthrie - was immense
Osborne - a Goliath. Did all Chambers would have done and more. His height is so valuable.
Dobson and Ronan covered every blade of grass twice. Where did they get the energy to create the equaliser?

Everyone put in a shift. No one gave less than 100%. Proud to support this team.

My MoM was Devlin.

Also think if Cook had come on 10 minutes earlier we’d have won. Bossed their centre half when he came on.

We have our Walsall back . . . . and some


#179

Very interested to read those comments. Perhaps some folk wrote Leahy and Devlin off too soon…as SHROPS says above it must have been a real culture shock for them coming from the level in Scotland to playing against some very useful outfits at our level. Devlin has tremendous energy and whilst he may lack a little in the skill arena he more than makes up for it with pure effort and enthusiasm. Having said that his cross to Ferrier which nearly brought a goal yesterday was pure class.Keep it up lads…


#180

Devlin lives in Stafford not Walsall … much nicer :wink: