Best Walsall Team in 2000s

We’ve had some decent sides. 2001 play off winners, 2003 highest finish, 2008 promotion bid, 2016 promotion bid

Here’s my starting 11 over that period, because you’re really interested.

4-2-3-1 formation

Walker
Demetriou
Dann
Roper
Henry
O’Neill
Samways
Sawyers
Ricketts
Patterson
Leitao

Manager Smith

1 Like

Formation 4-4-2

GK Walker
DR Baird
DL Fox
DC Dann
DC Ritchie
ML Pedro
MR Wrack
MC O’Connor
MC Samways
ST Leitao
ST Junior

Manager - Sir Ray

5 Likes

Yes the Junior/Leitao front two was the most exciting combo I’ve seen at Walsall

While I get the inclusion of Rico Henry, to me he was a player of undoubted potential but we didn’t see the full fruition of that while he was with us and I don’t think he eclipsed all other leftbacks (better than Gino Padula?) - including my namesake who he was vying with for the berth (although Rico’s stock was rising while AT’s was on the wane so he was beginning to surpass him).

Similarly I don’t think we saw the best of Ricketts in either spell with us.

But it is all a question of personal choice and I doubt we will get a suggested XI that everyone on here will agree with.

1 Like

Walker

Brightwell
Dann
Roper
Henry

Wrack
Samways
Sawyers
Patterson

Ricketts
Bradshaw

I thought about Baird, Evans, GON, but decided not to include loans. Toss-up between Brightwell and Demetriou, one is the better defender, the other the best attacking full back I’ve seen play for us.
Lot of good players left out, Fryatt, Deeney, Carbon, Etheridge, Gerrard, Fox, all that talent, so why are we where we are? :smile:

Walker

Demetriou
Dann
Gerrard
Fox

Chambers
Sawyers
Merson

Ledesma
Bradshaw
Paterson

2 Likes

I loved Ledesma

1 Like

Chambers would be getting through a lot of work in that midfield when we are not in possession - there would be a lot of standing around with hands on hips from the others!

Walker
Demetriou
Dann
Butler
Henry
O’Neill
Samways
Sawyers
Bradshaw
Leitao

Manager Smith

Plenty of goals!

1 Like

One player who always gets overlooked in this sort of thing, unfortunately for both himself and us as supporters is Flo Cuvelier. His second and third spells for us were obviously blighted by injury, but in his first spell he was brilliant. In what was a really drab season, he was the spark of quality that we needed until Ledesma came in.

He could tackle, pass, went from box to box and scored some really vital goals. He was in the George Evans mold in terms of him being too good to play for us and it was a real coup at the time to get him back on loan for the following season. Real shame that he’s no longer in the game.

3 Likes

I remember going to Bournemouth (we won, and I got a parking ticket!). Cuvelier’s first name is “Florent”, and it was amusing to see that the Bournemouth programme had him as “Florence Cuvelier”!

:clown_face:

1 Like

Walker

Roper
Dann
Aranalde

Wrack
Chambers
Sawyers
Keates

Leitao
Bradshaw
Ledesma

Ive had to miss out a fair few of my favourites there. I had to do a 343 to fit all of them in :laughing:

1 Like

Depends on your age and era

For example Buckley hasn’t had a mention

Believe me if he got the ball in the box it was a goal

But he didn’t play in the 2000s as AP is limiting it to …

1 Like

Whoops

1 Like

Ledesma now playing in Finland. If only we’d picked him up on a free this year to solve our right wing problem…

Anyway, the correct answer to the OP is this team:

Walker
Bazeley
Aranalde
Roper
Hay
Samways
O’Connor
Wrack
Corica
Junior
Leitao

This was our most common line-up in 2002/03 when we finished 17th in Division 1, our highest league finish since the 60s, so must be our best team of the 2000s?

Etheridge
Dann
Henry
Butler
Demetriuo
Sawyers
Ozthumer
Chambers
Patterson
Bradshaw
Leitao

1 Like

How about this team of world beaters in a 4-3-3?

Johnny Brain

Nivky Devlin
Kevin Toner
Allan Picken
Luke Leahy

Jamie Lawrence
Darko Mavrak
Herivelto (2nd stint)

Andreas Makris
Taiwo Atieno
Adolfus Ofodile

Manager: Jimmy Mullen

4 Likes

Bit harsh on Devlin and Picken IMO. Both good players, Devlin would be first choice RB if he had stayed I reckon, and Picken was quality in the game and a half he played, shame he got injured.

1 Like