Burton Albion (H) Nov 3rd, 3pm


#201

I genuinely think that WBA and possibly Wolves have been putting the pressure on behind the scenes to get Wilson and Ronan game time. It happens. It shouldn’t but it does.

Wilson is sub-standard. Ronan is a class player and would look amazing in a Dean Smith style team, but there’s no real place in a Dean Keates team.


#202

Well if that’s true and Albion are moaning i’d say on Wilson’s last two game’s …" come and pick him up …"


#203

100%. Sub standard. Got owned yesterday, badly


#204

As for Ronan i hope we can find a formation that suit’s the rest of the team as to facilitate him because he has a bit of class about his game


#205

We’d become far too predictable playing the 442 so Keates was right to try something different. Last week it worked as we looked as dangerous at home as we have all season. I’d probably have questioned it if he reverted back to the 442 given the influence of Ronan last week.

In hindsight, 442 may well have served us better but Keates needs to be given the benefit of the doubt this early in his managerial career. He’s going to make mistakes, it’s to be expected. The issue will be if he doesn’t learn from them. It will very much be a work in progress. Look how long it took Dean Smith


#206

I think some people are putting too much expectation on this side. Teams had worked us out playing 442 so it’s great we are at least trying to work around that.

I’d be over the moon with a top half finish given how poor the squad has been built and maintained the last few seasons. I know for a fact Dean didn’t want most of the squad, and he’s played with Whitney’s defence for most of the season. It’s going to be a work in progress and we are 10th for goodness sake.

Dean is learning too remember? This is a young side who were shown up on Saturday by an experienced side, with dare I say it, an experienced manager. I still hate Clough. Arrogant prat.

Let’s hope for a reaction Tuesday night.


#207

Well said, if we’d have had a poor / average start and just climbed to 10th then the feelings on here would be very different. But saying that we’d be in form and at the moment we are not an in form side. I’m happy we are sitting 10th which is far better than I expected at this stage of the season, I just hope we can keep picking up the odd result and don’t start to plummet down the table.


#208

Dobson has been poor since he has been 1 booking away from a ban and it has affected his game

Osbourne needs to keep the hell away from our penalty box as he is a liability when he tackles

Ronan was man marked for the first half on Saturday and it showed but once he adjusted his game he began to find space like he did v Wycombe

Over to Mr Keates to find another way or formation to break down Charlton


#209

I had zero expectation of anything other than a fight to stay up this season. I was pleasantly surprised at how well Walsall played in the opening English League One rounds and it had everything to do with Keates deploying a system in which everyone knew their roles and the positives outweighed the negatives. It was Graydonesque. However, now Keates has gone away from what was working well given the challenges that a Walsall manager faces - let’s face facts, the Saddlers have one of the division’s lowest budgets - and the result on Saturday should have been a six-goal home defeat. Walsall needs to revert to 4-4-2; sorry but I have not seen any evidence of teams working out the Saddlers in that formation and, besides, they cannot stick with 4-3-3 when their wide players (Ferrier and Morris in this instance) do not track back and assist their respective full backs and there is no midfield pressure because Osbourne is too slow and Ronan is not that type of player. It is OK to play two grafters in central midfield when you have two wingers who run at defenders and a forward like Ferrier who offers a simple yet effective over-the-top out ball. Walsall and Burton went head to head with 4-3-3 systems on Saturday and it was men against boys for the majority of the match. RedandWhite made a very good point; it was not just the defence that was poor on Saturday, it was the defending of everyone and the blame for that should rest largely on the manager because he set up his players to fail. Again.


#210

Worrying, considering he is a holding midfielder! I think he’s been poor on balance over the whole season.


#211

He seems to have these dream-sequence moments when he thinks he has far more time than he does when a ball is dropping or arriving at his feet…


#212

Doncaster at Home

Stanley at Home

Blackpool at Home (they never threatened much but they looked like they could play against our 442 for a week and not concede)

We won one in the last 5 games playing 4 4 2. It needed a change.


#213

Blackpool: Morris started; no Ginnelly
Doncaster: Morris started; no Ismail; Doncaster tore Walsall to shreds after Ronan replaced Osbourne in the 53rd minute when the score was 1-1; it was a terrible substitution against a good Rovers side
Accrington: Gordon started instead of Cook; Osbourne conceded seventh-minute penalty; Walsall won the corner-kick count 10-1; Accrington goalkeeper was the man of the match by the length of Bescot Crescent

Walsall does not have the squad to win every English League One game, even at home; the squad is that of a relegation candidate but it was playing above itself when it was using 4-4-2 with Ginnelly and Ismail as the wingers, Cook and Ferrier as the forwards and not more than one of Dobson and Ronan in midfield.


#214

Yes. Still 4 4 2 though. Whats the problem with Morris? He’s probably been more effective than Ginnelly this season on balance.

They battered us all game, pretty much from us scoring to the end of the game. Blame the substitution all you want, they still ran rings around our 4 4 2.

Fair.

We had still only won 1 in 5 playing 4 4 2. Maybe if we’d change the system a bit those games wouldn’t have followed those patterns in the first place.

Nobody is claiming they should do?


#215

Morris: I am not a fan and I think he offers less than the other wingers on Walsall’s books
Doncaster: yes, Rovers were the better team throughout but they smashed the Saddlers after that change
Accrington: we are in agreement

I think some people were getting carried away and expecting Walsall to mount a promotion challenge. That was never going to happen with the threadbare squad. I will be happy if the Saddlers manage to hang around the top half of the bottom half, if you know what I mean. And I think Walsall’s best chance of avoiding a relegation scrap is to play 4-4-2 with the players I have cited above. Sure, the Saddlers are going to get their arses handed to them in a few games this season - like at Luton, when they played 4-4-2 and were murdered by what looks like an excellent Hatters side - but I think 4-4-2 will enable them to maximise their points tally.


#216

I’m certainly not one of those people. I honestly thought we were relegation fodder at the start of the season and so did the bookies. And I think you are right, some people have forgotten that.

But being one dimensional never helped anyone. You always need a Plan B. And you talk about people getting carried away, I think people are getting carried away with one poor performance.

If I look at the team on Saturday who didn’t perform at all (nobody covered themselves in glory mind)? Wilson, Martin, Dobson, Osbourne, Morris, Ferrier were the worst offenders for me. Martin is probably a fitness issue, but I’m astonished that considering some of the names there people want to switch back to a 4 4 2 that puts even more emphasis on Dobson, Osbourne and Ferrier considering they were so poor yesterday and drop Ronan. I really don’t think that was the issue with Saturdays performance.


#217

Leicester won the English Premier League being one dimensional but, of course, most teams need a Plan B and probably a Plan C as well. I decided to chime in after Saturday because it was the fourth poor performance in a row and I was tearing out my hair at the tactics and substitutions. I am a 4-4-2 man and I acknowledge that means certainly Osbourne and probably Dobson starting ahead of Ronan even though the latter is the most technically adept player in the squad but I want to see Ferrier down the middle with Cook rather than on the left wing. For me, Ferrier was no better against Wycombe than he was against Burton but a lot of people, including the iFollow callers and Joe Masi, raved about him versus the Chairboys. I must have missed something because I thought he wasted much more than he created against both of those rivals. The only issue with 4-4-2 for Walsall is Banks’s Stadium because it is narrow compared to most pitches; maybe the Saddlers should ask to play all their games on the road because, if they played like they did at Scunthorpe, they would win the title!


#218

I have to take exception to that. We battered Wycombe at times and it should have been far more comfortable than it was.


#219

You are probably right. I think I may have allowed my judgement to be clouded by what I thought was the unjust praise that Ferrier received for his performance against Wycombe. I did not think it was that good and, from the comfort of my lounge in Perth on Saturday night, he did not play all that much worse versus Burton. He is an ordinary left winger but I really liked what I saw of him playing as a central striker with a licence to go wide, particularly when Walsall was clearing its lines. To quote Alan Hansen, there is nothing defenders hate more than pace and he would be a nightmare for most English League One central defenders to mark.


#220

I was going to mention Luton again but see you’re just on about homes.

Ismail was good at start of season but has been really poor lately. Guess that shows why he’s not made the step up to championship at any point. Can fully understand why he’s not getting a game particularly as Morris was doing well from the bench.

Ginnelly been playing non league last two years so a drop off in form always to be expected.