End of Season Report Card - Walsall Football Club 23/24

What Grade do you give Walsall Football Club for this season?

How did you get to this grading?

D - could do better. We had the chance to get into the play offs and for whatever reason we bottled it. If it wasn’t for that I would’ve said C - satisfactory given last season.

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C- for me.
We beat some good teams but had too many maulings, also I’ve just read it’s the most goals we’ve conceded in a season for 24 years.
The manager has shown too much loyalty to his favourites including the captain DD, this imo has cost us.

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C.

Improvement on last 5 years - but ultimately, in the cold light of day not good enough.

Style of football is very average, league position very average, players very average, and manager very average.

We are miles off being an automatic promotion chasing team.

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F for Fail

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C+
For keeping the season interesting up to last week.

Don’t you mean Faal

B- by the way…

B minus.

An interesting year for Walsall and certainly an improvement on previous terms since dropping into the fourth stream. We see signs of Walsall’s potential but these are more glimpses than sustained performance. Once again Walsall’s results have been hampered by careless errors and lapses in concentration. These must be erased if Walsall are to ever have realistic ambitions of returning to the third stream. I sometimes wonder whether Walsall actually want that to happen as their actions occasionally suggest they are too comfortable in this stream.

A B minus rather than a C plus due to some improvement upon last term but must do better.

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Yep F for Fail & Faal.

C - Consistency not good enough, we had our chances and didn’t take them. As someone above said Sadler has his favourites and it certainly hasn’t paid off

Off the field - B

There have been further improvements and new blood in the boardroom should continue this improvement and grading

On the field - C-

11th is our best finish for a while but we still can’t break that top 10.

I’m not sure whether it is fair or not on Sadler to claim our best spell in the season came as a result of his hand being forced into certain team selections. The problem is he hasn’t really put up an effective argument against, when not in that position. The jury is still out and I’m far from convinced we are going into the off season with the foundation of a promotion squad being in place.

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B ish

Lots to do better but i think weve done alright overall.

I think we are gonna miss Hutch though, its a big test to replace him. We have got a lot riding on that actually. Trivela have really got to to change the narrative with our signings. Push the boat out on a couple.

you dont go up penny pinching forever. Again, i wont hold my breath on that. Maybe a fee for Hutch might grease the palms a little. We still sign most from the pool thats “available” rather than going out and getting players we might identify and want. You simply cannot “build” year on year doing that.

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C…incremental…now time for better

11th in league 4 is failure

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F - Fail

Using last season as a measure is pathetic.

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I think you’ll find positions 23rd and 24th is failure.

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It’s league 2, I know you never visit but atleast get the league we are in correct.

D-For being in April and having something to play for. But massive marks off for allowing the season pitter out so badly and the treatment of DJ

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I would give B minus Sadler next season if there is a 14 day cooling period on his new contract.

M - mismanaged ,We have moved slightly forward but not forward enough

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I’m going for a B- but only just above a C+ because if we had many more canings like today it would have dragged it down.

I think that considering where we all thought we were going to end up in November / December when we were playing Alfreton Town away in the FA Cup, we have done exceptionally well to take it to the last day, however unrealistic it was to achieve the playoffs today, which is something not many would have expected back in the winter.

We’ve had the 5-game win streak, and whether by luck or good management having the balls to stick with the formation and play a young defence, it worked and propelled us into contention.

We’ve had good performances and / or results against most of the top half, beating many of them once at least.

We’ve signed what the club perceive to be key players down to contracts earlier than usual, so we do have the nucleus of a good squad in place ready to build on from now really.

On the other hand, we’ve lost against both of the teams that have been relegated into non-league.

We’ve taken two five-goal obliterations in the last few weeks.

We’ve conceded the most amount of goals we’ve conceded for something like 24 years, however still finished higher this season that we have since we were relegated.

We’ve suffered with injuries to players that have hurt us, or at the very least we could have done without and our natural finisher, DJ, has been out of the side for a lot of the season - who knows if it was personal life or disagreement with MS? Either way, it probably hasn’t helped us.

With some actual quality additions over the summer in the key areas that we need to address urgently, we could definitely challenge the Top 7 next season, with a view to pushing Top 3, as the league doesn’t look anywhere near as strong.

As much as Mat Sadler has to take the flak for some of the crap we’ve witnessed this season, which is part and parcel of being the manager of the team, he also deserves a lot of credit. It’s his first managerial position, he’s got us to our highest finishing position since we were relegated in his first season of management, and he’s now got Richard O’Kelly working in the background which can only aid his development as a manager and therefore us as a team.

The squad that takes the pitch in August will be totally Mat Sadler’s team and therefore he can be truly judged on his performances and if we are nowhere near challenging any of the Top 7 spaces come Christmas, then questions would deservedly start being asked and would genuinely hold some weight.

I also feel that if we had a more experienced manager such as Graham Alexander or Karl Robinson for arguments sake, and we’d have finished where we have this season, they would have been praised for progressing us. I feel Sadler’s lack of experience and being the ‘cheap option’ works against him in this regard with fans.

Let’s see. I’m optimistic we can do more next season, and now I’ve renewed my ST, I’m looking forward to getting back to the games!

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As I posted earlier this week, if you lined up all the attendances in England and Wales then we’d sit 11th in the fourth division. Exactly where we’ve finished this season.

To me that’s now par. That’s where we are and who we are. Chronically underdeveloped under Bonser we are moving in the right direction. But we’re still a long way from being the third division club many believe we have an entitlement to be. Any sense of entitlement is seldom a healthy thing.

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