Well, another outstanding season draws to a close! So many memories- I haven’t got room to list them all. I think we actually won a cup game. So, how did our expensively assembled (top 10 budget!) squad do?
- Rushworth: obviously a talented young player with a bright future - won’t be here next season, probably be somewhere like Portsmouth.
- Rose: unlucky not to play more. Should be developed and given the No.1 jersey next season - if only Cutler was still here to work with him. KEEP
Monthe - strong presence at the back. Missing at a crucial time due to past misdemeanours - KEEP
Menayese- played like Bobby Moore when on loan and like Patrick Moore when given a contract. We can do better. LIST
Donervan - Adds a bit of class at the back - TRY TO SIGN
Leak - there’s a player in there - needs good coaching which I believe Flynn can give him. KEEP
White - had lots of chances. Lacks quality and consistency. LIST
Devine - see Leak. TRY TO SIGN
Mills - looks okay and then does something stupid like his handball vs Bradford. Lacks quality. GET RID
Foulkes - get him back from Kiddy and develop him. KEEP
Labadie - like a well-fancied Grand National horse who unseats his rider in the parade ring. Expensive and a poor captain. LIST
Kinsella - Mr Consistency - make him captain. KEEP
Perry - see Leak. Give him a run in the team. KEEP
Earing - good first season - needs to develop his creativity as we lack this throughout the team. KEEP
Holden - we missed his creativity but we don’t have the budget to carry passengers. GET RID
Kiernan - okay player but we need wide men with pace and skill who can beat his man - not sure he offers that. LIST
Osadebe- the opposite of Kinsella: Mr Inconsistency doesn’t do enough to warrant a new contract. GET RID
Shade - pretty inconspicuous until switched to wing back. TRY TO SIGN (if not too expensive)
Miller - not a bad player. I thought he was the answer after Mansfield at home but his miss vs Bradford was one of the worst I’ve ever seen. We can do better. GET RID
Rodney - I’m not convinced he can be anything more than a poor man’s Josh Gordon. LIST
Wilkinson- showed some wonderful touches: his last-minute equaliser vs Newport was class. Not sure how bad his injury is but KEEP.
Others: AshTaylor - what a waste of money! Came with a good pedigree but was woeful.
Bates - unlucky. Needed better coaching.
Maher - give him some game time.
Over to you, Michael.
Agree aside from Hayden White - I think he’s a decent player.
Er, hasn’t Bates already gone to Finland? Or was it just a loan?
Our destination this season will see us finish somewhere between 13th and 20th. This comes as somewhat of a relief as after we lost at Scunthorpe our league status was in undoubted jeopardy. The cups offering no respite from our lower half fourth division plod.
So in a season which was meant to represent us “giving it a good go” the end of term report can be nothing other than a reflection of huge disappointment. Again.
Players who performed well at this level elsewhere have been poor for us whilst players who have been poor for us have gone on and done well elsewhere. There is a Walsall FC gravitational force that leads to constant underperformance. The origins and reasons for the depressing consistency of that force are pretty clear. Your career prospects at the club defined by whether you come to work in a tracksuit or suit.
The outlook doesn’t look much better. The fans have played their part. Leigh asked for 5,000 at home and our average this season will be around 4,950. Which is phenomenal given the dross served. In echoes of 2008, I reckon we shall lose nearly a thousand from this number next year which will impact the budget and make life even harder for Flynn who I think is a very capable manager.
To paraphrase a comment on Peter Ustinov’s end of term report - “Walsall FC has depressingly low expectations which they consistently fail to achieve”
I totally agree with release/retain list.
Flynn has an awful lot of work to do this summer, the fans are backing him, it’s critical the board do as well.
LP asked if we could put hands in our pockets last season, the response was magnificent. It’s your turn Leigh.
I included Bates as he played for us this season, as did Ash Taylor. I know he’s gone to Finland and I wish him well. I haven’t included Tomlin as he’s only played about 4-5 games - I wouldn’t sign him on what I’ve seen.
Imo Haydn White is terrible defender, he gets caught out of position game after game and stands shrugging his shoulders at others, definitely a liability at the back.
Interesting about saying give Maher some game time, I popped to watch the reserved yesterday against Bolton tbf we played mostly our kids and got a 1-1 draw, the centre back who was a trialist scored our goal, an absolute beauty too.
They called him Bobby, anyway Maher moaned his way all through the game, language was terrible too, he’s got a lot of growing up to do and needs to be more disciplined. In fairness he drifted in and out the game and I do believe with correct coaching he will be a decent addition, but imo he’s a long way away from first team yet.
It amazes me that some of our fans still rate him. Actually it doesn’t, because you’re guaranteed one bumbling run forward barely in control a game that normally results in him ploughing a cross into a defender (and there’s nothing fans love more than winning a corner). Defensively he is beyond a liability.
Oh so true…or a throw in we manage too end up turning into the other teams throw in from his baffled brain…
keep half and sod half off, so many lack luster, non wanting players in that squad its un true, add that too not much quality and you end up with wilko having a wobbler
Hayden White has been hit and miss for me wouldn’t be bothered either way
Shown improvements since moving to 3 CB’s, but as you say no big miss. We can definitely do better.
Bates played 4/5 times this season too
Still, after the final match the old boys club can all pat each other on the back for another job well done at Little Old Walsall. Rent paid up, jobs secure, the creeping spectre of relegation from the league shoved under the rug for another year and a good few months before they have to deal with any of those annoying supporters turning up and being a nuisance, with their unrealistic demands for transparency and passable catering.
“So we beat on…”