Interesting links…

After the recent stellar signing of Stephen Ward, I looked at the 2014 to 2016 Burnley squads to see if there were other rich pickings to be had.

Aside from Dan Agyei (24) and unrealistic signings like Jutkiewicz (32) and Vokes (31), no one within Walsall’s budget really stood out, in terms of players from the first team.

However, two names stood out for very different reasons…

Firstly, midfielder Michael Duff, now manager of Cheltenham. How many times, last season, did Pomlett mention ‘a young manager achieving success whilst working on a shoestring budget in league two’? Coincidence?

Secondly, another combative midfielder by the name of Joey Barton. I’d be fascinated to learn how he and Matt Taylor got on in the dressing room and on the pitch…

My point is that Walsall have far more pedigree than Cheltenham, who are now in league one, whereas, I see Bristol Rovers really challenging in league two next season.

People talk about the ‘Matt Taylor’ derby v Exeter and the ‘grudge match’ with Port Vale. All will be important, but, for me, our results against Bristol Rovers will be a really useful benchmark to see how far we have come since the dark days of recent seasons.

Some very spicy (and spiky) fixtures to look forward to, methinks! Can’t wait! :grimacing::heart::green_heart::white_heart::soccer::fire:

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Think Bristol Rovers will comfortably be top 3, I think judging is based on how we do vs them might be harsh. I want to see us beat the bottom half and mid table sides to show we have improved.

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Was only thinking yesterday that Cheltenham have arguably been the best side we’ve played in every game we’ve played them in the past two years, incredibly organised with leaders and experience at the back in Ben Tozer, Will Boyle and Chris Hussey.

Then you look at our potential back four this season in White, Taylor, Monthe and Ward and they look on paper extremely similar with them being experienced leaders, only time will tell if they’re organised :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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I said a few weeks ago that I think Bristol are building a very strong squad. I see them and Tranmere as seriously good squads and challengers for next season.

Additionally. I agree I remember that point from pomlett trying to protect dutton and I think he was most definitely referring to Micheal duff.

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Pomlett obviously loves Cheltenham and Duff @Bags10 and there is much to admire about their recent progress as a well run football club.

When I see Scunthorpe, Oldham, Swindon and even Derby County all under transfer embargoes, maybe Pomlett’s words from last season are beginning to become more apparent now…

My money would be on Taylor being more of a friend of Michael Duff than a Joey Barton. Personally, I hope we can have a couple of Cheltenham cast offs (recommended by Duff as being ‘good people’) because that’s what gets unity, togetherness and ultimately, results at league two level, as you say, Bags10. :+1:

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@Bags10 i think our back four and Spine is better than what Cheltenham had. Especially comparing CV’s. Although that doesn’t mean a jot when you’re as hard working and drilled as they were. Lovely town Cheltenham. It’s nice to see them to well.

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Tahvon Campbell (24) has been released by Cheltenham.

Winger, ex WBA, on loan at Halifax last season and I’m sure that we’ve had him on trial before…

Might be a Trialist A to google image for anyone going to the upcoming friendlies… :eyes:

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It’s certainly not going to be easy this season to get involved in the top 3 places so this has made me think is the fact we’ve signed Monthe Labadie Ward and Wilko just going to be enough to see us involved in say the top 7/9 places you know like one week we are in the top 7 we draw a game and drop to 9th and that sort of is where we are if that makes sense?.Personally I feel although we have made some extremely good signings we may need a couple more of a similar ilk to kick us into the top 5.Now some people may say Jesus Scoobs what more do you want but it could be the case that the signings we’ve made will only move us up another 10/11 places from last season as other clubs as you’ve said have also done really well with their signings.It’s certainly going to be extra competitive that for sure.

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No I completely agree. Bang on. @Scooby2167

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Bristol Rovers is the first game I’m venturing up too… I’m usually a jinx if we’re on a good run of form :laughing:

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I think I’d agree with that. People have to factor in that we’re building from a low base. There were times ,last season ,when we looked non- league. In fact, project the form under Dutton over a whole season, we would now be non- league.

if we manage to find a couple of strikers who can score goals regularly then with the squad we have we are in with a chance of a top 3 place. If we don’t then we will be at least mid table subject ,of course, to the coaches being able to weld this group into a team.

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Realistically, we start behind Bristol, Tranmere, Salford, possibly Mansfield, maybe even Port Vale in terms of who will be up the top end. I think if we can be in or around the play offs for most of the season, that will be job done and a big improvement on what we’ve been seeing. We have to remember that, as yet, our head coach is untried and untested. We’re signing some excellent players, but we have no proof at all that he can coach them and mould them into a team that is greater than the sum of its parts. Hopefully he can.

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Good points @ShropsSaddler I agree.

Agreed mate and pretty much where I am as I wrote above,one thing I would add is the main protagonists we’ve signed are on 2 year deals so I’d guess that the “project” would be let’s improve from last year this season maybe flirt with the play offs then add some better players similar to your Monthes Labadies and Wilkinson’s this time next year to complete the “project” in the final year of their current deals(Monthe Labs and Wilko)The project being promotion of course.

Would take Agyei.

Not a bad scoring record when he was here in first half of 2017 season, 4 goals in 18 games and many of those weren’t starts. Tyler Roberts scored 5 goals in 17 games. Baka 4 goals in 20 so of course he started the most games of the three. :+1:

Since then he’s largely just been second choice in many of his loans and now at Oxford where he backs up Matty Taylor, 5 goals in league one last season.

Considering they inflicted Osei Yaw last season it’s the least they can do.

Dan agyei would be incredible. Even if on loan for three months.

Really enjoyed watching him for us. Surprised he hasn’t been prolific elsewhere. Same for hiwula who signed for donny today.

Is it me or does Hiwula fall into the category of being young at 26 and it still feels like he’s been around for 10-15 years? There’s plenty of examples of such players out there I guess.

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I think it’s the sheer amount of clubs players like him play for in a short amount of time. When they’re strikers you see their names flick up when they score as well. On Gillette for example. Strange must be a mental thing for the football observer. You feel like players like him must be in their mid thirties.

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