Is Keates Good Enough?


…a ■■■■ load of rent to a parasite landlord.

There we go. Fixed.


Exactly. Bonsor pushed the boat out for an experienced manager with O’Driscoll when promotion (and it’s financial benefits) remained a legitimate possibility. If we had been mid-table when Smith left Whitney would likely have got the job straight away.

The second we lost in the play-offs the plug was pulled and normal service resumed. Back to inexperienced managers and internal promotions. Loved though they are/were Whitney and Keates represent cheap solutions that were sold to us because they had an emotional connection to supporters.

But they fit the same mould; new to management in league football, relatively inexperienced as coaches, relatively inexperienced in terms of senior games managed, relatively inexperienced in dealing in the transfer market.

It’s absolutely no surprise that these high-risk appointments haven’t worked and we have no reason to expect the next appointment will be any different.

Experienced managers (Holloway, Jackett, even Steve Evans) demand good wages and expect a competitive budget to work with. We offer neither so we employ inexperienced managers who think they can make the most of the opportunity and hope they can work within the financial restrictions.

I don’t think any other relegation-threatened side in League One would have looked to Keates as the solution back in March, especially on the back of a 35% win rate in 70 odd games at Wrexham. But he fits our criteria perfectly - cheap, complicit to the budget, emotionally connected to fans.

The club lucked out with Smith, but even he was a manager who was learning on the job with one of the lowest budgets in the division, struggling to compete for 3rd/4th choice transfer targets.

The fact is that even a highly experienced manager at this level would struggle to advance beyond making us a stable mid-table team because of the budget restraints. So how hiring a largely inexperienced coach to do this is complete guesswork from the club.

I feel sorry for Keates as I did for Whitney, another cost-saving measure gone wrong.


Players leave every Club in the world for more money elsewhere, so there’s no sensible reasoning to have an issue with this. Obviously choosing the right time to sell - and for the right price - is another matter entirely.

We need a settled team- and a settled system at this point-with trying to mould our shambloic squad that can eek out enough points for survival.

Keates can’t do this so we need someone who can


I agree. I actually believe we have enough quality in our first eleven that, if they were properly organised, we could quite easily stay in this division this season. As it is, we’re sunk.

A decent organiser as manager, pretty much a settled eleven and a settled system and I think we’ll do it but change needs to happen now.


I don’t have an issue with the players, I have an issue with how easily they were surrendered. And all at the same time.

Keates wasn’t in charge then, it was Whitney? Until they put the plug back in it doesn’t matter who is in charge. Sack him, bring in the next one :man_shrugging:


Made me loff, reminds me of the game show " Catchphrase " say what you see!!!:joy:


I fully understand the point you’re making and wouldn’t argue with it. There was an absolutely massive rebuilding job to do after we missed promotion and it was done on a shoestring.

However, notwithstanding the budget, we could still have some basic management, basic coaching, basic organisation, basic motivation, basic tactics. Unfortunately keates has proved himself to offer none of those whereas I think we could get someone who does offer them.


Do you? Who?

I think people are underestimating the size of this task considering the budget we are working in. Relegation, or skin of your teeth survival was the majority prediction at the start of the season, so what manager on our budget is coming in and is making Devlin look like Cafu?

There are people out there. Of course there are. Do you really think the next manager isn’t just going to be another cheap ill fitting option though?


Until the club adjust their ambitions we’ll see the same cycle again and again. An inexperienced manager trying to make the best of a bottom eight budget in an increasingly competitive division is not a logical pathway to the Championship.


I am not too sure that inexperienced is an excuse. It is ability that count…after all Nicholl,Graydon and Smith were inexperienced as Managers but had the skills and ability to make a difference. It will be interesting to see how Scholes does at Oldham.


Smith did very well but was afforded plenty of time before achieving success. Graydon and Nicholl operated in a different era and had plenty of coaching experience behind them.


It’s not an excuse, per se, but it is the basket we will be fercking through if we did sack Keates and the odds of you coming out grasping a Smith are slim. Smith is an anomaly, look at the role call of League One managers before or since:

Paul Merson
Kevan Broadhurst
Jimmy Mullen
Chris Hutchings
Sean O’Driscoll
John Whtney

Dean Keates look like he’s going to be adding his name to that list. We need to stop saying “well it worked with Dean Smith”. It’s like a Leicester Fan starting every season with “well we won the league before” and expecting it to happen. Some of those aren’t even inexperienced and they still made a mess of it.


The first seven games were not an accident.


Indeed they were not, and Keates got a lot of credit for it.

The time when his abilities are then tested properly however was when other teams worked our system, and our new players out. As soon as it got difficult, he’s been found wanting. Some of his decision making, especially in games, has been abysmal. Saying that, who do we get in replacement?

Where I do disagree with others is that the quality is here to stay up - I genuinely don’t see enough in this squad, albeit I hope i’m wrong. If I were to bet, i’d have us down and down comfortably.


This is pretty much where I am at, the squad needs a mentality change they are all scared of their own shadows. Those first games we had an 11 of hungry players chasing down the ball, taking yellows and being barstewards. Now we are third to every ball and just don’t want it enough. Keates may have shown his hand a little too soon and told some players you wont be here next season, as such they have downed tools.

I feel that the Wimbledon game was the teetering over the edge moment and we have now gone over it.

Should we persevere with Keates? I don’t know, the reality is that we have signed a number of players on long term contracts and he ‘should’ be afforded time, bringing 8 player in Jan was a massive mistake.


I’m not sure how you’d concluded that Nicholl was an inexperienced manager. He’d been in charge at Southampton, in the old, proper First Division for years, managing the likes of Shearer and LeTissier, up against your Fergies, Dalglishes, and George Grahams every week.


Again I’ll ask the question then, without wishing to be at all critical of your view - you say bringing in 8 players was a massive mistake, you also suggest he made another mistake by telling players they weren’t wanted too early. Add in the fact he has no clue what his best 11 is, pretty much everyone agrees we’re playing with no style, tactics or organisation. Add in the fact that in post match interviews,he offers no indication that he knows what we need to do from here but just suggests we must be favourites for relegation. So how many big mistakes do you think he should be allowed to make before we say “enough”? Where do you draw the line? Relegation? Poor season next season? I’m genuinely interested to understand why he deserves more time and what gives you hope that he will turn out to be a good appointment.


Its my age you know…I think the fact he had been out go the game for nearly 3 years when he took over here made me forget his 6 years at Southampton. Thanks for putting me right.


Going to try and bullet point an answer in reply to your big paragraph, naturally all my opinon.

  • Bringing in 8 players in Jan - It takes weeks to gel during match day conditions
  • Players being told they’re surplus - Their raison d’etre is to not get injured in an attempt get a deal elsewhere.
  • Keates Management since the first 10 - I agree, its been throw enough ■■■■ and hope that some sticks.
  • Post Match Interviews - They don’t really bother me.
  • DK to be given more time - As I said in my post above, I am not sure he should. Putting club status to one side. Walsall are back to where we were when dog face was in charge, back in the decline phase of the 5 year cycle.

My point of me thinking he can become a good manager, is that I have seen glimpses - those first 7 games - of someone who knows how to set up a team. But right now is a bloke who has entered his first ever decline/tough period/winless run and doesn’t currently have the previous experience/knowledge to right it.

Where do we draw the line, I genuinely don’t know. I am of the belief that we have been sleep walking to relegation since Smith left, there is no appetite for anyone at the club to improve it (on or off the pitch).

We all know that WFC is a poison chalice, there has only been one manager in my memory to have actually gone upwards.


Back to non league obviously. Gets a team up from there and he’s in league two with better experience so then potential to go up the leagues as a manager.

Plenty of brilliant managers have relegations on their CV (and DK will probably be dismissed before that happens). Klopp, Conte and Arsene Wenger to name three.

I liked the appointment but think it’s clear now managing in this league was 2-3 years early for him, should’ve stayed at Wrexham longer but could understand the emotional pull.

Back to management side of things, can anyone explain the loans in January to me? I can’t understand the logic of having six loan players at the club when only five can be used in the 18. I simply don’t understand why Fitzwater was signed back at last minute to just be back up CB when Johnson did that job up to January and indeed was starting to look promising in his few starts. So now you have a situation where due to the muddle thinking he’s the easy one to miss out of the 18 to accomodate the attacking loan players, it’s a total mess.