Is Keates Good Enough?


Not saying Devlin should be dropped but I think when we’re playing against teams at home we should be looking to get 3 points out of, it should be either/or Norman or Devlin. Having both is far too negative for me and think it may be better suited away from home


Which was offside.

Incorrect as usual.


I tend to agree to be fair, but making out he was rubbish, which some are doing, is so far off the plot it’s untrue.

I’m way way way past this argument now though, he’ll be criticised if he plays well like he did first half or poorly. It makes not difference. May as well throw the Villa lad in because at least people might give him a bit of credit for a couple of weeks.


Keates downfall will be if he continues to pick the undroppables: Devlin, Leahy, Guthrie, and Edwards resolutely. I don’t think Leahy was as bad defensive as usual on Saturday - and I see more fruition in Leahy playing left wing and Laird at left back - than shoehorning Devlin in on the right. I also don’t think edwards should be dropped… but we need to consider he still can’t be 100% fit, and probably has more utility out wide. His goal, incidentally, came from him picking the ball up in the left wing position - something he did repeatedly when playing their last season.

Guthrie has to go - abysmal. Edwards and Osbourne were largely anonymous. One option is putting Edwards on the right, and getting Dobson back in the middle.

Another option is going with a 3 man midfield - which might tighten things up a little more.




Shrops has conveniently ignored that.


It doesn’t negate the point that he was the one player who actually tried to make a surging run into the box, which is what’s needed from the midfield generally.


He was also out of position- and offside.

Did you notice at one point towards the end of the first half he was in the left back position too?

The bloke isn’t a right winger. He has no positional sense and no idea what he’s doing there. To defend him is ludicrous and desperate.

Fair enough, seems a nice lad, but you don’t have to try and exonerate him all the time.


That run doesn’t make up for his overall performance as a winger - I’m not blaming Devlin as it’s obviously not his natural position - and I’d hope that experiment by Keates is over.

At Gillingham he spent most of the game in central midfield clogging up the play, rather that offering an outlet on the right. I know Norman got a fair bit of stick for his distribution, but it can’t have helped having a fellow right back in front of him as his out ball.

Again, this isn’t a dig at Devlin as I think he’s an acceptable full-back at this level, more of a question to Keates as to why he’s picked him when there are arguably three or four better options for that position in the squad.


Out of position? He created a goal scoring opportunity! :joy:

“■■■■ are you doing surging into the box and beating players Devlin, get on the wing and stay there!” :joy::joy::joy::joy:

A perfect example of why he can do no right :man_shrugging:


Deary me. I wonder if you watch the games or understand structure. It’s clearly another example of him being out of position - fine if he does it once. Great. My point is that it’s not isolated. As above states, he constantly comes inside and clogs up the middle - it’s really basic analysis tbh.

Next time we play, and heaven forbid, he plays there - watch what he does.


Do you know, the more yourself and other intelligent posters make these valid points, the more obvious the problem becomes. Certain people would have you believe that if we just removed player X, y or z from the team, we’d be fine and the truth is so far from that. I don’t think any of the mentioned players is much worse than lower league one level. The problem is in the way they’re being managed and the tactics being employed.

I’ve really changed my mind this last couple of weeks. I desperately wanted keates to be a success because I loved him as a player but, as a manager, he seems more and more clueless and unable to build a team and a style.

And consider this about Saturday - we had;

A reserve keeper who is so dire he can’t compete for a place with a keeper who’s struggling

A right back who is, by all accounts, worse than the one he replaced who, apparently, is one of the worst players ever to put on a Walsall shirt

A left back who has played so little football that he won’t be really ready for action for another month or so

Two loan centre halves who can’t even get in the team, despite one of them being superb last season

A winger who wasn’t even in the match day squad

One striker who, despite being threatening on Saturday, has managed 1 goal in 24 games

Another striker who is now relegated to the bench .

That’s pretty abysmal squad building and far from competition for places that he talks about.

I’m afraid he’s lost me. I’ll never forget what a player he was, in particular a match at notts forest when he was superb, but he really doesn’t cut it as a manager and we’re only heading one way.

I hope someone can throw this back at me in a few months, but I very much doubt it.


To be fair, he didn’t ‘beat’ any defenders. It was more Cook’s excellent hold up play that created the opportunity.

The main point though is why are we playing two right-backs at home against a side that have the worst defensive record in the division?


If you say so mate :man_shrugging:


Who then played the ball really late after Devlin had made the run, which left him offside. Cook had an age to play that pass. But lets not criticise him. And Devlin had created the play in the first place.

But like I say, stick the Villa lad in. If he does that same thing he might get a bit of ■■■■■■■ credit.


This is where I slightly disagree. The keeper is a product of the budget and if that’s Cameron Norman you are referring too that is extremely harsh after one home debut.

Agree on Laird.

Two Loan centre halves but we have to use loans. It’s a reality of our situation.

Agree on Zeli

Agree on Ferrier

Agree on Gordon

Is he good enough. Who knows. It doesn’t matter. You need to be better than “good enough” to succeed here with these restrictions. Inevitably we will just stay up, in which case he will be sacked next season when we won’t progress or we will go down this season and he will be sacked anyway. Bring in the next one.


Bit harsh on Cook imo, the bloke was fighting off about three defenders and actually did pretty well to get his head up in that split second.

The fact we’re talking about an offside chance, not even a goal, probably says it all about our attacking play…


He had an absolute year to make that pass.

It’s completely irrelevant whether it was offside or not we are talking about giving credit to the player that created it.


Which was Cook…


It’s fine to disagree :wink: but you make your points intelligently. By the way, I’m not saying that about Norman, just picking up on several comments on the match thread. Like you, I’ll give him time.

I accept what you say about budget, but we have gone and brought in all these players so that we now, pretty much, have a full second team as well. Wouldn’t we have been much better to have brought in 2 or 3 decent players, at the same cost?