Is Keates Good Enough?


How would you set up Paul?

I am eager to use the new boys, but I worry the winger would not be able to a job tracking back…


Norman Scarr Fitzwater Laird
Taylor Kinsella Dobson Jarvis
Gordon Cook

This is probably our best option at the moment IMO but I have reservations;

  • Back four, only one player started the season with us.
  • Keeper is severely lacking in confidence
  • Taylor may not provide enough protection for Norman.
  • Our left side may not have more than an hour in them.
  • You could swap Gordon for Oteh, but the former was part of the team when Cook has his recent scoring run, so must be a great foil.
  • Zeli is probably the most talented player in the squad, but doesn’t work hard enough.
  • Dobson/Kinsella don’t have the physical presence (I know LK puts himself about, more than enough) which is why Chambers would walk into this team.


A quick check suggests that, after a storming start to the season, wrexham won 4 of the last 14 games he was in charge of! To be fair, they only lost one as well, but definitely a tail off in form.


Sorry for interruption :wink:

Not so long ago I thought Dean Keates was good enough for the task. Small blip of form? It can happen. Now I’m not so convinced, cuz there is list of possible problems. 30 league games and I still don’t know what is his best eleven. Earlier I’ve read team will play with two wingers, two strikers and solid defence. Wingers creating chances, strikers scoring goals, defence defend. I don’t remember I’ve seen it recently. Plus man management could be better (Morris, Kinsella, Ferrier, Ismail, Dobson and probably I could add few names to this list). Team management could be better too (I don’t think there is need for two elevens, one good would be enough). Tactical part of game? Making subs, changing commands and flow of the game, reacting to events on the field, not just watching? Who am I kidding, it won’t change, but it could be better too. Last game Rochdale, team from relegation zone, looked like a competent League One team. Walsall? Little bit in disarray. But I still hope there are talks behind the scene how to improve situation. Team hasn’t been relegated. Yet could be said, but there is still hope. But it’s time to treat this league seriously, play the best eleven and hope for the best. Margin for errors is very slim.


I’ve thought about what we could do different and I’m still at a miss.

This won’t happen but what about a return to 4231?


Norman Fitz Scarr Laird

Kinsella Dobson

Jarvis Gordon Edwards


Left midfielder is a problem there. It’s strange because with a squad of so many… there isn’t really much choice!


I’d be really tempted to go back to the narrow diamond formation and get our ‘best player’ Jarvis as our focal point in a free role. I know he’s naturally a winger, but I think the more we can get him on the ball the better chance we’ll have of creating opportunities.





Then the pace of Taylor & Ferrier to stretch the game if necessary.


I thought about Jarvis playing behind cook too - but then I don’t know if I trust the wide players to get the crosses in.


This is the problem - so many options, so little certainty.


It’s would be a complete waste playing Jarvis in the middle. I’ve watched him a fair bit during his career particularly at the Wolves. He’s never been a play maker behind a striker, always a winger. His strength is beating a man on the outside and his delivery.


Re striking options , I think Gordon isn’t ready for it yet . Particularly in a relegation battle . He may be one for the future if he kicks on but he carries very little threat and no discernible “link up” with Cook .

Oteh threatened more in 10 minutes than Gordon has all season and despite Ferriers dip in form he does sometimes make a nuisance of himself.

I hope Gordon comes good , he’s on a long term contract and looks to have a good attitude but we need more at the moment . It’s crunch time .


I agree, if we can actually get the ball to him then he’s a class above. The problem with that is it became all too predictable on Saturday and it was too easy for Rochdale to double up on him and cut off that supply to Cook.


I thought Oteh looked absolutely outstanding to be honest in his cameo. I actually thought Ferrier was one of our brighter spots and it would be harsh to drop him, but life’s harsh.

Gordon is 4th in line at the moment for me.


True enough, but do you think that would be any less likely to happen if he played AM? Even more so considering he’s not an Oztumer/Sawyers type of player who can wriggle out of tight situations.


Probably not, a free role might potentially work best. I think those are our four best midfielders and as such we should try and build our team around them. A flat four with Edwards on the right is the other option…


Why probably not? Surely wherever you play him, particularly out of position, he’s likely to be identified as our main threat and doubled up on? See all the times it happened to Oztumer in that exact position last season.

And he was good at it.


Because it hasn’t happened yet and you can’t definitely say one way or the other.


I’m not asking why it definitely will or won’t work, I’m asking why you think it probably will be better than playing him in his natural position when he’s just as likely to get doubled up on to be fair.

Nobody knows for definite.


I think what it all boils down to is that DK aint the sharpest tool in the box, not saying he is stupid but certainly not up there with the best of league 1’s managerial incumbents . As much as we want him to succeed he has been put in a position of authority over a large number of people and also had to work to a tight budget. He is there because of his name and past history with the club, not his attributes, sadly I think he will keep been out thought by more astute managers (see Keith Hill).

In the ‘real world’ I think it would be very rare that a company of Walsall FC’s size would put a candidate with DK’s experience in such a position of power. What happens next is down to DK, he has assembled a squad that is good enough to avoid relegation but he has got to use it more effectively. Also he needs to start learning from his opposite numbers and hopefully he will become more savvy, one thing is certain though and that is Jeff won’t think twice about showing him the door if things continue as they are.


Really? Putting a guy with 21 years experience in the industry, most of which was at that company, and relative success as a manager albeit at a smaller company, in a managerial capacity wouldn’t happen?

There are lots of reasons to be angry at the club, but putting Keates in charge isn’t one of them. It looked like a solid appointment at the time.


But he talks to fans on social media so he must be good…


Literally nobody saying that. I haven’t even said he’s good in that position.

I just disagree that he was poor particularly first half Saturday and people jump on every little thing he does. It’s been the same all season.

Is he an outstanding player? No not by any stretch of the imagination. But complaining about Nicky Devlin’s performance on the right wing on Saturday is like complaining about the champagne temperature on the Titanic. There’s still no organisation at the back. There’s still no athleticism at the back. When Jarvis is cut off there is literally no supply line other than booting the ball at the forwards (and literally the only time in the game this wasn’t the case was the bloody Devlin chance everyone was discussing) and Roberts confidence wains by the week.

But Nicky Devlin occasionally comes inside, the ■■■■■■■ heathen.