Now that our business looks to be over


#42

Thats how I feel now. I just can’t get excited anymore, the last 2 seasons and the rapidly degenerating treatment from the board (and lets face it, it didn’t seem possible it could get any worse) has once and for all completely knocked the stuffing out of me.

Same old, no real team you can get behind. Loan players will go back, we will sell anyone that does well at the very first opportunity - and the players we do have everyone slates! The club is rotten.

Another revolving door of journeymen and young loanees, coming out with the same tired bullshine in the media. These are our loan players in JUST 2 YEARS; Agyei, Shaibu, Ngoy, Fitzwater, Roberts, Johnson, Jarvis, Oteh, Blackett-Taylor, Laird.

How are we meant to get behind a team? So we really think any of these young lads pull a Walsall shirt on with pride having had their egos stroked at places like Villa, QPR, Wolves etc etc. Not only that, if they do well in the shirt, as Tyler Roberts did, thats it; goodbye!

Ginelly and nearly Ferrier gone after just 6 months in the shirt - what the hell is going on!!


#43

To me the fact that we’ve done so much business in January shows that we are anything but a well run club, and I’m pretty disappointed with how this season has de-generated given it was built on the best ever unbeaten start at third tier level. We have a centre-forward whose goal-tally should be that basis for, at the very least, anything but a relegation scrap, and most certainly a blue-print for a nailed on tactical method. Big game on Saturday, and a big couple of months in the managerial career of Mr. Keates. I sincerely hope it has a happy ending, leading to a happy progression. This is now a decent squad, mid-table is a minimum for me. Relegation would be an incredulous failure, and a near miss would be pretty poor.


#44

There were 91 transfers in the EFL yesterday. Out of those 75 were loan deals. That’s over 82%. Of those where a transfer fee was paid every one was undisclosed.
This is the way that football in the EFL is run these days. There is no point berating our club for doing exactly what everyone else is doing.


#45

We were literally 4th favourites for relegation, something most people here predicted. Hardly an incredulous failure is it.


#46

That’s not what I said. Two days before the end of the summer transfer window we could barely put a team on the park, and we had signed a striker as our main man (number 9) that had never played league football, our relegation odds were justified.

Months later, said striker has bagged 16 goals and is on his way to a season’s tally never bettered in over 30 years at our club. We have had the best start to a season ever at this level, and now have cover for every position on the pitch apart from maybe keeper. For example many people have bemoaned the fact that Keates is “stuck” with Whitney’s defenders for another season. Not anymore, he has an entire back four of his own signings in addition to those he inherited.

Yes I think to get relegated from that position would be an incredulous failure.


#47

Isn’t that being a victim of your own success though? It’s like changing a budget half way through the year because your staff are doing well and now saying they are underperforming simply because you’ve moved the targets.


#48

No not really. Keates has been allowed to go out and make a myriad of signings of varying degrees of quality and experience. But he certainly has been given the freedom to make signings. The fact that we now have one of the best strikers in the league, supported by a top end Championship winger means we have goals in the team. That is arguably the “gold-dust” element of any squad, as scoring goals is surely the hardest part of football. Keates came with the reputation of having the ability to organise a defence, having done so at Wrexham, and having worked under managers here that had done it. He was allegedly hamstrung by inheriting Whitney’s defenders. Well he’s signed Martin, Fitzwater (twice) Johnson, Scarr, Norman, and Laird. That’s 6/7 defensive signings, if he can’t organise them into an effective unit (which I hope he can) from here on the buck stops with him, as was alluded to by his mate Chris Marsh this week. Also since the early part of the season we have had the return to fitness of last season’s player of the season Joe Edwards, who is already looking like his injury has not had any long term detriment. Its just my opinion, but this squad should be nowhere near a relegation scrap, and hopefully in a few weeks we wont be.


#49

Hold on, one of the best strikers in the league? You just said signings like him are the exact reason we were one of the favourites for relegation? So just because he’s turned out to be a hit calling relegation an epic failure or whatever you said is the very definition of moving the goal posts! It’s the very definition of being a victim of your own success.

Keates has been allowed to bring players in, as was Whitney, as was any other Walsall manager. The issue has always been the calibre of those players on our budget verses quantity and that is still true today. He’s built depth in the squad by using loans and scouted non league players. That doesn’t mean we should all of a sudden be blowing teams away and winning every week. Sure that would be nice, but our fans seem to be struggling with realism. Staying up is still an achievement. You can’t just move the goal posts just because we’ve finally put a minimum of 22 players together.

Call it an incredulous failure all you like. That’s your right. It’s still moving the goal posts because of earlier successes.


#50

Not moving the goal posts, but rather making a realistic re-assessment based on how the circumstances have changed. Cooke is one of the best strikers in the league, he’s come in and proved it, so you can’t put that genie back in the bottle, no more so than Oztumer, Bradshaw, Lightbourne etc etc I actually think the calibre of players is pretty decent for this level. If we finished around where we are now I wouldn’t be overly fussed, it would be a bit of a “meh, move on” kind of season. But actual relegation, or even a near miss ala last season should be avoidable from here on, and should have been easily avoidable after the start we had. Personally I think we will push on and finish middle to top half which would be decent, and a very realistic goal.


#51

Potato Potato


#52

I suppose Keates was sensible in not making wholesale changes in the summer, allowing himself some time to settle into the role whilst keeping a level of continuity in the team.
Now his second window is over, and looking at the signings he has made, a mix of experience and youth, I am optimistic. He seems more than capable of identifying and bringing in half decent players. As with any manager at this club, the budget constraints will result in him having to take punts on players, some of which will not work out. For me, he has made a good start in this respect.

His next test, now that he has his “own Team” is to demonstrate his abilities with respect to team selection, tactics, in game management and player development/management. I am looking forward to seeing this.

As for this season, I will be disappointed if we finish with less than 60 points.


#53

“I will be disappointed if we finish with less than 60 points.”

That’s top half last season. I’d be doing ■■■■■■■ cartwheels if we managed that. It’s realistic in the same way that it’s realistic I could quit alcohol and get fitter. I could but it’s not going to happen is it? I don’t know why people are now expecting this rather than hoping this based on signing a bunch of players nobody has even seen play. We did the same thing last January. Look how that worked out.


#54

25 points from 17 games

Example 7 wins, 4 draws, 6 defeats. Hardly promotion form.


#55

Hardly anything like our current form either.

By the way that’s 68 points extended over a season. 3 off last years play offs. You say hardly play off form but it’s not exactly a million miles off it.


#56

I’m sure that there was a poster who, only a few weeks ago, called us a mid-table side and appeared to insist that a points total of 62 was possible.
And it wasn’t Belphegor…


#57

I’m not saying it’s impossible. I’m saying it’s unlikely and certainly shouldn’t be used as a measuring stick.


#58

I realise that, but we have signed a fair number of players in the past couple of weeks, including in positions where the manager has identified weakness. Also he has more options at this disposal now than he did a few weeks ago.
I imagine, Keates would expect these new players to have a positive impact on current form. Otherwise, why bother?
Looking at our remaining fixtures, we have some very winnable games.


#59

Because A) this should have been the size of the squad at the start of the season, B) This team will need time to jel and C) some of them are on 3 year deals. That tells me we are not expecting some of these players to turn up day one and play like Messi.

Now A and C are the best we can hope for on our budget. And Keates doesn’t set that.

and B is consequence of having to do a lot of business in January.

And before I’m accused of favouritism towards Keates, I said exactly the same to defend Whitney at this point last season when he was finally allowed to (panic) add players.

It’s absolute madness to EXPECT (not hope) that this team suddenly clicks into a top half side just because signings.


#60

I agree.

Signing 8 players is a huge gamble. I would say that is a fifty fifty chance of coming off, and if it does with the new players having a positive impact that would be great.

There is also a good chance that the new players will not gel well into the team, they could well make things worse. At present nobody knows what will happen. You can never tell whether a whole bunch of new players will cause more upset than improvement. Keates must know this, but is still prepared to take the risk.

I would say that even if all this gamble is not a success I will not blame Keates. In my opinion he is right to try to change things. This is now going to be a huge learning experience for a young manager, so even if it does not come off I would hope that we stick with him.

And of course it really might work out really well. So here’s hoping.


#61

That’s a fascinating stat.

Tbf it just goes to further prove that I am probably falling out of love with football as a whole…not just Walsall.