"On the trail of the lonesome pine"
(MacDonald/Carroll - popular song from years ago, and yes, there’s a connection with Oldham Athletic)
It’s getting quite like old times for many older Walsall supporters … back in the 1950’s it was the routine to finish at the foot of the lowest Football League tier, and have to go cap-in-hand to apply for re-election. With very nearly a third of this season gone we’ve won 4 games - just set that against our 1952-53 performance when the entire campaign produced 7 wins for us. Other clubs in that Division III (South) table included Norwich City, Brighton, Watford, Crystal Palace and Bournemouth.
However, back to the present and a trip to multi-national Oldham Athletic. There can’t be many teams with players from 12 different nations on their books … verbal exchanges on training days must be interesting!! The Latics are in 21st position, 4 points below us, but (naturally) their scoring record in better than ours … current League 2 form:-
Sep 17 Scunthorpe Utd (A) Drew 2-2
Sep 21 Morecambe (h) Won 3-1
Sep 28 Carlisle Utd (A) Lost 1-0
Oct 5 Cheltenham Town (H) Drew 1-1
Oct 12 Mansfield Town (A) Lost 6-1
Oct 19 Macclesfield Town (H) Lost 0-1
(The Mansfield Town game can be considered a bit of a one-off, as Oldham had 2 players sent off before half-time)
So…what can Darrell Clarke do to reverse our current run of 3 straight defeats? Many helpful suggestions have been made by contributors to this forum, as well as a few suggestions on where certain players can go. What is certain is that basic individual errors have to be addressed, and attacking football must become a priority - we can’t rely on soft penalties, and neither can we rely on the goals we do score coming from the feet of our defenders…
Prior to the current 3 losses, it should be remembered that we had 3 straight wins, so the squad shouldn’t be totally written off at this stage. The game gives us an ideal opportunity to get back to winning ways, and if we can resume the 0-1 away scenario that will be a start. Perhaps one of our strikers will oblige???