When I think about great Walsall teams and great Walsall goals, I like to remember the assist as well as the finish.
Boli’s wonderful scissor kick v Southend came from a sumptuous cross from the wonderful Jeff Peron.
Our beautiful white kit with David Kelly had Willie Naughton’s wizardry and crossing ability.
2 questions then, for Walsall fans:
1.) Who was your favourite Saddlers player to deliver a set piece / get to the byline and cross a ball?
2.) Realistically, who could we sign this summer to deliver the ammo for Jama Matt next season?
My suggestions would be:
Q1.) Peron - arguably, Walsall’s greatest number 11.
Q2.) Lloyd Isgrove (now at Bolton but destroyed us when on loan at Barnsley in the play offs) or (for @geordiesaddler) Callum Roberts (who signed a 3 year contract with Aberdeen in the summer but then sustained a bad injury which has limited game time this season).
Although Darren Bradley was out of shape, he’d do a Jan Molby and just ping it about on a sixpence!
A good example of a player from a big Midlands team (Villa and WBA) who gave something back to a ‘smaller’ Midlands club at the end of his career. Mountfield and Wayne Clarke were similar, in that respect.
I also agree that Wrack was brilliant under Graydon. Sadly, Merson was a terrible influence because both got caught up in a gambling addiction that took a big chunk of their full potential away from them.
To have a go from a free-kick it would be Shakey, he hit some crackers. As a supplier from set pieces Mini Preece was good, and Bradley who has been mentioned above. Danny Guthrie had that ability but we rarely saw it.
As for wingers who were good crossers, Wracky was excellent, Peron was another, Scotty, Acker, Miah, and others, wish we had one or two like them now.
Keates took some good free kicks and corners, always a bit underrated as a player I thought.
The Buck could deliver a good set piece but he tended to be wanted in the middle, sniffing.
Wrack scored from a corner, Millwall at home was it?
I didn’t see enough of Colin Taylor to judge, but I would imagine many of those older than I am would say he was the best.
Wrack was just astonishing that first promotion season. If I remember right, 14 goals but what really syood out when I watched a vid of all the goals for the season was he had the assist for the majority of the rest of our goals.
Peron is the best player I have personally ever seen in a Walsall shirt. Been lucky to have wide players like Scotty Houghton, Darren Wrack and Johnny Hodge. Jason Brissett played a big part in our promotion under Sir Ray and we also had Pedro Matias, Paul Hall, Jamie Paterson… What I would give for players like these now…
But, yes, that season when Bradley and Viveash connected for so many goals from free kicks was very special. I remember an away match at Peterborough during that period and it felt like that combination was coming up with a goal at every match. So, pre game in Peterborough, into the bookies and a decent sized bet (for me) on the first goal being Viveash. I swear, every time we got a free kick in the right area, the whole crowd was willing it to happen but, in the end, although I remember one very near miss, it didn’t happen!