Southend United (H) Friday 19th April, 3pm

#1

"Inside the Halle
… catching little nimble shrimps"

(Gilbert)

Following the doom-and-gloom unanimously expressed after losing to Accrington Stanley, and salt being rubbed into the wound by the opinion that most of the Walsall players evidently couldn’t be bothered to up their game, the temptation to not bother doing a match preview was very real. In more than 60 years of supporting the Saddlers it’s accepted that technical ability and finesse will never be of the highest quality, but when that is combined with a perceived lack of effort … well, some of the love for the team goes down the plug-hole.

Martin O’Connor now has just 4 games left in this train-wreck of a season to try and salvage our League One status, and as each game has gone by we have moved from "A win would be a good result" through “We really have to win this one” and “We must win” to the current status of “If we lose this one there’s really no hope left”.

Having said that, we welcome the Shrimpers, whose position virtually mirrors our own - they are one place and one point ahead of us, but they do have a superior goal difference (Question - who on earth doesn’t?). From the helpful posts of Roots2Roots it would seem that their problems are very similar to ours - the performances have fallen far short of the paper potential. There are a couple of familiar faces in the Shrimpers’ squad - captain Sam Mantom, and Jason Demetriou. It is perhaps indicative of Southend’s form last season that their “Player of the Year” was Mark Oxley (goalkeeper). Southend United’s current League One form:-

Mar 12 Scunthorpe United (A) Lost 4-1
Mar 16 AFC Wimbledon (H) Lost 0-1
Mar 23 Peterborough United (A) Lost 2-0
Mar 30 Shrewsbury Town (H) Lost 0-2
Apr 6 Fleetwood Town (A) Drew 2-2
Apr 13 Wycombe Wanderers (H) Lost 0-2

Martin O’Connor’s comments following the Accrington Stanley surrender were revealing as well as scathing, pulling no punches in describing it as “A non-performance” (etc.) - it will be interesting to see the nature and depth of any changes he will make for this game, which qualifies as a Formula One 6-pointer. What will probably be apparent from this game is the quality of his motivational skills - there is an undoubted need for players to wear the shirt with the kind of pride that will see them run through brick walls, rather than shying away from damp paper bags. Just think of Graeme Forbes, Tony Barras, even Zigor Aranalde.

Prediction? With the fat lady beginning to warble, it’s terribly difficult to forecast a Walsall win with any degree of realism, but in the spirit of “Never say die” how about a scrappy 1-0 home result, with another Nickly Devlin goal (assuming he’s playing, that is).

UTS

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#2

Good preview. I’m going to go for a 3-1 win. Not because we’re going to come out fighting but I just think we’re going to bundle in an early goal and they’ll crumble. After the positivity though, it’ll be our last win of the season!

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#3

I honestly don’t know what to think? it all depends on the team that MOC puts out, because the spineless idiots that played last week have shown their true colours, it is quite evident now that most of them do not want anything to do with WFC any more, and certainly don’t want to play for Martin, it’s sad really, because they could cover themselves in a bit of glory and get some self esteem back if they put in a couple of performances until the end of the season.

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#4

Feel a tad sorry for Keates really cuz I think most of our lot would not even want to play for sir Alex Ferguson.

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#5

7-0 Walsall. Bonser cups his ear to the blue pop stand then has to go to A&E after a pigeon ■■■■■ in it.

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#6

5-2 Walsall. 30-year-old Ishmael Demontagnac makes a shock return to the club ahead of kick-off, scores a hatrick reminicent of the same fixture in 2008 and manages to show more commitment and guile than any of the current squad despite being dismissed for a two-footed lunge on a dawdling ball boy in the closing minutes.

The joy is short lived however, Ishy is arrested for harrassing a pigeon that ‘cooed at him funny’ on Wednesbury Road later that evening and forced to return to Jimmy Mullens’ basement for all eternity.

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#7

I won’t be there so we will probably win…1-0

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#8

I think we might scrape a 1-0 win.

I am fairly sure if so, we will get some more anti-supporter, goading behaviour if we do at the end.

I’d love to be wrong. If we did win, I’d love it if the players got in a huddle and really, really showed the fans how much they care.

What I foresee is more ear cupping and sarcastic applauding.

1 Like

#9

I’ll butt in please :slight_smile:

1-1 … I think we are both as bad as each other and should share the spoils.
However, It could go Exiles way and you wallop us 7-0. It will then be us blues ear cupping :frowning:

We have sold about 380 tickets now plus I know a lot may get tickets up there so about 500 blues maybe.

See some of you in the Black Country at lunch time. We can all cuddle, cry and be generally argue about who supports the worse team (Southend are the worse though LOL)

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#10

We’ve gotten to the point where not even must win is enough. Must win this and the next one.

I’ve zero confidence in us.

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#11

I’d love a repeat of Bury at home from last term. A 90th minute own goal by Black Country Jase.

But what XI to pick?

Dunn/Oakes/Slinn

Devlin
Johnson
Fitzwater
Edwards

Dobson
Kins
Bates/Oz

Zeli
Blackett-Taylor/Leahy
Cook

The Pride of the Midlands to run out to Britney Spears’ Toxic, Steve Jenkins to plough royalties straight into billboard advertising campaign of our crystal clear family ticket policy.

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#12

Big changes needed to the side imo. I genuinely don’t care if it doesn’t bring the required result, I just want to see an eleven that actually want to play for the club. Let’s face it. It literally can’t get any worse than the last two ‘performances’.

Dunn

Devlin
Scarr
Fitzwater
Edwards

Dobson
Kinsella
Bates

Blackett-Taylor
Candlin
Zeli

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#13

A draw which won’t be much use to either side.

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#14

I think Southend will win 1-0…we will give away a goal after 8 mins,then Southend will put 11 men behind the ball for the rest of the game.

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#15

Dunn was really really poor in the cup to be honest. These people calling for Roberts to be dropped may need to be careful what they wish for. He maybe the best of a very bad bunch.

While we can just about survive we shouldn’t be picking players regardless of the required result.

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#16

I thought he did okay away at Tranmere, but then didn’t exactly cover himself in glory in the Macclesfield game. Can’t comment on the CheckaTrade games. It’s more to do with giving Roberts a break as the last thing he needs at the moment is exposure in more high-pressure fixtures.

I would usually agree regarding the overall team selection, but I’m just struggling to find any hope in playing our ‘best’ XI given what we saw on Saturday.

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#17

He was, no other word for it, dreadful against Port Vale. Not just the goals, he was so slow to EVERYTHING. It was painful to watch.

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#18

Yeah, it’s a ridiculous situation really. The no.2 should be there to not just bench warm, but be of sufficient quality to offer an adequate replacement in case of injury or loss of form.

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#19

Clearly the budget didn’t allow for Gillespie (starting Goalkeeper for a midtable SPL team now) to stick around.

I mean, he didn’t really inspire confidence but was head an shoulders above Dunn and may even be above Roberts now.

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#20

Cutler rated him

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