Walsall fans and modern football

Reading the Josh Gordon threads it strikes how much is mis understanding there is about a strikers role in the modern game. A number of comments like he doesn’t score enough goals or he runs around like a headless chicken misunderstand what he brings to the team.

The starting point in the debate is the general consensus in football that it’s better to play out from the back as ultimately this way it creates better chances than playing long balls.

Obviously the way to counter teams that do this is to close them down or to press. This where Josh Gordon comes in as his work rate stops teams building from the back. It isn’t meaningless running he does. It has a purpose.

Although these concepts like playing out from the back and pressing have been around for years, it is perhaps only in recent seasons they have dominated. For example most passes in a game are now done by a defender or defensive midfielder, whereas in previous times the most passes would be by a midfielder. I.e. it is the defensive players controlling the game in modern football.

Rule changes like the back pass rule and players being allowed to touch the ball after the goalie in their own penalty area have also impacted the game since the days when teams had strikers who were out and out scorers.

These videos are well worth a watch for those interested.

Playing out from the back



1st question. Would Josh Gordon get in any of the teams that finished in the top 7 last season?

I don’t recall Wrexham, Stockport, Mansfield, Dongs, Crawley, Crewe or Doncaster having headless chickens running about up top and not scoring l/contributing.

2nd question. Where did we finish? There seems to be some major revisionism going on.

3rd question. How about the style of football we as an attacking unit adopt? We certainly don’t play out from the back - so my question is, how does Josh Gordon fit into the style of play when we have the ball?

No one is misunderstanding the role of the ‘modern striker’. I would argue 2 points:

  1. The Gordon signing doesn’t make much sense with the forward signings we have made already. Thats the crucial one.

  2. Sure, strikers have to press - but that can’t be the only weapon in their arsenal. There has to be some other sort of contribution, both in possession, and output.

I think it’s a very average, mid table league two signing. I don’t think he’s an awful player, but, and I stress this is the point of my criticism, is that it’s not a signing that shrieks ‘promotion’ to me.

I’ll also turn this around - and say that some… cannot understand that the style of football we have seen over the last 6 seasons, is for me, not promotion level. It’s largely been negative and passive football - and I’m sick of it.

That’s my major criticism, and I really hope Sadler learns the lessons from the last 12 months, makes us more expansive, entertaining and attractive to watch.


There really isn’t.

It’s a common theme how any dissenting voice on any topic (including SOT threads) are dismissed as not understanding.


As usual just your opinions without any actual discussion of wht @Andy_Petterson was asking.
No doubt followed by telling whoever disagrees with said opinions that they " don’t understand the game ":roll_eyes:

And you’d be the first spitting the dummy if we did and weren’t winning.
If we win enough couldn’t give a toss how entertaining or expansive we are. Winning is what counts. Did you mind how we played under Dickie Dosh?

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Actually think they’re both good posts @Andy_Petterson and @Thanatos

I genuinely don’t have the time or energy to add to it, but I would say I lean towards agreeing with many of Andy’s points but understand the argument made by Thannie :+1::+1:


Do you want to go on a date or something?

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No, psychology students were always too tedious to go for a drink with.

We don’t often agree I know… But attempting to justify the dissenting voices on Gordon by saying people don’t understand the modern game. What on earth next…

This is a forward so poor that if Walsall hadn’t signed him he would be in the National League at best

If this Sadler masterclass is so successful why do we keep losing so many games and if Josh Gordon is the perfect forward for this ‘high press’ which is do successful why didn’t the other 22 clubs want him


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Excellent post and fully agree. Sadler obviously wants a pressing hardworking forward to put defences under pressure and Flash fits that perfectly.

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That may be, but in this instance I’m correct. Those calling him a headless chicken clearly demonstrate a lack of understanding

That is a great response to such a limited viewpoint presented by the OP.

There are many different styles of football as can be witnessed in the Euros. Indeed, those willing to run with the ball are having success against those byild from the back teams.

So many different styles. My opinion is play to your strengths… if the manager knows what the strengths are or recruits to their strengths of course.

Anyway, great read :+1:


Thanks mate!

The original post, which you’re sticking up for, literally tells people who disagree that they don’t understand the game. So a bit odd to then have a go at Thanatos for supposedly doing the same.

Also a bit odd to equate Money, who won the league, with Sadler, who finished 11th.

Like you I’d take promotion with any style of play, but when we’re finishing midtable I think criticisms of the style of play are fair enough.


Precisely. Very very odd.

It’s the sign of any shit argument.

This is my point and if you don’t agree then you don’t understand.


And mine is
This is my point, and if you don’t agree it is because i am probably talking bollox :joy:


That wasn’t Andy’s point at all though.

He didnt say “this is my point and if you dont agree you don’t understand….”

He said “if you think that Gordon is just a headless chicken then it shows how much of a misunderstanding there is regarding the strikers role….”

There’s a huge difference.


Not really. I’ve evidenced why there’s more of a need for strikers to defend from the front in the modern game and why what May seem to be random running to some (I.e. headless chicken) actually has a purpose.

Conversely you could refute what I’ve said by showing evidence of say Josh Gordon running away from the ball or opposition defenders when they have the ball.

That would be contrary to what I’m trying to argue and evidence in favour of the ‘headless chicken’ thesis, but you won’t find such evidence.

Hope this helps.

The missus is on her 2nd Psychology Masters, and is the funniest drunk I know…

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There’s plenty of fans stuck on modem football…