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Stoke (h) - League - 2nd November 2002

Reports and reaction from the 2002-03 season as Walsall finished 17th in Division 1
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Stoke (h) - League - 2nd November 2002

Tue Dec 07, 2004 4:27 pm

By Exile ( on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 04:50 am: Edit

Looks like George Burley will be the boss by the time we kick off. I'm just hoping for a repeat of the Palace game without all the defensive shenanigans.

We have the team and the ability to run rings round Stoke, so let's hope that some well-chosen words of wisdom from CL will settle the lads down in the second half and avoid the "headless chicken" routine.

3-1 Walsall, I think!

Cheers all

By Geoff Whiting ( on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 09:42 am: Edit

I hope so Exile, but while not wishing to "put a dampener on it" I am worried about this new manager thing and the effect it can have on our opposition.

I think this has happened to us several times in recent seasons. Weren't we the first team to play Barnsley after Parkin's appointment and first to play Sheff Wendy after Yorath was appointed, and I think we lost to both.

OK, Burley won't have had time to assess or do much in 48 hours, but the players will know that the new boss has arrived and that there's an urgent need to impress him from the off.

Personally I think we're too good for Sjoke, and anyway the thought of losing to them in particular is too much to bear, but then we were too good to lose to Rotherham, Bradford, Reading and Palace or to draw with PNE and we all know how we blew those games big time !

It also seems certain that O'Connor will miss out following the diabolical tackle from behind on him on Tuesday.

I'll still agree with you at 3-1 to us against Sjoke, with everything crossed !

By Stu ( on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 11:15 am: Edit

I think Sjoke appointing George Burley before Saturday could be the worst thing for us.

You know what the new manager syndrome is like, and, lets not forget, Stoke weren't doing too bad when Cotterill was in charge. Its only since he left that they've fallen apart really, so it shows they have the players and a decent manager will get them working.

I'd love to paste them, but I don't think it'l be as easy as it would have been had we played them at the weekend just gone.

By Moaning Saddler ( on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 01:49 pm: Edit

Good News!

Seems that Burley has turned Sjoke down - how could he spurn such a massive club!

Maybe they will get Yorath in before Saturday (or possibly John Barnwell?)

By Stu ( on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 02:20 pm: Edit

God, they must have been dreadful last night then.

Looking at what their Chairman said, it seems everything was as good as agreed yesterday. He watched them last night, and has changed his mind since then. They must have been dire.

Cant see them getting anyone else in by then, which means their Caretaker manager and his P4 L4 record will be in charge!

By Dave Roe ( on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 02:38 pm: Edit

Exile, please don't predict a 3-1 win. I don't think I could cope with being 3-1 up. I've suddenly gained a strange aversion to two goal leads. I'll settle for a quiet 1-0 win (scored in the 90th minute).

By Geoff Whiting ( on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 03:53 pm: Edit

Moaning Saddler & Stu, thanks for the good news about Burley - I assume it's definitely been confirmed as you've both heard it.

Excellent, I was gettimg worried about Saturday, now I feel much more relaxed.

By Jorge14 ( on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 08:00 pm: Edit

3-2 Saddlers I think, I can't see us keeping a clean sheet with Gavin Ward in goals, but I can't see us losing.

Good news about Burley, like Moaning said, how could he turn such a "massive" club as good old Stoke. Now lets all laugh at them...again.

By Geoff Whiting ( on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 09:17 pm: Edit

Probably Sjoke fans will give Ward a lot of stick, and if so it might be just what we need to get an inspired performance out of him. I hope so anyway.

Jorge 14, I can't see us keeping a clean sheet with our defence, full stop. That's regardless of who's in goal for us. Obviously though it's Ward on Saturday due to Wakker's suspension. The lay-off might do Jimmy good, especially after Tuesday's nightmare performance in giving away the 1st and 2nd goals.

By Stu ( on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 11:05 pm: Edit

Geoff, its so surprising that you cant see us keeping a clean sheet with our defence. The very same defence (except Hay for Carbon) that were superb at Coventry just 5 days ago!

Its strange the way we forget things so quickly in football, me included in that, so dont think I'm being awkward.

Recently, we were all saying how it was positive after just 1 defeat in 6 or whatever it was, where as now we're without a win in 4 or is it 5? Football can change so easily...

By Fish ( on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 12:08 am: Edit

Stjoke have announced another press conference for 9.00 am tomorrow morning (at a time when most journos are still in bed). Could mean that Burley has changed his mind, or it's Tony Pulis, or his friend John Rudge or at that time of the morning the Milkman.

By behind enermy lines ( on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 12:22 am: Edit

Who would want to manage that useless pile of clay, Jan molby will be a choice ha ha

By belgian saddler ( on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 01:58 am: Edit

the hooded claw-a big man (?) for a big job

By Geoff Whiting ( on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 02:43 am: Edit

Stu, you're right, on reflection perhaps I didn't make myself very clear.

Yes as you say we've kept clean sheets, but generally they seem more likely to come in our away games, and certainly I was there to witness a good defensive performance at Coventry.

Don't forget though that we had enough chances in the first 25 minutes to have had the game virtually won.

But at home we struggle to keep the opposition out and I find that hard to explain, perhaps at home we commit too much going forward and leave ourselves open to the sucker punch

By Ulster Saddler ( on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 09:45 am: Edit

Burley said he couldn't commit himself long term to Sjoke. In other words - the minute another club came in for me I would be off quicker than a Sjoke fan can scream "but we're a massive club"

By Worried of Walsall ( on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 10:11 am: Edit

TheSaddlersFC.tk are reporting that Sjoke have appointed Pulis this morning. Let's hope it's not a case of "new manager" syndrome tomorrow!

By Stu ( on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 10:40 am: Edit

Thats great news then, Pulis is bloody dire. My best mate from Uni is a Pompey fan and a lad from our footy team is a Bristol City fan. They both hate him with a passion coz of the way he messed up their clubs.
Not to mention, judging by comments on their Rivals messageboard, the Stoke fans dont want him either.
I now expect to see a game of 'hoof ball' from Stoke on Saturday.

By Mike T. ( on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 01:48 pm: Edit

I hope Stoke do adopt "hoof ball" tomorrow as I feel Ropes/Hay/Carbon can deal with that rather more easily than the smaller more mobile strikers with the ball played to feet. However how much input Pulis will have for tomorrows game is anybody's guess. Presumably the Stoke players will be up for it in front of their new boss.
Lets hope we don't win a corner in the last minute and Ward ambles up to try and notch the winner against his old team mates!! Pass the tranquilizers and stress ball.

By saddledinleeds ( on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 02:31 pm: Edit

Just spent a most enjoyable lunch time reading the messages on the Stoke oatcake site.

All the fans are apparently suicidal and are already dishing the dirt on Pullis about tricks he got up to when at Gillingham.

I think we should get some songs ready for tomorrow.

By Pelsall Saddler ( on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 03:29 pm: Edit

I'm worried sick at the thought of not beating Sjoke tomorrow. Still can't believe what actually happened on Tuesday night, it will haunt me for years. Tomorrow is a must win game, the new manager syndrome has nothing to do with it, nothing other than three points matters.
Time for Colin Lee to get it right with his selection, and every Walsall player to play the game of his life.
Sorry if I sound a bit alarmist, but I really feel it's that important right now.

By Saddler in USA ( on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 03:46 pm: Edit

heres what the sjoke supporters are calling there new manager get ready for it ... " TINY PENIS " ha ha theres only one " TINY PENIS " one "TINY PENIS " theres only one "TINY PENIS" all together now .....

By Neil Ravenscroft ( on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 03:47 pm: Edit

The latest team news is Mart is extremely doubtful, Sonner standing by, Matias fit after an injury picked up for the reserves and Sicknote has recovered from the illness which apparantly kept him out Tuesday.

I make that, apart from Walker and O'Connor, full strngth.

By Geoff Whiting ( on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 04:24 pm: Edit

Or to put it another way Neil, nowhere near full strength then !

By behind enermy lines ( on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 04:37 pm: Edit

tony pulis it gets better, only pubs open tommorow will be bar sports in the town, and maybe the Fullbrook. I think I will have a look at the oatcake for a laugh.

By poo ( on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 05:11 pm: Edit


By Jorge14 ( on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 05:12 pm: Edit

Oh, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho.

Sjoke pull yet another rabbit out of the hat, but, you know, I'm really worried about tommorrow. Why I hear the masses say, well, with Tony Pullis in charge Sjoke are bound to play Dutch style total football, a brilliant passing game which will rip our defence apart.

Sorry, I got Sjoke confused with Barcelona, how did that happen?

Three easy points (hopefully) if we return to form. Sjoke have taken a HUGE backwards step by appointing Pullis, I mean, even Brian Little returning would have been better news for them. Pullis is RUBBISH, how long was he actually at Pompey, a few months was it? And look how much he messed them up. Well that "massive" team or the "sleeping giant" from up the M6 just became smaller than "little" Walsall.

By Angi Oplasty ( on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 08:30 pm: Edit

Burley was in the bag, signed sealed and delivered. Then he met the fans and saw the team play. Unemployemnt seemed a better bet.

By Fish ( on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 09:57 pm: Edit

Any thoughts on the gate tomorrow ? I see Sjoke have been given 2,400 tickets. If they sell them all we could see getting on for 9,000

By Angi ( on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 11:28 pm: Edit

Stoke had sold 1600 at lunchtime today. 7200 is my guess.

By Phil_G ( on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 05:01 pm: Edit

1-0 saddlers, Leitao

By Phil_G ( on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 05:09 pm: Edit

2-0 saddlers, Leitao again!!

By Phil_G ( on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 05:16 pm: Edit

3-0 saddlers, Junior.

By Phil_G ( on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 05:29 pm: Edit

3-1 Cooke.

By Phil_G ( on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 05:31 pm: Edit

3-2 ten minutes left.

By Phil_G ( on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 05:33 pm: Edit

4-2 Aranalde penalty

By Anon ( on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 06:08 pm: Edit


By Bristolsaddler ( on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 06:26 pm: Edit

Why was the attendance so p*** poor?

By belgian saddler ( on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 06:30 pm: Edit

can anyone send me a pacemaker over before wednesdays game? even after the traditional attemp to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory...... still i suppose it made the joke fans suffer a little longer under the illusion that maybe this time the sleeping giant was going to wake up after all, oh dear he`s gone into a coma again.... i still can`t stop laughing at the pullis appointment! oh happy days!

By belgian saddler ( on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 06:31 pm: Edit

exile: you sort of got your wish about a repeat of the palace game even if there were still a few `defensive shinnanigins`

By Geoff Whiting ( on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 08:04 pm: Edit

I am so happy - defeat to Stoke would have been my worst nightmare, even a draw would have felt like defeat. Still gutted by Tuesday but this brings some relief at last. I'm sure we all felt that deja vu thing coming on at 3-2. They'll put us all in the coronary care ward at this rate.

Did anyone see what Gavin Ward was so incensed about with their first goal, was he complainimg it didn't cross the line, or that he'd been fouled, or what ? He certainly looked well p****d off, enough to get a yellow card anyway. It appeared to be the linesman who indicated the goal, and then there was confusion as Ward hung on to the ball. I hope someone can unravel that mystery.

I thought the first half was awful at times, the conditions didn't help obviously, the first touch was very often crap or non-existent. Second half though, Jorge was awesome again at times, what a great player he is when he's on song like that, and whatever CL said at half-time, the whole team performance seemed to rise by several notches.

As for the crowd, pretty poor, but after Tuesday's collapse following on the same vs. PNE, and the awful weather thrown in as well, perhaps it's not too surprising.

By Phil_G ( on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 08:14 pm: Edit

Geoff, WM said Ward was incensed because he didn't believe the ball had crossed the line for Sjoke's first goal.

By Jorge14 ( on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 08:41 pm: Edit

Good performance by a good team against an anything but good Sjoke City side.

Ward - 7 - Surprisingly solid, maybe unlucky with the first, flung himself into the feet of the strikers and looked to have made a good save but the goal was given. Got booked for his protests but all in all a good full debut for our play-off semi final hero. One small point, why did he, on every possible chance, come 30 yards out of his goal to kick the ball?

Bazely - 7 - Another solid performance by the man who has been our most consistent performer this season.

Aranalde - 8 - Yet another solid penalty as he nearly had a fight with Sonner over who would take it! Solid at the back, didn't really put a foot wrong.

Hay - 9 - The captain for the day was as always solid. He didn't give the Sjoke strikers a minutes rest. Outplayed them for the full 90 mins.

Roper - 7 - Solid game from Ropes but he still puts the ball out of play too often resulting in unneccesary pressure.

Wrack - 7 - Kept going and going in tricky conditions. Attempted to run past defenders for the first time in I don't know how long which was a good sign.

Corica - 3...Only joking ;-) 8 - Well, I'll eat a slice of humble pie and say that we need Stevie C in the side. Although he didn't do anything of particular note today he tried his best and slipped though a number of good passes.

Sonner - 6 - Played OK but really didn't do that much. Played the ball about a bit but not really that good a game for Sonner.

Simpson - 8 - A welcome return to form for Fitz, took over MOC's role well, led the midfield and was influtential. Looked one of the most likely to create a goal.

Leitao - 10 - MOM - Jorge again ran himself into the ground after an uneventful first half for everyone. Took his goals well and pulled the ball back for Junior's goal brilliantly. He and Junior look a very exciting partnership as the keep on scoring.

Junior - 8 - Decent performance for Junior who scored yet again. Set up Jorge well for one of the goals and slid in for his goal well. Good performance in what must be tricky conditions for our Brazilian striker.


Zdrillic - 7 - Did his job when he came on but wasn't given much time to make an impact apart from winning the penalty.

Matias - 7 - Looked lively when he came on. Put in a couple of good balls and gave the right back something to think about.

Barras - 6 - Didn't have any time to make an impact.

Finally, we didn't let one slip! THe result was never in doubt I thought after we went 2 up and after the third we were never going to let it go, even when they got their 2. Good performance by everyone I thought. Oh, how I enjoy watching the idiots from Sjoke, ho, ho, ho!

By Ted ( on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 09:10 pm: Edit

Poor weather, poor crowd Im afraid. I went, my three kids didnt. I know of two others that gave it a miss too, shame.

By Exile ( on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 09:22 pm: Edit

4-2. I am SO pleased with that. Sounds like Ward was given the bum's rush by the linesman for their first, but when didn't an official's decision go against us at least once a game.

Thought that at 6391 the crowd sounded a bit big considering it was a visit by possibly the least attractive opposition in the league, although I concede that the weather may have had something to do with it!

Cheers all

By cannock ( on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 10:03 pm: Edit

Personally Jorge14, i thought Bazeley had an absolute stinker today as he was turned all which ways up. He was all over the show and didnt seem at the races at all. Similarly Corica, a few good passes but was not involved in the game.

MOM Definately Leitao, good performances from Aranalde, Hay and Roper and a special mention to Junior who continues to frustrate but produces moments of pure magic. He is getting fitter all the time and is starting to adapt to the English game and is linking up well with Jorge. If the improvement continues we will have a strike force to fear.

By The Newman College Saddler ( on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 10:03 pm: Edit

Huge smile on my face tonight!

Im gonna talk up the boys...i dont feel we do enough of that on here sometimes.

I really enjoyed watching us play today. Some of the passing we were putting together considering the awful conditions was just sweet. The move that summed it up was in the 87th minute when we moved the ball from defence to attack in about 6 lovely passes and Pedro only just failed to connect with his head. Just like watching Brazil.

Thought Hay and Ropes were superb in the air, hardly missed any of the HOOFS from the Sjoke defence.

Gorgeous Jorge was just excellent. Man of the Match by a long way, shame he cramped up at the end, would have loved to see him collect the match ball.

Oh, its just great. Stuffing the Sjoke at home. I love days like today! Chris Iwelumo is a dirty little gyet too. How many times did he clatter one of our defenders. Typical Sjoke play.

Hmm, gonna have a few beers now.
Walsall till I die!

PS Quick note to Mr Bonser...who did you get to put that new roof up over the Gilbert Alsop? It bloody leaked on me all match. Cheers.

I thank you.

By Neil Ravenscroft ( on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 10:09 pm: Edit

There's a post on the Rivals Board from someone down the far end that Ward's protests were that he had both hands on the ball. Says he could have had a point too!

I have to agree that Jorge is really starting to look a good first Division striker!

Ward, I thought was pretty solid.

By cannock ( on Sunday, November 03, 2002 - 12:29 am: Edit

Apart from his constant walkabouts is that Neil? Put him on a leash Colin.

By RushallSaddler ( on Sunday, November 03, 2002 - 12:30 am: Edit

At half time after a very dour 1st half, fought out between two teams lacking a little confidence, I said to the fella sitting behind me, I would settle for another half like that as long as we pinch a late goal, but what a transformation, at 2-0 I started to worry, 3-nil panic set in, sure enough 3-2 (Preston and Palace again, surely not) dubious first goal for Stoke, Zigor to the rescue from the spot, I think the referee realised he'd cocked up big time for that goal and gave us the penalty.

Is it just me or is Zigor improving with every game, pushed Jorge and Hay hard for MOM today.

By RushallSaddler ( on Sunday, November 03, 2002 - 12:41 am: Edit

I too thought Ward had a decent game today apart from his wandering and a couple of crosses I thought he should have come and claimed, but the question is will he keep is place or will Lee bring back Walker, tough call, as much as I like Walker I think Ward should keep his place after today.

Another point I'd like to raise: Has Carbon really gone down with an illnes or was he just dropped on Tuesday, didn't like the decision and gone off on a strop.

By Kevthesaddler ( on Sunday, November 03, 2002 - 01:04 am: Edit

An un-namd british based football has been done for drugs (nandralome) Hope its not carbon

By SaddlerSteve ( on Sunday, November 03, 2002 - 01:28 am: Edit

Several of my mates who were sitting in the Banks reckon that Ward was complaining about having 2 hands on the ball and the Sjoke player booted it out of his hand!

I think the linesman flagged for it but the ref had already given the goal and was being a stubborn git and wouldn't listen to any of the Saddlers telling him to ask the linesman!!

Talking of linesman, anyone see that silly idiot who was running the dugout touchline in the first half??? When the Sjoke goalie slipped and a second later the linesman did the same!!

There seemed to be a real problem with the surface in the corner between the Purple and Fellows stand!!

Long ball over the top!! Sjoke defender falls over!! Junior running on then falls over with the goal at his mercy!!

And as for Junior claiming the 3rd goal!! I think it looked more like the Sjoke defender got there in front of him and put it in his own net!!

Dingles drawing at the death!! BOOOO!!!

But in the end thank god we won and didn't throw it away again!!

By Silverdale_Saddler ( on Sunday, November 03, 2002 - 02:05 am: Edit

I was at the front, right behind the goal.

Their defender stuck the ball in the net.

But if he didnt, Junior was gonna, they slid in together.

As for the weather, its the last time i will EVER stand up.

By happpy saddler ( on Sunday, November 03, 2002 - 04:46 am: Edit

joke shity joke shity ,.joke shity

By Lional ( on Sunday, November 03, 2002 - 01:14 pm: Edit

We are actually 8th in the division one form table.

Also, stat-mail are predicting a 17th placed finish from us.

By geoffwhiting ( on Sunday, November 03, 2002 - 04:30 pm: Edit

Watched the goals on TV this afternoon. I'd say Ward definitely had the ball with both hands, then the Sjoke forward came in with a two-footed lunge and clouted both Ward and the ball over the line. Anywhere else on the pitch that challenge would have earned a yellow-card, so I think the goal should have been ruled out. I think I can see clearly now why Ward protested so long.

The linesman clearly flagged towards the centre to indicate the ball was over the line, but the way Ward had the ball sort of under him and on the blind side from the linesman, and with other players blocking his view, I don't see how he could actually have had proper sight of the ball to make that judgement.

Their second looked like a bad mistake by Wrack at the far post. If the ball had been left it would have drifted harmlessly away, but Wrack went for it, failed to control it, and the ball rebounded back towards a couple of Sjoke players, and a toe-poke was all it took to end up in the net. Apart from that error though, I thought Wracky had a good game and worked very hard for the team.

By cat3 ( on Sunday, November 03, 2002 - 06:32 pm: Edit

Yes, finally we won! We will need to win 6 in a row to get to single digit position, then we shall think about playoff... Attack and Defend, that will win us games for sure... Our guys are great, let's keep this going... Go Go Sads!!! Let's try to beat Blackburn this week....

By Paul G ( on Sunday, November 03, 2002 - 07:43 pm: Edit

Watched the Stoke first goal over and over and can't make my mind up. Ward got both hands on the ball but it looked like it could have been over the line before he did so. The striker would have been entitlted to go for the ball in that situation. Given the conditions I can't believe it should have been a yellow as mentioned above. I also thought that Junior's goal was an OG but having watched it on TV it seems he may have got a toe on it.

Apart from that incident a great game going forward. Still prone to defensive madness. Tony Pulis has some job on his hands. Ha Ha.

By popperpancake ( on Sunday, November 03, 2002 - 08:57 pm: Edit

Almost a nightmare again. Obviously it should never have happened as stoke looked down and out at 3-0. Got the bit of luck when gunnarsson hit the post at 1-0, which we haven't had recently. But stoke were poor overall. I like junior and leitao together. I accept junior might be a little lazy, sometimes doesn't bother to chellenge for headers etc...but he looks like a goalscorer to me. Every game he plays he always has chances....seems to be in the right place....and he links up well with jorge. One strange thing about this season is how many goals we are conceding...when most people (myself included) would say how well hay and roper have been playing...bazeley is always consistent (as everyone likes to say) and even the zigor haters have been saying how much he has improved recently. So why are we conceding so many goals? Looking great going forward recently tho....

By Neil Ravenscroft ( on Sunday, November 03, 2002 - 10:59 pm: Edit

I saw the goals on the box today and I can't see how anyone could have given their first. It was impossible to see whether it had gone in or not, especially from where the linesman was!

By Keith Jardine ( on Monday, November 04, 2002 - 12:04 am: Edit

First post and somewhat timed to little cords striking a note and echoing in the background of this thread. Please be gentle with me.

Since the start of the season I have had reservations about Wrack and Walker. I know that Walker is God in most peoples eyes and I have no clue about football as I was absolutely useless at school. But I feel that every time I watch these two play the 'faults' are consistent and go a long way to explain the goals against statistic even though we are joint top scorers in the bottom half of the division.

Not so many seasons ago when we ascended for the first time Walker came in for a lot of criticism from the fans for his problems with incoming balls (remember the booing at Wolves and Forest)not taking away the fact that he can certainly get down for a stop, and then came an overweight Emberson who suddenly made Walker look not so bad after all and the problems were forgotten.

Over the next three games please watch and by all means prove me wrong that Walker cannot dive left, right or vertical without going severely backwards. He makes himself small 80% of the time, he leads with his feet, this offers the illusion that when he stops a shot it is a "super Jim" plucking the ball out of the air with both arms outstretched. It is agreed that the main playing difference as you go up in divisions is the prolific of accuracy in the striker ability. Meaning that the goalie needs to reach into the four corners of his goal on a more regular basis something that I believe Walker struggles with due to his impedement; perhaps this is why Walker does not attract as much interest from the so called higher achieving clubs as you would expect him to? Not necessarily the height being a disadvantage. Incidentally his mentor charisma Kearns regularly criticises Walker for making easy takes look spectacular. On Saturday Ward took three dives on an almost vertical plane and the result was a gentle looking stop with both hands in his chest area, not even a clap, if Walker had taken the same three shots, in my opinion, what would it be? "Super, Super Jim"

Is Ward better than Walker, probably not(dives correctly, throws a ball out, more accurate with a kick and on Saturday when Junior was having trouble with the clearance coming directly at him had the presence of mind to take the ball well out of the area and try and punt it diagonal and low in front of the strikers instead; realising and playing to his strikers strenghts and mixing it up a little, can't be bad) but it would be nice to see Ward in a little run of games so that we can at least appreciate that we do have a genuine replacement should Walker get injured.

Interesting to see Cannock say Bazeley had a poor match and Popperpancake report that Zigor has suddenly gained some admirers. Again watch Wrack over the next three games. Totally agree that Wrack puts a lot of running and effort into the match. The two anomalies mentioned have coincided with the fact that Wrack has shifted position. When Zigor had that run of stinkers Wrack was playing out of position in front of Zigor now he is in more of a natural role,Bazeley suffers. Watch him, he chooses a man to mark, the respective back moves his interest to overlapping players and no sooner the ball is played to our Wrack marked man old "one of the most sought after midfielders in the second division" is nowhere to be seen having wondered into a central midfield area leaving the now isolated back to clean up the two opposition players suddenly bearing down. Is it no coincidence that Zigor, in my opinion, plays so much better when Simpson or Pedro is in front of him as at least they both attach themselves to opposition down the wing and are prepared to fall back and defend when Zigor goes on an attacking foray where quite a number of our goals seem to originate from incidentally.

Blaming players is not what I am about anyone in a Walsall shirt gets support in my books whatever the league position, but this thread has raised the very questions that have plagued me season to date and in looking for an answer for the two and a third seasons we have recently spent in Division One Wrack and Walker, again only in my opinion, consistently are the common denominators to the amount of leaking goals.

No they should not need to be replaced, I would have them in my squad but maybe a change ocassionally would prove and plug the leaks, if not just to get rid of the complacency that they both must enjoy.

There you go first posting and you already think that I am one of those idiots that watches a different match to you. Is it just me?

By Neil Ravenscroft ( on Monday, November 04, 2002 - 12:15 am: Edit

Do you want a job if Lee ever goes?

I'm not in total agreement with everying there, but you certainly have picked up a great point about the criticism both our full backs get, when sometimes it's the fault of the winger/wide midfielder not giving them proper cover.

I'll also agree that Ward looked pretty competant yesterday and looked to use the ball far better than Jim ever does.

By SaddlerSteve ( on Monday, November 04, 2002 - 01:00 am: Edit

Didn't think too much of Ward straying yards off his goaline on several occassions during the game!!

Apart from that thought the boy done good!!

By Geoff Whiting ( on Monday, November 04, 2002 - 02:02 am: Edit

I like this guy. Presents a good argument and good opinions, though like Neil I wouldn't say I agree with everything.

I hope you'll stick around Keith, you probably already know we have some good discussions on here.

By JPD ( on Monday, November 04, 2002 - 03:11 am: Edit

I'm not sure whether I like him or not.
Maybe after 10 posts?
Sorry - I've wrecked the thread with a stupid on-liner. (Its a 2 liner actually)

By Tim Wilkes ( on Monday, November 04, 2002 - 09:49 am: Edit

Geoff, you must be feeling nervous, now that your position as 'most lenghthy poster' is under serious threat from this newcomer.

I expect to see you fight back with a 300 word missive on whether it's best to take goal kicks from the right or left hand side of the six yard box!

Don't take this affront to your seniority lying down.

By Tim Wilkes ( on Monday, November 04, 2002 - 09:57 am: Edit

I have no idea what the word 'lenghthy' means, but I do no that ‘Wilkesing’ is an old Native American word for continued failed attempts at witticism, ruined by crap spelling!

By Geoff Whiting ( on Monday, November 04, 2002 - 05:34 pm: Edit

LoL, nice one Tim, I shall check the word "Wilkesing" in my English/Native American Dictionary (an essential tool of my profession) to check on the authenticity of your somewhat dubious story.

Actually I think Ian Hemmings has already done me for the title of most lengthy poster, though I can't remember if that's on here or on "thesaddlersfc.tk" - oh bugger I've mentioned it again - Neil - HELP, SORRY etc !

Keith is welcome to 1st or 2nd place ahead of or behind Ian, Jorge 14's coming up on the rails too, so I'll just gratefully slip down the order and onto the back benches (a rather suspect cliche combination just there !)

Mind you Tim, as you mention it, I do have a complaint about goal kicks. I hate to see goalkeepers being allowed to use them to waste time. How often do you see them, when the ball goes out one side of the goal, walking very slowly over to the other side to take the kick, it's bloody ridiculous, and it's probably the most blatant method of time-wasting. They are just taking the p**s and why it's allowed I can never understand.

Let's get back to the old days, take the kick from the same side the ball goes out, otherwise before long, to even it up between the attacking and defending sides, we'll be swopping sides for corners as well. A nice steady 75 to 80 yard walk should see off two to three minutes quite nicely. Who allowed this rule to be changed anyway, b****y fools !

Right Tim that's it, my feelings on goal-kicks summed up in less than 150 words ?

Funny, I can't help thinking I was trapped into that.

By ian hemmings ( on Monday, November 04, 2002 - 07:52 pm: Edit

geoff it was on http://www.thesaddlersfc.tk oh go now ive done it! chears for the mention geoff im after your number 1 spot on http://www.thesaddlersfc.tk (god and again!)

By JPD ( on Monday, November 04, 2002 - 10:07 pm: Edit

I have a sneaking feeling that Keith may be in the business.
I've never heard such detailed critiques of players before.
And I know some pretty good judges (I also know some pretty bad ones too).
I even got some tapes out to see if he was right about Jimmy - there wasn't enough evidence if you are wondering.

By In the know ( on Monday, November 04, 2002 - 10:29 pm: Edit

Keith is Jimmy. Obvious.

By Geoff Whiting ( on Tuesday, November 05, 2002 - 01:55 am: Edit

Ian, as I was posting that earlier on, I was thinking that your recent mammoth post was probably on "the saddlersfc.tk" Oh, Jesus, there it is again!! There's so many posts that it's hard to remember them all.

Anyway, you're very welcome to the mention on here mate, you just go for that number 1 spot and I'll support you all the way, no problem.

Mind you, Jorge 14 and Keith will also be in there slogging it out with you and me mate, so we'll just have to wait and see who comes out with the biggest (my wife just said I've no bloody chance on that score!).

By Ulster Saddler ( on Tuesday, November 05, 2002 - 09:29 am: Edit

In Saturdays Sun there was an article on Palace and the fact that there was the possibility of a striker scoring a hat trick three games on the trot.
It then named the five men who have scored a hatrick in three consecutive games - one of which was Gilbert Alsop for Walsall in 1939.

By RushallSaddler ( on Tuesday, November 05, 2002 - 09:35 am: Edit

Created quite a stir with your first posting Keith, you've set a bit of a precedent there, need to keep them long to compete with the others for that No. 1 spot, bit surprised you didn't mention anything about your other favourite player Fitz though.

By Keith Jardine ( on Tuesday, November 05, 2002 - 01:34 pm: Edit

Rushall, at least you can go non de plume.

I'm worried now that Wakka and Wrack are looking to see if I am ex directory or not. It took me an hour to come up with a pseudonym only to find the whole world now shares my lack of football knowledge.

You do realise that this name and shame policy is a conspiracy with Whalley; when my kids go and claim their free Junior Saddler Members Jumbo Hotdog, what is theirs by right, now has a get out clause. Due to the fact that I am now a named militant fan.

Just hope America aren't scanning these posts, could end up on Al Queda wanted list.

As for No. 1 spot, not for me, just put me in the Dribble for England League rather than Premiership Post.

By RushallSaddler ( on Tuesday, November 05, 2002 - 01:58 pm: Edit

Nice one Keith, shame you're not going to Leicester on Saturday, got our tickets yesterday.

PS - are you happy they are extending walkers contract.

By Mr. W. Wheel ( on Tuesday, November 05, 2002 - 02:18 pm: Edit

are they? and I was hoping we'd return to Chipmunk.

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