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Leicester (h) - League - 8th February 2003

Reports and reaction from the 2002-03 season as Walsall finished 17th in Division 1
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Leicester (h) - League - 8th February 2003

Wed Dec 08, 2004 8:57 am

By SheffieldSaddler ( on Saturday, February 08, 2003 - 08:12 pm: Edit

Well nothing unexpected really. Having been to watch us at Leicester earlier in the season when we should have lost by a greater margin, today we did. Seems we dont like playing them and am glad we dont have to again this season.
We played ok up and till we let them score from 2 free kicks. When will we ever learn to defend against set pieces? How can someone as small as Dickov head and score when we have Barras, Emblen and Carbon at the back?
After that we was never in it.
What happened to the brilliant Tony Barras today? Back to normal service I think. Never as and never will be a first division centre half. Oh and one person I do wish to really have a go at because he deserves it - Mr Simpson. What can you say, plays well and gets involved when he needs a contract. Signs a contract and ermmm, well Mr Simpson you are useless arent you!
Mr O'Connor got slated on this board a few weeks back, good job he played today as we would have lost by a lot more.MOM for me.
Nothing much to say about the rest of them. Junior had a few good touches I suppose, Bazeley was ok. Carbon, Aranalde, Emblen, Wrack and Jorge nothing special.
Bring on the Blades!

By Salop Saddler ( on Saturday, February 08, 2003 - 08:56 pm: Edit

I know that I may get shot down for this, but take away the goals and I honestly think there wasn't that much between the two sides.

I felt we did enough to go in all square at half time and would have done so if Zigor hadn't given away a silly ball that eventually led to the t**t in green giving them a dubious free kick which resulted in their first. The t**t in green tried to give us an even more dubious advantage which led to us losing possession culminating in their second, and from then on we were left to chase the game.

We could learn a thing or two from Leicester about the art of dead ball delivery. Their ball's into the box were clearly of premiership quality and therein lay the only calculable difference between the two teams. We gave their Walker no more than an afternoon of goalkeeping practice, whereas they, combined with some sloppy defending, gave our Walker headaches. They moved the ball around as did we, and on any other day we might have expected a little more reward for the amount of possession we did have.

Despite what some people may think of him, I still believe Uriah to be a t**t of the first order, and he was certainly more of a help to Leicester's cause than he was to ours.

Bazeley and O'Connor emerged with much credit, and well done to them both.

By Stu ( on Saturday, February 08, 2003 - 09:18 pm: Edit

Usual story, Sunday league defending. After 35 minutes I was pleased, we didn't look like scoring but we didn't look like conceding. Then bang, in comes the abysmal defending.

We can blame Rennie all we want for giving a free kick on that 1st goal, but the marking was abysmal. The defence fell to sleep and I was surprised to see that tame header beat Walker as well.
The 2nd goal, Walker should have held. No doubting he is a top quality keeper, but it does detract from last weeks last minute save when that happens. The 2nd goal was the killer as we were never going to score two.
The 3rd and 4th. Bloody dire, same as the first, where was the marking?

I'm sorry, but if the defence in front of me mark like that tomorrow morning I'll lynch 'em.

I will accept the quality of the ball in was much better for them. We just lumped our balls onto the heads of their two centre halves, where as they actually put their ball into the no-mans land between keeper and defence and were then ably assisted by our defenders having feet nailed to the floor and therefore not tracking their players.

Leicester are a very good side, no doubting, but you can't defend like that at any level. With Sheff Utd next week and their strength being set-pieces, I'm sure their scout in the stands will know exactly where to test us.

On a brighter note, back of the E&S just as I left tonight said that Lee had agreed terms with a player who has said he will sign on Monday.

By Sharky61 ( on Saturday, February 08, 2003 - 09:41 pm: Edit

Urine Rennie is a cheat, if I gave such an inept performance at my place of work I would be dismissed immediately. Why do we have to put up with such one sided w*nkers week in week out. He must know by now that he is a waste of space, oh why didn't his mother use contraceptives. Does the man not know that if something is a free kick for one team then it should also apply to the other side in similar circomstances. He also has a knack of seeing an offence where none has been commited. I was going to have a rant tonight ala Cannock but to be honest, other than us paying them too much respect and not getting in amongst them where it hurts what else could we do, cheating ref, cheating opposition in mind. Here's a tip for you though if you fancy a flutter, Leicester to be promoted this season, straight back down before the end of March, Lineker's money to dry up and bust again before May.

By cannock ( on Saturday, February 08, 2003 - 10:50 pm: Edit

To be honest i didn't think we played that badly today. We certainly matched them but the obvious difference between the two sides was the final delivery into the box and our inability to defend set pieces. Our delivery into the final third was abysmal whilst Leicester's deliveries from free kicks was lethal. Combined with our inability to defend the final result was an undeserved hammering. As is par for the course i disagree with Sheff as i thought Simpson had a good game, particularly first half where both he and O'Connor fought like Trojans.

Sadly, schoolboy defending, dubious refereeing, crappy play in the final third and Jimmy's non stick gloves let us down today.

By Stu ( on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 12:26 am: Edit

Quite right Cannock, just a shame that those two differences you mention happen to be possibly two of the most crucial aspects of a football game!

By RushallSaddler ( on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 12:39 am: Edit

Yes Stu I also saw the report in the E&S - has anyone any ideas who the player maybe - a quick, strong and skilful forward I hope and quickly followed by a decent midfield player (Hayward possibly?).

As for todays game - best forgotten very quickly like the Brighton game, I thought we'd lose today but by the odd goal not four (all very poor defensively) Walker could and should have done better with the first two, Ropes and Hay badly missed today.
Midfield - O'Connor had a good game, Simpson started well but faded quickly, wracky okay just. Junior played well, but Jorge was sadly not at the races - his first touch was abysmal.
Agree about the final ball delivery it was very very poor today, as it has been all season especially from corners and free kicks, one area where we miss Keatsy. Izzet showed us how it should be done 4 goals all from free kicks, surely we must be working on this is training.
Still I hope this result is a blessing in disguise and it stings us into action for the Cup next week already more than 2,000 tickets sold, so I expect at least 3,000 following by next week.

By PJD ( on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 01:57 am: Edit

Pretty much agree with what everyone has said. Looking like we were matching them, until schoolboy defending let us down.

Rennie was poor, but once the free kick is given you have to defend it.

Zigor was marking Dikov for the first and just walked away from him as the kick was taken. Jimmy should have done better. The second was down to super Jim, no way should he have let that in.

Third and fourth were schoolboy. I am consoling myself with the thought that we wouldn't have conceded them if Ropes and Hay were playing.

Bazeley was great. Not only in defence, but he created more going forward than Corica & Wrack put together.

Top of my shopping list, a new left back. I can't think of a defender who has cost us more goals than Zigor.

By Kevthesaddler ( on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 02:23 am: Edit

As always I disagree with sheffied, i thought Simpson was excellent first half, as was junior. I thought junior held the ball up really well & always looked dangerous. Shame Jorge wasnt up to his usual high standard. (funny how sheffied saddler has gone quiet about Jorge after he moaned week in week out about him not being a first division striker). Positives to take from the game, Solid in defensive in open play, Junior looked sharp, O'conner impressive throughout, simpson putting himself about & Bazeley continued his superb form, also thought Carbon played well.

Top of my shoping list, a loaned left back

By lee54 ( on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 07:30 am: Edit

might be wrong but i think the player might be mark draper
everybody keep your heads up come on the super saddlers

By Geordiesaddler ( on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 11:29 am: Edit

Well, the good news is we're only 90 minutes away from when the pubs open.

By Frank Stubbs ( on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 02:26 pm: Edit

Rennie didnt help,but the underlying thing is that we didnt help ourselves.Foxes are a good side,the best i have seen this season,our help they didnt need.Walker has got to put his hands up for the first two goals.Agree with Salop i didnt think we played that bad first half,apart from the above.Dead ball delivery is a must must must on the improvement front.Personally i prefer Sonner to Simpson,but thats just my opinion,and i am certainly not saying thats the reason we lost.Every week i keep saying new forward,and i think this is now vital,i just dont know which Jorge is going to play from match to match.What my biggest worry is that it was pitch or players and we will stay short until end of season.Keeping positive plenty of points to play for the R word isnt in my vocabulary
Onwards and upwards as always

By Shifnalsaddler ( on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 03:04 pm: Edit

Agree with Frank, Rennie didn't have a fantastic game, but he can't be blamed for the defeat.

Yes, a new forward, been saying it for months. To play alongside Jorge though, not instead of. We concede possession far too easily, and we desperately need a forward who can win, hold and lay off the ball. Benjamin did a great job yesterday, worked so hard, always closing down defenders, forcing Bazeley and co into hurried clearances.
Thats what we need, it would sharpen up the whole team. Sides will look good against us if we gift them so much possession. Doesn't have to be a big bloke, Wilson and Buck were as good as anyone we've had at holding the ball up.

The second goal was interesting, yes a Walker error, but if you hit shots on target that sweetly and that hard, you will create things, force a mistake, get a rebound, corner, whatever. A couple of minutes earlier we'd had a shot......it hit the corner flag.
Junior had a few efforts on target, one was catching practice, another two the goalie could have thrown his cap on. Shooting practice needed, along with crossing practice, set piece practice, throw in practice etc.

They say league form goes out the window when the cup comes round......a good job says I.

By Frank Stubbs ( on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 03:30 pm: Edit

Shifnal iam very concerned,that you are agreeing with my post!maybe another 4hr trip in Als motor with just a quizbook for segregation is overdue!
Hope next saturday is the first of a few fruitful trips to Yorkshire!
Onwards and upwards

By Paul G ( on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 04:11 pm: Edit

Central neglected to show either of the challenges leading to the award of the first 2 free kicks. I have to say my gut reaction to the first by Barras was a foul. He may have got a foot to the ball but he came from behind and through Benjamin. Although this is exactly what the PNE defender did to Jorge as he ran through on goal earlier this season and that did not even result in a foul.

Possibly the best signing Lee could make right now is a defensive coach. These lapses at the back have been there since day 1 and have held us back all season. We were warned when Izzet took a quick free kick earlier on whilst we were still dreaming. Watch the first goal on TV and you'll see Zigor talking to Jorge as Izzet prepares to kick the ball. He actually takes a step towards Jorge and away from Dikov as the ball is played in. Its harsh to blame Walker though as I thought Dikov placed it cleverly once the ball found him. A bit like the Mexico goal against Italy in the world cup.

Sheffield may be contoversial but he is spot on with his assessment of Barras. Brave, committed and second division standard I'm afraid. Watch him flailing desperatly in Elliots shadow as the third goal is softly headed home. Like many of the players brought in during Graydon’s era Barras is a lower league player capable of raising his game over 1-2 matches but can not sustain it over the long term.

By lee54 ( on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 04:17 pm: Edit

just had a read of the sunday people they say vinny samways?

By Fish ( on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 05:09 pm: Edit

Ouch ! That performance was so like some of those earlier in the season when we had lots of possession, played some pretty football but had no real pace, strength or ability to inflict damage.

If we are to make a signing next week, it has to be someone who is able to take the game by the scruff of the neck and control it. Someone to retain possession and take the game to the opposition would be good.

I notice Ainsworth was on the scoresheet yesterday, so perhaps he's even further away from joining us (..or is he ???), but he is someone who would help bottle the opposition up in their own half.

I agree with all that we had a lesson in set pieces yesterday, defending them and taking them (I too thought about Keatsy when I saw Simpson baloon a free kick nowhere - no one has the pace and whip of his free kicks, except Junior, and he needs to be on the other end of them)

It's not just free kicks though, we can't even seem to take a throw in properly.

I initialy thought Jim was at fault for the first two goals, but after watching them on the telly, i'm not so sure - especially the first. The last two down to really bad defending. Barrass was marking Jorge when the third went in, Driller was left with the responsibility to defend the fourth.

As for Uriah, whilst it's right we have to defend whatever the decision, he made two bad mistakes that led to their goals.

Also he should have been stronger, Leicester thrive on set pieces and will do whatever they can to get them.

By Harriet ( on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 06:08 pm: Edit

Pity neither Junior nor Leitao had the brains to go down nr the box as the LCFC players did. They played like true gentleman, stay on your feet until its impossible anymore. Result, only 2 free kicks from dangerous areas all match. Contrast with LCFCs 13.

By Neil Ravenscroft ( on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 06:15 pm: Edit

Thanks PaulG, I thought I was the only one who thought Mr Rennie was right, it was a foul by Barras, who took man first, ball second!

In the end, Wakker had nothing to do except one save and pick the ball out of the net from 5 set pieces. He didn't have a single save to make from open play. Shoolboy mistakes from our second string central defenders. (Sorry, I'll make an exception for Carbon, who looked in no trouble at all).

As for the rumours, Mark Draper I've heard, but I also hear Michael Branch is supposed to have come to a deal with an unamed first Division club.

By Geoff Whiting ( on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 06:29 pm: Edit

Sorry Neil, I have to disagree with you, that tackle was right in front of me and it was a perfectly executed tackle as far as I'm concerned. Benjamin went down quite deliberately and no question. He and his cronies were doing it all afternoon.

I haven't yet read a press report that has described the decision as anything but mistaken. Here's two :

Mercury Sport - "The Foxes were indebted to referee Uriah Rennie for their first goal ..... when he penalised Tony Barras for a great tackle on Benjamin just outside the box. To rub salt in the wound he booked the defender .....".

Sports Argus - "Four minutes before half-time, the Sheffield official awarded the Foxes a free-kick when Tony Barras delived an excellent tackle on the edge of the box".

By Geoff Whiting ( on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 06:31 pm: Edit

Or even "Tony Barras delivered an excellent tackle" - sorry

By Shifnalsaddler ( on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 10:52 pm: Edit

Stubbsy, I was a bit worried as I posted, because I'm not usually that agreeable. Am I losing my touch? Must have a falling out with Sheffield Saddler again soon.

Incidentally Stubbsy, last time we travelled together we talked much of Joe Strummer, and next day the great man died. I say on our next trip we spend the whole time talking about Robbie Williams. You up for it?

By Stu ( on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 11:08 pm: Edit

I was rathet worried when I saw us linked with A Vinny Samways!
With all respect to Samways, who used to be a good player, we've O'Connor, Sonner, Simpson and Wrack who can play in the middle. We've youngsters coming through like Stanley. So exactly where or whom would Samways replace?
Add to that, the most obvious thing missing from our performance on Saturday was pace! Neither of the strikers have pace and that means you can never hit teams on the break as your not quick enough, unless your passing is perfect
I presume its just idle gossip, or more so, I hope its idle gossip. There are other priorities.

Kev, correct me if I'm wrong but Sheff has always said Jorge is 1st division striker and rates him very highly. He has always said if he gets the service, he'll get the goals. I don't remember him giving Jorge a hard time, apart from when he was unfit, at which time everyone was saying the same.

By Kevthesaddler ( on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 12:11 am: Edit

I always thought it was sheffied saddler who said Jorge wasnt upto the first division. If it wasnt I apologise.

By Geordiesaddler ( on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 01:11 am: Edit

Bad news is the pubs are now shut, and the chippy and the chinkies, ahhh well there's always next week.

By Robbie Williams ( on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 01:20 am: Edit

Oi Shifnal, you wanna f@ck off, i'll knock you out if you wanna start, sheep shaggin' bumma

By Ian Gittins ( on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 10:22 am: Edit

Yeah! Take That!

By SheffieldSaddler ( on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 01:26 pm: Edit

Kevthesaddler - Look at my messages. I have always said that given the right service Jorge will score goals in this division. I said this last year when he was getting slated for not scoring enough, the reason being the poor service he was receiving.
The only time i remember critising Jorge is when he lost a yard of pace because basically he had put on weight and lost his sharpness. We all know what caused this.
Since Lee has come Jorge has been brilliant, he has scored goals and his overall play, especially this season has been fantastic. Works himself into the ground and must be drinking fruit juice instead of beer, thats for sure.

By Radio WM Walsall Special tomorrow 7pm ( on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 02:11 pm: Edit

You can never get that Robbie Williams off the radio. Or Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen.

By Shifnalsaddler ( on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 07:46 pm: Edit

Sheff, why do you say "since Lee has come" because actually he didn't get his stuff together until about the end of September. Up until that time I think he had continued in the same vein as before, occasionally excellent, but inconsistent and frustrating.

Robbie, see you at the Brittania for a Vale game sometime. Fat dancer.

By SheffieldSaddler ( on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 11:19 pm: Edit

I say it because Jorge had lost a yard of pace, was clueless and was on a downward spiral before Lee took over. Did you not notice?
Now his confidence his back, he scores goals and contributes more in 90 minutes under Lee than he did in 360 minutes previously.

By Kevthesaddler ( on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 11:26 pm: Edit

Ok Sheffied, fair play. By the sounds of it i may have got u mixed up with Shifnalsaddler

By Frank Stubbs ( on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 12:10 am: Edit

Shifnal im up for that with Robbie Williams,better bring the quiz book though,because once talentless Port Vale W!"£$R has been said,the subject is exhausted.
Radio Laurence Llewellyn Bowen i believe on WM tuesday.......bet Tony Butlers shitting himself!

By Tony Butler ( on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 09:37 am: Edit


By Gordon Hobson ( on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 09:56 pm: Edit

Only No. 3?

By Ed Doolan O.B.E ( on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 10:34 pm: Edit

Has anyone seen my lost budgie tape???

By Regular phone-in caller ( on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 12:12 am: Edit

You gave it away as a prize last Christmas, Ed. Terrible it was too.

By Shifnalsaddler ( on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 08:06 am: Edit

Kev, that is a really, really terrible thing to say. I am devastated.

Anyway I have always pretty much supported Jorge, whenever people told me he wasn't good enough for this level, I always said he was. But of course he played badly very often last season, but for tha last few months has been excellent.
I wanted to keep him and my faith has been justified. Hallelujah.
Perhaps you were confusing Sheff with Popperpancake, they post more or less the same stuff as each other. Ho ho.

By Kevthesaddler ( on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 01:45 pm: Edit

Now I think about it I think u might be right Shifnal, Popperpancake does talk a hell of a alot of crap

By SheffieldSaddler ( on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 12:28 pm: Edit

Kevthesaddler - Instead of pulling names out of thin air wouldnt it be a good idea to obtain your information based on facts?
Just a thought thats all. :o)

By cat3 ( on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 08:37 pm: Edit

Good result 4-1 lost, that's how far we are from Premiership level. In order to get to Premier, we need to beat Leicester at their turf.. Now we got a positive contrast from our current squad of talents, that is the target we must set to get things going. Let's pump up the volume and get on with the next game, cause we got 17 points to safety from relegation this year. The higher up we are, the better we stand in our Walsall records. Go Go Sads!

By JPD ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 03:57 am: Edit

Good point cat3 - we are that far away from the Premiership.
On the subject of players, how many who have been classed as 'one for the future' have ever been around when the future arrives?
I can't think of any.

By Geoff Whiting ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 12:06 pm: Edit

That's 'cos the future never arrives, I've kept a careful look out for it over the years, never caught sight of it yet.

Seriously though, the problem with these "one for the future" players is that they end up spending the future at other clubs, never with us it seems, we're more likely to end up with "ones from the past". Unfortunately that's life at our end of the financial spectrum.

By Future ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 09:47 pm: Edit

DJ spin that sh!t

By cat3 ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 11:01 pm: Edit

JPD & Geoff - We are definitely far from keeping any talented youngsters in our current condition. It's difficult when Walsall is consider a small city. We have to attract a crown to come to the game to generate enough revenue to expand. If we can't draw a big crowd, how are we suppose to get talented youngsters to stay and not moving on. We have scouts to look for players aboard; other teams can spot easily in our backyard as well. Good players get contract offers elsewhere, it only depends if they are ready to move on for the big bucks and not sticking together swimming in a small pond.

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