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Crystal Palace (h) - League - 29th October 2002

Reports and reaction from the 2002-03 season as Walsall finished 17th in Division 1
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Crystal Palace (h) - League - 29th October 2002

Tue Dec 07, 2004 4:24 pm

By Giza ( on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 11:01 pm: Edit

oh god 4-3 again why change a good defensive display at coventry by replacing the back four??

By Stu ( on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 11:04 pm: Edit

Thank god I cant get to midweek games. I'd have come home seething if I'd had to do a 210 mile round trip to watch that.

How many times do we need to be told "Take our chances and kill games off!". Once again, I had to listen to opposition commetary on SaddlersWorld. They couldnt believe that we weren't 4-0 up after 35 minutes. They said that although Junior looked the best player on the park, he was also the biggest culprit.

My main question though! Why, after keeping a clean sheet on Saturday did we drop Carbon and bring Hay back in? With all respect, we know about Andy Johnson's pace, and neither Hay or Roper could outrun a snail. Carbon is our only centre half with any pace, and he wasn't even on the bench. I wonder why, I wouldn't blame him if he threw a wobbly at being dropped to be honest.

We should be comfortable mid table tonight, instead we're left with a MUST WIN match against Stoke on Saturday.

By surrey saddler ( on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 11:04 pm: Edit

How can they do it to me! First I couldn't get the Walsall commentary from WFC. After much pratting around find it on Crystal Palace with Kenny Sampson et al. Joy we are 2-0 up after 5 minutes. Then 3-1 after half time. Then 3-4 at final whistle. Will I ever feel safe?

By Absolutely gutted ( on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 11:11 pm: Edit

Just got back from the game and came on here to check it was 4-3 after all!!!!

Bollox.......it was

How can we play so well and yet lose, regardless of what happens at the end of the season if you take the Rotherham, Preston and Palace games we should have had 8 more points. Hopefully that does not come back to haunt us.

By Shambolic Saddler ( on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 11:19 pm: Edit

Saddlersworld is a complete con - the commentary never seems to be available.

Couldn't make a 230 mile round trip tonight - managed to get commentary on BBC London. Once Palace got back to 2-1 I couldn't bear to listen to the inevitable collapse. Nervously turned on again 10 seconds before the final whistle to find that we'd gone and cocked it up big-time.

What is going on at the Bescot? Is it mentality or tactics?

We are in severe danger of throwing this season away.

By cat3 ( on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 11:29 pm: Edit

Tactics just poor. Palace won 5-0 against Brighton last Sunday, Andrew Johnson scored a hat trick. I suppose CL didn't thoroughly look into his mistake and just plainly start playing his likes against his dislikes with "HIS" tactics point of view. You can admire what you want to do and keep on doing it against each and every team, but by the end of the day, the result will says it all.

As for today, a bummer indeed, just like last week, we are leading 3-1, and we tie the game, why? We could have won the matchup. We need to understand one thing clear with our team, that is, our team just aren't phyiscally the best in 1st divison YET... Therefore, we got to stick with what we got and try not to lose the game defensively playing just 10 man or with a full squad... Sads definitely are ambitious, so am I, and that's why they can score and flop in many goals at the beginning, however, we need to focus our attention on staying to win when you are leading 2 goals. I will even play Corica as sweeper if leading just 2-1. That's the chance you got to take to win games. Play it smart... Man, we lost due to stupidity... We are damn good team this year... Stupid move for sure... stupid indeed!

By popperpancake ( on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 11:39 pm: Edit

That was pathetic. I think it's mentality and tactics. Not to mention absolutely disgraceful defending. It's all well and good talking about getting up around the play off places but the performance ( first 15-20 mins apart )was rubbish. Huge gaps all over the place....no organsisation....midfield is a serious worry for me.....Simpson i think has been poor last two games, especially tonite....sonner was non existent when he came on. Walker to blame for the first and second goals in my opinion.....with a helping hand from corica for the second. Maybe even for the third....or should aranalde have managed to head it? Personally i think Walker should be getting to those to punch anyway. And is anyone gonna blame the guy who backed off and off and off for their winner? I'm not but i know some who would if it had been the other side. I think the thing that is so annoying is that we have capable players this season. I could never get so pissed off about it at the start of last year cos our players were not really up to scratch. We should be much better off than we are....but thats a dangerous thing to keep saying.

By cat3 ( on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 11:49 pm: Edit

I'll probably need a double whammy of "Calvados" to cool things off and start acting stupid to get know what CL was thinking earlier in the game...

By Mark Fellows ( on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 11:50 pm: Edit

Walker has to go. Let the first straight through him(lack of height once more), flapped at the second (just Like Burnley's Second a few weeks back), then failed to collect a corner put in one yard from the goal line. He also cost us by rushing of his line for burnley's first and doing the same to be sent of agains't Preston. He has cost us the win in three of the last four games - or eight points in a month. More would stick to a turd in a football shirt!

By popperpancake ( on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 11:57 pm: Edit

Wouldn't go that far but he has seemed to make a few mistakes this season. Shame this happened during his 400th game really. Still we got the mighty gavin ward to look forward to on saturday. And u thought walker fudge up corners.

By Paul G ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 12:23 am: Edit

I just don't know how to make any sense of what we have seen tonight. Probably the obvious turning point in the game was O'Connors injury. The midfield was non existant in the second half with Simpson and Sonnor both poor.

The first 20 minutes was breathtaking. Considering the level we are playing at quite possibly the best football ever seen from a Saddlers side in my time. The move that would (and should) have made it 3-0 where Corica took out two men and drifted the ball into Leitao to run on goal was outstanding.

But this just makes the final collapse so hard to bear. We have a side that is far better than its position suggests. Logically you look at this team and belive it is mid table possibly better. Like popperpancake states above Ray Graydon's honest toilers could not really be blamed for their struggles at this level. This side however should be producing better results. The loss of one player or the concession of one goal totally upsets the whole balance and mentality of the team. Its not proffessional and it needs sorting. I hope the new ITV deal has not started yet because if the goals we conceeded tonight are shown to the rest of the country we will be a laughing stock.

Finally the stats are not looking good. Three times we have scored three at home - we have one point to show for it. It's only October and we have lost five times at home - all to teams in mid table or bottom half of the league. Grimsby are now one win and a draw behind us. Do all these players and chairmen who talk of the premiership remember The Racecourse Ground and Spotland etc - because that's where we are heading.

By 4two Swift ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 12:34 am: Edit

I dont think all that talk has sunken in anywhere. It hasnt affected me. and i doubt it has affected you lot, or the players.

If we are going to lose games at this level (which we are ), i would rather lose them by playing dare devil attacking football than sitting their and waiting for it like we did under Ray.

The good thing is, the most important thing in football is scoring goals...and we can do that. The defending can and will be sorted.

The Next 5 games will be crucial. They will show if we are mid table fodder or relegation material. Another 5 games without a win, and im afraid Paul G is right.

By eaglesontour ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 01:11 am: Edit

Nice site. Just got back from the match. Both sides defending was awful throughout the match. The fact that you seemed to play so well in the first 20 was due to our inept display rather than your quality. Your team on tonights performance is nowhere near a play off position (due to our own far from good display)but rather is going to face a tough fight to stay in the division. As far as palace is concerned were on our way up. Whether we get to the playoff positions is another story but im quite sure it will be another 3 points when we meet u at selhurst. Anyway good luck for the rest of the season.

By noelodonnell ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 01:18 am: Edit

Extremely disapointing, but remember Juniors bicycle kick , if that had gone in, CP probably would not have come back from a 3 goal deficit, instead they immediately scored and the panic set in,
O'connor going off was the turning point we lost control of the game but perhaps Carbon would have been a better bet given the pace of their attack.

Having seen the goals again on Sky it looks like Jimmy may have been at fault on at least 2.

Tonight was a huge disapointment, but we can now compete in Div 1 and we will be OK this year.

By Kevthesaddler ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 02:13 am: Edit

Gutted about tonite but please dont go ova the top. We WILL be ok this season & we ARE a better TEAM than our current position.

If I wasnt half his size I would have smacked the geezer behind me who started singin "goin down goin down goin down" wen Palace scored the winner.

We lost a game but it wasnt like we were out played, we could have easily won if we had taken half our chances (their keeper had a blinder). I'd be worried if we werent creating or if we were getting out-played but quite simply we're not.

By Geoff Whiting ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 02:33 am: Edit

This was just surreal tonight. How we could lose that game I will never understand. It is no exaggeration to say that after 15 minutes we could and should have been at least 5 up. Only an amazing goalkeeping display prevented that, but you have to say those chances should not have given the 'keeper any chance at all.

I think that tonight I have probably seen the best opening quarter of an hour's attacking display that I have ever seen from a Saddlers team in 45 years of watching them. Palace had NO answer, but we punished them only twice.

Then the first time a Palace chance came along, Johnson's cross-shot was no more than hopeful as he had no other option but to try his luck, and Wakker turned a routine save into a total balls-up and it's 2-1 and Palace are lifted by Wakker's gift.

Then, at 3-1 the game is again won and over, but we reckon without our legendary ability to just chuck it all away.

Palace's 2nd was again Wakker badly at fault, parrying out a routine save into the path of the Palace forward (was it Freedman ?) and it's 3-2 and the nerves have set in.

Zigor misjudged the corner for an unlikely equaliser, moving forward to allow the ball over his head and no-one else got in any sort of a challenge as an Andy Johnson (smallest guy on the pitch ??) header makes it 3-3.

At this stage the result is potentially the worst of the season, worse than Rotherham because at least we'd come back from 3-1 down to equalise, and worse than Preston because we'd had 10 men for 60 minutes of that game.

Then it's Harry turn, given an absolutely OPEN goal, unmarked, in front of goal 7-8 yards out, ball at his feet, my old grannie could have put it away, and he tops it, absolutely pathetic, the ball doesn't carry more than four feet, and to Palace it's birthday, anniversary and Christmas all rolled into one as they clear their lines.

There was also some unforgiveable selfishness, I think I can recall at least 3 chances we blew in the second half where a simple sideways ball would have left an easy opening, but the guy on the ball decided to do it himself. I think there was Junior, Leitao and Corica all guilty of this, but I'm angry guys, I may be remembering these chances wrongly.

Finally the coup-de-grace, the 2 on 2 breakaway 30 seconds after the Ref should have blown the whistle to signal the end of 3 minutes added-time. How we could let Andy Johnson run on like that without putting in a challenge I shall never understand, but there it is, an unlikely defeat snatched from the jaws of victory, Palace get three unlikely and largely undeserved points.

Wakker's 400th appearance, ruined more by the worst performance that I can remember from him, than by anyone else, and all of us leaving the ground wondering what we can do to win matches. How much do we need to dominate the opposition to come out on top.

The home form table spells relegation. The overall lack of wins and excessive number of draws says relegation. The performances on the field say not. But the results will over-ride the performances every time.

Unfortunately, I allocate most of the blame today to Wakker in his 400th game, he really ballsed up big time today, though this defeat cannot be down to one man, a goalie at that.

By SheffieldSaddler ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 08:57 am: Edit

Mark Fellows - You are pathetic. Walker has to go, where have you been the last 400 matches? No doubt listening to us on the radio or reading the newspapers if you think this.
Everyone makes mistakes and errors, but you make a judgement on a player over 400 matches not a few recently.
I dont mind people coming on this board and saying what they think but sometimes I do wonder if they know absolutely anything about football.

By Matt W ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 09:03 am: Edit

Got to agree with most of the above, Walker cost us the 3 points, his confidence is rock bottom and an enforced absence is probably a good thing. His poor display was only matched by Sonner's. Colin Lee will have to show his metal and lift the team for Saturday as another defeat would leave us facing the annual relegation dogfight - still - who'd have it any other way?

By SheffieldSaddler ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 09:10 am: Edit

On last nights performance I have a number of issues. Firstly, why did we drop Carbon after Saturday? As Stu as mentioned he is our only centre half with pace and was needed last night for sure against Johnson.
As much as Junior scored 2 goals he also missed a number of simple chances to give us a 3-0 lead, especially the one when he was through on goal. I also think his control of the ball is terrible to say the least and also think he gets knocked off the ball far too easily. True, I may being being too much of a critic, but its not just scoring goals he also needs to be more of a team player.
Why on earth did Harry come on instead of Driller? I found this change totally amazing. Mr Lee must be blamed for this. We have a decent striker sat on the bench who is decent in the air, he decides to stick on a winger and move Corica up front! Why? Why? Why?
Also agree that things went wrong when O'Connor went off, like people have said above. Simpson seems to have had a dip in form since he won some sort of contract. Sonner hasnt played for so long that I didnt really expect him to suddenly fit in again with people like Simpson who he has never played with before.
I still cant believe we lost!

By Neil Ravenscroft ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 09:28 am: Edit

Tend to agree with Geoff and Sheffield on the game as a whole. The inept defending should not have mattered, we should already have buried them. We had four or five golden chances to win the game, even with that performance from Kolinko.
Lee did make a mistake not putting Zrillic on for Junior.
Junior was right to be brought off (unlike some idiots round me and on WM last night), as he was fading.
There were three crucial incidents, however. Walker was at fault with the first and second goals, their second being absolutely crucial to the result. Having gone 2 down again, they didn't need that sort of encouragement. The other was O'Connor's injury. Like Blues when he was there, we do not look half the side without him. I agree that Sonner shouldn't get the blame for that, he was unlikely to be match fit after that long a lay off.
All in all, away form play offs, home form relegation!

By flownswift ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 09:53 am: Edit

corica in my oppinion cost us the three points, after the first ten minutes his contribution was to tee up their 2nd and 3rd goals. I was also fuming at the way with a point in the bag (not what we wanted after the first 20 mins agreed but after 90 would have settled for it) the whole team goes up for a free kick to seal th victory. We do not score from free kicks as it is, so why was that the all important match winner? As has already been said, whacker gifter the first, corica the next 2 and the whole team is at fault for the winner. Would the 4th have been so kamikhazi (spelling) had oconnor still been on the field? No leadership at all in the 2nd 45. Where is leadership supposed to come from without oconnor? Fitz seems to benefit from his play also, and didn't look good with sonner.

By hullsaddler ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 10:18 am: Edit

So depressing listening to the Palace based commentary(what is happening on saddler's world?).Palace commentator predicted a palace win at half time.My wife thinks I overreacted at that last gasp goal.Nearly 30 years married & she still does not understand.
I just hope that this not a negative turning point in the season.I dont know what it will do to our confidence,will we be waiting for teams to come back as soon as we go 2 up in a game?With some below us getting 3 points, I think that it is vital that we get a win on Saturday.
Agree about Walker,obviously he needs to be judged long term & not just on 1 game

By Stu ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 10:24 am: Edit

I think one things is clear, we're so bloody dependant on Martyn O'Connor that its embarrasing.
Our midfield tends to fall to pieces when he isn't in the side. After speaking to my dad last night, he said Simpson and Sonner were awful as a pairing, often challenging for the same ball. But, thats no surprise as they're both similar players. We really do need to start looking at a replacement for O'Connor. Lee himself has said we don't have a like for like replacement, well, considering how different a side we look when he is off the pitch maybe we should look at getting in a like for like player.

Also, you can't be surprised at Simpson's slight slump in form. His got a good deal now.

Saw the goals on tele, I wouldn't blame Walker any more than I'd blame Junior. I do think he should have done a lot better on the first goal, and I question whether he should have held the 2nd. But, to pre-empt the 2nd, why on earth was Corica heading a ball straight back onto the edge of the penalty area? That should have been out wide for a throw in, not into the play.
And for all Junior scored 2, you can't blame Walker for his mistakes if you don't question Junior for his misses! Thus, I wouldnt blame either.
But we do need to wise up, 3 times we've scored 3 at home, yet only 1 point to show for it!

One quick note to the Palace fan, have you not thought that us playing well resulted in you looking bad. Rather than not giving us any credit whatsoever?

By Stan James ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 10:37 am: Edit

Stu, I'll give you odds on the snail. I'll take Roper.

By MarkW ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 10:51 am: Edit

12 hours later and i'm still in shock as to how we came away with nothing from a game we seemed to "win" twice.
Still at 2-0 and then 3-1 I still felt that we needed the extra 4 or 5 goals to be sure of the points.Even then following Walsall you cannot be sure.
I don't want to point the finger at anyone after this one.Just one of those games.(hopefully).

By Stu ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 10:55 am: Edit

Stan, I'll probably take them. Considering the ridiculous odds you offer on speedway matches (even with the home team handicapped), I'm a banker to win.
I sometimes think Stan James don't really know anything at all about speedway, they virtually give money away at times. Its great.

By Mal ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 11:16 am: Edit

Never boring at the Bescot, flippin eck still in shock more so with the Brummie Post giving Corica MoM !!!!

What a start 2-0 up and flyin I think we were all in shock, then tedium for the remaining 70 minutes.

Directly in line from the HL side for Johnson 1st, struck with venom and dipped wickedly, Jimmy got a hand to it but couldn't keep it out. Second definatelt Jimmy's fault should have held, 3rd was poor marking of a midget and the 4th was a sucker punch.


Jimmy 6 not his best game
Bazza 6 steady
Zigor 6 got forward well
Ropes 7 continues good form
Hay 6 out of form, Carbon injured ?
Wrack 7 busy until moved to the left to acomodate
Mart 8 inspirational, needs a like for like bup
Fitz 5 very poor
Steve 5 nothing went right apart from goal
Junior 8 best game, should have remained on field
Jorge 7 struggled at times
Harry 6 good to see him, should have scored
Sonner 5 needs games

Lee 6 Got it wrong today

By delves saddler ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 11:26 am: Edit

Neil Ravenscroft. So, anyone with an opinion that differs from yours is an idiot?

Lets remember Junior's goals put us in the driving seat, not to mention the entertainment he provides. Plus, with him in the side, we look like an attacking force more than we have done for a very long time.

By SheffieldSaddler ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 12:18 pm: Edit

Sorry I disagree that Junior makes us look like an attacking force. The reason, if any, we look like an attacking force is down to the current form of Jorge.
The runs he makes off the ball, the running he does to get the ball, the holding up of the ball that he never used to do. Three things that Junior doesnt do.
Dont get me wrong, I think Junior is getting better but he still needs to contribute to the team more than what he does currently.

By Neil Ravenscroft ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 12:29 pm: Edit

No, it's the strange people who were blaming Lee for the loss "because he took Junior off". There were a few there last night and at least one ringing WM saying that (including one who wanted Lee out!). He was fading and needed to come off. The problem was, it should have been for Zdrillic.

By Red Ethel ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 12:40 pm: Edit

I dont think you can say it was a good or bad decision until Zdrilic fails to replace Junior 10 times

By Neil Ravenscroft ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 12:45 pm: Edit

I thought that the yardstick was 12? Or am I wrong there?

By the way, anyone know what happened to Sicknote? One Albion fan at work said to me a while ago that he wouldn't play against Palace, as he alwways has a mare against Adebola!

By Stu ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 01:28 pm: Edit

Neil, your point about Carbon is one I thought about last night and raised earlier.

Unless he was injured, I cant see why he didnt start. Lee has said nothing about him, so we can presume he isn't injured.
My hunch is that Lee dropped him, and Carbon went off in a huff. And to be honest, I'd support Carbon. He marshalled Bothroyd superbly on Saturday, we kept a clean sheet to boot. So why change your defence around? As stated, even more so when you consider that Carbon is the only centre half with any pace.

By Jorge14 ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 02:05 pm: Edit

Walker - 4 - One of his worst games ever, but he's a keeper, and keepers make mistakes. Mark Fellows, what planet are you on mate? Drop Walker. Sure he's low on confidence but in 400 games hes had about 10 bad ones.

Bazeley - 7 - One of our most consistent players, deserved a goal after a superb run and shot in the second half which went wide.

Arandalde - 7 - Another solid game for Zigor, he's really improved recently but goals always seem to come from his side.

Hay - 6 - Solid but just not fast enough to cope with AJ.

Roper - 6 - Again solid but as with Hay not fast enough to cope with Johnson. He and Hay had Ade-bad-buy in their pocket. Nice pass to set up Junior's first.

Corica - 3 - This guy was cr@p. Sure he scored but he nearly f**ked that up. I really don't know how he gets in the team. He let the whole side down yet again with two assists...for Palace. I'd bring in Pedro as he actually tries.

Wrack - 6 - Quiet game for Wracky. One or two decent runs and he tries his ass off every game. I agree with the fanzine, why do people slag him off?

Simpson - 5 - Worst game of the season for Simo. I can't help thinking that now he's got his money he hasn't got anything to prove? I hope I'm wrong. Very quiet game and he missed O'Connor.

O'Connor - 6 - Crocked again. Was playing OK before he got injured.

Leitao - 6 - Set up 2 goals but other than that very quiet.

Junior - 7 - Scored 2 good goals but why people booed when he was taken off I don't know. He was drifting out of the game when he got took off and probably wouldn't have scored. He kissed his badge when he scored his first, typical Brazilian.

Subs :

Herivelto - 5 - Should have scored when he came on, but then that was his only touch of any note.

Sonnor - 5 - I rated him at the start of the season but Christ, was he cr@p last night! Would have been nice to actually see him string some passes together.

Basically, some poor tactical decisions from Lee helped to cost us the game. Walker was poor, conceding 4 goals in his 400th game for us but there is no way in hell that he should be dropped for Gavin Ward, who remembers the play-off semi-final. Walker is one of the best keepers outside the Premier when he is on form.

Steve Corica was a disgrace last night. He wants to get his hands from up his ass because he was appalling. Neat turn for his goal but then he nearly let it slip. If I was Lee I'd bring in Pedro, if he's fit, on Saturday because Corica just doesn't look like he's going to do anything worthwhile in his current form.

I would have kept Carbon in the team despite his poor dislay in the last home game. He played OK at Coventry and we needed someone to match AJ for pace.

One final point, with the poor displays from messrs Sonner and Simpson, how about giving young Craig Stanley or Nick Smith a go in the middle of the park. Apparently, they have been turning in some excellent displays in the reserves and I'm sure they'd have a hell of a lot more passion that Danny S.

By Ulster Saddler ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 02:12 pm: Edit

I look at the teletext and 9.45 and its finished at 3-3. Disappointed that we hadn't won. Then I look again at 10.15 to check other scores and we've lost 4-3. I could not believe it. Thats Rotherham, Preston, Bradford, Reading, Palace who we have played at home and not won against.
I hope the players are aware of the importance of the Stoke match.

By Neil Ravenscroft ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 02:32 pm: Edit

Jorge, the scores you gave are very similar to the ones I gave on our site, other than I thought Corica was slightly better (varied between 2 and 10, gave him 6). I would also give Sonner a bit of an excuse, as he has been out for a while. Our problem is we haven't any cover for O'Connor, and he's the best we have in midfield.

By SheffieldSaddler ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 03:18 pm: Edit

Jorge14 - Where have you been for the last year or so? It worries me that anyone can even think of bringing in Matias instead of Corica. Christ, if people actually think this then I currently must be in a time warp.
Matias has had his chance in this division and has shown he is clearly not good enough, perhaps one good match in 10.
Now Corica has one bad match, although I disagree that he deserved a 3, and you are talking about dropping him! How can a bloke who scored a goal and created a few chance end up with a 3????
Face the simple facts Corica is the ONLY creative midfield player we have at Walsall FC at the moment on a regular basis. NO ifs, NO buts. He is the only one, unless you care to mention another?
I look forward to your reply.

By Stu ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 04:14 pm: Edit

Jorge, please tell me you weren't serious.

Corica is the only bloke in our team whom I feel can actually create a chance. Junior looks like he can do that at times. But Corica does do that.
Our run of last season that kept us up was virtually inspired by Corica. He has a brain, he can see runs being made and for a midfielder he does score goals.
Sure, if he had a bit more composure he'd probably score near 20 a season, as he seems to get chances easily enough. He might not be the strongest on the ball either, but when he gets the ball I feel we look like creating something.
Also, although I did point out that he shouldnt have been heading a ball back into play (as on the 2nd goal), why weren't there any players tracking back with whoever got the shot in?

Corica MUST start for us every game, because without him we'd look devoid of any sort of creativity.
Our problem is O'Connor. Not the player himself, but the fact that we dont have a player who plays a remotely similar role. So when we lose him, we often lose the midfield.

By Wyrley Saddler ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 04:45 pm: Edit

Such a shame that a few weeks ago we were on the verge of signing Steve Stone on loan from the Vile.
Once again we stalled. Pompey nipped in and he has been man of the match since, scoring last night.
No doubt we would be a few places higher up if we had splashed the cash again.

By spinner ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 04:55 pm: Edit

Why all the panic? We played well but were really unlucky. Over a season luck evens out, and if we play as well as we have lately we will be all right.

We missed O'Connor when he went off because Sonner was as usual a spectator. He reminds me of Bukran, Thogerson etc from last year. We are much better this season because we have a good midfield.

Junior missed some chances, but mainly due to good saves. No one at Walsall missed as many chances as Buckley - good strikers always miss more than they score.

Walker did not make a save in the match, but remember how well he played at Coventry. The Palace keeper made save after save, on another day we would have played no better and won 6 nil. Don't panic.

By Kevthesaddler ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 07:14 pm: Edit

In a previous message on another thread i said Jorge 14 talks alot of sence but afta his last post I now think he talks aload of cr@p. I cant beleive he's havin a go at Corica for "almost messing up his goal", that quote did make me smile.

Corica is quality players & I feel proud to have such a good player. To replace him from the starting eleven with matias is crazy talk.

Jorge 14 on another thread u asked cat13 if they know anything about football, well I ask u, do u know anything about football?

By surrey saddler ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 07:18 pm: Edit

Well said, Spinner. Roll on Saturday for Stoke. I plan to be there. As an aside I have seen all Walsall's wins this season and have only attended 5 matches. Looking forward to my weekend in the Travel Inn a la Alan Partridge.

By Stevie Wonder ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 07:19 pm: Edit

14 brain cells?
IQ of 14?
Age 14?
Can only see 14 yards?
14 brothers?

Talking out your @rse mate.

By Shifnalsaddler ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 07:22 pm: Edit

What's this about Roper having no pace? Sure he looks like a slob, but he is no slouch and regularly beats attackers over ten or twenty yards having given them a start.
I don't think Walker messed up the first, I thought it was a fantastic shot by AJ, give him a bit of credit.
Matias? No thanks, although I'm sure he'll play a decent game or two before normal service is resumed.
Mistake replacing Junior with Herivelto, who is brainless and gutless, and was not the player to put the main problem right, i.e. that we couldn't keep possession and were winning nothing up front for long periods of the second half.
Is the Jimmy Walker who has to be left out in any way related to the Jimmy Walker who played so well on saturday?

By Shifnalsaddler ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 07:33 pm: Edit

I asked last night how many two goal leads we let slip under Ray. Does anyone know the answer, 'cos I don't but I'd be interested to, because I have a sad life.

By Jorge14 ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 08:04 pm: Edit

Guys, read what I said in my Corica evaluation, I didn't say that Pedro is better than Corica, I rate Corica highly, last season he was one of the major players in keeping us up, LAST SEASON he was superb, a different class.

This season, yeah maybe I have been a little harsh on Steve, but there is no way you can compare Corica of last season to Corica of this season. He was very, very poor last night, sure he goes on plenty of runs, but how often does anything come out of them? Very rarely. I think, on form he can rip open any defence in the world, he is that good and we are lucky to have him at the Bescot. But Corica IS NOT performing this season.

Sheff, yeah, a 3 was a bit (well very) drastic, a the spur of the monent thing, but a 5 at the most, and that is cutting it fine in my opinion, and so long as this country has freedom of speech it'll be my opinion. You say that he has had one bad game this season, what about the other 17 matches this season, you saying he's had 17 good games, I don't think so. And I'm not going to name another creative midfielder in the club, because of those in the first team, there isn't one. But I would say, lets have a look at Smith and Stanley.

Now onto Stu, again, you're talking about last season, and again I'll say that Corica was amazing in the run-in last season. But again, that is the past and this is very much the present situation. You make a valid point about O'Connor being the problem in that when we lose him, there is no influence in the middle of the park. Now, this isn't only resting on Corica, but he and Simpson, as the oldest and most experienced players in the midfield they should take the lead because they are international players, one of whom in a World Cup player. I'm not a Walsall fan who launches into a player whenever he does something wrong, however it may seem, but Corica has been consistently poor in many games this season. It isn't that he plays absolutely rubbish, it is more due to the fact that he drifts out of the game for long periods of the game, one of the main reasons why Wrack got lynched in 99/00. At the moment, I agree, Corica must start every game because there is no one better, but I think there are better players out there than Corica based on his current form, but on last years form, there are few affordable players better than him.

Stevie Wonder.

Lets run through that list shall we?

14 brain cells - That'd be wrong.
IQ of 14 - Well I've never took a test, but I don't think you can go that low, so thats wrong too.
Age 14 - That'd be correct. Congratulations.
Can I only see 14 yards? - No, my eyesight is perfect.
14 brothers - Again no, just the one.

Talking out of my @rse...i don't think so mate, but maybe talking out of an @rse is something you have first hand experience of.

KevtheSaddler -

Do I know anything about football? Well I know a darn sight more than cat3 that's for sure, but against your superior knowledge, obviously not.

By Stu ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 09:04 pm: Edit

Jorge, we'll agree to disagree. I certainly dont think Corica has been poor this season, once again he has been behind the forefront of most of our invention and creativity.

I'm surprised you said he was very poor last night, considering virtually every other report said he was very good. The Palace commentators on 104.9FM, which I got down here, said he was impressive.

I wouldnt say that Corica 'drifts' out of games, I'd say its more that he is marked much closer this season. I think a lot of teams took notice of him in the run in last year, and that has been shown this year. Teams close him down so quickly, watch it one day.

In the meantime, we'll beg to differ.

By Kevthesaddler ( on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 11:36 pm: Edit

fair play Jorge 14, thats your opinion & I respect that. My opinions different but thats the beauty of this game we all love.

You are wise beyond your years I think

By popperpancake ( on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 12:44 am: Edit

Shif saddler is right about roper....no slouch in the pace department. As fast as carbon i would say. Corica has gotta play..even tho he upsets me with his lightweight approach sometimes. Agree with everyone about zdrillic/herivelto too. I'm agreeing with everyone for a change. Just incredibly frustrating that we keep throwing points away.

By Rico ( on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 05:43 pm: Edit

Jorge 14,

You say your 14 years old but you've used that username now for over a year. shouldn't you now be Jorge 15?

By Jorge14 ( on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 07:48 pm: Edit

Rico, yeah, I've used that username for over a year because a year ago Jorge Leitao's squad number was 14, and a year ago I was 13, so I got the name from Leitao's number rather than my age.

Kev, you're right, varying opinions are the beauty of our game, I mean, some people must think Adam Crozier has done a 5 star job at the FA these past few years!

Stu, like Kev said, differing opinions are what makes the game great. Lets hope Steve proves me wrong this season!

By Stu ( on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 11:08 pm: Edit

Doesn't everyone think Adam Crozier has done a 5 star job at the FA? His brought the FA kicking and dragging into the modern day world and used his business sense to make cash at the same time.

Its not his fault that the Premier League didnt have his marketing skills!

But thats a different story...

By Neil Ravenscroft ( on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 11:18 pm: Edit

The Crozier story may turn into a tragedy yet. I see the Phoenix League rising from the ashes.

By ian hemmings ( on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 11:42 pm: Edit

ro right neil! the premier league have ousted the one man who was standing up and fighting the premier league all the way i can only see the premier league getting more and more of the money! and the other clubs being left out to dry! we wil end up like scotland with no national team capable of qualifying for the major tourments!

By Neil Ravenscroft ( on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 10:16 am: Edit

I'm sure Steve wouldn't mind me posting here what I said in the column on TheSaddlersFC site yesterday:-

"But why should Crozier's departure from the F.A. mean problems for Walsall?
It goes back to a couple of old sayings, one about the fox being loose in the chicken coop and the other about lunatics running the asylum.
Crozier has done a wonderful job at the F.A., changing it from an outmoded institution, run by boring old f****, to one which makes money and is efficient. However, that was the source of his downfall, as it led to jealousy from the Premier League Chairmen, who, with the remnants of those people at the F.A. who had had their noses put out of joint by Crozier, had enough influence to make his position untenable.
What this means, however, is that the game is likely to end up in the hands of those Chairmen desparate for extra revenue to put them in a position to challenge or survive in the Premier.
These are the very people who want Celtic and Rangers to be playing down here to increase their revenues.
I see the proposals for the creation of Premier 2 or the Phoenix League being back on the agenda, with so called little clubs like ours being frozen out again. I'm worried!"

I'll also add that, apart from bigotry and lunatic fans, I don't see what the Glasgow clubs would bring to the game in this country. I watched the "Battle of Britain" last night and, despite their win, Celtic were lucky, being tactically and technically the much poorer side.

By Neil Ravenscroft ( on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 02:56 pm: Edit

Sicknote was apparantly sick on Tuesday, according to the Star. Didn't say if he had a note from his doctor, though!

By Jorge14 ( on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 05:23 pm: Edit

Crozier HAS done a good job at the FA but he could have done even better is he hadn't have upset the old fogeys who call themselves club chairmen, e.g. Mr. Kenneth Bates. Like it or not, these old fogeys have a big part to play in development of the game and Crozier could have softened them up first (wait a minute, is it possible to "soften up" Bates?) then done this much needed radical change.

Unfortunately, this could mean that Eriksson will resign. I hope not but he's very much Crozier's man and we need a young person to take over from Crozier now instead of one of the old guard.

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