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Coventry (h) - League - 15th April 2003

Reports and reaction from the 2002-03 season as Walsall finished 17th in Division 1
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Coventry (h) - League - 15th April 2003

Wed Dec 08, 2004 9:11 am

By SheffieldSaddler ( on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 - 11:26 am: Edit

A must win. 3 points from this one and we will be safe.
A Coventry team, that over the last 16 matches have won 1 drawn 6 and lost 9.
A performance like Saturday and the victory will be ours.
Come on lads, finish the season off in style.

By Neil Ravenscroft ( on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 - 02:20 pm: Edit

Just finish it off - style doesn't matter!

By popperpancake ( on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 - 02:45 pm: Edit

Problem is whenever we come up against a team on an awful run of form we lose! I hope CL goes back to 442 tonite. Like sheff says a win tonite would surely be enough for us.

By Tim Wilkes ( on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 - 03:49 pm: Edit

A win is far too simple....I think we'll draw to drag it out a bit longer.
Actually, I think we should stick to 3-5-2, does this mean I'm pro or anti-war, right or wrong, I'm confused?

By A Walsall Fan ( on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 - 04:04 pm: Edit

i agree.

By Ian Gittins ( on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 - 04:06 pm: Edit

Tim, are you Mike Giggler?

By Tim Wilkes ( on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 - 05:03 pm: Edit

Was he Quarterback for the Chicago Bears the last time they won the Superbowl? If so, no.

By Ian Gittins ( on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 - 05:15 pm: Edit

Shurely shome mishtake. Mike Giggler (via email). Just below Sir Bufton Tufton.

By Tim Wilkes ( on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 - 05:33 pm: Edit

No Ian. Although I actually stopped living in Neasden some 6 years ago, I am actually Sid Bonkers.

By Jorge14 ( on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 - 05:35 pm: Edit


Back to the game. I don't care whether it goes in off Marcelo's ass in the 90th minute like this time last year, well maybe not off Marcelo, but Jorge or Junior. Hell, I don't care if it comes off Gary Mc's nice shiny head, that'll just make the fact that we will be taking 3 points off of our suposedly "local" rivals.

I think he should stick to 3-5-2 because with Pompey playing that system so well in the first half against us it has been proven that played the right way on such a good pitch as we have, 3-5-2 can be very effective.

However, with Hay out and Ropes doubtful I think he'll have to switch to 3-5-2 because we are down to our last two centre backs, unless he plays Baze in a back 3 with Chuff and Carbon.

Oh well, we'll see but I'm going for 2-1 with Junior and Lawrence to score and Jansen for Cov. If I could I'd put money on it, but it'd be illegal so I won't.

By Jorge14 ( on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 - 05:36 pm: Edit

"However, with Hay out and Ropes doubtful I think he'll have to switch to 3-5-2 because we are down to our last two centre backs, unless he plays Baze in a back 3 with Chuff and Carbon."

That should of course read "I think he'll have to switch to 4-4-2".

By Geoff Whiting ( on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 - 10:40 pm: Edit

I wondered about that Jorge - switching from 3-5-2 to 3-5-2 had me quite confused, which I have to admit is not too difficult.

Lucky that bet would have been illegal - kept your money sensibly in your pocket.

First brief reaction to tonight - Mathias was pretty ineffective in the two and a half minutes that good old CL awarded to him - how long does he need to turn a game - no wonder CL doesn't bring him on with half an hour to go !

You'll gather I'm feeling a little sarcastic tonight after that totally inept second half display and CL's equally inept tactical efforts. Sarcastic, and hopping bl**dy mad, what a total throw away of two precious points against a really cr*p team. To add insult to injury (almost) we very nearly threw away the other point thanks to our lack of attacking ability or intention.

I shall have to absorb this more before I can come up with more informed comments.

By Geordiesaddler ( on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 - 10:55 pm: Edit

Yes listening from afar I can't help but feel we've missed a chance to nail the jelly of survival firmly to the wall. On Saturday we face a team who are better than us, who need to win or bust, so again we'll be spending more time looking at other scores and hoping. Then Grimbo.

Still its all relative. Four days ago I was almost worried, now I'm almost not worried. But can't you just see Brighton beating Leicester? There's always something just missing this season, and just when we've got it...Its like we can't remember where we've put it, like some kind of footballing dementia.

By jonny baracuda not sjlawton13 ( on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 - 10:58 pm: Edit

I took my wife tonight the last game she attended was Albion 1969 she fancied Bommer Brown. I said George was better.Alas after tonight she thinks Bommer Brown was prettier and is still faster.She could have been a season ticket holder, now she has vowed not to attend another game for 25 years.



By Paul G ( on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 - 11:19 pm: Edit

I'm hopping bloody mad with Colin lee and his football of fear tonight. Bringing off Junior for Simpson to pack the midfield and hold on for a 0-0 at home to the divisions current worst team. Dreadful.

And still he has not learnt anything about organising a defence. Defending does not mean just pulling everyone back to the edge of the 18 yard box. The coventry full back was not marked and allowed time and space to cross the ball to the far post in the final minutes. As we stood like a line of muppets only another wonder save from Jimmy kept us in it.

We play with two identical midfield men in Samways and MOC. Neither have pace and their first instinct is always to go sideways, or the more the game goes on, backwards. As they tired and sat further back Coventry pressed us higher up the pitch. We respond by taking off a striker and putting another similar midfield player on. It defies belief to bring Pedro on for just 3 minutes. In those 3 minutes he was the only Walsall player to beat a defender and to win a header in the box for the final 30 minutes of the game.

Lawrence was the bright spark for us. I hope he can show this level of commitment next season and not dissapear like Simpson once he has been given a contract. Forgive my cynacism but I am rapidly losing patience with Lee's naive and boring football and the elderly gentlemen he employs to provide it.

By RushallSaddler ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 12:01 am: Edit

What a dire game that was, after all the hype about it being THE REALLY IMPORTANT GAME IN HAND, well you wouldn't have thought it the way we approached the game, it was just like a practice match...a very poor one at that, I think both teams had a gentlemans agreement beforehand that a point a piece would suit both teams.
If Mr Whalley wants more through the turnstiles, then he needs to get things right on the pitch first, because folk won't waste money on the sort of dross we're being served up time and again.
Did their rookie 20 year old keeper with only a couple of games under his belt have a decent shot to save all match, he won't have an easier game over the rest of his career.
The second half was crying out for some invention or creativity and we had two players on the bench, (Corica & Matias) who could have provided it, that cunning little through ball or dazzling run up the left wing and telling cross which beats the first defender... (do we practice crosses in training I ask myself).
Great touch by the crowd singing too late to CL after the joke substitution at the end ....and he didn't like it one bit, one woman phoned Radio WM saying that he let go at the fans behind the dug out with a torrent of abuse and bad language, she was quite shocked and very angry, hope she emails the club about it and anyone else who witnessed it, I must admit I saw plenty of gesturing by him from my viewpoint.

Rant over, still glad we didn't lose and another point towards safety, can't really see us getting anything from Saturdays game, so it looks like securing saftey in Cleethorpes on Monday.

By Moaning Saddler ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 12:06 am: Edit

What a totally ridiculous substitution - Lee nearly lost the game with that change - he certainly lost any momentum that the team had shown up to that point.
Lawrence was pushed up with Jorge, where both of them became anonymous; Simpson did absolutely zero during his time on the pitch (get rid!); and we put no pressure at all on the Coventry defence - until, that is, Pedro came on - and did more in 2 minutes than Simpson, Lawrence and Leitao had done in the previous 10 minutes.
Coventry were a very very poor side - not one shot or attack in the first half! How we managed to let them get away with a point, and nearly three, is a disgrace.
Our biggest weakness seems to be the use of the flanks - Aranalde (especially), Bazeley and Wrack continually made no use at all of the good positions we created.
Pathetic to see Sicknote disappear early yet again - I understand his pet budgie has got toothache this time.

By the hooded Claw ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 12:11 am: Edit

Have to disagree Paul, i didn't think that what the substition was about. The only way we was getting to Cov was to run at their defence, the only guy that was doing it was Lawrence from midfield. Lee thought by moving Lawrence up front and replacing him in the middle with Simpson we'd be more affective. Problem was, the rest of the team carried on pumping balls into the box meaning Lawrence never really got a chance after that. I'm pissed off i've worked in Cov for over 10 years, to see us go above em would have been tops. Worst side i've seen this season and two points dropped.
Roll on deodourant

By Salop Saddler ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 12:30 am: Edit

Without doubt, the most woeful visiting side I've seen in this division, but in saying that, one must understand the constraints that Coventry are working under, and hats off to them for having the guts to do it, unlike that shower of sh!te down at the Walkers Stadium who've succeeded in cheating their way out of the division. That said, the game spoke volumes about us. Our inability to break open a side as weak as that must be giving CL more than a few sleepless night. He must, MUST, address his own tactical shortcomings. Pedro would have provided the link ups which would have caused more problems than the Coventry defence ever could have coped with, and withdrawing Junior was a mistake. The only positive was another clean sheet, thanks to JW.

By sedgers ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 08:00 am: Edit

all negative saddlers!if someone would have said we would have got 4 points from gillingham away and cov at home who wouldnt have snapped there hand off.just because it was the other way round (3 pts away,1 at home)it doesnt matter.i sit behind the away dugout and to listen at all the abuse shouted to cl and mh was a disgrace!ok he might be sometimes tactically inept but he is still doing a good job,and if like he says he will get ainsworth in the summer then great.we are looking at a third season in div 1 practically unheard of, so less of the negative ,thats easy shouting abuse lets get behind them because at this rate we are beginning to sound like dingles!

By Neil Ravenscroft ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 08:09 am: Edit

Nice one Sedgers. I thought there was a "nasty" feel to the game all night and some of the comments I heard from so called fans were a disgrace. (By the way, from what I heard at half time, congrats to the Stewards for ejecting some yob giving a Nazi salute). Coventry were well organised, stifled the midfield, but looked very low on confidence. If we want more success, we will have to look at how to break down packed defences at this level, as we struggled to fond space all night. Another step up in quality needed.

By Stu ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 08:12 am: Edit

If you take the positives, it was a 2nd successive clean sheet and we've taken 4 points from the last two games. If we'd been offered that on Saturday morning we'd have taken it.

To defend CL, he could easily point to losing Carbon meant that he had to change his formation and thus his entire game plan after just 20 minutes.
I can't get to midweek games, but Kearns said he felt the decision to take Junior off was the right one. He felt Junior was losing possession of the ball far too easily whilst Lawrence's pace was something that we needed to utilise further up the field. Unfortunately, Coventry negated that by simply sitting back an extra 10 yards so we couldn't utilise his pace.
His biggest complaint happens to be the thing I've harped on about since New Year, that being that we seem to have no real width. Whenever we play 4-3-1-2 we just look so narrow and there is no real outlet. So as soon as the opposition floods the midfield, by going 3-5-2 (as Coventry did in the 2nd half last night according to WM) then they clog the middle of the park up and we have no width to find another way around them.

Saturday will be a very different game though. By the sounds of it, Coventry game to defend and get the point they need for safety. Norwich, on the other hand, need 12 points out of 12 to stand any chance of making the Play Offs. Thus, they'll come to attack, they'll come to play football and it'll be the sort of game that suits us. We've always struggled to break down a team who puts men behind the ball, whilst when teams let us play football and leave gaps we seem to play quite well.

It seems Driller must be on his way out, failed to make the bench in the last 3 games. Which begs the question, why did we let Hawley go out on loan as we now don't have a 3rd striker?

4 pts & 2 clean sheets is a big positive at this stage of the season. Stoke now need to win 3 of their last 4 and hope we lose our last 4 to overtake us. Brighton need to do the same (unless they can make up the 4 goals in two wins and a draw) and rely on us to lose all 4 again.

By Same old story ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 08:24 am: Edit

Should have won.

Could have lost.

Carbon went off injured.

By Neil Ravenscroft ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 08:25 am: Edit

Stu, losing Carbon was the key. Up to that point, Aranalde (good game again, despite a couple of poor crosses at the end, as he also produced the best crosses of the night) and Wrack were finding lots of room.
When you look at the Dingle's record at home against teams from the bottom of the table, you realise how difficult it can be to break down well organised defensively minded teams at this level. Coventry were desperate for the point.

By cat3 ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 08:28 am: Edit

1 more win and we are safe! Great result still against Coventry...

By SheffieldSaddler ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 08:32 am: Edit

Lets get this into some sort of context. We played a team who had won 1 match in the last 16 and we were cr*p. Totally and utterly sh*te. No excuses, no nothing we were total garbage.
The quicker Samways goes back the better, as mentioned he and O'Connor are too much the same, you cannot play the 2 of them together.
Zigor, can you please learn to cross the ball, on one of many occasions last night you cross the ball straight to a Coventry players head, then when the ball comes back out to you, you do exactly the same thing.
Simpson, you are really sh*te, please go.
CL, I think you have lost the plot, anyone who can take off a striker, replace him with the worst midfielder on our books and then decide to move our best midfielder up front wants shooting. Added to that you then decide to bring on one of the players who could have changed the game with 3 minutes left!
Christ one of the moms in the stand could have made better subs.
Oh and just to remind you all Coventry had won once in 16 matches and were total rubbish.

By SheffieldSaddler ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 08:43 am: Edit

Jesus I dont believe what I am reading on this board. Oh dear because we have a defender taken off after 20 minutes everything goes to pot because we dont have a second plan!
Oh what a shame, isnt that what you have 5 subs on the bench for?
Its a pitiful excuse to come out with and one that should not be used. CL was clueless against a totally clueless team.
And what is the bl**dy use of saying the Dingles cant beat teams who are well organised defensively, thats their problem, ask teams like Sheffield United, Forest and Reading who are also in the play offs, they dont have such problems.

By flownswift ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 08:45 am: Edit

if we are talking about using the space, or even finding the space I'll tell you where it was. It was the flanks for most of the night. As soon as we went to 4-3-1-2 we were woeful. Not one overlap was possible, there was acres of space but no one able to get up there and support. Both fullbacks were isolated, the play was resticted to long ball and wrack's runs from a central midfield position were permenantly into the holes where Lawrence was playing. Due to this Lawrence was ananymous for the first 15-20 mins of the second half, until wrack realised they were both going for the same space.

On another note, was it just me or did Pedro get his first touch before Simpson? (For those who did not go, Simpson came on in the 75th minute, Pedro the 91st.) Maybe not but id did seem that way to me............

By Neil Ravenscroft ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 09:17 am: Edit

The other point was it showed the lack of pace in the side (Lawrence excepted). That has to be addressed.

By Stu ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 09:41 am: Edit

Regarding Carbon going off. I did wonder why Bazeley didn't come on to play that centre back/sweeper-esque type role he has played twice recently.
Oh, and I forgot Gary Birch as a possible striker on the bench.
I can understand putting Lawrence up front to utilise his pace, but if we're going to resort to hoof-ball then it doesn't make much sense. And whenever we've played 4-3-1-2 recently we seem to resort to hoof-ball.
Still, when you can't score a goal against who had conceded 21 in their last 8 games, I think everyone has a right to be upset/angry.

By Tim Wilkes ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 10:04 am: Edit

I wasn't there so can't comment on last nights performance. However, as has been said above, 4 points from 2 games is fine by me.
As for CL's rant at fans - well, I'd be disappointed if he did that. I notice that Hessenthaler and some of his senior pros have said in the press that they were shocked and annoyed by the Gills fans reactions on Saturday. Hessenthaler feels that the fans expectation levels are too high and that they have been spoilt by the teams recent relative success.
Perhaps it would be better if CL took this route, rather than have a go back in the heat of the moment. He should know that you cannot please all of the people all of the time or, in our case, you can never please some people any of the time.
I know he has yet to play the requisite 10 games, but do people think Lawrence is worth keeping on his performances so far [finishing apart!]?

By MarkW ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 10:09 am: Edit

Agree with most of the above.Why is it that 6000 people can see that Pedro was required to provide the ammunition for our TWO strikers and the manager can't.Very Graydonesque as in i'm the manager not you lot of peasants.Such pigheadedness drives me crazy!

By Mal ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 10:16 am: Edit

I can confirm that Lord Lee of Bescot shouted the fans haven't a F'in clue and should F off. Well Mr Lee I think you have a done a great job but have this tendancy to really let you, the players and fans down with negative tactics.

Yes we had no width, why push Jamie up front when he was so effective coming from deep, why have Simmo on the bench pay him off, why not let Zigor push on in the second half, Konjic played as a right winger and sent in the cross for what was Macca's chance, wonder save from Jim, why bring off Junior and completely turn the game on its head, why defend on the 18 yard box for 30 minutes. why why why

Comparing stats and actual performances, yes 4 from 2 games, 2 clean sheets superb however it should be 6 if not for the negativity, Cov were shocking. We would now be thinking what fancy dress to wear in Grimbsby and Sheff and not counting points.

A very very poor game overall, chances to win were only half chances, no saves made by the kid in Cov's net. I know who would be the happier man at the end and it wasn't a certain property magnate.

Norwich maybe a point = 48
Grimsby tough call but 3 = 51
Derby see above 1 = 52
Sheff Wed, Party time = 55

Huge clear out in the summer

By TheFridge ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 10:19 am: Edit

The quarterback when the Chicago bears last won the Superbowl was Jim McMahon.

4 points from gillingham and cov... i would have taken that and if we are honest i think we all would have.

Norwich next and another draw..1-1

By Neil Ravenscroft ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 10:33 am: Edit

At least Norwich will be coming for three points, not 1!

By Stu ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 10:49 am: Edit

Mal, according to WM (SaddlersWorld), bringing off Junior was the correct decision as he was ineffectual for most of the match... Are you saying he wasn't?

By flownswift ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 10:50 am: Edit

mal, I reackon we will lose at least one of the remaining games, cannot see a win vs grimsby, I reckon we will do well to get 6 points from the remaining games, I think 3-4 is more likely. But then if we play with some width we may be ok.

By Alan ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 10:59 am: Edit

For once I agree totally with Sheffield. Coventry were a shower of sh!te - and they came closest to winning the game.

In one stroke of tactical genius, CL very nearly lost us the game. He is just too negative.

Fair enough, I'm sure he'll keep us up. But I'm not sure I want to watch that 'brand' of football week in, week out.

By Tim Wilkes ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 11:00 am: Edit

Thanks Fridge...I think the coach of the Bears was Mike Ditka, which is who I was thinking of.

By Neil Ravenscroft ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 11:00 am: Edit

Stu, Junior was a mixture of the very good and very bad all night, but he had got to the "falling over and appealing for everything" stage he gets to sometimes. I thought he should have been brought off, trouble is, there was no striker on the bench and Lee probably made the wrong decision in putting Simpson on and pushing Lawrence up front. Pedro might have been a better option, in that he can play as a striker.
Zdrilic would have been even better, if he had been in the squad!

By Dave Roe ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 11:07 am: Edit

Zdrilic even better ? Better for what ? Surely not as a striker ? Hell will freeze over before he makes a decent 1st division striker.

I agree with Alan, I am sick to death of watching mind numbing football.

By Red Ethel ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 11:07 am: Edit

hahahahahahahaha nice one Neil.

By SheffieldSaddler ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 11:24 am: Edit

Corica and Wrack have played up front before, much better option then Lawrence surely. And how often did we continue to play the long ball to Leitao and Lawrence afterwards! Christ will we ever ever ever learn.

By Alan ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 11:28 am: Edit

I'd like to take back my previous negative post.

According to Mick Halsall on the official site, 'Coventry are a very good side'. My mistake then, cause I thought they were crap.

In that case, a point is fantastic.

By SheffieldSaddler ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 11:51 am: Edit

So good they have now won 1 in last 17! Christ help us if we have idiots like this on our staff!

By Luby Lou ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 12:01 pm: Edit

Has anyone seen Bill and Ben the flowerpot men . . . if anyone has, please contact me at the BBC.

(I did hear a rumour they were seen around the Bescot pretending to manage a bunch of footballers).

By Mal ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 12:15 pm: Edit

Stu, Junior was Junior pretty much but for me his presence enabled gaps for which Lawrence took advantage. I don't think it was any coincidence that the best chances came from good interplay between Jorge, Junior and Jamie. I was suprised at the 'ineffectual' statement on Junior but I suppose thats football. As I said it was all down to tactics, the game was there to be won, we were under very little pressure in a poor game and created the most half chances. Simmo is just a pointer with little effect, I have given up on him.

The booing I feel was deserved and was not evident until the last few minutes, which considering the tactics and the final 30 of play was pretty restrained. A point made about Colins frustrations probably sums it up but that is no excuse.

Overall we controlled 75% of the game and with a little luck could have been two up by half time. This is why the crowd became so restless because it appeared that we threw away two points rather than gained one. I have no problem with closing shop but not with a third of the game to go when on top.

By Merv ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 12:24 pm: Edit

Ill admit Im a non-regular at Bescot, but went along last night with some friends. Good crowd ( nrly 7000 home fans), awful 2nd half. We will stay up Im sure but the football is mind-calcifying at times. The new stand creates a decent atmos when the team pick up the pace but it just doesn't happen for long enough spells. Im half-tempted to buy ST next season but last night has rather put me off.

By Stu ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 12:28 pm: Edit

Our performances seemed to change after the Forest game. Up until then we'd always tried to attack and score goals. In that Forest game, we were awful for the first 30 minutes. We came out 2nd half like Real Madrid and murdered Forest. But, from then on, we've played '1st half Forest performances' on the whole. Sitting back, defending and generally looking quite uneasy with our style of play.

We didn't always play like this, so it begs the question, where has the attacking goal scoring team gone? I always felt we could get something as we could score goals, I haven't had that feeling for quite a while now.

By Geordiesaddler ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 12:59 pm: Edit

I take your point Stu the football was a lot better earlier in the season, and much more entertaining - but no more effective than it has been since the Forest game in terms of points gained. After the Forest game we had 29 points from 27 matches. Since then we've taken 18 points from 15 matches, so more or less the same really. I think after the poor January our mind-set changed to trying to survive, and that is always dangerous as with saw with Graydon.

By Stu ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 01:10 pm: Edit

Those stats regarding points from games in interesting. Didn't think it was so close.
I think the mind-set of survival you mentioned is exactly what we're doing. Reading into Halsall's comments I get the feeling that he was trying to stress the importance of making sure we didn't lose first and foremost. That may be what bothered Lee so much, is that whilst some wanted us to go gung-ho for the 3 points, he thought it was essential that we at least took a point so as to keep within 2 points of Coventry.

By Gurrole Gilbert ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 01:34 pm: Edit

I've forgotten what happens after a 0-0 scoreline.
Do we all get our money back if no goals are scored?

By Neil Ravenscroft ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 01:45 pm: Edit

I think Geordie and Stu have it just about right. We started looking down instead of up and the "hold what we have" mentality set in. It might be interesting to see what happens to the performances if we get the points we need on Saturday (and, if results go the right way, that might only be 1).

By Dave Roe ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 01:50 pm: Edit

In theory it's all well and good sitting back to make sure you don't lose the game. However last nights "tactics" were the very reason we nearly lost the game. We conceded way too much posession to them which culminated in them getting their only effort on target.

Most of us have seen what this team can do when we take the game to the opposition (2nd halves away at Forest and home to Portsmouth). Given that why do we resort to this defensive, scared to death, mind numbing football ?

A few people have argued that the substitution of Junior for Simpson wasn't negative because Lawrence went up front. The trouble is Lawrence was the only link between the midfield and the front two. Without him in midfield him and Jorge were totally detached from the rest of the side. A bloke behind me last night said it was like watching a Chris Nicholl team. At least Nicholl waited until we were 1-0 up before shutting up shop.

People wonder why we can't attract bigger crowds. After watching that shower of cack is it really that surprising ? Only the real core support will continue to watch this crap. The floating supporters will turn their attentions to other, more exciting, pasttimes (like chess or the World paint drying championships).

Oh, Colin Lee, the fans weren't booing the players (they were only following orders), they were booing you and your shambolic tactics.

By SheffieldSaddler ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 02:24 pm: Edit

Totally agree Dave.

By Frank Stubbs ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 02:24 pm: Edit

4 points from 6 i am happy with that,fine it was'nt brilliant the standard of crossing was poor and the nerves were clearly showing.I am not going to criticise anybody we all know what needs doing who needs to go,lets just see the season out remove the dross ang go forward.We are still a first division club lets not lose sight of that fact.

By Paul G ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 02:32 pm: Edit

We must play to our strengths and defending is not our strength. Even at the end when all 11 men were pulled back into the box Gary mac was still left unmarked for the header. Remember preston, palace (twice), last minute throw away at Wimbledon. We are hopless at defending. Lee is a naturally attack-minded coach. he needs a defensive coasch alongside him so that hopefull we can reach a happy medium.

By SheffieldSaddler ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 02:36 pm: Edit

This 4 points from 6 argument just doesnt wash with me. We got 1 point from an absolute shambles of a team, who as I keep repeating, have won ONE match in the last SEVENTEEN. Christ almighty they were there for the taking and we didnt show the will to take them.
The performance was a disgrace just like certain ones of the last 4 months. That wasnt a football match it was a Sunday kick about in a park.

By Short trem memory problems Saddler ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 02:40 pm: Edit

Does anybody know how many games Coventry have won in the last seventeen?

By not very helpful saddler ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 02:44 pm: Edit

i heard it was 65% but that might be something else.

By Dave Roe ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 03:06 pm: Edit

And the other three points came from a team with nothing to play for and by all accounts turned in their worst performance ina ages. So excuse me if I don't get all excited about this wonderful return of points.

We are in the old routine again. Some fans vent their anger/frustration at the manager and others cry "un-loyal" and say we should be happy with our position as 1st division strugglers. Okay we are better off than we were 5 years ago, but why should we settle for that. Lee has assembled (on paper) probably the best squad WFC has ever had, therefore we should be a lot better off than we are. In my mind Lee is under-achieving when you consider the tools at his disposal.

By Stu ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 03:25 pm: Edit

It does seem as though some are being a bit harsh on Lee though.

Its not his fault that Aranalde can't get a cross past the first man. Its not his fault that Junior or Jorge misses gilt edged changes.

Yes, he might have got the tactics wrong. But, if we'd taken the chances that had come our way then we wouldn't be discussing this to start with. The players have to take as much responsibility as Lee in my mind.

One final point. Dave, this might be the best ever squad Walsall FC has had, but it still cost a grand sum of £175k or thereabouts, it still consists of 'veterans', players who have suffered long term injury/attitude problems and those looking to kick start their career. What do you expect?

Its no point comparing to the likes of Rotherham, as in my view, they have better players than us. They were prepared to pay for quality when they saw it.

Speculate to accumulate is the saying. We've spent little, we'll get little back! They might be the best ever squad, but that doesn't take much when you've only ever spent 5/6/7 seasons outside the bottom two levels of football. That doesn't mean much when there are 16/18 clubs in your division who still have a better collective squad. Our best ever squad is only the 16-18th best squad in this division in terms of individual ability.

I don't think they've under-achieved, I think we've got what we've paid for. If they were that good, then why weren't the likes of Palace, Burnley, Preston, Bradford et al wanting them? Why were the majority of them released from their former clubs? Because (a) nobody wanted them and (b) they weren't good enough.

By Neil Ravenscroft ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 03:50 pm: Edit

Dave, when you said that Coventry got their win against a team with nothing left to play for, didn't you realise that we haven't! (Well, almost)

By popperpancake ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 04:37 pm: Edit

Rather a dull game it has to be said. Can't be bothered to repeat everything said above. It is disgraceful if CL did tell the fans to •••• off. Nice to see how sheff has switched away from CL can do no wrong......Me? Poor last nite but i'd like to see CL given another chance next season (assuming nothing awful happens in last 4 games)

By Neil Ravenscroft ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 04:46 pm: Edit

Strange to see this afternoon that Zdrilic hasn't even made the bench for the reserves.

By Dave Roe ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 04:46 pm: Edit

Neil, I was talking about us winning our game against Gillingham.

By Dave Roe ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 04:50 pm: Edit

It's alright being able to score against car salesmen e.t.c. (American Samoa) and part-time defenders in the German 3rd division, but it's totally different to scoring in the English 1st division. He hasn't got what it takes and I doubt he ever will.

By Stu ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 04:54 pm: Edit

People keep saying that, but Driller's goals:match ratio isn't that far behind either Jorge or Junior. Is that saying a lot about Driller or not a lot about Jorge and Junior?

I'd hazard a guess that his goals:minutes on the pitch ratio is the best of all 3, as I'd imagine most of his apperances have been as sub.

Agree that he has disappointed though.

By Neil Ravenscroft ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 05:22 pm: Edit

I meant it that he probably wont be getting that one year extension on his contract! Can't see Junior coming either, unless his club change their minds, so it's rebuilding time up front, as well as in midfield.

By Neil Ravenscroft ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 05:25 pm: Edit

By the way, is Tim Wilkes a mystic? I just noticed the fourth post on this thread:-

"A win is far too simple....I think we'll draw to drag it out a bit longer".

By Geordiesaddler ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 05:31 pm: Edit

Stu - good point, if you do what you always do you'll get what you always got. In the three recent seasons we've been in this league we have always missed out on players that would have made a difference at the time because of our reluctance to pay fees - this year its Ainsworth. People talk about Pedro as if he was some kind of caged animal last night, what a joke, what would Ainsworth have done?

Dave Roe - I don't think this is a debate about the critics of CL being "un-loyal" thay are very much entitled to their opinions, and waste no time what-so-ever in voicing them the minute CL does so much as fart. What p!sses me off about the Lee-critics is that whenever we do achieve something its always put down to luck or circumstances. e.g. your analysis of the Gillingham win. The Gilligham win was a bloody good result against a team that were 10th in the division. We had key players out injured and suspended, several injured on the day, and in the face of that adversity we showed great determination and played some decent football on an awful pitch. What more could we have done other than go there and win? But oh no its got to be that Gillingham were crap. Stoke, Brighton, and Grimsby all had fixtures against teams with nothing to play for who were below Gillingham (two of them at home) and they all got stuffed.

Popper - agree entirely. About time people started having a balanced view, well said. (yes this is really me).

By Tim Wilkes ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 05:33 pm: Edit

Neil, I cannot take the credit. As I have mentioned on another site, I am currently working with a White Witch.

By TheFridge ( on Thursday, April 17, 2003 - 10:10 am: Edit

Mike Ditka was the coach of the bears when they won the superbowl.

Back to the round ball game and lets get behind the boys for the last 4 games and hopefully if we reach the safety point CL will give some youngsters a round out in the last few games...instead of playing the players who wont be here next year.

By Ian Gittins ( on Thursday, April 17, 2003 - 08:23 pm: Edit

When we beat Millwall 3-0 last autumn, Zdrilic held the ball superbly, looked mobile and fluid, and scored a fantastic headed goal. So he can do that stuff. Trick is to make him.

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