Walsall v Bury – In-depth Tactical Analysis

We were desperate today and so was the pitch. Our goal was the only moment of quality. Credit to Bury though they didn’t let our creative players get into the game apart from that moment. Normally we would have Taylor bombing down the left and providing us with more width but he was sadly missed today. Grigg barely had a sniff all game. Mantom is a good player but he plays within his comfort zone, doing the simple stuff well but not driving the play forward. The whole team was flat and missing Butler’s spirit and also his defending. There were a few mix-ups between Holden and Johnstone, not necessarily Holden’s fault though but the back four in Butler’s absence haven’t looked a cohesive unit at all. Holden looks a yard off the pace and has to rely on his determination to get him through games. Chambers is missed over at right-back as well as there is not enough passing from the back when Purkiss fills in, although he is defensively sound.
All the subs were disappointing, especially Sawyers who did nothing to impress. Was the Bury goal offside? The bloody pillars were in the way so I have no idea.

Thats it for me now. Cricket will take over in the next few months. Lets hope we can hold on to most of our players so we can enjoy those Midlands derbies that are coming our way.


Walsall v Sheffield United – In-depth Tactical Analysis

It feels like a defeat today. It was a game we should have won, Brandy guilty of missing the best chances.

Due to a steam train setting the countryside on fire just outside Bicester, The Gilbert Alsop arrived at the ground at 3.40pm. Two minutes later, Westcarr turned and scored to give us a half-time lead.

After the break we went to force home our advantage and this is when Brandy had those chances, created by Westcarr and Baxendale. United took advantage to equalise from a tap-in after a long distance shot bounced off both posts.

Benning, who had to come on for an injured Taylor, was caught out for the goal. Although you cant blame him directly, there was certainly a lack of understanding between him and Paterson, who was on the left. First of all they both left the ball so it went out for a United throw-in and then a few moments later Benning allowed the attacker to run into a large space for the goal to be scored.

After the goal it was fairly equal and we almost got caught out at the end with Butler playing on with an injury and Downing having to make a well timed last-ditch tackle.

Defensively we were sound up until Taylor came off and then looked a bit shaky after that. Purkiss, who doesn’t offer as much going forward as James Chambers, did ok.

Adam Chambers was man of the match. He carried the ball forward a lot and also tracked back, he seemed to be everywhere. Mantom was content to do the basics and did that very well. Paterson was quiet, offering only a glimpse of his talent. Baxendale faded towards the end but was involved in a lot going forward. Westcarr did well, linking up play and scoring. I think he lacks a little confidence at time though, particularly when faced with making decisions. Sawyers had a decent cameo in his usual three minutes. Playing a great pass to send Paterson free.

And then to Brandy. In many ways he was the best player today. The United defence struggled with him throughout. He just couldn’t score today and with a goal return of only six for the season, for all his talents, this appears to be his weakness. He had five chances today, one quite easy, two he should have got on target and two that were difficult.

Bloody hell! What could have been? Nine points from the last three games may not be enough, but The Gilbert Alsop hasn’t given up hope and will be at Scunthorpe next week.

Walsall v Coventry City – In-depth Tactical Analysis

Wowsers! What a performance today. A deserved scoreline for an awesome display.
Grigg wasn’t playing so in came Baxendale to tear them apart and Westcarr went up top. Why didn’t Smith play this way against Hartlepool?
With Baxendale in the team we look like a really slick outfit. He is good with the ball and allows Paterson and Brandy to create chances as well.
Paterson opened the scoring with some good close control in the box and a great finish from a tight angle.
Westcarr got a penalty after Baxendale had been chopped down. Coventry went down to 10 men and then Westcarr and Paterson helped themselves to more goals.
Westcarr, the least mobile of our attacking players, played well doing the simple things well.
The back five were a compact unit not giving Coventry a chance. Chambers and Mantom protected the back four and ensured our creative players got as much as the ball as possible.
And boy did we create. Brandy did most of it, popping up everywhere and picking up lots of free-kicks. This gave Paterson loads of space to exploit which he did superbly. As well as his two goals he went on some other brilliant runs and could have got more.
A great day to be a Saddler.