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25/09/2011

The Honeymoon Is Over

As the final whistle blows on what is a fifth defeat in six npower League One games, the recent murmurs of discontent have become veritable screams, with a clear lack of creativity throughout the team, when is the current downturn in form going to end? With only ten games gone, Walsall are already ten points off the play-offs and have seemingly no desire to turn it around. Clearly there are still thirty-six games, and one-hundred and eight points still available but there are major doubts in Walsall's ability to pick them up.


Here are a few of the issues facing the club;


Creativity


Walsall clearly lack that 'creative flair' all supporters desire, in recent games the creativity problem has really taken centre stage with the club failing to have many (if any) shots on or even off target, which would suggest a lack of opportunities being created by the midfield, however the current strike-force are also guilty of squandering several chances when they do (eventually) arrive.


Manager Dean Smith and Chief-Executive Stefan Gamble MUST take swift and decisive action regarding player recruitment, following the end of season departures of Emmanuel Ledesma, Julian Gray, Marc-Antoine Gbarssin and Matt Richards, Luton Town winger Claude Gnakpa and Carlisle United midfielder Kevan Hurst were the only really creative players signed, atleast two more players of that ilk have to be signed as soon as possible, the Free Agents list is still bursting with potential just waiting to be tapped into


Discipline


Club captain Andy Butler picked up his second red card of the season during the loss to Colchester United, which will undoubtedly lead to a ban, which will clearly impact on a team already light on defensive options.


Clearly, with increased defeats indiscipline will rise and therefore lead to more bookings and again, more dismissals. The coaching staff have to take a real look at the situation, sometimes it seems players are going over the line in their desire to repel attacks.


Tactics

During recent games, some tactical decisions have seemed to be something of a backward step, take Saturday's defeat to Colchester for an example, following Andy Butlers departure, attacker Jamie Paterson was sacrificed in favour of defender Olly Lancashire, clearly three at the back would've given Colchester an advantage but wouldn't it have been better to move Adam Chambers, a defensive minded midfielder, into the slot and allow a striker to drop back to aid the midfield? As soon as Butler left there was little attacking initiative due to a simple drop in numbers.  

Recruitment


As noted earlier, Walsall's failure to capitalise on the Free market is a all to regular occurrence, just when is the "We will support the manager in the transfer market" line actually going to be true?


Management


Assistant management to be exact, is it now time for Dean Smith to appoint an assistant? Chris Nicholl and Physio Jon Whitney are the current managers advisor's but given the tactical issues, is it time for a change of strategy?


With regards to the manager, clearly The Honeymoon Is Over.


By: Bescot Banter


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