Since January 4th 2010 and the appointment of Dean Smith as caretaker manager, and then permanently in April, Walsall have seen a sharp upturn in fortunes, which saw them pick up several much needed results, including; a 6-1 thrashing of relegation rivals Bristol Rovers, and a 5-2 victory over Hartlepool United, while some matches still ended in defeat, there was a clear change in attitude throughout the squad, which saw belief and confidence grow and obviously, performances improve.
Throughout the end of season run in there has been an air of confidence amongst the supporters, which itself is unusual, after many years of being a Saddlers supporter you become resigned to the possibility of relegation. The club had also begun show an air of confidence and belief they could rescue their season, which of course they duly did.
But what next for The Saddlers, where do they go from here, will we simply sign the current squad to further twelve month contracts, move more youth players forward and simply ignore the clear problems surrounding the team, or will Chairman Jeff Bonser and new Chief-Executive Stefan Gamble back manager Dean Smith and his team with transfer funds, funds which Gamble said were available earlier in the season but were used to secure loan deals rather than permanent ones. If the club is forced to loan rather than buy it must bring in players that will add to the squad rather than the bench, Manchester City and Northern Ireland international defender Ryan McGivern was signed on a full season loan deal but was sent back to his parent club in January after becoming a bit-part player, which clearly wasn't benefiting either party, obviously he had a lot to add to the squad but was under utilised and became disenchanted with life at The Banks's Stadium which subsequently affected his performances and led to the early departure.
There are other players however, who have joined the Saddlers and really added to the squad, one player in particular is ex-Scunthorpe and Huddersfield defender Andy Butler, who through his performances has cemented himself as a real fan favorite and is a prime candidate for a new longer-term contract and depending on other players contract offers would be a popular club captain.
Walsall also has a fairly successful youth system which over the years has produced lots of potential stars, one of the current crop is Northern Ireland U21 striker Will Grigg who has shown flashes of the potential that saw him called up to the first team in the first place, he could be further utilised next season, and used in the correct way, he could be a huge asset to The Saddlers, that is unless another club offers anything resembling a transfer fee, this will inevitably lead to his departure, as in the cases of Deeney, Fryatt, Gerrard and Dann to name a few.
Obviously there are several options available to Walsall, lets hope whichever one they choose it leads to a more successful campaign next season.
These articles might interest you :
Football Tips A largely uninspiring win against Malta in Gareth Southgate's first game in charge, may not have won many fans over, but the interim manager... Read moreBy Sporrtsman
Football Tips Sunday's home defeat to West Bromwich Albion saw the Foxes slip to their first home defeat in 21 league matches at the King Power... Read moreBy Sporrtsman
Ever since Tony Romo got injured in the Preseason, it has been rumored many times that he will play again this year, he is sidelined for the year and he will no... Read moreBy Bearbottomproductions
FOOTBALL, SOCCER, SPORTS
European Football Pep Guardiola returns to the Nou Camp as Manchester City take on Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday night. Champions League Bettin... Read moreBy Sporrtsman
Rob Hutchison: on his way home Rob Hutchison is driving back and it will be a while before he reaches home. So he phoned his daughter and she passed on his... Read moreBy Colin Randall
My first ever holiday on foreign shores was back in what I refer to as “my previous life”. I travelled all the way to Salou on the Costa Dorada in a “luxury”... Read moreBy Smidrophenia
The word “Tri” means three and “Phala” means fruit. It is one of the most widely used Ayurvedic product because of its numerous health benefits. Read moreBy Dr Vikram Chauhan
MOST POPULAR FROM SOCCER
- Birflatt Boy and Sutton: what is the true value of pie? by Colin Randall
- Safe bets: a guide to sensible flutters on sport by Colin Randall
- Everton vs Sunderland Guess the Score: can Moyes’s Goodison old boys shine? by Colin Randall
- Walsall's Development Side in Central League Action Later Today by Bescot Banter
MOST RECOMMENDED IN SOCCER
- Saddlers Announce Half-Term Signing Session by Bescot Banter
- Morris Keen to Make the Most of His Starting Spell by Bescot Banter
- On the Trail of the Scottish Holy Grail by Smidrophenia
- MATCH HIGHLIGHTS | Walsall 2 Peterborough United 0 by Bescot Banter