Soccer Magazine

Sink Or Swim

By Bescot Banter @BescotBanter
Having played thirty-nine games and with seven games remaining Walsall Football Club find themselves two points from safety in npower League One, and following the departure of former manager Chris Hutchings, and the appointment of former youth team coach Dean Smith as Caretaker and then permanent manager, the club has seen a major upturn in fortunes, which include a 6-1 victory over Bristol Rovers, a 5-2 win versus Hartlepool United and several other important results which in turn has boosted the confidence of players and supporters alike.
The next fixture for The Saddlers is Saturday's trip to bottom of the table Plymouth Argyle, who were it not for a ten-point deduction for entering administration, would be two points ahead of Walsall; this game could be seen as a sink or swim fixture, a win for Walsall would see the club edge closer to avoiding relegation, but a defeat would put the club back in the thick of it and depending on results could leave The Saddlers five points off that elusive 20th position, and requiring other teams to falter during the end of season run in.
If the current form continues to the end of the season and The Saddlers do achieve safety, how will the board act to avoid the same situation next season? Manager Dean Smith recently signed a two year contract so his position is relatively secure but what is the future of the current batch of Super Saddlers? Also if the club fails to achieve safety and is relegated to npower League Two will the playing staff receive the complete overhaul it clearly requires with real investment in the infrastructure, including the youth academy and better local recruitment or will the cracks be simply papered over with another group of higher league loanee's who show no passion and desire to help the team and are simply biding their time before that inevitable recall to their parent club.
This is clearly the time to Sink Or Swim.

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