A few days ago I asked you all a few questions about the last 10 years. Here are what you had to say.
Favourite Moments –
A lot of you said how Wembley was the highlight of the decade. Alongside the game at Preston and the party at the Bescot when we sealed our place at Wembley. The club’s first visit to Wembley was special for all, and despite the result, getting to see the boys walk out on the famous turf was something I will never forget, as is the same with many of you.
Other favourite moments comprised of the sweet sweet moment when Butler scored away at Wolves. The carnage in the stands that day was something to behold. A few of you also liked ‘that’ tweet. (if you know, you know), and Bonser selling up to Leigh Pomlett this year.
A few good comebacks were also mentioned such as Colchester (H) When we scored 2 in the last minutes to win, beating Hartlepool 5-2 after being 2-0 down, featuring a Ledesma masterclass.
A couple of personal favourites, outside of those listed were Boxing Day 2011 when we beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 with 2 90+ mins goals, and Brentford in the FA Cup, the scenes when Mantoms goal went in will never be forgotten.
Worst Moments –
This was, unsurprisingly, dominated by us getting relegated into League 2 earlier this year, the only time this decade we haven’t been in League One. After a 2nd half of the season that saw nothing but a downward spiral, it was an away day at Shrewsbury that sealed our fate, although it was clear we were going down weeks before.
Other worst moments include Barnsley away in the Play-off semi finals, and the performance at Wembley. Both games the fans were the only ones to turn up.
The Barnsley game also coincided with a few other worst moments such as Smith leaving us that season. After working wonders, he moved on to Brentford. That season saw us lose out on automatic promotion by 1 point.
Other mentions include Newport away in the FA Cup and Accrington away where fans felt at their lowest.
Another worst moment was the realisation that club hero Keates wasn’t going to be a success. For me, this is one of the worst things about the decade. I was so happy when Keates was hired, and he is the man I wanted. But seeing him fail was heartbreaking.
Best Player –
A few players here that were mentioned a lot. Sawyers and Oztumer were players we adored, and something we miss dearly. Both, on their day, were unstoppable. Sawyers could pick a pass, and hit some absolute beauties from range. Oztumer was a pocket rocket that scored some of the most outrageous goals I have seen anyone in a Walsall shirt score.
Another popular choice was Bradshaw. His goals were vital to us, and we have never seen a natural finisher like him since. In this decade, he may well be the best Striker we have had.
Apart from these that are mentioned, One of the best and one of my favourite players was Andy Butler. He gave his all for us, and something I will always respect, is telling the manger months before that he was going to leave to go back to his family, and then actually doing it. He was a brute force and I think the team severely missed him for years afterwards.
Favourite player –
All of those mentioned above were prominent for this, but here are a few that were favourites, despite not being the best players we have seen.
Makris, oh Makris. Our record signing who only scored one goal, and Volley that he scored after ‘shinning it’. A lot of fans still love Makris despite not really doing the business for us.
Baxendale also has been mentioned, and heavily defended when criticised on the tweet. His effort and personality was something we all warmed too. Despite not having the quality of the likes of Ozzy and Sawyers, he was as liked, for other reasons.
Another mentioned is Adam Chambers. A loyal player who gave his all. Last season we missed him massively. His debut saw him score a screamer against Leyton Orient, and we loved him ever since. His work rate and professionalism in the heart of midfield kept us going for a few years.
Worst Player –
Oh wow did I forget about some of these.
First up we have Richard Taundry. He’s one of our own indeed, but apart from the odd set-piece, he wasn’t exactly a key asset for us. It is staggering to think that he racked up nearly 200 appearances in all competitions for us.
Next up, a couple of strikers who were not exactly prolific, Ryan Jarvis and Mathieu Manset. Between them they scored a whopping 4 goals in around 50 games. Even by our standards that’s not great.
Strikers seemed to be a theme, with Ngoo getting a few mentioned. His 1 goal in 14 appearances and very little to get the fans to cheer about, see him make this list.
Three defenders make this list, however, one of which I do feel is harsh. Leahy got a few mentions, despite his goals and assists from Left-Back, his defensive woes have put him on this list. Kevin Toner’s fleeting appearance on loan was less than successful and puts him in this category. The final defender here is one that I feel is harsh. Kristian Bielik did not make an appearance for us, and somehow makes his list. He signed very last minute in January and was injured ever since.
Honourable mentions go out to Justin Shiabu, Sam Parkin, Simeon Jackson, and someone I have zero memory of but got named… Bryn Morris (yeah me neither)
So there is a summary of what the fans have made of the last 10 years. And what a 10 years it has been.