We all love Walsall, and we all love the beautiful game, but at the moment, we do not love what we see on the pitch, we don’t even like it. This is a plea to the board, Matt Taylor and the players, make us enjoy football again.
Years of decline leading to this moment
It has only been four league games, which is a small portion of the season, but picking up only one point has led to mass panic amongst the fans. They are also angry, frustrated, and disheartened with what they have witnessed this season, but it is years of decline that has built to this.
A 2-0 loss against Hartlepool has peaked the anger, and unfortunately for the players, they are the ones who will feel the majority of it, as they are the ones in the stadium with the supporters. However this is a build up of years of not enjoying being a Walsall fan, that all boils down on this batch of players and coaches. The failures of years gone by is fronted by the people left picking up the pieces. This started before Leigh Pomlett, Jamie Fullarton and Matt Taylor, but they must shoulder the responsibility and make improvements to start turning the tide.
Social media was a depressing place to be after the game. The fans, like myself, are deeply concerned for the club that they love, and with tough games against an organised Stevenage and a free scoring Bradford to come, this run may well continue. Although it has been only a handful of games the negativity surrounding the team has grown, and they will need to vastly improve to shake that.
Not an enjoyable experience, and the numbers show it
Going to a Walsall game is not something that brings the excitement, or even makes people that happy. The expectation that the side will probably lose, has created a numbness for the fans. A match-day usually follows the same routine, pre game excitement, chances missed, sloppy goals conceded, and an eventual loss after the inevitable fight back doesn’t work.
This isn’t on the current squad. Yes they are yet to win a game, but given the overhaul in the team it is to be expected early on. However they are the ones tasked with getting the fans enjoying football again. Home attendances have already dropped back to usual figures, which given the time away from the stadium and increase in season ticket sales, is extremely disappointing. The return to Walsall for the fans has been just that, disappointing. Off the field issues have played their part, but a team that can’t score, and easily concedes doesn’t make for a good viewing.
Season ticket sales were up, but the home attendances have not been that high to be breaking through Leigh Pomlett’s 5000 figure. The team need to start making games fun for fans. A lack of chances and goals is turning people away, and that must change if Walsall want to rise up the table, and get more people through the turnstiles.
The board have made wholesale changes, and the fans will give that time if things start improving both on and off the pitch. Off it, more improvements to the stadium are needed as well as ways to make fans feel like they can have an enjoyable experiences. On it, go out and get the players needed to improve the team.
It has been a really tough few years to support Walsall, and although that is not the fault of the current players, but they hold the key to whether that continues, or whether fortunes improve.
To the players and coaches, this is what we want. Effort, desire, passion and goals. We have missed scoring goals. Take pride in the fact that you have the ability to turn around the fortune of a club that has been slipping slowly for a few years. Own it, grasp the opportunity and rise to it, because otherwise, the fans will stop supporting as well as they have been, and the clubs decline will continue.