It has been a busy week at Walsall FC. First, Head Coach Matt Taylor was finally unveiled, and then the new kits were launched. It has been a week of change, and has almost rebranded the club. Taylor wants to build a brand on the pitch too. So what might the identity at Walsall be?
Taylor admitted in his press conference this week, that he wants to try and get an attacking style on the pitch. For the last few years, Walsall have been poor in attack. The last player to score 20 league goals or more was Kyle Lightbourne in 96/97. Bradshaw managed 17 a season in his two year spell between 2014-2016, but after that, the top scorers have managed 15 or under, with Erhun Oztumer the best outlet since Bradshaw. Walsall need a big improvement in attack, especially after the last two seasons.
The players brought in won’t be ready made goal scorers, but they will be working under a team of good coaches. With Taylor saying he wants to play a ‘free flowing game’ with ‘an attacking brand of football’, it gives the Saddlers faithful something to judge him on, but it also something to bring excitement.
Taylor wants to connect with the fans, and he is already winning over many in his early days. He wants good people at the club, and people he can coach, and make all round better players. Walsall have no attacking players at the club, but this blank canvas is not a mountain for Taylor, but something he is excited about. That gives him the scope to bring in people that fit the remit of being able to play good attacking football.
A team to be excited about
Taylor wants to make the fans excited about seeing their team play. He admits that it is ‘their team’, and he will do what it takes to make sure they are in the best shape to pick up three points each game. This won’t be easy, especially as there is so much recruitment to be done. It won’t always work, because that is football, but Taylor wants the fans to be able to see what they are trying to achieve on the pitch.
Early on in Dutton’s spell, it was obvious that he was trying to implement a possession based game. The fans could see it, and although the results weren’t there, it was clear that there was a system and project in place. This was quickly abandoned, and it was when that became apparent that he lost the majority of fans. Taylor needs to make sure that even when it doesn’t work, he sticks to his system, and the fans will stick with him.
Leigh Pomlett admitted he wants progress. Taylor also pleaded with fans to come back and support the team. These two desires work hand in hand. If the team is exciting to watch, they will progress up the table, and in turn, see more fans walking through the door. Taylor has set up his stall, and it is now time to back it up with the right signings, and style on the pitch.
Photo Credit: Walsall FC