A lot has been made to how similar the boys of 2018 compare to the legend of 1998 so we thought we would look at the comparisons between both.
Twenty years on since THAT side did the unthinkable and won promotion from Division 2. The similarities between the class of 98 and 2018 are scary.
- During the summer of 1998 Sir Ray lost two players gifted with quality – Jeff Peron and Roger Boli. During the summer of 2018 Dean Keates lost a player who was gifted in quality – Erhun Oztumer.
- Just before the season started Sir Ray was found to have a very small squad, one which most felt were going to be battling to avoid relegation. That season the Saddlers were installed as 7/4 favourites to go down. Just before the season started Dean Keates was found to have a very small squad, one which most felt were going to be battling to avoid relegation. This season the Saddlers were installed as 7/4 favourites to go down.
- Sir Ray signed a young winger by the name of Darren Wrack. Wrack had just been released by Derby reserves. Dean Keates signed a young winger by the name of Josh Ginnelly. Ginnelly had just been released by Burnley reserves.
- Despite the Saddlers not known for their spending prowess Sir Ray managed to grind £35,000 out of Jeff Bonser for the transfer of Richard Green from Bristol Rovers. Despite the Saddlers not known for their spending prowess Dean Keates managed to grind £35,000 out of Jeff Bonser for the transfer of Morgan Ferrier from Boreham Wood.
- The season prior to 1998 the Saddlers didn’t have a target man as such and Sir Ray made that his priority bringing in Andy Rammell. The season prior to this one the Saddlers didnt have a target man and Dean Keates made it his priority bringing in Andy Cook.
- When Sir Ray took over he implemented a fining structure at the club. When Dean Keates took over he implemented a fining structure at the club – ok not as harsh as Sir Ray but one that players still abide by.
On top of the above, both sides were built to sustain pressure and to hit on the counter attack whilst working their wotsits off for the cause.
The free spending clubs like Reading, Wigan and Machester City just couldn’t keep up with the Saddlers. Are Sunderland, Portsmouth and Barnsley going to face a similar fate?
Currently the class of 2018 are five points better off than the class of 98 were at this stage of the season – at this rate we will have promotion wrapped up by the time we face Southend at home!
We are obviously jesting but this current group of players are capable of emulating the class of 98 if they continue at this level…should they get near to THAT side then they will also be regarded as legends for the rest of their lives.
If there are any Peterborough fans reading this our last home game of that season was against the Champions (Fulham) before an away day party at our near neighbours Stoke – we face Posh in our last home game of this season before we face near neighbours Shrewsbury……
We can live in hope – we can dare to dream.
Sir Ray and Dean Keates – the master and his apprentice.