Barring a miracle turnaround from Grimsby, Walsall are safe from relegation. The last two displays have raised questions that players are ‘on their holidays’, and no longer committed to the club, or this season. It has raised big questions about what fans would like to see happen to the side for the final three games.
Start Leak and Perry?
The only highlight of this poor season, has been the emergence of the younger players. Tom Leak, and Sam Perry were both handed debuts under Brian Dutton, and have impressed in their games. Fans are calling for both to feature in the final few games, to give them more of a feel for the league in preparation for next season.
Leak has played fewer games than Perry, and it has been mentioned in some areas of the fanbase, that playing a now fit again Scarr, would be the better option. Perry has adjusted to first XI life extremely well, and although Leak has impressed, he is in an area of the pitch that is populated. There is a concern that three bad results would not help his development, and that getting a chance from the bench, and then a good pre-season, may stand him in better stead.
What formation should be played?
One thing that has been a talking point surrounding Brian Dutton’s tenure, is his changing of formation. Last nights game saw the side revert to a back 5, which is a less favourable formation amongst the Saddlers faithful. When asked what formation they feel the side should play, one thing was overwhelming, play a back 4.
The team with 5 at the back just doesn’t fit the Saddlers. The wing-backs aren’t as effective as out and out wingers, and the reduction of numbers in midfield makes it difficult for the side to move the ball through the thirds.
Fans were divided between a 4-4-2, or a 4-2-3-1. Both have their pro’s, and both have their con’s. The key to this is Rory Holden. He has performed well in a central attacking midfield role, which would make fans lean to a 4-2-3-1, especially with the strikers not scoring. This is the biggest reason for choosing one or the other. Both systems keep two in the middle of the park, whilst giving the side the width with two wingers.
Who deserves to play?
This question is the biggest one going into 3 dead rubber matches. There will be players who have decided their futures lie elsewhere, as well as players who the club see playing their future elsewhere. The majority of the fans would rather see players who will be here next season, play the final few games. A few have mentioned the loan players. Again, the same discussion. If they are interested in signing come the end of the season, then allow them to prove their worth, if not, then don’t allow them to take up space is the squad.
One big thing fans would like to see, is the inclusion of youth. With a few players on the fringe, like Joe Willis, Joseph Foulkes and Jayden Campbell, there is depth in the youth, that could be given time off the bench, if Brian Dutton wants to see the players in a league setting.
Finally, fans noted that Sadler looked tired on Tuesday. He has played 22 games in a row, aged 36, which is a great testament to how fit he is despite his age. With his contract up in the summer, and a potential retirement too, fans are calling for Scarr to replace him for the final few games. This is not a criticism at his performances, as he has largely performed well in the 22 game run, however he appeared tired on Tuesday, and perhaps a rest, at least at the weekend, would be for the better of the team.