Lets be honest and brutal – that was poor!
For the last fifty days the whole town of Walsall have been pumped up for the game – 30,000 made the trip, some fans cycled to Wembley, Graeme Brookes walked over 140 mile to watch the game and some folk travelled 30,000 miles to watch the team they loved….we deserved better!
So much has been made of our league form of late which we put down to everyone being ‘up for the cup’ however all those mediocre league performances was for nothing as the players and manager failed to get going for our biggest day.
For ninety minutes, it summed up Dean Smith’s reign to date. Occasional pretty football with no end product, a dodgy back four and poor tactical nous. Smith was tactically inept again and was out thought by his counterpart Steve Cotterill. Walsall’s narrow play was exploited on the large Wembley pitch and Smith failed to rectify it.
As Walsall fans we can accept defeat, what we can’t accept is lack of commitment and desire. If the players had shown just 60% of the desire we had as fans we may of given Bristol a game.
Lets name and shame them
Paul Downing – you cannot blame the man for showing inconsistency when he has partnered five different centre backs this season but he constantly gave the ball away and was tormented by Wilbraham all afternoon. I wanted a Tony Barras bandaged head performance, we didn’t get that.
Sam Mantom – player of the year last season and has been out with injury for six months, however three games in two weeks took its toll and was ripped apart by Freeman.
Anthony Forde – I expected better from him. At times he has shown ability as someone with class. Yesterday he tried to play upto the cameras with silly step overs and his crossing was woeful.
Jordan Cook – it has been a poor few months for Cook and yesterday was up there with his worst. Constantly losing the ball going forward and went missing in the final third. Yes he it the post but that was more luck than judgement.
Dean Smith – he had the chance to be heralded as a Walsall great, but decided to leave his tactics book at home once more. Out thought by his counterpart Cotterill and failed to change the personnel when he needed to.
See you at Chesterfield!