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Swift downfall or ever-rising?

Swift downfall or ever-rising?

Since November, there has been a massive turnaround. Fifth in League One, supposedly £2m better off (unless you Ian Dowie)and yet there is still a little bit of uncertainty about the rest of the season. Don't get me wrong, I am a very happy Saddler at the moment, my expectations have been exceeded, but after the departure of Danny Fox and Scott Dann to Coventry you start to ask a few questions. It's all very well cashing in on your best players, but it's only a good thing when you re-invest the money back into the squad - which so far has brought us an nowt (at least one player)! Why?

I'm not going to blabber on about Jeff Bonser this, Jeff Bonser that because he may like to have a tight ruling over the pennies, but we are in a more positive situation than we have been. At least he has been man enough to admit his mistakes over the last few years (not leaving being one of them...damn, it slipped out, I was trying to be impartial!). We have had, allegedly a lot of income from the January Banks's sale with Foxy and Dann the man departing to the Ricoh, however I am yet to see players such as Michael Ricketts become permanent. It's all very well signing players on loan, and as a smaller less fortunate club in a financial sense, we have to. However, when you get some money in, it needs to go back into the playing budget, funding player's of Ricketts mould. Walsall don't do this. We would rather see the opportunity slip through our butter fingers.

Where does this leave the club for the rest of the season? Well, the Play-Offs, as I have already pointed out earlier in the season, are a distinct possibility, especially as we have seen one of the most in-form Saddlers sides in a long while take to the pitch this season. However, will the sales of key players harm those chances? I think it may hinder them a little, but with Ropes entering the frame and we have talent in the wings in the form of Mannie Smith, who gives a stuff? One thing's for sure - we are moving in the right direction.

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Writer:Richard Pugh
Date:Friday February 15 2008
Time: 10:50PM

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2 Burton 45 25 9 11 84 20
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4 Walsall 44 22 12 10 78 15
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10 Sheff Utd 45 18 12 15 66 7
11 Rochdale 45 18 12 15 66 6
12 Port Vale 45 18 11 16 65 3
13 Peterborough 45 18 6 21 60 5
14 Southend 45 16 11 18 59 -5
15 Bury 45 15 12 18 57 -18
16 Swindon 45 15 11 19 56 -10
17 Oldham 45 12 18 15 54 -12
18 Chesterfield 45 15 8 22 53 -10
19 Shrewsbury 45 13 11 21 50 -18
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