Shhhhhh it's the Defence
A lot has been said about what comprises the best defensive set up at Walsall this season, but is the real problem the lack of a natural leader.
Whilst on loan one quality that goalkeeper Joe Murphy brought to the club was his ability to organise the defence. In fact the loud mouth nature of the Irish shot stopper has also earned him a couple of bookings from the more delicate refs. As for Oakes he was never as vocal as Murphy in fact for a keeper he is quite quiet. Also a lack of confidence seems to have sent him into his shell even more.
However we have gone from one extreme to the other. The centre halves are not renowned as great talkers. Ian Roper may be the more commanding but he's lack of vocal input has been commented upon by more than one previous manager. Whilst Anthony Gerrard and Pablo Mills are both just really starting out in there careers, The same could be also said about Craig Pead and Daniel Fox at fullback.
This brings us to Westwood, Club captain and captain of previous club Hartlepool. This and his playing experience would suggest that he is the answer, however a lack of form and a run of injuries means he hasn't shown this side of his game let alone answered his critics. Hence a only a few Saddlers fans would throw Westy in, but if we continue with a back three he could provide the answer sitting between Roper and Gerard. Where does this leave Pablo Mills, perhaps sitting in front as a defensive midfielder, also covering the full backs as they push forward.
The only other way out would be to bring someone in, but with the transfer window and no loans available the options are very limited.
By Jorges Jottings