Crewe Post mortem
The result was disapointing but what was more disappointing was the nature of the performance, a view also held by the management shown by the press comments and also the post match de briefing which saw the players looked away for some time after the match.
Perhaps what is most gauling is the fact thar despite such a poor showing we only lost 2-1 and could have easily got something out of the game. Whilst it is acknowledged the stats can lie, the fact we had more of the ball and more corners and there was little between the teams in terms of shots etc suggests that if the penalty decision which Marco Reich still maintains was a foul(despite been booked for a dive) had gone our way things might have been different.
Of course looking at the two teams much will be made of how each team has coped with departures of key players. Walsalls Scott Dann and Daniel Fox still cause hot debate amoungst saddlers fans whilst Crewe have lost Nicky Maynard. The big difference is Walsall have not used the money to bring in players who cost a transfer fee, although the club have stated that the playing budget has been increased. However Crewe who struggled last season have brought in players in the 100k to 250k price range, one of which scored the winner. This still is a bone of contention in the Saddlers ranks, but in truth it has always been walsalls way and only time will tell if our mix of free transfers and youngsters will move the club forward.
So what does the defeat tell us, well it shows a lack of strenght in depth. Of the defense missing the right back and centre half has weakned this part of the team. Manny Smith has struggled to cope with the elevation from youth team and reserves to first team, and Palmer whilst good in parts isn't up to the standards of ex welsh international Rhys Weston. Midfield also appears weakened by the absence of Mattis and the strange choice to have Mark Bradley on the bench. Alongside this the fact that Stephen Huges and Paul Boertien have missed large parts of pre season resulting in a sub standard level of fitness. Up front in the absence of Micheal Ricketts, Jabo needs a adequate partner. On top of this the poor recent form of Zaaboub and the question if Nichols is a wide player or not, only spells disaster. However there is promise that these injuries and fitness issues will soon resolve themselves and the prospects also look more positive.
The only question mark and doubt in my mind is how Jimmy Mullen has used these resources as many Saddlers fans would have shuffled the pack differently....but in the mean time we have to trust the man in charge and hope for a reaction from the squad in a tough looking game against Southend at home on saturday.
Any way things could be worse we could be Wolves fans watching them lose at Rotherham last night!!!