Writer: Dan Malin
Date:Sunday December 11 2011
It is so frustrating to be a Walsall fan. How can we be as bad as we are some weeks, and then make table-topping Charlton Athletic look average? I thought we were by far the better team and Manny Smith was a joy to behold yesterday. I`d like to think I had something to do with it as I talked him up to Eddy Sonko the whole way to the game and the young centre-half did not let me down. Bradley Wright-who? Isn`t he Ian Wright`s son? No, not Shaun the other one; yeah that`s the one Bradley. Yeah I didn`t think he was that good either. Well done Manny Smith, you made the in-form striker outside the Premier League look like Bas Savage; what a game he had.
For those who did not read yesterday`s article; Eddy Sonko is the affectionate name I have given to a Gambian mate of mine who I finally convinced to come to a game yesterday. Complete with Eddy`s trademark massive smile, it must be a cultural thing, he absolutely loved it and why not? We were superb. It could have been so much better for us if George Bowerman could have scored, if Claude Gnakpa had scored or if George Bowerman had fed Gnakpa in on goal instead of trying to kill that turtle that lives on top of our home end. Nevertheless, we were fantastic yesterday and everybody bust a gut for the cause.
For many years, I have looked for ways to describe our club to anyone I meet who are not quite sure what Walsall FC are all about. Twenty years I have been going and yet Eddy, in his first 2 hours of being a lifelong Walsall fan, nailed it. At no other club, in the world, would you have a man given a standing ovation for a red-card. Not just any red card either; when we go for a bit of tactical fouling, my word how we go for it. Matty Sadler had a superb game and I, like most of you, was overjoyed to see the spirit of Bruce Lee live on through our left-back as he wrapped a leg around Scott Wagstaff and absolutely smashed him. In truth, it was a straight-red but fair play to the referee for using a bit of common sense and just showed the second yellow and gave him his marching orders. That kind of common sense is essential for modern day refereeing and it has done us a massive favour as we don`t have a back-up left back so only losing Matty for 1 game is damage limitation in every sense of the phrase.
So how happy am I? If you remember the way Eddy Sonko would look on a snowy, Tuesday night when we were 5-0 down and down to 8 men with no way of getting home and no fans in the ground; imagine the smile he would still have on his face….that`s how happy I am. My Eddy Sonko will be coming to a lot more games and let`s hope he becomes something of an overly-happy, lucky mascot for us. If we can play like that every week, we have nothing to worry about in this division. Opinions on whether I should have "SMITH 6" tattooed on my back are welcomed below.
COME ON YOU REDS!!!
Date:Sunday December 11 2011
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