Looking Back- Swansea at home.
What did we gain on tuesday was it just another wasted evening in a meaningles trophy.
Well although the changes to the format and the effort to encourage kids to the game were most welcome it is true the trophy only gets interesting when you get closer to the final stages. We have twice been one round away from the final only to lose to Bournemouth and Millwall.
As a contest both sides made changes from what would be considered there strongest line up, Rory Fallon and Leon Knight would have provided more of a challenge than a under par Lee Trundle. As for ourseleves Walsall put out a team for a win but refused to risk too much. Ian Roper was given a game to help aided his recover from the knock that kept him out of saturdays game. The midfield was rested with Mark Kinsella comming in to help centre half Anthony Gerrard experiment with a new position as a midfield player....with some success although he seemed to be tried at the end. Upfront we rested Martin Butler and during the game experimented with different pairings Sam and Bedeau started, Sam and Darren Wrack was also tried and Ishmel also had a brief spell upfront and of course another sub James Constable had a run upfront.
These changes were also alongside changes in formation as we changed from a 4-4-2 to a 4-4-1-1 and 4-3-3 with a lone striker and two wide men. So despite the loss and exit from the competition Dickie gained a lot. We may not see the benefit in the short term but when injuries and suspensions start to hit we will be able to be flexible from a position of strenght....you can't learn as much from friendly and training games.
However the trophy isn't designed for such purpose and as a competition I question if we really need it. The major benefactor though was Darren Wrack 37 minutes of first team action following 13 months out and a goal to his name to boot.