Writer: Saddler 13
Date:Wednesday March 7 2007
The week just gone may go down in the history books as the week where the Saddlers lost the League Two title. Shame really. However, this is what happens when you get too cocky about being at the top and you don`t pick up the points against the so-called smaller sides in the division. Not that Stockport, Hartlepool, Lincoln, and Mansfield are bad teams, but we should`ve done better than we did and now it seems to have cost us in the title race. It may not be over, but with the tricky fixtures coming up, such as tough trips to MK Dons and Wycombe, it could spell the end of our title hopes. However, second isn`t bad. I think that we are at least second best, if not the best, in League Two, but we do not have a divine right to walk our way back into League One. It will be tough for the next two months, but some form of promotion silverware will be on its way to the Bescot come May.
Now for quick recap on the 0-0 draw at Darlington. I spoke to a Walsall fan who said that the Saddlers should be on top of the league ahead of a "dump like Hartlepool." Truth or just sour grapes? I know what I think. We not good enough to be on top otherwise we would be. Sounds obvious, but isn`t it true? We are second because we lost three games in a row, so why do we even deserve to still be top? I don`t understand some Walsall fans, who at the beginning of the season, including myself, would`ve been quite content with a mid-table position, just as long as there was no back-to-back relegations. We have managed to get up to second and cement ourselves in the top three of League Two: what more do you want?
I have always been a massive fan of Darren Wrack, with his dribbling skills and crossing ability with two feet, he dazzled the Saddlers into the old First Division back in 1999. Then he lost his way, for whatever reason, but has come back and gallantly battled his way back into Walsall folk law. Last Saturday, he played for the first time in central midfield. I personally didn`t see his performance, but I have not read a bad word about it. So, does Wrack have a future in the middle of the park? I have always said that he could play a David Dunn type roll by supporting the two strikers from a central midfield area. It is too early to say whether this will work in the long run, as he only replaced the injured skipper Michael Dobson as a last resort. But, can he force his way ahead to Dobson in the pecking order, especially with the two super Kevs on board. We shall wait and see.
Finally, the last word will be had on Ian Roper`s serious knee injury. I would like to wish a speedy recovery as his season looks to have ended prematurely because of the medial damage in his knee, a serious injury that can threaten a footballer`s career; hopefully, not in Roper`s case. And I know this will sound really bad, but I don`t think we will miss him too much. His slip-ups in recent games has lead to goals being conceded and games being lost. On Saturday, Gerrard (back from a serious injury himself) and Dann were at the back and they were both solid as a rock in defence. Unlucky 'Ropes.`
Date:Wednesday March 7 2007
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