Do Walsall need a Defender
On saturday we again fielded a defence that include a 19 year old and two 20 year olds, will this lack of experience cost us.
Dean Keates has gone on record to ask the defence to prove to DD that we don't need any more defenders. Whilst DD has already take a look at Anthony Barness and tried to get Richard Jackson in on loan from Derby, a deal that looked sure to go through until a training ground knee injury ruled him out. So what do we need.
The current defence has been a strenght of our season today with 19 clean sheets. However the current situation is less rosey with saturday been our first clean sheet since Macclesfield. So whats changed.
Well it is easy to point at injuries and perhaps the lack of form within the team as a whole placed more pressure on the defence or just key defenders went off the boil.
So what does that leave us with.
Alan Picken, he remains a mystery to a lot of Saddlers who didn't see him at Rochdale in the opening game of the season. In that game he looked a class apart, a figure whose signing was going to be a master stroke. Although we were warned that a lack of pace might be his weakness. Since then a knee injury and further surgery has ruled him out. His come back delayed by tendonitis. The question is not will he be fit enough to play this season. The burning question is will he come back in form. If he doesn't then he will not add anything to the squad until next season.
Ian Roper, a big miss more than likely his season is over.
Chris Westwood, out with a hamstring but maybe fit for saturday. However I question how fit. It is noble that he want's to put his body on the line for the course. Yet I wonder how a Hamstring that was tight against Stockport, and only last 26 minutes against Barnet would recover to be 100% in a week, I think not. This doubt leaves us short of our regular right back, and takes away cover for centre halves.
So Scott Dann a revelation so far this season a real find. But he has played more than is good for him. He is bound to get tired not just physically but also mentally. Despite his vast potential and talent we don't know how he will react under the run in pressure.
Anthony Gerrard will give 100% but hasn't the experience to marshall the defence. He can be a key part of the solution though having been under pressure of a different kind last season.
Craig Pead, old man of the defence at 25. Many of which were spent at central midfield, until Merse got hold of him. Hasn't done much wrong but to me seems happier in midfield. Also at right back what's happen to Geordie Lyall?? is he good enough or isn't.
Daniel Fox and Kris Taylor, have been our left hand solution all season. Kris has been the loser in the poor spell we have just been through. On his return to full back Foxy played well at Darlington. However is it me or did he faded last season under the relegation pressure, will the same happen this season or has he learnt from the experience.
So in the cold light of day I see the need to strengthen. Experience is a must, pace would be nice. In my view a full back would my choice if Alan Picken is going to be okay, if not an experienced dominating centre half, calling Paul Ritchie....oh well I can dream can't I.
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