The Guest Blog 2015/16 - Episode 10
Our regular blogger, Adam Guest, explains why we shouldn't be abusing Dean Smith on Saturday.
I feel like I`m in a small minority, in that I`m one of only a few people who is making the trip to Coventry next Tuesday night but isn`t making the trip to Brentford on Saturday for our showdown with our former boss. It`s not that I mind, I think it`s brilliant that we`re taking 1,600 to West London at the weekend and I hope as many as possible join me at the Ricoh on Tuesday night. Of course, the real reason we`re taking that many is because the vast majority want to tell Dean Smith in person exactly what they think of his defection from WS1; something which is perfectly understandable to everyone.
Well, almost everyone.
There are some traits that you can`t help but praise Smith for; his building and recruitment of the side, his willingness to blood young players, his ability to build a rock solid defence, the sense of togetherness within the squad; all the sort of characteristics that have seen him poached by a Championship club. However, his general intelligence and his ability to read and situation are not really his strong points. This can be showcased on his inability to change tactics or read a game mid-match, the ridiculous things he says on an all too regular basis to the press, his insistence on blaming referees/pitches for internal failings and, finally, the way he`s handled his departure.
I blogged after his departure and said whilst I was disappointed with his decision I did understand it and would have probably made the same one had I been in his position. A few people would have given him a guard of honour for how amazing they thought he was, others would have had him hung, drawn and quartered for such treachery of leaving one employer for another for a shed load more cash; but the reasonable majority I believe reluctantly accepted his decision.
At that point, all he had to do was release a statement, preferably via the club website, thanking the club for the opportunity, the fans for their continued support, and the loyalty shown to him during the less successful periods of his tenure. He could than have said how he leaves with a heavy heart but how he considered the opportunity offered to him by Brentford too good to turn down before wishing us well for the future.
But he didn`t. He told the Brentford press it was a no-brainer, and the Walsall press it was the hardest decision of his life. Then in the build up to this game he comes out with other rubbish like how it will be his team against his team. Basically, every word he says annoys everyone who hears it, and now he`s made a rod for his own back, meaning he`s going to receive the most abuse he`s received at an FA Cup tie since that woeful afternoon in Dagenham four years ago and one of the worst Walsall performances in living memory.
The things is, when you shout insults at managers like Neil Warnock, or Steve Evans, or Graham Westley, then it`s all part of the act. They`re trying to wind you up, they deliberately get under your skin, they almost get off on it, so being in the stands calling them a whatsit, or whatever it happens to be, is perfectly fine. With Smith it`s different, he`s a genuine bloke who`s just a bit daft; he genuinely thinks Walsall fans should be in awe of him and I really believe that, in his own head, he sincerely means every word he says at the time it falls out of his mouth.
There lies the problem. Stupidity on his part. He doesn`t get it; he doesn`t understand the anger, he doesn`t understand the frustration, and he doesn`t understand how he winds people up every time he opens his mouth. And that`s exactly why 1,600 Saddlers abusing him on Saturday just doesn`t sit well with me, precisely because he genuinely won't be expecting it.
You see, abusing a man for being thick is a bit like when you saw people bullying the deaf kid at school because they couldn`t hear you and were unable to speak properly. The difference now is that we`re not children anymore and we`re all old enough to know better. I`d tell my son off if he was at nursery and was constantly teasing the fat kid, even though I was probably guilty of doing it myself in my school days from time to time. That`s why if I was going on Saturday I don`t think I would be shouting abuse, the same as while I might be tempted to let down the tyres on a shoplifters get away car I wouldn`t do it to a Ring & Ride bus.
So have fun on Saturday, give Dean a wave by all means but don`t be too harsh; it`s not his fault he`s a complete doughnut.
See you at the Ricoh on Tuesday.