Date:Tuesday September 9 2014
Our regular blogger, Adam Guest, uses facts (of all things) to reassure us that everything will be ok.
Yeovil at home, Saturday 15th December 2012, and despite being two goals up with twelve minutes to go and on the back of a 5-1 tonking at Coventry the previous week, the Saddlers failed to hold on to a two goal lead and were pegged back to a 2-2 draw. The first game of a long unbeaten run? Or the 13th game in succession we`d failed to win? History tells us it was both, but for the moment we`ll take it as the latter.
Fast forward a year and a bit to Tuesday 28th January 2014, a home game against Swindon. The Saddlers, fresh from demolishing Notts County 5-1 the previous Saturday fail to hold on to a lead and are again held to a draw by our visitors. The latest game in our impressive form, or the start of another long barren spell?
Again it turns out to be the latter; and those amongst us (of which I am not one) who believes Dean Smith`s reign as Walsall manager is in its final knockings are citing these two appalling runs of form as evidence that a new manager may be needed. To be fair, those stats do make alarming reading. Our league record in the 13 games leading up to and including the Yeovil one, combined with our league record since the Notts County away game reads as follows:
P36, W2, D16, L18, Pts 22.
Not good enough, and you`ll get no argument from me there. However, to use those stats in isolation is somewhat unfair, as between those two games we posted this impressive record over a period of 53 games:
P53, W24, D19, L10, Pts 91.
For completeness, there were nine league games played prior to that winless run in 2012. We actually began that season with:
P9, W5, D2, L2, Pts 17.
All of this makes it difficult to assess whether Dean Smith is the best manager in the world, or the worst manager in the world. I`m going to go out on a limb here and peg him as being somewhere in between. It shows me that he`s very good at keeping the momentum going in a side that`s playing well, we showed that by playing fantastically well for over a calendar year. However, he also seems to be not very good at breaking us out of one of these alarming declines. We know that sooner or later he will and everything will be ok, but in the interim we have to watch tactical horror shows like Saturday while patiently waiting for him to fall upon the correct formula.
But fall upon the correct formula he will, so to those out there who believe a change of manager is needed I quote the greatest of them all, Sir Ray, following our relegation at Ipswich back in 2000.
Stick with us, we`ll come again.
Date:Tuesday September 9 2014
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