“Tis the season to be jolly” but that doesn’t make it any easier to write a jolly blog entry for Walsall FC, and this won’t be jolly at all.
For Walsall it is yet another festive season of struggling – a football club that seems to be losing its soul, is again losing too many football matches. It is clear that this season Walsall’s luck will run out and relegation is almost certain.
With that in mind, it seems appropriate to put a festive spin on the misfortunes of the Black Country’s poorest football team. A statistical twelve days of Christmas special. Here we go…
12 wins in 53
Walsall have managed just 12 wins in Dean Smith’s 53 games in charge. A win percentage of 22%. Previous bosses Chris Hutchings and Jimmy Mullen were sacked with win percentages closer to the 50% mark.
11 players under-performing
Every game Walsall have 11 players on the pitch either under-performing or uninterested. Harsh that may seem, but players who can do better – such as Andy Butler, Jon Macken and Adam Chambers – are performing well short of their abilities.
10 points adrift
Walsall were 10 points adrift last season when Dean Smith took charge. The comeback was more due to other team’s incapabilities and Plymouth’s 10 point deduction, rather than Smith being a ‘miracle worker’. No matter how you dress it up, it was lucky. This season Walsall may not be so fortunate.
9 winless home games
Walsall have failed to win 9 home league games this season. The sign above the tunnel as the players enter the field reads ‘Fortress Bescot’. It looks as though that is true, but only for the away team.
8 games without a win
Walsall have failed to win any of their last 8 league games, since a 1-0 victory over Preston on the 15th of October. The winless run prior to that win was 7 matches, so things are only getting worse right now for the Saddlers.
7 players sent off
Walsall have had 7 players sent off so far this season. When you are struggling with eleven men on the pitch, it makes it extremely difficult to pick up form if the team finds itself down to ten men. Not only that, but suspensions follow, and with a small squad on a small budget, the subsequent matches are also affected.
6 points to be dropped
Walsall will drop another 6 points over the festive period. Okay, so this is the lowest of the low in terms of any supporters negativity following their team, but I couldn’t think of anything else for #6!
5 goal top scorer
Walsall’s top scorer has 5 goals, and as a team they have scored the (joint, with Exeter) fewest goals of any team in League One. “Boring, boring Walsall” has been the dig from opposing supporters of such footballing glitterati as Stevenage and Dagenham – you know it’s bad when that happens.
4 years since the sale
It has been 4 years since the January sale of 2008 which saw Danny Fox and Scott Dann leave for Coventry, while the club was in a good position to challenge for promotion back to the Championship. The demise since the promising days of Richard Money’s reign is remarkably depressing.
3 cup exits
Walsall have exited all 3 cup competitions before Christmas. Again. No surprise there, but with such poor league form the promise of a decent cup run would provide a little excitement for the ever-decreasing fanbase.
2 many mistakes
and only 1 way down.
Here’s hoping this short, depressing, negative blog entry proves to be completely wrong come the New Year, as Walsall go on a Huddersfield-esque unbeaten run to sneak into the Play-Offs and demolish the Terriers at Wembley (*hic* definitely had one too many now.)
Written by Tom Miller, We Are Going Up’s Walsall blogger
Tom tweets @likelyladtom