The Big Debate: Was Walsall's team selection right?

Was Dean Smith right to drop Craig Westcarr, Paul Downing and Mal Benning as Walsall slipped to defeat against Wolves?

Soccer - Sky Bet League One - Gillingham v Walsall - MEMS Priestfield Stadium

Have your say below.

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Comments for: "The Big Debate: Was Walsall's team selection right?"


I have been a Walsall Fan for over 60 years !! However enough is enough not going to waste another single penny .Not sure if the job center is still in Lichfield St, but Mr Smith it will soon be time to get ready and sign onthe Dole Look forward to read his comments inthe Express and Star !!!

Swampy Saddler

Easy to say in hindsight but obviously only time will tell whether DS decided there are easier games to win?

Very confused as to why Downing and Westy were dropped, can only be for resting as both were on the bench.

Can understand why Taylor was brought back in as he is always very steady but Benning must have been gutted having scored at Sixfields! He is exciting when he gets forward but needs to work on his defensive duties.

I am sorry but I don't get Troy Hewitt at all and whether he understand how we play?

If Westcarr needed a rest then why not put Ngoo on from the start as I am sure Liverpool haven't leant him to us just to warm the bench!

Was an expected result yesterday. But disappointed that a crowd of 6500 Saddlers fans made less noise than 500 when we are away. I wonder if the crowd was boosted by Villa fans who didn't know or songs!

Anyway we move onto the Crewe game knowing only a win will do!

From an unbiased perspective, thought Wolves looked really good now, a different team from the one who ran around a little headless in Sept.

Definite for promotion. Relax Wolves fans you will be promoted! King Kenny doing a fine job!

And to finish off, Just hope that some of the fans who turned out on Sat will come again and see us on a good day!!! UTS!!! SS


I agree with many of swampy's comments re downing westcarr and Benning but in fairness to Dean I'm not sure what strike force he could start with that would trouble many defences as our forwards generally this season have failed to deliver with enough consistency apart from a few games here and there. The play offs are in my opinion gone and the way it's going we will be lucky to make 12th. I hate to say this but hand on heart I think it may be time to think about rebuilding the forward line as that has been our weakness all season except on the odd occasion. As to Wolves I didn't think the gulf was that great but they have players that can score on a regular basis and we have players that score now and again. Their defence looked very well organised and you could see the confidence the run they are enjoying throughout the team. I wish them and their fans well for the rest of the season and feel sure the only question is who will go up with them. My final comment would be for young Romaine Sawyers, I thought he fully deserved his man of the match award yesterday because he looked a class act against a good side.

Think Deano just felt the need to shake things up and to be frank Downing has been poor for the last few games. Problem is that there is really no-one pushing them - Chambers and Purkiss are stop gaps for emergencies and not long term options. The Crawley game showed that with Ngoo in the side we default to long ball and that is not our game. Dropping Westcarr possibly harsh but again not scored for a while and may have required resting particularly with all the games coming up. Agree with comments on the crowd and the Crewe attendance will be interesting to see how many actually turn up. Suspect that now the playoffs are out of reach and would never pass up on a possible Wembley appearance but think Deano now needs to start planning for next season.

mal benning should have played, paul downing should have played, and andy taylor should have(and did) played. How can you play 2 lb's? Simple mal looks better further up field so play him as a lm, taylor at lb. I agree with the comment above, troy hewitt was a waste of shirt and isnt good enough id have preffered ngoo. Westcarr was the right decision, he can score but not enough.

Sandy Sadler

I still think, Dean has a problem with the center forward spot. Because who stops and plays there on match day. They seem to want to play the old inside forward role. We create chances, but who is in the box to put them away ?. Why do we take of our 2 wingers each game, and replace them with slower players. Brandy has the pace to get around and create problems. So on comes Westcarr. Just no logic to it. Other teams now how to play we now, so lets up the tempo and speed of pass. We are to slow and would rather pass than shoot. So lets get it right for tomorrow. Come on.