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Chris Marsh: Numbers a concern for pre-season at Walsall

By Joseph Masi | Walsall FC | Published:

Walsall report back for pre-season training on Monday.

Darrell Clarke

And the concern among supporters is that Darrell Clarke won’t have too many players to work with.

At the time of writing, the Saddlers have just 10 players with genuine first-team experience. They then have a handful of youngsters.

The truth is, only Clarke and the people at the club who know the ins and outs of what’s going on.

But as an outsider looking in, you can have an opinion and it is a concern.

While I am concerned though, what I would say is there is no need to panic just yet.

First things first, you have to have faith in the manager. You have to give him time to get in the people he wants.

And not all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place straight away.

The year we defied the odds to win promotion in 1998, we were incredibly light on players.

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We went on a tour to Scotland and things were so bad we had to play Jimmy Walker on the left wing.

That is desperate.

Now to be fair to Wacka he can actually ping a ball and he sent in some decent crosses.

He didn’t track back once though – he was blowing five minutes in.

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But even though we had to play with Wacka on the wing in pre-season, the rest, as they say, is history.

Ray Graydon did his wheeling and dealing.

And now Clarke has to do the same because there is no guarantee all the players he does currently have with stay.

There is going to be interest in Andy Cook because of the goals he has scored.

Hopefully he stays. But if he does go, the important thing is that Clarke is allowed to reinvest the money they receive.

I think it’s down to money that fans are currently worried.

Last year we only had one centre-back the day before the season started.

It’s felt like we have picked up the scraps in the last few windows.

And that’s what fans don’t want again – they just want the business done as early as possible and to be able to see a clear plan.

There is still time though. And things can change very quickly.

Hopefully, over the next few weeks, things will really start to pick up.

Finally this week I just want to say how much I like the Black Country flag being incorporated into next season’s kit.

In an ideal world, it would have been on the outside of the shirt rather than inside the neck.

But I’m incredibly proud of being from the Black County and I know Saddlers fans are as well.

It’s a nice touch having the flag on the kit.

Fingers crossed it brings us a bit of luck next season!

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ - @josephmasi_star

Football journalist for the Express & Star covering Walsall FC.

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