Bescot Banter: Walsall yet to get going

We're nearing the end of the first month of the new season, and it's fair to say the Saddlers simply haven't got going.

Walsall manager Matt Taylor.
Walsall manager Matt Taylor.

Dangerous at the back, missing in midfield, and flaccid up front, Walsall have started the campaign in disappointing and all-too-familiar fashion.

Heading into this weekend's clash with Stevenage, Matthew Taylor's side haven't won any of their five all-competition games and, despite the infancy of the campaign, look set for another season of struggle.

Whilst many fans and pundits remain hopeful that the Saddlers' slow start is simply down to a refreshed squad looking to find its feet, others are beginning to believe the problems lie much further below the surface.

Despite this summer's much-mentioned rebuild, which saw the vast majority of last season's set up depart for pastures new, many of the issues — which contributed towards a worst in a century finish — still remain.

Be it defensive errors — some of which have already cost the team points even at this early stage of the season — or a straightforward lack of goals, the team has continued where it left off in 2020/21, and we're struggling to see a way out.

Devoid of direction, the team is lacking in so many areas, it's difficult to know just what needs to happen in order for the campaign to truly get underway. Whatever the issue is, be it a coaching issue, a lack of belief, or simply new squad growing pains, something has to change, and fast.

Whilst Matt Taylor has continued to talk about his desire to increase his attacking options, the recent defensive errors clearly show that there is plenty of scope for competition in other areas.

As mentioned in last weekend's column, the only player covering themselves in any sort of glory during the opening few weeks of the season is on-loan Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper Carl Rushworth.

Despite playing in all five of the Saddlers' winless games, and failing to secure a single clean sheet in the league, he has produced some fine saves and deserves better protection from his backline.

Clearly, some of the recent injury issues have taken their toll and made the manager's job all that more difficult. A squad which was already lacking numbers could ill afford to see anybody forced onto the sidelines, let alone the likes of Rory Holden, Joss Labadie, and Tyrese Shade, but that's hardly an excuse for some of the recent displays.

Of course, a few wins or even draws will see the team move away from the lower reaches of the table, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a fan confident enough to back this team to not only win a game, but string together anything resembling a run of pressure-easing form.

As the closure of the summer Transfer Window edges ever closer, we hope to see more new faces added to the team, and pray that the squad, potential new faces and all, can begin to show what they're truly capable of.

Despite the recent run, we still believe in this squad of players, maybe it's time they began to believe in themselves.

Most Read

Most Read

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News