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01/02: Preview: Walsall
Opposition opinion
by Steve Roy of Steve's Walsall Football Club Pages

What happened last season?
Started brilliantly - 5 straight wins - tailed off around Christmas, gloom descended when we signed Don Goodman - a 34 year-old has-been we thought - but Don's affro wig and never say die attitude saw us finish strongly, smash Stoke in the play-off semi finals, before the best day in Walsall's history - Cardiff play-off final. 2-1 down with 10 minute of extra-time left the Saddlers scored twice in a minute to send the fans wild - no lager left in Cardiff that evening.

What's going to happen next season?
Division 2 life involved us expecting to win each week and getting disappointed if we didn't. Division 1 life will be the opposite - we'll expect to lose each week, and be delighted if we win. I expect it to be very similar to 2 years ago - we'll start OK, begin to ship goals, lack fire-power around Christmas, sign a few foreign unknowns, make a comeback, only to get relegated on the last day. A season of struggle ahead...

Can you recommend a pub for away fans?
The Broadway Pub or the Longhorn - in the Town Centre.

What's the nearest railway station?
Bescot Stadium has its own station - less than 5 minutes walk.

Where is the best place to park?
There's a big retail park right next door - masses of space - best tip is to make sure your way out only involves left turns - otherwise can take a while.

Soundbites (from assorted Census correspondents)

"We are probably the least fashionable club in the whole of English football with the possible exception of Rochdale."

"We have an owner who takes over 250,000 in ground rent off the club every year. This is a "reasonable" return on his investment (of allegedly 116,500). And for this we are meant to be very grateful. Don't expect us to spend any money on new players and therefore do not expect us to stay up."

"Pedro Matias will be brilliant in Div One."

"After 113 years of relative obscurity, Walsall Football Club appears to be set for a respectable run as a part of England's "elite" (or, at least, semi-elite) long as Ray Graydon stays as Manager !!!!"

"The Balti Pies at Bescot are really cool...well they're not, if you see what I mean, they're really hot - not to the taste, not like a vindaloo, they're rather spicey and have a nice flavour. What I meant was when they come out of the ovens they're hot...not cool, but they are cool ! ...oh bollocks"

"Walsall should play Goodman, Byfield and Leitao up front. sell Angell, get back Rammel to sit on the bench! and bring him on when one of the others get really tired!"

"If we beat Wolves just once it will make most fans years! They're so arrogant and always underestimate us 'cos we're a "small club". The fact remains that they've never ever beat us! We're desperate to stay up."

"I could take relegation if Wolves came with us!"