Football

Walsall heading for the Championship?

Will Grigg & Jamie Patterson have both left Walsall. (©GettyImages)
Will Grigg & Jamie Patterson have both left Walsall. (©GettyImages).

The Saddlers have had a strange couple of years, from the brink of relegation to feeling promotion fever, could this really be Walsall's time?

Over the last two seasons, Walsall have grown. They are no longer 'the little club you can see from the M6', they are the team who constantly throw spanners to the works of clubs like Leyton Orient (ending their unbeaten run to the season) and shocking Wolves' fans to the core, after an early exit from the Johnstones Paint Trophy.

Their fate seemed sealed in 2011 after a disappointing season, but Saddlers manger Dean 'Ginger Mourinho' Smith who recently signed an extension, committing himself to the club until at least 2016, saved them from the drop.

It looked like it was going to happen again in autumn 2012 after 16 games without a win.

With the outstanding performances and goals from Will Grigg and Fabian Brandy, Walsall climbed up the table to finish a respectable ninth, just six points from qualifying for the play-offs.

But, with both Grigg and Brandy departing in the summer for Brentford and Sheffield United respectively, did the Saddlers really miss them? Pundits had predicted prior to the season starting, this would be the season Walsall would be relegated to League Two.

This could not be further from the truth.

After a shaky start, with some disappointing losses including a 2-0 defeat to Bradford and a fantastic 1-0 win against their West Midlands rivals Wolves', Walsall have impressed critics, fans and their manager.

They currently place 9th in the table, just four points away from the play-off zone and 11 points from the top. The Saddlers are determined to earn their spot.

Craig Westcarr has provided five crucial goals in the 10 games played so far, could he be part of the team to silence critics and pundits alike? 

It certainly looks like it. Players including Chelsea loanee Milan Lalkovic, captain Andy Butler, midfielders Sam Mantom and Romaine Sawyers continue to prove that Walsall can silence their critics. 

Could Walsall be heading for the Championship? We'd certainly like to think so, the team have shown their growth, determination and passion for the beautiful game.

They've shown the ability to work with a low budget, to provide an environment for families and to bring growth to their local economy.

Walsall are a team we hate to love, or in some cases, love to love. Let's hope the Saddlers can show what they are capable of and Smith is rewarded for his hard work and commitment. 

What do you think about The Saddlers? 

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Topics:
Football
Walsall
League One

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