Name: Robert Davies
Fan Since: Mid to late Nineties
What have been your best memories as a Saddler? They have to be the ‘Sir Ray Years’ from 1998 to 2002. A great keeper, solid defence, a rigid 4-4-2, scrapping midfielders, overlapping full-backs, crosses into the box and a big man upfront. Happy days. He took us from favourites to go down, to promotion – even finishing above Manchester City in the league. After being relegated on the last day a season later, he then took us up again – via the play-offs and an amazing day at Cardiff.
It’s been a long time since we beat you 2-1 at Walsall in August. How have things gone for you since then? We have had some great away day victories over the likes of MK Dons, Doncaster, Fleetwood and others. Unfortunately, we have recently been awful at home so those victories haven’t been consolidated with three points from our home fixtures. We are an inconsistent team, that struggles to score goals and plays pretty, un-penetrating football in a poor league (discounting the top five) that has been lifted by a great run to the JPT Final at Wembley.
And of course, you have a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final against our rivals Bristol City to look forward to. What are your thoughts on that? As it’s the first time Walsall has been to Wembley it is a great novelty. With over 25,000 tickets already sold we are looking forward to a great day out. The result of the final isn’t a great concern to me as it is just good to finally put that hoodoo of never having been to Wembley behind us. It’s just a shame that we don’t get more fans come to see more of the bread and butter league games.
How do you think the season will turn out for both of our clubs? It doesn’t look good for Yeovil at the bottom. I haven’t seen you play this season though so I won’t make any criticism of the club apart from that it’s a terrible place to get to on public transport. I fancy Walsall to have a bad run (and we have quite a few under our current manager) as the season will peter out after the JPT Final. We won’t go down though; we will finish a miserable 18th.
If you could buy one other Football League player, who would you buy and why?
I would bring back Jamie Paterson from Nottingham Forest who we sold for approximately £1million in 2013. He came through the youth ranks at Walsall and matured into a cracking left-winger with pace, a bag of skills and tricks, crossing ability and a goal-scoring knack. It was great to watch his game develop and if he came back he would be able to continue the excellent partnership he had with our current left-back, Andy Taylor.
Finally, please name your all time best Walsall XI.
GK Jimmy Walker
RB Wayne Evans
LB Gino Padula
CB Ian Roper
CB Adrian Viveash ©
RM John Hodge
CM Vinny Samways
CM Gabby Bukran
LM Pedro Matias
CF Jorge Leitao
CF Andy Rammell