So with the season now at an end I thought I would rate the players on their performances through 16/17. As I write this every player is still a under contract at Walsall FC (or have been on loan, with the exception of Osbourne and CMac). I will only be rating players who made 10 appearances or more this season.
I have tried to be objective and remove my personal Bias from the rating, judging them purely on footballing performance and nothing else. I’ll include a brief justification of the numbers as I see them, feel free to leave feedback on my Twitter or Facebook page if you agree/disagree with the rating and why…I look forward to your abuse.
Jason McCarthy: 9.5/10
Jason was everything you could ever want from a loanee. Committed in every sense of the word, quick, agile and most importantly passionate. The lad will go far and I wish him the very best for the future, there’s not much to be said about him that hasn’t already been said; A true talent and I have enjoyed every minute of watching him play every minute this season.
Joe Edwards: 7/10
At the start of the season I wasn’t sold on Edwards in all honesty, but the lad has done well. Coming in off the left hand side he has popped up with a few goals and assists which is all you can ask for from someone playing in a new position on their weak side. He could do with a little more trickery with the ball at his feet, I am rarely confident he can beat the man in front of him but all in all a pretty solid season and a solid League 1 talent.
Adam Chambers: 6.5/10
One of my favourite Walsall players, I have a slight soft spot for Chambers, but I am starting to question what he is really offering to the team at the moment. Mr. Consistent rarely has a ‘bad’ game, but I can’t remember the last time he really blew me away with a performance. I am sure he has at least another year in him, but maybe its time to pass the armband off and get a more dynamic player in that CM/CDM role. Still an absolute hero though.
Erhun Oztumer: 9/10
Ozzy has been an absolute treat to watch this year. His technical ability on the ball is rivalled only by his habit of scoring outrageous goals. According to reports he has not signed a contract that was presented to him over 4 months ago, I would hate to lose him as I think we have been spoilt by him this season. He has shone even brighter due to the fact no one really got close to him on the goal tally. A bright spark in an otherwise dull campaign, it will be a shame to see him go.
Amadou Bakayoko: 6.5/10
This rating could have been SO much higher. After a great start to the campaign and hitting some real form in that bull shit tournament, I really thought Baka might have pushed on to become something of a goal scoring machine. In reality he couldn’t quite make the adjustment this year (and maybe could have been rated lower), hopefully the experience will prove vital and next season he can really kick on and bang in the goals.
Neil Etheridge: 7/10
Whatever you think of his commitment to the club (seems to be off) or your take on him personally, Neil is a good goalkeeper IMO. He’s kept us in many games this season and on occasion single handedly ensured we take points from the match. With him and CMac now off, maybe Whitney will put himself forward for that position too…
Simeon Jackson: 5/10
I was expecting much more from the Canadian, especially after that opening day display. Long story short for a man reportedly on a pretty big salary and wearing the number 9 shirt you expect goals and plenty off them. He has just straight up not delivered. He’s probably standing in an offside position somewhere as I write this.
James O’Connor: 6.5/10
Again Similar to Chambers there has only been a few occasions this season where he has really stood out. A pretty solid defender still and he has had to be a strong leader being paired with the likes of Preston and Roberts who are still young and learning. I would be very happy to see him at the Bescot next season- but it is time to start lining up some quality in that CB position IMO
Kieron Morris: 7/10
A tricky one to rate. His very up and down season could have seen him with a much lower rating, but his performances in the last 6 weeks or so of the season have really impressed me and I pray that he’s finally had his coming of age season. Maybe we’ll see a fully developed quality player next season. Needs to sort his finishing out!
Matt Preston: 6/10
Again difficult to grade the lad this season; very up and down and still making some silly errors with the ball at his feet. I think he has improved drastically since last season and I really think this campaign will have sured him up for a much better 17/18.
Andreas Makris: 4/10
This is in no way a judgement of his clear desire to improve and his willingness to do well. At the end of the day a record breaking signing that only provides one goal a season is not good return. His movement looks good sometimes but my worry is that he is just straight up not good enough for League 1. He gets muscled off the ball far to easily and doesn’t really seem to cause defenders any problems at this level. Hopefully he just needed this season to find his feet, but the longer the season has gone on the more it has looked to me like a bad investment.
Isiah Osbourne: 7/10
A sturdy season from the big man, when he is good he is very good, but he just needs to keep at that higher level much more consistently if he is going to play any higher than League 1.
Scott Laird: 8/10
On a personal level he is one of the nicest blokes I have ever met. Professionally he again has been everything you could ever want from a loanee. He undoubtably would have played more games if we had stuck with 4 at the back and I think Jon Whitney’s decision to exclude him from the final games of the season was absolutely disgraceful. I hope we have not burnt any bridges with him doing that as when I spoke with him a few weeks ago he was very keen to stay and I would love to have him as a Red next season. WE ALL DREAM OF A TEAM SCOTTY LAIRDS!
George Dobson: 6/10
A relatively poor first half of the season was cancelled out by what I felt was a very impressive second half. For a player who has spent so much time on the bench this year his attitude has been fantastic and he has shown (especially since Christmas) that he has a diverse skill set and I’d like to see back at the Bescot next year.
Franck Moussa: 5.5/10
At times it looked liked Moussa had some real potential, but for me he has not done enough to warrant any higher than this rating. Lack of consistency and his general play has not been particularly exciting as a winger. I can’t say I would miss him too much.
Florent Cuvelier: 6/10
He’s struggled to be the Flo of old I so godly remember. He looked quite lively in recent weeks when he has appeared but again I cannot say he has done too much to impress me.
Eoghan O’Connell: 6.5/10
Again as a loanee he settled in quickly and helped do a job for us this season. He looked relatively sturdy and made some amusing runs forward throughout his time with us. An absolute peach of a goal against Rovers in just his second appearance for the Saddlers and a red card against local rivals Coventry being two big ‘highlights’ in just 17 appearances.
Liam Kinsella: 5/10
Difficult to judge as he made so few appearances, he looks like he could be one of the future. I’d like to see him bulk up a bit if he is truly going to make a bid for a first team place.
So there you have it. Very few players with any particularly high ratings, let me know where you think I have made some outrageous calls, I’m currently writing this on Wednesday at 11pm so I might wake up to find some of these players have officially fucked off by the time this is live…would not surprise me one bit.
Hopefully in 12 months time I’ll be writing a player rating of 9/10 across the board as we have gone up as League 1 Champions in a points tally record breaking season…somehow I doubt it. COYR.