Sideways Sammy's City 3-0 Walsall The Wrap

Last updated : 17 February 2019 By SS

The big home win that Sky Blues fans have been waiting for this season came against opponents in Walsall who twice beat us in crushing circumstances earlier in the season, and with goals from two of their former strikers to rub salt into wound further. However, the 3-0 scoreline could easily have been extended further, highlighting how much more room for improvement there is for this side.

The Immutable Law

Whether it’s for or against your team, it always seems as if former players are more likely to score against their ex-clubs than against other teams. It probably owes more to confirmation bias than some weird mystic power, but Amadou Bakayoko’s performance against former employer, Walsall, in this game suggests that there is something more at play to ‘the immutable law of the ex’ than just pure superstition.

For the most part, Bakayoko has been a mediocre to poor since signing for us in the summer. A big striker who doesn’t use his physicality, a quick striker who doesn’t use his pace, a finisher who can’t finish. Just what he’s best at has been a mystery for much of his time at the club, this performance today showed what a good Amadou Bakayoko performance looks like.

Most notably, he played with an aggression that he has previously failed to demonstrate in a Sky Blue shirt. Bakayoko charged around the pitch, in the first-half especially, ploughing a furrow up front, won physical challenges and was an all-round menace to the Walsall back-line, capped off by heading in an accurate Dujon Sterling cross to open the scoring.

It was almost as if he had a point to prove…

As brilliant as it is to see a player raise their game to a level that hasn’t been seen before, Bakayoko has to set this outing as a reference point for future performances. If he was only upped his motivation, application, concentration or whatever it was that spurred him on here for one game against a former club, that is a little troubling. Doing this more consistently and becoming a good striker at this level will prove his doubters at Walsall wrong more decisively than just in this one-off game.

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