Love him or hate him: can Adams unite Vale’s fanbase?

Love him or hate him: can Adams unite Vale’s fanbase?

OVF blogger Malcolm Hirst says that although Micky Adams divides opinion amongst Vale fans, he “could be that uniting factor for us as a club…”

Malcolm Hirst writes…

About the author

Malcolm, a long-serving Vale fan has been an OVF user since the days of the “one Vale fan in Bristol” website. Unfortunately, he even had to put up with travelling to some games with OVF head honcho Rob Fielding. Malcolm rose to attention in 2010 when he and fellow members of the North London Valiants supporters group forced an EGM in an attempt to remove the unpopular board from power. These are his personal views.

The new season begins and despite the continued off-field turmoil we can at last turn our thoughts to events on the field. The joy of football is discussion and opinion and I have mused wryly at some of the conversations I’ve had, and read about, concerning our manager Micky Adams.

Micky certainly divides opinion and it seems he is a ‘marmite’ figure within the fan base; it’s a case of people either love him or hate him. I recall having a conversation with a Fulham fan in London when it looked liked the V2001 board would once again use Micky’s popularity with a section of the fans to offer him the mangers role for a second time in an attempt to keep their control of the club. I was convinced it would not help the club overall if he came back. At the time I felt it would damage the good reputation he had built up with the fans during his short first stint as Vale manager. The Fulham fan I spoke to referred to Micky as the ‘Messiah’ and he’d fight anyone who spoke a bad word against him. I was not sure if he was talking figuratively or if he was being serious! What I did perceive was a passion for Micky. However, is such a passion justified?

Micky’s managerial career has a somewhat “journeyman” feel to it staying at clubs for a maximum of 2 years. That said he is credited with saving Fulham from extinction whilst player-manager, leading the club out of the third division and claiming the 1996/97 Division Manager of the Season award. I can understand why the Fulham fan would like to adorn him the title ‘Messiah’. Success followed at Brighton winning the Division Three title (2000/01) and leading Leicester into the Premiership at the end of the 2002/03. These successes are a credit to any managers CV. This being the case why the ‘marmite’ factor for the fans?

Some fans felt let down when Micky walked out to go to Sheffield. Some fans may have felt he committed treason by returning from Sheffield, joining the board and assisting V2001. Other fans will recall the way he galvanised the players and gave hope to the fans and flirted with success in his first stint at Vale Park. I have heard fans say he has not had any ‘real’ success in nearly ten years.

It is true that Micky has not achieved anything substantial with Vale, there has been no promotion, no trophy or Wembley visit. What is true though is that Micky is the manager of Port Vale. As such he gets my full support and I believe he should get support from all Vale fans.

Do I agree with all of Micky’s decisions in the past? No, but that is water under the bridge. The self-serving V2001 & MOLD have now gone.

Do I think that Micky can bring us success in the coming season? Yes, I believe he can. He seems to have the backing of a good group of players. The quality looks better than last year even if the depth is not as great due to administration.

In our current circumstances I believe Micky could be that uniting factor for us as a club. Why? He may not be everyone’s ideal manager. But if those of us who were not convinced about Micky Adams’ return can get behind him and the team, it could be the stimulus to end some of the genuine concern about a disunited fan base.

Whether Micky is ‘Marmite’ or Mar’ mate let’s continue on the road of unifying the club.

So long as the likes of Bratt, Oliver, Lloyd, and Jackson stay away there is a prospect of a happy and united future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

− one = one