Crewe fan ASTONALEX respects Tom Pope and has a controversial opinion (we think) of striker Tony Naylor. Here are his pre-match thoughts.
ASTONALEX has been a Crewe fan for about 25 years, since he moved into the area with his job. He feels that supporting your local team is always rewarding and/or frustrating and the Alex are both of those things!.
How are Crewe doing?
It has been a season of two halves for us…
It has been a season of two halves for us. The well-publicised events in Cornwall had us looking disorganised and ‘not together’ until late November, when it was decided there would be no charges brought against anyone at the Club.
As the squad is pretty young and/or new this was hardly surprising. Since then (and it coincided with the home game versus Vale) we have looked more like a team, playing for each other and with more commitment. Hopefully, we can continue like this for the rest of the season and finish 18th to 20th. I would want to be playing against you next season – and I hope you feel the same!
Who should we watch out for?
I’m not gonna do your scout’s job for you… just look at the recent goalscorers!
What are your thoughts on your manager?
He has had a difficult season but has won most fans back since Autumn…
I’m generally pleased with the manager, and certainly prefer ours to yours! [That’s fine. We prefer ours to yours too – OVF editor] He has had a difficult season but has won most fans back since Autumn; the Board will continue to give him the opportunity to move the club forward.
What are your thoughts on your board and off-field club activities?
The Board have run the Club well since they appointed the Lord Gradi as manager all those years ago! We are never going to splash the cash on players and the last match of last season, when we started with 11 players who had come through our academy, shows the way forward for us.
We are primarily a selling club and the Board has facilitated us producing players that are good enough to be sold to the Premiership or top end Championship for the best part of 20 years now – and there are more in the pipeline. I think the comparisons with Vale are obvious, but I wish you every success in staying solvent!
I was impressed with Vale at Gresty Road this season, much more than our previous encounter with Adams’ sides…
Any views on Port Vale?
I was impressed with Vale at Gresty Road this season, much more than our previous encounter with Adams’ sides. The match was hard-fought, but fairly fought, and you won by spotting that our weakness on the day wasn’t the usual (being physically stronger) but three centre halves – Adams changed the personnel and tactics and won the game as a result.
I know it was only one match, but you played more football in that than in several previous games against us!
Any views and memories of players/managers that have been involved with both teams?
I was pleased to see Tom Pope do so well last season. He always worked damned hard when playing for us but seemed to like to play just as hard, which didn’t quite fit our then manager! He was also unlucky to be at the club when we had better strikers. Most of the others we were glad to move on. Roberts and Rodgers were troublemakers; Abbey was not quite good enough; Naylor was past his best [Really? A striker who was 26 when he joined us and who scored 90 goals (69 in the Championship) ‘past his best’? – OVF editor] But I reckon Dave Brammer deserves a mention as he was successful for both of us.
A score prediction?
I would be happy with a draw! We have tightened up our defence recently, notwithstanding Brentford who were a class act and scored three of Merson’s famous worldies! One all, with Chuks the scorer of course, although if Uche plays we might sneak it – fans should always be optimists, I reckon!
I am sure there will be plenty who take a different view, especially after the Pope’s elbow incident at Gresty Road! But if we win and you still sneak into the play-offs then I will be a happy camper.
ASTONALEX was answering REP’s questions. Our thanks to both of them.