OVF has asked four regular users of the forum for their views on next season and here are their views.
We wanted a wide range of views so we asked Jacko51, Animal, Howjy04 and Robbie Earle’s Perm for their opinions.
And without further ado, here are the thoughts of the OVF panel…
OVF: Do you want Micky Adams to stay?
Yes, although I don’t think I could stand being married to him!
Jacko51: Yes, although I don’t think I could stand being married to him!
Animal: As Micky said himself, he is just a custodian of the club and no one person is bigger than Port Vale. I’m not too concerned either way. No one can deny that we’ve had a successful season on the pitch. However, I’m not convinced Adams has the same passion and I feel he lacks the enthusiasm he once had. I’m also not a huge fan of his style and tactics. I wouldn’t be distraught if he left but I do acknowledge the old saying “the grass isn’t always greener.”
Howjy04: I’m not bothered.
REP: YES in block capitals. He creates a strong work ethic amongst the players and is the sort of person that can take the club forwards. Imagine where he could possibly have taken us had we not had the upheaval and traumas in the boardroom and around the club during his time with us in both spells.
OVF: However, if Adams goes who should replace him?
This is the problem. It’s easy for me to say “I’m not too concerned” but when faced with this question it’s not that straight forward is it?
Jacko51: The prospect of Adams going and the extremely inexperienced Smurf being given the job of appointing a replacement is rather frightening. There are a lot of dead beats currently out of a job so I wouldn’t want any of them to replace Adams should be go. Unless you pay megabucks appointing a manager is rather pot luck – and even when you have the money you can still make an almighty pig’s ear of it. David Moyes anyone?
Animal: This is the problem. It’s easy for me to say “I’m not too concerned” but when faced with this question it’s not that straight forward is it? I’m not au fait with which managers are available but if we were to replace him I wouldn’t go with Page (he needs to prove himself in a lower league). I would want to see someone who could start to build something fresh and exciting but at the same time use his common sense and appreciate what he is working with (i.e. not another Jim ‘bull in a china shop’ Gannon).
Howjy04: Rob Page initially,then someone like Walsall’s Dean Smith.
REP: I’ve seen lots of names banded around but none that hold a candle to Adams in terms of his record in league football with the possible exception of Chris Powell. Whether he would move up north is another question and hopefully he won’t need to as Micky will do the right thing
OVF: You’ll probably answer “defence” but where do the club need to strengthen on the pitch??
You’ve got it – defence! However I do think Joe Davis should be given more time playing…
Jacko51: The defence has clearly been an issue in view of the number of goals we have conceded but I believe we need a decent defensive midfielder to protect the back four and I also think we have to be far better at pressing teams all over the pitch – defending is not just the job of the back four/five.
Animal: Defence is the obvious answer but I’m not just referring to the back four. We need to defend better all over the pitch. There were too many players not tracking back, not fighting for the ball and giving the opposition too much space. Yes, our defenders made far too many mistakes but I think the problem is more widespread.
Howjy04: You’ve got it – defence! However I do think Joe Davis should be given more time playing.
REP: You have it in one! I’m happy with the two keepers we have but they need confidence in those in front of them and aside from Duffy who has been great at centre-back there is little or nothing that has impressed me. Of the other defenders I would possibly keep Robertson but this is one area where despite Adams’ and Page’s expertise as players they don’t seem to have managed to get right throughout their time with us. We definitely need two or three full backs and another 2 centre halves, all other defenders not named need to be thanked for their service and shipped out. In addition I would be looking at retaining Knott and signing two more midfielders, a winger and striker moving on players like Dodds, Williamson, Taylor, Griff and Lloyd.
OVF: What do the club need to do off-field to improve?
We have to have totally dedicated people prepared to set targets, seek out and launch attractive incentives and promotions in a timely manner and be innovative and genuine when developing sales opportunities…
Jacko51: It’s pretty clear that we have fallen down on the commercial side. There have been far too many unsponsored games for a start which has cost us a considerable amount of cash. There appear to have been constant comings and goings in that area and little continuity. The club must now have a huge database of fans yet I never receive any information from them. I have emails from half the clubs in the country where I have bought tickets online but virtually nothing from Vale. Events take place at the club that I know nothing about. This can’t be right.
We also need to have a clear line of communication from the club. Having the chairman shooting from the hip on local media phone ins is not the best way of communicating with the fans. Recent events seem to show that he is learning from his mistakes in this area. The fans need to be wooed, not preached to and certainly not made to feel that they are to blame for not coughing up cash. Other businesses do not shout at their customers – they try to win them over.
Animal: Better PR: Positivity, Positivity, Positivity… and pay the bills.
Howjy04: They need better marketing to attract new support.
REP: The commercial department , their consistent failure, their clear lack of focus and their lack of desire to proactively market the club. Even when given great opportunities they have failed to act and this must improve to ensure success next season and beyond.
It’s very simple when managing a business, you put the right people in the right jobs and gradually allow them to manage themselves once they are fully trained and focused. In a relatively small department we have to have totally dedicated people prepared to set targets, seek out and launch attractive incentives and promotions in a timely manner and be innovative and genuine when developing sales opportunities.
The staff in the club also need a total overhaul and hopefully the general communication which is now showing signs of improvement will continue to do so.
OVF: If you were granted one wish for next season, what would it be?
Win a trophy, any trophy!
Jacko51: Win a trophy, any trophy!
Animal: To be left on a desert island with…. hold on, wrong forum… in that case PROMOTION!
Howjy04: League One play-offs, at least.
REP: Easy, to finish in the top two (or six at least) and being greedy if I could have a second wish to avoid the club making negative publicity via actions in the boardroom, actions of the fans or indeed the players on the training ground.
Many thanks to our OVF Panel members.