Our weekly magazine article looks at how manager Rob Page learnt to play the loan market this season…
LEAD ARTICLE – Loan lessons learnt
Just look at this list and tell me which you prefer?
This is testament to the way that Rob Page is using the loan market – bringing in players who can definitely make an impact on the first-team…
- Freddie Veseli, Jordan Slew and Achille Campion.
- Uche Ikpeazu, Ryan Inniss and Jak McCourt.
The first line is the last three loan signings by Micky Adams. Of those, only Freddie Veseli can be said to have made an impact on the first-team.
The second list is the last three loan signings by Rob Page. Of those, only Jak McCourt can be said to have NOT made an impact on the first-team. And that’s because he’s only just joined the club.
I think this is testament to the way that Rob Page is using the loan market – bringing in players who can definitely make an impact on the first-team. This policy builds on Page’s tactics towards the end of last season when Remie Streete, Neill Collins and Inniss (for his first spell) all had an impact.
It was pointless to bring in loan signings if they are not to strengthen the team – and it seems to be a lesson that Page has learnt…
It’s also in marked contrast to Page’s early loan acquisitions – the likes of Tommy O’Sullivan and Greg Luer hardly featured while poor Harry Panayiotou didn’t get a single minute of game time.
The argument at the time was that it was pointless to bring in loan signings if they are not to strengthen the team – and it seems to be a lesson that Page has learnt. The Vale manager told the Sentinel this week that his loan tactics were: “If we feel there is an area where we need to improve, and a player will come in and make us better, then of course we will look at it.”
To me that seems right and I look forward to more Innisses and Ikpeazus and less Panayiotous over the coming months…
Fifty up for long-serving Dodds
Louis Dodds’ goal against Wigan was the 50th of the forward’s Vale career. Dodds is the club’s longest-serving player having joined in 2007. The next milestone for Dodds is his 300th appearance with the 28 year-old currently on 297.
Quick quiz of the week…
So, on the subject of loanees, where are these four former Vale loan signings now playing? Answers at the bottom of the page
Note: This is NOT an easy quiz!
- Mohamed Coulibaly?
- Jordan Slew?
- Jake Speight?
- Jemal Johnson (pictured above)?
Adam Yates has returned to Vale Park after his loan spell at Northampton Town was cut short due to injury. Similarly, Aziz Deen-Conteh has also returned to Vale after a month’s spell with Boston United. Nathan Smith played the full 90 minutes as ten-man Torquay United drew 1-1 with Welling.
Anthony Grant was the winner of the MOTM vote against West Brom. The results were:
- Anthony Grant – 49%
- Jak Alnwick – 29%
- Ryan Inniss – 10%
And Carl Dickinson picked up his first MOTM award for his performance against Bradford. The results were:
- Carl Dickinson – 30%
- Anthony Grant – 18%
- Chris Birchall – 14%
So overall, the leaderboard looks like this:
- Grant 3 (Swindon, Gillingham, West Brom)
- Dodds 1 (Doncaster)
- Purkiss 1 (Crewe)
- Andoh 1 (Burnley)
- Dickinson 1 (Bradford)
Quote of the week…
Port Vale manager Rob Page on defender Ryan Inniss and his competitiveness.
“He will never lose that. In training he and big Uche are like two big heavyweights going at it…”
Tweet of the week…
A nice sentiment from Port Vale players here…
Epic Vale Fails: Ivor Powell
Epic Fail Ratings
Time at club: Three months
Highpoint: Paving the way for Freddie Steele to take over
Lowpoint: Sacked before Christmas
Following the sad death of the popular Gordon Hodgson, the Welshman was appointed the Port Vale player-manager in July 1951 but a knee injury restricted him to just six appearances.
Colin Askey commented that “Ivor was a disciplinarian” while Roy Sproson said he “treated the players like kids”…
It was his first job in management and it was not a success. Colin Askey commented that “Ivor was a disciplinarian” while Roy Sproson said he “treated the players like kids”.
After a run of thirteen games without a win, Powell was sacked on the 22nd November. Goalkeeper Ray King said the dismissal was a “complete relief”.
Powell’s reign did at least allow Vale to snap up former Stoke City forward Freddie Steele as the new manager. Steele immediately showed his skills by guiding the team (without any new additions) from the bottom of the table to 13th place and would create Vale’s greatest team two seasons later.
One hit wonder… Dominic Blizzard
We briefly celebrate the brief careers of players who made a solitary appearance for the club.
The luckless Blizzard arrived just as Jim Gannon’s spell in charge was imploding. He made his debut in the infamous game against Accrington Stanley, picked up an injury and was replaced at half-time. That 45 minutes was to prove to be his only time in a Vale shirt. When Gannon was dismissed on the following Monday, Blizzard followed him out of the exit door, his loan spell cut short by injury.
Quick quiz of the week answers:
- Mohamed Coulibaly – Racing Santander (Spain)
- Jordan Slew – Cambridge United
- Jake Speight – Kings Lynn Town
- Jemal Johnson – Jacksonville Armada (USA)
If you got all four of those right, give yourself a serious pat on the back!