OVF editor Rob Fielding think an experienced spine to the Vale team may help the newcomers during a long League One season.
Rob Fielding writes…
I really hope that Port Vale do shock the critics this forthcoming season. So far the signs have been promising but it’s worth remembering that the season is a long, hard slog and the efforts in a few summer games are perhaps not an accurate reflection of what is ahead.
I still think there is room for experienced Football League players alongside the foreign stars and that’s why I’d welcome an experienced striker…
I applaud the bravery in going down the continental route with both players and manager and I look forward to a new style and panasch to Vale’s game. However, I still think there is room for experienced Football League players alongside the foreign stars and that’s why I’d welcome an experienced striker to complement the likes of Anton Forrester and JJ Hooper.
For me, the worry for Vale this season would be if the continental imports fail at any time (for instance, a Janaury game at Scunthorpe could make anyone feeze). With this in mind, I think Vale need to hedge their bets a little and have a strong core of the side who are experienced at playing in League One.
In many respects, Vale have this – Alnwick, Yates, Purkiss, Grant, Foley, Brown and Thomas all possess plenty of Football League experience. But even though Anton Forrester and JJ Hooper show much promise upfront neither are particularly experienced in league football. It leaves Vale’s attack somewhat short of that experience and knowledge that an older player may have.
While those players are still getting used to playing in England, it’s helpful having that experienced, solid spine of lower league experience
And that’s why I wonder if the purchase of a veteran upfront (either trialist Nathan Tyson or less probably former Valiant Tom Pope) would add to that experienced spine? It’s a short-term measure admittedly (neither player is going to have any re-sale value) but they would bring experience and know-how to what is otherwise a very inexperienced (in League One terms) Vale frontline.
Yes, in the future Vale may have some real talent on their hands if the likes of Anthony Defreitas and Nathan Smith develop and that talent may come to the fore in the future. But while those players are still getting used to playing in League One, it’s helpful to build up that experienced, solid spine of lower league experience.
Especially for those winter trips to the likes of Scunthorpe.