Two Bury fans talk to us ahead of their game with Port Vale. It’s fair to say they are not massive fans of the manager nor of Port Vale…
Thanks to REP for posing the questions…
About the fans…
SHAKERMAV I’ve been watching Bury since I was seven, it’s my Dad’s fault. The only bus that went past his rural house when he was a kid went to Bury, so that’s where he went on a Saturday afternoon.
BARRY_P Grandad took me for my first game in 1993 when I was aged five. It was the last day of the season and I was more interested in the bag of sweets that he had than the game itself. We lost 2-1 to Vale’s arch rivals Crewe Alexandra that day. I started attending regularly in the 1993-94 season.
About the opposition…
How do you expect your team to do this season?
I expect we will stay up, just. I think performances and results will pick up once a few of our key players are back in the side…
SHAKERMAV I expect we will stay up, just. I think performances and results will pick up once a few of our key players are back in the side. Neil Danns will be the difference between draws and wins when he is back in the team. I’ll forecast 17th.
BARRY_P If our manager grows a brain cell and starts playing his best team with players in the right positions we will be fine. If he keeps making a mess of the tactics, formations, substitutions and continuing to freeze out the highly rated youth then we will struggle.
What are your thoughts on the manager and his signings?
However, he is stubborn beyond belief and this is costing him and us…
SHAKERMAV I think our manager used to be alright, but he isn’t anymore. He has picked up bad habits, a big ego and talks utter nonsense to the press. He has a reluctance to play players in their correct positions and he falls out with almost everyone. The biggest threat to Bury’s fortunes on a Saturday is our manager. During our promotion season he had a set formation, team and tactics, and with this organised approach we deservedly went up. However, he doesn’t do any of the above anymore, which typifies him really.
BARRY_P Having watched him talk at the Fans Forum, you can’t deny his passion for the club. However, he is stubborn beyond belief and this is costing him and us. To be fair though, he has made some interesting signings over the summer, Zeli looks good as does Vaughan, Danns looked good on the opening day and, God willing, we finally have a decent keeper.
Your thoughts on the board?
The wage bill has been cut massively, signings have been of a more conservative nature and big earners have been replaced…
SHAKERMAV After a season of spending like a kid in a sweet shop, bringing in big names (at this level), flying to away games, leasing a top training facility at Carrington etc. it seems the penny has dropped (pun intended). This summer the wage bill has been cut massively, signings have been of a more conservative nature and big earners have been replaced by younger, hungrier players (and Antony Kay).
BARRY_P They are similar to Flitcroft, they seem to have passion for the club and in some areas they have been very good. In other areas though there are huge question marks and the amount of county court judgements and wind-up petitions that we had last season was ridiculous and very worrying.
[OVF Editor note] I did a feature on Bury’s finances when Tom Pope joined them. It is here if you wish to read it.
A score prediction and predicted away following?
SHAKERMAV – A 1-1 draw. New boy James Vaughan for us and Anton Forrester for you. The attendance depends massively on how many Vale bring, add 3,000 to that figure and you’ll have your crowd prediction.
BARRY_P Bury 2-1 Port Vale (I have to be optimistic!). A James Vaughan brace.
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About the Vale…
Where do you think Vale will finish?
SHAKERMAV Watching the influx of foreign youngsters, arriving from sun-blessed districts of Portugal and elsewhere [Sweden? Sun-blessed? Someone tell Chris Mbamba… – OVF Editor] accustomed to plastic pitches and feigning injuries, I concluded that Port Vale would be easy opposition for any team full of Englishmen this season. However it seems only a handful of them are actually playing and your early season form is proving me wrong, so far. However, once the ‘big boys’ get up to speed then I imagine you will be caught. You’ll get seventh place – a position that would be most impressive.
BARRY_P I expect that like in 2004 under Martin Foyle, you’ll miss out on the play-offs on the final day of the season.
Any memorable games?
You battered us and yet somehow you did not score in the opening 15/20 mins…
SHAKERMAV – It’s probably the one my Dad tells me about. I remember it only vaguely. It was the last game of the Championship season and we could both go down. We beat you 1-0 and due to results elsewhere, we were still the ones relegated. Vale fans were about as sympathetic as a steam roller to the head. Unsurprisingly, my Dad doesn’t like Port Vale.
More recently, in 2010, I remember the 1-1 draw at Gigg Lane when Vale took the lead through a penalty after Efe Sodje handled the ball about 17 yards outside the penalty area. Sodje equalised with a late bullet header for one of the more enjoyable moments of the season.
BARRY_P A 0-0 draw in 2011. Despite our push for promotion starting to stutter Alan Knill went to Vale Park and played for a 0-0 draw. You battered us and yet somehow you did not score in the opening 15/20 mins. Knill left afterwards and so did our greatest hindrance, bottling it went out the window after this game and we won our next six games to secure promotion.
A guide for Vale fans…
Can you tell us something about your side we may not know?
SHAKERMAV 1. We have won the FA Cup twice more than Port Vale.
2. We have the shortest name of any football club in England and Scotland.
3. There are only two quirky things about Bury Football Club.
BARRY_P In 1903 I am pretty certain that we did not concede a single goal en-route to the infamous 6-0 final.
Any recommended pubs, eateries and parking spots?
SHAKERMAV For a decent pint, the Swan and Cemetery on Manchester Road, but for Sky Sports you will have to put up with The Staff of Life.
BARRY_P Go to the Knowsley and ask for Stefan Camps
Can you recommend any forums, fanzines or blogs?