After such a bright start to 2016-17, it’s bitterly disappointing for the Vale to be struggling against relegation in the last months of the season.
An opinion piece from an anonymous Vale fan…
However, all is not lost at this point.
You may think Port Vale may stay up. You may even think Port Vale will definitely stay up (and if you have that much confidence in the Valiants staying up you need to visit this guide to betting sites in the UK and perhaps take a punt with one of their recommendations). But it is fair to say that other fans of our football club may not entirely share your faith in a successful attempt to stay up.
So, who’s right and who’s wrong? In this article OVF reflects upon what has gone wrong and what the club can do to try and avoid League Two football next season.
So, who’s right and who’s wrong? In this article I reflect upon what has gone wrong and what the club can do to try and avoid League Two football next season.
What went wrong?
- A false dawn. The entertaining football at the beginning of the season masked some serious issues with the team. There seemed to have been an emphasis on quantity over quality in the summer dealings while the club also lost a clutch of experienced professionals.
- Apathy. Fans can often cope with ineptitude but the laid-back attitude of Bruno Ribeiro made many people think that he was not bothered by Vale’s dramatic collapse in form. Thankfully, Ribeiro left the club ahead of the crucial January transfer window but…
- A terrible January transfer window. The club lost two key, experienced players in Jak Alnwick and Anthony Grant and have clearly struggled to replace them. It leaves a Vale squad which is paper-thin in key areas and with little experience.
- Managerial uncertainty. Michael Brown has been interim manager since Boxing Day. Many think the club should either give him the job or give it to someone else. One reason for the poor January window could be the reluctance of players to move to a club with only a caretaker manager.
What can be done?
- The fans support. There has been constant reference to the impact that the fans can have on the team. While it is difficult to get too enthused when the team’s performances are poor, it’s crucial that the supporters do try and rally the players.
- Winning ugly. The Vale need to put points onboard, it’s really as simple as that. As interim-manager Michael Brown has recently stated, it’s better to win ugly than to look good and lose.
- A little bit of luck. The Valiants’ luck appears to have run out recently too. In other situations, two penalty saves from your goalkeeper would inspire the side on but instead opponents have scored from the resulting corner-kicks. Injuries have occurred to players in key positions. Decisions haven’t gone Vale’s way but if a little bit of good fortune can go their way it may just be the difference between relegation and staying up
Let’s hope so.