Give Griff a break…

Give Griff a break…

OVF editor Rob Fielding says that fans bemoaning the signing of Anthony Griffith need to think again – as Griff could play a key role next season.

Rob Fielding writes…

It’s all very well having the goal-laden attacking side which Vale currently have, but Micky Adams recognises, rightly in my view, that it’s no good scoring three if the opposition (as Derby did this week) score five…

My philosophy with new signings has always been very simple – I don’t care what they did at previously clubs, I don’t care whether they are a big name or not and I certainly don’t judge summer signings before the season has even started.

And I’d add a fourth criteria with regards to Anthony Griffith – judging him on previous spells with the club is similarly wrong.

Yes, Griffith is a defensive midfielder, a destroyer, a battler and it’s fair to say he won’t be delivering defence-splitting passes next season.

But in his previous spells, Griffith was often playing with inferior players. It’s one thing bemoaning the lack of flair that a midfield containing Griffith and Tommy Fraser had – it’s quite another should Griffith line-up with new signing Chris Lines.

In my view, Griffith offers a lot that is often under-rated or taken for granted. It’s all very well having the goal-laden attacking side which Vale currently have, but Micky Adams recognises, rightly in my view, that it’s no good scoring three if the opposition (as Derby did this week) score five.

Yes, a solid defence plays a role in stopping goals, but the job of stopping goals doesn’t fall solely into the laps of the back five. The whole team need to defend and track back and that’s why Griffith can play a vital role, especially during some of the tough away tests that Vale face.

Griffith can break up opponents’ play, his aerial ability is excellent and he will run all day. His impact and willingness to “keep going” in the last ten games of the season when others in the team were flagging, played an important part in taking Vale over the finishing line.

He may not be glamorous, he may not grab the headlines, but give Griff a chance and I am sure his true worth will come to the fore next season.

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