OVF editor Rob Fielding thinks that Rob Page will be named as the new Vale manager IF Micky Adams leaves the club.
Rob Fielding writes…
Let’s make one thing clear – I’d personally like Micky Adams to stay. But if he’s made a decision to leave because of (or perhaps before) the altercations at Ashton Gate, then I suppose we ought to look at who could replace him if he does exit Vale Park.
In my view, there’s one obvious candidate because I reckon Port Vale’s next manager will be Rob Page…
Why? Well, there’s a number of reasons:
As part of the backroom staff, Page already knows most of the players and has even had a brief spell (when Adams was receiving treatment for his hip) in charge of them. Vale would surely not want to have another “Gannon” situation where a manager is put in charge of a group of players that he’s unfamiliar with, that he doesn’t rate and who are not trained in his particular style of match tactics. As Mark Grew and Dean Glover also boast managerial (caretaker in Grew’s case) experience, rookie manager Page would also have some experienced coaches to call upon.
For a club that is looking to be more self-sufficient next season, Page represents a sensible financial option…
For a club that is looking to be more self-sufficient next season, Page represents a sensible financial option. His wages are unlikely to be prohibitive and if the appointment sadly doesn’t work out, it wouldn’t cost a fortune to replace him. Indeed, removing Adams’ salary and replacing it with the (presumably) lower salary of Page could even mean that Vale’s playing budget for next season could be revised slightly upwards.
Page has not had any managerial experience but he remains highly-regarded in the game. He has come close to jobs with Wales U21, Sheffield United and AFC Wimbledon, so perhaps it’s time to see what he can offer Port Vale? In 1983, another person, untested apart from a couple of caretaker spells, was handed the reigns and he, John Rudge, didn’t do too badly…
Page would be a less fiery and therefore less controversial manager than Adams…
Although he’s part of Adams’ team, Page seems an entirely different character to Adams. Calm, quiet and far less likely to fly off the handle with the fans/press/chairman, Page would be a less fiery and therefore less controversial manager than Adams.
5. The Chairman
Norman Smurthwaite has reiterated that there is no “Plan B” if Adams goes. Around the same time, he somewhat worryingly said he knew nothing about Neil Aspin, a former Vale hero but perhaps more importantly an up-and-coming manager, when he was linked to the Vale job. If the Chairman has little or no knowledge of what potential managerial talent there is outside Vale Park, it may be best to stick with a known quantity and appoint Page from within.
Like any managerial change, Page will be a gamble. He could be brilliant, he could be terrible, he could be somewhere in between. If he is appointed, I just hope the fans get behind him and show some patience.
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Rob Page Factfile
- Age: 39
- Playing career: Watford, Sheff Utd, Cardiff, Coventry, Huddersfield, Chesterfield
- International career: 41 caps for Wales
- First game in caretaker charge of Vale: 1-0 away win over Tranmere
- Total games in caretaker charge: Three (W1 D1 L1)