Look beyond Pope and sign up Marshall

Look beyond Pope and sign up Marshall

OVF editor Rob Fielding argues that Tom Pope is not the only player the club should be offering a new contract to.

Rob Fielding writes…

Goodness, it’s all a bit “doom and gloom” off the pitch right now. Norman Smurthwaite’s recent comments have certainly divided opinion. The chairman may be telling the truth about Tom Pope’s contract being “too expensive” for the club right now, but I think it’s too early to predict Pope’s exit until he’s actually offered a new (presumably reduced) deal.

I’d love Pope to stay, but I think the comments about whether he will stay or go are for another day…

Pope is undoubtedly a fine player, albeit one that occasionally attracts the boo boys. I think Tom’s one of those players that you do not always appreciate until he’s not around and the first-half of the Orient game – with no-one upfront able to hold the ball up – gave a graphic example of his worth.

I’d love Pope to stay, but I think the comments about whether he will be here or elsewhere are for another day.

In Pope’s absence, the shining light on the pitch continues to be winger Mark Marshall and perhaps the club should remember that the 27 year-old is only on a one-year deal.

I’ve argued before that the club needs to be proactive in giving contracts to key players rather than wait for their deals to run down and I think Marshall has done more than enough to earn an offer of a new deal…

I’ve argued before that the club needs to be proactive in giving contracts to key players rather than wait for their deals to run down and I think Marshall has done more than enough to earn an offer of a new deal. Vale need to protect their assets so any offer to Marshall should be now, before the January transfer window opens.

Amid the debate on attendances, “away-only” fans, Pope’s salary et al, it would be good to have some good news and a long-term deal for Marshall could act as a catalyst.

Sign the crowd-pleasing winger up and who knows, there may even be a few more people coming through the gates to watch him.

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