It’s been a poor start to the season for Port Vale who dropped to the foot of League Two following a run of just one win in eight games but following the departure of manager Michael Brown the club have the chance to start climbing back up the table.
Vale were much improved on September 23rd when picking up an away point against Yeovil at Huish Park and their fans certainly believed the side looked far more balanced under caretaker managers Chris Morgan and Ned Kelly. Tom Pope opened the scoring for the visitors before a second half equaliser meant the points were shared in Somerset. 34 year old Michael Tonge impressed in the centre of the park as he rolled back the years with an energetic and industrious performance and many believe the Valiants can hugely benefit from his vast experience throughout the Football League. Midfielder Michael Tonge is vastly experienced and can help guide his side clear of danger this season.
Tonge’s list of employers includes Stoke City, Preston North End, Sheffield United and Leeds United. He scored against the latter in the 4-1 defeat at Elland Road back in August. He’s played 39 times in the top flight scoring twice and has plenty of experience in the Championship where he became renowned for being one of the most consistent midfielders in the division.
Tonge’s ageing legs won’t get him through the same workload as they did ten years ago but his experience, his ability to read the game and his battling qualities should be able to clinch plenty of points for the Valiants this season and if he can replicate his commanding performance at Huish Park week in-week out, he will prove a very useful asset.
Tonge was joined by the impressive David Worrall, frenchman Anthony De Freitas, Tyler Denton and young Jordan Gibbons, who made his first senior start for the club against Yeovil providing a more balanced look to the midfield. With the energetic Worrall alongside him, Tonge was able to keep things tidy in the centre of the park and launch a number of attacks as Port Vale looked to assert their dominance during an impressive first half showing.
The club are still looking to appoint a new manager following the departure of Michael Brown with former boss Mickey Adams and Macclesfield chief John Askey both heavily linked to the job and fans will be expecting an upturn in form once the new gaffer is appointed. There are many blogs offering tips and predictions on football and other sports available online and plenty of them will be expecting Vale to pick up a number of points once a new manager arrives and Tonge is likely to play a huge part in that. The Mancunian is one of the most experienced heads in the squad and his influence will help younger players such as Dan Turner and James Gibbons improve their game.
The veteran midfielder may not be able to play every game this season but his experience will be vital in guiding Port Vale away from the relegation zone. It’s been an underwhelming start to the season but things appear to be improving for the Burslem club and they can finally start to look up the table as opposed to nervously glancing over their shoulders.