Rob Fielding says it’s going to be tough to turn fortunes around with the squad that Vale possess and an inability to change it until January.
Rob Fielding writes…
So Vale Park miracles don’t place in a matter of days. Perhaps it was too much to expect the “Dream Team” to work wonders with the squad they have?
The new loan system means that players are tied to the club for either a half-season or full-season (rendering calls on radio phone-ins to “cancel” the loans somewhat redundant)…
I reckon most fans would think that rookie James Gibbons (arguably third choice right-back if you consider both Wilson and Davis were picked before him) and fellow youngster Tyler Denton were the best players on the pitch on Saturday. Ironically, both play in a position where Vale have a host of players – four right-backs are now on the books while four players – Denton, Gunning, Yates and Graham Kelly (five if you count the injured Knops) can/have played on the left. It shows just how bloated and inbalanced this Vale squad is
However, arguably the squad’s bigger problems lie with the goalkeeper, central midfield and strike partner for Pope roles. Kelle Roos is the fifth keeper on the books this season (how on earth can a League Two side have five professional keepers!) yet no-one has cemented their place. Central midfield continues to be unimpressive while we are clearly short up-top.
The problem is that the new transfer window system does not help a new manager coming in. The new loan system means that players are tied to the club for either a half-season or full-season (rendering calls on radio phone-ins to “cancel” the loans somewhat redundant). Looking at Vale’s six loanees, the only one that expires in January is Ben Whitfield and he’s been one of the successes. The likes of Tyler Denton, Jack Stobbs, Tom Anderson, Rekeil Pyke and Marcus Harness are all on season-long loans.
So, we face the prospect of either sticking with what we have, offloading a load of contracted players (potentially paying up their contracts) in the next window or simply adding more players making the squad even more bloated. Whatever happens the new year is potentially going to be another period of change and upheaval – both words that don’t tend to help football sides.
It’s not going to be easy in the coming weeks and until the New Year the “Dream Team” are going to have to make the most of what they have – which could see more cases of round pegs in square holes (such as using wingers to support Pope upfront).
However, it is very early days yet. Yes the result against Grimsby was disappointing and with this squad more may well follow, but I would argue we need to judge Neil Aspin and John Rudge after they have had a chance to bring in their own players rather than a few days after returning to the Vale.