Understated, organised and a workhorse – Luke Joyce quietly proves his worth

Rob Fielding hails midfielder Luke Joyce whose work in the midfield can often go unsung.

Rob Fielding writes…

There was an unusual moment on Saturday when midfielder Luke Joyce hogged the spotlight with a stunning goal but this is very much the exception for what I imagine is a footballer’s footballer.

Joyce has started all twelve League games this season and is yet to be taken off…

Few would have imagined what a key role the veteran would this season take after a less than stellar start under manager Neil Aspin.

However, Aspin’s successor John Askey clearly saw a player he could shape the midfield around in Joyce and the 32 year-old has become the key player in the engineroom. If you look at Vale’s tactical switches recently, there have been a midfield three and at times at midfield four – but one thing remains constant as Joyce remains on the pitch whether in a central two or three. Joyce has started all twelve League games this season and is yet to be taken off.

He may not produce a dazzling long pass or a showy piece of trickery but that’s why he’s there – to do the donkey work, play simple passes which don’t give the ball away and talk his more inexperienced players through the match. He is the glue that holds the Vale midfield together.

So while the likes of Worrall, Gibbons, Pope or Amoo may grab the headlines off the pitch, I suspect that in the dressing room it is the unassuming veteran from Bolton that the other Port Vale players appreciate the most.

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