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old sage

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About old sage

  • Rank
  • Birthday 19/11/1952


  • Biography
    Born & Bred in Clayton. Coming from a farming background. Though I worked for many years in the 'Pots' as a figure painter and gilder


  • Location
    Sunny Clayton


  • Interests
    The two P's pigeons & Port Vale


  • Occupation
    Retired through injuries

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  1. No but we will finish a darn sight lower if we play any of the other options as the lone striker. In regard to other clubs just take it from me if Pope were to be made available he wouldn't be short of interested parties in L2 even at the age of 35.
  2. One of a few voices of reason here. The simple truth is that Tom will only score goals when he gets the right ammunition and the widemen are giving him crosses to attack. It's no good belting it up to him when his back is towards the opponents goal unless he has a strike partner to take advantage of his flick ons. On the subject of stats you can get them to read anything if you put the right slant on it. I agree 4 in 20 odd isn't good but 4 in 3 in the cup is brilliant. Do you get where I am coming from?
  3. He is going to be a big loss and a hard person to replace but if anyone can the Shanahans can!
  4. Quite frankly some of the comments that are made on this site regarding Tom Pope simply make me feel sick to my back teeth. Like Pope is a waste of money despite the fact that he has only scored more goals than any other Vale striker since the war and tell me another striker who we could even dream of signing who are within a country mile of Tom. I bet you were all dancing on the terraces when he banged in three against Cheltenham and when he scored a beauty against City at the Etihad and who was was the main reason that we earned the cash windfall of a mere estimated £250,000. Also think back to how many times he has almost single handedly dragged us back from the brink of relegation. Oh yes he is 'stealing' a living at Port Vale. Now go and sit down and put your brains in gear before typing any more utter tripe regarding one of if not the best and most loyal players ever to pull on a Vale shirt.
  5. I for one aren't calling for John Askey's head and I was never expecting a charge for promotion in Carol and Kevin's first season. Having said that though most games this season haven't been an easy watch with us especially at home scratching for a goal to win a game or salvage a point. Surely the Manager should be able to see that by playing two strikers we become a more potent unit. Take last night we got on top when we played two men up top in the last 20 minutes or so but it wasn't down to better personnel being brought on. It would be because it simply gave the Morecombe defence a little more to think about. I would bet that had Askey played with a second striker alongside the 'all so worn out and tired' Tom Pope that we would have beaten Morecombe last night. Don't forget that until Conlon got tripped on Saturday we never looked like scoring a goal. Amoo is quite simply a waste of a shirt at the present time and until he snaps out of his woeful efforts needs dropping. The sad part here is that he is a decent player when he wants to be! If Askey continues with his one up front policy on Saturday we will struggle to beat another of the division's poorer teams once again. Come on John it isn't a very pretty sight watching us huff and puff to score against so called inferior opposition.
  6. It isn't the two games in 4 days that is the problem it is playing up front on his own with little to no service. Remember 'Feed the Pope.....'. If Tom was a dog Askey would be charged with cruelty for starving him!!
  7. I agree one to play alongside Tom Pope!
  8. I have been saying it all season that John Askey is too negative. He plays Pope isolated up front on his own with the midfield about 25 yards behind him. It is clear that the only way to play is with a second striker up front with Pope and as Bennett doesn't look capable it's either Cullen or the need to bring a new partner in to give us more bite. Expecting Pope with very little decent service to battle against two and three defenders plus refs that never give a free kick in Tom's favour gives him little chance of scoring like we know that he can. I'm sorry to say it but the manager isn't helping us. All this talk about us playing 4 3 3 is rubbish because in reality he only plays 1 man up front and is the reason why we consistently struggle to beat teams who are solid at the back like the ones near to the bottom of the league who defend like their lives depend upon it!.
  9. Unfortunately the reason why we aren't scoring more is really quite simply down to the Manager's unwillingness to play with just one striker. Popey does all that he can but what chance has he got of scoring many when he has no support to knock the ball down to or take a little of the weight off his shoulders.
  10. They do say that you learn more from a defeat, well after last nights fiasco JA should have learned plenty! Our fringe players in the main are just not good enough and those that were advocating Bennett, Cullen and Archer as better options than Tom Pope were taught a stern lesson last night. My only hesitation being Cullen could and I repeat could be an option along side Popey. That said it would be nice to get in a better 2nd striker in the summer. The managers insistence on playing one up front doesn't work regardless of the nonsense of saying it's a front three. I say this because I've seen Tom isolated far too many times over the past couple of seasons to swallow the front three rubbish. I think the best way forward in Vale's case would be a squad of 20 decent players without umpteen that simply aren't up to the mark. I hate it when we put out an understrength team simply because we don't have many decent replacements. Lets get real a lean, mean and competitive small squad is our best option and leave the squad rotation until we are in the Champions League!!
  11. Hey Up Aussie you have stolen my thunder. Yes well done Tom lad the top Port Vale goal scorer since the 2nd W/W what an outstanding achievement for the lad who really is one of our own. None of the 11 who played yesterday let either themselves or Port Vale down but one or two things stood out very clearly which are that we have a few players that could or can play at a higher level, starting with our super keeper Scotty Brown what a gift he was from Wycombe and their boss Ainsworth. Smithie who had a very impressive game and looked comfortable in the company of a few great players. Both Monty and Amoo showed just hoe effective they could be if only they had more self belief in their own ability. Pace kills at any level and both of them have that in bucket loads. Finally the 'main man' who describes himself as the 'slowest player in the world'. Well he may be slow but he has a football brain well above the lower leagues level as he proved without a doubt yesterday. Take his goal when he cleverly ran around the defender who was marking him to attack the cross from David Amoo, he didn't wait for the ball to come to him but went to meet the ball and with a sublime nod of his head sent us all into raptures. Yes Tom lad you might not be the quickest on your feet but you are right up there with both your heading ability and quick thinking. I ask in all sincerity is there a better header of the ball than 'Our Tom' in the entire football world today? In my maybe biased opinion I say no and yesterday he proved that the 'World's slowest player' can give any defence a torrid time, if he gets decent service from his team mates and a strike partner would be nice to profit from his many flicks and knock downs. Critics can say that Foyley ( another great servant) scored at a higher level but he also had better players servicing him. If Tom Pope had the balls crossing to him from the likes of Guppy and McCarthy like Martin had the mind boggles just how many goals and assists he would have bagged. Anyway Popey thank you for your contributions to Port Vale's cause over the past decade, helping us to promotion in 2013 and possibly more importantly helping to keep us from relegation on three separate occasions Plus as Aussie points out those lovely 109 goals and if your are cared for the many more that I believe are still in your locker to help us to achieve promotion once again, go get 'em kid! Thank you for being a ray of sunshine for the supporters in a dark period for our Club. Fortunately we now have great new owners, a decent manager (though I wish he would play with two up top) and a few decent players life looks good for our chequered future.
  12. Im not writing Bennett off but just feel that Pope is by far the more superior and effective frontman.
  13. I can only comment on what I have seen this season. Yes Bennett has contributed with a couple of vital goals but that apart he has done very little yes he runs around a lot but never looks like stealing the ball and so his energy is a waste. For a big lad his heading ability is very disappointing. When Pope is on the pitch the defence know that unlike when Bennett is on that they are in for a hard time and most only cope with the help of incompetent referees who never seem to give Tom any protection but are quick to blow up if he gives a little back. Also we have seen a marked difference when ever Popey has come off the bench. The team as a whole seem to be invigorated and the opposition's central defenders come under pressure. If you were to ask opponents who they would rather face it would be Bennett all day long quite simply because apart from a decent left foot he offers very little else. In regard to Cullen he should feature more as a second striker but never as a lone front man because he lacks height and isn't blessed with lightning fast pace which could scare defenders. To get the very best from Tom he needs an attacking partner because when he bashed in 33 goals a few years ago he had Louis Dodds, Williamson and then Hughsey to help him with the workload. I realise many will sneer at the mention of Super Louis's name but take a look just how prolific the partnership was in the early days of our promotion season before Louis got pushed deeper into midfield and Ben Williamson often partnered the Pope. Though this wasn't the 'dream ticket' in my opinion because Ben wasn't a natural finisher despite having good pace. This period was when Tom's goals dried up because he went 11 games without scoring until Mr Hughes came onto the scene and he along with Tom dragged us over the line with a further 23 goals coming from this potent pairing I believe. Quite simply playing with a lone striker doesn't really work unless you are blessed with top attack minded midfield players. So perhaps a midfield partnership of Manny when fit and Jake Taylor if we can keep hold of him could help a lone striker and that lone striker should be Tom Pope all day long.
  14. You can't say he was well fed Joe. yes there were two crosses which he could have converted but one of them was fired into him making it hard to redirect while the other he used the wrong foot to try and score. All strikers can screw up as Match of the Day exposed last night. That said he was left abandoned with next too no support for 95% of the game and even when Cullen was introduced he spent most of the few minutes that he was on playing in midfield.
  15. Yesterday highlighted just how much we need a competent left back. You never know what Montano is going to do next and I don't think he does either? Also I feel that our manager is too cautious and should play with a second striker from the start. Popey did miss one or two chances but his over all effort and contributions to the game were immense. Smudge is a great player and was doing his own job and Monty's as well!
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