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TheSage last won the day on December 10 2019

TheSage had the most liked content!

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About TheSage

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    Travel, reading, most sports, walking my dogs, theatre


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    I'm a semi-retired teacher

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  1. It's a tough job playing the lone striker role when hardly anyone else in the team (bar Taylor) is scoring goals. Occasionally we still have games where we create very little and the half time discussion is often about the opposition keeper not having had to make a save in anger. Pope, for me, even at his age, is by a country mile the best we've got for that role. Bennett is capable of grabbing the odd goal and runs around a lot but plays in carpet slippers, struggles to keep the ball and lacks physical presence for a big lad. Sadly, both Cullen and Archer have never got going and apparently not suited to the way we set up, though I'd quite like to see more of Archer. Teams going for promotion tend to score 70-80 goals or more. We are light years away from that, with only Pope and Taylor looking capable of double figures. We need one of the wingers to get 10, and another midfielder to chip in with 6-8, as well as the centre halves getting 5-6 each. But it isn't happening. I'd quite like to see us signing a solid left back and moving Monty up front and putting Worrall back on the right wing. In midfield it would be Taylor and Oyeleke for me just ahead of Joyce, and that might give us a wee bit more firepower. But at present, for all their good intentions and odd glimpses of real ability I don't see the likes of Amoo, Conlon and Burgess being quite good enough and Worrall too has to score a lot more. It's much better than last year - much better and far more entertaining - but we are still 4-5 better players short of the top three in my view. That said, we're building slowly and if we can add 2-3 more in the summer we'll hopefully do better next year although I'm worried about finding a replacement for Pope [and for Legge]. I cast my mind back to Adams' team that got promoted (just) and we then had a stronger, more physical team with 4-5 lads who were capable of scoring double figures, not just 1-2. Pope in his prime. Dodds. Vincent. Myrie-Williams. Lee Hughes after January. We need similar if we are aiming for the top three places.
  2. Ditto the above. You have made a notable contribution this season and we've all enjoyed and valued your work. All the very best for your future. Thank you.
  3. I guess once you are deemed surplus to requirements and have stepped out of line it's hard to fully re-establish yourself. No doubt he would have been on the bench anyway and not playing automatically. There might be more to it than the story indicates. One of the problems we've had in the full back positions has been the fact that the players/wingers in front of them very often do not help out much or have any kind of physical presence. As a result our full backs can get overloaded down their side and overrun. Worrall does his best but the others are not much use at defending and lose concentration. They need to be more like Birchall and McCarthy who ran up and down the line and put in an enormous effort to help out the right back. We are vulnerable down the flanks - on both sides.
  4. We touched on this before but we did used to play in the Cheshire league and Midland league ( I think it was) many moons ago. Maybe 40-46 games a season too. Not dissimilar to the first team. Games were played at Vale Park and it was fairly competitive from memory. I guess the likes of Lye Town, Chorley and Hyde loved playing at a league club's ground and even more liked to beat us! Those days have forever gone but at least the reserves got plenty of games and usually played the same formation as the first team. It seemed to keep them fit and they played a lot. No doubt there are pros and cons as there are with every system but it doesn't surprise me at all when a player who has only appeared maybe 2-3 times in the first team since August gets thrown in at the deep end and can't perform. It takes 4-5 games to get up to match sharpness and speed, hence a lengthy pre-season every summer. You really can't expect the likes of Brisley, Archer, Evans and so on to come in and set the game alight. That's the problem we have. What the solution is I simply don't know because only the regular XI will be fully up to speed if the reserves only play one game a month. Answers on a postcard to J. Askey, c/o Vale Park, Burslem.
  5. The Ipswich game was indeed a fantastic effort. One or two others spring to my mind as well. A win at Fulham when Jones scored 3 or 4. Was it 6-0 that day? Something like that.
  6. I haven't seen the game so it's hard for me to comment. Only the radio and bits and pieces from friends. But I've said all along that I think it's a mistake not playing reserve games regularly. Players not in the first XI very quickly lose match sharpness and it takes a while to get that back. So all the lads who came in from the cold were almost on a hiding to nothing, notwithstanding the point that you would hope they wanted to impress and force their way into the squad for Saturday. But it's hard. We do lack height and strength - throughout the team, not just at centre half with no Legge. Ideally I'd like to see 2-3 new faces this month but we might have to wait until the summer. Certainly a fit Oyeleke would help us, as would a solid left back and some more height/power in the team. After the lord mayor's show, I guess. Not totally surprised but I expected us to do better than 0-3. A very disappointed night but we move and on and have to look forward. Plenty to play for still.
  7. The Autoglass win over Brentford was a fantastic performance from the team, playing very good football, but despite the many famous cup wins the stand out moment for me was the play-off victory over BR that took us up into the Championship. I've watched the Vale since the early sixties and never seen us play at that level before. It was an amazing moment. I think I went to nearly every away game the following year and I was still rubbing my eyes in disbelief to see my Vale team running out at places like Leeds, West Ham, Newcastle and Leicester. The Brighton game was similar a few years later. The best I've seen us play was probably in the Everton cup game. And who will forget the mud bath 3-1 against Stoke? A lot of lows of course over the years but a few wonderful highs, made all the sweeter by our lower league struggles.
  8. Fantastic game for the Vale tomorrow - a once in a lifetime chance to play the champions and one of the very best footballing teams in the world, managed by a genius. A day to savour for everyone. Let's hope we can do ourselves justice and keep the scoreline respectable! I remember those days, Naz. Off the top of my head; Corrigan, Book(?), Pardoe, Doyle, Booth, ?, Summerbee, Bell, Lee, Young, ?. I can't remember the other two but come on, 9/11 isn't too shabby. Wonderful team. Even Lee one pen. I saw them a few times and enjoyed watching them. Didn't they win the league at Newcastle? Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison in their pomp. Fedora and cigar at hand. The sixties was a fabulous time for watching football. I'm just in two minds as to who was the greatest player - Bell or Silva? Silva is a gem of a player and probably the best I've seen in the last few years, very underrated. But I do have a hankering for local players and English boys.... so we'll call it a score draw. It's going to be a real treat to see Port Vale run out at the Etihad. I hope Silva makes an appearance.
  9. We should count ourselves lucky that Lee one pen isn't playing for them.
  10. I see no reason why we should not swap things around a bit. We've played a lot of games lately with more or less the same XI. Give a few of the fringe lads a chance to impress. I don't mean wholesale changes but we've got 2-3 on the bench who are decent enough to play games. And rest one or two before the weekend. Atkinson, Browne and Cullen, at least, are more than capable of stepping in.
  11. Well said, Tyler. Great effort today against a good team. Two super goals and a clean sheet to boot. I suspect they'll go up but on our day we are more than capable of matching anyone. If we can get Oyeleke back and another new player in January we'll be cooking. What a difference 12 months makes.
  12. IC is spot on. Taylor is still raw and still inexperienced. A small fee and a sell on clause would suit all parties and more importantly be good for Taylor's career. Fingers crossed.
  13. TheSage


    Happy Xmas to one and all. I guess the two of you will see the 25th before us lot over here in the wind and the rain. Whatever happened to a white Xmas?
  14. If everyone was fit and on form my midfield three would be Joyce, Taylor and Oyeleke.
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