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Joe B

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Joe B last won the day on May 12

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  1. He's up on the wall at VP. He'll be watching tonight. Might dig out the B&G scarf.
  2. No, Sky Truck takes up the space (I think).
  3. I've not been massively nervous in recent weeks. I'd go into my typical 'expect the worse' mode which has protected me well as a Vale fan. I've just been expecting things to go wrong to mitigate the blow when they do. It's worked a charm to this point. I've sat here at lunch and genuinely considered the impact of promotion this season, of how starved of success we've been, how close it is, of how I'm sick and tired of being rinsed for supporting Vale, and how much I really, really don't want to be in League 2 next season. Tonight's the game with the most riding on it since the Chesterfield game in which loss equalled non-league. Go through tonight and I think we can deal with Mansfield. If we go up, it transforms the club, allowing Carol to sort out the ground and invest in the burgeoning infrastructure. We could enter a proper 'new era', away from this tinpot abyss, welcoming big clubs every other week and get money flowing back into Burslem. The 1k+ Junior Valiants see success early doors, locking down their attachment to the club and dragging parents into the club shop in July. Robbie celebrates Vale promotion at his homecoming concert and Those Tricky Whites are back. Rudge gets his statue and we start to enjoy some of the days we haven't seen since his zenith. Lorne Street gets finished and we finally move on from the last edifice of the Port Vale banter years. We leapfrog Crewe, leave Walsall in the dust, and can focus on hunting down our actual rivals for the first time in a while. Don't get it done, and there's absolutely no guarantees next season. Another season of low revenues and disastrous away followings. Dog's abuse on whatsapp tonight. Walsall, Crewe, Stoke, gleeful that we've bottled it. Swindon fans holding their attendance trophy aloft. McKirdy machine-gunning the Railway as grown men sob. We start from scratch in what will probably be a more competitive league. Whilst we will be in a good position to get it done, football is too volatile and random, and there's just as much chance we fall short once more. It's much better to be in a 'positive pressure' game than the existential battles Smurthwaite seemed to enjoy, but I'm not enjoying myself at present. I'm sure when the dust settles some of us may be able to sanguinely say it's been a 'good season', but it really, really won't feel like it if Carol isn't on the Wembley pitch next Saturday. I accept that I get a bit intense with it all sometimes, and some berate me for 'wanting it now', but I've been wanting it for 20 years and I'm done with waiting. The fans who have stoically stuck by this basket-case of a club, at great expense and misery, in the darkest days deserve promotion the most. There was a small group of fans who sacrificed a great deal to rid us of previous shackles, and I keep thinking of one of them who is no longer with us, and how committed he was to bringing about the sort of success we're very close to achieving. ffs. Bricking it now. Into these.
  4. Proctor has to start. Ball sticks up front and he will shoot on sight. Aerial presence, makes Wilson a better player, and links things up. Our midfield is too limited technically (if Charsley starts over Taylor) to pay a patient build up play. We need to be fairly direct, into the feet of the forwards with the wing-backs wide. Heavy-metal football. Start strong with the Jims up top, get goals, then lob on the fresh legs of Harratt/Edmonson/Amoo late on to press, stretch their back line, and see out the win. Do not start with a young lad with no experience in a massive game and then put on your best striker when desperate after 60. I don't want to be chasing the game into the 2nd half. Fans will get tense. Players will panic. We'll start 'forcing it'. We'll get picked off. There's a reason their away form is so good - they'll do us on the break. We simply can't have Aaron Martin 1v1 on the counter. Finished and done out. I don't mind him but his turning speed is glacial. Start quick and strong. Press the life out of them. They've got a certain fragility about their backline. The fans simply have to be at it. Booing when they have possession. No silly 'on a bender' chants. If the atmosphere is limp tonight then we'll have to concede we're nowhere near the fanbase we sometimes profess to be. I'm not one to blame fans but if I'm sat there, bored, 15 minutes in, then there's a serious issue. I honestly think this game will be won or lost in the opening 20. Score inside that timeframe and we go through. Start slow and I think we get desperate, Clarke lobs all of his forwards on in daft positions, and they nail us on the counter.
  5. My overriding feeling. If we don't do it tonight, this season can only be viewed as a success or not after next season. If it was the stepping stone to promotion, then great, this year was a season of progress where we got things right on and off the pitch. If we fall short again, this year is a massive missed opportunity which we could come to regret as renovation costs at the ground escalate and moneybags teams flood the league. A couple of years ago we finished 8th and were convinced promotion was on the cards. Askey was gone by January. Football changes quickly and progress is never guaranteed. As Clarke said, we're a home win from Wembley. At one point we were 5 points clear of third. These are huge opportunities, on a plate, for players to etch themselves into the club's history. Whilst I can look back at some good memories from this year, if we do fall short, I won't be thinking how pleased I am at how we've done. It will be a record stay in the bottom tier and Crawley away, which we've had some golden opportunities to avoid.
  6. It's a news stories, which a lot of people will be pleased to read, especially LBGTQ+ football fans who have previously not felt included in the sport. You're not the main character of life. Not every news story is designed for you to read and comment on. If you're really not that fussed by it all, why post so many comments about it?
  7. I thought he was subbed because he committed three blatant fouls in about 20 minutes, was on a booking, and wasn't playing very well.
  8. Whatever we think of the ref on Sunday (I think he was decent), we were committing a number of fouls which went unpunished early doors; Charsley committed three in the first half alone before getting booked, and looked to be on his way to a red before his substitution. I can see the argument from their manager. We put in some poor challenges, including one that Gibbons was very lucky to get away with. They also over-acted/dived a fair bit. I definitely don't think the ref was overly-poor for either side. He certainly had very little to do with the result.
  9. Absolutely fundamental that we start well. When we were a really good side in October/November, we'd have sharp, intense spells of pressing before tiring and sitting deep. We need a strong opening 20 minutes tomorrow. An early goal will rattle them and lift the fans, making it a cup-tie sort of game which could go either way. If we start slow, the fans will grow tense/restless, and they will start to control the ball in the middle, slowing the game down and most likely see out a result that's enough to go through. Vale fans are electric when things are going well but soul-sapping when it's not good. Not sure why, we're just a reactive crowd who feeds off the players' performances, rather than vice-versa. We have to be at them from minute 1. It sounds trivial, but the pre-match needs to be structured better. Get the music right. Do not, under any circumstances, cut off The Wonder of You. Wildes, forever a PR man, managed to whip up fans in 12-13 with those silly flamethrowers. We can't be sat there, quietely listening to Robbie as sprinklers hammer the pitch, 5 minutes before a huge game. Get Carol on the pitch or something. Fire Boomer out of a cannon. The 'buzz' has dwindled slowly over the last 5 games and we need it massively tomorrow. No daft queues at the turnstiles. Into these. Proctor has to start. Absolutely no question. Unfit, he had more efforts on target in 30 minutes than the entire team did for the 60 minutes prior. He is always looking to shoot and makes us look a much, much better team as the ball sticks with him. For the first 20, bypass central midfield; Garrity and Charsley are that technically inferior to their counterparts in Swindon's midfield it's like watching them play a different sport. Garrity should be pushed up as a forward and Charsley spoils deeper. Do not give them time on the ball. Do not try and get Nathan Smith to build from the back. Get it to the wing-backs, get Wilson to come deep, or ping it into Proctor. No Garrity in possession, I beg! Wingbacks; Gibbo had a disaster on Sunday but put him on his strong foot. He got forward a lot, just everything went wrong. For all of his flaws and disappointments, Benning is our best option on the left. He is steadyish and tries to get forward, despite doing very little when he gets there. Stone Smith Martin Hall Gibbo Pett Charsley Benning Garrity Wilson Proctor My main concern is that defensively we look like conceding most weeks; 2 clean sheets in 7 isn't very good. If we concede in the first half, I think we're finished. We'll be chasing frantically and they'll pick us off on the break. We simply don't have any good attacking options in reserve to change games late on, like we did with Politic. Swindon are confident, and have every reason to be. They have a superb away record and a style of play that suits this sort of game; they have a lot of pace on the counter, and when needed can kill games through possession and going down easily. It's very effective. I do find some of the Vale fans obsession with their playacting a tad hypocritical considering we've been awful for it all season. Remember Lucas' weekly hamstring tears? It's football lads. Calm down. Everyone seems obsessed with McKirdy, and he must appear in over 50% of this thread's posts. He's completely wound up most Vale fans, and he'll be delighted. Every touch will be booed and the fans, instead of chanting about Vale, will probably devote most chants to that dreadful "Vale boys, on a bender..." chant. Give him ammunition and he'll punish us. Half the lads on here are doing deep psychological analyses, wishing him genuine injury, deep-diving on the reasons he was released, or banging on about him spitting. If you're that emotionally incontinent that you can't handle a young lad doing a daft machine-gun celebration, having silly hair, and being quite good at football, then seek help. He's got you on strings at present. He played 8 games ffs, move on! I feel like this game is massive; I don't share the confidence that next season will be inevitably better in an unrelenting march of progress, finishing top 3. Sometimes opportunities present themselves and serious clubs take them. This season, despite all of the difficulties we've faced, has been a huge opportunity to kick-start Vale's regeneration under Carol. We had a huge opportunity post-Hartlepool and failed to take it. We have a huge opportunity here and we don't have a single excuse. The budgets of four teams in the league (Stockport, Salford, Bradford, and probably Wrexham) are going to be eye-watering next season, and whilst not a guarantee of success, there's a massively strong correlation between budget and league position. If you chuck the money around that these teams will, eventually you get lucky and get it right. It's become apparent that major investment is needed in Vale Park in the coming years and, from what I've heard, the needs are only going to magnify in scale. The investment made by Carol when Flitters and DC were appointed can't be repeated every summer. My gut feeling is that this goes to ET and penalties, and I don't like the sound of that at all. Start well, score inside 20, get the crowd rocking, and we have enough about us to bundle our way to Wembley.
  10. Whilst I get you're sort of trying, in a way, to be positive about this sort of thing, it's coming off all wrong. Why are you trying to make it about you? The bravery Daniels has shown in coming out is important for football as, for a long time, homophobia/discrimination has been a part of fanbases. A visible, gay footballer may encourage more LGBTQ fans to enjoy the game we all love and to join our fanbase.
  11. An excellent post and I'm glad you feel welcome at VP again. Your experience shows the immense value of the symbolic efforts made by clubs to promote inclusivity. It's something I know one or two fans are keen on and I hope the club kicks on with it moving forward. We would benefit massively from a more inclusive fanbase representative of all walks of like in Burslem and beyond.
  12. Find the absolute vitriolic hatred of McKirdy a bit cringey to be honest. Proper head loss from some. Grown men. What's he supposed to have done? Not done very well for us and then been excellent for another club? Having daft hair? All people are talking about is how to injure him. I'm seeing people who were incandescent with rage about Swindon's 'diving and gamemanship' on Sunday now openly salivating over the prospect of intentionally injuring an opposition player. A few seem a bit 'rattled'. He's got in people's heads, rent-free to use a colloquialism, and he'll be loving it. People are obsessing. He'll be hoping for loads of abuse on Thursday. Easiest route is to just ignore him, which, considering his contribution for us, would be the sensible option. It's akin to gleefully chatting about intentionally injuring Gezim Shalaj (exactly), who played about the same number of games. Why fire up a very good player who clearly thrives when there's people to wind up? Considering the character of some of the players we've actively worshipped in years gone by, I just don't get it.
  13. I agree with everything you say apart from this sentence - I don't think Mo ever purported to be a Vale fan, but attended games when he looked to buy the club as any sensible investor would do prior to investing millions of pounds. On Pope, Santa made an excellent post after his podcast last summer in which he very accurately picked up the sadness/bitterness in him having gone from local hero to nothing overnight. In a way it's understandable but he isn't doing himself any favours in the way in which he's handling it. He could have easily got a nice job in the academy alongside his Congleton duties, with match-day hospitality, if he'd come out and thanked the club and kept on good terms. He's engaged in a bit of self-flagellation and seems to be doubling down. I personally won't attend a testimonial for him but that's simply because I've moved on from Pope.
  14. I saw Bede's excellent post and wanted to commend/reinforce. It was gratifying to see someone so excellently back up what I've been saying after a few were making out I was out for a moan for moaning's sake/saying I'd been prove wrong, and not a passionate fan with a genuine concern. I will retreat to the shadows and leave you all alone. As you were, JB x
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