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valeitup last won the day on September 7 2021

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  1. They were in the Premier League, but not in the Premier League if you know what I mean. Probably for the best that he didn't remember.
  2. I don't agree that keeper is a huge priority - Stone, given how much he is improving, and Covolan are fine for either League One or Two. So I would get Stone signed up long-term. I want Proctor, Gibbons and Smith for sure, and I think Benning has probably *just* shown enough for me to want to give him another year. I really want to want to keep Worrall, but the way he's stopped taking on any defender on the outside shows me that he couldn't play another season at wing back. Is there another place for him? Sadly, I doubt it. Amoo just hasn't done anywhere near enough to suggest he could be a regular starter, or even an impact sub, so I would thank him for his efforts and move on. Of the loanees, I would love to sign Edmondson and Cass - I feel like there is a slim chance of getting Cass, but next to none of getting Edmondson. I'd say Harratt is a good way off being a regular starter, but he could be fantastic in another couple of years. Cooper clearly has too much baggage and never showed anything for us anyway. I've seen trees less rooted to the spot than Holy. The question marks in the confirmed(ish) players are only really over Hussey and Hurst for me. Hurst is surely on borrowed time; Hussey doesn't look like he can play wing back like Gibbons and Benning, but if we allow for the fact that he's been playing injured for the past few weeks, maybe he has a role as a more controlled, set-piece oriented wide player. It doesn't look to me like he can play as the left CB in a 3. So assuming for a moment that we get to keep Proctor, Gibbons, Smith, Stone and Benning (a pretty big assumption), my priorities would be forwards and wing-backs.
  3. I'm calling it now - FGR are very catchable too though they probably have enough already for top 3. They fall off a cliff every year. It's 10 teams that could all finish anywhere in the top 10.
  4. I agree with this. The first two were the same issue, directly resulting from his transition to playing at a higher standard while also doing something that helps the whole team play further up the pitch. Covolan clearly worked on this and has looked good in this area since his opening day red card. The third red was appalling. Terrible timing in a big game we were lucky still to be in (actually lucky in part thanks to Covolan's saves) and completely unnnecessary and brainless. He deserved the strong criticism, and might have to do more to win his place back with Stone looking reasonable, or with Holy getting a shot - if so, Covolan could have no complaints. Personally, I would be happy to see him back in the team, since his better, faster distribution can help us create more and his sweeping means we're less likely to sit too deep. I do think Stone looks a good signing though - he definitely has potential, especially if he can increase his composure on the ball. It would be good if he could get a lot of game time on loan somewhere, assuming Covolan or Holy gets the start ahead of him, though it doesn't sound like that will happen based on Clarke's comments.
  5. Yeah, as @Guitar Ray rightly says, it's daft knocking a former goalkeeper, who was very good for most of his time here, to defend a current one, especially when Covolan, on this occasion, deserves the criticism. I'm glad Stone has given us some reason to believe he would be a good replacement, because I don't think Visser ever truly pushed Brown when his form dipped. Fair to say expectations have been raised a bit, isn't it?!
  6. Ultimately agree with @Joe B right now, but it's healthy for Covolan to be concerned about his place after an error that poor (something Scott Brown never really had to do), as @robf says. I am sure Lucas will have had an intense day's training today, and if he's good enough he'll put that mistake behind him whether he's dropped or not. I certainly think he is good enough, and I like the way he plays the position - anyone should be able to see the difference he's making in cutting off crosses and through-balls. But I'd like Stone to be pushing him hard for the position too.
  7. Seemed a poor effort from Covolan to save the free kick, even if it was well struck. The owd scrote next to me was up for lynching him - but then he always is, whether he's doing well or not (he's never happier than when one of our lads make a mistake). We'd still be mad to drop him - far too many people gagging for him to fail at Vale Park, and they always ignore the good stuff he's doing. I thought Benning looked great today, both when he was left back and left wing back when Martin came on. Pett was also quietly excellent - his ball to Woz before our third was a thing of beauty. Did he also play Politic in for the equaliser?
  8. As opposed to the tests at FGR or at Swindon or at tWotN v Harrogate? Would a poor game tomorrow count more than those (relatively) tough games that Jones and Pett contributed strongly to controlling? I agree Brisley and Joyce were alright - for a team looking to survive in League 2. Aside from their quality, Jones and Pett are each 5 years younger than these rough equivalents too.
  9. @Joe B makes the point about last season's continuity approach above better than I would have. But I though it might be worth adding that what "continuity" we do have is proving its value. The quality players we already had are among the first players on the team sheet and integral to the way the Vale are playing right now. And part of the reason for that is the newer players are helping them maximise their best qualities. For example, Smith is definitely benefitting from Covolan's greater command of the penalty area and willingness to sweep up more balls in behind him - he can just go and win the ball more without worrying as much about getting exposed. Likewise, Jones' distribution and assurance on the ball is clearly better than we had before (Smith is even raising his game in that respect too). Pett and Walker allow Conlon to play a bit higher up the pitch and focus more on the creative aspects of his game while Garrity's pace makes our midfield a bit less one-paced and more able to break a defensive line. I don't think there can still be any sensible doubt that this squad is an improvement on last year's.
  10. I'm enjoying the balance on here - much more level-headed than some of the nonsense you hear at Vale Park. In my opinion this squad clearly has a lot more potential than we've seen for a long time and we probably need to be quite patient to see how it develops over the next few months. Out of the new players, Jones is clearly a standout, but as a former goalkeeper myself I see a lot to like in Covolan. There are very few goalkeepers in the Football League trying to play the role as proactively as him, as @Danish Valiant says. I don't know if Wilson will work out, but I like seeing his quality of touch in a Vale team that has a lot of willing workers in it. I can understand the lukewarm attitude to both give results so far, but it is refreshing to see a bit of flair and ambition running through the team (especially with Conlon back) and I think that is what we're getting with these two - maybe Politic will add to this too. Like most others on this thread, I'm happy with the midfield and Proctor too. Overall, the most important effect of the summer's changes is the sense of competition for places I think. We may not be able to say the team is up among the best in the league yet, but the quality on the bench is a great sign for our ability to change anything that isn't working.
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