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jjvale_03

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Everything posted by jjvale_03

  1. I think it's fair to say that with Max we were getting a Ferrari for the price of a Fiesta. Some of the content/output during his period at the club was simply stunning for a young guy in his first proper role.
  2. The highlights make it look like Covolan could've done more for the first and the third, but in real time in the ground he had no chance. Particularly with the 1st which was fizzed across and he had no chance with. I'd have liked to have seen him come and take everything for the 3rd, but that would've risked giving away a peno and potentially another red - which he can ill afford from a personal perspective.
  3. I really, really want Devante to come good. Mostly because he's still got 2 years to run on his contract, he has all the physical attributes to have a good EFL career, and because he's only 23. But, I don't think he has that footballing instinct/brain - and that's not something you can coach. You can put in all the hours possible on the training pitch, but you can't teach a player to make the right split second decision if they're just not tuned in. He scored some nice goals last season and looked really dangerous when picking the ball up from deep and running at players and was really looking forward to seeing him in the flesh this season. However, from what I've seen he doesn't know how to read the game (how to time his runs for flick ons) and lacks awareness when in dangerous situations (making the wrong choice). I think the best avenue for him is down the wing - where his job would be to isolate a full back, beat them for pace and fizz balls into the box - but I don't see how he fits into our system unless he's dropping deep on the left side of a front three, and I don't see us employing that formation too often.
  4. Nathan Smith was a cracking young defender half a decade ago who didn't look out of place in the league above, despite his age. At 25, I fear he's regressed to the point that he'd struggle to get another club in the EFL if we didn't renew his contract. He's always looked best with a big 'head it and kick it' lump next to him, or in a 3. However, as we saw on Saturday, once he's exposed or not paired with someone who compliments him he looks lost. It was noticeable towards the end of the game that Rochdale were happy for Smith to have the ball, instead of pressing him, because they know how poor his distribution is. I've always thought it was a weak (and wrong) move to allow Smith to come back after looking like he's found pastures new two summers back. It's such a negative way to re-sign a player - he couldn't find anywhere better so 'settled' for another contract with us. On the whole he's looked poor ever since.
  5. The only area of recruitment that concerns me is the defence, despite the fact that until Saturday our defensive numbers looked good. Apart from Dan Jones - who apart from a wobbly 15 minutes on Saturday has been outstanding so far - we've signed players who either look well off the pace or simply not good enough. I'll put Benning and Martin in the first camp and Johnson in the second. It's quite scary that our first choice pairing in a two would be Smith and Legge, with Jones alongside them in a three. If the recruitment in this area had been anywhere near good enough, surely nether Legge nor Smith would be first choices. Elsewhere, I think we're stronger than last season. We have younger, better players in midfield and up top than previous seasons.
  6. First 15 minutes was the best I've seen a Vale side play for a number of years. Tom Conlon was simply sublime and was at a Championship level for that brief period. It's no exaggeration to say we should've been three up. Clarke tinkered too much and got it wrong. Too much 'game management' when the game demanded a 'we'll score more than you' approach. I'd still rather that than not seeing a sub for 75 minutes, which we've seen with previous managers. It's cliched but let's trust the process. One of the reasons why far smaller clubs like Crewe, Accrington, Morecambe and Burton Albion have Sunderland, Pompey, Ipswich and Sheffield Wednesday coming to town (instead of Barrow, Sutton and Harrogate) is because they've been patient and don't have fanbases that over-react to every defeat or sloppy goal conceded. It's a long slog of a season and we need to leverage the fantastic support we have for good rather than piling on the pressure. We're a club clearly going in the right direction off the pitch, and on it we're trying something new instead of the same old. I'm still confident that if we stick with it we've got a solid season ahead of us. KTF.
  7. Have to disagree. Tom Conlon is too good to leave out if fully fit, and from a business perspective we need to be playing our most valuable and saleable asset.
  8. Here's some more for you: 20/21 L2 Theo Robinson - Xg 5.78 - Goals 3 Tom Pope - Xg 2.86 - Goals 3 Kurtis Guthrie - Xg 2.64 - Goals 1 Mark Cullen - Xg 2.71 - Goals 2 Devante Rodney - Xg 8.46 - Goals 11 You wanted to keep a guy who scores half the goals he should based on the quality of chances he's presented with? If Theo was a clinical striker I could perhaps forgive his lack of other attributes - such as pace, strength, movement, hold up play, pressing - but the stats don't lie. Must have a good agent.
  9. Really, really good performance. You can't expect to be two up in 10 mins, but the way we handled the rest of the game once we'd got into that commanding position was truly excellent. Loads of credit to Clarke and the players. Smith's best game of the season. Marked Matt out of the game, no mean feat. Wilson and Proctor worked well on and off the ball. Some of Wilson's touches were next level and Proctor finished his chances well. I called Walker and Garrity 'plodders' in a previous match thread. However, they were much more than that today. Their energy, ability to breakthrough the lines and press high worked perfectly. Still think at home we may need to utilise all of our midfield options to break teams down, but on the road this looks like a great way to go. Great win, let's push on into the playoffs next week with another.
  10. Had a 120k bid for Cheltenham captain, Ben Tozer, rejected. They're certainly not pissing about.
  11. Based on absolutely nothing at all, I have a weird feeling that Conlon might end up at Wrexham.
  12. Brutal stuff regarding Flitcroft and Clarke. I disagree with his assessment of the current squad, and think he misses the point about generally needing to bring down the average age of the squad and sign players with some potential resale value. However, I agree with him on Carol's mistake with getting too close to Askey and that she may have been hoodwinked by Flitcroft's spiel when belatedly looking for a replacement. I hope Tom finds a path post-football that fulfills him. At the moment he seems angry and disillusioned by the game he's dedicated his life to, and his relationship with the club sounds completely broken which is so sad. Whilst I think it was the right time for club and player to part ways, the way it was handled sounds so poor considering he is our post-war top goalscorer and a hero to thousands of Vale fans. I hope he doesn't continue to be shunned by the club and that we (Vale fans) can support his testimonial to the full, and the club likewise.
  13. Some really powerful stuff regarding John Askey's treatment of Pope.
  14. A significant upgrade on Joyce he may be, but that's not saying much given the latter now kicks a ball around in the National League North. Perhaps I have been a little harsh, I've seen the guy once. But he looked functional rather than spectacular yesterday and there were many occasions where I thought he lost challenges he should've won or wasn't in the right position to break up play and/or help setup attacks.
  15. Positives: - Dan Jones looks a very decent player both defensively and offensively. - Rodney looked very sharp and far bulkier 'in the flesh'. There'll be a few scouts tracking his progress this season. - The depth of the squad is far better. To be bringing on the likes of Proctor and Amoo was refreshing and it'll win us games this season. Negatives: - Both Walker and Garrity look limited. I won't go as far as to call them both 'plodders' because they were up against Foley (who was excellent yesterday) and Spearing (who's one of the best at this level). But, their limitations left a lot on the shoulders of Pett who never really got into the game. - Benning. On paper, probably our best signing of the summer. However, he got beaten every single time in the first half by their winger and looked over-weight, flat-footed and one-paced. Cass blocked more crosses in his cameo than Benning did throughout his time on the pitch. If Tranmere's final ball had been better we'd have been in real trouble. - Wilson needs a goal. Once he grabs one then I think we'll have a very decent player on our hands but until he does, we're in that limbo stage where we ask 'do we stick with a low-confidence striker or do we bench him in favour of Proctor?'. It's a delicate one for DC to handle. Overall, we look a better side than last season. Two solid sides who cancelled themselves out to a certain extent although we definitely had the better chances to win it. Let's stick with them this season, could be a bit of a slow burner but we should be very competitive.
  16. I love what Carol has done and without her we wouldn't exist. So don't take this as a dig. The scenes from 1400 - 1500 yesterday outside all sections of the ground were utterly shambolic, embarrassing and frankly dangerous. Some suggestions: - Open all of the turnstiles. The most Vale fans at a home game for 6 and a half years and we have less turnstiles open than we've ever had in the past. Utter lunacy. - Sort out the ticketing system. If the equipment isn't working properly then replace it or fix it. if the turnstile operatives aren't trained, get them trained. - Communicate. Nobody knew what was going on yesterday. Queues after queues after queues. Old folk looking bewildered, kids getting upset, blokes with 4 pints in their bellies getting restless. We're lucky it didn't kick off. And speaking of kick offs, we've seen numerous delayed kicks offs in the past (I was at one just last week up at Sunderland). If there's literally thousands of people outside who can't get in come 1455, make the call. Let's make no mistake. If this happened under V2001 or NS then people are rioting. Carol et al have so much goodwill in the bank that people will accept this once (or twice in a week in this case) but people will start to get seriously hacked off if they don't sort this out asap. The club has done a fabulous job of engaging the fanbase, let's not forget the fundamentals like letting them into the ground for crying out loud! Oh and for those saying 'turn up earlier', you're clearly on the wind up. This isn't on the 5600 Vale fans who turned up to a stadium with 15000 seats for home fans expecting to be able to get in.
  17. You're on the wrong end of this one my friend. I watched on (from the fanzone) at the queue that was well into the hundreds for the Paddock by 1400. This isn't on the fans turning up at 1455 and expecting to waltz straight in, far from it.
  18. I don't believe you unless you pushed in the queue.
  19. I went to Sunderland v Wigan on Saturday. They were really shaky first 15. They had a 19 year old midfielder filling in at LB and a 17 year old CB making his debut at CB (on loan from Man City). Wigan were too neat and tidy for them when they played it on the floor and it's an area we could look to exploit. They did get stronger as the game went on with the encouragement of 30k home fans, but we should try to exploit that inexperience. Going forward, McGeady and Gooch were predictably their danger men with Ross Stewart looking like a real handful up front. I'm not sure how many of those three will start tomorrow night (I doubt McGeady needs three games in a week at this stage of his career) but I worry about our full backs against those tricky wingers. If I could pick out some weak spots - they lacked protection in front of that inexperienced backline. If Conlon/Pett are on song we may be able to exploit that. If we can get Rodney one on one with his full back we may be able to get some joy. They didn't look particularly competent from set pieces (defensively). They have a thin squad so not sure they have the luxury of too much rotation. If they play a strong side, I think it'll be a case of working hard off the ball and then trying to play through the lines when we get the chance, pushing Conlon into those pockets between their def and mid and hoping he can pull some strings.
  20. 1. Salford City 2. Tranmere Rovers 3. Mansfield Town 4. Colchester United 5. Bradford City 6. Port Vale 7. Harrogate Town 23. Rochdale 24. Sutton United
  21. So you can't answer my simple question?
  22. He's more of a right sided CB than a RB, so I think it's Smith who he'll be providing competition for. I don't think we've fought off a number of other clubs and convinced a Premier League side to loan us their U23 captain so that he can sit on our bench. We certainly look very well stocked in those defensive areas (on paper) with lots of flexibility around formations.
  23. If you're prepared to travel half way across the country to watch a fourth division football team - quite probably by public transport or via a motorway service station - and still decide to wear a face nappy at the match despite standing in the open air, then fair play to you.
  24. Have to agree, on the basis of that performance in the NL play off final. Lacked awareness of what was going on around him, in the book early doors for a reckless foul after he'd been done by a tiny bit of movement and pace and generally looked like a bang average non-league defender. The only thing I can think is that they've identified that Smithy needs a big brute next to him to bring out his best - as we saw with Streete, Innis, Bikey etc.
  25. No. I'd rather we went out of business.
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