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Everything posted by jjvale_03

  1. Got hammered last week for suggesting our defensive recruitment wasn't good enough. Particularly for daring to question the performances of Martin. We've now thrown away 6 points combined from the Sutton and Oldham defensive collapses that come as a direct result of signing two (Martin and Johnson) 'commanding' centre backs who are not good enough. In other words, the difference between us being top instead of where we are (still a fabulous and well earned position at this stage). This will be my last post on the subject. A priority signing for me in January would be a commanding centre half to cover for any absence of Smith and/or Legge. What's Darren Purse upto? I really hope that in the meantime Martin puts in a few decent performances that make him adequate for that role. I also really hope that teams haven't noticed our weakness.
  2. Gonna be a bit tasty this one. They're coming in numbers to give DC loads of abuse, so hopefully we can brush them aside and have a good laugh at their expense. Unless we have a nightmare at Oldham, I don't see any reason why it won't be 7500+ on Tuesday. Should be a cracking atmosphere.
  3. Tickets. People have (happily) stood on the car park in the freezing cold again this morning to get tickets for an away game. The club say that fans phoning or emailing will get a response 'within 48 hours'. Why is this still happening? It's the one aspect of the club I think is less modern and efficient than under previous regimes. We have a loyalty points system now. I don't know if it works properly but if it does then it would be sensible to start using it. 23 points for a ST, 1 point for every home or away, 1 point for every £50 spent in the club shop. Using the Burton allocation as an example of how it should work: Window for fans with 25 or more points open for 48 hours (priority) Window for fans with 23 or more point opens if any tickets remaining after this window Window for fans with 1 or more point opens if any tickets remaining after the previous two windows General Sale All of this done via an online portal. If fans who are at or above the points thresholds want to go down to the ground in person, they can still do so within their windows. This system would reward loyal fans - even the ones who don't have the means to take a morning off work to queue for tickets or those who don't live close to Vale Park. Points should accumulate of a rolling 5 season period. If you want to guarantee tickets for the away games with low allocations, you have to have enough points. I'm someone who would actually 'suffer' from this scheme because I go to 10 - 15 games a season, but it's the fairest way to do things. I imagine in the past I've been able to get tickets for Crewe and other such away games ahead of ST holders, which clearly isn't right. If the loyalty points system isn't working properly, we're in a perfect spot to fix this asap given our owners company states the following on their website: At the very heart of what we do is syndicating data, and we’ve been doing it in our own unique way for almost 30 years. We work with public and private sector organisations building data consortia to solve common problems that would be impossible for a single organisation to tackle on their own.
  4. I'll let you off this time for the aggressive style of the reply. After a night of sipping WKD's whilst staring at PPDA data it's understandable from you. I've said throughout the season that our recruitment at the back has been poor. We signed two commanding centre halves to replace/take the pressure off Leon Legge and neither of them are anywhere near as good as him. One of them can't even get in the matchday squad and is in the fanzone helping kids take penalties in a car park. We signed Mansfield's best player of all time who can't get in the team ahead of a raw, 21 year old loanee. We signed a lad from Donny Rovers reserves who occasionally gets a run out against kids in the Pizza Trophy. I'm as ecstatic as anyone how things are going this season. Thankfully Nathan Smith has become a truly horrible CB over the past 6 weeks and is leading that backline in superb fashion. Dan Jones has been an exceptional signing and is a joy to watch. Let's not be so high that we can't acknowledge that Johnson, Martin, Benning and Amos have been underwhelming.
  5. Probably the most careless we've been all season in possession. I think the tv cameras affected a few players, especially in the first 20 minutes when we either i) hoofed it or ii) tried to get it down but within 2 passes we'd frustratingly pass it to a Bradford player. So uncharacteristic. The subs were really weird for me. I know Clarke has said that Wilson indicated that he could carry on, but the commentators had noticed minutes before the subs that Wilson was struggling and limping. Surely one of our coaches had too? We didn't win the game because of that impatience or lack of ownership over Wilson's condition, because having no subs remaining left us unable to manage the game in that 30 minutes in the way we'd have liked to. Their goal comes from Smith being 'dragged out' after failing to properly clear the ball. We saw what happens when Cass and Jones are left to defend crosses at Sutton, and it happened again with their equaliser. I like Cass, but can't help but feel that he's playing more minutes than we'd like as a result of poor recruitment at the back over the summer. He struggled today. Fabulous attendance no doubt helped by the number of kids in the Bycars. Was so great to see healthy numbers behind the goal and the kids were clearly very excited by the action. Well done to the club on that front. I think we'll see plenty of changes on Saturday ahead of Sat - Tue - Sat, especially given Smith is suspended and Wilson may be injured. No reason why we can't maintain this position with the next three fixtures coming against sides who are out of form, but we'll need to lean on the squad depth to do so.
  6. A lot of that came from Tom Pope's interview where he stated 'Wilson will be on more than I ever was'.
  7. Thanks, LL. I hope you're right and I'm wrong. I don't like comparing him to previous players either, given the direct comparison is Fitzpatrick - who has made 5 appearances for Altrincham this season. He probably hasn't been helped by the performances of Dan Jones and James Gibbons, many a player would look inferior compared to those two at this level. Also agreed on the fitness issue, perhaps there's a persistent niggle that's preventing him from reaching 100%, certainly seems that he's not quite at full pelt yet. 25 yard screamer incoming tomorrow lunchtime...!
  8. I'd argue that having a 'long, illustrious career as a player at a team where fans worship him' is all good and well, if that club wasn't Mansfield Town. So he's very well regarded at a team who in his time there finished in the play-offs once in six seasons. My personal feeling is that his penchant for 'scoring worldies' masked his lack of ability as a player. He's on a one year deal and I'd be hugely surprised if he's here beyond June. It's my assessment that he's on the downward trend and looks every bit a National League 'only ever 80% fit' player. Side note: I know that we're all loving what's happening at the club and we're in a phase where any criticism or negativity is banned. But people are still allowed opinions on players. We need another great window in the summer and more ruthless decisions from management to get us ready for a tilt at the top half of L1 next season. Let's not kid ourselves that players like Mal Benning should be a part of that journey. If it was down to many posters on here, we'd still be watching Luke Joyce and Scott Brown strut their stuff.
  9. Benning's just not very good. One half decent 45 minutes - where he also managed to score a decent goal - doesn't mask the general level of performance this season.
  10. Kris Taylor v Sheffield Wednesday in 2009 might be one of the best. A genuine 30+ yard screamer.
  11. He'll be on the radar of many clubs, I'm sure. Not only because he's scoring FKs regularly but for his general play - not a game goes by where we doesn't play a perfectly weighted through ball befitting of a much higher level than L2. However, he's tied down to a long term contract so someone will have to dig quite deep to prise him away. If I were Tom, I'd be looking to captain us to promotion and have a crack at L1 next season in a Vale shirt then re-assess in Jan or June 2023. That seems the most sensible pathway for him to eventually reach the Championship. Having said that, if we don't go up I think he'll be off in the summer should a decent offer come in from L1 or above. Bur we are going to go up, so that's irrelevant.
  12. I think the missing piece here is that they'd have to pay those players League 1 wages in order to keep them happy enough to forego a move to a 'bigger' club. Unfortunately for Crewe, they pile so much money into their academy to produce these players that there's not much left in the pot to play proper wages. So, when a Championship club comes and offers these lads 5k/week (or more), Crewe simply aren't inclined to compete on that front, even if doing so would long-term increase the value of their assets and give the club a better chance to reach the Championship. I wonder what Artell thinks of it all. I know we give him lots of stick, but on paper he's done a decent job at Crewe and it must be demoralising having the rug pulled from under you after so much hard work. On one hand, he's never going to get sacked but if he has ambitions to manage higher up the pyramid surely he has to move on at some point?
  13. Maybe a little OTT on Martin, although he signed a two year deal and the thought of him anywhere near a L1 squad (let alone starting XI) scares me based on what I've seen so far. I'm not a huge fan of Leon Legge, but the fact I'd pick him over Martin any day is telling. Personally, I wouldn't put that down as an 'ok' signing. I've been pleased with Cass, but he is only on loan and therefore it's a short term signing where his future is not our decision. I'd rather judge us on permanent signings on multi-year deals that may prove fairly expensive failures. In saying all of that, our defensive record is very strong this season and long may that continue. Just frustrating that with the number of defenders we have in the squad, it still doesn't feel like there's much quality in depth. I'd be extremely concerned if Dan Jones got injured.
  14. Pretty much everyone had an off night, including the manager. It was almost like we approached the whole game as one we just wanted to get out of the way, rather than one against a side super low on confidence on a night when a win for us would've been huge considering the other fixtures. I'm definitely in the 'trust the process' camp. However, at this point we have to say that the recruitment in defence has been a failure on the whole. Dan Jones has been superb this season and was a fabulous signing. Cass is a young lad who's stepped up well when asked to do so. Crucially though, the two 'commanding' centre backs we bought in to replace/challenge Legge are so far off it it's unreal (Martin and Johnson) and Benning is a finished player and should never start a game ahead of James Gibbons unless the latter has two broken legs. We shouldn't be in a position where Smith and Legge are still our best two centre backs (I count Jones as more of a hybrid left sided defender). It cost us the game at Sutton and we were lucky to get away with it last night. Already looking ahead to January, I'd hope that we can ship out Johnson and replace with a CB who can push us onto promotion in the 2nd half of the season.
  15. A very, very healthy crowd against an 'unfashionable' opponent. Rome wasn't built in a day, but it already looks like the work put in by the owners since they arrived to engage the fanbase/local community is paying off. People see the direction we're heading and want to be part of the journey.
  16. They look a decent side who (apart from when they went 4 at the back at Bradford) have employed a 3-4-1-2 formation away from home, similar to us. So, it could come down to personnel and I think we're better on paper. They've got Josh Gordon up top - who we were heavily linked with over the summer - and Remeao Hutton at RWB, who I liked a lot in a very poor Stevenage team last season. Should be an interesting game, I don't think they'll be coming here to shut up shop. Looking for Captain Conlon to put in a League One/Championship standard performance he is well capable of, after a couple of weeks of dropping down to League Two levels.
  17. Two sides who are doing well yet are both in the bottom four in terms of possession. Perhaps similar styles of play could cancel eachother out? I think both sides would take a point right now, but i'm hoping our superior quality can get us another win to keep this run going.
  18. It's been a while since we've been odds on for an away game. The bookies know how good we are.
  19. I reckon you're right! On the back of a first promotion in 20 seasons and against far bigger sides (two of whom are now in the Prem). More signs of a club going in the right direction.
  20. When was the last time we got over 5k home fans for all three of our opening (Saturday) home matches?
  21. I'm staggered by the numbers of U9s at home matches. The fanzone definitely helps - a place where as a parent you can still have a drink pre-match without having to take your little'un to a pub. The strategy isn't just about the kids. Very easy for people in their 20s and 30s who are starting a family, getting married etc to drift away having once been ST holders etc. But, if you throw everything at their kids (free kits, summer camps, matchday fan packs) you give yourselves the best possible chance of retaining that demographic of fans, as well as getting that new generation involved. We've been lucky with the weather so far - I wonder if there are any plans in place to make the fanzone 'winter proof'?
  22. Within the first 20 mins on Saturday he'd setup Proctor for his volley by being sharper than anyone else in the box and winning a header against two defenders, and again was sharper than anyone else to offer for a quick throw and then fire a wicked ball across the 6 yard box which first Smith and then Cass were unable to stick in the back of the net. He does stuff like this every single week and is only getting better as his confidence builds. You don't see many players at this level who do things before the crowd sees them. Wilson is one of those players, as shown by his excellent goal on Saturday. He's going to be a great asset in League One next season, too.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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