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Match Thread Port Vale v Wolverhampton Wanderers


Fosse69

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At this rate (if he signs) Conlon is a nailed on starter for me for the Cambridge game. Even if Oyeleke shrugs off his injury in time for the Shrewsbury match hes hardly got any minutes under his belt in pre-season.

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Last night Wolves were pushing 4 players forward which kept our wingbacks pegged back and pretty much killed our formation. I thought we looked better second half when we went 4 at the back. Theres so much to work on with 3 at the back, I don't think we're ready to use it yet.

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People moan about managers,Vale ones in particular, who don’t have a Plan B or C. Aspo is experimenting in Friendlies for just that reason. We are not going to win the League but we will not be hanging on to League 2 status by our finger nails either. That will be massive progress bearing in mind this club has been in free fall for the past couple of years.

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If Aspin doesn't realize as much as everybody else watching does that we need more creativity in the side, then we might as well all just pack up and go home. I think we're a solid team and won't be pushovers for anybody this coming season. But we need some wide players with a bit of pace desperately.

 

I also think that Quigley, from what bit I've seen from him, won't be anywhere near the standard required. I genuinely can't see an actually attribute he has to his game.

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If Aspin doesn't realize as much as everybody else watching does that we need more creativity in the side, then we might as well all just pack up and go home. I think we're a solid team and won't be pushovers for anybody this coming season. But we need some wide players with a bit of pace desperately.

 

I also think that Quigley, from what bit I've seen from him, won't be anywhere near the standard required. I genuinely can't see an actually attribute he has to his game.

 

Its a fair point BUT this time last year we were raving over what Pyke would do so better to judge when the season starts to get a full reflection.

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There is a little myopia among Vale fans that successful Vale teams have always played 442 with 2 flying wingers. More often than not we've had one out and out winger and someone more of a midfield player on the other side (Porter and Terry Armstrong spring to mind as 2 you would never describe as wingers from promotion teams who played wide midfield). There was the obvious period with McCarthy and Guppy but they were exceptional and both were good enough to play wingback at a higher level ... and had exceptional workrates when tracking back, which few players could match. 2012/13 we did have 2 wingers but for much of the first half of the season played 433 with Shuker, Burge and Morsy in central midfield, and JMW and Vincent providing support to Pope. We did often go 442 after about an hour. After the window we played 442. If we had performed at first half season points all season we would have won the division. Despite some notable results in the second half (Burton at home) the points tally doubled would have left us 10th and we did somewhat flop over the line, in no small part because of Lee Collins's greatest Vale Park goal.

 

The issue we do need to solve is the speed we move from defence to attack, because that's what creates chances from open play. More so than in the past teams regain their shape defensively much more quickly which makes it hard to get quality balls in to the box once you get more than a couple of phases in to an attack. That's something we have struggled to do well for 3 or 4 seasons. My personal view is the main problem has been lack of speed in the middle of the field (both actual and speed of thought) so by the time we've got the ball in to positions to cross teams have reorganised. Shuker, Morsy and Burge scarred me with the one two's they played on the edge of their own box but it did open space quickly to get decent balls forward, and Burge and Morsy were pretty good at getting up the field in support of the front 3 quickly enough to provide a distraction for defenders.

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There is a little myopia among Vale fans that successful Vale teams have always played 442 with 2 flying wingers. More often than not we've had one out and out winger and someone more of a midfield player on the other side (Porter and Terry Armstrong spring to mind as 2 you would never describe as wingers from promotion teams who played wide midfield). There was the obvious period with McCarthy and Guppy but they were exceptional and both were good enough to play wingback at a higher level ... and had exceptional workrates when tracking back, which few players could match. 2012/13 we did have 2 wingers but for much of the first half of the season played 433 with Shuker, Burge and Morsy in central midfield, and JMW and Vincent providing support to Pope. We did often go 442 after about an hour. After the window we played 442. If we had performed at first half season points all season we would have won the division. Despite some notable results in the second half (Burton at home) the points tally doubled would have left us 10th and we did somewhat flop over the line, in no small part because of Lee Collins's greatest Vale Park goal.

 

The issue we do need to solve is the speed we move from defence to attack, because that's what creates chances from open play. More so than in the past teams regain their shape defensively much more quickly which makes it hard to get quality balls in to the box once you get more than a couple of phases in to an attack. That's something we have struggled to do well for 3 or 4 seasons. My personal view is the main problem has been lack of speed in the middle of the field (both actual and speed of thought) so by the time we've got the ball in to positions to cross teams have reorganised. Shuker, Morsy and Burge scarred me with the one two's they played on the edge of their own box but it did open space quickly to get decent balls forward, and Burge and Morsy were pretty good at getting up the field in support of the front 3 quickly enough to provide a distraction for defenders.

 

100% on that, although Dodds played in behind Pope in the midfield 3 - did Morsy and Shuker start and Burge come into the fold later?

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There is a little myopia among Vale fans that successful Vale teams have always played 442 with 2 flying wingers. More often than not we've had one out and out winger and someone more of a midfield player on the other side (Porter and Terry Armstrong spring to mind as 2 you would never describe as wingers from promotion teams who played wide midfield). There was the obvious period with McCarthy and Guppy but they were exceptional and both were good enough to play wingback at a higher level ... and had exceptional workrates when tracking back, which few players could match. 2012/13 we did have 2 wingers but for much of the first half of the season played 433 with Shuker, Burge and Morsy in central midfield, and JMW and Vincent providing support to Pope. We did often go 442 after about an hour. After the window we played 442. If we had performed at first half season points all season we would have won the division. Despite some notable results in the second half (Burton at home) the points tally doubled would have left us 10th and we did somewhat flop over the line, in no small part because of Lee Collins's greatest Vale Park goal.

 

The issue we do need to solve is the speed we move from defence to attack, because that's what creates chances from open play. More so than in the past teams regain their shape defensively much more quickly which makes it hard to get quality balls in to the box once you get more than a couple of phases in to an attack. That's something we have struggled to do well for 3 or 4 seasons. My personal view is the main problem has been lack of speed in the middle of the field (both actual and speed of thought) so by the time we've got the ball in to positions to cross teams have reorganised. Shuker, Morsy and Burge scarred me with the one two's they played on the edge of their own box but it did open space quickly to get decent balls forward, and Burge and Morsy were pretty good at getting up the field in support of the front 3 quickly enough to provide a distraction for defenders.

 

Thats not true.

 

In 12/13 we played either a 442/4231.

 

Shuker, Morsy, and Burge rarely, if ever, played together. Dodds was played off Pope, in a second striker role. Whilst that did lend a bit of support to the middle 2 (Morsy and Shuker), it couldn't be described as a 433. He was firmly an attacking player. The creativity of the side largely was a result of wing play.

 

After Christmas, it was Hughes and Pope up top, firmly entrenching us in a rigid 442, as they were both proper strikers. JMW and Vincent stayed as wingers until the latter got injured, at which point Birchall or Loft were used out wide.

 

We have a lot (with Conlon signing) of good central midfielders. I just feel the squad lacks pace.

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100% on that, although Dodds played in behind Pope in the midfield 3 - did Morsy and Shuker start and Burge come into the fold later?

 

Sometimes Dodds played in there but quite often he came off the bench for Shuker - didn't he get injured about early October and miss quite a few games which allowed Burge to start? One game with Dodds which really stuck in my mind for that first half season was Rotherham at home and the speed with which Dodds, Shuker and Morsy got the ball to halfway. We created a 5 on 3 or 4 defender situation nearly every time we attacked and should have scored another 3 or 4 really.

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Completely off topic but Chris Shuker is one of the more underrated Vale players of the recent years.

 

Was often castigated by fans as he was a slight 5"5 CM but we played our best football with him pulling the strings.

 

Don't mind me.

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Completely off topic but Chris Shuker is one of the more underrated Vale players of the recent years.

 

Was often castigated by fans as he was a slight 5"5 CM but we played our best football with him pulling the strings.

 

Don't mind me.

 

Liked Shuker personally, that said I still remember his dive for a penalty when playing against us for Tranmere!

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Sometimes Dodds played in there but quite often he came off the bench for Shuker - didn't he get injured about early October and miss quite a few games which allowed Burge to start? One game with Dodds which really stuck in my mind for that first half season was Rotherham at home and the speed with which Dodds, Shuker and Morsy got the ball to halfway. We created a 5 on 3 or 4 defender situation nearly every time we attacked and should have scored another 3 or 4 really.

 

Regrdless, Dodds played in the hole for the start and was shoved out wide right when Hughes came him, making his less effective. That also coincided with our [somewhat] poor run at the end of the season. As good as Hughes was, we didn't need the change in system. Burge only came into it when Shuker, as you say, got injured.

 

The point is that flat out 4-4-2 doesn't particularly work in the modern day. A version of it with a diamond shape I feel would be our best solution:

 

Brown; Gibbons, Smith, Rawlinson, Montano; Joyce; Worrall, Hannant; Dodds; Pope, Miller.

 

That should compact the middle of the park, give us enough goal threat upfront, and allow the wings to be supported - allowing the combinations of Montano/Hannant and Worrall/Gibbons to grow. Joyce to sit in front of the back four so as either wing back can bomb forward.

 

That's just my opinion anyway. Aspo knows more than me and how he wants to play. Can't wait for the new season to start. Still think mid table would be a reasonable target - although we all want us to do as best we can.

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Just personally don't see the issue with:

 

Brown

Gibbons Smith Legge Montano

Worrall Oyeleke Joyce Hannant

Pope Miller

 

Hornby Vassell Rawlinson Conlon Daniels Dodds Quigly

 

Its basic, but thats a strong 11. Worrall and Hannant work hard enough to unleash the fullbacks, Smith works best with a big man, nice cover on the bench (Kanu, Kay not on there).

 

I liked Howkins but he doesn't appear necessary. If the budget is tight, I'd love an out and out winger/natural left back.

 

I understand that experimentation is what pre-season is for but some of it (Hannant at LWB, Monty at CB) is just getting a bit silly now.

 

As Santa has said, now Monty is confident again, it would be good to give him a bash at his natural position. Thats why the non-signing of McKeown, who in friendlies and by Aspo's account was more than competent, makes little sense. As a club we have 0 proper, trained, out and out left backs.

 

As we all know, the management knows a lot more than us. At the minute, after a very, very strong opener to the window, I'm left feeling a tiny bit apprehensive, 10 days out, that we're messing about a bit too much. I'm seen as a moaner on here, but I feel far better about the club now then I have done for 2 years. Just a bit worried by the mad experimentation so close to the season, the lack of wingers, and the lack of a left back.

 

That line up looks right to me, though from recent reports Rawlinson might beat Legge to the starting position (not that I want to start a debate on that). A few weeks ago I was thinking that 352 might be the best formation for us but I'm less than convinced, particularly with the nonsense of playing Monty, a completely inexperienced wide player in the back three. The comparison with Kyle Walker is way off the mark - he is an experienced defender playing at Premier/International level with help from some of the most elite coaches in the country, whereas we're in League 2! Personally I hope Aspo reverts to 442, or some variant that leaves us with four at the back. We would be very difficult to break down and, with the better midfield players he's recruited, should be able to speed up our play through the thirds to Pope and Miller.

 

We need to get off to a good start because, after last season, we simply can't afford to be playing catch up.

 

Just my opinion, mind :smile:

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I'm fairly certain Dodds played virtually the whole season, playing in the hole for the start and being shoved out wide right when Hughes came him, making his less effective. That also coincided with our [somewhat] poor run at the end of the season. As good as Hughes was, we didn't need the change in system. Burge only came into it when Shuker, as you say, got injured.

 

But the point is that flat out 4-4-2 doesn't particularly work in the modern day. A version of it with a diamond shape I feel would be our best solution:

 

Brown; Gibbons, Smith, Rawlinson, Montano; Joyce; Worrall, Hannant; Dodds; Pope, Miller.

 

That should compact the middle of the park, give us enough goal threat upfront, and allow the wings to be supported - allowing the combinations of Montano/Hannant and Worrall/Gibbons to grow. Joyce to sit in front of the back four so as either wing back can bomb forward.

 

That's just my opinion anyway. Aspo knows more than me and how he wants to play. Can't wait for the new season to start. Still think mid table would be a reasonable target - although we all want us to do as best we can.

I think Aspins going to start games with 2 central midfielders in Joyce and either Conlon or Oyeleke (when fit). With Kay coming on later if a game needs tightening up.

 

The dilemna then is who to play up front with Pope? Dodds has had a good preseason I think whereas Miller hasn't played one game yet so probably isn't match fit to be considered to start.

 

Hannant and Worall are favourites of the manager so they'll start too.

 

I wouldn't be surprised to see us start with these for the first game, purely because of Millers and Oyelekes lack of pre-season games.

 

Brown

Gibbons

Rawlinson

Smith

Montano

Worrall

Joyce

Conlon

Hannant

Dodds

Pope

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