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10 games in


philmpv

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we are certainly an improvement on last season. I still think to go from a team that was one point away from relegation to a playoff contender in one summer is asking way too much. With the finances we have, a mid table table finish is a realistic expectation and I think that's where we are heading. We then build again next summer and look for a play off push next season.

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This league is poor enough that the play offs are achievable certainly, Lincoln are stand out the rest much of a muchness.

 

That said I would be happy and expect an upper mid table finish around 10-14th which would be a base to push on, maybe similar to Adams first season where we turned the corner after Glover's spell and flirted with the play offs (until the last day actually) but settled just outside.

 

We will learn a lot in the coming weeks against the better sides but we have generally looked to have a bit more than the likes of Cambridge, Northampton and Crewe but so far a fair way of Lincoln and away from home may struggle against the mid table sides too.

 

We have more than 1/4 of the points we got in the whole of last season and have won double what we did the last 22 games of last season so the signs are positive.

 

Player wise -

 

Brown - huge upgrade on Boot which his experience and a problem solved for the first time since Alnwick

 

Legge - Lack of vocal experience an issue since Duffy he has come in and also adds that dominance we needed there.

 

Clarke - Versatile, high quality player, possibly the best full back in the division.

 

Joyce - on/off, struggled as we didnt gel away from home but has that quality... the fact we are bringing him on late in games rather than Tonge shows the vast improvements to the squad.

 

Manny - Missed a player like him since Grant-Foley, full of energy, power a huge player that we need to keep fit. Need to tie how down ASAP.

 

Conlon - Struggled at Stevenage, how? Looks quality... maybe their notorious style of play didn't suit him or we are just a good fit but looks a player.

 

Miller - Pest... Luke Rodgers like and gives us a presence, needs goals and better decision making as if we can get that and develop that partnership with Pope it could be the difference between play offs or mid table.

 

Rawlinson - Passionate and can tell he is enjoying the ride and in fairness taking it with both hands... seems assured and has barely put a foot wrong... solid.

 

The others I haven't really seen yet of our new lads but one player I do wish to mention:

 

Luke Hannant - He has come on further since the summer and looks a real find... Looked ok in a poor side but appears to stand out... really rating him!

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This league is poor enough that the play offs are achievable certainly, Lincoln are stand out the rest much of a muchness.

 

That said I would be happy and expect an upper mid table finish around 10-14th which would be a base to push on, maybe similar to Adams first season where we turned the corner after Glover's spell and flirted with the play offs (until the last day actually) but settled just outside.

 

We will learn a lot in the coming weeks against the better sides but we have generally looked to have a bit more than the likes of Cambridge, Northampton and Crewe but so far a fair way of Lincoln and away from home may struggle against the mid table sides too.

 

We have more than 1/4 of the points we got in the whole of last season and have won double what we did the last 22 games of last season so the signs are positive.

 

Player wise -

 

Brown - huge upgrade on Boot which his experience and a problem solved for the first time since Alnwick

 

Legge - Lack of vocal experience an issue since Duffy he has come in and also adds that dominance we needed there.

 

Clarke - Versatile, high quality player, possibly the best full back in the division.

 

Joyce - on/off, struggled as we didnt gel away from home but has that quality... the fact we are bringing him on late in games rather than Tonge shows the vast improvements to the squad.

 

Manny - Missed a player like him since Grant-Foley, full of energy, power a huge player that we need to keep fit. Need to tie how down ASAP.

 

Conlon - Struggled at Stevenage, how? Looks quality... maybe their notorious style of play didn't suit him or we are just a good fit but looks a player.

 

Miller - Pest... Luke Rodgers like and gives us a presence, needs goals and better decision making as if we can get that and develop that partnership with Pope it could be the difference between play offs or mid table.

 

Rawlinson - Passionate and can tell he is enjoying the ride and in fairness taking it with both hands... seems assured and has barely put a foot wrong... solid.

 

The others I haven't really seen yet of our new lads but one player I do wish to mention:

 

Luke Hannant - He has come on further since the summer and looks a real find... Looked ok in a poor side but appears to stand out... really rating him!

 

Pretty much agree. Conlon actually had a good season 2 years ago when Sherringham was in charge. Last year he had injury problems and reverted to their normal style of play.

 

Joyce has struggled a little particularly when playing with Kay, but both want to play the same role. I think he'll be fine playing with Oyeleke, Conlon or Hannatt.

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Like most, I'm much happier after the last 3 games.

The difference IMO is energy.

We now have 6 very mobile, and attack minded, if relatively inexperienced young players.

Combine this with the know how of the senior pro's and we're looking a decent side.

There are also a few others to come in/ improve a little, so some depth in the squad.

However, go deeper, and I think we are still short.

October could be an important month, as we have two games a week.

Keeping players fit and free from suspension is a crucial factor.

I reckon we will finish mid table, with a best outcome, given fitness, of flirting with the play offs.

I am not concerned about our league status any longer, which really is a relief.

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Although I'm reserving my full judgement on our likely final position this season until we've played 10 league games (pedantic but our League Cup performances are always so woeful I dismiss them from the evidence!) I don't think we'll be worried about going out of the league next April like we were last April. That would be crucial progress because I worry the loss of league status would be devastating to a club like ours, especially with such a big ground to maintain. It's an event that seems to condemn many traditional league clubs to oblivion, look at Stockport and Torquay, not to mention the likes of Bradford Park Avenue, Southport and Workington, or Halifax and Aldershot who have literally had to start again from scratch.

I notice tonight that Chesterfield are 2-0 down at half time at home to Maidenhead which, in the live table, leaves them just outside the relegation zone after 13 games. Unlike some of the other clubs I mentioned Chesterfield have a decent sized modern ground and attract crowds well above many L2 attendances demonstrating how the 'size' of a club counts for nothing if it's badly run. Not that Vale is badly run

Thank goodness we've got Aspo, I think he'll be viewed as our saviour come the end of this season and hopefully he'll build us a team to be proud of in time, although as we're well aware that isn't completely in his hands.

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I am fairly happy so far. I didn't expect another large influx of players to click straight away and it will still take another 3 months before we see the full potential. We are undoubtably better than last season and if we can keep improving as we should then who knows.

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After a relegation season and an almost relegation season I suppose I would have snapped your hands off with a mid table finish. Perhaps after the Cambridge game we got a bit giddy and talked of promotion. Still happy with mid table for this season but next few games will be an indicator if higher ambitions are possible.

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I think Aspin has learned a fair bit about his players and is closer to knowing what his best side is, stuff that he wouldn't necessarily have learned in pre-season friendlies. We're a hell of a lot further forward than where we were this time last year when we still had a caretaker manager and only 5 points on the board.

 

One of the most encouraging things is that the recent form over the last three games has been good. We've looked loads better for the return of Manny and Conlon. Legs in midfield has been a massive factor.

 

I don't know if Aspin tried the system he did versus Carlisle and Tranmere to compensate for the two veterans (Joyce and Kay) in the middle but that Tranmere defeat seems to have been a watershed moment. Even Hardcastle made a difference I felt when he played against Newport.

 

A couple of big tests coming up but as long as we're able to create clearcut chances, switch fluidly between defence and attack and get bodies up and down the pitch then I'd be confident of getting a decent return.

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Although I'm reserving my full judgement on our likely final position this season until we've played 10 league games (pedantic but our League Cup performances are always so woeful I dismiss them from the evidence!) I don't think we'll be worried about going out of the league next April like we were last April. That would be crucial progress because I worry the loss of league status would be devastating to a club like ours, especially with such a big ground to maintain. It's an event that seems to condemn many traditional league clubs to oblivion, look at Stockport and Torquay, not to mention the likes of Bradford Park Avenue, Southport and Workington, or Halifax and Aldershot who have literally had to start again from scratch.

I notice tonight that Chesterfield are 2-0 down at half time at home to Maidenhead which, in the live table, leaves them just outside the relegation zone after 13 games. Unlike some of the other clubs I mentioned Chesterfield have a decent sized modern ground and attract crowds well above many L2 attendances demonstrating how the 'size' of a club counts for nothing if it's badly run. Not that Vale is badly run

Thank goodness we've got Aspo, I think he'll be viewed as our saviour come the end of this season and hopefully he'll build us a team to be proud of in time, although as we're well aware that isn't completely in his hands.

 

Sobering words. Chesterfield finished 1-3 last night in front of almost 4000 supporters, and as you say are now sitting just above the relegation zone. There are 10 or so former league teams in the National and only 3 are in the promotion or playoff places with the rest filled with up and coming non-league sides bankrolled by mega-rich owners. And that's not to mention those who have fallen even lower in the pyramid whose chances of getting back up into the football league look vanishingly small.

 

What we're seeing is an inversion of the traditional make-up of the football league as it fills up with these aspiring teams who bring little or nothing in the way of tradition, fan base and, particularly important to the smaller clubs in L2, away support, all of which reduces much needed income and the atmosphere a good away following creates. The sooner we're out of L2 and stay out, the better - suffering a similar fate and dropping into non-league without the resources provided by rich owners to get us out would be an utter disaster.

 

So well done Aspo and the lads for the recent improvement - let's just hope it continues.

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Sobering words. Chesterfield finished 1-3 last night in front of almost 4000 supporters, and as you say are now sitting just above the relegation zone. There are 10 or so former league teams in the National and only 3 are in the promotion or playoff places with the rest filled with up and coming non-league sides bankrolled by mega-rich owners. And that's not to mention those who have fallen even lower in the pyramid whose chances of getting back up into the football league look vanishingly small.

 

What we're seeing is an inversion of the traditional make-up of the football league as it fills up with these aspiring teams who bring little or nothing in the way of tradition, fan base and, particularly important to the smaller clubs in L2, away support, all of which reduces much needed income and the atmosphere a good away following creates. The sooner we're out of L2 and stay out, the better - suffering a similar fate and dropping into non-league without the resources provided by rich owners to get us out would be an utter disaster.

 

So well done Aspo and the lads for the recent improvement - let's just hope it continues.

 

What I find interesting is the teams which fell out of the league all have better attendances now than for a number of years prior to relegation.

 

To a degree it marks the change in the UK population with a drift South. A lot of clubs out of the league were local to Vale. Wrexham is a far easier drive than Crawley. The league has changed over time since it's inception. It's perhaps a little faster now but it mirrors changes in the UK as a whole.

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To a degree it marks the change in the UK population with a drift South. A lot of clubs out of the league were local to Vale. Wrexham is a far easier drive than Crawley. The league has changed over time since it's inception. It's perhaps a little faster now but it mirrors changes in the UK as a whole.

 

I agree, the clubs not from the Home Counties that make it to the Football League tend to have very rich backers who are prepared to spend their money on the club eg FGR. There will also be a clubs that don't fit this model who will now and again appoint a very able manager who assembles a very able team.

 

Generally the same can be said of clubs in the Premier League. The "The teir 2" Home Counties/London teams, Fulham, Watford, Crystal Palace, West Ham etc" will tend to attract very wealthy backers (usually from overseas who live in and around London) and will generally oscillate between the EPL and the Championship whereas the likes of Sheff Wednesday/Sheff Utd/Forest etc don't attract such wealthy willing backers with very deep pockets spend much longer in the Championship after relegation. There'll always be exceptions though.

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Well isn't it just the way society is now? Football reflects society, and if it's not a local rich bloke, the overseas billionaires, tend to buy clubs that either are in the Premier League, or just outside it, with a good possibility of going up, with not THAT big an investment (ie Leeds, Notts Forest or Reading). And it's super fun being a fan on the way up, but when they get tired of their investment, as it fails to go up and win them the lottery, it's not very fun at all! Ask Hull, Birmingham or Sunderland, how fun they think it is at the moment...

 

It's hard to see what can be done about it, if anything. It's the same here in Denmark, where the 3 biggest clubs (money wise) are FC Copenhagen, Brondby and FC Midtjylland.

FC Copenhagen now lives on the money they earn from all there belongings non-football. (They company behind them owns 2 holiday resorts and some other stuff). The footballing side, has had red numbers on the bottomline, as long as anyone seem to remember.

Brondby lives on the investments of a very very rich business man, who is also a lifelong Brondby fan. Just today (Wednesday) he "loaned" them 8 million more...

And FC Midtjylland, is owned and heavily funded, by the same guy who owns Brentford. Before that, they were bankrolled by a local business man.

 

All clubs here in Denmark try to market themselves, on being FOR the fans, FOR the community, FOR everyman in the public. But at the end of the day, they are businesses with shareholders, and as such, has to make a profit on the bottomline.

 

Maybe it's too late, but they seem to have found a model in Germany, where the clubs can be bought, but still heavily anchored in the community. The 50+1 rule. But I think that ship has sailed centuries ago, both in the UK and here in Denmark.

 

All this just to say, it's in all countries...

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I think it's very important to start looking at tying down a few of these players.

 

Rawlinson, Conlon, Oyleke, Smith and Pope I believe are all out of contract this year, hopefully we are looking at rectifying that soon.

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I think it's very important to start looking at tying down a few of these players.

 

Rawlinson, Conlon, Oyleke, Smith and Pope I believe are all out of contract this year, hopefully we are looking at rectifying that soon.

 

Couldn't agree more! We now have a good core in the team. And we actually have a team, not just a squad. So it's absolutely key, that we get the core players tied down, sooner rather than later. Otherwise, we could be in the same position, of having to gel a whole new team again, come July... Imagine if we can keep the core together, and actually add to that next summer? Wow, think I just had a wet dream :razz:

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I think it's very important to start looking at tying down a few of these players.

 

Rawlinson, Conlon, Oyleke, Smith and Pope I believe are all out of contract this year, hopefully we are looking at rectifying that soon.

 

I think you can add Legge as I think he's only on a year contract. That pretty much is the spine.

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