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Match Thread: FAC2 Cheltenham T v Port Vale

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Going a goal down was disheartening. 

Coming from behind to win 3-1 away from home is a great boost.

3 goal hat trick in 8 minutes is the cherry on the cake.

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Couldn't make the game.

Was very critical of Pope's antics on social media recently but have never disputed he is the only legend the club's had in the 21st century and in terms of impact, if not ability, he's going down with the real biggest names in our history.

What a truly excellent few weeks/months it's been; over £100k made from cup competitions, through to the third round of the FA, 9th in the table, 2 defeats in 14, Robbie Williams gig, lots of great performances, Stoke appointing another fraud as manager.

Trying to stay grounded and appreciate what we've got whilst it happens.

Side note; I do really like the bloke and the player but Monty's penalty is proper hilarious. Phil Jones stuff, tackling a lad with his head.

 

 

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Some gentle Sunday reading for your convenience.

On this week's edition of 'Stoke City's decline 2015-present':

They are literally crying in their half empty soulless megadome, with more atmosphere at the nearby incinerator. They're turning on a Chairman who delivered the best decade of their mediocre club's life, and our struggling to process that that decade was a blip and not the norm. Championship/League 1 is their true level, and they are in turmoil trying to process it.

I don't think there's ever been a better time to play them. Stoke at home. Let them have another go at the urinals; I trult think they were robbed on points last time, the sinks got very lucky to come away with the win from that scrap.

Stoke at home, Popey in form, Lardies in utter disarray; let's have it.

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13 minutes ago, Joe B said:

Questions for those who went

  1. How was Rhys Browne?
  2. How was Tom Conlon?
  3. What did we do differently second half?

1. Lazy most of the first half (much like Amoo) didn’t seem to offer much movement. Second half he offered much more of a threat by running at them and was more willing to chase balls and receive passes in better areas. Did well for the first goal. 
 

2. Kept the ball well without being too incisive with his passing. He just kept it ticking over, which is fine. Don’t understand why he was playing on gibbos side as we seemed a bit unbalanced. At times when Gibbo had the ball he got too close to him when Amoo was doing the same thing, I think he or Amoo should have been making a run in behind their defence to give us more of a threat. Didn’t really link up with those 2 on the right like Joyce does when he gets in to that area in the final third. 
 

3. we looked willing to run at their defence (Browne, Amoo and Taylor mainly) and our full backs and midfielders actually had players moving for them instead of looking up and seeing mannequins. We managed to push them back more and we got the ball in to the box for one of the best headers of the ball in lower league football and it worked. Browne and Amoo need to believe they have the pace and ability to hurt teams, because it’s clear they are able to do it, but they don’t do it enough. 

Edited by PV1973
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10 hours ago, PV1973 said:

Can’t help but think that’s an exaggeration to suit the Pope bollocking young players instead of encouraging agenda. Pope did have a moan when Gibbo didn’t hit him with a diagonal ball. But personally I thought in that first half we had no options in front of the full backs, both of them got forward to receive the ball and neither of them had any runners to hit in the channels or their wingers got too close to be even be considered a decent option. Also none of the centre midfielders broke the lines to get behind and stretch their back line either.  So taking Gibbo as the example he ended up trying to force a ball a few times because of no options and it didn’t come off. So I wouldn’t say that was because he suddenly became  bereft of confidence because Popey moaned, but more him having no options going forward. The amount of times we got into some good space with both full backs and they looked up to see stationary players and no movement in that first half was unreal.
 

I think I said in my post at half time that the movement needed to improve dramatically and it did because in that second half our wingers actually became interested and showed what they can do when they get the chance. That in turn forced them back a bit more, because first half our lack of movement behind meant they didn’t have to worry about players making runs behind.

One other thing of note is the type of goals Pope scored today and the contrast with what we’ve had up front in the last couple of weeks. Those first 2 headers are brave, throwing himself at the ball and into centre halves are something that Bennett just does not do at all. So for me that second half showed that the key to playing with Pope up top is that the 2 players either side MUST provide the movement to get the ball in. But in addition I think Conlon and Taylor have to provide a different option with a run forward to go past Pope and into the areas behind their defence. We did not do that enough, especially in that first half and we were predictable.

Left back is a problem defensively and I thought it was interesting to watch what they did to cope with our full backs. With Monty they had clearly worked on playing balls inbetween him and Smith to get behind us and they did it with ease at times. Scunthorpe did that last week too, whereas our right hand side isn’t as susceptible to that. Meanwhile with Gibbo they made sure one of their forwards was always trying to cut out his space to try and stop him getting the ball. I don’t think that worked as he saw more of the ball than Monty, but we made very little of it because I think Amoo for long long periods offers him nothing. Amoo on his day could be one of the best wingers in this league if was interested every week. 

Overlal I didn’t think they were that good at all, and in the end we were comfortable. But we need to sort out the left hand side and we need to get some better movement when we get into that final third from the front 3 and the other 2 midfielders in front of Joyce. 

Sums up the Pope debate very nicely.

The song says feed the Pope.

He doesn't do it on his own.

Get the ball into dangerous areas and bingo.

8 minute hat trick.

It requires alot of good work from other players.

Pope does not fit the pressing game.

Bennett does.

So the dilemma is, can we do high press and have Pope in the team?

Yesterday suggests that it is possible if the wide men,  centre mids and full backs push on enough.

It almost becomes a team built around one player, but the opponents have to stop the whole team, rather than the one player, which has been the case in the past.

It's a sign that we are getting stronger as a team.

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12 minutes ago, PV1973 said:

1. Lazy most of the first half (much like Amoo) didn’t seem to offer much movement. Second half he offered much more of a threat by running at them and was more willing to chase balls and receive passes in better areas. Did well for the first goal. 
 

2. Kept the ball well without being too incisive with his passing. He just kept it ticking over, which is fine. Don’t understand why he was playing on gibbos side as we seemed a bit unbalanced. At times when Gibbo had the ball he got too close to him when Amoo was doing the same thing, I think he or Amoo should have been making a run in behind their defence to give us more of a threat. Didn’t really link up with those 2 on the right like Joyce does when he gets in to that area in the final third. 
 

3. we looked willing to run at their defence (Browne, Amoo and Taylor mainly) and our full backs and midfielders actually had players moving for them instead of looking up and seeing mannequins. We managed to push them back more and we got the ball in to the box for one of the best headers of the ball in lower league football and it worked. Browne and Amoo need to believe they have the pace and ability to hurt teams, because it’s clear they are able to do it, but they don’t do it enough. 

Brilliant, cheers.

Was good to see the wingers grab the assists for the goals.

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I know this is a thread about Vale vs Cheltenham, but just a note on our illustrious neighbours and Radio Joke’s interview with Tony Scholes yesterday......

I literally could not believe my ears when, after Sandoz asked him about changes to the squad in January and balancing Financial Fair play, he aggrogantly declared that the owners don’t like FFP and thinks the rules should be changed! 

Talk about complete disregard for the teams struggling in the lower leagues, which aren’t backed by owners who’ve made billions from an ethically questionable industry. If this is the sort of buffoon running the Club then, I’m sorry Stoke fans, a dose of L1 football with a Tuesday night in November sat in the Executive Boxes at Accrington Stanley can't come soon enough for him in my eyes 😡

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5 minutes ago, Biddulph_PV said:

I know this is a thread about Vale vs Cheltenham, but just a note on our illustrious neighbours and Radio Joke’s interview with Tony Scholes yesterday......

I literally could not believe my ears when, after Sandoz asked him about changes to the squad in January and balancing Financial Fair play, he aggrogantly declared that the owners don’t like FFP and thinks the rules should be changed! 

Talk about complete disregard for the teams struggling in the lower leagues, which aren’t backed by owners who’ve made billions from an ethically questionable industry. If this is the sort of buffoon running the Club then, I’m sorry Stoke fans, a dose of L1 football with a Tuesday night in November sat in the Executive Boxes at Accrington Stanley can't come soon enough for him in my eyes 😡

Given resources, we are an infinitely better run club than they are at the present, and look at the situation Carol came into a merer 6 months ago.

I'll also say I've never known a Football League club be more effusive and positive about their owners than we are currently; it shows you don't need millions to splurge to make fans happy.

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I agree. 

Results are also helping.

We're still on the turn and there are enough anxious/ negative fans out there who panic/ stick the knife in if things don't go well.

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1 hour ago, Joe B said:

Questions for those who went

  1. How was Rhys Browne?
  2. How was Tom Conlon?
  3. What did we do differently second half?

1. Hopeless like the rest of the team for the first half hour but improved as the game went on and put a great cross just before half time that was inches from being tapped in by Pope.

2. Really good game, IMO best player on the pitch behind Pope. Joyce had the best game I’ve seen and that was helped by the fact Conlon is a far better tackler. Conlon seemed a lot more composed than he has been.

3. We started to improve 10 minutes before half time, we just played a more passing game rather than looking for Pope too early. Cheltenham had a 6ft6 centre midfielder who was dominating and he went off injured before half time, that obviously helped us.

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9 minutes ago, philpvfc said:

1. Hopeless like the rest of the team for the first half hour but improved as the game went on and put a great cross just before half time that was inches from being tapped in by Pope.

2. Really good game, IMO best player on the pitch behind Pope. Joyce had the best game I’ve seen and that was helped by the fact Conlon is a far better tackler. Conlon seemed a lot more composed than he has been.

3. We started to improve 10 minutes before half time, we just played a more passing game rather than looking for Pope too early. Cheltenham had a 6ft6 centre midfielder who was dominating and he went off injured before half time, that obviously helped us.

Having Conlon back is a big plus. Loads of energy, committed, great left peg. With Burgess, Taylor, Atkinson, and Conlon competing to partner Joyce (with the slim hope that Manny can sort his hamstring out) central midfield is a real position of strength for us.

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16 minutes ago, Joe B said:

Having Conlon back is a big plus. Loads of energy, committed, great left peg. With Burgess, Taylor, Atkinson, and Conlon competing to partner Joyce (with the slim hope that Manny can sort his hamstring out) central midfield is a real position of strength for us.

That's a massive difference!

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11 hours ago, Houston Valiant said:

Man Utd played Exeter at home in 2005 and nearly 68,000 watched it. If, and it's a big if, we get them away , I'm sure it would be at least 50,000. Of course, Liverpool at VP would be fine too.

Burton away then.

With the giant clubs it depends on their ST rules, some include cup tickets or a requirement to buy.

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