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Match Thread: Morecambe v Port Vale

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4 hours ago, Joe B said:

Banging on about 2 up top is getting tiring.

Once again we're into that age-old debate;

When Pope is good; up the Pope, he is class!

When Pope is bad; he needs feeding! Not his fault.

Our chance creation isn't the best but I find it hard to rationalise that a forward with possible the best winger in the league in David Worrall (who is top 5 for assists and crosses this year), and a good winger (on his day) in Amoo who recently went on a run of scoring and assisting every week for 4/5 games, isn't being fed. He's unlikely to get much better wingers at this level, and then add in two attacking fullbacks who can put a ball in in Gibbo and Monty.

Pope's a legend but we can't excuse 2 open play goals in 24 with a lot of our play being predicated down the wings. Always a place for him at the Vale but a new starting striker is needed. 433 has done a good job in making us tough to beat and we can't throw it all out of the window because Pope doesn't suit it.

Nail firmly on the head.  

No doubt one of the top earners as well, a wage that could be better spent on a regular goal scoring No9. 

if his stats were Bennett’s there would be uproar on here, not ‘it’s not his fault, feed him’
 

 

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15 minutes ago, Bald Eagle said:

Nail firmly on the head.  

No doubt one of the top earners as well, a wage that could be better spent on a regular goal scoring No9. 

if his stats were Bennett’s there would be uproar on here, not ‘it’s not his fault, feed him’
 

 

   Quite frankly some of the comments that are made on this site regarding Tom Pope simply make me feel sick to my back teeth.  Like Pope is a waste of money despite the fact that he has only scored more goals than any other Vale striker since the war and tell me another striker who we could even dream of signing who are within a country mile of Tom.

  I bet you were all dancing on the terraces when he banged in three against Cheltenham and when he scored a beauty against City at the Etihad and who was was the main reason that we earned the cash windfall of a mere estimated  £250,000. Also think back to how many times he has almost single handedly dragged us back from the brink of relegation. Oh yes he is 'stealing' a living at Port Vale.

 Now go and sit down and put your brains in gear before typing any more utter tripe regarding one of if not the best and most loyal players ever to pull on a Vale shirt.

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16 minutes ago, old sage said:

   Quite frankly some of the comments that are made on this site regarding Tom Pope simply make me feel sick to my back teeth.  Like Pope is a waste of money despite the fact that he has only scored more goals than any other Vale striker since the war and tell me another striker who we could even dream of signing who are within a country mile of Tom.

  I bet you were all dancing on the terraces when he banged in three against Cheltenham and when he scored a beauty against City at the Etihad and who was was the main reason that we earned the cash windfall of a mere estimated  £250,000. Also think back to how many times he has almost single handedly dragged us back from the brink of relegation. Oh yes he is 'stealing' a living at Port Vale.

 Now go and sit down and put your brains in gear before typing any more utter tripe regarding one of if not the best and most loyal players ever to pull on a Vale shirt.

I did type out a massive response Mike, but I concede he's your favourite player and there's no point as we're never going to look at it objectively. He's given me some of the best memories of my life, but 2 open play goals in 24 (15 x 90 mins in total) is not a good return by any metric, and we can't keep living in the past.

Popey's a legend, no doubt. Just think we could freshen up the front line a bit, whilst still retaining a place in the 18 for him.

Edited by Joe B

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I am more than happy with my comments Okd Sage.

yes I did cheer at Man City, yes I am thankful for all Tom has done in the past, both in terms of promotion and also preserving our league status.  

i also see the goal threat he now offers as the odd flame from the dying embers.  Last year our upturn in form after Askeys appointment coincided with Ricky Miller leading the line.

knock off penalties and Tom has had a goal scoring contribution in just 3 other games out of 29 appearances.

if you think such a record will see us become genuine promotion contenders then we will have to agree to disagree.

nothing is forever, and we need a new talisman to take us forwards and build on the foundations Askey has laid.  And yes, I do think Tom’s no doubt sizeable wage, could be better utilised in finding the individual to fill his sizeable shoes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Bald Eagle said:

I am more than happy with my comments Okd Sage.

yes I did cheer at Man City, yes I am thankful for all Tom has done in the past, both in terms of promotion and also preserving our league status.  

i also see the goal threat he now offers as the odd flame from the dying embers.  Last year our upturn in form after Askeys appointment coincided with Ricky Miller leading the line.

knock off penalties and Tom has had a goal scoring contribution in just 3 other games out of 29 appearances.

if you think such a record will see us become genuine promotion contenders then we will have to agree to disagree.

nothing is forever, and we need a new talisman to take us forwards and build on the foundations Askey has laid.  And yes, I do think Tom’s no doubt sizeable wage, could be better utilised in finding the individual to fill his sizeable shoes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pope's only scored open play goals in one league game out of 24 this season; Morecambe at home, against ten men.

Getting bored of having to put the caveat - I still think he's a legend. Top 5. Just not the man for the here and now, and the future.

 

Edited by Joe B

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15 minutes ago, Joe B said:

Pope's only scored open play goals in one league game out of 24 this season; Morecambe at home, against ten men.

Getting bored of having to put the caveat - I still think he's a legend. Top 5. Just not the man for the here and now, and the future.

 

Problem is separating past glories from current reality.

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1 hour ago, Bald Eagle said:

Nail firmly on the head.  

No doubt one of the top earners as well, a wage that could be better spent on a regular goal scoring No9. 

if his stats were Bennett’s there would be uproar on here, not ‘it’s not his fault, feed him’
 

 

To compare Pope to Bennett is disrespectful to Pope because his all round game offers much more to the side than Bennett ever will. Bennett IMO has no desire, will to win, the heart nor the ability to lead a line.

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1 minute ago, PV1973 said:

To compare Pope to Bennett is disrespectful to Pope because his all round game offers much more to the side than Bennett ever will. Bennett IMO has no desire, will to win, the heart nor the ability to lead a line.

Disagree. I was not comparing them as players, I was pointing out that many are happy to overlook Tom’s tangible contribution (games in which he has scored) because he is Tom.

we have had good and bad spells with both leading the line - neither will be the mainstay of a promotion chasing team.

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1 minute ago, Rampant Zebra said:

Haven't we learned anything from our previous owners attempts to get a better striker for less money? 

We would struggle to find one scoring less from open play currently!

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Our best and most productive football played this season was when Worrall was linking up with Gibbo on the right.  This had a byproduct of naturally bringing the midfield forward in an attack minded manner  Slight changes have affected the effectiveness of that play and now, as the season gets to it's most challenging time of year, certain factors are beginning to tell. 

  • Worrall moving to the left to accommodate the enigma which is Amoo, who's reading of the game and decision making is a real problem in the final third. 
  • Worrall himself, recently going somewhat off the boil,  perhaps due in part, to his injury 
  • I can see why Askey has done this, but it has upset the rhythm and momentum that the team played with early doors. 
  • (Next bit, read carefully as it's not a did at Tom Pope.)  The team as a whole, rejecting to move the ball around with any creativity when Tom Pope provides the  easy option of hitting it long, which as we are continually seeing, usually results in a flick on to the opposition, thus losing possession and creating little. The better teams don't play to hold the ball up anymore and wait for the cavalry to arrive, because the movement is already there. Not Popes fault, but that's how play is dictated when he starts the game and its clear that as much as it used to work, it now only serves to provide an 85th minute option when chasing a game and other than that, screams predictability that well drilled defences smack their lips at. 

So the task that Askey has is how to recapture that enterprising play that we saw earlier in the season. Clearly the bloke knows how to play good football,  so any suggestion that some folk want him replaced is politely misguided.  But are there players available who could come in at the.moment and inject that spark, or will he have to be content with what he's got until,  perhaps there is a bigger pot of players available in the closed season?  Either way, despite the seismic change that we had from recent seasons,  we're still a way off pretending that we're geared up for imminent success,  because without wholesale changes of personnel, promotion, if achieved this season would lead to another very uncomfortable ride next season. 

I trust in the whole of the clubs management and set up, that ultimately we will start to make the right decisions a habit and that progress and success will happen. For goodness sake, we've all suffered long enough,  so another season or two, if it takes that, shouldn't be too much of a hardship, but we need every one too see that bigger picture and to embrace the change curve that we're currently on. 

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1 hour ago, Bald Eagle said:

We would struggle to find one scoring less from open play currently!

With respect, a thirty one year old Tom Pope was slightly more effective than a thirty five year old Tom Pope, which is what he'll be next season. Sorry BE was agreeing with your response to RZ 

Edited by Old fort
Wrong respone

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2 minutes ago, Old fort said:

With respect, a thirty one year old Tom Pope was slightly more effective than a thirty five year old Tom Pope, which is what he'll be next season. 

You argue my point Old Fort.  Others are referring to the old Tom Pope, not our current No9.  

I am looking at it objectively, not through rose tinted spectacles.

i mean no disrespect to Tom and what he has achieved - that was the last decade and we need to move forward in the new one.

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2 minutes ago, Bald Eagle said:

You argue my point Old Fort.  Others are referring to the old Tom Pope, not our current No9.  

I am looking at it objectively, not through rose tinted spectacles.

i mean no disrespect to Tom and what he has achieved - that was the last decade and we need to move forward in the new one.

Time shows no respect to past achievements or reputations, neither does evolvment of the game, even at L2 level. 

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13 hours ago, PV1973 said:

In the end we arguably had enough chances in that second half to nick something, but we’d given ourselves a big uphill battle going 2 down. They adapted to the conditions a lot better than us, first half we were playing into the wind and instead of launching it we tried to keep it on the deck. But a lack of movement  and options for players on the ball meant that possession was meaningless. We keep doing the same things that weren’t working at all and it was frustrating to watch. I think I said I’m another thread than Conlon does the same job as Joyce and last night it was evident especially first half that IMO when they play together we become too predictable. It wasn’t too bad when we went for it but when it’s 4-3-3 you end up with 2 players sitting deeper trying to dictate play. Second half we were better, I thought Conlons chance before we actually scored was a good one that maybe he could have done better with. The decision to bring Pope off was the right one and I thought Cullen did well. But when you want someone to come on and inject some urgency and to rattle their centre halves then Bennett isn’t your man, again he was too easily beaten in the air and when he received it with his back to goal. I liked Morecambes Bennet song by the way.  Amoo was similar at times, didn’t look like he wanted to get at his man and spent a lot of time looking for fouls. He also gave Gibbons very little in the way of forward options.  Worrall had another quiet game, and maybe the fact he’s had 2 quiet games is a factor in us not firing on all cylinders? Monty was hot and cold, he’s too rash and gives away too many free kicks at times and also has a tendency to get too tight and is then rolled easily, if he’s to continues at left back then he needs to learn that side of the game. Legge had a poor first half, getting on the ball is not his game and we should have down something differently first half because that played in to Morecambes hands. Smith had another steady game and kept on battling. But my MOM was Gibbo, defended well, kept going down that right hand side, scored a fantastic goal and looked like he wanted to be there too, like it meant something. It’s a pity that our fringe players aren’t doing enough to force their way in because I think that we need to freshen it up a touch and some possibly players need a rocket up their arse to go out and do it more.

Your comments about the midfield are spot on. From the games I've seen this season, there's too little movement and far too often limited options for the player on the ball, with the inevitable result that it's lofted towards Pope who has the thankless task of trying to do something with it while being double-marked. We are also physically small by comparison to most L2 teams and get bullied off the ball - this paid off for Conlon on Saturday when he was bundled over for the penalty but all game he'd been physically bullied off the ball. If we had the luxury of regularly playing a midfield of Joyce, Oyeleke and Taylor, we would be a match for most L2 teams but these last two games have shown how limited the squad is. At present, the missing ingredients are creativity, passing, movement and physical presence.

Personally I don't think making signings now would necessarily boost what limited chances we have of making the play offs. Askey would probably be better to wait until the summer when we need at least a left back, two midfield players, one or more strikers and another centre half. With a bit of luck, Campbell-Gordon is going to be another Gibbo, but it's probably a bit early for him. It's going to be a busy summer.

 

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3 minutes ago, Old fort said:

Time shows no respect to past achievements or reputations, neither does evolvment of the game, even at L2 level. 

Respect is not a concern - misplaced sentiment is.  Tom’s powers are on the wane and we need to move forward 

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Some of our fans don’t want patient football. Last night there were a number of fans yelling at players because they played the ball square. I know we were pants last night but hoofing the ball long into that gale blowing against us would have been madness. Let’s see what happens on Saturday before consigning this season to the dustbin. 

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8 minutes ago, Jacko51 said:

Some of our fans don’t want patient football. Last night there were a number of fans yelling at players because they played the ball square. I know we were pants last night but hoofing the ball long into that gale blowing against us would have been madness. Let’s see what happens on Saturday before consigning this season to the dustbin. 

I heard it at the Eitihad, fans urging the  long ball, hump it up and then guess what..... watch it come straight back.

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