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Match Thread: Morecambe v Port Vale

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1 hour ago, Joe B said:

Come on now, mate. No one is saying he's rubbish, just he shouldn't be our main striker.

He's played 24 games against League 2 opposition and only scored 4 times, 2 of them penalties, the other 2 in the same game against ten men. He's yet to score a non-penalty goal against 11 men. He's played 62 in the last 2 seasons and score 15, 6 of them penalties.

You can't argue 'he scored against Man City' and then dismiss 'he's failed to score against the worst professional teams in the country, apart from penalties, in 23 of his 24 games'. It works both ways.

By the same logic, Amoo set up Pope with a pearl of a cross in front of 50000+ people against a team which cost £200 milion and some on here are questioning his ability as a winger? Are you having a laugh?

Alas, because Amoo is far from a legend people have the rationality to accept he's been below par in the league, as has Pope, unfortunately.

Ok so lets stop the criticism of Pope and put your efforts into criticising  

Amoo Worrall Bennett Cullen Brown Archer Montano Conlan Burgess and so on for our attacking ang goal scoring options. There wont be too many match performances, Worrall apart, where criticism would be the main comment.

Will also say again   Why is Askey picking Pope every week or are you saying Askey is a poor manager and doesnt have a clue

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1 hour ago, Rampant Zebra said:

Pope scored our only goal of the game in front of 50000+ people against a team which cost £200 million and some on here are questioning his ability? Are you having a laugh?

Careful mate, some on here will be calling you a happy clapper if you're not careful. 

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It's a tough job playing the lone striker role when hardly anyone else in the team (bar Taylor) is scoring goals. Occasionally we still have games where we create very little and the half time discussion is often about the opposition keeper not having had to make a save in anger.

Pope, for me, even at his age, is by a country mile the best we've got for that role. Bennett is capable of grabbing the odd goal and runs around a lot but plays in carpet slippers, struggles to keep the ball and lacks physical presence for a big lad. Sadly, both Cullen and Archer have never got going and apparently not suited to the way we set up, though I'd quite like to see more of Archer.

Teams going for promotion tend to score 70-80 goals or more. We are light years away from that, with only Pope and Taylor looking capable of double figures. We need one of the wingers to get 10, and another midfielder to chip in with 6-8, as well as the centre halves getting 5-6 each. But it isn't happening.

I'd quite like to see us signing a solid left back and moving Monty up front and putting Worrall back on the right wing. In midfield it would be Taylor and Oyeleke for me just ahead of Joyce, and that might give us a wee bit more firepower. But at present, for all their good intentions and odd glimpses of real ability I don't see the likes of Amoo, Conlon and Burgess being quite good enough and Worrall too has to score a lot more.

It's much better than last year - much better and far more entertaining - but we are still 4-5 better players short of the top three in my view. 

That said, we're building slowly and if we can add 2-3 more in the summer we'll hopefully do better next year although I'm worried about finding a replacement for Pope [and for Legge].

I cast my mind back to Adams' team that got promoted (just) and we then had a stronger, more physical team with 4-5 lads who were capable of scoring double figures, not just 1-2. Pope in his prime. Dodds. Vincent. Myrie-Williams. Lee Hughes after January. We need similar if we are aiming for the top three places.

 

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9 hours ago, Rampant Zebra said:

Pope scored our only goal of the game in front of 50000+ people against a team which cost £200 million and some on here are questioning his ability? Are you having a laugh?

Supplied by a superb cross from Amoo also...

Vale lost a game of football on a <ovf censored> night in Morcombe after a very hectic run of fixtures.  It happens, when we were one of the worst teams in the league last season we won 12 times, I wonder if on 12 occasions the opposition fans wet there knickers over it?

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14 hours ago, cheshirevaliant said:

I'm not sure it will be much harder next year, Cav, unless somehow Plymouth, Exeter, Swindon, Bradford all miss out. Southend will be lucky not to fall straight through, Bolton seem to have resorted to being battered every week again and I suspect we would beat any of MK, Wimbledon and Tranmere currently. In terms of the teams currently in the top 7 of the Conference, only 2 have any recent league experience. 

It's a missed opportunity this season (as things stand) in terms of our inability to beat teams at the bottom, but I'm not expecting us to suddenly plummet down the league next year. 

Bolton will walk it I think with their support and bully teams. Salford will surely be about. Who knows 

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10 hours ago, Old fort said:

 

  • 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. 

Personally I think there’s only one reason why Worrall was moved to the left and that’s because we put Monty at left back. Imagine a left hand side of Amoo and Monty. To the detriment of the side he’s split up the Worrall / Gibbo partnership so that there’s at least some defensive energy on each side of the pitch. 

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9 hours ago, Sandyford_Lion said:

Oh Joe

Have to disagree entirely. Worrall the best winger in the league .? I agree he is far better than his previous seasons, he works his socks off, most games but he is not a goal scorer, he is not a prolific crosser of a ball and he hardly ever takes a man on out wide to pull the ball back across goal. 

Amoo wow, if he had half the work ethic of Worrall he would be far better. He can take a man on out wide when he wants to. He has terrific pace when he decides to use it. No where near being a good winger and is only chosen each week because we have poor other choices in the squad.

Our poor scoring record is due more to the 2 wide men and 3 midfield men not offering anywhere near enough goals rather than the lone target man not scoring goals.

Lone target man means wide men must tuck inside with Pope at every opportunity.             Loan target man means 2 midfield players of the  3 must push forward i to the box at every opportunity. Taylor apart we have failed in these positions.

This is Askeys big failing to me. He has signed plenty of players in these positions but there are not enough goals in them to reach the play offs.

 One of a few voices of reason here. The simple truth is that Tom will only score goals when he gets the right ammunition and the widemen are giving him crosses to attack. It's no good belting it up to him when his back is towards the opponents goal unless he has a strike partner to take advantage of his flick ons.

  On the subject of stats you can get them to read anything if you put the right slant on it. I agree 4 in 20 odd isn't good but 4 in 3 in the cup is brilliant. Do you get where I am coming from?

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10 hours ago, PV1973 said:

No one is near it. Goals are a problem and I think this will be a test of the owners and the money they are willing to throw at it to try and support the manager and get a goal scorer in. Or they stumble on an unknown gamble from lower leagues. 

The bigger test of the owners is whether they will gamble the security of the club By “throwing money at” a problem, or choose to continue to invest wisely and with the continuation of Port Vale in mind.

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4 in 20 is actually pathetic for the ‘best ‘striker in the lower leagues .3 in 4 in the cup is excellent.Problem with that.Is he glory hunting or do we only ‘feed the Pope’ in cup games?His goals tally should be at least  twice what it is with the six yarder sitters he has missed.Or don’t misses come onto your calculations OS?Who would you drop to accommodate a second striker?Worrall or Amoo possibly?That would half the potential crosses coming from wingers.Play 3 at the back?Go 4-4-2 and get overrun in midfield?What about Wimbledon 80s football?Forget that ,we already do with Pope in the side.Who were these clubs that were sniffing round not so long ago that you mentioned on the radio.I must admit I do get the occasional ‘ thrill’ watching Tom play .The Man City goal,err .....the Man City goal.Apart from that, the Keystone Cops,Beasant/ Slavenesque chase after a lumbering centre half  is quite amusing.Tom is a defensive midfielder waiting to happen.That would extend his career by 2 years.Seriously.He isn’t the player he was 6/7 years ago.All this talk ,he took us up,he saved us.Well add this to the list.We won’t make the playoffs relying on Popes’ goals.

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21 minutes ago, Iron Curtain said:

The bigger test of the owners is whether they will gamble the security of the club By “throwing money at” a problem, or choose to continue to invest wisely and with the continuation of Port Vale in mind.

Always the club comes first IC but the unexpected windfall gives us a bit of room for manoeuvre.

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3 minutes ago, Howjy04 said:

4 in 20 is actually pathetic for the ‘best ‘striker in the lower leagues .3 in 4 in the cup is excellent.Problem with that.Is he glory hunting or do we only ‘feed the Pope’ in cup games?His goals tally should be at least  twice what it is with the six yarder sitters he has missed.Or don’t misses come onto your calculations OS?Who would you drop to accommodate a second striker?Worrall or Amoo possibly?That would half the potential crosses coming from wingers.Play 3 at the back?Go 4-4-2 and get overrun in midfield?What about Wimbledon 80s football?Forget that ,we already do with Pope in the side.Who were these clubs that were sniffing round not so long ago that you mentioned on the radio.I must admit I do get the occasional ‘ thrill’ watching Tom play .The Man City goal,err .....the Man City goal.Apart from that, the Keystone Cops,Beasant/ Slavenesque chase after a lumbering centre half  is quite amusing.Tom is a defensive midfielder waiting to happen.That would extend his career by 2 years.Seriously.He isn’t the player he was 6/7 years ago.All this talk ,he took us up,he saved us.Well add this to the list.We won’t make the playoffs relying on Popes’ goals.

No but we will finish a darn sight lower if we play any of the other options as the lone striker. In regard to other clubs just take it from me if Pope were to be made available he wouldn't be short of interested parties in L2 even at the age of 35.

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9 hours ago, TheSage said:

Occasionally we still have games where we create very little and the half time discussion is often about the opposition keeper not having had to make a save in anger.

Occasionally?.......I'd say its more like the majority!

Opposition keepers don't trouble the laundry man when they've been to Vale Park!

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So none from League 1 ,OS?We  need to get a young striker in .In 2 years time Tom won’t be around and for sure he won’t be competing in League 1,even if he is.I think. the club and yourself need to look a bit further forward than Tom Pope.

Edited by Howjy04

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2 minutes ago, Howjy04 said:

So none from League 1 ,OS?We  need to get a young striker in .In 2 years time Tom won’t be around and for sure he won’t be competing in League 1,even if he is.I think. the club and yourself need to look a bit further forward than Tom Pope.

I imagine , the whole so called front 3 need to be improved, we wont get a Mane, Firmino, Salah forward 3. But we need to look at all aspects of the squad to improve the chances we create and convert. Its going to take time and Pope is one option at the moment. We all know he wont be around forever and I believe this may be his last season as the main striker. We do however owe him a lot. I remember years back a fan sitting behind me slating Ray Walker,  when all it was he was past his sell by date. Comes to us all.

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I'm one of Tom's biggest critics, as some of you know, and actually raised doubts over his overall contribution to the team over a year ago (predictably, I was roundly attacked for daring to criticise Tom 'God' Pope).

Aspin saw fit to seek to build a team around him, and declared that he would never sub' Tom Pope. 

For the last 2 seasons, we have been terrible in the goalscoring charts, ever since Tom came back. Contributions from other players have been minimal until this season. We've seen numerous strike partners play alongside Tom and fail. Common denominator was Tom Pope.

This season started exactly the same. Then, Askey saw fit to change it, bringing in Bennett. Suddenly we were playing much better football, other players were scoring, and the general consensus was that we were looking much better as a team, and it was quite exciting to watch. Our midfield was actually contributing to the goals tally, most notably Jake Taylor. I suspect that this is, to a large degree, down to the players having no confidence that Tom will actually win the ball when it's played to him. 9 times out of 10, he doesn't win the header, or it pings off his bonce with no direction and the oppo' pick up the second ball (meaning any players who have broken forward to support him know that they are likely to be caught out of position), or he is penalised for a foul. Then Pope came back in. 3 wins out of 9 followed (as opposed to 5 out of 9 before that without Tom starting the games). The difference in goals when Pope starts and when he doesn't isn't actually that much different, but the win ratio is (9 out of 19 when Tom doesn't start as opposed to 6 out of 15 when he does).

Tom has a part to play, I don't think anybody can realistically argue that he doesn't. But, if we are, as a Club, going to move forward, we simply must look beyond him. His goals from open play record this season is shocking, particularly when compared to the likes of Cullen, and some of the chances he has missed have been criminal. By all means, seek to 'feed the Pope', but our crossing, by and large, is disgraceful and, with that, Tom is unlikely to score from open play in the majority of our games. 

 

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5 minutes ago, ginginator said:

I imagine , the whole so called front 3 need to be improved, we wont get a Mane, Firmino, Salah forward 3. But we need to look at all aspects of the squad to improve the chances we create and convert. Its going to take time and Pope is one option at the moment. We all know he wont be around forever and I believe this may be his last season as the main striker. We do however owe him a lot. I remember years back a fan sitting behind me slating Ray Walker,  when all it was he was past his sell by date. Comes to us all.

I suspect that if we signed those 3 one of them would be expected by some on here to play second fiddle to Tom. 

Have I got this right? You're saying that we owe Tom by playing him? Like a favour?

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Just now, philmpv said:

I suspect that if we signed those 3 one of them would be expected by some on here to play second fiddle to Tom. 

Have I got this right? You're saying that we owe Tom by playing him? Like a favour?

No, we required his goals when we got promoted (long time ago I know). I think the rest explains itself and that his play time will get limited. Transition takes time and there will be a few other established players moved on also.

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1 minute ago, ginginator said:

No, we required his goals when we got promoted (long time ago I know). I think the rest explains itself and that his play time will get limited. Transition takes time and there will be a few other established players moved on also.

Fair enough, completely misread what you were trying to say. Apologies

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47 minutes ago, The Kalamazoo Kid said:

Occasionally?.......I'd say its more like the majority!

Opposition keepers don't trouble the laundry man when they've been to Vale Park!

A bit of a stretch. Our home games:

Drew & scored
Won & scored 2
Won & scored
Won & scored
Drew & scored 2
Won & scored 3
Drew & scored
Drew 0-0
Won & scored 2
Lost 0-1
Drew & scored
Won & scored 2
Drew & scored 2

Pretty good record, & failed to score in 2/13 games. W6, D6, L1. Scored 18 in 13 games so not that bad. We've only failed to score total in 5 out of our 27 games. We've also scored more than some currently in the playoffs, the issue is goals conceded (most in the top 11 teams). Last season scoring was more the problem. It took us until April to get how many goals we currently have.

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11 hours ago, Sandyford_Lion said:

Ok so lets stop the criticism of Pope and put your efforts into criticising  

Amoo Worrall Bennett Cullen Brown Archer Montano Conlan Burgess and so on for our attacking ang goal scoring options. There wont be too many match performances, Worrall apart, where criticism would be the main comment.

Will also say again   Why is Askey picking Pope every week or are you saying Askey is a poor manager and doesnt have a clue

I'm not going to get into this whole Pope debate but your last paragraph only applies for the first 3 or 4 games and November onwards. Bennett held the shirt for a good couple of months. Pope was a bit part player. 

Incidentally the best team performance in my opinion all season was Forest Green. Pope played the last 4 minutes. 

The intensity from the team that night was amazing from start to finish 

Edited by darren1810
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