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Ale and the Vale Podcast


stupers

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7 hours ago, toyahw said:

No one is perfect. Least of all footballers. I'm firmly in the Pope is in the past camp. Just that I don't think that this is a good stick to beat Pope with.  My point is if he gets sacked for that comment that he may or may not have meant as anti Semitic. To be replaced by  someone putting bonkers stuff out 24/7 on twitter seems a bit odd.

Neither are now, so a bit accademic.

Legge wasn’t putting that stuff out at the time though. 

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Some of the comments on here are a bit precious.

Also a few fans on a forum having an argument  isn’t the definition of a <ovf censored> storm and vale fans need no excuse to turn on each other anyway. 

Pope deserved to lose the captaincy when he got banned because of Twitter, that’s not the image the club wanted to be in the news. The decision to take it off him came from the very top is what I heard from more than one source back when it happened. 
 

I have no issue with any player backing themselves, no one else is going to, being a footballer is about having a strong mental attitude and self belief. I agree with Pope on the issue of Bennett. We were weak as anything when he played up front, his hold up play and his willingness to put himself about was a liability. I felt that the ball was coming straight back with him in the side.

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18 hours ago, Wrex said:

So a fan podcast is supposed to turn down the chance to talk to a club legend? It's not like Pope was drunk or something. He's honestly telling the truth as he sees it.

What are they supposed to do? Say "excuse me we will not entertain criticism of the current/former manager or director of football on this podcast, please keep your opinions to yourself Tom"?

People complain that modern footballers are robots that come out with clichés rather than speak the honest truth or say anything interesting or controversial. People bemoan that we don't see 'characters' in modern football. Well here's Pope, speaking his mind. I'm all for it. I think he makes himself seem silly at times but it was a fascinating listen either way. Thank you to the lads for putting this episode together.

Not only is Tom Pope a club legend he is also supposed to be a Vale fan and as such should support the club.  To use a cliche, he has washed his dirty linen in public. I just know there is no way anyone at the club will respond to this in any official capacity. Pope has become the Prince Harry of Burslem. The podcast has given him free reign to say what he wants, which is fair enough but he was never challenged on some issues, particularly in relation to his U turn on Flitcroft. Nobody will have fallen off their chair upon listening to what he had to say, we know he is bitter but sadly he now wants us to fail. Tom is waiting in the wings, in order to have a cheap, "I told you so" at some point in the future. I think Clarke should take a leaf out of the Queen's book and release the statement "recollections may vary".

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2 hours ago, rob1983 said:

Probably not wise doing the pod in the first place as it's created a <ovf censored> storm. Turning fans against each other and the management team. Well done ale and the vale.

Not their fault that Pope’s an arse.

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2 hours ago, PV1973 said:

Some of the comments on here are a bit precious.

Also a few fans on a forum having an argument  isn’t the definition of a <ovf censored> storm and vale fans need no excuse to turn on each other anyway. 

Pope deserved to lose the captaincy when he got banned because of Twitter, that’s not the image the club wanted to be in the news. The decision to take it off him came from the very top is what I heard from more than one source back when it happened. 
 

I have no issue with any player backing themselves, no one else is going to, being a footballer is about having a strong mental attitude and self belief. I agree with Pope on the issue of Bennett. We were weak as anything when he played up front, his hold up play and his willingness to put himself about was a liability. I felt that the ball was coming straight back with him in the side.

It certainly has caused some upset. It’s turning people against Clarke as some people treat Pope as a God and lap up everything he does.

And yes Pope was better than Bennett, but we played worse with Pope. Bennett didn’t need to hold the ball up, we played 433 and pressed. When Pope came into the team it turned into hoofball.

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38 minutes ago, Dr Delgado said:

The podcast has given him free reign to say what he wants, which is fair enough but he was never challenged on some issues, particularly in relation to his U turn on Flitcroft.

With respect to Stu, Baz and Jonny it's safe to say neither of them are Jeremy Paxman, or even Piers Morgan. Besides the episode was already three hours long, if they started challenging Pope on what he was saying they'd probably still be recording now!

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1 hour ago, Powerline said:

It certainly has caused some upset. It’s turning people against Clarke as some people treat Pope as a God and lap up everything he does.

And yes Pope was better than Bennett, but we played worse with Pope. Bennett didn’t need to hold the ball up, we played 433 and pressed. When Pope came into the team it turned into hoofball.

Absolutely. But the Forest Green game early doors I think we won 2-1 and Bennett scored was as good a footballing performance Vale have given in the past 2 or 3 seasons. Bennett rightly kept his place for a few games. He wasn't/ isn't great but certainly at that time merited the shirt. 

Bitter and twisted man Mr Pope is. 

His bad mouthing of Southend when we thrashed them, Bennett and Theo is pathetic 

Incredibly some people I'm sure hanker for the prodigal son to return one day, coaching badge in hand as the new Vale manager.

Do me a favour 

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13 minutes ago, Santa said:

He was also critical of certain players and recruitment at the club but mocking any efforts to turn that around by putting on a Lancashire accent. Several times.

That got really tedious, as did "I'm not going to slag X off, he's one of my best mates, I love him, but X is <ovf censored> and I am better."

Also, slag off players like Theo if you like but at least he was available to play unlike you, Mr I-don't-give-a-<ovf censored>, who was suspended for shooting you mouth off online when we really bodies.

 

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Although it started off as quite an entertaining listen, the longer the Pod went on (and it went on for a bloody long time), little details kept getting added that made it feel a bit like a Greek tragedy unfolding.
This is a man, nearly 36 years old, struggling to come to terms with coming to the end of his football career and not being the same player he was 8 or 9 years ago. But more than that, he seems to be struggling with losing his sense of purpose, he still has unresolved issues about being stripped of the captaincy.
There were a couple of things that stood out for me, one was that he didn't manage to join up the dots with Smurthwaite, admitting his faults but not seeing the bigger picture about how he took the football club backwards over a period of years. He was also critical of certain players and recruitment at the club but mocking any efforts to turn that around by putting on a Lancashire accent. Several times.
Now, DC and DF could well turn out to be a pair of clueless bluffers for all I know, but the club needs dragging into the 21st century and the old school mentality of having a go at anybody who challenges The Way Things Have Always Been Done won’t get us anywhere.
Most of all it just seemed to be a lack of self awareness that made me feel sad. He doesn't appreciate how his personality can rub people up the wrong way, he’s grown up in brutal dressing rooms but doesn’t understand that a lot of people don’t appreciate it.
He admits to starting to act unprofessionally and taking the mick after losing the captaincy but he doesn't see how that could have played a part in him not still being here now. Maybe he also didn't appreciate the wider responsibilities of being a captain besides going and fighting the players’ corner. When he talked about wanting to do his coaching badges but later admitted hating what football has become, I did wonder how we would be able to reconcile the two.
All in all it’s just a really unpleasant way for it all to come to an end. With the indifferent start we’ve had, it has the potential to unsettle the club and the support for some time to come.
 
Love the pod but that went on too long and was damaging to the club he obviously has demons hope he sorts it out I really do
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I enjoyed that interview. I had to listen to it in about five or six chunks because of the length.

Pope the player is, and always will be, a club legend. 

He is also in the clubs history and no-one can take away his fantastic achievements and all the incredible memories he created for us all. 

Port Vale Football Club is far bigger than any individual and will go from strength to strength under the current owners. Time for DC, Wilson, Proctor, Pett, etc... to step up and take the team forwards on the pitch and silence any of the doubters. 

UTV! 

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On 22/08/2021 at 17:46, stupers said:

Thanks for all the feedback, positive and negative. We understand that us releasing the episode would maybe cause some pushback. As Vale fans, all of 20+ years we didn't want to rock the boat. We're fully behind Flitcroft, Clarke and everyone at Vale. Anyone who has listened to a single pod over the summer would know that, and as far as I'm concerned that hasn't changed. 

However as an ex-player (and legend) it would have been wrong for us to turn down a chat with Tom to talk through his time at Vale and how it ended from his perspective. We probably could have challenged him a bit more on a couple of things, but as someone says above we're not in-depth journalists. We do this for fun, and all the money we generate after costs goes to Vale-related projects (100 quid to the SVA initiative just the other day). We were just, as ever trying to put out some content that Vale fans would find interesting. We'll take all constructive criticism on board and see where we can improve. 

I really enjoy the pod. In a similar way to OVF it makes me feel more connected to the club. Even when results arent great it's like shared frustration therapy. I don't get to many games as I live miles away and have young kids so i look forward to the weekly reviews.

Anyway just saying thanks. There will always be different opinions on things and keep doing what you are doing. 👍

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I really enjoyed listening to that. Some great stories and a good insight to what went on and the characters we have had over the years.

Regarding Tom's controversial comments, without doubt he should have played more under Askey. For me, he was the player that made us tick, bringing others into play and guaranteeing a minimum of 15 goals a season. How would we like to have one of those now? James Wilson, within 2 games it seems as though we have another player that flatters to decieve. I really hope he proves me wrong but flashes of good play won't make up for his general ineffectiveness. Not quick, not good in the air, not good at holding it up, doesn't get on the end of things, injury prone, does he really want it?

As for the current Manager / Flitcrift, even before this podcast, in every single interview Clarke comes across as the big hard man who tries to belittle the reporter. (Small man syndrome at its best). His disdain and lack of trust for the press is fine, but there's still a way to treat people and he crosses the line on most occasions if he doesn't like the question being asked. Maybe he's different behind the scenes, but interviews are the only time supporters get to hear a Manager speak and I'm finding him a difficult man to like. I get its not a popularity contest, and nice guys often finish last, but there's a way to go about your business and ultimately the players will also think that in time as well. Again, I hope I'm wrong.

As for tearing up last year's squad, I agreed with it in general. What I didn't agree with was getting rid of our best two players, players who without them we would be in the conference or in liquidation, while also treating them really badly on their way out. Did they deserve that? Are their replacements better? This team looks mid table mediocrity at best and if the <ovf censored> hits the fan again, which I suspect it will if things don't pick up in 10 games time, I don't see that we have the quality or characters for Clarke to survive.

The management team have laid this ruthless marker themselves and they need to start getting results to prove it was the right way to go about things. So far it's been a difficult watch with a lot of money spent

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39 minutes ago, Tony Rougier said:

So far it's been a difficult watch with a lot of money spent

It seems to be money invested behind the scenes with infrastructure, coaches etc. Which is great for the club long term. But it's a bit unfair to portray that as Clarke being given a big war chest to achieve an immediate promotion.

I agree with the rest of what you said.

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