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Match Thread : Port Vale v Harrogate Town


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Someone said earlier about the triangles. Our current full backs are sound defensively, but they're not Gibbons and Monty.

Hence we keep clean sheets, but their lack of threat going forward allows opponents to smother the midfield and isolate the wide men.

As for Cullen. He's a good footballer and he does link play well.

Tom Pope would not have been any better with that kind of service.

Harrogate harried us and clearances were just that, they weren't passes.

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Some absolute tripe posted in here today. Apparently Worrall doesn’t have the pace to play in this system, even though he was player of the year in it last season.    Obviously was a poor game,

What are crewe riding? A fart bubble?

Carls a genius. He says we need to look at playing better than we have today. Amazed JA hasn't called him up for a coaching role.

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Just seen that Leon Legge was voted man of the match in the sentinel. Admittedly he did have a good game and this may be a little controversial but I think at times he could have controlled the ball as an alternative to booting it to safety. For me Olyeleke was MOM. I believe if we had concentrated more on keeping the ball we would have won yesterday, confidence builds from possession but for some reason we never really settled. Legge had a good game, having been dragged down in to playing their way, whereas Manny was always looking for openings and his passing was above average. I think before long other teams will implement tactics to overcome Harrogate. 

 

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4 hours ago, philmpv said:
4 hours ago, Jacko51 said:
Cullen is not effective with his back to goal which is how he spent most of yesterday. 

He had no choice . Really can't believe some are advocating for pope to be put straight back in after being out for 6 games. The striker isn't the issue. It's the service. I have no doubt that we could have had Messi, pope or salah up top yesterday and none would have scored or indeed made any effective contribution with the insistence of brown and the full backs of simply lumping aimless balls as high as the stand. Cullen has more than proven that if, given the service, he will score, at a much higher ratio than pope. It's the distribution that JA needs to sort out with the players not the striker.

Harrogate sat their Captain infront of Cullen to stop the balls he drops deep for with his back to goal. That really eliminated balls into feet and forced us to play over their player. When we got back into the game in the first half we almost played with a 2 as Rodney moved into the inside left channel. It also reduced our threat down the left. Maybe a better option would have been to play Worrall narrower for balls into the space between the fullback and defensive midfielder; as he never got around the leftback all game. That would have left Rodney to go at the rightback more where he had some joy. It probably really needed a 10 to sit 15 metres deep of Cullen and pull their Captain left or right to create space to get balls in to Cullen's feet. I think they started to try doing that with Conlon second half.

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Think of our good play last year, it consisted of us getting fullbacks in support of the attack and seeing either one of them or the wingers getting round the outside. We haven’t seen much of that this season because of the type of players mills and Fitzpatrick are. I don’t go with the theory that both of them are sound defensively and that that’s the reason why we’ve kept 3 clean sheets. Yes we’ve kept those clean sheets but that doesn't mean we haven’t given the opposition chances because we have. Next week Monty could come in for Fitzpatrick or on the other side Gibbo could play for mills and we might concede, but that doesn’t mean it’s because one of the those original fullbacks has dropped out. I think yesterday showed why Worrall is crying out for an attacking fullback with him. He can’t do it himself and needs more options and I don’t think we can or will stick with Mills and Fitzpatrick all season either because Monty and Gibbo offer has so much more. 

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2 hours ago, PV1973 said:

Think of our good play last year, it consisted of us getting fullbacks in support of the attack and seeing either one of them or the wingers getting round the outside. We haven’t seen much of that this season because of the type of players mills and Fitzpatrick are. I don’t go with the theory that both of them are sound defensively and that that’s the reason why we’ve kept 3 clean sheets. Yes we’ve kept those clean sheets but that doesn't mean we haven’t given the opposition chances because we have. Next week Monty could come in for Fitzpatrick or on the other side Gibbo could play for mills and we might concede, but that doesn’t mean it’s because one of the those original fullbacks has dropped out. I think yesterday showed why Worrall is crying out for an attacking fullback with him. He can’t do it himself and needs more options and I don’t think we can or will stick with Mills and Fitzpatrick all season either because Monty and Gibbo offer has so much more. 

I agree. There isn't a causal relationship between more defensive full backs and clean sheets.

What it does is reduce our attacking threat, considerably in my view.

It leaves space in front of the full backs rather than behind. Something you mention regularly.  So it is possibly more secure defensively.

I suspect it also makes life easier for the central defenders as they don't have to cover across so much and can focus on what's in front of them.

So all in all, whilst we have had a small number of chances against us, deeper lying full backs may be going some way to keeping clean sheets and also contributing to the difficulties further forward.

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I left myself a bit of time to think about yesterday’s performance. For me, Harrogate was always going to be a tough fixture. It seemed like a lot of people thought it would be a walk in the park, but i had a feeling this would have been our toughest game so far. 

Harrogate arrived with a game plan and they executed it perfectly. Their work rate was second to none and they looked very, very organised. In the first half especially, they bossed midfield. They made us go long at every opportunity by giving Joyce no space to receive the ball and pick a pass out. Vale going long meant they could gobble up every second ball, mainly due to their man mountains in defence. In fairness to Vale, our lads upped their games in the second half and we were arguably the better side.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Harrogate finished in the top half. Their lack of quality in the final third will be their main downfall, but they will do well. 

The game itself was frustrating to watch, but I bet the conditions they had to play in were even more frustrating. The conditions clearly didn’t work in our favour. As I said above, in the second half we were better. We got the ball down and played some decent stuff. Worrall was very unfortunate not to score, but I think that kind of summed up his afternoon. I must say though, some of the criticism he has got is genuinely laughable. He had an off day, but just remember, everyone has an off day. Personally, I think he is our best and most creative player. Whoever has suggested dropping him, give your head a wobble. 

Brown, Legge, Smith and Manny all yet again played well. Massive credit to Leggey, he was absolutely outstanding. The man is as solid as a rock. 

My main concern about Vale - we have a great Plan A, but our plan B seems to be non-existent. We saw this last season, when teams come to Vale and sit in, we struggle to break them down. Now, before I get scrutinised for being too negative, I totally understand we are only three league games in and it will take time to get everything right. My point is, this was our downfall last season and cost us on a number of occasions. 

However, I’m as confident as I’ve ever been about the Vale right now. I genuinely believe we will have a successful season. Our squad is top notch, with the likes of Gibbons, Amoo, Pope, McKirdy, Monty all yet to properly feature. 

Keep the faith, Valiants! 

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1 hour ago, SFBT said:

I agree. There isn't a causal relationship between more defensive full backs and clean sheets.

What it does is reduce our attacking threat, considerably in my view.

It leaves space in front of the full backs rather than behind. Something you mention regularly.  So it is possibly more secure defensively.

I suspect it also makes life easier for the central defenders as they don't have to cover across so much and can focus on what's in front of them.

So all in all, whilst we have had a small number of chances against us, deeper lying full backs may be going some way to keeping clean sheets and also contributing to the difficulties further forward.

Of course the irony of me mentioning Monty being on the pitch for his attacking threat is that we had a big area of concern last season with teams being able to play in more easily behind our left side. That was just with simple diags or balls into the channel as well, and not always when our left back had pushed on. Sometimes I think that was more to do with their defensive positioning, (both Crookes and Month when they played there). It was plain as day that opposition teams had identified it as well. Another problem is when you have wingers not tracking runners either, I think it was Rodney that was guilty of it yesterday when they had one good chance first half. For me though having defensive fullbacks behind worrall especially will mean we don’t get the best out of him IMO. 

Edited by PV1973
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