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Sad to read in an article today that he has felt harshly thought of by some Vale fans who think of him as just some sort of lump who wins his fair share of headers and scores some tap ins. He's bang on when he states that his hold up play is excellent and it seems like this sort of player generally doesn't get the credit he deserves from some. It's the same thing with Troy Deeney, for just one example. I think people give him credit for the work he does for the team, but forget that he, like Tom, is actually a good player and does plenty of other things well.  While Pope is never going to run away from defenders, put bodies in and around him and he's still an excellent option. Age doesn't really come in to it for him because it's not like he's lost his pace! I can guarantee that Carlisle would be more worried tomorrow about possibly facing Pope than they would be Cullen or Robinson, and I'm not saying that to discredit either of those players.

Pope isn't quite as good as the likes of Foyle ability wise, I'm sure he would admit that himself. But he is a genuine Vale legend, and we haven't had many of those in the last 20 years or so. I'm sure as a fan he browses this forum from time to time so why not show him a bit of love and the respect he deserves?

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Sad to read in an article today that he has felt harshly thought of by some Vale fans who think of him as just some sort of lump who wins his fair share of headers and scores some tap ins. He's bang o

I'd disagree with that. I think every man and his dog except for VFIA and 007 has Gibbons and Smith in their starting 11, and that's only because one has doubts because they are stoke fans and the oth

On Tuesday, he did tons of unsung work running channels etc to help out Robinson. Theo still had to find the net and deserves credit but I think Pope must be an excellent partner to have upfront. His

I think he miss understands some points, we needed him last week when it was long ball for the reason he is trying to express... he can hold it up, we needed him against Harrogate for example too when it wouldn't stick and was just coming back at us.

 

He is outstanding as a hold up player so that is what most were crying for.

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The problem is that at his age one poor performance, not necessarily individually but collectively, and fans will inevitably say he’s finished.  Sadly it’s the nature of the beast.  That feeling is compounded by the fact that Tom isn’t the most fluent mover at the best of times.

We saw in the week that he can still do a good job for the team.  Whether that’s off the bench, or maybe starting with a view to playing for 70 minutes or so, would be up to the manager’s view of the opposition.

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On Tuesday, he did tons of unsung work running channels etc to help out Robinson. Theo still had to find the net and deserves credit but I think Pope must be an excellent partner to have upfront. His passing is excellent too.

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2 hours ago, TylerB said:

 

Sad to read in an article today that he has felt harshly thought of by some Vale fans who think of him as just some sort of lump who wins his fair share of headers and scores some tap ins. He's bang on when he states that his hold up play is excellent and it seems like this sort of player generally doesn't get the credit he deserves from some. It's the same thing with Troy Deeney, for just one example. I think people give him credit for the work he does for the team, but forget that he, like Tom, is actually a good player and does plenty of other things well.  While Pope is never going to run away from defenders, put bodies in and around him and he's still an excellent option. Age doesn't really come in to it for him because it's not like he's lost his pace! I can guarantee that Carlisle would be more worried tomorrow about possibly facing Pope than they would be Cullen or Robinson, and I'm not saying that to discredit either of those players.

Pope isn't quite as good as the likes of Foyle ability wise, I'm sure he would admit that himself. But he is a genuine Vale legend, and we haven't had many of those in the last 20 years or so. I'm sure as a fan he browses this forum from time to time so why not show him a bit of love and the respect he deserves?

Top post. Tom is a legend and deserves all the praise we can give him. That's not to say he doesn't have his limitations or never puts a foot wrong (on and off the pitch) but, overall, he's done so much for the club. The irony is that the long ball game doesn't suit Tom, he's at his best on the end of crosses or set pieces and his hold up play is excellent.

If I were Carlisle tomorrow, the thing that would worry me most would be Vale playing BOTH Pope and Robinson or Cullen. Let's hope JA sees it the same way!  

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3 hours ago, jonti1969 said:

Totally agree. Best moment was when he scored at Man City, i not scared to say i cried, was over the moon for him.

Not forgetting it was his hat trick at Cheltenham that earned the Man City tie in the first place.

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For me, Tom Pope is a legend and one of best target-men there is out there. Unfortunately, I don’t think we will get enough bodies around him when we play him as a lone striker. However, as a two, as it proved on Tuesday, he is an ideal foil for Robinson. 

Hope JA is thinking what I’m thinking- with 2 wingers out injured, and 4 strikers available, let’s play to our strengths. 4-4-2, and hope Pope & Robinson prove they are the difference. 

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9 minutes ago, Boslem's Brazil said:

For me, Tom Pope is a legend and one of best target-men there is out there. Unfortunately, I don’t think we will get enough bodies around him when we play him as a lone striker. However, as a two, as it proved on Tuesday, he is an ideal foil for Robinson. 

Hope JA is thinking what I’m thinking- with 2 wingers out injured, and 4 strikers available, let’s play to our strengths. 4-4-2, and hope Pope & Robinson prove they are the difference. 

Bang on that. A player as good as Pope in his hold up play needs bodies around him. Tuesdays game showed exactly what happens when we were getting forward to support him from all areas. Can’t help but think though that Askey wouldn’t switch from 4-3-3 unless forced to in a game. 

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Popey has lost an extra yard in pace , but he was always a yard short in the pace department as he has freely admitted. What upsets  Popey is the comment that if he plays you need to the pump the ball  up in the air to him. This is because  you cannot knock the ball over the top and expect him to compete with defenders anymore. No offence I believe is intended just a confirmation of the above, he is a club legend and always will be.

If we are to play to his strengths I dont believe playing him as the sole striker works, pacey wingers will cross the ball into a box lacking Popey. The better option is as a front 2 with Popey as the hold up man with another striker playing off him. A role he prefers and I believe this would also suit Theo, and Cullen.  Rodney has strength and pace so is better equipped to play the lone striker. 

Feed the Pope and he will score.

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He's the best striker in the division. He's a quality footballer with vision, skill, strength, experience and is a proven goal scorer for us. He should be the first name on the team sheet in my opinion. 

Feed the Pope. If given a partner up front, he'll create them loads too. 

My cat is called Popey! (Black and White obviously!) 

UTV! 

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I think he misread the situation. I was crying out for him last week. Not just for his heading but his strength, power, all round play. We also hoofed it and had no challenges going in. With him on we wouldn't have lost.

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17 hours ago, CAVALIER said:

I think he misread the situation. I was crying out for him last week. Not just for his heading but his strength, power, all round play. We also hoofed it and had no challenges going in. With him on we wouldn't have lost.

I think most us get what he brings to the side and it’s not just about him being a lump. On the pitch he has a good footballing brain which has only improved with experience. I think all of our four forwards offer something a little different to each other. It’s going to be down to Askey and Kevan to utilise all of their strengths to the best effect depending on the opposition. But Pope will always help to get more out of the likes of Cullen and Robinson if selected as a two, of that there is no doubt.

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