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John Askey


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More shots on target leads to more goals leads to winning more games leads to higher league position. Opponents have worked out that we can play good neat and tidy football but pose little or no threat in open play. That is what needs to change rather than the players we have got. 

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It must be so much harder to be a lower league manager than a Premier League manager. I've thought that for a while. It is very, very difficult to organically build a side. You mostly inherit a bunch of players slapped together with the previous manager in mind, on shortish term contracts, and anytime you do manage to jigsaw a side together, you then lose 2-5 of them, regardless of whether you get promoted or not, at which point you have to rebuild again. You don't often have the ability to hand out 3-4 contracts knowing you can keep players for that long.  Results are key, but supporters want performances and style too.

Everyone is in the same boat, but that's why the manager is so important - much more than at bigger clubs I would argue. Without that enormous backroom framework to support them, they need to be able to do so much more than just coach, and manage. I don't like to make the comparison, but I will - in NFL, they have the Front Office, who do personnel, and the coaching staff. Very, very rarely are they mixed, and usually when they do, they are a disaster.

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On 15/12/2020 at 12:44, valiant_593 said:

Of course you can sign players with a low budget. We have done on many many occasions and so have most sides. It’s more about actual scouting and not filling the squad with squad players that aren’t up to it. Completely disagree with the view that you need a big budget to sign decent players. 

Never said you can't, just said it's not easy. And I agree that Kennedy, Lloyd, Evans weren't good enough, but last summer was an unprecedented situation with the takeover and was all about just getting bodies in so we had a squad. Indeed a large part of my point was that this summer when we had a bit more time to plan and target the right positions, recruitment has been better.

My main problem in all discussions like this is the lack of nuance and the amount of hyperbole. My main contention is that you can't call players/signings like Robinson 'awful'. He has over 100 league goals (in 250-odd starts) at our level and above, not just the odd good season, his career scoring rate is not dissimilar to Pope (though I would say Pope has been a better all-round striker). Is he going to set the world alight? No. Is he a proven goalscorer at our level and a reasonable second best after we couldn't get Maynard? Yes. So even if he leaves in Jan/summer after an underwhelming spell here and not showing his best, I'm just saying it's over the top to call it an 'awful' signing, or to say he's one of the worst players we've had, given some of the dross we've contended with recently.

I do agree that 'another season on the likes of legge, Joyce, brown, pope' is a real issue, part of the problem being that they're higher earners and so it's hard to get good replacements for them while they're still here (Visser and Brisley are decent competition/stand-ins though, and we have recruited up front to try to ease the burden on Pope). We will definitely need to replace Legge and Pope next summer, as well as bringing in another DM asap (which was the main bit of business we didn't do in the summer, as I mentioned earlier), but all I'm saying is that if everything really was so 'awful' with our recruitment and our squad in general, we'd be a lot further away than we are.

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On 15/12/2020 at 12:54, Joe B said:

All fair arguments, and I enjoy the back and forth on this. 

I'll summarise my overarching view that I don't believe Askey has signed enough players in the 22 months he has been in charge that have *consistently* improved our first 11, relative to what he inherited.

There are several extenuating factors; the messy state of the club when he arrived, the restrictions of COVID, being out-competed for names such as Maynard.

However, if he wants to take us up, as the owners expect, he needs to improve in this measure. So far, I haven't seen enough evidence that he can recruit players to assemble a top 3 squad. I think it's important to remember that whilst top 7 was the aim this year, top 3 was definitely the goal by the end of next season. We need a promotion winning squad.

Likewise, this kind of thing is what a football forum should be about, even if it is hard to bring dispassionate reason into anything regarding football and our beloved Vale! And I think your overarching point re Askey is a fair charge, but with the caveat that we're still not halfway into this strange season, so still time for that picture to improve a little. Even so, I think the points made by various posters above about how we're having to re-establish development squads, scouting networks, various back-office functions post-Smurf are critical in order to help give JA the support he needs, prevent him getting caught in that lower-league manager's trap of having to do everything. We seem to be moving in the right direction on that front though.

Next two windows (replacing Legge and Pope, competition for Joyce, couple of additions in attacking positions) will be crucial to the top 3 ambition, but we're still not far off this season's aim of top 7; one piece of composed finishing in each of the last two games to give us two deserved wins and we'd be in the play-offs right now. I know, if my aunty had balls, etc., but just illustrating how fine the margins are, and how close we are. Roll on Saturday!

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1 hour ago, Clayts said:

Even so, I think the points made by various posters above about how we're having to re-establish development squads, scouting networks, various back-office functions post-Smurf are critical in order to help give JA the support he needs, prevent him getting caught in that lower-league manager's trap of having to do everything. 

100% agree with this. The club seems to have stabilised. Once COVID is over and there is a consistent revenue stream coming into the club, we need to modernise our recruitment and move Askey into a 'Head Coach' role, which he eminently is more suited to. 

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1 hour ago, Clayts said:

Likewise, this kind of thing is what a football forum should be about, even if it is hard to bring dispassionate reason into anything regarding football and our beloved Vale! And I think your overarching point re Askey is a fair charge, but with the caveat that we're still not halfway into this strange season, so still time for that picture to improve a little. Even so, I think the points made by various posters above about how we're having to re-establish development squads, scouting networks, various back-office functions post-Smurf are critical in order to help give JA the support he needs, prevent him getting caught in that lower-league manager's trap of having to do everything. We seem to be moving in the right direction on that front though.

Next two windows (replacing Legge and Pope, competition for Joyce, couple of additions in attacking positions) will be crucial to the top 3 ambition, but we're still not far off this season's aim of top 7; one piece of composed finishing in each of the last two games to give us two deserved wins and we'd be in the play-offs right now. I know, if my aunty had balls, etc., but just illustrating how fine the margins are, and how close we are. Roll on Saturday!

Another thought provoking and considered post.

Really enjoying the high standard of discussion and sharing of views.

A breath of fresh air.

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