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Match Thread: Stevenage v Port Vale


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There has been a lot of bandying about of stats about how wonderful things are, we are better off than last season etc etc.

This is tongue in cheek but also facts

Ironically last season game 14 was also Stevenage ( 1-1 at Home )

Last season

W 4 D 6 L 4  19-21 Points 18

This season

W 6 D 1 L 7 16-15 Points 19

So the fact is that we are actually one point better off than last season. 

You could ask why we all feel so despondent then ? Well not all of us but a vast majority.

Well we turned the corner after beating Swindon at Christmas and went on an exceptional run with some really good wins at the likes of Northampton, FGR and the dismantling of Colchester at Vale Park. .

Up to Christmas the results were still very bitty with wins and mainly draws mainly glossed over by the euphoria of beating Crewe .

We had the boost and excitement of the day out at Man City, one for the memory banks in the future, and the feel good factor kept gathering pace as only our usual pap at Swindon stood in our way before the season was curtailed.

The performances this season and the sudden downturn in form do not give cause for any optimism of a renaissance like last season, we look bereft of any quality or creativity.

So ultimately we have no cup run due to losing to the team who had the worst defence in non-league football and the feel good factor is diminishing by the day.

 

The light at the end of the tunnel is if we get to Wembley in the Papa Johns we might get a free Pizza thrown in to watch it on ifollow.

 

 

 

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Don't talk rubbish, Tyler.  It's just that I'm considerably older than most of you lot and so I've seen all this before.  That's why I don't think we're going to win the league every time we get three

Even worse, I think you could argue that our best 11 contains 10 players that Askey inherited; Brown Gibbons Legge Smith Clark Oyeleke Joyce Conlon Amoo Pope Worrall Add this

Tonight was a culmination of several weeks. We're just, fundamentally, not a playoff side. Yes, we had suspensions and absences. Stevenage had won 4 in 49 before tonight, and 1 so far this s

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47 minutes ago, Joe B said:

Yeah, bit concerning that Askey thought we 'rallied' in the second half and the players 'responded' after words were said at half time.

Maybe he was hoping everybody had stopped watching and turned over to the Champions League at half time.

If that was us rallying and if "hopefully" we play like that on Saturday, then I'm afraid to say we are bang in trouble.

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What’s more concerning than the points tally is our level of performance, we may be one point better off than this time last season but we are playing nowhere near as well. Think of the good attacking play we were showing last season and look at this seasons games, we arent near those levels. Players don’t look like they’re busting a gut to make runs and find space, we’re not moving it quickly enough in possession, we’re not seeing fullbacks bomb on to get around or inside opposition fullbacks, we’re  not seeing midfielders breaking the lines to get up to our strikers and we’re not pressing enough. It’s predictable, slow and boring and I’m willing to bet that the players stats in terms of ground covered and the intensity of their sprints is not as it should be either. 

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24 minutes ago, Santa said:

Maybe he was hoping everybody had stopped watching and turned over to the Champions League at half time.

If that was us rallying and if "hopefully" we play like that on Saturday, then I'm afraid to say we are bang in trouble.

There didn't seem to be any adjustment. Stevenage nailed us by constricting the middle with a diamond, a fairly basic press, and then launching it to their two mobile strikers who had Smith and Brisley on toast all night.

We didn't adapt at all. Maybe there was a bit of shouting and Football Manager style 'Where's the passion lads?' but we came out, and for 7 minutes did the exact same, before subbing McKirdy for Cullen and going 442. Why not do this at half time? 

This concerned me even more as, in my view, managers lobbing strikers on to the detriment of system is a sign that they're panicking. Our issue isn't finishing chances, it's creating them, and as poor as McKirdy was, he had a better chance of creating something than Cullen did. We went from 4231 to 442 and prayed. Our entire approach is 'get it to the wings, whip it in, see ball get cleared as the forward isn't good in the air'.

We've seen time and time again that teams have figured out the formula for Askey's style of play, and when you're so obstinate in your approach, you run the risk that sides who now employ a team of scouts/data analysts/video scouts will figure you out with nearly 2 years of film/data to analyse. And we simply don't have the individual qualities to overcome this.

Edited by Joe B

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what pathetic comments from our defunct manager! "we didnt look up for it" mr askey, its your job to make them up for it. the first half smith looked as if he was on walkabout, mckirdy not on this planet, burgess none existent, robinson useless and on and on. clarke had no  impetous going forward. the i follow camera angles were pretty crap but i didnt see the vale management shouting, reorganising or even moving! the diamond formation is the way to beat vale , he hasnt a clue how to deal with it (its no use asking the players they seemed in a world of their owm for half the match. But beside that they were at least on time for the bus!🥵

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Simply not good enough whether that is down to the management, players or both (more likely).  Do your job, your getting paid for the club and fans have backed you to perform well above this level of performance in these very hard times. No excuses now  buck up and start winning games.

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If we lose on Saturday there must be changes at the top. It's a shame after last season  but it must be done.

Whether he's lost the dressing room or what, there is a huge problem at the club and it must be corrected.

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10 hours ago, toyahw said:

I'm a bit worried he is getting a bit detached from reality.

I thought the same last week when, after the home defeats, he claimed that we'd played well.

He seems to be in the deluded and clueless stage of a manager's typical downward spiral.

The next (and usually final) stage is to make 3, 4, 5 changes to the starting XI each game, in a desperate attempt to find something, anything, that will get a result.

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I didnt want to be in the Askey out camp and do hope he can turn it around. But last night was very bad. We didnt look like we had any clue or any plan against a poor side. We were better in the second half, but it was literally impossible to be any worse. We need to hoping for a lot more than that second half performance as it was still far below what we should expect.

Yes we have injuries and suspensions but this was always going to happen. He had a summer to bring in the players to accommodate that. But he hasn't fixed the same concerns we all had last season. Which striker replaces pope? What do we do if Joyce doesnt play? The signings overall haven't been good enough and that's now coming back to bite him.

We move the ball so slowly and the midfield are now pretty much non existent. We look a million miles from a top 7 side and I am losing faith that he can turn it around. If we stick are we just writing this season off? Changing doesn't guarantee success I know but it really isnt working with Askey currently.

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55 minutes ago, Walter said:

I didnt want to be in the Askey out camp and do hope he can turn it around. But last night was very bad. We didnt look like we had any clue or any plan against a poor side. We were better in the second half, but it was literally impossible to be any worse. We need to hoping for a lot more than that second half performance as it was still far below what we should expect.

Yes we have injuries and suspensions but this was always going to happen. He had a summer to bring in the players to accommodate that. But he hasn't fixed the same concerns we all had last season. Which striker replaces pope? What do we do if Joyce doesnt play? The signings overall haven't been good enough and that's now coming back to bite him.

We move the ball so slowly and the midfield are now pretty much non existent. We look a million miles from a top 7 side and I am losing faith that he can turn it around. If we stick are we just writing this season off? Changing doesn't guarantee success I know but it really isnt working with Askey currently.

That’s because the players we need haven’t played for Macclesfield. The links to their ex players are embarrassing. Do we have scouts? Do people put the miles in watching players like Rudge did? What do all these coaches do? 

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1 hour ago, The Kalamazoo Kid said:

I thought the same last week when, after the home defeats, he claimed that we'd played well.

He seems to be in the deluded and clueless stage of a manager's typical downward spiral.

The next (and usually final) stage is to make 3, 4, 5 changes to the starting XI each game, in a desperate attempt to find something, anything, that will get a result.

There does seem to be a lot of chopping and changing to be fair.

There should be enough there to challenge in this league.

Brown, Legge, Smith, Worrall, Joyce and Pope good enough for most sides.

No excuses for the negativity, lack of creativity, effort a given to me.

The owners and fans have backed Askey, he has assembled a squad of his own choice.

We don't even look solid anymore, there are issues. who knows what they are?

I'm sure Carol, Kevin and the board will do what's right for the club, they are professional and have invested both a lot of time and money in Port Vale.

It's not good enough, not by a long way. They know that

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That’s because the players we need haven’t played for Macclesfield. The links to their ex players are embarrassing. Do we have scouts? Do people put the miles in watching players like Rudge did? What do all these coaches do? 

What is peoples issue with the coaches in the academy? Very strange that people keep having digs at it.
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12 hours ago, MBE said:

Paul its about the general play. We are just toothless, lacking creativity or plan b. Team react badly to going a goal down lacking character. We have not scored a goal from an open goal in the last 4 league games. I'm not even going to reference the King Lynn debacle. This is a big reason why some including myself are saying he needs to go.

Shots on target - :

Stevenage  (bottom 2 at the time of playing)- 3

Newport - 3

Scunthorpe - 2 (bottom 2 at the time of playing)

Tranmere - 4

Damning statistics about how we are set-up.

Yes, when you recruit and pack your midfield with players who have so few goals in them, it's no wonder we get so few shots on or off target. Only Amoo, Worrall, Montano and - dare I say it - McKirdy have any serious record of scoring. Something has to change or it will be our undoing.

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Only at Port Vale football club can a manager lose 5 games on the trot in the league and also be knocked out of the FA Cup against a none league team and still be in a job. Performances are abysmal, some of the worst there's been in donkeys years which is some achievement when you consider we've had the likes of Glover, Gannon and Aspin.

We have to remember that if Askey is sacked ultimately he loses his job for the time being, and that's unfortunate and not someone you would wish upon anyone. But for the sake of the club and this season not just quickly becoming a write off, something needs to be done now. Not in a few weeks time. 

Edited by TylerB

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The question boils down to this; does Carol feel John Askey is going to get us into the top 7? 

If the answer is no, is she content to abandon any pretence of success this season (despite promising we "aren't doing 8th again"), let it play out, and go again in the summer?

Financial pressures will dictate things. There is a growing body of evidence to suggest the answer to the first question is 'no'.

I'm well and truly bored of being a bad football club, having been that way for the vast majority of my life.

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The biggest issue was recruitment this summer.

Last game of last season, you could say our best 11 was Brown; Gibbons, Legge, Smith, Clarke; Joyce, Burgess, Conlon; Amoo, Pope, Worrall?

That hasn't changed at all this season.

What should have happened in the summer is 2-3 FIRST TEAMERS should have been signed to strengthen. This would then push some of last season's 1st 11 down the pecking order but improve the 1st team and improve the squad.

Askey aimed the bar way too low which he does with most of his signings.

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14 minutes ago, valeparklife said:

The biggest issue was recruitment this summer.

Last game of last season, you could say our best 11 was Brown; Gibbons, Legge, Smith, Clarke; Joyce, Burgess, Conlon; Amoo, Pope, Worrall?

That hasn't changed at all this season.

What should have happened in the summer is 2-3 FIRST TEAMERS should have been signed to strengthen. This would then push some of last season's 1st 11 down the pecking order but improve the 1st team and improve the squad.

Askey aimed the bar way too low which he does with most of his signings.

Even worse, I think you could argue that our best 11 contains 10 players that Askey inherited;

Brown

Gibbons Legge Smith Clark

Oyeleke Joyce Conlon

Amoo Pope Worrall

Add this to the spine of that team (Brown, Legge, Joyce, Pope) being 35, 35, 33, and 35 respectively, and you've got a problem. Furthermore, we're not exactly witnessing a flurry of young lads knocking on the door of the first team. The squad is getting older, and no one has been replaced for 2 years. Even this summer, only two singings were under 28, and 3 were 30 or above. We're looking at a serious rebuild in the next couple of years as the spine of the team has been allowed to age without any competition/replacements being brought in.

I'm not saying we operate on a Brentford level, but good teams plan ahead; they see that, for example, the core of our squad is either declining, about to decline, or are already finished, and moves are made to prepare us for that inevitability. Askey hasn't; he's allowed a top-half/playoff pushing League 2 side to age and signed mid-table squad fodder to make the bench look nice.

Sides, eventually, run out of steam; key players get old and regress, the ideas and setup become stale. You have to invigorate the squad with fresh, key additions. Askey has, unequivocally, failed to do this for his entire tenure, with only Amoo an example of a 'good' signing and Burgess a reasonable one. I'd struggle to say any of the summer signings are good enough to win promotion from this league.

We simply needed to go up this year. It's an old squad. Legge has perhaps already demonstrated he can't play every minute anymore; Pope isn't the player he once was; we can't continue to lean on Luke Joyce and Scott Brown. If we don't, we're looking at a rebuild, an overhaul of the playing staff and the growing pains that will bring, and more time confined to this turgid league.

Edited by Joe B
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