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We've had enough keeper problems since we lost Mark Goodlad that we can't really afford to have one senior GK and a young stand-in? Knowing our luck with injuries, we'd lose the senior in the first few matches.

So, Brown and Visser to be retained, if possible.

Def: Brisley, Fitzpatrick, RCG possibly to be offered deals - Fitz is steady, not glamorous...glamorous costs more! Legge  to be retained as a Coach or Ambassador for the club. Crooks, Montano, Mills to be let go - Montano only because of his injury record.

Mid: only Hurst to be offered a new deal from these - Manny, sadly, to go because of his injury record. Joyce, 

Forw: Cullen if we can sort his injuries out. Guthrie, depending on how he does between now and then...and, if he likes us enough to want to stay? TP...sadly...I feel it's time for the curtain to fall. Not sure I'd want to keep him as a coach, either?

Under Contract through the 2021 season

Def: Gibbons, Smith, 

Mid: Worrall, Amoo, Conlon, Taylor, Whitehead, Burgess

Forw: Rodney

Worrall, Conlon, Taylor and Burgess are the makings of a good midfield. Amoo and Whitehead would be allowed to leave, asap...although Amoo would be given until the next close season to see how he does, before making any final decision on him.

So...I reckon, a decent, but not old, CB; a midfield "destroyer" and at least one early/mid-20s Forward, then bulk the squad out with young signings or loans. Maybe leave one free space in this small squad, in case we need an emergency replacement in any area? 

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Monty involved in 30+ games for the last 5 seasons. Is unfairly bracketed with Manny, and definitely one to keep for both his versatility and creativity - something we desperately need more of.

Second highest scorer when he's been on the wings, keeping natural full-backs out of the team when he's been played out of position at left-back. All round good egg. Certainly one to keep for me.

After Carols interview, I'm beginning to feel more positive about the season to come. A new manager with positive ideas, coming into a massive summer for us with basically a clean slate and squad. A

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Keep Brown, Brisley, Legge, Hurst, possibly Joyce. I think Legge and Joyce are good players to have in the dressing room and could be useful squad players IF we also manage to get a couple of U21s in.

I'd get rid of Visser. I think a back up who will never really challenge or push the established number one is ok when your main keeper is in his prime but Brown will need replacing sooner rather than later and I'd like to see us get someone in who can benefit from his experience but also push him for a start.

Crooks, Montano, Mills, Manny and Pope can go too. Maybe give the latter a short-term deal but would prefer it if Guthrie manages to earn a new contract instead.

Not sure about Fitz, RCG and Cullen. If neither of the latter two show any sign of being ready or fit by the end of the season then I'd reluctantly let them go.

 

 

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Like joe I've been saying for a while now that we need a development squad but it's easier said than done and will probably cost close to a million a year but it's obvious that we are struggling to get the youth players ready to step up to the first team. 2 in the last 5/6 years ijust isn't good enough and needs to improve. As for keeping players Brown, Visser, Joyce and Monty I think a 1 year extension poss. Brisley. Hurst one for the future although I'm not convinced he's a winger the rest of them should go Whitehead, kirdy and Robinson try offloading.
As for the rebuilding of the squad I'm not sure Pugh will have the scouting network in place and we already know that the club hasn't which has been highlighted over the last few years. I think it's going to take a while to get us where we want to be.

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If I was manager (ha!), I'd keep Brown, Visser (backup), Brisley (squad), Montano (squad), Hurst for definite.

Legge, Crookes, Mills, Fitzpatrick, Joyce, DTS, Pope I would release, purely down to either age, or ability to affect the 1st team.

Manny and Cullen I'd release as they're too injury prone unfortunately. With squad limits we can't carry passengers.

I've not seen Guthrie play much but I like him 'on paper' and hope he can settle.

RCG is a funny one, 6'3, athletic, young fullback who had Brentford watching him. Feel the potential is there but hasn't really been given a chance yet. Hard to comment for me! Seems a bit too nice and maybe needs some aggression/devilment in his game?

Then, I'd set about looking to sign 3-4 players with a number of games under their belt in the 23-28 age bracket to form a 'new core' - ie younger versions of Legge/Joyce etc. Good pros, honest, workmanlike. Maybe try and poach players from 'smaller' clubs Morecambe/Crawley etc.

Then, the recruitment team I'd have set up will have analysed a number of U23 teams from City/Utd/Villa/Liverpool/Birmingham/West Brom/Leeds (ie local-ish to us) and picked a shortlist of 3-4 young players that we feel could be a calculated gamble. I'd have analysed all JPT games too where U23 teams have played against L1/L2 teams to see how they fare against men/pros.

The idea being to reduce the average age of the squad, build a new core that can be together for the next 3/4/5 years and have some young sellable assets to hopefully improve cashflow. I'd hope that team spirit would be built and continuity formed which could help us push to get out of this awful, tinpot league that I'm sick to death of.

I like 4-3-3 so our 2021/2022 season opening day line-up would look something like:

Brown

Gibbons, Smith, [NEW CB], [NEW LB]

Taylor, [NEW DM], Conlon

Worrall, Rodney or [NEW CF], [NEW WING FORWARD] 

Easy eh? 😄

 

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I'd offer Leon, Popey and Joyce contracts on the premise of one year, reduced terms, squad player types and link in to some coaching. I doubt that they'd all accept so fair do's. Popey a  testimonial too and an impact sub.

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1 hour ago, CAVALIER said:

I'd offer Leon, Popey and Joyce contracts on the premise of one year, reduced terms, squad player types and link in to some coaching. I doubt that they'd all accept so fair do's. Popey a  testimonial too and an impact sub.

Not knocking Pope at all, he’s been a great player for the club, but doesn’t a player have to be at a club for 10 years to qualify for a testimonial?

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26 minutes ago, Conrad said:

Not knocking Pope at all, he’s been a great player for the club, but doesn’t a player have to be at a club for 10 years to qualify for a testimonial?

Manny is having one if he plays 10 games 😳

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13 hours ago, dishydave said:

Like joe I've been saying for a while now that we need a development squad but it's easier said than done and will probably cost close to a million a year but it's obvious that we are struggling to get the youth players ready to step up to the first team. 2 in the last 5/6 years ijust isn't good enough and needs to improve. As for keeping players Brown, Visser, Joyce and Monty I think a 1 year extension poss. Brisley. Hurst one for the future although I'm not convinced he's a winger the rest of them should go Whitehead, kirdy and Robinson try offloading.
As for the rebuilding of the squad I'm not sure Pugh will have the scouting network in place and we already know that the club hasn't which has been highlighted over the last few years. I think it's going to take a while to get us where we want to be.

Potential player identification is a club responsibility, setting up a scouting system etc. Managers come and go, they have a say and bring their own club contacts, but clubs need a permanent structure.

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I hope Vale don't get sentimental when new contracts are up.Just offer new contracts on football issues and for the good of Port Vale Football Club.No silly gambles like this season!!

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I've not been able to watch as many games this season as i'd like but when i have it always strikes me how laboured we are when we try to play out from the back. Its normally:

a) No one is showing for the ball in midfield

or

b) There is an option but we are not technical enough at the back to have the confidence in trying it.

As a result we end up passing it around alot to not lose posession which makes our build up play very slow. Teams always have the time to get back into shape. I guess an example of why a ball playing cb is important is how Sheff Utd have nose dived after Jack O'Connell getting injured.

Anyway my point being i think we need atleast one ball playing cb. Yes i know its league two and you will always need a legge type to head clear and stand firm. Just i think if we had more footballing ability in defence within the squad then atleast we can play more on the front foot and pick and choose the right games to do it.

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I really hope RCG gets a chance to show his quality this season. He’s got bags of potential and I’d argue he’s a better left back than some we’ve seen play there this season. I think if he dosent get a proper chance he will be released which is a real shame. 

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I agree that I’d like to see us utilise youth talent more, but he is only 19 and been sent out on loan to lower leagues club to gain experience - just as prem/champ clubs send theirs to us. 

I’d be surprised if he was going to be released, especially given the quota for next year. He probably needs to get stronger for the rigours of league football but I feel we’ve missed the attacking outlet that both Gibbo on the right and Clarke on the left offered last season, hopefully RCG can offer that next year as he’s eased into the first team picture. RCG will make mistakes but given he’s home grown, I think fans will be more patient with him as he adjusts. 

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Thus far our recruitment has not been the best. Robo and Mckirdy compound this. When you look at a few we have let go Hannet,whitfield and Quigly  you can’t but wonder. I know some players do well at one club but struggle at others, it does annoy the few we let slip through our fingers, I think letting Morsey go was with out doubt one of the worst decisions we ever made. I suppose the other thing is injury prone players ! over the years we seem to have had more than our fair share, sorry but we cannot afford to have them. 

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Not sure you can argue too much about quigley and whitfield, they either didn’t show anything or were too inconsistent.  Arguably we weren’t in a situation to be giving players time to develop given we were flirting with relegation for a time. 

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Re RCG, I'm amazed he hasn't had a look in as yet, particularly this season. When you consider what he's got ahead of him in Fitzpatrick (very average L2 defender at best), Crookes (bloody awful and not a LB) and Monty (does a job when he's fit but not a LB), he's either considered to be worse than all 3 of those options (which, if that's the case, he probably needs to think about a new career), or isn't showing anything in training. Either way, how much worse could he be than what we've got?

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5 minutes ago, philmpv said:

Re RCG, I'm amazed he hasn't had a look in as yet, particularly this season. When you consider what he's got ahead of him in Fitzpatrick (very average L2 defender at best), Crookes (bloody awful and not a LB) and Monty (does a job when he's fit but not a LB), he's either considered to be worse than all 3 of those options (which, if that's the case, he probably needs to think about a new career), or isn't showing anything in training. Either way, how much worse could he be than what we've got?

It must be one of the 2 options you mention. He has got to do it in training and show the right attitude as well as talent, otherwise he just isn’t going to be in front of Monty and Fitzpatrick (who I think has done a steady job to be fair). 

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I think Fitz has been steady, I wouldn’t say he has particularly under performed and he’s made some vital interceptions or blocks when covering other people’s mistakes. The problem is, he doesn’t really offer much as an outlet on the attacking element. 
 

RCG hasn’t had any football league exposure. The club/management may think that he has first team potential but he’s just not ready at the moment. When the team was struggling, would you want to risk putting a youth teamer in - Askey did with Hurst but that was forced upon him due to injuries, COVID and not wanting McKirdy. 
 

if we can start to pick up points and ensuring we’re not dragged into a dog fight, they may give him some game time. 

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