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55 minutes ago, Rampant Zebra said:

Have to be careful not to lose the identity of the team. We want success but it is nice to recognize the players playing for your team, as a fan. 

What would you say our identity is?

All I've seen is a bunch of losers that decided to down tools for half a season. Get rid.

Look above us in the table. Are any of these teams genuinely more attractive than us? Cambridge? Cheltenham? Morecambe? Newport? Etc etc

We have a wonderful owner, a nice ground and the best fans in the UK. If Morecambe can be 5th on their budget then why couldn't we try and cherry pick their better players?

This is the summer I've hopeful of assembling a proper squad. I don't expect promotion next season, but I expect to be knocking on the door of the playoffs at least.

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1 hour ago, Rampant Zebra said:

Have to be careful not to lose the identity of the team. We want success but it is nice to recognize the players playing for your team, as a fan. 

The identity of being complete bottlers for most of the season?

Guitarray has been blinded by sentimentality. 

Clear out is still on. Having turned these clodhoppers around, imagine what big mad Darrell is going to be able to do with competent signings. 

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1 hour ago, philmpv said:

This summer is going to be huge. We simply have to have a targeted and professional approach to recruitment. With DF as DOF that's his responsibility. In previous years for as long as I can remember, the approach has been to maintain a nucleus and sign backup players for that nucleus (that is players who are of the same or less ability than we already have in key positions). This hasn't worked. Surely with a dedicated DOF, however difficult it may seem, the approach has to be to improve, either immediately or with potential, every position in the team. Take Gibbons as an example. Most on here would say we just need backup for him. But why? Why shouldn't we be looking at better? Gibbons would then have to really fight for his place, and probably improve as a player. If he doesn't rise to it, then he's out and we don't have to worry that we're short in that area. Every position should be under threat.

I see your point but with a finite budget you have to prioritise. If the budget says we can afford a starting eleven goal scorer or a right back to compete with gibbons then there is only one answer. We’d all like both, but doesn’t mean it will be possible. 

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5 minutes ago, Eddie Ford said:

Wonder how Clarke feels about Pope?

He played in the friendly match a couple of weeks back but not been heard of since

Age is not in his favour, how many strikers do we need?   Robinson has a year on his contract, so if he proves himself fit and competent for DC he will stay, Rodney assuming he is not snapped up,  a proven recruit makes 3.  Who is best at running a game down Guthie or Pope?    Would a couple of development strikers be adequate for a promotion push?

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3 hours ago, Joe B said:

We thought this and then we nearly went down, requiring the largest overhaul in operations the club has ever seen. We have the 2nd oldest squad in the league.

Get rid of most. 

I don’t think I was clear.  With the contract situation, a 20 man squad cap and the bloated size of our squad we’ll be getting rid of a big chunk anyway in the summer.

If we believe that Clarke has now hit on a winning formula then you could argue that we merely need to improve in two or three positions, plus have better players as backup options.  This is what was needed, but we failed to do, last closed season.  Only Rodney was a nailed on first team player, and he’s still got a lot of developing to do.  The others were making up the numbers rather than pushing for a first team place.  As we saw, when we had to depend on them the wheels came off.  Bar Robinson Clarke has now got what most would see as our best currently fit 11 back on the park.

Using your analogy, if we replaced the oldest players in the current first 11 then you’d be looking at Brown, Legge, Joyce & Robinson.  For better or worse, it’s the spine of the team gone.  Fairly major surgery.

Anyway, a lot will depend on these next 6 games.  Finish strongly and I don’t think we’ll be binning every man and his dog.

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1 hour ago, Guitar Ray said:

Using your analogy, if we replaced the oldest players in the current first 11 then you’d be looking at Brown, Legge, Joyce & Robinson.  For better or worse, it’s the spine of the team gone.  Fairly major surgery.

Wouldn't lose much sleep if they all left.

Quite like the first 3 but they've all been key parts of underperforming Vale sides. How many chances are they going to get to put it right? How many managers?

The belief that you must retain 'the spine' of your team, at this level, is a fallacy. There's no evidence to suggest that retaining key elements of your existing 11 is any more advantageous than going out and replacing them all. The determining factor is the quality of your recruitment, which we've invested a lot of time and energy in to.

We have to ask the question of whether that aforementioned quartet are providing the best bang for, what I assume, well-paid buck. Based on the overall evidence (and not just the last 5 games), the answer is no.

Edited by Joe B
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For example; Cambridge sit top with an 11 that, bar Knoyle, O'Neil, and Taylor, is basically unrecognisable from last season. The keeper was there but barely played. The rest are new. 

Go out and sign better players than the ones we have. Don't be cautious. These players have had their chance and have let us and Carol down. 

Edited by Joe B
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26 minutes ago, Joe B said:

For example; Cambridge sit top with an 11 that, bar Knoyle, O'Neil, and Taylor, is basically unrecognisable from last season. The keeper was there but barely played. The rest are new. 

Go out and sign better players than the ones we have. Don't be cautious. These players have had their chance and have let us and Carol down. 

Fine if it comes off, what happened to Grimsby and Southend?  We are in safe hands for a change.

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There are other factors as well. Are there any personality clashes?  We may have a rough idea of the playing budget, but are we likely to go deeply into the transfer market?  Are many clubs likely to be trimming due to the financial situation?  If a team nucleus has been built up by a manager, is he likely to be less brutal with thinning out the squad, different to a new manager taking over in May. Next month will be the start of the rumour machine in earnest.

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2 hours ago, dishydave said:

Popes injury came at a bad time for him as he's not going to be able show D.C. what he's about and whether he will fit his style of play. I don't think he's going to get a new contract.

I'm sure Pope will be offered a contract ... not necessarily as a player. You heard it here first 😉

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58 minutes ago, JRC said:

I'm sure Pope will be offered a contract ... not necessarily as a player. You heard it here first 😉

I’d have agreed with you five games ago, but now I’m not so sure. He’ll have to take a massive drop in wages and he IMO is a 60 mins a game player at the best and will not play all the games, which I think is the minimum requirement. Would TP fit into DC’s plans.? They are both strong characters so something will have to give and TP hasn’t done himself any favours with getting himself banned fir social media comments. I’ve said it before that TP has kept us in the league in previous seasons but perhaps it’s time to move on. I feel we have to move on as the majority of the team aren’t even JA’s players, they’re Neil Aspins. I’m hoping DC will make signings that become regular first team players. I heard DC saying everyone is training hard, he wasn’t saying that when he first arrived. Are some players who couldn’t be bothered now realising that they’re playing for a new contract. For me it’s too little too late, the same applies to those who’d rather spend time in the physio’s treatment room than on the training pitch.

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21 hours ago, Portvale4 said:

I’m intrigued to see whether the last 5 games have changed anyone’s opinion on certain players?

 

Not really, feel most of the fringe players may move on which wont be a big loss.  We have seen once the better players came off the sick list, the results improved which is great and they have been no where near being picked now for the squad.

But most of the squad seemed to down tools and stop playing like we had seen them do and they seemed to just put in minimum effort.  Who's to say if they were kept and next season they fell out with DC they wont do it again.  I know other players may do the same that DC brings in, but hopefully they wouldn't but it shows the mentality of some of the players.

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1 hour ago, JRC said:

I'm sure Pope will be offered a contract ... not necessarily as a player. You heard it here first 😉

He will be offered a coaching role as we don't have enough coaches to put a coaching squad for a reserve league b team.  🤣

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I think the club has been more than fair to our players under our new owners, not all that fairness has been reciprocated. I am sure that both DC and DF will be hopefully making all the right decisions to ensure we have a balanced and fit squad capable of challenging at the right end of the table 

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2 hours ago, Fosse69 said:

Fine if it comes off, what happened to Grimsby and Southend?  We are in safe hands for a change.

Trust Flitcroft. Carol does. 

I've had twenty years of this sh!te. I don't want it to continue because there's a chance it goes wrong.

We're better run than Southend or Grimsby. Miles better run. We went safe and steady this year and still nearly went down. Get them to pasture. Rebuild with some proper good players, not continue with the same mid 30 somethings who needed Miracle Man Clarke to stave off oblivion for the third time in four seasons.

Edited by Joe B
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