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Match Thread: Scunthorpe United v Port Vale


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17 minutes ago, Rampant Zebra said:

Not at all, I just question the need for so many changes, not to help me identify the players but to provide continuity and team spirit. It is rare for a manager to be given so much scope to make wholesale changes in a squad and I am not convinced it is that beneficial to the team. Guess we will find out by May. 

You do keep sticking to this point, so I'll engage.

We went with continuity last season; same manager and coaching staff, roughly the same starting 11 in the first game of the 20/21 season as the last in the 19/20 season. The spine of the squad (Brown, Legge, Joyce, Pope) was experienced and had played together for at least 2 years. Key players like Worrall, Montano, Gibbons (we didn't know he'd get injured), and Smith had been at the club for a number of years. We even signed Mitch Clark for a record-breaking third time. We had the most stable owners in our history. It was the most 'continuous' season we'd ever had. We finished 13th, only after Mr Continuity departed and a new man instigated a winning run which nearly broke the club's historic records. Team spirit was seemingly at an all-time low, with Pope since coming out and clearly outlining how bad things got under Askey. 

The good thing about the new set-up is that it is not Clarke who has been given this scope; Flitcroft has. He appointed Clarke, he worked with Clarke to identify the sort of squad he wanted to build, he appointed the recruitment team, he led the recruitment process. Clarke can focus on delivering training and match preparation. 

I sort of get your point but continuity simply hasn't worked for us; we had the second oldest squad in the league and we were not good enough to go up. Wholesale change was needed. Whether it continues as well as its started is up for debate, but surely the risk of success/failure is better than 'going again' with the same setup that had underperformed?

There's very little correlation between squad turnover-success at League 2 level. Teams who retain players don't do any better than teams who rebuild. 

Edited by Joe B
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@Joe B makes the point about last season's continuity approach above better than I would have. But I though it might be worth adding that what "continuity" we do have is proving its value. The quality players we already had are among the first players on the team sheet and integral to the way the Vale are playing right now. And part of the reason for that is the newer players are helping them maximise their best qualities.

For example, Smith is definitely benefitting from Covolan's greater command of the penalty area and willingness to sweep up more balls in behind him - he can just go and win the ball more without worrying as much about getting exposed. Likewise, Jones' distribution and assurance on the ball is clearly better than we had before (Smith is even raising his game in that respect too). Pett and Walker allow Conlon to play a bit higher up the pitch and focus more on the creative aspects of his game while Garrity's pace makes our midfield a bit less one-paced and more able to break a defensive line.

I don't think there can still be any sensible doubt that this squad is an improvement on last year's.

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3 hours ago, valeitup said:

@Joe B makes the point about last season's continuity approach above better than I would have. But I though it might be worth adding that what "continuity" we do have is proving its value. The quality players we already had are among the first players on the team sheet and integral to the way the Vale are playing right now. And part of the reason for that is the newer players are helping them maximise their best qualities.

For example, Smith is definitely benefitting from Covolan's greater command of the penalty area and willingness to sweep up more balls in behind him - he can just go and win the ball more without worrying as much about getting exposed. Likewise, Jones' distribution and assurance on the ball is clearly better than we had before (Smith is even raising his game in that respect too). Pett and Walker allow Conlon to play a bit higher up the pitch and focus more on the creative aspects of his game while Garrity's pace makes our midfield a bit less one-paced and more able to break a defensive line.

I don't think there can still be any sensible doubt that this squad is an improvement on last year's.

Agreed.  In summary, he has cut adrift the deadwood/dross whether you like the term or not!  UTV 

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2 hours ago, Rory said:

RZ might be happier if we start hammering teams. People will get bored if we keep winning by the odd goal. Hopefully Dazzler can sort it out and we start pumping 4, 5, 6, 7 goals past some of these noddy sides. Come on, sort it out Dazzler!

He might be happier if he starts on the whisky 

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Not at all, I just question the need for so many changes, not to help me identify the players but to provide continuity and team spirit. It is rare for a manager to be given so much scope to make wholesale changes in a squad and I am not convinced it is that beneficial to the team. Guess we will find out by May. 
Who would've you have kept and why?

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6 hours ago, Matlock Vale said:
16 hours ago, Rampant Zebra said:
Not at all, I just question the need for so many changes, not to help me identify the players but to provide continuity and team spirit. It is rare for a manager to be given so much scope to make wholesale changes in a squad and I am not convinced it is that beneficial to the team. Guess we will find out by May. 

Who would've you have kept and why?

Probably only Brisley, Joyce and Montano. Brisley was at least as good as any of the replacement CBs. Montano was a flair player and had the ability to change games. Joyce was a solid midfielder who did a lot of the defensive midfield side of the game well. I would have said the one we don't mention but it appears that his injury would have been an issue.

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Just now, Rampant Zebra said:

Probably only Brisley, Joyce and Montano. Brisley was at least as good as any of the replacement CBs. Montano was a flair player and had the ability to change games. Joyce was a solid midfielder who did a lot of the defensive midfield side of the game well. I would have said the one we don't mention but it appears that his injury would have been an issue.

Oops, I forgot Burgess, he had a great partnership with Taylor for a while and looked like a player who could develop. I might have given Brown another season too. Internal politics probably finished him off though.

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Probably only Brisley, Joyce and Montano. Brisley was at least as good as any of the replacement CBs. Montano was a flair player and had the ability to change games. Joyce was a solid midfielder who did a lot of the defensive midfield side of the game well. I would have said the one we don't mention but it appears that his injury would have been an issue.
Don't talk daft. Brisley isn't fit to lace Jones' boots. As for Joyce, both Walker and Pett are huge upgrades. Finally, Pope's injury issue were probably far behind his attitude and drinking issues. Let's also not forget his demands that everything revolve around Tom Pope. We're well shot of all of them

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3 hours ago, Rampant Zebra said:

Probably only Brisley, Joyce and Montano. Brisley was at least as good as any of the replacement CBs. Montano was a flair player and had the ability to change games. Joyce was a solid midfielder who did a lot of the defensive midfield side of the game well. I would have said the one we don't mention but it appears that his injury would have been an issue.

Brisley was ok, maybe a touch unfortunate. However ( and yes I know they are moneybags ) he isn't getting a sniff at Wrexham, not even on the bench. 

Possibly injured I don't know but as good a pro Joyce was you are telling me he was preferably kept instead of signing Walker or Pett ? 

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3 hours ago, darren1810 said:

Brisley was ok, maybe a touch unfortunate. However ( and yes I know they are moneybags ) he isn't getting a sniff at Wrexham, not even on the bench. 

Possibly injured I don't know but as good a pro Joyce was you are telling me he was preferably kept instead of signing Walker or Pett ? 

Bit early to judge yet. Tomorrows game will be a good test of where we are I think. 

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35 minutes ago, Rampant Zebra said:

Bit early to judge yet. Tomorrows game will be a good test of where we are I think. 

As opposed to the tests at FGR or at Swindon or at tWotN v Harrogate? Would a poor game tomorrow count more than those (relatively) tough games that Jones and Pett contributed strongly to controlling?

I agree Brisley and Joyce were alright - for a team looking to survive in League 2. Aside from their quality, Jones and Pett are each 5 years younger than these rough equivalents too.

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57 minutes ago, tommytunstall said:

If you look at the current league table, doesn’t that vindicate Clarke’s actions 

Careful, your at risk of making his argument for him. He gives us plenty to ridicule lets not use one of the few points that back him up.

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Edited by wotsyobeef

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Am I reading that because Orient are more of a name than FGR or Harrogate that tomorrow is our biggest test ?

I certainly don't buy that . FGR were flying when we clipped their wings. And also put in the mix Swindon were in the top 4 and our record there. 

Yes I'm expecting a tough game but I'm not sure how tomorrow is our toughest test to date . 

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