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Match Thread: Port Vale v Swindon Town


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13 minutes ago, valiant_593 said:

So? Does that mean we’ve lost then? So every time we go 1-0 down we might as well forfeit? Makes no sense. It’s much much easier to get back into a game regardless of how well your playing with 11 men. We may have lost still, but it’s much easier will 11 men.  Especially when the keeper not only gets sent off but gives away a penalty. I’d argue we were in the top 3 due to the vast amount of goals we were scoring not our defence, what is it 2 clean sheets in 13? Excellent. Do you honestly think a keeper with this many reds / errors at important moments is good enough? Again, Stone isn’t brilliant, he’s a decent shot stopper but not great off crosses. But I can tell you now he wouldn’t get sent off trying to skin attackers and bloody karate kick the opposition and pretend he’s been shot a minute before half time. He’s one of those keepers that no matter what I don’t feel secure, I always think an error could happen, he was playing quite well today and then did that, completely changed the game and 100% was the reason we lost, regardless of how we played first half. 

I suspect Covolan has Jordan Pickford as his role model!

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26 minutes ago, valiant steve said:

Very frustrating that a contender for player of the season (Gibbo) is dropped immediately on signing the new lad. Surely time to play Gibbo right back and Woz further forward where he can hurt teams and occupy left backs to stop them pushing forwards. 

Gibbo didn't look at his best against Brentford - looked "leggy" and got subbed. But, yes - I'd play him on the right and give Woz a roving role up front - let the opposition worry about him?

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I get the impression from Clarke’s interview that those of you in the Lorne Street probably overheard his half time team talk? Surprised he hasn’t lost his voice.

If this lot don’t come out of the blocks at 100mph on Tuesday night now, actively wanting the ball constantly and not hiding, I’ll be beyond furious. 

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5 hours ago, Andy Proctor said:

. Unless the officials improve massively then I'm not going vale again after this season as I've had enough.

Honestly I can sympathise, it can be infuriating to watch at times, especially because you’ve spent your money to go. Don’t let them ruin it for you though mate. 

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3 minutes ago, Doha said:

Honestly I can sympathise, it can be infuriating to watch at times, especially because you’ve spent your money to go. Don’t let them ruin it for you though mate. 

No, the 11 on the pitch can do that quite well on their own 😂😂😂 (joking) 

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1 hour ago, MBE said:

I've watched it over and over again and still don't see how its a foul. I will be interested to hear the verdict of the pundit on Quest.

I agree. I am far from convinced it was a foul having seen it a few times. 

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poor result today, but seriously we haven’t looked right for a while. when was the last time we clicked and played well and dominated a game? we look so off the cuff at times and disjointed. i’m a little bit worried about Conlon, it’s as though the armband gives him the right to play every game but to be honest i don’t really see many leadership quality’s in him. it’s like last season has gone to his head and he ha stopped doing what made him have a good season in the first place and that was getting stuck in making tackles, being competitive and nasty but now he struts about and doesn’t look interested in big games. wearing an armband shouldn’t make you undroppable. if we are to sign another midfielder i’d make it an experience one who can control that midfield and get us back to being competitive in the engine room because right now we don’t look great in the middle 

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17 minutes ago, Nightwish said:

I agree. I am far from convinced it was a foul having seen it a few times. 

It definitely was IMO. I was level with it at that end and he lifted his leg up to catch him in the chest with his studs. Stupid and there was no need to try and leave one on Mckirdey. 

Edited by PV1973

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There’s no doubt that the sending off killed the game for us, but we were not at the races today. What’s happened to our pressing game, why are we sitting back allowing teams to pass the ball around for fun. What’s happened to our midfield being the best in the league, we give the ball away far too often. Understand DC’s frustration with Covolan but time and again it’s all about changing the game in the second half, never heard DC admit he got it wrong first half. If we want promotion we need to be positive not defensive. If we keep the ball the opposition can’t hurt us, back to basics. 
My worry is we were slow to start the season, we can’t afford to be slow with this “re-start”. We need to be positive and take the game to the opposition. One bright light on the horizon is Kian Harratt, seems to be a genuine goal scorer if we can get the service to him.

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Results aren't the main problem - we haven't played well for an entire game against 11 men since Colchester at home on the 23rd October. We've won games - against 10 man Crawley, 10 man Accrington, a dismal Hartlepool, Burton, against 9 man Bristol Rovers. At Burton we weren't very good until Politic did his thing for 5 minutes, as fun as it was. You could argue we played 'well' against Hartlepool in that it was fairly routine but I don't remember coming away thinking we'd controlled it (can barely remember the game tbh).

To make matters worse, we're not grinding out points - 7 from 7 is about reflective of our performances in that timeframe.

We can't keep clean sheets - 1 in 12. We're not going up if we're going to concede in 11 out of every 12 games. It's bad enough not having any fit strikers with more than 2 career goals (Wilson is miles off); it doesn't help when you need to score 2 every week to win.

I'll be frank that if Gibbons goes I think we're in trouble. He's absolutely fundamental to what we do, and whilst he is theoretically replaceable, there's not many Gibbons-type players out there ready and available.

We don't have a GK we can trust.

Has Conlon had his head turned or is he just way off the pace? Been ages since he played well (Bradford?).

Will Clarke accept that 352 just isn't needed every single week?

There are real issues which I don't think are knee-jerk after today - we went into Bradford on the telly with real optimism and have stumbled since. Micky saw this happen in Nov-Dec in 12/13 and refreshed us with Hughes and Purse. Not saying we need a big-money buy but a 'refresh' is needed. 

What is positive is that despite these issues it's still in our hands to just be in the top 3. It just needs fixing. It's not an unfixable disaster but we need to get a grip and start controlling games.

Edited by Joe B
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2 hours ago, MBE said:

I've watched it over and over again and still don't see how its a foul. I will be interested to hear the verdict of the pundit on Quest.

I can't see how you can't see its not a foul!

This is how he catches it. Normal. One knee up, feet facing the ground. Ball is in his hands. Job done. Drop down like that and restart play.

132542078_Screenshot2022-01-16at00_40_50.png.a8e0cfb1e055006217173424f328b8a5.png

This is what happens next - his right knee out like a kung fu kick, right angle to his body, studs towards McKirdy. Screenshots don't do justice just how moronic it is. He catches the ball and then decides he's going to stud McKirdy in the stomach. Why on earth would he do that? He's got the ball! Drop down straight! It's not a natural/understandable position however we try and interpret it. There is no reason to have his legs like that.

1249953006_Screenshot2022-01-16at00_42_20.png.2addfc3d98d2f6eb5d2f053a10a330f5.png

The more I watch it the more I think it's a moment of sheer madness where he decides to leave one on McKirdy. If you watch the video you see his leg fly, unnaturally, into McKirdy. Stupid and very dirty. Hate to be one of the screenshot lads but its a disgraceful challenge. Would be angry if we were 3-0 up in the 90th minute. 

People will know I've backed Lucas to the hilt here all season. I've backed the daft errors he's made. This was appalling and, whether people want to argue about it costing us the game, just isn't on.

Edited by Joe B
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Lucas can be great with the 'dark arts' (his pulled hammy at Scunny etc) but I honestly think he thought he could get away with leaving one on McKirdy here. The way he writhes around after despite him leading with his foot shows it. Trying to be far too clever and has probably lost his job as an EFL keeper.

People may want to argue but there won't be a single neutral who will view that and think it wasn't a red. As blatant as it gets. 

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4 hours ago, Santa said:

He did make a good save.

Nah, he flapped at a corner and got lucky with the bounce off his chest that didn't fall to any one.  We all want Cov to succeed, nice bloke. But it is not working is it? That said - we were just total garbage today.  

Edited by toyahw
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30 minutes ago, toyahw said:

Nah, he flapped at a corner and got lucky with the bounce off his chest that didn't fall to any one.  We all want Cov to succeed, nice bloke. But it is not working is it? That said - we were just total garbage today.  

Lucas kept Vale in the game until that point. Despite comments to the contrary I have watched the incident countless times and not convinced it was a foul. The game did not change on this incident. After the opening ten minutes I knew a heavy defeat was coming.

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The sending off has been seen as the turning point of the game, but reality is that we weren’t good for the 45 minutes before that and his stupid decision made sure we had no route back in to the game. Trouble is that Covolan looks like a player who can’t help himself but get involved in some way. The Northampton manager highlighted that after the first game of the season and they targeted that. Maybe Swindon did too? Making sure they pressed him whenever he was going to get the ball?
 

Hindsight is great isn’t it. Should we have started 3 new signings? Did that upset the way we would usually play with Wilson back in the side? Should Stone have retained his place after the Brentford game? Should we have started 3-5-2? Everyone was looking forward to seeing the new signings and also Wilson back in the team. However what stood out to me was that we did not play our usual way, we did not play our usual style where we use Wilson, a midfielder and the wingbacks in little triangles to get us in to the box. Instead we looked to have changed the attacking side of the game by just banging crosses in. Who to though? We haven’t played that way all season and we don’t have a big lump of centre forward who’s good in the air to get on the end of them (like a Pope style player). We also had no press either and let them have lots of the ball and lots of space. When we beat them away we pressed them at the back and won the ball back off them. I don’t think we look good when we sit back. 
 

This is why I said in the new signings thread that we need to be careful about the players we bring in and how we integrate those into the side. How would it affect affect the dynamic? It might be harsh to judge the side on just the opening 45 but to me any new player that started yesterday had to improve us immediately and be better than whoever they replaced. I thought that was true of Harratt, he looked lively and scored a great goal and he is a good foil to Wilson in that he’ll chase and harry and make a nuisance of himself. However there will be games where we need a Proctor style forward alongside Wilson, but if that’s the case than Harratt would be a great sub to bring on. Hall had a decent game I thought, nicked the ball when he could, used it well and did well in the air. I think it’s harsh to blame him for the third, Mckirdey had no right to score that and he got a huge slice of luck for it to end up in the net being forced so wide. But overall I liked what I saw of him. Hussey didn’t add anything that was better than Gibbo, as other posters have said we miss a player like that with his tenacity, fire and ability to carry the ball that can drive a team on or lift a crowd, it can’t be understated how important a player like that is. Is Hussey the type of wing back who will drive at the opposition or get behind or be more explosive like Gibbo is or is he more of a steady player that’s more defensive? I know he has a great left foot, so are we changing how we play (putting crosses in from anywhere) to suit him coming in? The big talking point is why drop someone who’s been playing so well? Personally I wouldn’t have started 3 new signings in case it affected how we play and I would have stuck with Stone too.  But as I said earlier the glaring thing to me was our patterns of play that we played earlier in the season were non existent, without that we have nothing in an attacking sense and just hoofing balls into the box was not going to work given the players we have. Where were the cut backs and the players working angles for midfield runners or strikers that have dropped off? That was our hallmark when we were playing well. Maybe Swindon had a part to play in stopping that, maybe we need to look at a formation change? Another factor is that I think we need another option in midfield too that would freshen the current 3 players up because when Pett and Garrity aren’t in the game then we suffer. 
 

There’s no doubt we were second best from the first whistle and the Harratt goal papered over the cracks. It’s good that Clarke recognised that and said that he was going to make formation changes and that he may have made a mistake, buts it’s a moot point  because Covolan killed any chance of that happening. When the wing backs aren’t in the game then we don’t always need to change them, we may need to get hold of it better in midfield and keep the ball or just tweak how we play to pushing players forward 20 yards or encourage them to press their space. The bald lad for them ran the whole game and the space he had was embarrassing at times. 
 

Overall it was a really bad day at the office, Clarke got it wrong IMO and was let down by the keeper so it hamstrung us. But I think yesterday gave us more questions than answers. Formation. Our style of play. Key players in key positions. We need to very careful that we don’t stray too far from what got us into the top 3. 

Edited by PV1973
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47 minutes ago, PV1973 said:

The sending off has been seen as the turning point of the game, but reality is that we weren’t good for the 45 minutes before that and his stupid decision made sure we had no route back in to the game. Trouble is that Covolan looks like a player who can’t help himself but get involved in some way. The Northampton manager highlighted that after the first game of the season and they targeted that. Maybe Swindon did too? Making sure they pressed him whenever he was going to get the ball?
 

Hindsight is great isn’t it. Should we have started 3 new signings? Did that upset the way we would usually play with Wilson back in the side? Should Stone have retained his place after the Brentford game? Should we have started 3-5-2? Everyone was looking forward to seeing the new signings and also Wilson back in the team. However what stood out to me was that we did not play our usual way, we did not play our usual style where we use Wilson, a midfielder and the wingbacks in little triangles to get us in to the box. Instead we looked to have changed the attacking side of the game by just banging crosses in. Who to though? We haven’t played that way all season and we don’t have a big lump of centre forward who’s good in the air to get on the end of them (like a Pope style player). We also had no press either and let them have lots of the ball and lots of space. When we beat them away we pressed them at the back and won the ball back off them. I don’t think we look good when we sit back. 
 

This is why I said in the new signings thread that we need to be careful about the players we bring in and how we integrate those into the side. How would it affect affect the dynamic? It might be harsh to judge the side on just the opening 45 but to me any new player that started yesterday had to improve us immediately and be better than whoever they replaced. I thought that was true of Harratt, he looked lively and scored a great goal and he is a good foil to Wilson in that he’ll chase and harry and make a nuisance of himself. However there will be games where we need a Proctor style forward alongside Wilson, but if that’s the case than Harratt would be a great sub to bring on. Hall had a decent game I thought, nicked the ball when he could, used it well and did well in the air. I think it’s harsh to blame him for the third, Mckirdey had no right to score that and he got a huge slice of luck for it to end up in the net being forced so wide. But overall I liked what I saw of him. Hussey didn’t add anything that was better than Gibbo, as other posters have said we miss a player like that with his tenacity, fire and ability to carry the ball that can drive a team on or lift a crowd, it can’t be understated how important a player like that is. Is Hussey the type of wing back who will drive at the opposition or get behind or be more explosive like Gibbo is or is he more of a steady player that’s more defensive? I know he has a great left foot, so are we changing how we play (putting crosses in from anywhere) to suit him coming in? The big talking point is why drop someone who’s been playing so well? Personally I wouldn’t have started 3 new signings in case it affected how we play and I would have stuck with Stone too.  But as I said earlier the glaring thing to me was our patterns of play that we played earlier in the season were non existent, without that we have nothing in an attacking sense and just hoofing balls into the box was not going to work given the players we have. Where were the cut backs and the players working angles for midfield runners or strikers that have dropped off? That was our hallmark when we were playing well. Maybe Swindon had a part to play in stopping that, maybe we need to look at a formation change? Another factor is that I think we need another option in midfield too that would freshen the current 3 players up because when Pett and Garrity aren’t in the game then we suffer. 
 

There’s no doubt we were second best from the first whistle and the Harratt goal papered over the cracks. It’s good that Clarke recognised that and said that he was going to make formation changes and that he may have made a mistake, buts it’s a moot point  because Covolan killed any chance of that happening. When the wing backs aren’t in the game then we don’t always need to change them, we may need to get hold of it better in midfield and keep the ball or just tweak how we play to pushing players forward 20 yards or encourage them to press their space. The bald lad for them ran the whole game and the space he had was embarrassing at times. 
 

Overall it was a really bad day at the office, Clarke got it wrong IMO and was let down by the keeper so it hamstrung us. But I think yesterday gave us more questions than answers. Formation. Our style of play. Key players in key positions. We need to very careful that we don’t stray too far from what got us into the top 3. 

Good points - they did to us exactly what we were doing to other teams for the first 3 months of the season - never gave us a second on the ball, (Ratmanship as it is know known 😁) and as you say, where have all our triangles and pull backs to the edge of the area gone to. Wozza was reduced to banging crosses in to non existent P*pe style centre forwards. Nothing missing that cant be got back, but puzzling where it has gone

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Another strange, poor performance that had the feel of the Walsall game over again where we never started from the first whistle and got totally outrun and outclassed yet again. This should not be happening to teams with aspirations of getting promoted. We look devoid of any idea in the attacking third and it’s worrying. We’ve fallen off a cliff from two months ago where we looked to get forward and cause teams all sorts of problems, we had men in the box, we were shooting but now it’s all gone. 
 

the big players have gone missing again in the last few weeks for me (Conlon, garrity, Worrall). I’m not sure if it’s a blip or we just aren’t that good as we all thought and have been found out? Time will tell. He’s been backed well in the transfer market and him and Flitcroft and this team of recruiting have got who they want so the pressures on now. We’ve got two huge games coming up now against sides closing in on the play offs. If we were to lose these then we will be mid table and from where we were two months would be an absolutely tragedy. It happened last season when we lost against Tranmere and the season derailed and it looks like it could happen again. 
we need to fit Denis politic into the team somehow. I know he’s had a few starts and not set the world on fire but he’s a class act and can actually shoot unlike any of that lot on the pitch yesterday. Plenty of games left I know but we’re in real danger of throwing this season away and only a good run of form towards the back end could see us hope for a play off place if results continue like this. Sort it out 

Edited by sandyford_valiant
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