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Summer transfer targets/rumours, retained list etc


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Chatting at work today with a mate who's a Shrewsbury Town fan, he said there's no difference between bottom half L1 and top half L2. This idea that there's some kind of gulf is guff. 

If there was, not only would you have more L2 promoted sides going straight down, but more sides relegated from L1 would go straight back up. You'd have yo-yo clubs like between Prem/Champ and to a lesser extent Champ/L1, where the gaps in quality genuinely are bigger. 

Yes we need to strengthen, including with more pace in a couple of key areas, I'm not saying we don't, and I'm not saying we're good enough to compete over 46 games with big, top end L1 teams (yet). But to suggest half the squad are too slow/not good enough, after a season where our record against teams we will actually play next season in L1 was, I believe, P8 W5 D2 L1? Nah, not buying it.

Keep the team spirit and the majority of the squad together, add half a dozen quality (good enough to play in first XI, but not all guaranteed starters) players on top to replace the few we let go from the bottom, see who sinks/swims, repeat the process next summer.

The complete rebuild this season was successful, to the point we don't need to do it again.

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28 minutes ago, EricHamesis said:

Hi Joe. This is not meant to disparage your post, but rather highlight my own (and I suspect others') lack of knowledge.

I've never heard of any of those players, let alone formed an accurate opinion of their abilities or whether they would be suitable for the Vale.

(Ditto for almost everyone signed by Darrell Clarke so far, and previous managers for that matter.)

How do you get to know so much about them?

I watch football and have a few lower league experts whose judgement I trust.

If you listen to enough bright people, certain names keep cropping up. When you see a game of theirs, you recognise the name and keep an eye.

Flitcroft has gone to another level; I'd genuinely never heard of Garrity, Hall, Harratt, or Cass. I'm sure he'll pull some surprises out the bag again.

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59 minutes ago, Clayts said:

Chatting at work today with a mate who's a Shrewsbury Town fan, he said there's no difference between bottom half L1 and top half L2. This idea that there's some kind of gulf is guff. 

If there was, not only would you have more L2 promoted sides going straight down, but more sides relegated from L1 would go straight back up. You'd have yo-yo clubs like between Prem/Champ and to a lesser extent Champ/L1, where the gaps in quality genuinely are bigger. 

Yes we need to strengthen, including with more pace in a couple of key areas, I'm not saying we don't, and I'm not saying we're good enough to compete over 46 games with big, top end L1 teams (yet). But to suggest half the squad are too slow/not good enough, after a season where our record against teams we will actually play next season in L1 was, I believe, P8 W5 D2 L1? Nah, not buying it.

Keep the team spirit and the majority of the squad together, add half a dozen quality (good enough to play in first XI, but not all guaranteed starters) players on top to replace the few we let go from the bottom, see who sinks/swims, repeat the process next summer.

The complete rebuild this season was successful, to the point we don't need to do it again.

Without wishing to be disrespectful, your mate probably knows as much about League 2 as I currently do about League 1.  Not a lot. Whatever you wish to believe the overall performance levels of your average player are higher as you move up the pyramid.  That’s fact not guff.

Secondly, teams that get promoted are on the crest of a wave, have a good core of players to build from, have a bit of cash and/or are, typically, well run.  Teams that get relegated lack some, possibly all, of the above.  They’re in the crest of a slump, may well have to rebuild having probably lost some of their best players, may well have financial issues and/poor owners.  This is why you tend not to yo-yo down here.  Things take a bit longer to turn good or bad.  We are a great example of this.

Nobody is saying we need to replace half the squad, as you’ve suggested, but if we  bought in the 6 players you mention 3 or 4 would have to be first teamers or else there’s little point.  Clearly we’ll try to recruit players that have the right character as no.1 priority but the majority of any incomers have to improve the standard of the first 11 as a given.

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18 hours ago, Walka003 said:


 

 


League one has some very big clubs with big budgets. I don't doubt we will be able to hold our own, and I'm not suggesting we overhaul the squad to get there, but to suggest it's not a big step up when we're going from playing Crawley and stevenage to Derby, Pompey and Sheffield weds is wrong imo. Granted there's some bad teams in there too and I'm confident we can pull together a good league 1 squad that we can keep adding too over the next few years.

I think the only way to get round the injury issue is to rip the pitch up. Think every manager since Adams has pulled his face about the heaviness of our pitch. Maybe the Robbie crowd will knacker it that much that we can claim off his insurance for a new one emoji16.png
 

 

Four. Four big clubs - Sheff Wed / Derby / Ipswich / Pompey. The 3 teams that got automatic from our League - we've beaten them all.

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5 hours ago, werstayinup said:

That last bit was the players decision and that ceiling wasn't set in stone and could of been broken for the right player,that cap is now higher though

That was still a masterstroke! And how do you know the salary cap could have been broken, even though the newcomers must have agreed to it to sign for us?

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2 hours ago, Guitar Ray said:

We will need more pace, and more quality throughout the side.  A quicker CH, midfielder and forward as a bare minimum.  You can probably make those plurals.  It’s not panicking, we’re in the process of trying to recruit better players to improve the playing squad, just like every other team, Fleetwood and Morecambe included.  If we don’t improve the squad and first 11 we will all be left with egg on our faces.

There's a difference between "need" and "want" - as i used to tell my daughter about shoes! Given that we've probably beaten around half of those teams, in recent seasons...and that the best players over the decades didn't necessarily have much pace - except they saw the game quicker and with more clarity than the speed merchants...I reiterate that we're not suddenly up against Bundesliga or Serie A quality, but against many of the teams we have played against for  years I don't see where the desperation to get more pacy players comes from? I'm not saying we shouldn't improve what we have if the players become available - but my feeling is this squad...which won't be a collection of strangers having to learn systems and combinations...could well be good enough to have a good season? I doubt whether many players could have matched Sir Mal's burst to get to Wozza's cross for the 3rd goal - so late in the game - by those who will be in Lge 1 next season?

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4 hours ago, Guitar Ray said:

We will need more pace, and more quality throughout the side.  A quicker CH, midfielder and forward as a bare minimum.  You can probably make those plurals.  It’s not panicking, we’re in the process of trying to recruit better players to improve the playing squad, just like every other team, Fleetwood and Morecambe included.  If we don’t improve the squad and first 11 we will all be left with egg on our faces.

I tend to agree with this. I don't think that it is being negative, just realistic. We will need 3, probably 4 new quality starters throughout the team, to significantly raise the level. I do think we have some good players, a good blend, and plenty that could play in League 1. But we need quality on top of it. It's not like we romped the league, and played teams off the park every week. I am pretty sure that Clarke is very unsentimental though when it comes to this; it won't matter what the current crop have done, if he doesn't think they are right for League 1, they won't be here.

There will always be clubs that underperform that we can look to exploit, and there will be those (like Accrington) that continue to overperform. But look at some of the sides that people haven't mentioned much - Oxford, Ipswich, Charlton, Lincoln, Wycombe, Plymouth; those are tough games. For those saying we beat Burton, Accrington, played well against Rotherham, we would need to do that every game for 46 games, which is a little different. We should be aiming for a season of consolidation, out of danger, 12th-15th. I think that will take some going!

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Posted (edited)

The thing about league 1, is if and when you hit a bad run, theres no hiding place as the fixtures could throw up Mk dons, wycombe sheffield away and derby portsmouth and charlton at home etc... We certainly need better players thats obvious isnt it? I trust the management team to bring these in and to be backed by the owner. A first season back in this league  is all about staying up. Thats why you have to give morecambe, cambridge and cheltenham big credit in staying up. Lets hope its a lot tougher for them three mentioned in their second season.

Its going to be a great season, im excited. We have charlton, portsmouth, sheffield, derby, ipswich all big hitters who were not here last time we were in league 1.

Edited by sandyford_valiant
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Four. Four big clubs - Sheff Wed / Derby / Ipswich / Pompey. The 3 teams that got automatic from our League - we've beaten them all.


Bolton, MK have spent a fortune and are a very good side, Charlton, Barnsley, Wycombe while not big are always there or there abouts.

My point isn't about size of club, it's about the strength of club we're going to be up against. To say it isn't a step up is wrong IMO. That being said if I had to predict now, with the right additions I'd like to think we'd be comfortably mid table.

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Posted (edited)

Great opportunity to test out the Championship level infrastructure of our wonderful club.

A dream come true, with more to come.

All within three short years of inheriting the wreck that had been left behind by the previous owner.

And we still have the survivors; Colin Garlick, Nathan Smith and Gibbo 😊

Edited by SFBT
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We can’t go into the new season with the 6 midfielders we have. When Conlon was out we had virtually zero creativity at times. Imagine that against Sheffield Wednesday and Pompey, we’ll get mullered. Conlon and Walker will always be injury doubts and need to be a managed as such. So either they’ll be missing games through load management or injury. I think Pett, Taylor, Garrity and Charsley could all be good for half an hour as subs, but if we’re relying on them as starters we will struggle. In summary:
New New Conlon (3 of Conlon’s calibre midfield, with one as good but defensive-minded)
Walker Pett Garrity on the bench
Taylor if the squad can stretch to 7 mids.
Charsley will have to be moved with Hurst, even though he’s only just arrived. Hopefully that will not be a stumbling block.

Sounds an ideal list , but ultimately every league 1 club will want that !

We will probably be in the bottom ten clubs in terms of budgets.

I think it’s more about keeping the team spirit and adding a bit of experience of players who have played league 1 , but who won’t be ‘the ego’

I listened to Peter crouch podcast the other day about his relegation with stoke

Mentions that the players improved in terms of ability the year they went down , but the spirit disappeared.

Be careful what you wish for,, confidence and spirit can’t be signed with a cheque book.
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Whilst we did well against sides from the league above this season I think it is a push to look at what were effectively reserve team fixtures against Bolton and Rotherham, Burton who dominated us for all bit the last 10 minutes and Sunderland who fielded a weakened team and beat us and read much into it. Granted we were outstanding against Accrington.

Lets hope we can do well next season but to use those games as proof the current squad with little or no improvement next season would do well is foolish at best. The current squad may well be able to hold their own but there certainly isn't currently any evidence to either support or counter that argument.

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The team and squad have done an unbelievable job in getting promoted this season. A huge congratulations to all those involved. We do need to strengthen though over the summer in order to kick on again. Putting the be emotion of Saturday to one side, Stone has performed brilliantly towards the back end of the season, but is he ready to be an established league one keeper? Are Harratt and Edmondson going to come back and score more goals than they did last season in League one if Wilson and Proctor are out injured? Only time will tell.

Port Vale are now an attractive proposition for potential new signings as we now clearly look after players and hopefully we can attract some quality signings that will enable us to be competitive in League one. 

Tying down the likes of Crosby, Wilson, Smith and Gibbons to long term contracts is essential for next season. UTV. 

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7 hours ago, Guitar Ray said:

Whatever you wish to believe the overall performance levels of your average player are higher as you move up the pyramid.

Absolutely, on average L1>L2, not disagreeing at all, just saying that the idea that there is a gulf between L1 and L2 is not based on any real evidence I've seen.

It's a continuum in terms of quality from Prem to Conference and beyond, with some overlap at any given point in time between bottom end of one league and top of another. Between Prem and Champ, that overlap is only a couple of teams, between Champ and L1 you could maybe swap the top and bottom 5 or 6, but between L1 and L2 the overlap is much bigger (and probably bigger still L2 to Conf).

Yes, there is a massive gap between playing MK Dons/Sheff Wed and Stevenage/Barrow, but are Accrington, Cambridge, Burton, Cheltenham (all 12th-16th L1) really any better than FGR, Exeter, Gas, Northampton? Not based on games we've played against those teams recently. 

There are posters above who have suggested that a large chunk of the first team, (Proc, Garrity, Pett, Walker, Smith, Benning, keepers, etc), are all either not good or 'athletic' enough for L1 and we need a massive influx. It's this I disagree with. Again, I agree and have already stated that we need a few quality first-team standard players in at the top to replace those at the bottom end of the squad. Not standing still, but after the season we've had and with the squad at our disposal, I'm arguing for evolution not revolution.

Players like Proc, Garrity, Pett, Smith shouldn't be automatic starters in L1, we should have people coming in to compete with them, but that's a very different argument to the more binary 'not L1 standard' some are putting forward, that's all.

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All 4 of the teams who went up from L2 last year survived. 3 did so very comfortably finishing 9th, 14th and 15th.

Lazy pundits and bookies will always see the playoff winners as the “weakest” of the promoted sides. In our case such would ignore the fact we had a good record against our fellow promoted sides and did well against several L1 sides last year as well.

Strengthening certainly required in certain areas (keeper, centre half, another striker) but the nucleus of the squad is already decent enough to compete in L1.

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4 minutes ago, saintvaliant said:

All 4 of the teams who went up from L2 last year survived. 3 did so very comfortably finishing 9th, 14th and 15th.

Lazy pundits and bookies will always see the playoff winners as the “weakest” of the promoted sides. In our case such would ignore the fact we had a good record against our fellow promoted sides and did well against several L1 sides last year as well.

Strengthening certainly required in certain areas (keeper, centre half, another striker) but the nucleus of the squad is already decent enough to compete in L1.

And would have won the league easily had we not suffered horrendous injury problems. Play a full season of Conlon and Proctor and those extra wins to catch FGR come easily I think.

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For me, and it's already been said in different ways, we need to replace the squad players with starters.

Instantly upgrades the whole squad, and you have choices/ competition for the starting eleven.

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