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View From The Bycars

View From The Bycars
Good people, this was a game for the scrapbook. For the first thirty minutes Vale played as well as they have done in years. You stayaways who have only seen the goals on the BBC`s Football League Programme will have but an inadequate impression of how good the first four were. (The highlights of the Vale game looked like they were edited by Jack the Ripper, but I suppose the wretch was under pressure to create more space for the latest ravings of the demented Di Canio.) 4-0 by no means flattered the Vale. Indeed, it could have been more and would have been more if Myrie-Williams` decision making was better. I even began to feel sorry for Rotherham, but they were thrown a lifeline by a generous piece of refereeing and hapless Vale defending. The ref ignored a blatant bodycheck on Myrie-Williams on the edge of their box (not the first and not the last foul he was to suffer), the ball broke for the Millers who then ran straight down the other end and scored. This was not the first time this has happened this season and it is a concern. Rotherham`s goal changed the game. It gave them hope and the Vale a problem, whether to stick or twist. For the last ten minutes of the first half we did neither, but simply retreated deeper and deeper, stopped tackling and stopped passing and moving. You could feel the balance of the game shift. Around me there were dark mutterings about 'another QPR`. I bend the knee to no one in my footballing pessimism, but I never for a moment thought we would not win this game, not even when Rotherham pulled it back to 4-2.

Rotherham are clearly a work in progress. They have more or less a new team. Even though I find the Fat Controller as obnoxious as does everyone else I have never thought he was na´ve. But it is difficult to describe the way Rotherham began in any other way. They thought it was enough just to turn up and play their game and ignore the opposition (so unlike Torquay last week). Both full backs had nightmare first halves. Wilson was taken off after half an hour and Hunt looked disappointed that he was left on (he went at half time). Shuker pulled the strings in midfield and Pope bullied the central defenders. Ian Sharps is a top pro, but I have never seen him have a worse game. He`ll probably need counselling. As for his co-defender, Mullins, he just seemed to disappear. Perhaps Pope ate him. They say that managers earn their salaries at half time. Mr Evans certainly earned his. He pushed up his reconstituted back four, a brave decision considering how vulnerable they had been in the first half, and squeezed the game in midfield. Vale had to live off crumbs for much of the second half, but whenever Myrie-Williams or Pope got the ball you could feel the panic in the Rotherham defence. Something had to happen and something did. Rotherham gave away two dreadful goals and finally capitulated. It is a credit to them that they did not fold at 3-0 and implode at 4-0. They have some good players, particularly Nardiello and Pringle, and some good players to return to the team. They will be a factor this season.

Vale fans have had precious little to celebrate the past few seasons and the past eighteen months have been a purgatory. Let`s enjoy the team`s new found attacking verve while it lasts. How long this is remains to be seen. And talking about people earning their money, it`s about time the Administrator earned his.

Writer:Tom
Date:Sunday September 9 2012
Time: 1:32PM

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# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Sheff Utd 46 30 10 6 100 45
P Bolton 46 25 11 10 86 32
3 Scunthorpe 46 24 10 12 82 26
4 Fleetwood 46 23 13 10 82 21
5 Bradford 46 20 19 7 79 19
6 Millwall 46 20 13 13 73 9
7 Southend 46 20 12 14 72 17
8 Oxford 46 20 9 17 69 13
9 Rochdale 46 19 12 15 69 9
10 Bristol Rovers 46 18 12 16 66 -2
11 Peterborough 46 17 11 18 62 0
12 MK Dons 46 16 13 17 61 2
13 Charlton 46 14 18 14 60 7
14 Walsall 46 14 16 16 58 -7
15 Wimbledon 46 13 18 15 57 -3
16 Northampton 46 14 11 21 53 -13
17 Oldham 46 12 17 17 53 -13
18 Shrewsbury 46 13 12 21 51 -17
19 Bury 46 13 11 22 50 -12
20 Gillingham 46 12 14 20 50 -20
R Port Vale 46 12 13 21 49 -25
R Swindon 46 11 11 24 44 -22
R Coventry 46 9 12 25 39 -31
R Chesterfield 46 9 10 27 37 -35
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