Vital Football

Latest Port Vale News

View From The Bycars

View From The Bycars
In somehow contriving to lose to Morecambe the Vale provided an entirely appropriate ending to what was for me an awful week.

There are really two questions to answer: first, how did Vale manage to lose; and second, slightly different, how did they manage not to win.

The first question is the easier. Chris Neal was punished for his one mistake, while Barry Roche got away with all his. I don`t think I have ever seen a goalkeeper parry the ball back into the middle of the six yard box and get away with it as often as Roche did. His time wasting, however, was world class. If I was him I would definitely have invested in a lottery ticket on Saturday night.

The second question is more complicated. Micky Adams, in a characteristically measured and perceptive post-match interview, identified most of the problems: too slow a start; too many hopeful diagonal balls to players who were tightly marked; too many touches; not enough tempo. The one worrying note struck by Mr Adams was his view that the players weren`t 'at it`, at least until Morecambe had a man sent off on 73 minutes. Mr Adams needs to ask himself why they weren`t 'at it`.

The starting front four, with the partial exception of Hughes, looked as though they were playing from memory. Myrie-Williams had a particularly tetchy game in which he invariably made the wrong decision once he`d beaten his man, which he did increasingly as the second half wore on. I am one of Tom Pope`s biggest fans, but he had an absolute stinker. There was no movement. He never attacked the ball in the box. His body language oozed self-pity. And he failed to bury an inviting header in the first half.

I was worried about the signing of Hughes on football grounds. He and Pope do not look like an effective partnership and it is surely no coincidence that Pope`s goals have dried up since Hughes came into the team. Vincent was as anonymous as he has been for months. Burge put in another towering effort, but he rarely found the right pass, his set piece delivery was barely average and every time an opening appeared in front of goal it was on his 'wrong` foot. Nothing Loft attempts at the moment seems to come off. He and Burge try their hardest, but they don`t look like an effective combination either.

Mr Adams`s post-match analysis does not seem to translate at the moment into an ability to change things effectively during the game. His substitutions were overdue, entirely predictable and difficult to understand. Williamson again showed his potential, almost creating a goal as soon as he came on. It was clear that the Morecambe central defenders, who had a pretty comfortable afternoon on the whole, preferred the ball in the air to on the ground. I fail to see how Shuker can get into the team ahead of Morsy.

There were some good performances. Purse was outstanding. Duffy made a successful move to central defence. And Jones was always a threat going forward.

The game, worryingly, provided a template for what we are likely to get in the remainder of the season, especially at home: opposition of limited ambition; packed defences; a pudding of a pitch. There are too many tired legs and tired minds in the Vale team at the moment. Plan A is no longer working. The next few weeks will be a real test of the squad and, especially, of the manager.
Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.
www.papajohns.co.uk/football

Writer:Tom
Date:Sunday February 17 2013
Time: 2:18PM

Best of Vital Network

Vital Boxing - Khan Ready for Alvarez

Login to post a comment

Recent Port Vale Articles

A Vital Challenge - Ben Nevis To Face The Fear

Vitalfootball.co.uk co-owner Jonathan Fear is pushing himself to the limit in order to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis.

Who Will Port Vale Face In 2016/17 (3/5/16)

With less than a handful of games remaining in the 2015/16 campaign, some promotions and relegations in the football pyramid are already known.

Port Vale - Football League Dates 2016/17

The Football League, or the brainless EFL rebrand, have today released the key dates for the coming 2016/17 season.

O'Connor In Team Of The Week (25/4/16)

Port Vale are represented in the latest Football League team of the week that has been selected after this week's action.

Archived Vital Vale Articles

Vital Vale articles from

Site Journalists

Write for Vital Vale
Write For Vital Vale
Apply Here

Current Poll (see more polls)

Port Vale v Colchester
Suggested By:
Port Vale win60%
Colchester win40%
Draw0%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
P Wigan 45 24 15 6 87 40
2 Burton 45 25 9 11 84 20
3 Walsall 45 23 12 10 81 17
4 Millwall 45 23 9 13 78 23
5 Bradford 45 22 11 12 77 13
6 Barnsley 45 21 8 16 71 13
7 Scunthorpe 45 20 11 14 71 11
8 Gillingham 45 19 12 14 69 16
9 Coventry 45 18 12 15 66 16
10 Sheff Utd 45 18 12 15 66 7
11 Rochdale 45 18 12 15 66 6
12 Port Vale 45 18 11 16 65 3
13 Peterborough 45 18 6 21 60 5
14 Southend 45 16 11 18 59 -5
15 Bury 45 15 12 18 57 -18
16 Swindon 45 15 11 19 56 -10
17 Oldham 45 12 18 15 54 -12
18 Chesterfield 45 15 8 22 53 -10
19 Shrewsbury 45 13 11 21 50 -18
20 Fleetwood 45 11 15 19 48 -6
21 Blackpool 45 12 10 23 46 -19
22 Doncaster 45 11 12 22 45 -16
R Colchester 45 9 13 23 40 -41
R Crewe 45 7 13 25 34 -35
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Port Vale Results (view all)

Port Vale Fixtures (view all)

May 8 2016 12:30PM : Walsall (H)
Sky Bet League One