Vale fans are divided over the manager

Vale fans are divided over the manager

We recently asked a selection of die-hard Vale supporters their opinions on things Vale-related

Nicki Jones, from Baddeley Green, is a life-long fan who has worked in the media department and other departments at the club on a voluntary basis

Pete Lawton, from Sneyd Green, is a life-long fan and is a former Commercial Manager at Port Vale, having more than one spell at the club.

Jean Jackson, from Oakhill, follows Vale home and away. She has been a programme contributor and proof reader for a number of years and is very knowledgeable about the club.

Mark Porter, from Kidsgrove, has followed the Vale all of his life and is proud to be the Chairman of the Port Vale Supporters’ Club.

There is an argument that the manager has to go and a counter argument saying further change now would be counter-productive. Which side of the fence do you sit on?

Nicki: I have previously stated that I think that the manager needs more time.  However, with yet more defeats and not one goal scored, I think that the Forest Green game will be pivotal to his future.

Pete: Probably against popular opinion I firmly believe that the Manager should stay. The turnaround of players has been massive and you can’t expect instant results when changes have been that big. All this against the back drop of a club in total turmoil with the worst Chairmanship in the club’s history and lack of leadership from a very weak CEO. Now (early season) is not the time to sack the manager. Ask questions and act if we are not halfway up the table and in the draw for the third round of the FA Cup come the second week in December

Jean: I thought the appointment of Michael Brown last Christmas when the club was in a mess and needed experience was a bad move.  His confirmation in the role after our relegation seemed a bizarre decision.  I can’t actually see what purpose is served by giving him more time in a job in which he is clearly struggling.

Mark: I think his record speaks for itself managed 33 games won 6 drew 8 lost 19 18.2% win rate, last 6 games without a game 0 wins 0 goals (9.5 hours without scoring) so that for me says it all. So to compare that to former Vale Managers Bruno Ribero 34.5% Rob Page 37.6%, Micky Adams 43.2% first time and 40.4% second time, Jim Gannon 26.7%, Dean Glover 30.8% Lee Sinnott 20.45%, Martin Foyle 37% & finally Brian Horton and John Rudge 32.1% & 37.17% respectively, you see just how far behind Brown is, I don’t blame him fully because he is an inexperienced manager and you need experience at this level, a manager who knows the leagues and has contacts and knows the leagues.


How big an impact has Vale’s injury situation had on the results?

Nicki: We have had some bad luck with injuries this season but I wonder whether we have recruited players who have had poor injury records previously?  The large number of injuries has had an impact but is not solely responsible for our current predicament.

Pete: Injuries are part and parcel of football We have been unlucky but you just have to get on with it, after all we are told the modern game is a squad game.

Jean: We have enough players in our squad to deal with injury situations.  Signing players with an existing injury record means we cannot be surprised when they get injured.

Mark: Yes it has an impact but the squad should be able to cope with injuries, what worries me is we are bringing in players that seem to pick up injuries very easily. That can’t help but we have to look at how we are rehabilitating them, are we rushing them back? Are they injured when we sign them?


In the past there has been a suspicion that some players prefer to be in the treatment rom than out there on the pitch – could that be the situation now, or is that a load of rubbish?

Nicki: I can’t believe that players would prefer to be in the treatment room than out on the pitch.  Some players are just more injury prone – Michael Walsh was one of my favourites, but I can’t think of anyone who was more unlucky with injuries.

Pete: A treatment room will always be a lot emptier when a team is at top of the league. I do have my suspicions but cannot make any accusations

Jean: Some players will play with two broken legs.  Some will cry off with a broken finger nail.  When things are going badly on the pitch I suspect more will drift towards the latter category.

Mark: A load of rubbish players want to play football, end of, simple. If they don’t they shouldn’t be in the game. I believe that this statement is complete rubbish.


Vale are trying hard to get things right off the pitch with several initiatives – what is the best way to get things right ON the pitch??

Nicki: I feel that our midfield is weak.  We are missing the guile and experience of players like Pugh and Tonge.  I’m not sure about Pope and Barnett as a front two – the best I have seen us play was in the second half against Crewe when Pyke came on alongside Pope to add some pace to the attack.  Also, I don’t understand why Denton is no longer playing at left back and why Yates doesn’t seem to be getting a look in at right back.  

Pete: I personally can’t see any progression off the pitch whatsoever. Things will only improve on the pitch when the ball starts to hit the back of the net, irrespective of the quality of play.

Jean: Start by putting players in their correct positions.  Four central defenders at the back with no full backs is not ideal.  Two very similar players up top, neither of whom is quick enough to run in behind is not working.  Then don’t publicly blame individuals for goals conceded – especially when it’s clearly not their fault (Nathan Smith v Coventry??) – it does nothing for team morale.

Mark: Well for a start play two up front not the same type of players someone to play off the big man and then the other thing to do on the pitch is play people in their right positions and finally simple give 100% and we may win.  


What would be your starting eleven against Forest Green Rovers this weekend?

Nicki: Hornby, Yates, Anderson, Smith, Denton, Whitfield, Tonge, De Freitas, Worrall, Pyke, Pope

Pete: Ball, Boulton, Wilson, King, Sproson, Green, McLaren, Gough, Wookey, James, Morris.

Jean: Hornby: Yates, Smith, Anderson, Denton: Harness, Tonge, Worrall, DeFreitas: Pope or Barnett with Pyke or Turner. 

Mark: Hornby, Wilson, Smith, Dunning, Denton, Harness, Worrall, De Freitas, Whitfield , Pope, Turner