Crewe Alexandra v Port Vale

Dave-Vale

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Bit late to this party. Been away all week and my phone broke the day before I went.

Vayuuuuuuuuul!
 

valefan16

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Should really be out of sight which leaves us open to a smash and grab. Moore is tearing them apart. Need to make the dominance count.
 

valefan16

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Two dropped points there. Crewe were unbelievabley poor
 

Wootball

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Vale are paying the price for signing strikers that can't and won't score. Happy with the point, thought we'd get smashed today. Lovely stuff.
 

SRNP

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We are shite, vale dominated the game and should have won. Garratt is a hero!
 

Crewelad87

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Vale much the better team but like ive said all pre season they look very toothless and a lack of goals will nake sure they are among the strugglers with us. Garratt and Nugent were very good for us and Ray got better and better as the game went on. Guthrie had a shocker at left back and King and Bingham looked very poor and weak in midfield. Haber wa isolated and didnt rin enough for me. The whole team looked very static and a real lack of pace throughout the team worries me.

As for Vale i though Uche was next to useless, hes a god athlete but not a footballer. Moore did what he does great 1st half but did nothing 2nd half, thats his biggest problem he drifts in and out of games to much. Kelly looked ineffective, grant was steady, the defence were good and the keeper couldnt kick.

I will take a draw as we were 2nd best but i feel big improvements are needed by both sides if they dont want to be in league 2 next season.
 

TrinidadsNumberOne

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Davis set us up not to lose, we were painfully slow in tempo today but the focus was on clearing our lines and retaining possession. Our attacking play was hit and hope to Haber and LDV which meant it was non-existent. Usually I'd disagree with Davis doing this but today was the only time I'd allow him to play for a 0-0 vs Port Vale. Can you imagine if we went for it, got caught out and got smashed 3 or 4 nil which Vale could easily have got today with a competent forward up top? Social media would've berated the club for losing to their rivals on opening day. So confidence, especially in the back line is high and we need to work on the midfield and attack.

Thought the back four and Garratt were outstanding and I didn't feel any nerves once despite a plethora of corners. Thought the only lad who really caused us huge problems was that Enoch Andoh who looks a good player. Fox and Bingham were steady in possession although Bingham needs to be more disciplined at times. King, I felt for the lad such a horrible game for a young lad to make his debut and it showed, pressure got to him and Carl Dickinson was reading him like a book at times. Front three were very ineffective today, Dalla Valle and Inman aren't natural wingers and then Haber went off when we had our proper wingers on.

I think 4-3-3 isn't the way we should play for the time being given how easily slow and predictable we were. 4-4-2, Bingham, Fox midfield, Colclough, Cooper on the wings and Haber-LDV up top should be what we're looking to play whilst James Jones is injured. Think Harry will have a tough job getting into this side if Ray and Nugent play as well as they did today but when you consider Vale's forward line is one of the weakest in the division they'll be facing tougher tests from other clubs this season. Vale impressed me with quick tempo and running with the ball, we were incredibly static and launching it up to Haber. I still think the only way we'll sort out the attack is through a change in manager because he's always been a fan of defensive football, but apart from starting King Davis didn't get much wrong today.

Can't judge how a season will pan out after a game like this, I want to see how we do against the next four sides before I do. Vale will be incredibly disappointed not to have won this game. Tom Pope would've bagged a hat-trick today in these conditions. A good point for us, sign the LB and focus on more attacking play against Preston Wednesday and we'll be heading in the right direction.
 

The Alex

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Take that point all day, not a nice fixture to start with. Ray and Garratt were brilliant, we offered nothing going forward, can't create anything and can't take a man on. Turton looks a constantly improving footballer and very assured, I really like him. Haber should be nowhere near the team, just hoof ball with him in it, he's wank. Fox looked decent enough, but Bingham and King didn't offer enough with him, think they will improve though.

Fair play to Vale, much better side than us but we defended well. Uche worked hard and was a handful, can see him playing alongside Ajay being very effective, you were nowhere near as good when he came off. Don't understand how Bingham was booked but Uche wasn't for constant fouling and being an arsehole? I don't have Vale down as relegation strugglers after that showing.

Can take positives from that game, didn't lose and a clean sheet. We need to persevere with Cooper and Colclough now. Bit of a disappointing dull affair.
 

markpvfc

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2 teams that look set for a long fight against relegation. Crewe were awful and we weren't much better, we'll be lucky to score 20 as a team this season let alone any individual based on that performance. Hard to see there being 4 worse teams than us in this league.
 

Vale on Trent

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Battered Crewe from start to finish, but never really had a lot of goal openings. I was actually surprisingly pleased with the way we played and how we kept the ball at times. Byron Moore looked class and glided past their left back with ease at times. Our central midfield options look very good, Grant was very composed and Foley was good on the ball. Uche is a power house and will cause any defender problems, can't see him being prolific though. Should have took our chances and we needed that cutting edge in the final third at times which was lacking. No offence to any Crewe fan, as I'm usually complimentary about your attacking play, but you really did offer nothing going forward , your strikers did nothing of note. However, you defended well at times I guess and earned yourselves a point. Onwards and upwards for both teams after a point and clean sheet.
 

Vale on Trent

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Don't think the fact that it was the opening fixture helped
 

Crewelad87

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It was a massive anti climax, expected blood and thunder stuff, but almost felt like a pre season game at times. Sack having that game as the opener ever again.
 

JJ1532

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What annoyed me most about today was how soft we were. Vale won every 50/50 in midfield and upfront. Only players that looked up for it were Turton, Ray, Nugent and Garratt.

You could tell King was nervous as hell, which is to be expected from a lad making his debut at this level. Bingham was atrocious and Fox was generally a passenger in the entire game. Front 3 go no service in the whole game, Haber can't play upfront by himself and LDV is just wasted out wide.

For me, the lessons you learn from are that 4-3-3 is just not the right formation to use. The midfielders are too similar, all giving it to each other in the hope they will create something. Too slow, lacking confidence. I think more is less in the midfield. Take King out and bring in either Cooper or LDV and either go 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-2 like TNO says. Think it would suit us much better. I'd like Steve to change the formation on Wednesday, needs to try different ideas rather than go with the same system and team which is probably what he'll do.

Garratt was excellent, Turton solid and Ray and Nugent were outstanding. But they will face bigger tests in the next few weeks. Good start though, we're going to need a solid CB pairing whilst Steve works out that the current midfielders and attackers need some jigging around.

As for the Vale, fair play to them. Kept the formation simple, played every player in their best position and you could see they were happy and comfortable with what they were being asked to do. They outplayed us technically and physically and but for some better finishing and our stout defending, might have won. I'm not convinced by them in the long term, but this is just one game, so hard to judge.

I'm annoyed and disappointed with some individual performances from us, but the positives of a point and a clean sheet(plus the defence doing much better than expected) gives us something to build on in the next few weeks. Davis needs to make some bold decisions over the next couple of weeks, if he waits and hopes things will improve, we'll probably start as badly as we did last season.

Till we meet again in April Vale!
 

mozzavale

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Fair play to Crewe fans on here. Very honest assessments. We lack firepower, but our strike force are a work in progress. Would feel better with one more up top though.
 

The Alex

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Fair play to Anthony Grant, when he was at Crewe he'd go down countless times in a game but he seemed a changed man today, looked a composed and handy midfielder.
 

valefan16

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I think with our attack we needed to go 4-4-2 earlier and get Uche some support, the formation will be great against better sides away when we want to be hard to beat but at home id want two up top and go from there. Dodds may as well have not been there so sticking Andoh up front or AJ wouldn't have detrimented our midfield domination.

As for Andoh we lost all them games near the end of the season and didn't give him a game! He was superb when introduced and can see why Porto signed him to have a look and could be a stand out player for us this season.

In terms of the performance I thought our keeper did well, didn't have a great deal to do but commanded his area well. His kicking was on and off though.

Defence was solid and dealt with any threat with relative ease, even Dicko had a decent game and Streete was a rock, about killed their lad with the tackle near the end! It took us until October 25th to get a clean sheet last season so pleased with that (Crewe too id imagine will be chuffed with that).

Midfield was dominant and played some good stuff although Moore and Kelly drifted out as the game wore on.

Uche is a beast, I'm not sure half the tackles and battles on him were legal but he won us countless corners and kept them occupied, had we had a second striker on I think we'd have scored a couple but Dodds was awful today. He's so inconsistent and has been for years.

Crewe were poor but the back two did well, defensively their RB and LB looked dreadful and would need addressing but the keeper and two in front had decent games.

They looked much more toothless than us but also lacked any creativity in the middle and were so laboured. The thought of us out footballing them would be myth a couple of years ago but happened today and need someone pulling the strings, they were timewasting after 70 minutes and had to be warned about it which suggests Davis had just ran out of ideas and settled for the point which at home isn't the best management.

Their attack were poor, Haber battled hard but seemed isolated and even when he did get past Duffy who slipped the not so fast Duffers managed to recover.

Overall I think we will lose less games this season but probably draw a lot, we will be harder to beat which should see us safe but would need to judge us over a few games to be sure.
 
F

Freakyteeth

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Johnson, Yates, Birchall, Lloyd, Campion loaned out

Nippy, poaching, goal hanging fwd in
 

valefan16

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Johnson, Yates, Birchall, Lloyd, Campion loaned out

Nippy, poaching, goal hanging fwd in

Or try Andoh? I think the Crewe left back is still dizzy after being spun around like he was! I'd like a scorer though if Smurf gets us that we'd have a very decent side, surely even a loanee gamble would be worth it.
 

JJ1532

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Or try Andoh? I think the Crewe left back is still dizzy after being spun around like he was! I'd like a scorer though if Smurf gets us that we'd have a very decent side, surely even a loanee gamble would be worth it.
Our LB? Andoh came on for Kelly on the LW and went up against Turton?
 

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Doesn't fill me with confidence that neither Cooper nor Colclough started. Didn't expect Colclough to start for obvious reasons, but the fact that Cooper was sat on the bench sums up Steve Davis for me. Give Colclough 70 mins or so against Preston, build up some match fitness, then go with them two and LDV up front. Over the years, our own attackers are the ones that have made the difference for us, and I see no reason why that won't carry on with these two. Inman over Cooper? I know he has had a decent pre season, but come on. He could barely get a look in last season! Then he suddenly jumps above Cooper.

I know it is a bit early to whinge, but I have been whinging about Davis for two years, and that isn't likely to change any time soon!
 

JJ1532

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Hang on. Cooper was a bench option mostly last season and didn't produce anything of note in 2015 for the first team. In fact he was dreadful. Yes, Inman was no better, but I fail to see how you could make a case for one over the other.

Both players were given the pre-season to earn that starting spot alongside LDV and Haber. Inman took it. It's not an issue, if Inman fails to deliver, Colclough and Cooper will get their chance. It's only certain CBs that are immune from him dropping them. Inman does well, he'll stay in the team and rightly so. He doesn't, others will step in.
 

dannyc5

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Cooper dreadful in 2015? No chance. Struggled, yes, but not dreadful. Are you sure his form wasn't anything to do with SD inextricably dropping him for no real reason whilst he was our best player before Christmas, and being unable to find a position for him in the team? What has Inman even done in pre season anyway? Scored a couple against Altringham, and a couple behind closed doors against Blackburn. Not much else. Cooper has also had a good pre season.

Anyway, if we are going 433, LDV, Colclough and Cooper is clearly the way to go. Colclough and Cooper are our most talented players, quite clearly. LDV on the right is an abomination. Why a fox in the box was having to track back to cover the RB in the 1st half was laughable. Colclough and Cooper are going to be sold for decent cash (or they would be under Dario). Play them, or we may as well fuck the academy off.
 

dannyc5

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Colclough will be playing week in week out when his fitness is up to scratch anyway. Davis said so in interview the other week.

PS. Just noticed the part about Harry Davis. Don't get me started.
 

Dave-Vale

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Listened to most of the game on the radio and sounded like we were on top for the 1st half and then the 2nd half was more equal.

Obviously, the most important thing was that we had over 2000 fans in a 6000 attendance. 4000 home fans is appalling for an opener against your local derby. I imagine there were a few hundred Vale elsewhere in the ground too.
 

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