David Cameron Walker

Posts Tagged ‘Paul Wildes’

At last!

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

I can’t tell you how long I have waited to write this. Well, actually, I can. 8 months. 252 days. It’s been a long wait, but I can finally say it.

Port Vale are out of administration.

It feels so good to finally be able to say it, and it caps off what has been a truly fantastic week for the club. While the results on the pitch hit a sticky patch (frittering away two goal leads twice is not what promotion chasing teams should be doing), the unveiling of the Roy Sproson statue on Saturday, and now the finalising of the purchase today has made it a 4-day period to remember. On the subject of Roy, I am so happy that he has finally been recognised for the loyalty he put in at Port Vale. Over his career he made 837 appearances, all for Port Vale. A one club man, and a true legend.

So, where do we go from here? As a fan, it will be nice to be able to concentrate on what is happening on the pitch, instead of the constant worries about off field turmoil. The continued form of Tom Pope is something that no-one saw coming (And indeed, he just broke the record for the quickest Port Vale player to 20 goals in a season) but he will obviously have clubs sniffing around him come the January transfer window.

Micky Adams has worked wonders with a tiny squad, and to continue our form, we really do need to get a couple of squad players in. Having started the season with no recognised left backs in the squad, I would argue that this is the first area that needs looking at, as well as potentially another ball winning midfielder. After that, potentially another striker to complement Pope, as there is always the worry that his goals will dry up.

But who am I to question. I am sure that Micky has a plan, and it will be a lovely change of pace to be able to sit back and watch the football without worrying about who will be balancing the books. We are second in the league, with the best goal difference in the country, and a 4 point cushion to third place, so Micky is obviously doing something right.

As a final thought, I can honestly say that having your team go through the administration process is one of the worst feelings that you will ever have as a football fan. The constant uncertainty, the worries over the very future of your club, it is horrible. I can only hope that, if you are reading this, your club never has to go through it.

Written by Steve Donaldson, We Are Going Up’s Port Vale Blogger

Steve tweets at @the_vogster

The Sneyd Green Sniper

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

(Photo taken from The Guardian on 24/10/2012)

Firstly, it would be remiss of me to not mention the potential new owners at Port Vale. I know that there are still the final little hurdles, but it looks promising. I also wanted to thank Paul Wildes for giving me my favourite photo of the weekend (see above).

They say that chairmen are businessmen, and often don’t care about the football. This man doesn’t even own Port Vale yet and seems to be enjoying it! Long may it continue!

Anyway, onto business. I’ve been putting off writing about this topic, too scared that by acknowledging the fact that Tom Pope is having a fantastic season, it would destroy his fantastic season. It’s the nature of football, we all have our little rituals, and if we miss something, all hell will break loose.

But I have to talk about Tom. While the rest of the team have chipped in this season, it is the form of the Pope that gives us something to talk about. Take the following statistics:

• 4 – Number of League goals Tom Pope scored for Rotherham in 53 appearances.
• 4 – Number of League goals Tom Pope scored against Rotherham this season.
• 29 – Number of Football League goals Tom Pope had scored before this season (In 163 apperances)
• 14 – Number of Football League goals Tom Pope has this season.
• 0.2 – Goals to games ratio before this season, all competitions.
• 0.88 – Current goals to games ratio this season.

No-one saw this coming. Over the summer, when news of Richards and Rigg (Our two top scorers the previous season) broke, there was despair. How would we replace the 20 goals a season that Richards had been providing? Especially when the only recognised striker we had left had scored 8 league goals in his previous 54 appearances for the club.

Step forward, the Sneyd Green Sniper.

I know that a football fans have a tendency to go over the top when we describe players. Every player to pull on the shirt is a potential legend, and every player to leave is a villain, but Hollywood scriptwriters must be close to cashing in on the Port Vale story. Two seasons ago, we were top of the league before our manager left for his boyhood club. Jim Gannon, Busgate…need I go on. Last season, we were on the edge of the play-off places until administration hit. The players who were widely regarded as our best had all left, and the future looked bleak. Step forward Tom Pope. Having cut his teeth at such footballing giants as Biddulph Victoria, Stafford Rangers and Lancaster Town, who would have thought that the lifelong Port Vale fan would find the form of his life, at exactly the moment his club needed him.

Do I expect this form to continue? No. I hate to be brutally honest, but on current form his is on to score around 50 goals this season. That probably won’t happen. I just want to thank him for giving all Vale fans something to cheer after the awful years we previously had. I can only hope that at the end of the season, I get to write a blog congratulating him on being the League Two top scorer and leading Port Vale to promotion.

Written by Steve Donaldson, We Are Going Up’s Port Vale Blogger

Steve tweets at @the_vogster