Welcome back, not only to the first league away game of the season, but also the Alternative View, after a hiatus for a couple of seasons.
Many people, after hearing that Port Vale got thumped by Barnsley, and after the midweek result, would have expected the Royals to be the certain favourites for a win here, but hey that’s football for you.
Our away form has continued into this season and it’s now 14 games without a win on the road. After 25 minutes on Saturday we looked fairly comfortable, but goals change games - as do missed penalties - and our Andy Carroll, who was doing a good impression of Bambi on Ice for most of the game, missed his spot kick. This seemed to instil a bit more get up and go in the hosts.
As always, if you don’t make or take chances you will get punished, and this was no different. The hosts probably in truth deservedly took the lead with some Keystone Cops defending and goalkeeping and that was that.
The home fans didn’t seem too positive going into the game but, by the end of it, were understandably happy with the Valiants’ efforts.
Port Vale views
Driving down from Leeds for my first vale match in a while! 4 hour round trip to see Andy Carroll against a defence that can’t defend crosses and has conceded 9 goals in 2 games. Lovely! #pvfc— Adam Bond (@AB0nd) August 12, 2023
Now imagine if we put a cross in...
Our defence looks like an accident waiting to happen. Disorganised leaving so much space between the midfield. Need more Arblaster on the ball.#PVFC— Lee (@The_Only_LeeH) August 12, 2023
Try being a Royals fan with our defence…
Well it worked...
That 2nd half was some of the tidiest football I've seen us play. Then stuck in when they needed do the hard bit. That Arblaster is a joke of a player #PVFC— Robbie (@RL90PV) August 12, 2023
One game and all that
#PVFC Get in! You Cheeky Cheeky Whites! Great hard-working team win. This time last week I was genuinely worried ... now, I'm enjoying watching this team and the season's back on. Well done boys. Up The Vale!— Disgraced Cosmonaut (@Paine_Proffitt) August 12, 2023
And fair play to Reading ... that's a decent away following pic.twitter.com/lUODdHG3ar
It was a good following – the only plus from Reading
First 20 minutes we were poor. After their penalty miss we absolutely dominated. 1-0 flattered Reading, could have easy been 3/4. Oli Arblaster & Josh Thomas seem inspired signings. Onto Blackpool #PVFC— Alex Manning (@AlexManning14) August 12, 2023
That’s a fair summary of the game
Were there any home fans?
What is it with the Potteries teams and Tom Jones?
Today's thoughts 1st 45, seemed disjointed in possession, as if there's a mix of players who've played higher and some who've just found their feet at this level. 2nd 45, faultless. What fans want is everything left on the pitch, and we got it. Wait until we click. #PVFC #Better— Valiant in Exile (@Robb13JH) August 12, 2023
Nothing like being positive
Sorry Hamil End… Railway is still the OG! Didn’t hear much from the Hamil roar at all— ⚫️ ValeFan ⚪️ (@1ValeFan) August 12, 2023
Roar? Whimper more like
One thing I've learnt since we've been back in League 1 is that most of the bigger club's fans think they're too big to be where they are and think they have a devine right to beat teams like us who aren't expected to do as well. They're where they are for a reason. #PVFC— Sebastian J. Whizzer (@SirSebastian20) August 12, 2023
Expectation over working hard
League One refs are there for a reason...
— ⚫️ ValeFan ⚪️ (@1ValeFan) August 13, 2023
We got Super Andy Crosby
We got everything you need
Smudger at the back
Ellis in attack
Going up the football league
Don’t give up the day job
And they get worse
So, given that we are heading towards the basement of the Football League pyramid, news reporting from Saturday was somewhat limited, but this is a highlight of what is out there.
Starting with the local reports and the Reading Chronicle highlight the point that we didn’t muster a shot against a team that conceded seven goals a week previously. In contrast, the Stoke Sentinel seemed to take a more cautious view on the game, focusing heavily on the £50m player in Andy Carroll (hmmm) and how good a job they did on him. They do go on to say that, for all Reading’s domination, we did little with it.
Auntie Beeb has as usual their still monotone report without anything earth-shattering but a few facts.
So, the big difference between League One and the Championship is the reporting you get. Whereas in the Championship we got a write-up and a video, now in League One we just get the video and are lost in the roundup of the rest of the league’s activities.
Anyway, for the masochists, you can find the match highlights – all 1m57s of them – here.
We are three games into the new season so you really cannot make judgements just yet, but there are signs that we could be in for a long season. However, one win could make a difference. What is for certain is that Ruben Selles needs to get a grip and instil some confidence and his game plan on the team.
I have no doubt that, after two league games, the established players are either a) still damaged from last season or b) still can’t be bothered performing. Either way these are not terrible players and for League One should be able to perform. This for me is man-management and getting players to perform is laid at Selles’ door - he needs to get a grip on it.
Onto Tuesday and the whole pre-match discussion will be team selection; Selles could bow to the mob or he could stick. It’ll be interesting to see which way he goes.