The Jim Gannon Experiment
Sunday, 23rd Jan 2011 10:56 by portvale4ever
Pugnacious, belligerent, aggressive, tactless, contentious, bewildering, perplexing, peevish, waspish and supercilious. Just what is Jim Gannon all about, and just where the hell is he taking us?
One thing that cannot be denied is that Jim Gannon has made an immediate and considerable impact since taking the reigns at Vale Park. A vast number of Fans already want him out - mass hysteria broke out after our 2-1 defeat at Crewe - and, according to rumours, he has managed to alienate his players and coaching staff. All this after just three games in charge. Three games that we have lost. The doom-and-gloom merchants are already predicting that promotion is now beyond us, despite the fact that we are still fourth and just two points outside the automatic places, with plenty of home games to come. His team selections, substitutions and training methods are all under ferocious scrutiny.
In his defence our early season stampede to the summit of League 2 has been stalling and spluttering along since mid November. Once other teams had worked out what made us tick and didn't need a master tactian to negate us as an attacking force. Simply keeping tight on Gary Roberts and not allowing Marc Richards time and space in the box is enough to render us impotent, and this is exactly what opponents began doing. Goals dried up. Our 'Iron Curtain II' defence capitulated over a dismal Xmas period. Gannon arrived at a difficult time, we had stopped scoring, starting conceding, and looked like we had ran out of idea's and confidence. Coupled with that is the fact that key players have been missing from the two league games Gannon has overseen. Marc Richards, Doug Loft, Louis Dodds and Sean Rigg were all unavailable through injury for last weeks trip to a rejuvenated Crewe, Richards and Loft were again unavailable yesterday against Cheltenham, and you can also add to that playmaker Gary Roberts who was missing through suspension. Without Roberts and Richards we are a very ordinary side. The squad does need working on, and Gannon recognises this. He may not be the crippling liabilty that many already believe he is.
The assumption of many Fans is that we would undoubtedly have achieved promotion if Micky Adams had stayed with us until the end of the season, despite the fact that we had ceased to look like a top three team a good six weeks before Micky left. The belief, which I myself hold, is that under his guidance and tenacity we'd have managed to grind out the neccessary results. Anyway, it's all conjecture now, Adams has his dream job and we'll never know where he would have steered us come May.
Photo: Action Images
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