Valiants are top – and they're top on merit

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The mighty Valiants have quickly established themselves as serious promotion contenders this season, producing a thrilling blend of football - style, flair, graft and discipline - that is setting the world of League Two alight. It's an absolute pleasure to experience.

So why are we picking up so many detractors? Why are League Two message boards rattling with so much spite and vitriol whenever the subject matter is Port Vale? The rising tide of petty jealousy is simply astonishing. 

Just last week we had Macclesfield Town boss Gary Simpson deride us as being long ball merchants, fans of opposing teams - including those we've yet to play - paint us as a team of relentlessly vicious school bullies. It's all just absurd nonsense.

Do we ever go 'route one' with our football? Yes, of course we do. All teams in the basement division do, it's a pre-requisite to life in League Two and therefore carries absolutely no weight as a criticism.

Do we bully teams? No. We are highly competitive, we like to impose ourselves on the opposition and we have the ability to 'mix-it' when we need to. This is standard issue in all great teams.

What our detractors choose to ignore is the skill and rampant creativity that provides the balance with our diligence and stoicism. We have turned over defences with subtlety and grace, mesmeric passing and movement, speed of thought and stunning goals.

The two goals we scored on Saturday against an Accrington Stanley side that had previously conceded just once in seven league games to go top of the League are wonderful examples of what Port Vale are all about under Micky Adams. They were incredible. Had they been scored by a top Premiership outfit we would be purring about them for weeks, even months. 

The glorious Marc Richards volley, fed by a perfect little flick from Tommy Fraser is a goal of the season contender. The pulsating surge from Jemal Johnson before releasing Louis Dodds to deliver a composed finish was a magnificent example of counter-attacking play.

Forget your pre-conceptions, ignore what you read on the message boards, Port Vale are top of the league on merit. We are an awesome football team.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association. 

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Marc Richards
Port Vale
League Two

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