Date:Monday November 10 2008
When you're down at the bottom of the league, the last thing you expect to see is your top scorer not getting a game.
The rise of Tom Pope has been an odd one. Only 12 months ago fans groaned if his name was anywhere near the team sheet on match day, now the hard times have hit he is well a truly a fans favourite.
Arriving from Biddulph in 2005, it's taken near enough three years for the former Vale trainee to look anywhere near league quality, but he has now 'arrived' and looking like a rare goalscorer, it seems odd that Pope is nothing more than a 'bit part' player for Steve Holland, who's frequently preferred the under preforming Calvin Zola, Shaun Miller and (until recently) Clayton Donaldson.
With five goals this season Pope is by no means a new Nicky Maynard, but he certainly is our top scorer.
I'm not a particularly massive fan of Pope. I think the biggest compliment you can pay him is he works hard - and it does seem to be the only argument fans have when they say Pope should be the first name on the team sheet.
He is over rated by many fans but that's not to say he doesn't have a place in our team. If he's getting goals then he should be playing, no doubt about it. He has a knack of being in the right place at the right time, which is quite a handy trait as a striker.
Over looked again on Saturday, Pope was left on the bench as Holland brought on £200k man Calvin Zola. It makes you wonder Holland's reasoning.
The only conclusion you can come to is the lack of a signature on Pope's new contract. Offered a three year deal earlier this season, a player of Pope's ability should probably jump at it, but with his profile rising with his goal tally, why should he stick around for three years of warming the bench?
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Date:Monday November 10 2008
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