Tuesday, 28 November 2006

Feeling much better, Thank you.

Tonight's 1-0 win has caused a feeling of euphoria to settle upon Greens supporters.
Ollie made some drastic changes to the team sheet tonight that must have shook the guys up enough to inspire a much more solid performance inspite of the play being more spread between both teams and Luton threatening the goal on numerous occasions. With Djordjic scoring his 3rd goal on his 3rd start (doubters take note) and bringing us back up to 9th in the table...

The future's bright, the future's green.

(Yes that sounds fickle but, blah)

Saturday, 25 November 2006

"How did we come out of that with a result?"

Was the comment made by a Leeds supporter after today's game.

On one hand I feel quite indifferent about today's 2-1 loss, which put us 12th in the table, mainly because I had the feeling that, Argyle being Argyle, we wouldn't deliver. It seems quite difficult for us to turn over teams at the bottom of the league when we should be hoovering up the points.

On the other hand it's because of this lack of ability that I'm quite angry. Did the team turn up today? Like last week at Southend they put in a lacklustre appearance and the 'feel good factor' which was sweeping the club, and all the 'Premiership-here-we-come' optimism has vanished. Some are now even predicting a relegation battle.

And to top it all they decided not to perform in front of the biggest crowd to date; would anyone have been impressed enough to return? Would they have heck.

Friday, 24 November 2006

Ooo Matron!

Found this today:

I'll say no more.

Wednesday, 22 November 2006

Stadium Review #5 - Roots Hall

Ground Information: Roots Hall (Southend United FC) Capacity 12,392

Appearance: Hmm, what to say. A very traditional set up here which could do with more than a lick of paint but then again I prefer ‘traditional’ stadia, however was somewhat disappointed here. Was also surprised that Southend had invested in automated turnstiles - why, when the rest of the stadium is shabby?
The away stand is a converted terrace - seating bolted onto the original structure - but is not that bad, although it suffers from an extreme lack of circulating space. 5

View: View? What view? Stationed myself more or less central but the support pillars were always in the way of the action, plus if your team tend to play high balls, you miss half the match. 5/10

Getting there: Did all of Southend decide to go out that day? There was traffic coming and going, then once we’d been dropped off at the main entrance, the away entrance was quite difficult to find. 5/10

Facilities (toilets, TVs etc): Hopelessly inadequate for the amount of fans we took: 1,000+ supporters had to file through a gap big enough for 2 to go anywhere, the ‘family room’ (“Restaurant” according to the signs and it does have tables and chairs!) didn’t sell alcohol, though the choice was good if you arrived early and was reasonably priced. I queued for 15 minutes at half time for the toilets and 10 minutes upon arrival. There were no TVs but pre-match entertainment provided by Chico. 4/10

Food and Drink: Reasonable priced, and we were allowed to keep our soft drinks in the bottles. The chicken and mushroom pie was poor. And as mentioned, no alcohol. 5/10

Stewarding/Police: The first time I defied officialdom and stood for the whole match because the stewards didn’t give two hoots. 8/10

Surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): Go to the pub… there’s an away-fans only pub by the main entrance or a few more 5 minutes away but no one from Southend could direct me to them. 5/10

Home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): Like Leicester, only heard them when they equalised. 4/10

Total score: 41/80

I feel quite bad giving Southend such a low score - they are a a newly promoted side who's facilities are not used to Coca Cola Championship standards at least they do have plans for a new stadium

Sunday, 19 November 2006

Being generous

Why are Argyle so generous? Why do we give away points like yesterday?

After Djordjic’s 4-minute goal, Southend were ready for a defeat. Until half time. What happened? It seemed no one could be bothered playing another 45 minutes, which Southend capitalised on; the guys seemed rather wooden.
And when Southend equalised, the new gung-ho go-for-goal mentality didn’t appear and inspite of Ollie sending on two strikes, last season’s ‘settling for the draw’ attitude seemed to have reared its ugly head.

And the problem with corners is still prevalent, do they not get practiced? Stop fafffing about, when it’s booted in the box none of the attackers are in the right place or it goes straight to their keeper – mark him for crying out loud, and when it’s passed short, there’s no one around to back up.
All in all it was a strange day – strange stadium, strange game and a strange Green Army, who, like the players, didn’t really get going second half. And to add insult to injury, Stoke are above us in the table.

Tuesday, 14 November 2006

Stadium Review #4 - Walkers Stadium

Ground Information: Walkers Stadium (Leicester City FC) Capacity 32,500

Appearance: A very new stadium (2002), this is an all round good ground, though parts of the concourse looked shabby. The concourse was ample, and seemed to go on forever, but the stairway access to the stands was quite narrow. Gets extra points for being off Raw Dykes Lane! 8/10

View: Superb. Being located in a corner, you can be quite far from the pitch, but pick your spot carefully and it doesn't really matter. 7/10

Getting there: All of Leicester's sports grounds are located within the same area and next to the A594, so it should be easy to find; however miss your turning on the M6 and you'll end up going the long way round. There was very little parking in the immediate area and very long queues leaving Leicester. 5/10

Facilities (toilets, TVs etc): As mentioned, the concourse was rather ample, and even had an extra bit round the corner. There were two bars open - one selling alcohol and one not, meaning the usual queues but nothing overtly major. The usual TVs were there and a more than adequate number of lavatorial facilities. 8/10

Food and Drink: Reasonable priced, was amused at having to have my Pepsi poured into a paper cup after being used to bottles at Argyle. The chicken and mushroom pie was alright, but as they were served in a polystyrene container with a spork, you knew something wasn't right. After the first bite, the top came off, the bottom folded in half and the filling fell out. A much more intricate review of Leicester's pies can be found on PASOTI. 5/10

Stewarding/Police: Can't really comment as I had no dealings with them. Please note that the Walkers Stadium is a non smoking ground, however the stewards can't be bothered to enforce the rule.
Leicester's police have been known to be heavy handed but we avoided them by the clever 'missing your motorway turn off and coming in he back way' plan. 8/10

Surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): Shop at Morrisons or get drunk in the pub. 5/10

Home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): Home fans? Were there any there? Oh yes, sorry, they woke up after they scored, fell asleep after the equaliser, work up again after they went 2-1 up and then left 10 minutes before full time. 4/10

Total score: 50/80

Sunday, 12 November 2006

Out Foxed?

Leicester thought they had it all sewn up.

After a "not as good as the previous two away games" performance by the Greens this Saturday, Leicester were absolutely sickened by Hayles's 90th minute equaliser. Having watched their first half lead disappear because of “Leicester reject, Lillian Nalis”, this was too much for some Foxes to stomach as they slowly and quietly filed home past the jubilant Green Army.

It was a quiet game for some of the players, especially second half when we didn’t really get started, but we sure finished! The run of game was different too – we didn’t set up as many chances as before, but this time we scored the goals.

And how unlucky is Aljofree? How can one man get injured so much? He should have a kit made of bubblewrap.

Tuesday, 7 November 2006

Saturday morning get down to the Superstore

Urged Saturday Superstore (BBC Saturday mornings 1982-87).

The Argyle shop blossomed into the Argyle Superstore in 2005 when the “village” expanded. Then they began their conquering of Cornwall with ‘official merchandisers’. Now Argyle are ready to take a jump into the world of ‘big retailing’, be it for a limited period.

From Monday (13th November), the Superstore is opening a branch at the new Drake Circus shopping mall in Plymouth City Centre and will be open until Saturday 23rd December. It’s not quite known what form this’ll take, but considering the short amount of time, a proper unit seems unlikely; maybe the exhibition space near M&S and H&M will host a temporary shop?

But it certainly is a step in the right direction. Many other clubs have a shop in their respective town centres (Wolves, WBA, Southampton spring to mind) and Argyle are long due a more permanent presence in Plymouth, as opposed to the limited range in Derry’s. And this doesn’t have to be in Drake Circus itself if there are rent issues – there are plenty of other empty units around. Let’s hope if this is a success, that one day another Superstore becomes a reality.

However, it does seem strange to stop before Christmas, why not hang around and catch the January sales too?

Drake Circus website
Official Site announcement

Sunday, 5 November 2006

"The flag's at half mast"

A throw-away comment made by one of my (more senior) friends when discussing yesterday's 1-0 defeat against Birmingham.

Traditionally, flying a flag at half staff[1] is a mark of respect or mourning, and, yes, we maybe should be mourning the loss of 3 points – 5 including the Ipswich draw – for the final scores were not warranted after the football displayed by Argyle.

Steve Bruce [Birmingham Manager] said to the BBC …“But overall Plymouth can feel that they have been harshly done by that they have not got something out of the game.”… and I think that most of the Green Army feel the same. Argyle bossed two teams around Home Park, controlling the game for most of the 90 minutes, but for a sloppy 1st minute against Ipswich and poor defending against 1 of Birmingham’s 4 corners.

With statistics like 9:4 shots on target, 7:4 corners (Argyle:Brum) and 12:1, 12:13 respectively (Argyle:Ipswich), it’s not like we’re not setting up chances. Just for some reason those chances aren’t being converted. This season Argyle have racked up 108 corners, where would we be if just 1/5 of those (let alone all!) had been converted into goals?

But then again, aren’t we taking things too far? So far Argyle have played 16, won 6, drawn 7 and lost 3 and are 7th in the table. Yes, lost 3 – out of 16. Put that way, a defeat against a million-pound squad is nothing to get het up about.

Anyway, it’s only a month before we invade St Andrews and give ‘em the hiding they should have got.

[1]"Half mast" is really only related to naval terminology - like the Union Jack (who said blogs weren't educational?)

Friday, 3 November 2006

Stadium Review #3 - Stadium of Light

Since I haven't been able to get to away games this month, here's a retrospective of Sunderland, home of that 3-2 win...

Ground Information: Stadium of Light (Sunderland FC)
Capacity 49,000

Appearance: A recently new stadium (1997), this is an impressive affair, if in the middle of a building site. The two tiers on two sides give it an interesting shape, especially with the additional turnstile entrances/stairs to the upper tier built away from the main building. Include the fact that the pitch is below ground level, meaning until you get to the stand everything is on the level; this is an excellent stadium. The seperate ticket office with toilets was well thought out. 9/10

View: Superb (as far as I can remember). 8/10

Getting there: Located north of the river, it would be a fair old walk from the town centre, but add the fact that there's a major A road straight to the site, numerous park & ride/park & walk schemes, and a metro system; you couldn't get lost. It's just the 16 hour round trip from Plymouth that's the killer. 7/10

Facilities (toilets, TVs etc): The concourse was rather small for the amount of fans a club could bring, meaning it was quite crowded with the Green Army. The usual TVs were available and plenty of relief facilities. 7/10

Food and Drink: Only had a cup of tea to give a cafine boost! 6/10

Stewarding/Police: Horse mounted police with wooden battens! But else no trouble. 8/10

Surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): Nowt. I was planning on walking over to the town centre but gave up as I got lost. 4/10

Home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): A whirlwind of a game meaning ups and downs for both sides means an electric afternoon 6/10

Total score: 55/80

Which reminds me that I never claimed my pint from Ollie for going. Hmmpf.