Monday, 31 December 2007


It is being reported that Barry Hayles has joined Leicester City on an 18 month contract for an undisclosed sum.

Additionally Scott Laird has been loaned out to Stevenage. Official Website Announcement

Sunday, 30 December 2007

A Cup of Kindness

Don't forget that the FA Challenge Cup 3rd Round draw verses Hull is next Saturday and Argyle/Hull have reduced ticket prices.

Before SaturdayOn Saturday
Adult Season Ticket Holders£10£17
Adult non-Season Ticket Holders£15£17
Over 65s & Under 23s£8£13
Under 18s*£5£6

Season Ticket Holders have until Wednesday 2nd January to claim their usual seat. ALL supporters will need to be in possession of a PAPER MATCHDAY TICKET to obtain entrance to the ground.

*In addition 2,000 tickets will be sold for £1

Saturday, 29 December 2007

You came Second in a Beauty Contest

Plymouth Argyle 2 (Ebanks-Blake pen 44, Timar 67) - 2 Stoke City (Cresswell 8, Hodges 57 og or Shawcross depending on who you believe)

stoke city crestThe shape of things to come then? Concede a stupidly sloppy early goal and come back through a penalty. OK we're not always going to get the penalty, but the stupid goals seem here to stay. And they always happen when Larrieu's on his arse. Once again Argyle we're lucky to get a penalty decision - an exact match for that against QPR - and lucky that Ebanks scored from the rebound, but had to come back again thanks to another sloppy (possibly own) goal. It seems harder and harder to keep a clean sheet these days (the same with most clubs) are strikers getting better whilst defence worse?

Pulis's style of football has been widely criticised and today it involved a lot of time-wasting and cheating. Argyle would have got a 3rd goal if it were not for their keeper fouling (and subsequently being red carded) Ebanks which went back for a free kick. As it was Stoke should have scored 3 goals too if it didn't hit the woodwork.

Overall the performance was better than that against QPR, but still woefully inadequate for an established Championship team. Very soon the transfer window will open and there is bound to be some movement. Hopefully the board are as serious as reaching the playoffs as the supporters, because if nothing happens once again it'll be a wasted season.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Get out of Jail Free

Plymouth Argyle 2 (Sylvan Ebanks-Blake 49 pen, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake 90+2) - 1 Queens Park Rangers (Ainsworth 20)

Queens Park Rangers CrestAs the rest of the world play Monopoly on Boxing Day, Argyle were playing their own Get out of Jail Free Card. On the back of the last performances, Argyle shouldn't bother getting changed for the first 45 minutes of the match as yet again they concede a stupid, sloppy first goal within 20 minutes. If it wasn't for a dodgy penalty decision at the beginning of the second half, Argyle might not have got anything from today, and if there weren't 8 minutes of (combined) added time, the winner.

Sturrock made sweeping changes to the team that he put out at Crystal Palace, with Ebanks-Blake recalled along with Nallis and Connolly - both back from suspension - Hodges, with Fallon and Martin on the bench. Argyle were 1-0 down thanks to a ball that wept across the goal mouth missing players, including Larrieu who again ended up on this backside, to be returned and converted by Ainswoth. Again, we had an uphill struggle on our hands. In a repeat of Palace, Argyle left the changing room all fired up and were rewarded with an Ebanks-Blake penalty for handball. The battlelines were drawn for the rest of the match as both teams sought 3 points, QPR doing their best to waste time and Argyle still not quite all there. That wasted time was made up in 4 much needed minutes' added time which Argyle out of nowhere to score from a corner.

Thankfully the result went Argyle's way this time, and rewarded the Green Army with a great Christmas present, but we cannot continue like this.

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Merry Christmas

To all readers of this blog, I wish you a Merry Christmas.

Prodigal Green

Monday, 24 December 2007

Awaydays #12 - Crystal Palace

Selhurst ParkThe club: Crystal Palace (The Eagles), Selhurst Park

The ground: Odd. One huge new stand behind one goal, two older stands down the flanks and a Sainsbury's at the other end with executive boxes on top and houses round the back. The newest stand looks completely out of place and dwarfs everything else. The outside looks pre-Taylor report modernisation with odd random bits here and there. The Arthur Wait stand (away end) is divided into 3 sections vertically with the new "posh" plastic seats down the front, and two sections of wooden seats behind. The roof leaks even though it isn't raining. And what is a Non-segregated area? 6

The facilities and food: You descend from the turnstiles down to the covered concourse after passing the outside ladies toilets down more steps to the left, and descend down again into the gents toilets which though were quite large were run down - someone even got stuck in a cubical. So there are lots of steps. Depending on the expected crowd there may be one or two bars open but they are quite big though sell extortionately prices pies - which are quite tasty. 5/10

The stewarding/police: The stewards were content to let large setions stand throughout the game, as long as before kick off you were seated in your allocated seat - but you could happily swap after kick off. 5/10

The travelling: Round about and round about again. Apart from directly near the ground there is no signage, which in London causes problems. The Sainsbury's car park helpfully doubles up as a football car park because the store closes (yes, closes!!) for the duration of the game. There are 3 national rail stations withing 5-10 minutes walk of the ground. 5/10

The surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): Back in Thornton Heath there are several pubs which welcome away fans, including 'the pub with no name' on the corner of the mini roundabout with its accommodating Irish bar staff. 7/10

The home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): Excellent, on a par, neigh better than Blackpool, they were vocal throughout the whole match and very friendly in the pub before hand. 10/10

Total score: 38/60

Awaydays League Table:

Barnsley (Oakwell Stadium) - 42

Blackpool (Bloomfield Road) - 38
Charlton Athletic (The Valley) - 38
Crystal Palace (Selhurts Park) - 38
Hull City (KC Stadium) - 38
Sheffield United (Bramall Lane) - 38
QPR (Loftus Road) - 36

West Ham (Boleyn Ground) - 31
Layer Road (Colchester) - 32
Stoke City (Britannia Stadium) - 28
Torquay United (Plainmoor) - 27
Watford (Vicarage Road) - 27

It's getting congested round the 38 mark isn't it - a much closer league than last season

Note that I was unable to go to Carrow Road.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

The Christmas you get, you Deserve

Crystal Palace 2 (Hill 8, Scowcroft 43) - 1 Plymouth Argyle (Easter 48)

Crystal PalaceMatch Report coming soon Greg Lake's "I Believe in Father Christmas" was a protest about the commercialisation of Christmas and end with the line "The Christmas you get you deserve", in Argyle's case the Christmas they got ie the Palace result they got they deserve. Having battled Watford and snatched the 3 points at the last minutes, it seemed that the squad had decided to start their Christmas early and go on holiday, because for 45 minutes at 3 o'clock the lights were on but no one home.

Someone said that Argyle are an 'inconsistent side in an inconsistent league', which could be true for every other yo-yo club of the Championship, but surely Argyle are now established in the second tier of English football - if not why the heck not? - and therefore should have the wherewithal to perform against any club they face. Or was it cause they couldn't be arsed. Sturrock hinted that there were very strong words exchanged at half time and the result was a stronger second half performance starting with a goal from Easter, but by then it had already gone too far by conceding, again, two soft and stupid goals.

Sturock kept faithful to the winning team that played Watford for the clash against former Argyle manager Neil Warnock, but his faith was not rewarded after a wound to the head send Seip off the pitch for treatment while the Eagles netted the ball. Some players were not even involved in the game for long periods of time as Palace stampeded all over the Greens and Palace scored their winner from another free kick that wasn't defended well just before half time. The halt time certainly went through the players like a dose of salts for the next 45 minutes they ran themselves into the ground, starting with Easter's goal from the off, however as always with an Argyle come back they tried too hard with trying for the equaliser and many of the chances were not finished off correctly.

Certainly based on the first half Argyle did not deserve to win, nor even to get a consolation goal, and now looking at QPR on Boxing Day, especially with Akos Buszaky performing so well, there is a new uneasiness in the air. Will the Green Army at least get the Christmas they deserve.

Thursday, 20 December 2007


Sturrock has started making his mark on the Argyle squad, three players - Reuban Reid, Larrys Mabiala and Cherno Samba - are leaving. Mabiala was brought here under Holloway's regime but never got to kick a ball in an Argyle shirt following his long term injury. Samba and Reid were declared "surplus to requirements" and haven't played for some time in first team football, with Reid being loaned out several times.

Official Site announcement

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Awaydays #11 - Watford

Vicarage RoadThe club: Watford (The Hornets), Vicarage Road

The ground: Quite sad really for an ex-Premier League ground that it seems so run down. As it is also shared with rugby the juxtaposition of being allowed terracing for one game and not for the other used to create a feature, now the terracing is closed and has been "built" upon it just looks odd. From the outside Vicarage Road has a train station look about it, whilst inside it is woefully cramped and still bear hallmarks of the 80s. 5

The facilities and food: The concourse are the narrowest ever and therefore hopelessly cramped, and that goes for the toilets too - sandwiched between concourse and stand, though they are long with plenty of space. The pie was awful - overcooked and as obscenely hot. 3/10

The stewarding/police: There were a lot of police culminating in two altercations with police and people escorted from the ground, and there was an extremely high proportion of stewards. The stewards seemed happy to let the fans be - including standing for much of the match, though they did clamp down swiftly on antisocial behaviour. 4/10

The travelling: The easiest London club to get to and from with no holdups and quick access back to the motorway, however the ground is not signposted as there is no car parking anywhere near by (including side streets which are ruthlessly restricted), security at the hospital let us park there as long as we were good. The tube station is nearby and well signed. 5/10

The surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): There's an away fan friendly pub just round the corner from the ground (the Oddfellows), plus Watford town centre is a short walk away. 6/10

The home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): Rubbish, except for their Al Bangura protest. Very sore losers. 4/10

Total score: 27/60

Awaydays League Table:

Barnsley (Oakwell Stadium) - 42

Blackpool (Bloomfield Road) - 38
Charlton Athletic (The Valley) - 38
Hull City (KC Stadium) - 38
Sheffield United (Bramall Lane) - 38
QPR (Loftus Road) - 36

West Ham (Boleyn Ground) - 31
Layer Road (Colchester) - 32
Stoke City (Britannia Stadium) - 28
Torquay United (Plainmoor) - 27
Watford (Vicarage Road) - 27

Note that I was unable to go to Carrow Road.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Best served Cold

Watford 0 - 1 Plymouth Argyle (Norris 89)

Revenge is a dish best served cold, and what a cold day it was. The (near) sell out at Watford saw the same outcome as that when we met last year in the FA cup, however it was Argyle's turn to nick the goal from under the Watford's noses with an 89th minute goal from David Norris.

With Nalis and Connolly suspended, Sturrock had to rely on youth to make up the team with Gosling and Sawyer stepping up and Ebanks-Blake relegated to the bench. The game was not the best in the world, and for a top of the table team, Watford looked very poor. The match was looking to head towards a boring 0-0 draw as shots at the goal went wide or hit the woodwork, Argyle could have won 3-0 but Halmosi's goal was out ruled by a foul on the keeper and a penalty appeal from Hodges declined.

The first half, Argyle looked sprightly, but come the second they slowed down and started to look stale with substitutions looking more and more desperately needed, but Sturrock kept steadfast to the original line up throughout. This stalemate situation finally ended with Norris getting on the right end of a ball to bury it in front of the Green Army.

Therefore Argyle have managed to beat all three demoted Premier League teams on their own turf this season, is this just luck? At times we seem good enough to go all the way, at others we're too tired and dog-gotten to make anything; with talk of departures in January, Sturrock has a lot of work to do if Argyle are ever to get within a whisker of top flight football - somewhere where many think we have no right to be. But that's another topic for another day.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Awaydays #10 - Sheffield United

Bramall LaneThe club: Sheffield United (The Blades), Bramall Lane

The ground: I love this ground, two seasons ago we were in the vertigo inducing top tier but this year we were down below. The Blades have redeveloped their stands rather than rebuild, and they look the better for it, because it still has the retro 80s feel of a football ground. There are some modern day attachments too which blend in well meaning the pitch is now totally enclosed. The lower level is shallower in rake and narrower than upstairs which is fairly steep - you only have two extremes. The surrounding streets are closed to traffic helpfully. 8

The facilities and food: The lower concourse is bigger than upstairs and with plenty of bars and toilets. I believe the first aid room is comfortable too! The pie was fairly good, but fell to bits near the end. 7/10

The stewarding/police: The Sheffield police can be quite heavy handed, preferring to herd supporters into one pub and escort coaches straight into the ground, though there was a fairly how key presence. The police were helpful in pointing us to am away fan friendly pub, and the stewards, helpful when one of the party was taken ill (no, not through alcohol intake). The stewards are keen on supporters sitting, but at the front you have to expect that. 7/10

The travelling: Has Sheffield moved? It seems closer than normal. The main gripe is that neither football club is signposted anywhere in or around Sheffield. Parking is at a premium too. Sheffield station is a 15 minute walk away. 5/10

The surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): The pubs next to the ground are no go areas for away fans, therefore the nearest two are a hefty walk away around the ring road. The city centre is a similar distance away. 5/10

The home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): Friendly guys, but not as loud as usual, didn't hear their theme song "Greasy Chip Butty" which was odd. 6/10

Total score: 38/60

Awaydays League Table:

Barnsley (Oakwell Stadium) - 42

Blackpool (Bloomfield Road) - 38
Charlton Athletic (The Valley) - 38
Hull City (KC Stadium) - 38
Sheffield United (Bramall Lane) - 38
QPR (Loftus Road) - 36

West Ham (Boleyn Ground) - 31
Layer Road (Colchester) - 32
Stoke City (Britannia Stadium) - 28
Torquay United (Plainmoor) - 27

Note that I was unable to go to Carrow Road (first missed away game in two years).

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Derby Draw

Plymouth Argyle 1 (Ebanks-Blake 23 pen) - 1 Bristol City (Timar 71 og)

Do things ever go right for Argyle? Certainly not during the biggest billed game of the year. An own goal from Kristian Timar sees Argyle slip to 8th position, whilst Bristol City waltz up in 4th through no effort of their own. For 71 minutes Argyle has 3 points in the bag against City until a mistake by Timar sent the ball flying high over Larrieu's head into his net, which set the Bristol fans on fire after being muted for most of the matches. A galling way to lose 2 points.

Argyle could have been 2-0 up come half time if the Bristol keeper had scored an own goal within the first 15, a ball from a corner caught by the keeper but he fell though he managed to hold it again right on the line. No goal. Instead Argyle had to wait until Ebanks-Blake was
brought down for a penalty (though was it a foul or did he just slip on the water-bound surface? The referee decided to "give it a go" after a 20 minute pitch inspection) before opening the scoring. From then on it was a struggle, and however galling it is to admit, Bristol City are a good side and there is a lot of spite that they are doing so well as a new Championship side compared to Argyle who have had several years experience.

The players' performances ran hot and cold throughout the 90 minutes, was it due to the conditions, mindset or just "same old Argyle"? Likewise the officials' performances were way off good - with the "assistant" referees playing follow-my-leader, and the referee's inconsistencies AGAIN.

Was it a fair result? Before the game many would have taken a draw, but to concede in such a way seems yet another big injustice that Argyle have had to suffer in the last month.

Thursday, 6 December 2007


Argyle are to cut the matchday ticket prices for their "B" list fixtures.

The Herald report that Argyle will soon make an announcement that tickets for so called less attractive games will be cheaper than normal, though the actual costs have not yet been finalised. This is something that a lot of people have been calling for for some time, and it will at least give an idea of whether ticket price is a valid excuse for falling attendances at Home Park. However given that the football business is now a money business and Argyle's current lack of capital, would a reduction in ticket prices further affect the club's spending powers? Time will tell if people will turn up or not.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007


Norwich City 2 (Evans 1, Huckerby 87 pen) - 1 Plymouth Argyle (Timar 89)

Norwich City crestAnother match lost because of the referee and a poor play. Within 1 minute whilst Argyle slept Norwich scored a goal (and possibly from an off-side position). It was uphill from there on right to the end of the second half when Huckerby scored a controversial penalty after awarded for Connolly making a stupid tackle in clearing the ball from Huckerby - did he or didn't he? But we can blame the referee's decisions in order to cover up inadequcies. It looked as if Holloway's departure hadn't taken its toll with the win against Sheffield, but for the past 3 games, you can see that it blatantly has - the standard of player's game has dropped significantly and in some cases it looks as if they have never played together before. Sturrock, despite saying he would not alter a thing, is going to have to rebuild the squad again as they get used to a new style of management and coaching. With the "derby" game against Bristol this Saturday, there will be a lot of pride at stake, especially as City are highflyers new to this level whilst Plymouth are now old dogs with no excuse.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Temporary Sevice


Sunday, 2 December 2007

FA Cup 2007/08

Plymouth Argyle have drawn Hull City at home for the FA Cup third round.

Another inspiring draw (!)

That's Better

Plymouth Argyle 3 (Ebanks-Blake 51, Timar 64, Abdou 77) - 0 Scunthorpe United

A return of good fortune for Argyle with three points in the bag following the abismal display against Albion, though the first half showed little improvement in general play. An uninsipring 45 minutes when Argyle were still rusty and lacking, thankfully Scunthorpe were the same but could have opened the scoring within a minute of kick off.

The Green Army had to wait 51 minutes for a goal, and with it the flood gates opened with two more in succession, Timar's second and Abdou's first goals for Argyle sealed the game in a better, more organised second half. Even so Argyle missed some sitters and eased off to easily to allow Scunthope to work their way through.

But in all the 3 points now puts Plymouth back up into 6th, just outside the playoffs.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Welcome Home?

Plymouth Argyle 1 (Easter 84) - 2 West Bromwich Albion (Bednar 9, Bednar 43)

What a way to welcome back one of Argyle's most influential managers, my going on holiday and only returning to play 10 minutes of a 90 minutes football match. "To the football team 2-0" rang out from the Baggies fans and should have hit home.

So here we are again; it seems that the life of an Argyle fan is to be permanently on the negative - and if something good happens, don't expect it to last for long. That's not how any "supporter" should be like, positivity and optimism should be the order of the day, not it's hard to think that way all the times.

Paul Sturrock returned to Home Park to witness a 2-0 defeat for most of the game, with Argyle only scoring a consolation goal in the last 10 minutes. Though Luggy didn't participate in the management of the game he astutely decreed that we 'never turned up', and that was evident for all to see. Albion outplayed and outclassed Argyle both on and off the pitch with Baggies supporters outsinging Pilgrims for most of the match.

It was no surprise that Albion netted the ball twice (and it could have so easily been more) as they tore open Argyle's defence and easily beat keeper Romain Larrieu. The only consolation came in the second half when Argyle began to get a look in and forced play into their penalty box, ending in a surprise first goal from Jermaine Easter. The Greens had left it too late to make a come back. It was never mean to be that way.

With the games coming thick and fast, Sturrock will be properly installed in the dugout for Saturday, and accounting for West Brom being a very strong Championship side (we probably would have lost it anyway), the match against Scunthorpe will have all eyes on the new manager and if he works his magic once more.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

More fixture changed

Leicester City v Plymouth Argyle, Saturday 9 February will now kick off at 5.20 pm due to the match being shown live in Sky Sports.

Breacker off

Holloway's backroom staff - Breacker, Bulpin and Penrice - have now left Home Park, leaving Crudgington (with Summerfield) in charge for tonight's game as Sturrock wants to watch the game from the stands.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

He's come back home, He's come back home...

has Sturrock.

Paul Sturrock has been officially reappointed as manager of Plymouth Argyle. Following Holloway's departure last week, Plymouth Argyle have quickly secured former manager Paul Sturrock, and his backroom staff - Kevin Summerfield and John Blackley.

At 1 o'clock today Paul Sturrock was officially installed as Holloway's predecessor having departed Plymouth in 2004 to manager then Premiership club Southampton. Paul has since managed Sheffield Wednesday, promoting them to the Championship before being sacked and joining Swindon Town. Since Holloway's departure last week it has been on the cards that Surrock will return to Home Park.

Sturrock has said that he is very excited about the players he has inherited and will not be tampering with the squad and its set up. He is ready to face the challenges ahead - including the out of contract players but has said he will not be managing the team verses West Bromwich tomorrow in order that he can get to know the players styles better.

Holloway bemoaned the lack of ambition and finance of the current board, however Stapleton is confident that we will still be able to hold our own in the division and Sturrock is now a vital part of this having been here before and knows the club and what it can and cannot do. Sturrock has been quoted as saying that "we have unfinished business" and Stapleton is very excited by that.

Sturrock has always been a firm favourite amongst Argyle supporters, and although there is a saying that you should never go back, Argyle have turned the clock back 3 years, hopefully Sturrock will once again rise to the challenges and work his magic once again.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Blunted Blades

Sheffield United 0 - 1 Plymouth Argyle (Halmosi 23)

Sheffield United crestManagerless Argyle could have used the excuse of Holloway's departure to put in a poor performance, after all they haven't seen their overall coaches all week, with Bulpin and Crudgie in charge. However rather than wallow in self-pity, they came out all guns blazing and put in a great performance showing no affect from the week's events and caretaker manager Breacker kept the same starting XI, save for Doumbe in place of suspended Timar.

In spite of the home team lively members, Argyle put in a good performance and scored the first (and ultimately only) goal on 23 minutes when Halmosi directed Ebanks-Blakes pass past Kenny. Argyle had the chance to score several more, with a few one-on-ones with the Blades' keeper, but in true Argyle style the strikers couldn't find the net, hitting the woodwork several times. Larrieu, despite some poor kicking, was kept busy as the defence let the Blades come close, but they defended the set pieces well and kept the Steel City players out of the net. Indeed Sheffield should have scored several times too, including one (thankfully) off-side goal in the first half. Argyle started to creak after the break, but held out to take all three points from the damp north.

So far it seems that the sudden departure of Holloway has not affected the team badly, though they must be feeling unsettled as to what the future holds. The sooner someone - possibly Sturrock - is appointed the quicker things can settle down again. The win puts Argyle 4th in the league, and it will take a lot to maintain such a position.

Friday, 23 November 2007

So what happens now?

Another suitcase in another hall.

And it's Holloway's after being revealed yesterday as Leicester's new manager.

What happens now?
Where do we go from here?
Where [are we] going to?
You'll get by you always have before.

Pertinent words from Tim Rice and the musical Evita. What does happen now? In the short term we have a game with Breaker as acting manager, but he'll probably leave soon. Like Breacker the rest of Ollie's staff will probably follow him up to Leicester soon, most probably along with some of our players. Where does that leave us?

Ollie has seen fit to put the blame firmly on the door of the board for being tightfisted, for allowing all his best players to leave by not providing the financial backing - and hinted that Argyle will not keep hold of the players whose contracts are ending this year. Additionally he has blamed supporters for not turning up to matches, for booing at games and for making comments about his management. And for everyone connected with the club for not being as ambitious as he was or as Leicester is (basically stating that Argyle will never get to the Premier League because no one wants it).

Therefore, what becomes of the board? There has already been unrest about the perceived lack of spending power, ambition and direction of the board. When the dust settles, will the spotlight be turned upon them for their (so called inadequacies)? Does anyone at Argyle really want to push "Onwards and Upwards" or is it just a farce - Argyle will never get to the "promised land" and is just lucky to be where they are at the moment? Look at how long the so called phase 2 of Home Park has rumbled on with no progress and no direction.

There are a lot of questions to be answered, but will there be anyone willing to address them?

The song obvious ends with "Don't ask anymore" as Eva gets her big break, will it be the same for Argyle, will everyone live happily ever after, or "don't ask anymore" because you'll never get an answer?

Thursday, 22 November 2007


Black Wednesday for football and feelings are running high amongst England and Argyle fans.

Holloway's apparent dumping of the city and team he claims to have been in his blood have stirred very bad feelings amongst the Green Army. There have so far been only calls against Holloway and his treatment of fans in light of the (untrue?) statements he has made about loyalty, the city and the club. Many supporters feel they've been lied to and duped by a man they had trusted, who they believed in, who they supported in his goal of reaching the Premiership, and has been the mouth-piece of the club. This week all that has gone to be left by a bad taste. Once again the tight-lipped-ness of those at Home Park has done nothing to assist fans in their quest for knowledge of what is happening, although the board are not meeting until tomorrow to discuss the future.

In the coming days blame is going to be flying around the fan base - is it Holloway's greed for more money (for wages and players)? Is it the board's lack of ambition or lack of support financially? Is it the fans' fault for not turning up each week? And let's face it Holloway has been more than vocal on that subject - and still people have accepted the criticism from him.

As Peter Jones (ex vice chairman) said on BBC Radio Devon "It's Groundhog Day". The club have been here before 4 times in 4 years - nothing changes, nothing's news. And at a time when Argyle had started (again) to look towards the Premiership, will the only Premiership within reach be the Blue Square?

To compound frustrations more, England are out of Euro2008 after failing to win against Croatia last night. There are a lot of people who are hacked off with the state of English football at the moment. And to be honest, it's all something we knew was coming.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

BREAKING NEWS: Holloway Resigned

Following speculation by Sky Sports, it has been confirmed that Ian Holloway has resigned as manager of Plymouth Argyle to be effective from this Friday

Plymouth Herald
BBC Sport
Official Club statement

Holloway to Resign

According to Sky Sports News


Holloway to Leicester.

Monday brought mysterious and concerning to the Green Army that Ian Holloway is to leave Plymouth Argyle and join Leicester City before this Saturday's matches. The BBC broke the news on Monday morning, and set in motion a chain of bewilderment amongst fans and sports editors alike as claim and counter-claim were released. And still nobody knows exactly what is happening, compounded by the lack of information from Home Park. Even celebrity Greens follower Gordon Sparks has been unable to gather information from the directors in Plymouth.

The chain of events started when Leicester fans claimed that Mandaric wants Holloway to manage Leicester from this Saturday's match verses Bristol City, this was leaked to the BBC reported that Holloway was potentially leaving Argyle which subsequently spread to Sky Sports. Argyle released an official statement that Holloway has not been approached and will not be leaving - they will not speculate on speculation. At the same time Leicester said that Mandaric will not be approaching Holloway. Today, Mandaric has requested permission to talk to Holloway and a compensation package is being worked out to around £230,000. Holloway has also hinted that he is unwilling to leave Plymouth especially when you consider that he has just moved home.

Are the cracks started to to appear in Argyle's sinking ship. Without communication from Home Park and a clear guidance from the top, fans are speculating what is happening and what would happening. Some are calling for Paul Sturrock to return to Home Park and listing other managers available.

This situation is very worrying for fans, compounded by the lack of information (which is no new thing) coming from Home Park. If Holloway does leave, why? When he has stated that he loves the club and wants to go far. Is the lack of funds (the potential salary increase he would get at Leicester is at least double is current earnings), general organisation and apathy of supporters finally got to him?

Whatever happens, this is a very bad time for unsettlement in the team - having a two week break from a return to winning form generally means the football suffers, but such a situation with management on top of a big game will only create negativity.

Time will tell.

Try and follow the story at:
Official Website
BBC Sport
Plymouth Herald
PAFC Talk forum
PASOTI forum

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

What, Again?

The Herald have been reporting (here and here)that there has been yet another incident on Union Street involving an Argyle player. Alledgedly Ebanks-Blake has been involved in a fracas with a door supervisor in the early hours outside a Plymouth nightclub.

this previous post after Seip's similar incident, I questioned the discipline at Home Park. Hopefully this is not going to spiral, but should we ask why are such things happening?

Sunday, 11 November 2007


Plymouth Argyle 3 (Martin 27, Connolly 47, Norris 49) - 0 Norwich City

"If you can't beat Norwich, then who can you beat?"

Norwich City crestGoing into the Norwich game on the back of 2 defeats and a last minute draw, many were optimistic for a win against bottom of the league Norwich, and they weren't let down. Argyle, who had got over the mental block of steam-rolling lower placed clubs off the pitch, did exactly that. Though Norwich weren't without their own nail-biting moments, hitting the crossbar and post to almost claim 2 goals.

Holloway made just one change to the starting XI from Colchester, swapping back Halmosi and Adbou, with Larrieu remaining in goal. Argyle started strongly and maintained steady pressure on the canaries who were playing tidy football and managed to break through the Argyle defence but thankfully were unable to find the net. Argyle's first goal came, surprisingly, from a corner which was deflected off their defender and steered in by Martin. Norwich started to creak and stagger through the remainder of the half.

Like against Wednesday, most people missed goals because they hadn't returned from half time. Barely minutes after people had sat down at kick off did Connolly net the ball to make it 2-0. 3 minutes later before the dust had settled it was 3-0 thanks to Norris's second goal of the season (and second in two games) from 10 yards. Argyle then took their feet of the pedal and Norwich took advantage to step up their game, so instead of expending little energy seeing out the game, Argyle had to work to maintain their lead. That lead should have increased to 4-0 with a header from Timar, save for the Lyndhurst's linesman's flag held aloft for offside.

Following a depressing few weeks it was good to see some excellent flowing and at sometimes nifty football being played at Home Park, ending in a deserved win.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Awaydays #9 - Colchester United

The ValleyThe club: Colchester United (The U's), Layer Road

The ground: Do you laugh or cry at Layer Road? The club are moving to a new stadium come the end of the season, and it's not hard to see why. At only 6,000 odd capacity, Layer Road has had its time as a ground in the Championship. A ground right out of the good ol days, Layer Road could not be redeveloped even if it was possible, the ground is so small you'll make friends quite quickly. The ground is a mishmash of loads of different bits of stand designs plonked together around the pitch - but the best but is - they still have terracing! (and it's covered). The away terrace is very narrow and the rake is slight, so no matter where you stand you get a poor view.

The facilities and food: Unisex toilets!! Need I say more? The aways stand backs straight onto the road and the toilets have been squeezed into a small space below, they are so small and both sexes' toilets are in the same room. Portaloos are available near the turnstiles for those who are nervous and need privacy. There's a small refreshments kiosk, obviously nor serving alcohol, but with the usual range of food. The pie tasted awful. 2/10

The stewarding/police: Not bad, though quite overzealous with the Greens on Screen photographer. There were a lot of police around, but didn't seem conspicuous. 7/10

The travelling: Very 6-7 hours from Plymouth by road, but seems longer - maybe cause of the M25. Colchester is just off the A12 but the coach took a very circuitous route into the ground. 5/10

The surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): Not much. There's only 1 pub really - the Dury Inn - and sometimes they don't let away fans in. If they do you are segregated into a separate bar. 2/10

The home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): The best fans so far, they sang very loudly and passionately throughout (is this because they still have terraces?). 10/10

Total score: 29/60

Awaydays League Table:

Barnsley (Oakwell Stadium) - 42

Blackpool (Bloomfield Road) - 38
Charlton Athletic (The Valley) - 38
Hull City (KC Stadium) - 38
QPR (Loftus Road) - 36

West Ham (Boleyn Ground) - 31
Layer Road (Colchester) - 32
Stoke City (Britannia Stadium) - 28
Torquay United (Plainmoor) - 27

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Between us and U's

Colchester United 1 (Lisbie 56) - 1 Plymouth Argyle (Norris 88)

A much better performance from the Sheffield and Preston games, but Argyle could only salvage a point at Layer Road.

colchester crestFor the midweek fixture Holloway made two significant changes to the squad, with Larrieu between the sticks and Abdou in midfield for Halmosi whilst Norris went right and Martin on the left. Colchester have been undefeated at home and have always scored, and last night was no different. Following a nervous 10 minutes when Colchester was all guns blazing, Argyle settled into a good routine that saw Larrieu seldomly challenged around his goal, whilst their keeper was made to work for his wages. The first half saw Colchester and Argyle force several corners but the delivery of both teams was poor that they came to nothing. Colchester came close to taking the lead in the 38th minute but the no one could direct the low shot into the net, followed by another couple of wide attempts.

The second half got off to a poor start when Argyle let Colchester's Yeates through to shoot, which was blocked by Larrieu but followed up my Lisbie. If Argyle could find the net more often, were able to deliver corners properly and didn't lose possession easily then they could have been several goals up, but it took until the 88th minute for Norris to knock in a cross from Ebanks-Blake. Halmosi came close with a free kick on the 67th minute after being fouled but Gerken tipped it over the bar.

A performance when we should have deserved more, as always. If Argyle weren't Argyle, they'd be dynamite.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Same old Argyle

Plymouth Argyle 1 (Ebanks-Blake 47 pen) - 2 Sheffield Wednesday (Sodje 50, O'Brien 55)

Same old Argyle.

There, I've said it.
In a scaving article recently, the official website gave a dressing down to anyone who ever used the phrase 'same old Argyle' (Read it here). It criticised anyone who criticised the club's performance and stated that fans should be happy because of how far the club has come since the dark days. No one is disputing that fact that Argyle have done well for themselves, but you cannot go on living in the past. Football is a 'here and now' business (yes, a business!) and supporters should be able to express their feelings no matter from where we have come. Yesterday has caused major rumblings amongst the Green Army, for a second game in a row it seemed like the players failed to turn up and Argyle's unbeaten run at home came to a shuddering halt.

For a second game in a row, no one turned up - players and supporters alike. From the second half of the Preston game, the Green Army has lost interest in the game, and this continued at home, the atmosphere within Home Park was virtually non existent, save for the Wednesday fans. Whose fault is it? Whatever, it is a self-perpetuating problem: poor play = poor support = poorer play = poorer support. If players want fans to lift them, the fans want players to produce something to lift them (look at what happened for 3 minutes following Ebanks's penalty and the Owls' equaliser). There was no spark from either side, supporters are very disenfranchised at the moment - the news of players wanting out, speculation about who and Buzsaky's departure has again cemented realisation that it is just the 'same old Argyle' with nothing to get excited about. Notice how many people left the game within 15 minutes of full time; you get the usual early leavers, but not on that scale.

"A bad day at the office" was how Holloway described the game, but was it really just a one off? It seems clear that the squad is not all there - injuries and behind the scenes workings, and soon suspensions, taking there toll. Holloway stuck with the same XI against Preston which paid dividend with a fairly good first half, but nothing exciting to write home about. After the break the game turned and Argyle were on the up, 3 points in the bag, thanks to Ebanks-Blake's superbly handled penalty on the 47th minute. But what happened? 3 minutes later Wednesday equalise through a soft goal caused by poor defending. Then Argyle rolled over and died, for another 5 minutes later they do exactly the same with the Wendies scoring their winning goal. Holloway looked as if he ran out of ideas, as he left it late to bring on his substitutes, all 3 within 10 minutes of each other. If Argyle were able to finish then they might have been able to get the point, but out of the chances they created 'same old Argyle' threw them all away. The crowd started to vote with their feet as they started to head for the door.

Save for a few players, there was not much going on on the pitch the last two games, and with 2 months to go before anything can change, Holloway needs to shake the squad to its foundations. Next week we have Norwich at home - a disillusioned team at the bottom of the league - a game that should be won, or will it be 'same old Argyle' - dragon slayer but cannot say boo to a goose?

Monday, 29 October 2007

Buzz Off

The Herald are reporting that Akos Buzsaky will be leaving the Greens to join another club on loan, possibly QPR.

Herald article


Akos's move to QPR on an emergency loan until January, with a view to become permanent has been confirmed.

PAFC Official announcement

Sunday, 28 October 2007

North Ended

Preston North End 2 (Omerod 11, Carter 66 )- 0 Plymouth Argyle

Preston CrestDeepdale is not happy hunting ground, and yesterday proved no exception as the Greens didn't even get started. From the off it seemed as if the players couldn't be bothered to play, as they spluttered through an inept performance of poor passing and lost possession. The Pilgrims were turned over by bottom of the league Preston after just 11 minutes as Omerod beat McCormick in front of the Green Army, who in spite of a 300+ turn out had all the wind knocked out of them as their disinterest in the game grew as great as the players on the pitch.

It was probably not the best start or first impression for Easter, who made his debut in the second half, and unlike Martin in a similar position against Blackpool, could not make any impact on the game. Holloway only made one change to the team who played Carlton, and that was Easter on the bench, and didn't even make substitutions until well into the second half. With Ollie blaming tiredness for the performance, it does beg the question as to why he didn't make any change to a team with no legs left.

The game was sealed when Carter volleyed a freekick past McCormick before he had a chance to see the ball, indeed it should have been another 3-0 defeat in stoppage time as referee Pike waved away a Preston penalty.

They say you can't win them all, but such a performance is "typically Argyle" and does nothing to attract supporters through the gate. Such issues never seem to be resolved and it gets trying for the fans.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Awaydays #8 - Charlton Athletic

The ValleyThe club: Charlton Athletic (The Addicks), The Valley

The ground: A good 'ol 'hemmed in by terraced housing' affair that has been redeveloped over the years. The ground is hidden away in back streets and has three enclosed sides of various levels and tiers - the North and West Sides behind the goal being two tiered, the East and South high backed singles, with the away South side completely separate from the rest of the ground. A complete absence of floodlight pylons, replaced with two rows of lights mounted on both the side stands is different of others' lighting solutions. A large video screen is located next to the away end. Unusually only the away seating is covered over - the rest of the facilities are open to the elements and the 'concourse' has a lower league ground feel to it
. The seats have a good view down the front, even the very front row as they are raised several feet off the ground. There is one single support pillar right in the centre of the stand behind the goal, any further back than it and you will get some resticted views. 7/10

The facilities and food: The number of facilities were woefully inadequate, located in a narrow walkway between the remote ticket office and turnstiles on Valley Grove and the stand, and totally open to all weathers. There is not enough room to queue for the bar and toilets, mill around or get to/from the seating area. The queues for the bar were very unorganised and after the game it took a good 15 minutes to get out as everyone tried to get through 1 small exit way. Alcohol is only served before the game, not at half time, and there are no pies - 'pastry slices' are on offer instead. 3/10

The stewarding/police: Compared to other London fixtures there seemed to be a smaller police presence. There were several patrols of the away pub, and vans of police personnel dotted around but not overly noticeable. The roads around the area are kept traffic free around game time. The stewards allowed supporters to stand for long periods of the game, even near the front. 8/10

The travelling: Very direct on long distance routes via the M25 and A2, roadworks permitting! Finding the ground hidden behind the main roads is hard as road signing is next to non existent - save for a few. Parking is also difficult as permit parking is only available until 6.30pm. Charlton is without the Tube coverage but a railway station is very close to the ground. 6/10

The surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): The Antigallican is away fan friendly, as is the social club further up the hill, both a few minutes from the away end. £3 a pint but the Antigallican was friendly and efficient. 6/10

The home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): Friendly and helpful and quite passionate, the sound travels nicely around the ground when they all sing especially with the good turn out.. 8/10

Total score: 38/60

Awaydays League Table:

Barnsley (Oakwell Stadium) - 42

Blackpool (Bloomfield Road) - 38
Charlton Athletic (The Valley) - 38
Hull City (KC Stadium) - 38
QPR (Loftus Road) - 36

West Ham (Boleyn Ground) - 31
Stoke City (Britannia Stadium) - 28
Torquay United (Plainmoor) - 27

Happy Easter

It has been confirmed that Jermain Easter will be joining the Pilgrims from Wycombe Wanderers on loan until 1 January 2008. Jermaine joins our strike force, at a opportune moment as Nick Chadwick is now out with an injury. Easter, 25, scored 17 goals last season in League One and Holloway hopes he can perform in the Championship. He has been at Wycombe for a year and a half, joining from Stockport as well as Wolves, Hartlepool, Cambridge and Boston, as well as debuting for the Welsh national side last February. Easter hopes to make the loan permanent come the transfer window in January.

Jermaine will play with squad number 36.

Official Site Announcement

Picture copyright BBC

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Good View from The Valley

Charlton Athletic 1 (McCormick 6 og) - 2 Plymouth Argyle (Ebanks-Blake 11, Hayles 40)

Charlton Athletic crest"Ollie hired muscle" was as the Guardian described last night's match verses Charlton, even though the only addition to the squad has been Lee Martin. Argyle certainly showed their might against an ex-Premier League team in a match that seemed twice as longer than it really was. Holloway kept the same match winning team as that against Coventry, with Larrieu returning to the bench as the only change, which paid dividend as Ebanks-Blake struck home a cross from Norris from 2 yards. Unfortunately for McCormick who otherwise played a blinding match, he was instrumental in the Addick's equaliser 5 minutes later when he poorly cleared Mill's shot, which rebounded off the post, hit him as he laid on the grass and reflected into the back of his net. He then went on to play one of his best games.

Argyle and Charlton fought a hard game right up until just before half time when Hayles scored the winning goal - just, the ball only just made it over the line but enough for the referee to award it on 40 minutes. The second half began with Charlton enjoying a period of attack which was thwarted by either Luke or the defence, sometimes a bit too close for comfort. A number of substitutions saw Charlton on the attack and Argyle on the defence as the desperation became overwhelming, but thankfully for the 1,200 strong Green Army, the Pilgrims held on for the 3 points.

Once again the referee had decided that the game was about him, not the football, and awarded a total of 10 cautions, meaning that several players are now 1-2 cards away from a suspension, which if compared to last season is a near replica in our game play, position and number of bookings. Last year Argyle did not capitalise on their success and gradually the feel good factor and hopes of play off positions faded away in that all to familiar way. Argyle have been granted a second chance, let's hope that everyone concerned grabs it with both hands.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Romain Returns II

Keeper Romain Larrieu has returned from his loan spell at Yeovil Town and will be available for the Charlton match tomorrow.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

No Sky Blues

Plymouth Argyle 1 (Martin 16) - 0 Coventry City

Coventry City crestManchester United loanee Lee Martin provided Argyle with their second home win of the season in his debut start. Martin netted the ball after 16 minutes by converting a cross from Ebanks-Blake in front of the Coventry support. Once again Holloway changed the starting team, relegating Buszaky back to the bench along with Chadwick, whilst Hayles took the captain's armband back from Nallis. Coventry too made two changes from their winning side against Wolves, but it was a much more conservative affair in comparison with the Greens.

Martin made a good partnership with Ebanks-Blake as Argyle dominated the game, which unfortunately left Hayles trailing behind, and overall Argyle should have scored more save for their finishing weakness, but Coventry should have claimed a few times too with some shots that fortunately fell wide. Ian Dowie sent on his substitutes in the second half and Coventry came close to claiming the upper hand until Argyle settled back down, their nearest shot in stoppage time at the end when Julian Gray's free kick was missed by McCormick, hit Kevin Kyle's head and the foot of the post, thankfully on the right side.

All in all a much better performance by the Greens, even with the usual reoccurring problems. Martin's performance was outstanding and put some our regular players to shame with this pace and game play, it was apparent that some are no longer up to the challenge of the league. It is a shame that Lee is with us for such a short time, hopefully Holloway will be able to retain him in the long run.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Bye Bye Bojan

Bojan Djordjic has decided he has no future at Plymouth Argyle and by mutual agreement with Ian Holloway has left Home Park.

Djordjic, who has played for Manchester United and Rangers, has never really got into the first team and has made only a few appearances for the Greens. Bojan was plagued my injuries and off-pitch problems, culminating in him joining the reserves and being transfer listed, when he had to prove his worth to rejoin the first team; unfortunately for Bojan these problems prevented him from proving himself on the field - where his talents lay - where he was quick and created opportunities and generally played well.

We wish Bojan well with his future.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Mickey's Match

Mickey Evans's testimonial match has been set for 29 April 2008, teams and further details will be announced in due course.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Squad Changes?

Holloway has stated that several of our players are out of contract this season; the state of play come next year with our regular players contracts currently does not look too good:

In contract
McCormick; Seip; Timar; Sawyer; Norris; Gosling; Halmosi; Fallon; Ebanks -Blake

Out of Contract
Abdou; Larrieu; Chadwick; Connolly; Doumbe; Laird; Nalis; Buszaky; Wotton; Summerfield; Hodges; Dickson; Djordjic; Hayles; Samba; Barnes; Reid.

Out of these 3 players are reaching the end of their careers (Nalis, Hayles and Hodges) who may either re-sign on a short contract, become a player-coach or retire; others like Djordjic and Samba aren't in favour and will probably seek out as soon as possible; Norris might be poached or not want to continue; and others like Summerfield, Connolly and Dickson haven't progressed their game in the league.

Come January there many be many out going players, hopefully followed by some incomings too. As it stands, the team needs freshening up and dead wooding, and that will be a challenge for both Holloway and the board. If the notion of 'Onwards and Upwards' is to be realised, prudent investment both financially and physically will be needed.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Awaydays #7 - Blackpool

The club: Blackpool (The Seasiders), Bloomfield Road

The ground: Bloomfield Road is the epitome of unfinished grounds, with 2 sides, 1 temporary stand and 1 side missing completely. The two sides are of the identikit design, clean straight lines, exposed concrete and space frame roof, with corporate boxes running along the top. The away fans enclosure consists of a shallow uncovered temporary scaffold stand running the length of the pitch with portacabin facilities. The PA system is for home fans only, which is against ground regulations is it not? The far end of the ground is missing completely. It makes for one of the most unusual grounds in the country. 5/10

The facilities and food: All are portacabins and 'chuckwagons' off a gravel 'concourse', even so the flow of people though the toilets was better than some grounds. The catering is from a wagon, and sells only fried food and soft drinks. No pies are available. 3/10

The stewarding/police: A sizable presence around town, including mounted police and a strong presence of stewards inside but there was no trouble. 8/10

The travelling: It's the perfect excuse for a weekend away considering how far you need to travel, however it is very easy to find if you follow the motorways and bypass right into the town. 5/10

The surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): Everything, the whole of Blackpool is your oyster with the tacky arcades, piers, tower and Pleasure Beach and obviously plenty of pubs! 8/10

The home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): The best in the league so far with a sell out (which isn't hard really!) and mass singing throughout the game.. 9/10

Total score: 38/60

Awaydays League Table:

Barnsley (Oakwell Stadium) - 42

Blackpool (Bloomfield Road) - 38
Hull City (KC Stadium) - 38
QPR (Loftus Road) - 36

West Ham (Boleyn Ground) - 31
Stoke City (Britannia Stadium) - 28
Torquay United (Plainmoor) - 27

Beside the Seaside

Blackpool 0 - 0 Plymouth Argyle

Blackpool crestOh, I do like to be beside the seaside; Blackpool is the great British drunken get-away, and saw many Argyle fans take advantage of the weekend and the unusual good weather to make the match a sell out. Blackpool were undefeated at home since February and Argyle left this record intact.

Following a minute's silence for Blackpool's late Bill Perry, Argyle seemed to wander comatosed through the following 90 minutes as Blackpool played their battering football. Again Holloway made changes to the squad with Ebanks-Blake now partnering Chadwick and Buszaky replacing Gosling. New signing Lee Martin was included on the subs bench, and was called up at the start of the second half. Martin showed promise with this quickness but was held back by his lack of experience with the team and their performance. Both teams pressed hard into the opposition's half but neither were able to finish what they started. Even so Argyle were out run for most of the game by Blackpool's quick moves and attacking play. The second half saw Argyle mainly on the back foot, quelling the repeated opportunities that Blackpool served up but they managed to hold out to a stalemate.

Holloway and many will say it was a good point gained, given Blackpool's performance, but Argyle never really got going. There seems to be something missing in this season's squad that is evident in everything they do. It could be the fact that two players don't want to stay come January, plus the other 15 who are out of contact this season, or the perceived lack of ambition in the club.

Friday, 5 October 2007

New signing

Lee MartinToday, Ian Holloway has signed his prey on a three month loan. 20 year old midfielder Lee Martin from Taunton, currently with Manchester United, will temporarily join the Pilgrims, being available for selection against Blackpool.

Lee played for Manchester United in their defeat against Coventry in the Carling Cup, as well as for Rangers in the SPL and Stoke City.

Lee Martin has squad number 29.

Picture copyright BBC

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

A Home Win

Plymouth Argyle 1 (Halmosi 50) - 0 Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace crestThe potential of beating the club's record of 5 home draws in a row was on the cards (yes, even Pulis never drew 5 games in a row) and it looked inevitable for most of the match. Once again we were treated to an uninspiring match, due to the on going playing issues, the poorness of the opposition and the dubious refereeing.

Holloway made a lot of changes to the squad - with Ebanks-Blake and Buszaky on the bench, Hodges, Chadwick and Gosling making a start, and Doumbe making his first appearance on the pitch this season. Even with all the changes, both team huffed and puffed through the first half with neither goal keeper called up on to do anything of note. What was different though was threat individual players' performances had picked up since the Wolves game, even if neither team could really make the team work for them; as usual Argyle's lack of finishing power kept them out of the game. Fans had to wait until the 50th minute for a goal, coming from Halmosi who hit a vertically cleared pass into their net, possibly via the foot of a Palace player.

Both sides made changes of personnel, Palace going for the draw and Argyle the win, which caused Argyle to work deeper and deeper into their own defence, however they managed to cling on for the whole 3 points however, the next games verses Blackpool away will tell whether this was really due to Palace's poor performance or Argyle's improvement.

Mickey Evans's Testimonial

Mickey Evans's testimonial committee have now launched their website where you can find out about all the events and details of his testimonial year.

A quick synopisis of the events include:

1 December 2007: Testimonial Dinner at Holiday Inn
January 2008: Meet the Managers with present and past managers and Mickey
January / February / March: Footballers' Wines
March 2008: Golf Day at St Mellion
May 2008: Testimonial Match

May 2008: Grand Ball

The link is also in the sidebar under Recommended Blogs and Links.

Sunday, 30 September 2007

Awaydays #6 - West Ham

The club: West Ham United (The Hammers), Boleyn Ground [Upton Park]

The ground: Hi hopes for a Premier League ground and the stadium is certainly impressive looking, however is no better than any other Championship ground. Three stands are joined together all two tiered with the huge high backed Dr Martens stand, and a separate smaller East stand. The outside of the Dr Martens stand is imposing and impressionable. The Centenary stand lower level houses the away fans and is very compact, with seating close to the pitch and a shallow rake to the stand, meaning a restricted view for some supporters. There are two large video screens in opposite corners. 7/10

The facilities and food: The concourse is very small, stark and cramped for the amount of supporters,in fact the largest space to be found in the gents toilet. There was only one refreshment bar open and no organisation and resulted in a near permanent rugby scrum - however the bar remained open throughout the game. They were also very unorganised - the hot food was not ready by the time they opened, resulting in poor pies. 5/10

The stewarding/police: As befits a London club, a very large police presence around the ground with patrols, mounted police and vans every hundred yards or so, inside the ground the stewarding and police action was minimal. 8/10

The travelling: Awful - everybody decided to have an accident, meaning long tailbacks and jams, as well as the usual heavy London traffic taking nearly as long to cross London than get there. Access to the ground is limited as well as parking, which can be found several streets away but the authority specifically target football traffic parked on restrictions and will lift a vehicle sharpish. Upton Park Tube station gets very crowded and crowd restrictions can get put in place. A trip through central London is by far a nicer and quicker way to go even if they do charge! 2/10

The surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): Not an away fan friendly area with supporters having to walk some distance though Green Street is full of take aways and stalls. If you arrive early you can easily jump on a Tube and get to central London. 5/10

The home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): Apart from "Bubbles" which makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck, like a lot of home fans they can be quiet, however any sound they do make does not travel well to the home end. 4/10

Total score: 31/60

Awaydays League Table:

Barnsley (Oakwell Stadium) - 42
Hull City (KC Stadium) - 38
QPR (Loftus Road) - 36

West Ham (Boleyn Ground) - 31
Stoke City (Britannia Stadium) - 28
Torquay United (Plainmoor) - 27

PAFC Ladies

Argyle's ladies team have launched their own calendar this week to raise funds. PALFC do not get any funding from Plymouth Argyle and therefore have to fund themselves. Their 2008 calendar is available in WHSmith in Plymouth, Argyle Centre Spot, St Luke's Hospice Shops and on Ebay priced £6 with £1 going to St Luke's Hospice.

Plymouth Argyle Ladies

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Still Not Good Enough

Plymouth Argyle 1 (Chadwick 61) - 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers (Elliott 41)

wolverhampton wanderers crestBack to the league with a bump, or rather a crash landing. Holloway fielded the same team as against West Ham but they did not live up to the same standards. Whether it was fatigue or big-headedness but today Wolves were by far the better team. For the whole first half Wolves controlled the game culminating in their goal 3 minutes from the break. For the first 15 minutes neither team really got a chance at goal until Wolves got into their stride and began attacking, but thankfully either them ending up shooting wide or high, or McCormick collecting the shots. Argyle had a few similar chances with the same outcomes as they poorly passes and poorly defended their way through the game, with several players making silly mistakes or just weren't in the game at all. The eventual goal came at the end of the first half with Ellott capitalising on these mistakes to beat McCormick.

Argyle continued the second half as they left the first by conceding a 15th corner kick to the Wolves and Holloway decided to make some changes, taking Ebanks-Blake and Buszaky for Fallon and Chadwick., which lead to Chadwick scoring his first goal of the season. Wolves took advantage of the huge gaps let by Argyle to continue their blitzkrieg attack on Argyle's goal, but thankfully they were forced wide or collected by Luke. To prove how poorly Argyle played - it wasn't until the 83rd minute when they took their first corner of the game but Chadwick could not direct it goalwards.

It seems that wins are just flukes of luck or caused by other teams playing poorly at the moment and it's hard to understand why it is happening. With 17 players out of contract this season, little money to spend, no completed stadium on the cards and Holloway looking more despondent by the week, things are not boding well at Home Park.

This is one game where a draw was a welcome result.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Awaydays #5 - Stoke

The club: Stoke City (The Potters), Brittania Stadium

The ground: For one in the breed of new stadium, the ground is looking old and tired. Two stands are independent of each other whilst the other two are connected at the corner, all three structures are high and imposing. The concourse was wide and airy and the away end seating area vast with a commanding view of the action. However if ever the song 'dirty northern b-stards' was true it was here - the stadium was filthy - I ended up covered in black dirt marks. 5/10

The facilities and food: There was a large bar - one half selling food, the other selling alcohol so you had to queue twice, the toilets were adequate for the number of supporters we took with shortish queues forming. The pie was far too hot to handle let alone eat but had the best filling of the season. 6/10

The stewarding/police: Minimal supervision by police and stewards before, during and after the match,. although the away end is fenced in after full time; the stewards allowed standing throughout the game on the back rows. 7/10

The travelling: Quick and easy, the route from the M6 is direct although you can miss the turning off the Stoke bypass. Car Parking is haphazard with people perched on verges, central reservations and roundabout all round the ground. 7/10

The surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): Nothing. The only amenity near by is the leisure centre. I would recommend that you make a small detour into Newcastle-under-Lyme and visit the pubs there - it's not far out of the way and you can loop round the centre back to the bypass. 0/10

The home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): Another very poor, effort. No audible noise except for a few fans nearest the away support. However the supporters in the pubs were very friendly. 3/10

Total score: 28/60

Awaydays League Table:

Barnsley (Oakwell Stadium) - 42
Hull City (KC Stadium) - 38
QPR (Loftus Road) - 36

Stoke City (Britannia Stadium) - 28
Torquay United (Plainmoor) - 27


West Ham 1 (Ashton 90+) - 0 Plymouth Argyle

west ham crestSo for the first time in ages Argyle get a run in the Carling Cup (recently we've been going out at the first round) and managed to hold out a Premier League team until second half stoppage time. Although it would have been good to take West Ham right down to penalties, the probability would have been that West Ham would have won regardless.

West ham fielded a near full strength experienced team verses Argyle's equivalent - the same team verses Stoke except for Ebanks-Blake and Hayles back in the starting line up - and for a lot of the game you could barely tell we were a league apart. At the beginning West Ham were not expecting for Argyle to come out so strong and it took time for them to settle down and play, especially in the second half when Argyle remained resolute throughout. Even when West Ham made their substitutions and sent on some 'muscle' the Greens stood firm, unfortunately a lack of concentration - maybe through tiredness - during the 3 minutes stoppage time saw Ashton score the Hammers' only goal.

By no means was this an outstanding performance, but unlike the 5-0 defeat last time the teams met, Argyle weren't outplayed or embarrassed, they created some great chances, but unfortunately as in league games we are not seizing the opportunity to put the ball away, have the same 'fear' of shooting and Luke's lack of command. However we should be proud of the achievement even if we feel gutted at the result.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Not Good Enough

Stoke City 3 (Seip (og) 9, Lawrence 65, Fuler 73) - 2 Plymouth Argyle (Seip 50, Fallon 58)

stoke city crest"The lads worked 'arrrrrd" is something that Tony Pulis would normally trot out after a defeat, however this time it was Ian Holloway who borrowed that infamous quote. Once again Argyle went up north and lost 3-2. Holloway was reported he would field the same team as that against QPR, however he made several changes, not least relegating Barry Hayles and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake to the bench. Overall Argyle probably deserved to win, but the game once again was marred by the same mistakes and weaknesses.

The first goal came about through the changes by which players should no longer take it upon themselves to stop play but let the referee deal with injured players, subsequently McCormick received the ball and cleared it up field, however the referee then awarded two successive free kicks to Stoke and on trying to defend them, Seip put the ball into his own net. The first half continued with Argyle missing chances and free kicks and went into the break with the deficit.

The second half got off to a flyer with Argyle going 2-1 up. The equaliser thanks to Seip, eager to avenge his mistake, followed by Fallon. And there it should have ended, Argyle were playing the better football and making all the moves. But it wasn't to be - the defensive problem reared its ugly head yet again, coupled with McCormick continued stupid mistakes. Stoke equalised when McCormick came for a long ball and missed, leaving Lawrence to put the ball away. This put Stoke on the up and Argyle lost control. Holloway made some later changes and eventually brought on Blake and Hayles, but the defence left large holes for Fuller to walk through and score - however it is questionable if this was an offside goal, but the officials disagreed. Argyle then lost all wind in their sails and Stoke strolled home with the 3 points.

Historically Stoke is very bad hunting ground, however QPR proves that is immaterial. We have gone on so long with the same problems in defence and learnt nothing. Additionally Holloway's 'pledge' to replace the keeper when he makes more than 2 mistakes is worthless with Romain's loan. Where do we go from here? Nowhere probably - it's clear that we are not good enough for promotion and (hopefully) not bad enough for relegation, so yet another season of mid table obscurity if things continue. And that will prove one season too many or some.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Awaydays #4 - QPR

The club: Queens Park Rangers (QPR, The Rs/Hoops); Loftus Road

The ground: How a football ground should be - hidden away in terraced streets in people's gardens with only the main entrances of the South Africa Road side being visible. The ground is a completely enclosed rectangle shape, all four corners meet at right angels. Three tiers are two tiered with a high backed single tier on one side. The away end is two tiered with two remote entrances on either side of the ground - and a long walk if your at the wrong one. The upper tier of the School end is quite steep and cramped for the capacity. 7/10

The facilities and food: As mentioned the upper tier is very cramped if it is near capacity - there are few toilets or refreshment bars. Queues for both quickly build and obstruct the rest of the concourse and vomitaries. Last season the lower tier was 'dry' with no alcohol served, however it is available on the top tier. The legroom is cramped and the view not too good - from places the nearest few yards of the pitch can easily be obscured. The food and drink was reasonably priced but the pie was awful. 4/10

The stewarding/police: As always with the Metropolitan Police, there is usually a large presence including mounted police, however it did not seem as excessive as previously. The stewards had lots difficulty telling people (who do not normally go away and want to occupy their allotted seat, not sit anywhere) where they can sit - a large group just aimlessly stood around for 10 minutes after kickoff. 6/10

The travelling: Easy Sailing until you get into London and hit the traffic. There are several routes to get to Shepherd's Bush - each as congested as the other. Parking near the ground can be problematic, but the residents bays restrictions end at 5pm on Mondays to Fridays and don't operate at weekends. However there is the Underground network and several stations nearby, but queues after the match can get long, however White City tube station is normally quieter. 6/10

The surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): You can do anything in London as there's so much to do and easy to get to on the Tube.hear the ground there are several 'away fan friendly' pubs on Shepherds Bush Green, or the Sprongbok on South Africa Road. 10/10

The home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): Very poor, no sustained singing, very quiet for most of the game. There were reports of some QPR fans spoiling for a fight afterwards. 3/10

Total score: 36/60

Awaydays League Table:

Barnsley (Oakwell Stadium) - 42
Hull City (KC Stadium) - 38
QPR (Loftus Road) - 36

Torquay United (Plainmoor) - 27