Monday, 1 January 2007


Plymouth Argyle 1 - 1 Southampton

The game that nearly wasn't, and after 5 minutes many wished it remained that way. 3 hours before kick off the heavens opened and spewed forth a torrent of hail stones, along with thunder and lightning, and strong winds. The Mayflower stand was a total washout, large clumps of hail formed on the stairs and fell from the grandstand roof. This then melted and created wide rivers and large lakes causing turnstile opening to be prostponed whilst it was all hand to the brushes to clear up the mess.

The game looked in doubt when the referee made his first pitch inspection, a second was undertaken at 13.30 and the game declared on. Half hour before kick off a final inspection was made, and although there were dodgy patches the pitch was declared playable after much to-ing and fro-ing. This made for a frustrating game as players found it hard to stay on their feet.

Argyle went 0-1 down within 5 minutes due to a howler by Larrieu, who had a nightmare of a game, and seems to be suffering from a bout of silly mistakes. This made the defence unwilling to pass back to Larrieu for the rest of the game. And we still had the usual trouble with set pieces and shooting on target.

Second half turned out to be probably one of the most controversial 45 minutes of football this season at least. After Argyle's equaliser, we had a second disallowed; various baffling decisions given by the referee and his assistants; Hayles got his 10th yellow card normally meaning a 2 game ban but instead he then picked up another for dissent meaning the second of the game, so will serve a 1 match ban. When inevitably he'll pick up his 10th, another 2 match ban will come into force. This leaves Argyle captain-less for the second time this season. This was indeed an entertaining game with a better looking Argyle on show compared to their poor showing against Derby.

It's quite difficult to know what to do in circumstances like this, as it's very easy to moan and pick on individual players. But it is very clear that there are huge holes in the squad, poor decisions being made all round, and most of all a complete lack of discipline. Players are collecting yellow and red cards like they're going out of fashion and it's just not on. We have enough of the squad out due to injuries without others having to serve match bans due to dissent and poor play. At the moment we’re running to stay still in the league and unless some wonders occur soon, the rest of the season will be an uphill struggle.

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