Thursday, 31 May 2007


The current odds for Argyle to win outright promotion next season range between 33/1 and 69/1, making us the 5th least likely to go up next season. It'll be interested when the odds for relegation are released, but currently the bookies see us having yet another "mid-table obscurity" season. Is this all we can expect next year? Is Argyle finally being seen as 'a stable Championship Club' or 'a club with no ambition'?

Monday, 28 May 2007

Bye Bye Derby

Derby County 1 - 0 West Bromwich Albion

Derby have secured their place in Premiership football following their play off win against West Bromwich at Wembley today after Pearson scored the only goal of the game.
This means that next season's Championship line up looks like this:

Bristol City
Cardiff City
Charlton Athletic
Colchester United
Coventry City
Crystal Palace
Hull City
Ipswich Town
Leicester City
Norwich City
Plymouth Argyle
Preston North End
Queens Park Rangers
Sheffield Wednesday
Sheffield United
Stoke City
West Bromwich Albion
Wolverhampton Wanderers

Ups and Downs

This year's promotions and relegations around the championship are:


6 Sheffield United
6 Wigan Athetic
6 Charlton Athletic


5Birmingham City
= West Bromwich Albion
= Wolverhamption Wanderers
= Southampton



5Scunthorpe United
5Bristol City
5 Blackpool
= Yeovil Town
= Nottingham Forest
= Oldham Athletic

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Home Park Arena

Elton John's concert has come and gone, and for the first time Home Park was transformed into an arena. With the combination of the three 'new' stands and pitch seating, Home Park makes an ideal venue as long as it doesn't rain! It was a strange experience being able to take alcohol out of the concourses and to wander about at will - even on the pitch. Not being designed for concerts, the acoustics may have come unstuck, but this proved to be no problem at all.
The near sellout (not that much higher than Home Park's proper capacity) provided an electric atmosphere and it's hard to to draw comparisons with match days and what could be achieved in terms of crowd noise and spectacle.

In three weeks' time it happens all again with George Michael, but in the meantime all the pitch seating has to be removed to allow the pitch to recover.


Blackpool 2 - 0 Yeovil

For the first time in 29 years Blackpool have made it in to second tier of the football pyramid, with their 2-0 victory over Yeovil at the League One play offs. Blackpool join Bristol City and Scunthorpe who were automatically promoted in the Championship for the 2007/08 season.
Williams' and Parker's goals either side of half time kept Yeovil out, with Blackpool dominating the possession In the first half and Yeovil unable to find the back of the net in spite of coming close a number of times.
For Argyle, Blackpool and City are two teams which could threaten to do a "Colchester" and rapidly climb up the Championship table, and if Argyle fail to meet the challenge with another mid-table finish with cause wide consternation.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Elton John

Tomorrow sees the first concert to be held at Home Park, namely Elton John, and preparations have been in full swing for some time as many changes have had to been made to the ground. Firstly the Mayflower terrace has had to been gutted to make way for the stage - the crash barriers and pitchside fence have been removed as has the protective cage around the tunnel. Over on the Lyndhurst the front rows of several blocks have been removed to create disabled viewing areas and again the pitchside fencing has gone to allow access to the pitch. The pitch has been overlayed with a protective 'breathable' covering ready for the seating, and the top car park now houses the production village.

Some pictures can be found
here (PAFCTalk) and here (Official Site)

As you should be aware there is NO PARKING available at Home Park tomorrow, and there will be traffic warden patrols in the surrounding streets. Concert goers must use the
Park and Ride facilities.

Additionally the traditional car boot sale held on Sundays in the upper car park is cancelled this week.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Soccer AM

Ian Holloway's interview on Soccer AM this Saturday:

In part 1 he talks about Plymouth's season and his reasons for coming here:

and in part 2 he discusses his forthcoming autobiography, available from 17 September:

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Extra Time

Plymouth Argyle have extended the "early bird" special prices opportunity to thus Sunday (20 May). Season ticket prices can be found here.

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Halmosi, Timar and Clapham

Argyle announced today that Peter Halmosi and Kristian Timar have signed from their respective clubs. Halmosi's £400,000 deal, as agreed before his loan spell, is a record for Argyle, whilst Timar signed a two year deal worth £75,000. Meanwhile goalkeeper Josh Clapham, who never made an appearance between the sticks for the first team, though appeared twice on the bench, has been released; unfortunately for him McCormick and Larrieu kept him out of the spotlight and we never got to see him perform.

Halmosi signs
Timar signs
Clapham released

Keep up with Argyle's Comings and Goings here

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Stadium Review #22 - Wembley

Ground Information: Wembley Stadium Capacity 90,000

Appearance: Certainly impressive, rising up on the horizon along Olympic [Wembley] Way and perched in its lofty position makes you feel very small. The iconic arch can be seem from miles around. Externally the stadium is clad in silver panels with vast windows and sweeping curves, but marred by the stark concrete surroundings of the walkways and car parks, and the continuing construction work. Internally the concourses are of airport proportion, huge cavernous corridors with outlets lining both sides. The seating area is huge but 'cosy', the height and closeness of the tiers make the wrap round sides draw in. The size of the stadium is confirmed when supporters the other side look as small as ants. Being a new ground, the whole place is 'clean' and 'fresh'. 10

View: Excellent, the stand is quite shallow in incline but at the same time the rows are seperated enough so that your individual view is unobscured, except if people decide to stand up. 8/10

Getting there: Wembley is a public transport destination, so don't expect car parking in vast quantities. For a large stadium, it does get hidden especially when the 'round the houses' roads in and out make you lose all sense of direction, however it is signed from the North Circular and M25. There are two tube stations serving the area - Wembley Park is the closest and at the end of Olympic Way and Wembley Central a good walk away. There are lots of instrial estates offering supervised parking for around £10. 6/10

Facilities (toilets, TVs etc): The concourse is huge and has separate 'stalls' for food, bar, programmes, souvenirs etc. The bars are efficient with an in/out queuing system, but for a stadium that boasts a toilet per 34 people, they are still small, cramped and crowded. The PA and TV system are excellent and announcements are made five minutes before each kickoff. There are additional toilets accessible from outside the stadium. 6/10

Food and Drink: Expensive and not that nice. The pie was a true disaster, at £4.50 the whole thing fell apart into a huge heap, beer is £3.50 a pint and water £1.80 and tasted like tap water. 5/10

Stewarding/Police: The stewarding and policing was far over the top for the occasion, but they were practicing for bigger events. Some of the stewards are very forthright and abrupt in their manner. You cannot enter the seating area without showing your ticket again, and you will be heavily directed out of the stadium at the end of the game. 6/10

Surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): Not much. There are a couple of pubs up Olympic Way in Wembley but they get very crowded, plus the usual take aways and banks. 4/10

Home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): There are no 'home fans'! This epends on who is playing and who is attended. For a "big" game such as the FA Cup the atmosphere would be electric. As it was the two sets of supporters were not that vocal. -/10

Total score: 45/70

Stadium League Table:
Pride Park (Derby): 65
Hillsborough (Sheffield Wednesday): 58
Poltair Park (St Austell): 57 [non league]
Stadium of Light (Sunderland): 55

KC Stadium (Hull): 54
Wembley Stadium: 45
= Portman Road (Ipswich): 51
= Ricoh Arena (Coventry):51

= Carrow Road (Norwich): 50
= Walkers Stadium (Leicester): 50
Underhill (Barnet): 49
= St Andrews (Birmingham): 48
= Molineux (Wolves): 48
= Loftus Road (QPR): 46
= The Hawthorns (WBA): 46
= Elland Road (45)
= Turf Moor (Burnley): 45

Kenilworth Road (Luton): 44
Deepdale (Preston): 43
Ninian Park (Cardiff): 42
Roots Hall (Southend): 41
London Road (Peterbrough): 36

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Season Review

One of the best ways to look back on this season and seasons gone is through the best unofficial site around Greens on Screen. packed full of information, GOS has in depth analysis, photos and audio clips of every match in each season, a select view of the best from each previous season, as well as a wealth of other Argyle related information.

Friday, 11 May 2007

End of Season Report

"Tried hard, with better results than last year, but still making the same mistakes. Has not attained targets set more than 10 years ago"

So the Championship season is now over for Argyle, and we get approximately 90 odd days before the 2007/08 campaign kicks off, with a few friendlies to tied us over and an Austrian tour.
There is no disputing the facts that since reaching the Championship three years ago, Argyle have succeeded their previous year's placings-ending 17th, 14th and 11th respectively-and this is a great achievement in itself. But what have Argyle really achieved?

At the beginning of this season Argyle were managerless with Pulis returning to Stoke. Pulis ensured Championship survival after the baffling Williamson era-"I had a job to do and I did it"-and he did. Pulis' brand of football (hoofball?) was widely critictised at the time, and it makes you wonder what would have happened if he'd stayed, for Stoke, until their last game, had been around the playoff zone. People will site that Stoke have the players, the location and the money, and that is something that Argyle have never been able to compete with. The shackles of being a "small club" with no ambition, stuck miles from anywhere are ones that the Greens will have to wear for a long time yet.

Then came Ian Holloway. Like a hurricane he came in and shook everything up, there was wide spread optimism, we were winning game-not drawing 1-1, 0-0 or losing-Ollie talked of Premiership football, and then the Argyle curse stuck. Key players in our wafer thin squad were getting tired quickly and injuries mounted up. Then discipline took its toll as the yellows and match band started racking up. The old cracks that appeared since the Sturrock era reappeared. Play on the pitch started to resemble the 'old Argyle'-corners were no longer threatening, possession went awry, gaping holes in the defence let in too many opposition goals. It is very hard, to the armchair manager, to reconcile why these shortcomings have never been addressed as they crop up time and time again. The air of optimism was swept away, when the transfer window opened, there were no takers.

But then came a welcome distraction, Argyle finally had a decent FA Cup run, getting to the quarter finals and missing out, unfairly as many critic saw, on a place in the semis. But what toll did that take. It has been said that Cup games interfere with the league, and the added games and rescheduling of league matches finally took its toll in the "week of hell" of April when Argyle lost three matches in a row (Ipswich, Burnley and Leeds), including the now infamous 4-0 defeat at Burnley that has left a long lasting bitter taste in many an Argyle fan's mouth. If any Pilgrims' supporter is expecting a repeat next year, forget it. The amount of moaning Holloway has done since the Cup games had buried any future ambition in that direction.

And that's what it's all down to - ambition. 10 years ago, Argyle were in exactly the same position (not league position, as we weren't even in this league) as they are today: a declining fan base, small budget, Home Park's development stalled, midtable obscurity. Argyle managed 5 wins in a row to end this year's campaign and proved that it can be achieved, and no doubt our progress on the field has come on leaps and bounds in such a short time, but it's what is happening off the pitch that is hindering our further progression. As it stands, Plymouth, along with Hull, are going to have to wait some time before they stop being the two largest cities in England never to have top flight football teams.


FA Cup
3rd roundPeterborough11Plymouth Argyle
3rd round replayPlymouth Argyle21Peterborough
4th roundBarnet02Plymouth Argyle
5th roundPlymouth Argyle20Derby County
Quarter FinalsPlymouth Argyle01Watford

Carling League Cup
1st roundPlymouth Argyle01Walsall

Thursday, 10 May 2007

12 minutes

According to a survey conducted by The Times newspaper, British blokes think about football every 12 minutes. Following the infamous 'men think about sex every 7 seconds' (which by the way isn't true - no one has actually done a survey to prove or disprove this), the activities of 11 men and a ball come are a high preoccupation for blokes. The study was conducted among 2,000 fans of Premiership clubs and found that they contemplate football 80 times in a day, and 7% thought about the game once every minute. Women know that football is an obsession for guys and we feel no more shame in it than them thinking of shoes and fashion, but it's not hard with rolling sports news channels, dedicated sports channels, teletext, Internet forums, blogs, newspaper reports etc. It's a social thing that many men would miss if they ever, God forbid, had to give it up.

By the way, only 92 days 20 hours 38 minutes 26 seconds until the start of the 2007/2008 Championship season.

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Stadium Review #21 - KC Stadium

Ground Information: KC [Kingston Communications] Stadium (Hull City FC) Capacity 25,404

Appearance: The Kingston Communications [known as the KC] stadium was opened in 2002 so is one of the new breed of stadia that have been growing around the UK. The KC is a now 'new traditional' bowl design with a wrap-round undulating roof with one side being slightly higher than the surrounding three. Externally the stadium is clad with grey/silver and has blue and yellow stairways and spaceframe room. Hull rigorously separate home and away supporters, meaning that the away end is heavily fenced in from the car park through to the turnstiles - upon leaving, all away supporters must walk up to the car park to get out. Internally, as the stadium is shared between Hull City and Hull RLFC the colours are 'neutral' black, white and amber of both clubs. 8/10

View: New all seater stadia give the spectator a better deal, as (in most cases) all seats have unobstructed views. The away following is normally housed in behind the goal, offset towards a corner. 7/10

Getting there: A part from Hull being nearly in Norway, the stadium is well signed from the main A Road into Hull, you cannot get lost. Hull train station is about 15 minutes' walk way in the centre but through some decidedly dodgy looking street. The queues for the bus after a match get extremely long. 6/10

Facilities (toilets, TVs etc): The concourse is on the first floor so that you are half way up the stand and contains three sets of toilets (two male and a female) and one refreshment bar, there are TVs showing Sky Sports pre-match and live match broadcasts during play. They had run out of pies by half time and there were only 300 odd supporters. 6/10

Food and Drink: Hull do a "pie and a pint" deal which gives you a half price pie with every pint purchased, but the normal refreshments are available too. They have very good pies - the best of the season. 6/10

Stewarding/Police: The stewards were very friendly, they wanted to keep my novelty hat, and were content to allow the supporters on the back three rows to remain stood throughout the game. It did take 10 police and stewards to take one supporter out though. 7/10

Surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): Not much, the pubs nearby aren't really recommended, and the walk into town is a bit far. You can sit in the parkland surrounding the stadium and visit the "zoo". 4/10

Home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): The away end is right next to the more vocal supporters to your left. As the game had no real meaning and Hull were guaranteed survival because of Leeds demise there was a lot of friendly banter between fans and some unusual unity in the chanting. The home fans clapped Argyle before and after the game and outside the stadium, which is very commendable to them. However there is one way to kill an atmosphere - miss a penalty. Even after Hull celebrated Ebanks-Blake's miss, the remainder of the game until Argyle's goal was conducted in near silence. A very strange sight. 10/10

Total score: 54/80

Stadium League Table:
Pride Park (Derby): 65
Hillsborough (Sheffield Wednesday): 58
Poltair Park (St Austell): 57 [non league]
Stadium of Light (Sunderland): 55

KC Stadium (Hull): 54
= Portman Road (Ipswich): 51
= Ricoh Arena (Coventry):51

= Carrow Road (Norwich): 50
= Walkers Stadium (Leicester): 50
Underhill (Barnet): 49
= St Andrews (Birmingham): 48
= Molineux (Wolves): 48
= Loftus Road (QPR): 46
= The Hawthorns (WBA): 46
= Elland Road (45)
= Turf Moor (Burnley): 45

Kenilworth Road (Luton): 44
Deepdale (Preston): 43
Ninian Park (Cardiff): 42
Roots Hall (Southend): 41
London Road (Peterbrough): 36

The run away ground is Derby's Pride Park, I wonder if new Wembley can top that come Sunday?

Monday, 7 May 2007

That's all folks!

Hull City 1 (Elliott 61) - 2 Plymouth Argyle (Halmosi 45+1, Ebanks Blake 59)

So Argyle end their league with 5 consecutive wins, and their first win at Hull for some time. An unchanged side from the Preston game managed to come up trumps in a game with little to play for except pride - Hull's survival guaranteed by Leeds' relegation. A scoreline of 4-2 might have been if Ebanks-Blake had won the dubious penalty, and both teams hadn't had goals disallowed for offside.
The game saw some really good banter between both sets of fans, especially with the mutual hatred of Leeds that permeates through many clubs' fan base, and at some points the football seemed a distraction, but we all know how to kill an atmosphere dead - miss a penalty. After the initial jubilation by Hull, the stadium was deathly quiet for the remainder of the first half. Even when Argyle scored in stoppage time the celebrations were somewhat muted. It is a rare event when the home crowd will applaud the away following.
Once again Argyle showed that they can get a bit big-headed and cocky when winning, sitting back leads to the opposition taking their chances, as Hull's goal came just 3 minutes after Argyle's second. This lead Argyle to begin to flounder, allowing Hull to permeate the defence, and not taking advantage of the gaps in Hulls. However the Pilgrims (who are now incidentally the only Pilgrims in the league due to Boston's demise) clung on to victory, and have again finished higher than the previous season.

Thursday, 3 May 2007


It has been confirmed today that after weeks of idle speculation, rumour and counter rumour that Ginsters have signed another 2 years as official Plymouth Argyle sponsor.
Official confirmation
The use of a Cornish firm has ruffled many feathers over the last few years, in that some believe that Argyle are ignoring the fact that we are in Devon. My only misgiving is that the red logo does nothing for a green kit, and now we have a yellow and green away kit, and a predominantly green home shirt, this is going to clash even more.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007


Play golf with Argyle.

For those of you who like nothing better than spending hours getting your ball out of a bunker or the rough, once again Argyle are offering the chance for you to play 18 holes at Elfordleigh. £250+VAT for a team of 4 (or 3 + a player) on 6 July.
More information can be found here.

I'm only good at crazy golf - if I cheat.