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.