Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Young Guns Having some Fun

Plymouth Argyle 1 - 4 Manchester City (FAYC quarter final)

Argyle's youth team had their hopes of a semi final place in the Youth Cup dashed by a 4-1 defeat against Manchester City at Home park yesterday.

The chance of reaching the semis for the first time ever fell on the heads of the young guys when they won 3-2 against Birmingham last month, however progression was not in the minds of the gods as Argyle trailed 2-0 at half time. They went a further 2 goals down in front of a large attendance before Jarred Stevens scored the consolation.

It's great to see that Argyle are developing a youth team capable of getting so far in such a competition. The youth have seen a vast array of changes in recent years, some have caused consternation amongst the supporters who have funded parts of the development, but we should be proud of these guys.

Saturday, 23 February 2008


Plymouth Argyle 3 (Nalis 11, Halmosi 45, Halmosi 76) - 1 Burnley (O'Connor 19)

And the party goes on with 4 wins in 4 games.

A slightly more settled team ran onto the pitch at Home Park with new loanees Anderson and Teale in the starting XI to face a fired up Burnley. However Paterson was unavailable due to a hamstring injury. Many said they [Burnley] would only come here to play for the point, but they did their hardest to gather all 3. Sadly for them it wasn't too be, though they did have more than a glimmer of hope.

The scrappy, ugly tone of the game was set from the beginning with Argyle encamped in their own half but on the 11th minute Nalis volleyed the ball straight to the keeper, who in spectaular style caught it, but let the ball slip through his arms into the net. An amusing start to the game. That didn't last long as McCormick was left undefended 8 minutes later for Burnley to equalise.

The goal stunned Argyle for the phase of the game they seemed a bit off focus, until just before half time when a scrap of players and legs in Burnley's penalty box saw the ball over their line for a second time. Easter continuing his bad run as he missed another sitter in a near identical opportunity to Tuesday night. Hopefully he'll get one soon and get out of the rut.

The second half began with Burnley once again threatening Argyle's 1 goal lead, with the 3 points looking fragile by the minute until Halmosi fired in his second from the right hand side. From then on there only had to be one winner. And it was Green.

Argyle are now 5th in the table, and should start showing a real interest in staying there and pushing for promotion. There are several tough games ahead, with league leaders West Bromwich and Bristol City to come. Do they have the balls?

Bring a Friend

If you are a season ticket holder, Argyle want you to bring a friend for the Colchester game on Tuesday 4 March.

Produce voucher C at an Argyle ticket outlet and you will receive an extra ticket at a reduced rate of £10 adults, £7 under 23s & over 65s, £3 under 18s.
Argyle will endeavour to allocate the seat next to yours, else you can choose two different seats if it is unavailable.

This is the third special offer Argyle have promoted this season (including the FA's Cup initiative), as an incentive to drive up gates for what would be traditionally low attendance games. With gates falling throughout football, the industry will have to take a long look at itself or it'll risk losing league clubs outside the Premier League.

Official Site article

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Manchester City at Home Park

Tuesday 26 February, 19.00
Plymouth Argyle v Manchester City
FA Youth Cup quarter finals

£5 adults, £2 concessions for Mayflower or Grandstand seating

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Football Fans Census Fanzine Awards

I had no idea that this blog had been nominated in the best blog category.

Shamelessly plugs - please vote at

Closing date 27 February

Yes, Football Credit

Two new loanees have joined Argyle this week - both became Pilgrims on Tuesday before appearing in their first game for Argyle the same night.

Russell Anderson joins us from Sunderland on a one-month loan. Sturrock secured an emergency loan for the International centre-back, capped 9 times for Scotland, who will wear squad number 21. Anderson was captain for Aberdeen where he made 300 appearances before moving to the Black Cats for £1m.

Russell Anderson

Gary Teale, another Scotsman also joins on a 3 month emergency loan from Derby County, as played for Scotland 10 times and making 22 appearances for Derby.

Gary Teale

Anderson Added
Teale Wings In


Southampton 0 - 2 Plymouth Argyle (Halmosi 30, Paterson 32)

3 wins in 3 games, last season's "week of hell" is being replayed this season following the "month of hell" - we won 5 games after losing 3 back in April, can we match (or better) it?

Certainly it looks as if confidence is at a high in the team as they put in a clinical efficient and professional job verses a poor Southampton, and were rewarded with goals coming within minutes of each other.

The team Argyle put out was slightly cobbled together too, with two new loanees - Anderson having left Sunderland that very morning on a one month deal only joined the Greens a few hours before the match, and Derby midfielder Teale appeared on the bench in spite of joining the same day. Mackie and Wotton again appeared in Sturrock's back up crew, with Seip and Doumbe out injured.

A shaky start saw Argyle concede a series of free kicks but it was all hands to the grind stone as a telepathic sense of comradeship swept through the disjointed team and they began to slowly rip Southampton to shreds. The first goal came from Nallis's cross to Halmosi, who sauntered down the wing with plenty of time to bury it in the net. Southampton kicked off just in time for Paterson to reply as Southampton's shocked defence disappeared leaving him plenty of room to shoot left footed to the right post.

On statistics Argyle is looking much better than they were a month ago, however it must be born in mind that "Sturrock's team" has not been formed yet. The starting XI for the past 3 games has been different, and in several cased included new players who have not even trained with the team before. In one way this is living dangerously, but as it's producing results, who can complain?

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Awaydays #16 - Walkers Stadium

The club: Leicester City (The Foxes), Walkers Stadium

The ground: Possibly what Home Park really should be like, but taller. The whole stadium is full of clean lines and very neat, with a high space frame roof, wrap-round bowl seating (but seems to not be faceless at the same time). 8/10

The facilities and food: Huge concourse and some of it wasn't in use, a more than ample number of bars, toilets everywhere you looked. It coped very well with the 2,000 strong support. Better than last season - the pies had improved considerably (much have changed brands). The usual fayre available, and they didn't run out which is good for this season. The catering staff were efficient. 7/10

The stewarding/police:Everyone was searched before entering and had any Holloway related materials confiscated, but once in we were left to our own devices and stood for the whole game. The police like to search the official coaches - even without your knowledge during the game - so watch out. They also like to stop and search on the way to the ground. 5/10

The travelling: All of Leicester's sports grounds are located within the same area and next to the A594, from the M69 (off the M6) the signs direct you straight there, plus they are at pains to point out on them that there is no match day parking - instead there are a couple of municipal car parks near by or on street parking. 6/10

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

The home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): As poor as last year. Considering they had organised a Holloway support day we could have been the only people in the stadium. The attendance was very noticeably low with plenty of empty seats. The local chavs were very restless and spoiling for a fight. 3/10

Total score: 34/60

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

Cardiff City (Ninian Park) - 34

Leicester City (Walkers Stadium) - 34
Portsmouth (Fratton Park) - 34

Burnley (Turf Moor) -33
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 or Portman Road.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Indescribable - again

Plymouth Argyle 3 (MacLean 6, Mackie 76, Mackie 85) - 0 Barnsley

If you thought Leicester was good, last night's match must have blown your mind. it had everything: debut goals, first goal, calamity refereeing, sendings off, farcical linesman, and the return of the stalwart.

With confidence running high, Argyle scored the opening goal after just 3 minutes following a bizarre incident around the Barnsley Penalty box when Nyatanga brought down Easter. The linesman flagged the incident but his flag broke meaning the referee missed it, eventually the game was stopped and after a long consultation on the touchline the ref sent off Nyatanga, surely a penalty to follow, but no it was just outside the area and a free kick was awarded. MacLean stepped up and in a Wotton-esque way fired it low and hard straight into the net. What a start, what was left to follow was Barnsley, now down to 10 men but playing with the determination of 12 were held siege inside their area as Argyle used the extra space to their advantage. The referee was getting in on the action to as he decided he wanted to touch the ball and slide over as much as the players.

A series of near misses followed by both sides, and Argyle started to lose their was over the break allowing Barnsley access to the goal including one very unlucky shot that hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced out, but thankfully once again McCormick kept the Greens in the game. As the game was slowing down Sturrock brought off Easter for new young striker Mackie who took 11 seconds to make an impact with his debut goal in front of the Devonport. And it didn't stop there, 10 minutes later he was at it again. However Sturrock remarked that although he has gone from zero to hero in quarter of an hour the rest of his game needed shaking up as he lost every pass to a Barnsley player. The 85th minute saw the long awaited return of captain Paul Wotton after 15 months out injured, he was rightfully welcomed back with rapturous applause and a standing ovation.

In 2 weeks Argyle have gone from Hull and back with a series of very weak performances to being overwhelmingly good, which is something we've all seen before - not least the "week of hell" last season followed by 5 winning games. Now 8th in the table and two places of a play-off place will Argyle have the determination to aim higher?

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Argyle, the Wonder Club

Leicester City 0 - 1 Plymouth Argyle (Halmosi 34)

Leicester City CrestHolloway, Holloway, f-off Holloway.
A dream ending to 3 months of hell; the Green Army certainly made their feelings show over how Holloway conducted himself since leaving Argyle and were rewarded by the players rightly pillaging 3 points from under his nose - reminiscent of how he threatened to steal back all his players and how he'll sue Paul Stapleton.

A much improved performance must have been because of the magnitude of importance of the match that was hanging over the players' heads - they just couldn't lose or else. Coupled with the welcome return on skipper Paul Wotton to a bench place surely had some influence in the dressing room.

The sniping between teams, management and supporters has been rumbling along for 3 months and came to ahead in 90 minutes when the Green Army outclassed the meagre Leicester support in front of the world's cameras - even if the commentators, like Leicester, only saw Argyle as "little" and 'pathetic' because of their Holloway infatuation.

Sturrock recalled Adbou and Easter to the starting XI along with a start for new boy Paterson who weathered a good Leicester start but after 10 minutes nerves were forgotten as they took over the show, however Leicester still plugged away and Super Luke McCormick pulled off some great moves to keep the Greens in front. The goal came courtesy of Peter Halmosi after it was played to him by Nallis.

From doom and gloom to ecstacy in 90 minutes and hopefully the whole sorry episode will be forgotten and the club will truly move onwards and upwards.

Friday, 8 February 2008

Phase 2 Update

It's been renamed "The Redevelopment of the South Stand".

Good innit?

Advance Travel News

If you are travelling to Home Park by car between 25th February and November there are major roadworks planned for Outland Road (between the Manadon junction of the A38 and Home Park). These are likely to cause severe delay.

An alternative route is: to stay on the A38 past Manadon to the next junction (signed Devonport) and follow the signs to City Centre, this will bring you to Milehouse (with the Britannia pub on your left). Turn left here and take the next right into the car park.

Please also be aware that there will be works on the A386 outside the train station for some of that period too.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Holloway to Sue

As mentioned before, it has now been confirmed that Ian Holloway is investigating suing Paul Stapleton following Stapleton's recent comments.

BBC article

We watch with baited breath.

08/02/08 Update: BBC Local Radio have been advised not to discuss the situation by solicitors.

Half Term Happiness

Argyle are promoting the Tuesday night game verses Barnsley next week as a family event to coincide with Plymouth schools' half term holiday. The promotions include:

Spend £50 or more in an Argyle retail outlet and receive a free match ticket (this will take the form of a voucher for the ticket price which should be exchanged for a match ticket).

Any under 18 accompanied by a paying adult in the FAMILY BLOCK (Block 1) gets in free, or for £1 in any other area of the stadium. These tickets are available in advance or pay on the gate.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

War of Words

Following "Sturrock's manefesto", chairman Paul Stapleton has finally chosen to speak out about what has happened at Argyle between November and January. Maybe too late for some, and certainly too soon for Holloway - who has come in for much criticism from the chairman - who is, according to Sky Sports News, considering taking legal action.

Part one (follow links on site for parts 2 - 5)

All in all, this bitching and counter-bitching is just prolonging the ill feeling which has built up over the past few months.

07/02/08 update: The Times have picked up on this story Read their article

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Bunch of Useless Tossers

No, not a rant at Hull's performance, but Shrove Tuesday related.

Marcel Seip, Rory Fallon, Lilian Nalis and Lee Hodges helped launch the British Heart Foundation's "2008 Hearts First Jog", encouraging people to raise money by taking part in a 5km jog round Saltram on 6 April.


The video shows the guys with little coordination - not much change then!

Monday, 4 February 2008

Awaydays #15 - Fratton Park

The club: Portsmouth (The Blues), Fratton Park

The ground: Who said you need a spanking new stadium to be successful (except anyone at Argyle)? Portsmouth have just adpated what was there, and until very recently there wasn't even a roof on the away end. However they remain in a cramped position hemmed in by housing and industrial areas, and apart from added seats and the roof nothing else has changed since the 80s; even the food kiosk is a wooden hut precariously held up over the old terrace using breeze blocks. But the forced seating has made the stand fairly cramped. The rest of the ground looks similar with 4 separate stands including a double decker grandstand. But Portsmouth do move with the times - they have electronic turnstiles, and without the usual barcode on the ticket I am still at an end to work out how they work. 6

The facilities and food: The concourse is a narrow open walkway along the back of the stand with a refreshment kiosk at one end at the top of the entrance/exit stairs. The toilets are located halfway down those steps causing queuing everywhere, which leave no room to move. The toilets were exactly the same as the Mayflower enclosure - ie a wall painted black and the refreshment kiosk ran out of hot food by half time - however the pies were superb. Likewise the chuckwagons around the ground sell huge side-plate sized burgers for a very reasonable price. 5/10

The stewarding/police: Didn't notice them during the game, but there were plenty about before the game. 8/10

The travelling: Goes on forever considering we're on the same coastline (TV reporters take note), but there are a variety of routes you can take including via France if you so wished(!) but very easy to get to from the M27/A27. The ground has no real parking facilities so the local streets get pretty jammed up. Fratton Park station is nearby. 5/10

The surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): Apparently there are quite a few no go areas for away fans - especially round the station. However there is a huge pub on Eastern Avenue as you enter the city that is very efficient. 5/10

The home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): Very quiet for a Premier League team. Much like any team only really got going after each goal and then fizzled out but individually chatting to them in the burger queue they seemed friendly enough. 5/10

Total score: 34/60

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

Cardiff City (Ninian Park) - 34

Portsmouth (Fratton Park) - 34
Burnley (Turf Moor) -33
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 or Portman Road.

I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue

And keeping scores today is the lovely Samantha...

Plymouth Argyle 0 - 1 Hull City (Windass)'s Clue comes from the delectable city of Plymouth where Mrs Trellis of Wales remarked that she once saw Drake's balls.

It looks like to chose the right weekend to have nowt to do with sport (though I did watch part of the France-Scotland rugby match), and this avoided having to watch or listen to a woeful performance on all accounts. And who to blame? So many candidates really - Sturrock's tactics, the boards inept handling of transfers/money, Holloway for bailing out, Pulis for starting the rot about ambition, the players for being crap... Well as I wasn't there I don't know, but apparently nobody could give a shit about playing, the game was poorly played and Hull weren't that different. This is the third time that we have played Hull this season, and surely to God someone by now must have had some savvy to keep an eye in Windass - he's frightened the bejezus out of the team twice already, and then scores the goal! For crying out loud! Many will say that the heart has been ripped out of the team and thus the players have not gelled yet, but come on, you can at least try and show willing. Hopefully this is a blip and that a right ritual humiliation is not on the cards next weekend at Leicester, another game I am in two minds about going to. But that's another story.

Mornington Crescent.

Friday, 1 February 2008

How to Bury Bad News

Taking tips from the government maybe...

Today Argyle announced:

1) Their final signing of the transfer window - defender Jim Paterson from Motherwell. Paterson has worked with Sturrock before at Dundee and plays predominantly on the left. He scored 5 goals in 100 appearances for Motherwell and has come here because of the relationship he had with Sturrock when given his 'big break'.
Official Site

2) That we can all get fat by gorging on tubs of Pilgrim Passion - Apple Crumble and Clotted Cream flavoured ice cream specially made for Argyle. The ice cream will be stocked by TESCO Roborough and Transit Way branches.