Saturday, 29 March 2008

Do You Want It or Not?

Coventry 3 (Doyle 36, Doyle 42, Tabb 66) - 1 Plymouth Argyle (MacLean 82)

Argyle were sat in the last play off position, and have been around that area for several weeks. But what of it? Where is the excitement? The umpth from the club to push forward? Just a few choice words about turning up to support amount to nothing when Argyle cannot deliver. No wonder people cannot give two figs about the team on their doorstep.

Once again, Argyle fail to deliver against a bottom-of-the-table team, nearly lose by 3 goals and drop again to outside the play off zone. Yes there are still games in it, but everyone counts for sustainability. There's no doubting now that Bristol City will go up by hook or by crook. And they've only just come up from League One, whilst Argyle have been a Championship team for 4 years. What's their secret? Drive and ambition for one, not just hollow words.

7 1/2 minutes was all it took for Argyle to go to pot yet again after being in control of the game. What a waste. There's a chance that Argyle will still be amongst the mix by the end of the season, but another loss next Saturday will see the best chance in ages slip slowly away.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again (Hurrah! Hurrah!)

AKA "The Animals went in two-by-two", has become an away-game regular chant. Which has caused further divide among the Green Army (yeah, yet another thing to argue about!).

The chant is one of a kind, as it contains no words, compiring entirely of "na's" (and the occasional "Hello" if you sing that version). Which, apart from a few other 'chants' - "Great Escape" and "Ring of Fire"- which don't have lyrics. And this is a problem for some people. "Chants must have words!" they cry, "how can people join in if there's no words?", "they get confused." But why must a 'chant' have words?

If "Ring of Fire" works, and "When Johnny..." has worked so far, why try and change it (and potentially spoil it)? At Bristol City it spread like wildfire and was kept up for a long time, just because for once it was an 'easy listening' chant. If people bemoan the lack of support at football, why bemoan those who are trying to do something about it?

Wikipedia entry for "When Johnny comes Marching Home"

Get Out and Stay Out!

The two people involved in the racist incident during the Watford have received life-time bans from Home Park. Which, to be fair, is all that the club could really have done.

Additionally an exclusion zone has been set up around the away dug out of the Mayflower seating area.

Done and dusted.

Monday, 24 March 2008

A bunch of Racist Thugs

Every match report this week has been dominated by the racial incident that happened during Peter Halmosi's injury in the game against Watford. Boothroyd has been very vocal in leading this with leading this, and due to the actions of one person, Argyle fans have been painted as racists to the UK and beyond.

A lot of goodwill that was built between the clubs following their Bangura protest has disintegrated into a slanging match due to the actions and counter actions of players, managers and supporters. The whole incident is being brushed under the carpet under the guise of racism, and Dunford vows to take a tough line with the troublemakers (ie the supporters) who also threw objects towards the Watford bench.

Unfortunately no matter what "kick it out" campaign is run, there will always be people who take comments too far throughout the whole of the UK, not just Home Park. All that has happened is people tutting at Argyle and their backward fans, and left an excuse to ignore the wider issues of what happened that day.

Herald article

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Argyle's Biggest Game...

Plymouth Argyle 1 (Easter 34) - 1 Watford (Williamson 37)

Billed on commercial radio stations as "Argyle's biggest game", and treated as a Cup Final by Sturrock, today's game verses Watford had everything for entertainment - goals, a sending off, a player stretchered away, a referee who though the game was about him and 10 minutes added time.

Sturrock had been unsure about who to field verses Watford in the weeks running up, but eventually chose the same side to that of recent games with only McCormick retaking up position between the sticks after his suspension. Argyel have had many run ins with Watford, but managed to beat them on their home turf earlier in the season and it looked to go the same way when Easter took the lead in the second half. However, Argyle usually have trouble holding a lead, but normally they wait longer than 3 minutes to concede.

The game was a scrappy affair, with very poor refereeing from an inconsistent Joslin. The main reason referees are seen as poor, is because of their very inconsistency. Joslin seemed to want the match to be more about him and in the second half was very card-happy. The local radio commentators remarked that they were expecting him to do something very silly during the match. And taking 10 minutes to decide to award Halmosi a second yellow card whilst he was removed from the field with an injury, putting Argyle down to 10 men, came quite close. Though maybe the free-kick awarded to Watford for - well no one really knows - leading their goal might just edge it.

Everyone was expecting a slog of a match, and in fairness Argyle did well to maintain the 1 point, though it still is 2 points dropped in the fight to gain a play off place with Argyle remaining in 6th place.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

It's Going to be Orange isn't it?

Any point in voting in Argyle's latest poll to decide the colour of next season's away kit? It's bound to be orange.

"Boffins" (as Sparksy puts it) have now discovered the most successful kit colour,
but maybe a red kit is going too far.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Not to Be

Thank you to anyone who voted for To Be A Pilgrim in the Football Fanzine Awards 2008, however I have not progressed through to the shortlist.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

They've only gone and Done it

Bristol City 1 (Trundle 74 (pen)) - 2 Plymouth Argyle (Fallon 45, Fallon 60)

Bristol City crestFallon rose victorious to net the ball twice for the Greens, following his recent near misses. The only dampener on the day was the penalty awarded to Bristol for handball following a free kick.

It was a day of good performances with Douglas, the emergency keeper making some great saves to keep the Pilgrims in front in a much changed team. Wotton returned to the starting line up and captaincy instead of Nalis, Clark replaced Abdou, Fallon and Easter replaced MacLean and Mackie, and finally Sawyer for Hodges.

Both teams played with all guns blazing and it seemed that it would be the first team to score that would go on to win, especially as the 0-0 stalemate wore on. Thankfully for the Greens, they did, right on the half time mark. The second half was to the the longest 45 minutes ever - never mind the extra 8 minutes played with the Robins pressing ever closer and Argyle defending ever deeper. Thankfully they held out.

A good day all round.

Friday, 14 March 2008

In Rab's Hands

Holloway has lent Argyle keeper Rab Douglas on emergency loan to cover the game verses Bristol City.

Rab is a Scottish International, and stands at 6'' 5', having played for Celtic, Millwall and Wycombe.

It seems strange that Holloway would be willing to deal with Argyle, but then again, I've heard that Douglas isn't that good.

Official Site announcement

Annual General Meeting

Today was Argyle's AGM, the full press releases about Home Park's redevelopment can be found here. The Redevelopment out the South Stand is locked in with Plymouth City Council and their Area Action Plan. Argyle want to work in partnership with a company to fulfil the completion of Home Park by using the facilities on generate other sources of income. This needs approval, and partners found.

This is something that some supporters have been advocating for a long time - that Home Park cannot be used to generate income just once a week every 2 weeks and proper (and dare I say well organised) income generating facilities would help this, especially if the Life Centre gets the go ahead. This will, however, further delay any actual physical work on the ground.

Further issues to come from the AGM are purported to include:
- there could be new directors on the board
- 2006/07 FA Cup income was spent on loanee players' wages

- Harper's Park training ground is being looked at
- the new floodlighting is FA criteria compliant

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Murphy's Law

Scunthorpe 1 (Morris 54) - 0 Plymouth Argyle

Before the game this was looking like a must win in order to maintain chances of a playoff place, however the league position has not shifted thankfully, but it puts strain on the remaining games. Even if luck was on the Greens' side with regards to the league, it certain,y failed to turn up at Glanford Park in one of the most frustrating games of the season.

Sturrock put out a much changes line up due to suspensions and resting players - in came Hodges, Clark and Mackie along with Seip to cover Timar. However they were unable to weather the storms - that of the high gales and Scunthorpe's attack. In what is becoming and Argyle speciality there were lots of near misses, including one by Fallon which went inches wide right at the end. But Argyle's troubles didn't end there - they had a goal disallowed during the first half, countless refereeing decisions against them, and climaxed with the dismissal of McCormick for handball. With no spare keeper, Hodges had to migrate between the sticks and, as always, pulled off a surprisingly good display including saving the free kick awarded for Luke's dismissal.

It was only so long that the Pilgrims could ride their luck with such disjointed play, and now at crunch time its coming back to haunt them. The last 2 performances are not worthy of a top 5 finish, however they are still sitting just outside the zone. But the spark that has gone missing from the team needs to be reignited. There are a lot of problems with fielding a team this Saturday - especially as Argyle are now goalkeeperless with Larrieu out long term and the only other keeper, Saxon, unproved in any division.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

You Kenny get past Him

Plymouth Argyle 0 - 1 Sheffield United (Beattie 64)

Oh come on Argyle, if you're going to issue yet another Kitchener plea for more fans (which is getting tiring now), then when they come you have to keep your half of the bargain. Argyle never really got out of 1st gear, and the chances they did take were saved thanks to the great goalkeeping display by Paddy Kenny. And what's more, it puts more pressure on fewer matches to stay in a chance of a playoff place.

Yet again Sturrock kep faifthful to the same starting XI but this time they didn't come up with the goods. Thankfully I was unable to attend, so missed a pretty dire game by all reports. Hopefully this is just a blip and Tuesday night's journey will not be wasted.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

...And Action!

Sky TV will be televising the away match verses Sheffield Wednesday, this has revised the fixture information for that game:

Sheffield Wednesday v Plymouth Argyle
Monday 14 April
20.00 ko

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

On the Road Again

Plymouth Argyle 4 (Ifil 11 (og), Easter 57, MacLean 60, Sawyer 68) - 1 Colchester United (Lisbie 64)

Back to winning ways against relegation-zone Colchester with a fairly hefty scoreline thanks to 3 goals in 10 minutes from the Greens. The wounds of West Brom were still evident on Tuesday night, but thankfully a poor Colchester side allowed Argyle some redeeming face. The game began with the same starting XI as that against Albion, and they found themselves unexpectedly 1-0 up when U's defender Ifil headed into his own goal. But the Greens had to wait to nearly the 60th minute before they themselves were responsible for the goal - and then there was no stopping them as 2 more quickly followed! Although they did briefly allowed Lisbie to run nearly the whole of the Argyle half unhindered, up end McCormick and score.

Easter has hopefully ended his drought by finally netting the ball, followed quickly by MacLeand and Sawyer, who even surprised himself. The game was not without bad points - the ball was given away far to easily and a lot of mistakes were made and there was a serious incident when McLeod was stretchered off following a leg injury (though he returned to Colchester on the team bus). And Timar picked up his 10th yellow card of the season, meaning a 2 match ban - missing out on Scunthorpe and Bistol City.

The win puts Argyle on the road again to a playoff place, as they are now 6th in the table.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Evander Holyfield

Seems frilled that he's now a Plymouth Argyle supporter.

Starts at 04.30mins into clip

Holyfield on Wikipedia

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Oh What a Circus

West Bromwich Ablion 3 (Gera 45, Miller 60, Bednar 67) - 0 Plymouth Argyle

4th v 5th, though West Brom have been top of the table for most of the season, and Argyle on a confidence streak following 4 wins. But that came to a crashing stop as the campaign hit the buffers as all team spirit evaporated at 15.50 today. Sloppy play lead to 3 laughable, comical goals from Albion as once again Argyle decided that they couldn't be bothered to see out the whole game.

So what happened in that week? Were egos running high? Had the 'beginners luck' of fresh faces run out? Were impending booking and injuries playing on minds? Who knows but something wasn't right from the start though the Greens managed to hang out. And if they had gone into the break 0-0 the scoreline might have been different.

With 2 games in quick succession, followed by league leaders Bristol City, now is not the time to go on a wobbly run. Focus and drive are crucially needed in the coming weeks and months. But today's performance was simply not good enough, even if you do say 'you can't win 'em all' - at least you could try.