Friday, 29 August 2008

One Step Backwards, Two Forwards?

The speculation about Argyle's ambition has been rife for the last few years but recently it has taken a hard knocking. There seems to be a feeling that rather than being an established Coca Cola Championship club, the board would rather Argyle were a successful League One club. Surely this cannot be right? The thinking behind it is that the success of winning the (then) Third and Second Leagues in quick succession generated loads of interest in the club and high gate prices and thus people were riding the crest of the feelgood wave. And it can be replicated again.

But there's a flaw. In fact several.
1. Relegated clubs do not always do well, there could well be an exodus of players, leaving yet another decimated squad.
2. Relegation means that what extra fans the club had might not turn up.
3. The feeling of 'been there done that'. People have seen Argyle promoted and then stagnate - why should it be different next time around.

Therefore I do not believe that the board want Argyle to be relegated. And anyway if they do, they're bloody stupid. So what is the making of the current situation. Certainly the problems have been deeply ingrained for years and since Sturrock left first time, each subsequent manager has had problems with the frugality of the expenditure. But success was built in frugality so what has changed? Argyle have not moved with the times, football has become one huge megaglomerate money monster. It be anything in the game you must flash the cash. And Argyle have not done that. So far they've been surviving by the skin of their teeth. Sooner or later those teeth will drop out.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Easter to go

Circumstances that cannot be resolved at Plymouth mean that Jermaine Easter is to leave Argyle. Easter has fallen out of favour with supporters and to many will not be a great loss to the side, but we can hardly be letting any more players leave!

Official announcement

A load of Crap

Plymouth Argyle 0 - 1 Swansea City (Scotland 44)

Absolutely apalling. "The worst performance [I've] ever seen [...]" says Sturrock, "This is going to be a hard season." Not much to encourage anyone of the 8,500 people who did turn up to come again is there. Of course it could all just be a case of 'We wuz robbed' following D'Urso's ruling that disallowed the perfectly good equaliser. A goal that Sky Sports deemed perfectly reasonable (but surprise surprise Swansea manager Martinez agreed with the referee). But no one has trotted out such an excuse as there's a collective depression descended over the Green Army as Argyle are now in the relegation zone. But hey it's only been 3 matches, there's a whole season to go yet. Maybe it's just a dodgy start rather than a dodgy finish or a slip up in the middle.

Sturrock has made just one change from the team that lost 2-0 at Reading, with MacLean replacing Mackie in a team "still waiting to click" (Martinez). We'll be waiting a long time judging why their performance whilst the Swans majestically sailed through the game bagging their winning goal just before half time from Doumbe's misplaced pass.

Next week the Pilgrims travel to Burnley who must be putting out the flags to celebrate their traditional 3 points, as Argyle have not won there in recent years. Let's hope it won't be a case of crash and Burn-ley.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Reading between the Lines

Reading 2 (Sonko 13, 49) - 0 Plymouth Argyle

A shambles by all accounts and a double whammy of two near identical goals by the same player who wasn't in the squad last season. The prudency of resting some of the squad in the equally diabolical performance verses Luton obviously didn't help as there were 6 more changes to the squad that ran out at Kenilworth Road. It looks like such swapping will continue for the forseeable future as no one combination is working at the moment. To be fair Argyle did have some chance of scoring but never looked like really threatening the goal. So once again it looks like Argyle are back to normal business.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Argyle sign Noone

20 year old Craig Noone [noon, not no one] has been signed by Argyle from Stockport County for yet another undisclosed fee in the region of £100,000.

So continuing the raid on lower leage (and in fact non league) clubs, Argyle are once again showing what they're really about.

High Noone

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

PG's Trips : Championship you're having a Laugh

Luton Town 2 (Jarvis 16, Plummer 78) - 0 Plymouth Argyle [CLC]
Kenilworth Road
Tuesday 13 August 2008

The Match

Oh how the league 2 -30 point fans taunted and oh how right they were. Outclassed and outplayed by a near non-league team. All the good work from Saturday undone. Not good enough.
Sturrock was never taking this match seriously, why bother with a silly little league cup when you're potentially going to be fighting for league survival. Well Luton cared. And cup runs bring in money. Oh I forgot we don't need any of that.
The first half was appalling play by Argyle formed from a combination of 1st and 2nd choice players, but the 2nd choice players really did nothing to show their worth. In fact neither did many of the 1st choices! And that's how it remained, Argyle strangers to the game except for a a brief stint in the second half following what must have been a half time bollocking. Argyle almost redeemed themselves when they found the net only to be disallowed for handball. Not a good night all round. What will Reading bring?

The Ground

Not changed at all. A strange and awkward ground built in people's backyards with the turnstiles and toilets in the front rooms of a terrace row, leading up past the bathrooms next door into a converted terrace with a low slung roof. Perfect for creating noise, if there was anything to create noise about. The seats are so close together you risk splaying your legs into the splits to fit. There are minimal facilities with up to 2 tea bars at either end of the terrace, and obstructed views all round. The pitch is totally enclosed by an odd assortment of stands including conservatory executive boxes down one flank (over which numerous balls are lost), a terrace so narrow it only has bus stop style seating down the other, and an added odd bit stuck up in one corner. It's great!

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Things always happen while you're away

Missing the signings of Walton, Barker and Cathcart just because I was away last week.
Typical innit.

Wolves at Home in the Rain

Plymouth Argyle 2 (Fallon 7, Seip 56) - 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers (Kightly 19, Vokes 78)

So the jitters of preseason were smashed by a strong thrilling opening game in the lashing rain. Especially as one of the starting XI, Chris Barker, signed at 11:50 the very same day. The conditions were appalling but the newly laid and drained pitch held up really well and so did both teams as there was very little between them at times, but it was Wolves who had to battle to come back both times with two easy goals, the second of which on review could be deemed to have been offside.
Sturrock dropped Timar and gave captaincy to Duguid, increasing rumours that the he wants to permanently give a new signing the skippership, likewise Larrieu was replaced by Stack in goal and the two new signings, Walton and Barker were given pride of place on the pitch. A gamble that paid off as they more than held their own apart from the defencive problems that led to both equalisers. And they probably rue the many missed chances to increase the goal count.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Plymouth Argyle - the Definitive Guide for Away Fans

Who are we?

Plymouth Argyle, that's P-L-Y-M-O-U-T-H A-R-G-Y-L-E. Known as the Pilgrims or the Greens.

We are in Plymouth, Devon, the South West, you know the sticky out bit down the bottom left hand corner of the United Kingdom. The place that is not Portsmouth or Wales or France.

How to get here

If you're using prat-nav Home Park's post code is PL2 3DQ.

Travelling by car means finding the M5 south towards Exeter and continuing on the A38 towards Pymouth. When you pass the Welcome to Plymouth sign you need to turn off at the 3rd exit - Manadon Roundabout. Plymouth Argyle FC is signed from here if you get lost. After coming off the A38 take the second exit onto the A386. Continue ahead until you pass a petrol station on the right. The car park and ground are visible on the left.

By train, take any First Great Western, CrossCountry or South West Trains service travelling to or through Plymouth. When you exit the station, turn right and head out to the main road. Here you have a choice. Either turn right and head under the railway bridge and walk, or cross the road by the footbridge and catch a bus from the stop. If walking, cross straight over the roundabout at the bottom of the hill and head up the other side. A sign directs you to turn right into parkland, just follow this wide path straight ahead.

Club Contact details

Plymouth Argyle FC Ltd, Home Park, PLYMOUTH, PL2 3DQ

Box Office telephone number: 0845 338 7232

Box Office opening times: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm; Sat (non matchday): 10am - 3pm; Sat (matchday) 9am - 3pm & half hour after FT; Sun: 12pm - 3pm; Mon before Tue home game & Fri before Sat home game: 9am - 6pm(closed bank holidays)

Argyle Superstore telephone number: 01752 558292

Argyle Superstore (Home Park) opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm; Tue (matchday): 9am - 8.45pm; Sat (non matchday): 10am - 3pm; Sat (matchday): 9am - 3pm & 5pm - 5.30pm

Home Park

Home Park is effectively 2 separate grounds - the newer Devonport, Lyndhurst and Barn Park stands, and the original grandstand and Mayflower enclosure. Away fans are accommodated in the Barn Park end, which is at the farthest end from the car park. Access to this is to the left of the ground only.

The Box Office, Shop and Club Reception are located behind the Grandstand through the private and rough car park (if it rains, bring your wellies!). A trip to the Box Office and back to the away end necessitated a walk around the whole of the ground as there is no direct access between the Box Office and away end.

The away end generally serves alcohol (£3.00 for a bottle of Carlsberg), hot and cold beverages and hot and cold snacks. The club might choose to not serve alcohol depending on whether your support has a naughty following or not.

Depending on how many fans expected the seating may be unreserved, else the from row is row A, working to Y at the back. As you face the pitch, seat numbers get larger from right to left.

Expect stewarding to be quite strict - especially when standing for long periods of time (normally over 5 minutes). If you do not comply, expect to be ejected from the ground.

What to do beforehand?

If you arrive early you might wish to make the 20 minute walk (or bus ride) back into the city centre. Else the nearest pub to the ground is the Britannia Inn on the corner of the large road junction by the bus depot. The management are quite haphazard about whether they open or not on match days, especially afterwards. Facing the Britannia is the Embassy who sometimes allow away fans in. The alternatives are a fair walk away, either though the park to Mutley Plain straight across the junction by the Britannia towards Torpoint you will find Stoke at the top of the hill or back up towards Manadon Roundabout is the Cherry Tree pub.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Luggy in Trouble

For calling Dundee "Scumdee Bastards" when addressing the Arab Army after the game on Saturday

DUNDEE United legend Paul Sturrock has been caught on camera having a foul-mouthed swipe at his former team's arch rivals.
Ex-Scotland striker Luggy, who revealed last week he has Parkinson's disease, made the dig at Dundee FC at the weekend.
The Plymouth Argyle manager entertained his old club in a friendly match at Home Park on Saturday. He was captured on mobile phone footage being given a standing ovation by hundreds of United fans who stayed behind after their side's 1-0 victory.
As Arabs fans chanted, "Paul Sturrock f****** hates Dundee," their idol came on to the pitch from the dressing room with a microphone. The 51-year-old got rapturous applause as he told the crowd of around 200: "You've had a great season. "Make sure you beat those Scumdee b******* the next time you play them."
The jibe was recorded by a fan who posted it on a videosharing website YouTube.

From The Daily Record

How precious of them. Especially when compared with all the chants that get sung on the terraces including 'Sheep-shagger' remarks towards Clark from the Arabs. Or is it cause he's a manager. Wonder if Holloway had said the same, would it have been seen as so serious?

The offending video:

Meanwhile, some light relief:

Saturday, 2 August 2008


Plymouth Argyle 0 - 1 Dundee United (Sandaza 47)

The Arab army bring all the fun of the fair and go home with the goldfish and the giant cuddly toy after obviously taking tips from Yeovil Town by grabbing the goal during the traditional post half time snooze.

After some decision making by Luggy following the contrasting Yeovil and Truro games, he still went with what he considered his strongest team, but made more use of substitutions to allow more players a game. And it nearly worked as the two teams locked each other out during the first half. But the usual half time nap alarm clock had not gone off by the time the teams retook the field and United's Sandaza took advantage. However the lead obviously wasn't entertaining enough as a United fan decided to streak on the pitch. Incidentally why are streakers always the smallest endowed men? The Arab Army in fine voice with the alcohol singing throughout the game. And in some cases the alcohol being drunk throughout the game - do they not know the rules about no alcohol pitchside? Argyle's game fizzled out and limped home resulting in an epic half hour bollocking by Sturrock in the changing room as the real tangerines encamped themselves in the away stand and chanted his name until he finally came out and took their applause.