Thursday, 30 October 2008

O Come all Ye Faithful

The ever popular Argyle Christmas Carol concert will this year be held on Monday 15 December, 18.30 in the Devonport Stand.

Keep Sunday Special

The Argyle Superstore (Home Park) will no longer be open on Sundays, however Centre Spot (Drake Circus) will be open as usual.

Match tickets are currently being handled by the superstore on non matchdays, however Argyle have not stated whether the Box Office will also be closing. Tickets are still on sale at Centre Spot or via e-ticketing.

You may Experience Interruptions to your usual Service

I shall be away for 6 weeks from Sunday 1 November until Sunday 14 December, therefore I may not be able to update this blog as often as usual.
Apologies for any Inconvenience.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Wednesday, Tuesday, Which Day?

Sheffield Wednesday 0 - 1 Plymouth Argyle (MacLean 22)

Well they've only gone and done the double. The fixtures computer threw up Wednesday twice in the same month (and then not forgetting the other Sheffield in the same week) and gave the chance for Argyle to beat them within a month. 5 goals to nil.

A sickness bug forced some changes to the squad, which begs the question, would Sturrock have done made changes anyway? It seems not as the defence remained the same. Just one more chance. However elsewhere MacLean was installed along with Paterson and Walton which paid dividend for Steve as he netted the only winning goal in 22 minutes after giving 110% off the blocks against his old club.

By all accounts, a much improved performance. Though can you get worse than poor? Actually, with Argyle, yes you can. But the players have pulled their socks up (or had them pulled up for them) as they held out the early lead that can go astray all so easily.

So this Saturday sees a return to the red side of the Steel City. Stupid really. Lets hope the 4 journeys do not have an adverse affect.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Appallingly Bad Foul Play

Plymouth Argyle 1 (Cathcart 80) - 3 Ipswich Town (Garvan 28, Garvan 41, Lisbie 48)

There is very little positive to be taken from today's woeful game verses Ipswich save for a few individual performances. Sturrock's faithful (save for one enforced change because Fallon is injured meaning McNamee got a start) were tired and stale in a very poor performance, and Ipswich, knowing what they were getting, took full advantage. The only saving grace being Cathcart's 80th too little too late goal. Couple the team's inadequacies with bad officiating and you have a wasted afternoon at Home Park and 3 lost points in a yo-yo league.

The referee managed to hand out 11 yellow cards and convert another to a red (to David Norris - karma not his best friend) in a stop start, 90 minutes of cluelessness. Oh and a was it or wasn't it penalty. It wasn't, apparently. Argyle were on the offensive from kick off and missed two fairly easy goals but once they were 1-0 down all hope evaporated as goal 2 and 3 came. Few saw Argyle getting anything on the scoresheet as it could have so easily been 4,5..-0.

So what now? Sturrock says time for freshness and about bloody time too, he hopefully in a
roundabout way be saying that he pushed his faithful too far . Ipswich were the football team and Ipswich went home happy. Next week is the turn of the two Sheffields, unusually both away, but they might not have the referee to distract from their performance then.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Or Maybe you Can

Plymouth Argyle 1 (Fallon 18) - 0 Preston North End

Preston CrestAfter losing at Derby, Argyle replied with a very scrappy and nail biting win verses Preston. Sturrock kept faithful to the predictable starting 11, but cracks are starting show. Some will say that a win is a win is a win and that there should never be any negativity. But there is always room for improvement. If the team are looking tired then substitutions are needed, but none were forthcoming except for Fallon's injury which might see him out come Saturday. Preston were always in with a chance and came very close many times save for Larrieu's keeping skills, and they had these chances because there was plenty of poor passing and possession all over the field. With games coming in quick succession now, there needs to be some freshening of legs, but it's a huge gamble to make: a win and your fine, a loss and you're head's on the block.

On another Home Park witnesses a bizarre account of officiating with referees and assistants who were clearly confused by this 'football officiating' business. The guys in black were inconsistent throughout the game especially with fouls - near identical offences warranting a host of different outcomes, and an assistant who couldn't tell when a ball was in touch or not. Maybe they were all upset at being told to get off the pitch by one of the groundskeepers during their pre-match inspection.

Update: Apparently Fallon's fine. So we all know the team for Saturday.

Monday, 20 October 2008

You Can't Win Them All

Derby County 2 (Hulse 45, Green 52) - 1 Plymouth Argyle (Gallagher 8)

By all accounts a good solid display with an out of sorts scoreline that doesn't do justice. Aside from a short wobbly period Argyle had a solid game starting well with Gallagher's "wonder goal" off his left foot after just 8 minutes. And 1 goal advantages are not Argyle's speciality. And conceding early goals just gives you time to come back. It's no surprise that the wobbly period happened when Derby, skippered by ex-Green Connolly, scored twice to take all 3 points.

But Derby did have an advantage. They knew what was coming. As I said in my previous post, Derby had 2 weeks to study everything to do with Argyle while Luggy could only fiddle at training. The exact same team ran out at Pride Park that had run out the last 5 games and Derby probably knew who, what, where, how and what sized underpants. Though the Argyle goal probably just served to put their backs up and caught them off guard especially as it was scored from outside the penalty area.

But as the old adage goes, you can't win them all. But not winning in this league has a big impact. Argyle have fallen from 5th to 13th as quickly as they climbed from 24th to 5th. Is it time for a refresh in the team this Tuesday? But then again, what really are the options?

Friday, 17 October 2008

Idiot's Guide to Playing Plymouth Argyle

On the eve of the next league game (verses Derby County) we all wonder who Sturrock will field at Pride Park. Will he stick to his tried and tested formula or go for something different. Most will say if it ain't broke don't fix it. But the trouble with tried and tested is that it can be awfully predictable. If Larrieu, Doumbe, Cathcart, Seip, Barker, Mackie, Duguid, Summerfield, Clark, Gallagher and Fallon always play then other managers will know what's coming. The 'Idiot's Guide to Playing Plymouth Argyle' will soon be flying around Championship Clubs up and down England and Wales. There has to be some sort of element of surprise surely?

Sunday, 12 October 2008


If you want to join in the goal music at Home Park here are the lyrics

Ilari, ilari, ilarie,
Ilari, ilari, ilarie,
Ilari, ilari, ilarie,
É a turma da xuxa que vai dando seu alo

in your best Spanish accent of course. Simple really once you know.

Now, this begs the question as to why we have goal music. Quite simple probably because it's friendly, it's American after all and anything they go is so the customer 'has a nice day'. The days when a crowd would cheer a goal are gone for now because we need to inject a certain amount of holiday camp campness into football so it appeals to the family demographic, and be honest were you not happiest when you were at Butlins or Pontins (other holiday centres are available) or a wedding and the DJ would put on Music Man or Superman and the whole dance floor would fill and your gran would struggle to keep up? Fast forward through Saturday Night and the Macarena into the 2000s with The Ketchup Song and Tragedy. Did they not make you smile? Or go hideously wrong? In fact what has been distinctly lacking recently is a summer hit cheesy song with actions. Probably because people have changed and unless you are forced by a Redcoat or bladdered in Ibiza no one does that anymore.

So why do we have to at football? Because we have to. Short of every supporter snipping the PA system's wires the powers that be believe that supporters are incapable of making atmosphere. And again if you're honest, when the crowds are low and the team play crap, Home Park is very lacking. Sometimes even being 4-0 up does little to raise more than a murmur. Maybe the solution is to have an experimental no-music day and see what happens. If we're sat in silence twiddling our thumbs and drinking Bovril. You'd only have yourself to blame.

And why Ilarie? It was played at the Beijing Olympics apparently. At the swimming

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

MacLean told to Shove Off

Or more politely told that he is able to seek employment elsewhere just 5 months after his then record breaking club signing of £500,000.
So victim #1 of Sturrock's way/budget balancing, who else will follow him out of the door?
Another waste of time, effort and money. It's very unlikely that £500,000 and his wages since will be recouped significantly.

We're on a Break!

Not much happening as league football has to take an international break.
So plenty of time to start knitting all those extra clothes to save fuel bills this winter.

Monday, 6 October 2008

McCormick Sentenced

Luke McCormick has been sentenced for 7 years and 4 months after pleading guilty to driving under the influence and causing 2 deaths by dangerous driving earlier this year. McCormick was twice over the legal limit when the landrover he was driving crashed into a car killing two children and severely injuring the driver. McCormick left Argyle this summer though mutual consent.

McCormick's case has caused consternation throughout the country and many will say, and have already said, that this sentence is not justice enough for what he has done - although the relatives are "pleased" with the verdict but not his eligibility for parole after 3 years and that Luke will still be a relatively young when released. McCormick has wasted 4 lives through his actions and will probably never recover - if he survives his imprisonment.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

You've been Tango'd

Plymouth Argyle 4 (Beevers 15 og, Gallagher 25, Mackie 29, Seip 89) - 0 Sheffield Wednesday

Hee hee, happy days. Argyle in shock 4-0 win puts them 5th in the table. I don't think anyone expected such a drubbing of one of Sturrock's former clubs yesterday. And he showed no live lost for his former tenure.

Once again the winning formula was put out - the same team, the same Blackley in the dugout. A win. And this time with no reply from the opposition. Home Park witnessed 3 goals in 15 minutes with the first coming 15 minutes into the game when Wednesday made the biggest mistake of the whole game and Beevers accidentally put the ball into his own net and at the same time putting the Owls on the back foot. Argyle seized this luck like a gift from God and replied with Gallagher tapping in the delivery from Mackie immediately followed by Mackie bagging his own effort. 3-0 going into the break.

As discovered at Ashton Gate and Selhurt Park half time makes or breaks the game, but even though Wednesday now could argue they had the advantage of the very difficult weather conditions they could only galvanise a short period of attack to put Larrieu under some pressure, who once again remained resolute between the sticks. This once again did lead Argyle to do their usual performance when leading and defend deep leaving them vulnerable. But thankfully this time they did not crumble. Although the game was effectively over Seip decided to grap a bit of attention by netting the 4th and final goal to send the Owls away well and truly shot down. And in someways the club did Tangoman a big favour by banning him for his antics last season - not least he would have froze his nads off if he had gone topless.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

2 Points Lost or Take the Draw

Bristol City 2 (Akinde 63, Nobel 88) - 2 Plymouth Argyle (Mackie 6, Fallon 18)

A division of opinion over this result, did Argyle lose 2 points or should we be happy with the draw? After the second half performance of City and the scoreline turning 2-2, some have cited that 'we would have taken a draw before the game', whilst others believe that after the strong Argyle first half performance they fecked up and threw away 2 good points. And indeed the Turnips fans certainly agreed that it was a case of 2 points lost with their '2-0 and you fecked it up' chant.

So, what went wrong? Sturrock kept faithful to his winning formula with just one change on the bench with Noone replaced by Paterson. And it paid off immediately with 2 goals within the first 20 minutes from Mackie picking up the ball from Seip, followed by Fallon's 10 yard volley. Going into the break Argyle were well ahead in gameplay and seemed to have it sewn up, but pride does come before a fall and half time is probably the most crucial 20 minutes ever in a football match because this is when games are really won and lost. And it was Bristol who capitalised on this after what must have been a very blue-aired dressing room, the Robins ran out on to the pitch with new found confidence and took over the field and control of the game. Argyle were being held to ransom and it was probably inevitable that they would get a goal back. But not two.

Sturrock's team again tired very easily under the attack and heads began to drop, tempers flared and mistakes were made. And substitutes were made. Ineffective substitutes were made. Again, whilst the opposition took full use of their subs and changed the game, Sturrock made some forced changes because of tiredness that really did not do anything to the team's momentum. The fact that we have professional players who cannot stand a 90 odd minute game is very worrying. What is more worrying is that we cannot make full use of our small squad because of fitness, personal clashes and poor form. On top of that some players have to leave. Not a good situation.

But Argyle do remain unbeaten in 4 games, which considering what has come before is a huge achievement and they remain in the top half of the table in 12th position.