Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Sturrock to Stay?

Paul Sturrock has publicly that he has no intention of resigning from his job at Home Park. So unless the current (or maybe future board) say otherwise, he is here to stay for next season.

Sturrock states that he has lots of plans and that this must change over the summer, citing that when he started his second tenure the club was topsy-turvy and he has to put his plans for change on hold in other words he didn't have enough time to sort it out. How much frigging time do you want? Sturrock expects a huge clear out epic proportions to reduce the squad size and the record high wage bill, as well as bringing in some new players.

The announcement by Sturrock will put off a lot of people from renewing their season tickets for the coming season, though this is not an officical line from upstairs yet - he just has no intention of RESIGNING.

Monday, 27 April 2009

All's well that Ends well

Norwich 0 - 2 Reading

We can all breathe a sigh of relief that it is now out of our hands whether we stay up or not cos there was a big change Argyle would balls it up.

And so ends a very turbulent season of onwards and upwards. Oops, well that'll have to be scrapped now. A season of mistakes and more mistakes, some joy and a lot of grief. A lot should hopefully be happening in the club this summer, if not a lot of questions will need to asked.

But it ain't quite over yet.

So pressure off, who's going for a 4-0 win on Sunday?

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Stop the Ride I want to get off

QPR 0 - 0 Plymouth Argyle

At least it wasn't a defeat and both me and the QPR friend can be happy, but talk about prolonging the agony. A win today would have eased the fears of relegation, but it's going to go down to Monday as Norwich play Reading.

The table is currently

Team P Pts Goals
Wolverhampton 45 87 27 79
Birmingham 45 80 16 52
Sheff Utd 45 79 25 64
Reading 44 74 31 69
Cardiff 45 74 13 65
Burnley 45 73 8 68
Preston 45 71 11 64
Swansea 45 68 14 63
Ipswich 45 63 8 60
Bristol City 45 61 4 54
QPR 45 61 -1 41
Sheff Wed 45 58 -8 50
Doncaster 45 58 -10 42
Crystal Palace 45 56 -3 52
Watford 45 55 -6 65
Derby 45 54 -10 54
Coventry 45 54 -10 46
Blackpool 45 53 -12 46
Plymouth 45 51 -12 43
Nottm Forest 45 50 -17 47
Barnsley 45 49 -14 43
Norwich 44 46 -9 55
Southampton 45 45 -21 45
Charlton 45 36 -24 48

Which means that Norwich have to both of their games to jump us. If they lose or draw on Monday we will be safe (a win of their last game would only take them to 49 points), but if they win it will go down to the last game of the season (49 points with a chance of another 3 = 52).
It would be nice to go into the last game knowing that nothing but pride is riding on it. A win today would have been even better as we would have been safe (if Barnsley won our match they would only have had 52 points to our 53), but the opportunities were not taken on a team who were no longer chasing promotion play offs.

There will be a lot of Green and White Royals supporters on Monday.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Make Stripes Three

So further to my concern over Argyle playing naked next season, Argyle announced today that Adidas will be the shirt manufacturer for next season, confirming suspicions. The new kits will be revealed in a weeks' time at the Barnsley game and will be pre-orderable from then. This will explain why there was no fans' vote - because there was no choice! But a coup for Argyle to negotiate with yet another big company. It's come along way from SuperLeague.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Championship predictions

As a fairly disappointing season comes to a close, Argyle sit four points above the drop zone with just two games left and you would have thought the Pilgrims are safe now. Stranger things have happened in football though and I wouldn’t go cracking open the Cava just yet. Come five o’clock on Saturday they could be though so maybe have a bottle on ice just in case. With all that in mind I’ve had a run through the weekend fixtures to offer my football predictions on how I think those around Argyle will do.

Southampton V Burnley

The Saints need to win both their games to stay up and it couldn’t really be much harder than a home tie against Burnley to start things off. I think the Saints will fall at the first hurdle to be honest as Burnley have looked a really good side all season. Prediction: 1-3

Barnsley V Wolves

Could be a good time to play Wolves with them already being promoted. The Tykes do occasionally pop a surprise result out of the bag and I can see them perhaps getting a draw here as I think that is all Wolves need to win the league as well. Prediction: 1-1

Blackpool V Forest

Blackpool are pretty much out of it but they could still go down if something really bizarre happens. Forest have improved, a bit anyway, lately and they should be fairly confident going into this tie. They need a win to secure Championship football next year and they might just get it at Bloomfield Road. Prediction: 0-2

Norwich V Reading (Monday)

Norwich looked pretty good against Ipswich but still came away with nothing. Reading might just have got over their recent slump with their 2-0 win against Derby and the Royals should be too strong for Norwich City – who look in real danger. Prediction: 0-3

Monday, 20 April 2009

The Wrong Attitude

Sturrock has said that there is a wrong attitude at Home Park amongst the players resulting in last Saturdays hideous game. Now why is that and whose fault is it?

Sturrock has thrown down the blame and gauntlet to the players

"I feel that things have been done in the build up to this football game that have contributed to the result and performance.

I am the first to put my hand up - not today.

I am not going to accuse my players of consciously going out and doing something like that. It is a subconscious thing. We have got to be strong-willed now.

Everything in the build up to this football game was identical, a mirror-image, to the three weeks that we have just had, and the last three results."

However as a manger surely he is the core of the situation. A manager is employed to manage a team -tactically and emotionally. It is his responsibility with is coaches to instil enthusiasm and positivity. What went wrong? If he says he did everything the same, why did it not work?

What has be got to work with? The mainstay of players who do not work for the club, and fringe players who do who are disenfranchised. Players, in the large, no longer play for the shirt but for the money, but why should they want to play for the club when there is no motivation to do so especially if they still rake in the pounds when sat in the stands?

There is a lot of negativity at Home Park - every match build up reaction has included some negativity - the whole season started on a negative when we were told not to expect anything.

There is a malaise at Home Park that has rotted away for too long, there are drastic measures needed this summer in rebuilding yet another team. However, the excuse of 'time is needed to do so' is not relevant, after a year a team has not been built - how much longer is required?

Playing Naked

I can only presume currently that next year Argyle players will be running out in the pitch naked. Aside from increasing the female attendance next year, there'd probably be an added excuse for Sturrock of aerodynamic lag slowing down the players (some very bad images coming to mind now - some of which involve a razor).

But anyway, at a time when most teams will be announcing their kit for next season, indeed QPR will be wearing theirs against us on Saturday, there has been no movement on the subject in Plymouth aside from announcing the continuing sponsor of Ginsters.

There are far more pressing issues at Home Park at the moment to be getting on with and with the alleged change of shirt manufacturer is probably slowing down the process. Though certainly we know that the away shirt will defintely change. But with just one league game to go, it would be nice to know whether to spend £30ish over the summer before the season ends.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

What a Load of old Shite

Plymouth Argyle 0 - 3 Doncaster Rovers

A typical Argyle moment - 4-0 win, 1-1 draw and a 0-3 loss. Typical Argyle with no consistency or stability, a conceded goal with no chance of a come back and a catalogue of errors that would rival Argos. The first goal is the key and ...

THE NEXT TWO GAMES ARE VITAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well as the next two games are the only games left, it's going down to the wire and nothing can ve certain till 17.00ish on 3 May 2008.

Hope or dispair?
Tears of joy or hurt?

Time to start praying. However, so far it appears that God is not an Argyle fan.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Better the Devil you Know?

Well the time is nearly here. The wish of some Argyle fans as the Japanese are coming. Since the announcement last year that K&K had bought a share of the club there has been derision that nothing has happened. Couple that with the poor season results in "board out!" It could soon happen, as the Japanese are in town and are in "take over" discussions. Is this what we really want?

On the one hand, yes, it means hopefully more money to build a decent a team again and the chance of completing the stadium. If the current board has run its course then a new broom is needed at Home Park.

But at what price?

Earlier this week I spend Easter in the presence of a QPR fan who decries the situation at Loftus Road caused by a 'saviour board' who have been little but. Without repeating some of the problems he and his fellow Hoops have seen, but the potential for a new board to chance the face of Argyle as we know it should be a cause for concern.

So it is a crossroads moment for Argyle and its fans, four options: go for it and it works, go for it and it ends up shite, do nothing and it's fine, do nothing and we're buggered. I know which 2 I would prefer.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Championship Predictions

Argyle have a beautiful four point cushion with three games left to go and after the weekend may have even guaranteed Championship football next season. After recent successes, the best being the 4-0 hammering of Coventry, I’m quite confident the Pilgrims will pick up all three
points against Doncaster at the weekend and these are my football predictions for how the rest of the relegation contenders will do…

Charlton Vs Blackpool

The Addicks have picked up (slightly) under Parkison but they’re already pretty much relegated, its all just a case of mathematics now. Blackpool have been pretty poor lately and I think Charlton should be able to pick up a rare win. Prediction: 2-0

Nottingham Forest Vs Coventry City

Plymouth’s hammering of Coventry pretty much demonstrated the sky-blues are already on holiday, or at least studying the brochures. Forest on the other hand are fighting for their lives and I think they’ll pick up a massive home win in this one. Prediction: 1-0

Reading Vs Barnsley

Reading need to win to keep their automatic promotion push alive and I reckon they should be able to see off Barnsley. The Tykes do occasionally pop a surprise result out of the bag but I think Reading will be just a bit too good for them. Prediction: 3-1

Sheffield Wednesday Vs Southampton

Argyle stay up and Southampton go down? It looks pretty likely at the moment doesn’t it! Wednesday are an inconsistent side and this is a hard one to call but I’m going to go with the home side, but it should be a close one. Prediction: 2-1

Ipswich Vs Norwich (Sunday)

This is a massive game for Norwich and not just because it’s a derby. The form-book should be thrown out of the window and sadly I fancy the Canaries in this tie, Ipswich have been pretty poor at home and I think Norwich could emerge with all three points. Prediction: 0-2

In Memory

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

You got Your Troubles

Birmingam City 1 - 1 Plymouth Argyle

QPR 3 - 2 Sheffield Wednesday

Forgive me for I have sinned. I was away this weekend so accompanied my QPR mate to Loftus Road today and saw an amazing match with QPR winning 3-2 from being 0-2 down.

A lot of people are becoming dissident at Home Park with the current regime, but it is by no means a unique thing. Perhaps we should really count our blessings that the current board are Argyle fans who brought the club from the brink of oblivion. Where as our Hoops friends up the road are in turmoil with a management that doesn't give two hoots. They have had 4 managers this season because of fallings out all of which have been whitewashed, culimating ins Sousa leaving last week because (quote) he divilged sensitive information about the club and legal action will be forthcoming (unquote). At least Argyle is run by fans (but for how much longer)

Have you noticed the new QPR badge? I didn't but it's a subtle thing that had got the backs up of the fans for wiping away history. Now we have our battled with Semper Fidelis and a new look badge design possible on the horizon, but at least notice was taken last time they tampered with tradition. And Jess the Cat has been evicted from Loftus Road too. The Rs fans are being priced out of the game (do you know the prices for next Saturday?), though a 5% cut in ST prices and an extended deadline has now been announced but the prices are increasing at a fair rate. Again, sounds familiar (not the cut, the increase!).

QPR were tipped to be promoted this season where as Argyle were to be relegated. Playoffs for the Rs have virtually vanished whilst the trap door is still available for Argyle. Neither sets of fans are happy, neither club will really do anything about the big picture.

Incidentally 6 and 7 minutes of injury time, a penalty and a player dismissed, an injured Mackie and a Larrieu howler that looks a mediocre game on paper, now sounds quite a game. A valuable point?

Saturday, 11 April 2009

May the Fourth goal be with Us

Plymouth Argyle 4 - 0 Coventry City

The last game I attended was verses Swansea and it was my last game of the season due to various other commitments and holidays and it seems I have been missing the thrills and spills. Today being one of the thrills thankfully.

This week I have had the pleasure (?) of being the guest of a QPR fan and we bothe "watched" our games on Sky Sports News. Thankfully ours was superior of once! I admit I was not excited about the first, the second and third were shocks not least because SSN were in the middle of announcing the second when the third went in, and the fourth made a hole in the ceiling. But, they were all in the first half. 45 minutes at least to go, and if Argyle were to play to form holding on to lead would prove hard. But as the game progressed the win looked secure and I was watching for two more names to appear on the ticker tape : IPSWICH and SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY. For today's win to have made any difference, both teams would have had to have gained a point. Unfortunately they didn't and so we remain 19th, however BARNSLEY proved a bit of a sweater too as a win by them would have narrowed the difference between 19th and 20th. So it was good to see WATFORD 1 roll up.

I have no idea how the team played, and as we're off to dinner tonight, it will have to wait till later to search through the match reports. Unless someone would care to comment on my behalf.

Incidentally, when was the last time we scored more than 3 goals in a game?

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Season Tickets part 1

It's season ticket renewal time, and once again it's a complicated process. So go grab a cup of tea, warm your brain up and concentrate:

There has been VERY LIMITED details of next year's season tickets announced. Currently the club has only released details of GREEN (ie FULL) SEASON TICKETS. There are no details for those who normally purchase a White or Pilgrim membership. Likewise there are no prices for after 1st May.

EARLY BIRD PRICES (until 1 May 2009)

Mayflower Enclosure:
Under 10: FREE (when accompanied by an adult season ticket holder)
Under 18: £80
Under 23: £184
Adult: £275
Over 65: £184

Devonport, Lyndhurst & Grandstand:
Under 10: FREE (when accompanied by an adult season ticket holder)
Under 18: £80
Under 23: £238
Adult: £399
Over 65: £265

Family Stand:
Family (1 adult and 1 child): £440
Family (2 adults and 2 children): £880

Disabled Persons' Stand:
Under 10: FREE (when accompanied by an adult season ticket holder)
Under 18: £53
Under 23: £184
Adult: £265
Over 65: £208

Renewal packs will NOT be sent by post unless you ring the Box Office instead they will be distributed at the Burnley game (oops! you mean you didn't know? well tough, it's too late).

Monday, 6 April 2009

A Plumper Cushion

Blackpool 2 - 1 Plymouth Argyle


Blackpool 0 - 1 Plymouth Argyle

A last minute goal, two disallowed goals and a big of blood and snotters and Argyle are now 4 points off the relegation zone. Time to breath easy for a while? Well not really, the next game is VITAL!

Luckily for Argyle Blackpool's two goals were ruled void due to handball, and as the game looked headed towards a 0-0 which would have done both team, for once a well timed substitution, Sawyer finds the net in a great way to end many's weekend away.

By many accounts it was a good showing by the Greens with determination to want the 3 points, which is what needs to be seen on the pitch. But it's not quite out of the woods yet unfortunately, though Southampton's possible 10 point administration deduction might seal two of the three drop places, and it is still all to play for. But for at least a week Pilgrims fans have something to smile about. Makes a change.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Championship Predictions

As I'm sure you're all aware the Pilgrims are in a bit of a precarious position at the minute... Not good. I've had a look at the weekend's fixtures and thought I'd offer my thoughts on what will happen to the teams around Argyle at the weekend, fingers cross they get the win at Bloomfield Road and the results elsewhere won't matter so much.

Southampton Vs Charlton

This one shouldn't matter that much to be honest, Charlton are already gone and it looks as if the Saints will be going into administration - a ten point deduction should kill off their hopes of survival. Charlton have looked a bit better of late, but not much better and I think the home side will just nick this one. Prediction: 2-1

Barnsley Vs Nottingham Forest

If only both teams could lose! This is a derby of sorts and Barnsley seem to do quite well against their local rivals (they've beaten both Sheffield Wednesday and United this season). Home advantage should spur the Tykes on and I think they'll add to Forest's woes. Prediction: 1-0

Norwich Vs Sheffield Wednesday

Wednesday haven't won in five and have been inconsistent all season. Norwich are a fairly poor side but Wednesday are absolutely abysmal away from home. This is a tricky tie to call and I'll definitely be leaving it off my betting slip but too hazard a guess it could well end in a draw. Prediction: 2-2

Derby Vs Burnley

Derby are still just about in it, though I doubt they'll get relegated. If you still do fancy them to go down I reckon you'll get fairly good sports betting odds on it but I think they're just about safe. All that could change though if Forest, Argyle and Norwich all win on Saturday so I thought I might as well offer my prediction anyway. I've rated Burnley this season and Owen Coyle is turning into a decent manager. I expect the Lancashire side to continue their promotion push at Pride Park with a fairly comfortable win. Prediction: 0-2

Doncaster Vs Watford

Like Derby I think both these teams are just about out of it. Donny have lost their last three but they were against Birmingham, Reading and away at Coventry, none of which are easy ties. Other than Charlton I think Watford have the worst away form in the league and Donny should see off the Hornets in this encounter. Prediction: 1-0