Sunday, 31 May 2009

Les Rosbifs

Blog, Les Rosbifs*, following the fortunes of English players when the go abroad have a very interesting interview with ex Argyle and Torquay player, Sam Malsom.

I recommend Les Rosbifs, to readers of TBAP who are interested in what English players who have moved abroad are doing, and shall add it to my recommended blogs.

*"Les Rosbifs" literally translated is French for "The Roast Beefs", a term used like "Jocks" and "Taffs" to mean the English.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Championship new-boys: Peterborough United

In my last post I had a look at Leicester City, who I think should be able to survive in the Championship without too much difficulty. The Posh represent a different kettle of fish all together and predicting where they’ll end up next season is much harder.

They played some neat football in League One last season and as long as they hold on to Darren Ferguson as boss that should continue next year. Irish owner Darragh MacAnthony is certainly willing to splash his considerable cash around. Since he has taken over at the London Road Stadium about £2million has been invested into the squad and they paid around the £500,000 mark for goalkeeper Joe Lewis and a similar fee for defender Gabriel Zakuani.

There is no doubt they need to spend a bit of money in the summer but I don’t think they need to make massive changes to their side. Peterborough will have looked at the way teams like Doncaster have come up and survived this season. It will be a big task for a club that size to compete in the Championship but they’ve got a good manager and owner so the set up is there to succeed.

They will be relegation candidates with the bookmakers, that’s a certainty, but I would argue they have a decent chance of survival. For the Posh keeping hold of Ferguson will be crucial and he is fast becoming one of the most sought after managers in the lower leagues, with QPR among the clubs said to be keen.

Personally I reckon Ferguson will stay and try and establish them in the Championship, but it seems a good Championship bet that he’ll need more funding from MacAnthony if he is to achieve that.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Comings and Goings

With Burnley winning 1-0 against Sheffield United, `w welcome the following clubs into the Championship:

Middlesbrough (relegated from PL)
Newcastle United (relegated from PL)
West Bromwich Albion (relegated from PL)
Leicester United (promoted from L1)
Peterborough United (promoted from L1)
Scunthorpe (promoted from L1 via play offs)

Whilst saying goodbye to:

Wolverhampton Wanderers (promoted to PL)
Birmingham City (promoted to PL)
Burnley (promoted to PL via play offs)
Norwich (relegated to L1)
Southampton (relegated to L1)
Charlton Athletic (relegated to L1)

The games against likes of Newcastle and Middlesbrough will get janners creaming their pants, else it's going to be yet another tough season.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Good Luck Sturrock

The summer shenanigans have started at Home Park.

First off it appears that Gallagher will not be returning as he's now too expensive for Argyle, fan favourite, Timar has been told to shove off and fan non-favourite Summerfield is likely to be kept on.

No one really knows the workings of Sturrock's mind, Timar has been out of favour since his head injury and if he's never to figure again just as well he gets shot along with the changing room cleaners like Mpenza. It was never likely that Gallagher would be staying as money would always be the problem, and Summerfield ... well I don't think we'll go down that road apart from saying that he has a lot of potential. This all assuming someone wants Sturrock's rejects.

Well good luck Sturrock, you can't really do much worse than last year's transfers can you? Can you???!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

We're all going on a Summer Holiday

Several short bits of news at the start of the summer hols:

Cash in the Attic
Mr Sturrock appears to be having trouble finding cash in the attic after sweeping up the dregs of the squad for the local car boot sale, whilst he's decided to keep just 3 apprentices, the
fax machine appears to not work for his big boys.
Do people still fax these days or can someone give Luggy a computer/texting lesson please?

Go North!
This year's pre-season tour, rumoured as far back as January, will be in Luggy's native homeland, Scotland (surprise, surprise!). With a match in Skelmersdale on the way up.
I wonder if there will be tartan preseason kilts in the shop soon?

Testing, testing, 1, 2
What are your views on the PA system and pre-match/half time entertainment at Home Park? There will be a meeting on Wednesday 3 June at 18.30 in the Pyramid Suite for fans to discuss all aspects of the off pitch entertainment for next season.
They listened with the stewarding and Blocks 17/18, so this is very good.

Some good news, some worrying news and some no new news so far. Of course the big one we're waiting on is the Japanese take over which is tantalising being drip fed through the Herald as being near.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Championship new-boys: Leicester City

It has been a little while since my last post on To be a Pilgrim and I thought I’d start my first post of the off-season with a little look at the teams who will be new to the Championship. First up then is Leicester City who after just one season in League One have made their way back into the Championship and won the league in some style.

I’m not expecting wholesale changes for the Foxes to be honest. They paid their squad Championship wages in League One in an effort to get them straight back up and it worked. They’ve got some decent players there already, Matt Fryatt in particular has been amazing this season and owner Milan Mandaric is keen to keep hold of the striker. I’m not convinced Fryatt will have the same impact in the Championship (well I’m sure he won’t) but he is still a quality goal-scorer and he should keep that up in a higher division.

Mandaric claims he wants to take them into the Premier League so they probably will delve into the transfer market a bit, though as I said I expect the spine of the team to remain essentially the same. I rate Nigel Pearson as a manager and whenever I’ve watched Leicester this season they’ve played some nice stuff, though his record in the Championship with Southampton wasn’t great even though he didn’t last very long there.

Personally I’m expecting Leicester to start the season well, as many promoted sides do, but I can’t see them challenging for promotion next season. I doubt they’ll be relegation candidates either though and a mid-table finish seems like a good Championship bet for their first season back in the league. I’ll be looking at Darren Ferguson’s Peterborough next time, who unlike Leicester will probably have to build their squad to cope with the Championship.

I’m a big fan of the new Argyle home kit as well, looks pretty good but I’m not so sure about the keeper’s jersey – though to be honest who buys the keeper’s strip anyway?

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

End of Season Report


Plymouth Argyle Football Club Ltd

123 years old


Headteacher's comments:
Must try harder, needs more action less talk

Teacher's comments:
A poor start to the year in the test matches of August led to a continued below average performance through to September when the pupil was in the bottom three of the class. Plymouth showed some excellent work during September and November when he turned around his attitude and results to sore to near above average, however he was unable to sustain this success, slipping back to his usual slow ways. Another flurry was shown around New Year when Plymouth was chosen to work with the top set and showed good resilience in their playground, however this treat did little to boost his moral. Aside from a few very good performances, Plymouth worked below his potential for most of the year and only just avoided being kept back a year. Plymouth has also experienced a higher than usual number of injuries this year, seriously affecting his work rate.

There has been concern with Plymouth's out of school circumstances, in particular his parent's financial situation and parental supervision. Additionally, Plymouth had failed to make many permanent friends from other classes and could only manage friendships that lasted a few months at a time.

Recommended action:
Before next year, Plymouth needs to work hard on his key skills, including his enthusiasm, team work and confidence. He needs a positive attitude. It is hoped that there will be help with is financial situation, and also his ability to make friends. Extra training, possibly in Scotland, would be beneficial.

General comments:
Plymouth has shown a lot of concern over recent years but has managed to do just the right amount of work to get by, the increasing pressure may eventually prove too much. Needs close monitoring.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

A Fitting End

Plymouth Argyle 1 - 2 Barnsley

Well doesn't that just sum up the whole season? A huge pile of shite.

A no pressure game that saw no pressure to succeed. We're safe, who cares? From play off to just scraping relegation in 21st position in a successful season for the Greens.

Nothing but pride to play for today, but even that wasn't worth our players getting out of bed today, most of whom will go back home tomorrow, leaving us with the rejects and Sturrock to continue to guide the new look ship Argyle onto the rocks. This was a perfect chance to prove all doubters wrong, and yet instead of go out with a fanfare, a mild passing of wind ensued instead. Lucky it didn't go down to an end of season nailbiter isn't it? To snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the 11th home defeat of the season.

Can you tell I can't actually be bothered to even get upset? I wonder why that is?

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Kit Unveiled

Argyle unveiled their new home kit for next season today following the new deal with Adidas as manufacturer.

The predominantly green with the trademark 3 white stripes down each arm, is joined by 2 white sweeps across the right breast and side and a left white sleeve (this is not going to make Cosmo), whilst the goalkeeper's kit is pale blue. Both kits feature the new look club crest which is now backed by a circle containing the name of the club and a large sponsor's logo across the chest.

Adidas is under contract to provide a new home kit every season and a new away kit every other season (so reversing the current trend) for four seasons.

The new kit is available for pre-order and will be available to buy from outlets over the summer. The away kit has not yet been launched.

Friday, 1 May 2009

The Season's not even over yet...

...and the excuses for next season are already being wheeled out and hosed off.

I mean for crying out loud, when the managed states that we "won't be top three next season", backed by the chairman saying "I think next season will be just as hard", it hardly fills you with confidence or enthusiasm does it? Who else by little old parochial Argyle, the backward club of the Championship, would come out and say 'you think this was tough, then wait till next year, by the way, give us your money we have lots of season tickets/match tickets/merchandise for you to snap up'.

There's a big difference between being open and communicative and being utterly transparent to the point of cutting of your nose to spite your face. What would be wrong with 'we've had a bad season, we'll do our hardest next to not have a repeat'? Unless of course they're not going to try because the lack of money/bad gates/economy have been lined up to protect their backs? Whose fault is it that there is a lack of money and bad gates? If you publicly sell crap then you're in the shit, whereas if you sell crap but tell no one it's crap you'll get away with it (who was that guy who had a huge business but admitted his goods were crap and within a few weeks was bankrupt?).

I despair a lot of the times.