Saturday, 29 August 2009

Off with his Head

Plymouth Argyle 1 - 3 Sheffield Wednesday

Another loss, this time made worse because it was at home - the once fortress Home Park, and at any other club there would be mass outrage calling for the manager's resignation forthwith or at least be on the rocky road. Yet little old Argyle is still wrestling with itself over its Messiah and revered one. Notwithstanding the better play than last season's very bad effort the results are not forthcoming and neither is there any light on the horizon in spite of all the new players thrown at the cause, it's just the kitchen sink left, yet with the same management set up nothing is going to change. Maybe we can blame this one on the referee, he made some poor decisions against the Greens. Maybe next time it'll be the biggest game and things will change.


Friday, 28 August 2009

Trains, Planes and Automobiles

Well not quite, there are now Argyle Football Specials trundling around Plymouth every home match, now the New World are adding a train to their initiative.

First Great Western have agreed to run an extra train back to the Duchy after the home match against Sheffield Wednesday, allowing supporters to see every kick of the game.

The train will depart from Plymouth at 5.15pm and call at Saltash, St Germans, Liskeard and Bodmin Parkway before reaching Par at 6.07pm.

Argyle chief operating officer Tony Campbell said: "We are delighted First Great Western have agreed to our request to help out our Cornish supporters.

The New World are doing a lot to improve the plight of the Green Army off the pitch, now for a change of fortunes on the field...

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Missing Out

Following Argyle feels a bit like everyone else has been invited to the part without you. Whilst other teams and supporters partied in the second round of the League Cup, the Green Army were left home alone. While others have had brand new seats to sit and and toilets to do their business in, the Green Army fidget on the wooden tip ups with their knees round their ears and pee up against a black painted wall. While the winners go home happy, the Greens go home in anticipation of next time it'll be better.

In a few month's time the new 5 year plan will be announced, hopefully this'll be Argyle's party and no one else will be allowed to come.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Millwall v West Ham

The reason why football is so sanitised and you feel oppressed for being a supporter.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Your Support is Fucking Shite

Apologies for the obscenity there, maybe "f*****g" would be better, or even "flipping" would be better? What about "shite"? Is that bad? Maybe "your support is rather poor" would be better?

Maybe that's the way that football is heading these days? There has been a rumble going on since the Greens were promoted into League One [as is], that the support of the Green Army is more plastic soldiers than SAS. The days of freedom on the terraces have gone, along with the terraces. Once word out of place and you're out of the place. Stand up for more than 10 seconds and you'll be standing up in the local cop shop emptying your pockets. Moan about poor play and get shushed, cheer and get tutted at. Play a bugle, beat a drum and it'll be inserted into a rather painful place.

Football supporters are an ecclectic bunch and that, like life, makes the world go round. Get rid of everyone you don't agree with and you'll be alone, but hey that makes you a better supporter than they ever were. Someone who comes along every game, has paid money, travelled a distance and moans is not seen as a supporter. Football has always been entertainment, but now it is success lead entertainment - no sucess means no entertainment. And no entertainment means people feel agrieved and want to vent their frustrations. Catch 22, players want the crowd to do their bit, the crowd want the players (who are being paid to play from their ticket after all) to do theirs. But then again when has shouting "Have you ever seen your dick?" at a fat away supporter, encouraging your own team?

Is the changing face of football at the real root of the problems? The Thatcherism dislike of the game that got out of control because men couldn't feel the game was complete until they'd kicked at least 3 opposition supporters' heads in? Or because the police were too arrogant in their handling of games to cause the death of supporters in front of the world's cameras? Or because the clubs were more concerned about profits than their own income and let the grounds get into a deplorable state and forget those that funded them? (That last one sounds familiar.) Some of the changes have been good - why should people be fearful when watching a ball game? But can we go too far the other way? Will singing songs be banned because it will upset the away fans? Will all games be forced to end 0-0 because winning is bad and unfair?

But while supporters fight amongst themselves, we forget what we have in common.
The love of one football team.

Argyle 2018

The new board have laid the foundations for a new stadium above and beyond that of what we were spoon-fed for the last 10 years with their bid to host matched for the World Cup 2018. And with the Life Centre now given the go ahead, the stumbling block/excuse of the previous board for delaying Phase II/Redevelopment of the South Stand, has gone. Therefore, should it not really start as soon as the hoardings go up around the Mayflower Leisure Centre and Swimming Pool?

What are we to expect? A stadium with a capacity of 40,000, double that of what we have currently/with Phase II complete. Yet with the fan base we have today, who would fill it outside of the Cup matches? A pipe dream perhaps? Or real ambition? Without doubt the intention is great to increase the profile of Plymouth, not just Argyle, but the city worldwide. But let's not run before we can walk.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Shock Ending

Derby County 2 - 1 Plymouth Argyle

Results are the only thing that matters in football and Sturrock said he was stunned and shocked at the ending of the game yesterday. it doesn't matter that Argyle played well for most of the game and managed to hold the Rams out for 89 minutes. Football lasts at least 90 minutes - most of the time even longer than that. You have to concentrate on the game for the whole time - one blink in Monopoly and the opposition have advanved to GO conquering the greens, built hotels on Mayfair and stolen £1,000 from the bank. Miscalculations and judgements result in goals - and a miss judgment by Le Keeper costs the game. And if Sturrock was shocked - what was he doing? Watching Sky Sports News perhaps thinking it was all over - it is now. The Greens are now taking up their now familiar position of holding up the league, far too early to make a real judgement on what'll happen by next year, but not too early to be worried.

Friday, 21 August 2009

It's History

History is complex. History is in the past, cannot be undone, cannot change and cannot be relived. Yet history shapes the present and the future.

Sturrock has history, Sturrock's history with Argyle has been good. He was a revered man who was at the helm at the right time to lift the club out of the duldrums. He has a good record.

Sturrock has history, Sturrock's history with Argyle has been bad. Since he returned he has been a shadow of his self and has played a very poor game and continues to.

Argyle has history. Traditionally a lower league team at the peak of its history. Good times of highs, bad times of lows.

History shapes battles. The Sturrock lamenters say 'remember his history, remember Argyle's hisory, remember he has had to rebuilt after the Holloway fiasco'.

History shapes battles. The Sturrock doubters say 'forget history, what's gone has gone, it's here and now that it counts'.

History bites. 'It's not just 4 games we've been bad, it's the whole of the last season...'


Tuesday, 18 August 2009


Plymouth Argyle 1 - 3 Cardiff City

Albert Einstein said the definition of Insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” And this can be applied to Argyle's modus operandi. Sticking with Sturrock and his style of play since his return is only going to result in the same old same old and here we are with the first defeat of the season due to poor football, poor defending, poor finishing.
Tell a lie - we played well in the second half, for about 20 or so minutes when we dominated and matched the Bluebirds. And we got a consolation goal! Something that was unthinkable last season.

A little tinkering with the formation of the squad, a lot of money thrown at players - and more on the horizon, and yet the gaffer doesn't know what to do with them. He even had the excuse trotted out that tonight will be a tough game (same old same old). And let's look at the suppoters' point of view that it's a new team that hasn't gelled yet (same old same old), that he needs time (same old same old), that we're just 3 games into the season plus a league game (same old same old). The serious stumbling block on the New World's vision is if there are no results on the pitch. A few steps in the right directions now. Let's hope really hard that New World is not Same Old Same Old.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

The Sound of Silence

The New World have responded to the fans' pleas to turn off the music before the match so they crowd can build and atmosphere, and were met with a low murmer in response. Many supporters have been harping on for years that the music played before the match and after goals kills dead the supports' chance to get a natural atmosphere going and yet when the chance arises nothing happens. Inspite of all that New World has done the first crowd of the season was just 11,500, the Green Army less willing to show vocal support though they should not be blamed - a part from a few clubs, many crowds have fallen silent following the sanitation of football over the decades and nothing is going to change that. But at least the club have tried, shame he moaners didn't when they had the chance.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Gorkss's Gift

Plymouth Argyle 1 (Gorkss og 90) - 1 QPR (Helgusson 43)

A very very late own goal saves embarrassment again for the Greens following a very scrappy game and it wasn't even a Green shirt that scored it. QPR were the better team for the first half and were rewarded with a goal just before half time and continued with Argyle swapping formations more times than an incontinent's pants and some of Sturrock's signature strange substitutions, though he praise's the team's resolve. Well if dropping heads, miss-placed passes and having to wait for an equaliser courtesy of the opposition is resolve, then very few exciting matches are coming up. The New World has not made an impact on the pitch yet dispite all the money and players thrown at the team, and whilst they stick with the Old World, then the same old same old remains.

The Good Ship Mayflower

Not only is the Mayflower unreserved seating area cheaper than anywhere else in the ground, there is now cheaper beer on offer for the first time since Thatcher's terraces alcohol ban in the old side of the ground if you aren't a corporate customer or a member of the Far Post Club. The new "Outpost" bear tent is open for business, serving pints at a cheaper rate than the rest of the ground. Soon the old side will be the busiest in the stadium. The new board are running roughshod over the old ways and stamping their mark on the club to ingratiate themselves with the supporters. An announcement about phase 2 is due in December, hopefully with no mention of the word 'imminent'.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

A Defending Team?

There's no need to look out for goals from the Argyle because Sturrock has said that we are more of a defending team. In his post match interview after the defeat at Gillingham he stated that

"We had people in our back four who want to play, rather than defend. We could have lost it in a couple of key moments on Saturday, with people trying to play in the wrong areas...

...Too many of my defenders are thinking they are footballers at this minute...

...I want my back four players to be competent in passing the ball but know that their job, first and foremost, is to not give goals away. When the other team had the ball, we were the poorest I have seen us for a long time....

...We have got to the stage where the thought processes on what we're trying to achieve at the other end means that when we lose the ball, we're not concentrating on doing the things we were good at last season"

"Yes, we are getting better at creating chances; we have created several chances over the last two games. "But, at the same time, we are not as solid as we were and we have got to add that to our game."

So whilst the chances of something happening up front are increasing, his main concentration is to not let the ball get past the back 4. And what were we good at last season? Not much, if anything. This better not be a sign of things to come.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Predicatably Pathetic Plymouth

Gillingham 2 - 1 Plymouth Argyle (Summerfield)

So basically nothing's changed. We're crap. We're crap in the league cup - Sturrock has no hold over cup games and can do nothing to break the predictability of losing as soon as we're in. But more importantly on the pitch, nothing has changed in how we play - namely the wasted chances. Even when in control of the game. Where other teams like to have a pop at goal, we take the cautious route, don't bother and let the opposition score. There were good individual performances, and Summerfield managed to actually get on the score sheet, so at least there was some hope of a come back - small mercies.

Argyle were tipped to be the only team to go through tonight and that's a poison chalaice to start with, have they not learnt from the past? So once again it's off for an early shower, because frankly, who wanted it more?

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Argyle's New World

The brand "New World" has been rolled out at Home Park at the start of the new season to mark the new regime's presence at the helm of the good ship Mayflower.

The dawn of New World encompasses a host of initiatives including:

- the introduction of barcoded tickets for the home turnstiles. Season Tickets and matchday tickets now come complete with a barcode that is scanned by the turnstile operator, the information is then sent to the box office to confirm the ticket's validity. Hopefully this scheme has been tested with more than 5 people attempting to enter at the same day, or we'll be seeing long queues well after kick off next week.

- a new corporate entertainment venue. Aside from the Pyramid Suite, Executive boxes, Argyle Lounge and the Chisholm lounge, the executive boxes in the East end of the grandstand have been ripped out and replaced by the new Business Club where guests can watch the game from the comfort of never having to mingle with the masses and their prawn sandwiches will be freshly delivered from Ginsters.

- matchday 'mix and mingle'. Players not included in the team can no longer sit back at the rear of the grandstand, they must turn up suited and booted and be prepared to meet the fans including informal chats and autograph signings in the superstore, giving speeches in the corporate hospitality suites and keeping the fore-mentioned business clients happy.

- the subtle rebranding of the online superstore to Argyle Direct.

- the football specials.

Some good initiatives there but let's hope they're not just putting a cherry on a turd and the new regime has a bit more substance.

And We're Off...

Crystal Palace 1 (Lee 62) - 1 Plymouth Argyle (Timar 5)

A but of a sweet and sour start to the season's campaign, and this excludes what was happening in the away changing room toilet at Loftus Road*, with a valuable point or 2 points lost. Whilst it was encouraging to see that the Greens created more chances and attacks on goal than last season, as Sturrock put it 'we sat on the lead and defended too deep'. Er, hello Paul! We did that all last season, why the heck do you think it would have changed if you're still in charge and not changed the attitude? It's up to you to direct the game as it happens - if there's too much defending then bloody well sort it out! The formation he chose worked better than last season, and he chose to play safe with his team selection - though the new 7 subs rule this season saw new keeper Letheren warm the bench alongside Johnson - and resulted in a goal by Timar after 5 minutes, and it wasn't until just after the second half kick off until the Eagles pulled it back. But still there wasn't that much to excite the eye at the dawn of the New World except to say that they didn't fall to pieces after the Palace goal and managed to keep their heads.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Return of the Football Specials

BBC Radio Devon's Green Buff, Gordon Sparks, mentioned today on his programme the return of Football Specials to Plymouth.

A network of buses will run from around the city to Home Park on matchdays, which are FREE upon production of a matchday ticket and will stop at all recognised stops along each route.

The routes are:

PA1: Wembury, Staddiscombe, Plymstock
PA2: Plympton, Laira, Mutley, Peverell
PA3: Glenholt, Derriford Hospital, Estover, Leigham, Austin Farm
PA4: Tamerton Foliot, Southway, Crownhill
PA5: Whitley, Earnesettle, West Park, Honicknowle
PA6: Saltash, St Budeaux
PA7: City Centre circular

More details available here


What a fantastic scheme! Exactly what people have been asking for over the last few years, plus it will ease congestion and parking at Home Park and at no extra cost to supporters. However, this may pave the way for a charge to be introduced at the car park in Central Park. But for now it deserves our support.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

3 Days to Go

The new campaign starts in 3 days with the away trip to Palace followed by the League Cup haul to Gillingham, and where are we?

Jason Puncheon, a well liked flair player, has gone on a year's loan to MK Dons, effectively extending his stay there from last season. Some Pilgrims fans do not agree with Sturrock's decision to get rid of an effective player from the squad. Doumbe is also near to signing for Millwall after he fell out of favour and was replaced by Barker, Walton was also trialling for the Lions at the same time.

New signing Wright-Philips is already signed for a year long loan. Judge returns from Blackburn and impressed Sturrock with his commitment last season.

It's time for the club to ramp up the publicity for the club, especially as the Palace game is already a sell out.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Geddon ya Janner

From obscurity to nationwide coverage, following the appearance of Pilgrim Pete on the BBC adverts for the Championship, Argyle are now featuring in an advert by Aviva. Green Army member, Paul Whitehouse (now there's irony really), sporting this season's short and a rather dodgy accent, talks about how he, Big Dave, Burd, Buey and Janner had spend so much money on 22 away games last season (which one did they miss?) and champions the insurance company on his drive to Newcastle speculating on what he will spend his saved money on.

If you haven't seen it yet, catch it on YouTube