Thursday, 14 October 2010

Plymouth looking for a springboard

Following last season's disappointing relegation to League One after a six year stint in England's second tier of English football, Plymouth Argyle are desperate for a swift return to the Championship.

On the face of it, The Mariners' plight appears to be something of a desperate one. A 23rd place finish last season followed by a disappointing start this term might suggest that this is a club on the slide, and the news of the planned sale of their stadium, Home Park, to property investors will do little to allay these fears. However, the truth may not be quite so bleak, even if the football tips don't offer much solace.

The Plymouth board are hopeful that the sale of the ground will "significantly enhance" their ability to raise the funding for the £50 million proposed stadium development, which they need if it is to be a 2018 World Cup venue. With Plymouth on the official list of potential host cities, the stadium will need to have its capacity increased to create other leisure facilities around the ground, including a 5,000-seater arena and conferencing space.

In terms of experience and motivation, they couldn't wish for a better manager to see them through these trying times. In Peter Reid they have a manager with both Premiership and international pedigree, having previously been in charge at Sunderland, Manchester City and Leeds, as well as coaching the Thai national team.

Although results this season have been disappointing, Reid knows that a league campaign is a marathon, not a sprint. In fact, had Charlton not scored a slightly fortunate last-minute equaliser at the weekend, Plymouth would find themselves safely nestled in mid-table, nicely poised behind the clubs in the play-off positions.

Their squad is certainly strong enough to be eyeing promotion this season with a number internationals plying their trade at the club. Currently on the books are Carl Fletcher of Wales, Kari Arnason of Iceland, Joe Mason of the Republic of Ireland, Onismor Bhasera of Zimbabwe and Rory Fallon - the Kiwi who represented his country at this summer's World Cup.

Fallon's return to fitness following a spell on the sidelines through injury will be great news, and to have him back and partnering in-form striker, Bradley Wright-Phillips, will serve as a much needed boost. The club's position is not hopeless, just look at the Leeds United betting, they were in League One last season and are pushing for the Premier League this season.

Hopefully for Plymouth, the voyage back up the leagues will start this season - preferably with three points against Notts County this weekend.

1 comment:

Lord Hutton said...

Good luck, mate. Been there