Sunday, 20 May 2012

Day of Sport

Yesterday marked another remarkable day in football - and sport as a whole - especially down here in Plymouth.  Firstly West Ham clinch promotion in a nail biting game, then as the Olympic Torch made its way through the streets, Chelsea would be firing one more penalty home against Bayern to be crowned Champion of Champions in Europe - and thus through a stroke of ill fate knocked Tottenham out of their 4th position into Europa, thus negating the whole of the season. 

Plymouth was in carnival mood yesterday with the combination of Lord Mayor's Day and the Olympic Torch relay, having been bedecked in red white and blue as people came to see the symbol  will dominate the summer, the other half of the city were watching the TV as Chelsea v Bayern descended into English v Germans (though how many English players are there at Chelsea?).  And if you thought that the ending of the Premier League a week ago was dramatic, then the ending of the Champions League was just as heart stopping.

But for all the thrill that this season of top flight football has brought with the race for 1st place, race for 3rd, race for 4th etc, and the subsequent matches that sealed the outcomes, what have we learnt?  That the winning clubs are those that spend their way to victory.  And you don't even have to be that good - in the case of Chelsea, who have ousted a team who were better than them in their own league. 

So what of next season?  Well to be sure that the 'winners' - Chelsea, City. are now out to get whoever they want at whatever cost, and will probably get their way, bolstered by their success.  Arsenal will probably lose Van Persie, and Spurs will probably lose half their squad.  And United are always a safe bet for agents.  I would say that, unlike the Games, next season's football will probably be more predictable.  And what a shame if it is.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Comings and Goings II

What an end to a season with City clinching the Trophy at the very last gasp of the league.  Things are shaping up now as to whom Argyle will be playing next season, with just the play-offs left.  We already know that Swindon, Shrewsbury and Crawley have gone up, and Hereford and Macclesfield wont feature due to their relegation.  Old foes Exeter on the other hand will be a feature, along with other ex-League One clubs Wycombe, Chesterfield and Rochdale.  Likewise we know that a trip to Blackpool's neighbours, Fleetwood, is guaranteed but who out of Wrexham, Mansfield, York or Luton will be joining them?

(C) Manchester City
­ ­Reading
? West Ham
? Birmingham
? Blackpool
? Cardiff
League 1
Sheffield Wednesday
? Sheffield United
? MK Dons
? Huddersfield
? Stevenage
League 2
? Torquay
? Cheltenham
? Crewe
Conference Premier
? Wrexham
? Mansfield
? York
? Luton 

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Adieu notre ami

One of the finest men to don the Green/White/Black/Orange/Yellow shirt announced his retirement yesterday.  David Friio's mate has enjoyed his testimonial year and promotion to player/coach, but has now hung up his keeper's gloves on the upright.  Good bye Romain Larrieu.

Le keeper made a total of 317 appearances for the Greens (and only 3 other players every to have played for PAFC can boast higher) over 11 and a half years service, and was always considered number 1 between the sticks - even when younger keepers such as McCormick, Stack, Cole were regularly picked first.  Larrieu's gentlemanly stance made him a firm favourite and he was appointed club captain and had a song dedicated to him ('We all dream of a team of Larry-Os').  Ro publically played out his battle with  testicular cancer whilst at the club - not once but twice - and has been a faithful servant though the ups and downs, thick and thin.  Although Romain will no longer feature on the pitch as player, it is hoped that he will be able to continue in his role as coach.  We shall see.  But for now, for all your work between the stick.

Adieu, merci beaucoup et bonne chance.

...All Over...It is Now

Plymouth Argyle 1 - 2 Cheltenham Town

And so the season ends with the flourish of a tortoise fart, namely two loses.  Oh well it only really sums up how god awful 11/12 has been for Argyle and thank Christ that's over.  The last two games of the season meant nothing since survival was assured, apart from pride at stake, and the results could be interpreted that Argyle don't even have that especially as once again an ex-player came back to Home Park and was allowed to piss all over the place - scoring the first goal and setting up the second.   However its now time to breathe a huge sigh and take a rest from all the bitterness, infighting, stress and depression the last few years have been.  We're stuck with Fletcher for next season and whatever team we can cobble together to make 'professional', the outlook is not that rosy in stark terms.  But instead rather than worry let's enjoy England losing at the Euros, and the Summer Games, see what Brent has in store for his football club and try and start next season as a united Green Army.