Writer: Mike G
Date:Wednesday September 19 2012
It was right to let a reasonable number of matches go by before commenting on Argyle's progress this season.
Well, twelve matches have now been played in friendlies, cup and league and only the Northampton result stands out as the standard needed to get somewhere this term.
Whilst we had creditable draws at Torquay and Burnley (before the dreaded penalties), there hasn't been much else to shout about.
When we came up against Port Vale they simply took Argyle apart in the space of twelve cyclonic minutes and now we've seen first-
hand the standard of football required to get promoted from League Two.
It's pretty clear now that we're well short of that level. Against Bristol Rovers last night, we saw more evidence that Argyle have a long way to go - this is one we should have won, not drawn and now we are well below mid table; struggling in fact with only 6 points from 7 games. So times continue to be tough for Argyle supporters.
Although there are some promising young players in the current side, it's clear that they have much to learn.
There is a certain naivety in the team and they are too predictable. The loss of Wotton is a setback but you do start to wonder whether there is enough quality in this squad of players.
There's no getting away from the fact that we are a collection of free transfers, ex-non league players, lads who are just out of apprenticeship and loanees who, together, don't seem to be measuring up to this tough division.
I'm no expert but it might also be the case that some players are not in their best positions, for example Lecointe seems to be a better supplier of the ball than a finisher.
It's good to see that Fletcher wants the players to keep more possession and pass the ball and we actually had some success with that in the first half against Port Vale, but we are often out muscled and quickly weighed up by other teams.
We're lucky that 6000 or so hardy souls are sticking with the team but this being the fourth or fifth best average crowd in L2 should be working to our advantage.
Income generally equates to success, surely? I'm not going to point the finger - I hate doing that and it's easy for me to criticise from a position of safety but the facts are beginning to speak for themselves.
If there was a league table based on the turmoil and frustration that football supporters have had to endure over the years, then Plymouth would surely be up there near the top. Yes, we're lucky to have a club and yes, we have to be prudent but there is perhaps room for a little more ambition at PAFC.
This is not a fourth tier club, arguably not even a third; it's one with a proud history and those days have got to come back to Plymouth Argyle in the not too distant future.
To end on a lighter note, some football jargon translated which might make you smile:
A game of two halves = we went to pieces in the second half.
We're hard to beat = we draw a lot.
Over the moon = Mars.
A footballers' wages = the Gross Domestic Product of a small country.
We had a good cup run = we got to the 2nd round.
It was close but we came off second best = we were thrashed.
He takes a good penalty = he's not an England player.
At the end of the day = midnight.
We're on a learning curve = I've no idea what to do next.
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Date:Wednesday September 19 2012
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