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Plymouth Argyle 2 Charlton Athletic 0 

Wake up call..

Karl Robinson complained on Tuesday that our second string should have had the game wrapped up by half-time and back in Devon it was the same story today with our first XI as we went down to our first defeat of the season in front of a good turnout of Addicks at Home Park.

1st half we played well, good possession, attacked well and Luke McCormick performed heroics, but we should have been ahead at the break. Back from injury Josh Magennis had a couple of golden opportunities, and Clarke had a shot cleared off the line. Nonetheless it was a good half and a decent match at the break.

Second 45 we paid for those chances as the Pilgrims worked out our plan A, frustrated us, grew in confidence and took the lead, and in remnants of past seasons once we went behind we never looked like getting back into the game. Plymouth wrapped the game up in the dying minutes of normal time.

A defeat then against a team far more physical than us, who due to our lack of goal power were given time to conquer our system, happily sit back and then frustrate us and hit us on the break. It’s one game, and I had Plymouth down as a team that will do pretty well this season, but it was a quick wake up call to those calling us promotion certainties.

Robinson has put together a good first eleven but the bench is made up of academy players, Jacko and Naby Starr, the butt of all of our jokes up until recently. Beyond that we have a couple of long term injuries, two already suspended and more academy players.

For the millionth time, this is not a squad capable of sustaining any kind of promotion challenge and over the next 3 weeks we will see what the real ambitions of Roland Duchatelet are.

Quote: “The all-round performance was excellent. We sat deep and allowed Charlton to have the ball in areas that we didn’t feel they were going to trouble us.” – Derek Adams
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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mike #

    A second “home” game in the week for those of us residing in the west country. After Tuesday’s cup game at Exeter and last Saturday’s league win hopes of remaining unbeaten were high as we headed across Devon to Home Park. Surely we could get a win or at the very least a draw out of this game – the result at a newly promoted club that any promotion push would demand?
    A feeling of optimism echoed from the fellow-travelling Addicks on the train into Plymouth and in Wetherspoon’s Britannia pub a short walk from Home Park.
    Plymouth is a lot less welcoming to the visiting team than Exeter, though still friendlier to away fans than many other clubs in the league…. no supporters bar with barrels of real ale & cider here, but there was banter with the locals and pasties in the away stand – and so there should be with Cornwall a couple of miles down the road over the Tamar Bridge!

    As for the game – Charlton had the majority of the play, particularly in the first half, when, as on Tuesday we should have been 2 or 3 goals up and out of sight. Some very pretty passing and play in midfield retained possession but up front we were woeful. As we saw last season balls from the wings were punted into the box in the hope that a Charlton shirt would get on the end of it rather than aimed at a specific target and clearly Magennis had been brought back before being fully fit and was a yard off the pace – not his fault, but with the shortage of strikers a clear case of ‘needs must’. Not much sign of attacking intent from the midfielders, in the second half there were only two shots on goal from outside the penalty area and Marshall, Argyle’s keeper, was only called upon to make one real save to add to the handful of good saves he made in the first half to prevent the Addicks from taking what then should have been a deserved lead.
    Plymouth came out for the second half with a plan B and a determination to raise their game – Charlton came out stuck on plan A and hoping for a break that never came. It’s little use having a large amount of possession if you can’t score, Plymouth were happy to do the opposite.

    As Russell Slade found out this time last year, and Karl Robinson is just discovering, the regime seem to think that the season starts with the end of the transfer window rather than the first weekend in August! We will be four games into the new season before the final squad is in place, and I’m far from convinced that will be strong enough to mount a sustained promotion challenge – in fact, I know it won’t on the evidence of the first 8 days of the season. Perhaps that’s Robinson’s “cunning plan”, to do a Millwall, hover in the top half of the table and hope to get a run together in March/April to get into the play-offs?
    Another striker – or two – desperately needed, but not just a striker, what the club need is a ‘poacher’, someone who can pop up and make a shot out of nothing – something we have lacked since Yann Kermorgant was given away by the regime.

    Unfortunately I can see just another season of mid-table mediocrity with the occasional glance over our collective shoulders at those below us ….. it is going to take something special to see Charlton finish above 10th place, and with the regime’s attitude to spending money and Robinson’s reliance on a sole striker up front and no plan B ever in sight I don’t see where that something special is going to come from.

    Sadly this “vinegar-pissing customer” won’t be making the long trek up to the Valley on too many occasions this season and my lad, who was grateful for the chance to watch the 2 ‘home’ games, departs next weekend to live “down under” and knows that he won’t be missing anything this season at least. I am slowly falling out of love with the game – far too many clubs, including our own, are now owned not by those who care about them but by chancers who want to bathe in their reflected glory if they do well or more often than not ruin them by mis-management and when their egos get tired of having to dig deep into the pockets they dump them like a piece of unwanted rubbish.
    Exeter’s fan ownership was forced upon them as the only way of keeping their club alive as they dropped down into the Conference a few years ago – they have come back into the League, they’ll never be a rich club in financial terms but they are rich in another way…. the ethos of the club. Volunteers undertake many of the match-day tasks, they are proud to do so, everyone feels involved in ‘their’ club. It is a model that does work, and it should be applauded. Perhaps that is where Charlton’s future lies…. but I fear that the club will almost have to die before it could come about.

    Thinking about the Transfer Window for a moment – just what use is this barrier to free movement of labour and restriction on the purchasing and disposal of assets in this multi-million pound industry purporting to be a sport? How many of us would put up with not being able to move jobs or bring in assets for 8 months of the year? Not many I would suggest. All the transfer window has really done is to distort transfer fees and bump them up to the obscene amounts now paid for players by the big clubs – as we know hardly any of that money filters down the pyramid, it merely goes into the pockets of the agents and to players in the form of a ludicrous weekly wage that most are not worth a fifth of.
    At least that’s something that the likes of Exeter never have to worry about……

    August 13, 2017
    • That’s a great Mike. Thanks for taking the time and repeating some home truths. As tough to accept as they are.

      August 13, 2017

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