Wednesday, 21 December 2011

BACK IN 2012!

Argyle Outsider is currently on hiatus and will return in 2012.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Plymouth Argyle 0, Crewe Alexandria 1


Argyle lost 1-0 to Crewe at Home Park this afternoon to drop to the bottom of League 2 and the foot of the Football League pyramid. The Greens have now played more than 300 minutes since they last hit the back of the opposition's net, in which time they have conceded 6 goals. Furthermore, with only five games of the season played, the Pilgrims' goal difference has already reached -9.

All of this will, of course, only make the inevitible resurrection all the sweeter. Ahem.

The official site's match report can be found here.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Plymouth Argyle 0, AFC Wimbledon 2


Argyle lost 2-0 at home to AFC Wimbledon this evening, their third straight defeat at Home Park in the last seven days. After having the best of a goalless opening period the Greens, much like on Saturday, conceded a quickfire double just before the hour and were unable to find a way back into the game.

A full match report is now available on the official site.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Daily Update

Ominous injury news - both Robbie Williams and Carl Fletcher are set to miss tomorrow's home game against AFC Wimbledon. Left-back Williams is also likely to miss Saturday's trip to Gillingham due to a heel problem, whilst Fletch is rumoured to be looking at a couple of weeks on the sidelines with a thigh injury.

But enough of this football nonsense! What is the latest on the takeover saga, I hear no-one ask. Well, in the aftermath of Saturday's Save Our Club meeting, the Argyle Fans' Trust have this afternoon released an interesting letter which has been emailed to all of the involved parties, including Brendan Guilfoyle. In the letter, which you can read here, the Interim Steering Committee have stated that, should a situation arise where Bishop International have the funds to complete the deal but the Football League refuse to grant their approval due to Peter Ridsdale's upcoming trial (for fraud), the Trust would be willing to buy the football club for £1. An unlikely outcome, perhaps, although the Guardian's Matt Scott appeared to hint last week that Ridsdale's appointment with judge and jury is a factor in the League's deliberations over whether to approve the proposed BIL/Riddler ownership structure.

If you want to read all the Argyle news without clicking on a load of links, why not head over to Greens On Screens' Daily Diary?

League 2 Round-Up - Week Two

Rotherham, Gillingham and Southend are the early pace-setters in League Two, with all three sides picking up six points from their opening two matches of the 2011-12 campaign. The Millers sit top on goal difference after their 4-1 victory at Home Park, followed by the Gills and Luggy's Shrimpers, who both picked up 2-1 away wins against Crewe and Accrington respectively.

Elsewhere, bookie's favourites Crawley Town picked up their first ever league win, overcoming Macclesfield 2-0, a feat matched by AFC Wimbledon who picked up a great win away at Dagenham. Torquay put one over their old boss Paul Buckle, beating Bristol Rovers 2-1 at the Memorial Stadium, while Bradford recovered from their opening day defeat to Aldershot by picking up a useful point away at Oxford.

Cheltenham beat Swindon 1-0, whilst Port Vale ran out 3-1 winners over Barnet. Shrewsbury were held to their second consecutive 1-1 draw of the season away at Burton Albion, Northampton won 1-0 away to Aldershot and Hereford were smashed 3-0 at home by Morecambe.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Weekend Update

Around 800 supporters attended the Argyle Fans' Trust's Save Our Club meeting at Plymouth Pavilions on Saturday morning. All the reaction, feedback and key points are covered in the relevant thread on PASOTI. If you don't fancy trawling through all of that, the main gist of it seems to be:
  • According to Guilfoyle, Bishop International originally wanted a 14 day extension to the exclusivity agreement, but P & A have only granted them a week
  • Brenda doesn't believe that there will be any problem obtaining the Football League share The League have posed four questions and their lawyers will review the answers next week
  • The Contigency Plan will not get the four weeks they are requesting, should they be called upon
  • Graham Clarke brought a small boy on to the stage to ask Brenda to give James Brent the time he would need. This didn't go down well with Guilfoyle, nor many of those in the audience (judging by the response on PASOTI)
  • Guilfoyle said that whoever buys the club will be taking on £2.8m debts, a £1.2m trading loss for this season and £300k owed to the Plymouth Argyle Supporters Training and Development Trust
  • Apparently Heaney will use some form of bridging finance to fund the deal, while he waits to free up the rest of the cash from another property deal
Peter Reid's post-Rotherham thoughts are now available on the BBC Sport website, as are the 'highlights' of the Greens' 4-1 defeat.

If you want to read all the Argyle news without clicking on a load of links, why not head over to Greens On Screens' Daily Diary?

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Plymouth Argyle 1, Rotherham United 4


Argyle fell to their first defeat of the season this afternoon, losing 4-1 to Rotherham at Home Park. The Pilgrims took the lead through debutant Will Atkinson in the 49th minute, before two strikes from Gareth Evans, on 52 and 59 minutes, put the Millers in front. Adam Le Fondre added two more late on for the visitors to inflict a heavy loss on Peter Reid's young side.

The match report is now available on the official site.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Daily Update

Brendan Guilfoyle tonight released a statement (yes, another one) claiming that Bishop International have assured him that the takeover will be completed next week. The statement, which you can read in full here, seems to indicate that Heaney and friends will have the required cash in place by Tuesday, while Peter Ridsdale needs to get Football League approval (which they have so far refused to provide) by end of play on Friday.

Kevin Heaney has finally given an interview on the subject of the Argyle takeover, which is available on Amusingly, the Herald are continuing to publish a tremendously unflattering photo of the Truro City chairman alongside almost every story connected with the proposed takeover - this one is no exception. Anyway, according to the Heanster (as no one calls him) there is no problem with getting the cash in place and it's the pesky creditors and Football League who are causing all the delays. Which raises the question of why Bishop International refused to provide £250k to pay the August wage bill? They wouldn't try and deliberately increase the chances of liquidation so that they could pressurise the Football League into approving the deal, would they?

Everything seems set for the Trust's Save Our Club meeting tomorrow at the Plymouth Pavilions. The meeting, which will be addressed by Peter Ridsdale and Brenda, amongst others, is scheduled to get underway at 11.30am.

Some football news! Winger Will Atkinson has signed on a season long loan from Hull City and will go straight into the squad for the match against Rotherham United at Home Park. Speaking of which, after "scouting" the Millers against Leicester City on Tuesday night, I suspect that the Pilgrims will be in for a tough game tomorrow afternoon. Rotherham, who eventually lost 4-1 after a second half hat-trick from Foxes youngster Jeff Schlupp, impressed in the first half of the Carling Cup tie and troubled a defence that contained Paul Konchesky and £5m ex-Reading man Matt Mills.

If you want to read all the Argyle news without clicking on a load of links, why not head over to Greens On Screens' Daily Diary?

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Daily Update

The BBC are reporting that the Argyle staff and players have agreed to defer their wages for the month of August at the request of administrator Brendan Guilfoyle. This now means that the staff have received one full pay packet since January, whilst the players have are yet to be paid in full in 2011. The move should, theoretically, keep the liquidation wolf from the door for a few more weeks, and Brenda seems to have reverted to his standard line that he has been "assured that the money to complete the deal will be available next week." Which is in no way inconsistent with taking the preferred bidder to court just over 24 hours ago.

Speaking of which, both the Herald and the Guardian have published pieces on the rapidly deteriorating situation at Home Park. They don't make pretty reading.

Plymouth Pavilions has been confirmed as the venue for the Fans' Trust Save Our Club meeting. Peter Ridsdale and Brendan Guilfoyle have both confirmed their attendance, Kevin Heaney is yet to reply to his invitation, while Peter Reid has sent his apologies - apparently he has a football match to prepare for. The meeting gets underway at 11.30 on Saturday morning.

If you want to read all the Argyle news without clicking on a load of links, why not head over to Greens On Screens' Daily Diary?

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Daily Update

Firstly, the football news. There are post-Carling Cup interviews with Matt Lecointe and Peter Reid up on the official site, and another match report available from the Evening Herald. are also reporting that the loan deal for Hull winger Will Atkinson is all but completed.

Meanwhile, on the takeover front, it appears that we are rapidly approaching the endgame. Here, in a handy timeline form, are the key events that have unfolded over the last 24 hours or so:

Yesterday Evening:
  • Brendan Guilfoyle appears on ITV's The Westcountry Tonight. Backs the Bishop International deal as the only realistic path forwards. Also appears to insinuate that the James Brent backed contingency plan is unable to provide the £240,000 needed to meet the August wage bill.
  • Argyle Fans' Trust ISC chair Chris Webb posts on PASOTI. Explains that it is not a case of Brent not having the cash, but rather that he is unwilling to immediately hand over a quarter of a million pounds to the administrator without first securing agreements with the secured creditors.
  • Chris also reports that several of the team behind the contingency plan had spoken to Peter Ridsdale after the Millwall game. The Riddler was "more confident than ever that KH [Kevin Heaney] would complete" next week and was planning to accompany Heaney to a meeting with secured creditors Lombard in London on Wednesday.
This Morning:
  • The Plymouth Herald report that staff and players will be asked to sign an agreement to defer their wages for August. The Herald also notes that Lombard have rejected an offer to settle the £2.1 million debt secured against Home Park.
  • Then, a massive U-turn. It emerges that P & A are taking Bishop International to court, this afternoon, to try and forceably extract the money for the August wage bill. According to a statement from the administrators, "The move follows a lack of response from Bishop international Limited to a request last week from the joint administrators for funds to pay August wages for players and staff and confirmation that they can complete the purchase by the middle of this month."
This Afternoon:
  • BBC Sport journalist Matt Slater tweets that Brendan Guilfoyle has released a statement, apologising to James Brent for any confusion caused by his Westcountry interview. Graham Clark, former Trust ISC chair, posts the complete statement on PASOTI.
  • P & A's application to the court in Manchester to force BIL to cough up is rejected.

So where does all of this leave us? On the brink, would be the short answer. Today's events seem to suggest that Brenda is desperately trying to rid himself of Heaney and co and frantically scrambling to mend fences with James Brent. However, any deal with Brent would take time to complete (two or three weeks at a minimum), and it appears that Guilfoyle's boss at P & A, Jeremy Priestly, is unwilling to take on the liability for August's wages. It's hard to think of a time when liquidation seemed more likely. Indeed, some (usually fairly optimistic souls) such as Contingency Committee member and fund raising supremo Ian Newell appear convinced that the club is about to bite the dust. Others, such as the Beeb's Matt Slater, seem more optimistic, sensing that there is still a good chance for the Brent/Trust deal to succeed.

In light of these developments, the Trust is organising a Save Our Club meeting for Saturday morning. The venue is still to be confirmed, although Plymouth Pavillions seems the most likely candidate. Keep checking the Trust website for details. If you can't attend, but still want to help, how about donating to the cost of the venue hire (£2000, if it turns out to be the Pavillions)? You can do this by using the "Donate" button on the top right of any page on PASOTI. This is still labelled "Sponsor Le Keeper", but all donations will now go to the Trust.

If you want to read all the Argyle news without clicking on a load of links, why not head over to Greens On Screens' Daily Diary?

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Plymouth Argyle 0, Millwall 1

Argyle exited the League Cup at the first round stage (yet again), losing 1-0 against Millwall at Home Park. By all accounts the Championship side were deserved winners although a young Plymouth XI, shorn of the injured Carl Fletcher and Warren Feeney, were far from disgraced. Peter Reid handed debuts to apprentices Jordan Copp and Matt Lecointe, who both came on as second half substitutes.

The match report is now available on the official site.

Monday, 8 August 2011

The Opposition: Millwall

Founded: 1885

Manager: Kenny Jackett (since November 2007)

Record transfer fee paid: £800,000 (Paul Goddard, 1989)

Final league position 2010-11: 9th, Football League Championship

Previous seasons:

2009-10: 3rd, League One (Play-Off Winners)

2008-09: 5th, League One (losing Play-Off finalists)

2007-08: 17th, League One

Top scorer (2010-11): Steve Morison (15 goals)

Pre-season results:

30th July: Millwall 4, Charlton 3

July 23rd: Gillingham 0, Millwall 1

Last time out: Reading 2, Millwall 2

Head-To-Head: Argyle won 24, lost 23, drawn 27

Most recent meeting: Millwall 1, Argyle 1 - April 15th 2008

Daily Update

Former Swindon, Cardiff and Southend full-back Miguel Comminges is on trial with the Pilgrims. The Guadeloupe international, who was twice signed by former Argyle boss Paul Sturrock, has been without a club since being released by the Shrimpers at the end of last season. A left-winger may also be on the way, with Hull City wide man Will Atkinson rumoured to be heading to Home Park after tomorrow night's Carling Cup games. Atkinson has previously had successful, if brief, loan periods at Rochdale and Rotherham.

Argyle also have also added another body to the coaching staff, as former Exeter, Watford and Barnsley goalkeeper Kevin Miller is assisting Peter and Shaun Reid with training at UCP Marjon. Meanwhile, Warren Feeney has withdrawn from the Northern Ireland squad for the Euro 2012 qualifier against the Faroe Islands after picking up a slight muscle injury on Saturday afternoon.

Highlights of the Shrewsbury match are now available on the BBC Sport website. The post-Shrewsbury press interviews are nicely rounded up on Greens On Screen.

Finally, the Argyle Fans' Trust have released formal notice of the election of society board members. All the details are available on the Trust's website.

If you want to read all the Argyle news without clicking on a load of links, why not head over to Greens On Screens' Daily Diary?

Sunday, 7 August 2011

League 2 Round-Up - Week One

Full results from this round of matches in Football League Two are available here on the BBC Sport website.

Swindon and Bristol Rovers, both relegated from League One last season and under new management, made good starts to life in the bottom tier by picking up three points on the opening day of the season. Paul Buckle's Rovers overcame Football League new (old) boys AFC Wimbledon at Kingsmeadow, whilst Swindon Town, under the watchful eye of Paolo Di Canio, saw off Crewe by three goals to nil. Meanwhile, at Vale Park, promotion favourites and all-round people's champions Crawley Town were held to a 2-2 draw away at Port Vale.

Paul Sturrock's Southend began the season in Luggy-pleasing form, beating Hereford 1-0 at home, while Torquay United came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Burton Albion at Plainmoor. Bradford City, who are now in their fifth season of being too big for the bottom division, lost 2-1 at home to Aldershot.

Potential play-off contenders Rotherham beat Oxford United (who have promotion hopes of their own) 1-0. Morecombe and Macclesfield, who have been tipped to struggle by many, both lost their opening fixtures 1-0, to Barnet and Dagenham and Redbridge respectively. Elsewhere, Gillingham beat Cheltenham by a goal to nil and Northampton and Accrington Stanley played out the division's only goalless draw.

Saturday Afternoon, Sunday Morning

Some post-match thoughts, 24 hours on...
  • Argyle's football was a pleasure to watch at times yesterday. The move that nearly set up Tom Hitchcock within 90 seconds of kick off was a thing of beauty, four or five first time passes followed by a whipped cross from Luke Daley. It will, at points, test the patience of some supporters - on more than one occasion at Greenhous Meadow the Greens worked the ball back to Jake Cole from a throw-in deep in Shrewsbury territory, and free kicks in dangerous crossing positions were quickly taken short - but has the potential to be very effective, as Argyle's dominance of the first 20 minutes of yesterday's match showed. Despite the received wisdom that direct football prospers in the basement tier, Chesterfield played a short passing game in League Two last season. They won the division by five points.
  • It was blatantly obvious from yesterday's match that more bodies are needed, and fast. First and foremost, a left winger is desperately required to fill the gap caused by the non-signing of Andres Gurierri. Robbie Williams ran up and down gamely in the first half without much effect, whilst the Pilgrims pretty much played without a left sided wideman after the interval, as Conor Hourihane patrolled the inside left position with Ben Gibson pushing on from full-back. Neither situation was particularly satisfactory.
  • The Greens will also be in the market for a tall centre-forward. Tom Hitchcock and Warren Feeney, yesterday's front two, measure in at 5ft 8 and 5ft 7 respectively - in the second half at Greenhous Meadow, as Peter Reid highlighted in his Argyle World interview, the visitors had little of chance of retaining possession when the Shrewsbury forwards pressurised Zubar and Soukana into hitting it long.
  • Woe betide us should Carl Fletcher get injured. Aside from his goal, the captain looked a cut above in the middle of the park, especially in the first half an hour of the match.
  • Peter Reid has a selection dilemma in the centre of midfield, with Fletcher, Conor Hourihane and Simon Walton all staking a claim. Fletch is the first name on the teamsheet, and Hourihane made a very assured debut, only let down by some wayward shooting in the second half. However, Walton can also pick a pass whilst offering a more imposing physical presence than the former Ipswich youngster.
  • Stephane Zubar and Ladjie Soukana looked solid as a centre-back pairing. The fact that Curtis Nelson was only named as a substitute would seem to indicate that the 2010-11 young player of the year is either a) carrying a knock or b) on the verge of a move away from Home Park.
  • Every club has it's own band of idiots who turn up once in a blue moon looking for a punch-up (usually with the opposition, rather than each other). Let's hope this match was their annual outing.
  • The majority of the players may be young and inexperienced, but they don't seem afraid of letting their feelings known to their senior colleagues. Hitchcock gave Feeney a right mouthful after the Northern Irishman had shot tamely at the 'keeper instead of passing just after the interval, whilst a loud "Oi!" from Luke Daley halted Carl Fletcher's celebrations, apparently reminding the captain that their were still 4 minutes of injury time to see out.
  • Fletcher's goal certainly felt like "a moment". We'll know in a few weeks whether it really was a turning point, or just another false dawn.
  • The early stages of this season could be vital for the Pilgrims. Peter Reid has clearly cobbled together a talented bunch of young footballers, but the key to success may be in giving them confidence to express themselves on the field. A few confidence-boosting results over the coming weeks could mean that we're in for a good season. However, a run of defeats early doors may be hard to turn round with so few experienced heads in the squad.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Shrewsbury Town 1, Plymouth Argyle 1

Argyle drew 1-1 with Shrewsbury Town at Greenhous Meadow, Carl Fletcher netting a 90th minute equaliser (and sparking pandemonium in the away end) after James Collins had put the home side ahead 20 minutes from time.

Argyle: Cole, Berry, Zubar, Soukana, Gibson, Daley, Fletcher (c), Hourihane, Williams (Walton), Hitchcock (Vassel), Feeney. Unused subs: Nelson, Copp, Sims.

Match reports are available on the official site and the BBC, whilst you can find all of the usual commentary clips and photos on Greens On Screen.

Possible Line-Ups: Shrewsbury Town

Friday, 5 August 2011

The Opposition: Shrewsbury Town

Founded: 1886

Ground: Greenhous Meadow

Record transfer fee paid: £100,000 (Mark Blake, 1997)

Final league position 2010-11: 4th, Football League Two (losing play-off semi-finalists)

Previous seasons:

2009-10: 12th, League Two

2008-09: 7th, League Two

2007-08: 18th, League Two

Top scorer (2010-11): Lionel Ainsworth (9 goals)

Pre-season results:

July 29th: Shrewsbury Town 0, Tranmere 2

July 26th: Kiddeminster Harriers 2, Shrewsbury Town 1

July 22nd: Shrewsbury Town 2, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0

July 17th: Shrewsbury Town 2, Manchester United XI 1

Head-To-Head: Argyle won 12, lost 14, drawn 17

Most recent meeting: Shrewsbury 3, Argyle 1, January 19th, 2002

Daily Update

The Argyle takeover saga has continued to stutter on over the past couple of days, as it appears Brendan Guilfoyle is slowly edging towards forcing Bishop International into finally providing some more cash to add to the £300k (rather than £1m, as promised) that they paid for exclusivity. Brenda's statement claims that the club needs £270,000 from the PB to pay August's wage bill. It also insuates that, should BIL fail to complete, the door may be opened for the Brent/Trust contingency plan, providing that they are able to provide "immediate funding".

Whilst that may have raised hopes that the Heanster was about to be kicked to the curb, Brenda's appearance on Radio Devon this morning saw him reiterate the old line that BIL will complete the deal once they come up with the cash (next week, apparently). However, August 12th has now been set as the expiry date for exclusivity. How firm that deadline is remains to be seen.

The other main point in Brenda's interview is the necessity to obtain the Golden Share and approval on the takeover deal from the Football League. This afternoon the Trust released a letter from the FL, which revealed that they've spoken to the Preferred Bidders but are yet to reach a decision on whether or not to give the deal the green light. Other points of interest include the reference to the differing positions of the Trust and the city council, along with the general tone of the letter; it reads as if they only just stopped themselves from adding "please do not contact us on this matter again" at the end.

The key players behind the Contingency Plan (minus the council, presumably) held a conference call this afternoon to coordinate their response to the latest developments, the details of which you can see on PASOTI.

In other news, Plymouth Argyle are playing a game of football tomorrow. In the run-up to the match against Shrewsbury Town Peter Reid and many of his squad have been speaking to the press. You can read all of the print interviews on Greens On Screen, whilst Peter Reid's chat to Radio Devon is here. The interviews with Carl Fletcher are definitely worth reading, I particularly liked this passage:

“I think it’s important for everyone at the club to give something back to the fans, who have been great going through all this. They have had two relegations in the last two years, and it has been hard on them. Some of them have been watching Plymouth Argyle for years and years, a lot longer than I have been here, so it would be nice to give something back to them. It’s unbelievable what the Green Taverners, and all the other people who have raised money, have done. They have been helping the office staff out when they have not been getting paid. I can’t speak highly enough of them, to be honest. People have got medals, and MBEs, for doing less than what they have done...Through all the bad stuff that has happened, the good thing that has come out of it is there has been a real bond between the fans and the players. That definitely wasn’t here when I first came to the club, and we want to keep it."

Excited about tomorrow now? Course you are.

If you want to read all the Argyle news without clicking on a load of links, why not head over to Greens On Screens' Daily Diary?

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Daily Update

Argyle appear a step closer to signing Warren Feeney after Oldham terminated the Northern Irish international's contract. Former Leeds forward Tresor Kandol is also meant to be in negotiations with the Pilgrims. The Congolese international, who has played for a number of Football League clubs during the past 10 years, would certainly add a physical presence up front.

The Pilgrims "temporary" 2011-12 shirts have turned up at Home Park, which appears to have excited the club to the extent that they took a photo of the shirt before stopping to take the label off (or find a room with a decent amount of light). Anyhow, this kit will be used until the 125th anniversary strip is launched in October, and looks perfectly decent - the Bond Timber logo is a welcome change to the Ginsters 'splodge' and the club badge seems to be embroidered on the shirt, which is an improvement on the nasty iron-on emblem that adorned last season's Adidas effort.

There's an interview with Peter Reid and Fletch on the Sky Sports website here. Speaking of which, Sky have predicted the Pilgrims to finish 21st in League 2. They're not alone; the Guardian have the Greens down in the bottom half of the league come May on their Football League blog.

Apparently 600 Shrewsbury tickets have already been sold, and the Shrews are advising against planning to pay on the day as if the away end fills up (it holds 1,600) then travelling fans will not be permitted into other parts of the ground. Helpfully for exiles, the Shrewsbury ticket office are happy to sell away tickets over the phone to Argyle fans, as the Home Park box office is unable to take credit or debit card payments whilst the Pilgrims are in administration. According to this thread on PASOTI, they're also cheaper than buying from Argyle.

If you want to read all the Argyle news without clicking on a load of links, why not head over to Greens On Screens' Daily Diary?

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Daily Update

Defender Ben Gibson has joined Argyle on an initial three month loan from Middlesborough. There is a short interview with the 18-year-old, who featured for the Pilgrims in the 1-0 victory over Saltash yesterday evening, up on the official site. At the bottom of that article, it's revealed that Peter Reid has "decided" against signing Andres Gurrieri to a permanent contract. Presumably this is because some compensation is due to the Argentine's former club in Uruguay. Whatever the explanation, it's a bit of a blow as Argyle are now left short of options on the left wing. Maybe they still have Joe Holt's phone number?

There's more transfer confusion surrounding Warren Feeney. This afternoon Oldham claimed that the player was only prepared to join the Pilgrims on loan and had turned down the offer of a permanent move. It came as a surprise, therefore, when an interview with the Northern Ireland international appeared on with Feeney claiming that he was still dead keen on moving to Plymouth (due to the city's close proximity to Wales, apparently). According to Feeney, Oldham have caused the hitch by deciding at the eleventh hour that they wanted him to leave permanently rather than on loan. It looks like this one has some more to run - there should be more on the story in the local press tomorrow.

There's a new interview with Conor Hourihane up on Argyle World. There's not much of note in it, but he seems a nice chap and is looking forward to playing some first team football this season.

Romain has also been speaking to Sky Sports, revealing that he'd like to stay at Home Park beyond the coming season. Sky also have the scoop that Rory Fallon has signed a one month deal with Yeovil Town, although they've slightly blotted their copybook by screwing up the headline.

If you want to read all the Argyle news without clicking on a load of links, why not head over to Greens On Screens' Daily Diary?

Monday, 1 August 2011

Daily Update

Argyle won their final pre-season friendly this evening, running out 1-0 winners over Saltash United at the Kimberley Stadium. The Pilgrims put out a strong first XI, probably similar to the one that will start against Shrewsbury on Saturday, with Tom Hitchcock playing as lone frontman in front of a central midfield three made up of Conor Hourihane, Simon Walton and Carl Fletcher. Hitchcock scored the only goal of the came, heading home from a Luke Daley cross. The report is now up on the official site.

The Herald reported this morning that trialists Joe Holt, Joseph Mendes and Nikolaj Misiuk have all been told that they won't be offered contracts at Home Park, while the official site announced that (prospective loanee) Ben Gibson and Northern Ireland international Warren Feeney had arrived for trials. It came as something of a surprise, therefore, to see Mendes come off the bench for Argyle at the Kimberley this evening, while Feeney was nowhere to be seen. Presumably all will become clear over the next 24 hours.

The takeover saga has taken another, not together all surprising, turn as Brendan Guilfoyle has admitted to the local press that Kevin Heaney's 'consortium' requires another property deal to reach completion before 'they' can supply the cash to buy Argyle. Who'd have thought it, eh? Not to worry though, as Brenda has heard the vertically-challenged Truro City chairman has other funding routes if needed. So that's all right then, nothing to worry about. If that wasn't enough good news, former Trust chair Graham Clark has revealed on PASOTI that the exclusivity agreement can be extended indefinitely. Wonderful.

Meanwhile, the Trust/Brent/Green Taverners 'Rescue Plan' has been renamed the 'Contingency Plan'. All the parties, with the exception of Plymouth City Council, met again today and released a draft manifesto via PASOTI, which outlines their values, beliefs, etc.

It's been confirmed that Shaun Reid has joined the coaching staff. Adam Sadler has left the club to go and join the youth set-up at Manchester City.

Finally, you can read a 200 word preview of Argyle's prospects for the new season (or, more precisely, 150 words on the financial situation and 50 words on the 2011/12 campaign) on the website of the Guardian. Written by yours truly. Oh yes.

If you want to read all the Argyle news without clicking on a load of links, why not head over to Greens On Screens' Daily Diary?

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Weekend Update

A few bits of bobs from the weekend...
  • The Green Taverners' Fun Day held today at Home Park was, by all accounts, a great success. Pictures are now available on Greens On Screen.
  • The Plymouth Argyle Supporter's Association London Branch (PASALB) met with Peter Ridsdale on Friday evening. A brief account of what went on can be found here. Most interesting/alarming was the Riddler's claim that Brendan Guilfoyle's boss would rather liquidate the club than reopen the process to new bidders. That seems hard to believe, seeing as Guilfoyle is now liable for the contracts that have been signed by the new players, but there you have it.
  • Images of the official kits (the ones due to arrive in September, not the interim ones that will appear from Saturday onwards) have appeared online, on the Football League website (of all places). The home kit in particular is a very smart effort, and far superior to either of the strips that Adidas produced.
  • Word on PASOTI is that Ben Gibson and Andres Gurrieri have agreed deals.
  • More trialists are expected to arrive tomorrow, according to the Riddler as reported by the Herald. One of them is sure to be A Big Bloke To Play Up Front - Ridsdale told the PASALB meeting that he's in negotiations to sign a centre-forward from a Premier League club (on a free, obviously). Apparently the player in question featured against Argyle whilst on loan in League One last season.
If you want to read all the Argyle news without clicking on a load of links, why not head over to Greens On Screens' Daily Diary?

Friday, 29 July 2011

Tavistock 1 Plymouth Argyle XI 3

An Argyle XI beat Tavistock 3-1 this evening, the goals scored by trialist Joseph Mendes, youth trialist Colin Watson and an unfortunate Tavistock player.

Lithuanian striker Nicolay Misiuk also featured for the Pilgrims. The 24-year-old, who is 6ft 4, previously played in the Lithuanian top flight with FK Tauras Taurage but is now a free agent. This website says he scored three goals in A Lyga last season. However, it also says that he's valued at £100,000.

Daily Update

Connor Hourihane has agreed to sign a two year deal with Argyle and will move to Home Park on a free transfer from Ipswich Town. The 20-year-old Irish midfielder impressed many with his performance against Truro City on Wednesday night, which he capped off by netting the winner. Hourihane will take the number 20 shirt for the coming League 2 campaign - the rest of the squad numbers are now up on the official site, although some shirts (the number 9 being a prime example) remain vacant.

As was rumoured yesterday, Brendan Guilfoyle has given the go-ahead for Argyle to register their new signings with the Football League. As Brenda would now have to assume liability for the players contracts if the club went out of business, you would think he's pretty confident that Argyle won't be liquidated any time soon. More details can be found on Meanwhile, the Herald are also reporting that Kevin Heaney has agreed to reveal the identity of his backers to the Football League, which has certainly delighted the Riddler, if no-one else. Apparently "everybody might be surprised that there's not as many people as you might think". Not really Peter, not really.

While we're on the subject of the intermable takeover saga - the word now is that the Sale and Purchase agreement, which was due to be completed on August 5th (a week today), has now been extended to August 31st. The Preferred Bidder's exclusivity, however, was meant to expire on either August 5th/12th, so it's unclear whether the Trust/Brent "Rescue Plan" bid can now talk to Guilfoyle. Judging by how the process has been run so far it seems unlikely, but you never know. The Trust ISC have released a statement on this topic, while there is a discussion thread on PASOTI here.

Intriguingly, Guilfoyle has apparently ordered his solicitors to monitor the Trust ISC's press comments after an email dispute with Trust Chair Chris Webb. You can read Chris' side of this story here.

Chief Executive in waiting David Jones has given an interview to the Herald, talking up Argyle's chances of making it back to the Championship. He doesn't give any timescale mind, nor any rough outline of how that might happen, but you can't deny it's a nice sentiment.

A couple of new transfer rumours have appeared on PASOTI. Middlesborough's 18-year-old defender Ben Gibson, nephew of Boro chairman Steve, is expected to join on loan imminently. This comes from PASOTI poster matteh, who has a good track record when it comes to these sort of things. He's also posted some details on his own Argyle website. Less encouraging is a post linking Argyle with former Hull, Leicester and Preston defender Wayne Brown. Let's just hope that one comes to nothing.

Finally, Rory Patterson has sealed his loan move to Linfield. Some of the details of what led to Patterson being threatened with dismissal by Brendan Guilfoyle have been reported by the Herald - it's a pretty shabby tale which you can read here.

If you want to read all the Argyle news without clicking on a load of links, why not head over to Greens On Screens' Daily Diary?

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Daily Update

Argyle have announced the match-day prices for the 2011-12 season. An adult ticket will cost £20 (whether you pay a week before the game or 2.55pm on a Saturday afternoon), whilst over-65s will be charged £15. Under-18s will pay £7. All of the details are on the official site.

What's more, tickets for the Shrewsbury and Millwall matches are now on sale from the Home Park box office. An adult ticket for the match against the Shrews is £17, although the box office is currently only taking cash and cheques (no credit cards). The full details are here.

In a final bit of ticket news, the club have come up with a wheeze to try and shift a few more season tickets with the 'Founders Club'. It's all to celebrate the 125th anniversary you see, and anyone who signs up for a season ticket for 2011-12 will get the chance to watch a training session, take part in an exclusive Q & A with the players and get a certificate and load of other commemorative stuff. You can find more about this once in a lifetime opportunity/marketing ploy on the official site.

Match reports are available for the Truro match on the official site and The Herald have also got an account of their failed attempts to get anything out of Kevin Heaney, who was sitting in the Director's Box. Long story short, he didn't say anything. They did, however, manage to get a picture of him looking fabulously sinister.

Peter Reid had good things to say about all four trialists that featured in last night's game, and was especially positive about the performances of midfielders Joe Holt and Conor Hourihane (who, contrary to what I wrote yesterday, appears to be available on a permanent transfer from Ipswich).

On the topic of new players, the word on PASOTI is that Brendan Guilfoyle has given the Riddler the green light to sign proper contracts with all of those who have agreed in principle to join the club. This is clearly good news, although it's not entirely clear whether the Football League have given the all-clear for Cole, Williams, Berry, Daley et al to actually play for the Pilgrims. The local press should be running this tomorrow, so hopefully we'll know more in the morning. Let's hope the FL are in a generous mood, as new Chief Executive David Jones apparently told Graham Clark (former chairman of the Fan's Trust) and Peter Ryan (current Trust secretary) that the takeover is now unlikely to be completed until August 12th. Jones is also reported to have admitted that he's yet to see any of the £5m that the deal will cost.

If you want to read all the Argyle news without clicking on a load of links, why not head over to Greens On Screens' Daily Diary?

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Plymouth Argyle 2 Truro City 1

This evening's match at Home Park finished with Argyle emerging with a 2-1 victory over a decent Truro City side. By all accounts trialist Conor Hourihane was the standout player for the home side, while Andres Gurerri had a difficult evening at right-back, deputising for the injured Durrell Berry. Hourihane would be a good aquisition, as the Greens remain short of creativity in the middle of the park.

Also, I've just stumbled upon Brendan Guilfoyle's Twitter page. I particularly enjoyed the two entries for May 15th.

Daily Update

Argyle have new shirt sponsors! WH Bond & Sons, an "agricultural-based family business", will be the Pilgrims' main sponsors for the 2011-12 season, with "Bond Timber" appearing on the front of the shirts. What's more, the Bonds family have paid for the interim 'off-the-peg' Puma kit which the Greens will wear until the 125th anniversary strip turns up at some point in September. A (fairly amateurish) illustration of the temporary kit has also been released, which looks none too shabby. The Bonds logo certainly is an improvement on the red Ginsters splodge.

There's plenty about WH Bond & Sons on the official site, including a brilliant picture of Reidy and the Riddler leaning on a pickup truck, in a pose reminiscent of something out of a Wrangler jeans advert. Basically, the deal appears a good one for a League 2 club with the added bonus that the Bonds family are staunch Argyle supporters.

The other main development from this morning's press conference was the announcement that Dave Jones has been made Chief Executive. Oddly, there's no mention of this appointment on the official site. Jones, who was previously chief financial officer at Southampton, has been working with Peter Ridsdale at Home Park since the Greens enter administration back in March.

There's a new interview with Peter Ridsdale and on Argyle World. The main point of interest is a quick glimpse of what appears to be the interim away kit, which the Riddler is shown holding up a picture of during the press conference. It's this shirt, with a black version on the Bond logo on the front. The club did say that the stand-in away kit would be a different colour to the final version, so presumably we're not having a white away kit post-September. Ridsdale's main points in the interview are:

  • It's brilliant to be focussing on a football-related matter, rather than finance. (This seems a pretty financial issue to me but, hey, what do I know?)
  • Bonds have the option of a second year if all goes well
  • He's looking forward to watching the new team - the spirit in the camp is excellent, apparently
  • Please buy a season ticket
There's also a brief interview with Chris Bond who, make no mistake, is a proper Argyle fan.

Argyle are playing there third and final pre-season friendly at Home Park this evening, against Truro City. The Pilgrims started the match with the following XI:

Jake Cole; Andre Gurreri, Stephane Zubar, Ladji Moukana, Robbie Williams; Luke Daley, Carl Fletcher (C), Conor Hourihane, Joe Holt; Tom Hitchcock, Joe Mendes.

Here's a bit on the three trialists (in bold above):
  • Conor Hourihane, a 20-year-old central midfielder, who is available on loan from Ipswich Town
  • Joe Holt is another young midfielder, who has previously made the bench for Wigan Athletic
  • Joseph Mendes, aged 20, is a French striker who scored 1 goal in 13 appearances for Grenoble in Ligue 2 last season. Grenoble ended up finishing 20th and were relegated.

With around three quarters of the match played Argyle are leading 2-1 after initially falling behind to a Les Afful goal. A deflected Carl Fletcher effort drew the Pilgrims level, however, before Hourihane made it 2-1 after linking nicely with fellow-trialist Mendes. Simon Walton, Jared Sims and Jordan Copp have all made appearances as second half substitutes. Walton is currently captaining the team, which is something you can file under "sights I thought I'd never see".

If you want to read all the Argyle news without clicking on a load of links, why not head over to Greens On Screens' Daily Diary?

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Bridport 3 Plymouth Argyle 3

A young Argyle side ended up drawing 3-3 with Bridport at St Mary's, with Matt Lecointe grabbing all three goals for the Pilgrims. That takes Lecointe's pre-season tally to six goals - it wouldn't be a shock to see the 16-year-old on the bench against Truro City tomorrow night.

The match report is now up on the official site.

Daily Update

Plenty of news in the Herald/WMN today...

There's a nice piece about St Luke's Hospice and the charity Help The Hospices on the official site. It's well worth a read, and you can find out more about St Luke's here and Help the Hospices here.

An interview with new signing Jake Cole is now available to view on Argyle World. If you don't have a subscription, the main points of interest are:

  • He's looking forward to the Shrewsbury game, where he's guaranteed a start due to Larrieu's suspension
  • Cole is a QPR supporter, and spent 14 years with the Hoops before moving to Barnet

A young Argyle team (managed by Kevin Hodges and Sean Reid) are currently playing Bridport at St Mary's Road. The latest on PASOTI is that the mighty Bridport are leading 2-1. Matt Lecointe has got the goal for the visitors. You can follow the match thread of PASOTI here.

Finally, it's been reported on PASOTI that the Riddler has called a press conference for tomorrow morning. Those in the know (Chris Webb from the Trust, Rupert Metcalf from the Morning News) reckon it's to announce a new sponsorship deal.

If you want to read all the Argyle news without clicking on a load of links, why not head over to Greens On Screens' Daily Diary?

Monday, 11 July 2011

Bondz Voyage

Bondz N’Gala left Argyle last week, moving up the road to Huish Park after sealing a free transfer to Yeovil Town. The London-born defender spent more than 14 months at Home Park and made 35 appearances for the Greens, scoring one goal. N’Gala, who had previously made a handful of league appearances whilst on loan at Weymouth, MK Dons and Scunthorpe, was again lent out by the Hammers in March 2010 as Paul Mariner sought to bolster his squad with the Pilgrims in the midst of their doomed battle against relegation from the Championship. The 20-year-old impressed while making his debut in the 2-0 victory over Ipswich at Portman Road, one of the high points of the Mariner era, and was an ever-present for the rest of the season as Argyle fought gamely throughout March and April, before finally throwing in the towel in the wake of the 2-0 home defeat to Middlesbrough on Easter Monday.

Despite the announcement that a new manager would be brought in for the following season, N’Gala was snapped up on a free transfer by the leaderless Pilgrims in May 2010, presumably on the recommendation of Paul Mariner who remained in his role as Head Coach. New boss Peter Reid chose to deploy Bondz in his less-preferred position of right-back at the start of the 2010-11 campaign, a decision that paid early dividends as a deep N’Gala cross led to the only goal in the 1-0 opening day victory over Southampton at St Mary’s.

The N’Gala-as-a-fullback experiment continued through the first month of the season as the Pilgrims made a stuttering start to their League One campaign, before a controversial dismissal during the 3-2 triumph over Sheffield Wednesday in September led to the return of the (temporarily) rehabilitated Marcel Seip at full-back, with Bondz switching back to his more natural home at centre-back. However, the partnership forged in the centre of defence with Reda Johnson was not an entirely happy one, as occasionally inspired blocks and challenges were accompanied by moments of miscommunication and frequent lapses in concentration. An early dismissal away at Oldham further blotted Bondz’s copybook, as the Pilgrims conceded two late goals to lose 4-2 after playing nearly 45 minutes with nine men.

N’Gala made a handful of appearances throughout November, December and January before reclaiming his first team spot in the midst of Argyle’s horrible winless run throughout February. Back out on the right, with Stephane Zubar and Curtis Nelson firmly established as the unpaid Pilgrims first choice centre-halves, N’Gala registered his first professional goal at Hillsborough in March, opening the scoring in the memorable 4-2 victory with a crisp left-footed drive from the edge of the penalty area. Bondz made five more appearances as the Greens finally slid to a second straight relegation before requesting permission at the end of the season to make a summer move to a club closer to home.

Memorable moments

Southampton 0, Argyle 1 – August 2010. Bondz whips in a deep cross from the right flank, Fallon nods across goal and Summers slides the ball home. One nil, three points, plenty of false hope. Hear it here at Greens on Screen.

Sheffield Wednesday 2, Argyle 4 – March 2011. N’Gala gives the Greens a perfect start to a thoroughly entertaining afternoon, netting his first professional goal with a vicious left-footed strike. Hear it here at Greens on Screen.

Dagenham & Redbridge 0, Argyle 1 – April 2011. Not named amongst the Argyle substitutes, Bondz joined Rory Fallon in the away end with the travelling Green Army.

Check out Bondz’s Argyle stats at the Greens on Screen database.