Saturday, 12 May 2012

Weekend Update

It's been a quiet week at Home Park, with the players off on their holidays, although the club has apparently been doing a healthy trade in memberships (season tickets).  James Brent, for one, is in an optimistic mood as thoughts turn to next season.

Negotiations are ongoing between Carl Fletcher, Romain Larrieu and James Brent regarding the current management team's future at the club.  All of the signs appear to be positive despite a BBC Sport article, published on Monday, which had a go at creating a load of drama around one standard non-commital Fletch response (the stat about Le Keeper being fourth in the all time appearances list is also wrong; he's actually 21st).

On a not-completely unrelated topic: Paul Groves has been appointed as Bournemouth's permanent manager on a two-year deal.

Here are a few interesting bits and bobs from the local press:

  • The side that faced Santos at Home Park back in 1973 are planning a reunion (Friday).
  • Carl Fletcher almost passed on signing Maxime Blanchard (Friday).
  • An interview with Young Player of the Season, Luke Young (Thursday).
Nominations are now open for the Plymouth Argyle Supporters Board (PASB).  A leaflet, with all of the details, is available on the club site, while have a piece on the subject.

Finally, there's a fascinating, three part 50 minute interview with Carl Fletcher, Romain Larrieu and Kevin Nancekivell on Argyle World, looking back at the whole of the 2011-12 season.  It's just the sort of thing that the club should do more of, and well worth the £4 monthly Argyle Player subscription.

Here are a few choice quotes:

Carl Fletcher on pre-season worries:

I think we doubted [that the club would start the season] once we got back for pre-season, and nothing had changed.  I think we kind of expected to go away, come back and at least see some kind of movement.  Literally nothing had changed at all...that was the worst time.

On the players' strike threat in the run-up to the Burton game:

We were the only ones left who could have actually done something...if it was the staff or anyone the administrator would have been “great, go on, you go on strike and we’ll just sack you, we don’t have to pay you again.”... Miraculously, they were able to find some more money for us.  Makes you wonder why they didn’t do it in the first place.

On Guilfoyle and Ridsdale: 

There was no relationship between the players and the administrator.  The only one who would ever tell us anything was Ridsdale.  To be fair to him, he did come down on a fairly regular basis and say [what was happening]...whether true or not, at least he was telling us something.

On the takeover:

I think everyone thought we’d get taken over, spend loads of money, gets loads of players in and that would be it, done.  We were very realistic, the club wasn’t run like a football club before and you need to take time to get the wheels turning again.  It’ll still take time now.

On the style of play:

Where we were, there was no way we were suddenly going to come out [and play attractive football]. It would have been great if we’d gone “yeah, we’ll pass the ball around, brilliant, we’ll look really pretty and everything like that.”  We’d lose every game; that was no good for us...on our worst days we were fit, we were solid and we were hard to beat.

On the recruitment policy:

We try and bring the right characters in, that’s the main thing.  If you get people who are idiots – we don’t want them.  It just disrupts everything; if someone’s an idiot he might drag a couple with him, then you get splits in the group...we’re very lucky that we got some real good characters.

On the doubters:

There’s nothing nicer than sticking two fingers up at people who doubted you... it takes strong people to stick [to their guns] like James Brent – he stuck behind us and has put his faith in us with his football club, and we know the people who have stuck by us through thick and thin......we appreciate the ones who stuck with us when things aren’t going right.  We stayed up, and we’re all getting twenty, thirty messages on our phone; we didn’t get that when we lost at Rotherham.

Romain, on the same topic:

I remember coming back Monday morning and watching the Football League Show and one of the pundits said “now they’ve got an owner, they just need a manager.”  I remember that very well, and I thought “yeah, you’ll be eating your words in a minute”.  He was probably looking for a job.

As I said, there's much, much more (another 49 minutes worth, in fact) on a varied selection of topics - Shrewsbury, Stourbridge, Bristol Rovers, Rotherham, Oxford, Nance's playing career, Romain's clean sheets, receiving their backpay over five years - it's all in there.

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

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Merci, Romain

Yesterday marked the end of an era for Plymouth Argyle.  Much has happened during the past eleven and a half years at Home Park; three sides of the ground redeveloped, two championships, two relegations, seven months in administration, seven different full time managers, numerous players and directors in and out of the door. And through it all one goalkeeper - Romain Larrieu - has been at the club, an ever-present in constantly changing times.

There are few one club men in football, especially in the modern era; it’s quite possible that there will never be another Argyle player who spends more than eleven seasons with the club.  Of course, the chances are that ‘Le Keeper’ will remain at Home Park next season as Carl Fletcher’s number two but, for many, it’ll be an odd feeling to see an Argyle teamsheet without the name ‘Romain Larrieu’ listed amongst the starters or the substitutes.

There’s a nice tribute piece by Rick Cowdery on the official site, along with some pictures from Ro’s time at the club.  And the image that accompanies this article about yesterday's match is oddly touching.

Romain Larrieu In Numbers
  • 4,169 days between first appearance (vs Bristol City in the LDV Vans Trophy, 5th December 2000) and last appearance (vs Cheltenham Town in Football League Two, 5th May 2012) 
  • One month - the length of Romain's initial trial contract
  • 314 starts and four substitute appearances
  • 86 clean sheets
  • Two championship medals (Division 3 champions 2001-02, Division 2 champions 2003-04)
  • Two loan spells away from the club, at Yeovil Town (2006-07) and Gillingham (2007-08)
  • 161 different Argyle teammates
  • One Player of the Season award (2008-09)

Romain Larrieu at the Greens on Screen database

Le Testimonial