Part 1 / Part 2
Welcome back to 2006, where I have taken over the reigns at Argyle in the Championship in my attempts to change history and get one of Argyle’s best ever sides in the Premiership.
Last time we kicked off the season away at Coventry and came out on top thanks to a Doumbe header and an Ebanks-Blake penalty.
A good start.
It’s currently deadline day, I have a couple offers out for players but, ideally no one will be coming in or out, I want to see what the original team can do.
Our wage expenditure is where you would expect at this point in time. Bottom half.
And the transfer window slams shut.
My attempts to sign Ryan Lowe and Steven Schumacer from League One have failed, oh well.
It’s quickly into our next game as we play Derby County. Play off final winners this season in real life, and famously, the next season, the worst side to ever play in the Premier League. Stand-outs for Derby include Giles Barnes who was highly rated at the time. 6ft 3 danger man Steve Howard up top and a lot of familiar names on the bench.
We are having a shocker and are 2-0 down as Steve Howard somehow scores a header from here after Romain feels like leaving his line and the ball trickles in.
We do get one back with a Aljofree longshot that beats Stephen Bywater.
But it’s not enough to win our first home game.
Well after that performance from Ro, I’m not so sure they will be putting a bid in.
Maybe one for January..
Another one in team of the week.
Caraboa, League Cup Time, fellow Championship side Colchester. Honourable mentions for Colchester include former pilgrim Chris Barker, who sadly passed away at New Year. In a name that just screams Noughties-era football league, Chris Iwelumo leads the line. Future Argyle captain Karl Dugid must be injured.
We move on.
Last couple games have just indicated we aren’t just going to play our way out of this league with Buzsaky and Halmosi. This is 2006, a lot of physical rugged football is being played in this division. Going to have to be more tactically astute.
Talking of physical rugged football we are away at Paul Sturrock’s Sheffield Wednesday.
Luggy decides not to unleash Steve Maclean on us, thank god. Peter Gilbert is also on the bench and there is no sign of Yoan Folly.
Argyle legend Coughlan captains the opposition.
The plan is to hit them on the counter, use the energy of Norris and Halmosi down the wings, the aggression of Wotton in midfield and the poachers instinct of Barry Hayles up front.
I’m also trying to get Wotton closer to goal so he can rip off some of those 16-rated longshots.
That’s the energy and workrate of David Norris we all know and love. Runs the length of this own half with the ball before playing in Barry Hayles to score on the counter. Then he picks up a second yellow, but we see the game out.
The plan worked. We beat Sturrock at his own game.
Super Luke saves a pen, and Dan Gosling makes his debut. A good away day.
The win came at a price for Halmosi though, who will miss the next two weeks. Both our wingers from the win won’t be available next time out.
Capaldi & Sinclair come in then to face Leeds, who actually finished bottom this season in real life despite beating Argyle home and away.
And it is Capaldi and Sinclair who link up to get the first goal of the game.
Followed by a beautiful strike from Akos. Top corner. This is why I am doing this. For moments like that.
Leeds easily put aside.
The PAFC hashtag on.. Myspace(?) goes crazy.
4th after 4 games. I am surprisingly optimistic about our chances of promotion.
And after his recent performances I get Akos to sign a new contract in hope it boosts our chances of him staying.
Sturrock should focus on his own team, but thanks for the kind words.
Up next it’s the Saints, who have a scarily good 17 year old Gareth Bale at LB and BWP up top.
Gareth Bale terrorises our right wing all game but we take the lead through a great counter-attack, with SEB picking up the ball here…
… and finishes from here after beating half the Southampton team with raw pace.
But it’s not the winner as Saint’s get a deserved goal 10 minute later. I’ll take the point all things considered.
Up next, the team Holloway left us for. Norris is back after suspension on the right wing, SEB get’s a start after his goal last time out.
Things get off to a positive start as Danny Tiatto get’s sent off for the hosts on the 28th minute. A great chance to get a win against the early league leaders.
3 minutes later Matty Fryatt scores.
8 minutes later we get a penalty and we have Paul Wotton on the pitch, who will surely smash it in.
Halftime at the Walkers Stadum and I can’t believe we are losing against 10 men Leicester.
I can’t even look at Paul Wotton in the dressing room whose penalty was saved by Rab Douglas of all people.
He is having a terrible game and I have to take him off.
But I wait 10 minutes after the second half kick’s off because he would kill me.
Full time and I am livid. 2-0 against 10 men.
Holloway replaces Sturrock at Sheffield Wednesday. What a weird timeline.
Burnley away, Wotton is dropped.
2 red cards in 2 minutes. Both for Burnley. Should have won comfortably, but we left it late to get the 2 goal cushion after a few scary moments as Burnley launched long balls at us and had us beat physically despite the 9 men.
Some interesting finds from the scouting team. A 20 year old Edin Dzeko would be a good fit for a team lacking height upfront.
And then there is Daniel Nardiello.
Up against 18 year old Billy Clarke and a young Mark Noble on loan from West Ham as Ipswich visit Home Park.
Goals from the wings got the win, Halmosi starting to perk up after being outshone by fellow Hungarian Akos so far.
The game took its toll on 17 year old Scott’s legs.
The buzz around Buzsaky’s performances continue.
Future premier league star signed up. Will it prevent him from being poached?
Sunderland are strong opposition, Jon Stead, David Connolly, Ross Wallace and even Dwight Yorke on the bench managed by Roy Keane himself.
Paul Wotton decided that he wanted all the attention today by immediately giving away a penalty on 6 minutes, which Graham Kavanagh put away.
On a yellow card thereafter, I winced at the sight of him flying into challenges. So when he dispossessed a Sunderland man in our own half I didn’t expect what happened next to happen…
He ran the length of the pitch before producing a worldy to level things up. 1-1.
Literally seconds after kick-off, Norris lays it off to the Captain to produce yet another stunner and ultimately win us the game.
Paul Wotton (58,59)
The media say fortunate, but I say the calculated mad genius of Paul Wotton.
Next time on ‘Back in Time’…
See you then.