Hello, and welcome back to part 7 of An Argyle Journey.
There was no Wednesday update this week, so if you need to go back and refresh your memory go back and read part 6! I sure needed to.
We have an FA Cup 4th round game against Premier League Watford to look forward to today as well as the remainder of the January transfer window.
But we start off with the news that Stuart O’Keefe will be out for a further 2 games after his silly elbow against Walsall.
Goal hero and previous man of the match Ryan Taylor continues as the front man as we play Coventry.
And the inconsistency continues. New loan signing Jon Stankovic got his first goal for us, showing his threat from set pieces, but it wasn’t enough and we went onto lose 2-1.
Unhappy with our scouting system I asked the board for more funds for a new scout. Up comes Mpo Mpenza. He’s called Mpenza, he’s from Belgium, surely he’s related to a former Argyle striker. After a quick google, of course he was. It’s Emile Mpenza’s brother. I just had to offer him the job.
He’s a pretty decent scout too. Has knowledge of players all across Europe. I’m desperate to find the next David Friio or Akos Buzsaky in some obscure European league.
More players were available for loan in January, and Josh Harrop from Preston looks very good. Versatile and well rounded. Another flair and set piece specialist. As if we need more of those.
Yet again Jamie Ness gets an injury. I swear this is the 4th time in a row I’ve had to post this.
Cameron Sangster heads up north on loan. A highly promising player with potential. Needs game time. A good move for him.
And Harry Hodges goes further south for his loan at Truro.
And confirmation of Mr. Mpenza, our new European scout.
He agrees a one year deal. His brother must have said good things about us.
Time to bounce back after the Coventry defeat away at Wycombe.
Josh Harrop makes his debut in the midfield as Stuart O’Keefe’s ban continues.
1 – 0 down and David Fox get’s his second yellow after 53 minutes.
A 2-0 defeat to bottom of the league…
We get fined for 6 yellow cards, but lets just blame it on diving cheaters Wycombe.
And that was definitely the kind of performance I didn’t want going into our big cup game.
Our premier league opponents are huge favourites of course.
So here we are then, Vicarage Road. O’Keefe is back from his suspension.
Watford playing a really strong side. Former Argyle loanee Craig Cartcart starts for them. Interesting that Nathaniel Clyne is on loan there along with Serge Gnabry.
It took just 14 minutes for Watford to take the lead. A header from Troy Deeney, was going to be difficult to stop him in the air. This could be a thrashing.
But just 10 minutes later we win a penalty.
Chabolah chopping down Lamerias needlessly on the edge of the box.
Ryan Taylor grabs the ball. With his 16 penalty taking stat I decide against giving it to Carey.
Up against the shot stopper Gomes.
And it’s straight at the goalkeeper and saved…
What a chance to make it 1-1.
5 minutes later we go two nil down. Macey makes the initial save but it goes straight back to the striker while Macey is somehow facing his own goal. What a mess.
Ryan Taylor is having a shocker I have to take him off after 35 minutes if we are to get anything from this game.
It finished 3-0. It could have been worse. Our cup run is over.
With the transfer window still open I’m very keen to get some players out and off the wage bill. We need that money to pay Carey’s contract.. oops.
Songo’o goes for less money than I’d like.
Happy to get anything for Gregg Wylde tbh.
Nial Canavan also leaves for Notts County.
Meanwhile Pompey are rolling in the money.
We started February with a 1-1 draw to Peterborough. Conceding at the 90th minute.
Next up Pompey.
After Watford, Taylor was dropped.
0-0 at home to Pompey. That’s no win in 5 games. We are starting to slip into mid table obscurity.
But a win away at Bradford get’s us back to winning games and winning comfortably.
The follow up game to Rochdale at home capped off an unbeaten February.
But it came at a price..
The injuries are piling up!
Into March and one of the best times of the year when we get newly generated players from our youth academy.
Mark Porter the best of this year’s lot.
Not a great bunch this year.
Time to test ourselves against one of the best squads again, Sunderland away.
Yet again against Sunderland we deserved to win.
And we lose big Jon for 6 weeks.
Luton who smashed us earlier in the season. Top of the league. I was relieved to see they weren’t playing the diamond that caused us so many problems. Could get a result here against a 4-4-2.
A game we should have won! They had 10 men for most of the second half.
My mind is already thinking about next season. I think a play-off push is beyond us this season unless we go on a crazy run.
I sign Gael Bigirimana from Motherwell. He’ll be joining us in the summer when his contract expires. A very well rounded athletic midfielder. Will see how he fits in when we sign more players in the summer.
Shrews at home this time.
Another 3 points. Well deserved. Does the play off push start here?
Here we are then. 11th with 8 games to go. 9 points from the play-offs.
Can we do it?
The remaining fixtures.
Brief look at some league stats.
The other English league tables at this point.
So there we go.
8 games to push for the play offs and make the end of the season interesting.
I’ll see you back here soon for the next update.