Remi Matthews – 7

Matthews was generally efficient on his return to Home Park and neither of the goals in the 2-2 draw can really be put down to him. The first was through a crowd of players when he was clearly unsighted, and for the second, once it has gone through the legs of Oscar Threlkeld, the ball is travelling at too rapid a pace for all but the highest level of goalkeeper to realistically save it. He generally showed a good command of area and good distribution throughout.

Oscar Threlkeld – 6

Threlkeld generally performed well throughout the game with good control of the ball under pressure as well as decision making that was greatly improved from his performance at Milton Keynes where he tended to overcommit too much. However, he tired by the end of the game and allowed Viv Solomon-Otabor to pick his spot (through his legs) rather than press early to attack the ball which resulted in Argyle losing three points right at the death.

Ryan Edwards – 7

Edwards was solid throughout, not at fault for either goal and his positional sense was rarely lacking. His distribution was generally good too, and he was one of the lesser culprits for merely clearing the ball up the pitch simply for it to be pinged straight back into the Argyle defensive area.

Sonny Bradley – 6

Like Edwards, he was a reliable presence defensively and rarely deviated from our good defensive shape. Where he was the weaker centre-back of the two is in his distribution. Some may say that the job of a centre-back is not to keep the ball – but when that ball keeps coming back too often from his own clearances (as is what happened in the second half) then that puts a mark against his performance.

Gary Sawyer – 5

Too often beaten for pace and trickery down the right-hand side, Sawyer did not have his best game at Bloomfield Road. Nor did he offer a great deal going forward. Perhaps a case of after the lord mayor’s show for the left-back following his monumental first goal at Milton Keynes on Boxing Day?

Yann Songo’o – 7. A largely sound game from the defensive central midfielder whose consistency this season after the unreliability and error-prone nature of last season’s Songo’o has been a joy to behold. Yann Songo’o has now replaced Durrell Berry as the benchmark for players who have shown a rapid and significant improvement during their time at Argyle.

David Fox – 6

This was undoubtedly a curates egg of a game for midfielder David Fox up against his former side. He did well what he always does well- keeping the ball in central midfield under pressure by slowing the game down just that fraction enough to frustrate opponents and picking out his teammates with a high level of accuracy. Where he failed is in the physical side of the game, not winning enough aerial or ground duals and losing energy midway through the second half. He also missed a chance that seemed easier to score at 2-1, heading against the post unmarked with the whole goal to aim for.

Diagouraga – 6

The talismanic midfielder kept the shape well in his new role as the most attacking of the central trio but you could tell that the exertions associated with the Christmas period were beginning to get to him more so than most players. He was not operating at peak fitness and seemed a little more sluggish than usual on the ball. Arguably, he should have been substituted rather than Ryan Taylor as the game drew to a close.

Ruben Lameiras – 5

An awkward one, this. The Portuguese attacker managed to score a goal (his first for the club) which automatically bumps his rating up slightly but had a poor game apart from this. Most of his other ventures into the Blackpool final third showed little end product. His defending also had a lot to answer for, frequently leaving his full-back exposed.

Graham Carey – 7 – MOTM

Carey tired towards the end (as they all did) but he was still Argyle’s best player with a very efficient performance notwithstanding a goal that will leave etched in the memories of all Argyle fans who witnessed it forevermore. The levels of skill and audacity combined that were required to take the shot on from such a tricky angle and to land it in the net were extraordinarily high. Too high for most players to meet- most players aren’t Graham Carey.

Ryan Taylor – 7

Another good performance up front from the big striker who has turned Argyle’s form around with what has been comfortably promotion-winning form since he has come back into the side. As long as he remains fit for a season, shrugging off defenders and linking up the play, surely Argyle will be fine this season. We suffered greatly when he was substituted, losing someone who had the ability to make the ball ‘stick’ up front meant it simply kept coming back to us resulting in the heartbreaking late goal.

 

Joel Grant – 7

Grant came on as a substitute for Ruben Lameiras and had an encouraging cameo, always looking to break forward and try to create an opportunity.

Jake Jervis – 6

Another mostly-accomplished performance off the bench from the wide forward, holding off defenders and working well with Taylor. However, he did fade once the latter was subbed off.

Antoni Sarcevic – 4

Sarcevic has been a good player for Argyle at times and still has a role to play with the club, but there can be no defending his cameo from the bench today. His distribution was ineffectual and looked languid at a time when Blackpool were piling on the pressure. Also, he completely scuffed his shot at a clear goal allowing it to be blocked by a home defender when their keeper was some way off his line.

Author: Sam Down

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