A 3-0 loss to promotion-chasing visitors Barnsley saw Plymouth Argyle staring down the barrel of the relegation gun. A very poor performance led to a scoreline which flattered us more than them – it could easily have been more.
Kyle Letheren – 6 (Man of the Match)
The Welsh goalkeeper won the award for Argyle’s player in the game but in truth that says far more about his fellow performers than him. He did make a lot of saves, two of which were very good but his kicking was patchy and he didn’t show much in the way of commanding his area. He was peppered with a number of shots (mostly due to his incompetent outfielders) and that he kept the margin to 3 gives him a 6/10.
Oscar Threlkeld – 4
Since coming back into the team, Threlkeld has generally been one of the more encouraging players in what has been a pretty poor two months for the side. There cannot, however, be much positive to be said about his display in this game. He looked nervy and full of errors. As well as this, his marking wasn’t up to its usual high standards.
Ryan Edwards – 2
Edwards is another player who has had a largely good second half of the season and you can see why other clubs are reportedly interested in him. But this performance was shocking. He was outpaced time after time by Cauley Woodrow and he made a lot of errors on the ball. Not a game he’ll want to remember for many reasons.
Lloyd Jones – 5
His performance (like most of the times he’s played this season) was not amazing but he did show a little more than his defensive partner, particularly winning balls in the air. He did however notably lose track of the ball for Barnsley’s second goal and his passing wasn’t anything special throughout with his decision making still also needing work.
Gary Sawyer – 2
Argyle’s captain has served well for a number of years but it is probably fair to say that his legs are now on the way out. He too was done for pace by the Barnsley wide men on a number of occasions and, as has been a trend this season, he offered next to nothing going forward. It’s a stark contrast to last season when he looked solid in defence and attack.
Yann Songo’o – 5
Social Media was flooded with comments in the aftermath of the game arguing that Songo’o is certainly one of the best tryers in a team that currently looks like it can’t buy a win. Well, that Yann Songo’o is a tryer may be true, but trying in itself isn’t enough when many of his raw attributes and decisions are as bad as his are. The Cameroonian had two very good moments (one dribble and one pass) with the ball at his feet but a lot of mispasses and a lot of space left behind him due to defensive naivety. Improved, but better is needed.
David Fox – 3
Another very poor performance from a great servant to the club, bringing sadness to those of us who recall his magisterial performances in the centre of the park over his first two seasons with Argyle. Part of the decline is due to not being used in his best position but there’s also been an aspect of physical decline. He doesn’t appear as sharp on the ball as he once was, and his defensive frailties when played out of his best position can allow opposing teams to cut through the Argyle midfield like a hot knife through butter.
Graham Carey – 5
Whilst Carey was once again not terrible, he was yet again just that little bit below average. He tried to make a lot of things happen and he got frustrated when there was no reward. His defensive work wasn’t as good as it could’ve been with not a lot of tracking back and there were a lot of times where you felt he wasn’t really in the game.
Antoni Sarcevic – 5
He tried very hard but very rarely have we seen a man more obviously playing through an injury as he currently is. Whilst he attempted to cover a lot of ground, his lack of pace and mobility rendered him unable to do so and he often killed momentum with the first touch that seemed to indicate that he had just dipped his boots in a bucket of treacle.
Ruben Lameiras – 6
Like Carey, he could justifiably be criticised for not getting involved or tracking back enough but frankly the guy is probably frustrated from having to carry the rest of the side on his back for most of the season. He gets a higher mark because he was involved in a few more decent passing moves even if his defensive contribution was equally poor.
Ryan Taylor – 5
Ok, mea culpa. I’ve been calling for Taylor to start all season but when he finally did get a role as the lone striker his performance was far below any expected standard. The balls we played to him didn’t help but his touch was still heavy and his movement (even accounting for injuries) was non-existent. Given a full pre-season he could become the player we once knew and loved, but his display against Barnsley wasn’t anything like that.
Alex Fletcher – N/A
Subbed on with ten minutes to go, he showed a lot of energy and industry with mixed results.
Paul Anderson – N/A
Did he even touch the ball?
Jamie Ness – N/A
In the ten minutes he was on, he didn’t get into the game in any meaningful way.