It was a frustrating day for Plymouth Argyle as they picked up their second 2-2 draw of the season at Home Park against an Oldham side who in truth, they really had enough to beat. Argyle had more of the play and more of the chances but never quite dragged the game by the scruff of the neck.
Alex Palmer, GK – 6
The keeper didn’t have a great deal to do today, in truth. For all the frustration around Argyle’s performance, Oldham didn’t give the West Brom loanee a great deal to do. He made one simple save against his former club and commanded his area as well as he needed to in the lack of many high balls. He had one very bad pass that nearly saw him caught off his line but on the whole it was a quiet day.
Scott Wootton, CB – 4
Well…he scored his first goal for the club but that was about all the only positive thing that could really be said for him. It was a good finish with his head to secure a quick equaliser but his overall game was pretty disastrous. Almost every Oldham attack came down Argyle’s right side with almost nothing down our left. He was consistently turned and pulled out of position and made a lot more mistakes than usual with the ball at his feet. Will Aimson might well prove an improvement.
Niall Canavan, CB – 7
After a series of shaky performances, it was encouraging to see Canavan back to something more like his best form in spite of two goals being conceded. He kept his concentration levels high throughout the game and rarely lost his man as well as proving sensible and accurate with his use of the ball. As usual, he didn’t lose much in the air. This was a performance he very much needed.
Josh Grant, CB – 7
He was thrown into the side for his first league game following Gary Sawyer’s dropping and it’s fair to say he passed with good colours. Like Canavan, he was composed and relaxed with the ball of his feet and he showed that extra aspect of pace and mobility that the Irishman perhaps lacks. Though Oldham scored twice, their chance creation was not as good as many other teams have managed against us this season and Grant’s solid display did contribute to the Lactics not getting many clear sights at goal.
Joe Edwards, DCM – 5
In truth, this was probably Edwards’ weakest game in a green shirt so far. He wasn’t atrocious: he largely kept his position quite well and didn’t let a great deal get down the middle. However, he didn’t pick up as many loose balls or win as many tackles as Argyle fans have grown to expect and his passing over a distance of more than 10/15 yards was pretty suspect. He was hauled off for Randell in the hope the youngster may open up the defence a bit.
Joe Riley, RWB – 4
It has become a trend this season to say that Riley has done everything well up to his slightly iffy end product. Today, sadly, even this wasn’t the case. Whilst his passing and crossing was as mediocre as it usually is in the final third, he passed poorly all over the pitch too and that’s not to mention his flaws in other areas. His decision making was poor and he didn’t provide a lot of defensive cover down the right hand side when Oldham counter attacked us. He is surely another one somewhat fearing for his space in the team.
Jose Baxter, CM – 6
Baxter seemed to divide opinion in the Devonport End today. Some fans appreciated his deft passes out wide in the first half and his promising movement into open space. However, he also frustrated with some of his other distribution which trended downhill as the game went on. He could have shone more against his old club but still looked one of our more likely players to make something happen. He’s getting a bit more into his swing but there’s more in his locker than this, still.
Danny Mayor, CM – 7, Player of the Match
Mayor managed to be Argyle’s most likely player to threaten without hitting his dynamic best. He passed well, often finding a player in space but he also knew when it was best to go it alone. He often tended to drive at defenders and make them panic, drawing a couple of fouls. He didn’t quite manage the killer pass or killer shot that we know he’s capable of but he rightly earns the title of Argyle’s best player today.
Callum McFadzean, LWB – 6
We seem to be saying this a few times about the ex-Bury winger. His general play wasn’t exactly great. His decision making leaves a little to be desired at times. When hit with the choice of whether to cut inside, cross or run at the defender he will often choose the wrong choice. That said, his defensive work was fine and he put in a lovely cross for our second. If he can keep playing games like this one, his goal contributions will be good enough to overlook his flaws.
Ryan Taylor, ST – 5
After signs against Walsall and Reading that he was starting to learn Ryan Lowe’s system better, he seemed to return to some of his bad habits today. He didn’t do what Lowe expects of his strikers with few runs into space and not enough pressing of the defenders. The one time he did get into a good scoring position, he blazed it in the first half. Argyle will be hoping either Joel Grant or Dom Telford are fit to come in next week.
Byron Moore, ST – 7
Moore did more of the things that Lowe frequently requests from the front men on his system: chasing, pressing and badgering defenders into hurried clearances and forcing them to leave gaps in defence. He would have liked to have perhaps had a little more time on the ball but he capped off a generally good performance with a smart finish. His distribution was largely pretty tidy and he’s a close contender to Mayor for our best performer.
Zak Rudden, ST – 5
Early impressions of Rudden suggest he is someone who, for all his energy and endeavour, does not have a huge amount in terms of end product. His ball control was unconvincing and he should probably have buried that late chance in front of the Devonport End.
George Cooper, CM – 7
If Rudden is perhaps a little limited, Cooper is a player clearly oozing with confidence and quality. He, like Rudden, poorly finished a good chance but everything else about his display was a delight. His passing range was creative and well-executed and his movement was excellent.
Adam Randell, DCM – N/A
He wasn’t on for long and he did have some tidy use of the hall but in truth there were more poor passes than good and perhaps saw his name in lights when shooting ambitiously from a good thirty yards out. Possibly a loan move is in order?