With 1 win in 10 games and 4 defeats on the bounce, we live in very worrying times indeed for everyone at Plymouth Argyle. We sit 1 point from relegation with 2 games to go and it looks like the final game against Scunthorpe may well be a relegation showdown at Home Park. The Easter weekend was always going to be significant and although many wouldn’t have put money on us picking up points, the manner in which we succumbed has angered the Green Army. On field displays have been short of dreadful, in a time when the stakes are so high and we all deserve more.
The Greens took a 1-0 lead into half time at Gillingham only to concede 3 second half goals in what can only be described as an implosive performance, with the back-line yet again gifting the opposition chances to which they duly obliged. Three days later at Home Park it was Barnsley’s turn to embarrass and they made no mistake by racing to a 0-3 lead by the 28th minute. Sections of the home fans had already seen enough and made their way home before the half time whistle had been blown.
I’m a positive fan, I always try and see the bigger picture and I’ve also been a believer in Derek Adams. But with things going the way they are, something drastic needs to change. Recent events indicate the dressing room has been lost – most notably the exclusion of Freddie Ladapo from the match day squad against Barnsley – to which Adams explained the striker ‘ruled himself out’. Now if that was the case, which I’m not sure I believe it was, Argyle’s top scorer should not play for Plymouth again. However, with Ladapo’s response on twitter seemingly mocking the words of his manager, it makes things pretty clear in my eyes – there is some serious tension in the dressing room and this may well have been the case all season.
I remember, following the 3-0 defeat to Portsmouth back in September, Gary Sawyer publicly came out and said the team had ‘clear the air talks’ after the game at Fratton Park, which alone signals some agitation between the players themselves and/or the coaching staff which has undoubtedly contributed to Argyle’s demise. And with Derek Adams’ recent ‘finger pointing’ at his players in which he told them to ‘stand up and be counted’ as well as ‘it’s their responsibility, solely,’ things don’t seem like they are going to improve any time soon. It feels there is a ‘them and us’ mentality and a major lack of any sort of relationship between Adams and his players.
On the pitch, with recent performances, there seems to be an acceptance at the fact we are not good enough and everyone is just going through the motions. I’m not a body language expert by any stretch but it is hard to ignore the amount of shrugged shoulders, half-hearted challenges and heads down. The difference between a player who is playing for the club and one who is playing for himself is obvious.
It is safe to say, this season has been a catastrophe and I for one can’t wait for it to be over (whilst keeping my fingers crossed hoping we can salvage as many points as possible from the final 2 games). Some serious changes are needed – whether it’s the playing staff, manager or even both, something needs to give if we are to progress as a club.
If Derek Adams leaves, either by force or his own volition, we have a full summer to take the time to appoint someone new. Along with the addition of Ian Roscrow as the new Head of Recruitment it could be the fresh sheets the Argyle bed needs. I know many fans will be waiting with baited breath before renewing their season tickets and regardless of what league we will play in next season, we all deserve so much more than what we’ve had these past 9 months.