Key player: Conor Grant
Now, truth is I was having difficulty deciding which Argyle player to pick for this section. Argyle seem to have a number of players particularly in midfield that are all capable of taking the creative prerogative, whether that be last years pick Danny Mayor or even talented midfielder George Cooper, who after spending most of last season out through injury will be hungry to make up for lost time this season. Even fellow midfielder Ryan Broom who joined in the week on loan from Peterborough United for the season, could have a big part to play this season.
Whilst mayor is the obvious choice for this one, his lack of assists and goals over the last two years, despite being a very useful player for the greens in attack make it difficult for me to select Mayor especially with all the other options in attacking areas available to pick from.
That is why I have gone for talented midfielder Conor Grant as my pick for key player this time out. When Grant joined from Everton in 2018 it was obvious he had the the ability to be a productive outlet for Argyle particularly with a brilliant left foot delivery, but ultimately it was always that Grant had a feeling of one of those ‘nearly but not quite’ players.
After some promising but unremarkable performances towards the curtailment of the 20/21 season, Grant was rewarded with a contract on the hope he could turn those promising performances into goals and assists.
Grant took the opportunity with both hands and had an excellent breakout season scoring 4 goals, which were all long range strikes. Contributing 12 assists, taking over the mantle from the injured George Cooper at LWB, with a series of dangerous deliveries on his left foot.
Both capable of creating from dead ball situations and in play, from central midfield and wing back, the hope will be once again that the 26 year old can once again be a key player for Argyle this season.
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Manager: Ryan Lowe
This season appears to be a particularly important one for Lowe. Before last year, Lowe had only really tasted success in his young managerial after getting promoted twice in two seasons from League Two with Bury and Argyle respectively, Lowe’s first taste at the helm in the third tier was indifferent to say the least.
After a dramatic last minute 4-3 win against eventual play off finalists Lincoln City at the end of February propelled Argyle up to 10th in the table, an inexperienced Argyle side recorded just 2 wins in the final fifteen matches leading to Lowe becoming impatient. Leading many fans to question, whether his fiercely attack minded minded 3-1-4-2 formation was the way forward, also bringing questions up surrounding whether Lowe was able to set up his teams in a way that stopped them conceding so many goals.
After the way in which last season ended Lowe will be hoping to put any lingering doubts to bed with some good early results and prompt signings which saw a completely new defensive unit acquired.
Creator: Danny Mayor
Yes, I know, I know. After all my justification for not putting Danny Mayor as key player he now gets the title of creator.
Despite the frustrations surrounding Mayor in terms of statistical output when you put it next to a man of his obvious quality, the truth is Argyle’s system is set up to get the best out of Mayor, and if not always ended most of Argyle’s attacks are started by carries from deep from Mayor and he was still high up on the list for completed dribbles in League One last year.
There’s no denying he is often fundamental in the way the greens look to create chances, especially with the way he is able to go past players and if he is able to combine his skill with just a bit more end product this year ( 3 goals in two years for an attacking midfielder) I think Argyle could be in a good position to push further up the table.
Key transfer: Dan Scarr
Based on comments so far, you could’ve probably guessed that the Key transfer was going to be that of a defender, however that of Dan Scarr may have risen a few eyebrows. Particularly after the acquisitions of James Wilson and Macaulay Gillesphey for example, who were both player of the year at Ipswich Town and Australian A League side Brisbane Roar respectively, last season.
Despite Scarr comes off the back of a pretty lowly finish in League Two last season finishing 19th with Walsall, and not being given the greatest report by Saddlers fans on social media, all evidence so far shows that Scarr is exactly what Argyle have been missing.
For all of Argyle’s defensive mishaps last time out, what they were really missing for large spells, was a commander at the back both in the air and vocally and Scarr appears to bring both of those attributes.
As of March 2021 Scarr was eleventh in the list of second balls won in League Two for the season with 290 and third on the list for aerial duels won with 271, and recent evidence in pre season indicates he does what his job role suggests – defends and without any frills. It is worth noting he seems that he is able to do what he needs to do on the ball to fit into Lowe’s system, without being spectacular at it.
Most importantly Scarr has appeared to fill a huge void in the side, in a key area if they want to finish in a higher position this season.
Argyle’s target for this season is the same I set them for last, there were times last season when they did look like they could fulfill that target and Lowe also hinted a few times publically that top half might be the target.
Now with a new look and more experienced defence coupled with continued heavy chance creation, I think Argyle should be aiming for that again with possibly a more realistic shot at it.
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