A lot has happened since August 2018 when Simon Hallett assumed overall control of Plymouth Argyle. We are into the third manager of Hallett’s tenure following Derek Adams and Ryan Lowe, the trust and loyalty shown by the chairman towards Steven Schumacher is truly commendable. Throughout the four years and four months under his control, the journey has been largely positive with the relationship between owner and fanbase boasting a strong bond.
With every relationship between board and supporters there are, of course, bumps in the road. From issues surrounding the points-based loyalty system to problems in communication regarding fan behaviour inside Home Park and at away games – it’s never going to be completely perfect and harmonious. I believe we are now heading into the first real test of Simon Hallett’s premiership in charge of the greens as something that can’t be played down however is the supporters desire and hope that in January, the afore-mentioned support and loyalty towards Steven Schumacher is reciprocated with a strong transfer window.
Cast your mind back to the 26th of February 2020; We are just under a month away from the first nationwide lockdown to prevent coronavirus spreading (That ended well…). Simon Hallett announced, via the club’s website and through an insightful interview on Argyle TV that the football club had an ambitious new plan to become a sustainable championship club within five years.
We are now over halfway into that five-year plan and as we head into the upcoming transfer window and the board have a real opportunity to achieve their goal whilst meeting their own time frame. In recent seasons, we have seen wonderful financial reports from the club showcasing what a strong position the club is in off the pitch through funds generated off the pitch and the US based investment group ‘Argyle Green’. So far this season, down to the hard work and commitment from Schumacher, the coaching staff, and the players, we are sitting in a quite extraordinary position. Just one point off the top of League One, having spent 11 weeks at the summit. Three points clear of third place and a further 11 points to the side sitting in fourth.
The transfer policy under Hallett has been a success to a certain degree however if we adopt a similar, tentative approach to the upcoming window, I’m not confident we will be able to sustain this brilliant start to the campaign. I’m not being narrow minded to think that we can just go out and pull players in off the street. The struggles Argyle have in attracting players is something we have heard about throughout previous years. The loan market is untouchable unless we either terminate loan spells or turn the current deals into permanent transfers. Without having any inside knowledge, my suspicion would be that the former is more likely.
The injury woes amongst the squad don’t seem to relenting and with players such as Galloway, Bolton, Grant and Azaz on the long term injury list along with Mickel Miller’s fitness not really one to trust on a weekly basis (since writing has been ruled out for between four-to-six weeks with a hamstring injury), reinforcements will be required to ensure that this golden opportunity that has been presented to the board to achieve their overall goal can be matched this season.
Being shrewd and wise with the finances is never something anyone will complain about given where the football club was a decade ago but if we are to believe in the plan, believe in the board and their support behind this young, exciting manager then and as a fanbase, we really can’t stress enough how much we feel that we need to see some fresh legs and options brought into the building to support the existing squad.