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A Pilgrimage to the Premier League
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  1. A Pilgrimage to the Premier League

    17.07.2012
    PLYMOUTH ARGYLE IN MANAGER SWAP
    Carl Fletcher made a shock resignation as Plymouth Argyle boss this morning, his reason being 'family issues'. The 32 year old Welshman had only been full-time manager since the first of this month before choosing to resign.
    "I'm very grateful for the faith that the fans and board alike have placed in me over the past few years, not just as a manager but as a player too," said Fletcher. "It was a very tough decision to make, but I'm sure it was the right one. I've had some great times with this club, and I hope the next manager will have just as many and maybe more than I did."
    It is understood that Plymouth fans are outraged at his decision to leave, questioning his loyalty to the club. One fan even went as far to describe his family issues as 'a pathetic excuse'.

    Something else that would have outraged Plymouth fans is the decision to employ unknown manager, Lewis Edwards. With no past-experience except for the popular simulation game, Football Manager, the decision to employ Edwards has dropped like a lead balloon among the fans. One angry supporter said "I can't believe it. Argyle's fortunes have changed within one morning. I've never even heard of this Edwards bloke. Things were finally starting to look up for us; fighting off liquidation and coming out of administration. We could finally start caring about on-the-field matters without having to worry about what was happening behind the scenes. But now this catastrophe has happened. I'm losing faith."

    Although the new boss is yet to give an official statement, Argyle chairman James Brent has. "I can understand why the decision to choose Edwards as manager is being seen as poor," he said. "However, we are very restricted financially at the moment and he was seen as a cheap replacement for Carl. I would urge all those out there who are understandably angry at the decision to be patient and have faith, for you never know what he can bring to the club."


    *Well I'm writing a story about Plymouth Argyle and I'm gonna try and take them as far as I can, the first couple months of the story will be a little awkward to write and get screenshots as I'm currently coming towards the end of October, but I'm looking forward to writing it. Pre-season update coming soon.
    kewlwarez likes this.

  2. PRE-SEASON
    "It's my job to ensure that this club succeeds, and I am more than ready for the challenge."
    The new Plymouth Argyle boss gave his first official statement in a press conference held earlier today. The journalists present certainly didn't hold back with their questions, but the rookie boss seemed cool, calm and collected as he answered whatever they threw at him.
    "It's a bit surreal really," he said. "As a supporter, you sit there in the stands and you criticize the manager, no matter how badly or well they are doing. There's always something they're not doing right which you are very opinionated on, whether it be tactics, team selection, transfers or media handling. It feels strange that now I have the power to exert my influence upon the club, but I definitely look forward to it.
    I feel the pressure, definitely. Carl was a popular figure here and it's hard to be a successor to someone who had so much support. At the end of the day, it's my job to ensure that this club succeeds, and I am more than ready for the challenge."
    Edwards has no experience whatsoever in football management, a fact which has bewildered and annoyed many fans. But the rookie is sure that the lack of experience won't hinder the club's progress.
    "Everyone has to start somewhere. I'm just chuffed to bits that I can start a club that I love and always will love.
    Admittedly, there's a lot of work to do in terms of transfers. We are very tight on funds at the moment, but we need to strengthen many areas of the squad. That's not to disrespect the players currently at the club; they're all fantastic players in their own right. We just need a few quality signings to take us to the next level. We've been tipped to finish in 6th place, and I have every confidence that we can finish there or even higher, despite what many think. But it's going to be hard work. We'll have to wait and see."

    TRANSFER SUMMARY:
    The way in which I wanted to go about my transfer business was to pick up free or very cheap players. For this reason, I edited my budget to £0 for transfers in order to get more wages.

    IN:
    • Wes Fletcher - 14k (Spread over 48 months)
    • Jose Ortiz - Free
    • Matt Fry - Free
    Out:
    • Nick Chadwick - Contract Termination
    • Robbie Williams - Contract Termination
    • Warren Feeney - Contract Termination
    Transfers were really frustrating for me. I had a pretty low budget so it was hard to get as many players as I wanted. It was also hard to sell players; no one was interested in buying the players that I wanted to get rid of, so I had to terminate their contracts, mainly because I needed to free up the wage bill a little bit.
    I did receive an offer for Onismor Bhasera for 625k (value of 400k) from Huddersfield. However, I thought I'd be cheeky and raise it up to 800k, which was a stupid decision, as they then rejected. Realizing how much I could have benefited from the transfer financially, I offered him to clubs for 500k, but it was too late - no one wanted to buy him. So, I ended up with a very unhappy player at my club.

    FRIENDLIES
    For the friendlies, I left them to my assistant. I don't usually do this, but I was so concerned with transfers that I couldn't be bothered to do the friendlies. Nevertheless, here's how we got on:

    OTHER
    Well my media prediction is 6th, which I think is going to be challenging, to say the least. I have a very underwhelming team but I'm confident that I can achieve 6th.
    My captain for the season is Darren Purse and my vice-captain is Rhys Griffiths.

  3. AUGUST

    RESULTS
    • Plymouth Argyle 1-2 Watford [Capital One Cup, First Round]
      Darren Purse (24), John Eustace (83), Sean Murray (88)

    • Barnet 3-4 Plymouth Argyle [League Two]
      Collins John (40), Anthony Edgar (49), Steve Kabba (83), Paris Cowan-Hall (24), Onismor Bhasera (28), Wes Fletcher (64), Jose Ortiz (72)
    • Plymouth Argyle 3-1 Bristol Rovers [League Two]
      Wes Fletcher (21, 79), Rhys Griffiths (88), Fabian Broghammer (20)
    • Plymouth Argyle 3-3 Aldershot [League Two]
      Onismor Bhasera (76), Jared Sims (82), Jose Ortiz (90), Aaron Morris (5), Adam Mekki (18), Troy Brown (72)


    PLAYER OF THE MONTH
    My player of the month for August goes to Jose Ortiz, who averaged a rating of 7.73 over 3 games. It was tough between Ortiz and Wes Fletcher, who got 3 goals in 3 games. However, Ortiz's rating was slightly higher than Fletcher's, so he deserves player of the month. Ortiz contributed 2 goals in 3 games for us.




    LEAGUE POSITION:
    3rd
    *I don't have the league table screenshot as I'm currently in November, so I've had to go on past positions.





    MONTH SUMMARY:
    Overall, I'd say that we've had a strong start to the season. It's good to see that my two marquee signings Wes Fletcher and Jose Ortiz have hit the ground running. Indeed, the whole team has been very good offensively; 10 goals in 3 league games is quite an achievement. However, we've been pretty poor defensively, conceding 7 goals in 3 league games. The defeat in the Capital One Cup didn't bother me, as I never really expected to beat Watford anyway. To be fair, we put in a respectable performance against them, it's just a shame that we let in two goals in the last ten minutes.
    The draw at Aldershot felt more like a win. Going 2-0 down at half time at home is never easy, so I had to go out for the attack in the second half. When they scored their 3rd goal on the 72nd minute, it felt like all hope was lost; game over. However, we kept knocking on their door until Bhasera (who I haven't been able to sell) got our first goal on the 76th minute. Little more than a consolation goal, or so I thought. Youngster Jared Sims scored on the 82nd minute, but surely too late? It appeared not, as Jose Ortiz headed home on the 90th minute to wrap up probably the best come back I've ever had in Football Manager.


  4. SEPTEMBER

    RESULTS


    Southend United 1-2 Plymouth Argyle [League Two]
    Neil Harris (38), Wes Fletcher (28), Paris Cowan-Hall (66)
    Plymouth Argyle 1-2 Exeter City [Johnston's Paint Trophy South, 1st Round]
    Wes Fletcher (50), Steve Tully (pen, 59), Guillem Bauza (66)
    Port Vale 0-2 Plymouth Argyle [League Two]
    Maxime Blanchard (55), Jose Ortiz (83)
    Plymouth Argyle 1-1 Cheltenham Town [League Two]
    Wes Fletcher (69), Daryl Duffy (22)
    Plymouth Argyle 1-1 Torquay United [League Two]
    Rhys Griffiths (34), Rene Howe (17)
    Bradford City 2-2 Plymouth Argyle [League Two]
    Paul Benson (2, 93), Jose Ortiz (60), Wes Fletcher (85)
    Plymouth Argyle 4-1 York City [League Two]
    Rhys Griffiths (21), Paul Wotton (55), Wes Fletcher (60), Andres Gurrieri (74),
    Ashley Chambers (76)
    Fleetwood Town 2-3 Plymouth Argyle [League Two]
    Jamie Devitt (35), Gerardo Bruna (39), Rhys Griffiths (26, 43, 55)


    PLAYER OF THE MONTH
    Without a doubt the best player this month was Wes Fletcher. The striker played in all 8 of the games and started 7 of them, achieving an average rating of 7.31 and scoring 5 goals.



    LEAGUE POSITION: 2nd


    MONTH SUMMARY:
    September was a very congested month in terms of fixtures, playing 7 league matches and 8 matches overall in this time. However, we did not lose a single league match and are the only team thus far to remain unbeaten in the month. A particular highlight was beating York City 4-1, who were 3rd at the time (I think we were 4th before the match). Despite our free-scoring form (16 goals in 8 games), we are still conceding way too many goals, which is reflected by the fact that we've conceded 10 in 8, keeping only one clean sheet. My defence definitely needs some fixing, but I don't have the funds to buy new players without making the wage budget even more unbalanced, so the changes will be tactical. Losing to Exeter City at home was frustrating too, given the intense rivalry between the two clubs. But we are looking very strong in the league and I hope it can continue.


    EDWARDS BEGINNING TO SILENCE THE NAY-SAYERS
    It may be early days yet but rookie Argyle boss Lewis Edwards looks at home already. His side are 2nd of the league after 10 games and remain the only team to not be beaten yet. This has come much to the surprise of the fans, who casted their doubts upon him from day one.
    'I'm pleased that the fans have had patience with me so far, and I hope I am rewarding them," stated a rather jubilant Argyle manager. "This is just the beginning of a long-term plan to reach eventual Premier League football.
    Now it's important to focus and not get ahead of ourselves. We've got a massive game against Oxford next, and if we can win that, I think that puts us in a really strong position for the rest of the season."
    Oxford currently sit at the top of the table, but Edwards reckons there is no opponent in the league too strong for his team.
    "Am I scared? No, and even if I was, I would be comforted knowing that they [Oxford] are just as scared. However, I'm not complacent. There is no room for that. We must be alert."




  5. green army!

  6. Great start so far mate I'll be following for definite

  7. Nice start. I like Plymouth as one of my lower league sides to follow

  8. Cheers guys (: Won't be able to update today as I won't have internet but I'll write it up on microsoft word and post tomorrow, thanks for following (:

  9. OCTOBER
    RESULTS



    Plymouth Argyle 2-2 Oxford United [League Two]
    Darren Purse (3), Rhys Grffiths (80), James Constable (70, 85)
    Wycombe Wanderers 1-3 Plymouth Argyle [League Two]
    Richard Logan (50), Leon Johnson (o.g. 3), Rhys Griffiths (5), Wes Fletcher (11)
    Northampton Town 4-1 Plymouth Argyle [League Two]
    Luke Guttridge (1), Clive Platt (32, 53), David Artell (60),
    Darren Purse (89)
    Plymouth Argyle 1-2 Burton Albion [League Two]
    Wes Fletcher (9), Curtis Nelson (o.g. 23), Billy Kee (89)
    Plymouth Argyle 2-0 AFC Wimbledon [League Two]
    Wes Fletcher (56), Rhys Griffiths (83)
    Gillingham 1-1 Plymouth Argyle [League Two]
    Jack Payne (90), Rhys Griffiths (8)

    PLAYER OF THE MONTH
    Player of the month for October goes to Rhys Griffiths who achieved an average rating of 7.13 over 6 games. In these six games, he scored 4 goals. He's beginning to form a remarkable strike partnership with Wes Fletcher.



    LEAGUE POSITION: 3rd




    MONTH SUMMARY
    October was an incredibly mixed month for us, winning two games, drawing two games and losing two games, which means yes, our unbeaten run came to an end.
    The main positive we can take out of this month is the strike partnership. Both Wes Fletcher and Rhys Griffiths are banging in the goals, and they play as the perfect duo for each other, Rhys Griffiths being the big target man and Wes Fletcher the clinical poacher (think Emile Heskey and Michael Owen back in the day at Liverpool).
    However, our defence is still incredibly leaky, and worst of all, we are conceding late equalisers/winners. Our concentration must improve, or else it will cost us a lot of points this season.
    This month also saw a future transfer arranged for Andres Gurrieri, who will be joining Alfreton for a fee of £0 in January.


    Gurrieri To Leave Home Park

    Plymouth Argyle winger Andres Gurrieri has agreed a transfer out of Home Park to Alfreton, which will take place once the transfer window opens again in January. The 23 year old Argentinian was deemed surplus to requirements under boss Lewis Edwards, making just 4 appearances, including one start thus far.
    We caught up with Edwards, who seemed somewhat forthright in his attitude towards the transfer.
    "It's simple; the club is in desperate need of funds, and realistically I knew he didn't have a future here at the club. The wage bill is very high at the moment, and this transfer hasn't helped with that tremendously. That's just a testament to the fact of how high the wage bill actually is."
    Some Plymouth fans are angry that Plymouth won't be gaining a fee from the transfer, as Alfreton bought him for £0.
    "This kind of thing is going to happen more often, I'm afraid," said the boss. "We need to move certain players on, or in an ideal world, negotiate a contract with them that is a little less generous on the salary.
    The players all know where they stand with me, and if I know that a player doesn't have a future at the club, I'll tell them. I just hope we can all be amicable about it."
    Edwards was then asked about the situation with Onismor Bhasera, who had requested a transfer before the season started.
    "Onismor is still refusing to talk to me. I've tried to find him a new club. I've put him on the transfer list, but no clubs are interested at the moment. Ideally I'd like to keep Onismor, but he sees his future elsewhere, so what can I do? I can't have unhappy players at the club."

  10. NOVEMBER

    RESULTS



    Plymouth Argyle 0-1 Leyton Orient [FA Cup First Round]
    Dean Cox (18)
    Morecambe 0-0 Plymouth Argyle [League Two]
    Plymouth Argyle 2-0 Accrington Stanley [League Two]
    Rhys Griffiths (4, 35)
    Plymouth Argyle 0-1 Rotherham [League Two]
    Alex Revell (25)

    Exeter City 1-0 Plymouth Argyle [League Two]
    Steve Tully (76)
    Dagenham & Redbridge 1-1 Plymouth Argyle [League Two]
    Michael Spillane (84),
    Rhys Griffiths (27)
    Plymouth Argyle 0-0 Rochdale [League Two]


    PLAYER OF THE MONTH
    Player of the month for this month has to go to Rhys Griffiths again. He was our only goalscorer this month, 3 goals in his five games, and achieving an average rating of 7.26. He remains the league's top scorer with 13 goals.


    LEAGUE POSITION: 5th



    MONTH SUMMARY
    We weren't able to continue our good momentum this month, and overall, it was a pretty horrendous month. Oddly enough, we didn't concede a lot of goals at all this month; 4 in 7 is not a bad statistic. However, we were facing real problems scoring goals ourselves, which ultimately led to this month's failures, which is reflected by that fact that we only scored 3 in 7, and all by one goalscorer. It's a miracle how we managed to only fall to fifth place to be honest, but next month will definitely have to improve.


    DISASTROUS MONTH FOR THE PILGRIMS

    It looks like Argyle boss Lewis Edwards' honeymoon with the club is over, as The Pilgrims have quite frankly had a torrid time this month. Plymouth managed just one win in seven games, scoring only three. One of these games was the FA Cup first round against Leyton Orient, which they lost 1-0, meaning that the west-country club are now out of all domestic cup competitions.
    "The past month has been very difficult and it's stumped me a bit as to why we're not winning or scoring," a frustrated Argyle boss said. "Rhys [Griffiths] has been our saviour really; without him, who knows where we'd be now?
    I've managed to tighten the defence up a bit, which is a positive, but that's come at a price, which is a lack of goals. So you have to ask yourself, 'Is it worth keeping this tight defence if we keep on snatching draws, or worse, losing?' Ultimately, it's all about points, so no, we must start scoring and winning again, even if it does mean conceding a shed-load of goals.
    The boss will also be disappointed that previous top-scorer Wes Fletcher didn't manage to get on the score sheet at all this month.
    "We have to be patient with Wes. Every striker has a dry spell, even the best. Look at Fernando Torres. He was a world beater at Liverpool, scoring goals like they were going out of fashion. And then look at his first season and a half with Chelsea. Now, he's back to his scoring ways again, even if he'll never be quite as clinical as he was at Liverpool.
    The point I'm trying to make is that scoring is a confidence thing. If you've been on a drought, all you need is a goal or two to boost your confidence and start scoring again."
    Something even more pressing for the Argyle fans will be their loss to Exeter City, meaning that they have lost twice to The Grecians in as many games.



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