Q and A With An Argyle Fan
Q: Plymouth have had a difficult start to the season. Is this what you expected or are the side failing to live up to expectations?
A: Well the manager Paul Sturrock did warn everyone at the start of the season that the going would be tough but no-one expected Argyle to be bottom of the Championship and have a run of seven consecutive defeats!
So far the style of football and results have been poor but it`s the finishing position in May that counts and most fans would have settled for a mid-table finish at the start of the season, we are still on course for that!
Q: There seems to be quite a lot of disquiet aimed towards your manager Paul Sturrock; do you think he is the man to turn things around?
A: Sturrock still does have a few fans on his side but the majority of the fanbase (according to the various polls) want him to be replaced.
Personally, I think he should have left the club in February when results were poor but he appears to be untouchable and the board of directors have backed him, so as a fan I will have to respect their judgement, although I don`t agree with them.
The two back-to-back wins has eased the pressure on Sturrock and silenced his critics for now but the feeling is that the club is just another two consecutive defeats away from more calls for Sturrock to replaced.
Q: Our fans obviously know Alan Gow well after his loan spell here. How has his time at Argyle begun?
A: Gow did well when he first signed for Argyle, he scored a penalty and a great free-kick and he looks the one player in the squad able to pick a pass and get the team passing the ball. However, after a run of defeats Sturrock resorted to his "Blood and Snotters" type battling players and Gow, as a flair player, was left on the bench.
Q: Are you surprised that Marcel Seip has been given permission to start the game? Do you think that that is the final nail in the coffin in terms of his time at Plymouth?
A: The decision to allow Seip to play against us is quite amazing and almost unheard of in football.
Seip is regarded as Argyle`s best defender over the last few years but has recently struggled with poor form, lack of discipline and off-the-field problems, hence his loan to Blackpool seeking for a fresh start. I think he is finished at Argyle and will join another club permanently in January.
Q: What are your views on Ian Holloway, both as a person and a manager?
A: Holloway has been Argyle`s best manager since getting promoted to the Championship and the statistics prove that. His attacking style of football and willingness to change games with proactive substitutions made him a firm favourite with the Green Army. Fans were willing to put up with his embarrassing interviews as long as his team did the business on the pitch. However, the manner in which he left Argyle for Leicester City left a sour taste in the mouth for most fans.
Q: Would you have him back as manager?
A: Given the defensive "shape and stifle" type of football that Sturrock plays then, yes, Holloway would be a breath of fresh air for Argyle and yes I would like him to come back.
Q: What kind of reception do you think he can expect from the Plymouth fans on Saturday?
A: I think most fans have already gotten the "Holloway factor" out of their systems with the 1-0 win against Leicester 18 months ago, so the reception on Saturday could be complete indifference mixed with a few boos and jeers and possible cheers.
Q: How do you expect your side to line up on Saturday?
A: We have a few injuries in the centre of defence (how ironic) but Sturrock will send out a side packed with defence-minded players and try to frustrate Blackpool. In our last away game against Peterborough Sturrock played three full-backs in midfield but it worked and we won. We will look for a goal or two from a set-piece against the Seasiders.
Q: Who is most likely to give us problems? Will Alan Gow come back to haunt us, or is someone else more likely to catch the eye?
A: Gow is likely to remain on the bench. I can`t tell you who is likely to catch the eye, it`s top secret and the info is only available to the Green Army and Marcel Seip!
Q: And finally, a prediction?
A: Despite our lowly league position, we are the team in form after two consecutive wins and Blackpool having two defeats, but that said, I predict a 1-1 draw.
Thanks to Paul Williams of Vital Plymouth for his time.