Hello everyone! Today I will be talking and expressing my views on the new season ahead. My football team Plymouth Argyle were promoted to League 1 this season just gone, in which I and many other Greens are excited in the prospects of playing in L1 next season. In this article I will talk about current transfer rumors, current odds for promotion and a quick idea of what our team will look like come August 5th.
So, first things first, transfer rumors. In the last couple of weeks I have seen many reports linking Argyle star man, Graham Carey with moves to clubs such as Wigan Athletic, Peterborough Utd, Bradford City, Portsmouth FC, Northampton Town. The only ones I can actually see being viable are Wigan and Bradford. Wigan were recently relegated from The Championship last season, after a poor campaign and various manager sackings. Wigan’s board will definitely want to back a promotion campaign after winning League 1 only the season before last, unfortunately for them, staying in The Championship didn’t last long. SkyBet and other bookies are backing Wigan among others to get promotion to the division above once again, another two team who are favorites to get promotion are fellow League 2 promotion teams Doncaster Rovers and Portsmouth FC. After a few months on top, Doncaster fell off top spot and left it for any one of Pompey and Argyle to claim the prestigious League 2 title. After a gripping last day of the season, Portsmouth claimed the title leaving Argyle in 2nd and Doncaster in third. Argyle themselves are not backed to get Promotion to L1. Here are some odds below of how the bookies think League 1 will end this coming season:
As you can see, there are quite a lot of teams fancied for promotion over Plymouth Argyle. Argyle currently sat at 9/1 to get promotion to League 1. Fairly reasonable odds I think, with no real major changes to the squad I think these odds are fair. Blackburn leading the way, along with Wigan, Bradford, Scunthorpe, Doncaster, Portsmouth and just outsiders Oxford. If I was to back three teams from League 1 to gain promotion it would be Bradford, Wigan and Blackburn. This years play-off finalists Bradford will be looking to capitalist on not getting over the hurdle against eventual play off winners Millwall this season. As for the outsiders, with Bristol Rovers only at 5/1 they might be worth a punt after a reasonable finish in 10th last season. Same goes for Oxford Utd at 4/1 closely followed by MK Dons, Charlton, Fleetwood, Southend, Rochdale and Peterborough all who are at 5/1 and 6/1.
With pre-season around the corner, there are a lot of teams already doing the business transfer wise to enhance their chances of a good campaign. Argyle themselves have already made one signing in the form of former Hereford, Rotherham and recently Motherwell winger Lionel Ainsworth. A shrewd signing by Derek Adams, the player opting to sign a contract with Plymouth over a new contract with the SPL club. Having seen Lionel play his trade at other clubs, I can only base my opinion on him via YouTube, looks a very pacy player with good ball control with the ability to take on players with skill and speed. End product is lacking but Derek has been able to transform players since being down in Devon, with the likes of Wylde, Carey and Jervis to name a few, all have succeeded in the color of Green and White. I honestly believe in Adams to bring in some quality players to this club and turn this team, again, into another promotion winning side.
Keeping the back bone of this side is important going into the new season, I know DA will not settle with a relegation dog fight. Having watched League 1 over the last couple of seasons, I believe there is no real big difference between both L1 and L2. I’m positive that the likes of Portsmouth, Argyle and Doncaster who are new in the league can ruffle a few feathers and charge for promotion once again. Other transfer rumors I have seen and heard about on social media are Forest Green Rover’s striker Christian Doidge, here’s a quick report by the Plymouth Herald about the player:
“Plymouth Argyle have not made an approach for Forest Green Rovers forward Christian Doidge. Herald Sport understands that Rovers boss Mark Cooper has denied any interest in the player from the Pilgrims amid transfer speculation linking the two parties. … Doidge scored 27 goals in 41 games.”
27 goals in 41 games is fairly impressive, but do Argyle want to sign someone who has mostly played his trade in the Conference? In previous years, Paul Sturrock had signed a few gems from the lower divisions, one example is winger Craig Noone who had a good stint at Argyle when they were back in the Championship, later playing in the Premier League with Cardiff via Brighton. A player who is also a free agent, could we tempt him down here again? With reports claiming Noone was on at least 15k a week, would Craig take a cut to play in League 1? My opinion is probably not but it would be a marquee signing if he did decide to join. A definite brilliant replacement if Graham Carey decides to move on. One hot topic at the moment is recent player, Craig Tanner. Tanner has played two season with Argyle scoring a couple of handfuls of goals in his time here, although DA has expressed in games that he doesn’t like him. Personally I think Tanner wasn’t given much time in the team, in which Argyle fans were slating him for not performing. 6 Goals last season is not bad for a player who mainly came off the bench and only had a handful of starts. I would bring him in, make him a main man again, don’t think wages will halt a move.
A lot of fans will be hoping that the first game of the new season is a good away day, personally myself I hope it is away. The game I am most looking forward to is Blackburn, Ewood Park is one ground I haven’t ticked off my list, along with Wigan and Fleetwood among the other Lancashire based clubs. Blackburn away is the game I’m hoping for first but I would not mind any away game for the first game really. Looking forward to the prospects of London games again, such as Charlton, AFC Wimbledon. Then you have teams just outside of London like Southend, Northampton, MK Dons, Oxford etc. Very forward to the away game feel again, absolutely suffering with no football on.
As for Argyle in the weeks ahead, some more signings and hopefully a peak at what the new kits will look like, I’ve heard that we’ll be changing the normal Argyle Green to a lighter lime green color, not sure what to make of it. Here’s some mock ups that I’ve seen around the internet, highlighting a few of my favorites….
These are all mock ups, although the ones with a dotted pinstripe style are what Argyle are suggesting, and based on seeing other kits it looks to be the main design of the home shirt. I LOVE the yellow kit, beautiful. The top two are retro mock ups made by someone on Twitter, although I do admire them too I don’t think that’ll be the kits at all. Based on the hints Argyle are giving, the color of the season ticket leaflets suggest we are going lighter green, almost lime – not a fan. My personal opinion is that the kits that are three in a row will be the design, the far right dark kit is what I expect the home shirt to look like with a lime away kit in the same design. I do love the bottom three designs especially in the color of the first two from the left.
I’ll let you people decide what your favorites are, let me know what your thoughts are on them. Also let me know your thoughts on today’s blog, leave your opinions on the comments and on social media.
Thanks for reading and you’ll see more blogs shortly as the season gets closer.