Plymouth Argyle - a look ahead

Last updated : 19 December 2003 By Richard Brown

Form (last six): W-W-W-L-D-W

2002/03 Finish: League; Second Division; eighth

FA Cup: Third Round

League Cup: First Round

2002/03 Top Scorer: Marino Keith - 12

2002/03 Discipline: 52 yellow; 2 red

2003/04 Top Scorer: David Friio - 8

Home Park
Anyone who has ever spent any real period of time playing on the football management simulation game, Championship Manger, will know the ecstasy of promotion glory only to fall miserably at the next hurdle as an immediate rise through the divisions looks is flopped after failing to climb the intricate hierarchy that is the Football League.

However, anyone who has spent the last three seasons watching Plymouth Argyle running away with the Third Division title before going on to ply their trade in the Second Division will feel inept in this department of a failure to keep momentum flowing as the Argyle are constantly stealing ground on many of the teams battling at the foot of the Second Division, Notts County included.

This season has highlighted the Pilgrims’ rise to the top as they appear dissatisfied with mediocrity in the Second Division and more content with sustaining a genuine promotion push. Their self-evident eagerness to rise further comes in the form of recent spankings which they’ve willingly handed out to Tranmere Rovers (6-0) and Port Vale (5-1) – results which have ultimately made their fellow Second Division sides sit up and take notice to a side compared to the Wimbledon-of-old by Brighton manager, Steve Coppell, saying that they are: ‘exponents of the long ball’.

Plymouth, currently second only to QPR in the league table, have made significant progress from as recently as their last campaign as the difference between the 2002/03 season and the 2003/04 Plymouth sides has proven to be a new-found capability to hit the back of the net. The league table makes pleasurable reading for the Pilgrims – especially as it declares them to be the most prolific side in terms of goals.

However the Pilgrims’ scoring cannot be solely credited to one striker, but to a crop of 13 players who have all managed to chalk up at least one league goal in the first half of the season. However, this fete is made all the more impressive by the fact that the Pilgrims have used just 21 players in the season thus far – and with 45 goals to their name so far, they have also gone a long way to ensuring that they beat last seasons total of 63.

***Star Player***
- David Friio

David Friio
When a team has a wide variety of players all chipping into the goals tally, it is known that the top goal scorer at one of such clubs may only manage to achieve the odd goal more than the rest of his team-mates. But not at Plymouth…

David Friio has already managed 8 goals in his 13 games for the club and appears more than capable of netting many, many more times (or so I’m told by a reliable source)until this campaign comes to a close.

Although this somewhat clumsy-looking one-time centre half may not have been handed the chance to perform as he has due to the fact that, before his move to Plymouth three years ago, it looked very much like the centre-half was to rot away playing at the heart of defence in the anonymous lower French Leagues.

But now he is beginning to turn heads over here in England as his scoring record of 0.62 goals per game is the envy of many of this country’s strikers – not too bad for a midfielder.

***Odds Checker*** -
with William Hill bookmakers.

Pilgrims –

Draw – 13/5

Magpies – 11/2