Argyle have signed a new defensive midfielder, Toumani Diagouraga (30) on a free.
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My only criticism of Jake Jervis is that he gets pushed off the ball too easily but saying that his movement is good.
I was not at the game but, considering what I heard from the commentators and press reports, it seems to have been a valiant performance by Argyle. I don't think anyone could say that Derek Adams has "lost the dressing room" as all the players are full of determination and fight. Also they have greatly improved their discipline with not a single yellow card, let alone a red, in the last two games. Your comment about Jake Jervis is interesting as, in his last interview on "iFollow", he was asked why he had sought out Derek Adams and spoken to him after training and he replied that he just had something he wanted to get off his chest. Maybe he thinks he should be starting more games or is not in his best position. Whenever I have seen him at Home Park this season he gave some exceptional performances and he did score both goals against Charlton. His best position throughout all the time he has been here has been wide right, using his excellent pace and cutting in. That has led to many of his goals. He has regularly been one of our two top scorers so we do need him. Last night he played up front on his own and it has been in that position that he has had his worst games at Home Park this season so it was no surprise to hear your critical comments. That said, one of the commentators on Radio Devon was very complimentary about him at the end of the Blackburn game! Great to see Carey back to his best and the Bradley-Edwards defensive combination clicking at last.
The problem with your argument is that what you are basically saying is that Derek Adams is only secure in his job because of his good previous record with Argyle. In all honesty, if he had moved on in the summer, and a new manager presided over this run of results, do you think James Brent would have kept faith? I doubt it, and for that reason, I still believe Derek Adams is unlikely to be Argyle manager in the summer. The performance against Blackburn, and indeed the result, were both decent, with the exception of Jervis who didn't put in a good performance at all, and showed a lack of effort compared with the other players. It does also need to be said that if goal difference is level at the end of the season, goals scored comes into play. Therefore a 4-3 defeat is better than a 1-0 defeat, a 1-1 draw better than a 0-0. Yes, we expect to be at the bottom end of the division, but there are teams we should be looking to beat, and we've already lost to at least two of them this season, which could prove costly unless we pick up unexpected results somewhere. We won't do that with an over-cautious approach.
I think that it may be understandable that Derek has adopted such a cautious approach. Unlike last season when strong attacking football paid dividends (apart from those horrible high scoring home defeats), it seems that every time the players go in search of a winner or equaliser this season, they get caught out on the break. Like you I spoke to some people who had not watched Argyle this season but went to the Fleetwood game and they condemned the boring "keep possession at all costs by knocking the ball around sideways and backwards" tactics on show. Derek just can't win this argument. If he tells his players to keep going forward and attacking but gets caught out on the break he is accused of kamikaze tactics. If he gets them to be more careful and avoid taking risks he is accused of boring tactics!
The problem is Rodger that he seems to only have one plan (albeit one that mostly worked last season). It's also not just the formation that's the problem, but the fact that the players seem conditioned to play not to lose. My dad is only a very occasional visitor to Argyle, he attended the Wigan away game, and his observation was that until the last 15 minutes, we didn't even try to score. He was unfortunately spot on. I hope that we show much more attacking intent this weekend, and again at Blackburn, where we will both be in attendance again.
I am leaning towards joining the many supporters who yearn for two strikers up front. Last season Derek Adams could rightly point to his successful record with one man up front. Now he does not have that luxury so perhaps it is time for him to go with Blissett and Fletcher in tandem. I know he tried this in one game (I forget which one) and it did not work but neither is his usual philosophy now successful!
I am not suggesting increasing the numbers of midfielders on the pitch, but increasing the standard and competition for places. I too dislike 4-5-1 as I feel it does not offer enough choice.
I'm not sure I agree Johnny-Glen. One of my major criticisms of several recent Argyle managers has been the tendency to play 4-5-1. Flooding the midfield might offer defensive cover, but it's not going to win matches. We're at the stage now where we need wins, so we need to try something that's geared towards creating chances, not preventing the opposition doing it. If the manager doesn't trust the defence to do their jobs, maybe the defence aren't good enough. More players in defensive areas isn't the answer. I'm happy with the quality of Diagouraga, but we need a goalscorer.
There is the argument that by stimulating or improving the midfield, this then frees up the attack to attack and not fall back into midfield rolls themselves. Who knows - only time will tell.
Many people are arguing that our greatest need is for a new striker. However, I believe our midfield players have faltered recently. None of the regulars (Carey, Fox, Sarcevic and Ness) have been playing anywhere near their full potential in recent games, so I can see the logic of Derek Adams in trying to energise that department. By all accounts Diagouraga is a strong and talented player who has done well in the past. On the positive side, if he can find the form that led to his nomination as Brentford's player of the season in their play-off final year, he could be a real asset; there were good reports on his debut for the second X! on Tuesday. On the other hand Nadir Ciftci came with a successful record in Scotland but he soon fell from grace here. What is certain is that the performance levels of the team need to be raised several notches if we are to move up the table.
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