Restrictions: Can only sign players who are transfer listed, loan listed or found by scouts.
What a start!
This next one is ludicrous.
4-1 down at half time, we switch to the 4-3-3, attacking/direct formation. It really, really works.
[League Cup] Southampton 1-2 Plymouth (Pahars/Martin, Talebinejad)
Southampton (now in Division 1) are pushed aside fairly comfortably, but Brian McGlinchey tears his groin muscle and is out for three months. My physio reports that it’s likely to recur in future, so he’s sent for surgery, and is now out for six months. Coincidentally, this is the day after I sold Dominic Ludden to Swansea for £1k. He was irked that I considered him a back-up player. We really need a left back.
Once again, attempts to loan cover fail, so we splash the cash on Paul Konchesky (D/ML) from Charlton. £150k, with another £100k if he plays 50 league games.
Plymouth 4-0 Notts County (Forbes, Karlsen, Talebinejad, Youssef)
Fortress Home Park? More than 12’000 come to see a demolition job.
Wrexham 1-2 Plymouth (Harley/Convery, Stonebridge)
Wigan 2-2 Plymouth (Haworth, Atkinson/Proietti, Talebinejad)
Manager of the Month for me, and Rabi Youssef gets Player of the Month, after starting the season with four goals and two assists from five games, averaging 8.80. Nice.
Plymouth 2-0 Peterborough (Talabinejad, Youssef)
Talabinejad has now scored enough goals for me to know how to spell his name. He’s also given me a selection headache. I think Stonebridge is now my third choice striker.
Both sides had nine shots, and five on target. Oh, and you can bet your ass I’m complaining about the ref.
Plymouth 2-0 Hull (Butler, Smyth)
The 2nd XI take this one, because we’ve got Bradford in the League Cup on Wednesday. Home grown right-back Jonathan Butler makes his debut and caps a wonderful team move with a goal. With his rise, comes another’s fall. Markus Buttner is sent to Halifax for free. He did fine last season, playing 21 times, 3 assists and a 6.86 average, but he’s now an unnecessary fourth choice right back.
Rhys Weston is about to move from Cardiff to West Brom, so we grab another Cardiff centre back on loan, in the shape of Andy Jordan (DC).
Plymouth 2-0 Bradford (Youssef, Smyth)
To the eyes of most in 2018, this doesn’t look like a giant-killing. But Bradford are currently 6th in the Premier League, and we completely dominated them, Benito Carbone and all.
Bristol Rovers 0-3 Plymouth (Stonebridge 2, Talebinejad)
Why indeed? We’re in the same division, but I’m top of it, and they’re 16th. I offered to pay 100% of his wages, Notts County are paying sweet F.A.
Plymouth 2-0 Macclesfield (Jordan, Moukoko)
That was Steve Thomson’s 50th league game for The Pilgrims, so we send £75k to Crystal Palace in a brown envelope or similar. He’s been well worth the £150k total spent on him.
Manager and Player of the Month awards are repeated, Rabi Youssef now has six goals, five assists and has maintained his 8.80 average rating. As a result, the vultures are circling. Leeds put in a bid of £1.3m, and Chelsea, Liverpool, Newcastle and Wolves all have an interest. He has a minimum fee release clause of £2.5m, so I don’t think he’ll be around much longer…
Lincoln 0-1 Plymouth (Youssef)
Leeds wouldn’t pay the negotiated bid, which gets us an extra two points I suppose.
Plymouth 1-0 Luton (Forbes)
This has gone very well indeed. We’ve had injury problems, primarily with McGlinchey to miss more than half the season, but Moukoko, Forbes, Lucas and Talebinejad have all had spells out too. The last three matches Tony Warner was suspended for, and Tobias Koch kept goal impeccably, with three clean sheets.
I don’t think we can maintain this form, the last two wins particularly were fortunate, in very tight games, but I have to think promotion is a viable possibility. Exciting times!