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how can Argyle improve in 2022/23

Aug 8, 2013
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If we are going to continue to play three at the back, we will need
different wing backs. Edwards and Grant are fine players, but neither
has the speed, dynamism and ability to beat a man needed for the
wing back position. If Sessegnon returns, he would be my choice on the
right, and Law on the left.
Quicker service to the front men, of the kind Broom and Camara provided
in the earlier part of last season, is also required. The speed of our attacks
decreased noticeably when Mayor became first choice.
Also agree entirely about the standard of our set pieces; Randell would prove
valuable in that respect.
 
Jan 4, 2005
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Most of those things involve getting different/better Players. We definitely need to do better with set pieces.
It was interesting to read in today's press that Man City have had the benefit of a Spanish guy called Carlos Vicens as a dedicated set piece coach for the last few years. He was promoted from being coach to the sub-18 level. He had no previous specialist experience in this but apparently trotted off to Spain to pick the brains of set-piece specialists in that country. He also read coaching manuals, some of which were 40 years old. The result of his efforts ensured Man City have scored more goals from set pieces than any Premier League team and conceded only once from a free kick.
I am not daft enough to think that Argyle can afford the luxury of sending [say] Nance off to Spain for weeks to tap into their skill base, but if manuals are available, surely reference to them and an upgrade in the delivery skill should provide results. At present I agree Argyle's return on set pieces is not satisfactory.
 

Keith Whitfield

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Mar 30, 2015
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Interesting that you mention Man City's set-piece coach, QG. Man United have one too - someone called Eric Ramsay, who has also coached at Chelsea. And there is a Plymouth connection. Eric's dad, Jonathan was at DHS with me, and not a bad footballer at that. Jon's sister was also a good footballer, very much a pioneer in the women's game. Sadly, Eric is unlikely to look to returning to the place where his dad and aunt cut their football teeth. The new ManU manager has said that he wants him to be a part of his coaching team.
 
Aug 5, 2015
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I agree we need to be less easy to bully. We also need our defenders to chip in with a few more goals and there needs to be a vast improvement in our set pieces.
 

MGM

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Dec 7, 2021
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I will be honest. Results wise l think we are going to struggle to improve.

It depends what you concede an improvement.

For me it’s 4 things

1. Press as an attacking unit. Last season Edwards and Camara were individually brilliant at it. As a team unit we are disjointed that when they press and the others didn’t you could slice through us.

2. Better set pieces. Umpteen corners and free kicks. Just wasted with floated in balls that were meat n drink to a good defender in this league. Fund someone to whip them in at pace.

3. Stop lumping it down the channels so often. Yes, do it now and again but not all the time looking for Hardie. It’s too predictable and too easy to defend. Be brave and play through the thirds.

4. The most important. Either play a system that allows you to attack the byline or find players who can. You are going to find it difficult to walk through these teams. Even the great Man City side yesterday finally opened up Aston Villa by two great balls whipped across the box.

l just want us to be braver on the ball. And actually attack with more purpose. I will accept we will get punished more at times, but if we aren’t getting promoted (which l think is unrealistic for next season) then at least play better football.
 
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MGM

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Agreed I have said that I would like to see them try 3 2 4 1 by bringing Randell back alongside Houghton this stops teams doubling up on Houghton and gives us two outlets feom the back to qork through the thirds. Yes we lose one forward and qould need the midfield players to bring more goals. I like the thought if different tactics and formations as per the opposition and location home or away

Unfortunately, l just don’t think the club is stepping away from 3-1-4-2 which l can’t think of many clubs who got promoted who never had a plan B.
 
Sep 23, 2005
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Somewhere in Italy
An observation...
I don't know how fit Jordan Houghton is, but I noticed at Inter that their Croatian playmaker, Marcelo Brozović, goes a lot deeper to receive the ball. He is often nearer his goalie than the defenders are. This means he is not pressed by the opposition, can move forward with the ball and has plenty of time to weigh up his options for a pass to a team-mate.
In other words, Houghton would be doing what Scarr had to do in a few games, but with his supposed superior passing range being a benefit to Argyle.
Mind you, I think Brozović covers a lot of ground during the game, super-fit.
 
Dec 30, 2020
738
730
Last season Hardie tripled the number of goals he scored, Camara played more or less every week to a standard he was only reaching once every ten games in his first season and Cooper went from a callow youth to the best keeper in the division.

Which players can take similar leaps in 2022/23?

Jephcott - very underrated player with a brilliant goals record for his age. As he gets stronger, craftier and a bit sharper in front of goal, which will come with experience and practice, he should turn into a real asset.

Ennis - always provides moments of quality but they don't affect the game enough. We need to get more players around him to benefit from the opportunities that open up from his silky feints and touches.

Randell - bit of a paradox that he looked really good last year but I think we only won two games when he started. Not at all impossible to see him making the kind of progress Cooper made this season

Houghton - our best player in the first half of last season imo. For Argyle to have a player who was pinging first time passes off either foot round the European Champion, we need to find a way to get him close to that level every week, maybe by putting another deeper midfielder alongside him
 
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Jun 18, 2005
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born St. Columb, Cornwall
An observation...
I don't know how fit Jordan Houghton is, but I noticed at Inter that their Croatian playmaker, Marcelo Brozović, goes a lot deeper to receive the ball. He is often nearer his goalie than the defenders are. This means he is not pressed by the opposition, can move forward with the ball and has plenty of time to weigh up his options for a pass to a team-mate.
In other words, Houghton would be doing what Scarr had to do in a few games, but with his supposed superior passing range being a benefit to Argyle.
Mind you, I think Brozović covers a lot of ground during the game, super-fit.
That's interesting imo.
 
Feb 8, 2005
2,823
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I do not watch Premiership football, but I did see this today which gave me food for thought.

How English Football Changed

It is primarily about Gardiola, but stay with it and read it through.

I know that Gardiola has the pick of the world's players, and we have to be guided by what our player budget can purchase, but the ideas are similar, and I am sure that Shuey has similar plans to put into operation for next season.

It all depends, of course, as to whether the type of players that he wants to bring to the club are available, are at the right price, and that he can persuade them to come to Devon for a couple of years.

It's always a chicken and egg situation, isn't it?

Does a manager base his team strategy on the playing qualities of the players that he has, or does he put into place a way of playing and then try to find players to fit that scenario?

Thankfully, Lowe put into place a way of playing, throughout the Club, that Shuey has bought into and continued with (maybe he was an instigator), and we have no choice but to follow it wherever it leads us.

I am sure that Shuey will be able to tweak certain things to his own satisfaction, but the foundations have been put into place. The majority of the team have played this way for the whole of the last season, which should ensure that we have as good a start as we possibly can next season.

Bedding in the newcomers will be the task ahead for him.

Can't wait!
 
Last edited:
Nov 18, 2011
982
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I agree about the set pieces, there's no reason why a player like Dan Scarr could be the new Graham Coughlin and score 10 goals a season from set pieces as well as be a colossus at the back. A lot of that would be down to better set piece coaching and making sure that players like him at the right place at the right time.
 
Jul 16, 2018
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Cardiff
I agree about the set pieces, there's no reason why a player like Dan Scarr could be the new Graham Coughlin and score 10 goals a season from set pieces as well as be a colossus at the back. A lot of that would be down to better set piece coaching and making sure that players like him at the right place at the right time.

I think our lack of scoring from set pieces is more about the poor delivery than actually having players that can attack the ball. I too think Scarr could score plenty if the ball is was generally decent. Unfortunately for us Houghton took the majority of our set-pieces last season and for me I'm afraid he doesn't consistently provide a good enough delivery. I would be more optimistic of scoring from set pieces if say Adam Randell was our primary dead ball man.
 
Jul 12, 2016
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867
There seems to be a reluctance to shoot at goal within the Argyle team.
Very often it’s taking on one too many opponents and the chance is lost.
I wonder if they are discouraged from shooting on sight or is it a confidence issue?
 
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Graham Clark

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Nov 18, 2018
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I do not watch Premiership football, but I did see this today which gave me food for thought.

How English Football Changed

It is primarily about Gardiola, but stay with it and read it through.

I know that Gardiola has the pick of the world's players, and we have to be guided by what our player budget can purchase, but the ideas are similar, and I am sure that Shuey has similar plans to put into operation for next season.

It all depends, of course, as to whether the type of players that he wants to bring to the club are available, are at the right price, and that he can persuade them to come to Devon for a couple of years.

It's always a chicken and egg situation, isn't it?

Does a manager base his team strategy on the playing qualities of the players that he has, or does he put into place a way of playing and then try to find players to fit that scenario?

Thankfully, Lowe put into place a way of playing, throughout the Club, that Shuey has bought into and continued with (maybe he was an instigator), and we have no choice but to follow it wherever it leads us.

I am sure that Shuey will be able to tweak certain things to his own satisfaction, but the foundations have been put into place. The majority of the team have played this way for the whole of the last season, which should ensure that we have as good a start as we possibly can next season.

Bedding in the newcomers will be the task ahead for him.

Can't wait!
A brilliant article by Guillem Balague and a must read for any student of the game. Most interestingly was the reference to acquiring Rodri as a tall physical figure to drop in the centre back role enabling the centre backs to stride into midfield with the ball. He realised physicality was a hallmark of the English game.

I could say the same about Argyle. In key games with the top six of the likes of Rotherham, Sheffield Wednesday, Sunderland and Wycombe the lack of our physicality was often exposed. One of the reasons that Houghton did not perform to his high standards of earlier in the season was that post-Chelsea, where his artful switch of play was highlighted, teams targeted him physically and to be honest he struggled with it and was unable to impose himself on games as before.

Returning to the Rodri point someone who could fulfil that type of role and add muscle and power in the centre would be one of my recruiting starting points for Argyle. Similar arguments could apply to the wing backs and as often stated someone with presence to 'play off' up top for adding to our options.

The Balague article demonstrates how Guardiola has been evolutionary after being revolutionary. The same argument might apply to Argyle as the widespread adoption of 3-5-2, throughout the club, was (relatively) revolutionary playing wise. The variants of 3-1-4-2 and 3-4-1-2 offer the option of evolution married to the quality of recruitment as Schuey has demonstrated a deftness of in game tactical change. I look forward to a more physical evolution in the coming season which in turn may bring greater set piece rewards, which I note that Manchester City had the best record for set piece scoring and defending after more physical player recruitment.
 
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