Danis Salman: Plymouth Argyle have been poor all season
I MUST take issue with manager John Sheridan's statement that he is confused by his Plymouth Argyle players' inconsistent performances this season.
Well, excuse me, but where's the inconsistency? From what I've seen so far in League Two this season, Argyle performances have been consistently poor.
In my opinion, they haven't been really good in one game and then the polar opposite in the next, which is presumably what John was saying after the 3-0 defeat to Wycombe Wanderers at Home Park last Saturday.
In fact, the only performances where the Pilgrims have perhaps put on a memorable display is at Cheltenham, both in the league and the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
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Other than those two games and the first 20 minutes against Rochdale at home, I think Argyle have been thoroughly under-whelming.
Argyle have lost four out of seven league matches this season and in the games they have won, aside from the 3-1 victory at Cheltenham, they have been poor.
Some people may say if you can win when you're not playing well, that's a good thing: wrong.
The reason the players are not playing well in games so far is down to the manager and his coaching staff.
Yes, the footballers have to bear some responsibility, but it always rankles with me when a manager blames his players when results go against them.
True, we're only a few matches into the new season, and so on that point I would argue that from what I've seen and from my experience of being a professional footballer, it's a bit rich of John to publicly criticise his players.
He has done so, presumably, for not taking on board either the philosophy or the style of football he wants them to play.
The coaches train the players all week and what they do on the pitch, for real, is a culmination of all that they've learnt during training.
So, if the players don't get what the coaches want them to do in a game, then John and his staff have to come up with something that will work.
I know for a fact, venting your spleen to the media is not the way, as. in my experience, footballers can adapt to playing styles.
For example, when I was a player at Brentford, the then manager Bill Dodgin insisted on us playing neat, controlled, passing football.
Then when I moved to Home Park, Argyle manager David Kemp had a route one policy, in that the ball was cleared upfield as quickly as possible with the minimum of fuss.
They were two distinctly different system, and as players we would adapt, whether we preferred one or the other.
I'm not defending the players, per se, but I do think the shape of John's squad is not working to their advantage.
For example, Alessandra on the right and Boco on the left of midfield are not naturally suited to those roles.
They would seem, to me at least, better fitted to playing just behind the strikers, as Argyle do seem to be overloaded with defensive midfielders, who don't push up.
When was the last time you saw an interchange between an Argyle midfielder and striker this season? It contradicts John's forecast of Argyle playing attacking and entertaining football this year.