Friday, September 23, 2005

23 September 2005: Pulis

Plymouth Argyle have appointed Tony Pulis as their next manager.

The fans on Pasoti are evenly split on the appointment, which frankly has been the worst-kept secret in football for the past week. The problem is this: Pulis makes his money by creating teams that are tall at the back, hoof the ball as far up the field as they can and hope someone can get on the end of it. If they can't, his team will aim for a nil-nil draw. Historically, his teams have had a lot of nil-nil draws.

More worrying is this article written by Bristol City fans when Pulis was appointed manager of Stoke. Pulis, formerly City manager as well as Bournemouth and Pompey (before 'Arry got hold of them), not only plays the worst kind of football with the sole aim of finishing no higher than 16th in the league every year, but he also seems to foster bad relationships with the club, the board and the fans wherever he goes. City fans warned Stoke supporters to "prepare yourselves for bizarre signings, even more bizarre press conferences with comments bearing no relationship to the evidence played out before you, and a manager-led backlash against you when it all goes wrong."

But most worrying for me is that it seems Argyle have just stepped back exactly fifteen years and six months to the spring of 1990, when the manager was sacked and after a short, unsuccessful caretaker stint by John Gregory (whatever happened to him?), the board appointed one David Kemp as manager. Over the coming weeks he managed to sell, release or alienate all the talented footballers at the club (he was the one who released Tynan, remember, not to mention Summerfield, Stuart et al) and bring in players of non-league ability such as Mark Fiore, Andy Clement, Adam King, Mark Quamina, oh my goodness the list is endless and is frequently published on Pasoti. Kemp's ambition (if you could call it that) was to stay up by playing 'hoof it as far and as high as you can' football, usually in the vague direction of non-entity players such as Robbie 'The Elbow' Turner, Paul Robinson and Morrys Scott. The fans left in their droves, the results went downhill fast, and after a successful (ie we didn't go down) 1990/91 campaign, it went further wrong in 91/92 and Kemp was rightly sacked after managing just one away win in eight months. Shilton/McGovern came in, brought good football and good results, but it was too little too late. Kemp had already done the damage, and Argyle went down. Thanks to him and Dan Macauley, it took twelve years before Argyle got back to again play in the division now known as 'The Championship'.

My point? Pulis' appointment seems to mirror Kemp's in many, many ways and while he may keep Argyle up, I see no more ambition than that from Pulis or the board from now until the day we die. And it's sad to say that on the day he's appointed, and I hope I'm wrong. I really do.

Oh, and did I mention who has been appointed as Pulis' assistant?

Yup, that's right. It's David Kemp.

God have mercy on our souls.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh Yes! Laughter Five!