Thursday, December 10, 2009

10 December 2009: Mariner II

Paul Sturrock has been relieved of his duties as Plymouth Argyle manager, and all footballing responsibilities have been passed to Head Coach Paul Mariner.

Sturrock remains at the club in some kind of weird role involving him overseeing the creation of new training facilities or something. Meantime Mariner, hero of the 1975 Division Three campaign, is now the boss and has a tough job ahead of him turning the current squad - most of whom don't seem to want to stay - into a team that can finish fourth-from-bottom in the Championship this year.

Statistically it shouldn't be difficult - a run of three wins will see Argyle comfortably in the safe zone - but the debate rages as to why this didn't happen a month ago, or even back in the summer. The results have been poor - very poor - and while there have been some bright sparks here and there it seems that overall the club was destined to lose every game this season one-nil.

And the killer statistic in Sturrock's second reign is this: it is two years - two YEARS - since Argyle came from behind to win a game. Meaning once they concede a goal, that's pretty much it for the day (unless it rains heavily, of course).

So, to answer an earlier question, can you ever go back without tarnishing your reputation? It didn't really work out for either Glavine or Sturrock second time around, and both left their posts under a cloud. It's a shame, because statistically Sturrock I was probably the best manager in Argyle history. Sturrock II was probably worse even than David Kemp, although I'll have to check the figures to be sure.

Meantime Mariner I was an absolute hero and legend for his goalscoring prowess. How Mariner II does as manager/coach? We'll have to wait and see.


Doug said...

I think a club has to hit rock bottom before management teams get a grip on reality. Saints had to go through the hell of 2009, right to the brink, before the idiots in charge were willing to release their grip on the club.

You could argue that they should have realised what everybody else already knew but sometimes its a vanity thing and its happening to lots of clubs.

I see that our friends at Fratton Park are in trouble again, the rumour mill is in overdrive - it can't be good news.

Still, w3e got a great draw in the world cup, a nice needle match against the USA... we may actually have a chance in this thing?!

Becky said...

I've been checking the BBC News site daily for this news - it's been coming for a while, I think. Fingers crossed that Mariner can turn it around!