Defeat in the opener but plenty to be optimistic about for Argyle
It may not have been the start Argyle fans wanted following just missing out on the playoffs last season, but there was still plenty to be optimistic about in defeat to Walsall on Saturday.
Derek Adams’ men fell 2-1 to last season’s strugglers despite having more possession and more chances.
Argyle took the lead on 40 minutes thanks to a Ryan Edwards goal, his first game back after being given the all clear following his battle with testicular cancer. It was a good start for the side, with a number of positives in the opening stages, not least the chances they created.
What wasn’t seen however was finishing those chances off. Adams was critical of his attacking pairing of Ruben Lameiras and Graham Carney following the game, but as the latter has proved he can come good in front of goal.
Which does bode well. The bookies are pricing the club nicely, with comments on bookmakers highlighting the best ones generally giving odds of around 8/1, a serious dark horse price tag. That’s welcoming significant backing.
Taking on Southend next weekend, the club will be encouraged by the Shrimpers conceding three against Doncaster on the opening day, particularly as they went 3-0 down to a Rovers side who finished 15th last term.
Coventry follow, a team who were also beaten on the opening day, which would give Argyle a perfect platform to build.
Adams will be looking to utilise some of the players who didn’t feature in the opener, with the likes of Tafari Moore, Lionel Ainsworth and Calum Dyson all capable of producing solid performances as the club look to start picking up the points.
The club traditionally struggle on the first weekend of the season, but fans will be encouraged by some of the performances on display. On loan keeper, Matt Macey’s first half penalty save highlighted what the Arsenal man can do, while Edwards’ return was a standout for the Pilgrims.
Ashley Smith-Brown, who joined in the summer from Manchester City should also give fans plenty of hope, with him marshalling the left hand channel well, picking up some good positions.
The defeat certainly doesn’t tell the full story, and there are plenty of reasons to get behind the club when they return to Home Park on Saturday for their first home game of the season.