Three straight losses by Plymouth Argyle was a real shame. But the defeat to Brentford at home on Saturday, extending the run to four games without a win, was just not acceptable.
League One was always going to be a tough one. With a mixture of seasoned veterans in the division such as Swindon and Southampton, tough fellow ex-Championship sides in Peterborough and Sheffield Wednesday, and keen newcomers from League Two in Notts County and Rochdale.
And of course there have been many difficulties to Peter Reid’s initial tenure of the Pilgrims. Financial restrictions put in place has meant no major hope of a big transfer budget, with the only avenue of new players being out of contracts and young loanees from Premier League sides.
Plus a major factor in the dip in form has been injuries and suspensions. The midfield combination of Kari Arnason and Carl Fletcher that had proved so fruitful during October had been broken up due to a leg injury for the captain and Arnason whose elbow to the face of Oldham Athletics’ Lewis Alessendra saw the four match ban that had kept him out of the two cup losses and the defeat to Tranmere as well as the win at home to Bristol Rovers.
There has also been the in and out of defender Bondz N’Gala who also missed a couple of games through the red card he acquired in the same game as Arnason.
The defensive line up has also not been settled during this difficult period. During the four games the only player to stay in the back four was Onismor Bhasera with the centre backs and right back changing, so this will not have done the team any good as a consistent defence is one of the fundamental things to a consistent performance in any league.
But of course this team, with the depth and quality Reid possesses, should be doing a whole lot better than it is. We have shown against the likes of Southampton, Sheffield Wednesday and Swindon that we can be a force to be reckoned with when we want to be.
The thing is we haven’t performed for the majority of this season and things have to change if we want to get anywhere this year, and me and I’m sure the rest of the Green Army doesn’t want to see another relegation battle for the third season in a row.
Dagenham and Redbridge are team that Argyle should beat. They currently sit in 22nd position having only won two games out of 17 and have the worst goal difference in League One. At the moment Plymouth are hardly doing better with this slide in fortunes. However this evening is the true chance for Reid and his men to end this small crisis.
The Pilgrims are in bad need of three points which would see them leap-frog into mid-table safety. So let’s hope the change starts now, because right now it could be a long Christmas for Reid and Plymouth.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.