Date: 28th September 2014 at 6:05pm
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The current Plymouth Argyle side bring to mind a hot air balloon – one minute we’re up and the next we’re down.

After ten league games our form is as unpredictable as a drop of rain on a train window but, for certain, our away form is worryingly poor. I would use a well – worn clich√©, ‘the league table doesn’t lie’ but I can’t see how an inanimate object can make an assessment of the truth. Suffice to say that our current 14th place tells us a lot about Argyle and about this division.

OK, we’re only two points behind the play off positions but so are a whole host of other clubs which means that things are very even and that means that Argyle are no better than the likes of Accrington, Morecambe, Shrewsbury, Luton, Mansfield, Cheltenham and Newport. Teams that, a few years ago, wouldn’t have caused us even a mild flutter now present us with real cardio – vascular anxiety.
We surely shouldn’t be having problems against clubs which get crowds that are less than that at the average pub on a Sunday lunchtime. What are they doing that Plymouth, with an average crowd of over 6500, are clearly not?

Everyone (except for the bookies) was hoping for much better this year but instead we’ve got mid table blues. We’re far enough into the season now to be able to form a view of what is going on at Home Park and inconsistency has again been the overarching theme.

How do you get consistently positive results? Through quality and hard work, I suppose. Writers of football articles need to tread very carefully when commenting on the way a club is managed because we actually know a lot less than the guys who do it for a living. Running a football team with continuing financial difficulties (we’ve just had a loan from the City Council and still owe lots of money) can’t be easy and I would be the first to accept that John Sheridan is working his socks off and putting his heart and soul into achieving success for PAFC. But, he put this team together – most are his players and, together, they are the people responsible for the current mixed bag of results and, to be blunt, a picture of under achievement and disappointment.

I just wonder whether the players will have to follow degrees in Maths, specialising in Trigonometry, to be able to understand their role in the next match? To be fair though, JS is only trying to get the best out of his team but his tactics are restricted by what he has got.
With almost a quarter of the season gone, it’s reasonable to conclude that this squad isn’t good enough to take us up. Previous promotion sides had gelled by this stage. If we can’t beat Shrewsbury next Saturday, then we clearly have serious problems. No pressure then.

On that decision by the City Council to lend PAFC £800,000, which my Vital colleague outlined in his recent article; whilst it may seem sensible to borrow at lower interest rates, the picture that is painted is still one of a club struggling with historic financial problems and in pretty poor health.
The loan also raises questions about the morality of a council lending money to a football club when other services are facing cutbacks.
When you combine the financial position with the inconsistent nature of the football, things don’t look too brilliant at our beloved club. I hope that things will come good soon because, if they don’t, patience will run out.
In fact, the social media evidence shows that it already has in many quarters.