Sunday, May 24, 2009


“Ambition” must be very near the top of my pet hates. “The club has no ambition” they say; “The Board has no ambition” they say; “Stapleton has no ambition” they say; “You have no ambition” they say. What a load of old poppycock.
I’m sorry to lapse into football cliché-speak but any ambition beyond “taking each game as it comes” and “trying to win every game” is little more than hot air. Naturally there is a bigger picture to be considered than that and the club should always be planning towards it and quite simply that has to be to always improve both on and off the pitch. This is easier said than done too and relies upon resources and a strong case can be made to prioritise investment in the playing staff, the stadium, the training facilities and the scouting network. The sad truth is that we need massive improvements in all of those areas but we do not have the finance to do it all at once.
We need to assess “ambition” in terms of short-, mid-, and long-term goals so I’ll lay out exactly what I would like to see from Argyle in terms of “ambition” to fit those criteria.
Short-term ambition: Fulfil the clichés I have already mentioned ~ anything else is ludicrous to set as a goal of any sort. We should always try to win the next game.
Mid-term ambition: That has to be to get to 52 points as soon as possible because 52 points should see us safe from relegation. If/when we get there we re-assess and see if the secondary target of a play-off spot is possible. If it is then how can we get from there to a promotion slot. If we get there can we win the League?
Long-term ambition: Ultimately where would I like to see the club? That is easy. I want Argyle to represent far more than the City of Plymouth; I’d like to see it represent Devon & Cornwall and maybe even the entire SW peninsula or the entire Westcountry. I want to see us at the very top of everything and when we get there I want to see us stylishly grind everybody else into dust. I want to see Argyle winning the League Cup, FA Cup, Premier League and Champions’ League and when we have done that I want to see us do it again but add the Charity Shield and that silly FIFA thing where the Champions of Europe play the Champions of South America, Asia, Africa etc too. I want JJB to sell Argyle shirts in the Trafford Centre and beyond. I want kids on the streets of Exeter, London, Manchester, Liverpool and elsewhere to play their park football in an Argyle kit. I want those same kids to mercilessly rib the locals about supporting a bunch of has-beens like Liverpool, Manchester United or Chelsea and shrug off jibes about being “Plastic Wannabes” without so much as a second thought. I want Argyle to be the Pride Of Singapore and Shanghai. I want to see us play in a 100 000 capacity all-seater stadium (possibly bigger) that is also used for England’s home games. I want us to be spoken of in revered terms like the Busby Babes, Billy Wright’s Wolves, the Spurs push-and-runners, 1970 Brazil, Holland’s Total Footballers or Celtic’s Lisbon Lions (in fact like the Lisbon Lions I would also like to see the team comprised entirely of players born within 30 miles of Plymouth too) and I would like the 2nd best team in the country to be our Reserves.
I think that should be enough to show those who say I have no ambition that they could not be more wrong.


At 8:16 pm, Anonymous Gav said...

Hi there,

I write a blog about English footballers abroad and I have just written a feature on one of your ex-players, Sam Malsom:

Please let me know your thoughts.

Kind regards,



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