Talking Points as Plymouth Argyle Are Swept Aside at the Valley

Plymouth Argyle

Plymouth Argyle eased past Peterborough United on the weekend, setting up a major mid-week clash against Charlton Athletic. A penalty for Charlton following a James Wilson red card soured the mood early for the visitors, as  Jayden Stockley coolly converted the spot kick. They carried on flowing after the restart too and it went from bad to worse as Steven Schumacher’s men ended up on the receiving end of a 5 – 1 defeat. Here are the talking points.

Charlton Athletic Fire Five Past Plymouth Argyle

The Greens Are a Different Beast on Home Soil

Most teams perform better in front of their home fans, however, Plymouth Argyle are often the epitome of this and it’s a trend that has continued this season.

With four games in the books, Argyle have two wins and two defeats to their name. The two victories came when Barnsley and Peterborough visited Home Park whilst trips to Fleetwood Town and Charlton ended in defeat. While Wilson’s marching orders certainly didn’t help the visiting side against Charlton, the home side were already on the road to a victory before the centre-back handled a shot destined for goal.

Charlton were the team to snap Argyle’s sixteen-game unbeaten streak last term and they have thwarted them again. In this run, they beat Sheffield Wednesday twice at Home Park, once in the league and again in the FA Cup. On top of that, the likes of Doncaster Rovers, Bolton Wanderers and Ipswich Town departed the south coast empty-handed.

Plymouth Argyle Struggling With Playing Out From the Back

Ben Garner’s side hit five on their own turf and it wasn’t necessarily down to their attacking dominance. Plymouth Argyle were in large part the root of their own downfall, from the first goal to the last. Focusing on the second, Stockley’s first of the season, and Wilson’s teammates sold him down the river. A poor clearance from Michael Cooper led to the loss of possession and then his defender was forced into the handball later on.

When playing out from the back, Schumacher’s men gave the ball away in a dangerous area once again. Charlton reacted well and whilst Cooper was able to deny Stockley’s header, 19-year-old Crystal Palace loanee Jesurun Rak-Sakyi was on hand to poke it home.

Charlton’s third, a wonder strike from Sean Clare on the brink of half-time, was unstoppable. Plymouth reverted to shoddy defending for the two goals that came after the break, as captain Joe Edwards was unable to clear the ball at the back-post and paid the price before a fairly fortuitous Miles Leaburn goal put the cherry on top for Charlton in the final ten minutes.

The caveat to all of this is that the Pilgrims were playing a man down, but it still wasn’t up to the standards fans have come to expect from them.

Read More: Talking Points as Plymouth Argyle Ease Past Peterborough United

Morgan Whittaker Is a Huge Talent

Argyle’s visit to South-East London wasn’t completely negative. Their one goal was a solo effort from Swansea City loanee Morgan Whittaker who was a shining light for the visitors. Against Peterborough, the 21-year-old came off the bench and made displayed some excellent dribbling ability. He was much the same against Charlton, except this time had a finish to match, giving the away supporters something to cheer about with their consolation goal.

The former England U20 international managed five goals in 20 appearances in League One last season while on loan at Lincoln City. Plymouth will be hoping for a better return this season as Whittaker challenges the incumbent Ryan Hardie for a starting spot. The Pilgrims usually line up with a lone striker so the Swansea loanee faces a tough pathway to the first team, however, his goal against Charlton is a solid start.

Adding Whittaker into the equation alongside Hardie, Luke Jephcott and Niall Ennis gives Schumacher a good problem to have to deal with. He was in the starting 11 in this one and his impressive outing could well be rewarded with regular minutes going forward.

Plymouth are on the road again this coming weekend as they visit newly promoted Forest Green Rovers and will be hoping to put the heavy defeat to Charlton behind them by earning all three points from The New Lawn Stadium.