A promising season predicted for Plymouth and Derek Adams

Mike Holden by Mike Holden / 18 July 2017, 12:13

Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) previews Derek Adams and Plymouth ahead of the upcoming 2017/18 League One season.


Derek Adams delivered promotion at the second time of asking, improving Plymouth’s final tally by six points to secure automatic having missed out in the play-off final the season before. The majority of the usual matchday 18 have been retained over the summer but outgoing fringe players have since been largely replaced by reputable names ready to compete for a starting berth and those reinforcements cover most areas of the pitch. Graham Carey signed a new deal too. He will no doubt continue to be instrumental.


Adams is an analyst, a swift and decisive big-game tactician with a talent for organising teams in the most efficient manner possible. He invariably starts from a standard 4-2-3-1 but the nuances of the system alter from game to game depending on the opposition. His strength lies in strategical clarity and execution, getting his players to understand the plan and carry out his orders without debate. A ruthless operator and an under-rated wind-up merchant, he leaves behind a string of public spats in League Two.


"We have the nucleus of the squad from last year but you always look to where you can strengthen. We’ve done that particularly well. We’ve got strength and depth, we’ve got competition for places all over the team and that’s important because we need to push everyone on. You have to prevent your squad becoming stagnant and the new players have played at a very good level. They are hungry and want to do well, and they are able to challenge the players that were already here last season."


It would be a shock if Argyle struggled at this level. From a tactical standpoint, Adams has the beating of most managers at this level and it’s hard not to be impressed by his summer business in terms of the options he now has at his disposal. The question is whether they can mount a serious promotion challenge and the answer might be 'no'. A lack of natural fluidity is their biggest downfall with hiccups in routine fixtures against theoretically weaker opposition all too common.

Prediction: top half

Derek Adams


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