Plymouth Argyle Chairman Sets 2024/25 Target

Plymouth Argyle chairman Simon Hallett has laid out his ambitions for the 2024/25 season following the appointment of Wayne Rooney as Head Coach.

It was a difficult first season back in the Championship for the Pilgrims. Following Steven Schumacher’s departure to league rivals Stoke City in December, a punt was taken on England under-20s boss Ian Foster. However, his rein proved to be a disaster and he was sacked just three months into his tenure following a run of eight league defeats in 11 matches.

Director of football Neil Dewsnip was handed the role on an interim basis in order to maintain their second tier status, which he achieved in dramatic circumstances with a 1-0 win over Hull City on the final day of the season.

Plymouth then caused a stir earlier this week when they announced former England international Rooney as Foster’s permanent successor. The 38-year-old made the headlines earlier this year after a dreadful stint at Birmingham City saw him dismissed after just 15 games. This played a huge role in the Blues’ eventual relegation, leaving the ex-striker’s reputation in tatters.

Speaking to talkSPORTHallett revealed that his new head coach had impressed during his interview, ultimately leading to his appointment at the south coast club:

“Results were particularly poor at Birmingham over the course of 15 games, which is probably not long enough to be statistically significant.

“The underlying data at Birmingham was also poor, but we know that there were certain circumstances that made it difficult for Wayne.

“There were also circumstances that made it difficult at Derby, most obviously the place was in administration. Wayne ended up having to do a lot more than just coach at Derby.

“At Derby though, he still managed to improve the defence. At DC United, a limited number of games, but DC United’s attack was strengthened, DC United’s defence was – more modestly – strengthened.

“So we believe anyway that you can’t just look at results, you have to look at the impact the manager has on the team. You have to look at the data, the underlying performances before the manager arrives and afterwards.

“That means looking at things other than just wins and losses.”

Despite the arrival of such a big name, Hallett remains realistic with his expectations for next season. Rooney may well be able to attract a better calibre of player, although the chairman revealed that the club’s budget may mean they face another tough campaign:

“We’d like to move up four or five places in the league, but we’re still going to be amongst the bottom budgets in the Championship next season.

“It’s going to be, hopefully not as tough as last year, but still tough.”

Writer’s View

It’s refreshing to see a club not set unrealistic targets, although supporters will be hoping that they can avoid another season of struggle. Rooney’s arrival will mean there are more eyes on them and the media are unlikely to echo Hallett’s ambitions.

If Plymouth find themselves in the lower reaches of the table, the vultures will circle. However, the former Derby County boss will feel safe knowing that a lower mid-table finish is achievable. They certainly will have one of the lowest budgets in the division, and sneaking into the top half of the table would be considered a huge success.


About Jamie Ward 676 Articles
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