Danny Salman: Plymouth Argyle have come up short
IF ONE was to measure Argyle's improvement over the past 12 months from two FA Cup ties against non-league sides, then, you would have to say, Plymouth have come up short.
The Green Army will not thank me for reminding them that a year on from losing to Stourbridge in the first round of the cup in front of a televised audience, Argyle went and did it again on ESPN at Dorchester.
And yet Argyle played very well against Gillingham at Home Park on Saturday, just as they played so poorly against Burton at home three days earlier.
So, will the real Argyle please stand up as in terms of being inconsistent, Carl Fletcher's team could top the league.
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Instead, 12 months on since they came out of administration and lost 2-0 at Stourbridge, Argyle are near enough in the same position in League Two as they were in 2011.
So, is this as good as it gets for Argyle? Should we just say, 'Yes?'
Obviously, you could accuse a number of the teams in League Two of inconsistency, which is the natural state of affairs it seems to me.
But, like every fan, my concern is not with other teams, but with Argyle who, sad to say, have yet to convince me they have improved significantly in 2012/13.
I've said before that for Argyle, their home form is imperative and yet we've lost one and drawn the other since going down embarrassingly 1-0 on TV against Dorchester.
Argyle, although their commitment did not merit a victory, should not have lost to Burton last Wednesday, but they did, 2-1, and then improved a lot to come within a couple of minutes of beating top of the league Gillingham by the same scoreline.
Instead, as good as it was, Argyle still only drew 2-2 ahead of tough matches at Fleetwood on Saturday and Bradford next Tuesday.
Part of the problem it seems to me is that Fletcher (above), like his predecessor Peter Reid, still does not appear to know his best team.
He keeps tinkering with the line-up, even if they have done well.
Sometimes that can't be helped as injuries and suspensions all come into play.
Argyle aren't Manchester United and have an embarrassment of riches in the dressing room.
So, rotating the squad desperately seeking that winning formula, rather than keep faith in players you believe are good enough, does not make sense.
I still think Argyle are better than their league position would suggest, but the statistics tell another story and they are the facts that count.
Maybe we should face up to the fact that Argyle are simply not good enough and no better than their position in the bottom half of League Two.
If the answer is no and they are simply under-performing and the squad is fine, then why are we making so many changes and having indifferent results?
I remember the fans saying when Argyle came out of administration last October that Argyle would push on this season.
With the best will in the world, I'm yet to be convinced.