Seip vs Sturrock
Ever heard the one about the club who loaned their best defender, who also happened to be their ex-Chairman’s son-in-law, to their ex-manager’s club only to see him score against the employers who were still paying 90% of his wages? No? Well it happened this weekend as Marcel Seip edged a Charlie Adam free kick past Romain Larrieu, his Plymouth Argyle teammate of over three seasons.
Why the Pilgrims allowed Seip to play for Blackpool has been a cause of much debate amongst the fanbase and local press since it was announced during the international break. A now 17-page long thread, one of four or five marathon discussions on the subject on Argyle messageboard Pasoti, reflects how unhappy the Green Army were to see Seip go in the first place following a heated row after the Sheffield Wednesday home defeat in August, let alone line up against his current charges and nestle one in. Blackpool were, admittedly, well on top as Argyle struggled to shake off a marish seaside-to-seaside coach trip, but the principle of it lingers badly in a season that has been crammed full of despair.
A revealing piece in today’s Blackpool Gazette suggests that it was Ian Holloway who forced Argyle’s hand solely, whereas (soon to be outgoing) Argyle manager Paul Sturrock had implied that he was quite happy with the situation. Getting a heretical menace out of the city, which had resulted in back-to-back wins, was more important than the collateral damage that could have perhaps resulted we were told. Commentators have, predictably, rolled out the cliches since, but I must admit that I didn’t see the goal coming. While game enough for a set-piece header or a bold run forward, Seip’s scoring record at Home Park is negligible and I actually thought that it might spur us on — one of the explanations that was bandied about by Home Park Officials ahead of the game. A bit of a loner, who was outcast by Sturrock once before this bust up for frankly shoddy behaviour, Seip has never seemed to be one of the lads, and Argyle fans were virtually told that the team would look forward to kicking lumps out of him.
What next for player and club? Seip’s contract runs until summer 2011, but with Sturrock set to stay until the end of this campaign at least, a further loan or two seems likely. It’s unfortunate because he really is Argyle’s best player in the position, and with an injury-hit defence leaking goals we could really bloody do with his presence. We’re looking so desperatly vulnerable that I’d forget that ‘muted’ celebration in an instant. I really hope that, if he does depart as predicted, the destination isn’t Blackpool, though. To many a Green’s chagrin Holloway has started brilliantly, and I for one feel wretched at the thought of his small, close-knit squad with two or three players of real quality, especially when I then turn my mind to our own bloated and ill-disciplined rabble. This humble pie tastes awful.