A LOT of the talk in the build-up to the 98th Devon Expressway Derby has been about...well, talk.
Or, perhaps, a lack of it.
Pilgrims’ manager John Sheridan voiced his dissatisfaction with Argyle’s on-field communication following the Pilgrims’ 1-1 draw at Accrington on Saturday, saying he wanted “leaders on the pitch”.
“They don’t have to be someone who is going to go around topping everyone and shouting their head off,” said John. “I just want to see people who can say: ‘Listen, we’re having a bit of a problem here – let’s sort it out’.”
He could have been talking about Paul Wotton, Argyle’s veteran hometown boy, substitute in Lancashire, but worth a shout as a strong possibility to earn a call to arms for Tuesday’s League 2 Devon Expressway Derby against Exeter City at Home Park.
“Loud, gobby and brash” was Wottsy’s own description of himself when he returned to the Argyle first-team in February, after a four-month absence, since when, John has often favourably mentioned his verbosity.
“It’s what I am,” said Wottsy. “Anyone who has seen me play throughout the years would say I was exactly the same at 17. It’s something I bring to the team.”
Something that any footballer should welcome.
Wottsy said: “Unless you are a very, very good player, it is tough to play if people aren’t giving you information. It comes more naturally to some people, than others, but there are all different aspects to make a team.
“It makes the game easier, that’s for sure.”
John agrees. “Everyone sees the game when you’re off the pitch, but it’s a lot harder when you’re on it, believe me,” he said. “This is what some of us have to learn.
“We’ve got players in there who can talk; after Wottsy, Conor [Hourihane] is probably the best talker, and he’s one of the youngest.”