WHILE plenty of plaudits have rightly gone to Graham Carey and Paul-Arnold Garita for their recent goalscoring achievements...
...there is a player whose recent performances in Argyle’s attack have been extremely influential.
Craig Tanner made his first league start for Argyle since returning to Home Park, where he spent the whole of last season on loan, when the Pilgrims met Cambridge United on September 10. He was one of five changes Derek Adams made to the side that day and, In order to incorporate Tanner in his favoured, free role behind a striker, Adams shifted the talismanic Carey to the right wing. It has proved a masterstroke.
Carey has scored in both games since, drifting in from the right flank to good effect, and while Tanner did not score against Cambridge, or in Saturday’s 2-0 Devon Derby win over Exeter, his creativity has led directly to three of the Pilgrims last four goals.
“He’s got very good creative ability,” said Adams, of Tanner. “He’s a strong player physically, and he has a good eye for a pass. He’s been very creative in the times he’s played since he came back.”
Last November, in his initial loan spell, Craig told us about the notebook he keeps to try to continue his development. As well as Craig’s penchant for self-improvement, he has a manager who will keep him on his toes.
Derek expressed contentment with Tanner on his Argyle return, stating that he is a more mature player this time around, whilst also noting an area he is asking Craig to work on.
“We’re trying to work on him off the ball,” said Derek. “On the ball, he’s been very good. Off the ball, it’s important he does a job for the team when we haven’t got possession.
“He’s got a better maturity about him since he’s come back. He was with us last season and saw what it was about. Being with us for the whole season was very good for him. Coming back in and getting a few starts; he’s made a few since he’s been back, and got on the scoresheet as well, which is great.
“It does take a wee bit of time, but he’s fitted in well again with the rest of the players. That’s in his character. He wants to do well.”