PILGRIMS’ manager Derek Adams can sum up in just two words why last season’s Argyle talisman Ryan Taylor has not started a first-team game since the opening home game of the season.
“Freddie Ladapo,” he said.
Former Crystal Palace forward Freddie has achieved what many would have thought unlikely, and a few believed impossible, by deposing a man who almost personally defined the Pilgrims’ 2017-18 season: without the injured Tayls at either end of the season, Argyle won five out of 26 Sky Bet League One matches; with him, they were triumphant 14 times from 20.
Freddie, though, is the man currently in form.
“He’s done really well for us,” said Derek. “He’s given us a very good outlet, playing up front. He works ever so hard and, at this moment in time, he’s ahead of Ryan Taylor.”
Ryan scored in the Pilgrims’ Central League opener at Cheltenham Town on Tuesday, when Argyle won 3-1, and the challenge from the manager is to keep on doing that and maximising his opportunities.
Derek said: “He has to show that he’s better than Freddie – that’s why you have competition for places. Freddie has caused a number of problems for opposition defenders and Ryan Taylor will do likewise, so we have got good competition in that area."
Argyle have yet to start with both men, and that is unlikely to happen when Blackpool visit Home Park on Saturday, although the two have played in tandem during matches following substitutions.
“We have tried it,” said Derek. “It hasn’t really worked for us so far. That’s not say that it would never work for us.
“Sometimes, the problem we have is we have two strikers standing up against two central defenders and it becomes easier for the central defenders."