At the beginning of May, it wasn’t such a great time to be a follower of Plymouth Argyle.
They suffered last-day agony as they were relegated from League One, despite beating Scunthorpe United 3-2 at Home Park.
That prompted the break up of their squad, with Graham Carey and Ruben Lameiras leaving, plus leading scorer Freddie Ladapo also on the move.
Six weeks have elapsed since and their summer has taken a turn for the better, as we find out in our latest six point opinion piece with Gary Hutchinson.
Tell us about last season?
“It can be summed up in two words; horror show.
“They were on the fringes of the top six in 2017/18, but that wasn’t the case last season. It wasn’t an easy league to be in, any one of 12 teams were in the mire heading into April.
“The Pilgrims looked to have got out of danger, but a complete collapse saw them plunge through the table and into the bottom four.
“Derek Adams was sacked and they limped out of the division on the final day.”
Is the new manager the right man for the job?
“Getting Ryan Lowe on board was a real coup. At one point last season he was linked with the vacant Luton Town job, so to see him at Plymouth was a real shock.
“He did well at Bury, he had them playing lovely football and winning matches. He turned them around following relegation, but financial troubles ruined what should have been a historic season.
“He’s already earned promotion from this level this year, now he’s back to see if he can go one better and lift the title. It’s a huge appointment.”
Will the player departures hurt them?
“On the face of it, yes. Graham Carey has been a big part of their recent history, scoring and creating goals almost at will. He hit double figures in three seasons out of four in terms of goals, racking up 50 assists in the same period.
“He would have fitted Ryan Lowe’s philosophy, as would Ruben Lameiras. He’s another who could create and score. Along with Freddie Ladapo, it’s hard to understand how they struggled so badly towards the end of the season.
“Ryan Edwards, Yann Songo’o and David Fox have also gone.
“Replacing those players is a big ask, but not impossible.”
Who have they signed so far?
“Nobody. It’s been quiet so far.
“Ryan Lowe has played the waiting game, perhaps to see what happens at his old club.
“They have handed Tom Purrington and professional deal. He’s the brother of Charlton play-off hero Ben Purrington and they’ve got high hopes for him.”
Who are they being linked with?
“That can be summed up in one word: Bury.
“They’ve looked at Nicky Maynard and Jay O’Shea, two stalwarts of the promotion campaign last season. Lowe knows what made him successful and is keen to just do the same again.
“He’s also coveting Danny Mayor; that’ll be a big ask. Mayor is a class act and will surely attract attention from elsewhere.
“Getting players down to the extreme south-west of the country isn’t easy either.”
Can they bounce back straight away?
“Yes, if the signings come off.
“If they do get Mayor, Maynard and O’Shea that’s the replacements for the departing trio. Maynard will do the Ladapo role, with the other two filling in the creative goalscoring roles.
“If they struggle to recruit, it might be a season or so before we see the Green army back in the third tier. Rest assured though; they will be back at some point.”