November Review - SuddickTheKing
'Pool on Sky TV is beginning to have a familiar ring to it and November started for us with an away game at Barnsley in front of the cameras ironically on Bonfire Night. I say 'ironically' because despite all Blackpool's fireworks, due to a combination of dubious refereeing (even the TV pundits said Barnsley's penalty was outside the box and our claim for one when the 'keeper hauled Hoolahan down was valid) and poor finishing we ended up on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline. Déjà vu? It was to get worse.
After a much needed hard fought win over Scunthorpe at home we had a week off because of the international break (another disaster!) so it wasn't until 25th that we made the long journey down to Southampton. St Mary's is another great looking stadium (although sometimes I get confused as to where I am as only the colour of the seats seems different!) with an immaculate pitch (are you watching Wembley?) but it is in a really 'doss' area which is presumably earmarked for redevelopment. Still, at least the ground has four sides... Anyway, despite going behind and saving a penalty awarded against us, we gradually got up a head of steam and for the last half hour penned Southampton back with wave after wave of attacks, usually instigated by the impish Irish wizard Wes Hoolahan. Andy Morrell - who had hit the post in the first half - found himself with the ball sitting up perfectly 12 yards out with nobody near him and yet somehow he managed to blaze it over. Finally Danny Coid went on yet another raid down the right, cut in between two defenders and crossed despite being fouled. The ball flew to the far post where GTF nodded home - only for the referee to bring play back for a free kick. He blew just as the cross was made and once he'd done that he could not allow advantage. Yet another devastating decision which cost us dear. Even Saints fans were embarrassed!
With our situation looking grim, a win against bottom side Norwich was vital. Unfortunately, Norwich didn't read the script, scoring two from set pieces plus a third which was a classic example of clinical finishing. Alas, for all our 'huff and puff' we never looked really threatening and the gloom descended with the evening chill.
Fourth bottom is a perilous place to be. I personally feel we need to go back to what worked for us before as soon as BBB and Evo are fit. Larry needs to shake it up and maybe even give GTF a go up front. When you are losing games, the shortcomings of the club as a whole come into sharp focus and there has definitely been an 'atmosphere' recently - not during the games, our support has been brilliantly positive - but the emphasis seems to be shifting from what we've got to what we haven't got. The long awaited Vital meeting with KO may answer some very pointed questions and will hopefully alleviate some of the gloom.
December is here; will it be a Merry Xmas?