'Pool Limp Into New Season With Hibs Defeat
Blackpool were beaten 2-1 at home to Hibernian in the final friendly before the Premiership season begins in six days time.
The results draws a frustrating pre-season to a close with the Seasiders having under 16 first team players to choose from at the time of writing.
Despite playing attractive fluid football for the first quarter of the game, the lack of depth in the squad is alarming and reared its ugly head after the break.
Infront of a modest - but not as bad as I thought it might be - crowd at Bloomfield Road (helped by a noisy away contingent)
Ian Holloway's side completely bossed the opening proceedings with Brett Ormerod and Gary Taylor-Fletcher both looking threatening.
The first eleven showed that their brand of football is still brilliant to watch and carved Hibs open time after time without really capitalising - other than Jason Euell's well-taken goal on eight minutes. The striker finished off a lovely one touch passing move to put 'Pool one up.
However, as the away side slowed the game down towards the end of the opening period, Blackpool dropped off and were then content to have a bit of a runaround, taking their foot off the gas.
Fine, I don't have a problem with that - it's only a friendly!
What was slightly worrying was the ease in which Liam Miller in particular was allowed so much space just infront of our back four (with the side obviously missing Keith Southern - something which needs to be addressed). This freedom brought Hibs' equaliser, with the impressive Derek Riordan flicking past Matt Gilks after being allowed too much room by his marker.
Unsurprisingly, the changes began shortly after the restart which just went to prove the notion that currently we're not prepared for a long hard season.
Youth players like Adam Dodd and Tom Barkhuizen were given extended run outs with no real alternatives to the starting eleven on the bench.
And when the subs came, the formation obviously went out of the window with Neal Eardley playing the holding role in the midfield, Jason Euell dropping off and Rob Edwards being employed at right back and centre half.
The gap between our first team and those below is staggering but not unexpected. The likes of Stephen Husband sadly have no chance of being competative in the division, with Husband himself caught needlessly giving the ball away on a number of occasions.
Alex Tayo (does anybody know who he is?) was brought on wide left and looked bright but missed a glaring opportunity moments before Liam Miller beat Gilks and his wall with a freekick from 20 yards.
In summary, 'Pool looked good in spells when Adam, Vaughan, Ormerod etc (even Ishmel and Euell!) were knocking the ball about with ease but what's left after that is a million miles from the quality needed next week at Wigan.
There's six days to go until the big kick off and signings need to be made and sharpish.
A central midfielder and two strikers are a must this week to get the ball rolling otherwise we could face embrassment at the DW Stadium.
What a waste of pre-season!