Vital Football

Latest Blackpool FC News

Strategy or Scattergun?

Strategy or Scattergun?

We're all used to promises when it comes to transfer windows and BFC - who can forget chairman Karl Oyston's 'quality not quantity' from last summer?

This summer's promise came from manager Ian Holloway - that he would be much more strategic in the transfer market rather than following the scattergun approach that marred last summer's wheelings and dealings.

Several of last summer's arrivals have already departed the club, some without even making a competitive appearance. That's not to say that we didn't enjoy successes in the transfer market twelve months ago - the likes of Tom Ince and Kevin Phillips both proving to be superb pieces of business.

But how's Ollie's promise holding up this time around?

At face value, everything appears to be much more strategic - we're using a scouting network (rather than just relying on DVDs), inviting players for trials (and putting them up in the club's hotel) to make sure they fit the bill, signing players to fit in with our style of play, signing players for the development squad who are at an age where they could actually develop, and casting our net far and wide to ensure that we get the right mould of player and value for money.

Yet, at the same time, it's clear that we're still utilising a scattergun approach to the transfer market.

Although we now have a scouting system of sorts, Ollie's still working on tip offs from friends in the game. Many other managers do the same and there is nothing wrong with this, provided that the manager has the scouting network in place to examine the player in close quarters for himself - something that Ollie doesn't always have the luxury of, especially as the Seasiders continue to look outside of the UK for new signings.

Further proof of the fallibility of our scouting system comes through an interview with club secretary Matt Williams in yesterday's Blackpool Gazette, with Williams admitting that the club were having to carry out checks on three players that the club are hoping to sign to ensure that they are actually free agents. Whilst I'm by no means criticising the club for carrying out these checks (especially after the Zarko Grabovac incident!), these are the sort of things that a good scouting network would flag up earlier.

The number of trialists to come through the doors this summer also smacks of a scattergun approach. Whilst it makes perfect sense to take a closer look at players before making them an offer, the fact that we're looking at so many illustrates that Ollie is desperate to plug the gaps in his development squad (and to a lesser extent, first team) - understandable given the lack of players to come through the Seasiders' own youth ranks in recent years (hopefully this will be an area that improves the longer Ollie stays at the club).

In Ollie's defence, he is sometimes forced to take this approach because of the financial shackles imposed on him by Karl Oyston - the unsuccessful trial this week of Leeds striker Billy Paynter illustrating this perfectly.

That said, the wealth of central midfielders now at the club makes you question whether he has a set strategy in that particular area of the pitch - does everyone represent a set piece in his jigsaw, or has he simply tried to cover all bases? Strategy or scattergun?

It's clear that Ollie has a very set style of play that he wants us to follow, but what's his Plan B when things are going against us (using a target man aside)? After all, for all of their quality, Spain crashed and burned at the Olympics.

As always, there are plenty of questions as well as answers and trying to second guess the manager - especially one as eccentric as Ollie - is a dangerous game. For the time being though, it appears that the Seasiders does have a strategy of sorts in mind, but that it will require refining as time goes by. After all, as Ollie himself said recently: he tends to make some of it up as he goes along!



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Eamonn Moore
Date:Friday August 3 2012
Time: 1:39PM

Login to post a comment

Best of Vital Network

Recent Blackpool Articles

New EFL Radio Deal Starts 2017/18

The Football League confirmed yesterday that a new three year deal with Talksport and the BBC had been signed to increase radio broadcast coverage from next season.

League Two Play Off Final Details (2016/17)

Details for the League Two Play Off Final at Wembley Stadium between Blackpool and Exeter City have now been confirmed.

Video - Luton 3-3 Blackpool

Blackpool will meet Exeter this month for the right to join League 2 champions Portsmouth, Plymouth and Doncaster in League 1 next season.

Bowyer Thrilled With Luton Win

Manager Gary Bowyer has spoken of his delight at seeing Blackpool overcome Luton Town to book their place in the League Two Play Off Final for this season.

Archived Vital Blackpool Articles

Vital Blackpool articles from

Site Journalists

Write for Vital Blackpool
Write For Vital Blackpool
Apply Here

Current Poll (see more polls)

PO - Luton MotM
Suggested By:
Slocombe3%
Aimson3%
Aldred7%
Robertson3%
Mellor3%
Payne0%
Danns7%
Potts14%
Taylor0%
Delfouneso3%
Cullen32%
Sub - Black0%
Sub - Gnanduillet25%
Sub - Osayi-Samuel0%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Portsmouth 46 26 9 11 87 39
P Plymouth 46 26 9 11 87 25
P Doncaster 46 25 10 11 85 30
4 Luton 46 20 17 9 77 27
5 Exeter 46 21 8 17 71 19
6 Carlisle 46 18 17 11 71 1
7 Blackpool 46 18 16 12 70 23
8 Colchester 46 19 12 15 69 10
9 Wycombe 46 19 12 15 69 5
10 Stevenage 46 20 7 19 67 4
11 Cambridge 46 19 9 18 66 8
12 Mansfield 46 17 15 14 66 4
13 Accrington 46 17 14 15 65 3
14 Grimsby 46 17 11 18 62 -4
15 Barnet 46 14 15 17 57 -7
16 Notts County 46 16 8 22 56 -22
17 Crewe 46 14 13 19 55 -9
18 Morecambe 46 14 10 22 52 -20
19 Crawley 46 13 12 21 51 -18
20 Yeovil 46 11 17 18 50 -15
21 Cheltenham 46 12 14 20 50 -20
22 Newport 46 12 12 22 48 -22
R Hartlepool 46 11 13 22 46 -21
R Leyton Orient 46 10 6 30 36 -40
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Write for Vital Football

Recent Blackpool Results (view all)

Blackpool Fixtures (view all)

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.premier 1224
2.Bear1951181
3.SeasideEssexXile122
4.SaskPool94
5.Layton_Seasider60
6.BobHatton53
7.Hastings50
8.whitey194240
9.bfcpete32
10.liverpoolseasider29
The Vital Football Members League