Vital Football

Latest Blackpool FC News

Targetting a Target Man

Targetting a Target Man

Why does Ian Holloway so desperately want a target man when our game is based on the way that Spain play? The answer is simple: it's his Plan B... his go to plan when we're not playing well/the opposition are sitting deep and we can't break them down/our attackers our being outmuscled by the opposition defence/the playing conditions aren't conducive to a short, high tempo passing game.

Despite the validity of wanting a striker who offers something different to the rest of our attack, some fans still cannot fathom why Ollie is so desperate for a physical presence in the final third. By and large this is because target men in this country are associated with long ball sides who launch high balls into the area for either a target man to knock down or head home.

But target men can be so much more than that. Take a look at Spain: their Plan B (although they rarely utilise it) involves Athletic Bilbao's 6 foot 5 inch striker Fernando Llorente.

Yes, Llorente will attack the ball in the air if it's smashed forward (aimlessly or not), but there's much more to his game than that: a) he can hold the ball up with his back to goal, allowing Spain's mobile midfield to push forward and feed off him; b) his physical presence attracts centre halves to him, creating space for Spain's attacking midfielders to flood into; c) he often drifts out wide, inviting the diagonal crossfield ball that he can either hold up or flick on for someone to run onto (as full backs are generally no match for him either aerially or on the ground).

Sure, he might not be a regular for Spain, but he still has 7 goals in 20 caps - not a bad return at all.

Hell, even Barcelona under Pep Guardiola played with a target man in the shape of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Sure, the enigmatic Swede only lasted a season at Camp Nou (despite scoring 16 goals in 29 league games), but it shows that even an manager famed for playing 'tika taka' recognised the value that a target man can bring to a side. Again though, Zlatan wasn't your 'old fashioned target man'; like Llorente he has much more to his game than being good in the air and up for a scrap with the opposition's defence.

Yes, for every Llorente and Zlatan you'll get a Kevin Davies, but the former two illustrate how a target man can work in a system that the Seasiders are looking to replicate.

Last season we had Roman Bednar, and although he struggled with injuries, his performance in the home game against Hull illustrated perfectly the positive impact having an effective target man (both in terms of ability and how he's utilised) could have on us.

Presumably, any target man signed by the Seasiders would have to fit the Llorente/Zlatan (or if you want an English example; Peter Crouch) mould, especially with Ollie being such a fan of the diagonal pass I've written about above.

Billy Paynter - who had his trial with the Seasiders cut short earlier in the week and was sent back to Leeds - clearly wasn't the answer, with reports suggesting that the Seasiders continue to try and entice Emile Heskey to the club. Is Heskey the answer? I genuinely don't know, but there's one thing I do know; that Ollie is dead right to target a target man.

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

Writer:Eamonn Moore
Date:Sunday August 5 2012
Time: 5:38PM


Could Djeziri be the answer? He is tall, headed the ball down well and attracted Evertons centre halfs to him away from Caton, Ince etc.
05/08/2012 19:15:00
If Olly 'desperately' needs a striker, why hasn't he attempted to sign one? Did you ever think of asking him before you penned the article, or this another shill piece?
13/08/2012 15:35:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Blackpool Articles

After Game Player Interviews Explained

Scientific researchers have discovered that a tendency for professional footballers to overuse the words 'um' 'ah' and 'err' in post game press interviews...

Bowyer - Doncaster Was A Response

Manager Gary Bowyer was delighted with the response of Blackpool in the weekend's victory over Doncaster Rovers.

Potts In Team Of The Week (25/10/16)

Blackpool are represented in the latest Football League team of the week that has been selected after this week's action.

Blackpool 4-2 Doncaster - Highlights

Blackpool were beaten by Doncaster in League 2 on Saturday.

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)

Doncaster MotM
Suggested By: Site Staff
Sub - Cullen5%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Plymouth 14 10 2 2 32 12
2 Carlisle 14 7 7 0 28 10
3 Doncaster 14 8 2 4 26 8
4 Luton 14 6 5 3 23 9
5 Portsmouth 14 6 3 5 21 6
6 Notts County 14 6 3 5 21 1
7 Accrington 14 5 5 4 20 1
8 Grimsby 14 6 2 6 20 0
9 Crawley 14 5 5 4 20 -1
10 Morecambe 14 6 2 6 20 -6
11 Mansfield 14 4 7 3 19 1
12 Crewe 14 4 7 3 19 -1
13 Yeovil 14 6 1 7 19 -5
14 Blackpool 14 4 5 5 17 4
15 Colchester 14 4 5 5 17 -1
16 Cheltenham 14 3 7 4 16 -1
17 Hartlepool 14 3 7 4 16 -4
18 Barnet 14 3 7 4 16 -4
19 Cambridge 14 4 4 6 16 -5
20 Leyton Orient 14 4 3 7 15 -2
21 Wycombe 14 4 3 7 15 -5
22 Stevenage 13 4 2 7 14 -3
23 Exeter 14 4 1 9 13 -6
24 Newport 13 1 5 7 8 -8
The Vital Football Members League
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Vital Football Comment

Recent Blackpool Results (view all)

Blackpool Fixtures (view all)

Oct 29 2016 3:00PM : Cheltenham Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Nov 12 2016 3:00PM : Notts County (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Nov 19 2016 3:00PM : Leyton Orient (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Nov 22 2016 7:45PM : Mansfield Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Nov 26 2016 3:00PM : Newport County (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Dec 10 2016 3:00PM : Stevenage (a)
Sky Bet League Two

Vital Members League Table

2.premier 1174
8.Albert Ramsbottom19
Write for Vital Football