Date:Monday February 26 2007
SuddickTheKing- along with Toronto Pool - gives his view on Saturday's 1-0 defeat at the hands of Millwall.
Blackpool fell to their third consecutive home defeat in frustrating fashion at Bloomfield Road. Millwall came, saw, mugged us and went home happy with their efforts. Let`s be fair, they were a hard working side, difficult to break down and in Shaw had one of the contenders for M-o-M. Their well organised back four were the platform for their win and although one had to applaud the quality of their goal, they did not strike me as a promotion side.
In terms of chances and possession Blackpool had the lion`s share (no pun intended!) and most of the second half was played in the shadow of the north stand. That said, neither 'keeper had a testing day, in fact the best save was by the aforementioned Shaw who somehow managed to clear a goalbound Morrell effort off the line when I and most of the home support were already on our feet.
I certainly can`t fault 'Pool for effort but we are showing alarming dips in concentration (we switched off completely for the free kick which led to their goal), we look unbalanced, defend too deep and perhaps most worrying of all is that the forwards have lost the knack of putting the ball in the net. I also think that the pitch has become a factor in that players are not confident to play the first time ball on that surface and, in taking a touch (or more in some cases) they give the opposition time to close and tackle. It is a disgrace and I only hope that our new enthusiastic groundsman is given the opportunity and budget to turn it round.
Sometimes, when things go pear shaped you have to draw a line in the sand, take stock and get back to doing the things that served you well previously. For us it was with a proper left back and Morrell and Parker up front. Alas, Keigan has his problems (Larry must be mentor as well as manager with him now) and I would start SSV against his former club tomorrow night; but why oh why was Andy Morrell left on the bench? If he`s fit he has to play. Even from an injury perspective it is better to allow him to start and work into the pace of the game as it develops rather than come on into the hurly burly of it. As regards left back, I am completely dumbfounded about our seeming lack of urgency to bring in another Dickinson/Wilkinson. If we had a disciplined, defensive minded left sided midfielder we might get away with playing Gorkss at full back but Wes has a wandering brief, to get on the ball and play which leaves poor old Kaspars (not the quickest) wide open time and time again. It is this position more than any other which causes us problems and until we get someone in our defence is going to be wide open.
So, another defeat but the fat lady hasn`t even gone on stage yet and a win at Oldham will lift more than just the spirits.
Despite the result, the events in the west stand prior to the match put the defeat into context and my condolences go out to the elderly man`s family as the Blackpool sadly passed away on Saturday. Also, my best wishes to the woman in the north who was knocked unconscious. Not a great day as Jock Dodds died also, with the minute`s silence being impeccably observed by all.
On the pitch I`m afraid The Seasiders are looking very weary. Neither spark nor imagination in the side who are ambling along with no real goal it seems. The midfield is now looking very weak with three out of the four on Saturday looking feeble compared to Millwall`s compact unit. Fox plays like a crab: the sideways game. Is this what we need from our creative midfielder? I think not. He`s devoid from ideas and coasts along without doing anything wrong, nor right.
Ben Burgess played excellently, and won nearly every header - which is what he`s been brought he to do. I found myself angry over the weekend as I logged onto the World Wide Web and still find 'supporters` slagging the poor lad off, when Parker was far worse than him. However, Keigan is a fashionable player, so is immune from criticism!
Darren Byfield showed what a fantastic player he is at this level as he dropped off the front line superbly and then had Southern in two minds as to whether to mark him or hold the midfield. Unfortunately, Keith did neither and was uncharactistically quiet.
The referee was awful, and with the events before the game, coupled with the inept performance on the pitch, it was a poor day all round, and on my birthday too. A day I will try to forget as we look forward to Tuesday night and giving Oldham a good hiding!
Date:Monday February 26 2007
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