'Pool Demolish Wigan On Opening Day
14th August 2010 - 15:00
Well well well, what can we say after THAT?
The Seasiders, to quote Jimmy Armfield, 'totally bamboozled' Wigan Athletic today in a fantastic 4-0 away win at the DW Stadium.
New signings Marlon Harewood, Craig Cathcart and Elliot Grandin all started in a 4-3-3 as Ian Holloway's side looked to attack the hosts from the off.
Attack they did, with notable openings for Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Brett Ormerod very early on - the latter still left wondering how he wasn't the first Pool player to score in the Premiership.
It was the former who got the first, after brilliant work by Harewood down the right as he was slipped in beyond the defence. The big target man crossed for GTF at the back post who bundled home after woeful defending by the Latics on 16 minutes.
It would be wrong not to say that Blackpool withstood a barrage of pressure after the goal, with Wigan going close on a few occasions in front of the 4,200-strong away following.
But Ollie's men were always liable to hit Martinez's team on the break and that they did just before the half hour mark. Taylor-Fletcher sprung the offside trap after being put in the clear in classy fashion by Ian Evatt, before smartly stroking the ball home past Chris Kirkland to send the Pool support into further ecstasy. Unfortunately for him - and the officials, with this decision blotting their day's work - it was ruled offside despite him being a good couple of yards on.
Not to worry, it was soon to turn into the Marlon Harewood show (well, five minutes). Firstly the new signing, who is believed to be on just £10k a week at Bloomfield Road, won the ball deep in the Wigan half and was looked to have been hauled down. However, the brute shrugged off the foul and powered a right-footed shot from 20 yards past Kirkland who could perhaps be disappointed not to have stopped it.
So, 38 minutes gone and Pool are 2-0 up. Could it get any better?
Well, yes. Harewood was again in the goals as Kirkland palmed away a shot from debutant Elliot Grandin before it fell to the former Villa man to slide home to make it 3-0.
Wigan looked like a team totally unaware of eachother's strengths, weaknesses and overall games whereas the Seasiders - who have had just one training session together with six new signings -were willing to be flexible in the way they played and fight for the cause.
Flexible they were, with Holloway tinkering with the formation plenty of times throughout the 90 minutes which meant Wigan weren't able to settle in a rhythm.
The second half was slightly less fraught (thank goodness, I was still on edge, even at 3-0!) with Pool showing their class on the ball with the ability to knock it around was nothing new. The refreshing thing to see was the relative calm by the midfield especially in recycling possession, which will see us do well once in front in games this season.
Roberto Martinez made two changes at half time and Ollie was quick to follow, seeing Brett Ormerod and goalscoring hero Harewood coming off for a breather, being replaced by Chris Basham and Ludovic Sylvestre - both taking places in midfield to make it a five in there.
It worked a treat, as even after Wigan tried to press for goals - with new signing Boselli and fans favourite Rodallega looking nonchalant rather than threatening - we soaked it up and even managed to add a fourth with quarter of an hour left.
Alex Baptiste wrapped up the game with a mis-hit cross from the right wing beating Kirkland at his near post for the flukiest of goals.
Who really cares though? Blackpool are top of the Premiership (at the time of writing, Chelsea have since overtaken!) and will go into next week at Arsenal full of confidence.
Expect more signings to come in the week which will add to an already sturdy looking squad, which has proven today that they might, just might, be able to compete in this league.