Vital Football

Latest Blackpool FC News

Plucky Starters?

Plucky Starters?
Plucky Starters?
By Glen Kirkham


2:10pm, Saturday, 8 August 2009 - Sky Sports News Studio, Central London

Football Pundit A: 'Obviously Newcastle, Middlesbrough and West Brom will all be pushing to gain promotion this year, but who do you think will be battling at the other end of the table come the end of the season?'

Football Pundit B: 'I think the three to watch will be Peterborough, Scunthorpe and Blackpool. Grayson did a great job last year but I just can't see them fighting off relegation for another season.'

15 Games into an enigmatic and determined Mr Holloway tenure, and 'little' Blackpool find themselves in a rather unfamiliar yet contented position. Not only have the Seasiders beaten a near full strength Everton team, humiliated a local Wigan outfit, given a feared Stoke team more than a run for their money and utterly dominated against a 40m+ Newcastle dream team, Blackpool have seen an unimaginable growth, on and off the pitch into a side that is ever increasing it's ability to compete at the highest levels of football.

The central midfield trio of Southern, Adam and Vaughan have outplayed and out-passed midfields worth ten times their combined values, the goal keeper is increasing in confidence, Bloomfield road is becoming a fortress and the Jimmy Armfield stand is a towering monument to the progress of the seaside club. The transition from a standard 4-4-2 to a 4-5-1/4-3-3 formation has seen Blackpool play with a silkiness and poise that is foreign to us regular fans and allows us to surprise and interrogate bigger, better (editor: maybe a poor choice of word!) and more lucrative opponents. We have pace, we have skill, we have height and we have dominance all of which intimidates oppositions and theoretically should allow us to dictate possession and play in a game. There is desire to play football which we haven't seen at Bloomfield road for a while, and it is fairly honest to say, that this is the most exciting Blackpool side we have seen in a long time.

The focus on bringing players in such as Jason Euell, Hameur Bouazza and Neal Eardley as well as investment into the stadium and training facilities illustrate the fact that the Oyston-Belekon partnership want Blackpool to be competitive rather than act as a passive investment on the back end of their respective property empires. This has allowed the Tangerine faithful to hold their own in the top half of this incredibly difficult football league. We only have to look down upon the giants below us like Southampton, Charlton and Leeds to see what steady progress has made within the club and what the potential is over the next few years as we try to realise Mr Belekon's dream of Premiership football.

Of course it hasn't been all plain sailing for the Seasiders. Following a stint of three victories on the bounce propelling them up to fifth in the table, Blackpool are looking to stop the rot of two defeats (against a sub-par Bristol City and an unimaginative Crystal Palace side) as Holloway prays for the impending International break due to a bare bones squad caused by injuries. Despite a master-class in passing at times against Palace, Blackpool have yet to ease their trouble of 'the end product' and finding a 20-30 goals a season striker is an immediate requirement - the role filled by loanee DJ Campbell last campaign. With the square ball possession Blackpool now maintain on a regular basis, the side is still missing the opportunity to play through balls to a pacey striker who can bag one-on-ones for fun. Even though no one can question his love for the game, Ormerod is tired and cannot fill that role. Ben Burgess plays a Heskey style playmaker position and cannot fill that role despite being the clubs top scorer with 4. Demontagnac, Bouazza, Euell, Clarke are all natural wingers/attacking midfielders and cannot play that role. As for Mcphee and Nardiello, it will be another frustrating season watching the injury prone strikers return to full fitness and then display the form we have heard they are capable of.

Following a watertight display of defending earlier in the season, many Blackpool fans have begun to see issues in the back line who protect the safe hands of Paul Rachubka. Alex Baptiste has been a wonder in the defence and should be noted as a bargain of the century for the talent and desire he shows on the football pitch. Unfortunately, the latest string of games shows the pressure that Crainey is under with respect to dealing with the pace of what are usually the fastest men in the game of football - right-wingers. A team is only as strong as it's weakest link and many pool fans seem to think that although his crossing and dedication is unquestionable, his decision making process and commitment to players needs to be rectified before we drop any more points. For what my opinion is worth, I genuinely believe that our left hand side (Crainey&Ormerod) is the weakest area of our team and the opposition have been regularly exploiting us for that.

After the loss of some key players in the Blackpool setup (Ian Evatt, Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Ishmel Demontagnac) and a serious lack of away form, Holloway needs to re-structure and rethink his strategy over the International break, as Championship clubs face another gruelling run-in to the Christmas period. The positivity of a starting place for Adam with Scotland against Japan and an International call-up for a number of our players will give the squad a physical and psychological boost and give the players a chance to reflect on what has been a so far successful campaign.

Blackpool fans will be ecstatic at their position and hope to build on their current momentum in their next match against a struggling Plymouth side, but with big games against Boro, Reading, West Brom and the ever-luscious Preston fixture in the up coming months, let's hope Blackpool are still maintaining the thought of the ever taboo subject of 'Playoffs' by the time Santa comes to town.


Writer:Editor
Date:Wednesday October 7 2009
Time: 10:17AM

Login to post a comment

Recent Blackpool Articles

EFL Goal Of 2016 Contenders Named

Ten EFL professional footballers find themselves nominated for the treasured Goal Of The Year gong for 2016.

More Reliable Than A League 2 Octopus? (21/3/17)

Time for the new special computer that crunches the numbers to determine the final League Two positions for 2016/17.

EFL League Two Team Of 2016 Named

The EFL Awards ceremony is definitely nearing, as is the end of the season, as yesterday saw the three Football League Select XI's of 2016 named.

Bowyer & Lyness Discuss Newport Win

Manager Gary Bowyer and goalkeeper Dean Lyness have been giving their thoughts following Blackpool's victory over Newport County at the weekend.

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)

Newport MotM
Suggested By:
Lyness55%
Mellor0%
Aldred0%
Robertson0%
Daniel0%
Danns0%
Flores0%
Payne0%
Delfouneso0%
Cullen0%
Osayi-Samuel33%
Sub-Matt0%
Sub-Black6%
Sub-Aimson6%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Doncaster 38 23 9 6 78 31
2 Plymouth 38 22 6 10 72 18
3 Portsmouth 38 19 8 11 65 25
4 Stevenage 38 19 4 15 61 12
5 Luton 38 15 15 8 60 20
6 Carlisle 38 15 14 9 59 0
7 Exeter 38 17 7 14 58 16
8 Blackpool 38 14 15 9 57 20
9 Mansfield 38 14 13 11 55 3
10 Wycombe 38 15 10 13 55 1
11 Colchester 38 15 9 14 54 3
12 Cambridge 37 15 8 14 53 6
13 Grimsby 38 14 9 15 51 -2
14 Accrington 37 12 12 13 48 -1
15 Barnet 38 11 15 12 48 -5
16 Morecambe 38 13 7 18 46 -13
17 Yeovil 38 10 15 13 45 -9
18 Crewe 38 11 12 15 45 -11
19 Crawley 38 12 9 17 45 -16
20 Notts County 38 12 7 19 43 -23
21 Hartlepool 38 10 11 17 41 -15
22 Cheltenham 38 9 12 17 39 -14
23 Newport 38 7 12 19 33 -20
24 Leyton Orient 38 9 5 24 32 -26
The Vital Football Members League
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Vital Football Comment

Recent Blackpool Results (view all)

Blackpool Fixtures (view all)

Mar 25 2017 3:00PM : Hartlepool United (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Apr 1 2017 3:00PM : Luton Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Apr 8 2017 3:00PM : Grimsby Town (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Apr 14 2017 3:00PM : Accrington Stanley (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Apr 17 2017 3:00PM : Doncaster Rovers (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Apr 22 2017 3:00PM : Cheltenham Town (H)
Sky Bet League Two

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.premier 1245
2.SeasideEssexXile206
3.SaskPool196
4.Bear1951134
5.Layton_Seasider76
6.Hastings52
7.BobHatton41
8.suffolknwot17
9.themaclad16
10.53CODGER15
Write for Vital Football