So, Who To Chop?
With Ian Holloway saying he will wait and see what happens in the remainder of the season before making any snap decisions on players contracts, we thought it'd be a good time to speculate on who might face the chop!
The players out of contract in May are: Rob Edwards, Daniel Nardiello, Ben Burgess, Hameur Bouazza, Jason Euell, Brett Ormerod, Stephen Crainey, Stephen McPhee, Joe Martin, Mark Halstead, Danny Mitchley, Al Bangura, Ashley Eastham, Matt Gilks and Ishmel Demontagnac.
Interestingly, the club have options on all of them except Mitchley.
Ok, so we'll start with the first teamers. The one which could provide most debate in the next couple of months is Rob Edwards
. The defender has been in decent form for the Seasiders since the turn of the year but the Bloomfield Road crowd are still split on him. Brought in by Simon Grayson at the beginning of last season, Edwards will be on hefty money and whether Ollie feels we can get better value elsewhere remains to be seen.
Vital: RetainJason Euell
: Sadly for Jason he hasn't had the impact we all expected him to have and because he'll be on fairly good wages, it could be time to say goodbye - unless he gets a run in the team and plays out of his skin.
Vital: ReleaseHameur Bouazza
: the Algerian seems to be enjoying his football at Bloomfield Road and as long as his agent doesn't tout him elsewhere, hopefully we'll keep him.
Vital: RetainMatt Gilks:
I don't think the question is should we keep him, it's can we keep him! The former Rochdale 'keeper was hit with a lack of condidence from supporters both this year and last since his move from Norwich but has dislodged Rachubka has 'Pool's #1 in recent times.
Vital: RetainStephen Crainey:
the left back will be on decent money and with his declining performances many might be inclined to ship him out. However, if the club are really focussed on improving the squad, Crainey might well do a job in the 18-man squad, wages permitting.
But where does that then leave Joe Martin
? The left-sided man has been left in the cold since last February under Tony Parkes and is struggling for confidence - although personally I think he's done ok when called upon. If Ollie were to get a new left back in, it could be curtains for Joe. However, he won't be on much money, so maybe worth keeping around.
Vital: RetainDaniel Nardiello
: the striker just hasn't cut if for 'Pool since moving from QPR. Never fit and even though he plays well when in the side, we simply can't keep him.
Vital: ReleaseBrett Ormerod
: I raised eyebrows when we signed him last January but he's been one of the stand out performers this campaign. An absolute no-brainer.
Vital: RetainAshley Eastham:
whilst still young and learning the game at a lower level, Eastham is perhaps worth keeping.
Stephen McPhee, Danny Mitchley and Ishmel all should be shown the door for me. McPhee and Mitchley both showed promise but injuries have hampered their progress at Blackpool.
As for Ishmel. Well, where do I start?