There was something good about watching Blackpool last night defeat the very famous Liverpool side.
Ian Holloway – Blackpool’s miracle man
Not if you were a Liverpool fan of course, and especially after that terrific goal by Torres after only a couple of minutes. Liverpool fans will now know this article is not for them!
But it seems there is not the gap between the top teams in England and the rest of them, like there used to be, and it seems there are two major reasons for that.
One is the tactics of the teams, where they can now better match the top sides, and the other is that effort and guts can always narrow the difference in class between the sides.
Effort and passion are an important part of any football game, as we saw that in full measure last night, as the Blackpool side both out-played and outfought the very expensively assembled Liverpool team of top individual players.
Blackpool manager Ian Holloway, who surely must be manager of the season in the PL, brought in 12 players worth £1M in total over the last 12 months, and those players were brought in from the lower leagues of England, and still outplayed the big names of Liverpool last night.
At the beginning of the season, we thought Blackpool would be like Derby County a few seasons back, who just got into double figures, 11 points in all, which was a full 21 points behind second bottom Birmingham City.
And by the way 4 of those points came from Newcastle.
Blackpool have been the surprise team this season, and that’s a huge understatement.
And all this talk about the Liverpool big stars leaving if results don’t improve is simply hilarious – it’s those exact same players who are not producing the goods at Liverpool, and we’d even get rid of some of those who have that distinctly selfish attitude.
And we notice the TV commentators made another mistake lasy night when they (talking about Blackpool probably staying up) said that no side that ever had 22 points at Christmas ever got relegated.
Well Newcastle had 22 points after the win against Tottenham on December 21st in 2008, and were still relegated the next May. Wrong again.
And we’re also sick of hearing that Kenny Dalglish has been successful wherever he’s been – not at Newcastle he wasn’t.
He took over in January of 1997 from Kevin Keegan, and he was only second choice when Newcastle couldn’t pry the great Bobby Robson away from Barcelona.
And to be fair, Kenny did manage to get Newcastle into second place that season, and into the FA Cup final, where we were easily beaten 2-0 by Arsenal.
But then he sold a lot of players like Lee Clark in the summer, and the team struggled mightily the next season, and finally finished in 13th position, which at that time was the lowest position ever by Newcastle in the Premier League.
At the time John Hall said the season had been a complete and utter disaster, and after three games of the next season Newcastle had had enough of it and fired Kenny, after a less than good start.
And of course in came Ruud Gullit – who lasted just 12 months before Bobby Robson finally came in on his big white horse.
We know very well that gossip papers are trying to make a big story out of Kenny returning to Liverpool, but when they say he’s always been successful wherever he’s gone – please add the words – except at Newcastle.
And we have to think after the hopeless showing of Liverpool last night. Kenny has a really massive job on his hands, even bigger than he probably first realized.
Maybe they will try to sign a few of those Blackpool players. 😀
One thing that the Blackpool side have shown us this season, is that there are some good players in the lower leagues, who can be picked up for peanuts, if only a club is brave enough to do that.
Everton have shown they can pick the good ones, and we are hoping that with enough scouts prowling the lower leagues in England, Newcastle United may also be able to uncover a pearl or two.
After all it doesn’t always hundreds of millions of pounds to build a good side these days – and we saw a good one last night – but it wasn’t Liverpool.