Blackpool Fairy Tale Has Clues For Other Clubs

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.

Comments welcome.

9 comments so far

  • CT

    Jan 13, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #1

    Charlie Adams—-Said for months—Get him, Smith/Perch straight swap!!

  • Moreno

    Jan 13, 2011 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #2


    you said in a previous blog we have played similar to Blackpool this season (sometimes).

    I wish we did. They utilise the 4-5-1 (4-3-3) really effectively. Joey on the wing is never going to make this possible. HBA will and routledge probably could, although his confidence and final ball really let him down (same for Jonas – he just seems out of form, still think he is decent though. You dont get picked for Argentina in the World Cup if you are sh*te)

    Simmo Tayls Collo Toro
    Joey Tiote Kevvo
    Benny Jonas

    Would be my line up with everyone fit, with the squad in its current state

  • gorskino10

    Jan 13, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #3

    Well new teams sometimes always go on a good run by simply Morale over Ability, like Reading,Stoke etc… have done, after they start getting hammered and not playing like the used to OR teams know all about Blackpool and can counter them in the next season they have no chance of doing well, its all about Morale for them which atm is high, good on em didnt play boring football always tried to play or not resort to one way of playing (Stoke)

    So when you say “Lets sign a few of these Blackpool players” this is wrong lets not just the gun they have 1 good player in Adam then next best is DJ after that there is naff all, they work hard but have no skill whatsoever so NO WE DONT WANT ANY OF THEM (apart from Adam) but doubt they will ruin the season in Jan by selling him maybe in summer.

  • benarfan-toon

    Jan 13, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #4

    people saying 3.5m for Charlie Adam, i think he is worth double that.
    If we are going to buy this player from Southampton for £5m, I would much rather go for Adam, as Holloway said in that interview he wants him to stay until the summer then he is going to let him go, not for the right price but to the right club, for a reasonable price.
    But I dont think we need Adam, unless we loose Barton/Nolan.
    Say if we sold Barton in the to a top 4 club, for £8-9 million, then bought Adam and still made a profit, then I would be happy.
    Saying that I would be happier if Barton stayed, we made Carroll captain and sold:
    This window;
    Smith £1m
    Perch £500k
    Sol free
    Xisco £2m

    Jonas £6m
    Lovo £2m
    Raylor £4m
    and maybe even Nolan if we get the right price, say 5-6m.

    and by the start of 2011-2012 season players like Ferguson, Vuckic, Gosling, Airey, Ranger, Foster & Lua Lua will all start to start pushing for first team places.

  • SL_toon

    Jan 13, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #5


    I would have to disagree about liverpool players. I have no doubt about their abilities and commitment, but its belief that’s lacking.

    Ever since Xabi Alonso was sold to RM, they’ve lost their playmaker and the decline started. You have to admire the fact that Gerrard, Torres, and Reina have commited themselves to the club and to restoring its past success. Any of them could’ve become unsettled as been picked up so easily by mancity, barcelona, or RM. But they stayed put.

    As for performace on the field, they arent that different from the current newcastle squad in terms of inconsistencies. They showed determination and drive against manu, even with captain Gerrard sent off. They’ve also folded and collapsed against blackpool and blackburn.

    Likewise, the current squad of newcastle, which is full of grit, determination, and discipline folded against stevenage, blackpool, stoke, blackburn, and a few other sides this season.

    You really cant have a go at liverpool player man…

  • BeeGuy

    Jan 13, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #6

    Could it be that the recruiting strategy of these 2 pool sides is the difference?

    It well may be that Liverpool looked for stars with insecurities. Those lads always looking over their shoulders on who might be coming in to replace them. That insecurity pushing them to extraordinary performance on the pitch. With finances taking Liverpool out of the big splurge spending world, the insecurity may be gone and performance suffers.

    Ian, on the other hand, went looking for players who feel they have something to prove – lads who have the confidence and desire to make their mark or go down trying.

    Asking any manager to cure what might be Liverpool’s problem goes off the pitch and onto the shrinks couch. They may not need tactics, they may need psychology.

  • Thump

    Jan 13, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    Comment #7

    Part of me enjoys seeing Blackpool doing well (not against us, of course). Plus more Blackpool in the EPL means more Ian Holloway and that’s never a bad thing 😀

    @beeguy: I think Liverpool are in a not so dissimilar situation we found ourselves not so long ago. Big names, not enough final products.

  • davcon22

    Jan 13, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    Comment #8

    love to see kenny take them down!! wud laugh my german helmet off!!!

  • Darling27

    Jan 13, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    Comment #9

    Adam Hammill

    Seems like a decent player and in cockney fat boy’s price range too with a clause in his contract at 500k.

    Looks like Blackpool are in for him.

    What do you think?


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