‘Pool Will Have To Keep Looking Back In Order To Go ForwardBy: Max | August 23rd, 2010
Ian Holloway is not a stupid man, despite his pub demeanour and blokish outlook. In his own colloquial way, post being gunned down from their top 4 perch by Arsenal, he both diagnosed his sides competitive ailments and at the same time highlighted what so many have praised the men in tangerine for.
‘Last year we weren’t that good defensively but we outscored people’
It’s not very often that a team comes up from the Championship as extravagant goalscorers; zipping the ball around on the green stuff, noodling intricate passes and side-footed finishes is all very well and good while the turf is strong in the first 4 weeks of a season, but it is a style that is very difficult to sustain if a win at all costs attitude is adopted. And in the Championship it is adopted. Only West Brom have done it sucessfully in recent seasons and look what happened to them when they went up before.
The clubs who float above their means in this league are the defenders. They have to be. Wigan, Bolton, even Blackburn, all have fan bases and average attendances that are comparible in size to what Blackpool could have as and when their stadium is developed to full capacity. And they have got their by employing aesthetically repugnant football that often supplies the stock game of an overrated ‘Premier’ship game. Gary Megson, Sam Allardyce, Steve Bruce anybody? Success very rarely looks pretty, and Blackpool do not have anytime for makeovers.
Check the highlights. You don’t learn how to deal with Arsenal, and Manchester United, and even the sides that make up the top third of the table in one season. No-one could. Everyone who isn’t totally brilliant in this league is on a wing and a prayer, and could get sacked out at any minute. Newcastle, Middlesborough, Portsmouth. The list of what were previously taken-for-granted top flight teams is endless, and this business has no time for reputation.
Blackpool are generally an ugly side to look at, but they have gotten into the habit of winning pretty. It’s romantic for anyone who isn’t an idiot. And it became habit last season for them too, as ‘Ollie points out. But they’re going to need more from everyone, more of what they are good at.
It could have been 1-1 halfway through the second half if the un-furnished Taylor-Fletcher had put his clear cut chance away. It could have been a different game.
And if the Blackpool back four were anymore respectful to the Arsenal players they would have turned up in uniforms, sat down and took notes. Every Arsenal goal – and you can check this – every goal, was helped along by some superstar player or other being given about 3 yards of space to move, think and play in.
The habit, the feeling of being able to put four and five into any team’s goals can flit away when on the receiveing and of a battering like this. Blackpool must get nasty, get in people’s faces, but they must remember what they can do. They must remember how to outscore teams otherwise they what they could have been for a long, long time.