Two points adrift of League One safety and no wins since January; Blackpool Football Club currently finds itself in dire straits.
I’ve tried my hardest ever since Neil McDonald was appointed manager to defend him where possible; winning runs have been put together, young players have been signed on long-term contracts, but sometimes you just can’t defend the indefensible.
The football on display simply isn’t good enough. The tactics are woeful; during the final ten minutes of last Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Bradford City, McDonald had FIVE strikers on the pitch as Pool’s defence tried to hoof the ball up into the stratosphere in the hope of the ball coming down and sticking to one of the big boys up top.
Blackpool still couldn’t find that goal and Bradford managed to deal with the route one style with ease. It feels as though McDonald has run out of ideas. Last night’s draw at Chesterfield, coupled with other results not going Pool’s way, means points are desperately needed. Games are now becoming must-wins.
The sensational football displayed during Pool’s stand-out performance of the season, a 5-0 demolition of Scunthorpe United, has hardly been seen since. It proved what this young squad is capable of producing on their day, but they are seriously lacking experienced professionals, good players who can guide them out of trouble.
Pool supporters are crying out for players they can relate to, who give everything for the club, who show care and emotion towards its loyal supporters. Just to confirm how far this club has fallen during the last five years since its Premier League campaign, former heroes Shaun Barker, Brett Ormerod and Keith Southern all announced their retirements in the space of a week.
They all embodied everything that this once proud club stood for. Not the most talented of footballers, but what they lacked in talent they made up in hard work, dedication and attitude.
Southern’s dogged work in midfield over a ten-year spell earned him much respect, and an unsung hero status. Charlie Adam would be the first to admit that if it weren’t for the tiresome work of Southern and David Vaughan, Adam wouldn’t be half the player he is today.
While Ormerod’s goalscoring exploits will go down in Blackpool folklore for years to come. The fact that I can sit here and write that; like thousands of other Pool fans, I was lucky enough to see Brett score in all four divisions, makes me very happy indeed.
Barker joined Pool back in 2006, and although he left the club before the Premier League season, he played a vital part in the side that gained League One promotion and subsequent Championship stability.
A rock comfortable at right-back or centre-half, Barker had to retire early aged just 33 due to terrible knee injuries. ‘Reggie’ had missed the last three years at Derby County due to horrific injuries, but in a fantastic gesture Derby will host his testimonial at the end of March.
What all three of these players had was passion, commitment and desire to represent Blackpool. To see three club icons retire in such a short space of time is a sad reminder to all Pool fans of the good times, but also how desperately we could do with the likes of Reggie, Keith and Brett in the spine of our side right now.