One Door Closes……..

One Door Closes……..
As almost everyone will know by now, West Ham beat Blackpool to make it back to the Premier League whilst Blackpool will have another season in the Championship. The match itself held few surprises. Tactically it was relatively predictable with the majority of the elements cited in the preview playing out, even up to the drifting in at the back post by Ricardo Vaz Te which provide crucial at the end. In terms of analysis of the final the excellent The Seventy Two blog together a comprehensive deconstruction of events and it’s well worth a read. The key notes from the...

Blackpool v West Ham – The Tactical Lowdown

Blackpool v West Ham – The Tactical Lowdown
On Saturday Blackpool and West Ham go head to head in the Championship play off final at Wembley in what should be a clash of contrasting styles which offers a feast for the spectators, partisans and neutrals alike. As you are If you know anything of either Ian Holloway or Sam Allardyce as people you’ll have a fair idea of what to expect from their teams as their teams reflect who they are. Allardyce is a big, imposing man, who as a player was strong in the tackle and committed in the air. Holloway was more technical, buzzing with energy and more gritty and determined...

How did Blackpool beat Birmingham?

How did Blackpool beat Birmingham?
Blackpool beat Birmingham 3-2 on aggregate after a pulsating game at St Andrews on Wednesday night to reach the Championship playoff final at Wembley for the second time. Blackpool took a two goal lead on the night to extend their aggregate lead from the first leg to 3-0 before Birmingham finished strongly to pull two goals back and kept pushing to the end only to fall just short. Over the two legs there were a set of factors that could be deemed as being critical in Blackpool’s victory as well as elements that led to Birmingham coming back in to the game. The...

Blackpool v Birmingham – A Tactical Preview

Blackpool v Birmingham – A Tactical Preview
This game has the hallmarks of being a very close contest, even if Birmingham did have the upper hand in the regular season, drawing at Bloomfield Road 2-2 before winning 3-0 at St Andrews. However, both sides are slightly different teams since that last contest and that provides for some interesting dynamics. Line Ups Ian Holloway should have a virtually full strength squad to choose from. In terms of selection decisions the key one appears to be whether to select Barry Ferguson or Keith Southern to partner Angel Martinez as one of the holding midfielders in a 4-2-3-1....