Blackpool 2-2 Watford – Scrappy but fair

Blackpool 2-2 Watford – Scrappy but fair
Blackpool conceded a two goal advantage before coming from behind yet again this season to secure a third draw in three games since Michael Appleton took over the managerial role at Bloomfield Road. Setting up Michael Appleton chose to preserve the 4-3-3 formation from the Ian Holloway era whilst Gianfranco Zola opted for a 3-5-2. Appleton’s biggest selection issue was caused with the injury to Ian Evatt. Kirk Broadfoot came in to the side at right back with Alex Baptiste moving to centre back. For Watford Matěj Vydra started up front with Troy Deeney...

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....

Practice Makes Perfect

Practice Makes Perfect
After a spate of concessions from set pieces and corners Ian Holloway hauled his team through extensive defensive practice to iron out the issues. They worked so hard that Ian Holloway was quoted in the Blackpool Gazette as saying; “But we have practised it this week, and they have all sore foreheads now” This was in advance of the game against Southampton, a game in which Blackpool kept their first clean sheet in the league for fourteen matches. Holloway talked about getting his players to ‘attack the flight of the ball’ which is a basic skill, but one...

Goal Analysis – Space Exploration

Goal Analysis – Space Exploration
Professional football is rather unique in that the higher up the profession you go, the less space you are given to work in. Compare that with a factory worker producing for an employer. They have their space protected and have guaranteed space to work in. An office worker has a desk in which to complete their tasks. As they get better they may progress through the ranks of their profession, perhaps to become a manager with a spacious office at their disposal. They apparently need this space to operate in order to operate at a higher level whilst the workers enjoy their...