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....

TD Championship Team of the Season

TD Championship Team of the Season
In December Tangerine Dreaming announced a team of the first half of the season putting forward a team of players who had played against Blackpool and observed by TD. No Blackpool players were named in their in order to be shed of any potential bias. Players have been picked to fill a 4-3-3 formation for purely arbitrary reasons. Here is the Championship team for the second half of the season. Goalkeeper Vito Mannone gets the nod here for his outstanding performance at Bloomfield Road to keep Hull in the game.. Clearly a Premier League ‘keeper (he’s on loan from...

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...

Blackpool’s Best Eleven

Blackpool’s Best Eleven
Ian Holloway hasn’t picked a consistent eleven all season. This is a light-hearted look at why that might be the case and why it’s not just a case of picking the best players. Picking the best team from a squad of players is no easy task. If it was a simple task of listing the best players then that could lead to several complications. If that’s not the best starting point then what might be a good place to begin in a quest to find the ‘best’ starting eleven? Natural instincts How about understanding the way the player naturally orients himself on the field of...

What is wrong with Blackpool?

What is wrong with Blackpool?
Upon reading interviews with football managers more often than not they reveal elements of what makes a successful team. Before talking about their playing philosophy, they often talk about the importance of creating the right team spirit or the right energy around the team. Essentially this energy is created through having the right conditions around a team and if the energy is focused and positive it can help fuel the players on to great achievements. Channeling Ian Holloway is a manager who thrives on the right energy and is sensitive to the slightest changes in it; he...

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...