Why Every Premier League Season Needs a Blackpool

Premier League viewers around the world bid farewell to Blackpool Football Club on May 22. The Tangerines set out to Old Trafford on “Mission Impossible,” as Ian Holloway’s men needed a win to escape the drop. Like only Blackpool could, Charlie Adam’s luscious free kick into the bottom right corner and Gary Taylor-Fletcher’s goal, the Seasiders silenced the Theatre of Dreams. However, Blackpool’s defense could not withstand Manchester United, and results elsewhere relegated the Tangerines.

The first time I saw Blackpool was the Championship Playoff Final when Adam, Taylor-Fletcher, and Ormerod spearheaded a lethal attacking style of football. Despite being weak at the back, as Cardiff City scored twice, as a neutral, Blackpool seemed to be a fearless side that would set the Premier League ablaze.

Just two months after their relegation, I already miss Blackpool and have listed below my top reasons why the EPL needs a team like Blackpool every season.

A Fearless Side at the Bottom:

After a week in the Premier League the Seasiders were near the top of the table, but their goal difference took a bit of hit the next, as Arsenal thrashed Holloway’s side 6-0 at the Emirates. While most middle and bottom of the table squads would have bulked up the midfield to halt the slick passing of the Gunners, Blackpool refused to change their formation and tactics. Charlie Adam linked up with Harewood and Fletcher in early moments, but Arsenal was just too good. Despite the loss, credit is due to Blackpool who came out and played to win. The Tangerines’ consistency paid off against top sides, as they did the double over Liverpool and beat Tottenham. The Premier League needs a team that gives the neutral somebody to watch for fun besides those in the Big Four.

Wouldn’t you rather see a team like Blackpool challenge Chelsea than see Stoke City sit back and defend?

An Entertaining Manager:

It is not very often we hear of a manager comparing a scrappy win to a night out on the town, but when we do, we don’t complain. The famous rants of Ian Holloway against FIFA, the Premier League, and clubs bidding for Charlie Adam were one of a kind and memorable. His confidence to show up at Stamford Bridge and the Emirates and play a 4-3-3 as a weaker team, is a rarity in a league based around staying up by playing it safe. While I’m not asking for another Jose Mourinho, who blames his problems on UNICEF and FIFA, it would be nice to get  a little excitement from those dreary press conferences. Blackpool was and still is a side with character and it is that character and extra excitement that is needed in the lower half of the Premier League. Mick McCarthy is a manager that is about as dry as they come.

New Stars:

A relegated side rarely produces or carries a figure that generates interest from the top clubs, as Liverpool and Manchester United were not battling it out over players from the likes of Derby County or Reading. The Seasiders gave us some stars to watch, most notably Charlie Adam. The midfielder’s perfect passes to the flanks and pinpoint set pieces were mouthwatering for the neutral. Hopefully, we will see him do the same at Anfield for years to come. Another star to watch was D.J. Campbell, whose speedy runs brought Blackpool 13 goals in 31 appearances. Gary Taylor-Fletcher was a great story during the early part of the season, as he became the first player to score in each of the top six divisions of English football. If a team at the bottom could produce stars each season, the league would become much more competitive during the season, and more suspenseful during the transfer windows.

Finally, it is Blackpool’s story that makes them loveable. A recent report reveals that over 9,000 of Blackpool’s children are in poverty. The city was something the team played for all season and we saw how strong the relationship between the team and the supporters was in the many thrilling games at Bloomfield Road. I’m not sure if we will ever see another team like Blackpool, but we can hope that Norwich, Swansea, or QPR will pick up where Blackpool left off (without being relegated).

16 thoughts on “Why Every Premier League Season Needs a Blackpool”

  1. Fantastic article mate, glad to see we were appreciated by the neutrals. I saw all our games against Stoke and Blackburn this season, all I can say is thank god I dont support either of those teams. Their brand of negative football may be ‘effective’ but as for entertainment value – I’d rather stay in and watch a carpet fade.

    BTW – We had a man sent off after 15 minutes against Arsenal and were more than holding our own up to that point. Oh and Brett Ormerod made history by being the only player to score for the same club in every of the four professional divisions in England.

    Up the ‘Pool!

    PS – We’ll be back!

    1. Blackpool battered us at the Britannia and deserved their win, it wasn’t that we didn’t turn up it was that they were better on the day. The 0-0 draw at Bloomfield Road was turgid to say the least but that was down to both sides.

      The problem you have playing like Blackpool is it gives you lots of highs but lots of lows. It’s not consistent enough to keep you up. Fair play to the manager and players though for giving it a go.

      It pisses me off that after 23 years out of the top flight, without sucking on the golden teat of SKY TV that we don’t get recognised for the efforts we’ve made. Name me the last team to get promoted that has managed to stay up for three seasons on the bounce, made a cup final and Europe whilst remaining in profit. Go on, I bet you bloody well can’t?

      But that’s not worth writing home about because we don’t roll over and get our tummy tickled by the patronising twats who follow the top 4.

      1. We almost survived though, went down by a whisker and had a dearth of laughable decisions go against us (mainly against the big clubs). Not an excuse though, they say things even themselves out over a season but it definately didnt with us.

        I fully respect what Stoke have done, its a fantastic achievement and like you say, you certainly dont have the respect and accolades you deserve – this is mainly due to your style of play. The big four ‘dont like it up ’em’ and just complain about it, particularly Arsenal.

        It seems like Stoke style tactics are the only way for a ‘smaller’ club to be successful in the PL which is quite a sad indictment on the non playing field in the PL

        1. That’s what’s annoying though, I see the full 90 minutes of each Stoke game, not the edited highlights or a skewed report. Because we don’t win 6-0 or lose 6-0 we’re damned because all we’re trying to do do is build and make up for lost time, and lost money. As an example of how to play we’re not perfect but look at the matches I posted below, we ripped Chelsea and Arsenal apart with players a fraction of the value of their squads.

          All this is being done on the quiet, we have a training ground that cost £6m, a stadium we own outright, we owe very little money to anyone and building gradually. There’s no boom and bust scenario in sight either on or off the pitch.

          Shrewd signings change the way we play, Pennant and Etherington (both English) are creative wingers that would grace most sides in the league. Both have been reborn at the club. Huth and Shawcross cost £8m as a pair, find me a more consistent and effective centre back pairing than that.

          Being a fan who supports their local team you’ll realise like me that you cannot afford to be filppant and fast if you want to see your team survive and grow in the premier league. It’s easy ridiculing people from the high horse of a top four team that builds their success on money that they don’t really have.

          I cannot really see the UEFA financial fair play ruling having much effect but if it does it’ll be interesting to see the impact on those that cannot justify their outgoings vs incomings.

          If Blackpool are sensible with the money they’ve made I’m sure they’ll be back but I’m sure that Ian Holloway will temper his style of play.

  2. Dig out the Stoke Vs Chelsea match from last season, sit on your arse for 90 minutes and justify this comment afterwards please:

    “Wouldn’t you rather see a team like Blackpool challenge Chelsea than see Stoke City sit back and defend?”

    After you’ve done that watch the Stoke Vs Arsenal match from last season and tell me where we sit back and defend.

    Piss poor lazy examples as usual.

  3. Fantastic article. This Arsenal fan made the Tangos his secondary team. They never failed to entertain, the lads were as scrappy as their manager, and I was very saddened to see them dismissed. I will be tuning in to the Championship much more than usual this year, as I will be fully supporting their efforts to return to top flight. Their story is one of many that make football easily the top sport on earth…

    1. And if we’d had that stonewaller given at Bloomfield Road when you were only 2-1 and we had you on the ropes we’d probably still be in the PL.

      Cheers Mike Dean you litte tw@t!

  4. I bought a Blackpool Flag after this EPL season (I live in New Orleans). Although I only got to see maybe 4 or 5 games live. I fell in love with their “damn the torpedoes” attitude. If I ever go to England, seeing a Blackpool game will be high on my to-do list. Geaux Seasiders!!!

  5. “….QPR will pick up where Blackpool left off (without being relegated).”

    Amen to that. I have been waiting 15 years for QPR’s return to the Premiership and I will be deeply gutted if we simply spend our time “surviving” the ordeal instead of making a proper go of it.

    Success yes, but abandoning any attempt at attractive football is a betrayal of any fan of a newly promoted side. Save the dirge for the final weeks of the season (if required).

  6. See you all next season. . . .2012/2013. . . .

    As General McArthur said at the fall of the Phillipines in 1943 :- – – –

    ” We will return ”
    Thanks fellas for all the kind comments….for us POOL fans it was a gas !!

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