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8 years of opening day lineups

With the current situation showing no signs of improving it’s hard to know what our starting 11 against Nottingham Forrest on Saturday the 9th of August will be.

Looking back over 8 seasons our lineups have changed, however there has always been some consistency between years. At the moment it only looks like Steven Davies, Bobby Grant and Gary MacKenzie will be starting against Forest who started the 3-1 win at Doncaster 12 months ago.

It’s amazing to see in this gif the transition in four years – comparing to the team to the one that started against Wigan.

Blackpool Line Up Change

2014/15 – Vs Nottingham Forest – ???

2013/14 – Vs Doncaster – 3-1 Win

M Gilks, G MacKenzie, K Broadfoot, C Cathcart, R Harris (J Robinson, 65), B Ferguson, I Osbourne yellow card, Angel, T Ince, S Davies (M Chopra, 80), R Grant (C Basham, 65) Subs not used: N Eccleston, T Barkhuizen, N Bishop, M Halstead

2012/13 – Vs Millwall – 2-0 win

M Gilks, A Baptiste, N Eardley, S Crainey, I Evatt, B Ferguson, Tiago Gomes (N Dicko, 56), I Osbourne, G Taylor-Fletcher (E Grandin, 61), K Phillips (C Cathcart, 80), T Ince Subs not used: S Robertson, M Halstead, Angel, T Barkhuizen

2011/12 – Vs Hull – 1-0 win

M Gilks, A Baptiste, C Cathcart, S Crainey, I Evatt, K Southern, B Ferguson, E Grandin (C Basham, 89), G Taylor-Fletcher (C Sutherland, 87), K Phillips, B Ormerod (B Clarke, 67) Subs not used: M Halstead, M Hill

2010/11 – Vs Wigan – 4-0 win

M Gilks, A Baptiste, C Cathcart, S Crainey, I Evatt, C Adam, D Vaughan, M Harewood (C Basham, 60), G Taylor-Fletcher (J Euell, 76), B Ormerod (L Sylvestre, 59), E Grandin Subs not used: P Rachubka, I Demontagnac, R Edwards, N Eardley

2009/10 – Vs QPR – 1-1

P Rachubka, S Crainey, I Evatt, A Baptiste, R Edwards, D Vaughan (B Clarke, 73), C Adam, K Southern, J Euell, B Burgess, G Taylor-Fletcher (B Ormerod, 68) Subs not used: I Demontagnac, J Martin, D Nardiello, M Gilks, N Eardley

2008/09 – Vs Bristol C -Lost 0-1

P Rachubka, D Coid, R Edwards, I Evatt, A Hammill, G Taylor-Fletcher (D Vaughan, 77), K Southern, C-B Jorgensen (S Aluko, 88), M Camara, B Burgess, J Wright Subs not used: D Fox, M Gilks, M Broomes

2007/08 – Vs Leicester – Won 1-0

P Rachubka, S Barker, M Jackson, I Evatt, S Crainey, G Taylor-Fletcher (C-B Jorgensen, 69), K Southern, D Fox, W Hoolahan (J Hills, 81), K Parker, A Morrell Subs not used: B Burgess, K Gorkss, S Vernon

2006/07 – Vs Brentford – Lost 1-0

R Evans, M Joseph, S Barker, M Jackson, P Tierney (D Coid, 75), A Forbes, K Southern, D Fox, R Prendergast (W Hoolahan, 80), S Vernon (D Graham, 68), K Parker Subs not used: I Evatt, L Jones

The problem at Blackpool FC … Karl Oyston

The closing point from the blog post last week was as bad as thing can be at Blackpool FC, the situation can alway get worse. Tonight it looks like things are getting worse with José Riga position at the club looking precarious.

In the past couple of days the main stream media picked up on the debacle that is the 8 player situation thanks to the article from ex Gazette reporter Steve Canavan, then tweets from the popular Paddy Power account followed and the rest of the media came in – ITV, the Gazette, Daily Mail… It’s the way viral news works, you need a good story and one big credible publication to push it out and off it goes…

It was perfect timing, sports journalists with nothing to write about after the world cup, having 8 players and the cancellation of the tour to Spain with the pending friendly this weekend at Penrith.

But here’s the thing … for us Pool fans…. the media will cover it for a week until they can start showing highlights of pre-season games or start the countdown to the transfer window closing. Colleague at work will mention it, general football fans will be chatting about it online.

But for us this farce is something we’ve lived with for years…. some of this you couldn’t make up…

  • The pitch being in a terrible condition for a number of seasons
  • A milk man being the groundsman
  • Half built stadium for a couple of seasons
  • A temporary stand which fans fell through with no roof
  • A “temporary” stand we still have now
  • Professional sport people being responsible to clean their own kit
  • Players on contract for only a year resulting in mass change every summer
  • Players leaving to go to other clubs as they can get two-year deals
  • Losing players like David Vaughan for no fee due to the one year deals
  • Having to rely on loan players to make up the core of the team
  • The £11 million pound payment to Owen Oyston
  • The loans to various Oyston businesses that have no sign of being paid back
  • Saying that money hasn’t been taken out of the club – we need it now to sign players – but it’s not there.
  • £90 summer contracts
  • Steve McMahon farse trying to leave then not leaving – happened with most managers
  • Losing Appleton after only months in charge
  • Taking too long to appoint new managers
  • Not willing to pay agents fees
  • Spending a tiny proportion of money on transfer fees
  • Trying to fob us of  saying that money was spent on wages rather than fees
  • Promising a new training ground but nothing happening
  • Posting images posing with anti Oyston banners
  • Crap seats
  • Lack of pies at half time
  • etc
  • etc
  • the list goes on

It’s all down to one man.


Karl Oyston has been able to hide behind all the problems he’s created by quoting the success of the club getting into the Premier League. But we all know that only happened due to the investment from Valeri Belokon into players and remarkable work of Ian Holloway as manager.

Worst of all, he’s really good at it. Deflecting attention away from his failings as a chairman when problems flair up. To the extend that some fans still support him.

But no longer can Karl use those tactics to cover his incompetence, the last 18 months has really shown what he has done to the club, or lack of. The only reason we are still in the Championship is due to the players remaining from the Premier League era which have now all left the club.

The only reason Karl is still here is because he’s able to make money out of the club – he doesn’t enjoy it being a football chairman, he doesn’t like football. The club earns him money – easy money too, a little abuse here and there isn’t too much to take for the millions taken out.

While Karl is still in charge things are going to just repeat themselves, he’ll find a way of squirming out of the problem but things will never really change while he’s still here.

Players will still be signed for free, one year contracts, having to get in loan players to cover vital positions, losing out on key transfer targets due to the contract style, promising change but not delivering….

Something has to change… lots of have things have changed over the last year years, players, coaches, managers, but one thing remains the same – Karl Oyston.

But are there any other viable alternatives at this moment? It doesn’t seem so and that what makes the situation very depressing.

Have you heard the one about the football team with 8 players…

It’s been a while since a blog, it’s the day after the exhilarating Germany Vs Brazil semi final in the World Cup. Bar England’s performance it’s been a great tournament to watch, not too many bad games, plenty of goals and crazy moments.

When football is like this it reignites your enthusiasm for the game, you look forward to the next match, your checking the forums, reading the BBC gossip…. but as much as this World cup excites me the dire situation domestically back home drags you down.

My season ticket hasn’t been renewed for the first time (since I started 15 years ago – living in London doesn’t help). I’ve not updated the site, checked AVFTT, twitter or newsnow for a while.

There are no signs of any progression at the club,  KO did plenty of talking at the end of last season, a new strategy, new manager in quickly, a getting in players with a different mentality. When anyone makes these statements you need to judge them by their actions, so far there’s been no actions and the appointment of Riga took too long.

My views on José Riga are heading in the wrong direction too – I’ll try to hold judgement until we see his signings, his team play and what he talk about in the media. However the only major action he appears to have taken so far is to not offer a better contract to Harrison McGahey who had an excellent introduction to the first team at the end of the season. 


We now find ourselves in the national media with the shock news about only having 8 players as pre-season starts.

It wouldn’t be surprising if we end up in the media again before the season starts… not having a full squad, rumours about a manager leaving before he’s even managed a game, players being offered hardly any money, 15 year olds playing in pre-season friendlies… you can see it getting worse before it gets any better.

Watford v Blackpool

A win has to come at some point. It could be today. Watford have had an indifferent season they were really poor and somewhat disappointing when we played them at home yet have some standout players.


The home side have a number of injuries, its good to see us bringing in Foley in place of Robinson but there’s still a question at who will start at right back in place of McMahon. Not Basham please.

Its the first time I’ve been to see a match this calendar year, one or two new faces but it seems no change in results so far.

It looks like a good day for it. The pitch is in great condition. Out to my left the old main stand is half gone, just a ramshackle part to house the changing rooms remains.

The last time I was here there were four stands and a certain Alan How scored a 90th minute winner to seal a 4-3 win.

Reading 5 – 1 Blackpool FT

After the positives of Saturday we were well and truly beaten tonight at Reading. Only a couple of weeks ago the Royals knocked seven past Bolton and once the first went in after seven minutes they were right back in the mood. We gifted them the goals and bar Gilks making a couple of good saves it could have been more.

Davies goal was a wonder strike, but that’s all it was, a pot shot on goal as he had no options. You could almost see him think there’s nobody to pass to…..

All night he worked hard, chasing down the ball trying to win it in the air. On paper it might see like we are playing 4-4-2 but with Basham so deep and coming inside Chophra too dropped deeper and wider leaving Davies too much to do. We still are a 4-3-3 of sorts.


Reading played well, clinical and willing to attack but we made it all to easy. So many times Robinson stood waiting for players to attack him.

With a couple of days to go in transfer market we are in desperate need of players who can create or take a man on. Until then I can’t see a win coming any time soon.

One call might be for Barry Ferguson to play, Osbourne and Martinez were woeful.

Credit to the pool fans who turned up and supported tonight.


It feels like it still might get a little worse before it gets better.

And that was Paul Ince

After 42 games in charge (can you count the five he wasn’t there for?) Paul Ince’s reign as manager has come to and end. Thinking back to when he was appointed it was almost if he reluctantly took charge after the Applegate saga. He was knocking around the club and turned out to be the only one who fancied the job.

He started well, steadying the ship and making us hard to beat towards the end of last season – he did keep us up. However that hard to beat mentality turned into us being very negative. The lack of signings before the start of the season almost galvanised the backs to the wall / hold on to what we’ve got as we’ve not got much mentality.

While Ollie in the past took that “we’ve got the smallest wage bill” and “we wash our own kits” to motivate the players Ince wasn’t able to motivate the players from it, combined with a negative tactics it was all going downhill.

In the recent days plenty of Rovers fans have commented saying the same thing happened at Rovers, looking at the results before his sacking on 20th of December 2008 it all looks very similar.

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 18.50.35

It all leaves us in a very similar place to last season, a great start it all going wrong and then looking to patch it all back together and retain our Championship status.

It looks like Barry Ferguson will take charge, however the reaming time in the transfer window looks to be just as important as his ability to manager over the rest of the season.

And as for Tom… we’ll have to wait till Saturday.

Blackpool V Leeds

Boxing day is football day, over the years there’s been the odd good result however not many victories stick out in recent years.

Its hard to see us taking all three points today, were out of form, still short of players and face an improving Leeds United. Oh and it’s on Sky.


Fuller may return, Dobbie could also feature it will be interesting to see Ince’s performance with the Sky cameras and the transfer window around the corner. Maybe one of his first farewell performance’s?

Festive period and the FA Cup

Its been a tough few weeks which all started with a disastrous night away at Yeovil. The knock-on from that night certainly put a dampener on what was a good start to the season (result wise, not performances).

The game on against Burnley was always going to be a big task with their attacking potency. Its going to be a similar problem against Leeds, odds are on for Ross McCormack to bag a goal or two. Brighton at home will also be tough. We might have to wait till the Sheffield match to put some points on the board. After that the big FA Cup match at Bolton. Could that be the start of something?

The season is really at a turning point at the moment, currently its turning the wrong way.

Birmingham 1 – 1 Blackpool FT

All square at the end of the 90 but either side could have grabbed a winner. Both teams had attempts cleared off the line. At the death the home side had a great chance when McLean? Found himself one-on-one but fired right at Gilks.

Fuller did well again in the middle role upfront but was knackered in the last 15, Davies or Chopra should had taken his place.

Overall a good match and a solid performance, a little more attacking at times, bar the mistake for the goal it would have been one of those winning performances we’ve got used to.


Birmingham 1 – 1 Blackpool HT

Half time and a poor start to the game which did improve. We could have been 3-1 up at the break with two great chances just before the break.

Both teams started poor and a sliced clearance from Broadfoot which allowed Lindgard a easy chance.


From our first chance we scored Basham released Ince who crossed for Fuller to finish at the near post.

We should have gone ahead Ince raced clear to cross to Fuller who had his shot saved. Dobie then had a great chance firing just past the far post as we started to get on top of the home side.

All to play for!