Can Bowyer Lead Blackpool Back to League One?

Bloomfield Road, Blackpool, Lancashire.

“Bloomfield Road, Blackpool, Lancashire.” (CC BY 2.0) by Matthew Wilkinson

Blackpool are on the right course to regain their place back in the third tier of English football, despite their off-the-field problems. Supporters are still demanding the removal of chairman Karl Oyston due to his perceived mismanagement of the club following their fall from grace over the past five years, including back-to-back relegations into League Two.

Player sales and poor managerial appointments started the slide, but the club appear to at least be on their way to solving their problems under the tenure of Gary Bowyer, who has begun to steady the ship. The Tangerines have been solid in their campaign thus far, but a strong run in the second half of the season could see them challenge for a place in the playoffs.

Bowyer’s men are currently five points off the pace of seventh-place Barnet, although they do have a game in hand on some of their rivals battling for the four spots. As a result, Blackpool are backed in the latest football betting odds at 9/2 to earn promotion back to League One.

The Tangerines have been one of the most inconsistent sides in the division this term, although they have managed to stave off poor runs of form that can often run sides down the table – as fans are well aware of given their struggles in recent seasons.

Bowyer has managed to establish some semblance of a solid outfit and since the beginning of November, the club have enjoyed more wins than losses or draws, suggesting that the manager might well have cracked on to a successful formula.

Defensively Blackpool have been strong at the back throughout the campaign, conceding just 25 goals in their 24 matches. Clark Robertson, Kelvin Mellor, Tom Aldred and Andy Taylor have formed a resilient unit, which has kept seven clean sheets in League Two and notched another in an impressive display in their FA Cup tie against Championship outfit Barnsley.

Should they raise the level of their performance towards the end of the season they can be the foundation on which the Tangerines can launch a push for the playoffs.

Bloomfield Road, Blackpool

“Bloomfield Road, Blackpool” (CC BY 2.0) by yellow book

At the other end of the pitch, Bowyer’s side are in the middle of the pack with 36 strikes to their name this term. Kyle Vassell has led the way with nine strikes, but the club must find a way to alleviate the pressure on him. The 23-year-old has failed to find the net in his last six contests, including the Tangerines’ 1-0 defeat at the hands of Mansfield at Bloomfield Road.

Jamille Matt and Armand Gnanduillet will need to rise to the occasion as they have scored just five goals between them, although Brad Potts has displayed a propensity to push forward from midfield to chip in with six strikes. Blackpool will need a surge of goals in the second half of the season and Bowyer will have to ensure that the burden does not all fall on Vassell.

After years of disappointment, the shoots of recovery might now be in progress on the pitch at least. However, Bowyer and his men must maintain the standards they’ve set in the first half of the season and improve in all areas to drive back into the third tier.

Another year and its still the same

As we hurtle towards the end of the year its seems little has changed in the past 12 months at Blackpool F.C.

Around the start of this year when it was obvious that relegation from League One was on the cards thoughts turned to how we would do this season. At the time and then again before Gary Bowyer became manager I was pretty certain that we would be relegated from the Football lLague this season.

We now sit 8th on 30 points in League Two. Bowyer has somehow stopped the rot on the pitch. 8th position on paper looks ok, only 9 points from the relegation zone. I wrote for Betfair this week on our performance so far this season – its pretty different to the rest of the teams in the league.

Looking at the bigger picture (literally below) its interesting to see the downfall with league placement. Our fall from the Premier League being the opposite trajectory to the rise – just a bit quicker this time.

Blackpool fc league position over time

The only other instance of such decline came in the late 70’s early 80’s, but then the drop started from the second division (Tier 2 above) and was over a 7 / 8 year period.

Any Christmas cheer?

A little from this message on the Blackpool Supports Trust facebook page.





Leyton Orient 1 – 2 Blackpool FT

It’s the first time I’ve seen Blackpool win in just over a year (they have only won 14 times since then) but the real story again today was the protest with the Blackpool and Leyton Orient Fans.

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It was good to see both set of supporters understanding each other problems and willing to support each other, something that I think we are going to see more of considering the number of clubs with problems.

As for the game Leyton Orient had only won once at home in the league this season and you could tell by their lack of confidence. There wasn’t too much between the two in the first half but it Pool who took the lead with Matt firing into the roof of the net.


Orient hit the post, had one disallowed for offside. In the second half they didn’t really press and it was easy for Aldred to grab the second from a header.


The last 5 mins ended up with us hanging on when McCallum made it 1-2 with an impressive header. 


Leyton Orient 0 – 1 Blackpool HT

An eventful day so far that started with a joint protest with Leyton Orient fans and Blackpool fans marching down the road from the pub to the stadium.

Fans ended up in a park next to the stadium where speeches from LOFT and BSA took place.

Orient are on a run of 7 home defeats and it was clear they lacked confidence.

There hasn’t been much in it but was far too easy for Matt who latched on to a ball down the channel, cut into the box and finished into the roof of the net to make it one nil to the Seasiders.

Straight from the kickoff the hosts hit the post and had the ball in the back of the net but was ruled out for offside.

All to play for in the second half.

5 Post Euro 2016 Transfers to Capture the Imagination

With the curtain now closed on 2015-16’s league campaign, save for those lucky enough to remain in the play-offs, attention now turns to Euro 2016 and the light relief that comes with a major tournament.

The action on the pitch will also spawn a host of rumours linking players with a move as their exploits inflate their transfer fees. Here are just five players who could be switching to a new club after the final on July 10.

Joe Hart

Former Seasider Hart is England’s number one keeper and the first name on the Manchester City team sheet so why would he be looking for a new challenge ahead of the 2016-17 campaign? The simple answer is the arrival of Pep Guardiola as manager and the host of transfer rumours that are trailing alongside.

Those rumours include talk of a bid for Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Barcelona’s first choice stopper in terms of Champions League Football but a man who has only featured in seven La Liga matches for the Catalan giants. At 24, the former Borussia Monchengladbach keeper needs regular football if he is to be seen as the natural successor to Manuel Neuer and the links with City won’t go away.

If Hart is surplus to requirements, there will be no shortage of interested parties with Liverpool seemingly in most need of a world class stopper to advance their aspirations.

Robert Lewandowksi

Liverpool feature again in the second story as the leading scorer in Euro 2016 qualification continues to be touted around Europe. The link with Anfield is an obvious one when you consider that Lewandowski spent many years under Jurgen Klopp at Dortmund but would he really move unless the Merseysiders win the Europa League and get into the Champions League via the back door?

Present club Bayern can offer all the money and trophies that he desires but if Robert Lewandowski is seeking that new challenge, a stint with Manchester City or possibly Chelsea is more likely.

Gylfi Sigurdsson

After the most incredible Premier League season ever, it will be fascinating to watch Leicester City’s transfer dealings this summer. Claudio Ranieri’s first job is to keep hold of their most vital players – Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez included – but surely the Foxes will look for a new draft to consolidate for 2016-17?

One man being widely touted for a possible move is Swansea’s Gylfi Sigurdsson who will be looking to cause an upset with Iceland this summer. Midfielder Sigurdsson is a threat from set pieces and has a good goal scoring record at both club and international level as Swans Chairman Huw Jenkins is said to be preparing himself for a number of bids.


One man who seems certain to leave this summer is Real Madrid’s Isco who, despite being an important member of Spain’s qualifying programme, finds himself some way down the pecking order at the Bernabeu.

The club most likely to move are Chelsea who will doubtless back new manager Antonio Conte with a hefty war chest and at 24, Isco is heading to the point in his career when regular game time becomes paramount.

Seamus Coleman

Another former Tangerine to watch at the Euros is Seamus Coleman who was widely linked with a move away from Everton after seven years at the Merseyside club. It’s been a frustrating season due to injury but the 27 year old, who was tipped to be approached by PSG and Chelsea in January, could be a confirmed target for an EPL side after Everton’s poor campaign resulted in the removal of manager Roberto Martinez.

Relegation day

A second relegation in as many years is on the cards, we’ve just gone 1-0 up at Peterborough and Fleetwood are winning 2-0 against Crewe.

Even if it did happen, it’s delaying the inevitable for another season. For more than half the season we’ve been in the bottom 4.


Last weekend it was good to join in Judgement Day 2, it was amazing to see the sheer numbers of people out in force. Next season it’s going to be even more visible with attendance figure below two or three thousands in the ground and will be interesting to see when the last years accounts do come in –

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Millwall vs Blackpool

Back in 2013 we had started the season on fire. Top of league with our best start ever we visited Millwall on a Tuesday night.


I attended the match with a colleague and pre match explained the good form and promising players in the tea.

We good well and truly beat. 3-1 with Steve Morrison scoring a belter of a goal.

Since then weve only won 20 games of football in two years and five months.

It’s crazy to think where we are now. But no surprise. I wonder what our situation will be the next time we visit the den.

Millwall V Blackpool

It’s my local game this weekend, a 20 min drive via the Rotherhithe tunnel to the new den or maybe a bike ride if the weather is nice.

I contributed to a blog post previewing  the match over at have a read.

Upping your fitness for football

While they may only spend 90 minutes on the pitch, behind every great football match is hours of intensive training. From Premier League superstars to League One legends, every footballer wants to be the best they can be. So how do you do it? Read on to find out what the best of the best focus on during their training sessions.


Strength is a crucial quality of any footballer. Whether it’s delivering a powerful attack or holding up an unbreakable defence, it’s really important to have a strong core and legs. Targeted training around these areas is vital and circuits are a great way of exercising different muscles, from your hamstrings to your glutes. For some workout inspiration, take a look at MaxiNutrition’s guide to football training drills. It features everything from hamstring pull-ins to dumbbell squats.


90 minutes of intense play can takes its toll on even the fittest player. Anything short of giving your best for the entire match can lead to mistakes that can ultimately give the other team an edge. Endurance training helps you avoid this, as it works to improve your overall fitness. As you train, your muscles will learn to use oxygen more efficiently, helping you to stay active for longer. There are a number of ways you can build your endurance levels, including continuous and interval training. For more information about how you can do it, view the following guide to endurance training.


Of course, if you’re going to beat your rival to the ball or give yourself a head start on route to the goal, you’ll need speed. Speed and strength go hand in hand: strong, powerful legs will help you push off the ground and accelerate faster. For this reason, many aspects of speed training overlap with strength training. In addition, there are a number of drills you can perform to help you get faster. Shuttles that can help you maintain your speed while changing direction or position should not be overlooked.