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Can Blackpool Avoid "Doing A Yeovil"?

Wednesday 23rd March 2016
The remaining fixtures this season are now into the single figures and Blackpool are flirting with relegation once again.

If you'd shown the Tangerine clad revellers this situation back in 2011, they wouldn't have believed you. Gracing the Premier League, they were described by every pundit in the land as 'A Breath of Fresh Air' and were playing a brand of swashbuckling football that would eventually see them miss out on securing their Premier League status by a single point.

Fast forward to March 2016 and there's a very real possibility that the Seasiders will be facing life in League Two next season. From Anfield to The Hive in five years.

The club has been in a downward spiral since the departure of maverick Bristolian manager-turned-pundit Ian Holloway. Whilst many required subtitles to make sense of his West Country witterings, there's no doubt he galvanised a team who shouldn't really have progressed beyond mid-table in the Championship.

Saying the names - Charlie Adam, David Vaughn, Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Matt Gilks & Brett Ormerod make the hairs stand up on the backs of Blackpool fan's necks as they remember the heady days of doing the double over Liverpool and also being top of the Premier League for under 120 minutes on the opening day of the season.

Sadly, David Ferguson, Emerson Boyce and Martin Paterson just don't have the same effect and ignite the same passion.

There are various forces at work and blame should be apportioned to the owners, but there are many articles already covering this, so I'm sticking to matters on the pitch.

Paul Ince made the Seasiders tough to beat, but largely at the expense of enjoyable football and preserved Championship football for another season. But it was simply akin to pumping up a flat tyre in order to get a couple more miles out of it and limp to the garage.

Ince left under a cloud, Appleton left after 72 days and then Barry Ferguson left to manage in the lower echelons of Scotland. Jose Riga was the man touted to provide 'The Revolution', but the dapper Belgian never connected with the Chairman (who does?!) and his tenure was fleeting. Lee Clark was perhaps the type of belligerent character we needed, but apart from overusing the phrase 'we dust ourselves down', he offered little as the Seasiders sunk into League One.

The relatively left-field choice of Neil McDonald was brought in and allowed to make a few permanent signings (A rare treat at Bloomfield), but it hasn't stopped the rot and although a victory against Crewe at the weekend was some much-needed respite, Blackpool fans are probably working out the cheapest way to get to Crawley or booking tickets for the Jorvik Centre and planning to make a weekend of it in York.

Yeovil slipped from the Championship into League Two and have just about steadied the ship and it looks like Blackpool may be following suit. The fixtures do look kind for the Tangerines, but failure to win at home to Bury and defeat at fellow strugglers Doncaster could spell the end of a short, but forgettable tenure in England's third tier.
Jack Critchley
Blackpool fan who enjoys a spot of the football league. I follow Championship through to League Two.

Total articles: 18

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