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Ollie Needs To Be Tinker-Free This Weekend

Saturday 5th November 2011
The bookies will have been rubbing their hands with glee on Wednesday evening as Blackpool raced into an unassailable 3-0 lead over Leeds United. Leeds have a formidable home record at Elland Road and Blackpool  who have been thoroughly inconsistent were licking their wounds following an abject local derby showing against Burnley.

A 5-0 victory was the stuff of dreams for the committed travelling tangerine army who crossed the pennines more in hope than expectation. The Championship is incredibly tight this year and a few more losses for the Seasiders could have resulted in them sitting alongside Doncaster and Bristol City in the lower echelons of the division.

Blackpool have yet to firmly find their feet since returning to the Championship and the mass exodus of players over the summer didn't help either. Ian Holloway now has a squad of 41 players to select from and many fans feel he is yet to settle on his starting 11. Kevin Phillips and Barry Ferguson arrive with reputations whilst Tom Ince and the on loan Conor McManaman are rough diamonds. These all sit alongside Gary Taylor Fletcher, Keith Southern and Ian Evatt who were integral members of the squad which was promoted two years ago.

Much to the fans despair, Holloway seems to insist on starting Brett Ormerod, who has been a terrific servant to the club, but sadly does not cut it in the Championship any more. He has lost the pace he once possessed, neither can he be played as a target man and seems to be devoid of ideas, but to be fair so do the entire team at times.  Kevin Phillips is used with alarming regularity considering he was signed predominantly as 'an impact sub' and the defence hasn't found the plug for the hole which so often opened up against the Premier League big boys.

On Wednesday evening, he finally dropped Ormerod, began with Phillips on the bench and made a number of key changes to the starting eleven. Lua Lua gained his first start of the season and scored a brace and Ludovic Sylvestre began in midfield, the man who the manager promised to 'build the squad around next season' had been left out of the squad so far much to the supporters bemusement. Spanish midfielder Angel Martinez had a place on the bench and claimed a classy assist for the 5th goal. These changes meant that JonJo Shelvey moved further forward and claimed the match ball after a stirling performance.

Millwall visit the seaside on Saturday on the back of a tremendous run which saw them beat Leicester and Coventry and the in form Darius Henderson has been scoring for fun. Ian Evatt is suspended after picking up his 5th yellow card of the season and will require an enforced change at the back for Blackpool. Neil Eardley will hopefully be added to the starting 11, with Alex Baptiste moving over to centre back. Against West Ham, Holloway decided to play 5"7 Matt Hill instead of Evatt against 6"5 John Carew, needless to say, this idea wasn't his wisest culminating in a 4-0 defeat.

Many fans fear we will see Brett Ormerod thrown back into the squad tomorrow or Ludovic Sylvestre back on the bench. Even though the excellent Gary Taylor Fletcher may return from injury, it is imperative that the starting 11 is as consistent as possible. Every manager needs a tinker every now and again, but Oliie seems incapable of preserving a winning team!

Tomorrows team must look like this:


Eardley  Baptiste     Cathcart   Crainey

Southern   Ferguson    Sylvestre

Shelvey     McManaman   Lua Lua

Subs - Martinez, Ince, Taylor Fletcher, Phillips & Hill
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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