“Don’t get carried away, don’t get carried away, don’t get carried away.”
That’s what most Blackpool fans are trying desperately to tell themselves after witnessing some of the best football they have seen by a Blackpool side.
And I don’t say that lightly.
Fans much older than myself came away from the Leeds game saying that is the best team they have ever seen. Even for much younger fans, who watched Vaughan, Adam and co. embarrass some Premier League sides, came away saying this football is better than that.
The most important thing is that this wasn’t one of those games where everything clicks and you give a side a right old pasting. Far from it. It looked like it would be ‘one of those days’ after two denied penalty claims, two strikes of the woodwork and countless missed chances.
But no, this was a game that we saw our new and improved philosophy and style of football come to fruition. The slick passing, the pressing, the movement, the creativity and the strength in depth. All this against a Neil Warnock side who pressed and harried, huffed and puffed and worked harder than a lot of teams will. And they never got near us.
Leeds will be up there at the end of the season, I don’t doubt that, they are a good team, but they left Bloomfield Road last night stunned and exhausted.
After a great start to the campaign against Millwall ending the first fixture looking down on the league, albeit only by virtue of alphabetical order, Blackpool looked to keep the ball rolling at home to a Leeds side that also tasted victory on the opening day.
All things considered it looked to be a great game. Two sides full of confidence, with some gifted players on show in front of a loud if not sell-out crowd. The only downside was some monsoon style rain earlier in the day that made the pitch very heavy, with 10 inch divots coming up with every turn. Thankfully, it had no bearing on the game, and we got a great spectacle. Two good sides playing out a fast-paced and entertaining match.
Right from the off there were chances, mainly for Blackpool as Leeds struggled to get a grip on our passing in the middle and pace out wide. But despite this, our long-term achilles heel of conceding from corners came back to haunt us. A soft goal all round, but before and after that goal, the game was almost entirely played out in only two thirds of the pitch. Only two dubious refereeing decisions and two great saves by Kenny stopped Blackpool ending the half with in the lead.
And in all honesty, that pattern continued after the break with Blackpool hitting the post after about a minute. A signal of intent and a sign of things to come. Three or four chances came our way within the first five minutes of the second half, all spurned. But something was coming. To be fair to Leeds, they had a 10 minute spell after about an hour, but aside from that it was waves of attack against them and in the end it was no surprise that they finally crumbled after two superbly crafted goals.
I can safely say it’s good to be back. It seems an age since our last game at Bloomfield Road, and after a night that saw such a great game, nobody can contain their excitement for Saturday.
So that good result and fantastic performance makes for a very decent start to the season. Although it is only after two games, we sit top of the league, but most importantly we look on top form. With us still getting to grips with our mammoth squad, getting some of the late arrivals fitter and getting to know the system even better, surely things can only get better…
In truth, a successful next few weeks for us is not on the pitch, but off it in terms of keeping hold out our best players. Having looked safe over the summer, some are starting to worry now with offers and rumours coming in all over the place. If, come September, Phillips, Baptiste, Evatt and Ince are all walking out in tangerine, we can consider it the best possible start to the season. And if that is the case, I can’t see us finishing too far away from those top two spots.
But let’s try our best to not get carried away. Please…