The last time I wrote I started by saying “don’t get carried away”. Well despite the weekend’s result, my feet are still cautiously on the ground.
However, if we leave Leicester with three more points and another effortless performance, then I fear there will be many Blackpool fans getting very excited. And who could blame them?
This is already our best start for many years, and if we make it four consecutive league wins we will top the league with 12 points and already have racked up a goal difference of at least +10. A very, very impressive start.
At the moment, us Blackpool fans are experiencing that joyous combination of both brilliant football and great results. It might not last, results wise, but it will almost certainly continue to entertain us. This purple patch has come after three years of measured progress on and off the pitch. Since Holloway’s arrival he has changed the structure and philosophy of the club. We play a brand of football that everybody loves to watch. A brand of football that doesn’t change, no matter who we play or what the score. And off the pitch, we actually have a youth structure that plays the same way, making progressing from reserves to first team easier for younger players. And, being a lover of pure football, I am so glad this has happened to my club and really, it’s all down to Ian Holloway.
I’ll always remember hearing a quote from the delightful Mick McCarthy which put me into a rage-induced coma. After yet another uninspiring performance which disgustingly gained three points, he said “We don’t have to entertain anybody”.
I was gobsmacked that he could possibly have that opinion. I ranted for weeks to whoever would listen (nobody). So you can imagine my delight when I heard Ian Holloway’s post-match comments this week. Despite winning 6-0, he was annoyed with the first half performance as it wasn’t as fluid as he expected. But this wasn’t sign of arrogance. He was just disappointed that the football wasn’t as entertaining as it should have been. He went on to say “Anyone paying to watch football these days deserves to be entertained because it’s so expensive. That’s all I’m striving for… We aren’t in real life here – we are just here to entertain people.”
It is comments like these that have made our recent results so satisfying. It’s not just that we are winning, but that the results are almost a second priority to entertaining football. And long may it continue. I am sure we can all agree that watching football is very sodding expensive, and too many managers forget that it is an entertainment business. Thankfully, with the recent rise of the continental style, we are seeing more teams adopt a more exciting approach right through the leagues, from Swindon to Swansea.
So, can this football keep getting the results?
Well, we head to Leicester, a team Holloway hasn’t beaten since they sacked him. In fact, we only gained our first point against them under Holloway last year. Away from home, against a good Leicester side who haven’t started as well as they will have wanted, all makes for a very tough test. In fact, this is probably our toughest test yet.
But by Saturday we will know what our squad will be for the next 4 months. If Matt Phillips is still here, I can’t see him being left out much longer. His addition to the starting line-up could be massive, with teams surely starting to focus on Tom Ince, having another goalscoring winger on the pitch will be priceless. A reason I seriously hope we keep hold of him no matter what the price. Other rumours about Baptiste, Ince and a few others are still cropping up, but I can’t really see anybody wanting to leave. Holloway is still after a striker, so we could still see a new face by kick off on saturday, but to tell you the truth, I would happily take a loss on saturday in favour of keeping hold of everyone in our current squad.