Ben Burgess column: Blackpool firing blanks

Ben Burgess

Ben Burgess

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I talked last week about the need for Blackpool to show the consistency required to climb the table.

Unfortunately, the defeat at Crawley shunted any thoughts of a promotion push and now the Seasiders are as close to relegation as they are the play-offs.

Surprisingly they failed to score in either that game or the one at Bolton on Tuesday, which has been a previous strength.

The midweek defeat at the Macron was played in the now predictably empty stadium that the new Checkatrade Trophy format often results in. 1,500 people were scattered around the stadium, giving the game zero atmosphere and making it seem more like a reserve match.

Some teams are starting to flaunt the strange and complicated rules of this trophy.

The brief summary of the rules is that a team must field a minimum of five first team players, usually the five highest appearance makers. Bradford started with ex-Seasider Colin Doyle in goals and then replaced him after three minutes in their victory over Bury, just so they can stay within the rules.

As a result of Big Sam Allardyce not playing within the rules he has now been replaced by quiet Gareth (Southgate) ahead of the upcoming England internationals. A lot of people expected Southgate to make some positive changes to the tired and predictable first squad that Allardyce cobbled together.

After all, Southgate has been working successfully with the England U21 side for the last few years, so surely there must be some future stars ripe for the picking?

It sadly appears not. The only real major change was the re-call for the ageing Stoke City full-back, Glen Johnson.

After being an ever present in Stoke’s back four this season, that has conceded 17 goals in seven games, I’m sure even he would have been surprised by the call.

He probably withdrew out of embarrassment! Aside from that strange selection, I think Southgate will do well as long as he can stay strong and actually make the players play in their designated positions.

When I say players, I mean the roving Rooney who appeared to dictate to Allardyce where he would be playing. One man who will be hoping to add to his 11 England caps this week is Jamie Vardy.

Vardy has not quite matched the explosive form he showed last season but he recently hit the headlines for his pre-match routine.

Everywhere you turn in football clubs nowadays all you see is sports scientists, fitness coaches and nutritionists, etc.

Hours in the gym are needed to hone your physique and strengthen your core for the rigours of a full season of football. Diet is more important than ever.

Many players I know have even cut carbohydrates out of their diet completely.

Gone are the days of players having steak and chips before a game, or even players munching through a huge bowl of pasta to give them energy.

Well Jamie Vardy flies in the face of all of this evidence and instead his diet represents that of the average man (sort of).

Firstly, Vardy shuns the gym because he believes extra muscle will slow him down (maybe that was my problem). The night before a game he half fills a Lucozade bottle with port and sips it as he watches TV.

He’s clearly drunk so much over the years that he believes it tastes like Vimto!

The morning of the game consists of three cans of Red Bull, a double espresso and a ham and cheese omelette!

It seems to work for him, but having recently done an experiment with my class to see how much sugar there is in energy drinks, I won’t be recommending it to anyone.