Ben Burgess column: Blackpool still moving in wrong direction

Ben Burgess

Ben Burgess

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Blackpool against Accrington a few years ago would simply have been a display of superiority from the Seasiders.

Blackpool were on the up and venturing to the previously unchartered waters of the Premier League.

Fast forward to today, and Stanley now have new owners, they have a manager who knows the club inside out and the fans are beginning to return.

It would be no surprise if Stanley were in a different league to Blackpool next year. Whether that be through them gaining promotion or the boys in tangerine slipping through the basement door (which they currently find themselves just two points above).

The one positive for Blackpool fans is that there seemed a good atmosphere at the Crown Ground and from speaking to the fans, who usually oppose attending home games, they really enjoyed the match (apart from the last five minutes) and the chance to see the team they support.

As for the ninety minutes, or should we say ninety-five minutes, Gary Bowyer’s men looked relatively comfortable and, if it hadn’t been for the dubious disallowed goal, could have found themselves in a much more secure position.

Sadly, the referee gave a strange penalty decision and from there the mental frailties that have plagued the Blackpool squad for the last few years kicked in and Rommy Bocco had a ludicrous amount of time and space to slot his 95th minute winner away.

Away from England’s basement division and into the top flight and the story of penalties remains a familiar theme.

I was at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, to see Manchester City squander two spot kicks and succumb to a draw against Everton.

At least Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero made the keeper work.

Poor Christian Benteke had a nightmare spot kick attempt as he aimed to equalise for Crystal Palace against West Ham.

He ran up like the man who had just scored the quickest international goal ever a few days earlier, and then promptly skied it way over the goal, resulting in a defeat for his team.

I have been facing a bit of a moral dilemma in recent weeks. Where should I take by children to watch a match?

I remember that feeling of excitement mixed with nerves and expectation as I headed to Maine Road, with my dad and sisters, as a young lad.

In those days it usually resulted in a disappointing walk back, as City so often flattered to deceive, but the result wasn’t really that important as a kid.

It was more about being with friends and family and sharing that passion together.

Talking on the way home about which players impressed you and which were rubbish, listening to my dad explain what and why things happened in the game.

In an ideal world I would love to take my kids to our local club, which just so happens to be the team their dad played for.

The team that made such great memories for their dad. Unfortunately, I don’t think that would be the right decision in the current climate and instead I have taken them to watch City.

Sadly, I can only imagine how many other households in the area are having the same dilemma.

At the moment, Blackpool are on the verge of losing generations of young supporters. Four years ago there were eight Blackpool season ticket holders in the class I teach. This year there are none!

At Bloomfield Road tomorrow, Pool will once again be running out to a near empty stadium.

They will also be faced with the extremely tough task of beating second placed Doncaster Rovers.

Whatever the circumstances, fortune needs to change quickly for this team.