Ben Burgess column: GTF could do a job for Blackpool

Gary Taylor-Fletcher
Gary Taylor-Fletcher
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Every couple of years something pops up at Blackpool FC that once again highlights how far the club has plummeted.

For me, this was Saturday’s fixture against Cambridge United at Bloomfield Road.

No disrespect to Cambridge, but having risen so high, so recently, it’s hard to comprehend how the Seasiders were lining up against a club that has recently spent nine years in the wilderness of non-league football and all this in front of an extremely sparse crowd.

Fortunately, Andy Taylor’s excellent injury-time free- kick avoided the ignominy of Pool losing three games on the run 1-0.

This was another game the Seasiders started well and should have gone ahead in.

Matt Scrafton tweeted that he ‘may as well just copy and paste tweets from previous games’, such was the predictability surrounding the missed chances from Blackpool and the inevitable conceding of a goal against the run of play.

It’s clear from Gary Bowyer’s post-match comments that he’s as frustrated as the rest of us at his team’s inability to kill off games they are dominating.

Sadly, there’s only so long this can be tolerated. We know that the atmosphere and the things happening off the pitch are far from ideal, but Blackpool have a good team by League Two standards and should be around the top six, but currently they are below both near-neighbours Accrington Stanley and Morecambe – two clubs who have notoriously low budgets to attract players.

It just so happens that Bowyer’s team play Stanley tomorrow.

Or maybe we should call Stanley ‘Barcelona’ as Gary Taylor-Fletcher referred to them, after starring in his debut for his new club as they swept aside League One Chesterfield in the cup last week.

Stanley, under John Coleman, have always played good football and Fletch was glowing in his praise after the game, saying how enjoyable it was to play with freedom and without fear of giving the ball away.

This all sounds ominous for an out-of-sorts Blackpool, going into the game tomorrow. I can’t help but ask the question of whether Fletch would get into the current Blackpool side.

He was such an excellent player for the club during his time there. When Simon Grayson first signed him, we didn’t know too much about him and his body shape certainly didn’t allude to the great player he was set to become.

He did well under Grayson but he was another of those players who just flourished under Ian Holloway.

Ollie gave him the freedom and confidence to roam the pitch in search of the ball and make things happen.

He was good in the air, deceptively quick and the ball appeared to be glued to his feet at times.

He may be 36 but I’m sure he could have made an impact at Blackpool, especially as they’re struggling for goals.

I know he’ll be keen to show his quality if he gets a chance tomorrow.

Someone else who was certainly keen to show their quality during the international break was Joe Hart.

So recently and so publicly dumped by Pep Guardiola, Hart has shown great mental strength to start the season well in a new country.

His form at Torino has been good but surely nobody expected him to have to perform such heroics against Slovenia on Tuesday.

It was another sad indication of how far England are from being a dominant force in world football. They were extremely fortunate to escape with a point in a game they should be winning comfortably. I must say how disappointed I was with the treatment of Wayne Rooney.

Yes, he may not be the player he once was but to make him face the press, just hours after he was publicly dropped, put him in an awful situation.

It wouldn’t happen with other players and I can assure you that if it did they wouldn’t have handled themselves as well as Rooney did.

On a more positive note, the BFC legends will be taking on bitter rivals PNE Old Invincible this Sunday at Thornton Cleveleys FC. Kick-off is 2pm and lots of your favourite old stars will be taking part.