Ben Burgess column: Who can hold their heads high at BFC?

Former boss Jose Riga
Former boss Jose Riga
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Five games, and just a few weeks is all it’s taken for Neil McDonald to realise what Michael Appleton, Paul Ince, Jose Riga, Barry Ferguson and Lee Clark before him all found out.

You can’t win... and in the case of being Blackpool gaffer there’s a good chance your reputation will be destroyed in the process!

Of those managers above, there’s only really Jose Riga who emerged from the Seaside managerial cauldron with a degree of dignity.

Coincidentally, he’s the only one still managing at a decent level!

I think it’s hard for people outside of Blackpool to really grasp the frustration that McDonald will be feeling as the transfer deadline looms (except maybe Loius Van Gaal who can’t sign anyone he wants either).

Unlike playing Championship Manager, being the boss at Bloomfield Road is not simply a case of a bit of coaching and signing a wonder kid for a bargain price.

McDonald, I presume, will be watching reserve team and U18’s games across the country as well as trying to pull every favour with every manager he knows to try and get in that bit of experience and quality before Tuesday’s deadline.

As he has mentioned himself though, the players he actually gets permission to speak to are turning down a move to the seaside. Who can blame them!

Whenever I was linked to moves, whether on loan or permanently, there were certain criteria that needed to be met if I was to make the move.

Number one would be to speak to the manager. As I became more experienced, I could tell whether a manager was genuine or not and if he actually believed in what he was telling me (I learnt this the hard way after signing for Carlton Palmer at 20 years old).

Number two: What is the team like? My agent and coaches always used to tell me not to sign for a struggling team because as a striker you won’t get many chances and it would be hard to be a success.

Number three: Speak to someone already there or who has played there recently. Despite what managers portray there can sometimes be problems within a club that you only get a true insight into from someone who has experienced it.

Number four: Ambition. The club must be ambitious and trying to better their current situation. I signed for Hull City in League Two instead of higher ranked teams because they had ambition. The same happened when moving to Blackpool in League One. Valerie Belokon had just come in and even though the team was struggling, you could sense something special was on the horizon (I got this slightly wrong when signing for Notts County though).

Number Five: The contract. Regardless of money or length of contract, It was of utmost importance that the club seemed keen and were willing to negotiate.

Now, I was by no means a great player but even players like myself have options.

Faced with the chance of a move to Blackpool right now, how many boxes on my check list would I be able to tick off?

That’s where the Tangerines are at the moment and as Chris Basham mentioned after Sheffield United’s 2-0 victory over Blackpool at the weekend,

‘Someone or something needs to grab hold of the club and sort it out.’

On a happier note, Blackpool have actually managed to sign one of their few bright sparks of the season so far.

Bright Osayi-Samuels has signed his first professional contract which will be a relief for both owners and fans after losing out on the two young boys who moved to Stoke in the summer.

Bright looks like a great prospect and plays without the fear of expectation and seems to enjoy his football. He’s quick, direct, confident and he now just needs to be nurtured in the right way so he achieves his potential.

Away from football, I’m currently reading a book called YouthNation.

It discusses at length how to market your business to a new generation of youngster. How it’s important to change and adapt to move with current trends (just think where Blockbuster are now) and that your twitter and instagram accounts are an extension of yourself, so you don’t want anything on there that will affect your reputation.

People today don’t crave ‘objects’, they crave experiences. Now who could I pass this book onto next….