Ben Burgess: It’s right to ask the toughest questions

Blackpool manager Neil McDonald
Blackpool manager Neil McDonald
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Well a run of three extremely winnable games in the space of one week has come to the usual disappointing end.

An end that has so often plagued Blackpool in the last four years. Another frustrating defeat, this time Against Swindon on Saturday, leaves the Tangerines hovering just one point above the relegation zone and facing a revitalized Bradford this weekend. Once again there was plenty of desire and effort shown by Blackpool, and McDonald tweaked his system again by dropping Jack Redshaw to the bench and playing Mark Cullen and Danny Philiskirk in tandem up front.

I suggested Blackpool would have benefitted from this change of system against Oldham on Tuesday where they found themselves second best for much of the game.

At least at Swindon the Seasiders managed to score two goals and Swindon’s eventual winner was one of the luckiest goals you will see.

After the game was proving just as difficult for Neil 
McDonald, as he took the Louis Van Gaal approach to a question from Will Watt.

It was actually a backhanded compliment that McDonald aimed at Will.

Every journalist should ask ‘difficult’ questions and certainly shouldn’t be asking ‘nice’ questions. There’s only so many times though that Blackpool’s failings on the pitch can be swept under the carpet and the Seasiders find themselves in a desperate situation that requires a lot of honesty to get out of. To a certain degree I understand Neil McDonald’s reaction. He is always very loyal to his players and stands up for them as much as he can, which I know will be very well received in the changing rooms.

Post match interviews are literally undertaken between fifteen and thirty minutes after the final whistle. It’s hard to remain calm and composed after your team has just conceded a goal in the last few minutes and your poor run continues.

Imagine having an awful day at work and then someone sticking a microphone in your face and asking you questions.

But that’s the life of a manager and the job of a good journalist is to ask those questions and coax the answers that will make great headlines.

Something else making the headlines in football at the moment is all to do with the FA Cup. Year after year the prestige of the FA Cup seems to be brought into question. Just look at the team Manchester City fielded against Chelsea.

For a team that rarely plays young talent from their Academy, it was a big statement to hand out five full debuts and include a bigger number of teenagers against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in what should have been a mouth watering tie and a showcase event for this years Emirates FA Cup. Instead it was as one –sided as Michael Owen’s commentary. Also like his commentary it was painful for the viewer.

Manchester City has blamed fixture congestion and a crippling injury list on their unwillingness to play their ‘star’ players. This is quite understandable when you see the importance of their upcoming fixtures, which

includes a nice trek to the sunny climes of Kiev. The answer to fixture congestion by (I’m guessing) somebody who only deals with the Premier League is to do away with all those inconvenient Cup replays. Oh yes, those

silly little games that tire out all those Premier League players and distracts from their performances. What about those lower league teams that scrap and fight tooth and nail to earn a draw against the huge teams?

What about Exeter, who took the mighty Liverpool to a replay and gave their fans and players a once in a lifetime experience at Anfield? Not to mention a huge cash windfall that can sustain a club at that level for years.

Football decisions and rules must take into account all levels of the game and not just become a one division blinkered dictatorship. Yes it would help the big clubs, but so does that obscene amount of TV money falling on their laps every season.