Ben Burgess: It’sabout passion on and off the pitch

Blackpool's Tom Aldred is guided off the pitch by Blackpool's goalkeeping coach Steve Banks
Blackpool's Tom Aldred is guided off the pitch by Blackpool's goalkeeping coach Steve Banks
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A New Year. A new start. A time of promise and prosperity. A time of hope and of resolutions that sadly last as long as a Vincent Kompany comeback!

Lose weight, get healthy, be nicer, start a business, change jobs.

These are all common resolutions people promise themselves as the clocks strike twelve and Jools Holland flits from one band to another.

But after a predictably underwhelming start to the New Year for Blackpool on Saturday, how many of those long suffering fans will be joining the many others in promising not to attend BFC matches until there are big changes?

The Seasiders continued their Jekyll and Hyde form this season as they meekly succumbed to a second defeat of the week against high-flying Burton.

Not too bad against a team at the top of the table? It is though, when that team played for over half the game with ten men.

We’ve all seen stubborn performances from teams that have been reduced to ten men, teams holding on and scraping by.

This performance was all the rarer, as Burton managed to control the majority of the game despite their numerical deficit and even take the lead.

I remember the game we played against a very good Sheffield United on Boxing day a few years back. Ian Evatt was ‘unfairly’ dismissed after about ten minutes.

We fell behind to a James Beattie goal but being unjustly reduced to ten men seemed to drive us on and we deservedly drew level through Claus Jorgensen’s six times deflected effort!

At the end of the game at the Pirelli Stadium on Saturday there were understandably plenty of angry and frustrated fans in the Blackpool end. They voiced their opinions to the players and from that exchange their was a reaction from Tom Aldred and Neil McDonald.

This is such a difficult position for both sides and one I’ve experienced on a number of occasions.

I’ve stood in the stands as a supporter of Manchester City in some dark times and shouted and voiced my considerably loud opinion when things have been awful on the pitch.

As long as it’s not taken too far then why shouldn’t fans be able to voice their opinions?

They pay a lot of money and give up a considerable amount of time to follow their team across the country.

The Tangerine fans have more reason than most to feel disgruntled.

The other side of the coin is for those players as they trudge off the pitch.

Over my time at Blackpool, the fans were magnificent, even though I’m sure I tested their patience on many occasions! I recall losing to Torquay in the third round of the FA Cup in a dismal performance from all of us. I skulked over to applaud the fans for their loyalty in travelling all that way.

Quite rightly we all received passionate ‘feedback’ on our performance!

Sometimes as a player walking off the pitch after a bad performance,

I was so angry and frustrated with myself that I’d even snap at my mum when she talked about the match.

There was one particular away game that we lost under Ollie, that I was getting lots of abuse and had a I had a bit of a go back.

One gentleman and I aired our views and felt slightly better.

A few days later as I was walking up the tunnel at Bloomfield Road after a win and a better performance, I heard that familiar voice again, “Oi Burgess!” I braced myself for another onslaught… “Well done today, sorry about last week.” This was followed by a handshake and all was forgotten.

Football provokes reactions in people who are passionate and care about the game and their club.

That’s why the Pool fans had their say and it’s also why Tom Aldred reacted as he did.

In the heat of the moment you could see how much he cares. It may not have come across well with some supporters, but there isn’t a player in Tangerine who’s given as much as he has this season.

Passion on both sides is all we can really hope for at the moment…unless a certain someone else has made the one resolution that everyone hopes he has and Blackpool and it’s fans get back to where they deserve to be.