Blackpool v Fleetwood. The clash of cultures. One club full of history and tradition, even recently enjoying the upper echelons of the Premier League. The other club, so close in distance but incomparable in past.
Saturday’s game takes on a surreal feel as Fleetwood head to Bloomfield Road as favourites for the first league meeting between the two neighbours.
Fleetwood’s momentous rise through non-league and then through League Two has been largely down to the investment and ambition of one man in particular, Andy Pilley.
He had a vision and has been ruthless at times with players and staff to get where they are now.
Conversely, Blackpool’s equally speedy descent down the leagues, has also been seen by many as the result of a lack of ambition and investment.
The Seasiders unbeaten run two months ago, seems like just another brief sparkle of sunshine in a lifetime of thunderstorms.
Seven defeats on the run, six of those games without scoring, makes for even more uncomfortable reading for Neil McDonald.
He’s brought players in that he wanted but he can’t quite get the right blend at the moment. One of the biggest concerns is that McDonald feels his team has been doing quite well in games.
Playing badly and winning is a good sign, so to be the opposite way round just spells more trouble.
This game should be played in front of a full house with a fantastic atmosphere. This should have a similar feel to a derby with Preston.
Sadly, we know that wont be the case and many of the Tangerine faithful will be staying away as they continue to try and be heard amongst the deafening silence from the owners.
On the pitch we just have to hope that a much battered and bruised squad can rouse themselves to seek a tiny bit of local pride.
I remember not so long ago when we would play Fleetwood in pre-season friendlies and stroll through quite comfortably, but Saturday will be completely different. The Town fans will be buzzing and make it feel like a home game for their players and after a great 2-1 home victory against Millwall, their confidence will be sky high.
Another team full of confidence at the moment is Liverpool.
I was at the Etihad on Saturday to see a footballing tactical masterclass from Jurgen Klopp.
A humble, ‘ordinary’ guy with big ideas on the field. Some fans and pundits alike can state that formations don’t matter or that you need two up front to score goals.
Klopp’s crew disproved both of those theories in the space of about thirty whirlwind minutes and it’s great for the Premier League to have new managers that bring something different to the English game.
Klopp could see that playing with no strikers and packing the midfield would give them complete control of possession.
City predictably, played all their attacking talent with little regard for midfield and defense.
The result was spectacular to say the least, Liverpool kept the ball and carved chance after chance against a frustrated and wilting City team. Manuel Pellegrini should have been able to react to this, but on this occasion he didn’t.
The best managers can generally spot tactical issues during a game and change accordingly.
I’ve played with lot’s of managers that refused to adapt tactics during games, even if the senior players were telling them it wasn’t right.
The battle at Bloomfield Road on Saturday may be more blood and thunder than a pure tactical battle but either way let’s hope McDonald comes out on top of Fleetwood’s Steven Pressley.
Pressley has made a decent start in his new job.
He was briefly on trial at Bloomfield Road during my time there and you could tell he would be a manager at some point. He was very calm and knowledgable about the game and he’s certainly taken that into his current job.