Match report: What’s the plan for the future?

Blackpool fans leave the stadium after Walsall's fourth goal

Blackpool fans leave the stadium after Walsall's fourth goal

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I once attended a sportsman’s dinner at which boxing legend Mike Tyson was the guest speaker.

For much of the evening he spoke total nonsense clearly going through the motions in front of a gripped 300 or so fans.

But one thing he said has always stuck with me: “People only talk about the past when they have no belief in the future.”

And it was those words I was reminded of this week when reading the lengthy letter from Owen Oyston to Blackpool Supporters’ Trust.

In it he talked about saving the club in the 1980s, updating the stadium to what it is today and guiding the club to the Premier League, and to be fair he was the owner when all those things happened.

For that I’ll happily give him credit, along with Valeri Belokon and the other huge influences along the way. Owen will always be able to say he was the owner when Blackpool achieved the impossible.

But with the club bottom of League One and struggling in a number of on and off-the-field areas, I’d much rather hear his plans for the future.

How is he, and son Karl, planning to address all the issues and at what point will they get a grip of this ridiculous, desperate and sad situation?

Chairman Karl Oyston has been quoted saying he’s never had a ‘five year plan’ at Blackpool and never will. Well, I’d suggest they need one.

If they aren’t going to sell, accept BST’s offer or simply walk away, then let’s hear what they’re actually going to do about this.

The PR and communication lately from Blackpool has been simply dreadful and it’s played a much bigger part in the current fan unrest than the Oyston family maybe realise.

This summer was the perfect chance to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough, let’s move forward.

Instead things have arguably got worse, with the treatment of the media set to do the club no favours going forward.

As for the football, well Pool have just 24 hours to add to a squad which has already shown it’s not really ready to compete in League One.

Potential is there, flashes of quality are there, but sadly the all important points are missing. And the build-up to Saturday’s game was another example, highlighted in Dean Smith’s pre-match conference.

The Walsall boss spoke about his side being massive favourites and insisting they don’t take a trip to Blackpool lightly.

Just a few years after Neil Warnock said Blackpool had the best manager, team and supporters in the Championship, Walsall, yes Walsall, were talking about being favourites in an away game at Bloomfield Road.

And they more than lived up to their billing, smashing a woeful Blackpool side all over Bloomfield Road, particularly in the second half.

If Blackpool don’t add quality to this squad, then it will struggle, McDonald himself told The Gazette after the game ‘we just aren’t good enough at the moment.’

With once again no new faces in Blackpool’s squad, McDonald was forced to name a very familiar looking side, although there was a change in formation.

Gone is the defensive 4-5-1 in favour of a 4-4-2 which saw Jack Redshaw return to Pool’s attack.

Elsewhere Tom Aldred rightly kept his place at the back after a decent first outing of the season last weekend at Sheffield United.

With almost two thousand away supporters inside Bloomfield Road there was a lively atmosphere at kick-off although the home stands were once again looking distinctly bare.

Although the noise from the away ends made it feel like an away game, it was Blackpool who started the game the brightest, earning an early corner, clearly on the front foot.

And in the opening 10 minutes you have to say it was McDonald’s men who were winning the battle.

Pool had the look of a side with plenty to prove and who had been fired up pre-match by their manager, it was an impressive start.

There was no surprise when the game’s first effort fell to Blackpool, with Henry Cameron firing just wide from 18 yards.

The chance seemed to wake Walsall up and just a minute later almost opened the scoring with what would have been a lovely goal.

Strikers Romaine Sawyers and Tom Bradshaw linking up superbly before the later fired just wide.

Bradshaw has started the season like a house on fire and on that evidence you can see why, it was a lovely move.

As the half went on the away side really started to find their feet and in the 25th minute took the lead when Sawyers snuck in behind Pool’s back four to poke past Kyle Letheren.

It was a lovely finish but far too easy for the away side.

Sadly it was all too inevitable, Walsall in the lead without really having to work for it and Blackpool struggling to find a breakthrough despite plenty of effort.

Most of Walsall’s joy was coming down the left-hand side with Rico Henry causing problems and on 38 minutes it was almost game over when he fired towards goal, only for a superb block on the line from David Ferguson. The rest of the half was a non-event, although I think Blackpool will be at least pleased to have kept the score to one.

Pool’s supporters booed as the half-time whistle went, probably out of frustration more than a reflection of the display, although a half with no shots on target for the Seasiders probably spoke volumes.

Unlike the first half it was Walsall who started well, and mustered the first effort of the second period when Sam Manton robbed Brad Potts and fired over from 22 yards.

On 55 minutes Walsall had a huge shout for a penalty when the lively Henry clashed with Ferguson inside the box, both went to ground but referee Eddie Ilderton waved it away.

For me it was a correct decision.

Just two minutes later it was game over, and sadly it was a Blackpool player who got Walsall’s second goal.

Yet again Henry was involved down the left and his brilliant cross was misjudged by Clark Robertson who sliced past Letheren into the net.

At just 18 you have to say Henry looks a huge talent for the Saddlers, one to watch for the future on this display.

From then on in it was all Walsall who looked every bit a team who were set tp move to the top of the table.

Pool were struggling defensively, and striker Bradshaw had two chances within a minute to totally kill the game off.

First he ran onto a long punt from Jason Demetriou to force a save from Letheren before rattling the post from 15 yards.

Just moments the inevitable third goal came and it was terrible defending from Blackpool once again as Sam Mantom drifted in behind Emmerson Boyce for a free-header from five yards.

It was terrible from Blackpool who looked totally and utterly shot.

With 15 minutes to go it got worse, but this time it was a piece of individual magic as Sawyers found the top corner from long range.

Superb stuff but the home fans had seen enough as they headed for the exit, the few who stayed did so to boo-off the players at full-time.

Although for me the players shouldn’t be taking the flack, they are giving everything and just aren’t good enough.

I should be writing here about the importance of adding to the squad ahead of tomorrow’s deadline, but who is going to want to sign for this club at the moment?

I really couldn’t tell you how McDonald is supposed to turn this situation 
around.

One thing’s for sure, the accusations of negative media coverage from Blackpool FC need to stop.

We have got it spot on so far. In the words of the club’s own manager, Blackpool just aren’t good enough.