THE international break gives our fans’ panel time to reflect on the Seasiders’ progress so far, and it’s fair to say they are well satisfied with what they have seen.
STEP up Nathan Eccleston and Nathan Delfouneso. What I like about Delfouneso, similar to Osborne, is that the lad had struggled to get any game time at Villa.
We’ve certainly heard that story time and time again from players being given the opportunity at Bloomfield Road, and then shining.
If you look at Villa’s academy, some of the brightest and talented players come from these nurturing grounds.
As much as DJ and Dobbie will be fondly remembered by all Pool supporters, our focus needs to be on the future, and youth needs to be where our investment should be concentrated.
One thing I don’t like Ollie doing in the national press is talking about the worth of our players.
I’m not sure if it’s a strategy to scare potential suitors away, but I’d much prefer it if he made it clear that all his players are priceless and wouldn’t be prised away for any amount.
We’ve got a squad this season that I think will do us no harm in pushing for a play-off place, which should be our realistic aim.
THE first few games have given a clear indication that our ambition lies beyond merely achieving automatic promotion, but by doing it with a swagger, playing some of the best football I’ve ever had the privilege to watch.
Holding on to our key assets during the summer has given us real impetus.
The togetherness around the club seems stronger than ever, typified by the Matt Phillips saga, where, despite having his head turned, he was still able to contribute on the pitch. The positive reaction of the players and fans to him also spoke volumes.
Ollie has brought in a mix of real quality, young talent and some with a point to prove – usually a recipe for success at Blackpool!
He has added genuine competition for places in all positions and I don’t believe he knows his best XI, which might mean he tinkers for a good few games yet!
I believe we will go up, but there is a long hard road ahead.
First things first, we need a positive response at Barnsley to turn a good start into a great start, which will regain momentum and galvanise the belief of both players and fans.
One thing is for certain though – the only way is Ollie, and the only way is up.
IT’S hard to have asked for a better start to the league season. Top of the table since the final whistle at Millwall, our annual struggle at Leicester is the only blight on an opening which has been full of entertainment.
The fact that the goals in the ‘against’ column have come from set-pieces suggests a tightening up in the defensive ranks, and, while we know we can always score, to have 10 goals already is pretty impressive going.
My personal highlight so far was the Leeds game, which was not only an excellent advert for Championship football, but also a brilliant performance by Blackpool.
Winning at the Den set the tone for what we hope will be a successful season, but people must not get carried away in either direction by a 6-0 win over Ipswich or a 1-0 loss to Leicester.
By the time the next international break comes around we’ll have played 10 games, and have a much better idea of what we might expect from this campaign. This Saturday’s match is a more immediate test – there are no easy games at Oakwell, but I know we’ll go there looking to take another victory.
SITTING pretty at the top of the table, having only conceded two goals in our opening four games (one being a dubious penalty) and successfully retaining all our key players, along with playing attractive and exciting football, leads me to feel that being a Seasider is an absolute pleasure at the moment.
We are definitely riding high on our tangerine wave, with our victory over Leeds being the stand out performance for me.
Our defence looks organised and solid. Even though Leicester pressed and pressed and put us under tremendous pressure, we prevented them scoring from open play; Baptiste and Gilks being critical to our success in this area of our pitch.
The midfield looks exciting, fast- paced and creative; Angel and Gomes showing creative flair and accurate passing, with Osbourne providing timely tackles and the desire to win the ball.
Incey boy has had a dream start to the season and can’t be praised enough, thoroughly deserving of his England Under-21 call up.
The controversy surrounding Matty was concerning at the start of the season and, although he has been a successful impact-sub in the last three games, I would love to see him start against Barnsley.
Dicko has the desire to succeed and with match games could be an invaluable goal scorer. Gary Taylor-Fletcher to me is the core and stability of the team, leading by example and directing the younger players.
Our next games are going to be tough. Barnsley is an intimidating ground, but I can’t see us coming away with anything less than three points, the same with Huddersfield.
It will be interesting to see how Ollie fits our new signings into the team, I am looking forward to watching Delfouneso start, but would also like to see a bit more of Bruna, Grandin and Ludo.
It is an absolute delight being a Seasider and can’t wait for our next game.
FOR me, the defeat at Leicester was a bit of a reality check as we’ve got off to such a good start.
Although we lost to a penalty, given after the best tackle of the game, overall we failed to match up to Leicester’s aggression and drive, apart from spells at the end of each half.
In the previous three games, it’s been us setting the tempo, by pressing when not in possession, and keeping the ball, frustrating the opposition when we do.
We need to maintain that template, and I see no reason why this season might be a truly memorable one.
It seems to me that we have major strength in depth, with the bench now made up of players who are all, probably, deserving of a starting position.
Compare that with the season we had in the Premier League, and we’ve progressed, as back then, we matched teams for an hour, grew tired, but the substitutes were unable to influence the game.
Broadfoot is able to play in a number of positions across the back four, so I would anticipate that any moves in the loan market would be for a forward to add an additional cutting edge.
So far, so good. Let’s hope we can maintain the current momentum, starting at Barnsley.
OBVIOUSLY, with the international break, there was no game this weekend meaning that I thought I was in for a quiet weekend, but with moving back to university it turned out to be just as stressful as watching the Pool.
In the end, I managed to sit down and watch some of the lower league games, and it made me think about how Mr Oyston has run the club.
You look at clubs like Coventry and Portsmouth and wonder how they’ve gone from the wonders of the Premier League to the where they are today, and it’s all down to bad management in the board.
Oyston is tight with his money and doesn’t like to spend it, but it has left the club in a very good financial position, while being able to improve the stadium and training facilities.
People moan no money goes on players, but with Holloway he seems to have the ability to find some gems…some shockers, too, but we’ll keep them quiet.
All in all we should be happy with the way he runs it, he doesn’t let the “bigger” clubs bully him into selling players at low cut prices, and credit to him for that.
The club has a bright future and, hopefully, we can get another season in the promised land.
Keep calm, and the Pool are going up.