The Ben Burgess column: Blackpool need a win

Ben Burgess

Ben Burgess

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Another week without a victory leaves Blackpool needing three points against Plymouth on Saturday to keep the good spirit within the squad.

I was the first to praise their positivity in pre- season and their excellent opening two wins against Exeter and Bolton Wanderers, but after four games without a win (three league and one cup), doubt can begin to creep into the players’ heads so it’s time the Seasiders really got their season going.

The Wycombe game was disappointing, although the conditions were not conducive to great football. We all know how the wind can cause havoc at Bloomfield Road.

I still remember Burnley’s goalkeeper Brian Jenson struggling to kick it out of his area all those years ago.

Despite the defeat against Crystal Palace, the players would have enjoyed testing themselves against good Premier League players, especially £27million signing Cristian Benteke.

I can’t imagine Plymouth will quite have the same quality in their ranks.

Whilst there wasn’t any major or controversial talking points in Blackpool’s games last week, there certainly were in the Premier League.

Everyone knows about the new rules that the FA have introduced this season especially the punishments for dissent and physical contact with match officials.

One that raised the debate happened in the televised Stoke v Manchester City game and involved some ‘soft’ penalty decisions.

Everyone agrees that there is far too much contact and obstruction from defenders towards attackers during set pieces, but why was this new initiative enforced only in one game?

This is a rule that would have been explained to every player in every division before the season started.

If the FA are serious about stamping it out then they need consistency throughout all divisions and with all referees.

Unfortunately the refs will struggle to enforce it in the lower leagues where the penalty areas resemble a good old school WWE Royal Rumble.

Every team I played for worked on attacking and defending set pieces and there would always be players whose specific role was to ‘block’ attackers or defenders runs.

When I made my debut at 18 for Blackburn Rovers we played Portsmouth.

My job was to mark Steve Claridge. That should be easy enough, I thought. He’s only about 5ft 8”.

First corner and I’m marking him really tight at the near post, suddenly he spins towards the back.

I turn to follow him and end up smashing into a Linvoy Primus and Darren Moore shaped wall.

Fortunately, Claridge missed his free header at the back post! Other times I’ve had my ear bitten, nose broken twice and the worst I’ve seen is a player who would arm lock and break the opposition’s arms! Good luck referees!

On a happier and less violent note I would just like to encourage as many of you as possible to get down to AFC Fylde’s fantastic new stadium on Sunday for Super Brett Ormerod’s testimonial.

It’s hard to write any words about Brett that haven’t been said before.

He’s a down to earth guy that everybody can relate to and a guy that everyone has huge respect for.

His efforts with Blackpool over two spells were phenomenal and to see him scoring in the Premier League in a tangerine shirt was a wonderful sight for many.

It will be a great chance for all the Seasiders fans to be together as one to raise money for a great charity and to show their appreciation to a true legend, also to see just how out of shape some ex-players have become (not mentioning any names).