Will Watt: McDonald’s top ten phrases tell their own story

Neil McDonald

Neil McDonald

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Good, chances, poor, frustrating, disappointing and outplayed – all words frequently used by Neil McDonald this season.

For this week’s column, I’ve decided to have a look at something a little different and compiled a list of the Blackpool manager’s most used phrases.

All of McDonald’s post-match quotes were entered into a word cloud, which highlights the words he uses the most.

And the results were actually quite interesting.

At the very top of the pile is the word ‘chances’, something he mentions just about every week.

Whether bemoaning the lack of goalscoring opportunities or claiming they should have won the game, ‘created a lot of chances’ is something you will often hear McDonald saying.

Given the manager’s positive outlook, it’s unsurprising that the word ‘good’ ranks highly in second place, although the rest are pretty damning.

‘Defend’, ‘better’, ‘disappointing’, ‘outplayed’, and ‘frustratin’g all come in the top 10 – a fair reflection of Blackpool’s season so far.

Here is the top-10 list of Neil McDonald’s favourite words so far this season:

1. Chances

2. Good

3. Poor

4. Defend

5. Better

6. Disappointing

7. Frustrated

8. Outplayed

9. Pleased

10.Defensively

- It has been another strange old week covering Blackpool FC, one which has taken me all over the country.

On Saturday, I stood at the side of the pitch at Swindon to be told off by the club’s manager McDonald for “asking difficult questions”, while 48 hours later the Lancaster Hotel in London was my destination for the SJA British Sports Journalism Awards.

Like Blackpool, I didn’t win, though to be highly commended in the category of ‘Best Regional Journalist’ is something I’m very proud of. The occasion also provided a reminder of how important the media really is.

The ceremony was a celebration of sports journalism in this country, with huge scoops about doping in athletics and FIFA’s wrong-doings rightly picking up the big awards.

It shows that the media, in whatever form, remains a hugely important part of sport and life in this country – as much as Blackpool FC would like to have you think otherwise.

Karl Oyston’s recent suggestion that Blackpool fans should stick to the official website for news is one which is becoming more familiar at football clubs. I’m pleased to say football fans are wiser than that.

It’s our job to report openly, honestly and fairly, uncover wrong-doings and hold people to account.

For that reason, a little telling off from Blackpool’s manager won’t stop me doing my job.

Despite what McDonald may think, the media take no pleasure from seeing the Seasiders lose – quite the opposite – and we are only too happy to speak with smug managers when they win.

Personally, I hope it’s a smug McDonald I speak to after the game against Bradford at Bloomfield Road tomorrow, as that will mean a vital win for Pool.

If not, then all reporters – be they the club’s commercial partners or not – owe it to their profession to ask those ‘difficult questions’.