Brett Ormerod column: Blackpool and Fleetwood Town can capitalise upon a wide open League One
Joey Barton has put together a good team at Highbury, so it was always going to be a tough game especially when you take into account they were similarly placed in the league table.
I heard Joey’s comments before the game and that’s football. Joey is a colourful character and he never seems to hold back. But I believe he did Simon Grayson’s teamtalk for him.
It’s all part and parcel of derby games and it adds to the occasion – I’m sure it was a great atmosphere inside the ground.
Joey just seems to want to wind people up but Simon is an experienced manager and he’s a bit too long in the tooth for that sort of thing.
It probably wound the fans up more than it did the manager and the players, but it might have given them that extra incentive to go out and win the game.
No-one has really taken this league by the scruff of its neck, other than Wycombe Wanderers you’d have to say.
It’s there for anyone who can go on a run into the New Year, it’s wide open.
Down the years you’ve seen the likes of Bolton Wanderers and Charlton Athletic pull away and get promoted fairly comfortably.
Wycombe have a lead but everyone thought Ipswich Town were going to do it when they went so long unbeaten early doors, didn’t they?
They seem to have lost their way a little bit and I think it’s going to remain that way until the end of the season.
It’s a great opportunity for teams like Fleetwood and Blackpool to be in and around it come May.
I’ll be at the Stadium of Light on Saturday to watch Blackpool play Sunderland and I’m looking forward to it.
It’s a massive footballing area up there, they’ve got a massive stadium and everything they need. But the football club has very much lost its way.
There seems to be a lot of disillusioned fans and the club has been run badly for quite a few years now.
They don’t seem to be able to get a manager in who can find that winning formula to kickstart themselves.
They are a sleeping giant though, like Ipswich you’d have to say. They’re not a million miles away though so if they go on a run they could still compete.
But at the moment they don’t seem to have done as well this season as they did last season, when they ended up changing their manager.
There’s a lot of negativity around Sunderland at the moment and hopefully that will play into Blackpool’s hands.
We’re now coming up to that busy festive schedule and I have to say, when I was playing, I thought there were far too many games!
It is what it is and you have to get through it. Because there’s so many games, if you’re in good form you can really propel yourself up the table.
On the flip side of it, if you’re not in good form you can fall away, so it’s a pivotal spell with so many games in such a short period of time.
I was never a massive fan of playing so many games, especially when we used to play December 26, 28 and January 1 as well which was just ridiculous.
But if you can get between nine and 12 points over a couple of weeks, it can be important for your promotion campaign.
In other news, I’m thrilled for Jamie Milligan and John Hills, who are now in charge of Bamber Bridge.
They’ve actually asked me to go in and do some training sessions, to help them do a bit of shooting with the strikers which I’m looking forward to.
It’s great to see two ex-teammates and friends of mine doing well, so I wish them the very best.
Bamber Bridge is a great club, I finished my career there so I know the fans and club well. Hopefully they can go in there and make a real impact.