The once mighty, free scoring and attacking Blackpool have begun to emulate the once mighty, free scoring and attacking Manchester United!
Sadly both teams are providing little entertainment.
The Seasiders toiled in vain for their first goal and first point of 2016 against Port Vale on Saturday.
Regardless of ‘nailed on’ penalties and other excuses, the hard facts, as Will Watt pointed out are that Blackpool do not score or create enough chances.
Two shots on target all game! Zero shots on target at home to Fleetwood a few weeks ago, although they did manage to scrape by through an own goal on that occasion.
A lack of goals can happen to any team, just look at Manchester City, who are as cavalier as they come. They recently couldn’t score away from home, but they would still create seven or eight good chances though.
Managers would always say to me that you should never worry about missing chances but you should worry if you’re not getting any.
Sadly that’s the issue for Neil McDonald’s men at the moment. The team find themselves back in the dreaded bottom four and with the least amount of goals in a division that in my opinion is poor.
Whether the manager needs to change the style of play or the players need to approach games with a more positive and attacking mind set, we will have to wait and see. Looking back on players I played alongside that scored a bagful of goals, they usually had two things in common. The first is that they would shoot on sight, the second was that they didn’t bat an eyelid when they missed a chance.
Take Charlie Adam as an example. He scored and continues to score spectacular and extremely important goals. The free kick at Wembley, the goal from his own half against Chelsea, just to name two of his magnificent strikes. These weren’t the first time he attempted them. Nobody remembers the free kicks he missed or the shots from the halfway line that didn’t reach or went over. By the time a free kick had hit the wall or been saved Charlie had already forgotten about it and was thinking about the next chance.
That’s the confidence and single mindedness that the best goalscorers have.
I unfortunately, didn’t quite have that confidence and that remains one of the reasons I wasn’t able to score as many as I should have.
What the boys in Tangerine need from now until the end of the season, are players that metaphorically buy a ticket for the goal-scoring lottery.
Blackpool’s chances of improving their form and climbing up the table will also hinge on their business in the transfer market, which has surprisingly started relatively early this year.
In times gone by, deals were rarely completed at Bloomfield Road until the last few days of the window, usually when both players and clubs were desperate and ‘good’ deals were to be had.
I’ve been impressed with the quality of the first two signings from Oldham.
Danny Philliskirk comes with a fantastic pedigree and is someone who is just waiting to achieve his potential. Chelsea saw enough in him as a young lad to pay good money to take him south. He was never going to make it at Chelsea, but being around players and managers of the magnitude of Jose Mourinho, John Terry and Frank Lampard can only benefit a young player.
The other signing from the Latics is a player I know a bit more about.
I was at Hull City when this cheeky young winger signed on loan from Tottenham. Mark Yates ‘nutmegged’ three people and flicked it round another with the outside of his foot in the space of ten minutes in his first training session. He looked like a young Gazza!
I enjoyed playing alongside him because he’s one of those rare ‘off the cuff’ players that can make things happen from nothing.
Like Wes Hoolahan, he needs to be encouraged and given freedom to express himself.
McDonald clearly sees him as someone who can hopefully score and provide chances for team-mates.
Anyone who witnessed our 2-2 draw with Colchester in our first season back in the Championship will remember his ability to manipulate the ball from set pieces. Just ask Paul Rachubka about picking the ball out of the net from his two free kicks.
On the bright side Manchester United managed to score three away on Tuesday so we’ll happily take that at Bloomfield Road on Saturday.