Ben Burgess column: An entertaining week at Blackpool and elsewhere

Former Blackpool boss Ian Holloway
Former Blackpool boss Ian Holloway
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Could this last week of football have been any more entertaining?

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First, we had Liverpool and Manchester City battling it out in two epic games in the Champions League, with City v Manchester United’s five-goal thriller inbetween.

On top of that there was a quite remarkable performance by Gary Bowyer’s Blackpool team.

Last week I commented on how the Seasiders were crawling to the finish line this season and how they drastically needed to start picking up points.

Well, once again Bowyer has pulled another proverbial rabbit out of the hat and upset the odds to smash Bradford City 5-0.

Against a backdrop of a ‘mysterious’ consortium looking to invest in the club and the return of the once lauded ex-manager (now tainted from his spell at Deepdale), Simon Grayson, Blackpool produced their most impressive display of the season.

The star man on the day was Nathan Delfouneso. Despite having what seems like about 10 different spells at Bloomfield Road, Delfouneso hasn’t managed to play with the sort of consistency you would expect from a player with his pedigree and attributes.

He’s lightning quick, strong and decent in the air. Hopefully this first career hat-trick can galvanise him and give him the confidence to believe in himself.

Blackpool followed the victory up with another game at Bloomfield Road, this time against struggling Northampton.

It was an equally impressive performance and it was great to see some different faces on the score sheet, especially Armand Gnanduillet.

So often Blackpool have relied on Kyle Vassell and Mark Cullen for goals, and it was no coincidence that the Seasiders’ poor run of form coincided with those two players having long-term injuries.

Thankfully, Gary Bowyer appears to be a manager who can generally keep his cool on the sidelines, unlike a certain Neil Warnock.

It definitely didn’t take an expert in lip reading to comprehend what he was shouting towards his counterpart at Wolves.

The foul-mouthed tirade was a result of an over-exuberant full-time celebration from the Wolves manager, Nuno Espirito Santo.

I would hardly blame Nuno for celebrating when you look at the context of the game – the top two teams in the Championship going head to head.

Wolves were 1-0 up when they gave two penalties away in the last minutes of the game.

When, unbelievably, they were both missed, Santo celebrated like most people would.

Warnock had other ideas and called him ungentlemanly in his post-match interview and also stated that he was lacking in manners.

Warnock seems to have a very short memory about his various touchline bust-ups over the years.

I personally love seeing managers celebrate on the sidelines.

It shows passion, relief and just general excitement. Everyone remembers Jose Mourinho sliding on his knees as his Porto side won at Old Trafford to eliminate United from the Champions League.

Jurgen Klopp is lauded and ridiculed in equal measure for his exuberant celebrations and interesting facial expressions.

I used to love seeing Ian Holloway jumping around like a mad man celebrating our successes.

And who could forget his celebrations at the City Ground after we destroyed Nottingham Forest in the Championship play-off semi-finals (I think it was a massive Tangerine cone-shaped hat he sported that evening)?