Ben Burgess column: Blackpool under-achievers lost in the wilderness

Ben Burgess column
Ben Burgess column
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Despite what looked like a promising transfer window for the Seasiders, it’s actually the team on the pitch that looks like a ‘busted flush’ and not the fans who are protesting.

With the new signings in the team for the two recent games, there was plenty of optimism that Blackpool could put their FA Cup knockout behind them and finally kick start their push towards the play-offs.

Sadly, their winless run at home, that now stretches all the way back to November, was never really threatened.

Two draws against teams that Gary Bowyer’s men should be comfortably beating have left Blackpool in the mid-table wilderness. The most frustrating part of all this is that the Seasiders now have a squad that has strength in depth and more than enough quality to be in the top seven.

When you see the likes of Exeter, Mansfield and Barnet ahead of Blackpool in the league, then you know the team is under performing.

One player who hasn’t underperformed this season is Bright Osayi-Samuel (another product of Blackpool’s impressive youth system), who has taken his game to another level this year. When he has been in the side he looks a real threat. So much so that in the newspapers this week he has been linked with Aston Villa and Arsenal.

He certainly has the key qualities of pace, strength and skill for the Premier League but unfortunately not all these newspaper rumours are true.

As a young player and fan, I would always take as gospel the transfer rumours in the papers but as I started to make my way in the game I realised the truth.

A lot, but not all, of the rumours in the papers are planted by agents. It’s surprising how many players who are after a new contract or have suddenly been dropped by the manager are then magically linked with a host of clubs.

One player who appears to have spent most of his career linked to a plethora of top clubs is Ross Barkley.

He was in the headlines for a different reason this week as his goal celebration caused a bit of controversy.

For those who haven’t seen it, Barkley rounded the Bournemouth goalkeeper and stuck his hands in the air as celebration.

All seems fine, except he hadn’t actually kicked the ball into the goal at that point.

Some ‘experts’ have taken the hump and accused Barkley of ‘showing off’ and being ‘unsportsmanlike’.

As far as I’m concerned that’s all nonsense. The boy has just scored another goal for his boyhood team in front of his own fans and wants to celebrate. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Huddersfield manager David Wagner also got involved in some ‘excitable’ celebrations this weekend that riled opposition manager Gary Monk.

Wagner ran to celebrate with his players after they scored a last-minute winner in the Yorkshire derby against Leeds United.

Again, Monk took the moral high ground and denounced Wagner’s actions.

Both of these incidents show passion, and passion is what makes football, especially English football, so great. Do we want to see a player score a goal, give a tiny smile then walk back to the centre circle?

Do we want a manager to stand emotionless and aloof on the touchlines? No, we want to see players and managers get lost in the euphoria of scoring a goal or celebrating a win.

As a player, that feeling of joy at scoring was immeasurable. That feeling of celebrating with your team-mates and fans after a last-minute winner is why we love football.

Disrespecting the opposition is the last thing we want to be doing – it’s just the ecstacy of that one moment.

After all, I know a player who used to get so carried away that he would run around the pitch flapping his arms like a deranged seagull when he scored!