Ben Burgess: Jack inspires hope for Jacko reunion

Michael Jackson led Pool to play-off glory in 2007
Michael Jackson led Pool to play-off glory in 2007
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In the week that the legendary Jimmy Armfield turned 80 years young, Blackpool showed some of his quality and fighting spirit to come from behind for the first time this season and snatch a draw with Barnsley.

Jack Redshaw’s goal that dragged the Seasiders back into the game was full of quality as he linked up impressively with the rapidly improving Brad Potts and lashed the ball home like a striker full of confidence.

The first half was one to forget but it’s a promising sign when the team is learning from mistakes and getting stronger as the game progresses.

Despite the point, Blackpool still sit bottom of the table and while it’s OK to say that the teams getting better wins need to start arriving soon and it would be nice if that starts on Saturday at Micky Mellon’s Shrewsbury Town whose 
confidence will be rock bottom after losing at home to Crewe.

The Shrewsbury trip will see the Tangerines possibly face off against three ex-players (four if you include the manager). Michael Jackson who is the assistant manager, Scott Vernon (who strangely can’t get in the team) and Mark Halstead.

Jacko was always cut out for coaching and managing. He was always very serious and professional. He would spend hours in the gym honing his physique and certainly gave 100 per cent everyday.

In fact he had started to take the reserves as he neared the end of his time at Bloomfield Road. I remember one particular game when I’d been out injured for five or six weeks (no surprise there) and I was making me comeback in the

reserves at Bury. Jacko was like an Army major as he took the warm up.

It was that hard that I nearly had to drop out!

Luckily I held on and scored a hat trick that day so maybe Jacko’s way is the right way!

- Another ex-Blackpool employee who should not be forgotten is Matt Williams.

He’s now overseeing a new project at Shrewsbury which has seen them get promoted and sign some good players at this level.

Matt worked tirelessly at Bloomfield Road, I’m not sure what his exact job description was but he appeared to take on every role going, especially in the early days of League One. He used to be finding players, negotiating contracts, booking hotels for players, making matchday travel arrangements, mediating between managers and chairman and even writing copy for the programme. The old adage that ‘you won’t miss them until they’re gone’ applies perfectly to Matt.

For me personally his loss to the football club was as equally important as the core players who departed.

-It’s been another interesting week for Chelsea and Diego Costa. He probably divides opinion amongst fans more than I did (although obviously on a much bigger scale), but I’m quite sure of my opinion on him.

He’s a cheat! After just a few minutes against Arsenal he was rolling on the floor after an innocuous challenge, and waving an imaginary card at the referee.

That’s not how you treat your fellow professionals. Yes, he winds the opposition up and shows passion, but he does it in a sly way.

He certainly can’t take what he gives out.

Unlike Paul Dickov, who I had the pleasure to watch over the years as a Manchester City fan and then the honour to work next to him for Blackpool.

Dicky was the best I’ve seen at winding opposition up with his late challenges and little nigggles and words in their ears.

It would put the defenders off their games and often inspired his own teammates and the crowd. Did Dicky ever wave imaginary cards at referees? No! Did he blatantly try and get people sent off? No! Could he take what he gave out? Yes, and with no complaints.

Whilst Costa may be a fantastic player at times, I’d much prefer an Aguero type who concentrates on scoring and not fighting.