Gary Taylor-Fletcher column: No surprise to see a Blackpool reunion at Bolton Wanderers

It was interesting to see my old Blackpool teammates Alex Baptiste and Matt Gilks link up with Ian Evatt at Bolton Wanderers.

By Gary Taylor-Fletcher
Sunday, 9th August 2020, 4:45 pm

They’re two quality players who will bring a lot of experience to what Evo is looking for. He knows how he wants to play and they’re obviously used to playing that way under Ian Holloway.

It’s two good signings and it’s good to see Evo is looking after his old teammates!

But in all seriousness, he knows just how good they can be and he knows he’ll be able to trust them.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Ian Evatt and Matt Gilks are working together again

He knows the characters they’ve got and what they will bring to the team. Not just that, but also training day in, day out as well. It’s a good move for all parties.

Gilo has gone there in a player-coaching role. I spoke to him a few months ago and he told me he was looking to make that step up into a coaching role, so it’s good to see him get sorted nice and quickly.

He’s a quality guy. It never mattered if he was injured or had a little niggle, he always wanted to train and improve himself which I’m sure he’ll want to bring to the other goalkeepers at Bolton.

It obviously helps he’s already worked with Billy Crellin at Fleetwood as he recently joined Bolton on a loan deal. I’m sure they’ll work well together.

Another one to arrive at Bolton is Nathan Delfouneso, who made the move from Blackpool last week.

He had been at the club for four spells and made over 200 appearances, so he’s been a great servant.

I was a bit surprised to see him move on as all the games I watched last season, I thought he was one of the better players who always made a difference and brought a threat.

Neil Critchley has come in and he’s got his own way of playing, and the recruitment team have obviously identified players as they’ve already brought in a number of attacking players. Maybe that meant his game time was going to be limited.

That’s one of the problems when you make a lot of signings, others will always have to give way and unfortunately Nathan was one of them.

He’s a down-to-earth lad. He was a lad who was similar to all of us during those years when he first signed on loan in 2012.

We all had it instilled into us that fans meant everything and Nathan was very much about that as well. He gave them all of his time and the fans always appreciated it.

Some footballers nowadays aren’t like that. I remember at Leicester City, the players didn’t want any contact with the fans before or after games – they just wanted to get in the car, turn up to the game and weren’t bothered with any of that interaction.

I disagreed with that and I told them these fans pay your wages, so you really ought to give them 10 minutes before a game. It’s not asking much.

That’s the difference with the newer generation I guess, especially with footballers.

Blackpool made another signing last week to take their tally to six, so they’re obviously not messing about.

They’re doing their business quickly but they’re also looking at players that have done well for other teams in areas they probably identified where they needed to strengthen.

That was one problem last season. When one or two players didn’t play in the attacking third, they didn’t quite have that threat. Critchley has obviously seen and identified that.

The other big news last week was the salary cap, which will be introduced in League One and League Two after a vote among EFL clubs.

It might even out the playing field a little bit but how it will work for the clubs that have come down from the Championship, I’m not sure.

I’ve not seen the specific details but I do believe it will be a good thing in time, but a lot of people don’t like change and this is certainly going to ruffle a few feathers.

There’s been a few clubs who have been vocal in their opposition to it, sides like Sunderland, Ipswich Town and Portsmouth.

I can understand their concerns. You’re going to have a group of clubs who obviously generate more money because of their fanbases but they’re going to be stuck with a similar budget as teams like Accrington Stanley, Rochdale, AFC Wimbledon and so on.

The bigger clubs could normally afford to spend a bit more but with this new cap, they’re going to have to cut their cloth accordingly now which could make for an interesting summer.

Will they be able to get rid of some of their players if they’re already on good money? To introduce the cap straight away, I’m not so sure if it will work or not.