Will Watt: Pool need a talisman, and two are available

Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Stephen Crainey when they signed for the Seasiders back in 2007
Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Stephen Crainey when they signed for the Seasiders back in 2007
Have your say

Like most Blackpool fans, I often find myself casting a thought back to the 2010-11 season.

I suppose it’s only natural when considering just how far Pool have fallen that we go back by default to the best days in recent memory.

Waiting at traffic lights yesterday, I saw a guy walk past me wearing a Blackpool shirt with ‘ADAM 26’ on the back.

That’s nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, Charlie Adam’s name was requested on the back of replica kits more than any other in history, but it made me think about the current set-up.

Whose name among the current squad will kids be asking for on their shirts? I really couldn’t tell you.

That in itself is a worry for me. Blackpool don’t appear to have a leader, a star man or a talisman to drive them through these tough times.

I’m not going to start writing off Neil McDonald’s squad after one shocker of a display on Tuesday, but it’s a real worry there doesn’t appear to be an outstanding player, something which all successful teams need.

Would Barcelona have been as successful without Lionel Messi, Real Madrid without Cristiano Ronaldo or even the Blackpool team of 2010 without Adam? The answer is undoubtedly no.

I know they are extreme examples, but even back in Pool’s last stint in League One they had fans’ favourites and real quality in the likes of Wes Hoolahan, Andy Morrell, Ian Evatt and Claus Jorgensen.

All of those would breeze into this current set-up.

And with McDonald admitting himself his squad is short, it got me thinking who is actually out there who could make a difference and maybe boost the fans.

Well, there are a couple right on our doorstep.

Stephen Crainey and Gary Taylor-Fletcher were huge parts of this club, legends of Blackpool FC in fact, and both are currently without a club.

While they will both probably admit they aren’t the players of five years ago, in League One they would certainly be more than capable. And, more important, they know what the club is all about.

Many fans say the heart has been taken out of Blackpool FC in recent seasons and a couple of signings aren’t likely to change that, but those two would certainly help improve the squad.

Almost all of the 2010 squad find their pictures on the walls at Bloomfield Road. The big question is, how many of the current bunch are likely to join them.

Only time will tell.


The bizarre media control situation continues at Bloomfield Road, although The Gazette has finally been allowed some access.

After being locked out by the club all summer, I was at last allowed to interview manager Neil McDonald after the opening game of the season.

However, it was all a little strange.

After being told I wasn’t allowed to join the usual ‘local’ conference, I was forced to stand at a distance and wait for the ‘nationals’ chat.

In the Premier League and Championship, the national attention is so great managers are asked to do two separate conferences.

For some reason it’s been decided The Gazette will be treated as a national paper this season, which causes a slight problem– hardly any nationals bother with League One.

So after standing and watching the local conference, over came McDonald to find out there was only me in the national queue.

In the end I got a one-on-one interview.

I suppose these restrictions aren’t as bad as they seemed.