In preparation for Sunday’s hugely significant match against Blackpool, I asked John from the Blackpool blog, Tangerine Dreaming, some questions about this weekend’s match and Blackpool’s seasons as a whole. John started his blog, at the start of the season, with the sole intention of focusing on Blackpool matches and the tactics involved. Inspired by the supreme Zonal Marking, John has had the honour of commenting on, arguably, the most exciting team in the league this season. Sharing his thoughts and experiences, this Tangerine’s perspective is one not to be missed.
With the Premier League title already wrapped up, Sir Alex will probably rest some of his key players. Do you think this will work for or against you?
I think whatever side Ferguson puts out will have great quality and be as much of a challenge as every other game in the Premier League. I think our task is as hard as it gets because playing the champions on home turf is the toughest game we could’ve asked for, regardless of the fact that the title is sewn up.
In your blog, you have analyzed Blackpool’s matches with great tactical astuteness, how do you think Ian Holloway will approach this game?
He will go all out. Full backs in to the attack, Adam asked to push up a little further than usual. Wide forwards always on the move, changing positions, looking to run in behind. Centre backs being given license to break and add extra numbers. The full attacking treatment. He will possible try and get the game as wide open as possible, which I think will suit both teams. I’m not sure he’ll make too many concessions for whoever lines up for Man United.
Obviously the likes of Nani and Valencia may start this game. Under normal circumstances he might ask our full backs to sit and track those wide men. However, I think he’ll push our full backs up and try to have Nani and Valencia running back towards their own goal. A brave ploy. I’d expect high energy from Blackpool, pressing from front to back and for the midfield to become a frantic scramble early on before one team asserts a period of dominance.
When you first arrived on the scene, nobody expected Blackpool to stand a chance in the Premier League but you have surprised everyone and held your own, picking up some impressive victories on the way, what has been the highlight of your season so far?
The first 45 minutes at Anfield was flawless. Liverpool stood off Charlie Adam, he picked out some excellent passes. Luke Varney looked as dangerous as we’ve seen him and really exposed the fact that Glen Johnson was pushing high up the pitch. Defensively we were solid, we played out cooly and calmly from the back. It was perfect.
Blackpool 2 1 Liverpool
There have been many rumours about the future of Charlie Adam, following his superb season at Bloomfield Road, but where do you expect to see him next season and if he does leave, how much of a loss will he be?
Charlie will leave. It is just a matter of who will come in for him and for what price. He offers value to a big club at around the £5m mark. However, once it goes over that then those clubs can probably find better value out there. He will be missed, for sure. His spirit is as valuable as his playing ability, he is a strong character and that reflects on the team. On the occasions where he has made mistakes, you see his head drop and with it so does the collective spirit.
We already have better technical players at the club and Ian Holloway has earmarked Ludovic Sylvestre as a key player for next season (it appears language problems may have hindered his progress this year), so his loss might not be as big as everyone might think. Our system might flex a little. More emphasis on the shorter passing and slower build ups. However, a lot of that will depend on which league we will be in.
Holloway Knows Adam will be a big loss…
Adam accepted, do you think the composition of your squad will stay the same regardless of whether or not you get relegated? Considering the Championship, or even League One, budget with which you have operated on this season.
Our squad may well change somewhat even if we stay in the league as we cannot afford the wages that some clubs could offer. Out of our first XI we could lose Matthew Gilks (free), Stephen Crainey (free), David Vaughan (free), Charlie Adam, Keith Southern and DJ Campbell. Added to that Jason Puncheon and Luke Varney will go back to their parent clubs and may well pick up better deals elsewhere.
Whatever happens, we’ve been in worse situations and the club will do what they can to replenish the shelves so to speak. What would be nice is for the club to have business conducted smoothly and in a timely manner so Holloway isn’t left trying to integrate players with a few days to the kick off of the new season.
Ian Holloway has impressed many with the tactical knowledge he seems to have added to his charismatic personality, do you think he will be manager of Blackpool next season?
Yes he will. I think he has learned a lot of lessons from previous jobs and I can only see him really leaving this job under the following circumstances:
1. Sacked – Not going to happen right now. 2. He is offered the job of a ‘big’ club i.e. Man United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton, Spurs. – Unlikely. 3. Bristol Rovers get a Russian Oligarch or Middle Eastern investment and offer him the post. – Unlikely 4. The England job – Not going to happen
If you had to pick a ‘dream team’ compromising of players from both sides, what would it be? Choose a minimum of 4 players, from each side.
I’ve basically picked Blackpool’s 4 best players and put Man United players around that- I haven’t used any more logic than that!
And finally, can I bother you for a prediction?
I think we’ll lose 3-2, but maybe results elsewhere will help us out.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank John for his time and insights; If you liked what he had to say, check out his blog, Tangerine Dreaming, and follow him on Twitter!