Five Bosmans who would look good in tangerine

Nobody knows what goes on in a football manager’s head, least of all Ian Holloway’s. But picking the next set of likely signings is a fun parlour game on a June afternoon when the temperature’s hovering around 30 here in Hong Kong. These are not neccessarily the top five free transfer players available, just a few who might fill a hole with the likes of Charlie Adam and David Vaughan possibly moving on…

The keeper; Joe Murphy, 29, Scunthorpe United
Why he might; Always had solid games against us and been one of Scunthorpe’s better performers on their couple of trips to The Championship. A big man with a big mouth, he’d a Republic of Ireland international with 300 league games under his belt
Why he might not; Likely to have options, with Coventry City reportedly looking at him as a replacement for Keiren Westwood. Involved in a mass brawl that earned him his marching orders in an entertaining game at Bloomers in the Colin Hendry era

The Knobber; Billy Jones, 24, Preston North End
Why he might; Would annoy that lot down the road almost as much as a certain aeroplane and a Countdown conundrum. Would be even more effective, as it wouldn’t involve them being capable of reading. A stylish, composed player from the Dario Gradi school who still has youth on his side, despite seemingly being around forever. Can fill in across the defence and midfield.
Why he might not; While his versatility is an asset, his favoured position is right-back, possibly the only position where Blackpool are remotely well stocked, with Neil Eardley, Alex Baptiste and Chris Basham all under contract and capable of playing there. And it might be too late

The Olly old boy; David Norris, 30, Ipswich Town
Why he might: Starred for Plymouth under Holloway. Consistent, all-action midfielder who can pass, tackle and cover ground …. a fitting replacement for player-of-the-season David Vaughan, if, heaven forbid, he goes
Why he might not: Was umming and erring over including him on that list as a move to Portsmouth seemed nailed on, but now that seems a good deal less certain. Of course, if Vaughan re-signs as we all hope he will, then he may not be a priority

The wild card;
Derek Riordan, 28, Hibernian
Why he might: A player with bags of flair, who could play anywhere across the frontline or behind the three strikers. Good for a goal every three games and would surely relish the chance to play in England
Why he might not: Never far from controversy off the field, and struggled in his last spell away from Hibs with Celtic. May not be quite the dressing room influence Olly is looking for

The fox-in-the-box; David Nugent, 26, Portsmouth
Why he might; May be one of the more unlikely players to have won a cap for England, but has always scored goals at this level. Was a phone call away from joining Blackpool last year and Olly clearly has an interest
Why he might not: Likely to attract decent interest and decent offers, and could always stay at Pompey

Bubbling under: Westwood of Coventry is one of a few who might choose the Premier League over Bloomfield Road. Marcus Hahnemann is a good keeper but, at 38, is a bit old. Giles Barnes of West Brom is exciting but inconsistent. Cardiff’s Chris Burke and Jay Bothroyd are also top-flight bound, in England or Scotland. Barnsley’s ex-Preston man Matt Hill might be worth a look if Stephen Crainey goes.

Next week, in the next blog in association with Blackpool Vital, we’ll take a look at five Championship fixtures worth getting excited about


Title decider? Nah, not really

With Blackpool FC firmly ensconsed in the Champions League places and Ian Holloway being rightly tipped as a future manager of England, a few people are touting this weekend’s Super Sunday clash with Chelsea as an early six-pointer in the title race.

I’m afraid I’m not among them. You won’t find me getting carried away . . .

after all, there’s no certainty Chelsea will still be up there by next May.

On a serious note – best wishes to Seasiders youth coach, Gary Parkinson. He only played a handful of games for Blackpool, but his performance in the first leg of the play-offs with Hartlepool, a key game in Blackpool’s revival, will live long in the memory. He’s been a good servant off the field as well and his stroke has come at a time when it seemed his hard work with the youth set-up was bearing real fruit.

Get well soon Parky!

Doing it The Blackpool Way

In tweets, on Facebook, in texts to my dad in Polska and in a variety of random, pissed-up conversations with complete strangers in dubious Barrow-in Furness pubs, I’ve made numerous references to doing it The Blackpool Way.

So what exactly does that mean? Well;

We’ve got little cash and a ground that has a stand borrowed from Royal Birkdale on one side.

We’re now the first team in history to reach the play-off final in all three divisions.

if we win a week on Saturday, we’ll be the first team ever to be promoted from the basement division to the Premiership purely through the play-offs.

We won 4-3 away against a side who’ve conceded just seven goals in 20 their last 20 home games and haven’t been beaten at home since they player… well… us in SEPTEMBER.

In a game where the pundits said the first goal would be crucial, we were one-nil down inside seven minutes

Our hat-trick hero was a man on loan from one of our play-off rivals, who was arrested just last month in connection with a stabbing, and who is still on police bail.

And our manager is a short, balding Bristolian, who, by most reasonable standards, would be considered certifiable. Yet he is one of the smartest and hardest-working people in football, who has just taken a team with little money and a shit ground to the brink of the Premiership.

And that’s why we never quite believed, until the final whistle went. And that’s why we still believed, even after going behind 12 minutes into the first leg. And that why we still believe that the impossible could not just be possible but, indeed, be only days away….

And that’s why Blackpool is the best club in the world to support. You can keep your Real Madrids, AC Milan’s, even your Manchester Uniteds. Blackpool – there’s nothing quite like it.

for an idea of what we were going through as Robert Earnshaw scored his second and Forest seemed to be in the ascendancy…. have a listen to this