If Blackpool take away anything from this season it's that they at least have the spirit to be world beaters, but is that enough?
If Blackpool take away anything from this season it’s that they at least have the spirit to be world beaters, but is that enough?
Someone once said it’s the hope I can’t handle and not the despair, mind you someone also once said it’s squeaky bum time. Being a Blackpool fan this weekend sees me stuck firmly between the two, and I don’t need Sir Alex Ferguson’s squeaky cheeks.
We surprised ourselves getting promoted. And exactly a year after that glorious trip to Wembley- which seemed like a freak bonus after years of struggle- we are in a last ditch Premiership relegation battle.
We are used to this, even promotion was a shock, we had been favourites for relegation from the championship and somehow ended up getting promoted. After the final whistle at Wembley we did the customary going crazy thing and then everyone looked at each other and said ‘what the f**k do we do now?. That was everyone apart from Ian Holloway who looked like a man fulfilling his destiny.
The pundits predicted humiliation, Holloway just talked brilliant gibberish back at them at them and somehow, somehow we have ended up far from the predicted 9 point whitewash and in the relegation dogfight with far too many points for this kind of thing. Normally 39 points would be just about enough, this crazy year it’s enough to get you relegated. ‘don’t panic’ says Sir Ian ‘we will win the last game’.
Apart from it being at Old Trafford against just about the best team in Europe. The weird thing is all the United fans I know want us to win. If they score it could result in an uncomfortable silence. This could be a really strange afternoon with United saving their superstars for the champions league and playing their under 12 s who will still have more skill in their tiny legs than our unlikely heroes.
Only one thing is guaranteed Holloway will have Blackpool attacking like lunatics all the way to the final whistle. Can you blame Ian Holloway? Can you f***k, I would give him a knighthood, he made the whole town believe in itself again and his straight talking and maverick nature suit us down to the ground. I would blame the rest of the Premiership for being loaded and being able to buy the latest snooty Champagne superstar on a whim,
4 nil down to Chelsea at half time we came out and attacked relentlessly. It was mental but total genius and the Blackpool fans chanted ‘you’re not as good as Arsenal’ because Wenger’s lot had beaten us six nil.
If we stay up we will be euphoric and again and we will look at each other and say, ‘what the f***k do we do now’ if we go down we will pretend that we did better than expected and feel s****y for weeks knowing that the once in a lifetime romp in the glory league is over. But what a season. We didn’t go into the Premiership kicking lumps of anyone, even Wenger didn’t whinge when he played against us and we had a brilliant time. So what we have no defence, who needs a defence when you can attack like a kick around team in the park. We football for fun like those glorious youthful afternoons of park games that ended at 16 each and were decided by next goal wins. This is Ollie’s heroic template. When we were 4 nil down to Chelsea at half time we came out and attacked relentlessly. It was mental but total genius and the Blackpool fans chanted ‘you’re not as good as Arsenal’ because Wenger’s lot had beaten us six nil.
We knew we were better than the pundits said but we knew it was going to be tough, even when we were seventh, we kept seeing how many points teams at the bottom had, most of us were still looking at how many points the teams at the bottom of the Championship had! It’s just habit.
The premiership is the money league and you either have it or you haven’t. We have some. We have an east European chairman who put in enough money to pay for the hair products of a Man City reserve player. He came in five years ago and claimed we would be in the Premiership in five years, everyone secretly laughed at him. Mind you he was wrong. It took us four.
With no money and no real defence and those strange refs who like the big clubs and give them all the decisions, we don’t have much of a chance really but no matter what it looks like I can’t help thinking we will sneak this one, we are due some luck and Holloway is something else. We have all the key players in the team, Charlie Adams is due a great game, maybe before he gets his pay day in the sun, we love him for staying to the end of the season and we will wave him goodbye now, knowing he has done his bit. The real hero could well be DJ Campbell, who has scored nearly three times as many goals as Fernando Torres and cost one hundredth of the amount of money to buy!
It’s tough for small clubs when they go down, there is a void to be filled and that empty feeling of that was the glory moment that may never be repeated. At the moment, though, all that seems a long way off.
There’s no way you can predict this match, for a start Blackpool are playing and we just don’t know what they are going to do apart from try and attack United like we were Barcelona. It all depends on who turns up for United. Will it be the reserves or the first team trying not to get injured before the biggest game of their career (and I mean Barcelona here not Blackpool) with the premiership in the bag do United need to win? One look at Fergie’s face tells you the answer to that question though.
If we stay up next year it’s going to be even tougher and if we go down we will lose players and will have to try and consolidate. It’s tough for small clubs when they go down, there is a void to be filled and that empty feeling of that was the glory moment that may never be repeated. At the moment, though, all that seems a long way off.
I only have one prediction and that Sunday will not be boring and that United will definitely score and so will we, I’m going to be as mad as Ollie and claim we can win this or at least draw 3-3.
And somehow no matter how scary it all seems I feel that we will stay up.
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