Blackpool v Charlton Preview
By Editor
Monday 12 Mar 2018 12:38:00
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As the clock ticks on the Oyston stranglehold at Bloomfield Road, so the end of another long, hard, unrewarding season is in sight. Just 11 games to go until our League One fate is known, which may coincide with the long term future of Blackpool Football Club being decided. Whilst courtroom and boardroom battles continue to take precedence, with two more appeals and a weakening owner, there is still a job to be done on the pitch with a game that should have been a bow to one of Bloomfield Road's greats. There is still bemusement that this game, which should have been a tribute to Jimmy Armfield, was postponed and those who wanted the game called off may now regret it. With Blackpool's pitch, described by one London website as "one of the worst playing surfaces in the Football League", experiencing torrential rain and snow in the last few days, you'd hardly expect it to be condusive with free flowing football.

There are many reputations that Blackpool FC have been handed since the Oyston family took over ('the envy of the Football League' not one one them) and it'd be fair to say our pitch has a reputation of it's own. From the nematodes to Neil Diamond to neglect, this pitch has seen everything (bar an occasional blade of grass by February). It's a glue pot, it's a mud bath and it's a pudding of a pitch. Lee Clark trained his players on it, Neil McDonald was 'embarassed' by it whilst Ollie bemoaned a lack of investment in it (although he did get a very nice sprinkler system). At this time of the year, quite often a pitch which is more akin to a badly maintained lawn, can actually be a leveller and there's no doubt Gary Bowyer will try to use every inch of grass/mud/sand* (*delete as applicable) to his advantage. Already the Charlton manager Karl Robinson is using the pitch as an excuse, although there's still a chance he might be gunning for Owen Oyston after his comments at the postponed game and so we'll let him off (Karl - look for the dodgy looking Jimmy Saville bloke with the unwashed Fedora and a smell of defeat around him).

There's 7 home games and 4 away games left for the Seasiders and whilst Saturday's defeat to Blackburn saw their lead over the bottom four cut to just four points, perversely with so few teams playing tonight, they could move up to 13th place. Charlton will be looking for a win to cut the gap between themselves and the play off sides, although you get the feeling that a point for both sides would probably be a welcome result. The Seasiders won 5 of the opening 6 games at Bloomfield Road but since then victories have been as rare as an Oyston court win or an appearance by Dolly Menga. With the visit of Southend on Saturday, there's another two bites of the cherry to secure their first home league win since October. Bowyer has adopted a 'safety first' approach at home this season and it would be interesting to see him give Kyle Vassell some help up top.

Whilst Owen clings on to the reins of Blackpool FC in a way that's becoming more laughable and embarassing than frustrating, we all know the end is Nigh and, sooner or later, like every despot he'll be packed on his way. With a number of court appeals this week, the only victory we can all share is a win at Bloomfield Road on Tuesday night. Aside from that, Owen is very much on his own - alienated and deserted by his family, friends and fans. A bit like the pitch, there's sod all left for him.

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