End the season now!
By Editor
Tuesday 06 Aug 2019 11:58:00
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"End the season now" shouted one giddy kipper at full time on Saturday! Well, why wouldn't you? Blackpool in an automatic promotion spot, over 10,000 Seasiders back at Bloomfield Road, the side playing exciting and entertaininhg football and not a dissenting voice in the ranks - well apart from those having a right good old moan on AVFTT. In many ways, that is a sign of how far we have come since April. it's almost reassuring to have those having a little grumble about shirts, queues, drinks and dodgy speakers because it shows after 5/6 years that we're almost back to normal. Simon Sadler got his chance to bask in his moment of glory, Bristol Rovers were kind enough not to be the party poopers and even the Fylde Coast weather contributed to an arguably more memorable occasion than the big return against Southend.

However, there was also an unsung hero on Saturday whose name has hardly been mentioned in dispatches. Whilst fans waxed lyrical about a strong defence, two well taken goals, the exciting talent of Kaikai and the debutants, there was little mention of Simon Grayson. Bizarre that he was managing the side for the first time (well, since his return!) and there was hardly a mention of his presence. I heard one woman saying she couldn't get used to him with no hair, but that aside 'Larry' just quietly sat back in to his manager's chair and it felt like the last 11 years had never really happened. There were signs though in the way he set his side up which had the Grayson stamp on it. He always liked a big man up front, loves to see players get the ball wide and a tight defence was always a hallmark of his side. Terry McPhillips, who was tactically one of the worst managers we've had in a generation, did leave his successor a decent squad to build on. Any manager in League One would love the likes of Spearing, Tilt, Gnanduillet, Kaikai and some of the youngsters to shape, but what Grayson has done so far is to mould them in to a unit with one or two canny additions. Alnwick, Husband and Nuttall have all ticked a box and now the manager needs to look at the areas where he think we look vulnerable.

One win doesn't make a season but everything feels so much better than it did last season where a spiritless draw at Wycombe was followed by Gary Bowyer's departure and a home defeat to Portsmouth. Some had us nailed on for relegation back then, what a difference a year makes. However, it's a long season and Saturday's win, whilst rewarding and fitting for the day, is just a tiny step towards that first target of 50 points for safety. Hopefully the Giddy Kipper who wanted the season to end on Saturday will realise his words were a bit previous and there is plenty more to look forward and enjoy over the next 9 months.

If you would like to contribute an article, e-mail us at avftt@mail.com - we'd really appreciate your input.

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