Glass half full or glass half empty?
By Editor
Sunday 10 Nov 2019 08:33:00
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So the title of this article is glass half full or glass half empty? To be honest, this time last year when we only had the dregs at the bottom of the glass, any sort of a top up would have been welcome. However, after the initial excitement of Simon Sadler's arrival, it's very easy to lapse back in to the role of a football fan. Supporters are never happier than when they have something to complain about and whether that's not enough goals, not enough players or even not enough pies at half-time, we've covered them all in the last six months. However, wherewe are as a club and a team has once again divided opinons. Those who feel we have got off to a decent squad and can achieve things this season, to those who feel we have fallen short and have the wrong manager in place. With four months of the season gone (in league terms, over a third of the campaign), maybe a good time to take stock.

The league is Blackpool's bread and butter and ultimately where owners, managers and players are judged. An interesting stat emerged last week that we have had exactly the same start this season as we did under Terry McPhillips. Whereas fans were surprised by what the former boss had done, with no expectations other than to avoid relegation, Simon Grayson has had weighty expectations on his shoulders and why some have felt underwhelmed by his start. Maybe the first three games gave a false sense of hope but just six wins from sixteen games is two or three wins short of where we'd all hoped we'd be. Drawing nearly half of those games hasn't helped and have maybe reflected Simon's cautious approach to the way he sets his teams out. There is no doubt the last two games have shown a bit of that early season potential and there's no coincidence both games have featured Delfouenso and Kaikai who have been sorely missed at times. We have a defence which is always liable for a howler and so the manager needs to rely more on his attack minded players than his defensive ones.

8 points off the top two is hardly an insurmountable gap and with a trio of games against Ipswich, Fleetwood and Sunderland, there are fixtures coming up which will show our true pedigree in this league. Away from that a second round place in the Tophy provides good game time for squad members and Saturday's FA Cup victory keeps a mini winning run going and prize money will be important for January spending. Whilst results seem like the be all and end all, the structure of the club has changed massively since the start of the season with a new Chief Executive and a scouting system now in place. Plans are also underway for the East stand and the training ground and there have been initiatives throughout the club to bring the town and Blackpool FC together. The ad hoardings, the shirt sponsors and initiatives like the family stand show how more revenue is coming in to the club. Football fans instinctively base their opinions of the club, manager and players on results at 5pm on a Saturday but there is so much more going on at Blackpool we should judge.

There is no doubt Jamuary will be a pivotal month and an interesting test for the two Simons. They will have seen how mediocre this league is and will know strengthening in key areas will make a huige difference. The New Year window is always a tough one but will be seen as a massive opportunity. Meanwhile, a win next Saturday against AFC Wimbledon could put the Seasiders back in the top six and provide a springboard for those tough back to back fixtures in the finalk two months of 2019. Get through them inscathed, and progress through in the FA Cup, and finally it will feel like Christmas again at Bloomfield Road. Hopefully at that point we'll be raising our glasses either half full or half empty to a decent year at Bloomfield Road.

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