Friday, December 05, 2008

Blackpool preview

On Saturday the Addicks return to Bloomfield Road, the scene of one of their most nightmarish performances under Pardew earlier this year.

Blackpool's previously near-derelict ground is now modern, but with only two permanent stands.

Along one side meanwhile is an uncovered temporary one which looks like it might give way at any moment. Indeed, on a couple of occasions it has. No guessing where the away fans are seated then.

The combination of a gaping hole where the South Stand should be, and the fact that the Irish Sea is just hundreds of yards away, ensures that a swirling wind is a near-permanent feature.

Just four home defeats last season (despite finishing 19th) suggests there might be more to this phenomenon, than a mere convenient managerial excuse. Indeed to be fair to Pards, this was one of his myriad of excuses that he didn't use.

The weather forecast is for a fine but bitterly cold day, so appropriate therefore that our manager is nicknamed 'Parky'

Promisingly five home defeats already this season for the Tangerines (Bristol C, Sheff Utd, Ipswich, Preston and Sheff Weds) suggests teams are now preparing properly for the trip to the seaside; let's hope our manager is doing the same for us.

Having spent my only visit to Blackpool in the mid-1990s searching in vain with an ex-girlfriend for a restaurant which might not kill the pair of us, I admire the loyalty of those Addicks making the long trip in more ways than one.

'Parky' is making all the right noises in the pre-match build-up ("roll their sleeves up"; "stick their heads in where it hurts"; blah blah), suggesting he is perhaps as media-savvy as our last manager was.

The funny thing is, most fans it seems are believing him for now, yet if Pards had said the same we'd have declared his talk as cheap. I suppose he has nothing to lose by drawing on some Churchillian rhetoric.

As mentioned in previous posts, I'm reluctant to judge our caretaker boss on just a few results, whether good or bad. It would be inappropriate for example to have given Pards essentially 40-50 games since last Xmas to turn things around, yet declare Parky a genius (or perhaps failure) in just a few weeks. The truth is that he simply cannot make that type of impact so quickly.

He can however reshuffle his pack, and certain players are clearly somewhat favoured by him (Racon, Semedo, Cranie, Fortune....), whilst others are not (Moutaouakil [again], Youga, Primus, Holland....). His three loan signings meanwhile have naturally gone straight into the side.

He has also reverted back to a 4-4-2 after a fleeting affair with 4-5-1, which in fairness had showed a small degree of promise. Much like a wife however, maybe not as exciting as a brief dalliance, but at least you know what to expect.

I sense that some fans still haven't understood the severity of our present situation, or perhaps are less inclined to crunch the numbers than I am. In these economic times, it's a depressing exercise. There are some banks in better shape than we are.

To get more points than Leicester did last season (52), we need to accumulate an average of 1.35 points per game. Essentially therefore it's at least a win and a draw from each trio of games. We may survive with less, but this would be somewhat out of our hands.

Parky's charges lost at QPR, drew with Southampton, and so we need a win at Blackpool to stay on track. Fail to do so (especially if we lose), and we need to pick up six points from the home games with Coventry and Derby simply to remain on course. You get my drift; we're deep in the doo-doo.

When I complied a lengthy list of interesting potential permanent managers for the Addicks, I failed to include Simon Grayson and I was rightly corrected by an eagle-eyed reader. His record is short but impressive, and at just 38 years old he joins the likes of Boothroyd, Ferguson and Davey for whom 'life has not yet begun' as the saying goes.

Perhaps a promotion from League One, followed by a 19th position and another season in the bottom third does not set pulses racing, but simply compare Blackpool's budget to ours, and it suggests an impressive relative performance by Grayson's side. Or if you prefer, it might just simply condemn Pardew's record even further.

I place no pressure on Parky (who is and will remain for some time, blameless), but we need wins and Saturday is as good a place to start as any. Deon Burton scored there for the Owls incidentally only ten days ago, a good omen perhaps.

We will not survive based upon picking up enough home points alone, so away games like this one have to begin being won. Playing well, not winning but commending the players' spirit, just won't do any longer.

I think the team that will try to do so will be as follows: Weaver, Cranie, McEveley, Fortune, Hudson, Semedo, Bailey, Gillespie, Bouazza, Gray, Burton. Subs: Elliot, Youga, Holland, Todorov, McLeod.

NY Addick predicts Blackpool 2 (Dickinson, Burgess), Charlton 0. Att: 6,811.

5 Comments:

At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One or two clubs going into administration might be our salvation. I normally wouldn't wish it upon anyone, but any port in a storm.

Pembury Addick

 
At 10:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't kept a formal count, but my recollection is that your forecasts have generally not been good!! Let's hope you have it wrong again!! The stats around what we'll need to do to survive are alarming. What we need really badly is a "run" with say three wins on the spin. The next three games are absolutely critical.

 
At 10:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't kept a formal count, but my recollection is that your forecasts have generally not been good!! Let's hope you have it wrong again!! The stats around what we'll need to do to survive are alarming. What we need really badly is a "run" with say three wins on the spin. The next three games are absolutely critical.

 
At 5:34 PM, Anonymous newyorkaddick said...

Correct scoreline; one correct scorer; 163 out on the attendance....I accept your apology.

 
At 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I apologise and congratulate you on your prediction!! Hard to see how we survive now. I know that might seem pessimistic, but our last 46 games have produced just 44points...a long way from safety...and we are geeting worse. We just don't have a decent striker.

 

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