Blackpool FC: Flattering to deceive or building up a head of steam?

As a lifelong supporter of Blackpool Football Club I benefit from not owning tangerine-tinted spectacles, and am able to critique the squad's performances without resorting to unfounded hyperbole or ignoring what I regard as the reality. I understand that football in the main a game of opinions and is at times highly subjective, but there…

Neil Critchley needs numbers, experience, and quality for his new look Blackpool F.C. squad

Reboot 2.0 for Blackpool Football Club under the auspices of benevolent ownership was paused before it could gain traction, but 'new' head coach Neil Critchley is now beginning to stamp his identity on what is a squad brimming in creative intent but lacking in numbers. After wresting the reins from the ruinous stranglehold the Oyston…

Have Blackpool Football Club actually benefited from an unprecedented churn of personnel during the January Transfer Window?

Whether or not the now former Blackpool F.C. manager Simon Grayson had remained in situ at Bloomfield Road his January transfer window business warrants critical scrutiny, from which it is arguable that the club have failed to secure the expected commensurate uplift from an unprecedented churn of 25 players. Many have suggested that Grayson should…

Lampard primed for Chelsea return, for whom Sarri remains the hardest word

The Roman Abramovich-era ha over the last fifteen years brought unimaginable success to Chelsea Football Club but with success comes expectation, impatience, and as demonstrated on innumerable occasions: the costliest of mistakes. A self-made, Russian oligarch who prospered during the aftermath of Soviet disintegration and the economic free-for-all under the disastrous Boris Yeltsin presidency, Abramovich,…

Europa League: Sliding Doors final poses more questions than answers for both Chelsea and Arsenal

What was initially billed as the likely denouement to the contrasting Chelsea careers of Maurizio Sarri and talisman Eden Hazard has, following the West Londoners' second-half evisceration of Arsenal in last night's Europe League final, instead switched the focus to Unai Emery's underachievers and indeed the Spaniard's own future at the Emirates. The speculation over…

Liverpool vs. Barcelona: A night where distinction dispatched presumption into obscurity

A few observations from last night's Champions' League tie between Liverpool and Barcelona: Liverpool have the strongest domestic squad in Europe, and in effect, the world. Barcelona were put to the sword without the absent Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Naby Keita, Adam Lallana, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, whilst Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri seamlessly stepped up…

In terms of investment and forward planning Liverpool have become everything Bayern Munich are now not

There should be little surprise attached to Liverpool's nonchalant brushing aside of Bayern Munich. For several seasons now the Bavarian's have been on the wane; their ageing squad and inattention to adequately replacing departed stars and those soon to retire has been masked by a marked deterioration of quality in the Bundesliga. Putting six past…

How will the despotic leaders of Turkmenistan and North Korea react to chastening Asian Cup defeats?

It is not hard to imagine the reaction of Turkmenistan's and North Korea's presidents following the recent round of chastening defeats suffered by both nations at the Asian Cup, the geographical equivalent of football's European Championships. Despite an absence in either country of authentic soccer pedigree both sets of players will genuinely fear of the…