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Ipswich Game Has 'Banana Skin' Written All Over It – Notes for Blackpool
Friday, 8th Nov 2013 12:00

HarryfromBath assesses the mood in the opposition camp ahead of Saturday's game by delving into their forums.

"We are consistently getting good players who are underrated by so many other teams, and that is why we are getting them cheaply. They are motivated to play for us and for the shirt", "It's quite amazing given our makeshift squad".

"This squad is blending together. Maybe the critics now need to fall back and trust Ince's judgement. He hasn't let us down so far. He's dealing the hand that works best for the team until it all slots in place."

Many Blackpool supporters are full of praise for a squad of hard-working players who are edging results, most recently their 1-0 away to Nottingham Forest last Saturday. However, many also suspect that their injury-hit squad are in a flattering league position.

"I think we are short in certain positions for a promotion challenge. I keep expecting us to fall down the table, but thankfully the team keep on grinding out results", "I prefer to look at it as 16 points clear of the relegation zone. I'll enjoy this season more when we are on 55 points".

"We are not good enough, with not enough quality in reserve. We will finish mid-table, and to be honest after last season I am happy with it. We have got off to a great start and people have got carried away with it."

Paul Ince

"The tactics employed by Ince are mainly because we don't have the quality to play any other way. It's about making the game untidy, and hoping that somebody produces a bit of magic or we get the luck we have had in abundance this season."

Paul Ince

"Getting a defensively drilled team always seems harder than getting a strong attacking one. It seems smarter and more sustainable to start at the back. Keeping clean sheets is a huge positive."

"I think that Ince is miles ahead in strategy, and I believe that teams now coming to play us take us more seriously. They know we are hard to break down, and are a more difficult opposition than when we played the 2-2-6 formation under Holloway."

"Let Ince coach the defenders, keeper and central midfielders, and let Ollie (Ian Holloway) coach the wingers and strikers. Everyone sit back and watch as we win the Champions League.", "Maybe Ince is correct and playing to our strengths, but it's not nice to watch".

Boring Football

After the recent romance of Ian Holloway's 4-3-3 attacking football, Blackpool have reverted to a more pragmatic 4-2-3-1 system under Paul Ince. Supporters are very pleased with their start this season, but are struggling with the turgid football being served up to them.

"This has to be one of the most boring Blackpool teams I have ever watched", "This style of play makes me sleepy", "It's not for me and I'm sure it's not for a lot of people", "I really am struggling to watch this very boring football."

"Ince is very reluctant to attack. He sets his team out to keep the game tight and try to nick a goal. The worry is when Plan A doesn't work, as we are devoid of ideas because of this set up", "I just think we are on the road to becoming a very, very average Championship side",

"I am amazed that we are fourth, but we are hard to score against. Yes, it is boring, but I will be happy to ride boring all the way up the table."

Defence

Most Seasiders are happy with very happy with the personnel at the heart of their defence. In goal, the 32-year old keeper Matt Gilks "is in the form of his life. He has made some outstanding saves this season".

Matt Gilks

The former Budgie "feels a lot more secure with the defence that we have now. I used to dread incoming corners and set pieces, so perhaps his confidence has gone up a notch. I know mine has", "Gilks has improved this year, though his not coming for crosses still worries me".

"I'm not a fan of McKenzie. He looks slow and awkward with a piss-poor touch", "He is, but I've never seen him have a bad game. It is no coincidence that we are a lot tighter at the back since he joined us." Former MK Dons centre-back Gary McKenzie joined the Tangerines this summer.

"He has been great for us. He is stronger with Broadfoot next to him. They provide a solid partnership.", "McKenzie has been consistently solid and has made some great headers and tackleles. He's fantastic."

"McKenzie and Broadfoot are the strongest element of our team." There has been nothing but praise for the consistent form of 29-year-old former Rangers centre-back Kirk Broadfoot, who was an ITFC target this summer.

Things have been far more problematic with their full-backs. First choice left-back and Liverpool loan signing Jack Robinson will miss Saturday's game having picked up his second red card of the season against Blackburn.

With Northern Ireland international Craig Cathcart also injured, Paul Ince played Bradley Orr at left-back and midfielder Neal Bishop at right-back against Forest.

Former Ipswich loanee Bradley Orr has struggled at right back since joining the Seasiders on loan from Blackburn: "Orr looks pretty poor from what I have seen.", "Orr is solid and does his job well, but he is too slow." His lack of pace has been consistently criticised.

Orr for Ipswich

With Robinson's suspension, 19-year-old Tyler Blackett has been brought in as an emergency left-sided player on loan from Manchester United. He struggled in his debut against Nottingham Forest last Saturday – "a baptism of fire" – starting on the left wing.

"Blackett looked lost on the wing. Too many times Tom Ince picked up a ball and looked straight at the left win, but there was no-one making a run there. Blackett had no movement at all, so the attack broke down. He always passed the ball to the centre and never took his man on."

"I would be far more confident with him at left-back, where he looked for more comfortable, until Robinson comes back."

Blackett switched positions during the game: "I would rather have him at left-back. He was no good on the wing."

Central Midfield

Blackpool have been badly hit with ankle injuries in midfield. Former Rangers and Birmingham player Barry Ferguson, a Town target as a youngster, 25-year-old former Hibernian player Isaiah Osborne, and ex-Bolton midfielder Chris Basham are all out of action.

Dan Gosling [R] tackles Wigan's Fortune as Angel Martinez watches

Twenty-seven-year-old Spaniard Angel Martinez and 23-year-old Newcastle loan player Dan Gosling covered the holding role against Forest: "Gosling is very good out of possession and a good addition to our squad.", "He adds more of a cutting edge to our team than Ossie or Angel".

"Although he is quite good on the ball, Angel is quite slow", "He hasn't exactly played well this season", "He is not capable of linking midfield and attack, and leaves Dobbie and our front men isolated". Many Seasiders cannot wait for Ferguson's return.

"I am pleased Dobbie has returned to us, because as an attacking midfielder he is just what we have been missing for some matches", "Our ball retention and passing with Dobbie playing is very good, but we lack options from the bench as Dobbie tires".

Stephen Dobbie has been widely praised in the attacking midfield role. The 30-year old Scottish player turned out for the Tangerines as a loan signing from Swansea, and has returned to Bloomfield Road on loan, this time coming from Crystal Palace.

"Dobbie is the only one who will get forward from the centre, but we need more options when he gets picked up", "His close control is excellent". His recent comment hoping to see out the season at Bloomfield Road was greatly welcomed.

"Dobbie starts off excellent, but fades in the second half", "He doesn't half put in a shift, but the problem is that we don't have anyone to replace him when he is knackered. The same can be said about Fuller". He has been regularly substituted in recent games.

Wide Midfield

"We need a left winger so we can attack on both flanks." Many supporters believe that the transfer of left winger Matt Phillips to QPR in August has greatly unbalanced their attack: "Imagine a front four of Dobbie, Ince, Fuller and a left winger. It would make such a difference."

"I just want to be entertained, and the performances have been drab to watch. I just wish we had a left winger who could add to the attacking threat", "We would be a much better team if we had someone on the left, so that we can attack from both flanks".

Bishop scores for Blackpool

"Bishop is being played on the left wing because Ince is a defensive manager and doesn't trust having another flair player to go with Ince, Dobbie and Fuller, who rarely help on the defensive end."

Former Notts County man Neal Bishop has been transformed from a holding midfielder to a utility player, playing in both full-back positions and prominently on the left wing: "On Saturday (against Forest) he was excellent and was mine and many others man of the match."

"Bishop is a quality player who put in 110% effort week-in-week-out", "He gives his all, covers a multitude of positions and covers every blade of grass. At 32, his age is against him playing a central midfield role in the Championship", "His biggest asset is his graft", "Well done Emily".

"Bishop is being picked on the left because Nathan Tyson must not be doing the business in training. If Tyson was good enough, he would be playing", "I remember Derby supporters slagging him off last season". The former Forest player has hardly featured this season.

Tom Ince

"I feel that Tom Ince has struggled this season. We are a totally different team now and it probably doesn't suit his style of play. He does produce the odd piece of magic so just merits his starting post."

Tom Ince

The ex-Liverpool youth player is struggling to replicate last season's form on the right flank: "He has got to learn to play to his best within a rigid system, as that is what he'll have to do if he moves to a Premiership team. He will not have the free rein to do what he wants as the 'main man', which is something Charlie Adam found."

"Ince is playing under pressure. His decision making at present isn't what it should be. If there is nothing on for him and a team mate is in a better position, he needs to pass the ball. When things aren't going well, he needs to play it simple."

"The opposition are usually putting two players on him this season, making it more different", "He has been too predictable of late, and his decision making is very questionable", "You cannot fault his work rate. Even in poor form, he works hard for the team".

Strikers

"We are shambolic when attacking. We have no urgency or no clue", "Our attacking substitutions are very predictable mainly because of a lack of options on the bench", "Steve Davies had an unlucky injury. He is now not match fit, and won't get the game time he needs".

Ricardo Fuller scores against Huddersfield

"Chopra and Davies got us excited when they joined. 'We need a striker' was like a broken record all summer. When Fuller arrived, Ince decided we needed a striker, just the one, because playing two would be absolutely reckless."

With former Bristol City striker Steve Davies injured and Michael Chopra out of favour, one-time Town loanee Ricardo Fuller is seen as the only viable striking option by Tangerines: "Fuller is exceptional as a lone striker, and God forbid if he gets injured."

"Fuller has been a brilliant signing, and it's a bloody good job too with Chopra and Davies not at the races", "Apart from Fuller, our so called strike force is useless", "He has been our best signing by far".

"Play the ball to Fuller's feet and wonderful things will happen", "He is very skilful and can skin Championship defenders", "If we are going to use Fuller as a target man, we need others to play off him. Fuller wins possession, but is isolated too often as we don't play far enough up the park".

Jamaican International Ricardo Fuller has led the Blackpool line with great success so far this season. The 33-year-old, signed from Charlton this summer, has been substituted in each of the last five games. "He will not last playing the lone role. He will get injured sooner or later."

"My only concern is that when Fuller gets tired and frustrated, he gets greedy. There have been times in the second half when he should have passed the ball, but tried to take people on."

Michael Chopra

"I can't see Chopra featuring much. He was a strange signing, but you can't blame Ince for taking a gamble." The 29-year-old former Cardiff striker has been a fringe player for the Tangerines after leaving Portman Road this summer.

"We were desperate for a striker, and I just wonder if his signing was a result of that. We have since signed Fuller, who has been superb, and also have Davies who scored 15 for a relegated Bristol City team. I'm not sure where Chopra fits in."

"I don't think our system suits him. He is not quick enough to play out wide. He is not built to be a lone battering ram like Fuller or Davies, and he isn't fit or cute enough to play as an attacking linking midfielder."

"Chopra would be too isolated up top once we start sitting deep when protecting a lead", "He needs to lose some weight to get that extra yard, but I'm not sure that's possible now", "Hopefully he will come good soon".

Tangerines' Views on ITFC and the Game

"Does anyone know what threat Ipswich are to us on Saturday? I'm struggling to think of any of their players. I bet their fans give Chopra some stick", "I'm not surprised. Chopra was s*** for them", "McGoldrick is useful up front, but that fairly highly rated full back is suspended".

"It should be a good game as McCarthy has stabilised the Tractor Boys. They are a bit in and out as form goes", "Ipswich is a potentially dangerous game. I can't remember the last time we were favourites to win, but I guess we are this Saturday".

"Can you see us scoring six with this team?" Last year's win brought back some memories, "It all went downhill after than result, didn't it?", "1-0, I'll take that now". This score forecast has been quite common in their prediction threads.

There has been no comment as yet on our signing of Stephen Hunt, but I will update the forum on Saturday morning with their more immediate matchday thoughts.

Websites

The biggest Blackpool message board is Back Henry Street.

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kerryblue747 added 12:28 - Nov 8
Thank you i look forward to this every week , love the pic of chops , c.o.y.b.
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TimmyH added 13:15 - Nov 8
Hahaha - we're now the 'Banana Skin', shows the state we're in at present.
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Fatcatevans added 13:59 - Nov 8
'Chopra not at the races' Bit of an unfortunate comment! The jockey club will be pleased though
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runningout added 14:23 - Nov 8
Blackpool are flattering themselves... mind might be something to do with how shocking we were there last time.... That was blooming bad
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BlueMachines added 14:30 - Nov 8
Ince Vs Mings. Hmmm
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BlueMachines added 14:31 - Nov 8
It has 0-0 written all over it!!
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bluefeast added 14:39 - Nov 8
Ming the mercelis will conquer all , its nearly christmas so get out the tinge and watch mings row z ince
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JCBLUE added 20:59 - Nov 8
Thanks Harry, really enjoy these!
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