Blackpool to stay up or Chelsea to finish outside top 4?

by admin

Friday, February 25th, 2011

As I watched the Blackpool v Tottenham game this week, I found myself confronted with a dilemma. Usually the team I would be supporting would be fairly straightforward based on my own team’s (Newcastle) position in the table, and therefore which result would benefit us most.

However, with Blackpool I have found this slightly different over the season. Throughout the campaign, I have always maintained that as long as Newcastle stay up, I would love to see Ian Holloway’s men beat the drop.

I mean, what a story it would be to see the Tangerines put two big fingers up to the world of football, from pundits (including pretty much every fan, including myself) who tipped them for bottom position and a possible Derby-beating record, the clubs who refused to give them the respect they deserved and saw six easy points in the league, to all those other teams who have beaten the drop through mind-numbing, one dimensional, ‘efficient’ football.

Of course, no one has the right to tell managers how their team should play and everyone is entitled to play to their strengths. But that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be absolute brilliant, and potentially (or hopefully?) revolutionary, for a team to show us that survival is possible by playing the game the way many of us believe it ought to be.

Holloway’s side have by no means the best defence in the league, but as they have shown against my own team at St. James’ Park, Sunderland, Liverpool and against Spurs this week, they certainly know how to use a counter attack effectively!

Players who you would have struggled to describe as good Championship players before the season have stepped up their game beyond the call of duty, it would appear, to give Blackpool a tremendous opportunity to achieve the impossible, and any football fan should want to see them stick around in the Premier League for at least one more year.

Of course, another aspect of this great fairytale is the lack of money that has been spent, which is more than can be said for a certain London side which continues to rake in some Russian’s billions.

Chelsea is, quite simply, a plastic football club. Whereas Blackpool embodies that creature so adored on these shores, the underdog who continues to fight to keep their heads above water and utilises the human spirit to its entirety, the only foundations on which Chelsea’s success over the last eight years has been built is oil, gold and an abundance of ruined talent.

Make no mistake about it, if it weren’t for Roman Abramovich, Chelsea’s trophy cabinet would be as bare as my own club’s. There would be no Premier League titles, significantly less domestic cups and no Champions League finals, if little action at all.

Drogba, Cole, Essien et al. would be a mere fantasy team for the average Chelsea fan and Stamford Bridge would, like most of the Premiership, struggle to attain capacity crowds each week.

So, as spiteful as it may seem for a fan of a club which has one of the worst trophy counts in recent years (42 to be exact), a chairman who could not care less about the health of his ‘toy’ and with the knowledge that any of our good players could be susceptible to bids from ‘big’ clubs (aka those with buckets of cash) who we currently can’t match in ambition or financially, I think football would greatly benefit from any potential Chelsea demise.

Abramovich changed the landscape of football when he arrived in 2003, and quite frankly it has been for worse. Far worse. The same goes for Man City, by the way. The only light I can detect from their success is that they are breaking up the top 4, although Tottenham were already in the process of achieving this. But, again, any trophy won by City will be achieved thanks to the simple formula of moolah.

Hopefully, the introduction of the financial fair play will put an end to this money-is-no-object stockpiling of players. Recently, Man City appeared to be receiving praise from the media for providing with so many players. Er, hold on. Milner, Barry, Lescott and Johnson were all brought in for ridiculous sums while they were at their peak; there was no carefully planned nurturing of young talent, apart from with Hart and Richards.

Chelsea, however, appear to have an ambition to ruin much of the English conveyor belt of talent. Parker, Wright-Phillips, Bridge and Sidwell have all left as worse players than they were when they arrived – although Parker has enjoyed a resurgence in the past couple of seasons.

Although not English, the same applies to Duff – a player who could have been one of the best in Europe armed with lightening pace and the ability to terrorise defences – but has become ‘systemised’ thanks to Chelsea. And although not as drastically, the same could be said of Joe Cole.

So back to this game, a Tottenham success would have put them five points ahead of Chelsea, who had a game in hand, and the prospect of them finishing fifth would have become very realistic. No doubt much of Abramovich’s financial planning has been designed with annual Champions League participation in mind, so for them to miss out could be catastrophic. And would, therefore, present to the world the dangers of extravagant, careless spending in the long term.

Of course, Blackpool won and the three points took them a big step closer to the magic 40 mark. I was happy for them, but I would still love to see the big, mighty Chelsea fall!

There’s always hope.

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  • ChelseaR

    say what you like about our owner and his money but the same goes for your club – except we got one with more cash and a greater commitment to win SO PLEASE don’t describe us as a plastic club. I;m nearly 50 and brought up on a west london councilestate where everyone supported Chelseas . . so I did too. I have a season ticket – as does my son, I support my local team – you may not like what the owner did (I might not either) but they are still my very real club and will be in 30 years when the bubble is burst and there is no money left in football

  • andrew mclean

    what a load of jealous rubbish.all the best teams are backed by the best players who command the most money and cost the most.hence the richer the owner the more sucessful the club.yes for blackpool to stay up would be change the record and stop being jealous of your mates car.

  • Zaka Khaliq Olalekan

    Chelsea’s fall is a mere fantasy, so take heart!!!

  • SID

    Make no mistake, mighty blues will finish the season in the top 4 and FYI we’ve always been a better side than you, so get over it.

    Spurs…LOL, what a joke

    As for the toon army, man, you can’t even imagine how sorry I feel you ya.

    Take it easy.


  • Dan Robinson

    I’m afraid these views are inspired by love for football rather than jealousy – yes, I would love my club to be able to attract the best players and compete with the top clubs but I would gain far greater satisfaction from doing it the way we almost did under Keegan and Robson, or how Ferguson and Wenger have done it, where we bought up and coming players and transformed them into top stars rather than stockpiling established stars just to stop others from getting their hands on them. Obviously, all the top clubs also need to pay big money from time to time, but the Man U’s and Arsenal’s are at least spending their own money which has been achieved by maintained and ordered success – which is why I’d also like to see Arsenal win the league this season. I’d love to see a day when Newcastle win a trophy but I honestly think the feeling of satisfaction would be reduced somewhat if we did it the Chelsea/Man City way.

    And SID, in the 11 years of the Premiership before Abramovich came to Chelsea, Newcastle finished higher on six occasions. No reason to feel sorry for us, we’ll back up there some day, just don’t quite know when…

  • Stan

    I’d prob go with both if I’m honest. Blackpool are too good to go down, they’ll pick up enough points to just stay up.

    Where as Chelsea will scrap into the top 4 at the Spuds expense. I’m not convinced by Spurs, although everyone in the media loves them almost as much as Man Brown Ars United I still think the Chavs have too much to play for.

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