Blackpool are favourites to finish bottom, but many expected Ian Holloway’s side to be relegated from the Championship last season. Can they defy the odds again?
Position Last Season: 6th in Championship
Transfers In: Dekel Keinan, Ludovic Sylvestre, Elliot Grandin, Malaury Martin, Craig Cathcart
Transfers Out: Daniel Nardiello, Hameur Bouazza, Al Bangura, Danny Mitchley, Joe Martin, Stephen McPhee, Ben Burgess
Ian Holloway has always been a popular figure amongst football fans, and he is surely now set for legendary status after guiding Blackpool Football Club into the Premier League. The side finished sixth in last year’s Championship, but went on to become play-off winners, gaining a place in England’s top league for the upcoming season.
Blackpool are by no means a rich club, and have spent a lot of money on the expansion of their ground, resulting in limited funds for new players. Holloway has not been able to make any high profile signings and has only been able to add so-called “squad” players, meaning he will be having to rely on the likes of Jason Euell and Brett Ormerod to unlock Premier League defences.
In fact, it is the ground’s expansion that may come back to haunt the team at the end of the season. Blackpool will have to play four of their first five games away from home, and with a solid start so important for newly promoted teams, it will be hard to see Holloway’s side bouncing back if they do not gain any significant momentum.
When considering that the team have never spent more than £500,000 on a player, it is hard to find any hope for the team to survive this season. They will though, like any other team being written off early, fight as hard as they can. Of course, it is not impossible for the team to surprise this season, and with a bit of luck, they might be able to cause a few shock results.
“We’re 20 million miles behind other clubs,” says Holloway, a realistic view from a manager who will be looking to avoid embarrassment rather than relegation.
Caughtoffside prediction: It is hard to predict anything but for the team to finish bottom of the league.