It’s been a while since my last blog, in fact this is my first of 2016, and a lot has happened at Blackpool Football Club during the New Year.
Most surprising of all was the scoreline from Bloomfield Road last Saturday. Not only did Blackpool manage to win a game, they won in explosive fashion. The 5-0 victory over Scunthorpe United came completely out of the blue.
Pool’s eight wins this season have all come in blocks; two wins followed by three defeats, six games unbeaten then losing seven in a row. Neil McDonald’s team have been consistently inconsistent this season, something which needs to change in this New Year.
Off the field, as is common place in football this time of year, there has been a flurry of transfer activity.
Hayden White extended his loan spell from Bolton Wanderers, to McDonald’s delight. In recent weeks, White has made the right-back spot his own, with the young loanee being preferred to experienced campaigner Emmerson Boyce. Fellow loan star Will Aimson then signed a permanent contract at Bloomfield Road. The young defender joins from Hull City, and has built up a solid partnership with Tom Aldred at the heart of defence.
Two new faces have also arrived from the same club. Danny Philliskirk and Mark Yeates joined from Pool’s relegation rivals Oldham Athletic, and bringing both players in from a rival is shrewd business from McDonald.
Striker Philliskirk was Oldham’s top goalscorer with seven goals, and he’s moved to Bloomfield Road for a very modest fee of £75,000. When you consider the ridiculous amounts of money that gets thrown around in football nowadays, signing a player who has performed in your division for a five-figure sum is commendable.
Yeates has arrived as a free agent after his six-month contract at Boundry Park ended, but, like Philliskirk, agreed a two-year deal with his new side. When I heard of the Yeates signing I was very impressed, he’s a player who has spent the majority of his career playing in the Championship so he brings some much needed experience.
There are also players heading out of the club. Injury means Andy Little’s loan spell is effectively over, while Elliot Lee turned down the chance to extend his one-month loan and returned to West Ham.
In a move that will infuriate McDonald, Lee then re-joined Colchester United on loan until the end of the season. Having made four appearances for Pool under McDonald, a manager Lee knew well from his time at West Ham, he will be disappointed to lose the striker to a team currently in the relegation zone.
But most disappointing for me, and something I have talked about in previous weeks, was the departure of Jose Cubero.
The Costa Rican midfielder finally returned to his homeland, joining Herediano and leaving his Blackpool contract six months before it was set to expire.
He just wasn’t fancied by McDonald, which is such a shame because I still believe he has a lot to offer this Pool side.
With the transfer window closing in 12 days, there is still time for Pool to bring in new faces. In this weekend’s reverse fixture, Walsall bagged four unanswered goals at Bloomfield Road. Who fancies Pool doing the same at the Bescot Stadium?