Blackpool

Toothless Blackpool need to give Ranger his last chance
25th November 2015

It’s been 546 minutes since Blackpool Football Club last scored a goal.

Jack Redshaw bagged from the penalty spot in a narrow 4-3 defeat away at Bury. That result ended an impressive six-game unbeaten run for Pool, but against a side looking for promotion there were plenty of positives to take from the game.

Pool have gone on to lose all six of their last games in all competitions without scoring a goal, and it’s hard to see when the rot will end.

Local rivals Fleetwood Town make the short trip to Bloomfield Road on Saturday, and anything other than three points to the visitors is inconceivable.

Steven Pressley has come in and turned things around, moving Town up the league from second bottom to 17th.

Now it’s Pool who occupy that second bottom spot, and there’s no signs of that changing this weekend.

When you strip it down to its essentials, football is quite a simple game; if you outscore your opponent you win the match. But scoring is Blackpool’s biggest issue at the moment.

Since that 84th minute Redshaw spot-kick on October 31, Pool haven’t even mustered up a single goal. They’ve gone the whole of November without hitting the back of the net. Now how demoralising must that be for the forwards?

I wrote in this blog after the Bury game that Mark Cullen and Jack Redshaw were impressive, they worked hard but it was obvious that you can’t play both of them as they’re two pint-sized strikers.

A striker like this needs to be partnered by a bigger, stronger target man who can hold the ball up and bring others into play; a weapon which Neil McDonald doesn’t have in his squad.

The tallest striker on Pool’s books is Nile Ranger, but pigs will fly before he gets selected again.

I’ve spoken previously about how Ranger would be a good addition to any League One side, due to his size, pace and natural scoring ability. The last time he was in this division he scored for fun at Swindon Town.

05/02/2011  Barclays Premier League Newcastle United v Arsenal Nile Ranger and Sebastien Squillaci Credit Roy Beardsworth COPYRIGHT OFFSIDE SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

Nile Ranger, once playing Premier League football for Newcastle, is on Blackpool’s books.

McDonald has made his stance clear after Ranger refused to turn up for pre-season training, but after the run the club has been on, the boss should be the bigger man, forget all that’s happened in the past and just give the bloke a chance.

Yes we all know Ranger has had more lives than cats given his infamous history, but with his contract running out at the end of this season you might as well play him until it ends.

Whilst he’s twiddling his thumbs in London or wherever he may be, he’s still being paid a wage. It seems a waste to have a decent striker not playing when the current crop can’t hit a barn door.

I also wrote after the Bury game how this side lacks natural width. There was no one on the wings who could supply good quality crosses and run and dribble with the ball all day ala Matt Phillips or Tom Ince.

So it must have been a real blow for McDonald when his main wide-man Henry Cameron was ruled out for the season.

The youngster ruptured his ACL during his international debut for New Zealand. According to match reports, Cameron had impressed before being substituted. To lose your main threat from the wing, in a team that is not scoring, is hugely frustrating.

McDonald responded by diving into the loan market and picking up Andy Little from rivals Preston North End.

The Northern Ireland international has scored once in his 12 games for North End, and hadn’t made a single first-team appearance for the club prior to his loan move. So it’s nice to get someone bang in form to help this scoring problem…

If you’d have told me five years ago that Blackpool would be playing Fleetwood in a league fixture, and they would be in a higher position in the table I would’ve laughed until I could laugh no more. But this is now a sad truth, one which shows just how far this once proud club have fallen.

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