Well played TTT, he finally wore down the Blackpool faithful and got someone to give us our regular helping of Trash Talk, so many thanks to 38 year old Rob Walker who is pictured below for helping us out, and he is answering our new set of questions, we hope you enjoy Rob’s answer’s.
Tell us a little-known fact about your club?
Blackpool are the most successful club in play-off history, winning five times – 1992, 2001, 2007, 2010 and 2017.
What impact has Covid 19 had on your club, do you worry for its future if this continues?
In new owner Simon Sadler, Blackpool are incredibly lucky that the club is now on a sound financial footing and has someone who is prepared to invest in the club and its future. Whilst short-term improvements have been made to the current training ground, the club remains in discussions with the local council for a permanent new site. Despite Covid 19, the club has also pressed on with much needed maintenance-work to the stadium. If we were still under the previous regime then my answer would have been hugely different! I do have genuine worries for many other football league clubs though. Nobody wants to see another Bury or Macclesfield Town situation.
What has your club done to compensate fans on season ticket sales?
Last season the club offered a few options for the several home games that never happened, including:
- Supporters waive any monies owed by club.
- Knock off any monies owed onto next year’s Season Ticket.
- Donate tickets to NHS Staff
The majority of fans that I have spoken to were happy for the club to keep any monies owed. We have all bought in to the new owner’s vision and will support the club in any way we can during these uncertain times.
What were your expectations for your club pre-season, and have you changed your mind on what you have seen so far?
I, like many other Pool fans, were confident about our chances this season. A highly rated coach in Neil Critchley starting his first full season with us, along with many new high-profile signings, had us believing that this could be our year. The one question mark was the lack of depth in defence and this has proved to be our Achilles’ heel so far this season. We have played some good stuff at times but have looked weak at the back and a real soft touch. New defensive recruits have joined us in the last week or so, but it will take for them time to bed-in and gel with the team. Despite our unconvincing start, you can see what Critchley is trying to implement (possession based and the high press) so supporters must remain patient with 17 new signings in through the door this transfer window. Incredibly, 21 players have also left the club, so it is basically a whole new squad. I am still confident we can do well this term, but maybe a top 6 finish is now looking a little ambitious.
Who has been your breakout player this season?
It has to be winger CJ Hamilton who we signed from Mansfield Town this summer. He has pace to burn and already has 3 league goals to his name, including a brace at home against Swindon Town. Opposition scouts have obviously been doing their homework as he’s already been a tightly marked man in the past couple of games.
Who should Dons fans watch out for as a game changer?
Pool signed Liverpool youngster Ben Woodburn, on loan until January, on deadline day. The Welshman hasn’t quite lived up to his early promise after bursting on to the scene at just 17, but hopefully Critchley can get the best out of him and get his career back on track. An unpredictable player who can play in several positions across the pitch.
What’s your opinion on IFollow?
My own experience of iFollow has been ok but I am aware of other supporters who have either lost their signal and/or are several minutes behind real-time play. Some of the commentary is a bit hit and miss but you always have the mute button as an option! I think it’s a case of making the best of a bad situation until we can all get back into football stadiums.
It will be fascinating to see who comes out on top with both sides heavily favouring a possession-based game plan. I’ll be positive and say 2-1 to the Pool.
Who is a good tip for promotion and relegation?
Before a ball was kicked, Peterborough were my fancied side, but I was impressed with Lincoln City when they visited Bloomfield Road earlier this month. I predicted Rochdale and Northampton to struggle and I’ve not seen anything to change my mind.
Where do you think the MK Dons will finish up this season? In my 1-24 predictions at the beginning of the season I had MK Dons as finishing 18th. I noticed you’d lost a few key players in Healey and Gilbey, however the signings of experienced players Keogh and Jerome could be extremely useful at this level. Scott Fraser is also a good free transfer signing for you. I do think that League 1 is more open than ever this season, so any side who can find some consistency and build a good run of results will fancy themselves to do well.