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League One Beckons For Blackpool: 5 Things That Went Wrong

Blackpool’s season, and stay in The Championship, came to an end after their 1-0 win against Norwich. It was too little too late for The Seasiders as they finished 23rd, joining Wigan and Reading in League One next season.

It was a season where many things went wrong for Blackpool, some more glaringly obvious than others, while others were simply down to bad decisions being made across the board. Here we look at 5 things that went wrong for Blackpool FC.

  1. Michael Appleton

After Critchley surprisingly left Blackpool before the start of the season, to join Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa, the first thing to do was appoint a new manager.

A number of names were linked with the job, including Liam Rosenior, Rob Edwards and Ian Evatt. Evatt was an obvious one, due to his successful stint with the club during their time in the Premier League.

Rosenior was another appealing name. The young, highly thought of, and knowledgeable manager having his time at Derby being cut short. His play style and managerial style would have fit Blackpool’s vision perfectly.

However, two weeks after Critchley left, the Blackpool board instead decided to go with Michael Appleton, who also managed Blackpool in the 2012-13 season.

Due to his allegiances with Preston, having played over 100 games for them, and his rather unsuccessful previous stint at the club, this decision did little to win over the fans.

The play style never really caught on with the fans, and the lack of a plan B and a willingness to adapt did not help Appleton’s chances with The Tangerine faithful.

Most Blackpool fans never really got behind Appleton, and when results started to turn sour, the ‘Appleton out’ calls grew louder.

One particular decision that had fans calling for his head, was the decision to drop fan favourite goalkeeper Dan Grimshaw, who had impressed the season before. Appleton revealed he dropped Grimshaw due to some ‘indifferent performances’, and instead preferred Chris Maxwell.

Maxwell started well, but eventually the goals started to go in. Appleton stuck with Maxwell, despite his ‘indifferent performances’, opting to leave Grimshaw on the bench still, despite many fans calling for Grimshaw to be put back in the team.

With many fans wanting him gone before the winter World Cup, he received his marching orders midway through January instead, after one win in eleven games.

2. Summer Transfer Window

Despite the poor managerial appointment, Blackpool fans were looking forward to seeing what calibre of players they were going to bring in to strengthen the squad.

The inevitable happened when Josh Bowler moved to Nottingham Forest. The winger had a brilliant back end of the season, and Blackpool had done well to keep him until to end of the transfer window.

It was a big shame to see him leave, but it was to be expected. Forest and Bournemouth were both battling it out for his signature, and the fans were expecting it.

Experienced defender, and fan favourite, Richard Keogh also departed Bloomfield Road. Keogh moved to Ipswich Town, to be closer to his family. A big loss for Blackpool.

Despite losing some key figures, Blackpool did make some good additions, albeit on loan. Morgan Rodgers and Lewis Fiorini both joined from Man City, Charlie Patino arrived from Arsenal, Ian Poveda from Leeds, Rhys Williams from Liverpool and Theo Corbeanu from Wolves.

Blackpool also signed Dom Thompson from Brentford on a permanent deal, and Callum Wright from Leicester on deadline day. All in all, it seemed like a good transfer window for The Seasiders.

However, it was not. There was a lack of experience in the back line and in midfield. The numbers in midfield were far too low, and The Seasiders went into the season with only one recognised right back.

Despite a lot of players being brought in, the wrong ones were brought in. Rhys Williams deemed not good enough after a handful of appearances, and Corbeanu the same, despite scoring some important goals.

Blackpool had been crying out for a creative, attacking midfielder, and for the third transfer window in a row, they had not been granted their wish.

To make things even worse, Blackpool were linked with a plethora of players, all of whom never joined. Cameron Brannigan, linked with Blackpool for the second transfer window in a row, never joined.

3. Injury Crisis After Injury Crisis

4. January Transfer Window

5. Mick McCarthy

As a whole, the season have been very disappointing for Blackpool. Relegation back to The Championship has stunted the progress the club has made in recent seasons. But fingers must be pointed at the board and some of the decisions that they have made, especially on the managerial and transfer fronts.

Blackpool will be playing their football in League One next season now, joined by Wigan and Reading. Their aim will be to achieve promotion again at the first time of asking, but the board need to get the managerial decision right, and bring the right players in the help the club move forward.

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