Season 2009/10 preview

Last updated : 06 August 2009 By Tangerine Ted

Tony Parkes and Steve Thompson had been placed in temporary charge following the departure of Simon Grayson to Leeds at Christmas time. Their ambit was to avoid relegation which was achieved mainly thanks to the loan signings of DJ Campbell from Leicester and Charlie Adam from Rangers.

It was widely thought that the management duo had performed sufficiently to be given the job on a full time basis so it came as a bit of a shock when Parkes departed the club in early May having not been offered the terms he wanted. Karl Oyston wasted no time in appointing Ian Holloway as the new manager and the whole club was given an instant lift although many thought that the handling of the affair was shoddy at best.

The attitude changed from the "little Blackpool" stance of Parkes to the upbeat, positive demeanour of Holloway. It was clear from the outset that Holloway would not accept "no" as an answer from the chairman and immediately set about vacating the old training ground at Squires Gate and training at Fylde Rugby Club until new facilities are built.

The summer also saw the actual start of building work on the South Stand with a completion date pencilled in for the end of October 2009. Then the fixture list was released and it dawned on Mr Oyston that the stand would not be ready for the visit of Newcastle United in September, a game that was bound to attract a huge crowd. Few fans had much sympathy for him as he has had 8 years in which to build it. The workmen have since been working every hour that God sends to get the stand ready and it is envisaged that there will be seats in at least the corner section by the time Newcastle arrive in town on September 16.

Several players were released at the end of the season, notably Claus Jorgenson, David Fox and Jermaine Wright and added to that the sale of Shaun Barker to Derby for £1M, the playing squad was looking decidedly thin on numbers. Brett Ormerod and Danny Coid were however offered new deals.

Billy Wright was signed on a free from Ipswich and Jason Euell arrived having previously been at relegated Southampton. The two loan players who ensured survival last term were the ones that the fans most wanted the club to sign. It soon became apparent that DJ Campbell's wage demands were too high for a deal to be done but it was announced by Rangers that a £500,000. offer from Pool had been accepted for Adam.

It seems that every Championship season there has to be an ongoing will he wont he transfer saga at Bloomfield Rd. First it was Hoolahan and then Dickov so this season it was the Adam deal that dragged on and on. With a 50% strike rate in the previous sagas it was 50/50 whether or not Adam would sign. There were so many rumours flying around, yes he is definitely coming to us, no he is going somewhere else, so at midday on August 4th every Pool fan was overjoyed that the deal had finally been done and the ghost of Chris Malkin was laid to rest with the news that Adam had signed for a two year plus one deal for a fee of £500k.

This announcement came following the news that club president Valery Belokon had pledged significant funds for the manager to bring in new players for the threadbare squad. The actual amount of this is anyone's guess and the fact that we had to wait for this before signing players begs the questions as to what happened to the Barker money and the TV money etc.

However, to date, there have been no other additions to the squad which is looking dangerously thin when injuries to Coid and McPhee are taken into account. There is a pretty decent first choice 11 but absolutely nothing in the way of cover for injuries and suspensions. The squad could certainly benefit from being beefed up in defence and midfield and a natural goalscorer would be a very welcome addition. There have been several trialists hoping to earn a deal and it remains to be seen if any will be offered deals.

An exciting season lies ahead for Blackpool FC under the guidance of Ian Holloway and, provided that a few new faces can be brought in, a top half finish is achievable.