Saturday, February 23, 2008

Welcome to the Blackpool Pleasure Beach...

Blackpool 5 Charlton Athletic 3

Not very pleasurable for the 1500-odd Charlton fans who made the trek though...

Whereas I was lucky that my own Blackpool weekend - at the time of the win in Preston - was victorious, I doubt the fans who travelled up last night or this morning will be in much of a mood.

A heavily strapped knee with three small holes in it prevented me going, and in some ways I'm thankful that I didn't have to endure the pain experienced watching five goals being shipped by a previously solid defence. I actually hurt more today mentally than I did when I got home yesterday after a general anaesthetic.

Why we got stuffed is anyone's guess, and I suppose those that watched live will have better opinion. Pardew made two changes to the starting line up - Basey coming in at left back for the suspended Youga, and Cook replacing the out of sorts Sam on the wing. That really shouldn't have upset the balance too much, and nor should the conditions (windy), pitch (hard), or team before them (a footballing one rather than route one...).

Pardew was not impressed by all accounts, yet having dragged themselves back from two goals down to equalise - thanks to two Darren Ambrose efforts - the second half was complete capitulation. The final goal was a Jon Fortune shot which made the score a little more respectable.

Sure, efforts were made - Holland, Varney, Iwelumo, Gray, Zheng, and Halford all came close at various stages - but the goals conceded sounded awful. How much of a parry Nicky Weaver got on each shot that preceded the first three goals I don't know (the second did sound like a good save before the rebound went in) but if the keeper does knock the ball out, why did the defence not react too? The final Blackpool goal summed up the day - was it a flukey cross or great chip over the keeper - who knows?

Ultimately, in Pedro45's eyes, this defeat spells the end of any hope of automatic promotion - 12 games to go and eight points to make up on at least three teams is just too much, even if we have to play three of the teams above us. Now down to sixth, we could be out of the play off positions if Hull win their game in hand.

Pardew needs to spell out to the players in whatever language they talk in that we should be aiming for promotion, because "It isn't good enough" is something all the fans can see and understand...

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