I was left feeling pretty smug back in August after Blackpool’s visit to the Emirates to face Arsenal. Confident the Seasiders would be on the receiving end of a bit of a hiding, I appointed Theo Walcott as my Fantasy Football captain, thus ensuring any points he scored would be doubled. Walcott, of course, scored a hat-trick and amassed so many FF points my team was propelled to the top of my university course league.
And honestly, like most other people, I really did not expect them to get anything at Anfield yesterday. Indeed, so supremely confident was I in my assertion that Liverpool would win comfortably, I repeated my earlier FF trick, transferring an out-of-form Fernando Torres into my side and giving him the skipper’s armband. I could see it already, Torres would return to the goal trail and inspire his previously insipid side to a resounding win, and more importantly, keep my side sitting pretty at the top of the FF table.
How wrong I was. Torres succumbed to a groin strain after just ten minutes and Blackpool claimed a famous and fully deserved three points.
Forget Liverpool’s problems, of which there are many, Blackpool boss Ian Holloway and his players deserve all the credit for a superb victory. Considering the current early season form of both sides, perhaps the result may not be as much of an upset as is being suggested, but it is still a pretty remarkable achievement nevertheless.
The moral, I suppose, is to stop underestimating teams such as Blackpool. It is difficult to praise the club without sounding patronising, but the reality is they are overachieving, with boss Ian Holloway somehow getting high quality performances from players who they themselves probably did not believe they were capable of. Just ask Luke Varney.
Blackpool may still implode around Christmas time and end up getting relegated, as many people are still predicting, or could quite easily continue to impress and achieve Premier League survival. Truthfully, having successfully navigated his side through their first seven matches with greater aplomb than fellow promoted club Newcastle United, the latter is currently looking more likely for Holloway’s side.
It’s time Blackpool were given the respect they deserve. They’ve earned it.