Saturday, 22 May 2010
Blackpool In Tangerine Dream Land
Congratulations to Blackpool! What an achievement, starting the season as one of the favourites to be relegated from the Championship and ending it by winning promotion to Tangerine Dream Land.
Of course, Blackpool in the top division brings back unhappy memories for West Ham fans. Back on the second of January 1971, West Ham led by Bobby Moore and featuring Jimmy Greaves, Clyde Best, Frank Lampard Senior and Billy Bonds, contrived to lose a Third round F.A. Cup tie 4-0 at bottom of the table Blackpool. The defeat was bad enough, but then it came out that Moore had been out on the booze with 3 team mates the night before the game. The Daily Mail led the press in exposing what, in those days, was a major scandal, and Moore was suspended by the club. It was a sea change moment in his relationship with Greenwood and Moore's eventual exit from the club was sealed as a result. Unlike Bobby Charlton at Old Trafford, Moore would never become an elder statesman and footballing ambassador for the club. Sadly, in 1975, Bobby was wearing a Fulham shirt when we won the F.A. Cup.
The West Ham team in full that miserable day in Blackpool read: Ferguson, Bonds, Lampard, Eustace, Taylor, Moore, Ayris, Lindsay, Best, Howe and Dear. Older fans will have no problems remembering any of that lot, with the possible exception of Lindsay and Howe, two "squad" players who never really cut it as First Division players. Howe made 73 starts for the club spread over six seasons before moving to Bournemouth, whilst Lindsay managed just 42 starts over 3 seasons before being shipped out to Watford. Wonder where they are now?
70-71 was a miserable season, much like 2009-10. We narrowly avoided relegation, finishing third from bottom on 34 points. But in those days, of course, you only got 2 points for a win so that points total is massive compared with Zola's team. We did, however, play 42 games! Our home record was miserable - no fortress Upton Park that season because we only won six at home - but we did chalk up 4 away wins. By coincidence, Burnley went down that season too!
How things have changed since then! The 22 top division clubs included Huddersfield, Crystal Palace, Leeds, Nottingham Forest, Blackpool, Ipswich, Coventry, Derby and Southampton. Man Utd finished 8th and Wolves 4th!
Poor Blackpool now face an impossible task. I would like to wish them well but, until our squad is revamped, we have to find three teams to finish below us - and Blackpool must be a banker bet! They finished bottom in 1971 on 23 points and I would be amazed if they equal that total this time around, even with 3 points for a win!
Enjoy the dream guys, but don't expect it to last!
Posted by Hammersfan at 22:44