Let's blame the wind; Stan understands wind and it is as good a reason to explain Saturday's defeat as any!
Of course, Blackpool were carrying a ludicrous advantage. They train week in, week out on some God-forsaken bobbly cliff top in the North-West, where the wind never drops below 45 knots and the rain arrives at right-angles.
A draughty old day at Carra' Rud and a few errant carrier bags flitting about the less than billiard-table-like pitch was never going to put them off their stride. Those boys from the capital of crass positively revelled in it.
City on the other hand had prepared for battle in a footballer's paradise in Spain. They'd had joy, they'd had fun, they'd bought wicker donkeys for everyone; but the fun didn't last because Blackpool ran too fast!
Personally, Stan thinks players and management alike deserved their break?err.. sorry? warm weather training. They have taken us on a remarkable journey in the last four months.
Indeed, the fact that the bar-room debate is now about training techniques and nuances of formation and midfield balance rather than the very survival of the club says it all. A defeat to an, in all honesty, very tidy looking Blackpool side is hardly reason to demand the burning of Saint Glenn at the stake as one or two unnecessary boos seemed to imply.
Now, don't get Stan wrong, we're all entitled to an opinion, this one just happens to be Stan's. In the aftermath of the now infamous 'Adamsgate' incident it does seem appropriate to touch on this little debate at this point.
Stan's take on it is that everyone has a right to express a view, it should just be done with a touch of humility and perspective. Spitting, venomous attacks should be saved for those that really deserve them, not full-backs who miss headers or managers who have given their all to the cause!
Secondly, the oft-espoused baloney that a non-player can't judge a professional player's footballing performance is just that? baloney. As is a manager declaring that a pundit can't hold a valid point of view without it being a scurrilous attempt to undermine him.
Whilst trying not to sound like some kind of pompous prig, Stan, in his complete incarnation, possesses three degrees, two MAs and two Doctorates in History and Politics. Yet not for one single second does he think that the opinions of others, who possess no formal qualifications on such topics, are invalid. Let's all just move on and stop this nonsense on all sides.
So, back to Saturday! It was all a bit lacklustre really wasn't it? Wind excuses apart, we didn't look really comfortable at any point. Certain players seemed to have left their confidence and touch back in sunny Spain and Blackpool exploited it to the full.
Our starting midfield lacked a bit of bite and the impressive Hoolahan made hay. Even when no-nonsense Matt appeared we still struggled to stamp our authority on proceedings.
Stan can indeed see how Blackpool tucked five past 'Panic-Buy Pardew's' men last week. They had quality out wide and broke with such speed and movement that we often ended up chasing shadows. Had either of the second-half disallowed 'goals' stood it wouldn't have been unjustified.
It was always fraught chasing a game against a side that counter-attacked so well, and despite Jamie's coolly taken spot kick a point always seemed just out of reach. The ref didn't help, but we seemed quite capable of duffing this one up without his assistance!
Just a bad day at the office for all of a green and yellow hue really. The remote dream of a trip to Wembley has probably ended up in a similar heap to the one Fozzy ended up in. It was a big ask anyway, now it's hardly worth the question!
However, what we mustn't lose sight of is that our play-off push didn't fail due to a trip to Spain or Roeder calling the midfield pairing wrong on Saturday. It failed because at half-time against the Blue Satan, thirteen and a half games into the season, we were on eight points and as good as dead.
It's time for some perspective and a bit of an old fashioned making up session. Come on? we're all in this together, we all love our club? let's all have a hug?.ahh! That's better?.Sangria anyone?
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