Tuesday, January 25, 2011

...And Damned if You Don't

Columnist Ed Explains His Most Recent Column to One of His Many Fans
photo by brennheit bakstvia PhotoRee

Columnist Ed makes his regular appearance, today offering his thoughts in defense of Blackpool's handling of the Charlie Adam situation:

Oh, how weary I am of defending Blackpool....  How often do I have to hear about how refreshing they are but how they also don’t really belong in the EPL...?  And now, at EPLTalk, a new cynical piece by Earl Reed proclaims: “Why Blackpool Should Have Accepted Adam’s Transfer Request.”


As those who support the Tangerines know, Blackpool have only picked up six points in their last six games, and have lost their last two.  The article asks this: “[C]an they really compete? Their recent play may be an aberration, but it’s much more likely that this team was overachieving through the first three months.”  And so, the article effectively concludes, Blackpool should just give it all up right now and sell Adam for £4.7 million because at the end of the year when they're relegated they won’t be able to get much for him anyhow.

Wow.  Let’s begin with some facts. First, right now Blackpool stand on 28 points with 16 games remaining to get the 12 or so points needed to stay up in the Premier League.  They also happen to stand in 12th position, six points above the hapless Wigan, Wolves, and West Ham United. 

This lead may not be insurmountable, but I am confident that Wigan, Wolves and West Ham (among others) would give frenzied applause if they knew that Blackpool was willing to voluntarily take one of the spots at the bottom.  I also suspect that each of these teams would find Blackpool’s play to be more than just “refreshing,” but actually “effective.”  Anyone that’s been watching Blackpool should know that they haven't obtained their wins because they were lucky, but rather because they outplayed the teams they’ve beat.  The Liverpool wins are just one example.    

Second, as bad as the last six matches have been to Blackpool, they’ve been worse for the five teams below them in the standings.  Now it seems, it's taken only one bad run of form for commentators to ask Blackpool to throw it all in, yet I haven’t heard anyone suggest that Aston Villa, Everton or Wigan sell off their best players and call it a day.  Why?  Is that Wigan squad just so strong that there’s no way they should be relegated?  Has Everton (currently at 27 points) been just overwhelming, and will they now be better with the loss of Steven Pienaar (hah!)?

Third, let's take it as a given that Charlie Adam is necessary for Blackpool have a shot at staying in the EPL.  If this is the case, then as Coach Holloway pointed out Blackpool stands to gain some £45 million by staying in the top league.  Is the chance (the chance) of being demoted really worth abandoning this potential payoff? 

Finally, let’s remember what all these clubs are in it for – namely to play and win.  In light of this, I cannot imagine the (rightful) anger and outrage of commentators if Adam was sold by Blackpool on the cheap.  The screams of how Blackpool just “don’t care enough to try to compete,” or that “it’s all about the money for Blackpool” would be endless. 

The imbalance in money in the EPL – and the consequential inability for many teams to meaningfully compete in the league – is a tragedy and not something to be celebrated.  Blackpool is fighting this machine right now, and they are doing it with flare, spirit and outstanding play.  They don’t deserve to be patronized; instead they deserve your support. 

This is farlieonfootie for January 26.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Correspondent Ed, you're always so insightful!!!

    -- Charlie W.