Journalist Steve Dunthorne looks at the top five bosmans ‘Pool could look to exploit this summer.
Steve Dunthorne, a Bangkok-based journalist and huge Blackpool fan, gives five bosmans that the Seasiders could look at this summer.
Nobody knows what goes on in a football manager’s head, least of all Ian Holloway’s. But picking the next set of likely signings is a fun parlour game on a June afternoon when the temperature`s hovering around 30 here in Hong Kong. These are not neccessarily the top five free transfer players available, just a few who might fill a hole with the likes of Charlie Adam and David Vaughan possibly moving on.
The keeper; Joe Murphy, 29, Scunthorpe United
Why he might; Always had solid games against us and been one of Scunthorpe’s better performers on their couple of trips to The Championship. A big man with a big mouth, he’d a Republic of Ireland international with 300 league games under his belt
Why he might not; Likely to have options, with Coventry City reportedly looking at him as a replacement for Keiren Westwood. Involved in a mass brawl that earned him his marching orders in an entertaining game at Bloomers in the Colin Hendry era.
The Knobber; Billy Jones, 24, Preston North End
Why he might; Would annoy that lot down the road almost as much as a certain aeroplane and a Countdown conundrum. Would be even more effective, as it wouldn’t involve them being capable of reading. A stylish, composed player from the Dario Gradi school who still has youth on his side, despite seemingly being around forever. Can fill in across the defence and midfield.
Why he might not; While his versatility is an asset, his favoured position is right-back, possibly the only position where Blackpool are remotely well stocked, with Neil Eardley, Alex Baptiste and Chris Basham all under contract and capable of playing there. And it might be too late
The Olly old boy; David Norris, 30, Ipswich Town
Why he might: Starred for Plymouth under Holloway. Consistent, all-action midfielder who can pass, tackle and cover ground ? a fitting replacement for player-of-the-season David Vaughan, if, heaven forbid, he goes
Why he might not: Was umming and erring over including him on that list as a move to Portsmouth seemed nailed on, but now that seems a good deal less certain. Of course, if Vaughan re-signs as we all hope he will, then he may not be a priority
The wild card; Derek Riordan, 28, Hibernian
Why he might: A player with bags of flair, who could play anywhere across the frontline or behind the three strikers. Good for a goal every three games and would surely relish the chance to play in England
Why he might not: Never far from controversy off the field, and struggled in his last spell away from Hibs with Celtic. May not be quite the dressing room influence Olly is looking for
The fox-in-the-box; David Nugent, 26, Portsmouth
Why he might; May be one of the more unlikely players to have won a cap for England, but has always scored goals at this level. Was a phone call away from joining Blackpool last year and Olly clearly has an interest
Why he might not: Likely to attract decent interest and decent offers, and could always stay at Pompey
Bubbling under: Westwood of Coventry is one of a few who might choose the Premier League over Bloomfield Road. Marcus Hahnemann is a good keeper but, at 38, is a bit old. Giles Barnes of West Brom is exciting but inconsistent. Cardiff’s Chris Burke and Jay Bothroyd are also top-flight bound, in England or Scotland. Barnsley’s ex-Preston man Matt Hill might be worth a look if Stephen Crainey goes.