Watching paint dry is a term often used too loosely for me so I’ll use another phrase. Todays match was like watching a piece of bread go mouldy and stale without taking your eye off it.
Pathetic! One word to explain everything about today. A relegation dog fight with no passion and no ideas. If Pool want to stay up, they’ll have to perform better than they did today against a team who are second bottom, down to ten men, with a caretaker manager and losing their battle against the bank manager.
FIRST HALF: Rotherham looked the better side from start to finish, as they entered the game looking very confident, passing the ball around like a top two side, not a bottom two. A cheeky free kick by the outstanding Michael Keane was well dealt with by Peter Clarke. Shortly after, the seasoned Paul Shaw struck just over. A further chance for Shaun Barker was headed just over. Blackpool never looked in control.
The only ray of hope in the opening half was Keith Southern’s well hit shot that was smartly tipped over by Gary Montgomery. Then Paul Shaw again missed the target, before being taken off for Jonathan Forte.
Then the only talking point of the game, Martin Butler’s sending off. Challenging for a high ball with Neil Woods, Butler appeared to lash out with his elbow and send Woods to the floor clutching his face. The referee proceeded to wave play on, before the fourth offical intervened and pointed out to Mr. Walton that Butler had to walk. A good example of what a fourth offical should be.
Going in at half time 0-0 was slighty lucky for Pool, who had been played off the park.
SECOND HALF: The home crowd, wanting something from their side became restless, wanting some passion. This did not come. But after watching another ten minutes of boredom Simon Grayson brought Rory Prendergast and Simon Wiles on for Neil Woods and Ian Morris. This was greeted with booing from the North Stand. It now meant that Jason Wilcox was to play centre midfield to allow Prendergast to occupy the left wing. A crazy decision by the management. There was now no chance of players breaking from midfield with Wilcox and Southern in the middle.
Pool then had almost all the possesion for the rest of the game but failed to make any impact on Colin Murdock and Shaun Barker at the heart of the Rotherham defence. Keigan Parker was then brought off for Matthew Blinkhorn. A change that alienated the midfield and attack, with long balls being played instead of through balls. Clearly this is not the way to play against ten men. Another managerial error.
Then Rotherham broke away with Micheal Keane who made a mockery of the Blackpool defencive line, only to run the ball straight to Lee Jones.
Pool then won a corner which wasn’t cleared, only for Peter Clarke to miss a golden oppurtunity infront of goal. Chipping the ball up, and before he could hit it, Montgomery tipped it wide.
Then in the last minute, Rory Prendergast was denied a penalty, after he had gone over a Rotherham leg. Jason Wilcox also saw an effort fly wide.
A poor performance, not the type that will keep us up.
7/10 Did whatever was needed of him. Good save from Keane and foiled Forte on numerous occasions.
8/10 I thought he played the best he has had in ages. Good in defence and also good breaking out of his position. He did have the odd lapse but is young and will learn.
4/10 Absolute shocker! A complete transformation from Yeovil. Two bits of play late on summed him up:
1. Throwing the ball straight to Forte on the halfway line (that has to be seen to be belived!).
2. Last minute, when a ball is needed in the box, and with acres of space, he squares the ball to Wilcox, letting the ref blow for full time.
6/10 Did OK, but never looked in control of any of the strikers he picked up. Butler, Shaw and Forte all caused him problems.
6/10 Would be a decent player with a bit of pace. Did Ok though.
7/10 Tried to get hold of the game, but was difficult with about eight other players playing poorly around him.
5/10 Lack-luster. Never stamped his authority.
5/10 A passenger all game. Should have been given a go on the left though.
4/10 Why he wasn’t taken off instead of Morris I’ll never know! He needs to be dropped.
6/10 Worked hard but didn’t have enough service.
5/10 Didn’t get going, but should have been kept on.
7/10 Did very well. Looked fresh and lively.
6/10 Did OK, had one good run. Missed a good chance also.
5/10 Was hard for him but I don’t belive he is a League one footballer.
Simon Grayson – 4/10 Serious doubts are creeping in to my mind whether he is up to the job or not. Seems to be making too many rash decisions, and Tony Parkes is employing too many defencive tactics.
Alan Knill – 7/10 Seems to be getting his team to play neat stuff and they looked a good side. Looks to have his defence sorted and the midfield looked well balanced. If Butler and Shaw had stayed on for 90 minutes, I know who would have won the game.
A game we didn’t deserve to win. A point was fair. Port Vale is a vital game now.