Blackpool FC – Transfers Summer 2014, A Closer Look.

Image from Blackpool FC website

In: Jose Miguel Cubero (Herediano, Undisclosed), Jeffrey Rentmeister (Westerlo, Undisclosed), Nile Ranger (Unattached), Edu Oriol (AEL Limassol), Francois Zoko (Stevenage), Sergei Zenjov (FC Karpaty Lviv), Tony McMahon (Sheffield United), Peter Clarke (Huddersfield Town), Tomasz Cywka, Jacob Mellis (Both Barnsley), Joan Oriol (Osasuna), Nathan Delfouneso (Aston Villa), Ishmael Miller (Nottingham Forest), Elliot Parish (Bristol City), Andrea Orlandi (Brighton & Hove Albion), Joel Dielna (Unattached), Francois Zoko (Stevenage), Donervon Daniels (West Bromwich Albion, Loan), Joe Lewis (Cardiff City, Loan), John Lundstram (Everton, Loan).

Out: Tom Ince (Hull City, Compensation), Harrison McGahey (Sheffield United, Compensation), Chris Basham (Sheffield United), Neal Bishop (Scunthorpe United), Kirk Broadfoot (Rotherham United), Mark Halstead (Shrewsbury Town), Chris Kettings (Crystal Palace), Craig Cathcart (Watford), Matt Gilks (Burnley), James Caton (Shrewsbury Town), Ricardo Fuller (Millwall), Alex Marrow (Carlisle United), Stan Staunton-Turner (Stalybridge Celtic), Liam Tomsett (AFC Fylde), Nathan Tyson (Doncaster Rovers), Gerardo Bruna (Tranmere Rovers), Angel Martinez (Millwall).

Released: Louis Almond, Anderson Banvo, Jake Caprice, Michael Chopra, Adam Dodd, Robert Earnshaw, Nathan Eccleston, Elliot Grandin, Barry Ferguson, Faris Haroun, Isaiah Osbourne, Tony Warner.

What is going on at Blackpool? A club in crisis (kinda) – after being tipped for promotion in the season 13/14, after a strong start, they really dropped off during the middle and latter stages of the season. The biggest problem was whether they’d have a squad, with new manager Jose Riga at the helm, to compete this season. Searching far and wide with frees and loan signings, Blackpool now have a pretty average squad for the Championship, and in my eyes *should* just about have enough to stave off relegation this term.

The highest profile loss was Tom Ince, though having been on loan at Crystal Palace from January, they won’t miss him too much.  A lot of players were released and signed off to other clubs on a free, and the first few results really haven’t gone the Seasiders’ way, though to their credit, they’ve scored four times and for a patchwork squad, that’s not too bad going.

The Tangerines looked like they had quite an old squad, actually, with the likes of Barry Ferguson and David Perkins, with the only real youth coming from Jack Robinson, the LB from Liverpool and Tyler Blackett, who’s done enough to impress van Gaal to start for Manchester United. MacKenzie, Blackett and Cathcart had over 10 def-actions p90, Perkins is a more than accurate passer, with 81.8% pass accuracy, topped only by Angel Martinez, though his defensive actions are below par for the league. Interesting.

So; who did Blackpool lose (well, who did they lose *of note* i.e. Michael Chopra doesn’t -really- matter, because he’s a controversial character and is off to launch the Hero IFL.. good luck to him)

Top three scoring contributors were Keogh, Ince and Fuller – they’ve retained none of the three. McMahon, Ince and Keogh, followed by Halliday were the highest key pass per 90-ers (though these were quite low as well)… of these only McMahon seems to have stuck around. Grand. Moving on very quickly to the signings..

 Tomasz Cywka + Jacob Mellis
Okay – so Barnsley were relegated, and what relegated teams (it seems) get as a reward, is being raided by the remaining second tier clubs.
So Tomasz Cywka is ex-Derby, and last season at Barnsley had a good term. As a wide midfielder, TransferMarkt has him as an LM, he was above average for scoring contrition, with 4 assist and 4 goals. His key passes aren’t yet average, but that could be the relegated team factor – 77% passing acc, isn’t too bad and his tracking back could also be improved, with def actions at 1.344 than 2.301, which was the ‘average’ for a WM. A good signing on a free for a patchwork team, and has already bagged his first goal.
Mellis is ex-Chelsea, one of their battalion of young ex-loans (which I think is terrible for development) (or wonderful, pick whichever you feel is better) – I remember him as an AM, but he seems to have transferred to a CM, and isn’t actually too bad. 40 passes per 90, 2NPG + 2A (means its average for a CM) – again, the KPp90 stat may have a Barnsley angle but he seems a solid Championship player for his age – remember, only played 21 p90s last term, and will probably get more game time at Blackpool. SO two good signings and squad players to bolster their midfield.

Nile Ranger
The ex-Newcastle player, the apparently heir to Andy Carroll never lived up to his hype and played for Swindon Town last season – had a good year, with a Scoring Contribution of 0.535 p 90 (18 p90, 8NPG 3A) – at just 23, he is at a good age and has something to prove. He’s had his problems off the pitch, but Tangerine fans will be hoping that this is a new leaf and a fresh chance under Riga – he can certainly contribute and if he clocks in with the project at Blackpool, he could definitely make a difference. Having bagged a goal already, he’ll definitely be looking to get more.

Ishmael Miller
Miller, in my eyes, is a very good signing. Played for both Yeovil and Notts Forest last year (Notts Forest have really got an upgrade in Assombalonga – beast) 9 NPGs in just 19 p90s is good solid stuff, giving him a NPGp90 of 0.519, no assists. Not many key passes, or defensive output but at 27-28 he should be entering the ‘best form of his life’ – it’ll be interesting how he turns out.

Best of the Rest
I’ve always liked Joe Lewis, so he should prove to be a good keeper. The Oriol twins will hopefully do well, and well, it’s a nice gimmick to have twins in your team. Lundstram I know virtually nothing about and Daniels was highly rated when he was at Wolves – so this could be great for his development. The rest I have virtually no idea on.

So this season will no doubt be tricky for the Seasiders – the transition after losing *so* many players is definitely going to be hard work, but Riga seems to be a man who has an idea of what he’s actually doing. The goal will be staying up with the patchwork team, with the transfer windows to come which will enable Riga to really start building something. The dynamism of the championship just proves that this could be a remarkable story for Blackpool, it could be bog standard or it could all end in tears. We shall see.

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