Former Blackpool boss Ian Holloway has conceded in an interview with Planet Football via William Hill that he failed to adapt to the demands of the Premier League after leading the Seasiders to promotion back in the 2009/10 season.
The former Crystal Palace and Queens Park Rangers man is a legend in many people’s eyes for the work he did at Bloomfield Road to transform the club into a Premier League side as they saw off Cardiff City in dramatic fashion at Wembley to win the Championship play-off final.
Sadly for the fanbase, their stay in the top flight was short lived as they were relegated in the following campaign, eventually finishing 19th after a season in which they received plaudits for their attacking style of play under the guidance of Holloway.
Speaking recently about his time with the club, the 58-year-old was quick to state the following:
“We did have a possession-based game and really it’s not ideal to go up into the Premier League because they’re all better than you. Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea – they take some stopping, getting anywhere near them.
“We didn’t know anything else. I couldn’t go away from what got us some success, and I think that was the key, the supporters joined in and thought, look at these lot having to go.
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“What else could you do? You couldn’t suddenly go parking the bus. It wouldn’t have suited my players, and it wouldn’t have been anything to do with what I was trying to make them believe.
“As a manager, as a coach, you have to evolve. Unfortunately for Blackpool, I didn’t evolve quick enough to stay up.”
In present day the Tangerines may soon be marching back up the tiers of the Football League once more, with current boss Neil Critchley having guided his side into the play-off places at the time of writing in Sky Bet League One.
I like many others at the time had a lot of admiration for the way in which Blackpool tried to play football under Holloway during their sole season in the top flight and I think many still continue to have a soft spot for them.
Interestingly enough they still play an attacking brand of football at present and perhaps in a sense Holloway’s legacy still lives on.
At that time they never really had the financial resources to survive in the Premier League for a long period, although it was one hell of a story for those that love a fairy tale.
They arguably haven’t recovered since that relegation and as a result are now looking to climb back up the leagues in pursuit of another stab at the big time and with Critchley in charge, I feel they are in good hands going forwards.