Month: August 2012

Four Thoughts on Blackpool 6-0 Ipswich Town

Blackpool recorded their third consecutive win with a thumping 6-0 win over visitors Ipswich Town, marking the first time ‘Pool have begun a campaign in such a fashion since 1991/92. However, the scoreline does not perhaps tell the whole story. Here are my thoughts on the match:

Blackpool 6-0 Ipswich Town – Match Report Word Cloud

For those who are unfamiliar with how this works, the following is a word cloud based on match reports from the BBC and Blackpool’s official website , displaying words in different sizes according to their frequency. The word cloud has been created using

Click to enlarge

Four Thoughts on Blackpool 2-1 Leeds United

Blackpool produced a tremendous display to beat Leeds United, despite being behind for most of the game. It was one of those night matches to remember at Bloomfield Road as ‘Pool kicked off their home league campaign with a stirring comeback to send out a warning message to the rest of the Championship. Here are my thoughts on the game:

Four Thoughts on Millwall 0-2 Blackpool

Blackpool got off to a perfect start on Saturday with a 2-0 win away at Millwall, which saw Ian Holloway keep his unbeaten opening day record as ‘Pool manager intact. The searing heat made for a punishing afternoon in the sun, but a professional performance meant Blackpool showed their class to take all three points and top the table after the first game for the third consecutive season. Here are my thoughts on the match:

Millwall 0-2 Blackpool – Match Report Word Cloud

Taking inspiration from the wonderful Spirit Of Mirko website, which has created a series of posts using word clouds including one for Championship sides in 2011/12, I’ve decided to present data in this way for each match this season – or as often as possible, anyway. Spirit Of Mirko constructed word clouds for each club using the text from BBC match reports. For those unfamiliar with word clouds, it is a method of presenting words from a passage of text based on the frequency.

In addition to using BBC match reports, I’ve also opted to include the report from Blackpool’s official website in order to provide a little more ‘Pool weighting. In terms of its usefulness, one way in which the word clouds can be used is to spot which players were in the thick of the action, and who amongst them failed to catch the eye. Another reason for using word clouds is that I think they look pretty damn cool. OK, the main reason for using words clouds is that I think they look pretty damn cool…

Below is the word cloud from yesterday’s match at The Den. It has been created using
Click to enlarge
Unsurprisingly the name Ince jumps out for his match-winning two-goal performance. Phillips is also prominent, with Kevin having led the line, while his namesake Matt was the subject of transfer talk. Of the other Blackpool players, Isiah Osbourne’s name received a fair few mentions on an excellent debut.

Forethoughts on Millwall vs. Blackpool

The first league game of any season is always something of an unknown, yet for the majority of football fans up and down the country it is that uncertainty that holds so much of the excitement of an opening day. Writing a match preview therefore is somewhat difficult given a lack of recent matches to base opinions on, although the shifting of the League Cup 1st round to inaugurate the season does help a little. Nonetheless, let’s look ahead to this weekend’s curtain-raiser and see what The New Den has in store for Blackpool.

2012/13 Season Preview: Getting Off To A Flier

Days away from the start of the season, teams up and down the country will be eager to kick off the campaign in the best possible fashion. Blackpool are no different, and given the relatively small turnover of players, should be well positioned to make a strong start. However, one wonders just how key early points on the board are. Does a flying start equate to success?

With that in mind, I’ve carried out some research from the last five seasons into how teams winning automatic promotion – Blackpool’s lofty target – have begun the Championship season. For the purposes of this exercise, I have read ‘start of the season’ to mean the opening 10 fixtures. Here are the findings:

2012/13 Season Preview: Return of the Visualiser

Throughout last season I analysed the relative difficulty of Blackpool’s fixtures based on a system devised by the brains over at Experimental 3-6-1 – the season visualiser. For the most part the visualiser held up pretty well and was a good way of tracking progress during the course of the campaign.

I’m pleased to announce that the visualiser will once more be a regular feature on the blog this season, with thanks due again to Ben Mayhew (@experimental361) for providing the raw data which allows me to manipulate the figures into various charts and graphs.

2012/13 Season Preview: Smoothing The Edges

With the dust long since settled on the disappointment of Wembley, the new campaign and a fresh assault on promotion to the Premier League is less than a week away. The feel to the playing side going into the opening day is notably different from recent seasons and optimism reigns – cup defeat to Morecambe aside. Many supporters are beginning to believe in the prospect of a first automatic promotion since 1985. That expectation may be premature, yet having come so close last time round, a few tweaks here and there and a smoothing of the rough edges could see that long-held ambition fulfilled.