3 Blackpool players who have under-performed so far this season
Blackpool picked up their first win of the season against an in-form Fulham side.
The surprise 1-0 win over Marco Silva’s men gave the Tangerines a big boost. However, some players are yet to settle into the new campaign. Here’s a look at three players who have had slow starts:
Richard Keogh was brought in to offer some Championship experience with 428 Championship appearances to his name, and with the rest of the defence boasting 189 between them. However, the 35-year-old has looked out of place in Neil Critchley’s back-line.
The former Republic of Ireland international looks off the pace, slow and prone to mistakes. This was most prominent in Pool’s 1-0 loss to Coventry City last month. It may have only been 1-0, it could have been three or four before half-time thanks to Keogh. He was run ragged by Viktor Gyökeres who ended up getting the winner for Mark Robins’ side.
Despite being a free transfer on a one-year contract, the risk doesn’t seem to be paying off for the Seasiders.
Tyreece John-Jules has struggled whilst adjusting to life on the West Coast. In four starts and two substitute appearances, he is yet to get a goal or an assist.
In fact, the Arsenal loanee is yet to get his senior career going with six goals in 25 League One appearances. This has come across two loan spells with Lincoln City and Doncaster Rovers. Unfortunately for him, his career highlight was winning Goal of the Month in League One whilst at Doncaster. It came in a 3-1 win over Charlton in September 2020 – this was as good as it got for the youngster in Yorkshire.
Critchley has a reputation for improving young talents following his time as Liverpool’s Under-23s manager. If John-Jules wants to take the next step in his career, he couldn’t be in a better place. But he’ll have to work hard for more minutes as he’s yet to win over the fans in his 320 minutes so far.
Admittedly, this is a harsh pick. We know Jerry Yates’ is Blackpool’s talisman and steps up when Critchley needs him to. However, he has had a slow start to the season by his standards. The former Rotherham striker has just the one goal to his name in sevem starts this season. This pales in comparison to last season’s 20 goals in 44 league appearances.
His slow start has been masked by Shayne Lavery’s explosive start. The Northern Irishman scored on his debut, coming off the bench to rescue a 1-1 draw on the opening day. Once Yates gets up and going, his partnership with Lavery has the potential to be even better than his partnership with Ellis Simms last season.