McPhillips Departure no surprise
By Editor
Friday 05 Jul 2019 21:35:00
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In some ways the announcement on Friday that Terry McPhillips is standing down as Blackpool manager shouldn't have come as a great surprise. Weeks of journalists saying he'd been offered a new deal, no sign of the much anticipated assistant manager and the trickle of new signings drying up. Then there were the statements from Simon Sadler which applauded Terry McPhillips role as Head Scout under Gary Bowyer but stopped short of complimenting him as a manager. Whilst he applauded McPhillips and the side's achievements in difficult circumstances the previous season, he didn't really ever give the impression that the Blackpool manager was the man to take us forward especially when he said he wanted to watch entertaining football. Anyone who was at the last half dozen games at Bloomfield Road will know entertainment was short on the ground. Maybe best then, that with many fans casting doubts over McPhillips, that he should go now.

When you look back, McPhillips was always the reluctant manager. He was adamant when Bowyer went that he didn't want the job, but he got lucky in August with league and cup victories and that was enough for him to reverse his decision. In fairness to McPhillips he exceeded all expectations and two good cup runs and a shout at the Play Offs meant that he put himself in a decent position to take the club forward. However, ironically it was the demise of the Oyston family that started his own fall from grace. Gary Brabin's extraordinary decision to walk away before the Southend game undoubtedly undermined him whilst, for many fans, watching Blackpool in the last half dozen games raised more questions than answers. His team selections didn't go down well, his formations were often lacking, his reluctance to play the on loan striker Eilas Sorensen was bizarre and his adoration of Anthony Evans was even more peculiar. The fact he was saved on a number of occasions with last minute goals didn't paper over how poor and uninspiring the football was and many believed when we lost to Gillingham 3-0 he had lost the dressing room.

It seems strange, ironically a bit like Bowyer last season, that it has taken him the whole of summer to realise that he doesn't want the job but maybe best he falls on his sword whilst there's still time for someone to come in. Of course it leads the side in disarray going up to Scotland with no manager or assistant and gives Simon Sadler his first managerial headache. Five players have arrived because of McPhillips which is always unsettling and there were a number of deals in the pipeline which must now be in question. Fortunately Blackpool now have a board with football people on it and you would like to think there have already been discussions about this eventuality. Indeed, it might well have been an orchestrated departure and why it comes as little surprise to many. Either way, don't be surprised to see the cars of Michael Bollingborke and Ben Hatton outside Bloomfield Road this weekend as they'll know a quick appointment is crucial.

Who replaces McPhillips will be open to speculation. Inevitably Ian Holloway's name will be mentioned whilst Nigel Adkins, Gary Rowett and even Simon Grayson may well be considered. However, the fact that Simon Sadler took over a League One side is down, in part, to Terry McPhillips and for that Blackpool fans will always be grateful. We wish him well with his future career but his departure is another line drawn under the previous owner's appointmemts.

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