Grayson Returns
By Editor
Saturday 06 Jul 2019 12:56:00
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There have been three managers this Millenium who have shaped Blackpool Football Club. Steve McMahon, Ian Holloway and Simon Grayson. Each won a landmark promotion for different reasons. Whilst Ollie's will forever be the most significant and memorable, Grayson's will come a close second with the Perfect 10 and the 29 year wait. Whilst many fans would still relish the return of Ian Holloway, they'll have to contend with the man whose League One promotion record stands alone. With promotions at Leeds, Huddersfield and Preston following his first success at the Seasiders, Simon Grayson is a master at this level and knows what a side needs. Simon Sadler is confident he is the man who can take the club forward disproving the old adage 'you should never go back'.

No manager comes with guarantees and for all the names that have been banded about since McPhillips departure, sense tells you Grayson was an obvious candidate. He knows the club and town, he has a wealth of management experience (although has had failures alongside his success and has never quite cracked the next level) and will want to restore his reputation after the failures of Sunderland and to a lesser extent Bradford (where he was offered another deal but turned it down). 'Larry' has spent a season out of the game and inevitably will come back with fresh ideas, utilise his contacts and take full advantage of the new era at Blackpool FC. Despite being linked with many jobs in the last 12 months, including the vacancy at Hull, Grayson has bided his time as a pundit and claims to have waited for the right job to come along.

Of course, it will be a very different Blackpool FC that Simon returns to. He'll be without Matt Williams, Tony Parkes and Steve Thompson who were fundamental in the work he did, he'll now have high expectations rather than just 'bridging a gap' and he'll have a very different squad than the one he left. 2007's side was ultimately to become the Premier League side and finding the likes of Evatt, Southern, Crainey and co. again won't be an easy feat. The side he inherits is clearly a work in progress and will need at least half a dozen new bodies to be able to go forward. However, McPhillips has left a squad in pretty decent shape numbers wise although the new boss might find there's a bit of baggage to clear out first. As well as that Grayson will have to find a new assistant and goalkeeping coach and will also be aware that Sadler is keen to bring in a Director of Football which is a dynamic he didn't have last time. 

In many ways the announcement of the new manager takes away all that excitement and speculation as to who would replace McPhillips. That might lead to a certain sense of disappointment that we've gone back to someone who has already been behind the manager's door. However, with the season just four weeks away, the necessity for a new man essential and Grayson's track record to take in to account, it seems the sensible option even if some don't see it as an ambitious option. A safe pair of hands is probably what the club needs now but how far those hands will take us remains to be seen.

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