Holloway's hot property delivers latest surprise
Stoke City 0 Blackpool 1
Monday 13 December 2010
One player was conspicuously absent as the Premier League's surprise package descended on Dublin for their Christmas party over the weekend. Surprisingly, given that his club are a throwback to the days before footballers became acquainted with property portfolios, he was otherwise detained in a business meeting.
DJ Campbell was present only "in spirit" for what he termed a "good bonding" exercise by his Blackpool colleagues. Crucially, none of them went missing on Saturday, his well-taken goal ensuring the only party pooped was Stoke's. For Campbell it represented the best performance of a pundit-defying season because "we had to dig in and show guts".
Three points against Tottenham next Sunday would put Ian Holloway's team in contention for Europe. Like Stoke, they draw inspiration from the perceived barbs of critics. "Lots of people wrote us off," said Campbell, "and still do." His manager put it more bluntly: "People said we'd be the worst Premier League team ever. That hurt. The lowest points total is 11 and we've doubled that already. It's very satisfying after the players were disrespected like that."
Stoke defender Danny Collins afterwards reflected on Blackpool's emerging status. "A lot of people were expecting them to go down but I think they'll do fine," he said.
Scorer: Blackpool Campbell 48.
Subs: Stoke Tuncay (Pennant, 70), Walters (Jones, 70), Whelan (Wilkinson, 83). Gudjohnsen. Blackpool Phillips (Grandin, 80).
Booked: Stoke none. Blackpool Evatt, Adam.
Man of the match Adam.
Match rating 7/10.
Possession Stoke 46% Blackpool 54%.
Shots on target Stoke 6, Blackpool 4.
Referee A Taylor (Cheshire). Att 26,879.
Latest in Sport
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 3 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 4 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees