Could Gary Bowyer be prized away from Blackpool next season?

Mike Holden by Mike Holden / 21 July 2017, 10:59

Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) previews Gary Bowyer and Blackpool ahead of the upcoming 2017/18 League One season.


Gary Bowyer clinched promotion in his first season as Blackpool boss, beating Exeter in the play-off final at Wembley, which was a big bonus in what was meant to be a transitional year. A change of culture was the priority 12 months ago as he set about raising standards and constructing a team that relentlessly imposed itself on the opposition. The Seasiders frequently dominated games but lacked incisiveness in the final third. Then it all clicked, from March onwards, as they climbed up from 15th to nick seventh spot.


Bowyer’s first act as Blackpool boss was to call Ian Holloway for advice, as the last manager who enjoyed success at Bloomfield Road. It sums him up. He is a smart and curious thinker with a can-do attitude, his mind always tuned into what is achievable rather than what is obstructive. Extraverted Intuition appears to be his strong suit. He is quick on the uptake whenever presented with new information and tends to know a little bit - enough - about everything, rather than concentrate his expertise in one area.


"It’s a hell of a competitive league and there’s a big difference from League Two in terms of salaries, the size of budgets and wage demands. We’ve got a very young and energetic squad that, through the course of last season, worked hard to improve. And that’s what we want again, but we do need reinforcements. Switching formations will be something we have to do more this season. We’ll have to be flexible and that’s been reflected in the people we’ve brought in so far."


Bowyer has put down a solid platform and restored some stability but we shouldn’t underestimate the capacity for chairman Karl Oyston to cut corners and undermine everything at a stroke. If Brad Potts is sold for good money, for example, that money needs to be reinvested. Bowyer himself is the biggest asset of all and given the limited conditions under which he is operating, the Seasiders would surely struggle to keep him if a more ambitious League One club came knocking mid-season.

Prediction: relegated

Gary Bowyer


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