David Vaughan’s absence see Blackpool struggle without their dynamic duo

As Charlie Adam accrues plaudits and looks a good outside bet for PFA Player of the Year, his trusty sidekick David Vaughan continues to quietly go about his business, by and large unrecognised and unheralded. Ian Holloway certainly recognises his talent and contribution, providing a glowing reference earlier in the season. “David Vaughan is a proper midfield player because he can do all of it. He does it in an unsung way and in such an efficient way that sometimes people don’t notice.” Holloway added “When Charlie Adam does his flamboyant things, people notice. But I notice that week in, week out that Dave isn’t far off the best player I’ve ever had.” He is Robin to Adam’s Batman.

Welsh international Vaughan began his career under Dario Gradi at Crewe, joining former international team mate Chris Coleman at Real Sociadad for £300,000 in 2007, before returning to the UK the following season in a £200,000 transfer to Blackpool. When Holloway arrived in the summer of 2009 and made Charlie Adam the club’s record signing and captain, the pair dovetailed instantly and the season ended with a 3-2 play off Final victory over Cardiff and promotion to the Premier League. Their partnership has been at the heart of an attacking ethos and formation that has confounded all expectations, punching above their weight and remaining competitive throughout the season. Vaughan’s endeavours allow Adam to conduct the orchestra in a quarterback role, Adam is usually at the start and keen to be on the end of Blackpool’s attacks, safe in the knowledge that Vaughan will cover his forays forward and allow him the time and space to operate.

Vaughan has 23 Welsh caps and one goal scattered over eight years, he impressed coming off the bench in the recent defeat against England and is likely to feature in Gary Speed’s future plans. In 30 appearances for Blackpool this season, Vaughan has netted against Everton and West Brom, the former and Villarreal, rather tantalisingly, having expressed an interest in Vaughan, who is out of contract in the summer, seemingly unwilling to adhere to Blackpool’s strict £10,000 a week wage ceiling. Absent from yesterday’s spirited 3-1 defeat at the hands of Arsenal, Vaughan will surely return for a huge fixture at Bloomfield Road with Wigan on Saturday.

Currently one point and one place above the relegation zone, bottom placed Wigan are only two points behind and a Wigan win would see them overtake The Seasiders. Two further home games against Newcastle and Stoke remain, with a visit to follow from Bolton, all three sides have experienced indifferent away form this season, in particular Stoke, who have accumulated only 10 points out of a possible 48 on their travels. A significant return from these four games is required if Premier League status is to be retained, as their upcoming away games are at White Hart Lane with a trip to Old Trafford on the final weekend. Ian Holloway expressed concerns relating to his player’s body language in the aftermath of the Arsenal defeat, if Blackpool are unable to pick themselves up and avoid the drop, it is likely that they will have to endure the added ignominy of the champion’s coronation.

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