Ever since Stephen Dobbie left Swansea City in February 2009 to join fellow Championship side Blackpool on a season-long loan, there has been constant discussion amongst the fans as to why we let him join one of our play-off rivals.
Former boss Roberto Martinez signed the striker on a free transfer from Queen of the South and he joined us with plenty of potential, following his impressive goalscoring record in the Scottish League.
However, his career has yet to kick off with the Swans, Sousa replaced Martinez not long after he signed him and after one League game and a few Cup appearances, he was rarely used – often an unused substitute. It seemed somewhat strange that Sousa showed a complete lack of interest in the striker, opting instead for Gorka Pintado who struggled to perform and score goals all season.
A move to Blackpool at the beginning of February gave Dobbie a new lease of life though, and was finally given the opportunity to show his quality at this level.
Blackpool boss Ian Holloway used him mostly as an impact player – coming off the substitute bench, but he still scored 6 goals in 8 starts (plus 12 as a subsitute) to help the Seasiders gain a play-off place – beating us to 6th.
It’s not known as to where Dobbie will be playing his football next season. He’s involved in a Championship play-off final this weekend against our arch rivals Cardiff City and he could be celebrating Blackpool’s promotion to the top flight.
We’ve been in contact with Vital Blackpool to give us their views on Stephen Dobbie and his move to Bloomfield Road.
Swansea City loaned Dobbie out to Blackpool in February, a side who weren’t far away from us in the League table. You also have DJ Campbell on loan from Leicester City, what were your initials thoughts when you signed a striker from the Swans?
I’d heard that he’d scored a fair few goals south of the border but that other than his finishing, there wasn’t a lot to his game. Having said that, he’s been employed out on the left hand side for us, mainly coming off the bench, and has been very surprising with his dribbling and ability with the final ball.
It’s always worrying when you loan someone from a rival; are they good enough? Why does the parent club want rid? But, as has been proven with our loan signings in the past, the parent club sadly for you guys has made an awful decision. Dobbie has the fire power which would’ve seen you pip us…
When he first joined, what were the general feelings amongst the fans and the club? Did you think the play-offs were within your sights and were you looking to strengthen the squad to boost your chances of making the play-offs?
I think everyone was saying exactly the same in January as they are now: whatever happens happens. We’re not going to lose too much sleep if we get beat on Saturday and it’s already been a fantastic season. However, once we were in the mix, you want to stay there obviously.
We needed a right back whilst Neal Eardley was out injured for the run in. We got one – and he’s been superb – and we’ve never really looked back.
On paper, Dobbie’s seems to have done an impressive job for you in the little time he has spent at Bloomfield Road, scoring 6 goals in 8 League starts, how has he performed in general? Do you see him as being a good goalscorer at Championship level?
Well, as I alluded to earlier, he’s got quality on the ball. Dobbie always seems to have bags of time on the ball and has a footballing brain to pick out the best option ahead.
He’s also not bad at wicked deflected shots, we’ve learned…
Have you heard any news your end about a possible permanent transfer for Dobbie? Would you like to sign him? Or would he still be an impact player off the subs bench?
Personally, I’ve been one of the supporters who hasn’t been pouring praise on Stephen every week. However, you can’t argue with what he brings to the team off the bench – he’s a brilliant impact player to have. You need that in any division so hopefully Holloway will be looking to keep him. However, if we did go up, all squad members need to be capable of doing a job from the start and I’m not sure Dobbie can do that at the minute.
Turning our attentions to the big play-off game this weekend? What are your predictions for the match? Dobbie to get the winner against the Bluebirds!?
In true Blackpool fashion I think we’ll do it. Who would bet against us? Foolishly, we’re still underdogs, which just plays into our hands. I’d be worried if we try and be too expansive because Cardiff are liable to hit you on the break but we’ve definitely got the quality to win the game, no doubt.
A Dobbie winner would probably be fitting. Obviously you lot will want him to contribute to a Cardiff defeat rather than a Blackpool win!
Thanks to Vital Blackpool for answering our questions.
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