Daniel Ballard continues to earn rave reviews on his loan spell at Blackpool, after helping them to yet another clean sheet on Tuesday.
Blackpool had a huge game in their fight for a playoff spot on Tuesday, facing fellow playoff contenders Sunderland away from home.
With only a few games left in the season, every point counts right now. Arsenal loanee Daniel Ballard started the match, and he ensured his team took home all three.
Ballard made eight clearances, three interceptions and blocked one shot on the defensive end, as well as completing 84% of his passes. Blackpool kept a vital clean sheet to secure a 1-0 victory, their 12th clean sheet in Ballard’s 24 games.
The win puts 5th-place Blackpool on the verge of making the playoffs, particularly as they have a game in hand on the teams directly above and below them and face two sides in the relegation zone in their final three games.
But Arsenal fans will primarily be concerned with how Ballard is doing. I asked the Blackpool fans for their thoughts on Tuesday and they were more than a bit complimentary.
He’s great, and will be ready for your first team after one more season here. 👍
— Mark (@no92strahan) April 27, 2021
Really good our best defender
— Jamie McIvor 🇬🇧🏴🏴 (@Iamjamiemcivor) April 27, 2021
Quality, wins every header, has superb positioning and reads the game so well. A colossus, if you will.
— George (@_GeorgeGlass) April 27, 2021
Outrageos, feels like cheating
— Mr Fucking Kipling (@WalshyBoy3) April 27, 2021
— Ted Howe (@TedHowe11) April 27, 2021
Colossus, pure quality this season for us
— Alex Johnson (@_AJohnson) April 27, 2021
I’d let him do unspeakable things to me
— Sam🍊 (@BFC53Sam) April 27, 2021
If Ballard can help Blackpool achieve promotion, it may well be worth sending him back for another season. Either way, it looks like a step up to a higher division is on the cards for the centre-back.