Managers like Ian Holloway are a rare commodity in football today. His humour is a joy to behold for anyone, football fan or not, and his passion is second-to-none. But what strikes me most about the Bristolian, is his admirable honesty.
Take for example his departure from Crystal Palace, with the club five points adrift from safety it seemed Palace were running short of ideas to stay up. They were and Ian Holloway knew it, and so he left.
“This club needs an impetus of energy – but I just feel tired to be honest. I’m worn out.”
“I think someone fresh coming in right now maybe with a tad more experience at this level if Steve (Parish) can find someone like that. There’s 30 games left and I understand how wonderful it is for Palace to enjoy those games and not have this circus following us around.” (Holloway in the press conference confirming his exit).
For whatever reason Holloway didn’t believe he had it in him to keep Palace in the Premier League, and a man who cares so much for whoever he works for, he decided to leave despite his chairman trying to persuade him otherwise. “Ian felt that a new approach might help keep us in the division,” Parish said. It was a noble decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly because most managers would not have taken the same route. They perhaps would have carried on in the belief they could turn things around, it could be said that Holloway took the easy way out but his decision has been justified three and half months later with Palace reinvigorated and now out of the relegation zone under Tony Pulis. Crystal Palace fans owe him a debt of gratitude.
Four weeks ago Millwall appointed Ian Holloway and despite only picking up four points from a possible twelve so far, I’m convinced Millwall will still be in the second tier next season. Although a lot gets written about some Millwall fans, the club itself is of a different nature.
“I was completely blown away for lots of reasons. Everything they (Millwall chief executive Andy Ambler and Chairman John Berylson) want for the club completely mirrored how I feel. I’ve never felt so wanted in my whole life.” (Holloway on his appointment)
In DJ Campbell they have a striker who loves Holloway. Blackburn were in no rush to get rid but as soon as Holloway came calling the striker, who was limited to sub appearances at Ewood Park, pleaded with Blackburn manager Gary Bowyer to let him go. After scoring on his debut I wouldn’t be surprised if he went onto to reach double figures by the end of the season, helping to keep Millwall up. It’s going to be a huge month for Millwall, after Burnley this weekend, they face Yeovil, Bolton and Barnsley who are all in the bottom five. It will be a tough February but if anyone can gear the Lions up for the scrap, Ian Holloway can.
In his long career he’s had some great quotes and here are my top five:
5. His passion for football is exemplary; you might remember his famous FIFA rant opposing the Winter World Cup:
“I’m going to go home and tell my turkeys, ‘It’s not Christmas, we’re moving it – it’s all right, you’ve got some respite! I’ve had a word with Fifa and we’re going to move Christmas, it’s no problem’.
4. His view on the rule stopping footballers from taking their tops off during games:
“I don’t see the problem with footballers taking their shirts off after scoring a goal? They enjoy it and the young ladies enjoy it too. I suppose thats one of the main reasons women come to football games, to see the young men take their shirts off. Of course they’d have to go and watch another game because my lads are as ugly as sin.”
3. After winning promotion to the Championship with QPR:
“Every dog has its day, and today is woof day! Today I just want to bark!”
2. After a win against Chesterfield:
“If you’ve been out for a night and you’re looking for a young lady and you pull one, some weeks they’re good looking and some weeks they’re not the best. Our performance today would have been not the best looking bird but at least we got her in the taxi. She weren’t the best looking lady we ended up taking home but she was very pleasant and very nice, so thanks very much, let’s have a coffee.”
1. On Cristiano Ronaldo
“He’s six foot something, fit as a flea, good looking – he’s got to have something wrong with him. Hopefully he’s hung like a hamster – That would make us all feel better. Having said that, me missus has got a pet hamster at home, and his cock’s massive.”