Thursday, 10 February 2011

Is it possible to clone Ian Holloway?

Being an avid sports fan, nothing has given me greater pleasure than the rise of Blackpool FC into the top flight of English football. The Tangerines were given little hope in staving off relegation following their play-off final victory against Cardiff last May.

With two victories against Liverpool and one against Newcastle, Blackpool has gone some way to defy the critics that doubted their credentials at the start of the season. Whilst seaside town only lie two points off the relegation zone, the Tangerines have produced some of the most attractive and entertaining football to date in 2011. Only a cruel final 15 minutes robbed Blackpool of a famous victory over 11-times Premier League champions Manchester United at the end of January.

Whilst Blackpool has been the surprised package halfway through the season, what has been more refreshing and inspiring is the role that manager Ian Holloway has played in not only guiding the club to the top flight, but also how he lightened up traditionally dull press conferences. The 47-year old has broken all traditional press conference conventions with his honest, entertaining and thought-provoking dialogue making him one of the most sought after interviewees in football.

Whilst Holloway is down in Blackpool's folklore, it has not always been so plain sailing for the Bristolian. Nine wins in 32 games for Leicester City in 2008 led to Holloway's departure and relegation to the third tier of English football for the Foxes. However, no one can doubt the manner he has come back and in the process becoming one of the most promising and charismatic young English managers we have today.

I for one would love to see Holloway take the reins as England manager when Fabio Capello steps down and although Harry Redknapp is likely to be the front-runner, it would be great to see the Blackpool manager involved in some shape or form. Football is lacking the characters in the modern game, and if Holloway can continue to create a legacy, the game will be in a healthy state for years to come.

I think it would be fitting to end with a few of Holloway's most memorable moments starting with his interview about the scheduling of the World Cup in Qatar.

1) Holloway on the scheduling of the Qatar World Cup and FIFA's incompetence:

2) Holloway on Wayne Rooney transfer saga:

3) Ian Holloway comparing his team's performance to "going out on the pull" (I know this was not this year, but this is a must see)

4) Holloway on the latest fashion accessories 'snoods':

I think if you all watch these videos, you will begin to understand how this man has single handedly transformed the 2010/11 Premier League season. Whilst I am not a Blackpool fan, I will be crossing my fingers that they do not dip below the dotted relegation line.