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Last Updated: Friday, 21 September 2007, 11:56 GMT 12:56 UK
Holloway column

Ian Holloway

The Plymouth manager gives his inimitable views on football and life in general in his weekly column.

This week he talks about Jose Mourinho's shock departure from Chelsea and why he thinks Abramovich got it wrong.

Ollie also gives his verdict on Plymouth's win at his old stomping ground, QPR, and the Women's World Cup.


I was shocked and I'm going to sorely miss Jose. What are the rest of us going to do if that's not good enough? I'd settle for back-to-back titles and a few cups.

It's all gone mad hasn't it? Abramovich got rid of the Tinkerman when Chelsea were second in the table, which at the time I thought was a bit harsh. Then he brings in Mourinho, the bloke turns it around and wins the title in his first season.

Never mind how much money he had to spend - the spirit that they had was absolutely outstanding. He was unbelievably good tactically and Chelsea should have had it made for years.

Then all of a sudden the owner wants to start buying players he likes - don't tell me Shevchenko wasn't one of his signings. The trouble is the bloke can't run - and you can't play in the Premier League if you can't run, even if you were the best goalscorer in the world.

Jose Mourinho
Football's not so special any more

I'm sorry, if you think you're good at what you do and you're undermining your manager, you're not - you're rubbish.

The manager has to have the power and if you can't see that Mourinho is one of the best - if not the best - managers in the world then maybe you shouldn't be in football.

I'm devastated. Mourinho added so much to our game - some edge, some trickliness.* I was learning from him from afar and I thought every interview he gave was spot on.

I spoke to Brendan Rogers, who manages Chelsea reserves. He was amazed at the news. He said Mourinho made you feel 25ft tall. His players won't like it, that's for sure. Let's see what they do.

The scary thing is if you've got people buying clubs and they're trying to run the business the way they run their other businesses, then football's going to be in trouble because they don't know anything about it.

I watched the game the other day and Abramovich didn't look that bothered when Rosenborg scored, he was too busy trying to pull that new bird of his by the looks of it.

You concentrate on that and let the manager do the job. A football club's not a toy, it belongs to the fans.
* Whatever that means! Ed.


We needed a win because we had two home games in a row and hadn't won either of them - we haven't lost at home for 190 days but you need the win.

The boys have managed to regain their focus. There were all sorts of stories that David Norris was going to be sold and Dan Gosling was going to be sold and all this crap and I'm just glad that the window's shut.

Dan Gosling
Gosling has taken to football like a duck to water

We're now three points off the top of the league, two off second and we've dropped four points at home. Against Leicester we deserved all three points, against Cardiff we didn't.

It's all about stats and our stats the other day were better than QPR's. It was just nice for me to go back there and take the Green Army to Loftus Road because I've dealt with a lot of issues now the book's out.


It's been fantastic - the keepers need to sort their lives out though, don't they? "Keeper's...oh my God, it's in!"

They keep shooting from 30 yards out and at first I thought, what are they doing? And then about four of the shots went in and I thought, aye aye I get it now.

Kelly Smith
Kelly Smith has been one of the stars of the World Cup

I've been very surprised. The standard of play has been very good - good formations, good understanding of the game - well, apart from the Argentines - they need sorting out.

I wish England all the best in their quarter-final. Hope's done a good job. I think they could all give my boys a run for their money - I wouldn't mind a game against them.

Kelly Smith's different class and who's that centre forward for Brazil? How quick is she? I wouldn't want to be in a race with her.


You replaced Mark Hughes on your debut?

Yeah, but it was another Mark Hughes - a centre half who ended up playing for Tranmere.

Your mum's middle name is Malcolm?

Her mum and dad were Scottish and they were descended from the Malcolm clan, so her dad thought it would be great to keep that going and call his daughter Malcolm!

I don't think it was such a good idea and nor did she - and she didn't like the fact I mentioned it in my book either! Needless to say I didn't continue with the tradition for any of my girls.


Your mentor's name was Gordon Bennett?

Yes, absolutely true. I think his parents wanted to make life tough for him!

The Bristol Rovers tea lady discovered Nigel Martyn?

Yeah. She went on holiday to Cornwall, saw him play for St Blazey and said "you're a bit good, why don't you come up to Bristol Rovers for a trial?"

He said "all right, then". He walked in and Gerry Francis said to the coach chuck him over there with the reserves. A few minutes later the coach comes running back and says "God you've gotta see this bloke, Gerry" and within a week he was in our first team.

Your nickname used to be Robinson Crusoe?

No, it was Man Friday. Because I only turned up on a Friday! That was at Torquay when I was on loan there. They thought I was training at Brentford but I had glandular fever - I was actually in bed all week and just turned up the day before we played.


Argyle United: "Are you worried now that Jose is looking for a job?"

No not at all. I don't think he'll be that bothered about coming to Plymouth, do you? He won't want to be too far from that dog of his that's in quarantine.


Superreddripper: "What's your favourite Pasty filling?"

Steak. I like traditional but I love a bit of steak.


Colhawk 86: "I have just read that your highly-rated youngster Dan Gosling is about to commit to Plymouth rather than sign for West Ham or Everton. Do you think this will enable him to become a better player as he will have more chances than he would if he signed for either of those?"

Yeah, what young lads need to do is play in the first team to experience learning their trade. I think he'll make it to the Premier League one day. Hopefully with us but if not he'll definitely get there, so I think he's done the right thing.


Cloggy saint: "I'd just like to ask why Fabien Barthez is on the cover of your book? Were you busy at the time the picture was taken and he agreed to step in for you?"

Ha ha ha ha! Tell him I'm very flattered but it looks more like Gollum to me! Either that or Jimmy Somerville - "Cry boy, cry boy, cry!"

Ian Holloway was talking to Chris Charles.

Mourinho in his own words
20 Sep 07 |  Fun and Games
Quotes of the Week
18 Sep 07 |  Fun and Games
Listen to archive Ollie interviews
09 Feb 07 |  Football


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