BBC Sport football


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 12:46 GMT, Friday, 11 April 2008 13:46 UK

Holloway column

Ian Holloway

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

This week he talks about Leicester's relegation run-in and why football should embrace technology.

He also answers questions on his relationship with the press, his love for Doctor Who, along with his brilliantly named dog.


As far as I'm concerned it's still in our hands.

We've got Colchester and Sheffield Wednesday at home and Barnsley and Stoke away. We need two wins from those games and I think 53 points will keep us up.

We've got a 50% failure rate and we can still do it.

I don't call that crucial yet. I prefer to get the right result on Saturday and go to Barnsley and see what we can do there.

We're in a mini league, we're starting one point behind one team and two points behind three teams - and it ain't over yet.


After 10 minutes they got a penalty which wasn't a penalty.

The ref also sent off the player (Patrick Kisnorbo) saying it was a goal-scoring opportunity, so we ended up being on the wrong end of a penalty decision which puts us 1-0 down and we're also down to 10 men away from home.

Leicester City defender Patrick Kisnorbo in action for Leicester
Kisnorbo has had his red card rescinded

My team had to deal with 80 minutes of them having an extra man, so you can more or less say the game is done and dusted, which is annoying.

You can see why I was incensed. There was never any contact, the fella overran the ball and ended up on the floor.

The ref didn't put the ball in the net, their player did. But that is not what you need at any stage of the season.


From an English point of view it was great.

But it does say that we have the most expensive division in the world.

All these players are coming over to the Premier League for the money - that's why three Premier League teams have got through to the semi-finals.

Arsene Wenger watches from the touchline
Ollie was as gobsmacked as Arsene Wenger

That may be a little cynical, but that's the way I feel.

There was mutings before the game that Fenerbahce were favourites to beat Chelsea - what a load of rubbish!

Chelsea haven't been beaten at home for God knows how long.

I thought the Liverpool fans were outstanding - even at 1-0 down they never stopped singing, absolutely incredible.

I did feel sorry for Arsene Wenger though. For his team to play that well and lose 4-2, it's quite unbelievable really.

If that was a penalty (Kolo Toure's foul on Ryan Babel), so was the one at Arsenal last week where Alexander Hleb was tugged down by Dirk Kuyt.

For me there was no difference between the two of them. And to watch the penalty given against Manchester United was embarrassing.

If ever there was a bloke that dived, it was him (Mancini).


The fourth official should have a monitor on the sidelines.

The game is shown with a five-second delay, so he can watch it and talk to the referee and say 'actually that's not a penalty, book that fella cos he dived'.

That's what should have happened at Sheffield United last week. The games are that important these days, we have the technology - why not use it? Every football supporter wants to see it come in.

That goal that Tottenham scored against Manchester United that wasn't given (Pedro Mendes in January 2005) - I find that incredibly embarrassing.

When you can't get technology to help referees - who are only human - to get it right. What are we doing?

They do it in tennis, cricket, rugby, why can't they do it in football?


My dog is not doing too well at the moment. He's had an operation. He is cracking on a bit now, he's nine.

Anybody who has a dog will understand, he's a bit special.

He's called Nathan The Duke Ellington Escada - or Nana for short. I'm not joking, that's his real name.

A Rottweiler looking quite content
A Bristol Rovers legend up front - likes chasing sticks too

He was named when I Bristol Rovers manager and I had a player called Nathan Ellington.

You would've thought that we would have shortened his name to Duke, but unfortunately he's Nathan, which has been shortened to Nana.

I had his sister when she was a puppy and his uncle when he was six months old.

I lost both of them and the lady I got both of them from gave me Nana, which was something special.

He's the best trained dog I have ever had in my life. He's a Rottweiler, but he thinks he's a poodle!

He's one of the only things in the world that doesn't judge you. He's always pleased to see you no matter what.


Tigerfilbert: Hi Ollie, as a budding sports writer, I thought I'd ask your opinions on the media. You certainly seem to be tolerant of them, enjoying the odd laugh or two, but sometimes they must get on your nerves.

Do you see the press as a useful tool, or are they more of a hindrance?

That's a good question! I don't see the press as a hindrance - the press are exactly what they are.

You have to embrace them because it's a necessary part of our lives these days. If you embrace them, it makes your job easier and a darn sight more interesting.

A media scrum at the 2007 Rugby World Cup
The cameras are always about in modern football

I can't affect people's perception about me. People have written things I haven't said or twisted things I have said.

But I'd rather they write something about me than nothing at all.

An awful lot of football fans who can't afford to go to football matches rely on great coverage from newspapers.

Everyone deserves access to football.

We have to make sure there are other avenues for people who can't afford to see football - and the media has a vital role to play.

But it can be intrusive and quite harmful at times when some famous people's lives get ruined by it.

But from my point of view, they should expect that, they've brought them into their lives, why do they suddenly want some privacy?


DarthLemsip: Have you been watching The Apprentice? If so, what do you think of this year's crop?

I'd like to say I had, but I stay away from those things. I'm not sure that they're doing it for the right reasons.

I think we are absolutely fascinated by celebrities and some of these people on these types of programmes want to be famous, whether they win or fail.

Former Doctor Who Tom Baker
And not a tic-tac in sight

I'm looking forward to the new Doctor Who - I used to love it as a kid.

I was a Tom Baker man myself, although I couldn't understand his scarf, it was far too long.

I like the new fella (David Tennant), although I don't want him chased around by tic-tacs like I saw the other day!

But my favourite of all is Star Trek. If I could be like anyone I would be like Spock.

I would like to be as calm and logical as him - and when you've had enough you squeeze them on the shoulder and they're dead.

You wouldn't want to mess with him, I can see Roy Keane being like Spock.


AH84: Hi Ollie, I hear that you are going to play for a Bristol Rovers XI team against a Bath XI team in May at Twerton Park to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the ground.

I love Twerton and I constantly get the mick taken out of me by my mates when I say it's the best football ground in the world. But what is your favourite ever moment at Twerton Park?

We (Bristol Rovers) were 2-0 up against Bristol City in 1989/90 and we were awarded a penalty. I made sure I took it and scored, ensuring we were promoted.


I had taken two in the previous game and I had put them both one way. I spoke to our goalkeeper at the time, Brian Parkin, and asked him whether their keeper would've seen it?

He said yes and he suggested putting the ball the other side in practice.

And lo and behold, we had a penalty in the game and the keeper went the wrong way!

When I was childish and immature I used to rub it in (to Bristol City fans). But now I'm very proud of what they are doing because I'm a Bristolian.

Ian Holloway was talking to Pranav Soneji

see also
Holloway column
04 Apr 08 |  Football
Foxes succeed in Kisnorbo appeal
08 Apr 08 |  Leicester City
Sheff Utd 3-0 Leicester
05 Apr 08 |  Championship
Goal-line technology trial widens
21 Nov 06 |  Football

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites