Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
Last Updated: Friday, 28 September 2007, 12:23 GMT 13:23 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 new Chelsea manager Avram Grant and the defeats to Stoke and West Ham.

Ollie also reacts to news of the Sex Pistols reunion by recalling punk rockers in Bristol back in the day.


Two defeats, two very good performances, though. We're very disappointed but there was also plenty of optimism.

We had three games away in a week, winning one of them and losing the other two by the odd goal. When you consider they were at QPR, Stoke and West Ham, that's three tough fixtures.

West Ham played their strongest available side and we lost to the last kick of the game. So very disappointing, but very pleasing in that loads of people who saw us play in those three games think we're a very good side. So that's nice.

Dean Ashton
Ashton is considering taking up bleach football

Dean Ashton can't stop scoring but that's what he's paid to do, it's just a pig that he did it against my team. I'm delighted for the kid, he's got something different and he's had it tough.

He's shown a lot of character to come back after breaking his leg in that England training session. I'm an England supporter and it would be great if he keeps going and fulfils his potential.


It's not right when you turn up at somebody's ground and that happens. You expect your belongings to be safe, don't you?

Anyone who's been burgled will know how I feel. But the thing is they had a bloke and he managed to escape. Who was it, Houdini? I'd like to have caught him at that moment.


It's unfair to make anything of him this early on. We've got to sit back and see what the man does. If we're talking lookalikes he's Toad of Toad Hall, isn't he? His eyebrows are so low down.

But I thought it was an excellent result they got at Hull the other night - some of the other Premier League teams didn't fare half as well as Chelsea - i.e. Man United and Villa.

A newspaper said Avram Grant's wife once drank urine and bathed in chocolate on TV. That's not a very nice combination, is it? Did she used to be a sailor or something? They used to drink their own urine, didn't they?

Toad of Toad Hall and Avram Grant
Toad of Toad Hall and a Wind in the Willows character

Anyway, let's give the bloke a break - he's got a wonderful set of players there and it'll be great to see how he manages.

He had Man United away in his first game after all the upheaval and it wasn't that bad a result given the circumstances.

If Mourinho had been on the line I don't think the referee would have been brave enough to make those two crap decisions.

Paul Sturrock once said you had to have the image of a pop star to manage in the Premier League. Like I said, Avram's got an image all right - he looks like a very famous character in a children's book!


I'm of the opinion that the chairman of Chelsea (Abramovich) is wrong. He's like a 15ft gorilla. Where does he sleep? Anywhere he likes.

What gives him the qualifications to be a chairman, just because he's got millions of quid?

He sacked someone who finished second when he got rid of the Tinkerman, he puts one of the best managers in the world - if not the best - in charge and then he goes and sacks him because he wants to dictate things.

Avram Grant, all the best - I hope you do well in trying to follow Mourinho and let's give the man a chance.


My memories of punk are crazy hairdos, mohair jumpers in strange colours, skintight trousers and crazy shoes. And people jumping up and down on the spot, pogoing. I thought they were all as mad as bloody march hares.

March Hare and Sid Vicious
Can you tell the difference?

One of my mates became one and I thought, what's the matter with you?

One minute he was sat doing mathematics next to me in school and the following week he comes in with purple hair because he liked some band. I thought it was dangerous.

The Sex Pistols....was that Sid Vicious? Now he was as mad as a march hare.

There were punks everywhere in Bristol. I was never tempted to become one of them, though.

I was Sidney Serious, I was into George Benson. I was smooth. Smooth as a cashmere codpiece. I would never have roughed myself up like a bit of emery cloth. I was as smooth as Nat King Cole's voice, like a bit of melted Galaxy chocolate. Beautiful.

Not like the punk rockers. Good God, they were like a load of razor blades in a jar. "I am an Antichrist!" - that's really soothing that is, isn't it?


Ronmanager: "I once watched a snippet about your anger management lessons on TV. What I want to know is are you still as angry and do the girls still try to wind you up as much after the games?"

No, I'm nowhere near as angry. It's taught me to see where my anger was coming from. I get angry now and again, but not like I used to.

Sometimes I'll be angry at traffic but what the bloody hell can you do about traffic? What I had to learn was that I was not that bloody important that I had to to be in front of all these people who've also got to go somewhere.

Rik Mayall and Ade Edmonson in the Young Ones
Iam NOT getting aggressive!!

My girls don't wind me up either nowadays. They still tease me at times with my lack of signing (sign language) and what have you but everything's turned around.

I would recommend anyone to go on one of these courses. You have to look at why you're angry.

Normally you're angry with yourself and you blame it on other things. That's the truth and I'm nowhere near as angry with myself anymore. I cut myself some slack and try and learn from my mistakes.


La Englander: "Ollie: Love your column. As a Yank I do not get the English newspapers so I am really glad to read your opinions every week here. I need some advice... what is the proper age to start teaching schoolboy footballers about positioning, space, etc - as opposed to teaching individual skill?"

You need to do that as early as you can in my opinion. You need to get them playing in games and they need to understand.

Football for me is about space and even defending is about putting yourself in the right position. You can't learn chess by picking the pieces up and then putting them back down. You've got to learn about where they go and what movements they've got.

But you can't be too serious about it at that young age, you have to make it fun as well. I would start as early as you can in showing them a structure.


Kids are amazing. They're resilient and they learn things very quickly. As long as you don't go on too long. Just do it for two or three minutes because their attention span is the problem.

Show them on a magnetic board like we use, then actually take them out and stand them on a smaller version of a pitch - even in a room - and just say: "I need you here - and when he's doing that you're covering him" - but make it fun.

I used to take Bristol Rovers under 10s and I'd have little bars of chocolate or sweets to keep their interest and you'd put the packets where you wanted them to be.

In other words if you're not in the right position you won't be able to get the sweets. The main thing to remember is don't stand there for half an hour talking to them, otherwise they'll lose their spark.


Normandy 30: "When you were at QPR I noticed that the goalkeeper who was going to start the match always went in about 10 minutes ahead of every other player before kick-off. What does the goalkeeper do in that extra 10 minutes?"

They normally go out before everyone else as well because their programmes are totally individual. They warm up and then they need to go and change their kit and get a clean one on.

When you're warming up as an outfield player you don't go on the floor, do you? Whereas a goalie's diving all over the place so they have to go in a bit earlier and change their kit.

Ian Holloway was talking to Chris Charles.

Grant cleared to coach in Europe
27 Sep 07 |  Chelsea
Quotes of the Week
25 Sep 07 |  Fun and Games
Sex Pistols reunion is expanded
26 Sep 07 |  Entertainment
Robbo column
27 Sep 07 |  Fun and Games
Listen to archive Ollie interviews
09 Feb 07 |  Football


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

Daily and weekly e-mails | Mobiles | Desktop Tools | News Feeds | Interactive Television | Downloads
Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

Help | Privacy & Cookies Policy | News sources | About the BBC | Contact us