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Last Updated: Friday, 10 August 2007, 08:21 GMT 09:21 UK
Ian Holloway column

Ian Holloway
To Hull and back - again

The Plymouth manager is back on board for the new season and is on cracking form after the summer break.

In his first column he tells us about what he has been up to since May, spiralling transfer fees, Beckham's move to LA and Sir Alex Ferguson being put in his place by his wife.

Listen to the audio to hear some unexpected interventions from Ollie's sat nav lady!

THE BIG KICK-OFF

I'm looking forward to the start of the new season. It doesn't take long to come round these days because you don't get too much of a break.

Last year was a bit better when we had the World Cup to think about as well. This year was a little bit boring - no football.

We finished last year with Hull away and that's the first game this season - we may as well have stayed up there!

We beat them 2-1 in May and played quite well so they'll be looking to avenge that.

But we won the last five games in a row so I'd like us to start like that as well. We'll have to wait and see.

PLYMOUTH'S PRE-SEASON

We did a pre-season tour in Austria and had two good games there against a Turkish side and Hapoel Tel Aviv. We drew both of them 1-1 which was no mean feat.

We've scored a lot of goals in our last four pre-season friendlies. We got seven against Bristol Rovers - we let three in mind, so we've got a bit of work to do on that.

606: DEBATE

We've worked the lads hard all summer - we've introduced a new weights programme they've got to do three times a week.

At first they didn't like it because they had to get in at seven in the morning but now they're feeling stronger and fitter and that's what we'd hoped for.

I was supposed to take the family to Austria with me but we had problems with passports. Because of some new legislation I've got to take the girls off my passport and get them a new one but it all went horribly wrong - nightmare.

So thanks to terrorism I haven't had a proper holiday.

WHAT ELSE HAVE YOU BEEN UP TO?

We moved from one rented accommodation into another and then we found a house that we want to buy, so we've got to move again in a few weeks.

And I've written a book. It should be a good read for everybody - it's not just a football book. There's a lot more to my life than just football.

There are good things and bad things in there, like when I lost my dad. It was quite exhausting to be honest. It's out on 17 September.

THE GREAT BRITISH SUMMER

Deckchairs on Brighton beach
Blink and you've missed it

I'm glad I started building that ark last year but it's not very funny for all those people who've had to put up with the floods.

For years and years everyone blamed the Russians for everything - now it's global warming. It seems to be affecting everyone around the country and across the world.

Generally the weather's been terrible this year - there's been about two days of sunshine which is not very good, particularly if you're in the sunglasses game or you sell sun cream for a living.

CRAZY TRANSFER PRICES

I don't think you really know how things are going to go until the first six or seven games - particularly when everybody else is buying all sorts of people for all sorts of money.

But does it make them better players because they're now worth more money? I don't think so.

I think the game's gone absolutely bonkers and the one that started it all off was Jobi McAnuff for 1.75m from Crystal Palace to Watford.

That never made sense to me. He's a good player but he's not worth that much, surely?

Then there's Michael Chopra. A year ago he was worth 500,000, this year it's 5m! When's it going to stop? It's absolutely barmy.

There's no chance of me being able to compete with that, not unless someone buys half my team for silly money. How are you going to get value for money?

DJ Campbell
Is he gonna rock, DJ?

When DJ Campbell goes for 2m - and really he's only played in Birmingham City's reserves and Brentford's first team - it's absolute madness.

And when Manchester United's subs like young Rossi are being put up for 6-8m, where am I supposed to get my players from?

I had some on trial last year who I've managed to secure on permanent deals, like Peter Halmosi. He broke our club record of 400,000.

It's quite embarrassing when other people are spending 10 times that, but we broke our transfer record three times in the last year and I'm proud of that.

But I'd have to smash all those out of sight just to buy someone's reserves these days.

FERGIE PUT IN HIS PLACE

I didn't get to see Elton John at Home Park in the end this summer. My wife didn't want to go and we've all got to do what our wives tell us.

Apparently Sir Alex Ferguson wasn't allowed to watch a couple of friendlies because his wife wanted him to help move house.

About time too if you ask me. I read his book and he said he can't remember his kids growing up because she did it all.

And he forgot her birthday a few times, so this time she's put her foot down.

Good job she did, if he'd gone along to the games he wouldn't have known where he'd moved to, would he?

BECKHAM GOES TO HOLLYWOOD

What a palava that is, isn't it? I can't understand that one for the life of me.

And as for Steve McClaren going out there to see what the standard's like, he must know what it's going to be like - it ain't nothing like good enough.

David Beckham waves to the fans
Becks shows off his permanent wave

I can't get over Beckham's wave - it was worse than the Queen's. It couldn't have been a more false wave and smile if he'd tried.

I watched the whole interview and every now again he'd shake his little right hand. I mean what is all that about?

I hope it lifts Posh's career because it's not gonna do much for his. Their move to LA coincided with the Spice Girls getting back together - there's a shock.

Don't get me wrong, I really admire what Beckham's done, he's a great kid, he's an icon, fantastic fella, a good human being and I hope they've got what they want out of it.

They have now become business people and they'll make more money than most businesses ever do so good luck to them, but please don't lose sight of the fact that it's all about football.

McCLAREN GOING BACK TO THE FUTURE

All this stuff about Steve McClaren back-tracking by picking Beckham and Sol Campbell, well the manager should be allowed to pick who he wants when he wants.

He hasn't got to apologise for leaving someone out and then picking him again. Maybe they weren't playing very bloody well when he left them out!

Is he right to put Sol back in? Well we'll see how he plays before we start making any judgements. Who's bigger - David Beckham or Steve McClaren? It should be Steve McClaren because he's his bloody manager.

I'm sick and tired of the papers writing an absolute load of crap about him.

Let's just wait and see who the England manager picks, how his team play and if they don't get the right result then you can write something.

Ian Holloway was talking to Chris Charles.



SEE ALSO
Ian Holloway on the Championship
06 Aug 07 |  Championship
Listen to archive Ollie interviews
09 Feb 07 |  Football
Winger McAnuff signs for Watford
05 Jun 07 |  Watford
Wednesday's gossip column
08 Aug 07 |  Gossip
Beckham hopes to play against DC
09 Aug 07 |  Football
Quotes of the Week
07 Aug 07 |  Fun and Games


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