Ian Holloway – the most quotable man in football?

What with being busy celebrating Christmas, the congested holiday football programme and the small matter of England retaining the Ashes, I’ve fallen a bit behind keeping up with reading and listening to the latest sporting news. Consequently, I’ve only just heard an interview which Blackpool boss Ian Holloway gave to BBC Radio 5Live between Christmas and New Year which, as the most quotable man in football so often does, brought a smile to my face.

Holloway talked about his job as manager of a small club like Blackpool compared to the weight of expectation on the shoulders of Roberto Mancini at Manchester City, and how he’s perfectly happy where he is right now:

I’m more than happy with the position I’m in at the moment. I’m thoroughly enjoying myself, the lads I’ve got, and they give me value for money day in day out, week in week out, and that’s all you can ask.

If Roberto can get value for money out of his players then they should win the title, and they should go on to the Champions League next year and should win that as well, because the money they’re paying, that’s the sort of money that his club will expect him to produce.

If they can’t then good luck to him – he won’t be in a job. That’s just the way it seems to go. I don’t want that at this point in my career. I’m more than happy where I am, and I’m working hard with this group of lads.

He also provided his own hilarious take on the fractious nature of some of Mancini’s players, such as Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez, who recently abused Mancini as he came off the pitch after being substituted:

I would hate to have some fella who’s not in my team or I bring off treat me like that. At the moment, I’m not experienced enough. I would try and fight him and knock him out. The size of some of his lads, I think they’d beat me up easily, so I’m not ready for that.

It’s hard not to love Holloway. Not just for his attitude towards the game – despite being in charge of the Premier League’s lowest-paid squad, he does not constantly complain about the club’s owner needing to get his chequebook out – but because, in a world where managers and players alike are media-trained to within an inch of their lives, he has maintained a (deserved) reputation over the years as a man who can always be relied on to give honest and frequently colourful quotes.

So, on the occasion of Twelfth Night, here is a selection from the archives of “the 12 quotes of Holloway”:

1. Describing his QPR side’s ‘ugly’ win over Chesterfield:

To put it in gentleman’s terms if you’ve been out for a night and you’re looking for a young lady and you pull one, some weeks they’re good looking and some weeks they’re not the best. Our performance today would have been not the best looking bird but at least we got her in the taxi. She wasn’t the best looking lady we ended up taking home but she was very pleasant and very nice, so thanks very much, let’s have a coffee.

2. On how he feels about managing Blackpool:

I love Blackpool. We’re very similar. We both look better in the dark.

3. After being criticised for using defensive players in midfield:

It’s all very well having a great pianist playing but it’s no good if you haven’t got anyone to get the piano on the stage in the first place, otherwise the pianist would be standing there with no bloody piano to play.”

4. Advocating the use of video technology to help with key decisions:

Why haven’t they got cameras? The officials can speak to each other easily enough now. Why aren’t we using laptops that are linked up and can give a decision in five seconds? A chimpanzee could do it – with not much training. We might as well go back to being cavemen, grab our girl by the hair, drag her into the cave whether she wants to come in or not because we may as well live in that age. We’ve come forward, haven’t we?

5. On Cristiano Ronaldo:

He’s six foot something, fit as a flea, good looking – he’s got to have something wrong with him. Hopefully he’s hung like a hamster. That would make us all feel better. Having said that, my missus has got a pet hamster at home, and his cock’s massive.

6. After a scrappy Blackpool win:

If you’re a burglar, it’s no good poncing about outside somebody’s house, looking good with your swag bag ready. Just get in there, burgle them and come out. I don’t advocate that obviously, it’s just an analogy.

7. Defending Stoke City manager Tony Pulis and his team’s reputation for exploiting Rory Delap‘s long throws:

In football you need to have everything in your cake mix to make the cake taste right. One little bit of ingredient that Tony uses in his cake gets talked about all the time is Rory’s throw. Call that cinnamon and he’s got a cinnamon flavoured cake. It’s not fair and it’s not right and it’s only a small part of what he does.

8. On QPR’s new Danish striker Marc Nygaard:

When my wife first saw Marc for the first time, she said he was a fine specimen of a man. She says I have nothing to worry about, but I think she wants me to buy her a QPR shirt with his name on the back for Christmas.

9. On the rule preventing players removing their shirts during a game:

I don’t see the problem with footballers taking their shirts off after scoring a goal. They enjoy it and the young ladies enjoy it too. I suppose that’s one of the main reasons women come to football games, to see the young men take their shirts off. Of course they’d have to go and watch another game because my lads are as ugly as sin.

10. When asked about an injury to Plymouth Argyle striker Hasney Aljofree:

Hasney’s bust his hooter. He can smell round corners now.

11.  On veteran QPR striker Paul Furlong:

Paul Furlong is my vintage Rolls Royce and he cost me nothing. We polish him, look after him, and I have him fine tuned by my mechanics. We take good care of him because we have to drive him every day, not just save him for weddings.

12. And finally, his comment on QPR’s potential:

I call us the Orange club – because our future’s bright!


About Tim
Father of three. Bit of a geek. That's all, folks.

3 Responses to Ian Holloway – the most quotable man in football?

  1. aardvarkian says:

    You gotta love Holloway. The Ronaldo quote made my morning…and makes me want to buy a hamster as a penis substitute.

    • Tim says:

      It’s hard not to like Holloway. He doesn’t spend his entire time moaning, but he calls things as he sees them. He’s a breath of fresh air in the Premier League – I’m surprised our always-friendly press haven’t beaten the optimism out of him by using some of what he says to stir up animosity. Maybe they realise a good thing when they see it and are happy to leave the golden goose alone?

  2. Sheree says:

    Sadly, there are too few personalities like Holloway in the game. He’s a treasure.

    I too loved the Ronaldo quote.

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