Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ian Holloway: One Year On

Ian Holloway is about to start at Blackpool.

The following words are not my own but are retrieved from (although I have corrected the odd grammatical error and tinkered with format) via Google cache so I won't bother linking to a page which has been withdrawn and no longer exists...

It was one year ago today that Ian Holloway walked out on Plymouth Argyle to become the new manager at Leicester City.

Holloway's defection to the Walkers Stadium left Argyle in turmoil; his departure was totally unexpected.

Plymouth Argyle fans thought that Ian Holloway was something different.

The former Queens Park Rangers manager often spoke about loyalty and his love of the Argyle fans - the Green Army. He spoke with a passion, he spoke of leading Argyle to the Premier League and his frequent rallying of calls to arms were legendary.
Argyle fans bought into Holloway's enthusiasm, they believed that he was 'the one', a good honest guy who we can all stand beside, shoulder to shoulder.
The Bristolian was the Green pied piper, preaching loyalty to not only the fans but the players as well.

We took it all in, devouring every last drop at the temple of Ian Holloway.

Except that Holloway's words were just sound bites for an eager reporter, blatant self-promotion to grab a headline or two. His promises were empty, his musings were false and his vision for Plymouth Argyle built on deception.

Managers come and go, that's expected in football but Holloway was different, he pledged allegiance to the Green cause, three weeks before he left Home Park a national newspaper reported that Holloway was unhappy at Argyle, stating that he had become disillusioned at Home Park but Holloway was quick to dismiss the speculation, calling it 'poppycock'. This is what he said about the newspaper report, just ten days before he walked out on Argyle:

'Ask anybody who knows me how I feel about Plymouth Argyle and they will tell you the truth.'

'If you need me to say it again, I'm in love with the place. It's absolutely magnificent.

'Ask my players who I'm trying to talk into staying here how Ian Holloway feels about Plymouth Argyle. I think they will tell you the truth.

'It's all poppycock! It's absolutely pathetic.

'But the media is a very powerful thing and, unfortunately, a rumour can become a bigger rumour.'

When asked about the Leicester City rumour Holloway again poured scorn on such lunacy, he said: 'There's not a scrap of truth in any of it.'

After saying all that Holloway left Argyle just 10 days later, amazing isn't it?

There might have been problems behind the scenes at Home Park and financial promises made to Holloway by the Argyle board may been broken or delayed but does that justify Holloway walking away from a job that rescued him from the scrap-heap?
Holloway knew full well the tight financial restraints that the Pilgrims operate under but still the board backed the manager and provided him with the funds to break Argyle's transfer record not once but three times!

So who has had the last laugh?

Leicester were relegated to the third tier of English football for the first time in their history and Holloway was sacked.
Meanwhile, new Argyle boss Paul Sturrock had to deal with an exodus of players during the January transfer window but was still able to steer Argyle to 10th place in the Championship.

Today, 12 months on, Argyle are sitting pretty in 9th place in the league - ready for a push at the play-offs, while Holloway remains unemployed as a manager.

Those quotes he gave the Herald really should not be allowed to be lost so I have copied this onto my blog for posterity.


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