Ian Holloway: Best chapter of this great story is still to come
We specialise in doing the unexpected and we can poop United's party to stay in the top flight
Sunday 15 May 2011
Blackpool 4 Bolton 3. On FA Cup Final day. How apt is that? But forget the history, this game had an absolutely huge impact on the present and what an enormous victory it was for us.
If we had been beaten we would have been all but relegated so to win, and in the style we did, makes me so proud.
As a game of football it was terrific, particularly the first half when there were five goals and half a dozen good chances. It was hard to catch my breath, and I was only on the sidelines watching it. Thank God I wasn't playing – I might be working out at the gym but I'd have struggled to last 10 minutes!
In the days leading up to the game I'd used the local press to get the message across to the fans that they had to back us for the entire game and not bring any nerves with them. They did that because after going a goal behind just six minutes in, it would have been easy for them to start biting their nails. But they saw us trying to pass the ball and attack and fortunately we have a set of supporters who really appreciate that. I want to thank the crowd because they were absolutely terrific.
Blackpool really is a special club. That probably sounds a bit twee but I genuinely mean what I say. I'm not saying it for effect. I am being totallyhonest. I don't think I have worked anywhere like it and it is without doubt the happiest time of my management career.
I inherited a great group of players and they have given their all for me for the last two years and not once have they let me down. The way they are playing, considering the money they are on, they all deserve to have a statue built of them.
The only downside was that even this great win wasn't enough to get us out of the bottom three. Wolves had another excellent result, Blackburn got a draw – so it means to stay up we need a point, probably all three, at Manchester United next Sunday.
Some people are probably sat at home thinking "you've no chance Holloway". Think what you like but write us off at your peril because we specialise in doing the unexpected.
Well done to Manchester United and Sir Alex on winning the title again but we are fully intending to try and poop their party.
If we stay up, it will be the greatest achievement the Premier League has ever seen, and a lot of managers within the game have told me that. But even if it isn't enough and we can't find three teams worse than us, I won't feel anything other than immense pride for what my club has done this year. We were written off before a ball was kicked, yet we are still in it, fighting and kicking on the very last day. It's a hell of a story – I'm just hoping the best chapter is yet to come.
Fuming at Preston plane prank
There has been a bit of a row in the North-west between us and our rivals down the road, Preston.
It started when someone hired a plane to fly over Deepdale last weekend trailing a banner saying: "Poor little Preston, enjoy League One, we are superior, love Blackpool FC." It happened while Preston were playing and their boss Phil Brown said he'd have shot it down if he'd had a gun. I completely agree.
Some might think that is banter, but I don't. It is totally disrespectful. I don't like things like that, especiallybecause they can come back to haunt you, and whoever did it is silly.
A bloke tried to justify it to me by saying that Preston fans had hung anti-Blackpool banners over the motorway bridges as we travelled to Wembley for last year's play-off final, but, if that's the case, more fool them.
Just because you support a football club and your nearest club hasn't done as well as they would like, I don't think you should rub it in because in this game what goes around comes around, and we should know that more than most.
It was a silly stunt and I wish Preston all the best next season.
Sir Alex is just like Tom Cruise
A football manager rich list was printed the other day and, not surprisingly, I wasn't on it!
The likes of Fabio Capello, Sir Alex Ferguson and Carlo Ancelotti were at the top of the list. In a world where there are so many problems, and so many need help, it is hard to justify the millions of punds that they are earning, but the bottom line is that football is thriving and they are being paid the going rate.
It is an entertainment business, like films, and look at what Tom Cruise earns for doing what he does. People like Capello and Ferguson are at the top of their profession and if that profession pays that sort of money, then that's not their fault. It's just a pity these wages have not seeped down to me!
Attack on Lennon reminded me of my lucky escape in pub toilet
My heart goes out to the Celtic manager Neil Lennon and all I can say is thank God I've never had anything like that happen to me.
The most threatened I've ever felt was years ago when I was in a pub toilet, standing at a urinal and going about my business, and a deep voice behind me said: "You Gashead, you're going to get it big-time."
Without turning round, I calmly replied: "Well you're obviously not in the know pal – I play for Wimbledon now."
I'd actually moved clubs, from Bristol Rovers to the Dons, a few weeks before and this stumped the fella a bit. He admitted he wasn't a football supporter. He was into rugby and he said his mates had put him up to it. In the end we had a chat and got on quite well.
But the thing that worried me was that I was gone nearly 20 minutes and none of my family came to look for me. I could have had my head split open and been lying on a toilet floor!
That is as bad as it's ever got for me, which is nothing compared to Neil. What is happening to him is ridiculous because the man is just doing his job and he is obviously doing it well because, in Britain, people don't like you when you're successful. But he is strong enough to cope and he won't throw in the towel.
In fact, the bloke who attacked him the other night was lucky that Neil was stopped from retaliating because he is hard as nails, let me tell you. It was the attacker who had a lucky escape, not Neil.
Please stamp out corruption
I honestly don't know how certain Fifa members can look themselves in the mirror. The latest allegations that four members asked for bribes to back England's World Cup bid is shocking but not surprising.
When you have people with that sort of power, there is always corruption. Wherever there is a loophole, someone will exploit it, and it makes me sick. It happened with the banks, they cost us millions. They made a quick buck and didn't care. They weren't responsible and we had to bail them out with our money, yet they still get huge bonuses.
Things like this need to be stamped out. If we can prove any Fifa member did ask for cash, they should be locked up for being crooks, simple as.
Shearer has met his Match
Alan Shearer and I probably won't be going for a pint any time soon but I felt I had to speak out after his comments about my captain.
Alan said on Match of the Day that he hoped Charlie Adam's chance had not passed him by. He made that comment after one game, where Charlie admittedly didn't play at his best.
But how unfair is that about a 25-year-old lad who has just had the season of his life? Charlie actually came to me and said "do you think I'm washed up?" That's how upset he was.
Alan is in a position of great importance. He is on Saturday primetime television on one of the best football programmes there has ever been and is ever likely to be.
I thought he made a silly, throwaway comment and he should know better. Charlie is destined for great things – one mediocre game doesn't alter that.
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