Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

News & Comment

Ian Holloway: Game has moved on ... and English must move with it

Capello's men have to learn from other nations – but there are still questions for him to answer

If we learn anything from England's painful defeat, let it be that we look at other nations and learn. For some reason we seem to think football belongs to us but I'm telling you it doesn't.

The sport has moved on and we have got to move with it, even our best players. We have to look at the systems we use and try to adapt. I've watched Egypt in friendlies and they keep the ball better than us. Chile have played a 3-3-3-1 formation in this World Cup and that is unbelievable. But it shows what can be done. At the minute we are a long way from being a good team, and yet we've got some real good players, so shame on us.

Mr Capello is a brilliant manager and I've got the utmost respect for him. I'm just little Ian Holloway compared to him. But there are some questions I'd like answering, like why did John Terry get moved to the right of defence when he could have brought in Michael Dawson, who had a great season with Spurs?

Why did we play with no width? I haven't seen any other team at the World Cup without width. That's why Frank Lampard wasn't the same. When he plays for Chelsea he knows where everyone is and he spreads it. England's lack of width killed him.

Then there's the keeper situation, which my wife summed up perfectly. She said that if Robert Green was chosen for the first game but was dropped for making a mistake, then no wonder everyone was so scared in the second match. They were all frightened of making an error.

Why was James Milner taken off in the first half of the America game? Was it because he'd been booked or because he wasn't fit? In which case he shouldn't have been playing. I have no problem with Mr Capello at all because managers have to make choices. But they have to be sensible choices. They can't be knee-jerk reactions. Everyone has to share the blame – the manager, the players and the FA. We have wasted another tournament. Frank Lampard scored. The ref's had a nightmare. Blah blah. We all know what happened. But everybody is now shouting about goalline technology. Rubbish. It's not that we need.

I'll tell you exactly what we need and I had it when I was boss at Plymouth. It's so simple it is untrue. All you need is a monitor in the dugouts which shows the game on a five-second delay.

The job of the fourth official should not be to stop us managers fighting. It should be his task to simply watch the monitor and then inform the referee when there's a big call to be made. I'm not talking about using it for every single incident, just for anything that leads to a goal.

One of my Blackpool players, Alex Baptiste, scored a lovely goal at Crystal Palace last season after playing a nice one-two. He was given offside and I was fuming. But it could so easily have been solved had the fourth official seen it and said "erm, actually it was onside so it's a goal". By the same token if a goal is offside it gets chalked off.

The current system is a bit daft because how does the fourth official assist the referee when we're all screaming at him? His job, by definition, should be to assist the referee, not explain the ref's decision to us.

They've already got the technology and a similar thing happens in other sports so why not football? If we get these decisions right, nobody is disappointed, nobody can argue and everything is done properly.

We are light years behind and we are waiting on one person, who says he will actually talk about it now. But how late is it for Sepp Blatter to say that? It's too late for Mexico and England and it's way too late for Ireland, who were cheated by Mr Henry. But just get it done as soon as possible so it will never happen again.

A footballing education from Holland’s class acts

My favourite TV pundits are Clarence Seedorf and Edgar Davids. I can't get over how educated they are. They know exactly what they are talking about. They understand football, the formations and the problems teams face. But that just sums up the Dutch for me, and we have to try and educate our lads to the same standard.

In Holland they are bought up playing in different positions so they understand the game better. I want myself and my assistant at Blackpool, Steve Thompson, to teach our lads shape, what works and what doesn't.

It's a hell of a task but coaches in this country need to start doing it because I don't think our English lads are as football-educated as some of the others in the world.

Spain have one of the best passing games in the world. But where did they get it from? It was a Dutch fella who went to Barcelona and taught them it. In this country we've had another Spaniard in Roberto Martinez doing a great job and he was the man I studied during my year out of football. He made me think about the game in a new way and it made me return to the way I used to do it at Bristol Rovers when I started as a manager in the Nineties.

At Rovers I played with a back three and my right-sided centre-half used to bomb forward. We beat Brentford 6-2 and he created three goals. No centre-forward in his right mind was going to track back and pick him up.

That's why someone like Germany's Mesut Ozil gets so much space, because he floats about. It is really clever and it allows a team to play.

Opposition managers have got to counteract that, and it sums up life really – you think you know everything and then something comes along to surprise you.

I'll have to learn very quickly at Blackpool next season. I have never managed in the Premier League. I have played at that level but my players haven't. So I've got to help them as much as I can by staying as positive as I can and by picking them in the positions that suit their skills.

If England wanted me as manager, I'd say 'do me a favour, I'm Blackpool, get stuffed'

Let me clear up one thing. There have been a few stories appearing about me being in some contract dispute with my chairman (Karl Oyston) at Blackpool. How people can talk about this is totally and utterly wrong and beggars belief.

Let's get this straight. I haven't got any problem with my chairman. We've got a massive amount of work to do before the new season and whenever he gets around to dealing with my contract then I'll be more than happy.

He has talked to me, I've talked to him and that's how we get on. If there were any problems, I would be telling people, and I'm not. And besides, does anyone really think I'd want to leave this job?

Blackpool are in the Premier League and I cannot wait for the new season to begin.

It's going to be a dream come true for everyone at the club and I've never been so excited about anything in my life.

I don't even care if anyone else wanted me. If England rang up tomorrow and said they wanted me as manager, I would say "do me a favour, I am Blackpool, get stuffed".

So wherever that rumour came from, I don't know. But let me tell you there is no problem at all and I am really looking forward to going back to work when pre-season training starts on Thursday.