Ian Holloway: If Abramovich had owned United he would have sacked Fergie years ago
One golden rule that I have is never to speak to a player in private
Sunday 26 February 2012
I would like to politely suggest to some of Chelsea's players that they concentrate on their own performance rather than worry about what the manager is doing.
Until a player is producing the perfect performance every single game – hitting the perfect shot or pass – they can't throw stones at others. I tell you now that Chelsea's lads have been a long way from perfect in the last month or two.
In my 15 years as a manager, I have never been undermined by a dressing-room. I've had rows with individuals who think they should be playing more often, but nothing like Andre Villas-Boas is having to put up with.
What doesn't help is his age. In management terms he is a baby. I've been doing the job for a long time and I'm better at dealing with a group now than when I first started.
You grow into the job of manager. You have to earn respect from your dressing room, and the more experienced and successful the squad, the more problems you will have.
Management takes practice and you learn what works best as you go along. One golden rule I have is never to speak to a player in private. If I don't think someone has worked hard enough in a match I will tell him in front of everyone else. If they have done something wrong in public, they need to be told in public.
You also need to treat everybody the same. Allow one player to miss a match because he has a problem in his private life, and you have to allow everyone else time off when they need it too. You win respect for being fair.
But the most important thing for every manager is the backing of your boss. You need to know he is on your side and supports you. That is where Villas-Boas has his biggest issue.
I tell you now that if Roman Abramovich had been chairman of Manchester United in the late 1980s, Sir Alex Ferguson wouldn't be a Sir. He would have been sacked three years in and probably never have become this genius who is the best manager of his generation.
Fergie was lucky. He had a board that recognised what he was trying to do and gave him the time to do it. Villas-Boas needs that. He needs Abramovich to publicly back him. Only then will everyone at Chelsea know what the score is and they can get on with the football.
Why the players have so much power these days is beyond me. I can't believe Roberto Mancini is letting Carlos Tevez back into his squad. If I was City manager I would freeze him out good and proper.
What Mancini is doing is rewarding bad behaviour. The lad was pictured playing golf the other day, while the rest of his team-mates are working their nuts off trying to win their first ever title.
Can you imagine Sir Alex letting someone waltz off for three months, then welcome him back? It wouldn't happen. Fergie wouldn't stand for what is going on at Chelsea either.
Back in the mid-1990s my jaw was on the floor when Ferguson got rid of Mark Hughes, Paul Ince and Andrei Kanchelskis in the same summer. But he knew something no one else did: that Beckham, Scholes and the Nevilles were coming through. He made room for them and they won the title the next season.
That is what Villas-Boas has been brought in to do – clear out the old brigade and bring in some new blood – and so Abramovich needs to stop all the uncertainty by saying "my manager is staying".
Liverpool's dominance of the 1970s and '80s came from promoting from within. United kept faith in Fergie, Arsenal stuck with Arsène Wenger. Stability is the linchpin of success.
Unfortunately, Abramovich is so rich and powerful that he is used to doing what he likes. How many great managers has he got rid of now? You reap what you sow.
There is no patience at the club and that's why Villas-Boas will be lucky if he gets until the end of the season. I hope he does. I hope common sense wins and he gets a year or two to show what he can do. But with the owner he's got, and the players in the dressing-room, it doesn't seem likely.
Give Wenger a break, not cash
I want to sit down with Wenger and ask him if he truly wants to carry on being Arsenal manager. I'm not sure his answer would be yes.
The bloke has single-handedly turned the Gunners into one of England's biggest clubs and yet all he is getting is stick.
I agree that in such a cut-throat industry as football you are only as good as your next game. But does that mean I'm rubbish at the moment just because Blackpool were beaten 4-1 last week?
Is that what it's come to these days? Does that make sense? People have such short memories now and everything is so depressingly instant.
Do you really think the Arsenal board are saying to Arsène, "we've got all this cash, please go and spend it", and Arsène is refusing to buy new players? I think you will find it is the other way round.
I want to speak to him and ask if he's sure he wants to keep on doing the job with the lack of support he is getting from those above him.
So I think you get my viewpoint. I'm not having anything at all aimed at Arsène because the bloke is an absolute Arsenal legend.
OK, it isn't going well at the moment, but if he wants time I'd give him as much as he needed.
Why the waiting game? Appoint someone and let's get on with it
England are like sheep without a shepherd. What the hell are the Football Association playing at? We've got a massive tournament around the corner and we still haven't appointed our next manager.
If they don't do it soon, there will be problems – not least because the bigger players in the squad will rule the roost.
The stars of the game today are too untouchable. We need a manager like Sir Alf Ramsey, who was so tough that he didn't pick one of the world's greatest ever goalscorers for the World Cup Final. He left Jimmy Greaves out.
The media hated Ramsey because he was his own man, which is exactly what you need to be for the role.
Now what have we got? It's a nothingness. Are the FA thinking "if Stuart Pearce gets a result against Holland we could give it to him till the end of the Euros"?
Fine. But if that's the case, appoint him now. They know all they need to know about him. God knows he's been working for the FA long enough.
The longer they leave it, the more indecisive they will look. And let me remind everyone: the second biggest tournament on the planet starts in a couple of months.
I'd quite like us to be successful please so any chance of sorting us a manager out?
Comeback to haunt us
I was told this week that my Blackpool team has the best comeback record in the country. In other words, no one has drawn or won as many games as us from a goal behind.
Do I like that stat? No I bloody do not. It means we are letting too many goals in.
OK, we are showing admirable character and belief when we're in a fix but we shouldn't put ourselves in that position in the first place.
We have been beaten by Everton and West Ham in the last week and if I want to be as good a manager as David Moyes or Sam Allardyce, we have to sort that.
I am trying to get us to play like Barcelona and dominate possession. It is working pretty well, but we have a tendency sometimes to over-play in the wrong areas.
I have had words with my lads about it in training and if they do what I say, hopefully we won't need to come from behind quite so often.
Stand in the way of progress
There is a big meeting next week to discuss bringing in goalline technology. It is a step in the right direction but we need more of a stride.
We could easily make that stride too because we have the technology provided already by television.
As I've said many times, we need the fourth official watching a monitor in the stand so he can advise the referee on every major decision that might lead to a goal.
A goalline camera will only help one tiny part of the game. It isn't enough.
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