Ian Holloway: It's not like the real world, so if I was Terry's manager I'd keep picking him
Until it reaches the stage where his guilt is proven, I don't think any of us should judge
Sunday 20 November 2011
I don't care what anyone says about John Terry or if people believe he is about to be charged over the incident with Anton Ferdinand. If I was his manager, I would keep picking him.
This country is built on the notion of innocent until proven guilty. Loads of people in society get charged; not all of them are convicted. Are they guilty? No they're not.
Like him or not, Terry has not done anything wrong as yet, even if charges are brought against him. As long as he is in the right frame of mind I'd continue to play him.
I've heard the arguments about how this wouldn't happen in other professions – if someone who worked in an office was charged then they might be suspended pending an investigation.
Fair enough, but football is a completely different, unique industry. It is a bit weird, to be honest, and doesn't work like most businesses.
Having been in the game as long as I have, I would deal with it by putting my arm round Terry and supporting him until it is proven that he has done something wrong.
If he is found guilty, that changes everything. He would undoubtedly be a racist and that would affect the team's performance because how can you join in a team that contains people you have been prejudiced against? The answer is you can't.
If he is found guilty, there will be no hiding place. Look what happened to Ron Atkinson. He was the face of football on ITV; next minute he's nothing, dropped like a stone.
But until it reaches the stage where Terry's guilt is proven, I don't think any of us should judge – it would be unfair if we did.
Top England stars are selfish
I was walking out of my newsagents the other day when a magazine with a picture of Paul Scholes on the cover caught my eye.
This is a bloke I love, who hardly ever gives an interview, so I did a hasty about-turn and bought a copy.
It was worth reading because he hit the nail on the head when it comes to what has been the problem with the England team in the last few years.
He reckons some of our top players are too selfish. He didn't name names but I know exactly what he means. Some players want to be superstars and crave the glory themselves rather than doing it for the team.
I have believed this for a long time but when you are some Bristol oaf like me, who has never been good enough to play for his country, you think twice about saying it out loud.
It is refreshing to know that Scholes, a man who has been there and done it in an England shirt, feels the same.
Until certain individuals realise that a sideways pass which puts in someone else can be more beneficial than trying to score yourself, we aren't going to win anything.
We have got to get out of this "me, me, me" mentality which seems to have spread through our game.
Thankfully, with the introduction of Kyle Walker, Phil Jones, Jack Rodwell and the other young guns who played against Spain and Sweden, we might be entering a bright new phase.
Let me get one thing straight, though: no matter how good this new crop are, they need to be told to play the right way.
I have all the respect in the world for Fabio Capello but the system he is playing won't work long-term. OK, we beat Spain but the fact they had 71 per cent of possession is embarrassing. Play them another 10 times and they would win at least nine.
The next manager has to get us passing and moving, like the Spanish and a wonderful young German team.
This manager won't do that, we know that. But let's get ready now for next summer when he goes, and by that I mean the Football Association identifying someone who will give our young lads the right model and a chance of winning on a regular basis.
Capello knows how good the kids are but just how brave he will be at the European Championship next summer remains to be seen.
No one's place is safe, not Terry, Lampard, Gerrard or even Rooney. I'm not saying dump the old guard. It's dangerous and wrong to say they have had their day and write them off. Frank Lampard was being slaughtered a month ago and how many times has he scored since?
And don't give me that rubbish about how anybody could have scored that goal against Spain. It was about anticipation and being in the right place at the right time and there are very few better at it than Lampard.
But the great thing is that the older lads will be looking over their shoulders and feeling threatened. If they step up a gear, great. If not, they should be axed. I'm just glad it's not my job to make that decision.
But I do feel new hope. I was three years old when England won the World Cup and I believe I will see them win it again, and – with the young lads we've got – maybe a bit sooner than everyone thinks.
Sepp, you should step down
I could write five pages' worth on Sepp Blatter but I'll keep it short.
How many more times does this fella have to prove he doesn't have his finger on the pulse. How is he still managing to retain that position of power at Fifa?
Everyone knows the person he is. He has displayed his true colours time and time again. He gets it wrong at every turn.
I hope he doesn't survive this time. You need intelligence and diplomacy in the post he holds and he's got nowt on either front.
Trapattoni shows way forward for the game's seventy-somethings
I don't know if I'll be lucky enough to be alive when I'm 72, never mind still a manager.
So at this point I salute you, Mr Giovanni Trapattoni. What a bloke, and if he wants a new contract with the Republic of Ireland, then my view would be give him one.
He has just led Ireland to Euro 2012. What an achievement that is. He is clearly getting results so as long as he's healthy, give him another deal.
I can understand why he has gone on in management so long. I have seen so many people retire and then go downhill. They want a rest from responsibility and yet when they have no responsibility they are not the same person any more. If you just sit around waiting for your time to run out, how boring is that?
Carry on as long as you can, I reckon, and good luck to Ireland at the Euros. It is great for the tournament that they have made it.
Their fans are among the best on the planet. I did a newspaper column in an Irish paper for three years and I've never had so many nice letters in my life. I love them and I'll be cheering them all the way.
Don't start Euro League
There will be a European League soon. Like it or not, it is going to happen.
The idea isn't new. It has been hovering around for years. But the statement by the president of Barcelona this week was ominous.
He wants the Premier League, and all the other domestic leagues in Europe, cut from 20 to 16 clubs. That way they would be able to have the big Champions' League games, like Barça v Manchester United, on a Saturday instead of midweek because there would be more free weekends.
If it happens, it won't be long until the top clubs break away from the domestic leagues to create their own little super-competition.
From a selfish point of view, I'd hate it. I had the time of my life last year in the Premier League and I want to get back there. Chucking four clubs out, and the effect that would have on the lower divisions, would be a nightmare for those not in the top flight.
The best clubs will probably be in favour of it. And from what I have seen in politics, it usually ends up going the way of the big fish.
Not counting my chickens yet
I am worried about my chickens. The winters in Burnley are flippin' freezing and I need to get a new hut sorted for them fast.
I tried to build one earlier in the week but couldn't do it and completely lost my temper. It would have been YouTube gold if someone videoed it.
I've ordered a new house for them now so we can chuck them all in. That will be easy because let me tell you, they are completely thick. They would walk straight into your oven, they are that stupid.
Hopefully I'll have them rehoused – and all warm and cosy – by this time next week.
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