Ian Holloway: Lock Tevez in a room with Super Kev – he'd soon sort out this childish strop
Sunday 13 November 2011
I don't want to drone on about Carlos Tevez too much but I think I could sort his head out. The solution? Lock him in a room for half an hour with Kevin Phillips.
Kev, or Super Kev as we at Blackpool call him, has to be one of the most respected strikers in Britain. He played for England and for the best part of 20 years has been one of the most prolific frontmen around. He has been there and done it.
He is 38 now but still going strong and that is why I signed him for Blackpool in the summer. He has repaid me big-time already – top scorer with seven goals.
But here is the thing. A few games ago we lost a couple on the bounce and I didn't think Kev played too well. This was more to do with us not getting the ball to him, rather than anything he did wrong, but I decided to leave him out. In the next game we went to Leeds and won 5-0 and Kev didn't even get off the bench.
Last Saturday, against Millwall, he was substitute again. With an hour gone and no sign of a goal, I asked him to come on and what happens? With his first touch he smacks one into the top corner and we win 1-0.
My point is that not once over the last fortnight has Kev complained. Instead he got on with it like a true professional should and made damn sure that when his chance came he took it.
Now let's compare that to Tevez, a lad earning a quarter of a million a week who now can't even be bothered to turn up for training. He has pushed everyone so far even Gordon Taylor at the Professional Footballers' Association is turning against him, and that doesn't happen often. It beggars belief the PFA were even sticking up for Tevez in the first place because rarely in this country have we seen someone so disruptive and self-obsessed.
People were asking questions of Sir Alex Ferguson when he let Tevez leave United. I think everyone can now see why. Which manager in their right mind would want a destructive individual like that on their books?
The thing that most gets me about Tevez is the slap in the face he is giving to his own team-mates. Does he not realise that without someone else working hard, winning the ball back, being clever enough to interlink with him, that he would be nothing? He can't do it all on his own.
If only he could spend a bit of time with someone like Kevin Phillips then maybe he would see what being a footballer is all about.
Maybe I'm being old fashioned. Maybe Kev is a dying breed. Maybe there is no place in football for good people.
The likes of Tevez, with his self-centred attitude, is certainly a modern-day thing and a problem that is on the increase.
It is down to how much they get paid and how that makes them feel, how important it makes them think they are. Add to that the media coverage and some of them think they are gods and that they can get away with anything.
Football has a duty to make them understand that isn't the case, that the game itself is much more important than any individual. Imagine Bill Shankly having one of his players at Liverpool act like that? He would have said, in slightly blunter terms, you do what we tell you, son, because you are privileged to be with us, not the other way round. I think Roberto Mancini is playing it right. All he can do, all anyone can do, is treat Tevez with the contempt he deserves, the same way as you'd treat a small child who's got a strop on.
All players sulk from time to time. No one likes being on the bench and not playing but there is a respectful way of showing your unhappiness.
Tevez has consistently broken rule after rule in the last few weeks and without rules what are we? I would hate to see our country without any law enforcement. We almost did a few months ago with the riots and that was terrifying. You have to respect authority. If you don't it is anarchy.
Bobby Moore, Jimmy Armfield, Bobby Charlton. I can't imagine any of them behaving like Mr Tevez has. Surely you have to be a decent human being first before you are a decent footballer. We have to try and ensure that is the case, no matter how talented any individual is – but it is getting increasingly difficult the more spoilt and more powerful these players become.
Time to kick Fifa into touch
It is a matter of time before England and many other Football Associations break away from Fifa. You mark my words, if one of them is brave enough to do it then loads more will follow.
The poppy fiasco is just another episode in a long line of blunders from an organisation that is meant to policethe game and run it in an effective manner. It doesn't. It is woeful.
Thank goodness common sense prevailed with the England team and they were allowed to wear the poppy on an armband. It isn't political and it isn't commercial.
Fifa get too many things wrong. Sepp Blatter is at the heart of it all and how he is still in a job is a modern-day miracle.
That spitting image is a disgrace – a three-game ban is not enough
No one ever spat on me in almost 20 years as a professional but if they had goodness only knows how I'd have reacted. I think I'd have almost strangled them because I can't think of anything more degrading.
So, Mr Alcaraz of Wigan, you are an absolute disgrace and a coward of the worst kind. How someone can do that to a fellow pro is almost beyond me. I think it is maybe a cultural thing. You wouldn't get an English player doing that. But there should be no place for it anywhere in the world because it is vile.
I saw Lee Dixon talking about it on Match of the Day and he was so angry he was going red in the face. Quite right too, I feel the same.
It is a terrible thing and a three-game ban somehow doesn't seem enough – I'd have thrown the book at him because it doesn't get much worse than spitting at an opponent. It's disgusting and filthy. Shame on you.
A hard man and legend
I remember huddling round the telly with my dad in our house in Bristol watching grainy pictures of some blokes wearing boxing gloves and knocking the living daylights out of each other.
I can honestly say it is one of the biggest sporting thrills I've ever had in my life. I didn't realise it at the time but I was witnessing what will probably go down in history as the greatest ever period in heavyweight boxing – Ali, Frazier, Foreman.
Ali was always my favourite but I remember watching Frazier and thinking "how hard is this fella?" He was incredible.
My dad, Bill, loved boxing and that rubbed off on me. I've been a huge fan ever since, but I doubt I'll ever again see the likes of those kind of scraps in the early 1970s.
Frazier played a huge role in that era and he will go down as a true sporting great who will be sadly missed.
Banter blown out of proportion
There is a fine line between being a racist and having a bit of banter, and the Steve Williams-Tiger Woods controversy has been a little exaggerated. If John Terry is proven to have made aggressively racist remarks, then he deserves all the punishment he gets. But there is a big difference between that and light-hearted banter.
What Steve Williams said doesn't look great written down. But at an off-the-record event, when there was banter flying around, I don't think what he said was racist.
Cold comfort at the cinema
It has been a miserable week in the Holloway household. One of my daughters had some sort of virus, which she's very kindly passed on to the rest of us. Kim and I have been walking round the house with tissues shoved up our noses.
We did manage to venture out to the cinema to see a film than Kim has been going on about, Paranormal Activity 3. I was scared stiff at the first two. One of them was all about some woman and her baby who vanish and are never seen again – really cheery stuff. This one was just as horrible but at least it's my turn to pick next time – we'll definitely be going to something a bit lighter.
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