Ian Holloway: Mismatch of the day but Hansen needs to be careful
It will be a complete miracle and the biggest achievement ever if we stay up
Sunday 29 August 2010
When you get into the Premier League, everyone suddenly has an opinion. For me it is very simple: you have to ignore what people say, particularly stuff that might hurt.
Alan Hansen made some comments on Match of the Day about our performance at Arsenal last week, but he should be careful.
I understand that Alan gets paid for his opinion, and it is a very good opinion. He is very learned and very eloquently puts over his views, and to be fair he is a really nice fella. But he should have a bit more understanding about what my job is, particularly when we're down to 10 men. I would like to see any new group of players take on Arsenal away with 10 men and do well, but for some reason not many in the media seemed to mention that.
Alan is entitled to say what he wants and part of it was right, we have to get together as a unit. We have to be honest with ourselves and say 'how can we improve?' and then go back to work. But I have never judged my lads on results and I won't start now.
When I came back into the game after a year out I wanted to produce a type of football that was good to watch, and every week – no matter what the score has been – I have tried to focus on that. I remember losing 4-1 at Crystal Palace in the Championship last season but I wasn't too down because we played much better than the scoreline suggested. To me that was all that mattered.
So I am going to try and be like that in the Premier League, and whatever people say will be what they are paid to say.
I think it will be a complete miracle and the biggest achievement ever by anyone if we do stay up. With the squad size we've got, the youth set-up, how late the ground has been finished, with four out of the first five games away, with nowhere near enough players ... we are a unique club and I believe no one else has ever had it this tough in the Premier League before. But what a fantastic challenge that makes it and we will take it on as well as we can, try and improve the players, improve the team and play some decent football.
Roll on the end of the transfer window, it is a horrible time. I need to sign half-a-dozen players before the end of play on Tuesday because our squad is so short on numbers.
Thanks a bunch is all I can say.
It is the worst thing that I have ever had to try and do because I can't begin to describe how hard it is to sign one football player, let alone the amount that I need. You see those great big blokes in the World's Strongest Man competition pulling a truck, and that's how I feel. And that's just getting one player in.
It is bad for your family situation because you are on the phone all the time. I was trying to have a meal with my wife Kim the other night and my mobile was going non-stop. It is just unbelievably rude.
The reason we need so many players is because no one expected to go up. You do not scout for players who are earning double what your squad is when you are in the Championship because you don't know you will definitely have that extra money.
That's where we are now: someone has given us a load of money. And my chairman has a grip on that money like you can't believe! He is just paranoid about letting it get out of control if we go back down, and quite rightly so. So it is ludicrously difficult at the moment and it is not helped by the system, where we have two transfer windows and everyone is in a mad rush to get their business done.
We've got to get to January without adding anyone else and how unfair is that? How do I know who is going to get injured? It would be a fairer, more balanced market place if when you needed a player, you could go and buy one.
I just don't see who the transfer windows are benefiting.
Kim knows witch house is best
I have had a breakthrough on the house front. My wife Kim and I want to move the family up north and after a fortnight of driving everywhere we've managed to find a place.
What with signing players and working with the team it's been a bit of a nightmare trying to get ourselves moved in.
We are only renting at the moment but the place we've found, which is really nice, is also up for sale so if we like it, it might be the one. It is in the heart of Lancashire, near Pendle Hill, which is close to Burnley.
Anyone familiar with that area will know that it's where the witches are. Well, now there's another one moved in... I hope the wife doesn't mind me saying that!
I don't think Fabio was looking at my players!
We might have conceded an equaliser three minutes from the end but what a fantastic game against Fulham yesterday. I enjoyed every minute.
Fabio Capello was watching from our directors' box but I think he was looking at Bobby Zamora rather than my players.
I thought Bobby was superb, one hell of a player and nothing like the 16-year-old boy I used to have at Bristol Rovers.
The talk is that Wayne Rooney might not play for England next week because he's been ill, and Mr Capello might leave him out.
Personally I'd pick Wayne and love him up, say "come on, son, you are one of the best players in the world – don't worry about the World Cup, let's get on with it, kid". But if Mr Capello decides to go with someone else then on yesterday's evidence, Zamora could be that man.
Fulham looked a classy top-flight team so I was delighted with how my lads performed, especially after Arsenal.
My new signing Luke Varney had a remarkable debut and I don't think there was a better goal all day than our second.
I'm delighted we've got four points in three games. Not many would have tipped us to do that.
Tall story but Crouch deserves it
Forget Roy of the Rovers, what Harry Redknapp has done at Tottenham is even more far-fetched. I was delighted when they made it into the Champions' League group stages. What an achievement that is considering Harry took over when they were second-bottom of the Premier League.
Everybody wrote them off when they were losing 3-0 in the first leg against Young Boys but to come back and make it 3-2 showed their quality and their class. They are like cream; it always comes to the top.
To go to White Hart Lane and have to hold on to a one-goal advantage, I'm sorry but it was never going to happen, not with the attackers Spurs have. And I am personally delighted for Peter Crouch. I had him at QPR and he is an absolutely cracking lad. To get a hat-trick to put that club into the Champions' League for the first time is just brilliant. Well done, son.
Wenger has a wine, mine's a beer
It was great to sit down with Arsène Wenger and talk football for a few minutes after our game at Arsenal. He had a glass of wine, I had a beer and he was lovely to speak to.
As well as being someone whom I hugely admire, he is simply a very nice man, a total gentleman. He is quietly spoken, very thoughtful and he was very complimentary about us, despite the scoreline.
He thought that we did well and pointed out that in an hour with an extra man, his team only managed to score four.
I think my lads were a bit shocked at the speed with which Arsenal played and particularly the pace of certain individuals, and as a group we have to improve on that. But the whole day at the Emirates was wonderful and an experience that I will always remember.
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