Ian Holloway: Snow foils my cunning plan to run over Bale's left foot

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The Independent Online

I had a foolproof plan to beat Tottenham today which I hoped would guarantee victory until the game was called off. I was going to park my car near the main entrance and wait for the Spurs team coach to pull up. Then as soon as Gareth Bale got off I was going to accelerate and run over his left foot. Mind you he's so good even that might not have been enough to stop him.

The tactical battle and how to beat Harry Redknapp's side was one of the things I was most looking forward to. I read Harry saying Inter were mad not to man-mark Bale in those games where he tore them apart. Whether we man-marked or not, it was to be my right-back Neal Eardley, a lad proving to be a fantastic player, who had the task of trying to deal with Bale, and we were going to try and hurt him by running him the other way. I wanted to see what Bale is like at defending because he is definitely a better left-winger than left-back.

Having said that, even last season's Champions' League winners couldn't make him defend so maybe it is easier said than done.

Anyone who thinks we were going to take a step back against Spurs instead of going toe-to-toe doesn't know me very well. If you sit back they will beat you because they are superb going forward. But they have let some goals in so when we do play them let's see if we can score some. That is my philosophy and my lads seem to like it. But Tottenham are a great team so we've got to step up to the plate and play out of our skin. I trust my lads to do that.

Everyone seems to be going on about Blackpool and how we're shocking the world. That's all very nice but also a bit insulting because no one at my club is shocked. My lads and I believed we could cope at this level and so far we are doing.

Today we were going to have to do it without my skipper Charlie Adam. He is suspended after getting a ridiculously harsh fifth booking of the season at Stoke last weekend. We'll miss Charlie. You've probably seen him on the TV and you'll know what a good player he is for us. But he does not run the midfield on his own. You can't do that.

I used to help Ray Wilkins at QPR by tackling people while he passed it. And when it was said "Wilkins ran the midfield" I didn't like that, so I don't like the fact that Charlie sometimes gets all the credit. I've got others like David Vaughan who have been magic as well and I've no doubt that whoever steps in for Charlie – and I've yet to make up my mind between Keith Southern and Ludovic Sylvestre – will do us proud.

Seeking SPOTY autographs

I am heading off to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards in Birmingham tonight. Myself and the wife (Kim) have been invited and I intend to enjoy myself. I'm taking my autograph book because half of my heroes will be there.

I don't know whether I'm in the running for anything. Some people have been mentioning the Coach of the Year award but Harry Redknapp deserves to take that one home.

Not a lot of people know this but Harry tried to sign me a few years back when he was at Bournemouth. I went somewhere else instead, which shows what I know. You can tell how good Harry is by the fact he has had Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch on the bench a lot and yet they are still smiling. Compare that to Manchester City where they want to kill the manager if he brings them off!

Platini makes the blood boil

Michel Platini makes me feel sad. I used to admire him because he was one of the greatest players on earth, but he's not proving the greatest in his current job. I almost choked on my cuppa when I heard him say the 2022 World Cup might be moved from summer to January because the temperature in Qatar was too hot. Him and Sepp Blatter, are they serious?

Yeah that's great. We'll change the date of the planet's greatest tournament because you nuggets have given the World Cup to a country where it's so hot you don't need a kettle to boil water. Maybe they could do the same with Christmas. My turkeys will be delighted. I'll go and tell them they've got a bit of respite because Fifa have said they're going to move Christmas this year. The whole thing is ludicrous. They are a law unto themselves these governing bodies. There is no common sense. Ridiculous. Enough said.

Chelsea look unstable

The title is wide open. I'm shocked at how Chelsea are and maybe that's because they haven't quite got the stability the other top clubs have.

Roman Abramovich came in and chucked his money at it but at the moment they seem far from happy.

Manchester United and Arsenal will both be up there and you have to ask yourself why. Yes, they have brilliant managers, but they've also got stability. Neither of those managers is ever undermined and that is vital at any club that wants to do well.

I'll get my coat

Thanks to the Stoke fans last week for taking the mickey out of my posh new coat. They were calling me an undertaker, but I've had a lot worse than that. It's a shame because I quite liked the thing but I might not wear it again now.

It happened last year at Preston, where I wore a coat my missus had got me for Christmas and they were all calling me Del Boy out of Only Fools and Horses. Fair enough, they can say what they like about my clothes. But let's be honest, I have to try and look good with a face like mine. Every time I look in the mirror I go "oh no". That's why I make sure I look after my wife. She's a good-looking lady and looking like I do I'm lucky to have her.

These chicken owners who sacked Big Sam really get my goat

If my attacking philosophy had backfired and we had been hammered 10-0 by Spurs, the nice thing is I probably wouldn't have been sacked. But I am one of the lucky ones because the last fortnight has been sickening.

The dismissal of Sam Allardyce hot on the heels of Chris Hughton, has taken football to a new low. To lose your job in the circumstances those two have is disgraceful. If you are 11th in the table and six points above the drop zone, you are doing a decent job aren't you?

There is a fundamental lack of understanding on the part of some club owners about what being a football manager entails. Big Sam had done a marvellous job at Ewood Park. Look how difficult it had been for Paul Ince at Blackburn. Sam came in and used all his experience to keep them up.

Last season he led them to 10th in the League and he has obviously told these new chicken owners that they need to spend money if they want to rise any further. The owners didn't like that and look what's happened. But they've made a big mistake. You can't have a record in football like Big Sam has and not listen to him.

If the people at Blackburn think they can just run with nobody until the end of the season, then I've no idea what planet they are on. Their fans, the ones who understand the tradition and importance of the club, must be worried.

They even mentioned Diego Maradona as a replacement. Come on! Good gracious me, the guy who handballed us out of a World Cup? Really?

I feel sorry for Avram Grant too because he's not getting much help. I can't believe that someone at his club is saying he has three games to save his job. That completely undermines Avram. If someone doesn't want you they should get rid of you, not set you a stupid deadline. That's the one thing you can say in favour of Blackburn's owners.

If I was one of Avram's players, I'd be thinking "hang on a minute, who is the next manager going to be?" He doesn't deserve that.

Since Blackpool got promoted, I have found out just how difficult it is to manage at this level. The pressure is immense. If you add to that some owners who don't have a clue about the game, you've got real problems. Thankfully I don't have to worry about that at Blackpool. My chairman Karl Oyston is like Marmite with the fans: they either love or hate him. But I think he's great. He never undermines. That makes me feel very secure in my job, which means I can focus fully on the football and that has helped us be successful.

I just hope that this crazy last fortnight isn't repeated any time soon. Some very good managers have lost their jobs and I've found it pretty obscene and hard to take.

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