Ian Holloway: Thanks for doing our team talk for us, Der Kaiser
I've lost respect for Beckenbauer and I really hope England ram his silly words down his throat today
Sunday 27 June 2010
If I was England manager, I would pin Franz Beckenbauer's comments on the dressing-room wall and say: "Here you are lads, look at what this fella is calling you."
I have a massive amount of respect for Beckenbauer, a fantastic player, but I've lost a bit of it now. Why is he suddenly piping up about England being stupid and tired and a long-ball team that plays kick-and-rush football?
One of the reasons I hope we win today's game is so that we can completely ram those words down his throat. What on earth is the matter with him? I'm being serious. Where has his dignity gone?
Hopefully our lads can use it to their advantage because the game against Germany is tough. They have done really well and have some brilliant young players.
If I could sign Mesut Ozil for Blackpool I'd fly straight out to do the deal. He'd fit perfectly into the system I play at Bloomfield Road. Mind you, at the moment I can't get that transfer done because I'm too busy trying to persuade Liverpool to loan us Fernando Torres next season. He'd do nicely in our team!
It will be a close game today but I am glad we are playing Germany and not Ghana, because I'd rather us do it the hard way. This is the World Cup and if we can't beat the best teams then we are not worthy of winning it.
Anyhow I think playing the better teams suits us, because they will attack us. If you are playing the Swiss, who play five at the back, four across midfield and one up front, then it is tough to break them down.
A Germany or an Argentina won't play like that. Fate has dealt us this hand and whatever happens it should be a great game. I think the lads will be motivated and will have a point to prove. This is the real thing and hopefully we can do it.
Terrible to knock Terry - just get behind the boys
The so-called John Terry revolution and all the fuss surrounding it was absolute nonsense. People outside were just looking for it.
What upset me was that we were asking every Tom, Dick and Harry their opinion, yet they weren't so vocal when we qualified. When you look at Italy going out and Germany struggling to get through, I cannot understand why there was so much fuss about England.
Two draws and a win was always going to do it.
Our big players were excellent against Slovenia: Lampard, Gerrard, Terry... they all played well.
I wish Wayne Rooney had scored because it would have calmed him down. He is one of the best players in the world. He just has to play it simple. If you look at Messi he doesn't do anything outlandish at the wrong time. If he gets it right, Wayne will be someone who makes a difference.
The key was that we kept the ball. Without Emile Heskey to hit, we had to pass it better and as a result we retained possession. They were a little nervy at the start but it is amazing what a goal does.
It is just a shame for the lads that we didn't get the first win a bit earlier because – and I make no apologies for harping on about this – the reaction to those two draws was absolute madness. Everybody was suddenly rubbish and useless, apparently.
I never felt that way and it's a good job people didn't feel that way about my Blackpool team because with 10 games to go we'd have been terrible.
It's about supporting and it's about belief. Qualifying was all that mattered. We've done that and are four games away from the best prize in the world. At Blackpool we had four games to win promotion and we did it because no one was expecting anything and we were being encouraged.
It needs to be the same for the England players. We need to cherish and be proud of them, not moan about how much they are being paid. That is nothing to do with it. That isn't their fault. All I want is for them to go on the pitch and do better than the players they are up against, and that will only happen if we get behind them.
Greece frightening but it's a knockout is great
Thank God Greece went out. Their last game was hard to watch because they were so negative it was frightening. I like open, expansive football and by the end of the tournament there are going to be some brilliant goals created by brilliant play.
I have found the early group stages pretty boring, to be honest. Everybody was so scared to death of losing the first two games and it showed.
When it got to the third match and teams had to win, it suddenly got interesting. And hopefully it will carry on like that because it's now the knockout stage. Teams know it is the be-all and end-all so they are finally sorting their lives out.
Slovaks a new sensation but old faithful will win it
I am loving watching Paraguay, and some of the football Chile and Mexico have played has been great.
Well done to Slovakia for beating Italy. That was an amazing game and it was an unbelievable moment when their substitute, Kamil Kopunek, came on and scored that goal.
Isn't it nice to have some different faces and unknown names surprising you and doing well? Brilliant stuff.
But I still reckon one of the old faithfuls will win it. It will be a case of "here we go again" because I believe Brazil, Germany or maybe Argentina will win. I include England on that possibles list as well. It would be great if we can get our hands on that lovely gold trophy for a second time.
I'm a racket man but that tennis was ridiculous
I am still resting up after watching that marathon tennis match at Wimbledon.
I couldn't quite believe what I was seeing and I had to switch it off when it got to 48-all because I was exhausted!
I am a massive tennis fan. I love it because the talent of those boys is something else. I admire their mental strength, their concentration and how they cope with setbacks.
In that game they managed to play at a ridiculously high standard, despite the fact it was going on so long and breaking all those records. Could I play for 10 hours? I couldn't play for 10 minutes, especially not at that level. If I was up against one of those fellas the match would be over before you knew it, 6-0 6-0 6-0. I couldn't even return one of their serves. But hats off, it was great to watch.
Predictable ending to French farce
It is shocking for the people of France that their football players behaved like they did.
They completely disrespected the manager and his coaches and it was all wrong. I don't want to see any team like that. You are representing your nation and if you have any sort of arguments, you keep it in-house.
I have been outspoken about Thierry Henry's handball in the play-off against Ireland and it's funny how life has a way of sometimes paying you back.
Henry exploited the rules. He knew what he'd done and it was wrong. Video analysis – which I support – could have sorted that out and it might not have been them at the World Cup.
France looked like a bunch of people who weren't together and didn't agree with anything they were doing. If you're not a unit, you've got no chance.
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