Ian Holloway: This Ince isn't like his dad – but he's good
The son will be as good as his dad if he has the skill, talent and temperament
Sunday 23 October 2011
Ihave a lad at Blackpool called Tom Ince and for anyone thinking "wonder if he's the son of Paul?" the answer is yes. That should probably worry me because the list of sons who have tried to follow in the footsteps of their famous fathers and failed is endless. It is easy to see why that happens because if you are in that position, you simply can't ignore their existence. Take Nicky Summerbee. Growing up all he must have heard and read about was how fantastic his dad Mike was.
Poor Nicky didn't have the talent his dad had but he was a decent player. Yet he was never allowed to forget who his old man was and it made a lovely story for the press. I think that made it difficult for him.
If you haven't got any relations in the game it is much easier because you are anonymous. You get on with it and nobody in the crowd or the media will be sat muttering "not as good as his dad is he?"
It is a dangerous thing to compare yourself to anyone. How long have wingers at Manchester Unitedbeen labelled the next George Best? It does them no favours because it can knock their confidence when it invariably turns out that they're not as good as Besty.
One thing I do think is important is that sons don't play for the club their father manages. Paul Sturrock used to take his son everywhere but I didn't like that. They have to stand and fall on their own. And besides I would be too critical of my boy. I'd be worried about the others lads in the dressing room saying "oh he's daddy's boy, he doesn't get told off like we do". So I'd probably deliberately treat my son worse than everyone else and then that's not fair on my own lad is it?
I actually think the father-son thing is a myth. The bottom line is that the son will be every bit as good as his dad if he has the skill, the talent and the temperament. That last one is key. It is early days with Tom but I think he might have it. My daughter rides horses and the key thing with a horse is how it handles going to a show. Will it get over-excited or will it perform? Tom is only 19 yet he has handled everything I have thrown at him. I left him out at the start of the season, even though we signed him from Liverpool in the summer and he probably thought he was going to play.
I played him recently, then put him on the bench next game when he probably deserved to start, but he took it and it didn't knock his confidence one bit. He is showing great maturity.
I have made a point of telling him that I don't even think about his surname. He is totally different to his dad anyway. Paul was a right-footed midfielder. Tom is a left-footed attacker.
Just how good he will turn out to be remains to be seen – let's face it, he's got to go some to be as good as his old man.
But anyone who saw his goals for us on Tuesday, especially his 25-yard winner in stoppage time to help us beat Doncaster, knows this might be one kid who bucks that father-son trend.
Why I wouldn't ban the media
Rangers are playing a bit of a dangerous game by banning the BBC but if they think that is the right course of action, then fair enough. Like Sir Alex Ferguson did for years, they will have to stick to their guns.
I'm not sure I would ever do the same, though. I used to think differently, mind. In my first job at Bristol Rovers back in the Nineties, the media drove me crazy. I was less experienced and every time they asked me a question I took it as a personal affront. I realised when I went to QPR how how influential they are. The last thing you want to do is get off on the wrong foot with your local reporter because one word from him in an article can kill you.
I have always tried to be honest and I would hate to ban anyone because I think I could cope with any question and give a half-decent answer.
No calls today, I'm watching one of the great Manchester derbies
I don't think I've ever been so excited about a Sunday afternoon in my life. I am switching my phone off, jumping on the sofa and settling down to watch what I think could be one of the best ever Manchester derbies.
We are talking about two great clubs who are closer now than they have been for years. But I have a sneaky feeling this game is bigger for City than it is for United. It won't crack United if they lose because they are so strong mentally. But if City were to get beaten, then the Reds would have landed a huge psychological blow and it might just throw Roberto Mancini's lot off track for a while.
So there is a lot at stake and that is what makes the game so exciting. I have to take my hat off to Mancini because he has really impressed me with how he has handled himself and his team this season. He has exceeded my expectations. They are a real threat and genuine title challengers. They are going to get better and stronger and they aren't going to go away, and I think Fergie knows that. It will be really interesting to see how the old master reacts.
United have some superb fresh, young lads like Welbeck, Young and Jones, but City's squad is also immense and it seems more settled and mature now. Winning the FA Cup last year was the first notch and being above United in the League, and looking so strong, is a big thing for them. If they can win today it would be another huge filip and shot in the arm.
I can't help but feel sorry for Mark Hughes, who was treated dreadfully and, given time, might have done exactly what Mancini has. But Mancini is doing the business in very difficult circumstances. Today is his biggest test yet.
Shove relegation plans
I'm probably jeopardising my chances of ever again being hired by a foreign owner but with the greatest of respect, go and shove your no relegation plans where the sun don't shine. How dare these people try and change a sport which has worked perfectly well since time immemorial?
If you buy an English football club then you buy into the tradition of this country and you risk your money. If you don't want to risk it, stay at home and stick it in the bank. We are the nation of the underdog and our dream is to make it big. There is no better example than Blackpool. Who would have thought little old Blackpool would end up in the Premier League taking on Chelsea and Manchester United. It was great for football. Yet if there was no relegation it would never have happened.
Think about the poor fellas at AFC Wimbledon. Their club was so important to them that they refused to go to MK Dons or change their name. They started the club from scratch, climbed goodness knows how many levels and are finally back in the Football League. Are we going to stop them getting to the top because some American in a suit wants to safeguard his money?
I'm not having it. It is selfish and wrong and for the sake of our wonderful game it can never ever be allowed to see the light of day.
Boss Lambert is pointing in right direction
For obvious reasons I am keeping a close eye on the promoted sides and watching how they fare in the Premier League.
It is nice to see Neil Warnock looking so settled and doing well. I have a big affinity with QPR after 10 years there as player and manager, so I am delighted it is finally stable and that Neil has a proper chance to try to keep them up.
Swansea have done well too – they play the game the right way and have managed to sneak a few good results – but it is Norwich who I have been impressed with the most.
Paul Lambert is a young, up and coming manager who has done a terrific job. Unless you are in the industry, you have no idea how tough it is to take a club from League One to the Premier League in consecutive seasons. It is a hell of an achievement in this modern era and yet he seems to have slipped under the radar a little. I don't think he gets the credit he deserves.
He has built a team that looks solid and fresh and I loved watching their game with Manchester United. I was envious because they were able to play an attacking game yet look secure at the back. We didn't master that last year. We were great going forward but conceded too often. It is not easy to get both ends right, yet Norwich are doing it.
In Steve Morison they have a really good striker – look what has happened to Millwall since they lost him. Anthony Pilkington from Huddersfield has also impressed me – what an astute signing that was
I know there is a long way to go, and it will be interesting to see how they cope, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the rise and rise of the Canaries. I don't want them to fall.
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