Ian Holloway: We can get back into the promised land – if we have 'God' in our side

If I start Brett Ormerod up front with Robbie Fowler and Kevin Phillips, their combined age will be 109

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I have been like a little kid at Christmas this week because as a manager it isn't often you get your hands on a bona fide legend. Robbie Fowler is training with us at Blackpool and I don't know who is more excited, me or the chairman.

It is quite a coup for our club and as soon as we found out, my chairman was on Wikipedia looking at his stats. "I can't believe he wants to train with us," my chairman told me. "Quick, get him in before he changes his mind."

It isn't a publicity stunt. I am not that kind of manager. Robbie is training with a view to signing a permanent deal because I think he can help us win promotion.

He got in touch via a third party earlier in the week to ask if he could come in. When you get that request from a player who has the nickname God, you don't think twice.

I have to admit that despite being a manager for 15 years, I was a bit nervous about meeting him. I had to stop myself turning up with an autograph book! The lads were just as wide-eyed about it all and the training session we had on Thursday was something else.

I swear the standard was lifted by about 15 per cent just because Robbie was involved. My players wanted to show him what they could do and I think Robbie himself wanted to prove he was still the player he used to be.

He isn't absolutely fully fit yet, but he isn't far off because he had been playing regularly in Thailand until last month. More importantly, he still looks class.

I am a massive fan of his and when he had that first spell at Liverpool in the Nineties there was hardly a striker in the world that could touch him. I was still a player then and I used to watch him in awe because he was almost unstoppable.

He may be 36 now and not quite as sharp but experience is priceless. I've found that out with Kevin Phillips. What a signing he has proved to be since I got him in the summer. He's 38 but he is our top scorer with 13 goals and has been sublime all year.

Come to think of it, we've also got Brett Ormerod, who is 35 years old. If I start him up front with Robbie and Kev, their combined age will be 109. Is that some kind of record? No one can accuse me of being ageist.

Anyone who doubts what Robbie can bring to the table doesn't know how to build a team. It is vital to have a blend of young, exciting lads and those who have been there, done it.

I remember Burnley signing Ian Wright a few years ago, when I was manager at Bristol Rovers. Wright sat on the bench, came on towards the end of matches and was pure class. Burnley chased down an 11-point gap on my Rovers and went up in the second automatic promotion place behind Preston.

I am not saying Robbie is going to get us into the Premier League but I am convinced that his presence can help us and give us a little boost at what is an incredibly important stage of the season.

The only thing I'm worried about is actually getting him to sign. He is just training at the moment and his face is going to be a picture when my chairman – who isn't known for being the most generous – offers him a contract. I've already told Robbie not to be too insulted!

He seems to want to stay, though, so fingers crossed, we're about to snap up God.

Brooking no arguments, please

I couldn't disagree more strongly with Trevor Brooking's theory that the next England manager can be "parachuted in" a few days before the Euros.

Trev, I loved you as a player but that is a ridiculous notion. The England job is one of the toughest managerial posts in the world and it isn't something you can get right in a few hours.

Sir Bobby Robson and Graham Taylor, fantastic managers in their own right, worked at it for years and they still ended up pictured in newspapers with turnips on their heads. To have any chance of doing well you need a full-time boss and stability.

Everyone knows Harry Redknapp is the only serious contender, so why haven't the FA approached him? They have lost their manager, they need another one and Harry is almost crying out for it. What are you waiting for? Go and get him.

The Holland game showed exactly why it should be Harry. I thought Stuart Pearce conducted himself exceptionally well, and he was honest about not wanting the job long-term. But the actual football was the same we played under Capello and that isn't the way to go. We were facing our own goal and playing it sideways and backwards. That's not called being patient, it's called not going anywhere.

I didn't like it, I was bored and if Klaas-Jan Huntelaar had stayed on, I don't think we would ever have got back into it.

International football has changed. The way teams defend is totally different to how they used to. It is much more effective, hard to break down, and we need to adapt our game accordingly. That is why Harry, who has his Tottenham team playing in an exciting, swashbuckling style, would be perfect for the role.

We now have some good young players who need to be phased in, while at the same time some of the older brigade have to be phased out.

It needs a fresh start and a new manager to do that – not someone who was part of the old regime's backroom staff.

I couldn't work for someone with a reputation for firing managers

Loads of managers get sacked each season but I don't think there has ever been as many downright weird dismissals as this season.

A few weeks ago I described Simon Grayson's departure from Leeds as the most shocking I'd ever heard, because the bloke was doing so well.

But since then we've had Lee Clark axed at promotion-chasing Huddersfield and now Gary Megson. When he got the boot from Sheffield Wednesday, they were third-top and had just beaten their arch-rivals in the Sheffield derby. Absolute madness.

The Wednesday chairman is Milan Mandaric, a man I worked under at Leicester. I didn't have a great time there, wasn't given the chance to buy the players I wanted, and ended up getting the sack.

Some chairmen are trigger-happy and if you look at Leicester, they have now re-hired Nigel Pearson, the bloke they had sacked when Mandaric was in charge, which shows just how crazy it all is.

My experience at Leicester made me realise the importance of having a strong and loyal chairman. I wouldn't go and work for someone again who has a reputation for firing managers. It's just not worth it, as Megson has found out.

From Liverpool to LA pool

My old midfielder Charlie Adam is going up in the world, getting messages from Piers Morgan. After last weekend's Carling Cup shoot-out, Morgan tweeted: "May have to pull out of Oscars parties tonight – was just lying by my LA pool when Charlie's penalty hit me in the face."

It's a shame that it had to be settled on penalties. I don't like them and I never have. I like what they do in the States: you have five seconds to run from the 25-yard line and score against a keeper. It is a brilliant idea and a better test of skill than penalties.

I can't see us doing it over here, though. The FA would never admit to Americans doing something better, especially when it comes to football.

Not slovenly after Slovenia

I have to salute my goalkeeper Matt Gilks, for his stamina. The lad travelled to Slovenia with the Scotland squad for a friendly in midweek and got back in the early hours of Thursday morning – yet still turned up for training.

He had about an hour's sleep but he bounded in as enthusiastic as ever and said: "right, start hitting shots at me". I couldn't believe it.

Maybe it's because these young lads enjoy nightclubs and are used to getting in at some godforsaken time. But it's not for me. I don't think I've been up later than 2am since about 1995!

I feel sorry for Gilks because I believe he is one of the best keepers in the country and yet he still hasn't won a cap for Scotland, despite being in all their squads for the past year.

All I can say is that Scotland's No 1 one, Allan McGregor, must be some goalie. Hopefully Gilks will get an opportunity soon.

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