Ian Holloway: Better Manager Than Roberto Mancini?

16 Aug

Well, according to the supposed football expert Tony Cascarino, the answer to the above question is ‘yes’. Writing in The Times today, the former Republic of Ireland striker, who by the way, has never been particularly amicable towards Man City, stated: “Ian Holloway’s a better manager than Roberto Mancini – he’s attack-minded and knows how to organise a team, unlike the Italian. Holloway did Mancini a favour – everyone’s focusing on how good Blackpool were instead of Manchester City’s poor effort at Spurs.”

I’m never usually one to be up in arms about what is written in the paper about my beloved team, as City fans are used to the utter tripe which is so often scribed by so-called experts, eager for a cheap pop at the Blues on account of our wealth. But those comments by Cascarino really riled me, and I’ll now take issue with what he said.

At the outset, let me just clearly establish that I have nothing against Ian Holloway. Over time, with a number of clubs, he has achieved wonders, guiding Blackpool to the Premier League on a budget even smaller than Ashley Cole’s IQ. He’s a genuine character and is a dream to listen to whenever he is interviewed. So this is not a parting shot at Holloway, rather it’s a blog in support of Roberto Mancini.

To pick up on Cascarino’s first jibe, namely the fact that Holloway is “attack-minded, unlike the Italian”, what utter nonsense. Blackpool did indeed play some attractive, attacking football, starting the match in a 4-3-3 formation, but without meaning to disrespect Wigan, it’s a darn sight easier to play in an offensive manner against Wigan, rather than away to Spurs! Mancini’s attacking options were limited, with both David Silva and Carlos Tévez struggling for match fitness, and although he did leave Emmanuel Adebayor on the bench, that decision was justified as Spurs were rampant throughout the game. We needed as much defensive cover as possible against a side who qualified for the Champions League, so that cannot be levelled at Mancini in any way, shape or form.

Moving on, the vexatious Cascarino described how Holloway “knows how to organise a team, unlike the Italian.” If Mancini has only one strength, and doesn’t know anything else, he certainly knows how to organise a team! Much criticism was levelled at Mancini last season, but the indubitable truth is that he improved our defence in terms of coordination and goals conceded. We shipped far too many goals during the tenure of Mark Hughes, but the Italian came in and immediately rectified that problem. I haven’t seen enough of Blackpool to ascertain their defensive capabilities, but Cascarino is most definitely wrong in aiming that particular criticism at my good friend Mancini.

As has been covered in a number of column inches, including on this blog, Spurs were the superior team on Saturday, but City by no means disgraced themselves. Yes, we had Joe Hart to thank for keeping us in the game, but there were some positive signs there for us, considering it was the first time many of our stars have played together. We can only improve as the season goes on, unlike Cascarino, who remain as useless as ever.


18 Responses to “Ian Holloway: Better Manager Than Roberto Mancini?”

  1. tom 16/08/2010 at 6:38 pm #

    ‘Good on ya’, Cascarino has tipped city to finish 7th this season! He’s a barely literate oik, who clearly has an issue with city, expect much more of this nonsense through out the season.

    City can and should only respond with results on the pitch.

  2. Lebowski 16/08/2010 at 6:43 pm #

    Tony Cascarino is just another one of Rupert Murdoch’s Tabloid Trolls.

  3. OldBourney 16/08/2010 at 6:57 pm #

    Yep, as a regular Times reader it amazes me that they employ that thick twat. I can only assume it is because Paddy Crerand is busy elsewhere.

  4. george 16/08/2010 at 7:17 pm #

    Your delusional – Go to Spurs with 3 defensive midfielders??

    What you going to do at Man U – Arsenal etc play with no strikers.

    YaYa Toure eans in a week the same as the whole Blackpool 11 and in a game that they were supposed to lose Blackpool attacked and played with verve a managerial triumph.

    No doubt Blackpool will get relegatd and City will finsih top 4 (maybe) but anyone could get a result out of city i’m not sure that anyone could manage Blackpool.

    So as they say in Ireland “catch yourself on”

  5. HeavyRiffs 16/08/2010 at 7:17 pm #

    As useless with a pen, as he was on the pitch, knives are out for as always, laugh, shake your head, move on…

  6. Yid 16/08/2010 at 7:19 pm #

    Mancini is very defence minded. You say that you needed defensive cover against us but maybe if you’d offered any attacking threat whatsoever we wouldn’t have been that dominant. the 1-0 at your ground at the end of last season was a case in point, no ambition, no guts

    • HeavyRiffs 16/08/2010 at 7:24 pm #


      You Sir are a goon, we played well second half. We have a team in the making, yours is established and has been playing together for quite some time. I would suggest that you should be more worried than us, no new players, no depth and unable to break down a new team at thier most vulnerable, bless.

  7. Jim 16/08/2010 at 7:24 pm #

    Nice article.

    I think where Fikc Tone has got it wrong is in comparing two different types of manager, completely unsuited to each other’s roles in the game.
    It’s like comparing a tractor with a Bentley, the two vehicles do completely different tasks in completely different environments, and both are top of their respective areas, with no detriment in comparison.
    The way Bobbymanc is setting City up should put the fear of God into opposition teams in the very near future, and several teams are in for a hiding of biblical proportions.
    If Tone can’t see this then he deserves his hard-earned reputation.

  8. john mcniff 16/08/2010 at 7:55 pm #

    Cascarino,below average journeyman footballer,well below average IQ.

  9. dirtydogger 16/08/2010 at 7:59 pm #

    City played pretty well in the second half, as the spurs boys had put everything into an electric first half. It is surely embarassing to line up with three defensive midfielders. The way city were playing it was as if they had 5 defensive midfielders at times. After the first half they decided to stifle the game and tevez and silva dropped even deeper and spurs saw less of the ball. It made the game shit to be honest, as shitty were still pretty lame going forward. Look forward to a succession of 0-0’s

  10. Jim 16/08/2010 at 8:08 pm #

    I think Bobbymanc called it well to be honest.
    He knew Spuds would be at us as soon as the whistle was blown, and we are indeed a collection of individuals, very tired ones some of them at that, so it was sensible to park the bus and make sure we didn’t get beaten away from home to a top four side.
    If he says it’ll take three weeks to start playing more as a team, I’ll take that.
    I saw flashes of real genius in Silva, and already a more confident back four, so no real concerns for the rest of the season, rather looking forward to our new boys settling into the pace of the Premiership and cracking on.
    Let’s face it, we’re not going to get a better test from anyone this season than Spuds gave us on Saturday, and we could have nicked all three points even if rather jammily.
    We have only shown a glimpse of our full potential, I almost feel sorry for the rest of the Prem!

  11. The Truth 16/08/2010 at 10:15 pm #

    When Sven took over Cascarino tipped us to go down – what a buffoon!

    3 big problems for us are the sheer ineptitude of messrs Zabaleta, Richards and Barry…and to a lesser extent the limited dynamicism of De Jong. Zabaleta has shown glimmers of improvement but even the minutes he played away in Germany at Dortmund and for Argentina last week made the alarm bells ring again and again…even some teenage Irish kid keft him in his wake several times in the little time he was on…surely Everton want him, he’d definitely fit in there, but he’s certainly not good enough for a Manchester City team with designs on the title.

    I find it extremely sad that arguably our most talented player (latest signings apart whilst I reserve judgement)is now training in the reserves in Stephen Ireland. Save me the “but he was crap last season” balls – class is permanent. He collapsed early last season in the Fulham game with suspected exhaustion that was never properly diagnosed, and after that his season seemed to dwindle after a great display at Blackburn on the opening day. All in all I believe he started something like 15 league games all season and was never given a proper run of games after Christmas which creative players need in order to find there touch and range of passing – albeit he played some outstanding through balls in the Portsmouth game I remember.

    I can’t help thinking that we are getting rid of Ireland for purely personal/personality reasons – the guys is only 23 FFS. I suspect the outraged Trappatoni and perhaps SGE haven’t helped his cause as they are both apparently close and respecyed confidantes of Bobby. All that talk about how he must move to change is sweeping the shit under the carpet. He doesn’t want to leave, he has said ove many yrs how much he loves the club and he trains his bollocks of in his spare time unlike most professionals. G Cook has said he won’t be getting £2m – by my reckoning Ireland would earn in excess of £15m if he sat on the remainder of his 4 yr contract and with him not wanting to leave aren’t we being the one who is taking the piss? Cook is a cheeky c!nt himself and needs fuckin’ off immediately.

    Can’t believe how passe the fans have been about the potential loss of Ireland – I know we’re rich and so it probably won’t affect us long term but It’s fuckin’ outrageous. Milner is not fit to lace Ireland’s boots class wise – he’s a good honest up and downer but he has little craft or guile and will never have the touch and vision of superman. If the papers are to be believed we Milner is being valued at over double Ireland’s valuation – has the world gone completely fuckin’ bonkers or what.

    All those dicks who gave Ireland an unbelievable amount of shit in his teenage yrs and called him all the names under the sun will now say “I told you so”. He’s worked damned hard for all that he’s got and I think the club are treating him shamefully. He should be allowed to train with the fisrt team and compete for a first team spot – esp. as we have such incompetent losers like Barry, Zabaleta etc vying for spots. After Silva we don’t really have any creative midfield talent who can play centrally. Why do people seem to think that Gareth Barry will suddenly turn into a top 4 player at the age of 30 let alone a title contending player – the guy is so slow and deliberate he makes Super Kevin Horlock or Jamie Pollock look like shit off a stick. He’s the sort of hider/loser, bit like Lescott(although to be fair to Joleon he is younger & has not had consistant run with us yet)that’s played 20 games at the Swamp and lost 19 – the expectation of the player is to lose..it’s inherrent in his lack of ambition in his play and the nervousness he displays in those arenas.

    • CHED EVANS IS MY HERO!! 17/08/2010 at 4:56 pm #

      “esp. as we have such incompetent losers like Barry, Zabaleta etc vying for spots”

      Couldnt disagree with you anymore….dont think you watch the same games.

  12. HeavyRiffs 17/08/2010 at 4:30 am #

    @The Truth

    Gulp, where to start!

    Zabaleta is a fringe/multi positional player, Boateng is the new RB for me.

    Ireland was shite last season, how long should you keep paying a player that under performs?
    For me, Milner seems to step up to the plate, I love Superman but he seems a million miles from the plate in my book…

  13. MeMe 17/08/2010 at 1:34 pm #

    If you look at the Man City fixture list (particulary early games) and if you understand how sneaky the press can be (just look at the capello bashing) I wouldnt be suprised if very soon a storm will be whipped up against Mancini in order to get him out and further distabailse Man City, Mark Hughes was doing just fine but everyone know he was a threat, dropping him for Mancini was a step sideways,

  14. The Truth 17/08/2010 at 2:33 pm #

    His “season” consisted of flitting in and out of the team starting around 15 – he was still excellent in some of those games and suffered due to ill health and tactical changes which meant that Tevez was effectively in his area of the pitch. So to say he was “shit last season” is very unfair as you are not contextualising the facts surrounding your cliched claim.

    Form is temporary, class is permanent.

  15. HeavyRiffs 17/08/2010 at 4:58 pm #

    If class was permanent, then he would have adapted to Tevez taking “his” position, surely you’ve just marginalised him into being one dimensional?

  16. The Truth 21/08/2010 at 4:35 am #

    Essentially what I am saying is that he is a “class act” and you don’t suddenly become a bad player. He has a composure to his play, passing and finishing that separate him for the typical “blood and thunder” player and those are qualities that you either have or don’t have. I am certain when he is given a good run in the Villa side he will once again prove what a brilliant player he can be and one we may regret losing (or buy back for £30m in 2/3 years!)

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