With Blackpool having exceeded all expectations in their debut Premier League season, their colourful manager Ian Holloway is many neutrals’ choice for Premier League Manager of the Year. A confident Holloway is believed to be preparing an absolutely tortuous speech: riddled with zany turns of phrase, clunking West Country references and an extended metaphor involving two pints of cider and a cornish pasty.
Though recent poor form has left Blackpool precariously close to the bottom three, Holloway is pursuing his speech plans unabated. One dressing room source has revealed that the past five half-time team-talks have involved the manager workshopping different ideas and, in the most worrying development, ‘characters’.
“We were only 1-0 down against Wolves at half-time the other week. So all the lads came in expecting the gaffer to give us a bit of motivation, maybe make some minor tactical adjustments, like. But we shuffle in to find an empty dressing room with him dressed as a “Premier League farmer”, telling us that if we kept playing like that we could all “get orff his land”. It was utterly pitiful. And it lasted 15 minutes. The boys showed what we thought by waving Wolves through to score three more goals”.
Holloway has denied that his focus on the award ceremony is diminishing his chances of winning it. “Basically, it’s like making an omelette intet? You can’t do it wivout breaking some eggs knowwoymean? And adding some unpaaalatable ingredients, like toothpaste and coasters, and a pinch of low-level sexism. For the missus, loik.
“Then you’ve gotta take them eggs, talking about them at every opportunity, rubbing them on your face an tha’, until people just stop you and say “Stop, please stop. I just want an omelette“.
“It’s igzactly loik tha’!”
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore has sought to dismiss notions that the award is a foregone conclusion for Holloway: “The panel carefully mulls over results, conducts meticulous research – yea, weighing up the very notion of man’s ability to triumph over adversity – then just gives it to whoever wins the league”.