Thursday 23 November 2017

Holloway on flight of fancy to play just like Barcelona

Blackpool 1
Aston Villa 1

Graham Chase

Ian Holloway has listed Barcelona -- and Swansea City -- as the teams who persuaded him to change his negative playing style. But he will not use a short break this week to head to Wales.

Blackpool next play Tottenham tomorrow week and Holloway's priority is to sign a goalkeeper on loan to provide back-up to Richard Kingson, with Paul Rachubka and Matt Gilks both injured.

Finding someone to come in is proving difficult, with those on offer either too inexperienced or only available if they are promised the chance of playing ahead of Kingson. Manchester City have turned down a move for Shay Given and Tottenham will not allow Ben Alnwick out on loan.

Once Holloway has solved that riddle, he plans to make a trip to watch Barcelona or Real Madrid in the hope that a coaching clinic from Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho will refresh him ahead of the final weeks of the campaign.

"I have got to get a goalie first, but then I might go to Spain and have a look at how those boys do things," Holloway said. "If I am modelling myself on anything, it is over there. I like what they do and how they play and that is why I want to go and see what I can learn from them over there.


The lads really do need to just chill out, particularly when people are going on about the number of games we have lost recently," Holloway added.

"People need to just shut up and get on with it. The chairman (Karl Oyston) is getting married at the weekend. I've got an invite and I have also got to go shopping for the cheapest present I can find."

The match against Villa marked the return without controversy of Sian Massey as an assistant referee for the first time since a sexism row over her competence led to the departure of Sky Sports presenters Andy Gray and Richard Keys.

Both goals were scored in the first 15 minutes, with Gabriel Agbonlahor finishing off a swift break before Elliot Grandin headed in from Charlie Adam's corner.

Villa midfielder Jean Makoun was sent off for a wild lunge at DJ Campbell but the visitors held on to extend their run to one defeat in eight games. Agbonlahor, who pulled out of the England squad last week for personal reasons, has been shunted on to the left flank after Darren Bent's arrival last month but is not complaining.

"I'm not kicking up a fuss," he said. "Maybe my time playing up front will come again soon, I'll just have to wait and see, but it's always nice to be in the team. Look at Chelsea and Nicolas Anelka, he's a striker playing in midfield. I've just got to get on with it and do the best I can." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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