One of the features of the 2013-14 Premier League season was supposed to be the return of one of the most colourful characters in English football: Ian Holloway.
Initially baptized in the top flight while in charge of an entertaining Blackpool side in 2009, the Bristol-born Holloway (he both played for and managed Bristol Rovers) quickly became a fan favourite not only for the brand of football he espoused, but for the one-liners he routinely delivered during press conferences as well.
Now, it seems, the 50-year-old has run out the energy required to keep Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
On Wednesday he revealed he was “worn out” and would be leaving the club through mutual consent. (Sky)
Tired as he may be, he still leaves us with no shortage of nuggets from his time in management, and here’s hoping that after a bit of rest he’ll be back in the technical area before long.
Following are a selection of some of our favourite Holloway quotes—“Ollie-isms,” if you will.
Every dog has his day
“They say every dog has his day, and today is ‘Woof Day.’ Today, I just want to bark!"
-Holloway, after leading Queens Park Rangers back into the Championship in 2004. (Mirror)
“I couldn’t be more chuffed if I were a badger at the start of the mating season!”
-Holloway, after his Queens Park Rangers side beat Cardiff in 2004. (Daily Mail)
Better in the dark
“I love Blackpool. We’re very similar. We both look better in the dark.”
-Holloway, on his post at Bloomfield Road.
“I’ve had such bad luck at the moment that if I fell in a barrel of boobs I’d come out sucking my thumb.”
-Holloway, on an especially poor run at Queens Park Rangers. (Telegraph)
“It’s all very well having a great pianist playing, but it’s no good if you haven’t got anyone to get the piano on the stage in the first place—otherwise the pianist would be standing there with no bloody piano to play.”
-Holloway, responding to criticism regarding his midfield. (Daily Mail)
“He’s six-foot something, fit as a flea, good-looking. He’s got to have something wrong with him. Hopefully he’s hung like a hamster! That would make us all feel better.”
-Holloway, writing about Cristiano Ronaldo in a BBC column in 2008. (BBC)
Lack of finish
“I watched Arsenal in the Champions League the other week playing some of the best football I’ve ever seen, and yet they couldn’t have scored in a brothel with two grand in their pockets!”
-Holloway, then manager of Plymouth Argyle, after watching Arsenal in the Champions League. (BBC)
“We are an offshoot of apes, allegedly, but who knows? We don’t really, do we? How long have we been on this planet? How long are we going to be here? What is it all about? We reproduce. Our offspring carry on. But that will only happen for a limited time. Before the whole thing blows up and we are sucked into a black hole.”
-Holloway, with a rather gloomy take on human existence. (Mirror)
Ugly as sin
“I don’t see the problem with footballers taking their shirts off after scoring a goal. They enjoy it and the young ladies enjoy it, too. Of course they’d have to go and watch another game because my lads are ugly as sin.”
-Holloway, responding to a question about mandatory bookings for taking a shirt off. (Daily Mail)
“To put it in gentleman’s terms, if you’ve been out for a night and you’re looking for a young lady and you pull one, you’ve done what you set out to do. We didn’t look our best today but we’ve pulled. Some weeks the lady is good-looking and some weeks they’re not. Our performance today would have not been the best-looking bird, but at least we got her in the taxi. She may not have been the best-looking lady we ended up taking home, but it was still very pleasant and very nice, so thanks very much and let’s have coffee.”
-Holloway, after a so-so performance from his Queens Park Rangers side against Chesterfield in 2003. (BBC)