Blackpool's Biggest Signing So Far
It's all kicked off at Bloomfield Road this week. Ian Holloway's leaving one minute (well, so said the rumour mongering national media), we're not getting any players in the next and then shortly after the club announce five new signings!
Blackpool FC can never be described as dull. And with Ian Holloway at the helm, that will remain the same.
But even after all these new signings - with at least two more expected before Saturday - the best news has broken today, with Karl Oyston landing the manager on a longer contract, which will keep him at the club until 2012, as reported by the Blaxkpool Gazette.
The messiah, the joker, the thinker, the wonder that is Ian Holloway. Is messiah too much? Probably not - the man has transformed the club from top to bottom in just over a year and will lead the Seasiders into their maiden Premier League voyage in under 48 hours time. Not bad going for a man chastised nationally for the Plymouth-Leicester affair and what became of that.
The signing of Ollie, albeit on a rolling contract, sees stability from within, even after the big structural and financial changes it has gone through in the last 12 weeks since promotion at Wembley.
Holloway said: 'It is the long haul that is important and the fact is that I want to be at this club for a long time.' Learnt his lesson? You bet, and everyone in tangerine should feel lucky to have such a special manager in charge of proceedings for what could prove to be a long season.
His relationship with the supporters is crucial. Not to want to point fingers (ok, maybe I like doing it sometimes...), but the last three managers Tony Parkes, Simon Grayson and Colin Hendry had zero charisma between them and failed to connect with fans. This means when the going got tough people were perhaps quicker to turn on them; not with Ollie. His name will still be chanted, he'll still have a laugh, have his brains picked in the pubs around St. Annes and will still have a smile on his face whatever the results.
His management style has changed dramatically over the past year (and probably turned during his year out, which he so often quotes). Players say he is so easy to get along with and whenever I've witnessed them as a group, the jokes and cracks are flying. It's a fun environment. But when that dressing room door shuts, it's time for business.
Who can argue with a manager who turns distinctly average Championship players into promotion-winners inside a few months, whilst adopting THE most flexible and fluid 4-5-1 seen in professional football?
Certainly not I - even without mentioning his ability to unlock the safe on Oyston's wallet. And I wouldn't dream. The man will forever be Blackpool FC.