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Stan Collymore or Andy Gray? Oliver Holt writes in

STAN Collymore is one of the better football pundits. But is he better than Andy Gray? In the Daily Mirror, Oliver Holt is shocked and dismayed that Gray has replaced Collymore on TalkSPORT’S Champions’ League shows:

“Stan Collymore does a brilliant job for talkSPORT. He is one of the main reasons why the station is gaining in popularity. His phone-ins are full of energy and intelligent debate, his knowledge of the game is superb, his match commentaries are packed with insight and vitality, his research is meticulous. So, in those circumstances, it seems absolutely bizarre that the station has decided to drop him from its Champions League coverage this week, and in the future, in favour of Andy Gray.”

And know:

“This is not a dig at Gray”

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Posted: 15th, February 2012 | In: Sports | Comment

Fabio Capello To Be Paid By The Joke: England Fans Get Laughometer (Oliver Holt Roasts Steve Howard)

QPR manger Neil Warnock might be the next England manger. He’s talking with the Sun’s Steven Howard:

AFTER the shame-faced retreat from South Africa, England fans were united on one thing. Fabio Capello’s team was a joke.

Except there was nothing vaguely amusing about it. Certainly, the England players looked as if they hadn’t had a decent laugh in the entire six weeks they had been together.
In fact, make that the two years they had endured under their Italian sergeant major.

Or as Oliver Holt put it way back on October:

There is something altogether more relaxed and informal about the England manager these days. Gone is the stern, suspicious autocrat who ruled so severely and joylessly in South Africa.

Might it be that Howard has a point to make and facts should be intrude?

Had someone had the temerity to attempt a joke, their faces would have shattered. But now it’s time to replace that deathly rictus grin.

Of which Holt says:

Laughs are de rigeur now with England.

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Posted: 9th, November 2011 | In: Key Posts, Sports | Comments (4)

Blackburn Rovers Hired Black Paul Ince To Manage Them: Does That Make Them Racist, Oliver Holt?

THE row of black mangers in professional English football continues. Ther are only two— Chris Hughton at Birmingham City and Charlton Athletic’s Chris Powell.

Oliver Holt looks at Paul Ince, the former West Ham and Manchester United player who became the first English black man to manage a Premier League club when he became boss of Blackburn Rovers:

Paul Ince, they say. Over and over again. Paul Ince: proof that black ex-players don’t deserve a shot at management.

The lack of black managers in the game is nothing to do with prejudice, they say. It’s because they’d all be as bad as Paul Ince. Ince has heard all the slurs before, of course. He can laugh at them now but there is a tinge of bitterness in the laugh still. The truth, of course, is that the slurs are just another layer of proof that aspiring black managers face barrier after barrier in their fight to make a career in English football. Even if Ince had only turned up a couple of days a week at Blackburn, how would that make him any different from a series of high-profile white managers lauded for their hands-off approach?

But Blackburn only gave him 177 days in the job before they sacked him on December 16, 2008. The club was fourth from bottom.

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Posted: 16th, September 2011 | In: Sports | Comments (2)