The Sack Race Exclusive: Ian Holloway on the Sheffield Wednesday job, Carlos Carvalhal, Gary Rowett and Chris Hughton

Ian Holloway by Ian Holloway / 26 July 2019, 15:55

In his first exclusive column for The Sack Race Ian Holloway talks about a possible return to management, the current vacancy at Sheffield Wednesday, and why Carlos Carvalhal has made it difficult for future Owls managers.

I’ve got a boatload of experience. I’ve been managing for 20 years, and I’m 48 matches short of 1000, which does hurt me a little bit.

I try and play interesting and attacking football, and Sheffield Wednesday’s squad is an attacking based squad, but realistically when I look at it - and the rest of the betting - the club is spoilt for choice in my opinion.

It’s such a great club with such a fantastic fanbase but really, Carlos Carvalhal has made it a much more difficult job. I’ll explain why.

The first season Carlos was there the fans were singing “we are on our way back, on our way back”. They needed to go up that year because there was no pressure on them, but they just missed out.

In his second year they didn’t win promotion, and shortly after he left. Now it’s a much more difficult job because their nearest and dearest rivals - Sheffield United - have outshone them thanks to brilliant management from Chris Wilder, and the bragging rights from the city are now across the road with the Blades. That must be eating them alive, so whoever takes the job now better produce!

Unfortunately, I would imagine that Sheffield Wednesday’s wage budget, because of the fair play rules, needs to be reined in a little bit - so how tough a job is that at the moment?

Gary Rowett, 6/4, is currently the favourite for the Sheffield Wednesday job…

Gary is a wonderful man who you would want to play for.

The fact is, life is about style. Life’s about how you do it. There’s lots of different ways to do it.

If we’re all going to cook an omelette we might get the same result by using slightly different methods. It’s all about how you do it.

At Birmingham, Gary played counter-attacking football, which they did fantastically well. How he lost his job at that time was absolutely amazing - I guarantee he had no idea that was going to happen. He’s since not been given the time, he perhaps should have been given.

At the end of the day, you judge someone on the end of their career not the start. Gary’s had a few jobs but he’s still towards the start of his career. He’s got a fantastic personality that people naturally gravitate to, and I’m sure in his next job he will learn from what’s happened in his last job (Stoke), but it’s got to be the right fit and it’s got to be what the fans want.

I’ve made a couple of choices in my time where what the fans wanted didn’t really fit with where I was and I got it wrong. You have ups and downs. But as long as you learn from that and then you keep improving that’s what life is all about.

Chris Hughton, 4/1, has also been linked with the Owls…

Chris did such a brilliant job at Brighton. I was very critical when the club decided to do what they did, and so was the crowd at the LMA Awards night where he got a standing ovation.

It’s now all about when he’s ready and whether the position is right for him. I thought there was a possibility that he may have gone back to Newcastle before Steve Bruce got it. I felt he was hard done by. He was successful but the club got rid of him too easily, as did Norwich. But what do I know?

I’ve got lots of experience however I’ve never been an owner, but boy I would love to be one as I would do it better than most of them out there!

You can never say never in football...

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Laurent Banide
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