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Sunday, December 26, 2010

QPR Report Boxing Day Update! Swansea...Rodney Marsh Remembers...Evatt on Holloway and Paladini...Flashback: Miklosko's Christmas Signing


("Name The Players")
For QPR and Football Updates and perspectives throughout the day, visit the QPR Report Messageboard. All QPR and football perspective welcome...Also Follow: QPR REPORT ON TWITTER

- Games Off Thread

- Rodney Marsh Interviewed about his latest Book, Lose Cannon

- Football Quotes of the Year and Alternative Awards..(Offer Your Suggestions)

- Christmas Day Flashback: Ludek Miklosko Signs for QPR - and Gerry Francis Talks about The Signing

- QPR Boxing Day Games: Past Results. Past Line Ups

- Swansea Previews/Past Results/Swansea Stats

Two Swansea Assessments of Swansea

- QPR Report Q&A: A Second Swansea City Fan Offers his View of Swansea behind the Scenes and on and the Off Field

- A Swansea Fan's Perspective of Swansea and QPR

Daily Mail

How The Terminator helped turn Blackpool into stars
By Joe Bernstein Last updated at 11:10 PM on 25th December 2010

Ian Evatt has no doubts about the scale of Ian Holloway's achievement in turning around a team that started the year outside the play-off places in the Championship but will finish it with a string of illustrious Premier League scalps to their name.

Evatt, 29, is by his own admission a journeyman defender who would be few people's first choice as a footballer.

But, as Holloway's Blackpool sit proudly in the top half of the Premier League, he admitted: 'The gaffer has taken a team of nobodies and pushed us further than any of us could have imagined.
Journeyman: But Ian Evatt has prospered in the Premier League
'This group of players were nobody's first choice. We all have a reason why we ended up here. I came when the club were in League One because I needed to get my career back on track. The gaffer has believed in us when nobody else would.'
Holloway's methods in convincing an unsung collection of players, assembled for just £4.5million, that they can play in the style of Barcelona are anything but conventional.
Only the charismatic Bristolian would dream of invoking the Terminator films of Arnold Schwarzenegger to inspire his squad.

'We thought he was bonkers,' said Evatt. 'Every other manager we had at Blackpool played strict 4-4-2 and relied mainly on a strong work ethic. Then he comes in and says right away "I want you to play like Barcelona". We didn't have a clue how we were meant to fit in with something like that. But once we started to get a few results, we realised we actually did have good technical players at the club. Still we never dreamed we'd come as far as we have in such a short space of time.'

Inspiration: Blackpool boss Ian Holloway uses The Terminator to inspire his players
Holloway uses the plot of Terminator 2 to drill into his players what he wants.
'Our system is based on freedom of movement,' said Evatt. 'The gaffer doesn't care if a centre-half like me ends up on the wing if it fits in with the move. The important thing is for a team-mate to fill in for you, for the team to retain its shape. That's the lesson we've learned from Terminator 2, where the villain continually changes shape in the pursuit of Sarah Connor.

'It is drilled into us every day in training and the whole club plays this way. Even the youth team are having success with it this season. And we've found a lot of other teams just can't cope with our style.'

Evatt is typical of the rags-to-riches stories around Bloomfield Road. After a handful of games in the Premier League as a youngster with Derby County under John Gregory, he was given a free transfer to Chesterfield where his shattered confidence was rebuilt by manager Roy McFarland, a former England defender.

But a move to QPR proved a backward step. Evatt was signed by chairman Gianni Paladini, who knew him from Derby when he was Fabrizio Ravanelli's agent, rather than the manager, who was Holloway.
'There was a lot of politics going on. I wasn't the gaffer's signing and it didn't work for either of us,' said Evatt. 'I was worried when he came to Blackpool. I thought it would be the end for me. But he cast aside what had happened between us. He has shown faith in me and I've repaid it. We get on better than anybody now.' Arguably Holloway's best decision was to trust the players who got Blackpool promoted to play in the top division.

'He felt he owed it to us,' said Evatt. 'And we didn't want to let him down because he is the most honest man you'd ever meet and you would trust him with your life.
'People outside the club wrote us off and we have used that as an incentive. We know there is a long way to go but I don't see us as a Burnley or Hull who will fade away. We are still improving.'

Mr Motivator: Ian Holloway has worked miracles with Blackpool
The image of ramshackle Blackpool was not helped when Bloomfield Road was not ready for the first game of the season.

They have also had to call off home games during the winter snap because they have no undersoil heating. But on the pitch, Blackpool have proved themselves.

Gary Taylor-Fletcher, formerly of Huddersfield, Lincoln and Dagenham, was the star turn in a 4-0 win at Wigan on the opening day.

And Luke Varney, on loan from Derby, scored a famous winner at Anfield against today's scheduled visitors, Liverpool.

Evatt admits that the journeymen are beginning to feel quite at home in the biggest league in the world.
'I understand now that this is the only place to be,' said Evatt. 'We are turning into snobs. We watch Championship games on the TV and now it looks terrible to us. And we're talking as players who have spent their lives outside the Premier League.'

There have been some rude awakenings. Evatt was sent off in a 6-0 hammering at Arsenal and found Didier Drogba unplayable in a 4-0 defeat at Chelsea.

But he says Blackpool have learned quickly.

'We've shown we deserve to be in this league,' he said. 'We are all talented players and it's down to the gaffer that we've the chance to show it.' Mail

Also: Ian Holloway's Weekly Independent Column " met the Power, then Becks smiled at me – what a night! After being sacked by Leicester and then out of work, SPOTY nomination topped off an incredible year..." Independent

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