Ian Holloway is certainly a marmite character in football given his generic madness and quotability and he rubbed plenty of Aston Villa fans up the wrong way back in the days of Gerard Houllier with his ‘sticky wicket’ chat, but it seems this season he has fallen for the club.
Speaking earlier in the week to Talksport on the Alan Brazil Breakfast Show (14/5 – 8.15am), Holloway couldn’t heap praise on Villa fast enough given our turn in form and rise up the table in the second half of the year as things clicked for head coach Dean Smith and Jack Grealish.
Praising the side for finally having an ‘identity’ under our new gaffer, he said of our more recent run of form in the Championship second tier.
“It’s nothing short of sensational. All I can say is I like the way that they play now. In other words, they have an identity. Dean and his coaching staff have done that. My two favourite people in the world, at the minute, are Chris Wilder and Dean Smith. I think they’ve been sensational.”
He added that Jack was now reminding him of Glenn Hoddle’s performances during his playing days, following the significant improvement and maturity shown since he returned to fitness following his injury.
“He is as smooth as a glass of Bailey’s being poured over the ice at Christmas. I watched him live, I have never seen a fella play so well in my life (Forest). It was just a joy. A bit like Glenn Hoddle used to do. I’d love for him to be captain of Villa in the league they want to be in.”
I particularly liked that last line!