Ian Holloway... My goodness, such a breath of fresh air and such an incredibly positive attitude to attempting to survive in the Premier League. Blackpool have got no business, absolutely none, in staying in the Premier League and yet every week it is attack or go home with nothing.
That this week, as in the first contest against City, Blackpool did indeed go home with no points does nothing to detract from their manager's strategy. The Seasiders could have taken either game and it would be hard to argue with such a result. Five times this season, Blackpool have travelled away from home and returned with all three points and it wasn't hard to understand why as in the dying moments of the game Blackpool were playing virtually a 4-2-4 and getting numerous players into the box.
I predicted that Blackpool would go down this year. Should they stay up I will never be happier than to be proven completely wrong. Yet City rode their luck, in general played well and kept pace with United at the top of the table.
The scary part is that City really haven't hit their stride yet and still could use a couple of additional recruits. The thought must give their rival managers pause.
Life is good for Mancini.
Meanwhile a quick look at the Premier League table shows Fulham in the relegation zone and Spurs challenging for a Champions League spot. But if you didn't know which team was which a casual observer at White Hart Lane Saturday would have been hard pressed to correctly identify each team. Mark Hughes can feel aggrieved that Fulham didn't get at least a point from the game as for long parts of the contest they had Tottenham on the back foot. That being said the full commitment of the Spurs defenders was excellent to see.
Such first year struggles appear to be a trademark of the former City manager as this is now the third club where initially his new club is in the lower half of the league. I am quite confident that given the support of the Fulham ownership, Hughes will have the team in the top ten next year and regularly challenging for Europe thereafter.
It's now been a little over a year since Hughes left and Mancini joined City. Despite various press reports of a club in crisis, City have gone from strength to strength and are legitimate challengers for the title. For all the talk of a strong squad, an injury to de Jong, Kompany or Tevez would almost certainly derail such talk. The goal remains, qualify for the Champions League.
For Hughes, Fulham seems a perfect fit. If Damien Duff could cross the ball on Saturday the press could well have been discussing two away victories in a row and a significant reduction in the current level of pressure.
And Holloway? Once Capello leaves the England job I'd love to see the Blackpool boss be given a couple of friendlies to see what he could do with England. Might be a level too far, but it would be fun to watch.