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My View on Big Sam: He Was Made For This Place

Reminds me of a KISS song

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Ian Holloway's return to QPR has got me thinking about the Big Man and his beloved Bolton Wanderers.

In his own words, the eccentric and lovable Ian Holloway returned "back home" at a football club he spent a the best part of decade at, Queens Park Rangers, this week. Holloway has spoken this week of his "immense pride" at returning to a club he played for between 1991 and 1996, managing them also between 2001 and 2006.

When the news broke this week, I was sceptical. Hasn't Holloway had his day in management? What has he really achieved that has had a lasting effect on a football club?

He took Blackpool to the Premier League, but their time in the top tier was a footnote in Premier League history, returning to the Championship the following May.

In fact, I look at all the teams he has managed, and see he hasn't achieved a win percentage of 40% with any team he has led. So what is all the fuss about?

Then listening to Ollie, I got it. QPR is his footballing home. He accent betrays that he is a Bristolian, but QPR is his foster home. Whether he is a success or failure in his third stint at the Rs, you can confidently bet that he knows what it means to wear the shirt and represent the club. Nobody cares more than he does.

He said that he is "going to try and make every player that puts on the Hoops shirt aware of how I...and the fans feel about QPR".

And it got me thinking about Sam. A Dudley boy, he still lives in Bolton, 30 years after he left Burnden Park for Preston North End as a player, and 9 years since he broke our hearts and left for Newcastle. Like Holloway, he had his best years at the club where he felt most at home, and the door is always open.

I like Parky. He's got more than a bit of the Bruce Rioch's about him. He's doing, and I'm confident he will do, a fantastic job. But in the words of Elvis Presley: "(he's) everything a man could want, but he's not you".

Bolton fans have a classic case of what I like to call FGS with Big Sam; First Girlfriend Syndrome. No matter what happens and how much time passes, you always make the same old comparisons with a pair of rose tinted glasses on.

If the day were ever to come that Big Sam rode back into town, taking the mantle once more to see what he can muster out of this brilliant, little football club again, I'd be made up. As Ollie said this week "if I can end up being QPR manager - twice - then anything in life is possible".

Sam, you were made for this place. We were made for you. The door is always open.