IT IS no secret that I was never a big fan of John Toshack when he was Wales manager.

Don't get me wrong, few things in life are as fun as listening to Big John in full flow with a glass of Rioja in hand, and as both a player and a manager he's been nothing short of legendary, but he was wrong for Wales almost from day one.

He's credited with being the godfather of the Welsh youth movement, but in actuality, it was nothing more than necessity being the mother of invention.

John Toshack had to pick young players because he alienated so many senior ones.

However, my biggest irritation with Toshack as an international manager, was his notion that things "are what they are," because you're essentially stuck with a group of players as an international manager. "We can't go out and buy anyone," being a stock phrase of his.

It was as if Toshack was declaring that he could get no more out of his personnel, that they were what they were and who was he to change them?

It's a Jurassic attitude, but you don't have to be a young and incredibly talented football mind like Roberto Martinez or the late Gary Speed to get the very best out of people.

And you won't ever find a better example than with what Tony Pulis has done at Crystal Palace.

When he took over the Eagles, many, many pundits thought they'd not only be relegated from the Premier League, but possibly with a record low points total.

His efforts at Selhurst Park have been nothing short of magnificent. Keeping Palace in the Premier League will eclipse even the phenomenal effort he produced in taking (and keeping) Stoke up. He's made players better. It's an incredible gift.

Finally people are awakening to the reality I've been ramming down your throats for years. Pulis is a very, very special manager indeed.