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Claridge Kicks Off

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Steve Claridge | 18:30 UK time, Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Hello, and welcome to 'Claridge Kicks Off' , the Football League video blog where Steve Claridge tackles all the big talking points in the Championship, League One and League Two.

This week, in his first blog of 2011, Steve looks at the flurry of sackings in the last few days in all three divisions, firstly focusing on George Burley's exit from Crystal Palace and Darren Ferguson's departure from Preston.

He reflects on Burnley's decision to replace Brian Laws, and the decision by the bottom clubs in Leagues One and Two, Walsall and Barnet, to get rid of Chris Hutchings and Mark Stimson and look for new managers too.

Steve also answers questions on whether the impending takeover at Watford could affect the Hornets' impressive recent form in the Championship, and on what is behind the upturn in Gillingham's fortunes in League Two in recent weeks.

And he takes a wry look at the incident that saw Preston's mascot Deepdale Duck ejected from the ground during their defeat by Derby on Saturday, plus the decision by Sheffield United's mascot Captain Blade to hold an on-pitch protest in support of his feathered friend at half-time of their game on Monday.

Charlton boss Phil Parkinson and Stockport manager Paul Simpson both lost their jobs AFTER Steve had filmed this week's blog but he will take a look at the situations at The Valley and Edgeley Park next week.

You can submit your questions for Steve below, or contact him on Twitter. He will answer them on a future 'Claridge Kicks Off' rather than posting a reply.

Non-UK users can see a special international version of Steve's video blog here.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash Installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.


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  • 1. At 8:58pm on 05 Jan 2011, icecubed wrote:

    Why doesn't Claridge write his blog, like a normal pundit?

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  • 2. At 9:43pm on 05 Jan 2011, steve wrote:

    I agree, Why doesn't Claridge write his blog, like a normal pundit?

    The video is not available in my area, so thata that.

    I really enjoyed Gavin Strachan and Michael Gray, now this rubbish.

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  • 3. At 10:00pm on 05 Jan 2011, In Off The Ghost wrote:

    I usually like Steve Claridge's punditry, but I think this video format is a bit rubbish.

    However, I have been impressed by the BBC's Championship coverage in general, I just hope there will be some more live games on in the future.

    Shame to see Ferguson and Burley get the sack, but you can't really argue. Both in the relegation zone with the window coming up, maybe a new manager can turn things around. I can't see why anyone would want Coppell after what happened at Bristol City.

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  • 4. At 10:12pm on 05 Jan 2011, Superman69 wrote:

    Dear oh dear. Check out Matt Slater for a decent read on football guys. His blogs are well researched and informative. Really in-depth understanding of the game. Unlike some...

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  • 5. At 10:12pm on 05 Jan 2011, Emilio_Heskeynho wrote:

    'I have been impressed by the BBC's Championship coverage in general'

    Well I think it's bloody awful

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  • 6. At 10:56pm on 05 Jan 2011, PPPNNNEEE (M.O.C.) wrote:

    ltfcunited... Just be glad he doesn't, that's all I have to say.

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  • 7. At 00:05am on 06 Jan 2011, leftbackviews wrote:

    Have a read of my blog article looking at the relegation battle in the Championship, specifically the situation that Crystal Palace and Preston find themselves in.

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  • 8. At 00:24am on 06 Jan 2011, Tricefc wrote:

    Preston face real problems! Sacked manager, Fergy and Pulis have called back all their loan signings, Parkins gone to Cardiff and they lost to Palace!!

    #7 leftbackviews blogpost is a great read definitely worth a view Steve.

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  • 9. At 02:23am on 06 Jan 2011, the_fantastic_alistair wrote:

    #7 leftbackviews knows how to write an insightful piece, well done!

    This "video blog", however, falls dismally short and I long for a spin-off called CLARIDGE SHUTS UP. Worse thing is he's on everything -- this, FL show, mon night club & even droned on during the arsenal/chelsea game. :(

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  • 10. At 07:53am on 06 Jan 2011, ChocolateBoxKid wrote:

    Can't view the video, but I'm guessing that Steve makes no mention of how well Southampton are doing?

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  • 11. At 08:20am on 06 Jan 2011, 30STMLCFC wrote:

    You lot who moan, it's not Steve's fault that the BBC want to move on with the digital times. If you want to read something, there are plenty of football blogs on sites like tumblr or blogpost and the like. Go read them. Don't blame Steve for what he probably has no control over.

    I find what Claridge says quite interesting (especially as he used one of my questions in one of the first few blogs!). Nevertheless, I tune in each week to listen to what he has to say. And if you moan each week and know what's gonna come each week, don't open the link!

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  • 12. At 10:31am on 06 Jan 2011, Journeyman wrote:

    Terrible blog name, terrible blog, terrible pundit

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  • 13. At 11:43am on 06 Jan 2011, Yossarian wrote:

    Well, I read a pagefull of text telling me what he was going to be talking about.... then came to a video. Would it REALLY be that hard to have the video at the top, and a full transcription underneath for those not wanting to watch the video? What about the hard of hearing? Does this method breach accessibility rules?

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  • 14. At 3:11pm on 06 Jan 2011, the_last_devil_standing wrote:

    Steve, can you not write????? so annoying not being able to see the video!! :(

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  • 15. At 4:43pm on 06 Jan 2011, NoFrillz wrote:

    Can't view the video - connection too slow.

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  • 16. At 4:55pm on 06 Jan 2011, MarktheHorn wrote:

    I agree with Mr Claridge that we need a takeover to happen so we can be secure money wise and not have to sell or even lose our manager!

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  • 17. At 5:06pm on 06 Jan 2011, shoong wrote:

    Did Steve Claridge actually win anything during his 'illustrious' career...?

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  • 18. At 6:21pm on 06 Jan 2011, TomNFFC wrote:

    Don't normally have a problem viewing these videos but couldntn't get past the first minute on this one, just kept getting the frustrating spinning circle! I had to try about 5 or 6 times before it finally worked.

    Anyways, question for Steve:

    What do you make of Marcus Tudgays recent performances and his permanent move to Nottingham Forest?

    And who else do you think would be a good addition to our squad?

    Also, do you think we can still get automatic promotion?

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  • 19. At 7:12pm on 06 Jan 2011, No6forLocksHeath wrote:

    Don't get why so many are moaning about the format of Claridge Kicks Off.

    It's as though people haven't seen a video on t'internet before.

    Do you guys stare at planes in the sky too - wondering what they are?

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  • 20. At 7:58pm on 06 Jan 2011, hmmno wrote:

    The format of this fine but what I don't understand is why steve claridge has a job at all on the bbc.

    Hes too self obsessed and thinks he is right all the time.

    His comments about villa on final score after their 4-0 drubbing at city were ridiculous; moaning about the fact villa players didnt moan at the referee when a shot was cleared off the line. Basically saying dissent it okay and should occur.

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  • 21. At 8:13pm on 06 Jan 2011, DorisStokes wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 22. At 9:14pm on 06 Jan 2011, la31 wrote:

    How come Steve hasn't mentioned anything about how well Southampton are doing having gone from the relegation zone to 2nd in league one relatively unnoticed?

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  • 23. At 9:41pm on 06 Jan 2011, pauge wrote:

    "I have no issues with Sir Alex"??? Except of course you do have issues Steve, as you demonstrated by your further remarks. So why do you have to qualify your perfectly valid criticism of his policy of only benefitting the manager and not the club with the loan players? Yeh, I've heard all the man yoo apologists and I'm not interested, Ferguson should be roundly criticised for the way he carries on.
    If the Ipswich manager gets sacked in the next week or so, will Ferguson take back the loan players there?

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  • 24. At 9:41pm on 06 Jan 2011, 7632763467 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 25. At 10:19pm on 06 Jan 2011, at0micandy wrote:

    sadly I can't easily see video in the way I use the internet, but that's ok, there are planty of people who can see it and can enjoy it. A transcript somewhere would be a help, but I can live without.

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  • 26. At 06:30am on 07 Jan 2011, 3Lions_RJ wrote:

    Pauge- I totally agree with your criticism of Fergie, and it was very unprofessional behaviour.

    However, your comment about us (Ipswich) is completely irrelevant as we have no United loanees currently at the club.

    It actually looks as if he has been sacked!!

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  • 27. At 10:41am on 07 Jan 2011, luke1978 wrote:

    people keep saying how bad claridge is as a pundit. you need to remember he is a 'chamionship' pundit. if you go to a championship game you dont expect premiership football? if you listen to a championship blog dont expect premiership analysis.

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  • 28. At 12:32pm on 07 Jan 2011, pauge wrote:

    3Lions_RJ My mistake re man yoo loanees at Ipswich. Hope you're happy to see the back of keane as (mis)manager.

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  • 29. At 4:29pm on 07 Jan 2011, johnboy41 wrote:

    "luke1978 wrote:people keep saying how bad claridge is as a pundit. you need to remember he is a 'chamionship' pundit. if you go to a championship game you dont expect premiership football? if you listen to a championship blog dont expect premiership analysis"

    Actually if its the BBc I do expect a high quality analysis - just because its the FL why should we have a Pl quality punditry?

    Personally I find Claridge's outpuorings pretty banal and often not interesting or insightful. Is he an expert because he played 800 matches for 15 different clubs? To me that means he wasn't good enough to stick anywhere!

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  • 30. At 9:17pm on 07 Jan 2011, No6forLocksHeath wrote:

    Claridge is a rarity these days. Doesn't sit on the fence, doesn't litter his opinions with worn-out cliches, happy to court controversy and is comfortable and knowledgable about the 72 league clubs (not just the top 20 in the Prem).

    Give me Super Stevie Claridge any day of the week. Like Lee Dixon and, dare I say - Graham Taylor, he has a refreshing and honest approach to punditry and I hope he enjoys a successful career.

    Oh, and ChocolateBoxKid - we both know why he's not bigged up your lot down the wrong end of the M27!!

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  • 31. At 10:38pm on 07 Jan 2011, No6forLocksHeath wrote:

    Oh and Fiorentina Viola - I've watched him play many times and he is a class player. Great feet, doesn't give the ball away often, always gives it 100%, brave and leads the line well.

    He played 800 games for 15 clubs cos thats a measure of how in demand his services were. Scored goals wherever he went and was a massive favourite at Fratton Park. Leicester and Pompey fans don't agree on much but both rate him as a club legend.

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  • 32. At 3:11pm on 08 Jan 2011, Garry Nelson Is A Legend wrote:

    Mr Claridge could you please write the blog or make it available in all areas as I am a Charlton Athletic supporter living in spain but can't access your football league blogs.

    Thank you and I hope to see this problem resolved

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  • 33. At 12:57pm on 10 Jan 2011, Geijo lets go wrote:

    Actually I'm with Steve this week FV. It sounds stupid when said out loud, but we need change to make sure that things don't change too much. He's hit the nail on the head.

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  • 34. At 5:53pm on 10 Jan 2011, Ulysses wrote:

    Sit up straight man - You're on the telly!

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  • 35. At 3:22pm on 11 Jan 2011, Ad wrote:

    Ha ha @34!! I too can't see this video blog. I'm told our proxy server is based in Germany so we get BBC World unless specifying .../sport, might explain why other's can't see it.... i.e. service providers abroad.

    I'd prefer text, that way I can read it without people thinking I'm not doing any work and watching videos!!! :)

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  • 36. At 1:35pm on 14 Jan 2011, bigli wrote:

    Certainly have to agree with the guy that said Claridge is a "championship" pundit because he certainly knows nothing about Gillingham Football Club if that is his opinion, our bad form had nothing to do with losing Simeon Jackson, we were rubbish last season with him in the team, we went an entire season without a single away win with him in the team, we just had an awfull manager who has been shown up as such at Barnet this season (just wish we had the forsight to sack him at christmas as well). this season we have been slaugtered by injuries in the first 3 months of th season and the upturn in fortunes has co-incided with getting that elusive away win and a whole host of players returning, losing Jackson made no difference to us at all

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  • 37. At 10:23am on 13 Apr 2011, W11SUPERHOOPER wrote:

    I now come on these boards just to read the comments having a pop at Claridge, which are always pretty amusing. But, as a QPR fan, who have earned a reputation for slating him to the hilt on this page, let's see if we can leave him be for a week.

    There's nothing like a forum for debate, but sometimes I've seen people slagging him off and it seems like they've had a go without seemingly watching the video.

    I'm not a relative of Claridge, nor a massive fan, if I want Jonathan Wilson type analysis, I'll read what he's got to say, to be fair.

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