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Claridge Kicks Off

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Steve Claridge | 14:11 UK time, Tuesday, 19 April 2011

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

This week, Steve looks at how the race for the play-off places in all three divisions is shaping up, and analyses the promotion prospects of Nottingham Forest and Leicester City ahead of their crucial meeting on Good Friday.

He also reflects on seeing veteran Burnley star Graham Alexander reach the landmark of 1,000 professional appearances at the weekend, and gives his reaction to the announcement of the Professional Footballers' Association's teams of the year.

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.

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Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Forest will scrape into the playoffs (probably on the last day of the season, and probably only because of other results). We will counter this good fortune by putting in a suitably lame performance in the playoffs. Tiredness will then be cited as the reason by the manager. Further reasons cited will be a lack of signings in key transfer windows.

    Some forest fans are becoming increasingly frustrated with owner Nigel Doughty's failure to strengthen during these windows.

    Others are becoming increasingly frustrated by the managers attempts to use that to disguise his own failings.

    To put it short, a club with this many troubles does'nt stand a chance of promotion, and thats not even taking poor recent form into account.

    One thing I Know for sure, there will be plenty of bickering in the summer, plenty of excuses being made by the manager, and there will be very scant sign of the owner, until at least season ticket renewal time, whereupon he will no doubt make his annual rallying cry to supporters who continue to believe every word that comes from the mans mouth.

    We'll then do it all over again for another season.

    The End.

  • Comment number 2.

    It will be interesting to see what happens to QPR with this points reduction. It will probably be a token reduction at the end of the season which preserves the status quo, but it would be a shame if they were denied a promotion spot. They've been terrific this season and it will be great to see how they get on in the Premiership with the oodles of cash their owners have. I quite fancy Norwich and Forest to go up, the latter via the playoffs. Although Reading are making an impressive late charge, and momentum is all important. So many 6th place sides on a good run at the end of the season have won the playoffs.

    Unfair but exciting!

    http://www.inofftheghost.com


  • Comment number 3.

    Hi Steve,

    Me again, I was wondering whether you think we should stick with Micky Adams at Sheffield United?

    He is our 4th manager this season but he has the worst record ever at our club (2 wins out of 21), does he deserve the chance to try to get us out League 1?

    Also do you think the youngsters (reached FA Youth Final) are good enough in general to get us out of our current mess as it seems that is what we may have to rely on!

    Many thanks!

  • Comment number 4.

    More drivel Steve im afraid.

  • Comment number 5.

    The FA cannot deduct points from QPR. If they do Sheffield United potentially have a case to take the FA to the Supreme Court over the inconsistent application of their laws.

    The FA rules are quite clear - 3rd Party ownership is not allowed and is punishable by a points deduction for every point won in a game where that player has appeared.

    However, once the FA flouted their own rules in relation to West Ham they tied their own hands behind their backs. Any attempt to deduct points for 3rd Party ownership in the future and Sheffield United could bring a potentially ruinous action against the Football Association.

  • Comment number 6.

    I know its probably not good timing given what has happened recently, but Steve's hair has grown, hasn't it? I think it was only a week or so since her last went for a chop.

    What do others think?

  • Comment number 7.

    PS - #1 Riggadon. Send Billy back to Derby and you have Cloughie. I'd be well happy. Be grateful, your team is average and you're out performing what you're realistically capable of. . Don't let inconsistency overide that.

  • Comment number 8.

    @No5....

    I would imagine that any points deduction for the Hoops would mean an instant appeal, and should we not get promoted for it, another ruinous action.

    I believe that we would go after the Football League, for the money that Premiership football is worth. Can the Football League afford to pay £90m?

    It is worth remembering that Faurlin was signed when the Football League had NO rules in place about 3rd party ownership. 7th July 2009, I think.

    However, a month later, they created the rule and backdated it to 4th July 2009, I believe. Therefore, for all those supporters that are calling for points to be taken....I think it's worth you noting the facts!

  • Comment number 9.

    What is your connection with Barnet? I've looked it up on Wikipedia but can't find anything, yet my friends are constantly saying to me "Did you see Claridge's Barnet at the weekend?".

  • Comment number 10.

    The dismissal of Leeds was quite abrupt..... a team capable of scoring goals has always got a chance, the 2 points will be a good advantage against the teams stacking up. Watching their lucky draw against watford last saturday a bit of belief and organisation will go a long way at Leeds, not all is lost yet!

  • Comment number 11.

    Who do you support Steve? Is it Portsmouth? I always feel because you played for Birmingham City you have some association with the Blues, plus you give the odds on the midlands games on local radio. But do you do this up and down the country?

    I agree your hair does change colour a lot. There's nothing wrong in being a grey fox, your mate on the BBC sofa though, Mat Holland looks worse. Don't do it Steve, no plucking eye brows as well.

    Blues to stay up, and 1-0 shock to beat Chelsea tonight!!

  • Comment number 12.

    @3

    four managers in 12 months is the reason sheffield utd are where they are you cannot blame the current manager for that.
    adams has a good record in the past at lower league level and that unfortunatly is where you will be next season. maybe at that level given some time adams can turn your fortunes around.
    the guy was unlucky at fulham, ok at leicester,good at brighton and his last team where i live port vale were odd's on for promation before he left. don't lose faith with the manager maybe it is higher up in the club that needs looking at.

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    Nice to see that big Wes made an appearance in the championship team of the year, to me this shows that we are good at the back. It would be nicer to have had a striker in the team instead. We cannot keep blaming the lack of siginings, on paper the side should be strong enough to get promoted.

    It really baffles me that in the game against Norwich, Billy decided not to start Gunter. He should leave his personal issues with players off the pitch.

    What looks to be another disappointing end to a season for Forest.

  • Comment number 15.

    Another brilliant video blog Steve. My personal favourite quote this week is after ten minutes, "........and I always say, that's how you should judge a manager, NOT by whether he wins, loses, or draws..." Fantastic. And I thought football was all about getting results. Thanks for putting me right on that one Steve.

    It is also good to hear you sort out the complicated Championship playoff race for us. Now who was it that you think will finish 6th again? Forest? But they're only 60-40. So maybe Hull? Hang on, what about Millwall? And Leeds?

    I also think the musical interludes between topics is a great accompaniment to what is an altogether marvelous piece of work. Well done one and all.

  • Comment number 16.

    @8 AerospaceMango

    It was the FA who did what you described. The Football League only introduced it's 3rd party ownership rules in Sept 2010, which is why QPR raised the issue with them and were then advised by the Football League to contact the FA, agiain, which is what they did.

    The club did not try to hide it in the way West Ham did before Liverpool "grassed" them up!

  • Comment number 17.

    I may of course be biased but how can Bellers be left out of the PFA team...?..could be that he's very adept at getting up players noses a la Chopra...and er who got the England call up last year...Jay on occasions who again winds players up by his antics as Pompey found out last weekend.And if theres a better defender than Kev Mcnaughton in the Champoinship he must be some player.
    As for QPR and points did think that Sheff Utd negotiated an ex gratia settlement with West Ham that may preclude any further legal challenge so the FA may not be worried about double standards...if the rules are clear then how can they not deduct points and may have more risk of action by the other promotion contenders...

  • Comment number 18.

    Genuinely never heard so much drivel. Week after week, we have to listen to this complete garbage. I'd love to say its more than that but it really isn't. Substandard isn't even the word. 'Good sides win games' and 'Forest have lost the art of winning'. How about something insightful Steve, something that we might not actually know - your supposed to be the 'expert' after all - although I use that term loosely.

    I wait patiently for you to deliver a decent opinion, and one that is based on knowledge rather than a quick glance at the league table.

    The PL get people like Lee Dixon and Alan Hansen, and we get left we people like you.

    The thought of you getting paid for stuff like this makes me reach for a bucket.

  • Comment number 19.

    Go back to the main Sports page and click on Murray Walker's blog and compare the comments on there to here....

  • Comment number 20.

    18 "Week after week, we have to listen to this complete garbage."

    Actually, we don't. Nobody is forcing anyone to watch it, so if you think it's garbage, just ignore it.

  • Comment number 21.

    Nice to see that big Wes made an appearance in the championship team of the year, to me this shows that we are good at the back.

    -------------------------------------------------

    I'm astounded he made that team to be honest as Chambers has been the better of the two all season by far! Wes has been culpable for a lot of the goals we've conceeded this season. Gotta love his 100% efforts though.

  • Comment number 22.

    Re potential points deduction for QPR - firstly the rules have been tightened since West Ham were, in my opinion incorrectly, not punished by a points deduction so any points deduction for QPR would not be inconsistent.

    I wonder if the FA and QPR will effectively do a deal. IF the punishment was the maximum clearly QPR would appeal as it would probably see them relegated rather than promoted so - maybe the FA will say we can punish you with a hefty points deduction but that would merely provoke lengthy appeals etc but if you agree not to appeal we will give you a smaller penalty - one that drops you into 3rd place in the league so that you still have an excellent chance of promotion.

  • Comment number 23.

    In february Reading were merely in the top half of the table, many beleived it was another season where we would fail to reach the play offs. Through some brilliant results going our way (especiall forrest and Burnley), we're now chasing 2nd place, however if we are going to get that spot, all falls on our recent form (9 wins on the dot) and we must preserve that against Leeds.

    I think it will be QPR, Norwich, Reading, Leeds, (and ive got a feeling that millwall if not Hull will snatch 6th place, based on their form etc.
    Should be an exciting finalle in the next few weeks, but not only at the top but at the bottom! uRzz!!

  • Comment number 24.

    On a side note, where on earth is Shane Long in the team of the year?!

  • Comment number 25.

    #18 " Week after week, we have to listen to this complete garbage. "

    Why's that then?

  • Comment number 26.

    looks like reading will get third spot.I don,t think we will win play offs.Problem then will we be able to keep longy.. The good thing is that we always seem to produce someone else.Reading have an enviable spirit and togetherness.Watch the ovation Armstrong gets tomorrow.Premiersip sides should look at our devision and realise the quality.

  • Comment number 27.

    I used to have a bit of respect for Dave Jones but after saturdays game against us I cant think of a more miserable, ungracious, depressing manager. To say "Taarabt was the poorest player on show", and that "he did nothing apart from score 2 goals" is one of the funniest things I have ever heard and we've had holloway and warnock manage us! if thats the case I don't care if Taarabt is the worst player on show every game! Just for the atmosphere and rivalry between QPR and Cardiff ever since the division 2 playoff final I hope they make it up to the premier league but should definitely leave dave jones, his black cloud and his violin back in the championship! Promotion tomorrow!

  • Comment number 28.

    steve over the past couple of games we have seen plymouth argyle start to get results and get the rub of the green but do u think they can keep it until the last kick of the season.

 

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