BBC BLOGS - Steve Claridge's video blog
« Previous | Main | Next »

Claridge Kicks Off

Post categories:

Steve Claridge | 21:00 UK time, Tuesday, 10 May 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 gives his reaction to the FA decision that means QPR can finally celebrate promotion to the Premier League, previews the play-off semi-finals in all three divisions and reflects on Lincoln losing their place in the Football League.

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.


  • Comment number 1.

    hang on a second steve, last week you say we have to get points deducted and its the only possible decision and now you say the only decision they can make is a fine and no deduction. Could you flip-flop any more if you tried?

    So glad we wont have to hear your so-called 'punditry' again.

    Bad luck Swansea fans, any team Claridge tips wont win and any team he writes off does well. Just look back at "lucky" "poor" QPR who in your own words "would be a mid table team" (this after we suffered our only 2 defeats in a row all season - in games 18 and 19).

  • Comment number 2.

    6th place is going to win it in every league as always and 7th in league 2

  • Comment number 3.


    This anti-Claridge thing has to stop, you and the other QPR fans coming on here every week to hurl abuse at him is getting very boring. Next there will be more people coming on here to complain about the lack of written blog (which is even more boring!)

    Ok some of his views are not going to be accepted by everyone and i disagree with a lot of things he says but there are much worse pundits out there, e.g. Garth Crooks, Mark Lawrenson, etc. just to name a few.

    If you actually bothered to watch the Football League Show, you would have heard him say most weeks that the FA have backed themselves into a corner and a points deduction is very unlikely and it will most likely be a fine. So please just stop.

    Also Steve, one of the things i disagree with you on and i am getting fed up with you saying week in, week out, is that QPR and Cardiff are the only ones who would of took automatic, the rest of the teams would have been happy with play-offs. That's a load of rubbish, everyone would be going for automatic as it is such an open league. Yes QPR have spent a lot of money but after last seasons lowly finish their main priority for this season would surely of been finishing in the top half and anything else a bonus, and then push on next season. And what makes Cardiff so special? Craig Bellamy? Give me a break, he's not even Wales' best player! Or Cardiffs best player for that matter! Whittingham has much more quality than Bellamy.

    If anything Forest were the team who would of wanted automatic more than anyone else after finishing last season in 3rd and knowing that there were no teams of the quality of Newcastle and West Brom this season.

    Anyway, i don't know if you will actually read this, but you will be glad to know, rant over!

  • Comment number 4.

    These are my Play-off final Predictions:

    Championship: Nottingham Forest v Cardiff (Nottingham Forest promoted)

    League One: Huddersfield v Peterborough (Huddersfield promoted)

    League Two: Torquay v Stevenage (Torquay promoted)

  • Comment number 5.


    We know the FA need money, don't we all?

    But the FA had a calendar of events for the use of Wembley 12 months ago.
    At one time they included the 1st and 2nd League play-off finals.
    The Women's UEFA Final.
    The Champoionship Play-of Final

    Most Importnt though was the FA Cup.

    They knew these dates since last year

    But it was only six weeks ago that they threw the 1st and 2nd League play-offs ti manchester.
    the Women's Euro final to Fulham.

    And worst of all advanced the FA Cup Final to the penultimate round of the Premier League - at a time when Arsene Wenger was asking for the last two rounds of the Premier to be played at the same time, same day.

    The FA knew the datesbooked for Wembley, from the day last June when the League tables and play-offs were posted. They knew when they won Wembley for the Champion League final. The date.

    They knew, because they bid, that the rider on the Champion League final was that the pitch could not be used for 14 days prior.

    So the FA moved everything. Advanced the FA Cup Final 14 days.

    My question - sorry - is - if the FA knew all these dates last year, why did they wait until April this year to start re-arranging finals, moving already booked dates.

    Why wait 9 / 10 months?

  • Comment number 6.

    As a QPR fan, I have sometimes winced at some of the comments Steve has come out with and what seemed like first a Cardiff bias, then a Swansea one.

    However, if you take a step back and remember that even football pundits can sometimes get it wrong and you review what Steve has said in the past, I for one have thought on balance, his comments were fair.

    I have attended only 23 out of our games this season (home and away) and know that if one is lucky enough to see so much of the play, it is easier to make judgements about a team. Unfortunately, pundits do not have that luxury, and have to make a judgement on what they do see.

    One thing that I find interesting is that Steve is consistent in that he stirs up debate and comment and it would be pretty boring if football pundits didn't. Why do we have pundits after all? Mix that in with the emotion and passion us the fans have for our respective clubs, then there is never a dull moment on this feedback forum.

    In the end, it is the players and the managerial team that do the real talking and us, the fans, with our support, make up either a winning formula or not. Oh, and there is the money, sad to say.

    Good luck to all the football league fans for next season, only hope you get the chance to experience the joy QPR fans finally had on Saturday, every football fan deserves that.

    Thanks Steve for a very interesting season of comment.

  • Comment number 7.

    Hi Steve,
    Of course I don't always agree with what you say, furthermore, of course I believe QPR should not have been deducted any points.
    Any person reading this, as a neutral, must agree that QPR were the model of consistency this season? Right from the 4-0 battering we gave Barnsley in the opening game. Any interference this late in the season would have been a real shame and it’s not like we’ve got off scot free, that fine is massive!
    There will be no appeal from Swansea I am positive, how long do people want to drag this out for? Let QPR get on with life in the Premiership, as we’ll have a whole heap of new problems there, bring it on!
    Thanks Steve:)

  • Comment number 8.

    Claridge: you're boring, change your mind too often and haven't a clue.... Zzzzzzzzz

  • Comment number 9.

    I don't understand where this idea that QPR and Cardiff demanded automatic promotion at the start of the season comes from?

    Cardiff; at the start of the season they were under a transfer embargo and couldn't sign the likes of Bellamy, Koumas etc. I remember watching Soccer Saturday and nobody backed Cardiff prior to the season kicking off. Of course once the embargo was lifted it raised people expectations, but still not to the level people are talking about.

    QPR; Warnock has done incredibly well to take what was a mid-table QPR team to being virtual invincibles this season. I mean, Shaun Derry and Heidar Helguson? The mild risks with Jamie Mackie and Adel Taraabt? These didn't seem like signings that would dominate the Championship.

    At the beginning of the season Gordon Strachen's SPL all-stars at Middlesbrough were the hot favourites for the division. Burnley were well fancied, as were Nottingham Forest and Leicester. A little bit of perspective please.

  • Comment number 10.

    What is your reaction to Micky Adams being sacked at Sheffield United?
    Who do you think should/could/would replace him?
    Many thanks.

  • Comment number 11.

    to be fair to Claridge, he has been ok towards us recently saw him before the leeds game, had a laugh and a joke with him

    play off predictions
    championship - Swansea
    league 1 - Peterborough
    league 2 - Shrewsbury

  • Comment number 12.

    Disappointed there wasn't more insightful information on Reading, like the fact we've only lost one league game in the last 17. Our only mention came in one fragmented sentence

    "I've got to say, out of all of them, and no disrespect but, you know, I would say that, possibly I would put Reading at, I wouldn't say that they were, erh, my number one, should I, shall I say fancy in the playoffs"

    Assuming this means he thinks Cardiff will win, I disagree. But then I would I'm a Royal. URzzzzz.

  • Comment number 13.

    @ Tom NFFC

    What most QPR fans complain about is the way Claridge contradicts himself. Watch the previous 3 football league shows and watch the last 3 blogs. In those six different episodes he and i quote here: "will be no points deduction" "there will be a points deduction, they broke the rules" "common sense means there is no deduction" "a points deduction is the only fair correct outcome" "points have to be deducted" "as ive said all along, no points deduction was the only outcome". see the contradictions he makes.

  • Comment number 14.

    The last couple of weeks have seen every pundit, commentator, man with a pair of shorts, contradict themselves. It means they cannot be wrong.
    Points deducted ... "Look what I said a couple of weeks ago".
    No points deduction ... "Look what I said last week".
    Mr Claridge is no better/no worse than any of them.

  • Comment number 15.

    I wish the media would shut the hell up about these rumours that Cardiff went out drinking before the crunch match against us. Presumably that is the only reasonable explanation that a side like Cardiff would lose to a lowly side like Middlesbrough 3-0 at home? Give me a break.I suppose they went out on the lash when we beat them up at the Riverside in December as well.

    They are overrated as far as I'm concerned and will get found in the playoffs once again when the pressure is on them.

    Anyhoo, playoff predictions:

    Swansea, Huddersfield, Shrewsbury.

    And in the Blue Square Premier - Luton.

  • Comment number 16.

    Steve, obviously you have had a decent career in football and obviously you want to stay involved but please stop feeding us your utter dribble! You constantly sit on the fence, and when you do make a decision you'll more than likely change it the next week! I know it is not your fault, and i do honestly feel bad for you.

  • Comment number 17.

    So QPR's crime was commited before the FA changed it's laws to be in line with the Premier Leaues. So the punishment was never going to be any worse than West Ham's, which was a fine.

    QPR deserved to be the champions and deserve to play in the PL. The fact is that the FA couldn't run a bath. They are a joke in everything that they try to achieve. What needs to be done is the details of these cases made public. But in all honesty, all that will divulge, is that the FA are a waste of space.

    QPR, enjoy your moment. You've been out of the big time for too long.

    QPR fans. What do you think of the rumours that Warnock will be replaced? He doesn't really have a great record in the PL. How do you want to see your club progress? They have plenty of money backing them. I hear Ancelotti is looking for work.

    Pundit bashing is the new Great British passtime.

  • Comment number 18.

    I think Steve is a perfectly capable pundit, and actually he says more, and often puts his words on the line more readily than others, ready to be shot down in flames. Fair play to him for that, even if he is ex-Pompey and me beiong a Saints supporter [smiley]

    As for his summing up, yeah I think it is very close to call, perhaps too close. I agree with his conclusion on the nothing-to-lose issue. Try telling the players that who play over a season and lose it all at the last hurdle. There's plenty to lose all right. My predictions for playoff promotion: Championship - heart says Reading, head says Cardiff. League One - heart says Bournemouth, head says Huddersfield.
    League Two - heart says Torquay, head says Shrewsbury. Of course it should be Wycombe playing, as that ghost goal was certainly NOT. Goal line technology would have put that one to bed. Mind you, simple video camera technology had that one sorted. An example of the lie which states "that luck evens itself out over a season". It doesn't and never has.

  • Comment number 19.

    QPR fans will have more to worry aboot than Clarridge next season, thts for sure!

    I wish them all the best thought, any promoted team deserves a good run in the top level. See if they can do a Birmingham and get into Europe next season =D

  • Comment number 20.

    Steve Claridge you clearly have lost the plot,To blame Neil Lennon (an ex team mate)cupping his ears at Ibrox as an explanation for the disgusting actions of a Hearts "fans"and his assault, on Neil defies belief.For a start when you have thousands of fans singing "whats it like to live in fear" can you not see Lennys actions as understandable,It is the banter of football we see it at games up and down the country.

    You obviously are unaware of the situation and the things that Neil Lennon has to endure,I suggest you find out the facts before you give us your "expert" opinions,a man doing his job to support his family should not have his life put in danger,Football is only a game for god sake if you cannot see the stupidity in your statements tonight then I for one,think you need to have a good look at yourself

  • Comment number 21.

    My nerves are going. C'mon the Jacks.
    Please please please, lets not 'do a Cardiff'.

  • Comment number 22.

    As a Shrewsbury fan, hoping that we get what we deserve and that is promotion after that dreadful refereeing muck up.

    Interestingly there was also another major muck up in the same match which for some reason has been consistently ignored - in the last minute Shrewsbury should have been given a penalty, the linesman was flagging for it, but the awful referee chose to ignore having to make a decision and just blew for full time.

    And what has happened to those officials since for their awful performance - mr james linnington and r wigglesworth?? Absolutely nothing.

  • Comment number 23.


  • Comment number 24.

    C - Swansea
    1- Posh
    2- Shrews
    C - Luton

  • Comment number 25.

    1- peterborough
    2- boro!!!!! (stevenage) :)
    C- wimbledon

  • Comment number 26.

    Steve, somebody, anybody speaks ... QPR fans moan.

    move on to the premier league please, we're bored already.

  • Comment number 27.

    Bye Steve. Your opinions wont be missed. I wont be watching FL show next year, but I hope Leroy gets the gig and not you.

    Goodbye ;)

  • Comment number 28.

    Any chat on who will make the play offs rather than 1000 reasons to hate steve?
    In league 1 Huddersfield look like the form team in the second half of the season, where as bournemouth and posh looked stronger before christmas. Should be a thrilling set of games.

  • Comment number 29.

    chamionship- Cardiff 2-1 Reading
    Final Swansea 1-0 Cardiff

    League One- Huddersfield 3-0 Bournemouth
    Peterborough 1-1 MK Dons
    Final- Huddersfield 0-1 MK Dons

    League Two
    Shrewsbury 1-0 Torquay
    Accrngton 3-2 Stevenage
    Final- Torquay 1-2 Stevenage

    Luton 100-0 AFC Wimbledon

  • Comment number 30.

    I saw you on Survival Sunday Claridge - seriously, your opinion of what makes a club is surreal. Because Wigan have less fans, the loyal ones who have followed them for decades do not deserve to stay up and enjoy the premierleague because we are a small town with a smaller fanbase?

    I can see why you didn't quite manage to stay at one club for very long during your career - loyalty mate. There's not many of us but at least we know what it's like to support our local team - despite the bandwaggon jumpers like you.

    I genuinely hope the football league show doesn't have to put up with your comments and input next season.

  • Comment number 31.

    Just caught up with this week's news and read about Lee Clark's dismissal from Huddersfield Town - what did the poor guy have to do to keep his job? He built a team on a very modest outlay, went unbeaten for ages and was sitting safely in the play-off positions with every chance of automatic promotion. Good move Mr Chairman - unsettle everything just at the run in. I hope he gets a job where he can come back to haunt Town - future play off finals?


More from this blog...

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.