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Claridge Kicks Off

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Steve Claridge | 17:43 UK time, Monday, 23 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 previews the weekend's play-off finals in all three divisions and looks at how the teams match up in the final three games of the Football League season.

He gives his predictions for Stevenage-Torquay, Huddersfield-Peterborough and Swansea-Reading and explains why he will never forget his own memories of winning, and losing, a one-off game with promotion at stake.

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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.


  • Comment number 1.

    Any chance of actually getting some insight Claridge? You never tell us anything that the armchair fan doesn't know about the teams. Very poor

  • Comment number 2.

    Hey Steve - did you mention how much money Huddersfield had to spend by any chance?

    My favourite Claridgism this season was - "Half of one, fifty of the other"

    I think I know what he was trying to convey?

  • Comment number 3.

    Yawn again Steve. Why oh why does the BBC commission such drivel?

  • Comment number 4.

    A disgrace, QPR not mentioned once!!

    Seriously though, who can really call who will win each of the play-off finals. That is the wonder of football. Going to be exciting who ever get's it and as Steve said, often a play-off final is more memorable than a cup final for all sorts of reasons (and those who have been, will know).

    Question is, if Swansea go up, will they have to move from Welsh FA to English FA? Can the Welsh FA survive with only one 'big' club left?

  • Comment number 5.

    Why Steve, what a lovely haircut / shirt combination.

  • Comment number 6.

    why would he mention QPR? its about the playoffs!

    i think this week was the worst one yet.

  • Comment number 7.

    I think he made a reasonable fist of that blog. All 3 games are incredibly close to call, and without going into real detail and making the uninterested yawn, Steve has coherently given us his opinion over who will succeed this weekend.

    To be honest, if you don't like what you're watching then more the fool you for clicking PLAY.

  • Comment number 8.

    Not available in my area. I'll take a guess at "x should win this one but y could win it with a bit of luck." Or how about "play-off finals are notoriously hard to predict." I could find a proxy and watch but it would be a lot easier if Steve could learn to type. At the very least someone could summarize his thoughts in the blog.

  • Comment number 9.

    For those of us unable to watch the video... Can some tell me what his predictions were?

  • Comment number 10.

    i never understand why those who dont like this blog watch it.
    and why would he mention qpr they were prmoted ages ago thats over.

  • Comment number 11.

    TheSecondStain and EaglerEyed - I watched it as I am a fan of one of the six clubs mentioned, and as a fan of a lower league club I am naturally curious if nothing else when we get a mention in the national media. Steve Claridge is employed by the BBC, therefore I fund his salary as part of my license fee and believe I have a vested interest in their output.

    Therefore, I don't think actually being impartial and offering some value is too much to add. Referring to a team's budget IS NOT ANALYSIS! Is it too much to ask that the BBC actually employ some decent sports journalists, rather than clowns like Claridge and Rosenior?

  • Comment number 12.

    This man does not have a clue. I could have given a more impartial and accurate overview of the teams in the Play-Off Finals.

  • Comment number 13.

    @TheBennifactor got OWNED - MayhillBoiJACK

    Plumped for Swansea

    Agreed that this blog is useless - nothing new from previous editions of the football league show. Why Rodgers has succeeded at the two teams play & how magical the play offs are...*yawn*

  • Comment number 14.


    Then do so instead of whinging about it. Who, why and how for each division please.

  • Comment number 15.

    Swansea 2 0 Reading
    Huddersfield 1 2 Peterborough
    Stevenage 3 1 Torquay

  • Comment number 16.

    Up the POSH, steve i agree with your score especially with a posh win what out championship the posh are going back up. come on BORO!

  • Comment number 17.

    Up The POSH!

  • Comment number 18.

    Boro going up goingup boro going up Δ

  • Comment number 19.

    championship here we come.

  • Comment number 20.

    Huh? Because Paul Buckle was your assistant at Weymouth? Is this for real?

    Great insight that is. Totally worth paying for. And i'm sure Stevenage fans, having finally escaped the doldrums, will watch this with immense intrigue and appreciation for a fine piece of acknowledgement for what they've achieved.

    Ask the ordinary football fan down the street, or at the pub on the back of this, 'who will win the League Two play-offs, and why?' Following the logic employed in this little vid, i suppose the answer would be - "Torquay... Apparently they were heavily outplayed by non-League Crawley, but i understand their manager worked with Steve Claridge y'know." - Lovely. Clearly well informed... All thanks to Claridge.

    If you've got a bias towards your former employers or colleagues (you'd like to think that could be kept out of punditry - if it's any decent), it's clearly not worth asking you anything about anything involving them, if insight is the name of the game; which in effect makes Steve Claridge pretty useless by my estimations.

    Mind you, that's hardly shedding any light on this charade.

  • Comment number 21.

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

  • Comment number 22.

    Sack Claridge and keep the 606 with the money saved!!!!

  • Comment number 23.

    so Torquay , Peterborough and Swansea well we will see .

  • Comment number 24.

    In what is a very fierce competition, Steve Claridge is the Drivelmeister of all BBC pundits. His contributions on tv, the internet, and especially 5live, are so inept that they have become an art form in themselves. I often find myself shouting at the radio when he is on; he contradicts himself endlessly and mangles the English language with abandon. And when will he learn to stop interrupting people?

    Apart from that, he is top banana.

  • Comment number 25.

    Brendan Rodgers doesn't get off that easily I'm afraid.

    When Reading went to the FA Cup Quarter Final last year, we did so playing 4-5-1. In fact, one of the problems at the beginning of this season was that after Gylfi Sigurdsson left, we didn't have anyone else to play behind the striker and weren't able to adjust to play 4-4-2 effectively.

    "Reading are a 4-4-2 club, always have been..."

    Good theory Steve.

  • Comment number 26.

    whys he gonna mention QPR?Its about the playoffs!Get over yourself, dont you jsut hate these nouveau riche fans?

  • Comment number 27.

    Let's be honest, the only reason the Posh get the Lions share of media attention on the BBC is because of Alex Ferguson, and that biased idiot on Talk sport, we've sold 31,000 tickets they've sold 14,400 according to club websites I've just looked at. If they go up they will not get much bigger gates, we will, as who the hell wants to go to that tin pot ground in a town with about 5 town centre pubs non of which are near the ground, Without your top scorer who is going to be off in the closed season Peterborough are a league one club who may get up every now and then, Huddersfield have proper history and could sustain championship status now we have a proper chairman, and are 20 minutes from both Leeds and Manchester on the train so an away day for most teams, especially when the Sheffields come back to the division.

    True Town Mike

  • Comment number 28.

    Being a reading fan i obvously want Reading to win.
    Brendan has done an incredible job at swansea and deserves every bit of credit he gets. I think both teams will be very attacking at Wembley and hopefully will be a good game.
    C'mon uRzz!!!

  • Comment number 29.

    Bigterrier - do you really think the BBC would favour Alex Ferguson's son when he boycotted them for years? It may have something to do with Posh have been the most entertaining team in English football this season. No team deserves to go up because of how many tickets they can sell, history, and how close to Leeds and Manchester they are, every team deserves a chance to make their own history and develop as a club, you had a 'tin pot' ground once upon a time remember. How many Manchester teams are there in the Championship anyway?

    If Huddersfield win then good luck to them and they will have deserved it, after all, you finished 8 points ahead of us and haven't lost for 27 games. If Posh win, for a club our size to get in the Championship is equivalent to a club your size getting into the Premiership, so we will enjoy it and hopefully build on it, and I'll enjoy my trips up North!

  • Comment number 30.

    Steve may not be the best person to present a vlog, and he often looks uncomfortable on the Football League show, but I for one prefer him to the rude and condescending Manish Bhasin and he has more insight and knowledge of the game than most of us so at least give him credit for that.

    A good vlog Steve, and keep up the good work no matter what the keyboard warriors say. You're too good for the Beeb anyway, and having met you once I know that you are a proper respectable professional person.

    You are right about Clemmitt too - please God, if he is on the Football League show or BBC next season I will switch to Sky for football for good. Bring Des Lynam back!

  • Comment number 31.

    BigTerrier has a serious chip on his shoulder. Just because Claridge tipped Posh, and that Paul Flecther blogged about The Posh, he thinks the BBC have it in for them. Garbage.
    As for Huddersfield having more fans and more history, what has that got to do with anything? You had more fans when we played at your place, but we out sung you for 90 minutes. And we will do the same on Sunday, and our history books state that the last time Posh played HTFC in a play-off, Posh won, and again this will happen on Sunday.

    As for the pub comment, i believe you have never visited London Road, as about 4 pubs are located less than 500m away from the ground. Charters, The Peacock, The Cherry Tree, The Officer etc etc. How many pubs are within that distance from HTFC's ground?
    Take the chip off, and enjoy the coverage that the BBC provides.

  • Comment number 32.

    I actually agree that there seems to be some bias towards Posh and Fergie junior on here. Why do we have stories about how SAF is not going to be there due to superstition?

    How is that newsworthy?

    Claridge has shown himself time and time again to be clueless this year. Considering he's played for most of the lower league clubs, he ought to know more about them.

    In fact, if you type "Steve Claridge is" into google, it auto completes to read "Steve Claridge is an idiot" .

    This, as everyone knows, makes it a fact.

  • Comment number 33.

    The comment about pubs near the Peterborough ground has been covered by other Posh fans but it may interest you to note that 16 pubs were demolished to make way for the shopping centre. No doubt many would've been crying into their beer that day...if only they had somewhere to buy 'em!

    I was there to see Posh go up in '92 and 2000 but I can't make it this time. If I was a Huddersfield fan I'd be a bit concerned that long unbeaten records have a habit of being broken at the worst possible moment and I think that moment is upon us.

  • Comment number 34.

    To people who are complaining about comment No.4 from QPRsince72:-

    "A disgrace, QPR not mentioned once!!"

    The fact he started his next paragraph with "Seriously though..." would suggest he was having a laugh about QPR getting a mention...calm down guys

  • Comment number 35.

    For those unable to view the video Steve Claridge believes the following teams will win their respective play-off final, Torquay, Peterborough & Swansea.
    For what it's worth (not much admittedly) I think it will be Stevenage, Huddersfield & Swansea..... As a neutral I just hope the games are entertaining......

  • Comment number 36.

    At 09:34 25th May 2011, Galpharmer wrote:

    This man does not have a clue. I could have given a more impartial and accurate overview of the teams in the Play-Off Finals.

    Yes, like 'Sue Denim' said, I am interested to hear your analysis and predictions regarding the play-off finals.

    I think a lot of punditry seen on television and online is rather below-par, citing usually generally well-held and received 'armchair fan knowledge' and so is just so mindnumbingly obvious that it's a bit of an overglorified job title with no real worth.

    That being said, it is wholly annoying when shortsighted people enter the fray with such delusion of grandeur that they can do a better job, and then when propositioned simply fade away and don't give their twopennyworth.
    So please, enlighten us. I'm not even being sarcastic, I'm genuinely interested to hear your views.

  • Comment number 37.

    Stevenage 0 - 2 Torquay
    Huddersfield 2 - 1 Peterborough
    Reading 1 - 3 Swansea

  • Comment number 38.

    Once again this blog as it has been all season from Claridge is full of absolute rubbish always given my team Burnley too much unfair stick and should not be employed by the BBC in my opinion. Rant over. Heres my opinions on the play - offs and i disagree with Claridge on the League 1 and Championship finals.

    Championship- Reading were brilliant against Cardiff in the semi-finals play some great football. Swansea yes they play good football but i felt got lucky against Forest when they got away with a blatent handball. I think although for all the good Football they play i think their luck will run out against Reading. Reading 2-0 Swansea

    League 1 - I fancy Huddersfield to win this one they by all accounts have played some great stuff all season and i think they will come out on top against Peterbourgh.
    Huddersfield 3-1 Peterbro.

    League 2 - I fancy Torquay in this one because i saw their semi -final 1st leg on Sky and really played some great stuff. As for Stevenage im not keen on them really i saw their 2nd against Stanley they were negative and without being disrespectfull I dont like the gamemanship that Graham Wrestley employs i.e the faking injury routeen where he can get them all together and talk tactics during breaks in play.
    Torquay 3-Stevenage.

  • Comment number 39.

    Come on BORO we are going to win League 1 play off final at old Trafford and Up the POSH

  • Comment number 40.

    # 39 I dont think Posh deserved to go up i felt u were not the better team on the day i think 3-0 flattered you and u didnt deserve to win by that score I felt Huddersfield were the better team and they should have won!

  • Comment number 41.


    I love the fact that you slate Claridge's predictions and opinions and got all three play off preductions wrong yourself.

  • Comment number 42.

    We bossed the first half and huddersfield bossed 20 minutes of the second half.

    3-0 is slightly harsh on Huddersfield.It should have been 5-2 ......

    championship lalala

  • Comment number 43.

    @42, indeed was a great game but the final result was the right one at least from my point of view

    flyff private server


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