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Steve Claridge – The marmite of pundits?

Steve Claridge, according to opinion may be an insightful, considered former pro or an annoying gobs**te who loves the sound of his own voice. Regardless his voice can heard through the BBC with increasing frequency.

Claridge on the BBC
Opinionated Claridge on the BBC

There’s no doubt that the former cult hero has an opinion and has no problem sharing it over the airwaves usually to the detriment of other pundits point of view. This may be why the BBC decided to employ his services given that former pro’s usually trot out the same collection of proverbs and tired clichés. He is a contrast from the likes of Hansen, Shearer or Lawrenson.

His football expertise seems to be broad and no single subject is beyond his judgment and evaluation. John Terry, dressing room harmony, tactics, foreign players etc have all been attacked with enthusiasm and gusto in the last few weeks. Sometimes considered, often scathing and always with volume.

Such is the BBC, s confidence in his talents he has now been promoted to host the 606 phone-in on occasion so he can duel with the general public.

Personally I can tolerate him for only a short spell, usually the length of a half hour podcast. After that his abrasive and cock-sure attitude begins to grate especially given that his playing career doesn’t immediately warrant admiration or kudos.

His former clubs range from the giddy heights of Leicester and Birmingham to the modest roots of Fareham Town spanning a total of 25 years (still playing for Weymouth) in this time he has accumulated 251 goals in 817 games, a respectful if not impressive record.

His trophy cabinet should not take up much space in his living room. At Birmingham he won the second division Championship and the Auto-Windscreen shield and at Leicester the League Cup and promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs.

However he has played at all levels within the English league system and not many can boast of this accolade nor retrieve from this type of experience. If only he could express his opinion in less of a nauseating and self-assured manner.

His conversational stratagem of shouting over fellow assorted experts and journalists can smack of arrogance or in the least bad manners at times maybe he could be best served to listen and observe other people’s opinions.

Then again maybe this is a good thing and football debate on the BBC would be all the poorer without him?

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