Pull Your Socks Up Claridge

Reading 3
West Ham 0

West Ham down to 9 men. Jack Collison sent off for a very late tackle on Reading’s Jimmy Kebe, after Jimmy stopped to adjust his socks.

Expert analysis of this incident by the BBC’s Football League Show pundit Steve Claridge.

“Well for me it’s a little bit disrespectful, to the opposition the game’s won urm and to start taking, what you could describe as taking the mick, I’d probably use another word for it. At that stage of the game I don’t think I don’t think… I think it’s unnecessary and er it’s not… and you can’t condone what Collison does but in that situation it’s understandable. And that’s the sort of thing that would happen, I’ve played in plenty of games where if someones tried to do that, that has been the end result. It doesn’t surprise me, let’s put it this way that it’s not an English player that’s done it, maybe y’know I just don’t think that over here, that I think that y’know players understand that it’s a disrespectful thing to do.” (View the speech here for the next 6 days. At about 20 mins 40 seconds in. UK only sorry.)

Ok let’s try and be a little balanced here. This is not the A team for the BBC, Match of the Day is the flagship show with pundits with great experience and varying degrees of arseclownery. Claridge is not deemed fit to ply his trade on this, so you can expect the odd clanger here and there. Yes I am writing this piece as an amateur, and probably recorded live TV is a difficult thing to do, not sure if I could do it and you have to call things as you see them at the time and I respect anyone’s right to do that. However.

If I stopped to adjust myself at any point in my life I would not find it “understandable” if someone flattened me for it. There was no West Ham player within 20 yards of Jimmy Kebe at this point, if there had of been he wouldn’t have been able to stop and adjust his socks. The way Collison reacted you would have thought Jimmy was vociferously waving his ol’ chap in his face. Yes the game was over, yes maybe there was gamesmanship but it happens in all sport. “Mind the windows Tino!” is a thing that instantly springs to mind. In professional sport you get paid to deal with this.

Back to Claridge, via a dictionary:
verb (used with object), -doned, -don·ing. disregard or overlook (something illegal, objectionable, or the like). give tacit approval to: By his silence, he seemed to condone their behavior. pardon or forgive (an offense); excuse. cause the condonation of.
5.Law . to forgive or act so as to imply forgiveness of (a violation of the marriage vow).

“…And you can’t condone what Collison does but in that situation it’s understandable.” This could almost be excusing Collison.. sure sounds like it to me. So you can’t condone it Steve but you are going to. OK.

Not going to focus on the last bit of this ‘expert punditry’ too much. Englishman, honest and true. Johnny foreigner bad and untrustworthy. Been done to death and does not hold any water what-so-ever. At worst it’s a borderline racist comment (on Network TV) at best it’s a hideous generalisation, not befitting a man paid for his views on the game.