Vital Football

Latest Wolverhampton Wanderers News

Hoddle Backs Clarke

Hoddle Backs Clarke

Wolves Manager Glenn Hoddle has spoken out to defend his much maligned Striker, Leon Clarke from critiscism surrounding his goal celebration during his sides one nil win over Plymouth Argyle

A local lad, Leon Clarke was fast tracked into the Wolves seniors by Dave Jones when at the start of the last campaign, injuries left him no choice. After a prolific run in the reserves,,he became an instant hit with the fans for his bustling play in and around the penalty area, scoring on his full home debut.
He ended last season having made 12 starts with 19 appearances as substitute, and an 8 goal tally that helped him win the fans Young Player Of The Year vote. So where did it all go wrong?

This season, dogged by rumours of off field lifestyle problems, strenuously denied by player and club, Leon has failed to set the world on fire. A drop in confidence has been apparrent to all including his manager Glenn Hoddle, but Hoddle has refused to withdraw his man from the spotlight, and was pleased to see his young centre forward get a goal.

'I stuck by Leon and played him today. He worked hard and I'm pleased he got us the winner. The goal will give him confidence.' he said

Clarke took his chance well,calmly bringing the ball down on his thigh before firing a low shot into the Plymouth goal.It was the kind of chance Wolves have been missing of late ,so it was inevatable there would be some kind of celebration, and also that Hoddle's opinion would then be asked.

“I don’t think he did anything wrong in that,” said Hoddle. “It was human nature. I do not have a problem with it and have not spoken to him about it.'

So what did Leon Clarke actually do to earn more terrace invective?

After scoring, Clarke ran off towards the fans, relieved,happy, and adrenalin driven and perhaps feeling a little aggrieved after suffering weeks of derision from some of the most demanding fans in the land. At that point he raised a finger to his lips. That most offensive of gestures. The effect was immediate,as more booing followed whenever Leon touched the ball.

They used to say, 'If you can't take it, don't give it.' But now things have changed. Now, the same people that call radio shows, and post extremely colourful abuse on internet sites anonymously can also take afront at a young man raising a finger to his lips. I'm not sure which is the more childish. Leon's gesture, or the level of offence it has caused. It's hardly Robin Friday territory, is it?

From Leon Clarkes current position, it was hardly the best move he could have made, but in the heat of the moment players often do things that have a future consequence. Don't they Vio.

Hopefully a goal will now spur Clarke on to greater things, and the start of a healthier relationship with the fans, but I doubt it. There is a danger of the Molineux scapegoat spotlight being firmly fixed on Leon for quite a while, and that has never been a comfortable place to be.Its also a hard place to duck out of. Hard work,improvement and a return from his efforts, goals, are about the only options open to him now.



Register on this site via the drop down menu and leave feedback to this story below or click here to join in the debates on the forum.

Go on, get vitalled!

Writer:
Date:Sunday January 8 2006
Time: 1:36PM

Comments

0
i have just watched the first half of spurs in the fa cup and Grzegorz Rasiak was appalling so i would rather stick with clarke than sign him
darkscene
08/01/2006 19:23:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Best of Vital Network

Vital Boxing - Bellew Lets Rip at Haye

Recent Wolves Articles

Dicko On Consolation Strike

Striker Nouha Dicko has admitted that with Wolverhampton Wanderers failing to take a point from Birmingham City on Friday evening, his goal was little consolation at full time.

Lambert - We Need To Stand Up

Manager Paul Lambert has spoken of his disappointment at tasting derby defeat to Birmingham City on Friday evening.

Hause & Graham Disciplined

Wolves have confirmed Kortney Hause and Jordan Graham had both breached club discipline ahead of the defeat to rivals Birmingham on Friday.

Video - Wolves 1-2 Birmingham

A fourth successive Wolves defeat - five in six - was sustained when rivals Birmingham went away from Molineux with a 2-1 win. The gap to safety is now only four points.

Archived Vital Wolves Articles

Vital Wolves articles from

Site Journalists

Write for Vital Wolves
Write For Vital Wolves
Apply Here

Current Poll (see more polls)

Birmingham MotM
Suggested By: Site Staff
Ikeme2%
Coady0%
Batth0%
Stearman0%
Doherty0%
Price16%
Saville0%
Costa50%
Edwards0%
Weimann0%
Bodvarsson16%
Sub - Dicko16%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Brighton 33 21 8 4 71 31
2 Newcastle 33 22 4 7 70 37
3 Huddersfield 33 20 5 8 65 8
4 Leeds Utd 34 19 4 11 61 12
5 Reading 34 18 6 10 60 2
6 Sheff Wed 34 17 7 10 58 9
7 Fulham 33 14 11 8 53 17
8 Norwich 34 15 7 12 52 11
9 Preston 34 14 10 10 52 5
10 Barnsley 34 14 8 12 50 4
11 Derby County 33 13 9 11 48 6
12 Cardiff 34 13 7 14 46 -2
13 Brentford 33 12 7 14 43 2
14 Birmingham 34 11 10 13 43 -13
15 Ipswich 34 10 12 12 42 -7
16 Q.P.R. 34 11 7 16 40 -11
17 Aston Villa 33 9 12 12 39 -7
18 Forest 34 10 7 17 37 -12
19 Burton 34 9 9 16 36 -13
20 Wolves 32 9 8 15 35 -5
21 Bristol City 33 9 6 18 33 -6
22 Wigan 34 7 10 17 31 -10
23 Blackburn 32 7 9 16 30 -13
24 Rotherham 34 4 5 25 17 -45
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Wolves Results (view all)

Wolves Fixtures (view all)

Feb 28 2017 7:45PM : Huddersfield Town (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Mar 4 2017 3:00PM : Reading (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Mar 7 2017 7:45PM : Ipswich Town (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Mar 11 2017 3:00PM : Rotherham United (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Mar 14 2017 7:45PM : Brentford (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Mar 18 2017 3:00PM : Fulham (a)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.johnwolf3
2.Telford Wolf1
Vital Football Comment