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Player profiles:
Clarke Carlisle
Position: Central Defender
From: Leeds United - £100 000 - August 2005
Career stats: Soccerbase
He is: Playing catch up.
Past Profiles: September 2005


One thing that will never change in football is that people’s memories are extremely short. Take a striker without a goal in a few games (and I’m sure Watford supporters could think up a few examples of these), short of confidence, being barracked by the fans, suddenly a goal goes in off their backside, confidence returns, they hit a screamer from 25 yards and the fans cheer and acclaim the striker as the best thing ever.

Take Clarke Carlisle. Ask most fans for their first choice XI and many will not include last year's first bargain from our Play Off Final opponents, yet a review of last season’s highlights shows what an important part in our promotion season the tall centre back played. Captaining the team when Mahon was absent, powerful in the air, quick on the deck and scorer of some important goals – and ok we’ll overlook the sliced OG against Colin’s Bramall Lane outfit. Then a suspension after picking up one too many bookings cost him dear. Malky Mackay and Jay DeMerit formed a partnership that stayed in place till Cardiff in May…well almost. Concerns about the left back position briefly saw Clarke reinstated with Demerit moved to left back towards the end of the normal season, however an untimely injury at former club QPR meant Clarke sat suited with fashionable brown shoes and watched as Demerit scored the all important first goal at the Millennium, and rookie Marriappa picked up a medal for his place on the bench.

Fast forward to Pre-Season and Clarke Carlisle was absent again. Fans rumoured that he was on his way as part of the deal to bring Dan Shittu to the Vic, again forgetting the important part of the squad that Clarke is, and remains. As it turns out, another untimely injury has meant him sitting out much of Pre-Season. Shittu has arrived and, one suspects, Aidy Boothroyd does not pay out over 1.5 million pounds for a squad player. As a result, Clarke finds himself behind three other players in his position with Mariappa also looking stronger with each performance. Boothroyd has also previously showed ruthlessness with players who aren’t getting a taste of the action as the likes of Devaney and Devlin found out. Clarke Carlisle has a lot of work to do.

Simon Peat
Last updated: August 2006