Clark Chooses The Emerald Isle
Ciaran Clark has backed himself to rise to the big occasions following the Chelsea match, and has also confirmed that he has committed his international future to Eire.
Speaking on the Official Site Clark admitted he was quite nervous when he found out he was coming on for the Dunneymonster but he was pleased with his performance and with how quickly he settled down and dealt with the occasion.
'There was a lot of pressure but when you get out there you just need to get your head down. There were a few nerves when I was running up and down the touch-line, but when I got on and got a few touches, I was good.'
Good probably doesn't do his performance justice. Personally I thought he was immense and that he dealt with whoever was in his radar (mostly Anelka) admirably. The only criticisms I could possibly level at him were a few unhurried clearances that went straight back to Chelsea players where he really had the time to find one of our lads.
But things like that come with game time and increased confidence and he certainly appeared to clean up those errors as the game went on.
To be honest he never put us in danger at the back and Anelka will certainly have easier days at the office than Clark gave him in the future, and he could've nicked the game for us at the other end aswell.
'I nearly scored, I turned around and I thought it was in but it came out off the post and I was a bit devastated. But it's just great to be out there, it is progress and it all looks good.'
It definitely does all look good for Clarkie at the moment, increased chances with the first team and his decision to side with the Republic will be a huge blow to England in the future. With that said though he'll find his chances much increased with Eire and should get some good game time despite his tender age which will only improve him further as a player and help us as a club.
Some think it's a strange choice, but I see far more merit in it than waiting another 5-6 years for an England manager to pick in form centre halves who will be the future as opposed to the usual brigade of let downs. Seems Clark has even more reasons than that though in his decision.
'I did it for myself and my family. My family have done a lot for me over the years since I was a little boy and I owe them a lot so I've done it for them. My mum is from Ireland and all the family and the dad's side of the family, Irish all over the place.'
Clark adds that if the paperwork goes through ahead of the Republic's next game he will be in contention for it, and I dearly hope he is selected and gets his first cap.
We certainly seem to do well with a smattering of Irish within the first 11, and if Clarkie is under the Dunneymonsters wing at club and country level it can only help turn him into the player many of us think he's capable of becoming.
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