Different dynamics

Centre-back talks Olympics, clever footballers and his future

Last Updated: 25/08/12 2:43pm

Clarke Carlisle told Soccer AM it has been unfair for people to compare Olympic athletes with footballers.

"At the Olympics people who are finishing fourth and fifth are getting standing ovations. It's a completely different dynamic and different level of scrutiny. "

Clarke Carlisle

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The defender, who is Chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association, said, although players could learn lessons from their London 2012 counter-parts, the atmosphere and attitudes inside a football stadium present different challenges for footballers.

"I don't think you can compare Olympians and footballers like-for-like," he said. "The Olympics is a completely different dynamic. There you've got 80,000 people in a stadium all cheering for one team.

"You've not got that conflicting vitriol from side-to-side. If you put the ball out of play as a footballer you've got half the crowd berating you and the other half giving you expletives. At the Olympics people who are finishing fourth and fifth are getting standing ovations. It's a completely different dynamic and different level of scrutiny.

"But we as footballers can learn something about the humility of the athletes and the way they treated their fellow competitors and officials. We can always make improvements in football.

"However, the different dynamics have nothing to do with money - financial gains are immaterial to behaviour in sport."

Brains

Carlisle is considered by many to be one of the games' thinkers and has been labelled as the 'most intelligent footballer'. However, he says it's not a title that sits particularly well with him.

"It's become a bit of a tag line for me really," he said. "I think it's a bit condescending to footballers in general, the idea that there's only one intellectual footballer in the game.

"I've not been the smartest guy at any football club I've ever been at," he added, before joking: "But if that's the perception and it gets me onto TV then I'll take it!

"But seriously, there have been plenty of intellectual players I've played with. Steve Palmer had a degree, Iain Dowie has a degree, Wade Elliott was a really intellectual guy..."

Ready

Carlisle is currently a free agent after being released by Burnley at the end of last season. However, the centre-back says he is on the look-out for a new club.

"I've been looking for a club and I've had a couple of offers but they didn't suit where we are as a family, with kids going to school and so on," he said. "I did a bit of training over the summer with Bolton - Owen Coyle was great for opening up the services there for me.

"Now I'm fit and ready to play. I was thinking about retiring but seeing the opening day of the season, watching the lads go out I decided I couldn't retire. You can't retire when you're still fit and able."

Check out the video at the top of the page to watch the interview - and hear Carlisle discuss his spell on Countdown!