Monday, 30 May 2011

Early Odds for 2011-2012 League One Season

Out of the traps nearly as quickly as Chrissy Powell with his early transfer dealings are SkyBet with their odds for the League One title next season.

Strange as only two clubs have entered the transfer market, us and Sheffield Wednesday (and that was to re-sign one player).

When you look at it the only slight surprise is that Sheffield Wednesday are favourites ahead of their Yorkshire neighbours United and Huddersfield.

Wednesday had a not dissimilar disappointing season to Charlton.  The only difference was that they never actually even flirted with the play offs, unlike ourselves.  Having said this despite finishing two places below us in 15th they had a neutral goal difference unlike 6 teams above them who finished on a minus figure.

No surprise in Huddersfield being one of the favourites along with the three relegated teams.  Franchise sneak in as 7th favourite's. I hope they remain in the division and AFC come up to give them the retribution they so richly deserve.

And so to us.  We've never coped particularly well when favourites, so perhaps with some of the pressure and expectation off of us it could be our year?

Tuesday, 24 May 2011


I won't be silly and say 'at last'. Encouragingly the board and management have been true to their word and are out of the traps early in the rebuilding of the team.

Two midfielders joining today. Danny Hollands from Bournemouth. On the face of what I've read from Cherries supporters a loyal servant of the club, who stuck by them during some awful times when he perhaps could have moved onwards and upwards. Still only 25, on paper he ticks quite a few boxes as far as your 'typical' Charlton player is concerned.

Then Bradley Pritchard joining from Hayes & Yeading. After a free scoring season in the Blue Square Premier. What's interesting about this signing is that he did spend some time with us last season, training and playing a reserve team game. It suggests that Sir Chris has been looking at who to bring in for some time.

Both really positive signings in my opinion, and showing that there is a real intent to get a diverse range of different type players in who can compete for places. It's good to see a couple more midfielders, especially if we keep Semedo, Jackson, Waggy and Racon as this will add variety to what was a pretty predictable middle line last season.

I feel it's going to be a pretty busy few weeks.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

One way door (The Exit)

I read worrying news on Sky Sports this morning, that Semedo has been offered a lucrative deal from Greek side Atromis FC.  I really was hoping Semedo would sign for us (perhaps he still will?), but the lure of a new challenge in sunnier climates, on a package that may well go some way to setting his future up for him and his family post football career, would be just too much for the most loyal League One club players to resist.

There have been rumours, and I say rumours, because nothing has come out of official lines of communication from the club, that Anysiah and Dailly have been released. Oh to have a Dailly five years, no even two years younger. Again in an ideal world Dailly would still have the legs and be happy to take yet another pay cut to stay a bit longer. And Anysiah, unfortunately, joined us as a bit of a crock, and seems now to be one of those injury prone players.  Shame again, on the occasions he was fit enough to play he put in decent hard working performances.

Reid has apparently gone as well.  (People seem split on this one, but I say good riddance to a player with potential but a dreadful attitude).

What surprises me is those that have not gone yet. Francis, McCormack, Racon, Doherty.  I know it's early days, but sometimes, a bit like when Eddie Howe turned us down, it seems the new board are a bit presumptuous that who and what they want they will fall into place with ease. And they do not even have a plan B. (Hence Sir Chris rocking up).  I do hope this is not the case with any transfer targets. Or we could end up with another squad of 'make do's'.

It all certainly seems to be one way traffic going out of The Valley at the moment.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Requiem to The FA Cup

I'll make no apologies for going 'off subject' with this post.  There's been much debate over the last week or so regarding the arrangements for this years FA Cup being impacted on by the European Cup Final being played at Wembley.

There are Lot's of things about the modern game (pretty much since Rupert Murdoch put his oar in) that don't appeal to me.  One of the biggest bugbears over recent years is the continual sterilisation of the FA Cup.  I was (probably) over indignant when I realised a near full Premiership programme was being played on the same day this year, along with some first leg play off semi finals.  I really cannot see why all of these games could not be played today to give the FA Cup the exclusivity I think it still deserves.

Ironically yesterdays final was one of the most interesting pairings in the final showdown for years. Man City looking for that pivotal win that most believe will be the moment they really kick on, and Stoke City, always controversial in the way they play the game - and capable on any given day, of turning over the big sides.

The last truly decent final was when Liverpool mugged West Ham in a six goal thriller.

When I was a kid Cup Final day was a great event. My Dad would disappear off somewhere to watch it, and return very drunk and very late. My Mum would take me and my brother to the Co Op to choose a variety of treats to eat and drink whilst watching the build up.  The first I really remember was the 1979 Arsenal v's Man Utd final, with fantastic final three minutes seeing Man Utd coming from two down only for Alan Sunderland to snatch a last gasp winner, and then swear on live TV. (And there was no fuss back then).

I think what sums up the current unimportance of this great competition was a text my best friend sent to me yesterday.  "Sign of the times when I asked my boys about today's final they all shrugged their shoulders and said they don't care. ITS THE FA CUP FINAL FOR CHRIST SAKES. Crisps fizzy pop and beer! But they would rather go out and play on their bikes - these are indeed dark times" Okay, a bit melodramatic, but I think it articulates where this great British institution has gone.

Friday, 13 May 2011

A cunning plan

There seem to be a few worried Addicks out there, post Chris Powell's intimation that his 'war chest' for next season is not that great.

I've got one or two thoughts on it myself.

When it comes to negotiating, in any business, it's never a great idea to let who your buying from know what you've got in your purse, or how much you are willing to spend. And this is particulary relevant to transfer fee's in football. We've all seen Chelsea and Man City pay ludicrously over the odd's for a variety of decent players. The same happens in any division when the seller believes the buyer has a pot full. Perhaps it is just a case of Chris and the board setting their stall out, and playing their hand very close. It would make sense, make negotiations a lot easier and quicker. Thus enabling us to assemble the squad that the management want as early and quickly as possible for our assault on the third division.

Food for thought.

I've read that it's looking like Bessone may sign. I hope he does not become complacent (as Kyle Reid seemed to) if he does get a contract, and returns to the form I enjoyed watching when he first joined on loan.

Finally, google Charlton football transfer rumours. It gives me a couple of minutes fun during the working day when I want some down time. Mental post's with mad rumours. Apparently Shaun Wright Phillips has been convinced to join Charlton from Champions League bound Man City so he can spend more time with his dad in London (who apparently was responsible for talking him into joining us) and full fill his ambition of playing in the same side as his brother Bradley. Nuts!

I'm predicting three signings by June 1st.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, 10 May 2011



So the season was typified in our final game on Saturday against Hartlepools United.  A real humdinger it was not.  At times a wee bit nasty and testy, a few rash challenges, a couple of crossbars hit, more woeful refereeing, Fortune bowing out to an injury that I would imagine means the end of his playing career, certainly with Charlton and no goals.
It was telling that those who sit around me were all willing the second half to come to an end, with groans when we discovered we would have to endure another 4 minutes added time before we can draw a line under this season, the worst since 1974, and definatley the most depressing I’ve know as a  Charlton supporter. (and I’ve been going since 1981, so have seen some things).
It would be premature to start hypothesising as to what is around the corner, and the general silence from within the club (at board level) could mean lots, or could just mean everyone buggering of on a much needed holiday.
Slater’s column in the matchday programme was interesting in it’s positive mention of Semedo, Wagstaff, Dailly and Jackson.  Also positive comment regarding Callum.  Who I thought looked like he may have some potential for next term.
Having said this we learnt back in January that what the directors say, and then immediately do is not always cohesive. (ie. Sitting down with Parky to discuss where we need to strengthen, and then sacking him after a crap performance against Swindon).

There’s a whole glut of questions I could sit here and ask myself. Will Powell be at the helm when it all kicks off on 8th August? Which players will go? Who will come in? Will we next season, if Powell is indeed in charge, stop passing the ball prettily sideways and back and sideways and forward and back and sideways, never actually releasing the ball into the final third?
The answer is I/we just don’t know.  I’ve read that several of the fringe/loaned out youngsters have been released today, but there is nothing to substantiate this on the club website. Although it would not surprise or disappoint me.
Looking at the team sheet from Saturday I’ve highlighted those who we should keep. Not many.  And two are loanees, and one out of contract and looking for something higher up the league ladder.  At least, I hope, there will be sufficient activity re-building in time for pre season that there will be plenty to blog about over the close season.  I’ll be back as and when things happen.

 Elliot; Solly, Fortune (Doherty 29), Llera, Bessone; Wagstaff (Eccleston 75), Semedo, Stewart, Harriott (Racon 68); Benson, Wright-Phillips.
Subs (not used): Sullivan, Francis, Parrett, Nouble

Yooouuuuuu Redddssss!

Friday, 6 May 2011

Charlton v Hartlepools Preview

So King of football on Tv, Jeff Stellings Hartlepool, come to the Valley for the end of this odious season.

To be fair, I have no idea who will win this none event. Both sides should want to end their campaigns on a high (this frame of mind is however no certainty amongst some of the awful, lacklustre and inconsistent players to don the red jersey this season). I hope that those few that want to be here and have tried their hardest , play with enough verve to get us a result.

For me I really hope we get the win that saves us the embarrassment of finishing 18th, and even better if Brentford lose to save us the even worst fate of being London's lowest placed league side. (daggers, Essex and Barnett, hertz not really counting in my book.)

I've not posted much as things have dissolved even further over the last few games.

I will however, once I've absorbed the aftermath of this scintillating end of season encounter, post with an end of season overview of what was good and bad about the 2010-2011 league one season.

Come on Charlton, give us something to smile about over the summer!