Monday, 23 January 2012

...Carlisle away anyone?

I'm just recovering from the great result and performance on Saturday.

Every man in a Charlton shirt stood up and were counted. United are without a doubt the best side we've seen at the Valley this term. And at times, we did ride our luck a bit (Well Hamer did anyway). However it is the way teams apply themselves, their resolute refusal to lose that defines champions. And that's exactly what we are now looking like.

It was one of those games that really in all honesty could have gone either way, I think we were just a bit better at rolling our sleeves up and giving it the proverbial 110% when challenging for every ball.

In Captain Jackson we have a real gem of a player. He is obviously greatly improved and matured since his days at Spurs, and he really needs to be gracing a higher division than the third tier.

The double sending off incident is one that is always open to debate. Russel's challenge was two footed but not malicious. Under what would seem like the current guidelines for ref's there's really no room for interpretation. If you see the studs from both  boots the player goes off.  I'm not sure it should be as clear cut as that. One of the things most of us love about football is a bit of blood and thunder. Crunching but not overly intent on breaking limbs type of challenges.  I think that on Saturday it was at best a bit over zealous, at worst had a touch of intent to give a bit of 'pay back'.

Beattie charging over like some tit in a playground and doing a bad impression of Albert DeSalvo was just indefensible. I'd have thought that someone of his experience would have the nous to behave in that type of situation.

So now we sit on 60 points (I keep having to do a double take when I look at the table and see our points total) and are really beginning to look like champions elect to be fair.

Based on our rivals (Huddersfield, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday) all keeping up with their current points per game ratio along with us retaining our own I've calculated that we would be promoted on 14th March. The irony being that it will be away to Carlisle, where we won one of our few but great promotions back in 1986.

One thing that is for sure, this seasons campaign will be defined by two games in January and two fantastic free kicks from our captain.

Friday, 20 January 2012

It's a bit like waiting for a bus...

...waiting for massive games these days being a Charlton supporter.

(the third time I've used this image. Hoping to get to use it again in May)

Following on from the Huddersfield game and then soon after the away day at Hillsborough we now face Sheffield United (over recent years the bigger of the two teams from the Steel City ; ) )

It's another one of those impossible to predict fixtures. United have a good manager with pedigree, and are in my opinion to good for this division. (Much like us). I honestly believe that if United and Charlton go up, with a bit more investment, there's a good chance you'll see both clubs vi-ing at doing a Norwich or Southampton and giving a real go at a second consecutive promotion.

One thing is beginning to look a sure bet (besides Palarses potential Wembley appearance) is that parity will soon be restored in the pecking order in Sarf London.

I don't know what the score will be tomorrow, but I do know BWP will break his duck and it's a game that I think will have goals in it. I think this will be one of those anomalies of a match and scoreline. I'm going for a four three, just not sure which way!

I hope it's in our favour, if it is then it will begin to look very much a fait de accomply.

Monday, 16 January 2012

North versus South Part One...

That was one nerve racking afternoon on Saturday. Particularly after the commentator on BBC London DAB announced that there would be an extra 4 minutes played.  How I cringed when Wednesday won a corner and I heard Nicky Weaver was charging into the box.

Still alls well that ends well, I think this result really cements our credentials as serious promotion contenders, up there on merit and not riding our luck. (And believe me there are still some Addicks out there who are dubious of Powell's talents! I'm not one of them).

I watched the Jackson free kick on the suddenly re appearing football league show. An absolute cracker of a curling and dipping pace filled shot into the net.  Part of me both worries and wonders about the prospect of a higher league club sniffing around our excellent captain before February 1st.

Wiggins apparently clearing off of the line. It had it all.

The result leaving us in the fortunate position that we can actually afford a slip up at home against United and still be top. A draw and we keep them at distance, a win and we begin to pull away.

Now I've just got to get through the working week and hope to see us hit 60 points on Saturday. Can't wait!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Destiny awaits...

To say that the next two league games Charlton are to play could well have a pivotal effect on the outcome of our season could certainly be no understatement in my opinion.

The games, order and timeliness that the fixtures computer throws these sequences and dates up never ceases to amaze me.

On Saturday we travel to a vastly improving Sheffield Wednesday team followed by a visit to the Valley by their local rivals United the next week.

It's no real surprise that two such big clubs are up there jostling with ourselves for one of the two automatic promotion places on offer. What is slightly surprising (and a tad frustrating) is the fact that despite having only surrendered to defeat twice this season we are not as clearly out  front on points as you would expect.

This could change dependent on the results over the next fortnight. I don't really need to outline the maths but will anyway. We win both games and this could see us 7 and 8 points respectively clear of second and third place. (This is if both Sheffield clubs win their other games, Wednesday at home to Hartlepool and United away to Bury).  The other alternative being that if we fail to win and lose both games we'll drop to third and be in the play off melee!

It's certainly going to be a nervy and exciting couple of weekends. The current crop of Charlton players do seem to have the ability to rise to the occasion. Just look at (not the result) the way they acquitted themselves against Fulham last week.  The 4-0 scoreline receiving the general consensus (everywhere outside of SW6) that it flattered Fulham somewhat. Also the way in which we put down the 'unbeatable' Huddersfield Town.

I'm not deluded enough to actually expect us to get all six points but honestly believe that we can pick up four to go some way to cementing our place in the top two and push us closer to a return to The Championship.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

...'It's a funny old game'

...So a winning start to 2012 for us then.

It was a funny old afternoon, and to coin a phrase a funny old game.

The kick off delay was a pain, but did make it an altogether different experience in the lower west.  The drummers from the North Stand had relocated to the West, so added to the usual atmosphere we of the living dead usually enjoy.

The game itself was both frustrating and a wee bit blander than the 2-0 final scoreline may have suggested to those who were not there.  At times, despite the 17 odd thousand that were there at the ground, it was quieter than usual. But I put this down to general nerves of the players and supporters alike, worried about the prospect of another defeat in this potential banana skin of a game. Don't get me wrong, we were and are a better side than the Bee's, but we did find it very difficult to carve out any straight up chances. BWP really does need to get what is becoming that allusive goal, he is beginning to cut a frustrated figure and low in confidence.

As seems usual with Rosler the Tossers Brentford side, there was a fair bit of gamesmanship and foul play involved.  The most surprising thing being that they did not receive a single booking.

I'm all for blood and thunder tackles, and even a bit of argy bargy, but Alexander's antics for a couple of late free kicks were at best irritating and at worst just plain unsporting behaviour. Cheating if you want. Blind siding the goalkeeper whilst he is trying to line up his wall for a direct free kick just isn't right!

As it was the (once again) awful officiating and Brentfords gamesmanship was not enough to thwart Charlton unpretty but effectual performance. And a collective cheer of relief wrung out across the Valley when Green kept his composure and nerve to control the long ball from Hamer and clinically plant the ball past the Bee's keeper.

With one or two players rested I thought Cort did a good job filling in for Taylor, Pritchard despite his inexperience did well in the midfield, tackled back if and when he ever lost possession and continues to impress.  New boy Clarke, although I appreciate he was only on for a short period, did not inspire me at all. I think one position we really need to address in the transfer window is a second striker of BWP's quality. To both cover for injury and to provide a bit of direct competition for the strikers place.

We can now look forward to the light relief of a cup game against premiership opposition (is it just me or does it still seem weird that we are going to top flight Fulham as third division underdogs looking to spring a 'cup shock'?) followed by two huge games against both of our closest promotion rivals from Sheffield.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Brentford at home

There's this horrible thing myself and I'm sure other Charlton supporters, and infact football fans in general suffer from. Random attacks of pessimism!

After the none game that was away to Orient on Old Years night, ruined courtesy of the referee/Ben Hamer depending which way you look at it, and a tight win at Yeovil preceeded by a couple of draws, I'm getting a bit worried (almost certainly unnecessarily so). There's the old adage of Charlton coming down with the Christmas decorations, which is not statistically true - but these kind of thugs stick within the physcee of your average football fan. And who could forget the hideous second half of last season.

I know that when I rationally look at things, the squad we have, the way the season has panned out so far, our manager the likelihood of any kind of capitulation during the second half of the season is pretty unlikely.

There, that bit of irrational negativity now off my chest. I fully expect us to turn the corner on some shaky results/performances today and stick it to Brentford. It won't be easy, in they have a clever tactitian of a manager, so will come with a game plan, on the upside they do not have any ex Addicks to come and stick the knife in.

I'm going for a hard fought 3-1 win to The Addicks.

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