Tuesday, 17 December 2013

A question of quality

I've been pretty quiet on the blogging front of late. I suppose the lack of any real subject matter (other bloggers do much better match report's - that's not really my thing) that's not completely depressing and negative has left me to avoid posting as I don't want to simply moan week in week out.

However Saturdays defeat to Derby and the 'collapse' of the rumored American take over has lead me to feel compelled to post what I hope is more of an objective piece than a negative one.

It seems that the current owners have both run out of money and any enthusiasm for the job in hand. There regular absence from games tells us most of everything we need to know, along with the desperate lack of investment in the Summer. I find it amazing that players such as Fuller, Haynes, Wagstaff and BWP (who really can't be any less of a threat in front of goal than Church, Sordell and the rather lacking of late Kermogant) were offloaded not to be replaced with any kind of quality. Despite some decent midfield performances and a reasonably solid defense, how many times (as on Saturday) have we seen whole hear-ted huff and puff be superseded by our opponents ability to make every chance count and deliver that telling ball onto the end of a competent striker. I hate to say it, but our current crop of Addicks playing personnel did flatter to deceive last season. It's so often the case that a team that's just come up takes a lot of established sides by surprise, then once other managers have their measure the following season becomes less than easy.

We can't complain about the en-devour of any of those players that have turned out for the first team, this season, in fact in one or two cases the resurgence of certain players (Dale Stephens one man in example - my player of the season so far) is almost worrying. If the owners really are in that much financial stuck and insist on resisting administration and trying to get their own valuation from any perspective buyer then they will surely look at serious offers for some of our better players. With no intention of reinvesting the money back into the playing squad, instead using the money to keep the boat floating a touch longer. The best we can hope for in this instance is that an increased wage budget is given to Powell to bring in some quality loanee's who can fit straight into and improve the starting eleven, and perhaps even keep us up. Which has to be our best and most realistic target.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Football for a fiver...

Football snobbery can be a strange thing.

I have been guilty of this on many occasions when talking to my missus. She's a Scouser (born in Eltham but it's in her lineage) and a through and through Liverpool supporter by her own football hating Fathers design (long story), but I know more about both her club and my own. And do rub her nose in my seventies and eighties trainspotting football trivati and  knowledge of the apparent obscure probably too much.

Charlton are not the only club where there are mixed mindsets based around these promotional types of match days.

My best friend is a Millwall supporter (he's actually a really nice bloke) and he bemoans the reaction of some of his fellow season ticket holders when they (copy Charlton) run these innovative promotions. 'Why the f*@K should I pay fifteen/twenty quid a game when they're only coughing a fiver to watch this sh**'

I do appreciate that there are those of us that pay the full fare match in match out at The Valley (i'm a season ticket holder since the days when Eastenders had not even aired yet, the Star Wars Trilogy was not even a trilogy yet and Liverpool were still winning things) there are even those that do this AND pay the time, travel expense and away ticket prices every other week to support the mighty Addicks.

Personally I can only view a crowd attendance reminiscent of those halcyon premiership days as a good thing. For a variety reasons. One - if there was such a better atmosphere created by the same number of people at a Premiership game, then that is simply because they were fair weather fans who enjoyed the limelight but soon vacated the ship (like rats!) when things went too swiftly south and are probably watching a n other 'Prem Club' and revelling in such 'glory' or have simply 'outgrown/become disillusioned' with the beautiful game. Out with the old in with the new, who are actually willing to give it a try outside of the top flight. That's what I say.

If you look at the dynamics of our new/old stadium. It's really the North Stand that makes the majority of the constant noise at The Valley. And good luck to them. I've always been a West Stand Boy. Not known for our chanting - but prone to outbursts of delirium and angst in equal measure.

The two important factors are that it could, just could cultivate new Addicks to keep the faith going forward and even more importantly creates extra revenue in abundance. I'd guess (simply cos I can't be all that bothered to do the maths) our average attendance so far this season must be around 12-13,000. Baring in mind Wigan only brought at best a few hundred to the game, that's an extra TEN THOUSAND potential new Addicks and programmes, burgers, hot chocolates or pints of beer purchased. It's a bit of a no brainer considering the current predicament of the club and it's finances isn't it?

And isn't it exciting to look around and see a fullish Valley?

Another clean sheet - Huzzah!!!

The bad weather managed to stay away for a match what was on the whole as entertaining as a nil all draw can be.

My wife accompanied me to a Charlton game for the first time since the play off final to help cheer on our son who enjoyed his day as mascot. Just to quickly go on the record, those at the very highest echelons of the club may seem to be pretty disinterested in the supporters (so it's alleged) but the day to day staff went out of their way to make it a special day for all of the mascots. A special mention should go to Sue (I think that was her name) who chaperoned the kid's and gave an entertaining and interesting tour before the game in only the way that a true Addick fan could.

Onto the game itself. Another solid defensive display, Wilson was particularly impressive, going forward too. On a couple of occasions it was his surging runs down the right that really unsettled the Wigan defensive line, the shame was there simply was no on in the box to get on the end of them, and when there was we simply did not look like scoring. Church is a likable and hardworking type of player (as his spectacular 'air' scissor kick showed), but i'd say not anything like a natural goalscorer - Sordell just doesn't cut it at all.

Dale Stephens (can' believe i'm about to go on record saying this) was my man of the match for Charlton. Clever simple distribution of the ball, tackling back and generally getting his foot on the ball when it counted. The only thing his performance missed was a goal.

It's a work in progress, but we do seem to be growing in confidence, playing with more purpose and keeping our shape well. Now we just need to find enough spare change down the back of the boardroom sofa to loan in someone who can actually get into positions to score goals in this division.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Charlton follow Cardiff and Hull in rebranding the club name...now to be known as Charlton Nil...

It's been a while, lifes been a tad busy, what can I say.

Perhaps i've found it difficult as the only things that really could be said would have been pretty negative this last month (with the exception of the Leicester result, which now is looking more and more like a bit of a fluke from us and bad day at the office for the foxes). And dare I criticise SCP.

A lacklustre display by pretty much the whole team (and i'm not buying Jackson was up for it, he may well have been - but it doesn't mean he didn't also have a stinker!)

The crowd today were understandably subdued. From the get go the game plan seemed to be pass back, pass sideways and pass back then hoof it upto to the unfortunate and awful debutante Piggott.

Church for all his charging around looked lacking in skills or cutting edge, the midfield to a man, were woeful and lacked idea's and any intent.

We were well beaten by a very average looking Millwall side who never really had to break a sweat.

Our tactics looked tactless and once again Sir Chris left it far too late to make any changes. Those who came on had a bit more about them, but the in-cohesive look of this team of players currnetly was never going to be effective, and lets all be honest with ourselves, had we nicked anything from this game it would have been entirely undeserved.

Kermo would not have made a difference today. We simply were not good enough!

Personally i think we need to go back to basics. I think 4-4-1-1 with Harriott, Jackson, Hughes and Pritchard across the middle, Kermo up top and the lad from Hull City sitting free behind him.

We've won one game playing 3-5-2. It ain't working. A long hard season ahead i'm afraid.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

First six pointer coming up ...

A big game ahead this afternoon, after only two league games suprisingly, as we travel to Barnsley.

The fact we have only recently hammered them at their place fills me with dread that we'll be on the wrong end this time. This is further compounded by the fact that Doncaster won last night and Millwall play at home to fellow strugglers elect Huddersfield.

We could see ourselves rock bottom come five o clock this afternoon. And as much as you can ride the wave of enthusiasm picking up points through good runs and getting that winning mentality; you just as easily fail again and really get into that rut of low confidence that saw us relegated twice in recent years.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not totally doom and gloom - regardless of the rumours and reportage coming from a variety of well informed and respected writers regarding our current internal problems at the club. We do have pretty much the same playing squad that proved we can on our day match pretty much anyone in this division. What we really need today is a big performance from those who dazzled last term, and more importantly some points on the board.

It's a game that when pre season targets were being set I would imagine SCP would hav hoped for at least a point.

I've a feeling that the ever cautious Powell will go 4-5-1 with Kermo up top. (Although I'd like to see him take a punt on Piggot). Hopefully Hughes will come into a five man midfield with Harriot and Wilson providing some width. The other two Pritchard and maybe Stephens.

Jackson missing due to 'a knock' makes me wonder whether we're now in advanced negotiations regarding his sale. What a furore that would see?

I'll be crossing everything and wearing my lucky pants, socks, shorts and t shirt and egging us on to grab all three points whatever way we can.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

...Insipid Charlton beaten by Boro

I wish i'd kept my mouth shut now.

Defeat is something we have to face up to with dignity when we support a football team. However the nature of the defeat can sometimes make this a tad more difficult to do.

Today, pretty much to a man, we were dreadful. Defensively we were abysmal. Considering this has been one of our strong points since the doors started revolving at The Valley it is a big worry.

I know and appreciate that no one gets relegated after only two games, but there will need to be a big improvement if we are to stay in this division, and stop crowds really plummeting. 14,800 odd supporters today is not the sort of attendance that will help us financially with the new ffp rules.

The goal was gifted by two minutes of shambolic defending, and there was also a back pass that we really should not have got away with. (Thankyou for rubbish ref's).

Our passing and movement was not up to scratch. To many times players ran into the wrong space, didn't run at all or passed to blue shirts or empty spaces. It was a bit like watching the blind football at the Olympics, but without the skill!

I suppose if I were to look for positives it would be Harriot, boy can he run and is tenacious, Gower looked promising for me and Church played with intent.

Kermi looks like he's spent the summer enjoying a bit too much smelly cheese back home and Sorrdell was full of running but very little else.

When Stephens came on it did seem to add a bit of spark, for about ten minutes and then he was back to his usual self. (I still can't understand why we didn't bite Villas hand off).

On the plus side Millwall lost again so are below us on goal difference. Off to Barnsley, where we really will need a performance and a result to kick start our season.


Friday, 9 August 2013

...Charlton to take on the mighty Boro - and win big!

I can't wait for tomorrow. Tony Mowbray brings his Middlesborough side to The Valley, hopefully to eat a nice big slice of 'umble pie. (I won't mince my words, after his comments last season after we got a draw at their place the word mug springs to mind).

Last seasons 1-4 home defeat was my late fathers last game as a Charlton supporter (although he wasn't there in person he was pretty dammed close - QEII Hospital.) So the first game of the season, along with me taking his seat under my name as a season ticket holder will be even bigger for me than the usual first home game of the season.

Apparently Boro are so big that they can actually start rewriting results, so they should have a pretty good season. http://www.mfc.co.uk/page/matches/first-team-table

According to the clubs official website everyone else got it wrong and they actually didn't lose 1-2 at home to Leicester City http://www.mfc.co.uk/page/matches/first-team-fixtures but actually won two nil and are now sitting third after one game.

Now that is the kind of spin that even our very own communications department would be proud of! (If the Boro website realises it's mistake and the correct result shows when you click through to the link I assure you that at 7.20pm on Friday night they believed on their website they won 2-0).

Hopefully if they carry on with this policy then they'll be top of the league and reporting a rousing '5-0' victory on Saturday night.

It's so hard this early to make any kind of prediction, but i'm going to anyway. Because of all of the important things that are linked to tomorrows game for me, I feel supremley optimistic the lads won't let me/us down. It's gonna be goals, goals, goals at The Happy Valley. Charlton 6 Boro 1.

Come ooooooooooooooooooon youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuureeeeeeeeeds!

Friday, 2 August 2013

I'm so excited i could crush a grape...come you reeeeeds...

It's here. Not sure about everyone else, but hasn't it come round quick?  (Especially considering how quiet the close season was).

Interestingly SCP was quoted on the BBC website banging on about how we 'overachieved' last season. Like most of what drivel has come out of the club via the official site it does all really smell (stink) of club based spin driven to keep the (simple and unimportant) supporters quiet (how little the powers that be know us lot!). Honesty being the best policy in my opinion they should just 'fess up' and say thing are tight and we've got to cut our cloth.

On a more positive note I really do feel quietly confident about this season. I've no expectation that we're going to run away with the league, or even sneak through the play off's. But what I do know is that we have a great group of players who have a respect and comrade re with the management team.

We have a group of young players who are coming through and being bigged up (more spin, am I becoming cynical?) by the management. If the example of Callum Harriot is repeated (who I think will be a star this season - think Paul Walsh, who was 17 when he first made a BIG impact) then we have several reasons to be cheerful.

The big question is how will we line up tomorrow. It's going to pan out one of two ways as far as I see it. With the first the most likley.

4-5-1 with Yann up top, Harriot and Green on the flanks and Hollands/Stephens/Pritchard. Jackson and Gower in the centre. Solly and Whiggins at full back and Morrison (#cafc legend in the making) aand Cort in the centre. Hamer of course in between the sticks.

The other alternative is Prtich backed up to the bench and Sordell up front in a four four two (a formation SCP does seem to like).

I'm going to make a bold and silly match prediction for this one. (It is the first game of the season though, so allow me that) 451 to start, finishing on 442, 4-1 to Charlton with Yann getting one and Sordell claiming a hat trick.

As is always the case my predictions are often out there and often wrong, but i am feeling confident and excited and really cannot wait for it all to kick off tomorrow.


Sunday, 28 July 2013

Winge, winge, winge...

I was kind of waiting for the late transfer flurry and end of pre-season to post any kind of comment on the close and pre season.

It's been a pretty quite one for sure. Besides lots of recriminations from fellow Addicks over the lack of transfer activity and the antidote of the 'in Sir Chris we trust' brigade.

One thing is for sure is that we are extremely light in the striker department, with only the great Kermogant as our only recognised senior striker.

I think there are two realities we all need to come to terms with. 1. We simply ain't got much money and 2. The fair play rules are coming into force, thus we really do need to cut our cloth accordingly. Problem being that although there is no maximum wage bill the most important rule which can result in sanctions is that if the club owner DOES NOT inject equity into the coffers the maximum loss the club can make is just 3 million, which we all know based on recent accounts is entirely possible. The real irony of the new rules this season is that in the event that the owner DOES inject cash into the club then they can make up to a maximum loss of 8 million! (How is that fair?)

Simon Church got a run out against Ebbsfleet today, I've checked his goalscoring credentials out, and they're far from pretty reading.

I think playing Yann the Man up top on his own is one option, but you do need to have a bit more that and i've always found him most effective with a partner to take the heat off of him(and even then he ends up black and blue).

Many have expressed their relief that we have managed to keep hold of our key players, and there have been one or two nonsense rumours floating about. It's a while until the premier league season starts, and i'm sorry to say i wouldn't be surprised to see one of our crown jewels move on for money between our season starting and the Premier kicking off. I suppose the big question would be how much would go towards balancing the books and how much, if any, would be given to SCP to bolster or improve the squad.

I'll be taking my son to Princes Park on Tuesday night to see a Charlton eleven take on Dartford, and would not be surprised to see one or two free agents get a run out.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, 6 July 2013

...It all starts here

...So the boys travel to Park View Road today to begin the pre-season friendly programme.

You'd usually like to see any new personnel on board by now so player combinations can be tried and tested before a competitive ball is kicked in anger, but this term this just isn't going to be the case.

Much has been said about lack of signings but as I've said before, we've got we've got both in terms of players and money so we'd better get on with it.

It would seem that from last seasons success we have a good development squad and young players, and it could actually work in our favor for these players to come through hungry and with a real chance of making a name for themselves and challenging for a first team place.

If the case is that we're not going to see any or many new faces incoming then we'll need a strong pre season where the key will be getting match fit and integrating those young players who are making the step up into the first team squad and creating a competitive nature where no player feels they are a shoe in for a first team start.

I'm guessing we'll see most of our first team from last season start along with the couple of trialists we have up front and in defence starting and then making way for some of the young blood in the second half. Piggott and Jordan I think will almost certainly get a run out.

It'll be a good day out in the sunshine and I think some of those more negative among us will be pleasantly surprised by a fresh performance and some maturing youngsters stepping up.

It's now the excitement begins and we can start dreaming of a good campaign.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Oh south London, is wonderful, it's full of t.........and Charlton...

...So the 1st of July is nearly upon us. There's been plenty of conjuncture about have we got any money?, will we sign anyone?, have the current board got any ambition/sense? - We'll find out soon enough!

The bottom line is that those clubs already making signings, you know the European giants such as Juventus (who have a different window to England) and the likes of Liverpool and Man Utd who have made big bids are all in a completely different stratosphere to us and our peers.

We've seen a few out of contract signings happen across the football league (Gower being one) and a few loans (Millwall's excellent re-acquisition of Morrison on loan) but we won't really see any real action until the window officially opens. I'm certain there a quite a few deals about to be rubber stamped, but what no club of our current standing can afford to do is play with an open hand and allow another club to come and gazump them to a signing in what by the very nature of the new fair play rules and the current economic climate could easily happen. The competition to pick up a bargain is fierce at this level more so than ever.

We're either playing a close hand or just don't have the resource to go on a summer spending spree. (To be fair I would imagine with the complex way transfer payments are made, deferred and staggered we are still paying for some of the nineteen odd that were signed to get us out of the third division). If the latter is the case then we'll just have swallow it back and hope that some of the fringe up and coming youth players come good Harriot style.(There is a famous quote of someone saying 'you'll never win anything with youngsters' that was proven wrong.)

I was encouraged to see that Evina has turned up for training, maybe he knows that there may well be a better chance of him getting more starts this season - I for one think he's far to good a prospect and player to be warming the bench. I wouldn't even be surprised to see him maybe develop into more of a midfield player with his attacking qualities.

I'm sure that Sir Chris, whatever our circumstances knows what he's doing, regardless of what our board of directors may or may not be.

The impression the squad of players we've enjoyed for the last two season gives me, is that they are young, have the ability to develop learn and get better. (Something we have bared witness to over the last two campaigns). They are tight knit - hate losing and there seem to be no flash tarts in the team.

The 1st will be the day when we really know how the issue of personnel will pan out. Any of our better players who are going will be announced that day, and i'd imagine any deals that see new faces will also be verified. Bottom line is whatever happens I can't wait till I hear the thud of my new season ticket on my mat.

Final note, and i'm guessing you'll know who you are, things ain't that bad, last season was actually pretty bloody good when you analyse it against the last few terms and Charlton are most certainly NOT in East London!

Saturday, 1 June 2013

'It was twenty yeears ago today' well sort of...

In a fit of boredom at work today I decided to see what the silky skilled Carl Leaburn was up to these days. So did a bit of Google research (i'll come back to Leeeeeabuuurn in a bit), and then decided with the lack of CAFC news (lets be fair everybody needs a holiday) and the season now well and truly over (by the way, cheers to Kevin Phillips for ruining my Bank Holiday Monday) I thought i'd have a skim of a dig and see what the class of 92 are up to these days.

Who'd have believed when we triumphantly marched back to the Valley that bright December day what the next twenty years would hold for us Addickted?

Two promotions to English footballs top flight, the greatest ever play off final to take place at Wembely (take note Palace and Watford), three relegation's, third division football, a record point haul and promotion (again), the return of a Charlton legend thrice - the third time Sir Chris dragging the club up by it's lapels back towards the promised land as manager. Kevin Lisbies hat trick against Liverpool. It really has been a wonderful rollercoaster ride since our return to SE7.

Below is the team that lined up against Portsmouth.

 Bolder, Pitcher, Minto, Gritt, Webster, Balmer, Robinson, Power (Grant 89), Leaburn, Nelson, Walsh. Subs. Grant (not used): Pardew

This was back in the days when (some of those younger supporters may find this fact difficult to believe)  you were only allowed two subs. I wonder if we were to regress to the days of having just the one sub how much more a level playing field football would be for the smaller less well resourced clubs?

Bob Bolder

A firm favorite of mine, still can be seen at The Valley on club match days as a member of the community and match day hospitality team, and also still turns out for the Liverpool Football Masters Team, which is quite funny as he actually made zero appearances for the Anfield club between 1982 and 1985.

Darren Pitcher

I wasn't all that happy when Pitch left for Palarse. His career was ended by a bad tackle by Paul Reid at Huddersfield Town, he even tried to sue for damages (a case which he lost). Apparently he is now working in the building trade.

Scotty 'Mincer' Minto

Minto went from Charlton to play for Chelsea, Benfica and West Ham, finishing his career at Rotherham. Where apparently initially (according to Wikapedia) he spent one day a week ferrying passengers to and from a Rotherham hospice as an unpaid volunteer. He can be seen as a pundit/match reporter on Sky TV and also achieved a degree in sports writing from Staffordshire University in 2008

Steve Gritt

An absolute legend and part of the management duo along with Curbishley who oversaw the game. Gritt wasn't playing too much by this point, but wanted to play a part in such a big game. And he ran his socks off.

Gritt, who you would have thought it would have been easy catching up with has gone off the radar a little since he parted company with Bournemouth where he was head scout last September. Prior to that he famously kept Brighton in the football league with a last game of the season win as manager and even spent a very brief period as joint caretaker manager at Millwall.

Simon Webster

Simon Webster's career took a turn for the worst following his departure from Charlton to West Ham he only played 5 games for the Hammers, breaking his leg in a training ground accident (a tasty tackle from Julian Dicks apparently) forcing him to retire from the game in 1995.

He then went back into education and became a fully qualified physiotherapist, climbing the ladder of his new profession first as a junior physio working for Bromley NHS Trust then onto West Ham and Gillingham as Head Physio and now working as Practice Manager for Nuffield Health in Cannon Street and also working as Physio to the Charlton Womens team.

Stuart Balmer

Having left Charlton to go on and play for Wigan, Oldham, Scunthorpe and Bolton Sweaty returned to his native Scotland and up until only a couple of weeks ago had spent some time as assistant manager and under 20 team boss at Ross County. Interestingly at 43 he still retains his players registration.

John Robinson

A firm favourite of myself and many the Valley faithful. Another ex Charlton player who has very recently made a move. Following leaving Charlton he played a season for Cardiff before moving to Gillingham to be nearer his family (and Mother who was in ill health), he 'retired' from football after just four games for the Gills stating 'I haven't fallen out of love with playing football, it's the politics of football and becoming a commodity I don't like.'

After retiring he played a handful of games for Crawley Town and Lewes, both close to his Brighton roots and then set up a property business. In the last couple of weeks he was named new manager of Florida Adrenaline in the United States Premier Development League (the US equivalent of our Conference Premier in their terms).

Lee Power

Not a name that springs to mind in the Charlton Hall of Fame. He was built like a pitbull terrier, squat and wide.

He only played the five games on loan that season for us (his parent club being Norwich City). His career spanned ten years and thirteen clubs, and he went on to become a football agent, football chairman (Cambridge and Rushden and Diamonds), Caretaker manager (Cambridge after they parted with their manager whilst he was on the board). Apparently he now owns racehorses.

Carl Leeeeeaaaburrrn

I've taken this information directly from wikepdia, i'm not sure about the security guard bit, what I do know is that thanks to him there is a photograph taken by my late father of me eating a smelly old 'boiled' pair of addidas gazelles, something I said i'd do if he ever scored a hat-trick. (Cheers Ipswich).

'After retiring, Leaburn completed a study for a BTEC Radio Broadcasting course. He worked for BBC London as a match summariser and interviewer. He now works for Premier Leagueproductions as a match analyst and occasionally as a security guard for the Canary Wharf estate. Leaburn also worked with Redstone.fm, a community radio station for RedhillReigate andBanstead.'

Gary Nelson

If not the most talented strikers ever to play the game, certainly one of my all time favorite football people. A great writer, and picture framer - so i'm told. Gary was senior commercial executive at the PFA this was followed by a stint as Managing Director of Oakwood Promotions then as Chairman of Leisure Link Golf Holidays and for the last two years has been group head of marketing at a company called AllClear Insurance Services.

Colin Walsh

We all know what an important part Colin played in our first game back at the Valley. And he can often be seen at the ground working as part of the hosting team and plays for the vets.

Kim Grant

Kim went on to play for an amazing 16 clubs before his retirement, scoring 68 goals in 333 matches. Kim is now residing in his native Ghana and is owner and president of Takoradi Football Club. This is actually really interesting, he founded the club in 2009 in honour of his granfather George Alfred Grant who was an extremely influential political activist in Ghana. Kim was also interestingly a direct decedent of Arthur Wharton who was the worlds first black professional footballer.

Alan Pardew (Unused sub)

Last and by all means least. In the interests of common decency (and the fact that some under 16's might read this) I won't really go into and don't need to tell anyone what HE has been up to since.


Enjoy the close season.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Cold Turkey!

...Bored already? I'm certainly beginning to get cold turkey. The only remaining thing to look forward to is the Championship Play Off Final and (please) watching broken hearted Palace fans crying at full time.

Following the 'none' Kuwaiti Varney lead takeover which actually turned out to be a buyout of Ebbsfleet from MyClub.com we can now begin to conject and read generally pointless rumors about who's coming in.

For me the big news so far was the contract extensions of key playing personnel at The Valley.

With Dervite, Harriot and Cort all signing on the dotted line. I think paired with Morrison, Dervite will make a centre back berth his own. The excitement of keeping hold of Harriot speaks for itself. At the very least if he does have an even better season we could see some serious cash coming in for him at the end of next season. (Or even better see him giving us a season in the top flight - getting a bit ahead of myself there!)

With seven players being released I don't necessarily believe we will see the same number of new player incoming. The squad was perhaps a bit over laden last term, which saw some decent players fail to get enough game time. To be honest Haynes leaving for me is not the end of the world, often he flattered to deceive and was never going to give us a striker in the Mendonca or Bent mold who would actualluay guarantee a certain goal and point return. I'd much rather see one of our exciting development striking options step up the pecking order.

So what do we need to further consolidate our Championship status?

Providing Solly stays, we are reasonably well covered for full backs. Maybe one experienced head on board as a squad player - the real shame for me last season was the limited chances on offer for Evina, who would walk into a lot of squads at our level. We do however need one more to cover at centre back, having released two.

With Wagstaff off and Green blowing hot and cold I think we need a decent Championship experienced right sided attacking midfielder. In the event that Hollands and Stephens do leave the club then we'd really need two central midfielders to offer cover for Jackson and competition for Pritchard.

Then finally, and this is the hardest (financially speaking) one, a foil for Kermogant who can play off of him in this division with the same success that BWP did in the third tier.

Easy then? One Centre Back, Three midfielders and a striker(who can score goals)!

Only another four weeks a the fixture lists out.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Addicks clinch best finish since 2007-2008...A wildly Optimistic Addick writes

When all said and done, once the dust settled what a great season we've had.

Our best finish since the disappointing 11th in our first season back outside of the top flight. What's truly remarkable is how the team, which pretty much was the League One winning side, learnt by their mistakes and grew into a very good Championship side.

For many reasons yesterday was an emotionally charged occasion. Chris Powell, his coaching staff and all the players looked like they really wanted to finish the season strongly rather than dreaming of a few month's off in the sunshine somewhere. For me it was the last time I would be sitting in my late fathers seat and using his season ticket - next time round the name on the ticket will be mine and i'll be in the chair he occupied for all of the twenty years we've been back at the Valley plus those that preceded our exile.

Over eighteen thousand supporters turned up to witness a great second half performance by the team. Bristol were it has to be said pretty poor, the way once we got our noses in front and Kermogant had got his brace the rest of the team, bench and crowd were willing him to complete what would have been a memorable hat trick shows how we dominated proceedings.

Obaka seems to be one of those strikers who may not be the most gifted but does seem to have the knack of being in the right place at the right time. A real old fashioned poacher. I'd quite like to see him back at the Valley next season.

Again Harriot impressed, although a bit of naivety and keeping hold of the ball for to long saw Wagstaff come on and make a lively cameo. I do like his work rate, and hope again he remains at the club as a squad player next term. Pritchard had one of those games where he had his right head on and put in a great performance.

The only downside was the comical nature of City's goal. For me Morrison's performances have been a bit patchy at times. (The awful back pass a point in question).

I know that it's now close season for us, and we invariably will start dreaming of glory next term. The rumor mill is gathering momentum of a take over by middle east based KEH following Varney's appointment there.

If this is the case I just hope that they stick with Sir Chris and give him the opportunity to invest their money and grow the team. To be honest my appraisal of what we need would be as follows.

A new center back to provide cover for Dervite (who should be shoe into the team next season in my opinion) and Morrison, at least two midfielders of first team quality and a striker who can play off of Kermogant (my player of the year).

That's all we need to add to be competing for promotion or the play off's.

Simples! (I did say that I was feeling wildly optimistic).

Friday, 26 April 2013

Surely not even Charlton can do this to us...

...Being a Charlton supporter has often been described as an being on an unpredictable rollercoaster  ride.

I just need to site events such as Charlton 7 Huddersfield 6 (before my time), Alan Simenson, Saved from a winding up order at the eleventh hour (such an unusual event this was it was covered live from the supporters club on the regional tv news), Selhurst Park, Shirtliffes late brace at St Andrews, Returning to The Valley, Carl Leaburn scoring a hat trick, The Play Off Final, Away to Chelsea, Third Division Football the list goes on and on.

Now we find ourselves with two games to go (having spent the lions share of the season looking over our shoulders willing the team to get past the line and guarantee another season in The Championship) and still in with an outside chance of rather audaciously gatecrashing the play off's.

The reality is that it's highly unlikely that Leicester, Bolton and Forest will provide us with the set of results required for us to win both games and sneak it by one point.

There is however a distinct possibility that this misery of 'could we really do this...' may well carry over to the last game of the season at home to relegated Bristol City.

Leicester have a tough home game against a resurgent Watford, Forest travel to a Millwall side desperate for a win and Bolton (who I expect to finally take that 6th spot) travel to Champions Cardiff. Those three lose and we win at Boro the fight for the final play off spot will look like this:

6th.Bolton       66
7th. Leicester 65
8th.Forest       64
9th.Charlton   64

With Forest and Leicester playing each other on the last day of the season and Bolton entertaining Blackburn in the big Lancashire derby (with Blackburn possibly needing a win to ensure safety) providing we win at Boro tomorrow then we may well be looking at something a lot more than the meaningless end of season game i'd anticipated.

Never a dull moment in SE7. (Well mostly).

Wednesday, 17 April 2013


Another amazing late show from Obika and a less than average Wolves were seen off at the Valley and nineteen thousand odd of us strolled out of the Valley cheerful in the evening sunshine.

The first half was a pretty dull affair, Charlton looking the better of the two sides in possession but neither team looked anything like carving out a goal. I was kind of resigning myself to a bore draw but the bonus of another clean sheet. (Always look on the bright side!)

However in the second half the tempo did seem to liven up a bit.

I'm not all that sure about Gower. If he is with the club next season I think he will divide opinion amongst the Valley faithful. He gave the ball away cheaply with poorly picked passes on more than one occasion but then played in a couple of peachy balls. The guys had virtually no game time this season so perhaps is in need of a pre season somewhere and then some first team football.

Harriot again impressed and switched flanks well in an effort to bamboozle the Wolves full backs. Green did a good job when he came on, and gave us much more attacking emphasis once Pritchard was moved into the centre of the pitch. An area in which without both Jackson and Hughes we looked light.

I think this is an area where we will definitely need to strengthen in the close season.

I'm not quite sure what shocked me more, Obika coming on and yet again nicking a last ditch winner or the amount of added time once the full ninety had been played that was added on.

All things said another great win and three more points chalked up. What a difference a few weeks and decent run of results can make.

Location:Obika late show guarantees addicks safety...

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Ever ascending...

I've been far too busy reveling in last Saturdays result, enjoying looking at the league table (first time for a long time), and generally concentrating on talking myself out of talking myself into the fact we could still squeeze into the play off's to post anything here.

Lets be honest there are far too many teams between us and and sixth place for us to sneak it with four games left. However looking at the table it would be almost as monumental an achievement for us to go on a bad run now and enough of the teams below to string a run together for us to go down.

I thought at the start of the season fourth from bottom would do me. Mid Table mediocrity would leave me well pleased, now we have the opportunity to finish in the top ten - if that were to happen i'd be 'over the moon' and would feel that with our manager giving the squad a little tweaking/strengthening in the close season we could really push on next year. (The play off's ain't going to happen - really they're not!)

So onto Cardiff City tonight. What price having your heritage stripped off by your foreign owners - the reward a place in The Premiership?

The 'Dragons' only need one point tonight to ensure promotion to the promised land, having choked so many times over recent seasons I'm sure they will go up. The question is will they have a little blip along the way (ie. tonight) before securing promotion on Saturday? With our record of unpredictable and inspired wins against promotion hopefuls and 'bigger' sides on the road this season anything really is possible. Our players will be a bit more relaxed, which I think is when they are at their best and play with the flowing tempo that they are capable of.

I'm going to plump for a 1-1 draw, the slight blip I expect for Cardiff and the result that will finally dis spell any lingering thoughts i'm having of sneaking sixth spot. But then I've been wrong before.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

...theres nothing like a last gasp winner...

I'll start by saying what a great result. Forget the fact the ref seemed aware of a new rule that states you can use your hand aswell as your feet to control the ball constantly that the rest of us weren't, and the fact that despite pretty much bossing the first half- once we went one nil up the deepness with which we played completely let Leeds back into the game. I can completely understand the excellent Fuller needing to come off as he had so obviously ran out of steam. But going one up top was nearly our undoing on this occasion. Thankfully after Leeds equalised Sir Chris decided to go for it, made that one last sub reverting back to a more attacking pressure game and it paid off.

There really is nothing better than a last gasp winner. Once that final whistle goes it's like another has been scored.

One question i wonder is how different this season may have panned out had Hughes not been injured. A real unsung hero. Last season when he came in as cover for our injury ravaged midfield we not only stabilised but went on a great run. Don't get me wrong, Steven Gerrard he ain't, but he is, at this level the type of midfield dynamo that would find a place in most Championship sides.

Yan was heroic, as usual. Besides playing too deep once one nil up I really cant find to much fault with any of the players. (Perhaps with the exception of Pritchard who was good and awful in equal measure).

We are very nearly over the line. Confidence looks to be developing amongst the team again, a shame this didn't happen a month ago or we might just be vying for a play off spot now.

Once we are safe (and I think we will get there) most of this group of players will develop and enjoy a more consistent season next. Callum Harriott will mature into the real deal. Hughes could have his pinnacle season next term, if he stays fit. What we really need to find is someone to partner Yan the Man up top. Fuller, as great as he is, is just a tad past turning up week in weeks out and putting a full shift in. Not his fault, just time.

Last comment. Chris Powell is still learning his trade. His knowledge and enthusiasm will make him as a manager the complete package.

Anyone get the impression i thoroughly enjoyed going through the ringer today?

There really is nothing better than a last second winner.

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Tuesday, 19 March 2013


...The fallout from Saturdays result continues unbounded.  The main points of discussion/argument/antagonistic's are many.

'We're rubbish, why can't we win at home', 'Where is the board...they won't talk to us/keep us informed','Should I renew my season ticket - why should I renew my season ticket to watch this tripe', 'is Powell the right man for the job, why can't he motivate the players anymore' and so it goes on and on and on.

Frankly I find it all a bit bemusing. Okay, unlike most modern football clubs, we were spoilt for the best part of twenty years by having a board who were on the whole genuine supporters of the club (regularly pumping their own money into the club just to keep it on an even keel) and could see that those supporters, the ones who had stuck with it through thick and thin were indeed the lifeblood of the club.  However much of those twenty years, and much of our clubs history to be honest, Charlton were at best a modestly sized club whose media tag 'plucky Charlton' was not undeserved.

Part of the problem,well documented, was the purple patch of seven years that we spent in the Premiership, being well run, plucky and punching above our weight quite often with some success. Curbs left, money, a lot of it, was invested both in trying to push on to the next level within the top flight and then trying to get back to the promised land of The Premiership. We all know what happened next.

For some reason there seem to be a lot of Charlton supporters out there who seem to think we are a big club who based on that seven year purple patch have a divine right to be playing up there with the real big boys and be watching 'total football' week in week out. For me much of my thirty years going to watch Charlton we've generally been looking down and wincing prior to releasing a sigh of relief rather than looking up in anticipation of inevitable great things.

Whether Sir Chris is the right man for the job at this level is certainly debatable, but what other options are there? As far as renewing season tickets is concerned, the supporters of this club - present, past and future will always be around, this current board for better or for worst won't. I've already renewed and purchased  my season ticket and will be back at The Valley in the summer looking forward to another season of potential misery and joy.

Stark reality is that we have two tough games coming up immediately after the international break. If we lose both of those (the first being a dreaded home match) the deficit between us and the bottom three could have been completely surpassed and we could find ourselves right in the thick of it. Alternatively we win both and are on 53 points and effectively based on my own predictions just one more win from guaranteed safety.

Small margins!

One things for sure, there are actually as I type this 57 teams in the NPower League worst off than us!

Saturday, 16 March 2013


Please shut up. What an annoying bunch of supporters?

I've not read any blogs or match reports since getting home from todays early kick off. Another capitulation against local rivals.

In the first half, to be fair to us, we looked lively and well up for it. Two glaring problems were again the link up between the midfield and strikers and Danny Haynes complete petrifaction of the immense Shittu. How someone the pace of Danny was always second to any balls put through near to Shittu i don't know. (Actually I do, he was scared of him). When Powell did finally get round to bringing Fuller on for Haynes you could see the difference in that Fuller was not in the least intimidated by the Millwall captain.

Harriott again looked like he could develop into the real deal. Wilson has reverted to being pretty useless and well out of his depth at times.

One of the most annoying things today was the reaction of the Millwall players when they did score. They actually looked like winning this derby meant an awful lot to them. And I think that defines the real difference between the two squads. Millwall kept going and going looking to carve out the win, once we went one nil down it really never looked like we were coming back.

Thoroughly depressing result and performance.

A deserved victory for our nearest rivals.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Season defining two weeks coming up...

Before I preview tonight's vital away fixture I noticed a bit of surprising news today. Not sure if I was asleep when the promising Ruben Bover rocked up at New York Bulls in the MLS as a new signing to make his full debut a couple of nights ago. Maybe I was but I certainly don't really recall any mention of it from either the club or fellow bloggers. The only reason I even noticed was because I glimpsed someones tweet. Bizarre when we are so think on the ground on the playing side of things.

So onto to what will be, in my opinion, a critical two weeks for the clubs fortunes this season with three potential six pointers coming up. Peterborough have been on a bit of a run of good form over recent games. Over the last six matches they have averaged 1.67 points per game (versus our woeful 0.67). However as we see week in week out in this division, any one team can turn another over if they step up to the plate. Which is something that our boys really need to do tonight.

The problem is that defeat tonight won't see us plummet right into the thick of the relegation dogfight, but it will if results go against us see us head in a downwards direction and be a further knock to what is beginning to look like a team lacking or low in confidence.

I think Powell will opt for a 451 formation that has served well on some of our good away results, not sure who would be up top. Come to think of it i'm not sure whether we'll see Button retain his berth in between the sticks or whether we'll see a none complacent Hamer back in goal and back to his best.

I'm not going to outcome of the game tonight, as it's just too hard to make a judgment call on, I do however expect it to be one of those barmy midweek goal fests.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Madley being the operative word

I thought i'd waved goodbye to refereeing performances like that when i waved a fond farewell to the third division.

People often talk about football matches being lost because one side showed the other too much respect. I think today one major factor in our defeat was the amount of respect, the mincing imbecile of a ref, Madley showed to the mighty visitors.

I was sat in the East Stand for a change today, so could not see quite what happened. To me it looked like Kermo did kick/trip Halford (erstwhile known as that git!) but the way that Git leapt almost somersaulting in the air was truly laughable and extremely unmanly. What made it even more laughable was how this was deemed a dismissible offence in the face of all the Forest players diving, obstructions, body checking and general gamesmanship.

What we still shouldn't lose site of was that it was evident from the get go that the 451 formation was just not going to work against the way Forest had set themselves up.

On the day, if we're honest with ourselves, the Charlton players did have a pretty bad day at the office. What makes it particularly disappointing is that despite recent results (Leicester aside) we've not lost points through bad performances but through a bit of naivety - much of the performances have been pretty good, just not quite enough. Today, to a man, we were dreadful.

Pritchard had his worst game in a Charlton shirt. Stephens (of whom i'm not a fan) was ineffectual. Hamers communication with the defence was often non existent. Although in his defence he did pull off one or two fine saves that helped both keep our negative goal difference down and stop it becoming a really embarrassing score line.

We know this group of players, on their day, can go toe to toe with any team this division, for whatever reason, which i don't know, the players simply did not seem up for it.

Sir Chris has his work cut out between now and the Burnley game (where i will return home to the lower west). Not that Whiggins did anything overly wrong, but i'd like to see the excellent Evina back in the fold, maybe Hughes back in the side and two up top. Haynes and Fuller. I think it's also maybe time we saw Wilson back in for Waggy.

Lastly, i've never ever left The Valley prior to the final whistle. And today I still did not. But to see the many sidling out with a good fifteen minutes to go was not a happy thing to behold. Wheres peoples staying power these days!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

...How great it is to be wrong!

...So after all of the 'doom & gloom' prophesies  of my last post I sit here feeling extremely pleased that my anticipated nil points from the Leicester and Forest games has already been proved wrong.

'None prolific' Kermogant and crocked Danny Haynes both providing the bullets to give us a deserved and well planned three points at Leicester City and leave us going into the Forest game kind of looking upwards again and hopefully full of purpose, energy and belief.

It was good to see Kermo net the opener and rub it in those ridiculous supporters who still blame his penelty miss for Leicester still being a big Championship side. And what can I say about Haynes goal. Surley a contender for goal of the season at Charlton.

All in all a happy little Charlton pessamist sits here looking forward to the game on Saturday.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Bradley goes to Brentford

So at last some activity in the 'emergency loan window'.

After 87 appearances and 32 goals BWP has gone west and joined Brentford on loan for the remainder of the season. As he is out of contract at the end of the season i'm guessing we've seen the last of him in a Charlton shirt.

I think it's a shame his Charlton career has petered out so quietly. As lazy as he could be, it was a joy to see him whacking them in in the third division last season, and I hope he has a successful period at Brentford helping them with their push for promotion.

The move does leave us somewhat light up front. Fuller, as powerful and cultured as he is does struggle with fitness and injuries. Haynes has looked liveley when fit, but that's not been very often. Kermogant isn't really what you'd call an out and out striker. That's about the sum of our experienced first team fire power now.  I can only guess that Wright Phillips departure means a deal is in the offing for someone with some championship pedigree and experience to come in. Hope so anyway.

Monday, 18 February 2013

...In the thick of it...

I'm going to sound quite pessimistic in this post.

Something we have been pretty good at with the current squad up until the current run we're in the middle of is bouncing back, quickly, from set backs.

We now have not won for four games since the Blackburn result. It's not so much the fact we've not managed to pick up the points where we perhaps really should have, it's the nature of the nativity and bad luck combined that has left us with just one point from the last 12 on offer.

Now we go to the form team of the moment, Leicester City, tomorrow night. A game in which despite some of our better results and performances against the bigger and better clubs within the division, I simply cannot see us picking anything up points wise.

This game is followed by the home game against Forest. We've not beaten them for 13 years (albeit we've only faced them 4 times since). There's also the returning Billy Davies as manager that should give them a bit of a boost. Maybe in our favor is the fact that their current form is even worse than our own. Even so, I don't really hold up a great deal of hope of us halting the current slide over the course of the next two games.

This could see us headed into March, and the beginning of the final run in. My calculations show that we will probably need 52 points to stave off relegation and a horribly swift return to third division football.

This will leave us with 12 games to achieve 4 wins. (Meaning we will need to hit a run of form where we win one in every three games).

The reality is that to succeed you need to beat whats put in front of you.

Our run in contains 4 play off contenders (h.Burnley, a.Brighton,h.Leeds,a.Middlesboro); 6 Relegation battlers (a.Peterborough, a.Huddersfield,h.Bolton,a.Barnsley,h.Wolves and the final game of the season h.Bristol City). The other two clubs we have to play are away to run away leaders Cardiff and the only mid table, nothing to play for opposition is Millwall at The Valley. A local derby. Ouch!

When you look at those games there are none that look like a shoe in, walk in the park, or straight forward.

It's going to be one of those shut your eyes, clinch your bum cheeks and hope for the best Springs.

Who knows perhaps i'm wrong, we'll pull off a shock win at Leicester, grab the points against Forest and the players will get that self belief and confidence back, and equally importantly only need to pick up 6 points out of the final 36, just 2 wins out of 12 games.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

A day of disappointment, late goals and the return of the voice

It could have been such a great day! Charlton trying out training ground back heels, passing movements and near effective set pieces (something i've never really seen at The Valley in the thirty odd years since i've been going), and, what was for me the long awaited return of Voice of the Valley.

Firstly the game. Much like the last two, particularly in the first half - we bossed proceedings. In Butland Birmingham have a keeper, who but for the existence of Joe Hart would be a shoe in for the England number one jersey. Charlton's aggressive approach and inventiveness on another day could have seen us two or three up before the interval. To be fair it was one of those days where it just didn't look like we were going to get the rub of the green. In fact come half time i'd resigned myself to a frustrating but ship steadying nil all.

In the second half the game did open up, and at times developed into quite an end to end affair.

Stephens, as usual, blew hot and cold. Wilson had reverted to headless chicken mode. Old man Fuller worked his socks off, and at times i felt his problem was his own footballing brain was just a tad to advanced for his peers. Solly was as dependable as usual, Cort is, in my opinion, without a shadow the best centre back at the club, Morrison did his job. Waggy is 'Mr Charlton' for all his miss givings. The player who really impressed, as he ever has since given his chance,was Evina. I have no doubt, that in close season if he continues to develop at the same rate, we could see another young Charlton player sold to help balance the books - and maybe even help us push on again. (I hear Arsenal and Newcastle are fans of this type of young Frenchman).

I was overjoyed when Kermogant nodded down to at last convert our possession into an advantage. Shame the hapless Green gave away the lead for us to again give away 3 points.

A one all draw felt more like a three nil defeat, and you could see that in the players body language when they walked from the pitch at full time, heads down!

Still, only fourteen more points (4 wins and 2 draws), and we should historically have done enough to ensure our Championship safety.

I was both pleased as punch, and equally Disappointed, with the return of VOTV.

It was very much part of my formative years. In fact I have a large box of them in my loft ranging from the very early militant copies to the more glossy premiership issues.

It was like becoming reacquainted with an old friend. My cousin Dave, I can not see for a year and then we can pick up like we'd seen each other Down the pub yesterday. It had that kind of feel.

However, despite the fact that it was just like taking up with cousin Dave again one thing did bother me a bit.

I'd followed the link from Wynn Grants blog to the VOTV website which explained that in the new issue all would be explained with an in depth piece about what happened and why such a great Charlton person had departed company with the club (to be fair the militant in me always wondered how activists such as Everitt and Dixon could become 'company men' as easily as they did.)

What I found was an excellent publication, well written, but without the promised warts and all explanation. One that was available for around fifteen thousand Addicks to part with two quid for (so even if only half purchased it then thats a revenue of 14k). Where was the true story? An article about the clubs accounts that has already become an annual piece of compulsive reading by one of my fellow bloggers? Don't think so. Voice of The Valley was always BOTH a light hearted fanzine and insight and organisational mouthpiece for the fans. Today it felt both like just another fanzine and to be honest i felt like i'd been miss sold the fact i might hear some new truths and insights in to the club i love. Bit like having to now buy 2 match day programmes. Guess i'll just have to wait till the next home game or subscribe to the VOTV website to find out the truth. Apparently it's out there!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Bring on the Brum

So having sporadically posted since November i'm trying to get back into the full swing of this blogging thing.

Charlton take on Birmingham this Saturday hoping to turn around things after starting so well in the last two games only to throw all three points away. All part of the fledgling manager and players in The Championship thing I think.

With the 'emergency loan window' (another phrase for 'getting the deals through that did not quite happen' or a conveniently designed loop hole) opening we may well yet see the departure of BWP and Danny Green and perhaps one or two coming through the doors at The Valley.

Brum sit in 16th place and are having a very indifferent season compared to last when they reached the play offs only to fail at the semi final stage against Blackpool. The thing Birmingham are discovering is that if you don't bounce back at first time of asking to the Premiership it can be very difficult and even become a real downward spiral.

You have to go back 7 years since Charlton last beat them at The Valley, winning two - nil.

On the road Birmingham have had an average season to date, taking a relativley respectable 17 points from 15 games.

Over recent matches between the two sides it's really difficult to seperate the two teams, Charlton winning one at home, as did Birmingham and a draw a piece.

Looking at form over the last six games Charlton have a plus goal difference (+1) Birmingham have a minus (-1) with the Addicks averaging 1.67 points per game and the Blues 1.33.

With this in mind, putting aside the unpredictability of this division I think that we'll edge this one by the odd goal (2-1).

On a real positive side, if we maintain the recent form we have shown over the last six games we'll finish on 65 points, which although it won't be enough to get us past the line and into the play off's it will leave us in a positive top half position and ready to push on next season.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

The silly season is upon us... (or why I hate the transfer window!)

...So the nonsense that is the transfer window is now upon us, with a myriad of Sky Sports presenters and other journo's all about to explode in a mess of their own bodily fluids.

Besides the fact that this awful part of the modern game enabled Chelsea to put the breaks on our own upwards assent by robbing us of Scotty Parker and unsettling the team (and in my opinion was the moment the decline of Charlton began) it just throws up such lazy utter nuggets of poo, from Sky, The Red Tops, Talk Sports and even the good old beeb these days.

The sage that is Mark Lawrenson has an article on the beebs site on which club needs which, what the (entirely unsubstantiated) 'hot' rumors are. 

Chelsea trigger Baa's release clause by making a 7 million quid bid. (Knobs!)

Apparently several (soon to be championship clubs having travelled in thew wrong direction and out of the Premiership) are being linked with Bradley Pritchard and I believe Villa are again being linked with Dale Stephens (if this is the case the powers that be at Villa Park really need to hand their head scout his P45, the idea was laughable enough in the Summer - let alone after Stephens inconsistent performance for us so far this season).

I just checked the Sky Sports Transfer Centre web page which is currently down. I'm guessing either someones really got upset by a scoop they were about to print or the internet itself has become so exasperated by the whole thing it's now refusing to play ball!

I myself use the 'Charlton Transfer Rumors' website for my up to the minute speculation and general rubbish.

The idea of Sir Chris having the 4 million quid 'war chest' i'd read somewhere seems to be unlikely as according to' CTR' we are trying to swap Bradley Wright Phillips with about ten different players!

The one rumor that does mildly excite me is the notion of signing Kieran Richardson on a free from Fulham. A nippy winger who can actually cross a ball with some venom. But then this is probably another piece of January fiction.

It's all nuts if you ask me.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The Best League in the World...

So a blistering start, dogged performance and excellent yet unexpected result enable us all to kick off the New Year with refreshed optimism. (Well me at least anyway, I have to admit that the dire performance against Ipswich coupled with the home draw with Derby had left me fully expecting a trouncing at Vicarage Road and perhaps even a panic decision at board level and an abrupt end to Sir Chris’s tenure as manager. Thankfully I was wrong).

It is pretty hard to predict how things will swing on a match by match basis in this division. Which is what makes it so exciting and keeps the interest of pretty much every sides support in the division right up to the final knockings of the season come early spring.

When you look at our own story since that game against Cardiff, and I’m pretty sure at the time we all expected a lesson in football and how to really finish a team off by the Welshmen. Certainly not the 5-4 rollercoaster that we were treated to.

This started a run that saw our aspirations lurch from looking at those below us and hoping we can keep our noses in front to looking at sixth place and wondering if now we’d turned the corner we might just sneak into the play offs come May, back to relegation worries and after yesterday’s excellent result a renewed optimism that we can at the very least enjoy looking forward to the release of the fixture list for 2013-2012 season without seeing fixtures against the likes of Crewe, Carlisle and Wallsall. (No offence to these sides but they are hardly ‘glamour’ ties by any stretch of the imagination).

A 7 match unbeaten sequence turning into a run of 6 games without a win. Interestingly of our 19 point haul during this period 12 of our points came against teams who are now in the top half of the table whilst we dropped 11 points against teams from the bottom half.

Real vindication for the generally held view that the Championship is a league where anyone team on their day can beat any other regardless of position or standing, making it one of the most entertaining and exciting in the world. It was in fact last season the fourth best attended league in Europe, behind only the Bundesliga, Premiership and La Liga and in front of Serie A by over two million.

With a welcome break in the shape of a home cup tie against Huddersfield and the January transfer window now open to hopefully enable Powell to bolster the squad’s quality and experience somewhat, we can now look forward to what on paper should be three potentially winnable games against Blackpool, Blackburn and Sheffield Wednesday.  But then like I say, it's pretty hard to predict anything in The Championship.