Friday, 29 May 2015

Farewell to a great Charlton supporter

I attended the thanks giving service of a lifelong Charlton supporter today. The day he fell in love with the club was when he and his Brother were listening to a BBC radio broadcast in 1947, it was the FA Cup Final, and according to his Brother who was paying tribute to him during the service - he heard the commentator announce 'Charlton Athletic', fell in love with the sound of the name, and that was that. So began a lifelong love of the Addicks. Not a local boy by any stretch of the imagination, Jel was born and raised in deepest darkest leafy Surrey, attended Charterhouse and went on to forming his own insurance brokerage at Lloyds. In fact his Brother who was recounting his Charlton fanaticism we found out upon googling his name afterwards (Sir David Lees) was until very recently Chairman of The Bank of England.

I've always said football is a great leveller of both perseved class and people in general. He was one of our own, one of our football friends. Cheeky, fun, witty and very knowledgable about the game, and always with an articulately put point of view. His favourite pre match entertainment was getting us all to guess the 'official' attendance before it was announced.

His journey to The Valley every Other Saturday was a sixty mile round trip, mostly on the car park otherwise known as the M25. (I appreciate that there are plenty of Addicks who also make such trips for 22 odd games a season, and I doth my cap to them as well).

From what I can gather from those who recounted his life away from The Valley he was a general round nice guy.

So if you feel the inclination to raise a glass of whatever your drinking over the weekend and say cheers to one of our own, then please do. I think he'd appreciate it. Cheers Jeremy, it was a pleasure knowing you.

Come on you Reds!

Monday, 11 May 2015

Season review

Now the dust has settled I thought I'd do a bit of an appraisal of the season just gone.

All in all it was a typically Charlton roller coaster ride containing some truly dreadful displays, some fantastic and spirited wins, some of the best football to grace the Valley pitch for many years during the third quarter of the season revival. Charlton supporters up in arms at the poor handling of Luzons appointment, a public meeting, then a great winning streak. Tony Watt gaining almost instant legend status. Freddie Bulot scoring some goals AND actually putting in some good performances. Gudmunnson eventually finishing as top goal scorer.

When you think of all of the above, Charlton could not be accused of not providing some value for money to their supporters. All be it due to the topsy Turvey and at time controversial nature of the way the season unfolded.

Guy Luzon seems like a pretty genuine guy. At first I thought his touch line antics were all part of some weirdly childish display mimicking what he has seen a variety of big name and character managers doing over the years, however having spoken to someone who (ahem) knows someone within the club, he is apparently quite the eccentric and a wee bit of a fruitcake. But well liked.

Now a quick overview of each area of the playing staff.


Henderson missed 15 games through injury, of those games he missed we only managed just one win. This I think tells us all we need to know about his importance to the team as a whole for next season. With the exception of Pope, who may well be on his way to Bury next season anyway, none of the back up keepers are in anyway up to the job. Either as cover or providing competition to Henderson.


Ben Haim and Bikey-Amougo spent the early season as the shoed in central defensive pairing. Both did okay during the opening phase of the season. Ben Haim being a cultured ball playing centre back, who occasionally had a rush of blood to the head and made surging forward runs. I'm not really sure why Bikey fell out of favour. Maybe I'm missing something but Johnson just seems a wee bit of a thuggish centre back, very much old school and I did not think he played any better than Bikey. However he was always very vocal and very competitive. Big congratulations to him for finally being able to lose the 'Relegation' Roger nickname that has followed him over his last two stints at different clubs.

The big plus for me in defence has been the emergence of Fox and Gomez. The latter we can hopefully keep hold of. A future England star in waiting it would be good to see him in a Charlton shirt and starting place for the next few seasons. Fox grew into the team at a much steadier pace, but as cover did a more than adequate job.

Solly had a quiet season by his standards, struggling with injury his recovery seems to have been slow. Hopefully with a full close season we will see him back at his best next time out.

Difficult to say much about Wiggins, spending over half the season in two spells out injured.


Despite a lack of depth, one of the biggest plus points of last season was the midfield. Cousins establishing himself as a key element of the team. Playing wherever required across the middle four. The real engine of the midfield/whole team, pitching in with a couple of goals and performing consistently throughout. I can honestly say I did not see him not put a shift in. A worthy player of the year.

Jackson struggled with injuries, and due to this never really had a long enough run in the side to get fully into the swing of things. Still an absolute legend and again like Solly, with a good close season I hope to see him competing for his place next season.

Buyens was the definition of inconsistent. When he decided to turn up a gem of a player, when not a waste of time.

Luzon seemed to manage to bring the best out of Bulot. Up until his arrival I felt Bulot was a waste of space. He seems very much a confidence player.

Gudmunnson is a quality act. His incisive runs and spectacular goals were a joy to watch. One of the few players who did not seem to have his head on his holidays for the last few weeks of the season once our Championship status had been secured.

Late comers Diarra and LePoint could not have been any more polar opposite to each other. Diarra doing everything that was asked of him, even nearly being the man to give us our first win over Millwall in a very long time. LePoint (what was the point?) really just making up the numbers when he was played.

Difficult to say much about Moussa. Crocked for much of the season and pretty uninspiring on the occasions he did play.

On the missing list is Callum Harriott. Tried by Big Bob as a striker (we should have seen that as an early warning sign). Fallen way down the pecking order, I won't be surprised if he is one of those who depart in the close season. We could well see him reacquainting himself with Scott Wagstaff at Bristol City.


Vetokele burst onto the scene, scoring great goals for fun early season. A combination of injury, confidence and being 'found out' by opposition defenders mean that petered out somewhat. In his defence up until the arrival of Watt he was pretty much playing up front on his own, supported by partners who simply put we're just not up to the job. Church, Moussa, the hapless Tucadean and even Callumn Harriot. It must have been hard work.

Tony Watt, Watt, Watt. Quality player.

The previously mentioned four strike partners who were pre Tony Watt I would hope will all be on their way in the close season. (I understand Church has already departed, an honest player, but not good enough for this division).

Finally Chris Eagles. For someone who hadn't had much game time prior to joining The Addicks he acquitted himself well. Scored an important goal and gave everything whilst on the pitch. Another of the players I hope to see again in a Charlton shirt, with a good close and pre season under his belt.

If we can keep the Crown Jewels that are Henderson, Gomez, Solly, Cousins, Gudmunnson, Watt and Vetokele AND importantly add some quality and depth to the squad. An additional striker who will actually offer some competition from the bench, an experienced quality centre back and a good playmaking central midfielder then I think we will see an improvement next season, maybe even a push for a play off place. Importantly we need to see these additions to the squad as permanent additions and not loanees.

Enjoy the summer.

Ex Charlton duo combine to win first ever New York derby

A Bradley 'he's better than shaun' Wright Phillips double won the New York Derby, the winner being set up by another ex addick.

See the below link for more.

BWP wins the Derby

Friday, 1 May 2015

Post Curbs Managers...

Much like the Charlton players of late, I've had one eye on the end of the season and a nice break from the footie for the last few weeks,Mende the lack of blogging.

I think now Guy Luzon has at the very least earns his stripes as (touch line antics aside) someone who does seem to know what he's doing. The big test will be to see how he does next season when he's able to organise the players pre season and get a full tilt of it.

Sitting on one of South Easterns finest pieces of rolling stock (actually getting a seat being something of a novelty) I thought I'd take a quick statistical snap shot of the managers and there success since Curbs left for the 'big time'.

I've measured succes on nothing more than percentage of games played won and actual honours won.

Not surprisingly, and quite rightfully, Sir Chris Powell comes top of the free with his 40.99% win rate and records breaking League One Title.

Guy Luzon comes in second with a 40% win rate (be interesting to see where that sits this time next year?).

Third place, and again no real surprise in my eyes is Parky with a 38.6%

Then slimeball Pardew with 31.11%

The big surprise for me was that Dowie actually faired marginally better than Big Bob with 26.67%

Bob Peeeeeters finishing second last only to the unfortunate Les Reed with 24%. (I appreciate that we did draw a lot of games, so he may have lost a lesser percentage of some, but if the pre Luzon WDL form trend had continued we would very possibly be playing Millwall next season.

Les Reed finished on just 14.28%, he did however inherit a shite bunch of mercenaries and as he has shown at Southampton over the last five years, behind the scenes he is worth his weight in gold.

Tomorrow we welcome Bournemouth and Yann Kermogant to The Valley to (slightly jealously) witness the final hurrah of their promotion party. Oh and we get to seethe new home strip for next season (I wish they wouldn't change strips every bloody year, it costs a fortune getting it for my son!)

It would be nice to sign of with a win, however I'll just be happy to enjoy a couple of beers, wish my football friends a happy summer and look forward to a few weeks of empty Saturday's before withdrawal symptoms set in and the fever rears its head again.