Saturday, 21 July 2007

Hail the fallen and departed

Looking back at the 1st team listing in last seasons opening fixture Valley review against Man U, of the players listed, the surprise is that 16 remain. Of the 18 that left one player exceeded all others by leaving before he joined - Christian Bolanos, now plying his trade in Denmark, soon to be followed by Jason Euell, who was the first to leave, going to Middlesboro. Boro could be the team that picked up our first and last departure. In between we lost two Uruguayans, a clutch of hopefuls Myles Weston for instance and some worthy contributors to the cause and a couple of wasters - JFH and Romm come to mind.

If Ralph Milne was Lennies folly, then Romm was probably Curbs's, although none of us saw it at the time and JFH Dowies. Les Reeds' was, of course, saying yes.

Of all the players we have had at the Valley has any disappointed more than Romm. We all slagged Lisbie , some of us ancients felt the same about the man that scored our winner at Old Trafford - I was there - Mark Stuart, maybe Murphy - but he had his moments and then there were the failures: Kenny Achampong comes to mind as well. But Romm, he came with such expectation and potential and he never realised it, maybe it was English football, no one else wanted him, maybe it was the way we played. Its interesting that we were interested in another player from PSV Mathias Kezman, who had formed a lethal partnership with Romm in Holland and he too failed over here. So if we ever run a poll for most disappointing player in a Charlton shirt then my vote goes to a player I admired and hoped for, for so long, Dennis Rommedahl.

As for the other players that left, my top three in no particular order:

Luke Young, who heated up after some luke warm performances and became a worthy wearer of the Captains arm band.
Jason Euell, whose legacy at the Valley will be marred by his last couple of seasons, but no one should forget the performances he put in and that he was our leading scorer for two or three seasons.
Tala El Kakouri, short of wearing a Fez, I could not have been entertained any more by him, in seconds he would go from world class to school class as a defender and his three free kick goals were awesome, unfortunately there were another 10 between each goal that sailed over the stand and it was not always over the stand behind the goal.

We have a new batch of players, but still a strong core from last season, weeks now seperate us from seeing the true strength of our squad, maybe one or two more additions - the loans and the late comers - it is difficult to imagine any further departures, with the exception of maybe Marcus and Thomas and maybe some more loans out. This time next year we could be reviewing the new players that will take us into a new premiership season or looking back at where it all went wrong and the folly of buying him and him etc,.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Pox In the Box

Danny Murphy and Francis Jeffers were both bought just before 2005 / 2006 and neither of them were ultimately successful, although Murphy had his moments. Jeffers had one good game, against Villa when he converted two chances and celebrated in sliding knee style. We all thought then that a reformed "fox in the box" alongside Bent would herald great things to come, but sadly it was a false dawn and he remained the "pox in the box" and ultimately the scourge of South London night life. So what happened to this waster. Well Curbs took pity on him and put him out on loan to Rangers, so that he could regain his scoring form against the rubbish that is known as Scottish defences and goalkeepers. He hit a three figure number in the six months he was there, but sadly all three numbers are zero and he returned to SE7 to see out the rest of his contract.
It always amazes me how players who fail to perform consistently always manage to pick up clubs. Prior to us and following his brief period of fame and £8m transfer he failed at Arsenal and on a loan spell to Everton. He also gained, like Konchesky, a cap in that infamous defeat against Australia. that was his only cap to date and to be fair he has got an international goal (eat your heart out chrissy powell).

At the end of his contract with us, he was all set to go to Coventry when Blackburn saw a dormant talent and gazumped them - why? Hughsey, why? Hughes had played alongside Jeffers at Everton in his brief good phase and obviously felt that he was capable of having his fuse re lit. To no avail, Blackburn have hardly played him and he ended the season on loan to Ipswich.

He seems to have performed reasonably at Ipswich who have tried to sign him and after much wrangling have agreed a fee, only for the pox in the box to refuse personal terms. The arrogance of the man. Someone is willing to pay him for not doing his job and he turns it down.

But here comes the surprise, the real "coupe de gras", he now has 3 clubs after him. Ok two are Championship Clubs - Preston or Cardiff, but the other, the other can tou believe it is a newly promoted prem Club, Billy Davies and frigging Derby County. What are they on, have they not worked it out - Curbs did not play him, Hughes did not play him - he must be rubbish.

What is it with these guys that say that he can be salvaged / redeemed, they are willing to pay good money to Blackburn and presumably to Jeffers himself, for a player who has failed and continues to fail. You know I'd rather have a Lisbie than a Jeffers.

Monday, 16 July 2007


The Scunthorpe Telegraph has done a nice piece on Charlton, even referring to us as a club formerly challenging for a Champions League place, which I suppose is true, but not many of us really expected it. They point out that both clubs had failed in the close season to hang on to their star strikers Bent and Sharp, although we got a few shed loads more cash than they did.

I must be one of only a handful of Addicks who has ever been to Scunny, having lived in Beverley near Hull many years ago.

Of course Scunthorpe is famous for the little ditty that goes something like:-

"If Typhoo put the tea in Britain, who put the c*** in Scunthorpe". Its only in the last few years that Scunthorpe has managed to get through work internet filters.

To learn a bit more about our the town of our first opponents in the Championship click here. And if anyone is planning a night out for the away game. Or meeting the Scunny girls in the local Travel Lodge.

Scunthorpe United are 107 years old, promoted from division 3 last season, they could be regarded as one of the less glamorous clubs in England. based way oop north, they joined the Football League in 1950. Not the best supported club in the Football League, despite winning their divisional titles for the last two seasons they have averaged under 6,000 and their highest transfer fee paid out is £175,000 in 2000.

Varney Injured

Reports from Vital are that Varney has turned his ankle. Hopefully nothing serious and there is no Club confirmation, but in recent seasons both Parker and Young have been out of action for a few months after turning there ankles. At the moment reports are its a 3 week layoff.

Tevez goes down

I can't help it, I love Brazil and Brazilians. My first World cup that I really remember was 1970, the World cup of the beautiful game - Pele, Tostao, Rivelino, Jairzihnio et al. Ever since then I have been a fan of Brazilian Football (or are we now required to say Soccer), even when they play like thugs - 1974 - I watch them through Pele tinted glasses. Whereas Argentina, I can't stand. Even though I missed the Ratan incident in '66, I was on Cub camp in Folkestone, that had a major impact on me, then followed the "Hand Of Dog" and cheating with drugs, let alone the Malvinas. So whenever I see Argentina play even if they are playing the beautiful game as it should be played, I still can't stand them.

Last night in Venezuela the final of the Copa America was played out between beautiful game Argentina and organised "cynical" Brazil. Argentina had got to the final scoring something like 16 goals and conceding 3 in 5 matches. Brazil had struggle through the groups, losing their first game to eventual third placed Mexico. Argentina were red hot favourites to remove the crown of the America's (The USA had turned up, although one would question whether they actually competed) from the Brazilian holders.

Tevez was amongst the Argentinian stars and had shone through the tournament, ably covering for the loss of Crespo, who pulled a hamstring scoring from the penalty spot.

So the final was set up, how many would Brazil lose by. Brazil played a horrible game, giving away cynical free kicks and time wasting, but they stifled their more creative rivals and in the first half scored an early goal from Baptiste, late of Arsenal and an own goal in the 40th minute. Tevez was no where to be see, the Brazilians snuffed out the Argentine attack - Using the Thatcher strategy no doubt. Brazil scored a third in the second half.

Its sad that the creators of the beuaty in the beautiful game could not win through their heritage, but needs must and if it means playing mean to beat the Argies so be it ... roll on South Africa 2010.