Monday, 29 December 2008

Black Adder Seeks Solace

Although We're in the stickiest situation since Sticky the Stick Insect got stuck on a sticky bun, the board have a plan that it as cunning as a fox what used to be Professor of Cunning at Oxford University, but has moved on, and is now working for the UN at the High Commission of International Cunning Planning.

Well you gotta laugh and for a few more follow the link

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Glorious

Ok the last posting was up beat, today's defeat was not so glorious, did not hail the first step to safety. I don't know where we go from here, unfortunately Parkie has to go, performances - that I have seen- have improved but results have not, and its a results game. I am hoping that Sheffield United have heralded the departure of two Charlton managers in a single season, its not something I am pleased about but it is now necessary.

The Problem is who is next and do they have time?

A plea to the board, speak to us, tell us what you are thinking and be cruelly decisive.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Yes We Can

I am a Charlton optimist, a believer and you have to be to be a Charlton fan, if we were facing relegation I have always thought we would get out of it, if we were mid table in the second tier I have always thought we were in with a shout for the play offs, mid table of the Premier and we were in with a shout for champions league, on a run of defeats – the next point was just around the corner.

So the last two and a half season have been just another round in the life of a traditional Charlton supporter. If you include Curbs we are on our 5th manager – almost our 6th– we have gone two and a half seasons of relegation form and half a season of scrappy promotion form. We’ve seen countless quality players leave to be replaced with outstanding potentials only for them to leave or off loaded at half the cost, as poor and useless. We have lost investors who were to take us to the heights of top 10 premier league football – now we are being blamed for Paul Inces sacking at Blackburn, the clubs morale is rock bottom from the board room, through the management, the players and the fans. Rumours are that he board are split and who could blame them if there were splits, adversity can create unity but it can also creates blame cultures, splits and divisions.

But I am a Charlton fan, I am a believer, if the last 36 months have been awful (understatement) then the next 12 will be glorious, the sell out crowd for our last home match of the season as we secure 2nd tier survival, will be the foundation of our glorious push for promotion in the 2009 – 2010 season.

Escape relegation - in the words of Barack Obama, President elect and the harbinger of good times ahead - Yes We Can! Yes we can!

Call me an optimist, call me a fool or just call me an Addick – Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Saturday Morning Doodles

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A fair amount seems to have happened this week. I watched the Derby game in a hotel lounge in Guernsey, and not since the Southampton game have I thought that we had reached a positive turning point, its going to be interesting to see if Parkie can maintain the momentum this time at Norwich. To be fair to Derby thye should not have had a goal chalked off for offside and that ,ay have changed the game, but it didn’t and it was chalked off so na na na to Paul Jewell, who is one of those people that I instantly dislike. I really wish that it had been Wigan relegated a couple of seasons ago and not Sheffield Utd and if you knew how much I disliked and then Manager Warnock you would realise how much I dislike Jewell.

It was a cruel 94th minute goal and where did they get four minutes from. Some fans have criticised Basey, but what was he supposed to do?

The thing that came out of the TV coverage of the match was the lack of rapport Varney has with the Charlton fans and even their players, there was no sign of banter amongst the players, even when he bowled Fortune over on the touchline. When interviewed after the game, I would have expected him to have made some condescending statement about how he hoped we would get out of it and, however insincere, how he appreciated the fans. I was a fan of Varney for about three months after he joined, a young up and coming forward with a strong record in the third tier, although a poor record in the second level and anyone who can command £2.5 million has to have something going for him. Plus, of course the words of Pardew were still credible “I know what it takes to get out of this division and the types of players that we need.” Oh how hollow that sounds today after Pardew mhas destroyed the clubs foundations. But back to Varney, after a few months the OS announced his 25th birthday .. but hold on a 25 year old with a relatively average scoring record (152 appearances, 52 goals, 1 in 3, 1 in 6 for Charlton) with one good season at third tier level!! At this point I lost faith, he was no longer up and coming but was at the beginning of his peak.

Dickson has asked for a transfer and a number of fans are up in arms that he has not been given a chance at 1st team level. There is a special Facebook group. From what I have seen of Dickson he is not up to it at this level, but then I have only seen him play for about half an hour over two years.Whilst he maybe a goal scorer and there is little doubt of that. In 135 1st team appearances from non league to international he has scored 73 goals, but it is a big jump from non league to Championship and it was in non league that he scored the 66 of them. To me the opportunity for us to have some one to fire in goals to take us to safety lies more in Wagststaff, Gray, Burton, Todorov and, even McLeod.

This season, regardless of who we have in the defence they are rubbish, even when we had Dranie, Hudson, Fortune, McCeveley we still looked shaky and I really can’t understand it. It may not be a Premier League defence but it is way better that bottom of the Championship. Are our defensive weaknesses a continuation of the three four season long problem we have had with central midfield, the problem that Bailey was meant to solve and does this area then continue to be priority for the January transfer window, when hopefully we can find something to bring in at least one player

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Sack The Board


Wow, what a shambles, or so I hear, fortunately I am in the land of the two heads, so can’t get back to mid week games, my last game was Southampton and I left seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, it was a bloody Inter City 125!!! We're doomed, I fear.

I am sure there is not a Charlton fans who is not wringing their hands thinking where has it all gone wrong. I know fans in from Peru, Canada, Bermuda we’re all just flabergasted, in fact our flabers have never been so gasted. Wgere did it go wrong, whose fault is it? Where did it all begin?

I suppose the rot set in when on the balmy May Friday, Richard Murray asked Curbs to sign an extension to his contract and he said no, “16 years and I’ve had enough, at the end of next year I am off!”, “No!” Says Minty and shows him the front door. Was Minty wrong? Well by popular opinion on the seats of the Valley, Curbs was tired, even Deano said it, so maybe Minty was right.

After a vigorous selection process, the board offered the job to successful Preston Manager Billy Davies, who yet may tread the hollowed halls of the Valley, but in a moment of decisiveness after he accepted he turned it down. Then maybe we made a mistake, we turned to “Rocket scientist” Iain Dowie. Slagged off by the Tango man we failed to see the warnings, maybe through the conflict that had surrounded the Charlton and Palace chairman since we sent them down. But was it such a bad decision at the time, was Dowies record that bad? Reasonable with Oldham, promoted Palace after joining them in the bottom of the Championship and 10 minutes from relegation safety, before Johnny Fortune put them down, then a play off place – OK he was Palace, but you know, I’d take that – sadly the CV contravened the trades description act and what its said on the tin was not what we got. Tome this really is the beginning of the end, Curbs would never have squandered the millions he had. Whilst accused of leaving a depleted squad, curbs would have bought in new recruits in his last year that were value for money and would have had a short term resale appreciation, not halved in 5 months a la traore. He squandered the crown jewels, emptied the piggy bank and left us with nothing, not withstanding that he failed to comply with the Clubs management structure, poor results and in discipline - he had to go.

Now if the appointment of Les Reed was a mistake then it was understandable. There was no other contender out there – Pardew was pulling up trees at West Ham, Davies had dropped to the Championship and Peter Taylor was fortunately at Palace, it did not work the board played it badly and it culminated in the horror night of Wycombe. 20,000 fans chanted for Alan Pardew, beaten Cup finalist Manager, Championship play off winning manager, Division one promotion manager, how could we go wrong, the board were right to appoint him, they had no choice but to give him this ridiculous contract that rewarded him for decimating our club, he was our saviour, our messiah, and he destroyed our team.

I blame Dowie and I blame Pardew and we have sacked them both, soon we are probably going to sack Parkinson who seems to be a thoroughly decent guy, who will be a decent manager, but almost certainly not for us.

I look at the board and I look at the decisions they made and really I cannot fault the big ones with the exception of Les Reed, but even then I don’t have an alternative and nor did I then, although a different decision and appointment of a boring established manager would have prevented the destruction by Pardew. If I feel depressed, I don’t know how Minty et al must be feeling, they welcomed in their friends only to find they were a bunch of scheisters, who took away the family jewels during the night. They are a great board and a great set of Charlton Fans and I hope forour sake and for their sake our fortunes turn soon, they are too good as people for all their work to have been so cruelly destroyed by the people they trusted. There will always be a place for Curbs at the Valley, name a stand after him, but don’t ever let Pards or Dowie back through those doors and the only thing to name after them is the toilets!!!

Monday, 1 December 2008

Heard it before?

“The (ex) manager is disappointed with the board”, “The board have got it wrong”, “There is no experience there”, “We’ll be the laughing stock of South London”, “He’s not a Charlton man”, “He’s the wrong man” – sounds familiar? It should be if you were a supporter when Lennie Lawrence upped sticks and moved north (to Middlesborough, with Alan Kernaghan, the player he had been buying from Boro for Charlton but then decided he would rather keep him there – but that is an aside) and when Richard Murray, outed the managerial partnership of Curbishley and Gritt and sent a Charlton legend packing to Brighton. What followed this strange managerial partnership, for this club that did not even play at its own ground was years of improvement , off the field and on the field, under the inexperienced, non Charlton Alan Curbishley, who himself is a Charlton legend, albeit with some a grudging one.

These same things are being said today as we enter a new phase. As fans we are scarred by Curbishleys successors – Dowie, who I thought was a good appointment, which is why I am useless at Championship Manager, Reed, who was a great coach, who should never have been given the reigns and Pardew, who we all thought would be our saviour, only to find out “He was not the messiah, he’s just a naughty manager”. Of those three successors, I would forgive Les Reed, the wrong man, at the wrong time, in the wrong place- if any of us had been given the opportunity to take over the reigns at Charlton then we would have done with passion in our hearts and he was sorely let down by the players at the club, to the extent that I booed the players against Wycombe and sang “You’re not fit to wear the shirt” but never did I aim any vitriol at Uncle Les. But Dowie and Pards, for them there is nothing but contempt, if Dowie brought our house down with poor signings and inept management, Pardew has replicated him and destroyed the foundations of the club. Dowies £11 m spend in the Prem, was then enough money to allow us to tread water at mid table, but for Pards to spend the same and leaving the club staring relegation in the face then he has been profligate and criminal with our funds, hiding behind his media spin and a smooth tongue.

I coined the chant “Your worse than Iain Dowie” in the Rose of Denmark,in jest. But looking back, its true, I believe that Pardew was worse than Dowie.

So where do we go for a successor?

Some are calling for a name and lets assume that a name would come to us, presumably out of work at the moment, why would they come to a small, moneyless 2 tier outfit like us, how would that enhance their reputation and if they did come and they did succeed, how long would they stay? We can’t afford a name, either their wages or their desire to build another new team. Of course, what do we mean by a name? There is big Sam and we do not have a hope of getting him on reasonable wages or with a commitment for the future, his sole reason to come to us would be to get back in the game and get offered a better job soon after – a bit like Gary Megson at Leicester. An alternative is Billy Davies – quarter pint to his mates – and he does have his appeal, but he accepted before and then did not have the courtesy to let the club know he had changed his mind. I feel that there is still a bitter taste in the mouth of the board about this fiery Scottish jack in the box. Let’s not forget that having got promotion with Reading and West Ham and been four minutes away from being an FA Cup winning manager, not forgetting his dust up with Wenger and his bum wiggle at the cup Semi Final, Pardew was a name.

How about a return for Curbishley? I have met Curbs 3 times thanks to Championship Diary Blogger and a nicer man you could not hope to meet, and he along with Minty constructed arguably the most successful Charlton era of all time (Lennie and Jimmy Seed can argue that),but I am a firm believer of never going back. I look at Howard Kendall and how sour his return to Everton ended up. For Curbs, who must feel hard done by, following his West Spam experience, to come back to us would kill any ambition of established Prem. Management, for Curbs there are challenges that he has yet to meet before he would consider any involvement with a tier two club.

So that leaves us with the untried and the untested and because we have no money for compensation, the unemployed. What we need is a man with experience, who is still young and can display tactical nouse and may have built a reputation in the lower leagues.

There is only one person who fits this bill to any degree, that I know of. He has had two jobs in football management, in the first he got promotion and was, at the end of that season, refused permission to talk to a premiership club for their vacant position, then he joined another Club in tier two, but this did not go as well and before the season was half through he had lost his job. That’s not a bad thing for a young manager, you learn a lot through adversity. He became a coach and turned down a position of manager with a tier three club to retain his coaching role.

He is of course, Phil Parkinson. Unfortunately, for PP he is tainted with Pardews reputation and has to pick up his legacy. There is no doubt that PP has contributed to some of this situation, you cannot be in the management team without having some influence, but to what extent he was a contributor and what extent he was a dissenter we do not know. What we know is that he has more experience than Curbs had when he and Gritt took over, he even has a successful promotion campaign to his name, he has come in and made the team his own within a very short period of time. Watching on Saturday, we had shape and purpose and commitment, three characteristics that Pardews team lacked. He put out a team that kept a clean sheet, a rare feat indeed these days, he seems to have the players on his side and that maybe is where pards went wrong, he seemed to have lost the players, but never really realised it. At the moment he has done nothing to disappoint me, I came out of the valley for the first time in ages excited and exhilarated by our performance. For those that say “We did not win”, no we did not, but for an outstanding goalkeeping performance and we looked like we could, it is not often we have said and thought that.

It is a difficult week ahead for PP, another away game in the killing fields of the North West, he has to develop the players fitness, witness the decline in energy levels after the 1st half, keep the morale up and instil steel grit and determination, it’s a hard task wether you are a name, a curbishley or a Parkinson, I have a sneaking feeling he has the ability to do, I am just not sure he has the time.

“The (ex) manager is disappointed with the board”, “The board have got it wrong”, “There is no experience there”, “We’ll be the laughing stock of South London”, “He’s not a Charlton man”, “He’s the wrong man” – sounds familiar? It should be if you were a supporter when Lennie Lawrence upped sticks and moved north (to Middlesborough, with Alan Kernaghan, the player he had been buying from Boro for Charlton but then decided he would rather keep him there – but that is an aside) and when Richard Murray, outed the managerial partnership of Curbishley and Gritt and sent a Charlton legend packing to Brighton. What followed this strange managerial partnership, for this club that did not even play at its own ground was years of improvement , off the field and on the field, until under the inexperienced, non Charlton Alan Curbishley, who himself is a Charlton legend, albeit with some a grudging one.

These same things are being said today as we enter a new phase. As fans we are scarred by Curbishleys successors – Dowie, who I thought was a good appointment, which is why I am useless at Championship Manager, Reed, who was a great coach, who should never have been given the reigns and Pardew, who we all thought would be our saviour, only to find out “He was not the messiah, he’s just a naughty manager”. Of those three successors, I would forgive Les Reed, the wrong man, at the wrong time, in the wrong place- if any of us had been given the opportunity to take over the reigns at Charlton then we would have done with passion in our hearts and he was sorely let down by the players at the club, to the extent that I booed the players against Wycombe and sang “You’re not fit to wear the shirt” but never did I aim any vitriol at Uncle Les. But Dowie and Pards, for them there is nothing but contempt, if Dowie brought our house down with poor signings and inept management, Pardew has replicated him and destroyed the foundations of the club. Dowies £11 m spend in the Prem, was then enough money to allow us to tread water at mid table, but for Pards to spend the same and leaving the club staring relegation in the face then he has been profligate and criminal with our funds, hiding behind his media spin and a smooth tongue.

I coined the chant “Your worse than Iain Dowie” in the Rose of Denmark,in jest. But looking back, its true, I believe that Pardew was worse than Dowie.

So where do we go for a successor?

Some are calling for a name and lets assume that a name would come to us, presumably out of work at the moment, why would they come to a small, moneyless 2 tier outfit like us, how would that enhance their reputation and if they did come and they did succeed, how long would they stay? We can’t afford a name, either their wages or their desire to build another new team. Of course, what do we mean by a name? There is big Sam and we do not have a hope of getting him on reasonable wages or with a commitment for the future, his sole reason to come to us would be to get back in the game and get offered a better job soon after – a bit like Gary Megson at Leicester. An alternative is Billy Davies – quarter pint to his mates – and he does have his appeal, but he accepted before and then did not have the courtesy to let the club know he had changed his mind. I feel that there is still a bitter taste in the mouth of the board about this fiery Scottish jack in the box. Let’s not forget that having got promotion with Reading and West Ham and been four minutes away from being an FA Cup winning manager, not forgetting his dust up with Wenger and his bum wiggle at the cup Semi Final, Pardew was a name.

How about a return for Curbishley? I have met Curbs 3 times thanks to Championship Diary Blogger and a nicer man you could not hope to meet, and he along with Minty constructed arguably the most successful Charlton era of all time (Lennie and Jimmy Seed can argue that),but I am a firm believer of never going back. I look at Howard Kendall and how sour his return to Everton ended up. For Curbs, who must feel hard done by, following his West Spam experience, to come back to us would kill any ambition of established Prem. Management, for Curbs there are challenges that he has yet to meet before he would consider any involvement with a tier two club.

So that leaves us with the untried and the untested and because we have no money for compensation, the unemployed. What we need is a man with experience, who is still young and can display tactical nouse and may have built a reputation in the lower leagues.

There is only one person who fits this bill to any degree, that I know of. He has had two jobs in football management, in the first he got promotion and was, at the end of that season, refused permission to talk to a premiership club for their vacant position, then he joined another Club in tier two, but this did not go as well and before the season was half through he had lost his job. That’s not a bad thing for a young manager, you learn a lot through adversity. He became a coach and turned down a position of manager with a tier three club to retain his coaching role.

He is of course, Phil Parkinson. Unfortunately, for PP he is tainted with Pardews reputation and has to pick up his legacy. There is no doubt that PP has contributed to some of this situation, you cannot be in the management team without having some influence, but to what extent he was a contributor and what extent he was a dissenter we do not know. What we know is that he has more experience than Curbs had when he and Gritt took over, he even has a successful promotion campaign to his name, he has come in and made the team his own within a very short period of time. Watching on Saturday, we had shape and purpose and commitment, three characteristics that Pardews team lacked. He put out a team that kept a clean sheet, a rare feat indeed these days, he seems to have the players on his side and that maybe is where pards went wrong, he seemed to have lost the players, but never really realised it. At the moment he has done nothing to disappoint me, I came out of the valley for the first time in ages excited and exhilarated by our performance. For those that say “We did not win”, no we did not, but for an outstanding goalkeeping performance and we looked like we could, it is not often we have said and thought that.

It is a difficult week ahead for PP, another away game in the killing fields of the North West, he has to develop the players fitness, witness the decline in energy levels after the 1st half, keep the morale up and instil steel grit and determination, it’s a hard task wether you are a name, a curbishley or a Parkinson, I have a sneaking feeling he has the ability to do, I am just not sure he has the time.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

After the darkness, comes the Parkie

Following on from the Barnsley game when I won the score prediction (1-3) at the Rose of Denmark, I was in discussion pre-match with Deepest Darkest about the next 90 minutes entertainment and proposed that if we did not win then a 5-1 defeat was highly acceptable and then maybe we would see the board act against Pardew and at a 5-2 defeat, I have to say, I did not do bad.

After the darkness comes the dawn, I won’t dwell on Pardews departure, nor yesterdays result, that will be covered by better scribes that I. But what next?

Phil Parkinson has taken over the reigns for now. He is in an ideal position from the Boards perspective, he has managerial experience, he took Colchester into the Championship and he is already contracted to the club, if a new man were to come in then there is a likelihood that Parkinson would be disposed of. Two weeks ago, Richard Murray said that the club did not have the money to get rid of Pardew, they obviously checked down the back of the sofa’s and scrapped a few barrels but can they pay off Parkie as well, baring in mind that two seasons ago we gave him a new contract to prevent him to take up the role of manager at Huddersfield. So if he has ideas that Pards would not implement, wanted to change tactics but was not allowed then I would like to see Parkie given a chance, with Kins as his number 2 and maybe Morts in as reserve team coach (After all this season he has got used to dealing with a load of girls). If he agreed with everything Pards said and cannot believe that Pards has gone, feels that it was the fans, the board and the players fault then Parkie needs to join Pards at the job centre sooner rather than later.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Worse than Ian Dowie

This was the chant in The Rose of Denmark pre match yesterday, before an abject display at the Valley. There is no greater insult for a Charlton manager. Dowie at least looked like he knew what he was doing, maybe it was not working but there was a structure to the team and consistency of selection. With Pardews teams it is a lottery guessing between selections, his claim that Cranie is one of four automatic choices, this must be a contractual obligation, because it cannot be based on performance.

Barnsley came yesterday with a reasonable level of recent form, but overall a poor team, with the only star a journey man striker John Macken who departed with two further career goals. The good news of course was that returning Addick Jamal Campbell-Ryce failed to find the back of the net. In these dark days at the Valley we need to clutch at big and small victories (there are more of the latter) whenever they come our way.

Yesterday has to be the low and we cannot go lower, the team lacked passion,motivation, direction and leadership both on the field and off- the only thing we had was effort and even that was in short supply. Mark Hudson is one of the few successes of Pardews regime far better player than the man he replaced, but having taken on the Captaincy his leadership skills on the park seem to have deserted him, Whereas McArthy would shout, cajole and scream Hudson no longer talks on the pitch, its just a shame that McArthy's skill could not match up to his leadership ability. Ambrose is a senior player, yesterday he did nothing, he looks like he is on the train to Ipswich two months early. As Rommedahl was to our Premiership debacle, Ambrose is becoming our Championship jonah. We need leadership, one thing Pards got right yesterday was that we have a young team on the pitch - young players need support, when Josh Wright made a mistake not one of the senior players spoke to him ,it was left to Basey to gee him up,Basey a kid himself. This is the problem, we have the players but the team spirit, the life blood of Lennie Lawrence and Curbishley teams is gone and that is not the responsibility of the players it is what managers are paid for and if Pards can't do it, then we need someone who can by the next home game.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

If Championship diary say's it ...

Then Pards should be worried. Not prone to negative comments or attacking the Club, Championship Diary Blogster has suggested that maybe we would be better off with a Parkinson / Kinsella combo.

The turning of the tide against Pardew is becoming strong and soon, if he does not turn things around quickly there will be a positive Tsunami looking for his dissmissal and sod the cost.

Pards came to Charlton as a saviour, seeing out the dark days of Dowie and the confusion of Reed. His credentials were good, promotion with both Reading and West Ham and a cup winning manager, but for the final four minutes and a Gerrard strike at Cardiff. While it took Curbs 15 years to have the crowd stand and chant his name, Pards was being hailed before he joined and during the end of the season, despite ultimately failing in retaining Premiership status he showed enough for the Addickted to look forward to the season in the Championship. One wonders where it has all gone wrong.

Pards is a good front man, he says the right things, looks dapper and on the touch line and shows passion and enthusiasm - well he did when he started. His record speaks for itself, but his record seems to be counterfeit when you look at his performance since our Championship days commenced (and the Addicks Premiership diary was put into moth balls). If Ranieri was the Premierships tinker man then pards must be competing for that title within the Championship. His team selections seem baffling, dropping Gray because he was tired after scoring at Doncaster, Josh Wright dropped and out of the squad after a reasonable performance against Burnley, Moutakill and Semedo in and out of the team for little apparent reason, Varney consistently in the side as a forward when he has being doing impressions of Matty Svensson with his banjo and cows back side. he approaches tactics as a game of musical chairs, each tactical change requiring a wholesale shift of personnel as oppossed to a simple formation change. Some managers manage through motivation e.g. keegan and others through tactical nous, Pards is the former, but unfortuantely as a motivator, you have to motivate consistenly week in week out and for 90 minutes and pards seems to have lost this skill. That said he has been in this situation before with west Ham and pulled the rabbit out of the hat.

I would love to see Pards do well, our board are too decent to sack him and then force him to take them to tribunal, so I expect him to be around for a while longer, but unless results improve the atmosphere at the Valley will become more and more poisonous, directed at the manager but affecting the team, ideally the results will get better - I am not sure what he means we are a team in recovery! But if not then I am afraid he should emulate the Charlton badge, hold the handle of a sword in his fist, and fall on it, for the sake of the club and for the sake of his reputation.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Charltons Darkest Week

So Burnley leave the Valley with a point, capping what has to be Charltons darkest week. At 9.00 am last Saturday everything was rosy, we had just had the international break following a home victory over Ipswich. Whilst the up and coming away game to Cardiff was going to be tough, last seasons record against the Welshmen augered well, after that we had two home games so there was every chance of bounding up the table, plus the Dubai group were fairly assured of taking us over, bringing us riches and potential unheard of by an Addick.

What a difference a week makes! Of the 9 points available to us we have only pickled up 1 and we have lost the £50 million investment proposed to the dire world economy, if this is not our worst week ever then I would like to know what happened to the one that was (The answer is the days leading up to the almost winding up of the Club, but they ended happily, maybe it was leaving the valley but that was over a longer period and again ended up happily).

The reactions to the pulling out of Zabba dabba doo that I received were reflective of the generations that I know of Charlton supporters,

My Mother In Law who watched Sam Bartram said “I am not surprised” – The old head of Charlton, never expect it to turn out right on the night.

My Brother In Law, who I took to Charlton as a Kid “Oh bugger we could have done with the Arab money”

My other Brother In Law, who is a traditional Kentish supporter or rather the pessimistic breed of Addick “Looks like we’ll be playing Millwall next season”.

And my mate a Plymouth argyle supporter, who I converted to Charlton and is now a valley Gold member and buys the shirt when it comes out, unlike me, who waits till the new kit nears and buys it at cut down price, “Shit – a heavy blow”.

I was not at the Valley today, so I will not comment specifically on the game, except it sounded like there was some passion in the 2nd half. Maybe, just maybe out of the darkness of this week there will be a new dawn and some form and a run, because despite everything that happens to Charlton, despite every knock as fans we take, we are optimists, we are hopeful and what that means is

WE ARE CHARLTON

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Dubai, No Buy, Goodbye

Today Guernsey heard that their bid for the Youth Commonwealth games had failed, due to cost A disappointment for the residents of Guernsey, but their emotions cannot match those of Addicks fans around the world, from Leamington to Bermuda, Roehampton to Sydney, not to mention Dubai, from where Zabeel rode in on their white chargers tickled and teased us, stroked us and played us, but just as abruptly dropped us and left us.

If you read through the blogs the disappointment is almost overwhelming, “Addicks Championship Diary” says this could have been our last chance for top flight success, “Roehampton Addick” calls for Pardews head and there is more.

And yet for us, the guys and girls in the street what has changed since two three weeks ago. It’s the same team, the same manager and the same board, same opposition, same results, same prospects.

As a club we are adept at securing defeat from the jaws of victory and this must be the greatest example of this. Anfield has a sign above the players tunnel gloriously spat on by all the Wimbledon squad years back. Charlton should erect a similar sign at the Valley – This is Charlton – “leave your optimism at home”.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

What next for Varney

And the rest of the players. For anyone that has read Gary Nelsons book you'll be aware of the paranoia that goes hand in hand with being a professional football player. Your best mate may also be your biggest competitor for your position. And the thought of new players coming in can either drive to greater performances or crush the confidence of the incumbent in that position.

The idea that Charlton will soon have access to oil funds has excited fans message boards all over cyber space. The players maybe feeling a little different, from being in their comfort zones of a smaller squad, less competition for places they now suddenly have to look at their own performances between now and 31st January.

There are areas of the team that are obviously weak links and both right and left back positions will be under scrutiny, midfield is up for debate now we have players coming back in Ambrose and ZZ, how will Holland be feeling, I suspect he will already have his agent seeking "indicative" offers for next July. I wonder if Ambrose is regretting going public over his "indicative" desire to play for Ipswich.

How are Varney, Gray, Dickson, Fleetwood and Izale feeling (Todorov is probably off at the end of this seaswon anyway), which of them will feel inspired by the need to perform and how many will be crushed by the pressure. Charltons current squad do not have a great record standing up to the pressures of day to day football, the run in last season showed that, so it could be that if they feel crushed now then by next January it will take a run of monumental proportions to get promotion.

What of the manager, I shudder at the idea of Pardew having loads of money, building a large squad and then tinkering match to match in search of a blend that can only come from consistent stable selection. That said, unless we collapse over the next couple of months, he needs to be given his chance, he is a young (ish) bright manager and if he can take us up, can create a team within a club the I for one will be happy with his stewardship.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Dubai buy!

I have really mixed feelings about this. Firstly, if we want to eat at the top table and be able to play a 39th Premier League abroad every season then this is inevitable. Looking at the web site of Zabeel Investments there is a positive ethos, I played there community video about special needs children. My wife suggested that is why they are interested in Charlton a special needs club- hmmm, divorce papers in the post.

So why would they be interested in little old Charlton. As a Football Club it has been a source of consternation amongst fans as to why nobody has been showing any interest in us and now they are. Its not hard to see why:-

1. Nobody is buying a heavily in debt club, its been well managed, even though a big hit has been taken since relegation and next season we lose the parachute, but compared to most clubs we have a rosy balance sheet so any investment goes into buying assets not paying off debtors.
2. Chartlon has assets, The Valley, with one end to be developed offers potential, then there is Sparrows Lane and there is potential involvement in a further development of state of the art facilities.
3. Kent housing development and the fact that Charlton if promoted would be the only Premier League club in the triangle between here Dover and Portsmouth.

Charlton is an ideal investment and from a Charlton perspective, the middle east offers investors who are relatively immune to what is happening around the financial markets and in fact with the hike of oil prices over the last couple of years they are awash with money, we could not want for as better set of new owners, if Murray and co are to hand over the reigns. So why am I uneasy?

1. I actually have got used to the Championship, its the traditional Charlton its the team and the league that I supported in the 70's and the 80's.
2. I like the idea that we have a higher percentage of English / UK players that we have now compared to our last years in the Prem.
3. I hate that the positions in the Prem. are dictated by these rich foreign investors,in two years it would not surprise me if the top of the Prem. in no particular order were Arsenal, Man City, Man U, Chelsea, Liverpool and QPR the common denominator rich investors from abroad. In fact Liverpool and Man U with their American investment are two clubs at risk of melt down.
4. I hate the mercenaries that come with premiership football
5. I hate the players that kiss their badge and then go and play for another club the next week. Robhinio miss both types of players tied into one, "I love Chelsea they are my team" "Oops, I am happy to be here at Manchester City"
6. I hate the new fans that boo at half time when we are not even losing, who don't know or care where we have come from.
7. I hate Peter Scudamore and his 39th game.
8. I love the fact that I no longer have Sky.

I think rugby league has closed relegation and promotion to and from the top flight and for us to stay at this level, not have ambitions of the top flight then this would have to happen to the Premier league. It just is not going to happen. So we have potentially investors who can give us the moeny to buy players, develop players, develop grounds and give us a team in the Prem that can reach the top half of the division.

If we have to go down this route then I would like to see that we invest in British players from youth level to senior level, we develop and nurture for the English senior team
players who have grown through the ranks like Walsh, Parker, Shelvey.We have a British manager -maybe even Pards, the players we biuy have the dna of Chris Powell or Mark Kinsella - they kiss the shirt because they love it,they adore it, its partof them and so are we.

What I want and what we get are probably going to be miles apart, the next months and years if this goes through are going to be a roller coaster positives and negatives alike, hold on tight!!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Fans Back Pards

Ok in the poll here only 26 people voted, but if it was 26,000 then it would be statistcally sound. Pitted against Billy Davies, Chris Powell, Mark Kinsella and Phil Pakinson, Pards continues to be seen as the best option for the Addicks, picking up 9 votes against Kinsellas 7. Its a results driven business and it will be interesting to return to this vote as the season develops.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Cold winter ahead for small clubs

Blimey there used to be nothing safer than a bank, but they are falling over all over the place and I suspect we will soon see a cold wind blowing in the direction of football, especially with reports of how much football clubs owe, reducing confidence in the sector.

Whilst most Premier League Clubs will have the benefit of the Sky money most of this is tied up in players wages, West Ham have the smell of doom around them with the ruling on Tevez, the demise of XL and now their Chairman's Bank investment going belly up. Curbs could be on a downer here expecting to receive compensation, he could end up with nothing.

Lower league clubs are expected to be the hardest hit as their friendly local bank closes the door pulls too the shutters and rather than extending loan facilities call in debts leaving clubs and players penniless and at the mercy of creditors.

Whilst we are not immune, it maybe the financial management and the tough decisions made over the last two close seasons may well auger well for our immediate fortunes. The desire of some fans me included at times to take a punt and speculate to accumulate could well have left us in a very vulnerable position.

Whether by hook or by crook the decisions of the board may well have prevented us from following a number of clubs who are going to have a very cold winter this year.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Tractors leave empty handed

Nicky Balily repeated his feat against Wolves and scored from distance after only a few minutes, although this time it was from a free kick. Personally I thought that the kick was a poor one, but defended even more poorly by the Ipswich wall,but hey we need some luck. My concern though with our recent record was would we be able to hold the lead against a competent ipswich side for 78 minutes. This was a fear well founded when with 12 minutes till the break Cranie was unable to avoid putting the ball into his own net.

Wyn Grant warned us about the referee in his Championship Diary Blog. Three penalty appeals turned down only one looked dodgy, the handball appeal, which could have been construed as ball to hand, but many a referee - in fact the majority - would have given it. Bouazza booked early on for a relatively innocuous tackle whilst the ref then turned a blind eye to worse offences on both sides, Ipswich scything down Bouazza when he failed to put the ball out of play for their injured player and Charlton were in the final third, and then neither Youga or the Ipswich player getting a card of anysort when there was handbags over the scything, really Youga should have got a yellow and the Ipswich player a red.

Charlton held strong in this game for the first and last third of the game, the loss of Bailey after about 12 minutes allowed Ipswich to get into the game and Campo leading up to half time was given the freedom of the Valley and Ipswich hit the bar twice. Inexplicably Magilton took Campo off midway throught he 2nd half and really Ipswich became the epitome of impotence.

Pards had made three changes Ambrose, ZZ and Todorov came in for Holland, Sam and Gray, each of whom took their place on the bench. Holland of course was soon in action. The inclusion of these three players bodes well for the future as they added composure and skill to the team, although I felt that neither Todorov or ZZ had the required match sharpness. Ambrose, of whom I am a fan was good today, his cross for the 2nd goal was something we have been missing and his return is welcome.

Our central defensive partnership looks strong, but the flanks gives cause for concern, Kelly just seems to have regressed over the ten months since he came back from Scunnny. His over elobaration puts us at risk every time he gets the ball and his positional sense or lack of it is terrible for a professional player. Today he made three critical mistakes the third resulting in the Cranie old goal. There is not a lot Cranie could do, but overall and now we have seen him in a few games we have to ask, what does pards see in cranie that is better than what we have. Semedo came on 2nd half and looked strong going forward and solid defensively, i am hoping that he is given a chance against cardiff.

The loss of Bailey meant we did not have a midfield tackler and both Holland and ZZ were muscled off the ball frequently.


For me Ambrose shone out, he seems to have added a little pace, ZZ was a bit off the pace and I don't remember him being muscled off the ball so often in a single game last season. But overall after losing to Sheffiled and Wolves in consecutive home games plus the defeat against Palace, it was nice to see the scorboard showing a victory to the Addicks at the end, despite the best efforts of the referee.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Crisis, what crisis

I am sure that Pardew would respond to the accusation that Charlton are in crisis with the the above comment. Will he be able to say the same if we drop another 3 points on Saturday. To put the situation in context we are only a couple of wins away from the play off zone,but conversely we are only a few points off the relegation zone.

What is clear though is that we have, across the two seasons, only picked up 19 points out of the last 60 and this has to be seen as relegation form. Our recent results do not add much sunshine to our outlook, since Reading we have played 6 matches, won 1, drawn 1 and lost 4, scored 4 and conceded 8.

Ipswich is a crucial game and the pressure on the players will be enormous an early goal will be crucial but not a guarantee of victory as Preston, Wolves and Sheffield Wednesday has proved.

If the pressure on the players has grown then following the loss to palace, the first in 12 years, the pressure on Pardew is enormous. The pro Pardew fans cite the boards ruthless budgetary constraints, his detractors point to a team that still contains former premier league talent as well as strong and experienced Championship players i.e. Hudson, Fortune (Stoke) Gray (Voted 2nd best Championship player.

Ipswich offer flair and creativity,Lisbie will be back, the player who left us to score 3 goals against us last season and celebrated with aplomb. The saving grace is that they are equally inconsistent and this weekend they will hopefully will show their negative side.

Personally I think we are only one win away from a good side, but equally with confidence visibly draining we are not far from a bad side. We have to turn things round. Momentum is everything in football, maybe in life. As the fans begin to mumble amongst themselves a momentum builds. At the moment Pardew probably can reverse the direction of feelings amongst supporters, but it won't last and without results the fans will turn and once that happens there will be no turning back. Saturday can do a lot of good or it can become the crisis we all so fear.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Charlton Wednesday

I have always had a problem with this fixture, especially now that I do not follow fixture lists that closely. My conversations are a bit like a Marx brothers sketch,

"You going Charlton Wednesday"
"No and its Tuesday at Palace"
"No I mean Wednesday"
"Oh are the reserves playing Wednesday?"
"No they are playing Reading" bomm boom!

Talking of Reading lets get back to that style of play tomorrow. Wednesday are unlikely to be as open as Reading or Wolves, but then they are less likely to have the potency of either of those clubs. I am sure we'll hear from Pards how clubs like Wednesday coming to the Valley are always hard to beat.

Tomorrows referee is D Whitestone. Quoting from QPR's Vital site I am less than inspired by this appointment again

"Despite his refereeing career commencing in non-league in 2003, Mr. Whitestone does lack some of the experience of the higher echelons of the football league. His superiors seem not to deem him worthy of many Championship fixtures, and when you read some of the criticism levelled at the official it is an understandable decision.

With the majority of his games being played out at non-league level, the official refereed the Conference play-off final in 2006 - a match played out between Halifax and Hereford, with the latter edging the game 3-2.

Mr. Whitestone was granted five Championship fixture in 2006/07 but some criticism was levelled at the official for losing control of the game and the players, and this has become a re-occurring theme upon criticising the referee."


In 9 games he has presented 26 yellows and 2 reds, and once again like last week he is officiating at his first Cahmpionship game of the season.

The respest campaign has taken a bit of a battering this week.

I am well in favour of the campaign, I think televised attitudes of players towards authority permeate through soiciety especially influencing kids. That said there is give and take on both sides and the FA's campaign seems to be one way, you respect us whatever and we'll continue to treat you like a bunch of wasters. I wouild have liked the young referee at Watford to have apologised publicly to the team and the fans. mistakes happen even inexplicable ones, he is going to spend the rest of his career with players suggesting to him that the ball never went near the goal when he gives a goal. The FA should have waived the rules and accepted that there was a catastrophic mistake and apologised on behalf of the officials and thanked Coppell for moffering the replay but turning it down. Instead it has all been heavy handed. Maybe when Boothroyd is exiled to the stands for his behaviour they can at least lay on a hot cup of Bovril for him!!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

A bad day for West Ham, a bad day for Football

A loss against Watford yesterday was the least of West Hams problems, with a tribunal ruling against them in the Tevez case, two full years and in the third season since the two Argentinians came to ply their trade at Upton Park.

The ills of West ham are unimportant to me, the wider issues continue to be my concern. Two years for something to resolved that should have been done and dusted by January of the season they arrived, but the Football League, bottled it and prayed West Ham would go down, but sadly due to the efforts of one Tevez as ruled by the tribunal they did not and both ourselves and Sheffield United went down.

Had West Ham received the warranted points deduction in the season I honestly believe that we would have had a chance of sustaining our run and avoiding relegation but who knows.

We could still however, along with all other Championship clubs, suffer at the hands of the cowardice of the Football League or FA or whoever should have been in charge.

Sheffield United have claimed £30 million compensation, which I would be surprised if they received it. There claim is based on £30 mill lost revenue. As we all know every £1 of revenue has a cost, but even if they receive half that amount, representing their profit, £15 million in the Championship is a huge windfall and along with this seasons final parachute payment un balances the Championship to the detriment of other teams that have had no interest in the Tevez affair or at best suffered from it (i.e. us).

There is no fair solution to this conundrum, the answer was to have sorted the problem out when it happened not now, but we can't turn back time!

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Tinker Man

My heart sunk when I heard today's team. Pards had been talking about going on a run, last time we won two games in a row was last december Cardiff, followed by Ipswich. Its not that I did not expect a change, the old man of the squad Matt Holland must have been puffing a bit, three games in a week. I expected Ambrose to be in with a shout for Central Midfield, but like the Charlton Life message board, I failed to predict the change that was made.

Last season our ultimate demise was in part due to Pards tinkering with the team, Varney finally started to play well and was relegated to the bench, what that did to his confidence only he knows. Today Gray, top scorer this season,a man in form, a scorer on Tuesday was put on to the bench. Why? Because he had had a hard couple of games. Instead of preparing to take him off midway through the game, if he tired we played a formation of various 1's and 4's and whilst reports claim we should have had a penalty and eventual sub Gray had a great header saved we remained fairly ineffective.

Pards tinkering last season disrupted the team, unnecessarily and just when we started to have a settled team now, he changes one position which is looking to form the head of the spine.

I am not too keen on these tactical formations that seem to be defensively orientated when we are playing the lower teams. Preston, even Watford you can understand a 4-5-1 formation, not quite sure about a 4-4-1-1, but against Doncaster or Notts Forest Both newly promoted, it feels like we are waving the white flag to promotion already. We have to be bold and assertive against the lower teams at their places, not live in fear of defeat.

I still beleive that Pards is the man to lead us, but his inconsistency and constant tinkering worry me, at least this season he does not have such a big squad to play with.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Gian Franco Zola's first week at Upton Park

A week is a long time in banking

The financial markets have been in turmoil over the last few days, Lehmans down, HBOS bought, possibly 40,000 jobs to go just from the HBOS / Lloyds deal, in some areas football too is in turmoil, no where worse than newcastle where Mike Ashley continues to own the Club and he will continue to do so as long as his asking price is double what interested parties are willing to pay, this despite his apparent "best interests of the club at heart" announcement. He was due to meet Dubia investors last week, heard they were only interested in paying £200 million so spent the afternoon sipping cocktails with Dennis Wise.

Dave Whelan of Wigan, a major competitior of Ashley in the commercial world has thrown his oar in mentioning that Ashley is a Spurs fans, that must have gone down well with the faithful. Maybe Ashley is holding out for some DICS who maybe interested in Liverpol at the moment in what must be the most protracted takeover in football. With people like Ashley around you cannot but feel pleased to have Murray, Chappell and Waggot around, even if waggot is a converted geordie!

The turmoil in the finance world has already hit us, much of the close season fire sale is down to funds not being raised as expected. £5 million was the figure bandied about. I am sure there are other clubs out there that are going to suffer much worse than we are, running on major debts, which investors will have to cover before they even start to build clubs. Of course the big clubs seem to be able to continue, although Liverpool have put their ground plans on hold, partly because of the politics of the Americans but also the difficulty of funding the project, no doubt if the oil DICs takeover then it will be back on track. Its the small clubs that will really suffer and anything outside the Premier League these days is a smaller club, even benefactors will be short on the ground (including Bernie Ecclestone) as their own fortunes and businesses get squeezed in the coming months.

Guests at The Valley

Last week at the Valley we had two guests, Dennis Wise, wisely staying away from St James's Park running the rule over a Wolves player and presumably not running the rule over a young Charlton player, then in the West stand Andrew Murray was suppossed to be there with his coach an Addick. Murray is not to everybodies liking, but if he was a footballer then we would admire him as a tough determined central midfielder.

News comes over from the richest Club in the world - QPR, in case you were not aware - although it could be Man City this week, for the visit of the mighty Derby County to their quaint, traditional, delapidated ground in Shepherds Bush they are looking for £40 a seat, one assumes for the privilege to watch the ugliest manager in football muster his troops you will also get from the shortest owner in football a free grand prix ticket.

Forest Away

Tomorrow we go to Nottingham for our first game against Forest since the debacle of the FA Cup in the relegation season, Pards has been saying how dissapointed he was with the team at the time and it revealed to him our weaknesses despite a mini resurrection, notably against West Ham. My recollection of the City Ground goes back to promotion under Lennie Lawrence and our first midweek away fixture in the old 1st Division, soundly beaten 4-0, I still remember how Peter Shirtliff stood out as an outstanding quality defender despite the scoreline. My other thought was why had I bought a ticket to Old Trafford for the following Saturday. I should not have doubted though, we won, our only moden day victory against Man U, Mark Stuart (a player with ability far out stripping that of Rob Lee but without the commitment and determination to develop further than Plymouth, Rochdale, Bradford City and Charlton Masters) scored and Ron Atkinson was sacked a few days later. has anyone ever worked out the number of managers who have been sacked following a defeat by Charlton, it feels like many.

How the fortunes of Charlton and Forest have ebbed and flowed since, at that historic cup match two divisions seperated the clubs and now they are on par, each probably at their natural level in the modern game.

Tomorrows referee is Karl Evans from Greater Manchester, tomorrow is his first Cahmpionship match of the season, in the games he has officiated in so far this season at lower levels (4) he has given 12 yellows and a red. In his second season as a referee, he has only ever officiated in one Championship game, so hopefully has not picked up the habit of giving soft decisions against us. He does not appear to have endeared himself to one Bradford City Blogger at the end of last season. If the standard of refereeing he has display at Bradford is anything to go by then I can see him climbing to the top of the tree in the Championship, so poor are the referees we have had this season. Wolves deservedly beat us last week, but the referee made their job so much easier for them with the incidents surrounding the penalty.

And Finally

As we enjoy our weekend, spare a thought for those out there who face unemployment and uncertainty over the coming months, some will quickly pick up new positions, others won't and the fear, there are no guarantees of final salary or redundancy payments for some whose lives are being turnhed upside down at the moment, so as we jump up and down for our team remember its just a game. Having spent much of the last 24 months scrabbling around for a settled job that seems to be culminating in me taking a recent employer to tribunal, coming close to not paying the mortgage and having to work away from home monday to fridays, I have every sympathy for those affected by recent events and wish them well.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Amir Khan's star declines

In 51 seconds Khan was knocked out tonight, in his first fight away from terrestrial TV, sky must be wondering the value of their investment, as will those who watched the fight live that did not find an internet feed. Sky Box office charged £15 (28 p per second) to watch the crowning of their new box office star.

Khan's only saving grace tonight was the Prescott that beat him was not called John, although the former deputy Prime Minister is known to throw a pretty decent hook. It was a great jab and a couple of decent hooks from a tall black Prescott that did for Amir, so who next for Amir and who next for Sky.

Randolph watch

Darren Randolph retained the keepers shirt for Hereford today and was able to follow up last weeks clean sheet with a point in a 1-1 draw against Swindon.

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Good day for Randolph (2)

After the trials and tribulations of making a number of mistakes and being dropped, Darren was in goal again yesterday and rewarded his manager with a clean sheet.

Girls, girls girls

Two years ago Charlton had one of the top teams in English Womens Football, but relegation of the mens team hit the womens team badly. Whilst Womens Football has developed nationally we have gone back. The announced disbanding of the womens section of Charlton Athletic was met by fairly universal condemnation, resulting in the club working with its community section to resurrect the team. Sadly reduced funding and the departure of most of the team resulted in relegation from the National League to the Southern Division.

So now the season has started and the team have two games under their designer belts, won 1 lost 1. Paul Mortimer - living Charlton Midfield legend continues to manage them and the prospective season is looked at optimistically, as ever with a Charlton relegated team.

What of the clubs support of the women's team two years on (and lets face it if we had known then what we know today about the clubs finances then not many of us would have kept the feminine branch of our soccer club). Its unlikely we will see them playing at the Valley again as we did a few times in times gone past. No longer does the official site have details of their season long fixture list either there or on the community website. Player profiles are gone.



There are many club fans who either could not give a fig about womens football .. at best or feel that women playing football should get back to the ironing. However, if we are going to have a team we should be proud of them and support them and the club should do the same, promoting the womens team by prominently displaying fixtures and match reports on the OS, in the same way that they promote the reseves and youth teams, otherwise why have the team at all?

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Linvoy In, Powell secure

As Linvoy Primus returns to the Valley, we hear that a real Charlton defensive legend has secured a six month contract at Leicester.

Most Charlton supporters won't remember watching Primus winning man of the match on his debut in front of the ITV cameras, he only made three more appearances for the Addicks, before being released. the boy has added a few muscles since then and grown his dread locks. Linvoy is in the esteemed company of Danny Shittu and Michael Turner, Central Defenders released by Curbs who got to the Prem. So far Linvoy has been the most successful, having had an extended stay in the Prem until now. Three months with us could see him contribute in a major way to a defence that lacked solidity last season. We had no spine in a spineless team, at least till Christmas we have Weaver -- Hudson / Primus - Bailey - Gray / Varney, suddenly we look strong straight down the middle, although strength in depth is questionable.

Having recovered from a season long injury, Linvoy is coming home to get fit for the second half of the Prem season, but while he is here I am sure the likes of Youga and Moutakill will benefit from his experience, whilst Hudson will be more able to focus on his own game and not worry about his central defensive partner. Hopefully we will see Linvoy on saturday up in Preston, otherwise it will be a couple of weeks before the Addicks are in action again.

Good luck Chrissie and good luck Linvoy

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Good day for Randolph

Darren Randolphs loan to Hereford has not really gone as expected and he was dropped. However, all cannot be down to darrens performance because yesterday he watched his team mates concede 6 as Hereford went down 6-1.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Thoughts on a beautiful day

There are going to be a number of reports on the match so I'll try and restrict myself to the lessons we have learnt from todays visit from Reading. Whilst I had been to the Yeovil game I had missed the Swansea game due to the desire to sun myself in Turkey.

One of the things that always fascinates me is the manipulation of statistics, how could todays crowd be called at 20,020 even if you take into account the st holders who were not present. Charlton obviously employ great statisticians, there can be no other answer.

Bouazza showed today that he is a worthy successor to Thomas,in fact if I were Harry I would have made my first port of call to Fulham and borrowed this guy rather than taking on board the attitude challenged Thomas.

We also learnt that blind people do not make good referees., Mr Mason#s only excuse for the number of mistakes he made has to be that he left his guide dog at home.

We seem to have the sembelance of a back bone developing. Weaver, Hudson, Baily and Grey have given us steel and composure that we lacked last season.

Not only did we learn that we have steel and composure this team seems to have character. Last season we lost a 2-0 lead against Watford at home and were lucky to get a point out of it, whereas yesterday we lost a lead,unfairly, all seemed to be against us,yet we never let our heads drop and came out worthy winners.

We at last have a midfielder who is worthy to follow the talents of Kinsella and Parker, his presence enabled the rest of the team to do their job, Holland was given a new lease of life - managing to put in some bone crunching tackles, Bouazza being released with time on his hands to be effective and what a revelation he was. Pards says thet Bouazza still has a problem which is intriguing. Whatever that problem is, it can't be anywhere near as big as the problem Harry rednap has at Pompey in the form of Jermaine Thomas.

Thats two games 6 points five goals at the valley,and a way of playing that bodes well for the rest of the season, now the team have to go to the North West and show consistency and pick up at least a point next week. We should have both Primus and Youga available to add stell to the defence.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Chris Powell - Watch

Charlton hero legend superior being genuinley nice guy is still looking for a new club. having trialled earlier this month at Bournemouth, where Wagstaff is currently learning his trade, he has now landed at leiceswter for a trial. Hopefully he'll get sorted soon but I would rather he did not end up with Mandric.

The Times They Are A Changing

Two seasons ago Reading without any need for points came to the Valley and took a point away from Charlton and so ended the brief fight against relegation. The Charlton team that day was :-

Carson. Young. Diawarra. Herreidarsson, El Kakouri. Ambrose. Zheng. Song. Thomas. D Bent. M. Bent. Subs Randolph. Thatcher. Lisbie. Holland. Rommedahl.

Saturday only four of those names remain attached to the Valley it is likely that only one will be involved tomorrow, The ever dependable Holland who we had thought we had pensioned off two or so seasons ago, but our now more modest circumstances require appearances for those at either end of the age spectrum.

Randolph seems to be facing a career crisis, having his season long loan at Hereford already blighted by errors and being dropped.

Zheng has flown in from the Olympics and is being fatted up at sparrow Lane to be served as dish of the day to the new gourmets of the Premiership - West Brom.

And finally, Ambrose has just completed his seasons first 60 minutes in a 1-3 defeat against Palaces reserves, one hope his recovery has been delayed sufficiently for him to be kept away from Charltons e-bay shop.

In addition, Fortune remains and has forced himself into first choice at centre half, mainly due to the fact we only have two centre halvers and he is one of them and Sam is a relatively permanent fixture in the 1st teambut more due to the lack of finances than a case of a proven first teamer.

We have come so far and so many have fallen by the way side as we seek the sanctity of financial security. Tomorrow will be one of thew biggest tests of the season with a probable team of

Weaver, Semedo, Hudson, Fortune, Basey, Bouazza, Bailey, Holland, Sam, Varney, Grey. Sub Elliot, Moutakill, Shelvey, Dickson and one other.

Reading relegated last season have not suffered the tribulations that come with the relegation of an established Premier League team, so from that cold April night Hahnemann, Ingimarrson, Hunt, Lita, Bikey, Harper, Long, Gunarrsson and Doyle all remain, added to that the extra experience of their relegation season last year this is a formidable side, my fovourites for promotion and hence, I expect a dissapointing day for the Addicks, but looking on the bright side, at least its an early kick off and we have plenty of time to drown our sorrows.

A crowd of 26,000 plus were there in April 2006, we'll be lucky if we hit 21,000 this time round.