Friday, 18 December 2009

Be Careful what you wish for!!

Be careful what you wish for. Having at first been distressed at the thought that soft porn barons Gold and Sullivan, the Valley faithful have turned their distress to the fact that the target is not in South London but across the river to one of our temporary homes at Upton Park. As we all know the initial bid is unlikely to be accepted by the Icelandic owners of West Ham and now that the Icelandic’s have been given an extension on solving their debt situation. For Gold and Sullivan that is bad news, as it gives time for alternative investment to be found, West Ham will be relegated by the time they can take ownership and the Icelandic’s have taken a dislike to Gold and Sullivan, following the latter pair revealed the nature of their bid.
If the Gold and Sullivan bid fails and they decide not to pursue their interest then apparently we are next on the list, which does not seem to be all bad. I am wary however of any white knights flying in to save us. A year ago we were looking at the white nights of Dubai, but where would we be now following the collapse of that principality, would we have been part of the bail out from the Emirates or would a football club be seen as superfluous to requirements and sold some where on the cheap. It did not happen, so nothing to worry about there.
But what of other white knights, Portsmouths plight is horrendous, bought by Middle East businessman( a), with promises of investment, ignoring a consortium led by Peter Storey, no money is forthcoming except a £1 coin from Middle East businessman (b) and of course promises of investment, nothing has been forthcoming, players keep on receiving delayed payments and the club seems to be racing between relegation and administration. Pompey are not alone, Mark Hughes may have had a lot of money to spend on Man City this summer, but this is through new owners, the last new owners were not the most reputable with the ex Thai President Thaskin who was wanted in his homeland for various misdemeanours, not a fit and proper person. Are these just exceptions, because the big clubs the established leaders would not be affected, would they? Are then there are the yankee duo, who have created confusion and disarray at Anfield . I wonder how the fans at Notts County are feeling, they were as if not more euphoric than us, they saw the dream, former England manager as Director of football and even better news it was not Peter Taylor, but where are they now, they are a club with no Sol and the only good news there is still no Peter Taylor, they got rid of a decent manager and now his replacement has walked out.
So where did we begin, aah! Gold & Sullivan, a fine pair, not forgetting Karen Brady. Would they be good for us, well we are in a similar position to Birmingham when they were taken over and look what they did for them. So this trio would potentially be good for us, but anyone expecting a continuation of the cosy relationship that we have experienced under the tutelage of Richard Murray are seriously deluded. The trio have no affection for Charlton, no link with our fans no ties to the area, they are in this for one thing and one thing only ……… Profit. If we sell to Gold and Sullivan then we may well reach back in to the promise land of the Premiership, we may too see un pronounceable names from far distant lands in our first team, and we may see success of mid Premiership obscurity, but there is a cost and that cost is a remote ownership, who will after a few years sell up for profit and then we will be on the merry go round that has afflicted football ownership for recent times.
Whatever happens in the short term the long term stability we once had under Murray, Curbishley and Varney has gone and will never return in any form,before long Charlton will be just another club,it will be sad but total demise would be the only option. On the plus side for us older fansd there is always the shapely Mrs Peschcilido to ogle at whilst Man U are stuffing us.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Robert Enke

Rest in Peace, may your pain and hurt be over, 45,000 people showed you their love today, it is so sad that it could not help you in your depression and your grief, Rest in Peace.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Time for a change at the Valley --- Noooo!

My last posting was meant to be a sarcastic support of Parkie but I am obviously not good at putting sarcasm to cyber so I’ll play with a straight bat this time.
Last season, after Pardoo left Parlie was dealt an awful hand, a demoralised club, from top to bottom, confusion over the long term ownership, best players un fit or not bothered, fans support ebbing away and bitng at the players confidence and the burden of being tarred with the same brush as the former manager. So he did not have an easy job and ultimately he failed. The positives were that we started to look like a team again and with the defeat of Norwich we at least ended the season with a bang. That said, most fans were in agreement that he should go at the end of the season and apparently some of the board, some of us felt we just needed a new broom others held Parkie as responsible as the previous manager for our demise.
The summer was one of poor communication and confusion surrounding the club and no guarantees were given to Parkie over his position. The fans readied themselves to welcome Ince, but he came and went. During this time, Parkie held a dignified silence.
Parkies permanent appointment as manager was never officially announced, as far as I can remember, but the 2009/ 10 official handbook states this took place in December 2008.
This season started off as a revelation, with only free transfers being brought in we occupied top spot, a record unbeaten run and entertaining football. 7 out of 7 and the Manager of the Month award.
Now the last few games have been less glorious and our latest record is something like P 11 W 2 L2. The fans are getting restless, some have said that Parkie is doing a poor job and when it was mooted that Reading maybe in the market for a new manager then there were a few saying good riddance.
The concerns of the fans have been exacerbated by other teams getting their act together with new management or player investment Leeds, Colchester, Huddersfield, Norwich and even Southampton. But that is the point isn’t it, those teams have invested in their teams, where has our investment been free transfers – Sodje, Richardson,McCenzie and Dailly, each of whom with the exception of McCenzie have worked out. To make us a strong automatic contending team we need depth and the lack of investment has left us with a relatively threadbare squad. Parkie can only work with what he has got.
It seems that Parkie can do no right now with the players, the benefit of the doubt is given to players every time there is an issue, Dickson being the most prominent of these disputes, but now everybody supports Mootakill, who has hardly covered himself in glory with his comments in Scotland, let alone his alleged antics back at the Valley, where the irony of playing for Motherwell would not have been lost on the players, the failure to play Randolph at Carlisle, another instance.
No one it appears to be able to look at the Randolph situation with anything but contempt for Parkie but lets look at it from his point of view. He has the opportunity to bring in a keeper who is either on par or better than Randolph, should he look for a weaker option so as not to upset Randolph? He then starts with the new loanee, good management or a disaster. If Randolph had played against Carlisle he could have got injured and we would be left without a keeper for the cup. What about that statement – demotivating a player by telling him what he has to do to be a regular? Ikepe is out on Sunday, in a high profile game, Randolph can do enough to get first slot for the JPT game, if he performs in that then he has the shirt for MK Dons,I don’t see too much of a problem in Parkies management there.
If we have the takeover pre 31st January transfer deadline day and Parkie can bring in some good players to add quality and depth to the squad then failure to be promoted would be inexcusable, but with the current finances failure to stay in the top six will be disappointing but not unexpected, given the investment elsewhere in the league. For others to say failure of Parkie to get promotion should result in his job,is wideof the mark, the first people culpable are the board.
During the early heady days someone wrote is Parkie a legend, the answer then was no, but I would repeat that negative if asked if he is a failure. Given the investment either here or elsewhere Parkie is a good manager in the making – lets hope we can all recognise that.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Time for a change at The Valley

It is now obvious that this seasons early form of un remitting victories was no more than a fluke, Parkinson was fortunate to be in the position of manager during these lucky times and as a result picked up a new contract which no doubt has a number of penalty clauses in it as per Rafa of the scousers.

carlisle has shown that we will soon be in the lower reaches of the 1st Division, prey to all and sundry in this division.

Get him out now, there are plemnty of candidates who will be able to tase over his mantle. His mantle to include a blind fold, to stop them from being able to plan for the future, handcuffs to stop them from paying out money for players, a weight around his kneck emblazoned with the word expectations.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Gold In Them There Valley (Pt2)

The Brummies perspective, does not look great

Gold In Them There Valley

There has been reference to former Birmingham trio of Sullivan, Gold and Brady coming into the Valley with their resources and buying up the club. Today’s report states that Sullivan is preferring a bid for Charlton over his boy hood team of West Ham due to the latter’s debt position. The resulting response on the message board (Charlton Life) is negative, understandably, since Sullivan and Gold have made their fortune from scantily clad women in magazines and newspapers. Also, we don’t want to be the affordable choice rather than the first choice.

If there is seriousness in the speculation then it will be an interesting test for Charlton supremo, Richard Murray, who for the last couple of years has been saying that he will only sell to the people with Charlton’s family values. Now with the constant, although fading rendition of the incest song at every match, you could argue that our family values and Sullivans are similar, but its probably not what Murray means.

Life has changed over the last two years and with the directors including Murray having forked out a further £7 million recently, I wonder how much pressure there is on Murray, from his colleagues to cash in, at all costs.

Charlton’s fans are indignant, at the thought of a porn baron owning us, although it would interesting to see how many of the indignant have not taken a sneaky look at a Sullivan publication, or sneered when Claire Short has sounded out against page 3.

I can imagine these three being frostily received, but we supporters are a fickle bunch and as far as I know Sullivan always backed Birmingham, built them into a premiership team, albeit recently a yo yo team and put money into the club. If they were to buy and if they were to put money into the club, their past would largely by a number of fans be ignored. For a lot of fans the hint that Curbs may come back would soothe any moral indignation and the prospect that we will return to the lower levels of the Premiership.

For me, I am happy with the ownership as it currently stands, but know it will not, cannot last. Would Sullivan be worse than a consortium backed by foreign money, at least he has a track record of backing his club with players and Managers – Francis, Bruce and McCleish and he is transparent with the businesses he runs.

I am neither for or against, if I think about it, but for those that wish against him, beware of what you wish for, we have seen a number of “unknown” saviours, in football, whose trusty white stead has been anything but that.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten tomatoes are being stock piled at the valley for next Saturday. A couple of my Rose of Denmark friends sit just behind the away dug out and I am hoping Tracy and Steve will have been working out their throwing arms. As ever, before a big match I worry that we will lose, our luck will go against us, a poor refereeing decision or a bizarre mistake.
But before my pessimism takes hold, lets bask in the glory of the season so far and even track back a little to the last game of the season when we sent the Norwich down.
The Valley faithful, who have endured something like 4 seasons of poor performances are finally being rewarded
– 4 home wins in a row – 11 goals scored, 4 conceded. (Plus we beat Roy Keanes Ipswich 2-1)
6 games played, 0 lost, 0 drawn, 6 wins – best ever start to a league seasons.
15 goals scored, 3 conceded.
Three clean sheets in a row.
4 clean sheets out of 6.
The highest goal difference in the top flight of English Football
Three players with a 1 in 2 goal scoring record.
5 point buffer between us and the play off places and 8 points off 7th place
24 points off bottom place and fellow relegatee Southampton
10 points off fellow relegatee Norwich.
Only 11 players starting this season, whereas 18 had started after 5 games last season.
Its heady, but early day’s for Charlton supporters. We must not let ourselves get run away with the success but bask in the early glory and gird our loins for the marathon ahead.
That apart every body, get your throwing arms ready for Saturday, give our former manager the welcome he deserves – figuratively speaking of course.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Parkie parking here?

Five games, five wins and we are top of the league, even above the mighty Leeds who share a 100% record. My nose is bleeding from the dizzy heights we have reached and I am enjoying my Saturdays again. Every game we play we feel we have a chance, something that was not the case in the Prem and although it should have been in the Championship was not for the last season and a half. Plus Pardew has yet to get a win, thanks to a very late Stockport equaliser yesterday. If I was Pards, I would look at the fans and blame it on them.

But enough of him and his failures, enough will be written about him in a couple of weeks. I just hope that the Saints get the same treatment that the last returning manager to the Valley received.

Whenever a club fails, as we have in recent years, every body has to take a share of the blame. The board, the manager, the players, the staff and, yes, even us the fans. But this applies when the Club goes through a period of success. For each of these groups the degree of their contribution varies. Arguably over the period since Curbs left the board has been most culpable, but over the last 18 months the finger firmly points at Pardew. What is not known is the contribution of the backroom staff and more specifically Phil Parkinson. What we do know is he has said some of the right things, indicating he was not entirely on Pardews wave length – Lack of centre half cover at the beginning of last season, too early use of Wagstaff ruining his confidence and the inference that loan players are not better than having your own.

If we had our way, Parkie would not be here now. In previous blogs, I have both supported him and called for his departure. Its not hard to build the case against him, upto August this year and to be honest it is quite likely if the takeover had gone through in May, we could be sitting pondering on the performance of Paul Ince. Many suspect that Parkie is here because we have no money. It has been stated that board members have said that Parkie would go when the takeover was completed, back before the “barbecue summer” took off.

People succeed in life because they have ability and skill for whatever it is that they have chosen to follow. They also succeed because they are in the right place at the right time and because when the opportunity comes their way they grab the opportunity by the scruff of the neck and go for it. Parkie has gone for it.

Despite the poor performances under his tutelage, the failure of the board to ever announce that he is the manager, the lack of transfer funds last season, the lack of transfer funds throughout the summer, the questioning of his formation, use of bailey on the wing despite all of this he seems to be on track, he seems to have got the players playing for the shirt, not for themselves and not for a move but for us the fans, each other and the team.

It is easier to build team spirit when we are performing and the next test for Parkie is to pick the team up after a single defeat and then after a sequence of defeats.

It is early days, the fans are warming to Parkie but it is a fragile warmth and the baggage of Pardew and relegation leaves many fans wary of giving Parkie un conditional support in the way Reed and Pards received. The lack of support for Parkie, financial and vocal, from whatever board is in charge leaves him vulnerable to fan attack after our current run becomes more challenging, after we pick up a few injuries.

Parkie reminds me of another Charlton manager, who was not fully accepted by the fans for different reasons, he was appointed over a Charlton legend. On Charlton Life the question has been asked has “Parkie found his level or engineered his team”, and “Parky or Curbs”, is Parky becoming a legend.
It is early day’s given his own hand to play, Parkie has made a good fist of his role so far this season, he is no Curbs yet and I am not sure he will be with us in 15 months let alone 15 years, but I believe he is the best thing we have going for us for now and win, draw or lose over the next few months he has done enough to deserve our whole hearted support and, if he gets promotion, then the backing he needs to build us in the Championship, not the sack for a more experienced and successful championship manager as some have suggested.

This has been a successful season so far, it could turn into a disaster - but if it does then I don't think its going to be Parkies fault!!!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Beware The Ides Of March

Gray has gone and Dickson is allegedly on his way, there are no rumours coming out of the Valley of players coming in, other than Parkies continued comments that he would like to add players to the squad.
The assumption with Gray going is that the take over is all but done. I like the current regime, Murray has always had Charlton at his heart and Martin Simmons has always been a good guy to meet for a chat and a pint, but the demands of modern football and the failures of decisions made over the last few years have put the resources required to run a club beyond them. Not only that but the demands on them through three seasons of failure must have drawn on their own personal energies. Whatever the takeover brings, the resources, just to manage the day to day will be very welcome.
Whoever they are, the takeover consortium will inherit a team on top of its game and on top of its league. However, they will also be taking over a squad short on personnel in defence and strikers who can score. In midfield we are well served, although a winger would not go amiss, if Small is not seen as a long term prospect on the left.
In defence, we have a strong 1st choice, Dailly is proving to be solid and outshines any of the central defenders, including Ward, in his marshalling of the defence. He has also formed a strong relationship with Llera, who is rapidly becoming a cult figure. Richardson has added consistency to a position that has had a revolving door in place for two seasons. Kelly Youga continues to be the weakest link, but with the amount of coaching he receives during the game I do think he is showing signs of improvement, taking him back to the post Scunthorpe Youga. Whilst we have Solly and Basey in reserve and maybe even Mambo (No. 5), the defence needs reinforcements.
In attack, we have a plethora of forwards who cannot score. Burton has shown his quality and put away two chances already, but him apart the manager has no trust in those that are left Fleetwood, Izale and Dickson, if he stays. There are rumours of Kandol coming in, guy from Southend and of course we have put down our marker for the guy from Gillingham.
Whilst there are only 9 days of the transfer window left we then move into the loans window and whilst we prefer to have our own playing for us, I would not object to taking on a couple of Prem league youth season long loans, but no more journey men looking to get fit.
We need to get new recruits in or the results like yesterday will dryn up before our normal March time dip and in this season we want to keep going right till the end.
Charlton Wallsall Player ratings
Elliot - 6 - Rating suffers from having nothing to do
Richardson - 7 - Beginning to develop a strong attacking relationship with Sam
Dailly - 7 - Talks the players around him through the game, may not have the arm band but has the spirit of he captain.
Llera - 8 -Truly making an early stake for being a legend. He and Dailly are giving us the stability at the back that we lacked last season
Youga - 7 - 7 may slightly flatter him, but Kelly is putting in the effort and is improving game by game. He is receiving a lot of coaching from the sidelines and his defensive partners.
Sam - 5.5 - At this level Sam needs to be taking on defenders and beating them. Would he have scored Wagstaff's opportunity or would the ball have got caught under his feet. As long as we are winning his place will remain safe, especially as he and Richardson are working well together, but a down turn in form and Wagstaff maybe seen the answer.
Semedo - 8 -This player purchased as a centre half is making the defensive midfield position his own and becoming the lynchpin between defence and attack.
Racon - 7 - Playing well but not fulfilling his potential and really taking the game by the horns, once he does that he will be awesome.
Shelvey - 6.5 - Jonjo is difficult to mark, we expect him to be outstanding every game but he is still only 17. Played well but not outstanding, below par of his Orient 2nd half display, but still effective and without the recklessness of the 1st half of Orient.
Bailey - 6.5 - Busy, but fairly quiet.
Burton - 8 - If you accept that DB won't score every game but works hard and brings players into the game, could have had another lob over the keeper, just did not get the ball quite high enough.
Wagstaff - 7 - 1st time he has not looked light weight and took his goal well, will put pressure on Sam to be a more cutting edge attacker

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Takeover scuppering success???

It has been a good start to the season, two league wins where performance outstripped the scorelines. The only blots have been the loss to Hereford and the continued uncertainty over the takeover.
The former can be seen as the result of the latter. To an extent the defeat on Tuesday was down to poor finishing, but it also exposed the lack of strength in depth.
We have continual uncertainty over the make up of the squad, our defence is strong today, but the frontline first choice players are becoming the walking wounded and we are only in the third week of the season. If Richardson gets injured can we expect young Solly to fill in for an extended period, who will fill in if either of the central defenders get injured (As Llera is with his opening head wound) – Semedo – Youga.
Will Gray stay or will he go, will Dickson force a move to Gillingham.
There are only two weeks till the end of the transfer window, although there is then the loan window.
There is a real danger that the continued protracted takeover talks will scupper our promotion hopes as we are unable to build the depth to our squad that we need to sustain the push in a competitive league where games come fast. Tuesday see’s a trip to Orient and then Saturday Wallsall.
So far we have played two league games unchanged, it is unlikely that we will be able to keep this up, so we need players in to ensure we are able to keep up performances and our challenge, it appears the only way we are going to do this is if the takeover completes and we need it to happen now!

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Pardew watch

Pardew continues to push his credentials taking the Saints from minus 10 points, after 2 games he has reduced the defecit to .... minus 9 points. Keep it up Pards, its not your fault .. blame the fans, the players, the board, the meteor shower ... anything but Pardew

P2 W0 L1 D1 F2 A4

Charlton v Newbies

No not new players but teams we have never played in the league before. This season we will be meeting teams we have only ever met in the cup.

We have already played Wycombe and look like we are tonking'ish Hartlepool. So assuming nothing changes:-

P2 W2 L0 D0 F5 A2 Pts 6

Next up will be MK Dons in November and then Yeovil a week later.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

New season, Pardew team talks revealed

As the new season begins, we exclusively reveal a re enacted team talk from Alan Pardew from last season. Before posting this we checked with Pardew on the authenticity of the re enactement, his reply was "When I was at West Ham, I used to give great team talks, however when I went to Charlton the players never listened, the fans booing drowned out the key points of my talks and the board were too split to let me get on with the important things I did at West Ham.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Home friendly, but not as I know it.

Today the mighty Addicks will be taking on the even mightier Roy Keane fuelled and Kevin Lisbie inspired Ipswich in a friendly. Oh how I remember the Premiership years when pre seasons had an element of excitement of playing exotic teams from afar ... ok the New Zealand national team were not exotic but they were from a far, seeing the new players purchased for the odd million here and there and bringing my Mother in Law, an old dyed in the wool Charlton fan and my wife (her annual pennance since she hates football .. should have married the mother .. 2nd thoughts maybe not).

This season however, I am not going to a pre season friendly to see the dross that took us down, I can do that in a couple of weeks, assuming any are left, when we play Wycome.

The only thing that I will miss tonight, by all accounts, is a protest by the fans over the delay in the completion or otherwise of the takeover. With two weeks till the start of the season we are a shambles. By all accounts Kinsella was at Barnet unpaid, with Fortune on trial at Sheffield we are likely to be down to 1 central defender our forward line has been depleted with only a rumour that a former jail bird MAY sign for us this week.

If Keane has instilled half his killer instinct into Ipswich then tonight is not so much as going to be a friendly as a massacre and I really don't want to be there for that.

Footnote: True to form Charlton won 2-1 - what do I know about football

Friday, 24 July 2009

Fortune favours the brave

And it appears that the brave are Sheffield United. News leaking out of planet Valley today is that Johnathan Fortune has rejected the potential offer of a contract to play in the third tier of English football, for a firm offer from Sheffield United to play in the second tier of English football. This has been on the cards for a while as the moulding of next seasons playing squad has been delayed by the prevarication of the takeover. It appears that we have lost both Holland and Fortune to this and whilst many may not mourn the loss of Holland (assuming that this is what will happen) it would be better if we were losing players through our choice not our inability to firmly supply a contract.

Fortune is a legend if only because of the part he played in the relegation of Palace - conceding a penalty and scoring the goal that deflated hope for the stripey nigels. As the Palace message boards say "Who's laughing now!"

We are now left with Llera and Mambo at centre half. Last season we started the campaign with only two central defenders - Fortune and Hudson - both of whom were much more accomplished than those we currently have, and that proved disastrous as injuries and new loans created confusion in defence until really Ward and Hudson partnered at the tail end of the season.

A fortnight tomorrow, we will be donning our replica shirts and probably be in our respective pubs chewing over the forthcoming match and season. For there to be any sense of positive atmosphere amongst the fans it appears that Parkinson and his team have a close season worth of work to do in the intervening time, but sadly they won't be able to start acting till the on / off takeover is sorted and that maybe why a top half finish for the addicks may be beyond us next season.
- panic ---- I'm beyond that now!!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009


All our troubles seemed so far away,
Now it looks as though they're here to stay,
Oh, we believe in yesterday.

Minty's not half the man he used to be,
There's a shadow hanging over us,
Oh, yesterday came suddenly.

Why Curbs
Had to go I don't know, no one would say.
He said, Somethings wrong, now we long for yesterday.

Football was such an easy game to play,
Now we need a place to hide away,
Oh, we believe in yesterday.


One week on and no more news, yesterday we were a proper club.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Yea! At last news.

However, the statement tells us absolutely nothing more than we already know.

My favourite Charlton

I was musing as I was journeying up and down the M1 over the last few days, for my son's graduation. My mind wandered to players, teams and Charlton that I followed over the years and the team that would be my favourite, not my view on the best players, but the players I liked most. Fortunately, next season we can choose 7 subs so that gives me more licence. If we start with the management:-

Chairman Roger Alwen - Roger was at the forefront of the fight to get to the Valley, but the reason I choose him is because I bumped into him one day in Pall Mall, it was just before we played then top fight Blackburn and the Valley was a sell out - RA wanted instructions to a club called the Athaneum - an old school gentleman's club. I got into conversation with him and gently hinted that I had not secured a ticket for the cup game, true to all good Charlton fans he ignored the hint and went on his way.

Director Of Football - Lennie Lawrence. With the euphoria of the Premiership years Lennies contribution to Charlton's history during dark years has largely forgotten. Lennie built a team on a shorter shoestring than Curbs at a ground that was not our own. He kept us in the top flight under serious constraints and deserves to be in any hall of fame.

Manager - Alan Curbishley - Say no more. I have met Curbs three times at the sponsors evening on his table thanks to Wyn Grant,when he has been unable to make it. A really nice guy, less dour in real life than on TV.

Keeper - John Dunn - Who? I loved John Dunn, successor to Charlie Wright, he was a real character. I remember watching him collect the ball in the penalty area, run past the opposing forward and throw himself to the ground to be awarded a free kick by the referee.

Full Backs - Mark Reid & John Humphrey, they go together and were too fantastic defenders for us during the wilderness years - also known as the Selhurst years. Johnny H's only blemish being that he then went to Palace, obviously enjoying the pitch there. That said he can now been seen every home match as a hospitality host for the club. Mark Reid was a great defender who also put a mean penalty away. His classic after Chelsea were awarded a penalty in the "Battle of The Bridge" - "Ref when you watch Match of the Day tonight, you'll see it was outside the area", followed by the retort "When you watch Match of the Day tonight you'll see you were booked"

Centre Backs - Colin Pates - just because he was a class act and Richard Rufus, any player that refuses to score until after his 100'th game so that he can push his club into the premier league at Wembley, has to be hailed and Rufus is hailed amongst all addicks as the best player we have ever had never to made an England place. In reality, I don't think Rufus was quite international class, but he was so close. Another player I have met.

Central Midfield - Eamon Rogers was an Irish international who turned up with a swashbuckling beard and looked like a pirate in midfield. Wasn't that good or that bad, he was just our pirate in the centre!! Peter Garland - well when you have an affinity for pies and a waist line like mine you have to support a fellow fatty.

Wide men - Johny Robinson was all heart, not the most skillfull and he took a while to replace Robert Lee, but he epitomised everything that the Charlton fan looked for in a player - heart and commitment. One incident I remember had nothing to do with skill, the ball went out of play into the unkept shrubs around base of the floodlights and Robbo leapt over the hoardings into the shrubland, looking just like a park player - which in heart he was. Paul Mortimer one of our class acts, once he left us he never reached the heights being treated badly at Villa by fat Ron and then going to Palace before returning to us and now being the manager of the Charlton women - I wonder if he gets to visit the shower room.

Forwards - Andy Hunt, whose career was cut short so cruelly by not a career destroying injury but by illness. I preferred Andy (and I know this is sacrilege) to super Clive and so regretted his demise, his last game lasted about 15 minutes, was capped by a goal and a substitution as he sat in to the dug out his lips mouthed "I am fxxxed" and apart from an abortive attempt to come back he was gone. Kenny Achampong, from the great in Andy Hunt we have the real result of no money the utterly useless Kenny, Lennies folly - not a lot you can say about him really he was just rubbish.

The Subs - Charlie Wright (Keeper) The original maverick keeper, modelled himself on Liverpools flying pig - Tommy Lawrence. Harry Cripps - Give me a break, he took me for football training at school and made a real impression on me, I think it was his left elbow, Carl Leaburn,my real choice as a striker, I felt sorry for Carlo, if he had been able to learn his trade he would have been a much better goal scorer, but instead he served his apprenticeship in the top flight, due to our financial constraints, getting kicked by lumps of central defenders week in week out. Talal El Kakouri - if ever you wanted to award points for dives with a twist, then here is your man, a thoroughly entertaining defender with a mean free kick well 1 in 10), Clive Mendonca - say no more! Bob Curtis, this player was a swashbuckling long haired, distance shooting full back, who apparently enjoyed a pint and a fag. And finally, the 1st star I had when I supported Charlton - Alan Campbell.

This is my team, my favourites, no one will agree with it and probably tomorrow I would come up with a different one .... I wonder what it would be ... whatever, its better than thinking about our current situation.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

The Long and winding road

to the next season continues. In recent years a group of us who meet in the Rose of Denmark have met in The George in London Bridge for what has become known as the Summer meet. This has been going on for 10 years. Every year the discussion surrounds Charlton, understandably and there is a mix of views on the performances and how the club is being run ... except this year. This year unanimously everybody felt Charlton was a shambles and that next season will only be exciting for the visit and visiting of grounds and clubs we have not seen before.

It appears that the takeover is alive, although I am unsure if well is the appropriate descriptor to go with that. Following Mick Collins recent article in The Mail, we have all been waiting for news of its demise, however Charlton Life have been advised by Derek Chapple that the club remain under legal advisement that nothing can be said at this time. The implication being clear that they negotiaitions are continuing. A statement regarding the article by Mick from the Club is in preparation, but is held back due to the same restrictions, however the debt level it appears is exagerated, according to the club so we will continue to wait and see.

In the meantime we have completed our European tour of Ireland with a 100% win record and no goals conceded ... bring on the mighty Wycombe!!!!

Saturday, 11 July 2009

The season is coming

Its not that long ago we all sang "we're all going on a european tour", we did not make it and now the closest we are going to get to one is a pre season mini tour to Ireland. As we do so more rumours surface about the Club only this time its players in and out that are of interest.

Whilst some may feel no great loss it is reported that Andy Gray is off up north to Barnsley. Personally I would be dissapointed to see a player whose quality we failed to maximise leave without some contribution to the cause. For his detractors remember he played most of last season with a serious pelvic injury and the stress of his northern based wife suffering from a brain tumour, diagnosed while giving birth. A former boss of mine, like Mrs Gray, was diagnosed last November with a benign brain tumour. The operation to remove the tumour removed much of her brain and in February the complications resulted in her passing away. The reason for telling this is that just because the tumour was benign does not mean she was out of the woods, so Gray must have been under significant pressure during the last year. Just after Gray joined us, he was awarded 2nd place in the Championship player of the year awards for his work at Burnley, I also recall his two goals against us at the Valley. However, it maybe that we have little choice but to let him go. What concerns me is the rumour that to reduce our financial liabilities we are willing to let him go on a free and (I cannot believe this rumour) we will sub his wages!!

If Gray goes then it is alleged that lined up to replace him is non other than Jamie Scowcroft, I would say a has been, but I am unsure if he has been anywhere. An alternative is suppossed to be Wayne Feeney of Cardiff, a better prospect in my opinion, although that maybe because I have no idea who he is.

As we go to Ireland some of the squad is taking shape, with Miguel Llera and Fraser Richardson. Both are solid signings, it still galls that we are not signing players of Prem quality let alone Championship, but we are where we are. Next season we are going to have to rely on players blending and working together and that will be a job that the manager, whoever he is will need to do. We will lose players and they willbe the good ones, those that are left willbe the iffy ones, the ones no one came in for and the replacements will be distinctly third tier. A front line of Deon Burton and Scowcroft hardly sets the heart beating, when compared to Leaburn and Mendonca, Mendonca and Hunt or even dare say it Bent and Bent

However, whoever wears the red and white of Charlton, however desperate the situation is, true fans will continue to support them. We just hope that the next 12 months will give us some joy, with new and old players alike.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Takeover is happening?

There was a time that when you read news in the paper that you might suspect that the source of the information might give it credibility and add to any information you may already have. But nowadays the definition of an investigative journalist is someone with a computer surfing the net. So today the press are full of stories about our impending takeover, but the stories only reflect what has been stated on the OS and the rumours that have developed over then last few months on the message boards. Lets be clear, the stories today are based upon the cancellation of the Q&A session, due to legal advice. The implication is that the club is in some stage of takeover. The recent SLP article, interviewing Murray implies that it is an imminent takeover, done and dusted in two days (today is day 2) and formally completed in two weeks. That said we have spent a whole summer close season looking at the next two weeks and nothing happened. Lets not forget that Southampton were done and dusted with Le Tiss at the top until the last minute and then it all fell apart. Although, the 10 point deduction issue made the Southampton situation that bit more difficult.

Having said all of that Murray's enforced silence says more than any of the silence during the close season could have said. There is many a slip between cup and lip, you only have to see my shirts to realise that, but hopefully unlike the Zabeel deal we will have some new investors in the club who will steady the ship and at least give us the foundations for an enjoyable season from 8th August.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Handling the truth

I was watching The Andrew Marr show this morning and thought a comment by Martina Navratalova was poignant for us Charlton fans. Talking about Government communication of spending cuts over the next few years, Martina* said,"Just tell us the truth, we can handle the truth. Its not knowing the truth that we can't handle."

This is so true in the case of the lack of information from the board of Charlton. Long established fans and recent fans may not like the truth, but if they knew it they would get on with backing the team,instead of speculating about the worst scenario's.

*The greatest tennis player never to win the mens singles at Wimbledon

Friday, 3 July 2009

Comings and goings and rumours

Ambrose and Hudson have both departed the Valley this week, Ambrose is making the opposite journey to Dowie, so has moved from oop north to the southern reaches of Norwood and into the clutches of Palace manager Neil Warnock. Ambrose was to the Championship for Charlton, what Rommedahl was to the Premier League, an unfulfilled enigma. I wish him well, because despite the views of others, I do think he always tried, he just did not look like it, but maybe after he has left Palace.

Hudson, who made the Dowie journey last season to join us as Captain has ended what he has described as a nightmare to leave our English shores and turn up in Cardiff. Not a lot of positives for his year here, he promised much but finding himself in a malaise of mediocrotiy instead of raising the team, as captain, he settled for the depths of demotivation and dissilusionment.

We have added to our ranks Llerra a Spanish Central Defender from MK Dons. By all accounts he was poor whenn he first joined them last season but improved towards the end of the season, so it will be interesting to see how he performs. He does currently hold the accolade of only fit central defender. Last season started with only two central defenders, so this season we are going to emulate this by having two, but one being crocked, well that assumes that Johnathan Fortune signs a new contract.

We are waiting on three players to sign new contracts:-

ZZ = rumours are he may have work permim problems if he leaves us, that can be the only reason I can imagine him considering a year in the third division.
Johnathan Fortune, a player whilst injured, is also not that ambitious. At a fans forum last season, after JF had turned down a move to Stoke a club offoicail advised that some players are just happy to be content with their current situation.

And Matty Holland. Rumours have it that he is currently training with Colchester.

I would expect some player movement next week, as contract negiotiations conclude and we start to fill some of the gaps like central defence. There is also a guarantee that an annoucemnet will be made about the takeover (I have a reliable source who knows Richard Murrays cat).

Murray and Chappel are at a fans evening on Thursday and probably for the 1st time Murray will be facing a hostile audience, incensed by the lack of information and the continued employment of Parkinson. As I have said before if the club have appointed Parkinson and it appears they have then they should come out positively and support him.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Kinsella's still here

Rumours of Kinsellas departure have been greatly exagerated. Where have I managed to get this devastatingly good bit of news, well I looked on the Official site for the announcement, after all they are putting every bit of trivia on there these days. I searched,but it was not there. No I found it in an article where the great man has talked about the forth coming season So like Parkinson being around still we know Kinsella is here through his utterances.

I am now subscribing to Beijing weekly to see how ZZ's negotiations are going, Financial Times for Jonathan Fortunes contract negotiations ... you get my drift.

News continues to drift into the publc domain by default, c'mon Mr Murray throw us a crumb.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

True Supporters

What worries me about the comments on the previous post is that they come from a section of fans who, not long ago, would have thought Murray walked on water, but the longer this farce continues the more loyal fans are becoming disillusioned. This is not the fly by nights who only followed Charlton so they could watch the top Prem clubs, or the glory boys who have only been with Charlton since '97, its not the promiscuous supporters like Kelvin Mcenzie, this is, true supporters, supporters who were there when we last were in the third tier, who enjoyed the glory years but knew they would end. Charltons board cannot afford to lose their support. Players come and go, Managers come and go, Boards come and go, but most fans stay through thick and thin and it takes a lot to turn a Charlton fan against this board, but it is happening not through performances on the pitch, or even through the bad decisions which have been made ... no .. its the disrespect that this silence shows to the fans. We don't need to know what is going on, we don't need to know names but we should be told why there is such silence, because rumours grow and anticipation grows at the end of this something great may be declared, but if it isn't if its just a refinancing to enable us to limp on to the next step then we have a problem then expectations will not have been met and then the fans will leave in droves and the only premier league we will ever be thinking of will be the Blue Square Premier League.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Please Mr Murray ...

The deathly hush continues, rumours abound. yesterday was suppossed to be the big day, but its not Minty's fault if an internet rumour becomes alleged fact only to dissapoint when nothing happens. The same source alleged that something would happen today, but it hasn't .... yet, oh and the same source tells us its not a takeover but a significant investment to give us stability.

Its still rumours and mirrors. But tomorrow is a big day, the squad return to training, no ones who has left we wanted, no one has come in. We know Parky is still in charge, but only because he is being quoted in the SLP, maybe no one has told him that he has gone.

On the playing front rumours are that Shelvey is dimissing rumours of a Spurs move, as he holds out for a West Ham or Liverpool move (personally I would prefer him to go to Liverpool,be farmed out to a 3rd tier club for a season,before replacing Stevie G), Hudson could be on his way to Cardiff as they sell on their defender to Birmingham. Palace can't afford Grey, so he's staying for a while,maybe Burnley or Stoke will come in for him. Of course, we could end up contributing to his wages at Palace) Fortune, Randolph and Holland are still in discussions over contracts and ZZ has not yet left.

The board used to be so close to the squad, after the 1st Prem relegation a group of us from the Rose of Denmark met Martin Simmons and Bob Whitehand for a post match drink. This closeness has gone, runours abound and lack of comment is undermining the fondness we have for Murray and his team.

The worst is the silence on Kinsella and Parkinson. The rumours are that Kinsella, a legend, is gone .. if true then tell us, explain why, was he incompetent, is it financial.. if he is gone then let us know,if he is here why let the rumours abound. For some Parkinson is the anti christ, the reason for our demise, but we can only assume the man who was given 8 games to prove his worthyness to move from Coach to Manager and succeeded with probably the worst record possible, appointeed till end of season he oversaw the death throes of our season and saw us relegated, but still he is there or is he .... is he holding the seat for the Guv'nor? Why be silent about Parkinson, if he is here to stay, then the non believers should at least know and we can, however reluctantly, get behind the manager. Parkei has been let down, hung out to dry, neither sacked nor supported.

Questions, questions we are filled with questions. Please Mr Murray we need some answers

Saturday, 20 June 2009

No News, Any News

What is happening? There are no mixed messages coming out of the Valley... because there are no messages coming out of the Valley. Rumours abound.

Peter Varney is heading a consortium thats Irish, Arabic, Nigerian,Chinese ... its not confirmed,its not denied.

Kinsella and Parkinson have cleared their lockers at Sparrow Lane, but its not confirmed, but its not denied ..maybe they have not told Parkinson, after all he is still talking to the South london Press about the fixtures, the Players etc.

The 23rd is suppossed to be D-Day,but whoh as set the D-Day,after all its another rumour - it may even be a story madeupon a message board.

Another rumour that has not been dispelled is that after the Norwich game the board got locked in the board room and nobdy has realised,hence no comment from them.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Parkie making progress?

Richard Sheppard of Rose of Denmark fame, friend of Graham Tutt and class mate of Brian Kinsey has been issuing stats on our performances for a number of years. His latest review of the end of season performances over the last few seasons shows that Parkinson has a record over the last 7 / 10 games that compares favourably with his predecessors:-

The dreaded last 10

1998/1999 D, L, W, L, D, L, L, D, W, L (9/30 - Prem - Curbs
1999/2000 W, W, W, D, D, L, D, D, L, L (13/30) - 1st div - Curbs
2000/2001 D, L, W, L, L, D, W, W, L, L (11/30) - Prem - Curbs
2001/2002 D, W, L, L, L, L, D, L, D, D (7/30) - Prem - Curbs
2002/2003 L, L, D, L, L, L, L, W, L, L (4/30) - Prem - Curbs
2003/2004 L, L, D, W, D, L, L, D, D, W (10/30) - Prem - Curbs
2004/2005 W, L, D, L, L, D, L, L, L, D (6/30) - Prem - Curbs
2005/2006 W, L, W, D, D, L, W, L, L, L (11/30) - Prem - Curbs
2006/2007 D, W, W, D, D, L, D, L, L, D (11/30) - Prem - Pards
2007/2008 L, L, L, D, L, W, D, L, L, W (8/30) - C'ship - Pards
2008/2009 D, L, D, W, D, D, D, D, L, W (12/30) - C'ship - Parkie

The pathetic last 7

1998/1999 L, D, L, L, D, W, L (5/21 - Prem - Curbs
1999/2000 D, D, L, D, D, L, L (4/21) - 1st div - Curbs
2000/2001 L, L, D, W, W, L, L (7/21) - Prem - Curbs
2001/2002 L, L, L, D, L, D, D (3/21) - Prem - Curbs
2002/2003 L, L, L, L, W, L, L (3/21) - Prem - Curbs
2003/2004 W, D, L, L, D, D, W (9/21) - Prem - Curbs
2004/2005 L, L, D, L, L, L, D (2/21) - Prem - Curbs
2005/2006 D, D, L, W, L, L, L (5/21) - Prem - Curbs
2006/2007 D, D, L, D, L, L, D (4/21) - Prem - Pards
2007/2008 D, L, W, D, L, L, W (8/21) - C'ship - Pards
2008/2009 W, D, D, D, D, L, W (10/21) - C'ship - Parkie

In the last 10 & 7 games Parkie generated the best performance for a Charlton team since 2,000 and before that respectively. So is Parkie getting there,or is it just a case of lies, damn lies and statistics?

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Its over

A year ago after the season had ended, I looked back at a dissapointing season, but looked forward to a new season of challenging for a place in a new division. I was not dissapointed as Pardew sought to achieve our objective with great gusto. Actually, I lie - I am well peed off. But at the end of last season I was sad,because I had just seen my / our legend Chris Powell come on and score from midfield in his final game (Until maybe next season) for the Addicks, but I also had optimism, we had beaten Coventry scoring 4 goals and we finally had a scoring partnership with Grey and Varney showing an understanding.

So what ever happens tomorrow, its not an indication of things to come. The close season is going to be so exciting, I suspect my insomnia will be cured. Will we be taken over - who is it going to be The Varney consortium, are we going to have Middle East oil magnates in the board room , Indian steel barons or are we gonna be searching to rub two farthings togther just to keep going.

We will see wholesale changes in the playing staff ... not since ..... well, last close season have we seen so many players leave and new ones come in, but apart from that we have not seen such wholesale changes in playing staff since .... well, the close season before. Roll on 31st August when we'll know whom we have and who we have not.

On the bright side even if we lose our 1st three games next season we can rest assurred that we won't be bottom, thanks to the financial incompetence of Stockport and and Southampton. Financial incompetence, something that our directors will never be accussed of. Ok that was a cheap shot and murray and co have done wonders to keep us in the not too red, at significant financial cost to themselves.

Its over tomorrow, for the players,the management, the directors and the fans lets hope you all have a good summer. For those that will be back here next season lets hope for a good final position, some good football at the Valley and some enjoyment. Next Sunday I am off to Wembley for the FA Vase Final between Glossop North End and Whitley Bay.

STOP PRESS: Just read this about Stockport - damn - The deduction has been made so we don't have a head start on them next season. They do still have to comply with League regulations over the summer, so there is still a chance.

Friday, 10 April 2009

He who goes around comes around

We know where it is about to end. Football is cyclic, success for the majority, if it comes, comes and goes. We have had it in the 50's , the 80's and crossing over the 90's into the 00's. Our current cycle as it falls into the depths of the third tier began 12 years ago, in my opinion.

Lee Bowyers sale to Leeds was the catalyst for the triumvirate of Curbishley, Varney and Murray to take Charlton from a middling second tier club to an established mid tier Premiership club with real aspirations of Europe. For all his negatives, I will always be grateful to the skill,if not the personality of Lee Bowyer. He went to Leeds on a record fee for a 19 year old, a reported £3,250,000, which as with all Charlton fees we then discounted down to £2,850,000.

It was the 1st time we managed to get a sizable fee for a Charlton player and the money was used to create two legends, Alan Curbishley and Clive Mendonca, amongst others Curs brought in Sir Clive, Eddie Youds, Danny Mills and Steve Jones. We went on to the play off final and the rest is history, till today we stand on the brink of relegation to the third tier.

The result against Birmingham on Saturday, could result in confirmation on Monday of relegation. And who is in town on Saturday,who could put the knife in?

Firstly there is Kevin Philips, I don't think Philips has ever failed to score against us,when I have been watching anyway. The return of Hammeur Bouazza, hot and cold, some spectacular goals, but also rubish whn not on form.

But closing the circle, the man (boy) who was sold to create the club is Lee Bowyer, on loan to Birmingham from West Ham, could he be the one at the tail end of his career, as opposed to the beginning, to score or create the goals that foster Birminghams Premiership ambitions, whilst condemning us to the third tier? What goes around, comes around and Bowyer could be the living example of this.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Start again

So Saints tomorrow, it maybe that we have 7 games to go, but every game we play now is the run in to the next season. We cannot end the season as we have gone throughout the season. Look at Derby last year, they had a season like we have had, but in the Prem., they started and for most of this season been dire and flirted with relegation, unfortunately they got Clough in and now look way off the drop. We need to end the season with a flourish, win all our home games, pick up at least one away win. Next season we need to be at least a play off team, we need to win more games than we lose, we need to start generating a positive momentum now.

Sure there will be changes in the summer, some who want Parkie to stay, others who threaten to ignore the club if he stays, players will go ZZ, Ambrose, Weaver, maybe Shelvey, Semedo, Racon, Grey and Fortune. Quite a roll call another summer of disruption, curiosity for us the fans and if we thought we had got misfits when we joined the Championships, we won't know anyone that is coming in.

But while the club start to plan for next season, 25 redundancies, friendly sales of assetts to directors, preparing for a new Dowie legal battle,which will cost money even if we win, so must we, the fans.

With Luton preparing for an appearance in the Johnstone paint trophy final this weekend, we can look forward to next seasons final on 28th March 2010. The Football League tell us that the season starts on the 8th August with the Carling Cup starting wc 10th August . The Play Off Finalis on the 30th May. If you want to know when the draw for the first round of the Johnstone Paint Trophy, so you can follow our dualdrive to Wembley, just click here and scroll down.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Kandol flames hope

But all too briefly. I knew after Doncaster we were down, but the faint flame of hope remained and yesterday the results went our way, so a win would have generated expectation. So I have to thank the players for extiguishing all hope and expectation, I don't have to hurt for the rest of the season and just prepare myself for the season ahead.

So what does that season threaten,well new teams to play - Orient, if they can save themselves etc,. and another summer of upheaval, is this the 4th season in a row that the team has required wholesale surgery in the close season.

Parkinson has indicated the kids are likely to get a run in the side,so we are preparing for the season ahead, lets see the loanees go back, with maybe the exceptions of Ward - because Mambo is not ready and Holland is not right, and Kandol - if there is a hope in hell that we may buy him for next season.

The big question is who will be at the helm. If I was looking at CV's, I would look at a young manager with a bit of experience and potential for the future - a bit like Parkinson. If he only did not have the failure of the last few months it could be him. Now I fear that the last few months have irreparably tarnished him and his ability to manage any club through a promotion season. do what do we look for, assuming we have the money? Promotion of Kinsella, alongside Powell? An experienced manager with knowledge of the lower leagues - Ade Boothroyd? Anotther Parkie? I don't know, but we need to make the right descison this time, don't think we as a club can afford another bad decision.

As we go back to the third division, one thing is clear I follow Charlton because they are my football team and I want to see them do well, I don't care what division they are in, I just want to see them play well.

For the rest of the season, I will continue to go to games, not to enjoy them, but to endure them and the rest of the season.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Fixtures To Come 2

Blackpool Forest Plymouth
Burnley - H Preston - H Watford - H
Norwich - H Swansea - H Reading - H
Sheff U - A Watford - A Swansea - A
Barnsley - A Burnley - A Norwich - A
Southampton - H Wolves - H Burnley - H
Plymouth - H Barnsley - A Blackpool - A
Preston - A Bristol - H Coventry - H
Reading - H Sheff U - A Birminham - A
Charlton - A Coventry - H Doncaster - H
Forest - H Blackpool - H QPR - A
Swansea - A Coventry - A Barnsley - H

Fixtures To Come 1

Charlton Southampton Norwich

1 Doncaster - H Ipswich - A QPR - A

2 Watford - H Birmingham - A Blackpool - A

3 Reading - A Derby - H Cardiff - H

4 Wolves - A QPR - H Plymouth - H

5 Preston - H Blackpool - A Birmingham - A

6 Southampton - A Charlton - H Wed - A

7 Birminham - H Watford - A Swansea - H

8 Coventry - A Wolves - A Watford - H

9 Blackpool - H Palace - H Ipswich - A

10 Cardif - H Wed - A Reading - H

11 Derby - A Burnley - H Charlton - A

12 Norwich - H Forest - A

Friday, 27 February 2009

Well done Jonjo

Shame about the theory driving test!!! Happy Birthsday.

Swans Take on Robins

Charlton go to Swansea in what, if we win, will be a must win game. Of course a draw will do, but a loss will take the wind out of our sails and Parkie will need to start the potential momentum again, which I cannot see happening.

It feels very much like the games after the West Ham win in the Prem., a brief flurry then a splutter and finally the Blackburn game when Thatchers sending off and a 4-1 defeat extinguished all hope. We have to build momentum, if we are to have a barnstorming finish to the season.

On the negative side, despite the win and draw against Plymouth and Barnsley, in both games there were times when the opposition could have taken us and it was down to their own poor form that we were in a position to get the 4 points total. However, that in itself has to be the beginnings of the foundations for a run. Swansea is not one of the lesser lights of the Championship. Since our victory on the opening day of the season, they have pulled their socks up and ours have rolled down. They have been hailed as the best footballing side outside the Prem., so we do have our hands full tomorrow.

On the positive, we also played very well in both those games and once we became confident looked like a good balanced side. Swansea had a hard mid week game against Fulham both physically and emotionally, hopefully this will tell. We need to keep it tight early doors. Being an open footballing side means we may have the opportunity to exploit gaps that they create, especially if they tire as the game goes on.

I am not over optimistic, but if nothing else in this league has been proven then its unpredictability has. Top Clubs Birmingham, Reading and Wolves are spluttering, Doncaster have just put together a winning run to counter the relegation threat, Cloughie Junior is turning his dad’s team into the team that Paul Jewell was never going to create. So Why can’t Charlton do it on Saturday and why can’t we win our next 3 games (apart form the historical fact that we have not had three on the trot since???). I’d live with 7 points out of 9, even 6 out of 9 anything less and I think the hope may die.

Imagine in 9 days time, Sunday morning Charlton have picked up 9 points out of 9 - Yes we can, will be resounding around South London, Kent and far flung countries of the world - Yes we can.

PS Happy Birthday Jonjo - the boy done good!!!

Friday, 13 February 2009

Curbs to be snubbed?

The departure of Harry Rednapp seems to have enabled the Portsmouth board to ride rough shod through the club. The appointment of Adams did not seem sensible at the time, maybe it was the Premier League equivalent of appointing Parkinson at Charlton. After the board then sold off some of the family silver, which must have demoralised the players, they then decided it was Adams's lack of ability that caused the decline in the teams performance and he was summarily dismissed to obscurity, will he ever get a amangement game again?

The Pompey job looks tailor made for Curbs and if I was them I would make a beeline up the M11 to take Curbs to their place. He has the ability to push under performing players, is a strong tactician, has been in relegation fights before, but what are they trying to do? Bring in orallist, Sven Goran Ericksson. Ericksson must be looking to ignore their overtures, even if he gets the sack from Mexico. What could he do with a club with no money, ageing defenders and battling nagainst relegation. Pompey need a manager with bottom half table experience and the ability to get a team to grind out results, that man is Curbs.... come on Storie - you know it makes sense.

The times they are a changing

About five years ago a documentary series featured Charlton and Plymouth. A senior executive from both clubs swapped roles for a few days. Charlton were premier and Plymouth were tier three. Steve Sutherland, then reporting directly toRichard Murray, represented Charlton. We came over as a bit smug and a bit patronising, whilst the guy from Plylouth seemed over awed by the Premier League club and set up, we were a Club he wanted to emulate on and off the field.

Just a few years later and we languish at the bottom of the table in the 2nd tier and Argyle are just a few places ahead of us. Now we are willing to emulate any one above us, we are seen as a badly run club on the slide. Tomorrow two poor clubs face each other, we need to win, despite havimg given up I know a win will transform us. We have not had a run for years,its about time we did and saved ourselves from the inevitable.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

News From The Valley

The nation received an apology from a Charlton director this week, unfortunately for us it was to the nation by Michael Grade. How unlucky can ITV have been, 119 minutes of boring football,1 minute of excitement and it was during this minute that ITV's automatic advert player kicked in. Anyway its nice to know that Charlton directors have not lost the art of apology.

So no game today, I have no doubt that Andy D'Urso has correctly cancelled the game, but looking out at my SE London garden at 7.00 this morning and only a few miles up the road I do wonder if the decision is premature. No freezing temperatrure in SE23 today.

Its six years since we last postponed at the Valley and I suspect if we had still been Premier League we would have the resources to have the game on, as it is there are no helicopters or whales, we just can't afford them. Of course there is the conspiracy theory, a team out of form, only one fit central defender,new players in needing time to gel - the weather - a god send! OK far fetched . . . . . maybe!

Monday, 2 February 2009

Go home and prepare for the third division

So now Jansen and Christianson leave the club whilst the club will probably not admit it, we are now preparing for the 1st division. The next few months are going to see a number of players leave and go on loan,come the summer we will see the elite Gray, Hudson, Ambrose and ZZ to name a few depart, but we will also see the lesser players, those that did not make the grade or do not offer value for money depart, Dean Sinclair is another who comes to mind as a player bought by Pardew who never made the grade.

One who we may have problems keeping is Jonjo Shelvey as the pressure for money may be too much as the big boys want to come in and take him to bolster their reserves, that is one of the reasons for maintaining Championship status.

Every summer for three seasons the summer has seen an upheaval, we don't know the players we don't even know who is with the club and who has gone, I thought Christianson had left months ago. We have to get away from this, 38 players we have used this season, we need to establish a relatively smaller squad next season, with few loanees and players who we can be guaranteed to be able to support and have them there the next week.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

If this was boxing...

Some one would be standing at the edge of the ring throwing in the towel, instead we are going to carry on until May, against the ropes taking every punch, yesterday it was a sucker punch, On Tuesday we managed to get our own hook in, but prior to that there was a 4 punch combination at Sheffield Wednesday.

Believe me my heart is optimistic, we can pull our selves out of this, we have the squad to do it, but my head says different. The loss of both Fortune and Hudson prior to the Burnley game contributed to any sense of momentum gaining after the Palace game being squashed in its infancy. We need 10 points to get to safety whilst the three teams above us have to go in to the sort of run we have just got our selves out of, although 5 games without a point would be acceptable rather than the whole hog of 18. Three wins and a draw is where our points total and goal difference leave us and to think we are capable of such results at all between now and the end of the season a laughable.

I've started to try and work out what advantages we would have by going in to tier 3. Well here are my top ten:-

1. We'll see more wins (Just like we believed when we came into the championship).
2. We'll get to loads of new grounds.
3. We'll be able to go to that nice ground next to the refuse disposal plant in New Cross, or is it the refuse plant?.
4. Dropping to Tier 3 has been good for some teams, enabling them to regroup - Hull and ????
5. We'll see more of Jonjo Shelvey (Probably on the box with a Prem or Championship team)
6. We'll have more chances of Wembley - FA Cup, League Cup, Play Off Final, Johnstone Paint Trophy.
7. We'll see more of Chris Dickson.
8. We'll be able to turn up at the Valley at 2.45 on a Saturday and still find a parking space
9. We'll be able to turn up at the Valley at 3.05 on a Saturday safe in the knowledge that they will be holding up the kick off for our arrival.
10. We won't have to play Palace next year.

Saturday, 31 January 2009

The Robin dropped

The Red Red Robin is less relevant to the Charlton team today than ever and it has beeen decided to drop the Red Red Robin by the Board for something they felt was more relevant, for this season at least, so the team will be greeted as they run out by a rendition from the Who

followed by the naming of the team.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

The Wall of Sound Grows Louder

Not since Leaburn has a striker caused so much debate in the club as Chris Dickson, ex hamlet and £35,000 striker. He did himself no harm yesterday with his cameo performance resulting in his 1st goal of the season and his 2nd of his Charlton career.

Parkinson now comes under pressure to play Dickson in the big one on Tuesday. Charlton life message board strongly pushes for Dickson to gain his first league start for Charlton, with both logical and emotional debate. The interesting thing is not those that have been clamouring for his inclusion for two season now, but the rest of us, who recognise a player with limited ability, with the exception of one golden nugget of skill - he knows wher the back of the onion bag is.

Why this change of position from the non believers, well in all honesty he is the last hope. He may not be the player to hold up the ball, play crafty passes etc,. but if he gets the chance then more of us would back him to score than anyother player on our books and what we need now is someone who can score, someone who can inspire - If anyone can Chris can.

Yesterdays second half performance sounded like a real battling Charlton and if I was Parkinson I would be sorely tempted to maintain the side with maybe two exceptruion, Randolph for Elliot and Kelly Youga, who the Sheffield commentators highlighted as Sheffields best player in the second half - what happened to the player that returned from Scunthorpe, who some of us were afraid would be poached by a Prem club.

I have come to the conclusion that we will not get out of the relegation plight that we are in, so Tuesdays game becomes important for the fans beyond the gaining of points but for self esteem and prestige. I don't knw any palace fans, but I hear that they are enjoying our plight (as we have theirs), fans have been receiving directions to third tier grounds and comments such as "shala la ... whose laughing now." Parky and the boys need to give us something to smile about on Tuesday, somethong to take with us to harlepool and Scunthorpe next season.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Curbs and Murray ruined my life

As most of my Charlton friends know I started life being a Chelsea fan and at around 13 years of age became a Charlton supporter, the distinction here between supporter and fan is someone who follows a team, goes to matches and is there through thick and thin while a fan is someone who follows from a distance and watches on Match of The Day.

I converted from a team of Osgood and Bonetti to a team of Wright and Crawford. Top tier to 2nde tier, most people go the other way - what is the opposite of a glory hunter - whatever it is thats me.

I began watching Charlton the season after the were pipped by the Selhurst crew for promotion and in a season - one of many - when we avoided relegation by the skin of our teeth.

Any fans who supported Charlton around this time will remember a team that was exciting to watch in matches that were exciting to watch, the team may not have been very good - even with Alan Campbell - but the games were fun and there was always the peanut man and we would see lots of goals, I saw us beat Swansea Town 6-1, lose to either Bristol or Blackburn Rovers 2-4, but I did not really care because we had no expectations of grandeur top flight, there was the brief encounter with Simonsen when what looked like naked ambition turned out to be just a brief interlude in the pursuit of mediocrity.

Then in the 80's Uncle Len with a ragga muffin band of players got us into the top tier, we loved it but we never really thought we should be there, each and every season we expected it to be our last and eventually it was,but we had enjoyed our stay at the top and really never expected to be there again. Sorry when I say we, I mean me, it was nice while it lasted.

Then came Curbishley, Gritt and Alwen, to be succeeded by Curbishley and Murray and what did they do, they gave us hope they got us into the Prem, they bought half decent players and over a decade they gave us results and positions that we could be proud of and we came to expect.

So now when we get beaten, which is an all too frequent occurence it hurts, when as yesterday I see an inept performance by a forward like Grey (who's idea of attacking the ball is to stand still and hope it bounces off his head to one of his mates) instead of thinking of Dickie Plumb or Barry Endean, I think of Darren Bent and Andy Hunt (Ok Clive Mendonca too), when I see inept loan players as we have had too many of lately, I don't think of Mike Small, I think of Jorge Costa - when we put in an inept performance like we did yesterday, when our Championship life depends on it, I don't think "well thats Charlton- thats what we are like, thats what life for a Charlton supporter is all about." I think "I've been short changed, my team don't care, I am gutted."

After the Owls fans chanted "We've got our Wednesday back", our fans chanted "We want our Charlton back." Well maybe we've got our Charlton back, but thanks to Murray and Curbishley there is no turning back, they have given us expectations and its like opening Pandoras box and it hurts.