Sunday, 7 March 2010

So it begins.......

The run in begins here, in a few days time we travel to the New Den for our first competitive match there for a long time *and we look to continue the form of our last match at the Den when two Kim Grant goals put The Lions to the sword or the friendly match at the tool box when we saw fat boy Hasselbaink score for the addicks and offer us a false hope of premiership growth.

As I train for a quick get away after the game on Saturday (unlikely to happen as away fans are held inside the ground after the match) . I reminisce . I have been to quite a few games with Millwall there is a game I recall around 1970, at the Valley, both sides were looking to change division, we were looking to go down and they to go up. Now no one else remembers this game and without looking too far, I have not found reference to it, but my recollection is that this night match was attended by around 30,000 and when Derek Possee slotted away the 1st of two goals, the unsegregated ground erupted with what looked like 25,000 Millwall fans, I can recall being at The Den seeing 6ft something Dave Shipperley marking 5 ft nothing Derek Possee, I saw Keith Weller play against us ( He later won the European Cup Winners Cup for Chelsea against the mighty Real Madrid), I recall seeing Kasey Keller being awarded Millwall's player of the season on the pitch, Charlton leading 2-0 with 5 minutes to go through Gordon Watson and Paul Williams goals only for them to get two late equalisers. My Grandfather in Law used to take my Mother In Law one week to Millwall, One week to Charlton - fortunately her loyalties are with Charlton to the extent that her next birthday she will receive a Charlton Garden Gnome.

Millwall are scary, there is tension around the games that there should not be that have nothing to do with football, but I still love the idea of playing them as our real rivals, for me the rivalry with Palace is about their abuse of us at selhurst and the joint Noades / Fry attempt, whereas Millwall Charlton is familly, it is the South London version of Celtic Rangers, Liverpool Everton,Gunners Spurs.

So to Saturday, Millwall have a great home record, they have lost only one game, have beaten Leeds and Norwich, so this will be no walk in the park. The match is more or less a sell out, so the atmosphere will be hot. Millwall will want to get one over their more illustrious neighbours or as Eamon Dunphy described us "The Nancy boy's down the road", plus enhance their play off chances and put a marker down for a potential playoff showdown with us.

We need the points, with Leeds stuttering, an automatic is not out of the question (based on my biased BBC predictor, Norwich and Charlton both get automatic). We have worries over left back and I'm not putting money on Jackson, Basey or Youga being available. Semedo, Solly or Richardson may have to fill in. This really has been our cursed position. If Moutakill is not allowed to play right back maybe he could make the mother of all left backs.

Who will start up front now that Burton is fit, it has to be a choice between Mooney and Burton, given Akpoe's 5 in 7 starts, personally I would go for power so would make it Mcenzie and Akpoe - fat chance.

This is the sort of game where Dailly, Bailly and Richardson have to step upto to the plate and lead the younger heads in the team, making sure that players stick to the game plan and are not intimidated by Millwalls players or fans. A lot of managers have said if you can get on top of the Charlton team at the Valley in the 1st 20 minutes then the crowd will turn against the players, we have to take this attitude against Millwall at the New Den. We have the ability to play it tight at the back, out pass Millwall and take them on the break, too many teams seem to have gone to the Den scared, there is no reason for us to do that. I think that we will come out of the game on Saturday, I just hope it is not a black eye!!!

Footnote: A tribute to Millwall legend Harry Cripps, who used to teach me football, which probably explains how bad I am.

* Thanks to Chacago Addick on setting me right on having played at New den previously


ChicagoAddick said...

This won't be our first competitive game at The New Den. In fact Grant's goals were there as were the two games before that.

Kappacino Kid said...

Thanks CA, I'm amazed its been open that long, all my memories have it as the old Den but I bow to your greater knowledge. What have our results there been?

Any confirmation of the 1970's game?

ChicagoAddick said...

I had to check:

2-0 Dec 1995 Grant 2 (Bowyer sent off on 21mins)
1-3 April 1995 Balmer
1-2 March 1994 Nelson. Rae got last minute winner.

71/72 lost 2-0 Possee got one and Bolland the other. 26,643 (prob more like 40,000 I suspect!). They finished 3rd and missed out on promotion by a point. We were relegated with Watford by a point probably due to losing our last two games (Millwall and Blackpool 5-0) to 3rd Div. A little known Aston Villa took our place!!

Kappacino Kid said...

Thanks CA, great research. Agree about the Valley crowd. Bob Stokoe was quoted as saying the Blackpool 5-0 victory was one of the most satisfying of his career as it sent us down