Saturday, 29 November 2014

Please don't come back Sky TV

I don't like lunch time kick off's, never have. I'm a bit of a tradition, 3 o clock Saturday afternoon's when I want to be cheering the lads on.

I'm beginning to dislike the TV cameras even more. Whether it's Sky or terrestrial we never fair well.

Today's game, despite the late late nature of the winning goal, it really could have gone either way. Possession overall, plus shots on and off target there was nothing in it stat wise. However I felt we cut out better chances, but as has been for far too long looked a bit naive and not well enough drilled in what final pass to make or when to just go for it.

Harriott, Vetokele and Gudmundsson were all guilty of the above.

Now the unbeaten home records gone we can begin to realistically look at our chances for the rest of the season.

I think the squad is far too good to get dragged into a relegation scrape. If the right investment is made in the transfer window we could well still flirt with the play off places. We still need an experienced and self assured forward to partner Igor (come on RD, take a chance on that Bournemouth journeyman, the one I hear owns a house in South East London) someone with Championship experience who can chip in with ten goals in the second half of the season.

I'd also like to see an incisive winger and midfielder with proven Championship experience.

Failing the above I feel confident we can finish mid table.

It may seem a bit flat, but if mid table can be achieved, and RD perceivers with Big Bob for another season I think something we all enjoyed for the first half of the naughties can return to The Valley once more.

Disappointed, but not despondent. If we can enter the new year on 35 points, I'll be more than happy.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Close but no cigar

A close, at times spicy, local affair ended in a disappointing nil all draw.

Tucadean missed a tilted chance right at the death to send the home supporters into raptures when he did all the hard stuff other than putting the ball into a goalkeeper less net.

We also had a couple of very good penalty shouts. I'll be interested to watch the football league show tonight, we are the feature game, to see whether they were as nailed on as they looked.

Pope was very self assured in between the sticks, I expect great things from the lad, if he keeps it up Henderson may find himself with a bit of a problem reclaiming his place as custodian.

All in all not a bad game for a scoreless draw, but I can't help but feel today was an opportunity missed.

On the plus side though, every player wearing the Charlton shirt was up for it today. Something we've not seen in a local derby for a while.

Sorry it's a bit of a brief post. I'm off to recover with a beer.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, 17 October 2014

The Unbeatables

Every now and then I delve into the annals of history and throw some statistics into the mix, that make me both a tad sad and equally sad for getting a bit of thrill by my findings and what they may mean. (Usually bugger all, but for that moment of delusional excitement well worth it).

With our both surprising and extremely pleasing start to the season seeing us alongside Forest as unbeaten as we nearly enter the second quarter of the fixture list I thought I'd take a look back at how other teams, unbeaten at this point, fared come the end of the season.

First bit of good new is none of them got relegated. The second is that we really ought to revel in our status. It is actually incredibly rare to get to this point not having dropped a whole three points in any one match. Perhaps rarer than you may think.

Prior to ourselves and Forest, only three clubs have managed this feat in the last ten years going back to 2004-2005 season. QPR twice, Middlesborough and Wigan Athletic.

QPR were unbeaten at this point and finally got promoted, all be it a touch of fluke in 2013-14.

Boro were unbeaten at this stage (not with a dissimilar record to our own) and finished just short of a play off place in seventh and five points off the pace. (I'm sure all sensible Addicks offered that in the summer would have bit the proverbiall hand off).

QPR again in 2010-11, going on to romp to the title.

Finally, and a full ten years prior, Wigan Athletic finished second to grab automatic promotion.

So as you'll see, we are amongst good company and it's not a common occurrence.

Interestingly the season we went up via the 'greatest ever game at Wembley' do you know who were Champions? Nottingham Forest. But that really is a tenuous statistic twist too far.

Bottom line for me though is, regardless of the number of draws, this is not what we know as a typical Charlton side (except for the stoic and plucky determination NOT to lose). The will to win, confidence and general big thinking attitude fills me with confidence that there will be no spectacular bubble burst. Almost certainly the odd blip, but we will be there or there abouts come May.

The next three results may or may not bring us all out in raptures of delusional optimism and joy.

On paper all three games could offer some kind of return. When I look at the fixtures, tomorrow is the one that worries me the worst. Bournemouth have none of the delusions of grandeur that Bolton, Fulham and their respective managers do. And I believe are the most likley to put an end to our run. I'd be happy with another draw tomorrow. I feel we have the beating of Bolton under the lights at The Valley on Tuesday. And we are due a win at Craven Cottage, who I still believe look like going the same way as ourselves and other mid table premier league regulars have gone over recent seasons - league one! 

If we come out of the next three games with five points i'll begin seriously thinking of a season at least two games longer than I'd anticipated, and perhaps even a trip with the whole family back to the new Wembley for another play off final. Last time I went it was with the wife, Mum and Dad and technically my eldest (who was busy kicking around in my wife's tummy getting ready to make her imminent arrival).

Being a Charlton supporter and blogger is officially becoming fun again. (Almost).

Friday, 26 September 2014

Super Big Bob Peeters...

The easy thing would be to predict a score draw for tomorrow's game. But there are so many things to factor in following Boro's excellent display in midweek against Liverpool.

Will they be fired up following such a fine display? Will they be tired? Will players be rested? I don't know. The now overused but entirely correct cliche that any team can beat any team in The Championship still seems to remain true.

It appears there is an entire army of 'he'll be found out soon...' Bob Peeters knockers waiting in the wings for us to finally lose a game. Maybe they'll get their bizarre wishes come true tommorow. There's no doubt now the Boro players have settled they are contenders.

Personally I think he's already been 'found out'! He's articulate, charming with a dry sense of humour, passionate about our team, honest and does seem to know a thing or two about how to play the game.

My thoughts are long may our 'fluke' of a run continue! Charlton 3 Boro 1

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Millers preview

It's always exciting when we play a team we've not faced for some time.

Charlton travel to Rotherham for the first time in 31 years to face the Millers.

The last time we actually managed to record a win against them was even further back in 1980.

Thankfully ex Addick Richard Wood is injured so won't get the opportunity to stick one in against us as seems to happen so often with ex players.

Vetokele is apparently in contention for a place.

This is really the first fixture of the season, based on form, that we could be classed as favourites to come away with a result. (Rather worryingly!)

It will certainly be a test, the Rotherham manager has gone on record intimating they may well park the bus this afternoon and try to nullify our attacking threat, rather than go all out to win the game and a precious three points.

I'm going to err on the side of caution and predict a frustrating nil all draw with our unbeaten run to continue.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Spoils shared...

Another frantic and exhausting game was played out at The Valley last night. I got to the game without much time to spare so settled on a bottle of water rather than the customary pint I'd usually have.

Charlton were out of the traps quickly, and the game was both as entertaining and hard fought as Saturdays match against Watford.

I checked the table once the again excellent Biley had put us one nil up, and nearly put every joint in his body out with his acrobatic celebration, and we were top!  Unfortunately this didn't last, as good as we were in the first half, Wolves were equally as good in the second.

Like Big Bob, Jackett has put together a competitive team that besides the ability to be physical play good football.

An enjoyable night was tarnished by Wolves equalising, but to honest one all was a fair result. In Wolves, Watford AND Charlton I think we have seen three of the best teams in the division who will all be in contention for a top six place come May next year.

The big test comes at the end of the month when we travel to Carrow Road.

Another tough test looms with Boro at home.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Charlton look to continue great start...

If you'd have told me we'd be sitting pretty in 5th place and on 12 points after only six games, having seen off 3 of the pre seasons most fancied teams for promotion I would have probabaly sighed 'I wish' before a ball had been kicked.

More importantly I think the good start we have made is no fluke and we are there on merit!

Wolves, who are begining to growl about back to back promotions, visit the Valley tonight. Both sets of players will be tired, particularly the Addicks, after Saturdays tough fought but deserved victory against Watford. I expect where needed we may see a bit of squad rotation. Wilson will start I hope. He deserves to. Ben Haim could even be rested with Morrison making his first start of the season. Both deputee's will fill in fine if picked I'm sure.

We are a bit thin up front and in the midfield however. In my opinion if we look to pick up another three points tonight then Vetokele HAS to start. Buyens fitness levels look good enough that he should start as well. As for the rest of the midfield it will be fascinating to see who lines up wide and partnering Buyens in the centre.

My head says a hard earned for draw is on the cards tonight, however with this group of players mindset any things possible, so I'm going with my heart and betting on a Charlton win. 2-1.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Charlton win scintillating encounter...

Well the goalfest I'd predicted didn't appear, but it was an exciting and exhausting 96 minutes down in Se7 this afternoon.

Watford filled the away end and were very vocal. Their songs however are pretty boring and to say they lack rhythm, melody and imagination would be an understatement. Unlike the excellent North Stand who on ten minutes to accompany the round of applause the crowd gave (including the Watford en mass) as a mark of respect to the late David Whyte with the old David Whyte Whyte Whyte chant.

The game itself could not got off to a better start, with Vetokele being cynically taken out - Buyons converted the spot kick and it was very much game on. A real blood and guts affair.

The passing game Charlton play has certainly moved up a step since Sir Chris's tenure. I think this is due more to improved playing staff than completely the new coaching team. Although they have to take some plaudits for the way we seem to be able to see games out now.

Watford helped us, their finishing reminded me of our own lack in that department last season.

Solly seemed a bit out of sorts during the first half but improved after the break. I thought Bikey once again had a great game, coming close to scoring with a scissor kick.

Lawrie Wilson had yet another good game, once he got on as sub. 

If Charlton players had made some better choices when breaking through and the hapless Watford forwards could hit a barn door then it could well have been a big scoring game.

The ref, penalty decision aside, had a dreadful game, both sets of supporters were united in their condemnation of his inept performance.

All in all, another enjoyable afternoon down at The Valley.

Man of the match for me was Bikey. Although Vetokele and Buyons gave him a real run for his money. 

Tuesday night. Bring it on.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Expect goals!

I hate the international break. And back to back away games. It seems to have been such a long time since I've enjoyed that Friday night feeling of anticipation prior to a Saturday home game.

So Watford arrive with their new manager on the back of a great start to the season.

I read on the club website that Big Bob is anticipating the potential need to change his game plan if Watford turn up with different tactics and shape to that which had served the previous manager to date this term.

I'm expecting the same sort of line up that we've seen so far, perhaps with Gudmundsson missing out due to a knock picked up whilst on international duty. We could see a debut for network player Bulot in his place.

It's a difficult one to predict. I've seen some great games against Watford over the years. One of the most memorable was back in the Selhurst days, Charlton turning a 1-3 deficit round to win 4-3.

In a flash of crazy premonition I'm going for Charlton to win in a 5-4 roller coaster. I might even have a punt on it.

Just as a foot note, with Piggott going out on loan, I wonder if this means a deals now in the pipeline to bring in another striker on loan with some experience and pedigree to bolster our attacking options?

One things for sure, a win tomorrow and the same on Tuesday night and I'll really start to believe.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Lucky Seven...

I will happily take the seven points we've accrued in the opening 3 games of the season. At best (I thought optimistically) I'd hoped for four!

An exciting, albeit exhausting, night at The Valley saw Charltons flowing passing completely boss the opening twenty minutes or so, before Derby woke up, realised that the Addicks were an entirely different proposition to the side they faced last time out, and up their own passing game to really put us under the cosh.

I was sitting willing half time to come so we could settle down a touch and maybe try and play out for the draw. Then with Tuscaden being brought down amongst a cluster of Derby players in the box a penalty was given, which Buyons aptly dispatched.

We were a tad lucky to be going into the break 2-1 up, but they do say you make your own luck - and we certainly did that with a tieless first half performance.

Lawrie Wilsons introduction, once again proved to be the turning point in the game. Another assured display saw Wilsons little nod on to Vetokele converted and we were again two goals to the good.

With Derby surging forward looking to get back into the game it could have so easily have gone 4-1 with Vetokele breaking on a couple of occasions only to be brought down by his own velocity.

Finally when Pope let a speculative effort through his legs (this aside I felt he did well) we were treated to the customary nail biting final few minutes of the game.

A good all round performance, they don't come much better than Derby, apparently, and we saw them off.

Jackson was more like his old self and put in a real captains performance.

Vetokele, as with our other new signings, looks the real deal.

The back four are solid. And we've plenty of back up in that department. You've got to feel for poor old Morrison, signing a two year contract and struggling to get ahead of Bikey and Ben-Haim.

Final word, Peeters seems not only enthusiastic, but looks like he knows a thing or two about tactics.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Relentless start to the season continues...

The relentless August start to the season continues as we see Charlton begin a fortnight of two games a week.

Derby visit The Valley as another one of the favourites to gain promotion this season, a good side who have managed only 3 shots on target in each of their opening Championship fixtures.

The key this evening will be for the Charlton team as a unit to defend and frustrate The Rams as well as they did Wigan for large parts of Saturdays game.

I don't expect too many changes to the starting line up tonight, we may see Solly rested ahead of Saturdays away game, which is not a major problem as Lawrie Wilson can comfortably slot in there. We could possibly see Fox come in for Wiggins, who did not have a great game at the weekend.

Jackson was pretty off the pace against Wigan. Not sure if he's just finding it hard keeping up now, or I have read elsewhere that he wasn't too well. Either way it could be a night to rest him on the bench and play Cousins and Buyons in the middle together.

If we can keep Derby from scoring I can see what is becoming a cautiously buoyant Valley cheer the lads on to nicking a hard fought one nil.

Three points from tonight's game before we go into two tricky away fixtures before the international break would do very nicely.

I'll enjoy tonight whatever, it'll be the best part of a month before we get to see the lads run out against Watford. 

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Quality Addicks see off promotion 'favourites'

An entertaining game a The Valley this afternoon. Nearly spoilt by Wigan scoring with their only shot on target.

Cousins scored a spectacular long range effort to give the Addicks the lead.  Wigwams equaliser was typically comical and weak as per many we conceded last season. 

Jackson had a pretty anonymous game, and Wilson coming on with Cousins moving to a more central role proved to be the tactical change that won the game.

Moussa was credited with the 93rd minute winner, to be honest I saw the ball loop into the net, but couldn't vouch for whose boot it came off.

On the whole the performance was poles apart from some of the awful stuff we were subjected to last season. I may even have to change my initial opinions on Ben-Haim, who alongside Bikey did pretty well.

I know we're only two games in, but I see a bright season ahead.

Special mention goes to Peeters for squaring up to Rosser the Tosser at the end of the game after the latter goose stepped past mouthing off. Also to the new Chicken Balti Pie on offer. Spicy, fresh and a rather
 good pastry.

Bring on Derby come Tuesday night!

Pre match v Wigan

Thought I'd up the ante on the whole social media/blogging thing for the first game of the season.

Having a swift pint of orangeeboom before I set off on the train to Charlton.

Bob Peeters, more due to the current thinness of numbers than anything else, has selection dilemmas of the good sort in pretty much every area of the pitch braids up top and in goal. Does he rest Solly for Tuesday night and give the excellent Wilson a run out? Who partners Bikey, Morrison, Gomez  or Ben-Haim? (My preference would be Morrison).

In the midfield there are various choices, moussa, guddwhatshisname, Harriott or Wilson out wide? Cousins, Moussa, Jackson or Buyons in the centre?

The squad numbers may be slighter in number this season, but the quality in depth is infinateley higher than we've seen for some time.

Pre match I'm going for a 2-1 win to Charlton, Wigan do have a goal in them but I've no doubts we'll see Vetokele add to his tally and with a side full of potential goal scorers and The Valley behind them can't see this side slipping up today.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Cup Shock at The Valley...

Not that I went, but a surprising night was had by all at The Valley yesterday evening.

Completely against the grain of recent history, not only did we field a relatively strong team, but we beat lower league opposition convincingly, AND they only had ten men.  Which for Charlton usually means a lot of huff and puff and very much an uphill struggle.

It strikes me that there is a real ‘get the job done’ ethos about the squad at the moment. And performances and results like this can only help cement the new look squad into an efficient unit sooner rather than later.

I’ve been really looking forward to Saturday, even more so now. Can’t wait to take a look at the newly spruced up Valley, grab a pie and mash for my lunch (as opposed to the hit and miss jumbo sausage in a roll behind the West Stand) and enjoy a decent pint of beer, that apparently will be served much quicker than over recent seasons.

Full preview to follow later this week.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Solid start for new look Addicks...

What a start to the season!

Yann on target again as a rampant Bournemouth make poor old Mark Robins the earliest winner of the sack race I can remember.

Millwall (poor deluded souls) talking about promotion already! After a two nil win against a Leeds team in absolute turmoil.

It’s got it all, The Championship.

Having watched the highlights and listened to the live commentary on BBC London, although disappointed we couldn't make our chances pay and get off to a winning start at Brentford, I’m encouraged by the performance as a whole.  To be honest I felt a bit for Harriott when that ball thudded against the cross bar and bounced down and away from the goal.

A few glaring observations from the opening display. In Vetokele and Tucadean we probably have enough goals to ensure safety. Vetokele’s hard work and tenacity however does need to be complimented by more of an out and out striker than Tucadean looks to be.  Peeters it would seem see’s something of this in Harriot, and perhaps over time the youngster can step up and move in from the wing into a striker’s role as Thierry Henry did at Arsenal.  If not we do need to get someone in that number nine shirt who can do the job. The prospect (however much it seems to be evaporating) of Delort signing still excites me a great deal.

Henderson when called upon looked the real deal. Confident, assertive and comfortable coming off his line. In front of him, Ben-Haim looked the weakest link.  Bikey looked assured and I would imagine quite intimidating in the face of opposing forwards.  I’d much rather see Morrison paired with Bikey to add some level headed culture to the centre of our defensive line.

The midfield’s problem, if it has one, is balance. It’s a case of putting the pegs in the right holes, and not squares in circles.

In Jackson, Buyen’s AND Cousins we have three decent central defensive midfielders, who can break play up, and play simple and effective passes to create attacking moves. Playing Cousins out wide I think has now been proven over time to be a bit of a waist of talent. Guddmunson looked promising out wide, and once Moussa is fully fit our flanks could be sorted.  Perhaps we may even see Wiggins move further forward with Wilson at full back and Moussa switched to the centre to give that creative attacking spark at the expense of either Jackson or Cousins dropping down in the pecking order. Plenty of food for thought for Peeters.

I won’t be attending the Cup game tomorrow night (work!) but now really can’t wait for Saturday’s home game against Wigan.

When I looked at the opening three fixtures I did not feel all that confident, but after the promise shown on Saturday, if we can pick up four points from Wigan and Derby – which I think is absolutely doable, the season going forward looks so much more enjoyable than the stagnation that we have seen over the last two seasons. 

Friday, 8 August 2014

One more sleep...

It’s here…

To say I’m excited would be a bit of an understatement!

How foolish we all are on the eve of the first day of the season. This feeling is exactly the same as it was 30 odd years ago when my Dad had bought me my first season ticket and I was dreaming of Derek Hales staying injury free for a whole season and firing us into the top flight.

Of course those first few years of being an active Charlton supporter, this feeling always petered out into resigned acceptance that ’WE WOULD NEVER REACH THE TOP FLIGHT OF ENGLISH FOOTBALL…EVER!’ pretty quickly. Followed by excitement again when the time for the draw for the third round of the FA Cup came, then another lull after ‘plucky’ Charlton lose against Ipswich, Tottenham, Watford, West Ham etc…

Then, of course, the mix of elation and relief when we finally secure the magic point/s that keep us in the second division for another season.

Back to the top and so the cycle continued. That was until Lennie made some astute signings, Rob Lee broke through from the youth team and we confounded the experts and bookies alike who in general were expecting us to fight against relegation again. Particularly after we’d announced the move from The Valley to Sainsbury’s. Besides the 6 odd years knocking around The Championship (or whatever it was called back then) it’s been a pretty eventful ride in the 28 years (yes 28! How old does that fact make me feel) since that promotion. Play Off’s, Relegation's, two league titles, takeovers, more takeovers, Clive Mendonca, Chris Powell, Lisbie’s hat-trick. Phew, never a dull moment being an Addick.

I’m actually quite impressed by the way we have conducted our business in the close season, well thought out signings (so it would seem), ground renovations, a commitment to youth.  The only thing that’s stopping me becoming completely deluded about our chances this season is the fact that Andy Delort hasn't signed, and I don’t think he will. I watched some you tube clips of him playing from last season, and regardless of the fact he was plying his trade in Lige2 he looked pretty awesome.

This season the press and bookies seem to have written us off. Joint second favorites, alongside Millwall and Rotherham to join Blackpool in the third division in a years’ time.

I’m not so sure. In Peeters I think we may have uncovered a rough cut diamond, who’s articulate and from what I've seen so far charming manor, may well help gel this team of players quickly into a decent unit.  That’s not to say for a minute, if I’m realistic, I believe we’ll reach the top 6 and a shot at play off glory.

But at 25-1 in some bookies it could be a tenner well spent.

The reality, I think, will be a decent mid table finish. I don’t envisage the same struggle that we endured last season.

As for the rest of the division, I see Cardiff and Derby as my stand out favorites for automatic promotion, being pushed by Wolves for the play-off spot.  As for the rest, it’s a pretty open field. Bournemouth will suffer, much as we and Millwall did, from second season syndrome. On the face of it Blackpool will suffer, but with Houdini Riga in charge may scrape through. Fulham may well, despite Ross McCormack’s potential goals, emulate Norwich, Southampton and Charlton and go straight down. I think with the manager they have and some of the pampered players they will find the Championship a rather big culture shock. Rotherham, you've also got to view as facing a difficult season trying to acclimatize to the skill and physicality of The Championship.

Can’t wait!

Sunday, 3 August 2014

2014-15 Squad numbers announced

2014/15 squad number in full:

1 Stephen Henderson 
2 Lawrie Wilson 
3 Joseph Gomez 
4 Johnnie Jackson 
5 Michael Morrison 
6 Andre Bikey-Amougou 
7 Johann Berg Gudmundsson 
8 Reza Ghoochannejhad 
10 Franck Moussa 
11 Callum Harriott 
13 Dillon Phillips 
14 Igor Vetokele 
16 Rhoys Wiggins 
17 Yoni Buyens 
18 Simon Church 
19 Zak Ansah 
20 Chris Solly 
21 Morgan Fox 
22 Loic Nego 
23 Joe Pigott 
24 Jordan Cousins 
25 Kadell Daniel 
26 Tal Ben Haim 
27 Jack Munns 
28 Harry Osborne 
29 George Tucudean 
30 Nick Pope 

The squad numbers for the forthcoming season were announced on the clubs website today.

Several things stand out. Gomez getting the number 3 shirt. Churchie being bounced out to number 18, and the number 9 shirt being left free. (Does this mean there's real intent for a proven striker due to arrive at the Valley in the next week?) Moussa, who's yet to pull on the red shirt, gets number 10. Could this mean he plays a big part in Peeters mind when it comes to the first team? JBG getting the number 7 shirt. From what i've heard during pre season he does sound an exciting prospect, and could be a Valley legend in the making.  Reza's been given the number 8. Maybe he's decided to stay after all? Bikey gets Dervites old number 6. Which i'm guessing initially mean it will be he partenering Morrison at Centre back.

All very exciting stuff! My season tickets arrived, and it's only 6 more sleeps until we go again.

Lets hope my next post will be to celerbrate the arrival of a striker followed by a surprisingly easy victoy at Griffin Park to kick off the season.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Is there enough quality in depth to stave off relegation fears...

The waitings nearly over, as our pre season preperation gathers pace. Away to Ebbsfleet tonight, then on to Peterborough and Portsmouth before the big kick off at Griffin Park.

Despite still being a couple of players light in the midfield still in my opinion and perhaps one more up front the squad is looking better than this time last term, if not as many in numbers. With 3 keepers, including Henderson - who I have high hopes for, 8 defenders including two new reccruits who have significant experience of the Championship plus Gomez who I'm certain will be given the opportunity to step up into the first team squad at his tender age. Based on the spin coming from Agent Bob (as my Millwall supporting mates are referrig to him) and the mature way he put himself about so far this pre season.

In miidfield we have 7 which includes the already crocked Moussa, and Buyens and Gudmundsson, two signings that I think come the end of the season we may all be raving about. The balance being made up of Jackson and the still quite young and inexperienced trio of Cousins (he'll be upto the job though) and Osbourne and Harriott. (Although if he does continue his late bounce back and flourish from the end of last season may turn out to be a star).

Up front, which lets face it was one of the areas we were really lacking last season there's plenty to choose from, the only problem is the quality of depth on offer.

Let us assume that Vetokele and Tucuden can play together, and score some goals. All good. But whent he inevitable injuries do come in to play, or we need to rest players, then the back up on offer is pretty thin on quality.

Reza may not be with the club. He may still be with the club, but that performance in the World Cup may turn out to have been driven by pride and the fact that he upped his game whilst performing on the worlds biggest stage.

On the face of it Church, however hard working, just doesn't cut it as a forward. Piggott based on what i've seen so far is the same. (I don't buy the age and experience argument - think Lee Phillips, Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney, Rob Lee, Darren Bent - all attacking players whose youth did not hold back their ability). Then you've got Polish Pete, who may or may not be on loan to one of our younger sisters in the RD family. I still think we need a weathered tried and tested Chaampionship striker who can start some games or make an impact from the bench.

All in all, nothing near the doom and gloom that some were anticipating at the end of last season.

I remain quietly confident that we are about to embark on a steady and sensible accent from the horrible decline, on and off the field we have all bore witness to over recent uuears. Come on Postie, bring me my season ticket!

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Here we go again...

It seems to have gone amazingly quickly, the close season. No doubt thanks to whats been a scintillating World Cup.

This, coupled with what was ultimately, a very busy and hopefully fruitful Summer of activity at the club both on the playing side of things and back of house.

The doom bringers anticipated influx on network 'stiffs' never transpired to happen, we even reportedly spent over 2 million Euro's on a striker.

The incoming players listed on the site as first team squad players all look, on paper, to bring some extra quality against those outgoing players they have replaced. (With the obvious excpetion of Poyet, but lets just move on from what was absolutely inevitable).

If charm and an ability to articulate in press conferences is an indication of how good the new manager is going to be, then we've nothing to fear. Although obviously it isn't, so we wait to see. RD however has got this type of decision right so far. Keeping some of the existing backroom staff also seems to me to be quite a shrew idea.

Away from the playing side of things the new pitch looks great, and money has been well spent on getting the stadium looking spruce and bright red again. I was also pleased that we have a new catering company on board. I do hope this means my matchday pint and lunch is vastly improved upon the dross thats been served up at extortinate prices for the last few seasons.

Oh and lets not forget a new home kit, thats actually started to grow on me.

I'll be interested to see what team lines up in each half at Park View Road this afternoon. Can't wait!

Here we go again...

Friday, 4 July 2014

Exciting days ahead...

Charlton squad for the Philips Stayen Cup: Zak Ansah, André Bikey-Amougou, Yoni Buyens, Simon Church, Jordan Cousins, Tomasz Cywka, Kadell Daniel, Morgan Fox, Joe Gomez, Callum Harriott, Johnnie Jackson, Harry Lennon, Dimitar Mitov (gk), Michael Morrison, Franck Moussa, Jack Munns, Loic Nego, Piotr Parzyszek, Dillon Phillips (gk), Joe Pigott, Nick Pope (gk), Chris Solly, Igor Vetokele, Rhoys Wiggins, Lawrie Wilson.

So we set off for the start of our pre season campaign, and there seem to be two trialists in what has been referred to on the official site as the 'first team' squad, along with some of the Charlton Yoof having been upgraded to squad status possibly for the oncoming season.

Below is a quick thumbnail of each of the two trialists.

André Stéphane Bikey-Amougou[1] (born 8 January 1985) is aCameroonian footballer, who last played in the Superleague Greece for Panetolikos. He can play in the centre of defence or at right back. He began his career in Spain at the age of fifteen, before having short spells in Russia with Shinnik Yaroslavl andLokomotiv Moscow. In 2006, he moved to England, where he joined Reading on loan after impressing their manager while on trial. After three seasons at Reading, he signed a three-year deal with Burnley. He is generally known by his first surname Bikeyexcept between 2011 and 2012 while playing for Burnley, when he decided to officially use his second surname Amougou.

Tomasz Wojciech Cywka (Polish pronunciation: [ˈtɔmaʂ ˈtsɨfka]; born 27 June 1988) is a Polish footballer who plays for Barnsley as a midfielder. He managed to score 8 times for relegated Barnsley last season.

A defender and a midfielder.

Based on this being our first team squad, and the two trialists impressing enough to to get themselves contracts our breakdown based on third of the pitch will look like this:

3 goalkeepers (all rather young so one more experienced keeper will be needed.)

9 defenders (3 youngsters, not including Fox and one trialist leaves five recognised first teamers)

8 midfielders (I include Wilson as a midfielder as I'm a converted fan of him going forward. So much so he got my vote for player of the year. One trialist and a youngster leaves six first teamers.)

5 attackers (three development players, Church 'couldn't hit a barn door, but hard worker', and Vetokele - who at the moment we are pinning  an awful lot of hope on)

I think all will agree that regardless of Peeeeeeters will and prowess in apparently brining on young talent we will desperately need to bolster our numbers.

Perhaps this weekends tournament will give him a better idea of which of the academy graduates are capable of making the step up. Then giving the management team a better idea of what type of players need to be invested in to create a squad that will compete in the Championship.

I remain cautiously optimistic about the upcoming season and that our new management team have a considered strategy going forward.

The new pitch is down, and money has been spent on sprucing up what was, let's face it, a rather run down stadium. All good stuff that says to me that there is a will-full objective to drag the club back up towards its former recent glory. (I just hope they've sorted the kasis out in the west stand).

The club apparently are live streaming the game on the official website tomorrow night. A nice move, that slightly winds me up as I pay a fairly pointless subscription to cafc TV, but I will be watching with my son with great interest.

Officially excited!

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Farewell Gus...

So the club have announced their disappointment at Poyets decision not to turn up for pre season.

As disappointing as it is, one man a Championship side does not make. I'm a bit gutted, but the boy was out of contract and who knows who's spent the close season whispering in his ear. If it was known he had so much potential then the previous regime really should have got him on a longer contract before he was elevated to first teamer status. And let's be honest with ourselves, once he was into the last six months of his contract there was no way we were going to get him to extend, I suspect even if we made a break the bank offer. Because of his age we will be due some compensation which I'm sure the clubs legal team will be working on imminently.

We now need to see the board make further investments across the board. I think we need at least another two defenders, midfielders and attackers to have anything like the barest squad numbers to enable us to remain competitive throughout a whole season.

I wish Poyet well and hope he does not end up in the same boat as so many other young starlets lured by money and the promise of glory. It would have been good to see him in a Charlton shirt for one more season and get some serious money for him but he's made his decision and there's very little I think anyone could have done to change it.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Looks like I'm about to start eating my words...

2.4 Million! This is apparently the amount we've paid to secure the services of Igor on a five year deal.

As the CAS Trust have stated on their own website, this could be a masterful piece of tactics in getting either or both Morrison and Poyet to commit to the cause. It also shows that RD is not solely about doing things on the cheap and importing Flemish stiffs to make the numbers up. (Although I do believe that we will still see a few 'squad' players loaned in from the network to provide some depth and cover).

I expect to see an eclectic mix of European players incoming to compliment the likes of Solly, Wilson and Wiggins. 

We will need to wait and see whether Peeeeeters has the right stuff as a coach, but he certainly seems to have a decent personality which he delivers with a grin, enthusiasm and pragmatism.

I think it's going to be an interesting few weeks.

Monday, 23 June 2014

First 'none' news conference of the pre-season

From what I can gather from the club website the much anticipated press conference took place today.

Some could be forgiven for feeling like it was a bit of a smoke and mirrors none affair!

Apparently Morrison and Poyet may sign new contracts, they are both in receipt of offers, it's now down to them whether they sign on the line or decline. And pursue other opportunities.

To be honest stating that an offer has been tabled really means nothing at all. It's all relative really isn't it. I could pop up to Berkeley Square and offer the Rolls Royce showroom a fiver for a Silver Shadow, don't mean they'd bite my hand off does it.

Equally we may be signing a striker called Igor Vitakele, a fee's been agreed it's now just down to personal terms and a medical being navigated.

In fact there are ongoing negotiations with a variety of player. Some of whom we may or may not sign.

On a plus point our squad has been boosted by the signing of a Leige first teamer in Yoni Buyens, a defensive midfielder.

Guess we'll all have to hold our breath and see 1. Who turns up for pre season training on Thursday and 2. Whether we fill the gaping holes in our squad before the pre season friendlies kick off at Welling.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

The board speaks at last...


and says thanks Jose.

Not really much more than that. All looks like a bit of PR to me. I think they must have gauged the general feeling amongst supporters and perhaps read the latest SLP and seen Paul Mortimer on the local news.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Another one bites the dust...

The close season seems to be taking one dissatisfying turn to the next.

The latest the official departure of Dorian Dervite, following hot on the heals for Hamer's announced exit.

According to sources the new manager is due to be announced and installed imminently. (The strong rumor being that it will be Bob Peeters - ex rubbish Millwall striker and very inexperienced manager of a lower division Flemish side.

The squad is beginning to look somewhat thread bare, and with Morrison and Poyet yet to sign on the dotted line could look even thinner in the next few days.

I still (somewhat foolishly I think) wait to see what sort of mix of players come into the side before I really well and truly throw my dummy (or not), but at the time of writing am beginning to become rather worried.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Full list of out of contract players being released announced...And Poyets not on it!

Reason for excitement. Perhaps?

It's either spin or there is a commitment to try and keep some of our better players whose contracts are up shortly. Most importantly Morrison and Poyet. (And perhaps even Dervite, as there's no official confirmation ANYWHERE that he has indeed signed for Bolton).

A torrid few days have seen rumors relating to players leaving and a new 'no mark' manager from Belguim. All supposition and unsubstantiated. I've been waiting to post until I actually see some firm news, but this announcement has me slightly excited.

If Poyet gets good advice and decides another season developing at Charlton would help him then i'd begin to err towards slightly less scared, if the other two were to sign on with us again i'd start becoming a bit optimistic.

According to the SLP there is a potential alternative to Bob Beevers (my Millwall season ticket holding best mate fell on the floor laughing when I told him Beevers may be our new manager).

I'm going to hang on and see what news filters out from the Valley before I start to make firmed up opinions about where we may be going.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

News begins to filter from The Valley...

So news begins fo filter out of The Valley press office amongst other sources.

With three pre-season friendlies being announced in quick succession, none to challenging and all, two very local (the added value of two away games that I can definatley attend - i'll need to negotiate Pompey with Mrs Coops).

I wonder who has negotiated/agreed these games? I can only guess Murray has been rather involved, ensuring the tradditional Welling game goes ahead, and using his relationship with Varney to grab another local work out. Seeing as things stand we are currently head coach/managerless I can't see who else would be making such football decisions. (Bare in mind Riga's contract was only until the end of the season, so currently he's between jobs regardless of whether he gets the gig for another term or not, we are without a leader).

The board did state that they want playing personell sorted by the end of June. So I guess we'll have a better idea of how recruitment and squad decisions are made pretty soon. (ie. will the board put a bunch of players together and ask someone to coach them or vice versa?).

Sky reporting that Dervite is nearly a Bolton player is a bit alarming. I think the general concensus is that they have a much bigger payroll than us, therefore i can see why he may decide that it's the right move for him. Similar size club, set me up siging fee and a better salary. Riga was bigging him up towards the end of last season, and rightly so to some extent. I wonder what sort of offer, if any was tabled by the board for him?

I expect it, for better or worst, to be a busy few weeks news wise from The Club.

One thing that I do find a bit bemusing.

The board stated that once our Championship status was confirmed and the job in hand was done, they would engage in dialogue with the fans. (Either The Trust or The Royal Oak Group (or twelve angry men as I like to know them).

After all of the bluster following the takeover and subsequent sacking of Sir Chris both parties in this respect have gone rrather quiet! Surley now is the time they should be making the same sort of noise they were a monnth or so ago?

In the imortal word of that other football mentalist and perfect egg boiler Delia Smith 'where are ya, hic'

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Sea of change is upon us...

So the sea's of change are finally upon us. Unsubstantiated reports that Danny Green will be leaving to find a new club come the summer, official confirmation that dear old Hughsey will be leaving for pastures new (despite the fact he didn't play that many games for the club is the latest addition to my very own 'favourite Addicks players' list).

Apparently Decisions on Riga's immediate future at the club are imminent. Let hope that if he goes then his replacement proves to be at the very least as much of a gent and competent man as Jose has been in his so far short tenure. Let's also hope that the incoming comes in soon enough to enable them to work with the board to re-build that squad suffiently so that at the very least we can compete in this division without the squeaky bum end to the season we all had to endure. I still remain confident that the new regime is far less 'sinister' than some seem to think. My opinion may change if we see a managerless club start to bring in playing staff.

The biggest and most confidence boosting news this week was that the planning permission for the new academy building has been given the thumbs up by The Royal Borough of Greenwich.

With a plethora of players contracts expiring in June, first teamers included I expect to see lots of news over the immediately ensuing weeks of players signing contracts, players leaving and some fresh faces incoming.

In short, I wouldn't expect it to be a quiet summer for Charlton bloggers.

Watch this space.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Mission Accomplished...

It's taken me so long to post as I've only just recovered from chewing my fingernail down to my knuckles on Tuesday night.

What a night it was, typical Charlton. After the stick he'd taken over the past few games I was pleased and thought that it was fitting that young Callum got the brace that in effect keeps us in this division and i'm sure means we will see, after the lull of the past two close seasons, a flurry of activity during the summer.

Reading Roland's bit in the programme I still reserve judgement over the direction that the club is being driven in but initial thoughts are still quietly confident that we will not simply become a nursery/feeder team for Standard Liege.

From what he is saying he see's the importance of the academy and trying to achieve cat 1 status (whilst i don't really agree with this system whereby a club with a cat 1 academy can basically fleece the best players from clubs with Cat 2 and 3 status of their best young players - it's a system that's with us. And i'd rather we were the plunderers rather than the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs and dare I say even Fulham or Palace coming and nicking our young starlets.

He also mentioned that whilst there could be movement between network clubs, if the need to go outside the network to get the right specific player arises it will happen. (Although through shrewd dealings not breaking the bank).

What remains to be seen is who is at the helm. If it's not Riga (who I've actually grown to quite like) then I hope, as we all will, it's a sensible long term appointment. And not some European nut-job who does not understand the Championship. (Did you see the manic/maniac Watford 'Head Coach'? I watched him from the West Stand and half expected him to spontaneously explode at any given moment!)

So onto Saturday, a meaningless seaside away day of a fixture at Blackpool. I'm so pleased i'll be able to amble around Saturday lunchtime without a care in the world. Hopefully chuckling to myself as my phone updates tell me of a Kermogant hat trick.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Bring on the Polski!

As we enter the final few weeks of the season it's very much crunch time. The bottom of the table has constricted with no team amongst the bottom six adrift, even Yeovil are very much in with a shout at staying up.

The real plus for us is Blackpool's current form dip and plummet into contention for third division football next season.

The one thing I can say for sure is that there is no one player amongst the current crop of Adddicks who looks likley to hit some form and sky rocket us out of the relegation battle. I just can't see any of our forwards suddenly discovering goal a game performances and creativley down the flanks (with perhaps the excpetion of Fox based on yesterdays encouriging performance) doesn't look like suddenley changing for the better.

What does bemuse me slightly is, with the dreadful striking options we have, that Piotr Parzyszek has not been thrown into the fray. Even from the bench perhaps he might offer us something of a goal threat. Besides inability,  phycologically getting goals from our players will become harder and harder as  they have become visibally effected by the whole we coudn't hit a barn door mantra.

With just four games to go why not just throw the youngster in and see what happens? He surley can't be any less effective than Church, Sordell and Reza. (The latter reminding me of a cross between Ralph Milne and Dennis Rommedall at their worst!).

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

An evening not for those of a nervous disposition...

Pre match tension has definatley been the order of the day in my gaff.

I've got he week off of work to enjoy some down time with the wife nd kids, but the last two days have been spent scanning the net for team news, looking at the remaining fixtures of ourselves and those around us and working out the various permetations that could effect where we start next season.

All of which is completely irrelevant as we go into tonights must win game in hand against Barnsley. If rumours are true and we see the return of Solly at right back with Wilson playing in front we may all of a sudden see a real attacking creative spark running down the right flank of the park. (Something we have missed all season really - playing with not good enough or make shift wingers).

I can't really make any sort of prediction for the result of this game. We'll either see a nervy affair decided by just the one goal either way or, if an early goal goes in a gung-ho blood and tears relegation thriller with both sides having to throw caution to the wind to grab all three points. A draw does neither side any favours.

One way or the other once the full time whistle blows I may well need a stiff drink to recover.


Tuesday, 8 April 2014


However strange it seems, referring to a home game against Yeovil as a massive match, that certainly what this evenings match is.

It's been a slog this season. One thing that is really telling about the two teams contesting tonight s game is their inability to score goals. Take Yeovil's Miller, who's been kicked back to Forest, goals away from Yeovil and they have scored only one more goal than ourselves this season. But have conceded 15 more times than ourselves.

Charlton's real plus point in amongst the teams around us is our mean defense. At 48 conceded you'd have to go up to 13th placed Middles borough to find the next team who have conceded 48 goals or less.

In fact we've lost by a single goal margin no fewer than 10 times this season (convert half of those to a draw and that gives us 5 more points). We've drawn nil on four occasions (so lets say half of those we managed to nick a goal, that's another 6 points) and we've score drawn seven times (apply the same rule that if we were as average going forward as we are defensively we could have nicked a winner just under half of these games - another 10 points missed out on). So that's potentially 21 points that if we had the creative spark we so needed along with a competent striker - which would have put us on 59 points and in the upper echelons of mid table.

It's these tight margins that can dictate a season. The whole debate around Stephens and Yan going misses me a touch. Yes Kermo would certainly have given us a bit more snarl going forwards over recent weeks, but our form didn't suddenly dip post their departure.

The bottom line is whether we stay up or not, we will need two decent wide men and a striker with some competence who's not afraid to miss up top.

Tonight's game, with all of the other sides around us playing, will be a nervy affair. Yeovil seem to enjoy being underdogs, and despite the fact that we certainly won't be viewing them as that, will approach the game with that kind of spirit. Which will make life difficult for us.

I'm keeping everything crossed for a one nil victory, three points and a bit of breathing space going into the next few days.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Penalty save could prove pivotal moment in Charlton's season...

I had to do a lot of running around last night, delivering various of my Children to Guides, after school activities and collecting from the school show.

Sky Score Centre wasn't playing ball on my phone so I reverted to pressing refresh on the BBC mobile websites text commentary - which although working was on a proper go slow.

I sat in the school car park, nervously watching the clock run down as we tried to hold onto Rezza's excellent strike. (I watched it once I got home on Sky Sports News - if it wasn't a fluke what a great time for the boy to find his feet in The Championship!).

Anyone inadvertently watching me must have thought I was having some kind of mental breakdown. Manically pressing the refresh button on my phone, then when there was finally an update, collapsing crest fallen into my drivers seat at seeing a penalty being awarded against Poyet. Then another 5 minutes of frantically pressing the refresh button again waiting for the inevitable news that we'd just thrown away an excellent opportunity to put a little bit of breathing space between ourselves and the bottom three. When it did update and i realised Hamer had saved the day anyone witnessing my flailing body in the car might have felt compelled to dial 999.

Moments like that don't come along all that often being a Charlton supporter, but when they do they're bloody great!

Not saying were out of the woods yet, but as we edge to the finishing line things are certainly looking a lot rosier than they have done for a few weeks.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

A chance meeting with Riga

I bumped into Jose Riga and his sidekick by chance last night whilst they were having a post Derby supper.

I'd kind of deliberated as to whether to respect his privacy or post. Baring in mind the unusual divisions that have begun to appear amongst the ranks of the Addicks I though I'd post, really because despite of what we know and what we don't know, or think we know, how we individually feel about Chris Powell (a legend in my opinion) and whatever is round the corner (food for thought, being a Charlton supporter certainly cannot be as bad as being a Cardiff, Leeds United or Portsmouth supporter at the moment) both him and his sidekick were absolute gentlemen, engaging, interested in my opinions from a playing point of view and accommodating in what came across as a very genuine manner.

A couple of decent guys, with a professional approach to a short term goal - keeping Charlton in The Championship.

Whatever anyone thinks, sumises, or feels about where we are at currently, I'm supporting the team and our current coaching team 100% in their endeavour to pick up enough points to scrape us through to at least a 4th from bottom finish.

Friday, 28 March 2014

'A Message From The Board'

Read it yet?

No big announcement other than stating the bleeding obvious really.

The games are going to come thick and fast over the course of the run in for the season now. And rightly so - every bodies focus; owners, managers, players and supporters should be on doing their bit to keeping us up.

As things stand this type of communication means that the board are taking note and monitoring whats going on outside the walls of The Valley Boardroom, and do actually want to engage with the fan base across a broader spectrum than just The CAS Trust and Old School.

As statements go, if it's true (and lets be honest they don't actually have to consult anyone and why lie?), then I feel confident that we may just have a sensible lot in charge of us for a change.

I will keep up my end of things (season ticket renewed) and reserve judgment until close season to see what type of re-building of the squad takes place and who's in the dug out.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Keep calm and carry on...

It's amazing what a point gained away against local rivals, a spirited performance, three points and returning 'hero' can do to ones general feeling about how and where things are going with our gret club.

I'll start by admitting that my recent posts have been pretty suspicous, perhaps even negative about the new regime. But time (all of the above) and the last 48 hours in general have told me to revert to type, reel my neck in, and wait things out.

The new ownerships response to both The peoples front of Judia and The judian peoples front respective   requests for dialogue seemed to me pretty intelligent and measured.

A brief video interview with Roland explaining how the media have perhaps misrepresented to some extent what is and will go on in 'his football family', a statement from Katrien saying that the focus of the management and owners is currently to work on getting Charlton out of the relegation battle both safley and succesfully and then entering dialogue with the supporters afterwards. This and the announcment that Sparrows Lane is to be re-built to provide a state of the art training facility to hopefully gain us catergary A academy staus have begun to fill me with cautious optomism about the incoming regime against those who've just left. (Who by the way do need some thanks for managing to both employ Sir Chris and initially find the resources to overhaul the squad and get us out of the third division).

As for Rolands 'puppet' in the technical area. Early on I am begining to warm to him. When I first found out how he is infinatley more experienced when it comes to setting up your IT infrastructure than managing a football team I worried. Perhps a bit too much. On Wednesday night I saw someone who was not adverse to changing things when they were not working, and it was great to see three out and out strikers playing an attacking role with the rest of the side being urged to keep the ball down.

After we scored his insistant gesturing to the players to stay grounded and calm and see the last seconds of the game out impressed (even if his lame two thumbs up to the crowd at the end did not quite so much). We've got a fighting chance now.

I'm going to renew my season ticket and see where this journey takes us. It is far too early to be completely despondant and attach pantomime villain staus to anyone. Yes I wish Sir Chris was still in charge, but that particular chapter (as it did with Lennie and Curbs) has now passed.

I'm going to suspend any judgement and continue to help the booys and make some noise.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

'The real man behind Charlton's new ownership'

I was going to compose a photo shopped hybrid image of Duchatelet posing as famous Bond baddie Ernst Blofeld, but following the events that have unfolded since his takeover thought better of it, don't fancy a midnight visit from Jaws or one of his other hench men.  What a horrible day. Sure Sir Chris, as he will always be known, got his tactics all wrong at the weekend. But lets be fair, for the last season and a half he has been working with his shoelaces tied together and one hand tied behind his back.

Lets face it, regardless of what Blofeld and his sidekick, the stunning Pussy Galore - Oops sorry, I think they call that a fraudulun slip or something. Regardless of What Roly and Katrien said regarding CP's contract terms being all but agreed with the exception of the footballing strategy going forward (surley thats got to be the most important thing?) I think we all know along with Sir Chris the writing was on the wall the day that Smersh brought the club.

I wish Chris good luck, and have no doubt he should and will forge a great career out as a top rate manager. Just a real shame it won't be with us.

So we have to move onto the next step in the turbulent history of Charlton Athletic. I've said it before, never a dull moment. Well that may be about to change - isn't Belguim known for it's blandness after all?

I've had varying conversations on sound bites they've heard with Millwall supporting friends, secretly luxuriating in our current calamtious predicament.

As far as I see it Roly has a plan. A pretty plain, sensible, unambitous plan at that. Buy some lessthan-mediocre football clubs throughout the European leagues. Turn them into mediocre club sides in the top flight of their respective leagues. Borrow and buy players from the Smersh Network, Oops there I go again, I mean the Duchatelet stable of clubs, maybe win the odd league cup if your lucky, and the minute any potential Scotty Parkers come through the ranks don't sell them to Chelsea, sell them to Daddy club Standard Liegge for a knock down price. Every one (at Standard Leigge )a winner.

Prior to this enter new Head Coach (horrible term), Jose Rega. And you guessed it, he's from Belgium. (everyone keeping up, or have you all gone to sleep at the idea of mayonaise on chips. mmm spicey)

Or Jaws as i think i'll refer to him.

Now I know what some of you are thinking, i'm coming across as a bit negative. Sorry!

Football aint about anthropology, or great experiments. At the cost of ripping the heart, soul, history out of clubs and turning them into a sterile shadow of their former selves. Stating the bleak reality "Charlton will never be a top four premiership club Mr Bond, Never!" It's dreaming that one day, just one day (even knowing deep down this isn't the case) that keeps us sending off our season ticket renewel forms, and some even more dedicated supporters to far flung corners (like Yeovil) of our great Kingdom.

I'll take a look at his track record in a later post. For know I'm off to look at a book, watch the tele. As long as it's not football related i'll be happy.

A couple of foot notes. The CAS Trust have said they would be releasing a staement. I hope it's proactive in it's intent. I'm not sure i'll be going tomorrow night. I may just decide an initial boycott prior to the Millwall game on Saturday.

I will just whisper this at this point 'come on you addicks, lets get these jokers out of our club!'

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Time to say goodbye?

Without wanting to court controversy I feel I may with this post. Or perhaps just say what some through loyalty have failed to say.

Today was supposed to be a welcome distraction to the relegation battle we are now well and truly ensconced in. The reality was we turned up with the ridiculous game plan of grinding out a draw and bringing United back to 'fortress' (?) Valley. The same United that had won their last 8 games and only conceded one goal in the process. This was not a league game where a point gained could be the difference between staying up and Scunthorpe away, it was an FA Cup quarter final and the best chance in the last 67 years of getting beyond this point of the cup.

I am bewildered by the negative tactic that we approached this game with. And would go as far to say that the players can take less blame than the manager on this occasion, however much it pains me to say (and it really does). Our attacking impetuous was none excistent, we defended so deeply and showed no creative nouse at all. I'll be interested to see what Sir Chris has to say - the usual 'dust ourselves down/it wasn't our day' simply won't cut it this time.

An apology to those intrepid Addicks who made it upto the Steel City would be a start. Where from here, I simply don't know. Sure, we were never going to win the Cup, but it would have been nice to see us try.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

RD Press conference part one...

I've just watched the opening gambit/statement from RD and team on 'Charlton Wall', basically nothing surprising, but none the less despite being well rehearsed everything makes sense hence.

Basically RD is a firm believer in the new fair play rules (as am I), and if his belief that it will over time make for a more level playing field we really could see mid to long term some exciting times ahead for our sensibly run club. We may experience some pain and minor hiccups in the interim but on the whole this opening statement fills me with quiet confidence that after these wilderness years we have an intelligent and sensible owner with the best interests of the club, fans, and needless to say their own investment at heart.

His comments on moving players around his stable of clubs does make sense (although we'll all agree that the squad does need a fresh injection of some more quality and depth if the immediate collective goal of Championship survival is to be obtained) and his firm belief in a quality youth development program is another factor that bodes well for the long term future of our club.

I'll post later on once I've watched the press conference in full, paying particular attention to the actual press questions and how they are answered. (This will be the really telling part of what we are to expect over the coming years, although what I have heard so far does leave me quietly confident of better times ahead).

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Say hello...wave goodbye

Well that was a busy old couple of days, with one or two surprises.

I'm perhaps going to go against general consensus amongst us Addicks and reserve judgment as to whether the comings and goings of the last two days are good or bad. As disappointing as it is to see Yan the Man make his way down the A303 to the Jurassic Coast I can understand why he might have gone, bare in mind his age and the fact he does have a family to provide for beyond his football career.

Stephens and Alnwick i'm not so sure about. Stephens wants bigger and better things than he feels Charlton can offer him, and despite being one of the very few shining stars this season, i'd previously not rated him to highly. Alnwick, despite his recent good performances we shipped goals and do now have a bit of a plethora of Goalies. I wish him luck at the O's.

As for those incoming from a variety of Rolands clubs we will just have to wait and see what they bring. I think something that we all seem to forget is that at this point of the season there's nothing unlucky about being in the bottom three, we are there based on results and the fact that our thin squad of players collectively have not been quite good enough.

The signing that is most intriguing is the one true new signing - from a none Roland affiliate - whose name I have absolutely no idea how to pronounce. He's only 20 and by all accounts a bit of a goal poacher, so hopefully he'll come straight into the side and make an impact. Lets be fair, however honest and hard working he is, Church really don't cut it as a striker in this division. And Sordell? I don't even think I need to go there.

Finally there's the question of outstanding contract renewals, of both the management and some playing staff. I think it's great that Wiggins has signed a long contract - 4 and half years seems to be the going rate that Roland likes to dish out. But be under no illusion that this does not mean he'll be here for that term. It simply means for him to leave in the summer someones going to have to part with some proper dollars.

I think we all know what will happen to Sir Chris if we don't hear of him signing a new contract in the next few weeks. My guess is, if no new contract is the case, we'll see him make an emotional farewell at the end of the season. And if indeed this eventuality does happen and we see some no mark or oddly named foreign manager coming in Roland can take my season ticket re-newel form and stick it where the sun don't shine.(Maybe)

If you look back at the history of our great club, it's been when 'Charlton' people have managed the club that we've experienced the good times.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see how things pan out after this afternoons tough game up in Wigan and reevaluate what we think then.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

A Cup Run!

So following our dogged disposal of Huddersfield yesterday it would seem we are now officially on a cup run!

There will be those saying 'oooh we need to be concentrating on the league...blah blah blah', personally I say bring it on.

We've only had a few in my memory from the last 33 years of watching and supporting Charlton, and those I was pretty fond of. I'll never forget my first ever away game with my Dad at Colchester. Followed by a shock 1-1 draw with Spurs and Mark 'marmite' Aizlewood's goal celebration of a double two fingered salute to the Charlton faithful who alot of whom had been giving him stick for much of the first half of that season. Having to get on my toes when confornted by an angry mob of Bristolians after beating them to book a quarter final place against Man Utd. (The ensuing trip, pre the purple patch premiership years, to Old Trafford). The disappointment of choking at Middlesborough. I bloody love it!

I'll be excitedly glued to the TV at half five this afternoon, beer in hand, not sure whether i'll be willing a big name to come out of the hat. Lets face it it's been some time since we played the likes of Everton, Liverpool, United, City, Arsenal (away, I fancy that one). Or hoping for something beatable to be put in front of us and the anticipation of a quarter final appearance with the possibility of even a Wembley visit for a semi final.

Yes, I know i'm getting carried away, but at a time when I was really beginning to fall out of love with the game this sort of thing really re-invigorates and galvanizes your enthusiasm for the game.

Av it!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Expect the unexpected (but in a very sensible way, a bit like Belgium really!)

There seems to be quite a bit of knee jerk 'whats going on?  whats not going on? Whys nothing going on?' reaction to our very recent takeover.

And some people suspicions that we'll sell some of our players of value and move in, initially loanee's, to plug those gaps left does ring a touch true.

However this is not necessarily a bad thing, just what needs to be done to make our club viable again.

Lets not forget that until this takeover took place the club we love was very much withering and on it's way to dying on the vine. And that's a fact. Relegation back to the third tier a month ago was the least of our worries in my opinion. Charlton could well have been the first high profile football club in England  literally to evaporate into the history of footballs economics.

It's well documented that the new owner plays things sensibly from a economic point of view, and looks at creating revenue where there is not enough through player sales. Although this is done for the good of the club and to help it move forward.

What would people really want. Another Abramovich type Russian villain sacking managers willy nilly, or even an egomaniac from the far east with too much money and too little sense. Our kit changed to whatever whimsical color he feels will sell more shirts in Malaysia and make us luckier and our name changed to 'The Greenwich Royales' or some such nonsense.

I think perhaps it's time to take a deep breath and keep calm and carry on.

I'm sure the new board will make some minor decisions that are not popular, and those with shortsighted views will bemoan them, but the guys done a sensible job at Standard, reestablishing them as one of Belgium's top sides - whilst retaining the integrity of the clubs history AND running them as a going concern rather than a toy with which he can entertain himself and his mates until such a time as he gets bored or arrested leaving the club in the poo once he moves on.

Lets give Roland a chance to sort out the mess we've decended intoand let's face it things CAN only get better.


Sunday, 5 January 2014

Another Charlton legend returns...

I'd spent much of last week telling my Millwall supporting best mate and Palarse supporting boss that the Belgian takeover was never going to happen, and whatever was hiding in the closet at The Valley had put the anchors on the deal. Call it a natural leaning to pessimism/realism that us Addicks have.

I was wrong RD has taken over and immediately after such a long time of nout coming out of the boardroom actions taking place. Big time. Hopefully the attention that is being paid to sorting out the pitch is just a taste of sensible things to come. Along with the welcome return of Mr Murray. He may have been part of the management team that dropped the ball so magnificently when Dowie was appointed Curbs successor and our monumentally rapid decline therein after, but he hung on in there, managed to get the mugs to buy us, stave off administration, employ SCP AND get us back up from the third division. And most importantly, i'm sure was an integral player in getting this deal done. Hence, i'm guessing, his appointment as non exec chairman.

Despite some of the woeful performances this season, we are only two or three players short of having a very competitive Championship squad. And once contract issues are sorted with some of our senior players and manager i expect to see a return of the momentum we saw a season ago.

I certainly don't expect immediate glory. From what i can gather we now have a level headed owner, who may make some tough decisions, but they will be considered, measured and if Standard Liege are anything to go on will be for the long term best of our club.

Whatever has happened over the last few years, Murray has always had the best interests of the club HE supports just like us at heart. Whatever Jiminez and Slater have said in the press (following the best part of two years silence) it's Richard Murray we should thank for getting our great club back on track.

What a difference a week can make!

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