Sunday, 12 August 2018

Youngsters do Charlton proud...

Charlton followed on from last weeks dissapointment at The Stadium of Light by notching their first win and three points of the season.

We even actually managed to get six bodies on the bench.

In all honesty, and this isn’t me be over critical, it was a game contested by what looked like two very average third division sides.  Pluses were Lapslie (again) and Morgan who came on at half time for the ineffectual Marshall.

No one could fault the application of the team, there was just a lacking spark throughout the pitch. The win being the result of lots of hard work as opposed to skill.

Naby Sarr (the legend) did a decent enough job, he would however I think be well exposed by better opposition.

It is early days, once we get the long list of injured back, if we avoid any more injuries I can certainly see us improving on last seasons sixth place. Espiecially if Taylor and Grant continue to grow together and get goals.

Who knows, we may even finally see the takeover finally happen and few decent loan signings coming in. It’s hard work being a Charlton supporter at the moment, but i’ll Keep on keeping on in the hope that things will finally change behind the scenes.

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

The season ahead...

So the season is nearly upon us. Still no sign of any takeover. Various musings, rumours and sound bites on social media platforms, press speculation, and forums; but no actual solid news. Good or bad.

An unbeaten pre season must be good for moral amongst the team, but gives no real indication of how we will fair over the next year and a bit.

Players have been sold at bargain basement prices leaving a threadbare squad further depleted by injuries.

The bookies have us as one of the favourites for promotion, I don’t see it myself based on our current circumstances. That is unless we see an example similar to that shown by Leicester City a couple of seasons ago. (Us punching well above our current weight.)

I really don’t want to sound negative, but I just can’t see us pushing for promotion this season. An unprecedented fourth season in the third division being the outcome.

In Bowyer I do think we have a manager, who working within a normal situation and environment (which he isn’t) could succeed.

I think we could get off to a good start, Bowyer does seem to have the Knack of polishing a turd down to a fine art form. But, with our small squad, lack of quality in certain areas of the pitch and all of the uncertainty in the background just cannot see us sustaining momentum and challenging throughout the whole season. Mid table at best.

Add to all this CARDS threat of restarting the protests and making The Valley the toxic place it was season before last.

It’s going to be yet another rollercoaster of a season in SE7. My personal opinion would be to get behind the players and the manager, create a siege mentality at home, and ignore the idiot who has driven us to this point and hope for a change of ownership, sooner rather than later.


Thursday, 5 July 2018

Fakeover News...

Well there is none is there!

Its now nearly a week since the reported 'deadline' set by Duchalet, and nothing but daily banal news coming from the official site. Going through the moitions of trying to keep a fastly dissapating fanbases interest.

Rather foolishly, in a moment of excitement rallied on by claims a takeover was imminent, not only did i renew me and my sons season tickets but i took on additional one for my daughter who has begun to show an interest. I've never had much luck when it comes to taking a punt.

Numerous players have returned to their parent clubs, along with the annual sale of a potential crown jewel and only one new player has come in.

On the face of it, IF we see a miracle and have zero injuries or suspensions all season, the first eleven can compete in this league. But we all know thats not going to happen.

A threadbare squad it is then, subsidised by some of the better players from the under 23 team.

Still i'll be there come the start of the season cheering the mighty Addicks on.

I just really hope something does happen and i'm proved entirley wrong. Wouldn't be the first time.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

...Decisions, decisions...

My frustration is mounting as we wait for the much mooted takeover to happen.

Strangely decisions seem to be getting made at the club, large and small, regardless of the fact that we have currently no Full Time Manager, no Finance Director, no CEO.

The decision was made to open the club shop over the weekend to try and knock out some merchandise whilst we still had the hope of a Wembley appearance via the play off's.

The decision was made to take season ticket off of the market, and then re-release them still at the early bird pricing. (However they have not yet been put back to market).

The decision to extend Harry Lennon's contract.

The decision on who to release and keep going into next season. (I would imagine that at the moment, anyone out of contract will go. Surely?  With no one in control from a footballing point of view.

The only decision i'm really interested in at the moment is the one that involves Duchalet and whoever our new owner will be signing the bloody contracts and transferring ownership of the club  across.  Whoever does come in will surely bring an improvement on the last four years. Won't they???

Friday, 13 April 2018

Too many question and not enough answers...

Things are never ordinary down in SE7 these days (or for much of the last 4 years to be honest).

Decisions seem to be being made, but i'm just not sure who by??? Season ticket prices have been announced, changes to the way they can be purchased, a new loyalty scheme, Young Reds revamp. With an absent uninterested owner, no FD, no CEO who in the hell is rubber stamping these decisions?

Has Murray been told to get on with things but don't spend too much money?

Is Duchalet dragging out the sale of the club so he can accrue more profit from the ever increasing burden of debt he is ladling onto Charlton?

Are there actually even two parties close to agreeing a deal? Or was it all just a smoke screen to put off the various protests that were beginning to be ramped up again.

The Bowyer bounce does seem to have slowed over the past two games, but I do have every confidence in him, and the team, to win some more of the games left to play. Whether it will be enough to gain a play off berth only time will tell.

In the event we do make the play off's and succeed in getting promoted back to The Championship, then next season, if Duchalet is still the owner, could well be the most catastrophic under he's stewardship.

There would be a lack of investment in players, of this i'm sure, which would include those out of contract making their escape. We'd also i'm certain see some of our emerging young talent sold off to 'balance the books.

Can you imagine a threadbare squad, supplemented by youngsters promoted from the Under 23's competing in that division?  We could could see record bad season.  With even more dwindling crowds despite being in a higher league.

Something needs to give soon. But as time marches on I am starting to get really worried about what lays ahead.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

No new manager bounce...

Okay, so maybe I’m going over the top. But today’s performance and result in my opinion was not just an example of the new manager bounce we so often hear about.

Bowyer played two up front, Zyro makes a perfect target man, holding the ball up well and scoring a great headed goal. Absolutely no way he’s a winger as Robinson touted. Ajose looked lively. And  every player to a man fought for every ball for the whole 90.

Plymouth are a decent side, but based on what Bowyer said, he did his research and used his experience to set the team up to counter their strong points. Not just play the same old formation week in week out.

The atmposphere in the ground was fantastic, and was merited by the spirit and Football shown on the pitch. The football still a bit tippy tippy, but much more direct than we have seen for some time. It would seem we have a caretaker manager who is comfortable reading the game and having a plan a, b and c when necessary.

We are very much back in with a shout of a play off berth and if we hit form now could be in a good position to have success should we qualify for the play offs.

If we get a result against Northampton I would suggest that, in the absence of any regime presence at the Doncaster game, the negativity that a card protest might cause would be counter productive.

The takeover does seem to be coming, ever so slowly, lets get behind Bowyer and Jackson and cheer the boys on as much as we can to glory.

As a footnote Curbs and Peacock were in the directors box today. Not sure whether that means anything other than they were there to take a game in or the incoming owners are lining something up.

Guess we’ll find out in the next few days.

The beginning of the beginning again...

Another odd week in SE7. The ‘Shock’ (sic) departure of  Robinson followed by him turning up a few minutes later at Oxford United. And, for my money, hilariously pretty much rolling out the same cliched Football Manager diatribe that we’ve all had to stomach for the last 18 months.  The best bit being where in his farewell to Charlton he lyricised about what a tough decision it was only to tell the Oxford reporter that joining them was a’no brainer’!

To be fair to him I can’t blame him for jumping our rudderless ship. Good luck to him and good to see the back of him to.  Hopefully the next exit we see will be the Belgium tossed himself, Roland.

Takeover regardless we have a six pointer today, against in form Plymouth Argyle.  I expect Bowyer to really change things up and not be scared to pick his own team and formation. However far away that is from the surge we have experienced over recent months.

The Bowyer/Jackson combination could work really well. For however short a period it is allowed to develop. In my mind I see Bowyer as the strict authoritarian and Jackson as the one who would put an arm round players shoulders and offer some encouragement.  I got the feeling that half of Robinson’s problem was he wanted to be liked by everybody far to much.

I’ve no idea how we will set up today, I’m pretty sure whatever formation will allow for more than one out and out striker.

All in all, with the absence of a takeover, this is the most excited I’ve been about attending a match day for months.

2-0 Charlton

Friday, 16 March 2018

Headless Chickens...

So Robinson has confirmed/stated the bleedin obvious that we all now know.

No sign of a takeover anytime soon it would seem.  And Charlton Athletic a rudderless ship with no CEO, no Finance Director, basically no visible leadership.

It’s frightening! To be frank. Can you imagine that this continues into the summer? Players out of contract and uncertain of their immediate future would surely do the sensible thing for themselves and their families and find a club that has some direction? The only direction I can see for the Addicks at the moment is the continued downward spiral, with nothing happening on the takeover front, at a vastly accelerated rate than the slow demise we have seen over the last four years of RD’s ownership.

I really cannot see that there is any takeover about to happen.  I’m not even sure that the announcement wasn’t at the very least premature, if not a downright lie to quieten down the dissent that was beginning to build once again.

CARD have announced renewed protests for the Bank Holiday home fixture.  Not sure what good this will do with Katrien Meire long gone now, and no chance of Duchalet being there to experience the awkwardness.  All it will do is get us back to the toxic atmosphere that stopped me going last season.

It all feels pretty stark.  A rudderless ship. Players running around like Headless Chickens (unless that is they have the opportunity to pass sideways or backwards) and a tactically inept manager who is much better at rolling out football manager clich├ęs than he is at winning football matches.

Fuck sake!

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Price agreed but deal not done...yet

So Richard Murray’s update today declares that two bidding parties have now agreed a price with Duchalet and now its in the hands of the lawyers to dot the i’s and cross the t’s.  The deal is expected to be completed in the next few weeks.

Charlton have been stagnant since the League One promotion campaign, which seems an age ago now. The previous regime having fallen out with their financial backers somehow managed to see Charlton survive a Championship campaign with little or no investment before RD took over with his ridiculous master plan.

I don’t actually care who the new owners are (famous last words) I just look forward to a change in direction.

It’s no secret, for any club (with only a few notable exceptions such as Charlton of the late 90’s and currently Shrewsbury in League One) to succeed there has to be a level of understanding and investment in both management team, infrastructure and playing staff.

I believe the takeover is imminent, as I could not see Murray further sullying his reputation with smoke and mirrors, we just need to see who, what and how the story unfolds. Bring it on. Please!

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Fosu makes the difference

A laboured first half saw Charltons leads cancelled out when the shortest player on the pitch rose to head home an equaliser for the Saddlers.

The turning point in this game, against a Wallsall side that we were far superior to was the introduction of Fosu. Suddenly we had some purpose and drive in going forward. Yes we still at times insisted in the now familiar sideways, backwards passing. But once we had both Fosu and Mavididi on the pitch we had some attacking cutting edge and purpose.

A good three points, if we can keep these players fit and get the one or two extra bodies being touted on board, we may actually have a chance if we can stay in the top six come May. Critically we need more than cover for Magennis. He looked low on confidence, inefectual making poor decisions and dare I say a little uninterested today. At the moment playing him is a bit like playing with ten men.

I look forward to seeing what comes out of the trust's meeting with Murray.

Duchalet has lost any interest he ever had in the club and the staff are basically running things with no leadership on their own.

The bloke needs to accept an offer and get a deal done asap. And then do one!

Friday, 19 January 2018

Never a dull moment down at the valley...

Well that is except for match days. So we got past Thursday with no announcement from the club, but did see Murray counter CARDS threatened protest by setting up a meeting on Saturday with CAST.

I would be surprised if any major revelations that we don't already half suspect or know come out of this, and I don't envisage a sudden dawn of enlightenment for us poor long suffering supporters.

You've got to feel for Karl Robinson, who is cutting a more and more frustrating figure. He has become a bit of a conundrum for me. On the one hand I have always found his rent a gob a bit annoying, however the way he has conducted himself over the past few weeks, with candour and honesty has impressed me.

I'll be there tomorrow, and have to admit am glad there will be no protests. It's a game against must beat opposition. With Fosu hopefully back and starting I'm quietly confident we can make it three out of three and I hope by more than the now standard one goal.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Charlton pass sideways...

And backward and sideways to scrape a much needed 1 nil win at home to Oldham.

It was a painful 90 minutes on Saturday that saw us pick up 3 points at last.

Among the lowlights were out inability or lack of eagerness to be in anyway direct. Pushing the ball to the left, to the right, backwards and then out to the wing to waste crosses into an empty box. That and right towards the end Ahearne Grant missing an absolute sitter.

The only time we ever really attacked the ball was when late sub Jackson raced into the box to power a header at the Oldham goalkeeper. How good would that have been to see the skipper put the game to bed?

In the second half we were defending so deeply the Oldham keeper seemed to be playing on the half way line a lot of the time.

Truly dire stuff. On the plus side it has stopped the rot of the last 9 games and does give the players a platform to work on trying to regain some of our early season form.

Rumours still abound about a takeover, in some quarters getting a touch frenzied with the news of Varney stepping down at Ebsfleet. (As nice as the idea of him returning with new buyers is, I'm sceptical that this is nothing other than coincidence).

Robinson has been bemoaning the effect takeover talks are having and the lack of transfer activity, but surely having worked under the regime for a year now he must know the score?

Bury away next Saturday and a chance to go for back to back wins to get our season going again. Who knows, maybe even under new ownership?

Thursday, 4 January 2018 a hurry

Karl Robinson’s press conference made for some concerning and depressing reading. On the face of it, no more player investment looks likely to be forthcoming until any potential takeover comes about. My bigger concern would be Duchalet cashing in on the better players in our ever dwindling squad during the window. Leaving us even more under resourced than we already are currently.

On the face of it, any takeover that is going to happen would look unlikely to get over the line in time for any real player investment could happen.

I’ll be honest I’m kind of already resigned to a third season in league one, just hopeful that we will have new owners with plans to invest on the pitch eager to move things back in the right direction in the Summer.

What I do know though is that right now it’s more important than anytime in the last 25 years that, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, we all get behind Charlton and help them through the remainder of the season. Who knows, next season could see a return to the good old days with us all having our Charlton back.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Critical days ahead for Robinson...

With three games prior to Shrewsbury away it's critical that Karl Robinson gets a turn around on both recent performances and results.

6 points from both (on paper) winnable home games and a point away to Bury should leave us in touch with the play off spot chasing pack.

In my eyes it's plain to see where things have gone so wrong. Without blaming it all at the feet of injuries. (Why have we had so many injuries and reoccurring absentees?)

Once the more savvy managers cottoned onto our game plan we went from being unplayable to easily contained and frustrated.
This stubborn persistence to persevere with one up front and only reverting to a duo when things are not working (which lets be honest, is pretty much every game these days) seems short sighted.

Saying we've only had one striker does not completely cut it for me. We've had KAG, Dodoo and Best. Plus several free scoring members of the under 23 squad. Not ideal I know, but the current formation is simply not gaining any dividends and hasn't for some time now.

Why not try starting with 2 forwards and see of we can put some games to bed early doors? Rather than the current habit of conceding and then chasing the games for the rest of the match? All that huff and puff is getting us nowhere.

A home capitulation to Gillingham is indicative of how far we have fallen, they matched and beat us in every element of the first half on Saturday.

With Duchalet seemingly wanting to sell now I don't have much hope of a busy transfer window. My hope is that we get two forwards in to provide improved options and competition for Magennis.

After our winless December in the League and dreadful start to 2018 Robinson really needs to earn his corn and turn things around. Fast.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Charlton v Gills preview

There a two things I’m hoping for today besides three points.

Firstly Jonnie Jackson has the legs to get another start. And secondly I get to see Scott Wagstaff back at The Valley.  He was always a firm favourite of mine, and was a true son of Charlton.

A big game today. Not just because localish pride is at stake, but it’s now critical that we build on Fridays solid display, break our current run and pick up a win.

Being it’s New Year’s Day, and a time for optimism, I’m going to plump for a 2-0 win, with a certain Jonnie Jackson grabbing his first goal of the season.

Cheers and Happy New Year.