Tuesday 28 August 2012

The transfer window, West Ham and Bolton bog off!

Besides the addition of some more keeper cover the predominant rumours being strongly touted by the media (including Sky Sports, which is usually pretty close to the mark) are the bid from Villa for Stephens and the double bids from West Ham and Bolton for

It is the hateful thing about the transfer window, clubs leaving it very very late to table these bids, thus if the deal does get done leaving the selling club too little time to get in a replacement thats any where near good enough.

As far as the two players go I think i'd be stating the bleeding obvious when I say I can actually see Stephens being easily replaceable (maybe even from within, Hughes did a great job and the central midfield seemed more balanced, settled and we played better during the period that he was paired with Hollands, we've also got kerkar and ruben boverr waiting in the wings), whereas i will categorically say I simply do not want Solly to go. Particularly not to Bolton who lets face it are now our peers. I can fully understand the allure of a season in the Premiership (which is all i think he'll get with the Hammers).

How hard would Solly be to replace? Wilson, sorry, i don't think based what I've seen so far will cut it for us. And his game is fundamentally limited in comparison. I can only hope that Sir Chris and the board have something lined up as this transfer is a rumour that has failed to go away all summer.

If either has to go, then the best part of a million quid from Villa for Stephens along with Reo Coker as a free agent brought in to bolster the midfield would suit me, with Chris Solly further enhancing his youthful but ever growing stock amongst the Addicks staying to give us at least this season before someone bigger than West Ham paying 'proper' money for him next summer.

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Wednesday 22 August 2012

four points closer to the magic fourty nine...

...In all honesty I really didn't expect to be sitting here after two games on four points and already starting to get delusions of grandeur and possible pangs of thought saying to myself ever so quietly 'we couldn't actually do it. Surely not? A double bounce back to the promised land?'

Even as unlikely as this is, the early signs are good. Two good results against two of the better teams and more importantly better managers in this division. Despite riding our luck a bit at times this Charlton side looks neither scared or out of place in The Championship. And will only grow and get better as it did last season.

The real aim this season, as a minimum requirement, is to hit the magic forty nine points that's been enough over recent years to keep you up for another season in The Championship. We've already chalked up four of those points in a couple of games that in all honesty i'd hoped for only a couple at best. So so far so good.

The signing of Fuller is encouraging, a good strong and experienced striker, I remember when we nearly signed him back in the good old days before he'd ever made an impact with anyone. This gives us some real experience in depth up front.

It was good to see Kermo stick down the Leicester City crowds throats and hopefully will excercise one or two demons for our French Talisman.

All in all a rather happy Addick sitting here looking forward to the Hull game on Saturday, where if we can keep our early momentum and get a result accompanied by a polished performance could really start to propel us towards a more exciting season than I'd anticipated.

Friday 17 August 2012

The French Connection...Signing No.4

...Dorian Dervite-Vaussoue signs a one year deal adding to the existing two Gaelic Addicks.

The French man is the additional central defensive player we all seem to have been calling for.

Young with some experience, apparently impressing during the close season trial period he has spent with Charlton.

Apparently he did so well in his short period on loan at Southend he was in fact voted runner up in their player of the year awards.

We'll have to wait and see how he measure up but none the less a welcome bolstering to our numbers.

2008–2010Tottenham Hotspur0(0)
2009→ Southend United (loan)18(0)
2010–2012Villarreal B23(0)
2012Charlton Athletic0(0)

Bring on the Brum...

So the season starts in earnest in not much more than twenty four hours (at the time of writing).

Good news came yesterday in the shape that some common sense has prevailed and Sir Chris will be able to take his place in the dug out with no touchline ban being imposed.

I would imagine that the starting eleven will surprise few of us with the same side that romped League One starting this season. The only area I see contention in is the midfield, Jackson a shoe in on the left with Hollands and either Pritchard, Green, Wagstaff or Stephens taking the other central and right hand birth. I'd also be happier if there is a fit Cort paired up with Morrison in the heart of defence.

Lee Clarke knows us well, so I fully expect Birmingham to be well versed and prepared to deal with our style of play.

Buoyed by their midweek demolition of Barnet the Blues will be confident of opening their campaign with three points and perhaps even a few goals notched up. What they may not be prepared for is the promotion bounce that we suffered during our most recent season home openers in the Championship against a newly promoted side (1-1 Scunthorpe). Which is exactly the result I'm going for. A morale and confidence boosting away score draw on the opening day of the season for plucky Charlton. (Wonder how long it will be before we here the press roll out that particular old chestnut).

Excited and nervously looking forward to 3pm Saturday afternoon. Come on you Reds.

Thursday 16 August 2012

Charlton Nearly Reserves 1 Leyton Orient 1...The Capital One Cup

There are many ways to look at Tuesday nights League Cup match, whether your from SE7 or just North of the river in E10.

The doom and gloom merchants from Charlton will be very much commenting on how hard the squad we have is going to find the step up to the Championship blah blah blah blah. Those overconfident and optimistic amongst the O's will be waxing lyrical about how they came South and beat Goliath and are going to 'do a Charlton' and take tier three by storm this term.

Then there are the realists. An Orient side with nothing to lose came and narrowly beat Charlton's reserves in a game that had a real pre season friendly feel to it in it's general tempo.

Of the starting eleven I'd say only Hamer, Cort and Hollands are definite for Saturdays trip to Birmingham. The rest are very much fringe players who could maybe individually do a job covering for any short term injuries or suspensions.

Comments that have run through my mind having given myself a couple of days to think about the game are as follows:-

Hamer - Still the best keeping option, he seemed to have been instructed to try and distribute the ball via quick throws out to the full backs to release quick counter attacks. (Something that was a really strong part of Elliots game). But often looked nervy and his throws lacked the pace of a good pass. Not sure if this was down to a lack of confidence in the full backs (understandable in Wilson's case, but i'll get to that in a bit).

Taylor - I still think he is decent cover for either Cort or Morrison, but it is the latter two that should be our first choice central defensive pairing. Cort seldom lets the ball or player past him.

Evina - When he decided to run at players and cut in looked pretty sharp, and a real alternative to the way Wiggins attacks the ball. Not quite as solid defensively as Rhoys but I think this could be the season where we see him used a bit more often for tactical purposes.

Wilson - Did a lot of purposeful gesticulating and pointing to tell other where they should pass the ball. As a performance I found his passing unimaginative, I didn't have great confidence in his tackling ability and thats that really. Nothing to convince me that he shouldn't still be in League One with Stevenage really. Sorry, perhaps he'll settle in and prove me wrong.

Smith - I don't want to be too negative, but the words Eeeeh and Awwwe spring to mind. He looked pretty much out of his depth really. Didn't think he held the ball up well, had very little control when running with it and, for a big guy, did not win much in the air.

Waggy - The 'Roy of the Rovers/Local boy does good' in me really wants Scott Wagstaff The Striker to work. But it doesn't really doe it? He still has plenty in his locker as an attacking midfielder and I'm sure will have another decent season and chip in with enough goals to help the team as a whole consolidate this year.

Cook - There's been a fair bit of raving about him having a great game. My opinion is that he didn't have a bad one. And towards the end did indeed, when he decided to really start having a go create a lot of problems for the Orient defence. He in my mind will be good cover and great to have on the bench, as it would seem he can play up top or on the wing. One to watch I think.

Kerkar - He's going to be one of those marmite type of players. At times he looked pretty good, I wouldn't go as far as the real deal, but certainly given time could prove to be a competent addition to the overall playing squad and could play his way into a regular slot.

Sir Chris - It's always going to be hard to be critical of Powell. But his shenanigans that lead to him being sent to the stands and dare I say slightly overly petulant performance that could well lead to the touchline ban being longer than it should have been were a bit naive and disappointing. I understand as much as anyone his frustration at third division refereeing standards, we've all spent the last three seasons experiencing them. But at the end of the day, it was a none game, we were pretty much fielding a second eleven, and the important game is on Saturday at St Andrews. Where he's needed, like the following matches, in the dug out doing his job. Other than that, can't fault his passion, or new found will and understanding that we will need to try out and have formations other than 4-4-2 to punch our weight in this division.

Tuesday 14 August 2012

The season starts here...kind of

Excited as I am about tonight's inaugural match for Charlton in the 2012-2013 season it all seems a bit odd and surreal really.

Glasgow Rangers (Newco) drawing their opening game away in the Scottish third division, the season starting on Saturday in England with the Conference kicking off alongside League Cup First Round ties throughout the country. Confusing managers, should they treat the competition with even less respect than usual and treat it as a pre season friendly with their team selection as opposed to the usual resting players and giving squad players a run out (as we did last season against Reading and Preston). All the more confusing for a creature of comfort and a traditionalist like myself.

Quite what Sir Chris will do I don't know. I suppose it will go one way or the other, or maybe even another? Stick with a similar line up to that which finished last season and go 4-4-2, which as a general rule worked more than well enough against third tier opposition, use it as a dress rehearsal for Saturdays trip to Brum - perhaps with the diamond 4-3-3 type of line up that has been looked at pre season, or a n other.

I've got a feeling if we do go 4-4-2 we'll see Wagstaff or Green (if fit) on the right. (Based on an assumption that's why Pritchard was used in this position on Saturday to keep them out of harms way). However I would not be surprised to see three up top, with Kermo, Cook up top and maybe Waggy in support, with BWP on the bench to keep him fresh for Saturday.

One of the few things I enjoyed whilst visiting the third division was the games against Orient. I like Orient, a good community club with a core and loyal following. Out of the six times we played them we won four times and lost twice. (Including the hideous match on new years eve, which ruined my evening). When we've scored against them we've gone on to win. I'm going for an early goal for the Addicks and a relatively easy ride through to the second round.

There's been much comment about the lack of transfer activity this summer. I think there are one or more pertinent points to bare in mind.

Last close season was monumental by anyone's standards in the turnover of playing staff. So we can't really make any comparison with that. It was an anomaly.

We have actually signed three new players. One, Kerkar, who I'm sure will turn out to be a real asset and an important signing.

Last season we had the money from Shelveys departure and Jenskinson's sale to Arsenal, along with the funding that the new board brought with them to steady the ship and get the playing staff up to speed.

The historic campaign we had last season has raised every bodies expectation levels to unrealistic heights of doing a Norwich/Southampton and double bouncing back to the 'promised land' of the premiership.

I think the focus should be on consolidation (lets be fair that's something we would have settled for last season, rather than the nagging fear of another relegation into the bottom tier of league football). I believe the current playing staff have enough in their collective lockers to win some and lose some and stay up without causing us too much worry and without flirting with relegation. Our recent best period was built on these sort of sensible foundations, rather than throwing money we didn't have at relying on promotion.

Something also to bare in mind is the fact that one of our best players and already a legend at the Valley, was not signed until the season was well under way, and then it took several games for him to force his way into the starting eleven. So we could still see key personell joining the team.

It all start in earnest tonight at 7.45, and I can't wait.

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Charlton win behind doors friendly

Charlton 3 Southend 2

This one passed me by. I just glanced at the official website and saw the report that a pretty much full strength Charlton side have come from two down to beat United 3-2.

I can only guess it was not pre publicised to avoid any Addicks trying to get a sneak peak from any opportune vantage points outside the ground.

It was obviously important for some of the first teamer's to get a run out at the Valley prior to the big kick off next Tuesday against Orient in the Capital One cup.

The side was made up of squad and first team players, BWP netting twice with Kerkar, all be it in a friendly, scoring his first goal in SE7. (Maybe he'll turn out to be another Gaelic gem).

For the full report and line up see the official site http://www.cafc.co.uk/news/article/20120808-southend-friendly-report-299898.aspx

Tuesday 7 August 2012

Going, Going, Gone - Kavanagh leaves - period

The club have announced on the official website that after his resignation as a board member Kavanagh has now permanently left the clubs employment. Little more info than that.

Read into it what you will.