Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Reading Between The Lines

Then postponement of the Reading game due to "SHEER CRIMINALITY"* causes a couple of problems for Chris Powell after his good opener against Bournemouth.  If you are going to have a touchline ban then it is easier to serve it at an away game then you can hide in the tunnel and peek round the side every now and then.  Reading would have been the second and last game for CP's ban but now it will not be completed until after the away game at Notts County, so he'll probably be in the stands on Saturday.  Unlike others, I have a lot of confidence in Alex Dyer so am not to disconcerted by CP's touchline absence for one game away.  Hopefully he will be more disciplined on the touchline this season and avoid further bans .. regardless of the provocation.

It was expected that CP would give Green a run out on Tuesday night, but the only run out available was at JD sports, so does he drop wonder strike Wagtaff for the man that we all expect to own the shirt  or stick with his comment that the holder of the shirt would keep it if their performance warranted it.  Apart from the goal which was brilliant, I was not impressed by Waggy on Saturday, but I fully expect him to keep the shirt, because of the wonder goal and also I suspect that he has better defensive qualities than Green.  Green for the subs bench I think.

*Copyright Teresa May

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Christians all at sea

Last years Captain
Previous seasons Player of the Season

There was no sign of Christain Dailly at the Valley yesterday as the new partnership of Taylor and Morrison made their debut, instead he was part of the Charlton old boys match with Luke Varney, Herman Hreidarsson and Greg Halford for Portsmouth against Middlesborough's Nicky Bailey and Ikeme.

Dailly has a 1 month contract with Pompey.

Dailly's record for Charlton was 76 games and 1 goal scored on his debut, against Wycombe and three red cards.

Friday, 5 August 2011

The reckoning

In less than 24 hours we will have had our first indication of how Charltons season is likely to pan out over the next 9 months.  However, as Norwich fans will tell you one match in August a season does not make and only two seasons ago fir us an opening winning streak failed to deliver promotion.

Again during the summer personnel have used the revolving doors at Sparrows Lane and of last seasons starters, tomorrow, we are only likely to see Jackson, Elliot and Wagstaff starting, the latter two due to suspension and injury.

CP has put together a good squad which is much better than the squad that opened last season and there is more to come, although it has taken a while to realise that the promised significant investment would best be described as reinvestment.  Carl Jenkinsons transfer money, if the alleged £1 million,followed in the footsteps of Lee Bowyer and Danny Mills whose transfer fees built promotion winning sides, without them.

The question mark that we will see answered over the coming months will be "Is CP up to it?".  Huddersfield and Sheffield Wednesday fans have already stated that they see our manager as the weakest link and after an inauspicous start to management he has a lot to prove, but retains a well of goodwill from the fans.  That well my run dry if the start is bad, but hopefully this squad will at least deliver a top ten place during the gelling process.

We start this season as we did last against Bournemouth, ourselves being distincly stronger and Bournemouth weakened by our strengthening, I am predicting 3-1.

CP isgoing to be absent from the touchline tomorrow, but we should have enough with him in the stands. 

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Englands partying U20's

Englands U20's were caught partying in Columbia the venue for the U20 championship.  Chief culprit was a tall black English player - anyone know who he is.

Sadly it does not appear that Jonjo Shelvey is with the squad.

Partying English players

Thursday, 30 June 2011

A letter from Lucy

I am unashamedly using this blog to plug the charity for Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease which promotes its greater understanding  and treatment and also supports families affected by this awful terminal illness.  This charity has recently been hit by the Government cuts and lost its funding so is even more relient on the generosity of the public than ever.

 A friend of mine wrote this and I am passing it on and asking you to support Tom & Hayleys run for CJD charity by sponsoring them.

“CJD killed our dear dad, a young, vibrant, healthy 62 year old, last year. If you’re feeling generous please sponsor Tom & Hayley, even if it’s just £1.
It’s the only CJD charity in the UK and is a lifeline to families like ours. The government have decided to cut 100% of their funding so now the CJD charity is run entirely on donations. We'd be grateful for every penny that you can sponsor them.”
“CJD is a fatal brain disease which affects one in a million, coming from nowhere for no apparent reason. There’s no treatment or cure. Many haven’t heard of it, or if they have, they think it’s ‘mad cow disease’ – some still make jokes about it. That was a new strain but the classic strain has been around for probably as long as us humans..”
Just Click Tom or Hayleys nose to donate
Please sponsor Tom & Hayley 
CJD Support network

The National Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Research& Surveillance Unit (NCJDRSU)

Monday, 27 June 2011

Former England Goalkeeper David James excited by women

David James has always been a supporter of Womens football and on the opening day of the Womens World Cup has called for more exposure of the game and not in the way that Sepp Blatter suggested a few years back.

To coincide with the tournament James has written a thoughtful article in the Guardian about Womens football.

Later today (Monday) England take on Mexico and it is a game worth watching.  if you are a guy who chants "You're not fit to iron my shirt", you need to re evaluate the womens game, not as a comparison with the mens but as a sport on its own to be judged on its own merits.

Avoiding Relegation - The River Plate way

Perhaps if when we left the Prem, instead of applauding our players we had reacted like this then Pardew, Varney, McCleod, Weaver etc,. May have been too scared to allow us to do the same in the Championship.

Of course, it did not actually work for River Plate who were relegated for the first time in their history.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

dr Kish and the League One Monster

Laegue One Monster wakes!
Dr Kish's recent article / blog post tickled me as it opened with the line - "The League One monster begins to wake from its hibernationit sent me back 20 or so years when my kids were toddlers and I read them bedtime stories.  My favorite was by Tony Ross and called "I'm coming to get you!"

The story goes :-

"After wreaking havoc on the planets of its own galaxy, a hungry monster sets off in its spaceship for a pretty blue planet called Earth. A little boy called Tommy Brown, who is particularly scared of monsters, is singled out for a visit..."

Now if you know the story you'll understand my analogy with The League One Monster, if you don't and you have kids or grand kids buy the book, its cheap at Amazon, yes Dr Kish, I know you have grandchildren, follow the link!!

Englands Route To Glory Blocked

Last night the Spanish made it a hat-trick - World Cup, European Nations Cup and U21 and on top of that Barcelona have made a clean sweep of the Champions league.  In the past we have seen the Portuguese develop a team at youth level and seen it develop through the different age levels of football to be, if not world beaters, a country that out punches its weight as a footballing nation.

I love English football I want it to succeed at all levels, but I see the Premier League putting up barriers and psychological hurdles created all the time.

England have U21's capable of certainly being in the same final as Spain, it could be argued that we should have beaten them in the 1st match as their goal was a hand ball (that said they had so much possession it led to Pearce saying that if we had so much possession we would have won 5-0 - but we did not Stuart, that is the problem).

England perform badly in tournaments, we go into a tournament expecting to be disappointed, added to that for something like the U21's we tell the players going into the tournament that they are not even the first choice.  Wilshire and Wallcott would have made a massive difference but they were too tired.  Too tired to be part of and key to a successful tournament side.

In club football it is often said that teams don't know how to win trophies until they win that first one be it a Europa league or a League or FA Cup.  Until then their credentials to go on to better things is questionable.

If we were to send an U21 team to a tournament which they believed they could win because the squad members were not merely replacements for tired first choices and the team had the belief that they had match winning players and it was worth turning up, their mentality would be so much stronger for the tournament (Not conceding a wining position to a losing one in  the last minute) and by wining it they would have the experience and taste for success unlike any England team above youth level for many years.

It is about time that the U21's were taken seriously with key squad members being available when the senior squad was not playing and they were primed for success not managed to failure.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

A day to remember

Sparrows Lane was busy today, as Terry Racon was clearing his locker the protracted purchase of Paul Hayes was completed, along with Xabi Alonso's brother and ex Arsenal Youth captain Cedric Evina.

For us Addicks it was an exciting day in SE7.

The loss of Racon is no great loss and goes alongside Rommedahl and Ambrose as players who have failed to live up to their undoubted potential.  Ambrose can be exonerated to an extent as he was played out of position and it was only when he played for Warnock that he actually played the role he was good at.

The next departure is due to be Jose Semedo, another player that I think we have been over hyping.  There are two venues on his menu, Palace or Wednesday, the latter being where apparently he has relatives.

So much for Racon and Semedo's protestations only weeks ago that they loved the club and wanted to spend the rest of their career with the Addicks.  I can only assume that they saw Powell and Slater throwing Jenkinson to the wolves after he refused to sign a new contract and thought better of revealing their hand whilst the vitriol of the crowd could reign down on them before the end of the season.

Apparently from a radio interview we are due another six signings imminently so we should be looking forward to an intersting times leading up to 1st July.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

They were the worst of times and well the worst of times.....

This is the first part of the review of the season from H2V. 2 further parts maybe forthcoming in the next couple of weeks. In this part I concentrate on the season up to January.
It has been the worst season that charlton fans have endured in my lifetime no bones about that.  Having missed out on Wembley last season, we at least expected a play off place this year, but as is the way with Charlton, we conspired to machine gun ourselves in the foot. In the summer two core players, Bailey and Sam left.  Bailey for over £1 m. Even his biggest fans were surprised at that fee.  Unfortunately this windfall was not available for squad reinforcement but for maintaining the clubs liquidity.
It all started if not well then ok. For the fourth year running the opening game hosted a promoted side and like last year against Wycombe we picked up 3 points.
The pre January period was marked by continued skirmishes between.the anti parkinson and pro parkinson brigade. And the question of achievement versus performance. 
In the summer parkinson had put together a team from virtually nothing - a nominal fee for Abbot and £35,000 for Francis - neither of whom could be said to be an overwhelming success. The big money went on Benson, although his fee and wages over the life of his contract were said to match the investment into any other member of the squad.
As we can subsequently, see from the efforts of others, parkinson seems to have assembled a talentless group which he was able to mould into something resembling a team that could challenge. The problem being that when all parts were not in tune  "the wheels of the bus fell off".
I have no doubt that the highlight of the season did not occur on the pitch but in the board room. The way was paved by Richard Murray taking over debt that were not waived or postponed in the summer. And then slater and jimminez came on the scene leading their band of unknown investors to rescue us from almost certain administration. According to Varney we would not have survived to the end of the season. So a debt of gratitude is owed to the new owners. Their first meaningful act of ownership was to dismiss the division one manager of the month.
I have argued that the sacking of Parkinson was a matter of when and never if.  Sadly for him, his team gave an abject performance against bottom placed Swindon and Slater moved the next day in the best interests of ensuring promotion this year.
The demise of Parkinson was swift and brutal, there were rumours that there was an argument amongst the board after the game and later Richard Murray is alleged to have said that he would not have sacked Parkinson.
I have made it clear that I liked parkinson and thought that he was a capable manager. Other feel he was useless and only here because even the clubs cat was too expensive and it is true to say that he was lucky to have a job after we were relegated. His record of 28 games, 4 wins,11 draws and 13 defeats is indefensible in a results business. However, many people argue that Chris Powell should currently be judged on performance not results. This being the case Parkie took a dispirited low morale disorganized team and improved their performance making them difficult to beat, as testified by the last 10 games (W2 D 6 L 2) of the Championship relegation season. What he did not do was make them winners and for that many fans never forgave him.
The highlights of Parkinsons last season were Peterborough away a victory nobody can claim as anything other than superb, maybe the highlight of his reign, running alongside the 5-1 demolition of MK Dons the previous season.  Other highlights were the 3-0 away demolition of Swindon, but overall players such as Wagstaff, Lee Martin Benson, Akpoe failed to deliver and the wheels fell off against Wallsall, Brighton and Swindon and the worse thing about this were the glory games were away and the failures at home.
Ultimately, despite getting us to the play offs last season and 5th this season and only 2 points off the automatics Parkinson was unable to win over the majority of the fans, despite his successes, the fans were unwilling to accept or understand the constraints that led to dour but winning football or that he had been part of the Pardew regime.  His mere presence became divisive and it is for that reason, I believe that the new owners were never going to keep him in place.
In January, 5th in the table 2 points off automatics we could argue we had had an ok season  and were on course for at least the play offs and then the balloon burst…..
The next posting will be the rest of the season and the final part will be the future….

Thursday, 7 April 2011

The end Is Nigh...

Well in fact it was nigh a few weeks ago, when the club gave up on promotion.  it is bordering on criminal that we are not even in with a shout for a play off place with 6 games still to play for.  We should not be seeing the players setting up their deck chairs.  I'm not blaming, Parkinson or Powell or Slatter or Murray - but I do blame THE CLUB.  With six games to go Orient, Rochdale, Exeter, Bournemouth are all ahead of us in the table - it is scandalous how THE CLUB have let a promising situation turn into disaster.

Half yearly season tickets were sold on the basis of promise and what a waste they were, not taking away any of the pain that full season Season Ticket holders have had to endure.

So thats it for me this season, I'll go to the games - Huddersfield, Rochdale and Hartlepool, but it will be with a heavy heart thinking of what might have been, but as for this blog, I'll do an end of season piece maybe but until then I will concentrate on another blog which I am developing away from football.

See you in May!!!!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The Dreaded Last Ten

Every year Richard Sheppard of the Rose of Denmark - Rodsters pre match drinking group - acts as a match by match unofficial club stats historian and one of the most interesting is when he tracks our last 10 matches performance.  Notoriously in the premiership we would set out the deck chairs in March and allow the season to drag to a grindingly boring conclusion.

Dick Sheppard, bottom left in an Uncle Albert look a like competition 

In the play off final season we competed in all our end of season games and of 30 points we bagged 26.  That season stands out and since then season ending managers have failed to compete, with the exception of Parkie last season getting 18 out of 30 points.  Other than that, Parkinson, Pardew and Curbishley failed to deliver more than 50% of the points during their tenure.

Double click to increase size
In 13 seasons Parkies relegation season was the 4th best delivering 12 points out of 30, reflecting the turnaround that he achieved that season but still below 50% of the points on offer and one of the reasons we went down.

In the title winning season the last 7 games delivered only 4 points as we limped to glory.

Chris Powell does not have a lot to live up to in the last few games of the season, but lets hope we can out perform a team he was in in 2002 /2003.

Dick Sheppard along with fellow Rodtsers Matt and Mike Robinson
Thanks to Dick for the stats and lets hope next season they are a little bit more positive.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

A Dagger through the heart!

This was my first away game of the season and I saw an attractive game of football, unfortunately it was in the pub before hand and was made even more enjoyable as Judas Defoe fluffed his lines.

I liked the non league ground of Daggers and the friendly staff that they had there. Equally others may have been upset with their keeper but he only bantered back to us, was humouress rather than obnoxious and gave us something to laugh about, as he danced to you fat bastard, which is something our own team failed to do.

Parrett did a couple of nice touches but overall looked like he was in post traumatic shock much of the time as he realised that his fellow players lacked the application and ability he had.  Don't expect him to play on Tuesday as he was being helped from the pitch with what looked like a hamstring or calf problem.

CP wore a tracksuit today and folks he proved that it does not matter what sort of suit you wear, your mode of attire does not affect how your team play.

What Ecclestone has done to deserve to be benched let alone be the last player to be brought on god only know.

To be fair after a dicey first five minutes, we were the only team who were likely to win this game,that is until they scored, then the recent form told and we were lacking in confidence.  Dailey is looking like an old man who has played one too many seasons, although I suspect that with the loss of Parkie his heart may no longer be with charlton.

My friend texted to me a radio comment

"If the whole Charlton team had the work ethic of Miguel Llerra or indeed of Dagenham & Redbridge, they (charlton)) would not find themselves in this predicament"

During that positive spell BWP, Nouble anda host of other players looked good, but soon descended into ineptitude.

The home following today would not have filled our away end and this team has taken 5 points from us this season, I am not sure how this has happened.

The players are not good enough I hear, yes they are they went 11 games un beaten in October November.

Its difficult to know where we go from here, we have just been through the easy part of our season and we have Saints on Tuesday, we currently stand at 4-1-7, what bets for 5-1-7 by wednesday morning? Not many. o

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Madness or Love?

Being a football fan is strange, I am sure that someone studying human behaviour would pigeon hole us somewhere.  I cannot think in any other area that the behaviour of constant dissapointment is not only ignored but continually paid for.  Every fortnight and more for 9 months we trudge wearily to watch our team and even in victory we are dissapointed the majorirty of the time.  I recently posted about the last time we really enjoyed a game.... Reading in the relegation from the championship season, West Ham in relegation from the prem season and still we go.  For five years (and more) we have been utter, utter, utter utterly .. not very good .. ok shite.

Can you imagine watching a TV series giving a modicum of the amount  of grief that we receive and still being watched week in week out for five years, more likely the TV would go through the window.

And this season when our expectations have been raised  so high and dashed so low and many of us are still renewing for next year! Its some form of madness, akin to bashing your head against the wall and hoping with each thud for a different result.

A labour of love or madness.... or both

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Chris's Lament

"As I sat sad and lonely,
Without a friend in the Club,
A voice came to me and said,
Cheer up Chris, Things could be worse,
So I cheered up,
And sure enough things got worse!"

Charlton 0 Brentford 1 - The pain continues


Thursday, 10 March 2011

The gap against last season is growing

The enthusiasm I had for taking an alternative look at this season versus last season is waning as the negative gap that appeared only recently grows.

After Peterboro we were 5 points ahead of where we had been against the same or equivalent opposition last year, but the abject results recently have resulted in a deficit of 8 points after MK Dons and it does not get much better, failure to collect full points against Brentford will see the gap widen, since we beat them last season in the only home game that I missed.

Throughout the season we have been there or there abouts against last season achieving a six point positive against no more a negative of 3 points, until now.

We are unlikely to close this gap over the next 5 games as we won 4 of the equivalent games last season, drawing the 5th against Southampton at home.  The following 5 only delivered 6 points so there is the possibility that the deficit can be eaten into.

Of course these stats are just a bit of fun and the real point is not about the equivalence against last season, but what we do in the remainder of this season and whether we are in the playoffs with a better (unlikely) or worse (likely) points level than last season.

If we got to the play offs

I watched Spurs last night and reminisced about the fact that until we were relegated from the prem. we had a better Prem record than them and I was jealous.  I watched their fans celebrating and I felt the emotions that thye were feeling, that inner warmth that grows and grows.  The last time I can remember that feeling, strangely was a defeat and a relegation, but it was a warmth of pride in our shirt as all the fans at the Valley stood and sung and sung loud and of course it was our last home prem game against Spurs.

It is difficult, as a charlton fan,  to remember the times when you chest has swelled and you have glowed with pride, probably the Play Off final was another experience when it happened.

As we drift away from the Playoff places for more than the obvious reason, I want us to turn things round and get into a play off place. For us that would be a bonus and we would hold the 1st leg at home.  If we could play that game at the Valley and come away with a decent result, just thinking about it brings back that warmth to my chest and a glow.  I want a night like Spurs fans have just had, even if we don't get promotion, we deserve as fans one good night in five years and if we can go on to have more this season,it would be so great so motivating, I just hope the boys can do it.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Playoff opponent bites the dust

As angst over our recent results flares on Charlton Life, spare a thought for the vagaries of the varying fortunes of football managers. As pundits and fans continue to look at Charlton with open mouths at the departure of Phil Parkinson earlier this year, spare a thought for Danny Wilson who took Swindon to the play off final last season after beating Charlton in the Semis.

Danny Wilson is a thoroughly decent bloke and manager with a good pedigree.  After failing to take Swindon up he had the guts ripped out of his team and Swindon have struggled ever since, culminating with Charlie Austins sale in January. As a decent man he has carried the can and resigned, but you have to wonder, should he really be held responsible for the teams under performance.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Target what?

Change can be hard.  It is not human nature to accept change, thats why some of the top earners are change management specialists, so I am having difficulty accepting the change that seems to have gone through the Valley in the last few weeks.

At the beginning of the season under Murray and Parkinson we knew we had a squad that was put together on a shoe string and a manager who was many peoples anti christ.  We, also knew we were aiming for promotion, preferably by the automatics, but hell the play offs would do.  Poor performances, good results, poor performances, bad results we knew the target was promotion.

Then came Slater and Jiminez and we took the change because they sounded like decent blokes and Minty recommended them and he IS a decent bloke.  And what sort of change was it? Well it was all for the good, promotion remained the target, at a stroke our foundations were firmed up.

Then Parkie screwed up my comfort zone, he allowed his players to go out and perform abjectly.  Slater met him for the first time and fired him in the best interests of getting promotion.  So the target remained - we want promotion.

To replace Parkie we looked for a manager who would cement promotion, Eddie Howe turned us down and we adopted our legend CP.

We recruited during this time three new players, Ecclestone - rising Liverpool star, Bradley Wright-Philips and Fredericco "de baja m├ędica" Bessone , showing our intent?

As I say change does not come easily, so when Slater says that promotion is no longer a target this season, it would be a bonus, I am confused.  An improved squad, a new motivational manager, 100% support  from the fans, so logically we down grade our expectations.  Errr, no!

However, Slater knows what is going on in the club and maybe CP walked through the door and said "with this squad - hell no!"  So I am going to have to accept change, move forward with the new reality.

But what is the new reality?  Its not promotion, we know that.  Is it honorable defeat in the play off final or the semi finals or is it a top ten finish, maybe its just avoiding relegation.  Do we have a target, even?  Maybe its just play through the season learn the management ropes and be prepared for next season.

Personally, I have had enough of this league and would like to think we are aiming for promotion this season, but hey its a long time since I have had a bonus, so maybe I'll have to change my perspective to that.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Exeter Defeat leaves Addicks neck and neck with last season

It seems every time we get ahead of last years performance and with winnable games ahead, we fall into old habits and any potential space between this year and last is gone.  After CP's great start we ahve dropped six points against teams we beat last season.

The next three games delivered 5 points last season and whilst we can't be confident of Notts County after last Saturday, Carlisle and Tranmere should deliver a full house of points, putting us back on par with last season.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Its back!

Many years ago, in the second tier I watched three games in a row, as memory serves Grimsby, Port Vale and Southend, they were awful, we lost each of them and I came away thinking why do we, the fans, still come.  The next game we won gloriously and I thought to myself "thats why".  In the promotion season we went 11 wins in a row and came up against bottom place Swindon, only to lose 1-0.  This is the unpredictability of Charlton and the unpredictability of supporting the club.  More often than not when we have hyped up a game and the club have encouraged the team fans to get behind the team, the team have failed to deliver and the fans have gone home despondent - Nottingham Forest, Middlesborough etc,.

"We have our Charlton back" was sung only a few weeks ago and yesterdays performance and result underlines that.  Our time in the Premiership was an interlude in the history of the club letting fans down, we are back where we have always been, albeit one tier below our natural place in the footballing hierarchy - "hope over expectation rules".

The result yesterday hides an adequate performance. Without looking at the stats Exeter had probably 4 shots and scored three goals, we hit the bar twice and the post and had a number of penalty area scrambles, but we  lost and that defines the attitude and approach and we were not good enough.

The message boards today are much more negative about the current management, losing at Hartlepool on a cold Tuesday night,can be accepted, but losing at home in front of almost 25,000 is difficult to forgive.  Performances have not significantly improved since parkinsons days, despite the recruitment of Ecclestone and Bradley Wright Philips  and a clearly more supportive crowd.  Parkinson left us in fifth place, we're now seventh.

So doom and gloom -- not really, lets be realistic, we have a lot of points to play for.  The automatics look like they are slipping away but play offs are a realistic target.  It is clear to most of us that our central midfield is not good enough and we have the opportunity to bring in a loan to cover, also central defence, Doherty did himself few favours yesterday and it will be interesting to see if Powell brings in a loanee before Notts County or wait till the loanee could play in a play off final.

The big issue is something not surprising and that is CP's inexperience and he needs to have support particularly from Peacock to get the team back on course after a superb beginning.  CP needs to learn on the job and quickly, often more is learnt through defeat than victory and the first four games masked the issues we all knew were there.

Friday sees us away to Notts County and Paul Inces team never easy to put the train back on the rails, with Lee Hughes to torment us as he did at the Valley, despite our victory, a pitch that has a passing memory of what grass looks like and a manger who has win in his DNA.  CP's test will continue and it will be in the full glare of Sky, lets hope he passes.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

He does not walk on water

I went to Keston ponds and saw Chris Powell drive up and park his car, he walked to the edge of the first pond and after looking out thoughtfully for a few minutes he walked forward into the pond after  a few steps the water was up to his ankles and he turned back leaving the pond shaking his head, murmuring "its not true, the fans were wrong - I can't walk on water"!

So we lost, Chris is human, New York Addick is proved to be not so far off the mark with his post Peterborough assessment.  Most of the addickted have been reasonable in their assessment some have gone over the top.

For some CP has gone from being a tactical genius on Saturday to being inept on Tuesday.  
The team have gone from being automatic guaranteed to unlikely play off contenders.

Everything is so instant and for a few the reactions can be so knee jerk.  The critical thing is we learnt somethings at Hartlepool.  And if we learn then we can  develop and build towards promotion.

Changing manger would never be a magical panacea for our ills.  we have a squad that has been under invested in for years.  The players we have are not playing in the third level by accident, its because they may lack talent or consistency or commitment or fitness and with the exception of Bradley Wright Philips, their value reflects this.

So we will have good days and we will have bad days.  Not a lot different from the last manager, not surprisingly after all they are the same players.  

What CP does have is wholesale backing of the board, after our 13 points out of 15, if we go on a run of 2 losses and 3 draws I still expect to see CP at the helm.  He has the crowd with him and it will take a lot at this point of the honeymoon for him to lose them. This has a halo effect as the crowd is now more patient, on the whole, with the players and he has Nathan Ecclestone and Bradley Wright Phillips and the potential of the loan period.

CP has options now which we have not had for a long while and if we do bring in a quality Central Midfielder and Centre hald these will grow and we have plenty of points to play for.  

To me central midfield is the key, we have been over run by many lesser teams in this division this season and if that were to continue for the rest of the season then that will be our down fall.  McCormack isn't quite there, whilst it appears by his absence that Racon has become a great player to some.  Sorry but Racon is failing to do what he needs to do and that is run games, take them by the scruff of the neck.  I thought he could do it, I hope he could do it, but now I just don't believe it and we need some one stronger and more creative, who can feed off the holding and delivery of Semedo and make things happen up front.

13 points out of eighteen is goodf form and now the management need to take the lessons of winning and losing and apply them to Saturday because if we go back to our old ways and perform badly then #footballforafiver will become #footballatthevalleyatnoprice.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Valley woes cheered by Powell

Chris Powell has brought a smile to the faces of Charlton fans.  Its not just the wins, although they help as illustrated by the humorless crowd reaction to the players at half time.  I thought that booing your own side during the game had gone with Parkie but obviously that is not the case, old habits die hard.

Chris has brought a breath of fresh air to the Charlton family and his approach brings smiles that we have not had under previous managers, Lennie, Curbs, Dowie, Reed, Pardew or Parkie.

I am sure Chris would have you grinning from ear to ear at a funeral, his smile is infectious and he infects you with a feel good virus.  He appears to be unique amongst managers, someone who realises that, after playing he has his best job in the world, at the best place he could imagine.

On Wednesday, I went to the Q&A at the Valley and Chrissy arrived late as he entered the room the assembled hordes started the "tunnel" hum and he reacted with the jump and punch to the applause of his audience.  He knows his fans and he has them on his side.

I did not learn much at the Q&A Chrissy was less forthcoming than Parkie, but then Parkie was experienced and never had his boss on his shoulder. I was fortunate however to meet Cheltenham Addick and Fanny Fanackapan as well as an assortment of other Addick friends.

However, I digress, today Chrissy did a number of things today that will endear him to old ladies (my mother in law) or Charlton fans. So here is a list of Chrissy's good deeds today:-

1. he demands that the players all celebrate the goals together.  The funniest thing was the third goal when everybody was celebrating except Christian Dailly who finally dragged his weary (injured) body to the melee, with a look that said something like "Why they hell do they have to celebrate by the opposition corner flag!"
2. Not only do the players celebrate together but so do the bench.  For those not at The Valley and those that did not notice, the players melee was mirrored by the backroom staff in a huddle with Chrissy at its centre.  After the second goal, I am told, they even lifted Chrissy up.
1+2 are about building and maintaining team spirit, celebrating together and working together.
3. After the players had come out and were warming up for kick off, Chrissy posed with a child for his mum to take a photo of them together, possibly it was at his suggestion.  He took his time, no rushing.
4. Soon after the photo session he sat on his haunches and talked to a child in a wheel chair.  (My mother in law would love that).
5. After the third goal, I think,he just sat on the edge of one of the advertising hoardings, just staring on to the pitch, he looked so relaxed.
6. He did the same thing at the end of the game only this time he looked like he was trying to take it all in, scared maybe that he would wake up and still be Svens side kick.
7. We have 12 points out of 12, we can't ask more than that!
8. He is the most dapper manager in the league.

As I said Chris Powel has brought something new and unique to the club, but as the booing showed today we are a fickle bunch and whilst we are in a honeymoon period we the fans have to accept that there will be bad days as well as good.

In the meantime as Brucey, almost, says ..."Keeeeep smiling!"

Monday, 7 February 2011

Following in the footsteps of Dickson

Dulwich Hamlet who sold Chris Dickson to Charlton in the last season of the Premiership, have done it again only this time the team in premiership decline is West ham and it ism they who have invested in Dulwich youth.

Paul McCallum joined West Ham on transfer day and made his debut for the under 18's against Arsenal, not a flying start but West Ham did beat the Arse Yoof 3-0.

Lets hope his career with West Ham is more fruitful than Chris Dicksons with Charlton and he does not end up in some Cypriot outpost.  Although I'm hoping that West Ham follow the rest of Charltons model and decline to through the leagues.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

26 gone 20 to go

This time last season having played 26 games we were level with Norwich on 54 points in third and with the run of games to come an automatic place seemed a reasonable aspiration.

Out of the next 36 points we only picked up 14 and dropped to 5th and this included the ignominy of a 4-0 defeat at The New Rusty Den and games against teams who were at the bottom of the table.  We only scored 14 goals in this time and it was this period that destroyed our promotion campaign.

Today on 26 games we have 44 points, Brighton at the top of the table have 53 points, whilst last season on 25 games Leeds had 57 points.

In the end Norwich went on a run and and at a canter won the league with 95 points and that is the challenge for Chrissy Powell.

It has been a great start for the legend three out of three and three clean sheets and a move back to the position we were at when Parkie left.

Bradley Wright Phillips could be our modern day Jim Melrose who fired Lennies team to promotion to the top flight in the 80's. Two games two goals a start we could not have dreamed of.

This division is there for the taking, probably the best four teams are Southampton, Huddersfield, Brighton and Charlton.

With loan window opening Tuesday there are still holes that we need to plug, non more so than the lack of creativity in midfield.  Whilst there maybe arguments for Semedo and Racon the figures show that in terms of assists  Elliot is on par with Racon and Semedo is below him.

Wednesday is the Q&A with Slater and Powell and it will be interesting to see if Slater says more than pr speak and outlines a plan for this season and next given the two potential scenarios.  Slater is a a smooth operator and hopefully those skills will support Chrissy to achieve promotion this season.  And yes for me Parky went because the new management did not believe he could take us up, so Chrissy needs to take us up to justify Slaters decision.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Evens stevens for Chrissy Powell.

This season has given us a fair amount of turmoil on and off the pitch - takovers,11match unbeaten run, manager and player of the month, poor on field performances massive defeats at home, great win away, return of a legend, departure of a legend, maintenance of the team by a legend.

And amongst all of this,the teams statistical performance against last year has held up.  Against equivalent teams as last year we are on the same points level.  This gives Chris Powell a great foundation from which he can push us on.

Of course looked at another way after 23 games last season we had accumulated 47 Pts which does not look so hot, but although there are lies, damned lies and statistics, I at least would rather look at equivalent match and on that basis we're on par and look good for the rest of the season- Chrissy just needs to kick us on.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Welcome back Sir Chris

Welcome back Sir Chris, I have the fears and concerns expressed earlier in the week and I hope for his sake that he see's out his contract and we get to the upper echelons of the championship.

At the beginning of Pardews last season, I went to City Addicks and Martin Simons was asked about future managers.  Simons dismissed Kinsella as the next Charlton manager, but was very positive about Chrissy.  Well that was a good call and now he is our future.

Finally my last words on Parkie ... thanks, I wish you all the best and hope you will pick up a team in Division One.  It did not work out with us,  I am sure it will elsewhere.

The Parkie is dead, Long live the Powell - two nice guys.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

It looks like Chrissy.

Stay Away Chrissy

There is much euphoria over the reported talks with Chris Powell and the potential that he may come back to the Valley as manager.

The man is one of the nicest guys you could ever meet and I met him on one occaision and the memory of his last game at the Valley and his goal and that beaming smile,helps me smile too.

The man is a legend!

I have seen what the crowd can do to their managers when the chips are down, I saw them screaming at Charlton supporter Les Reed as he ineptly managed the team, attemtping to accost Parkie during the Brighton defeat.  The fans have become a fickle lot at the Valley.

I have great memories of Chris Powell.  All Primeministers leave office in failure, all football managers leave football clubs in tears - I would hate the long term legacy of Chris Powell at Charlton to be "Not Good Enough".

Conspiracy Theory?

I was firmly of the view that Phil Parkinson was going to go whatever the results, the players and Christian Dailly made it easier for the board to make that change after his first match under the takeover.

Apparently after the game there was heated discussion amongst board members (rumour and speculation), so maybe the departure was brought forward.  One positive (from my point of view, I realise that others feel Parkies departure was a massive positive for the club) was that the new Board had a vision and that they would be decisive and ruthless in executing it there and then. 

That was nearly two weeks ago, still we have no manager, Eddie Howe being the only name that was firmly in the frame and he backed away from South London. 

So if my conspiracy against Parkie theory is true then why was an instant replacement not lined up and why did we suffer the ignominy of a 33 year old novice turning us down, after all we are on the up, unlike Palace who are looking down and going down.

Was the sacking of Parkinson a knee jerk reaction to a poor result, with a a feeble excuse of results not being good enough since an 11 match un beaten run and over a period of postponed games in December.  The implications, if this is the case, are that we are going to be on a roller coaster where the board react to the manager on a match to match basis and increasingly interfere with the team.

I hope that the decision was based up on a plan, which maybe was brought forward and hence the mess we are in, otherwise the financial stability that this anonymous group have brought in will be undermined by short term over reaction to events of each day.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Phil Has His Say

Phil Parkinson is disappointed to have been shown the door at Charlton, but has vowed to return to the dug out. Continued.......,19528,11719_6635089,00.html

The King is dead, long live the king

I come here to praise Parkie not just to bury him.  Football is a cruel profession and this was brought home to Phil Parkinson today after nigh on 2 years in charge at the Valley and barely a month after being manager of the month when his tenure of Charlton ceased.

To what was a dead Valley yesterday the whiff of departure was all around and maybe the players sensed it and helped Parkie on his way, giving the board the excuse to implement their pre ordained decision and make no mistake the decision today was not a knee jerk reaction to last nights result, but something that the new owners had decided before the takeover.

Sadly a poor performance by the man that signed his contract this season and said "Phil is a good manager and will do great things and I signed because I am hoping to be there when it happens" Christian Dailly, helped ease the implementation with a poor performance.

I'm not going to defend Parkie or rant against the decision to sack him, the board have taken over and need to do whatever they want.  This decision also allows them to curry favour with the vocal crowd and for Slater and Jiminez to make it clear that they are in charge, maybe emphasising that Murray and Kavanagh are administrative figure heads.

What I would like to cover are the positives of Phil Parkinson.  In September I was at a fans forum with Christian Dailly who has extensive experience of many managers and he had high praise indeed for Parkie and it was Parkie who convinced him to sign last summer.  I attended two of Parkies fans forums, meeting him and having a chat with him at the Bromley Addicks meeting.  Like anyone who met him, he came across as an articulate honest nice guy, very open with the fans and willing to give up his time for us.  I wonder if the new manager will emulate this or follow in Curbishley, Dowie and Prdews footsteps and become more and more remote from the fans.

Parkie joined us at the commencement of our decline under Pardew and during this time had the opportunity to join Huddersfield, but turned it down just before his introductory press conference for a higher salary at Charlton and the promise of a potential crack at the management position in the future - no one expected Pardew to be loyal.

His period of time as Pardews assistant has perhaps been the burden that he has had to carry throughout his period with us.  Closely associated  with Pardew he lacked any of the smugness and arrogance of the man and if he had resemblance to any addick manager it has to be Curbs who also spent club money as if it were his own, would set up his teams not to lose before worrying about winning and  lacked a personality.  And like Curbs he divided fans in equal parts.  It was not just during his last season that fans wanted Curbs out, from the day that Gritt was ousted there were some that resented him and felt he was too West Ham for us.

Parkie was too Pardew and has been continually held responsible for our successive relegations, it did not help that Murray said his appointment would be based on results and whilst performances improved results didn't.  Yet still he was appointed and relegation followed.

So what positives apart from a nice guy can I say about Parkie?  I think there is a lot and under different circumstances he would have been seen positively by many of the "haters"

As Murray stated, Parkie has worked his socks off for the club, never took the players running or got them lost pre match, he has pieced together a challenging team on a shoe string budget and brought in some quality signings and whilst people will point out the failures when you have no money and you are shopping at Lidl every buy is a risk.  It is pointed out that he had one of the squads on the biggest wage budgets in the division, but I would argue that Pardews contracts were vastly over the top and that created difficulties for Parkinson to get rid of overpaid under performers - Moutakill is an example, still without  a club having been released in the Summer,or McLeod now at bottomof the league club Barnet.

We got to the play offs last season and you cannot really blame a manager when your star player creates the opposition aggregate equaliser and then hits his penalty more like a try conversion than a shot on goal.

This season has seen a good points total achieved but poor performances and last night was the final straw for many.  He has brought stability to a club in free fall, re built foundations and we have held our position in the division,there has been no indication that this has been temporary and we are well on course for another crack at the play offs and with a little momentum we could make automatics and this in a world where Southampton,    Huddersfield and Brighton have been able to splash greater cash resources than us.

Since his tenure began 2 years ago Parkie has never had any certainty or stability.  Forgetting his care taking period, he has been faced constantly with the potential takeovers and went for long periods not even knowing that he had a job, particularly through the summer of 2009, at this time there was little or no backing from the board and rumours that board members were looking to oust him were rife.  He has then spent much of time being told that he has only held his job because we have not been able to afford to get rid of him.  On top of that he has had the constant fans sniping.  Under all this pressure one wonders if we ever saw the best of Phil, based on many peoples views probably not.

Lets also not forget that Phil built a new squad in the summer of 2010, a squad that is now sitting a few points off the automatics and could have been with a win yesterday could be sitting in second, one wonders if the owners would still have got rid of him then

Whatever the future holds for us and Parkie he can walk out of the Valley with his head held high and I hope he finds a new role soon.  Good luck Phil and all the best for the future.