Saturday, 23 November 2013

Takeover to bring new pressures!?

Its always dangerous to talk about new ownership before it has happened but hope and speculation is part of being a Charlton fan.

Message boards are rife with speculation about a move to the Peninsular, before the ink has touched the paper let alone dried.  A leading light from the Back to The Valley campaign is demanding business plans from mysterious future owners and fans who have no qualms about moving alike.

Our possible new owners are going to British or Amercian (is there a difference these days), Property developers / entertainment moguls ... time will tell, if they are anything other than another set of mythical beings.  From some though the new unknown owners seem to be worse than the erstwhile villains of the peace Slater and Jimminez.  Of course they will be held responsible for any move, these creatures of the night are easily blamed from all ills including apparently this includes global warming and the Brinks Mat robbery.

But what about pressures on the playing staff and management?

CP will be aware that he gained his position from a manager in similar circumstances - players preforming above expectations, no money, shopping for players in Lidl,  except the club were 2 points off the  play offs,

According to the SLP CP will be able to bring in players on loan and there will be pressure on him to move us away from the relegation zone, in the short term and possibly get us competing for the play offs in the spring.  CP's reciod with loanees is not great - Nouble, Ecclestone, Frimpong and now Sordell and Stewart.  There will be pressure on him to have expensive investments playing week in week out.  As new players come in her will also need to motivate the current squad, whose team spirit has enabled a quality Div 1 team achieve 9th in the Championship last season.

And what of the players.  Jackson, Kermogant et al are out of contract ... some will say that the players will be spurred on to play for a new contract and that is how some will react, others may feel that there is no way that they will get a contract, after all how many of our squad would we want to keep if we had money - Kermogant, Jackson, Stephens (who may not want a contract), Wiggins.

For the future CP is going to have objectives to achieve that he has not had since his first full season and in, possibly, American owners a stronger demand for a return on their investment.

If we have new owners there are going to be strong pressures that we have not faced for a while ... its going to be an interesting ride.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

The dreaded last ten - updated

Big appreciation to Richard Sheppard who has been compiling stats for a number of seasons, this is his take on the last 10 and our previous record.  Dick can be found on match days in the Rose of Denmark with the original Rodsters. 

1997/1998  D, W, W, W, W, W, W, W, W, D  (26/30) - old 1st div
1998/1999  D, L, W, L, D, L, L, D, W, L  (9/30 - Prem
1999/2000  W, W, W, D, D, L, D, D, L, L  (13/30) - old 1st div
2000/2001  D, L, W, L, L, D, W, W, L, L  (11/30) - Prem
2001/2002  D, W, L, L, L, L, D, L, D, D    (7/30) - Prem
2002/2003  L, L, D, L, L, L, L, W, L, L    (4/30) - Prem
2003/2004  L, L, D, W, D, L, L, D, D, W  (10/30) - Prem
2004/2005  W, L, D, L, L, D, L, L, L, D    (6/30) - Prem
2005/2006  W, L, W, D, D, L, W, L, L, L  (11/30) - Prem
2006/2007  D, W, W, D, D, L, D, L, L, D  (11/30) - Prem
2007/2008  L, L, L, D, L, W, D, L, L, W    (8/30) - C'ship
2008/2009  D, L, D, W, D, D, D, D, L, W  (12/30) - C'ship
2009/2010  D, D, W, W, L, W, L, D, W, W  (18/30) - League One
2010/2011  D, L, W, L, D, L, D, W, L, D  (10/30) - League One
2011/2012  D, W, L, W, W, W, W, W, D, W  (23/30) - League One
2012/2013..W, L, W  (6/9) - C'ship

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Daggers Fortune

A Shakespearean play includes Daggers and different fortunes for the players but in this case we're talking Charlton not the high academics of Elizabethan playwrights.

I first saw John Fortune at the end of season shirt sponsors evening, which I had attended on the shirt tails of Addicks Championship Diary. He had just finished his loan spell at Mansfield and so began a career that never quite reached the heights any of us had thought or hoped he would achieve.

He had two highlights for Addicks fans, the most obvious being the perpetrator of Dowies drop and Palaces relegation, the equalising goal in the last game of the season putting Palace down.

His other was that elbow from a god of football which resulted in in called for vilification by that legend of English football Bobby Robson. For those not there and those young who were not even born, Alan Shearer was given a torrid time by Fortune until they rose for a ball, Shearer spooning with Foertune behind him and slowly deliberately Shearer swung an elbow.  This was at the height of Shearers power, the man who kicked Neil Lennon in the head and blackmailed the FA by saying that any charge would be greeted by retirement  from international football.  It connected with Fortune and surprisingly enough Fortune was laid out. The next day Robson had convinced the sundays that Fortune was feigning injury and once again Shearer got away with it and his red was rescinded.

John has played for Charlton and was subject to serious achilles injury which has curtailed his effectiveness so he has drifted from Charlton to Exeter and its not long ago that we thought his career was over.  Some may say that joining Dagenham and Redbridge is the equivalent, whatever I wish him the best of luck ... maybe never reached his potential, maybe staying at Charlton was partly through lack of ambition, as Martin Simmons once indicated, but whatever he was Charlton through and through and we on the Hill wish him the very best at Daggers.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Forwards and Backwards

As the season enters its business period, it appears Charlton are looking to the future.  CP has been scouting in Spain , as opposed to  Bromley, but at the same time it appears we are keeping tabs on another Gallic forward from Chateaux Roux reserves.  21 year old Jonathon Rivas is apparently being tracked by us and Watford.  Watford of course are facing changes in league regulations next season to prevent wholesale loaning of players (Watford can make loan players work). and whilst the future forwards are being looked at our old forward is looking like his time with us is over.  For half the season, last year, Bradley Wright Phillips (Who happens to be better than Sean) shot us to promotion.  He has now been exiled to West London and does not know what his future holds for him.  Sadly  Bradley is a poor imitation of his father, his contract runs out in the summer and there are no plans to give him a new one.

Inevitably in football as one striker comes another leaves

Not aloan

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Why do we get loanees,
That We rarely use.

  Jorge Costa stands out as the most outstanding loanee, but we have had quite a few successful loanees over the years, but this season we have seen them come in and be expensive reserves who according to Micky Slates (of team spivs also known as the board) have sucked resources.  Which would be fine if we had resources to spend, but we don't.

In fact our recruitment policy this season has been pretty awful overall.  The Board and the management have to take equal responsibility for this the former for not having the funds and the later for poor choices.

In terms of permanent players, Fuller has been ok, but for five figure salary he has not done enough, Kerkar ... who?  Cooke is baking at Yeovil.  Wilson has been ok but had a form dip.  However, when you are shopping in the bargain basement you take your chances and maybe we can be forgiven for some of these signings as they offered potential, although Parkie was never given any leeway for a penny pinching budget.

On the loanee side, we have had an influx of expensive reserves Razak from Man City, Frimpong from Arsenal (Now at Fulham), Seabourne from Southampton, who CP felt warranted a place over Evina, who eventually displaced him and showed to be a better player overall and now we have Obike from Spurs again a bench warmer and a similar player to Frank Nouble, who Powell brought in despite being advised against by Noubles former coach Alex Dyer.

Its always been my view that loanees should only be brought in if they are to be starters, otherwise whats the point|? The only exception to that would be a player like Matt Fry who was like a trainee with us from Wet Spam.  We do seem to have wasted a lot of our budget on players who have contributed nothing ... a pretty criminal offence by TJ, MS and CP, if you ask me.

Gower to play Saturday or allowed to blend into the team over the rest of the season?  In CP we, .... err .... trust, mmm!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

To ST or not to ST

People dropping out of ST ownership is the final legacy of dropping out of the Prem.  Its taken a good few years but historically we have not held the levels of ST ownership we have even now.  There is a core who will always buy an ST, but the vast majority were casual attenders who got into a habit of buying during the Prem years.  Of course we have picked up new ST holders along the way but the numbers have not replaced the attrition rate.  For some the failure to renew  is a form of betrayal, for others it is just a return to the natural order of things for a second tier club that cannot fill its stadium in difficult economic times...

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Posh Desmond

My meeting in The Queensgate Hotel next to the ground went well and I had dinner bought for me too before heading off to the ground, 3 minutes walk.  Asking the steward where the away fans were seated, he got out a plan of the stadium and showed me which was basically straight a head keeping to the side of the stadium, not sure why there was the need for a map, he could have just pointed.

In the end a good point was had but I can't help feeling that if our initial momentum had been converted then we could have had a hat ful.  As it was, Posh pace tore through our defence and we were 1 down and confidence drained rapidly so that by half time we looked like we were on to the pasting.  Half time came and went, I went down to the concourse to see if any of my mates were there, not only was there not any of my mates but there was not a concourse.  This was a slight step up in Stadium quality from watching Dulwich Hamlet at Dog Kennel Hill.

Second half commenced and we almost immediately saw them hit the post with another fast incisive strike.  Some neat trickery on the left by the previously woeful Callum Harriot and Jackson was set up to equalise   Whilst the Addicted were singing Johnny Jackson runs down the wing.. I thought it was more appropriate for  "Calllum, O Callum Harriot runs down the wing for Us".  Minutes later as our confidence oozed, this time the Poshs drained, we got a corner and after a Morrison header Haynes thwacked the ball into the back of the net and we looked set for three points.  Sadly Button failed to hold things together and a speculative shot was allowed to go in.  Still he had a good game overall and he must still be match rusty having spent so long on the bench.

We seemed then to settle for a draw and in the dying seconds CP brought on DeVitte at a corner.  We have seen this done before this season, it makes not sense fiddling with the defence during the corner and we were lucky not to concede during a scramble.

That said, it was a good display and we thoroughly deserved our point, if not marginally all three.  Without getting complacent and looking at the teams below us I'm pretty confident we will still be in this division next season.  Allegedly we have a midfielder coming in this week on loan from the prem and as long as he is handled correctly we should be able to see out the rest of the season with relative ease.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Posh Boys

Off for a meeting in Peterborough and coincidentally Charlton are playing there, not sure how that happened.  This is Charltons last match before we enter the dreaded last 10, anyone with a memory will realise that with a couple of exceptions Powell, Parkie, Pardew and Curbs were never great at getting points during the run in.  Dowie and Reed have to be excluded as they failed to get to the last 10.

Posh are currently in good form so this is not going to be a walk through the grass .. well actually it is, certainly more so than playing at the Valley.

With Stephens and Solly on the bus we should see a better balanced team on the park, that is if Stephens brings his football boots unlike against Forest when his football boot attire were performing like a legless duck.

Its a big game for Powell, the general consensus remains "We trust in Powell"   & "100% Support", but the murmurings are growing.  A defeat tonight could spell more panic and this time not just on the terraces a win gives us the breathing space and the knowledge of only three draws in 10 will probably lead to safety.

I see no real point in losing CP now, but I do think that the remainder of the season is a re application for his job.  A superb job last season with good purchases and a fantastic promotion are now a fading memory and in this harsher environment question marks have been raised.  He is a young and inexperienced manager but he has had 2 plus years of learning and that must account for something.  He is not the first manager to work without money, but he did reassure us that last seasons squad is good enough to stay in this league, now he has to prove it ... which he is doing a little by the skin of our teeth, but also we are ahead of a number of clubs ... not just the bottom three.

I would probably say tonight will be a draw, but its just a battle and in the end the war is likely to be won and we will retain Championship status. Then we will see what the owners are made of  - current or future, but until then its going to be, as Sir AF says, Squeaky bum time!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

No apologies

I have never hid the fact that I am a big Phil Parkinson fan. Christua Dailly said that he expected him to achieve big things in his career and today is a stepping stone to that.  I expect Bradford to be thoroughly thrashed today and even if they are,  it is a tremendous achievement by our former scapegoat.

Good luck Parkie have a great day.

The rise and fall of a French man's week

It's been interesting week for Yann hero to zero since tuesday.

On tuesday he went to leicester where he remains a pariah for his failed, cheeky, play off, gallic penalty in the play offs a few seasons ago.

Earlier in the season he was roundly booed by visiting foxes at The Valley only to stuff the jeers back down their throats with a goal and 3 points against the run of play.   Well on Tuesday many addicks expected a serious drubbing but instead an early Yann goal and a late Haynes effort saw us pick pocket another 3 points.

But football is a cruel mistress and after 37 minutes yesterday The Beasts grest week hadvturned to disaster.  Of course watching we felt he was hard done by and wss the victim of an over zealous linesman, but we were wrong.  Yanns petulant kick at  former addick Greg Halford meant a difficult task niw became impossible.

If we had started with my selection,  Yann would have started on the bench.    In the formation we chose Fuller would have been the more sensible selection as he has the power and ability to hold up the ball and bring players into the game.

However,  CP started with Yann but when he departed why did fuller not come on till half time?
For the next three games we are down to 3 strikers again which us fine as long as we don't hearva cacophony of hamstrings snapping, in the meantime CP and the BOARD could do worse than getting a decent central midfield player.