Saturday, 27 December 2014

A drama in 30 seconds!!

There was so much about that goal. 

The tackle to get the ball back from a player not normally associated with tackling back.

The creation of space.

The shot.

The ball flying like an exocet through the air into the top corner.

 ... Goal!!  

Cousins celebration. 

The scorers celebration.  

Not seen on the video the bench went mad 

And finally the professionalism of TBH going to all the players and telling them to get focused.
A drama in 30 seconds

Sunday, 14 December 2014

The Yoof are coming!

There is no doubt that yesterdays result was a disappointment, but not as big a disappointment as some of the results of last season and I would rather be a Charlton fan this morning than a Reading one.

Despite the loss of Riga and the introduction of Clarke Blackpool remain at the bottom of the table and the expectation is that we would beat them.  I had them down for a 3-1 victory to us, sadly it was not to be, but a point is better than zero and when you saw some of the players that are with Blackpool you could see a lot of experience amongst them..

Experience of the likes of ex Man U academy and former Charlton target Chris Eagles* or ex Spur Jamie O'Hara.  A victory for Charlton was not delusional but it was, as it turned out, by no means a foregone conclusion.

And experience yesterday was something that we were short of, although you could argue that our two most experienced players resulted in our defeat - Andre Bikey blasting over an almost empty net and Tal ben Haim tackling from behind for the free kick that led to the goal.

The youth academy provided us with six** players yesterday and whilst we might wish Pope and Fox had not been there it was a fine recommendation for all of those who contribute to Valley Gold.

In defence of Fox, he is a solid defender, his problem is that he is not blessed with the ability to drive forward and needs a 2nd touch when he gets the ball, which takes momentum out of the game.  Fox however is in the team at the moment and the "dogs abuse" he receives will not help him and his confidence.  The fans getting on anther full back for Charlton resulted in his loss of confidence and he always played for us like a rabbit in the headlights and he was a seasoned pro who had just won his previous teams player of the season award.  His season only lasted a year, and you may wonder what happened to him next, well it appears that he became an important part of a division one team who gained promotion to the Championship and today, whilst still holding down his place with them, he sits in the top place of the Championship.

Pope of course had two 'mares that resulted in both of Blackpool's goals, but where was his protection?  he and Davies were left alone at the free kick which TBH should never have given away.  And lets not forget he made a good save in the first half from Blackpool's only other shot.  Pope is a young keeper, keepers mature later and go on longer and does not deserve being called a C, by our moronic fans.

But back to experience, our policy is to play youth and develop from within.  Injury has probably accelerated this position not to mention Mr Duchatalet not opening his wallet willy nilly, after all in the last 12 months he has only spent circa £25 million on the club.

Yesterday the average age of the team was 23 years old and if you take out Bikey and TBH it was 21 years 6 months.  We are a young in experienced side and we will make mistakes, I still believe we will be closer to playoffs to relegation come the end game and I believe we should keep the faith and stop slagging off our youth, after-all we were happy to sing after Jordans goal "He's one of our own ..!" Most of them are so we should be supporting them.

*Turned us down because we were not good enough, so relegation to level 3 would be nice.
** Strictly speaking 5 but I include Pope in there too.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Have we been Tango'd?

I can assure you, it's not the shirt or the shorts that have beaten us against Bournemouth or Fulham, it was the other fellas ...

Let's put it in perspective, this time in January we were wondering about the new owner and how he was making us a feeder club for his Belgian club and the forcing by him of  our legendary manager to use frankly park footballers.

Roll the clock on to October and we have suffered our only second defeat of the season and we are not only in contention for the play offs but who would have thought we would be only 4 points off first place.  We have a new team of players with limited British football experience, which when you consider the difference in European and English style does beg the question of how the hell we have got where we are?

I neither like or dislike Duchatalet, he is an owner for a short part of our history, as most future owners will be. His objective is to make money out of his network and the only way to do that is to bring success. Liege and Charlton are the jewels who could bring big bucks through champions league and being a member of the money machine of the premier league.

Duchatalet is no fool, he is not going to go hell for leather for either if his objectives, I fully expect him to build slowly and carefully. Let us not forgot that when Murray opened the purse not just using existing funds but also future funds we plunged down the table to eventually steady at 13th in League 1.

Bob says that Duchatalet is happy to have 22 points and in our hearts most of us probably are too, however the question is and where we diverge from Duchatelet is whether we have enough resources to maintain that 4  point gap over the next, it seems a tall order with the thinness of the squad.

What we can't deny is that the starting 11 when fit is the best we have had in the championship for many years.  Vetokele, Gudmonson and Buyens were all missing yesterday, how many other championship teams could have afforded to lose that quality?

Between now and January the two most important parts of the club are going to be us the fans who need to be realistic, patient and supportive as well as not digging out the youth players and the medical team, who are going to have to patch this team together and keep them playing.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Bob Peeters - who are ya? ...... corrected

During my time ad a Charlton fan I have seen a fair few managers, my first was Eddie Firmani, followed by Theo Foley and subsequently Andy Nelson, then I missed a few years until Lennie Lawrence, probably our greatest manager in my recollection, Gritt and Curbs and then Curbs.  Over that period managerial stability was the byword for Charlton.  Since Curbs nice sacking we have been a managerial basket case. Our latest incumbent is like many of his predecessors, inexperienced. However, we wait with eager anticipation to see what manager he is.

Since Curbs we have had four managers determined to build the team and two who had to make do and get on with the job. Those two being Les Reed and Jose Riga. Reed, a failure and Riga a success. Bob does not have to make do, he has not got the riches of Kermogant, Stephens, Hamer and Poyet but he has been given ample investment to compensate.

Bob stands alongside Dowie, Pardew, Parkinson and Powell as a manager rebuilding the playing side of the club.

Dowie and Pardew broke the bank of our club to bring in players but the walls of the club were made of sand and despite the investment the walls fell down and the club was left in turmoil.

Parkinson despite an ignominious start began the rebuilding process and with 2 1/2 pence in his pocket built a team capable of competing for a promotion place, whereas Powell came in was given money and secured that promotion place. But for both Powell and Parkinson it was not about player investment it was about getting players to gel and eke out enough ability to ensure that the whole was greater than the sum of the parts.

So what will Bob be? A Dowie Pardew or a Parkinson Powell. In less than two weeks we will begin a journey to find out and I hope it's the latter for all our sakes.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Reza gone?

Using the famed reliable source of information that is twitter it appears that Reza has gone and has joined a Middle Eastern team, partly so RD can cash in on his fame and partly due to the fact he is home sick.

Of course when you look at the source of the story which was a tweet from Bikey's account you could conclude something different.  The Bikey account could be a fake account as no one from Charlton official twitter accounts actually follows him and of course Bikey would hardly know Reza if at all.

According to wiki Reza is a Charlton player and usually faster than shit off a shovel* when players change clubs.

Oh and as Reza spent most of his years in The Netherlands, being homesick would take him closer to Amsterdam than Tehran.

We are non the wiser, Reza may turn up at Sparrows Lane or Mohammed Park ... We'll see.

I for one would like to see him return to the valley and repay the faith I have in him, but if he doesn't then at least he will be remembered as the only Charlton player to score in a World Cup finals.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

12 months is a long time in football

Twelve months ago we waited with baited breath for signings. Players left in droves, especially strikers and we worried until the season had almost begun.

So here we are today 7 signings in. Players re signed and youth contracts extended. The response .... Fed up of network signings.  Poor old Rolly you just can't please some critics.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

New Season New Club Beckons

A month ago I was firmly in the Roland camp, lets see what he will do, how he invests in our club.  The only thing he had done wrong in my mind since the end of the season was the new kit.  Except I was to find out it was TJ and MS that made that wonderful decision.

I suspect that the kit choice was a bit like when our keepers wore pink.  The decision was made between Elliot and Randolph.  The conversation went something like this :-

Elliot "Darren, its pink - the fans will take the piss out of us!"
Randolph "I understand what you are saying but its for charity".
Elliot "Well if its for a good cause, I suppose that i can take the abuse of wearing pink - PARKIE we'll go for the pink keepers top!"

Six months later, end of season.

Elliot "Darren when are you signing your new contract!"
McRandolph "Sod that for a game of soldiers", there is no way I'm wearing pink!!!"

Anyway I digress. What have I got to moan about Roland?  He's facilitated the Academy, repainted the Valley (I suspect he brought in painters and did not do it himself), put down a pitch better than he needed to and has invested in players.

Well he did not give Riga the job, but even that does not worry me.  Riga was employed for a specific task, keep us up.  There was no sense of a job to follow, Riga avoided the conversation and so did Kate.  Should he have been thanked at the end, maybe, but many of us don't get thanks when we achieve our objectives, should he have been paid a bonus - yes and I expect he had one in his contract.

We have had the redundancies of staff, good solid Charlton people, stalwarts of our club , but as a serial redundantee, I know businesses do it and its part of the capitalist society we live in (a bit of politics there!!).

He failed to keep Poyet, well true but that shipped sailed before he arrived. 

So why do I feel uncertain? During the Prem years we had loads of non UK players, so why should I be worried that we have an influx now at the Valley?  Am I being xenophobic? A little Indian boy not wanting old Johny foreigner invading my team?  I hope not (I don't mean the little boy bit, thats another ship that has also sailed).

I'm hoping its a passing thing, that once I get to see the team, I'll start relating to the players that are coming in, after all I had never heard of Guchi 7 months ago and towards the end of the season I was a staunch defender and not because we could have been distant relatives (my family moved from Persia in the 16th century).

I do have one concern that is based on my principles of English football and that is, the Premier League has already destroyed opportunities for young English players.  I have always said that leagues below Prem should maintain the 70:30 home player ratio and now my club is bursting through this.

In the latter years of the Prem. we moaned about the lack of affinity between the fans and the players and I fear that this will be the case again.  If Jacko moves on, or becomes a bit player, who will follow in the footsteps of Kinsella, Powell, Elliot and Jacko to do the fist pump or tunnel jump?  Its a unique relationship between us and the players that i fear will die under this regime (and probably any other).  I just hope that it is kept going longer and the academy stars of today become the heroes of tomorrow and remember what being a Charlton player is all about when it comes to relating to the fans.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

The secret of Lionel Messi

It's not much of a secret as I found this out on the internet. As a recent trustee of an autism charity and with a wife who amongst many other things works with autistic children, I found it fascinating that Lionel Messi was diagnosed as autistic at 8 years old.

Rather than a hindrance this has helped him be the player he is.  Autistic children have a torrid time despite the increase on awareness of the condition, there are many who feel giving them a clip round the ear would sort them out. It is great that parents, teachers and helpers are able to use Messi as a role model for developing children in a world that portrays too many negatives.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Underwhelmed by the new manager - Thats what we do!

So the new manager has been announced Bob Peeters and Charlton fans pronounce a massive "Who are you? And what about Riga?" and a constant phrase used is "Well I am underwhelmed by this appointment!".

I have news for Charlton fans .. being underwhelmed by new managers is what we do.  To be fair I can only recall one change over prior to Lennie and that was Eddie Firmani - club legend, Chris Powell was not the first - handing over to Theo Foley.

When Lennie took over, later to become one of our top three managers, we were underwhelmed we wanted a Shanlyesque manager, but we got an assistant, a former PE teacher - underwhelmed!

Roger Alwen appointed as Lennies successor a joint managership, oh how embarrassed were we  - oh how the world of Football laughed.  Gritt and Curbishley how underwhelmed were we.

Richard Murray decided to get rid of  Gritt and leave Curbs in charge.  Wrong man, we cried, West Ham fan we screamed. Underwhelmed were we by another of the top three managers.

When Curbs was released in an unusually civilised removal, the Palace manager comes in, after a press conference where Dowie is served with a writ, were we happy that Murray had stuck it to Jordan .. no we were thoroughly underwhelmed.

As Dowie served his time, Les Reed came in and our enthusiasm for the departure of Dowie was underwhelmed by promotion of this fantastic coach, but a man born not to manage.

And then we had it, the board was enthusiastic, the fans were overjoyed .. we may even have been over whelmed ... Super Al, Super Alan Pardew .. subsequently renamed big nose ... that joy worked out well!!??!!

Then came Parkie, even supporters like me, have to admit the tarnishing of Parkinson from being part of big noses regime and a win less run which resulted in his appointment was pretty underwhelming.

And finally, my second overwhelming appointment ... Chris Powell ... 15th Div 1, Record points promotion to League 1, 9th in Championship.

So Bob .. welcome we are totally underwhelmed  by your appointment, but worry you not, you're in good company of two of the top three managers in Charltons history, if you come near to joining them we'll be in a pretty good place.

In the meantime, we're underwhelmed by your appointment ....... thats what we do!!!