Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Good Game ! Good Game !

Nice To Beat You ! To Beat You, Nice ! "

A reasonably comfortable win on Saturday against a poor Cobblers side who are struggling to get their season off the ground.

It’s fair to say that the eventual scoreline didn’t flatter The Addicks and was just reward for their overall performance.

Late on we ought to have had a penalty when Konsa was brought down by the keeper. I’m sure the ref would have given it greater consideration had the score been different.

I’ve not seen Amos play before but have noted many fans say that was his most assured display to date. Oh dear ! He was very hesitant in the first half with little communication with the defence.

In one instance in the first half he was called upon to make a good save that would not have been necessary had he come and claimed the ball in the first place. Hopefully he will improve but he didn’t fill me with confidence and I don’t recall Phillips being any worse at the very least.

That a below par Northampton side were still in the game with a few minutes to go is a worry. They should have been put to bed. A better side will punish our profligacy in front of goal. In addition, our last two goals arose as the Cobblers were chasing the game albeit that the fourth was a wonderful strike.

However, a win’s a win and the football was certainly easier on the eye than the fayre we saw from Mr Slade’s teams.

I am still tolerating Robinson and avoiding listening to his many interviews. I’ve decided that’s for the best ! However, I was unable to avoid his post-match celebrations which for me are over the top.

He can celebrate like that once we’ve achieved something so please save it for then.

Tonight we are away ( at least I think we are ) to Norwich in the League Cup travelling with a much changed team and I’m behind Robinson’s approach to this. It’s unlikely we’ll progress to the next round but if by some chance we should you won’t find me up at 4.30am or whatever trying to catch the draw.

A good performance and an honourable defeat would be acceptable. We have bigger fish to fry on Saturday for the second of our upcoming four consecutive away games.


Come On You Reds !

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Tony, Watt A Waste

Farewell Tony.

There you have it – the enigmatic Scot has finally left the building and this time he’s not coming back. A most frustrating player who clearly needs to sort his attitude and approach almost to the extent that he ought to be asking himself if he really wants to be a professional footballer.

Tony was lucky enough to find one more saloon of the last chance variety in which to imbibe. How long he has in there remains to be seen. For a man who has reportedly suffered a lot of homesickness a move to Belgium would seem far from ideal.

However, I guess he had little choice as football league clubs are seemingly not prepared to take a chance on him.

Clearly there’s a good player in there somewhere as he showed the Valley faithful on occasions. It’s a shame and I sincerely hope that he can sort himself out make a success of his latest move.

Like a lot of what he says Robinson’s insistence that the club were aware of his impending departure and that a replacement is already lined up sounds and looks rather hollow. A bit like how he was going to sort Tony Watt.

Regular readers will know that I’m not exactly chairman of the Karl Robinson fan club. He has continued to make the silly comments and rash statements that have typified his tenure to date.

He promised 5 new signings before he went on holiday and of course they never materialised. 2 players for each position hasn’t happened either and some cases one player for a position would be a blessing !

I’m trying to avoid listening to his numerous interviews and will try to tolerate him.

Despite my aversion towards him I hope he succeeds. As a fan of the club I want him to be a success I just doubt he’s the man to take us there.

Ben Reeves is a risky signing. There’s no doubting his quality and if he stays fit then he can provide the bullets. However, clearly no Championship side wanted to take a risk on him. Keep those fingers crossed folks.

The goalkeeping position is a strange one. I do wish he’d give Phillips a chance. He doesn’t need to go out on loan when there’s nothing better in S.E.7 and he’s a good prospect.

I’m wondering why it’s taking so long with Martin assuming both parties want him at Charlton. Amos looks very much a last moment signing and hasn’t filled the Valley faithful with confidence. He was very much at fault for Plymouth’s second at the weekend.

Elsewhere Robinson seems to have recruited quite well. Clearly he needs to add a striker and a goalkeeper assuming his desire not to play the aforementioned Phillips remains.

The team has had a good pre-season and played some good football. Sadly, it doesn’t count for much when the league kicks in as Ipswich will happily testify.

A battling win over Bristol Rovers and the cup win over Exeter were followed by the defeat at Plymouth. Unfortunately, we failed to take our chances in the first half and followed it up with a disappointing second half.

The Pilgrims knew how to play us and we offered little in return. We do need to have another way of playing if Robinson’s preferred system isn’t working. It was his inflexibility that marred most the games last season.

Passing the ball around with little end result was typical of the Dons under Robinson in his last two seasons. Let’s hope it doesn’t become the hallmark of this.

When he got them promoted he had Afobe, Grigg and Dele Alli who between them they scored 47 of their 101 goals. Clearly having those 3 in any team has to help and makes it easier to implement Robinson’s way of playing.

He hasn’t got that calibre of player available at present and will do well do anything near to emulating that success. If he is to do that then the oft mentioned 20 goal a season striker will be very much needed.

Obviously it’s too early to judge how this season will pan out and it will need at least 10 games before a more informed assessment can be made.

In the meantime on Saturday we face a Northampton side that has lost all three games this season 1-0. Strangely this is their third away league game as I assume some work is being done on Sixfields.

Let’s hope the team can return to winning ways.


Come On You Reds !

You're Welcome !

I missed the start of the season as I’ve been away on my hols. We were in Orlando for 2 weeks as at the ripe old age of 57 I finally made it across the pond ! Such is my limited experience of travelling abroad that this was in fact my first venture outside Europe.

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed our “ vacation “ ! The service and general friendliness of people was great. It’s easy to dismiss the “ have a nice day “ culture as a bit cheesy but I found it all very refreshing. A stark contrast to a lot of surly attitudes that one encounters on occasion here in Blighty.

It may be the land of tipping but folk do earn those tips and you don’t mind when you receive good, friendly and efficient service. 

I had no trouble adjusting to that nor the larger portions that you get in the various restaurants and diners. Probably just as well for my waistline that I had to come home.

On our return we had an internal flight from Orlando to Philadelphia. Not a particularly notable flight save for an odorous ending !

Upon starting our descent it became clear that a rather unpleasant had appeared on board. My partner immediately made me prime suspect as the frequently asked “ who cut the cheese “ was on passengers minds.

However, I was not guilty m’lud not least because one doesn’t guff on planes, trains and automobiles – one has to have standards ! Upon leaving the aircraft it became evident that there was a cat amongst the passengers and it had pooped ! Lovely ! Thank God that didn’t happen a lot earlier.

I’ve no idea why the malodorous moggy was allowed on the flight but it’s not an experience I’d like to relive anytime soon.

We did Disney and Universal parks plus Seaworld and also some waterparks. All of it was very well done and there were some superb rides and attractions.

I enjoyed them all from the rollercoasters to small rides like “ It’s a small world “ although I didn’t meet anyone I knew on that so clearly they've got that wrong !

I had envisaged long queues for a number of rides but I’m pleased to report that this wasn’t the case. Disney allow you 3 Fastpasses each day included in the price of your ticket. In addition, for other rides you can get time stamped Fastpasses to save you the queuing time.

The more exciting rides are at Universal although they to me have a more of an approach to screw you for as much money as possible. I didn’t feel that so much with Disney.

If you could marry Universal’s rides with Disney’s guest experience then you almost have the perfect park.


Anyway that’s all done now and I am looking forward to a return to the Valley once more but will I be treated to as many thrills as I have experienced recently ?

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Katrien - Q & A

not many answers though

A much needed win for the Addicks yesterday. Just about deserved with the players clearly showing more urgency and determination than on Tuesday.

Having slunk off following recent defeats Robinson was keen to lap it up and to high-five anyone in the same postcode. Remember the manager tells us that he's the same win or lose!

After this game Robinson couldn't praise the players enough. No doubt there'll all be useless again should we lose to Coventry.

All that aside earlier in the day I was part of the audience for the Q&A with Katrien that the trust organised.

It was always going to be a pretty futile exercise as you knew she wouldn't put her hand up to most of the mistakes and her general incompetence. That she was quite so brazen and dismissive in her responses was a bit surprising.

Apologies for a long post but you ought to know this. Some you may have heard or read this elsewhere but some you may not.

Meire was flanked by Dave Joyes and Tom Rubashow - chief financial officer and head of comms or PR guru if you like.

There were about 25 people in attendance. Most details have been posted on Charlton Life and I'm sure that the Trust will post a summary.

One questioner John ( coyote John ) has posted his question and the subsequent response on Charlton Life. John's question was very well worded and thought out and he followed up with points as he obviously felt she wasn't going to give the desired answer. 

It was a question I guess we'd all ask and her refusal to acknowledge the extent of failure is staggering. Meire's response was to just say " that is your opinion ".

I have the accompanying video for a couple of questions which I'm unable to post sadly. I'd welcome suggestions as to how to do so as folk really ought to see it.

Here's the text for John's question :-

Preamble: CJ:
KATRIEN. YOU’VE TALKED ABOUT LEARNING FROM YOUR MISTAKES BUT YOU HAVE FAILED TO ADDRESS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE OF ALL. AS CEO, YOU HAVE PERSONALLY PRESIDED OVER A CATASTROPHIC THREE AND A HALF YEAR PERIOD FOR CHARLTON ATHLETIC 

WHILST MANAGERS HAVE COME AND GONE YOU HAVE STAYED IN YOUR SINECURE POST WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN ENTRUSTED WITH ENORMOUS RESPONSIBILITY BUT WITH NO ACCOUNTABILITY WHATSOEVER.

YOU CLING TO A MEANINGLESS MANTRA OF 'NOT DOING FAILURE' WHEN ALL THE EVIDENCE PRESENTS OTHERWISE. IF YOU REALLY HAD THE BEST INTERESTS OF THIS CLUB AT HEART YOU SHOULD HAVE RECOGNISED THIS LEVEL OF FAILURE AND RESIGNED

Question: CJ
IN FACT, THE DECENT AND MOST GRACIOUS THING YOU COULD DO IS RESIGN RIGHT NOW TODAY. THAT’S RIGHT ISN’T IT?
Response: KM
WELL THAT'S YOUR OPINION

Follow up: CJ

YOU'RE NOT GOING TO DEFEND THREE AND A HALF YEARS OF FAILURE?

Response:
 KM
ITS YOUR OPINION 
SO, 
RELEGATION TO THIRD TIER
LOWEST LEAGUE POSITION SINCE 1926
DISAFFECTION OF FANS
PUBLIC AND IN-GAME PROTESTS
LOSS OF AROUND 4,000 STHOLDERS
DWINDLING CROWDS

NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, 
NO ACCOUNTABILITY, 
NOTHING?

Response: KM
IT IS FOR SURE OUR RESPONSIBILITY BUT FOR YOUR QUESTION OF THE RESIGNATION THAT’S YOUR OPINION.

NO REAL RESPONSE THEN.

Incredible that she didn't bother to defend herself or her record. Simply that's your opinion. However, it's not though is it, it's fact !

I said when she finally rides off into the sunset she'd be remembered amongst other things :-

  • The sofa
  • Silly mascots
  • Falling attendances
  • Lowest league position in living memory
  • £1,000's wasted in transfers and manager payoffs
  • The Dublin Conference
  • Numerous managers
Generally abject failure.

How do you think you'll be remembered ?

KM then started waffling about the academy and telling me that it didn't matter as she doesn't have an ego! Really ?

I pointed out that the academy has been here for years but I never got anything else that she felt she'd be remembered for.

A further question was made about non-renewal of season tickets and people not coming to games. It was pointed out none were ex-staff or been involved in CARD activities. They are just discontented fans.

A point was made that on a similar Tuesday night to that just gone when we were in our second season in League One following a spell of 3 draws and 3 defeats the attendance was just over 17,000. So obviously something is going wrong it's not just the football.

This was summarised to :-

a. why have the attendances fallen so low in comparison to our last time in League One
b. If Roland Duchatelet is aware why does he continue to say that the discontent is really just the result of some unhappy previous employees.

KM : obviously we dropped some attendances because of the situation what happened last year it wasn't a pretty sight and the fans turned their back on the club.

Why was that ?

KM : because of us. I recognise that and we have a huge task ahead of us to bring them back in.

You're never going to do it.

KM : Well that's your opinion.

You'll never do it.

So you do accept responsibility, you said because of us.

KM : Yes, because of the ownership, I'm not a fool.

You do accept responsibility now ?

KM : Yes.

But you're still here ?

KM : Excuse me ?

Still here. Still don't feel any professional responsibility that you ought to resign or anything, no ?

You've sacked countless managers. Has Roland ever questioned your position as the person who's appointing those unsuccessful managers repeatedly?

KM : You obviously have to ask him that question.

General laughter in the audience to that response given that Roland is never around to ask anything !

Ask yourself, Katrien ask yourself that question. Three and a half years !

KM : I think I wouldn't be here if I didn't think I could handle the situation.

You know you're in a sinecure post. You know Duchatelet won't remove you. When you go home at night after three and a half years you don't recognise that anything's wrong ?

KM : Roland has businesses everywhere across the world and if he's not happy with a senior manager he will take action, believe me.

Well I'd like to know what you're objectives are, I think we'd all like to know what your objectives are. If you're objectives are to reduce the fan base, take us to the lowest position ever then you're achieving all that.

Would you publish your objectives so that we can all see them.

KM : Our objectives are...

Not our objectives, your objectives !

KM : My objectives are aligned with the club's objectives, what's best for the club and best for the club is to get back in to the Championship and try to and re-engage with the fans. The why I'm here  here sitting today. As long as Roland has the club this is the way forward.

Amongst other things it seems Robinson is here to stay and Katrien told us she has been reviewing players with Robinson. They are looking at 5 attributes like pride and wait for it.....playing for the shirt ! Yes, she really said that !

It may take longer to secure some players especially if they're involved in play-offs. Presumably from the conference......she didn't specify !

Much was made of the new website. This was talked about at length. Great ! We'll have the best website in League One or Two then.

Overall one left with the feeling that neither Meire or Robinson are going anywhere. In her case Meire will cling on as long as she can. She'll never admit her time as CEO has been a failure despite almost admitting it.

She again insisted that she and Roland are fans of the club and passionate about it. This akin of course to a parent saying they love their kids and getting Shannon Matthews to babysit !

Nothing will improve whilst Roland owns the club and Meire is our CEO. We've known that for some time of course. Let's hope they go soon before the damage they do is terminal. As it is it will take a long time to recover from the harm done to date.





  











  







Thursday, 6 April 2017

Desperate Times

Tuesday's tribute to Keith Palmer was everything that one hoped it would be and was impeccably observed by all those present.

Sadly the performance on the pitch was nowhere near that.

It seems that the players lacked not only organisation but also motivation on a night when the memory of Keith Palmer should have been the only motivation needed.

Having now lost both Saturday's and Tuesday's games the decision to postpone the original MK game  looks as ill-judged as I thought it might be. I understand the thinking behind it of course but feared the two week break would prove as pointless as those matches.

Robinson had a full two weeks to prepare the team and one wonders what he had them doing in that time. Again he made a number of changes on Tuesday and again to no avail.

Post match and the manage was back to publicly criticising the players again, a ploy that didn't work well last time.

Today Robinson was again spouting drivel, little of it making any sense. He keeps telling us of his honesty saying he is too honest sometimes. What ? If he wants some honesty then why not tell us what it is he keeps saying is wrong at the club.

Today he was saying that the slide has been going on for years. Maybe but it ought not to be beyond any half-decent manager to arrest that at this level with this squad.

He really does talk some garbage one of the best was attempting to take credit for MK's performance on Tuesday ! Only in the sense that you set up so badly Mr Robinson.

I see that Ritchie Barker is expected to leave to take up the Rotherham manager's job. I can't say he'll be missed. After his time as MK's interim manager following Robinson's departure I'm surprised he wants to dip his toes in that particular water again.

Aside from Barker one wonders what the rest of the coaching staff are doing. Bowyer doesn't seem to have made one iota of difference. Hardly surprising though given his lack of experience and I'm not sure given his fishing interests well away from SE7 just how committed he is. I could be wrong of course but I don't see much evidence to the contrary.

Robinson now has the worst managerial record in Charlton history and that's some going. No wonder he looked a forlorn and desperate figure today. He is now down to gimmicks such a training at The Valley.

No doubt he'll ring the changes again on Saturday. Unfortunately, it seems whatever he does makes little difference and I'm not sure even he believes the nonsense he's producing.

Sad and worrying times as League Two looks a greater reality by the day. Let's hope that the players can somehow get the points we need to survive.

Come On You Reds!


Sunday, 2 April 2017

The Fools !


Another quiet week in S.E.7 culminated in another poor defeat appropriately on April Fools Day. However, every day seems like a fools day at present with our club.

At the start of the week the club managed to doing something right with its plan to acknowledge the life of Keith Palmer and to honour his memory.

Come 6pm on Saturday night and we'd had the following :-

  • A dreadful set of financial results confirming just how bad the mismanagement of the club has been in a financial sense
  • Robinson assuring us of his planned summer targets and how if we started pre-season two earlier and in Ireland all would have been fine and dandy
  • Meire smirking at supporters again alongside Sue Parkes who not only stayed on after the final whistle to antagonise supporters but took to social media to make some ill-judged remarks towards them
  • The final part of Getting To Know The Network providing further evidence of the incompetence that has surrounded the club for the past 3 years.
  • A defeat to another average League One side following a full two week preparation for it.
What a mess !

Overlooking most of the above let's focus on the match alone. Robinson had a full two weeks to prepare for it and bizarrely opted not to start most of those players who forced the postponement of the MK game from the previous Saturday.

Admittedly Konsa was injured but probably would have been anyway. Of the other 3 Magennis came on after 66 mins and Botaka after 72 mins. Dasilva as ever stayed on the bench.

Neither Magennis nor Botaka appear to have made an real impact. Therefore, one has to ask ( as I did when we called it off what benefit we got from doing so ). It should be noted that MK were going to be without one of their players.

Now we face playing again on Tuesday. Robinson will probably talk it up as an early chance to put things right. Make no mistake though the remaining games are becoming increasingly must win ones. The players will be under enormous pressure on Tuesday now as we are almost effectively 2 points above relegation when one considers other teams games in hand and how things may look come 10pm on Tuesday night.

Pre-match and Robinson again spoke of the playing for the shirt intimating that he had a wealth of riches in terms of players available. Post-match and he criticised their mentality. I recall he tried this tack before and it didn't work then either.

The man is increasingly being described as a chancer and it's hard to disagree. He won't get a better club or job than this I'm sure. Let's hope he's not allowed to blow a whole heap of money in the summer where he may well be preparing for life in League Two.

It should be noted that one of his main targets, Chuks Aneke, has now committed to another year with MK so that's one deal that definitely ain't happening.

Some folk believe that Robinson should be allowed a transfer window asking who could do better. This is on a par with Sue Parkes warning that any new owner could be worse. Perhaps but they have to be going some to do any worse, This is very true of Robinson and Duchalelet - who could do worse ?

Let's hope we somehow manage to get the points we need to prevent our great club sinking any further.

I'll not be at The Valley on Tuesday as I am away having booked a break before the game had been re-arranged.

Perhaps more important than securing those points is that on Tuesday the life of Keith Palmer is suitably remembered and honoured in equal measure. I'm sure that everyone present will be doing their utmost to ensure this is the case.

He paid the ultimate sacrifice in doing what he probably considered to be just doing his duty. He is an absolute hero and someone we can be proud to call a fellow fan.

My thoughts at 7.45pm on Tuesday will be with everyone in S.E. 7.

RIP Keith.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Finally...........


It's taken just over 3 years but the club under the present ownership has at last done something we can be proud of. It's not clear where the credit lies but this is not the time or occasion to dwell on that.

The main thing is that the right thing is being done by a number of people and that includes our players who led by Skip are donating their match fee to the fund.

A proper and fitting tribute to Keith Palmer is planned for Tuesday with donations to the fund and appropriate memorials now and something more permanent at a later date.

The word hero is used to frequently sometimes and on occasion inappropriately. However, there's little doubt that it is very relevant in Keith's case. He gave his life trying to protect and save others. People like him should be held in the highest esteem and it's only proper that he is remembered in this way. It's the least the rest of us can do.

I'm sure there'll be a splendid turn out at the game next Tuesday against MK. Sadly I'll not be there as I had already booked a holiday as there wasn't a game at the time.

I have just tried to make a donation to the fund but I note that it's now closed. This is something I would have done anyway as having a season ticket I presume means that none of that would be included in the gate receipts.

There is reference to an HSBC account that donations can be made. If anyone reading this knows how I can donate please let me know in the comments section. Thank you.

Come Tuesday evening at 7.45pm my thoughts will be with all those at The Valley.

RIP Keith.