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:



Question: CJ
Response: KM

Follow up: CJ




Response: KM


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


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.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Sale At Dale

All credit to Rochdale for a superb initiative with their season ticket promotion for next season. This is how it works :-

This year, Rochdale AFC will have been established for 110 years - formed on 15th May 1907 - and to celebrate, we are offering fans an unbelievable opportunity to purchase a 2017/18 season ticket for potentially only  £110 !

The £110 offer is based on achieving 4,000 season ticket sales and the final price will depend on the number of season ticket deposits sold:

Over 2,000 season ticket sales - £250
Over 2,500 season ticket sales - £200
Over 3,000 season ticket sales - £150
Over 4,000 season ticket sales - £110

A wonderful incentive for their fans. Any potential loss in season ticket revenue will no doubt be made up and perhaps exceeded by increased refreshment, programme and other sales.

How good is that ! If only we had far a far-sighted owner and CEO who could produce such an idea. Let’s hope that whoever takes over from Roland, whenever that may be, might be swayed towards this type of promotion.

It would certainly go a long way to getting a number of fans back to The Valley.

Sadly, with Roland in charge nothing short of giving the season tickets away for free is likely to have any effect. Even then I’m sure a number would still stay away in protest.

Sadly, with Queen Kat dahn our gaff there’s no sign of any improvement and the only way our tickets are coming down in price is when we drop another division. That is only a matter of time of course whilst our incompetent CEO continues to lead us on our downward spiral.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Robinson Review

Blah ! Blah ! Blah ! Blah ! Blah !

Chris Wilder’s team put an end to the Addicks recent draws. In so doing they strengthened their promotion from League One whilst ensuring that our struggle to remain in it continues.

Obviously we look at Wilder and think of what might have been if our number one choice had taken the job back in the summer. I think it’s fair to say that he would have got us into a play-off place at least.

Following his success in getting the Cobblers promoted last season his CV is looking better with each passing season.

Comparisons with our present manager don’t make good reading. In fact comparing Robinson with most other League One managers isn’t good and conversely his CV is looking worse with each passing season.

Henry Irving summed it up accurately and succinctly with a post on Charlton Life earlier today.

We'll never know how Wilder would have done under this regime. We can all see how badly Tarbuck is doing.

Slade was sacked and Robinson appointed to give us " the best chance of promotion". Robinson was given a transfer window and he brought in five players.

None have made a huge impression or improvement due to injuries, suspensions or just not being picked by the manager who signed them.

We're now told that it is about next season. But that wasn't the line when Russell "right man for the job" was sacked.

In patches we play some good football under Robinson but that has been when we play 442 using Slade and previous managers players. And we played as well if not better under Nugent who didn't have Holmes or a transfer window.

Karl wasted months, and many points and a transfer window, trying to make 4231 work and has failed.

We are set for our worse league finish in 90 years.

Wilder can hardly have done worse if he tried but at Sheffield Utd he's been allowed to get on with the job. He's built a team spirit and has a consistent way of playing.

Large portions of his budget aren't being spent on players loaned out to other clubs or paying off previous mistakes. And Wilder isn't obliged to put young players in the shop window for a quick sale.

Wilder never got £8m for a young striker either. But then again neither did Robinson. £400k from £8m to spend but even that wasn't spent well. Injury prone players or inexperienced loaners rather than proven, battle hardened performers but remember Karl you're a farmer not a coach. You job is to babysit any talent we have until they are sold. “

That struck a chord with me as I found myself agreeing with every word.

Many will cite our owners and of course they are always a factor. However, Robinson has a good squad at his disposal and it must the envy of most in the league. Indeed at MK he had pretty much of what he had in the Championship last season.

Robinson’s league record for this season, 2016-17 for both us and MK doesn’t make good viewing.

P 30 W 9 D 14 L 17 Pts 41

What ought to be an accurate comparison to a degree is to look at how Robinson’s former team are doing under their new manager, Robbie Neilson.

Robbie Neilson’s league record  - P 18 W 7 D 5 L 6  Pts 26

MK sit one place below us with the same number of points on goal difference but have a game in hand.

In the transfer window MK lost one of their better players in Carruthers and certainly haven’t been able to recruit to the extent and supposed quality that Robinson has.

In his time with us Robinson has told us of how we have the most fantastic players in the league, the next Deli Alli and another who is a Premier league player in waiting.

Robinson’s league record for us :- P 20 W 4  D 8 L 8  Pts 20

The comparison with Neilson’s lesser talented squad show that he has garnered 6 points more from 2 fewer games.

The above doesn’t take into account injuries and suspensions of course but all teams get them.

Robinson doesn’t seem able to get a decent 90 minutes out of our boys. Some folk like the way we played in the 2nd half on Tuesday and for most of yesterday.

Definitely an improvement on recent performances but isn’t it a minimum of what we should expect to see from this squad ?

That the better performances have come from playing a 4-4-2 formation isn’t a surprise. It shouldn’t have taken so long for Robinson to ditch his wretched 4-2-3-1 that clearly wasn’t working.

I believe that most folk can see that Robinson isn’t all that good and of course there’s an awful lot of talk with him. I don't need to see him have a summer transfer window as I know it won't go well especially if we get more nonsense that some clubs won't sell to us or demand outrageous fees.

In addition, as Henry says his player recruitment isn’t that good. Da Silva is a case in point. Why did he get him ? He hardly plays and has only done so recently as there was no other option.

It seems that we’ve got Robinson to the end of the season. We have to hope that he can steer us to safety. I don’t think it’ll be that easy and in the meantime we have to do our best to avoid the numerous pre and post-match interviews. 

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Not Even In Our Wilder Dreams

If only..............

Following yet another draw the Addicks return to the road this weekend with a trip to Bramall Lane.

It is to be hoped that we could play two good halves of a match. Tuesday saw us continue our recent trend of a poor first half with improved effort and performance in the second.

I managed to catch a fair bit of the 2nd half against Bradford and we certainly put them under the cosh. Our poor finishing was again to let us down. We ought to take the rough with the smooth however, as The Bantams could have been out of sight by half time.

That was the case on Saturday too as Walsall’s strikers failed to hit the target.

Quite why Robinson can’t get the team motivated and organised is puzzling. I simply don’t think he’s all that good despite that he talks a good game with his grass and classroom sessions, passion, desire, playing for the shirt etc. etc.

The Blades unsurprisingly perhaps given their position have enjoyed a pretty successful February and March to date. They will no doubt be confident of a win on Saturday.

Chris Wilder will no doubt look at the state of our club and be reassured that he was right to turn us down in the summer. Whether he did use us as a bargaining chip I don’t know but it’s clear the loss is ours. Even under this ownership I think he’d have got us up in the position that reflects our budget.

For our part we can only watch his team march onto to the league title, promotion back to the Championship and think of what might have been.

It would seem that we need at least one more win as a minimum to ensure survival at this level. I really can’t see that coming this weekend. 

After that we'll now have a break as it seems clear the club have taken a short-sighted decision to postpone the MK Dons game. For me, whichever way you look at it it's a poor decision. The crowd would have been bigger on the Saturday for a start. 

In any case look at when we postponed against Millwall..........a lot of good that did us ! I don't think those players who would have been missing would be that big a loss. Da Silva has rarely played and Magennis hasn't been pulling up any trees of late. 

Robinson has been under pressure recently but I read with interest that some feel Robinson should be given more time. Their reasons for this hardly inspire confidence as it’s not because they genuinely believe he is any good or the right man for the job.

Generally it’s borne out of a desire not to sack another manager and to have some continuity. Many will cite the appalling injury list. That has a bearing of course but then again Robinson makes some bizarre decisions when he has players available.

For example clearly Chicksen is our best left back but he rarely plays there. I’ve never understood that. One can cite that only Mageniss can play as a lone striker yet Robinson has had a number of folk in that role. All totally unsuitable.

Today he's been talking of bringing in 10 or 11 players before the break for summer. This has to be more nonsense even only if time wouldn't realistically allow for that to happen. This is aside from the question of ownership. Even if it's still Roly in charge it's hard to see him sanctioning the type of spend needed.

I hope that come next summer we’ll see Roly gone and the new regime bring in a decent, proven manager and back him. I wouldn’t expect instant success that would equate to a play-off place. I just want to see us heading the right direction again.

Obviously a lot of hard work is required to rebuild our club. Getting folk back and fully behind the team and management won’t be easy. However, clear plans for the future and a proper connection with the fans would go a long way towards that.

Here’s hoping !

Come On You Reds !

Monday, 13 March 2017

The Play That Goes Wrong

Just back from seeing this tonight. You'd be forgiven for thinking that it's something that might have a Duchatelet / Meire production. However, this was very funny and anything involving those two is more of a tragedy.

If you get the chance to see this play then do. It's very good.

Well, last week was another quiet one in S.E.7 !

To be fair even by recent standards it was something of a blinder. We actually won a game for the first time since 2nd January before returning to drawing ways on Saturday.

The powers that be have behaved in such a petty and vindictive way that the POTY event has now been cancelled.

PR man Tom Rubashaw would have us believe that Meire didn’t know she was lined up for two Q & A sessions with those vinegar folk.

Finally, rumours abound that Roly might actually be ready to sell the club.

Robinson managed to ensure some stability by reverting to the successful 4-2-3-1 formation. Never mind that 4-4-2 had brought the afore-mentioned success on Tuesday.

Tony Watt was selected to play the lone striker role. Never mind that he is clearly not suited to the role let’s do it anyway. Watt could be found over on the right wing on numerous occasions in the first half as if to prove the point.

Inside the first 20 minutes and with better finishing the Saddlers could have been 3 or 4 up. Luckily for the Addicks it was on the whole, woeful.

Eventually the breakthrough came and we paid the price for having such a high defensive line as Jackson broke through and finished with some aplomb.

Thankfully the Addicks had a better second half and changed to 4-4-2. Watt’s splendid strike ensuring a share of the spoils.

Not a great performance but it was enough to gain a valuable point towards safety.

4 points gained from the two games but Robinson has done little to enhance his reputation. He is obsessed with his formation to the point of self-destruction. His use of subs still baffles fans.

I don’t see why he didn’t start with Hanlan or at least bring him on in the second half. He’d be more suited to the lone striker role and must be more deserving of a chance than some.

Maybe he’s destined to sit on the bench for the rest of the season – company for Da Silva !

Tomorrow night Bradford will pose a stern test. If we get anything out of that it could be seen as a positive especially with our seemingly endless injury list.

Overriding all the above of course is the rumour that Roly might be prepared to sell up. No one is counting any chickens yet in that respect but we must all hope it is the case.

Any potential buyer has pretty much got to be better than the incumbent.

If the sale goes through then we best all prepare for the mother of all parties !

Come On You Reds !

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Blazing Saddlers

A much needed win on Tuesday lifted a little of the gloom surrounding a dreadful run of performances and results that has taken us towards relegation.

The threat remains of course as it needs more than one win to secure our League One status. i'm sure that Meire promised with our top 6 budget we'd be challenging for a play-off berth at least. However, like most of her promises it has come to nowt.

Our CEO yesterday cancelled her 2 upcoming Q&A sessions scheduler for 11th and 25th March. A communications mix up we're led to believe and Rubashow has to issue an embarrassing apology that looks weaker than Meire's CV.

Maybe they clash with her holidays. I'm sure she went off on vacation about this time last year when we were facing a crisis on the pitch. Perhaps I'm wrong and La Meire is off just yet. 

Possibly there was a directive from Roly that she wasn't to meet with the vinegar pi**ers who so disrupted his dancing last weekend. That seems unlikely to a degree as the old man doesn't really pay any interest to what Daisy gets up to.

Meire did managed to speak to Radio 4 on International Womens Day. Having not spoken for months there she was self-promoting. She did managed to tell the audience that Charlton are a Championship club and we need to get back there. She did bother to add the " with Premiership aspirations " bit. Even she couldn't be bothered with the pretence.

In the meantime Robinson has been talking again......yes, really !

Apparently Watt repaid the faith in him coming on as sub. I'd like a piece of the action please. I reckon I could do about 10 minutes and put a pen away for the money the Scot is getting.

The manager tells us all how it tough love for Watt as though he's found the secret to managing the former Celtic player. Clearly that's a load of bull as Watt looks less fit now than when he first returrned to the club. 

Remember Robinson was going to make him run, sweat, bleed, apologise etc.etc. Doesn't look like that's happened to me.

Other gems of late from the manager include today's " I'm not one of those who gets very emotional ". Yeah, right ! Level headed Robinson ! We've all seen him react like he's won the Premier League after a win.

Of more concern is his claim in respect of the endless slog of games of late that " I've never known nothing like this ". Really ? In his time as manager he's not had a run of Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday matches like the one we're currently in ?

Like most of what he says I find that hard to believe.

Leaving all the above behind and we move onto Saturday and another tough game. They'll all be tough as we're so sh....ambolic and lacking in confidence. 

We desperately need those two remaining wins so that we don't have to worry about the drop to the bottom tier.

It all remains a tough ask and I can see this going all the way to the end of the season.

Tuesday's empty stands was a depressing sight and your author was one of the absentees. I couldn't motivate myself for the journey that would have seen me not home before midnight. That's not good but sadly it's where me and many others are at.

As someone remarked you wonder what Meire thinks as she surveys the empty rows of seats. Possibly it's " my work here is nearly done ".

If Meire had any professional credibility or basic sense of pride she'd have resigned a long time ago. Clearly she hasn't and I'm not she has any decency as a human being either or for that alone she'd have gone.

She knows Roly won't sack her despite her sacking those she's appointed after only a few months on the basis that they aren't competent. 

She'll never get another job at a football club that's not owned by Roly. I guess she'll return to international law once she's finished with us. How football will cope without her is anyone's guess. 

What a wretched season this has been - the icing on the cake of their 3 year ownership.

Come On You Reds ! 

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Home and Away

Saturday saw Addicks both here and abroad fighting two battles. One on home soil was for survival in League One, the other on foreign ground was for our very existence.

Closer to home saw a rather saddening display from both some fans and players alike. In some cases neither exactly covered themselves in glory.

The day started well for me as the decision to partake of pre-match imbibing in The Squirrels was to prove a good one. Good beer and food was consumed whilst watching United and Bournemouth entertain us with some behaviour that wouldn't have been out of place on the undercard for the Haye-Bellew fight.

Once inside Sixfields Stadium things went rapidly downhill. From the off Rudd was subject to a whole load of abuse from a few of our finest. Quite what he's done to warrant that I've no idea. The insults got worse after Smith scored. How on earth anyone thought Rudd could do anything about that I've not a clue.

A perfect cross was beautifully met and dispatch into the top left hand corner of the goal. It was unstoppable.

In the meantime, just behind the goal one of our more mature fans kicked off with another one. It never amounted to much but was unpleasant and sufficient to cause much distress to a wheelchair bound gentleman. All pretty unsavoury.

Somehow we fashioned a scrappy equaliser that was mostly undeserved. This led to a few of ours to go and taunt the Cobblers fans with a chair being thrown as well. As I understand it this hit Chicksen's mum. Thankfully, I don't think she was too badly hurt.

There's nothing good to say about the rest of the match. We didn't really create anything and totally lacked any cohesion or game plan. Watt appeared for a disappointing cameo and again he was on the receiving end of abuse. Maybe it's deserved to a degree but shouting all manner of obscenities at him or anyone else isn't going to help.

Post match very few players made their way over to the fans. Those that did get a hearty rendition of " you're not fit to wear the shirt ".

Equally Robinson left the scene. Not for him to be gathering the players together and lapping up the applause as if we've won the league. All mates together ! I can't see that happening for some time.

Clearly the manager didn't get away early to prepare himself to deliver a rational and erudite interview. The usual waffle followed and now he's taking the blame himself. Well that's what he said except he went on to cite injuries, suspensions, bad weather, officials looking at him in a funny way etc.etc. All reasons as to why he is fast becoming our least successful and popular manager.

He may eclipse Fraye, Pardew and Dowie across one or both of those. Quite some going.

At the time of writing Robinson remains in situ. Sadly, the same is also true of the man who is the driving force behind our current plight. However, Duchatelet did get an insight into the depth of the antipathy towards as nearly 300 Addicks paid him a visit in his hometown.

Their stories and details of their trip are well documented elsewhere. They have served to embarrass Roly in his backyard and also highlighted our situation through national and foreign media. We all owe them a great deal of gratitude.

Hopefully they will have nudged the owner nearer to departure. Whether those hardy souls have been successful won't be clear for some time. What is clear though is that they displayed more passion and desire than we witnessed from our boys on the pitch in Northampton.

In respect of Robinson and our squad it's a total mess. I really can't see us winning any of the next 3 games. Given the toxic atmosphere I witnessed Saturday playing all those at home really won't help as it is likely to be magnified.

It's all such a bloody mess. We are in our lowest position in my lifetime ( and I'm no spring chicken ) with no sign of things improving.

Maybe our CEO will offer some hope and insight when she shares her ideas and plans with fans on Saturday in her next Q&A session. We can rely her to deliver, can't we ?


Thursday, 2 March 2017

Roly Faces His Waterloo

Robinson spoke at length ( how unusual ) today in the pre-match press conference. Aside from discussing the Haye - Bellew fight he found time to discuss the team he manages.

It now seems that the 40% of Tuesday night is a very fluid bunch and some players may migrate to the 60% and vice versa although to my mind that means it is no longer a 40-60 split. Never mind, Robinson doesn’t like to dwell on the finer points or indeed 3 points.

The manager reckoned that yesterday’s clear the air meeting was great and really productive almost to the point where you expected him to say what a great bunch of players they are. The lads are full of passion, pride and determined to play for the shirt etc.etc.

I think he’s blown his relationship ( if indeed he had one ) with most of the squad. You’d understand if they’ve grown tired of the same old spiel, tactics and formation.

It’s draining for us to have to listen to that drivel for about 20 minutes each week, imagine hearing it every day in training.

Clutching at straws Robinson referred to Chris Powell bringing in 20 odd fresh faces prior to that League 1 winning season. I don’t think he’ll be backed to the same extent and in any case even if he were the man’s not capable of moulding them into a team.

Robinson is desperately clinging on now. Another reverse on Saturday will have Roly twitching especially with games against Bradford and The Blades looming large on the horizon. That Katrien has publicly backed doesn’t bode well for him.

A poor display and scoreline at Sixfields will probably see the away support vent their spleen. It has the potential to be toxic.

Cobblers fans won’t take to kindly to Robinson I’m sure given his MK connections. His previous team were well beaten in a televised game against Northampton earlier in the season and Town will probably be confident of doing the same against us despite a reverse in midweek.

Hearts and minds are likely to be elsewhere though of course as we consider fellow fans making the trip to Belgium.

Aside from having a good time I hope they are able to make their point to our destructive owner whilst further highlighting our plight in both foreign and national media.

Maybe when he’s sees the make up and number of fans Roly will realise that it isn’t bitter ex-employees who are protesting. Nor is it misogynists or xenophobes whatever Katrien and the tiresome a2c would have him believe.

Our hapless CEO isn’t going to leave or indeed change in any way as she just doesn’t have the first clue about how to turn things around. No number of PR personnel is going to help her out of the mess of her making.

Therefore, I have to say that the more important battle to win on Saturday is the one being fought on foreign soil. Nothing less than the ultimate victory will save our precious club now with a great deal of irreversible damage already done.

Come On You Reds and Come On You Mighty 2% !

Tuesday, 28 February 2017


It must be haddock

February was always going to be a pivotal month and having gained only 3 points from a potential 21 it seems appropriate that on Pancake Day we should demonstrate just what a bunch of tossers we are.

Looking for positives ? Don't even start, there simply aren't any.

The only thing going in a positive direction is the number of red and yellow cards that our boys now collect at an alarming rate.

The by-product of that of course is that suspensions then compound the problems caused by injuries. Astonishingly though when most players get a chance as a result of that they don't take it. However, the manager's failing system and propensity to make too many changes to the starting eleven don't do a lot to help either.

I wasn't a fan of Robinson, didn't want him anywhere near our club and I detested his over the top post-match celebrations which appeared even when we'd only drawn some games.

I'm not alone in my dislike of the man and he is slowly but surely bringing most Addicks round to my view. However, this is not confined to our club. Across League One where he has served most of his time as manager Robinson is not well thought of.

Clearly and not surprisingly AFC don't don't hold him in high regard ( and I'm not excusing what their employee said to him ). Northampton and Peterborough are two other clubs whose fans don't like our manager. He can expect a less than cordial reception on Saturday, assuming that he is still in charge.

Aside from all that baggage there's the relationship he has with referees and indeed, all officials. His constant criticism, justified or otherwise, surely can't help.

Robinson's managerial career is littered with hyperbole and flimsy excuses. Add to that the fact that he seems tactically naive ( but happy to share it with all and sundry before the game ) with only one way of playing means that the man is holed beneath the waterline.

Out of the ten personal battles tonight only our hat-trick man can realistically claim to have won his although it does seem his battle was more 1 to 10 than 1 to 1 !

All the evidence is there that he is little to no better than most of the managers we've have under this regime. Would sacking him do any good ? Maybe. Maybe not. 

In all likelihood we'd get another manager not fit for purpose if only because no self-respecting manager would touch it.

The proposed Belgium protests against Roly could hardly have received better and further justification than the events of the past few weeks. The man doesn't do failure remember yet his inept CEO remains in situ. At almost any other club she would have gone some while ago.

Since he doesn't communicate with fans and has little time for his toy it falls to the aforementioned CEO to relay his plans. At least she would do but there don't appear to be any and Harpo Marx appears verbose compared to the Katrien of recent months.

Our beloved club continues its decline with seemingly nothing to arrest its slide. There is, of course, only one thing that can do that and a number of hardy Charlton fans are travelling to Belgium over the weekend in an attempt to make that happen.

For those of us not going we can only wish them Godspeed and give them our thanks.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Cryptic Karl

Point and away you go !

Mr Robinson exceeded himself today as he treated us to 20 minutes of pre-match chat. However, don't think that longer time meant that he said anything meaningful.

There were the usual references to passion, desire and the badge that apparently says winner. What's this though ? Robinson now has a new buzzword........culture. I lost count of the number of times he used the word but he's serious about it believe me.

As ever he wasn't particular clear what this culture was. There is a culture but a culture of what.....of losing, a culture of dishonesty, a culture of one is any the wiser after a full 20 minutes but he wants a new culture and no mistake.

In addition, the manager again made reference to the fact that he knows what the problem is with the team but when pressed ( if you can call it that ) fails to say exactly what he means.

He appears to be saying that he hasn't been backed in the transfer market but later says it will all change in summer. So they've not backed you now but will in 4 months time ? Hmm.

All the time he keeps telling us that he's being honest and not only that he has been encouraged to be so. There's honesty and then keeping your cards close to your chest whilst being economical with the truth. 

If he were being honest then surely he'd answer the question as to what the problem is that he's so sure he knows of ?

Roly and Kat must love him as during all his spiel he sang the praises of the younger players and we can apparently look forward to the next Lookman. Exciting times ahead.

As ever just win a game or two please ! Pretty please !

Off the pitch there's been the usual odd stories. Bowyer is appointed assistant first team coach, like we needed another one. I've no idea what coaching experience he has and he's come out of nowhere to land a job with Robinson. Very odd all round.

The minutes of the Fans Forum show the club still seek to take over the Player of the Year event as they did last year. They don't give up easily do they ? They seek to turn it into a child friendly event that appeals to no one. 

There are plenty of other opportunities to do something like that through the season. The event has been successfully run by others for years.

One is tempted to say " if it ain't broke don't fix it ! ". However, the board's mantre is quite the opposite " if it ain't broke, why not ? "

In the meantime,there's a game to be won on Saturday as The Addicks play the reverse of the opening day fixture. They'll be hoping for a better performance than they put on at Gigg Lane. That was one that set the tone for the season.

Football for a fiver alone as far as the club is concerned needs something vastly improved than what we've seen of late.

Come On You Reds !  

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Holding Our Position

Yep ! We're still there !

After school football commitments prevented me from getting to tonight's game. Lucky me it seems !

Never mind another defeat, another goalless game, another early goal conceded, another 5 yellow cards and yet another red card - it seems that this was a real gutless performance. 

With every passing game ( no pun intended ) Robinson is increasingly exposed. He really is out of his depth. Constantly changing the starting eleven using the same formation and still unable to produce anything more than plucky draws at best.

Maybe the players have now had their fill of the manager too. If so, then matters are even worse than ever.

Those players do need to take a large share of the blame too though as I'm not impressed with anyone wearing our shirt and not giving it their all.

Robinson will no doubt talk a lot as ever without actually saying anything. however, when one calmly analyses our performances and results during his tenure they don't make good reading - possibly with the exception of possession stats !

Our disciplinary record alone has been shocking. I think that's 4 red cards in the last 6 games ? Not far off if not totally accurate. 

There are many questions that the manager needs to answer in terms of all of above and you can add to that the recent player recruitment. Da Silva is a case in point - is he just here to warm the bench ?

Some will argue that no manager could enjoy any success under Roly and they have a point. However, I have always felt that Robinson isn't right for our club and wouldn't be successful no matter who owned us.

Robinson aside tonight's dreadful loss played out in front of a pathetic crowd with an atmosphere to match serves to underline just what Duchatelet has brought us to in just 3 years. It further validates the protests in Belgium on 4th March.

I fail to see how anyone can stand up for Roly as the declines continues I really don't know. The only consolation we can take is that each passing day brings us closed to his going. 

Friday, 17 February 2017

Oop North Again

It's usually the case for The Addicks

A second game in 5 days in the north awaits on Saturday as Robinson leads his charges into Spotland.

2 points from the last 3 games isn’t what anyone ordered especially with a number of players returning from injuries and suspension resulting in a stronger squad. 

Off the pitch and Kennedy has now joined Hanlan on loan and Kevin Nugent has got himself the manager’s job at Barnet. Good luck to all of them. 

With our misfiring strikers these lads must wonder why they were deemed surplus to requirements. I’ve not seen Mavididi but one wonders if he’s really that much better than those two. 

Valentine’s Day is probably best forgotten and it’s to be hoped that fellow Addicks had more joy in scoring than our boys !

The one good thing arising from Tuesday was that there was no one red card and that’s one thing we’ve arrested……. for now.

It’s difficult to see how we can possibly get into the playoffs given that we lack any consistency. 

Tuesday saw Robinson make a few unforced changes that left most baffled. I understand doing so if your hand is forced but they did seem unnecessary.

Oh for a settled side. Why not ? No one is knocking on the door particularly. Aside from which are we really going to see out the season playing Robinson favoured and apparently only system right to the end of April ?

Surely he must consider another formation if his preferred one continues to fail to deliver. Sadly, I fear he won’t even if only for self-preservation but he seems so wedded to it.

I appreciate that he’s not had enough backing from RD and one would hope that even Robinson himself realises what we all knew – he was never going to get it.

Nonetheless there is still a squad of half decent players that he ought to be getting a lot more out of. To a degree I think he’ll find himself with the thankless task of trying to motivate the likes of our loanees who will have no particular reason to put themselves out too much.

Robinson’s penchant for too much chat and over-egging the pudding continues to make him look silly. Of late we’ve had the marquee signing, the new Deli Alli, nearly every player would walk into any League One side etc. – the list goes on.

You’d like to think that the postponement of the press conference is as a result of him taking time to deliver some sensible and rational words today but one doubts it.

2017 has been far from great for Rochdale as they’ve recorded just one league win since the turn of the year. In fact ,I note that they haven’t scored for 474 minutes ! Wow ! Should be a goal fest !

Maybe even one goal would be enough for us then never mind the two that Robinson craves.

Good luck to everyone going on Saturday. I hope you are rewarded for your efforts and that we come away with the 3 points.

Come On You Reds !

Sunday, 12 February 2017

" There has to be an element of control "

" I know it's about the fight and competing for survival in one of the most difficult leagues in Europe but there has to be an element of control ".

Most Addicks don't need telling or reminding who uttered those words nearly a year ago shortly before demanding that Sanago be banned for the rest of the season after collecting a red card for elbowing a Dons player. Sanogo apologised later - presumably he was wound up after the Dons player said something that didn't belong in any industry.

Regular readers of this blog will know I wasn't in football parlance, over the moon, when Robinson was appointed as our manager. I know most of us wanted a British manager ( although I would qualify that by saying we wanted a manager with proven success in the football leagues ) but that didn't mean that was the sole criteria.

To be clear that wasn't just because Robinson has a track record of rubbishing officials and seemingly blaming them for every defeat his teams suffer. Nor was it just because he talks a lot, in fact a hell of a lot without actually saying anything meaningful.

It wasn't just because his teams are set up to have a lot possession with that apparently being more important almost than scoring goals.

It was the whole package that led me to believe he wasn't at all suited to manage our club. I know we've had some less than wonderful gaffers in the last 3 years but none has quite dismayed me as much as the current incumbent.

I had, perhaps naively, hoped that he might have moved on a bit following a short spell out of the game. Maybe he'd taken the time to reflect on all aspects of his management. Maybe he'd leave the waffle behind and some other less appealing aspects of his management style.

Saturday's final whistle and events immediately following it confirmed that in no way has there been any change. His behaviour not only reflected badly on him but brought more embarrassment to our club.

No wonder we've had 3 red cards in successive games. Byrne's tackle last week didn't look good to me but Robinson saw fit to applaud him off the pitch and pat him on the back. Why endorse that ?

Where does Robinson go from here ? I fail to see how he can discipline any player for transgressing on the pitch. Maybe he'll refund Tex the fine he imposed after the Portuguese threw the ball at Morison. After all he suffered physical rather than verbal abuse that some would argue is worse.

Robinson has brought with him a whole lot of baggage that ranges from his dislike of officials and vice versa to other clubs supporters feeling the same way.

Let's be clear Robinson did cop a load of stick on Saturday and that banner was a step too far. Their point could have been better made without the use of the C word. However, he must have been expecting it and a lot of it would have been of his own making.

Wimbledon ought to be a  club with whom we have a great affinity given our respective histories. Sadly, Saturday will have done a deal of damage to any relationship. Let's hope it restricted to Robinson himself.

No doubt there are other clubs whose fans share a similar dislike of the man. Peterborough are probably one.

Some folk are keen to defend the manager citing his passion. Is this the same sort of passion that saw Rosler antagonise our fans last week or some Millwall fans behave the way they do ? Maybe those Robinson apologists believe they can selective in their definition of this " passion ".

Two games played in February and the main talking points arising are referees and a post-match altercation with a groundsman. That's probably just as well for Robinson otherwise we'd start to examine football matters and ask questions such as why we can have so much possession and not score more than one goal.

Why one of our best strikers is playing left mid ? Why he can't set his team up to play a system that doesn't involve one man up front ?

Why when apparently have so many good players including the latest Deli Alli are we floundering in mid-table ?

It seems the players do want to play for him despite all the off field nonsense and waffle and at present to me that's all Robinson has and needs to cling onto. However, more episodes like Saturday allied to poor results even his greatest advocate will desert him.

Since his appointment Robinson has been keen to tell us what a massive club we are and cites our history and tradition and how he is honoured to be our manager. All very good but with it comes a great deal of responsibility. He needs to ensure that his words and deeds match the rhetoric.

Time to clean up his act for as much as he likes a drink he won't want to be drinking in the last chance saloon too often.