Wednesday, 1 February 2023

Breaking The Club To Break Even

No real surprises in the latest lacklustre transfer window. As far as CAFC is concerned there’s no point in being any more specific in stating January as the summer one is always just as bad.

Even to most cynical amongst us could not have anticipated the extent to which players were to be sold or loaned out.

Several players have been shipped out and two moved on permanently. I suppose one should be pleased that Leaburn, Ness or similar have been retained.

Stockley’s departure was no surprise as opposed to O’Connell’s. Jayden wasn’t really getting a look in and was out of form and no where near the player he was last season.

He really wasn’t helped by the changing managers and subsequently formations. He and will no doubt score against us for a now strengthened Fleetwood side who did some good business.

O’Connell’s move is a real shock as he’s been playing well and is certainly better than Inniss and Lavelle although he too moved on.

Those players we did recruit are all only here until the end of May so there’s nothing to get excited about.

Blatantly there has been no attempt to disguise that fact that this was all about cost cutting. No one is stupid enough to believe there is any plan to build for the future.  

The silence from Sandgaard, the recruitment team or even the tea lady tells you all you need to know. I guess Holden will be required to sugar coat things later today.

We are considerably weaker now than we were in December. The season might as well end now. Hopefully we won’t go down although injuries to our remaining centre halves could cause problems.

Comment from Banjo Man about transfers aside we’ve not heard anything more regarding the potential takeover whether it be 80 or 100%. It really is a farce and unbelievably he seems to be doing more damage than Duchatelet.

As we now know Sandgaard isn’t one to admit his mistakes so we can’t expect him to acknowledge his failings and just go quiet in that good night to paraphrase a more astute Thomas by the name of Dylan.

All the euphoria that surrounded the cup game at Old Trafford has long since evaporated. All the good will that could have engendered gone in a flash!

At season’s end we’ll be left with a collection of players out of contract and/or favour with little to no motivation nor reason to stay in S.E.7.   

Potentially we’ll start the 23/24 season with the club in the state it’s perhaps ever been in. We’ll probably be odds on to go down. That is unless Sandgaard does a U-turn and decides to invest both time and money in the club or we get someone with both money and business sense who is keen to do things properly.

At present both those options seem a million miles away. What can we do about it? The ironic answer is sweet FA!

Protesting seems a pointless exercise. Thomas doesn’t bother to come over anymore and does nothing but pay lip-service when he does and his son is equally uncaring despite being employed by the club.

All in all it’s a very depressing scenario but that’s been the case for years now and we should be used to it. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt of course as clearly is does to anyone who cares about our great club.

All we can do is to cling on in the hope that sunnier days lie ahead however long we have to wait for them!


Monday, 30 January 2023

Charlton 1 Bolton 2

No real shame in defeat on Saturday to a decent Bolton side. However, we seemed a bit below par when compared to recent displays. There didn’t seem the same intensity we had against Barnsley for example.

Bolton are a well drilled and physical side who press well and forced several errors from our players.

The Trotters could easily have been 3 or 4 nil up at half time. Luck and excellent last ditch defending prevented it from being no more than 1-0.

Shoretire was a constant menace with bags of skills. The United loanee was a real handful.

Bolton ought to finish in at least third place. Their only Achilles heel appears to be their keeper. Trafford appears to make some dodgy decisions and his distribution looks a bit suspect.

He nearly messed up when Bonne went for the ball and ultimately got booked I felt it was a bit harsh as clumsy as the tackle was. Trafford invited that and it could have been costly.

We did well to score so soon after the break to get back into the game and one wonders how it might have been had JRS taken that near post chance that followed soon after.

Having worked so hard to stay in the game the Bolton second and ultimately the winner was a really poor goal to concede. It was error strewn and a total lack of communication cost us dear.

Holden has had an excellent start as manager and got most things right. I felt that Campbell and Leaburn were unlucky to be dropped. CBT and Bonne did little to justify their starting berths.

Dean really ought to have made changes before he did too. At least a couple of players didn’t merit staying on at half time.

CBT had a poor game where heavy touches, poor decision making and a failure to cross early enough wasted many attacks. He lacked any cutting edge on Saturday.

Penney had a poor debut and I’ll stop short using the old term used to describe a cheap comic but it did cross my mind when he opted to shoot from 40 yards late on!

I think he can be cut a bit of slack given his late arrival. He’ll have to do a lot better to convince me that he should start over a fully fit Sessingnon.

Morgan took his chance well but still fails to convince overall. In addition, I don’t get why he get to take free kicks especially when Fraser is on the pitch. We all want him to do well but the lack of consistency lets him down.

We’re into the final 2 days January and like most days concerning our club, they will be interesting.

We may see something happen with the ownership but that’s anyone’s guess. We’ve seen more nonsense trotted out in the last 48 hours.

It would seem that whatever happens in respect of those linked to date we’re in a lose-lose situation.

Sandgaard is a busted flush and the rumoured takeover mob don’t seem any better.

In respect of transfers I’m not convinced anyone will come in. If they do it’ll be a loanee or short term contract.

Kirk maybe on the way out along with Stockley. One has to feel for Kirk as things really have conspired against him. Perhaps a move would be best for him in the long run.

The same could now be said of Stockley. He has really gone down hill this season. He should never have been made captain. No striker should in my opinion but I saw little in terms of leadership from Jayden.

I think we would do well to move DJ on. I can’t recall him ever having a good game and despite all the hype around his transfer he really hasn’t cut the mustard.

Lots of water to pass under the bridge before we kick off again next Saturday. As always, we are mere bystanders and watch matters unfold from a afar.







Friday, 13 January 2023

Back To The Nitty Gritty

Back to earth with a bump on Saturday as we go from the glamour of Old Trafford to Barnsley at home.

Like ourselves, Barnsley once graced the Premier League albeit that they only lasted one season. Very much in similar vein though they went down with Neil “relegation” Redfern in their ranks.

One of our most expensive signings, Redfern was about as effective as Jimmy Floyd H. The less said about the pair of them the better.

This is very much a bread and butter game. The Tykes occupy a play off spot and this would have been a tough game at any time. Having just gone toe to toe with United in midweek makes it a whole lot tougher as it must have taken something out of them. Hopefully they’ve recovered well.

Never mind, seeing the lads and the great support at Old Trafford was worth it. It really served to highlight the great potential of our club. My God we’ve over achieved in the last few years when you consider the mess the club is off the pitch.

The damage done by so many useless and odious owners is incalculable. What we could have accomplished with decent investment and proper organisation we can only dream about.

Tuesday was a real shot in the arm and throw back to the glory days of the Prem or even before when gave United a bit of a scare for a while in the FA Cup.

The lads were fantastic and it was a shame we didn’t score. I’d have loved Miles to have followed in his dad’s footsteps and bagged a goal. However, one feels that it won’t be long before he does score there even thought it may not be for the Addicks!

I had to watch from afar with Stewart “research” Robson telling us that Curbs was sacked and then replaced by Pardew! Arghh!!

The more I see and hear from Holden the more impressed I am. We’ve found our selves a goodun. I think we could do really well with him but as ever he needs proper funding and support. As always you suspect that he won’t get it. We’ll see although yesterday’s signings are a small step up from the previous January windows and the last summer one where we failed to recruit a striker.

Like the potential new owners, time will tell as to whether Bonne will prove to be a good signing. At least he has a point to prove and needs to work hard to win over a number of sceptical fans.

Todd Kane was also recruited yesterday and it will be interesting to see if either or both start tomorrow. Unless there’s a need to rest any player following Tuesday or anyone due to injury it seems a bit harsh to leave anyone out.

This will be a tough game but given our recent form and newly found impetus and improved organisation under Holden I expect us to get something from the game.

For the first time in a while I’m really looking forward to a home league game.

Come On You Reds!

Tuesday, 3 January 2023

Happy new Year?

Happy New Year!

January is a time for fresh starts and resolutions etc. I never bother with resolutions for many reasons not least because I rarely stick to them and why wait until January to start them?

If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing immediately eh! In addition, unless you are fully committed to them then you’re wasting your time.

If only our esteemed owner, Deluded Thomas as the bible would surely dub him, had the same thoughts. Vacuous promises repeatedly made during his tenure come and go without fulfilment day after day, month after month and year after year.

I think if we gave Sandgaard another 100 years he’d not get us to the Championship let alone the Prem!

It seems incredible that over the space of some 2 years he has managed to make Roland appear not all that bad! Say what you like about Roly but even he isn’t as stupid as the banjo man! He knew he was messing with our club and made no bones about it.

Some were quicker than others to identify the flaws in our attention seeking, narcissistic owner.

As we enter this new year he is desperately trying to organise a take over and one that seemingly sees him retain 20% of the club. God help us! 0% is too much!

The not so daft Duchatalet holds all the cards in reality and is still holding out for an inflated price for the freehold of the club.

In the meantime, Sandgaard seeks investment from anyone who has a few thousands dollars and fancies a punt on a League One club that is a shadow of its former self.

As ever, us fans just have to sit back and watch events unfold and hope that one day we may get the owner or owners we deserve.

On the pitch a fine performance against Pompey saw secure our usual Fratton Park victory.

One can’t deny that Pompey weren’t very good and it proved the final straw for their owner who sacked the Cowleys yesterday. I wonder just how many managers have lost their jobs following defeat to Charlton!

However, we played well enough and more than deserved the win.

I caught some of the Radio Solent commentary at the point where Guy Whittingham announced that “ Charlton were there for the taking! “. A couple of minutes later and we took the lead.

I can’t see Guy getting any punditry work outside of Portsmouth with observations like that! Up to that point Pompey had shown nothing at all and conversely were just waiting to be picked off!

I like what I’ve seen and heard from Holden so far. He could do well but as ever any success he achieves can only be done by proper backing. Whether he gets that of course, is anyone’s guess!

Sadly, Chuks sustained another injury and this latest set back occurred during the warm up that is supposed to assist against it.

We didn’t need the benefit of hindsight to know how silly that 3 and a half deal we gave was. You have to feel for him. When fit and on his day Chuk is a quality player and one easily capable of playing well in the Championship at least.

This feels like last chance saloon for him and something needs to be done to get to the root of his problems. If not. Then he may have to call time on his career and that would be a real shame.

You may recall that Sadngaard made noises about sorting all our injury problems via the one thing he allegedly knows about. Like everything that arises form his “Midas touch” it’s turned to s**t!

Our injuries have got worse if anything with our keeper sustaining a broken finger and even that isn’t healing properly!

The ongoing uncertainty over the ownership couldn’t be happening at a worse time and Gods only knows if we’ll get any decent business done in the transfer window.

It’s hard to look past some of our better players going out the door. With each passing game Miles Leaburn will become a target for many clubs. He looks a far better bet than Mason Burstow who went for £2 million last season. A club out there will no doubt be thinking about making a move for him.

No doubt Mr Breakeven already has desires to sell!

All we have is hope and that’s all we can do as we watch whatever unfolds over the next few weeks and months. The main thing to hope for is that we at least manage to stay in League One. Relegation might well see us finished, it’s as bad as that.

I wish anyone reading this a successful New Year and let’s hope that this time next year I can be writing something more positive about our wonderful club!

Friday, 9 December 2022

Sandgaard's Folly!

Wednesday’s cup exit at the hands of Stockport came as little surprise to the Valley faithful. Even without Garner’s dismissal a couple of days before it was fairly predictable.

Aside from the loss there was much to concern us. Overall there appeared to be a lack of discipline. Stockport should have had a penalty in the first half as Clare climbed all over one of theirs. Dobson ultimately gave away a penalty following a rash challenge earlier on.  

The lack of desire from so many and general poor performances across the team indicate a general sense of malaise.

No one can blame Hayes for the defeat although one might question the starting eleven. He may have had an eye on Saturday’s league and prioritised that but this was a game that was very winnable and victory would have given the team a much needed boost.

There have been some times as a Charlton fan but at present the situation we find ourselves in is right up there with the worst of them!

Our owner seems to have given up completely even though his son is still employed by the club or rather him. The video that emerged of Thomas bragging about being a celeb in London and how people want selfies with him was further evidence of just how big a narcissist he really is.

Sandgaard has spent a lot of money and gone to a great deal of effort to afford him the opportunity to strut around a football pitch playing his guitar and imposing his awful music on already long suffering fans. Give me 3 Blokes From F Block any day of the week over the dross he serves up!

His apparent rescue of our club afforded Sandgaard a little latitude early on and we were prepared to look at the bigger picture and indulge him.

Over time his increasingly bizarre behaviour and failed appointments allied to his “I know best” approach to running our unique club started to wear thin with the fans. His seeming complete lack of empathy towards the club’s staff and his apparent disregard for our employment laws further angered both staff and supporters.

How on earth the man has managed enjoy any success in any field of business is a real mystery.

The club is in real trouble and the trap door to League 2 and maybe beyond is starting to open.

We have to hope that someone is out there willing to burden themselves with the large expense and onerous task of securing a deal with the two worst owners we’ve ever had.

As fans we don’t want much. Just someone who’ll make sufficient investment in the team and run it with the best of intentions and in a responsible and respectful manner.

It doesn’t have to be a billionaire although that’d be nice of course!

Time is running out as it’s hard to envisage Thomas being that bothered about getting a full time manger or spending anything in the January transfer window no matter how obviously imperative that is.

One can only predict a scenario where he takes as much money as he can from the club before riding off into the sunset strumming his guitar singing Rhinestone Cowboy or somesuch.

In the meantime we face another vital game away to Morecambe. They may be bottom of the league but we’d struggle to overcome a pub team at present so expectation is low.

Good luck and best wishes to all travelling fans.

Come On You Reds!

Monday, 5 December 2022

Garner's Gone

The rumours started yesterday but have just been confirmed by Rich Cawley and it seems Garner has become the latest manager to be dismissed under Sandgaard's tenure.

Maybe the owner waited until today just to make the 5th December even more memorable alongside the return to The Valley and the infamous victory at The Den. Bizarrely, He was sacked yesterday it seems and yet Garner took training this really couldn't make this up!

His hire 'em and fire 'em approach isn't restricted to managers and Thomas has shown to be possessed of an awful recruitment process that started with Adkins and Roddy (remember him?).

Some of the firings have been merited (see above) but this is right up there with Jacko's as extremely harsh. It seems clear Sandgaard made promises he never kept. At a minimum, when left with only one fit and experienced striker, Garner must have believed at least one recognised and proven striker would be coming in.

Thomas made much of the prolonged selection process that preceded Ben's arrival and praised the style in which the new manager likes to play the game. However, having done so Sandgaard failed to give him the tools with which to do the job he'd been employed for.

Garner could repeat the commons speech of Geoffrey Howe and his cricketing analogy. If in similar fashion his dismissal is the catalyst for the Danish-American's demise then it won't altogether be a bad thing.

Whilst accepting the above, Garner hasn't been without making mistakes that have done little to help himself and have been hard to defend. The tactics and teams selections of late have taken an even more bizarre twist. I think last Friday's starting eleven was Garner's way of sticking two fingers up at the owner who was watching in the stands.

Yet Garner's dismissal is still something of a surprise at it will cost Sandgaard of course and at a time when it's rumoured he's looking to sell.

A caretaker is set to be appointed. That will probably be Anthony Hayes, I certainly hope so. I think he'd do a good job and in time will prove to be good manager much like Nathan Jones before him. Whether it could be too early for him to get it full time only time will tell.

Today already had us harking back for the good old days when everyone on and off the pitch was united and you were so proud of what had been achieved. One can only guess where we'll be in 30 years time but let's hope it's in a much better place than we currently find ourselves. 

Here's hoping!

Come On You Reds!


Friday, 2 December 2022

We Need A Win

Tonight, the Addicks return to League action after another spell of cup fever. We went out of one and scrapped a draw in the other.

Saturday’s lacklustre display against Stockport doesn’t really raise thoughts of a win tonight. The continued absence of Stockley doesn’t help either. As poorly as he’s been playing we can ill afford to not have him in the starting eleven.

He needs an experienced strike partner as does Aneke. Chuks last just over 60 minutes on Saturday but failed to make the impact he does when he comes off the bench.

The last equaliser was a real kick in the teeth. Having travelled down by coach I left early to ensure I got across to Victoria on time for the return journey. It was some time after the final whistle before I checked and discovered that we’d not won. Foolishly, I felt that we’d see the game out…….after all these years I really ought to know better.

If anything summed up how things are it was the free kick in the second half that just outside the box. No one knew who was taking it with others lost as to where they should be. That had to get direction from Garner. Oh dear!

I can’t go tonight as I’d made plans some while ago. This is yet another game I’ll miss. The decision to move the game from tomorrow was a silly one in my view. I’m not sure many Charlton fans are that bothered about watching England over their club especially on the 30th Anniversary game.

In addition, the kick off could have been brought forward as many other clubs have done. It’s proved totally unnecessary of course with England now playing on Sunday.

We need a win but I’m really not confident. I can easily envisage us getting dragged back down the table particularly given Sandgaard’s total disinterest in anything Charlton.

I was pleased to see Olly Groome take him to the cleaners. The man’s a fool who seemingly knows even less about British employment law than he does about running a football club. Quite some achievement.

We can only hope that someone decent is waiting to buy the club and hopefully with it the Valley and the training ground.

Garner hasn’t done himself any favours recently but in terms of pure football matters the situation is not entirely of his own making. On that basis we can cut him a bit of slack although there is plenty he can improve upon.

I suspect that Sandgaard can’t afford can’t afford to dismiss him anyway especially after this week.

We have to hope that Ben can eek out enough points to keep us safe until a knight in shining armour arrives.

Fingers crossed for a win tonight.

Come On You Reds!