Thursday 31 December 2009

Bye Bye 2009

Rumour has it that Alexei is not a huge fan of the Nicky Bailey song !

I think most Addicks fans will be glad to see the back of 2009 as far as our club's fortunes are concerned. Hopefully we have turned the corner and can look forward to 2010 with a modicum of optimism.

Without looking into the detail of 3 draws from our last 3 games you'd say it wasn't good enough. However, given the circumstances ( the Spanners game aside ) it does a least show a lot of pride, passion and commitment from our team.

Hopefully we can add to our squad in the transfer window without losing anyone who is crucial to our promotion hopes. Any others are free to leave now.........................

" I'll get me coat ! " Don't forget to leave your shir........oh you have !

Thanks to Ketts for keeping this whole thing together. Thanks also to everyone who blogs or contributes via comments etc in any way. I hope everyone maintains the enthusiasm to keep going as it's great to read a variety of views on all things to do with our club.                                                                                  

I wish everyone a happy and successful 2010 !

Come on you Reds !

Tuesday 29 December 2009

Christmas Trees and Christmas Bees

Bees At Christmas ? It Just Ain't Right !

Having failed to beat the Lions and the Robins, Charlton couldn't beat the Bees yesterday. We're due to play the Saddlers on Saturday and unless I'm very much mistaken there's no creature called a Saddler and hopes of a win instantly rise as a result !
Griffin Park is a compact ground that has changed little in the 28 years since my last visit. A few pre-match beers in the cramped New Inn was good preparation for being quashed onto the terracing. Much like the aforementioned insect's abode of choice there aren't too many ways in and out. Simply knocking down a wall would allow quicker access and departure for away fans........perhaps they're hoping visiting Millwall fans will do it F.O.C. !

Surpirsingly the Bees failed to use the wings much..........small wonder the game never really took off eh ? Fortunately there was no sting in the tail. Bee jokes......can't beat them and it's no use droning about it.

Like a semi-denuded Christmas Tree, we were without many of our stars and some that remained were out of position. As a result and allied to fatigue from Saturday, prior to the game I was happy to take a point as I thought we were in for a tough game. In the end it was okay but three points would have been better.

I was surprised at Brentford's lack of ambition or urgency and towards the end the keeper seemed happy to time waste.

For me, this was a dull game that was only enlivened by the banter with the Family Guy ( you're not fit to be a dad - he didn't know how to Bee-have ) and the singing of a few CAFC classic songs from down the years.

Goodness knows if we'll get to play against Walsall on Saturday bearing in mind the weather forecast and their failure to play yesterday. It looked like some militant union had decided to take impromptu industrial action with a host of braziers all over over the pitch ! If it's a last minute cancellation like yesterday remember to take some chestnuts with you so the day's not entirely wasted !

Sunday 27 December 2009

Brentford Pylons

Note Two Of The Infamous Brentford Pylons Above

My trip to Griffin Park tomorrow has added excitement as Wikipedia has just informed me that tomorrow I'll be seeing the renowned " Brentford Pylons ". This is the only ground in the country, I'm told, that has a pylon in every corner !

My last trip to Brentford F C was in 1981, I think we won but am not too sure. I only remember Lawrie Madden being abused by one of our own fans and him stopping with the ball at his feet to see who it was ! Luckily he didn't find out and there wasn't a forerunner of Cantona at Palarse !

This was always going to be a tough game as the Brentford team of now bears little resemblence to that which visited the Valley early in the season. They have just renewed the loans of Szczesny and Balkestein.........I don't believe they're local lads whatever Wikipedia says ! Szczesny is a quality keeper who'll be hard to beat even for someone of Izale's ability ! However, I note he was injured yesterday for the " friendly " at Gillingham. We could do with him still being so tomorrow.

The Bees also have Bostock in their ranks and he's done well for them and will present a threat although I see he was on the bench yesterday but would expect him to get on if he doesn't start.

Charlie McDonald collected a red card and so won't be playing. I see that charm merchant Mark Stimson refused to shake Andy Scott's hand after the game......the season of good will to all men eh ?

Who knows what to expect after our recent games. Let's just keep all digits crossed and pray to God that we get something from the game.

Come on you Reds !

Christmas Sales !

Over 18% Off At The Valley !

The Addicks got caught up in the post Christmas sales yesterday and decided to reduce everything, the team included, by over 18% ! Very generous but as a plan to win football matches........not great !

They are a couple of my favourite players but Sodje and Burton were, at best, daft yesterday. The ref was right with their sending offs but he got little else correct. Only one yellow card for Swindon was a long way from consistent. He must reside in Swindon not for reasons of bias but linked to the new Disney partnership.

However, what a performance from the remaining nine men.........heroes every one of them ! At least we got a Valley atmosphere not witnessed since our early Prem days in my opinion. The place was rocking and I think it genuinely lifted the players. You expect unusal scorelines and matches at Christmas but no one could have foreseen this !

Praise be to Parky I think he did well. No FA coaching course prepares you for that scenario ! I was surprised that the Swindon fans weren't booing their team at the end. Eleven really should beat nine in a league game.

Sadly, we're now missing Sodje S for 4 games and Burton for tomorrow. I believe that Dailly won't be ready and with Mooney, Youga and Richardson unlikely too, Parky's not got an easy day today !

I'm not going to predict the side for Griffin Park, a) because I'm rubbish at it and b) because you never know with Parky ! I think I could have had 10 goes at yesterday's starting eleven and still not got it right.

Let's hope we can get a win tomorrow and hope allied to luck will need to be there in abundance.

Tuesday 22 December 2009

Deon Merrily On High

In Praise Of Deon

Deon merrily on high,
In SE7 the fans are singing,
Deon’s regularly on Sky,
The oppo’s keeper’s hands he’s stinging.

Hernia, playing on regardless !

Sometimes partnering Akpo,
Games are often won’en,
And up the league we go,
As his name is often sung’en.

Hernia, playing on regardless !

He wears number 10 not 9,
That’s one less on your fingers,
May he wonderfully time,
His runs to score from wingers.

Hernia, playing on regardless !

Sorry folks ! No so much the Bard as should be barred from attempting poetry !

Here's hoping for 3 points on Boxing Day, again we'll need to get them as Norwich remain hot on our heels. It won't be easy against Swindon who are a side in form. Hopefully the lads, like Santa, will deliver !

Merry Christmas everyone !

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 20 December 2009

Roller Coaster Afternoon

What goes down must go up ? Let's hope so !

A thrilling afternoon at the Valley saw fans go through the full gamut of emotions. Despair at going 2 nil down, delight at drawing level, ecstasy at going ahead twice and back to despair when the Spanners equalised.

You can frustration at the ref to that. What was going on when he gave them a corner that led to the second goal ? In a ground with 3 thousand Spanners fans inside he was the biggest idiot..........quite an achievement. At least he got the penalties right but the sending off should have been the other way round....... no covering defender for the first but two for the second ! He loved his whistle too didn't he ?

The lads did well to recover form the shock of the first two goals. I thought we played the better football, however, to be fair a draw was prorbably the right result.

Burton and Bailey were well up for the game. Bailey's goal was a superb piece of finishing. Sadly I don't think it's working with Wagstaff. He needs to be more decisive and stronger in the tackle. Mooney too would be a better player for making stronger tackles as he doesn't seem to like the physical stuff at all.

I'm not sure why Holden has never been given a chance. We need someone to play on the left and the natural answer to that problem doesn't get played. Give him a go say I !

McKenzie showed good speed of feet and thought when he came and started to create chances for us. I thought Akpo linked up well and had one good effort well saved by their keeper.

After going 2 behind I guess we'd have all happily taken a point. It looked like the Spanners had won the league at the end judging from the celebrations...........perhaps it was just a reminder that they don't care about us !

Next week the roller coaster theme continues as we host Swindon, the town recently twinned Disney World, just a shame that Mickey got there a week early to referee !

Friday 18 December 2009

Grant Fosters Fond Memories

Kim in his Charlton Days

Kim Demonstrates Another Use For One Of His Snow Shoes

Kim Grant gained cult status in December 1995 when he scored the both goals against the Spanners at the Den. That he chose the 5th December to do it did him no harm at all. These days of course Kim runs his highly successful tennis academy. Fair enough, the word prolific cannot really be applied to Kim and a career in tennis coaching is fine by me. Those two goals were scored in snow with Curbs worried that the game might be called off after we went 2 - 0. Good omens for tomorrow perhaps should the game go ahead.    

The Charlton connections with white powder didn't end there as one or two of the players at that time were known to have a fondness for the devil's dandruff.

I'm not really looking forward to this game for numerous reasons. This is one we must pressure boys but we don't want to lose to this lot. Hopefully the lads will all be up for it. We need to keep our fine recent run going.

Having got tickets for Brentford and Walsall away I'm looking forward to a fun-filled festive football fortnight !

Come On You Reds !



Sunday 13 December 2009

Who Ate All The Pies ?

Yes, we managed to finish off not just the pies but also the burgers by the time I visited the food hut at half time at Edgeley Park yesterday. I had to console myself with a bovril, very much in keeping with a typical northern football town.

I travelled by train safe in the knowledge that the game was, at last, going ahead. The pitch didn't look too bad but was clearly quite boggy in places. It may well have been the reason that Scott blazed over in the second half when it looked harder to miss.

The rain thankfully held off for the whole game. As others have observed we didn't play well spurning several golden opportunites with Mooney being the main culprit. We were lucky to go in ahead at half time.

Truth be told we weren't very good, how much that is down to the pitch is unknown but it was the same for both teams and we really sholud have put them away comfortably. Thankfully the planes flying past on a regular basis provided a welcome distraction.

Taking other results into account it was a good weekend and as long as we win we can't complain too much as much as we'd like to see it done in style. Certainly we'll take a win next Saturday in whatever fashion it comes !

We really need to win against the Spanners for all manner of reasons and if we play as we know we can then we should do so. 

Thursday 10 December 2009

Slumbog Milliner

Edegely Park 3pm Today ( or possibly any day come to that ).

No need to worry about the raining stopping Saturday's game, no indeed, more likely it's the freezing weather that'll result in it being off ! The on / off nature of this fixture has seen lower ticket sales ( no pun intended ) than I expected. Hopefully if prospects improve we'll get a few more along.

If this game does get played, I bloody well trust we'll win ! What a waste of time otherwise. Sale RUFC and Stockport County F C between them can't work out that you might need to cover a ptich or that decent drainage might help. I know there's been an unusual amount of rain but Stockport's not exactly on the Equator is it ! Like the lovely lady above, I've had it upto here with this pitch nonsense.

As it stands they'll play us at EP on Saturday and then away at Macclesfield for the cup on Tuesday. Imagine having to play home games on someone else's ground eh !

The game could resemble the one at Chelski a few years ago not with the same result I hope. After playing two seaside teams in the previous games it appears this one has brought the beach to us ! Best forget about playing football, start with Akpo and just bang the ball upto him.

Hopefully we'll get the 3 points and return home to think about the lovely Spanners the week after.

Come On You Reds !

Monday 7 December 2009

Conditions Worsen At Edgeley Park

Been a supporter for 45 and buoy.

Apparently there's a pitch inspection at 11am tomorrow ahead of Stockport's postponed FA Cup game with Torquay. We need it to go ahead to aid Charlton's hopes of a win on Saturday. That's if, of course, even our game gets played.

What of the Edgeley Park pitch then ? Has it been raining lately ? You bet your a**e it's been raining ! Enough to keep Eric Olthwaite more than happy......" it were always raining............'cept on days when it were fine and there weren't many of them, not if you include drizzle as rain ! "

London Wasps wouldn't play on it a couple of weeks ago, the following day, the Torquay game ( this cup one ) then got postponed and last week's league game was similarly called off. Now they're thinking of covering the pitch...............trop tard as Eric's dad might say.

Who or what's to blame for this state of affairs ? I fear it's me. Yes, I've brought it all on myself. For the first time in my life I bought advance train tickets.......what a mistake ! Just buying tickets for the game was a risk in itself but advance train tickets......well I ask you !

Apres moi le deluge !

Sunday 6 December 2009

Pancake Day

We hoped for a Southend battering but this was what we got !

Not a great day yesterday with the game, atmosphere etc being as flat as the proverbial pancake. Not that there was any sign of a pancake and I'm guessing that's due to the risible rotund ref having scoffed the lot....a chunky chappie wasn't he ?

In addition, at the end of the 90 minutes a well spoken fan voiced her view that the game was " crepe " least that's what I think she said.

Never mind all that though eh, the 3 points are gratefully trousered and they are much needed with Norwich maintaining their excellent run.

I thought Burton was excellent whilst Elliot kept us in the game with one outstanding save, good to have him back. As others have observed, Semedo was a big miss in midfield. Bailey was trying too hard it seemed although understandable given the stick he was getting from the away fans.

Given the anniversary I was disappointed that more was not made of it. There won't be too many Saturdays when we're at home on 5th December. There was little in the programme and I was expecting more at half time which was when Colin Walsh should have been on the pitch.

I was lucky enough to be there 17 years ago. What a day and I don't mind admitting that a tear or two was shed by myself, not just for our return but other reasons too that the event helped to bring to the fore. I still have my ticket and programme from the day.

I also made it onto the ITN news with a shot of me entering the ground, obviously they needed someone photogenic..................and in their absence they chose me !

At least we did see some video of the day. Let no one forget where we were and how far we've come since then. Our centenary dvd should be compulsive viewing for all generations of Addicks.

Next up is Stockport and another should win game. First though we have to hope that the pitch is fit to play on. The Hatters are due to play Torquay on Tuesday and again we must hope that goes ahead to help our cause. With rugby also played on Edgeley Park one thing's for sure the playing surface won't be as flat as ..... !

Thursday 3 December 2009

Peer To Peer Connection

Lord Brighton

Lord Southend

The fixture list is throwing up some odd connections eh ? I wonder if Stockport has a pier ? To be honest I haven't had a chance to have a look !

Parky was able to puff on a cigar after we dispensed with B&H on Tuesday. Not a great game or plain sailing by all accounts but without the aid of binoculars it seems it's hard to tell. Who cares ? The 3 points are what matters most. I understand the ref's ineptitude shown through the gloom !

I had to content myself with Radio London's t'internet coverage. Very nerve-wracking. To take my mind off it slightly I chose to get on with domestic chores so whilst Brighton were pressing in the second half so was I.........all ironing now done !

Sadly Semedo is suspended following Tuesday's battling performance and he epitomised it the most from what I can gather. No matter, Sarfend have a midfield suspension of their own, Jean Francois Christophe. JFC ( the dyslexic's take away of choice ) has commited one fowl too many it seems !

Good to see the return of Elliot who helped steer us to our first clean sheet since Oldham on October 10th. Sadly we're not likely to see Richardson or Youga on Saturday. I've not been sure what to make of Omozusi to be honest but he seems to have done well on Tuesday and visibly improved during the Rovers game. Looks like Basey will keep the left back spot.

Wagstaff also looks set to keep his place so I guess that Spring will come in to add some steel to the midfield in Jose's absence although I wouldn't object to seeing Racon there.

This is another game we really ought to win but as always we know better than to make assumptions don't we ! Can't really afford to drop any points with Norwich hot on our heels.

Can I hope for another 6 goal thriller or is that being really shellfish ?

Come On You Reds !

Monday 30 November 2009

A Flock Of Seagulls

                                                     Rod Stewart and The Faeces ?

Apparently we're playing these boys tomorrow. Looks as though a birdie has pooped on his head and shoulder and it was not top quality droppings, sham-pooh one might say ! Ironically Mike Score, for it is he, is a former hairdresser. Well you can't cut your own hair can you although it's looks like he had a bloody good go. If there's any justice he's fat, middle aged and bald as a coot !

If you're seeking connections with Brighton and Hove look no further than a player called McLeod. Yes, Kevin McLeod and for Brighton fans he's held in the same esteem as our very own Izale. How about that, two McLeods and both............well I dare not say other than refer you to Rod's support group.

Gus Poyet flew in recently and things started well with a win over Pardew's Saints. However, it's not been good since then with drubbings from the Whites and Canaries. Saturday saw them squeeze past non-league oppo in the form of R&D ( not another musical reference surely ? ) which is better than some. However, part of Parky's cunning plan is to concentrate on the league so our boys had a weekend off and are nicely rested.

This is another game we really should win but of course we never take anything for granted as this is Charlton after all. I assume that Elliot will return tomorrow ( guessing we'd have got an emergency loan keeper else ) and may be Richardson to be restored too. Youga sounds doubtful. The club, as has been the case this season, has kept pretty schtum about players's availability. Good stuff say I, keep 'em guessing.

Let's hope we can grab the 3 points and look forward to entertaining Good Old Essex By The Sea ( doesn't quite sound the same does it ? ) on Saturday.

Come On You Reds !

Wednesday 25 November 2009

Don't Take Your Foot Off The Gas

Quite a night in S.E.7 eh ? An amazing start that saw us 2 nil up in next to no time. Cue taunts of " you might as well go home ! " from the Addicks fans. My thoughts were drawn to those of Danny Baker's Saturday show where he's been encouraging fans to shout " nothing can go wrong now ! " in the event of just such a situation. And so it proved............. !!

Rovers were truly awful in the first half and one sensed a landslide for the Londoners. Not quite as it turned out though.

Comedy defending from both teams and a similar standard of refereeing saw the game end in a six goal thriller, the second consecutive one to do so. Not sure I can't take much more of this excitment. Don't they know this is The Valley, this is Tier 3 ? It's not meant to be like this.

" Steven Cook " was fast becoming a euphemism for " totally incompetent " as the evening wore on. Some salvation arrived with the news that it was the operator of the big screen who was to blame for the 2 yellow cards scenario. This means that he's known as plain old " incompetent ".

You might accuse the ref of being gullible too, I mean, being taken in by some of that diving from the Rovers boys...........shame on you ! In addition, allowing a player well within ear-shot telling you to " F  off " without acting upon it won't command any respect now will it ?

Still the 3 points are most welcome and a week's break to stir ourselves for seaside Brighton away and seaside Southend at home.

With no game only a passing interest for us in the 2nd round of the cup. However, two matches are worthy of slight attention. Firstly, Walsall away to Brentford and Brighton at home to Rushden. I want Walsall to lose to the Bees, ideally after a replay, so that our away game stands on 2nd January. Secondly, a spanking for Brighton may help further knock any confidence following their last two games.

I don't want much so add to that an extension to Mooney's loan and that of Sodje A plus a return to fitness of Elliot, Richardson and Youga and I'll be happy !

Is wishing that McLeod never appears in a Charlton shirt again too much too hope for ? Perhaps but I suspect we'll never have cause to see him remove it again though eh !

Monday 23 November 2009


Despite the wind and rain of biblical proportions on Saturday I enjoyed a rather splendid day. Arriving at just before 1pm we received a fantastically warm welcome from the locals. We were directed to a marquee serving food and beer. It was all very pleasant with an amusing guy on the PA encouraging us to buy raffle and lottery tickets.

The raffle was drawn by Trevor Peacock best known as Jim Trott from The Vicar of Dibley. He too proved to be entertaining.

This pre-match experience made me think that this was what football was all about. Two sets of fans having a beer together with some of these home supporters doing their best to raise some much needed funds for their club.

It looked awful on the terraces but I must confess to being in a home stand as a result of it being my nephew's birthday treat with 10 of his friends there. He lives in Somerset and a couple were Yeovil fans. Whilst I stayed dry my sympathies were very much with the Addicks fans who endured the awful conditions.

I never go into much detail on games, others do that far better than I. However, I will observe that switching Youga to play Basey made little sense to me when you've got a proper right back on the bench. In addition, I felt that long before Ikeme ballooned the ball up in the air that led to the goal someone should have instructed him to play it out to one of the full backs or at least kick it wide. Why he chose to boot the ball down the middle and so high into the gale I'll never understand. It was asking for trouble.

Full credit to Parky for the substitution at half time.......a very positive move. It paid dividends and how we didn't get win again I'll never know. The players gave it everything. Only Huddersfield seem to have closed on us after all the results are considered

We face another must win game tomorrow. Rovers will be without Dickson who can't play due to the terms of his loan deal. That won't make a lot of difference as judging by comments from Rovers fans on Radio Somerset on Saturday they don't hold him in high regard at the moment. They think he's not trying and have lost patience.

Thursday 19 November 2009

No Sign of Huish Park

I'm afraid the t'internet has let me down. I've done my research and checked the map but no sign of a football ground or farms come to that. No sign of any cider either..........hmm something's a foot. It's not what I expected at all !

Never mind, I'll be setting my watch back to 1969 on Saturday as we head off to the West country. We'll be hoping for a good performance with not too many shots ending up over the cowshed.

The Glovers have done well of late and will provide a decent test. However, I'll be disappointed if we don't harvest as many points as a pitchfork with 3 tines.

You never know with Parky but assuming all fit ( think Richardson's the only doubt ) then I'm guessing it'll be the same starting eleven as that which gave the Dons a good pasting on Saturday.

The same subs on the bench would be fine too, therefore, with Sodje A again among them. I like the options we have up front now, mostly that we don't have to play McLeod. Could be a long time before we see him again.

This is an important game and no mistake. Another team from the West awaits on Tuesday and these are games we must win to push on with our quest for promotion.

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 15 November 2009

Every ( Lack Of A ) McLeod Has A Silver Lining !

At last my optimism was not misplaced and we were rewarded with a win and a fine performance. Goals a plenty and there could have been more and from both teams too !

I enjoyed a splendid day with pre-match beers in the Market Porter near London Bridge. Some lovely beers on offer there.

Akpo duly joined his brother and it seems like another pair of brothers they know how to win. Perhaps the only difference is that Sam and Akpo do it with style ! It's great that we now have some options up front, not least being able to leave out you know who even when he is available. Can't see a way back for him at present.

Mooney was great and let's hope we can keep him beyond the beginning of December although if you're the Reading manager you'd be tempted to bring him back. He's a bit like Darren Bent and seems unlucky with the offisdes given against him. I'm far from convinced that the lino got those all correct yesterday !

I was pleased to see Bailey move inside and would like to see him stay there. For me he was the man of the match just shading it from Sodje S. To be honest everyone had a good game.

All credit to Parky who had been getting a lot of flack. It's now that he needs to prove his worth and he certainly did that yesterday.

The only downside was the injury to Richardson. Let's hope that clears up during the week.

Expectations are now high ahead of the trip to Yeovil. The lads need to follow up with a convincing win there next week.

Friday 13 November 2009

Blow Football

Forecasts suggest that it could be a tad windy at The Valley tomorrow. Blimey how did they know I'm having a curry tonight ? That could make tomorrow's game a bit of a lottery.......will that work in our favour ? Let's hope so !

There is a temptation to say........." blow football " given the Addicks recent results but hey, come on.......let's get behind the boys and make some noise !

Whilst Wednesday's performance was not great, there was some cause for optimism. Mooney did well and McKenzie scored in what was a decent cameo from him. I wouldn't mind seeing those two up front tomorrow.

Sodje returns to the defence ( will he soon by joined in the team by Akpo I wonder ? ). I assume that Randolph will be given the nod over Ikeme although there's not much to choose between the two. All Randolph's fine efforts on Sunday were undone with the goal which was a shame whilst Ikeme flapped at an early cross and should have done better for the second goal.

Strangley I'm feeling optimistic about tomorrow and I've no idea why. Let's hope it's not misplaced. A win, allied to a good display, would do wonders for confidence and morale.

Come On You Reds !

Wednesday 11 November 2009

Paintron Saint !

Amazing, being in the third tier and involved in some obscure cup competitions really does reveal a lot of things you never knew before. It appears that St Johnstone is the protecting saint of the paint world ! Just putting the words Saints, Johnstone and Paints into google revealed this little known fact. Such was the success of these emulsions that a football club was named in his honour ! The most popular line is the tartan variety closely followed by their stripey paint although both are rarely seen these days !

That could be the most interesting thing to emerge from tonight's encounter on the south coast. I'll be watching of course despite expecting our boys to lose given our current form and Southampton's.

We will be without McLeod of gloss over that. Would he have scored ? Well let's just say I wouldn't have put my shirt on it.........come to think of it, neither would he !

I'm really not fussed about this trophy, however, feel that a good performance is needed to offer some hope for the weekend fixture against the Dons. I think it's the best we can hope for. Hopefully Mooney will do well enough to get a start on Saturday.

Come On You Reds !

Monday 9 November 2009

I'm Sorry But No Way Did They Deserve To Go Through To The Next Round !

An unbelievable turn of events saw John and Edward through to the next round ! Has the world gone mad ? What was Simon Cowell thinking of ? What a strange selection ! They were way off target with a performance that was well below par. They've managed to elbow an opponent out of the running !

I understand they're performing live from Southampton on Wednesday !

The shame ! The embarrassment ! I don't know if I can ever watch it again !

Thursday 5 November 2009

Can The Coach Take The Strain ?

Yes, the coach will be under pressure as Charlton's nationwide tv tour starts this weekend. The lads are travelling the length of the country. It'd be a shame if they retruned to S.E. 7 with nothing to show for it. That won't happen of course will it !

Two televised cup matches offer us the opportunity to watch the fun from our own sitting rooms. I'll not be off to Northwich or Southampton. Sadly, finances and commitments dictate otherwise. At least I can still see them and let's face it, it's not a bad time to miss games !

Following a busy week I'm not aware if Mooney is allowed to play on Sunday or not. I hope he is or else it's left to McLeod to see if he score at non-league level.........God help us !

All in all a chance for a few squad players to come to the fore. I'm really not fussed about the paint thingy but would like to see us progress in the F.A. cup so let's hope for a convincing win that restores some confidence ahead of the all important M.K.Dons clash.

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 1 November 2009

Carlisle Best

Cricketer Carlisle Best - he's probably more likely to score a goal than our strikers !

That should read be Carlisle Better to be grammatically correct but you get my point which is more than our boys managed yesterday. It sounded like an apt timed horror show for Halloween.

One thing I've learned in recent weeks is that you can never second guess Parky. I felt sure that Shelvey would be restored to the starting line up. Sadly this wasn't the case. Blind faith or optimism saw McLeod retain his starting berth. Sadly all to no avail. Clearly he's not up to starting and should, at best, come off the bench if needed.

I think we'll draw a veil over this game as there doesn't seem to be anything good to have come from it.

Parky now has the opportunity of two cup games to try something different. That for me should mean a return for Shelvey with Mooney playing in the lone striker role. This should be tried in the FA cup match at least. I don't care about the JP trophy other than the shame of being beaten by a team that Pardew manages.

Much as we've been bitten by loanees before I'd like to see Parky get at least one more loan striker in if he can. Not least because Burton needs an op and McLeod is a booking away from a ban.

It's not quite a crisis yet but we need to rediscover the form from earlier in the season. The next league match, against the Dons, is going to be of vital imortance.

Friday 30 October 2009

Shake You Down or Take You Down ?

Quite what made Gregory Abbott abandon his successful music career to manage Carlisle is unknown. However, he does seem more likely to take them down rather than shake them ! Incidentally that is one of my favourite tracks.

What to make of this weekend's fixture then ? Well, both sides are experiencing problems. Ours are more concerned with matters on the pitch whereas for Carlisle it's off the pitch. The owner and Chief Exec, who are one and the same incidentally, has just packed it all in. How much that'll affect the players in unknown. I assume it would worry Gregory who, although could return to his singing, must feel a little less secure.

Suddenly we face a couple of long term injuries. A real shame for us and the lad himself that Elliott should suffer a long term injury. He's been very impressive this season. He clearly enjoys playing for CAFC and is as passionate as any fan, which of course he is himself.

A big decision, one of many, for Parky as to whether to play Randolph. I'm not able to offer an opinion not having seen either him nor Ikeme play of late.

A further dilemma at right back. Richardson is very doubtful and Solly is out for many months. I'm very much against switching Youga to right back. I recall Villa playing Luke Young at left back last season and whilst he did fine it didn't make sense to me. Why weaken two areas of your defence especially when as in our case we'll be playing a different keeper.

This is a game I felt we'd win comfortably before the injuries hit. However, I still feel we should win but it's where the goal or goals are going to come from that's the issue.

I'd restore a fresh Shelvey in a 4-5-1. I'd also start with Mooney. I appreciate Burton and think he's best in this formation but clearly he's struggling.....he needs that operation pronto ! McLeod continues to frustrate. I appreciate he has a good work ethic and is fast but there's no subsitute for skill and the ability to find the back of the net. In addtion, the continual diving and silly bookings only add fuel to the fire. McLeod has spent most of his career at this level and below and it's telling that he's regularly booed by the oppo fans who clearly recall his dives. I'd keep him on the bench in the hope that he could do something late in the game as other tire. That seems the best way with him. 

Overall though I don't really care where our goals come from as long as we win. Let's hope we get that.

Good luck to Ketts and everyone else making the long trip up North. For that effort alone you deserve to be rewarded with all 3 points !

Come on you Reds !

Wednesday 28 October 2009

David Shepherd R.I.P

The Trademark Shep " Nelson "

A Typically Cheerful David Shepherd

Very sad news today with the passing of one of cricket's greatest umpires, David Shepherd. The game has lost one of its finest characters.

Shepherd was born in Bideford in 1940 and had a very successful playing career with Gloucestershire. He was a hard hitting batsman. I recall him making a winning hundred in a one day against Kent at Maidstone in the mid to late seventies.

He never left his roots and lived in Instow helping to run the family post office with his brother, Bill. He was president of the splendid North Devon cricket club. I had the pleasure of watching him umpire a game there against a Lashings side a couple of years ago.

He always seemed to have time for everyone and was widely respected by players and fellow umpires alike.

Shepherd was of course famous for his hopping on one leg supersitiously whenever the score was on 111 or multiples thereof. When umpiring, tea would often be announced with the cry of " tea gentlemen, a Devon cream tea with a Hockings ice cream ! ". I can testify to that being a great combination !

Sport in general today seems to have fewer characters which makes David Shepherd's passing an even bigger loss. He leaves behind many wonderful memories and a game much richer for his involvement, and I thank him for that.

Monday 26 October 2009

Raison D'etre

I wonder if they sell this by the gill ?

There you have it, a one all draw and most Addicks seem to think that's a fair result. For the Gills it seems that their raison d'etre is put on hold. I suspect that they spent the rest of the weekend gathering old cardboard boxes and cutting up newspapers in preparation for their hibernation only to re-appear in late March.

I did say that I felt that given the conditions it might come down to one mistake from a player and of course it so nearly did. Nutter's wonderful own goal looked to have sealed the points for us. Of course we were to be undone by Jackson's well taken goal.

The starting line up and formation was as widely predicted. Sadly it didn't work. Was it wrong to start this way ? May be not. It's always a thin line between success and failure. Had we got a penalty and McLeod not missed a good chance as I'm led to believe he did, it could all have been so different.

If we had a genuine goalscorer a la Jackson or MK Dons Easter for example, we'd be doing so much better. Mooney seems to be shaping up well and it may be time to give him a go from the start. I think 4-5-1 with a return for Shelvey would be the way to go for next week's sortie to Carlisle.

We need to get Burton's hernia done. I realise it's not a good time but it does seem to be hampering him and he's not the player he was at the start of the season. Mooney should be given the chance to chance to start. Whether he can operate in a 4-5-1 I'm not sure but it's got to be worth giving it a go.

With Norwich and Colchester closing in on us all the time, every game becomes vital and gaining maximum points even more so.

As ever a lot for Parky to think about this week. He's not been afraid to ring the changes and has shown to be flexible of late. Let's hope he gets it right.

Saturday 24 October 2009

Love Don't Live Here Anymore

There seems to be a lot of angst amongst the Gills fans towards us. Not sure why, didn't we help them out some years ago with fund raising and attending one or two of their games ? It seems the manager and chairman are at the forefront of this. Hey ho, no matter, I've nothing against the club personally.

In goal of course is Simon Royce. Funny things you never knew but Wikipedia has just confirmed that his mum, Rose, had a hit in the seventies with " Love Don't Live Here Anymore ". I wasn't sure about that, infact, at first I was afraid, then I was petrified.......but then who can doubt Wikipedia eh ? Funny what you can DISCOver !

I always liked Simon when he was at Charlton and thought he did us proud. He seemd only to play when Ilic was injured but he kept several clean sheets. However, Ilic always got back into the side. Curbs, I think later admitted he'd been too loyal to Ilic who, if we're honest, was a one season wonder.

I note that several ex-haddocks are amongst the Gillingham squad. It all adds a bit of interest to an already spicy game.

Leaving aside my views on McLeod, I think Parky needs to go 4-4-2 again this week. With that in mind, I suspect he'll keep the same starting eleven as last week save for Semedo coming in for Spring. Hats off to Spring by the way, he always gives of his best and never seems to complain.......very much the team player that Parky seems to favour.

I believe that this is one game that Gillingham definitiely want to win and so with 4-4-2 we should be matching them up as we will, of course, on the shirt sponsor front ! I'd think about going to 4-5-1 against Carlisle ( allowing a fresh Shelvey to return ), a game we really ought to win.

Sadly, I'm not going today. My sporting action will be watching Northampton Saints v Sale Sharks. Suspensions and injuries for the Saints make this a closer game than it might otherwise have been.

I digress, back to's game will be played in difficult conditions and so it may come down to a mistake or slip somewhere. Let's just hope that it's not someone in a red shirt that makes it !

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 18 October 2009

Narrow Win ?

Was this a narrow win in more ways than one ? Hmm. Certainly parity at half-time was about right. I felt we had more of the game in the second half and could ( and perhaps should ) have added at least two more. To be fair Huddersfield had their chances too. Maybe it's bias but I felt we deserved the win and a draw would have been a bit harsh.

It is just me or has the pitch been narrowed ? We really need an aerial view of the pitch.
" Yes, it definitely looks narrower to me ! "

If this is the case then it's not a bad idea. Whilst it may negate the impact of Sam slightly it means Bailey is a litte more central.

I was greatly and pleasantly surprised to see Parky ring the changes, I really thought he wouldn't do it ! Sodje made an instant impact of course. That made me regret my not betting on him to score first....the odds were good too ! Going 4-4-2 was a sound move and made us look better and create more.

We were subject to another poor refereeing display. If he wanted to show he wasn't a " homer " he certainly achieved it. Some quite ludicrous decisions. Hopefully we won't see him again.

The substitution of Spring was much needed although he'd had a fine half. He worked hard and played several fine through balls. Semedo though offers that little bit more and helped to nulify Huddersfield midfield and attack.

Youga had another great game, I'm really enjoying watching him this season. What asight going forwards. Richardson nearly matched him in the second half with a terrific run that sadly broke down at the last.

What then of McLeod ? I was going to headline with " inanimate object scores goal " but that's probably a bit harsh. Best leave that one at the Stadium of Light.

Yes, he did score, not a great goal but a goal nonetheless. However, for me it was the one positive against a number of negatives. I really want to like the bloke and appreiate what he does but he makes it so hard !

Early on he went down twice at least with blatant dives. The result was that when he was geniunely fouled he didn't win the free kick. He did the same in the second half.........never going to get a penalty.

He continued to miss chances, the one he blazed over the bar was shocking, only need to be on target.

Yet again he removes his shirt when he scores. At a time when we've had to call in another striker he takes himself to the verge of suspension with his fourth booking of the season. Absolutely brainless !

Enough of that, I should be happy and overall I am. We've reached the top albeit having played two games more than Leeds. My hope is that we can still be top two at Christmas and strengthen from there.

Next week offers a tough game the Gills. Let's hope that with great support we can get something from it.

Saturday 17 October 2009

Eee A Reet Useless Lump !

It's official. Charlton have been playing with a useless lump in attack ! However, enough of McLeod.....I was saddened to read about Burton's hernia. Let's hope that gets sorted soon. He started the season so well and we need him to recapture that form.

Our striking options have been boosted by the addition of Mooney from Reading. Don't know anything about him other than what I've read. He's surely got to get on the pitch ahead of you know who !

The injury to McKenzie has probably removed any chance of Parky going 4-4-2. That's a shame because we really need to do that. I fear that we're about to witness a game very similar to last week. If we do then let's hope that Parky has the good sense to make changes at half time and not leave it all too late.

For me I'd be dropping Llera today and resting Shelvey and Spring. Obviously Semedo comes in along with Sodje and I'd start with Mooney. I don't care if he's only just arrived most half decent strikers can sort out some understanding. In any case it's another must win at home and the 4-5-1 didn't look good or work last week did it. When we changed to 2 up in attack then we created chances........simples !

I'd bring Basey in at left back and push the excellent Youga up into left side midfield. Racon would miss out with Bailey moving into the middle.

All of this is a pipe dream of course. I worry that Parky won't even leave out Llera. Sodje should so obviously come straight back in. Let's see anyway.

What of our opposition ? Well, another team travelling down from oop North. I'm not expecting any great attacking intent or flair. That's pretty common in this division. Let's hope I'm pleasantly surprised and that we may see a good game.

Another busy week for me has seen the delay of me posting something until today. Let's hope that the Addicks are more on the ball than me.

Come on you Reds !

Sunday 11 October 2009

Hey Youga, Off McLeod !

Old Ham played their part in a pig of a game. To be fair so did we and of course, Mr Horwood, the er " referee " ! Not one that will live long in the memory, well, not for the right reasons anyway.

I'm not sure that I'd be happy as an away fan to travel all that way to see my team be negative and time-waste. If the ref had clamped down on that earlier we might have seen a bit more football. That only one minute's time was added at the end of the first half was incredible.........he'll never ref at Old Trafford !

Youga had an excellent game again. He has really impressed me this season. Going forward he is a real threat and defensively he's not making silly mistakes. Contrast that then with McLeod. Oh dear ! His air shot was laughable as was most of his performance. I failed to find any even dark humour when he missed the sitter laid on a plate for him. I felt like leaving Charlton player has ever had that effect on me before ! There really is no hope for him. McLeod was the inspiration for the picture above....he really can't hit a bovine's behind. Let's hope some gullable manager puts in a bid and we can be rid of him. All this is happening as Dickson gets rave reviews whilst on loan.........that's not looking such a good idea right now !

No goals in the last three league games is cause for concern. Changes must be made, time for Parky to be ruthless and earn his corn. He's been loyal for long enough to those players who've got us in to a good position. Perhaps there's a feeling of being too comfortable with the main eleven.

I'd give Shelvey a rest, he was ineffective yesterday and to be honest, has had little impact of late. Sodje should come straight back in for Llera and McKenzie should start. In addition, I'd bring Basey in and play him at left back whilst pushing Youga up to left side midfield. If Semedo's fit then this means dropping Racon or Bailey. Probably Racon as Bailey would add some steel to the centre of midfield. A bit harsh on Racon perhaps who's not done a lot wrong but we need more balance in the team and this formation offers it.

Whatever happens, Parky mustn't be guilty of doing nothing. There's not a lot wrong, we still have a good side capable of playing attractive football but it's definitely time to change or teams will just come to the Valley and do the same week after week. Not sure I can stomach more games like yesterday's !

Friday 9 October 2009

Old Ham and New Blood

At the end of a personally exhausting week I'm looking forward to a few beers, a curry and my trip to the Valley.........perfect therapy !

Hopefully we can give old ham a bit of a roasting. I note that the team from the typical northern industial town that is Oldham, is on the up of late. Manager Dave Penney is receiving good reviews. The team itself has a couple of useful players. This should be a bit of a test but one we must pass if we're to get the lift we need following the recent dropping of vital points.

Last week's Elland Road encounter sounded and looked like a very good effort from the boys and so if we perform at that level then we ought to be celebrating 3 points come 5 o'clock tomorrow evening.
There are a few injury worries, most notably Lloyd Sam and he'd be a big miss tomorrow. However, it's up to those who've largely sat on the bench, ( Peter Garland reference ? ) chomping at the bit, to grab the opportunity with both hands and prove a point.

The paint pot trophy did allow a run out for new ( fresh ) blood and hopefully they'll rise to the occasion if needed. BTW caught the highlights today........a couple of cracking goals !

Speaking of new ( perhaps not so new then ) blood, it's great to see Peter Varney back at the Valley. I don't think many of us realised just what an asset he was to our club before he left. Hopefully his return will further enhance an upturn in our fortunes !

I note that John Barnes has finally been sacked along with the erudite Jason Macateer. How they survived so long is beyond my comprehension. I'm afraid John totally lost it and recently said after being roundly booed after yet another defeat...." the fans aren't annoyed with me...just the results " !! Yes John, of course. Still football's loss is T.V.'s gain........what a natural !

Here's to a good win tomorrow and a return to the top of the table !

Come on you reds !