Saturday 27 February 2010

Like The Lions Of Ancient Rome, I'm Loving My Christian Dailly

Quiet and efficient that's our CD

I didn't get to Roots Hall last night and so have had to catch up via blogs etc. I read Blackheath Addicted's account of the game and noted in particular his reference to Dailly being " one of the unsung heroes of the season ". That sums him up nicely. Bags of experience of course and in each game he marshalls the defence without the need to resort to shouting or any histrionics.

In addition, dare I say it but I also like those sneeky professional fouls that do just enough to stop the oppo's momentum but not enough for the ref to notice or feel the need to brandish a yellow when he does.......hats off to you sir !

We certainly needed that win last night which was more than welcome. As ever, not a great performance by all accounts but we'll take whatever we can get of course. The frustration is that you can't help but look at the table and wonder " what if ? ". What if just two of those numerous draws had been wins ? We could be in so much a better position.

It sounds as if Parky picked the wrong starting eleven last night as it wasn't until the subs came on that we started to play although the positive side of me would say that perhaps they responded to being dropped to the bench !

As we know our run in is not one that we can look forward to with great anticipation and hope. Who knows though our boys might surprise us and raise their game against the stronger and better can but hope !

At least we've now a break until next Saturday and boy do our lads need that. If I was Parky I'd give them the weekend off ( just like they've had for the last few weeks eh !!! ), tell them to forget about football ( ditto !! ) and come back to training on Monday refreshed and anticipating the challenges ahead.

Rugby for me today with a couple of pints of foaming ale which will taste all the sweeter if those around us fail.

Thursday 25 February 2010

Bob Marley Tribute Act

Nicky is Welcomed Back

Nicky Bailey returns to Roots Hall tomorrow....Roots Hall being a well known Bob Marley impersonator in Southend-On-Sea.

I think it's fair to say that Mr B can expect a warm welcome from the locals tomorrow night. If he's been accused of trying too hard of late he may well implode tomorrow !

I was never going to be able to get to the game tomorrow due to work commitments. I have to say it's unlikely I'd have made the effort given recent performances.

It's hard to get enthused about the game. I really don't know what sort of side Parky will put out. He's made noises about fresh faces although I don't know who from within our squad is going to make a difference. Perhaps Shelvey will come back but he wasn't playing well when he was left out of the side and seemed pretty disinterested at Swindon.

Last time I checked hell hadn't frozen over so no start for McKenzie then. Mooney will no doubt keep his place despite failing to impress in the last two games.

I'm failing to find the positives I'm afraid but hope springs eternal.

At least Saturday is football free and it sees a return to Franklin's Gardens to watch a bit of egg chasing as the Saints take on the Tigers. A late kick off due to Sky allows time for a leisurely lunchtime pint or two before the game. By the time the players run out to Enter Sandman we may have fallen further down the league courtesy of successive defeats from the men near the sand or pebbles in Brighton's case and more wins for those around us.

Come On You Reds !

Wednesday 24 February 2010

Cheeky !

Ar*e !

The good lady above seems quite perky, sadly for us everything is heading south !

Last night was another one of those could have and perhaps would have games. Could have won and would have if we'd taken our chances. Our need for a goalscorer has never been brought into sharper focus and remains the foremost reason why we're not top two. If we had one, then in my opinion, we would be.

Despite not playing well if we'd taken a couple of the chances created then, despite not playing well, we would have come away with something. The loss of Burton was a big blow. He's no goal machine of course but he does so much else in creating chances, bringing others into the game and not giving the ball away cheaply.

That Mooney had a stinker was all too predictable. I felt that he wasn't great on Saturday but just knew that Parky would stick with him. Bringing on Akpo for Burton was a poor move. McKenzie should have been given the opportunity. When he was brought on I'm not sure anyone knew what we were trying to do !

I've no idea what formation we were playing and I'm damn sure the players didn't either. We didn't need 3 strikers, they ended up getting in eachother's way. How did Mooney stay on ? He never looked like scoring. Those substitutions were the stuff of nightmares.

After the game I relaxed with a c**p journey home where there were long delays on the M25.....great ! You might think that rushing home to Milton Keynes isn't appealing but after that, trust me, it was ! I even had some dubious thoughts of concrete cows !

Where to next ? I'm bu**ered if I know. In fact, I'm bu**ered if anyone knows ! With other results going the way they did then the play offs too are fast disappearing over the horizon. Short of signing Wayne Rooney, Kaka or Grant Holt ( all fantasies.....yes even Holt ! ) then I don't see things changing just now.

It's never been easy following the Addicks, it's a lifetime sentence and for some fans it's only just now that they're becoming familiar with how tough it can be. For those of us over er..... 39 !!! we've seen it all before.

It's as frustrating as hell, annoying, stressful, even soul-destroying perhaps but this is my team. A team and club I'm proud of for many reasons and I don't want it any other way. Things must and will get better. I remember as a kid and even adult thinking we'd never get into the top flight but of course we did. Our turn will come again.

We need to be positive, after all it could be worse, we could have been brought in Bermondsey. Now there's a thought......... !

Now then, when's the first game at Canterbury this season ?

Monday 22 February 2010

50 Ways To Leave Dennis Wise - Just Hop On A Bus Gus

Yes, Gus has split from his erstwhile sidekick Mr Wise. A good job too I think and I bet Dennis still claims to be the brains behind the dynamic I think not. You can the boy out of Millwall but..... !

There you have it, Mr Poyet is doing just fine without being bothered by a dwarfish upstart, well, he was until he met Glynn Snodin on Saturday ! Clearly Glynn managed to upset Gustavo.

Jonathon Creek conducts ( Handel's Water Music ? )

Pictured above is another Gustavo and leader of men although this one is a conductor. He can regularly be spotted working on the open top No. 53 bus along Brighton seafront. Seen here, our Gus has just lost his candy floss to a rather strong breeze. Some might say his hair is an adequate replacement especially if he dyed it pink a la Mrs Slocombe. 

Anyway what of tomorrow's game ? Well, no doubt Gus will be trying to orchestrate a win something he only just failed to do against Norwich and more recently, Leeds. There's little doubt that the Seagulls will be a sterner test then the Glovers.

Hopefully, we will look to stick to the passing that finally returned on Saturday........not before time ! Why did it take Parky so long to realise that's the only way we can play. No point in us hoofing the ball up the pitch, a fat lot of good that was doing us.

Jackson impressed as I knew he would and with us playing the two wingers and in their rightful positions the side had a better balance. Mind you, why Sam and Reid swapped after only 5 to 10 minutes is beyond me ! Thankfully they reverted after only a short while.

I'm not sold on Mooney I'm afraid. He had at best an average game for me despite taking his goal well. He looks too lightweight and continues to frustrate me. I still don't know what McKenzie has got to do to get on the pitch never mind starting a game ! Blimey, he even managed to look genuinely pleased when Mooney scored........I thought I might see him get something at last night's BAFTAs for that !

Llera had probably his best game for us on Saturday and fair play to him although I still worry about his habit of commiting silly fouls in and around the box and pray that he won't be doing that tomorrow.

There still plenty of room for improvement, however, Saturday was a step in the right direction and I'm again optimistic of another win ahead of our trip to another seaside team on Friday.

Come On You Reds !

Saturday 20 February 2010

Temporary Signs Go Up Around The Valley

Just for today.............tractors and farming prohibited

Today we can expect long tailbacks in Woolwich and its environs as slow moo-ving agricultural vehicles make the long trek to the Valley.

I think we all recall the tempest in which the away game against today's opponents was played. Hopefully today will see calmer conditions. I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Huish Park and found the locals very welcoming with a wonderful line in self depricating humour. I hope we will be able to reciprocate, we sure need to be able to laugh at ourselves and our current situation or we'll all go crazy.

I'm making no attempt to predict the side Parky puts out today, bar the man himself I don't think anyone could have predicted his last few teams.

Suely to goodness McKenzie must now get his chance although I get the impression that we could send Burton, Mooney and Akpo out on loan and he'd still only make the bench !

I'm looking forward to seeing Jackson play and feel this is the missing link. Youga has been a massive loss and JJ may be the answer especially if Reid is playing in front of him.  

We must go for it and be really attacking. I feel we will win today and it will go a long way to restoring some confidence.

Come On You Reds !

Wednesday 17 February 2010

Just Another Manic Monday

Once again we failed to cover oursleves in glory both on and off the pitch. There's something about being on live tv that does little to enhance our performance, perhaps we should tick a box for no publicity.

Off the pitch some of our less cerebal fans found the minute's silence either funny, a chance to make sheep noises or both, despite attempts by the rest of us to make them shut up. All very sad and depressing, that we were treated to another rendition of the Addams Family in amongst general attempts to goad the oppo's fans was all too predictable.

On a more cheery note I enjoyed a very nice pre-match curry, so much so that when the MC announced " I can smell gas ! " I thought a public apology might be called for. Fortunately, he was just introducing the Rovers side. The only other downside of my pre-match meal was that it left unable to fit in a pasty or balti pie, they smelt and looked delicious..........unlike me !

I'm pleased that Basey isn't as badly injured as it looked he would be resulting from such an horrendous tackle. Retrospective action should be possible in such circumstances. Trollope should have condemned that but a la most managers chose not to.   

What can one say of our performance ? The team now appears devoid of confidnece and has seemingly abandoned a passing game that served it so well in the first half of the season. Hoofing the ball down field isn't going to work and is not what I want to see.

In keeping with his selections of late Parky sprung a surprise, no place for Reid in the starting eleven. Clearly this doesn't make sense as he's one of our few successes and it meant Bailey out of the left and we know that doesn't really work.

Aside from Elliot, no one covered themselves in glory and to that extent you can excuse the manager some blame. You've got to be able to rely on players to do the basics.

I still wonder what Leon has got to do to start or in this case, even get on at half time. Mooney was never going to be the answer. For me, half time needed to see the introduction of Leon and Reid for Racon and Akpo.  

Hardly anyone deserves to keep their place for Saturday but that doesn't mean we should go making wholesale changes again as this seems to be part of the problem. Stick with 4-4-2 and play Reid and McKenzie from the start.

We're down to fourth now, I'm off this week and the weather's lousy. However, my car's booked in for an MOT test today and no doubt when it sails through that I'll be feeling a lot better eh ?

Monday 15 February 2010

Old Jokes Re-worked

If the football is as bad as it was at Swindon we might be wishing we had something like this awful shirt to take our minds off things !

Why are Bristol Rovers called the Pirates ? Because they arghhh !

This season reached a low point for me against Swindon. We've been bad before but not that bad. Things can only get better ? We'll see.

We must start 4-4-2 and I'd play McKenzie and Burton up front. As I've wondered before, just what has Leon got to do to start a game ? Looking at it he's our only recognised goal scorer, he's been good when he's had a chance. He needs time on the pitch.

I'd also play a midfield of Bailey, Racon, Reid and Sam. We need to be attacking and these four offer that. The defence I'd have as usual except Solly in for Basey.

That's what I'd do but I reckon Parky will go for Burton, Akpo, Bailey, Sam, Semedo, Reid, Dailly, Sodje, Richardson, Basey and Elliot.

I hope we can employ better tactics than last week. The way we defended against short corners for example was shocking. It was an accident waiting to happen and led directly to their goal. You need two players defending it but not with one of them being no more than a passive defender. Shelvey should have been straight across to help close down but it didn't happen.......ever.

As ever we need to win ( repeat ad naseum ). I remain optimistic and hope that my passion, that was diminished last week, returns in full.

It'll be good to be back on some terracing.....hooray for that !

Come On You Reds !

Saturday 13 February 2010

Franklin's My Dear..........

Franklin's Gardens - The venue for my sporting action today.

This season having seen Charlton play Bees, Lions, Robins, Canaries, Seagulls etc I'm off to see some more creatures, today it's the Falcons of Newcastle at Northampton. Despite losing to the Falcons at home last season I'd normally fancy the Saints to win this comfortably but having a couple of players missing to the 6 nations it may be a closer call.

The rugby is a great day out. A few beers before, during and sometimes after the match all backed up by some honest sporting endeavour. Most folk know how to behave, support their team with a passion and still find it within themselves to show the opposition some respect. The players too manage to, by and large, conduct themselves in a decent manner and respect the referee. Perhaps football should have a campaign to show respect to the refer......... oh !

As a result of following the Addicks home and away a fair deal this season I've not seen the Saints since before Christmas and it'll be nice to relax and watch some sporting action without fretting too much ! All that worry is being saved for Monday when I'm off to Bristol.

My day is completed tonight as I'm attending a fund raising quiz for a local girls football team......... the Lionesses !

Come On You Saints !

Monday 8 February 2010

Keep It Simple

Boris didn't know which way to turn and he hadn't even ventured on the Magic Roundabout yet.

We all owe a big debt of gratitude to the Road Research Laboratory ( RRL ) for the work of art that is the Magic Roundabout. It left me feeling dizzy and confused. The same can be applied to our approach to Saturday's game but I'm not hanging that on the RRL although........... !

I visited The Merlin just up the road from the ground for a pre-match pint and bite to eat. All good stuff with a number of our boys in there. We were all able to enjoy a fiesty Merseyside derby. It whet the appettite for the game to come. Sadly the hors d'oeuvre was followed by a dog's dinner.

We were truly awful and it took until the last ten minutes of the first half for us to fashion a chance. The second half was little better until the introduction of Burton saw us start to create chances. Swindon were better than us but at times were just as bad.

For the first time this season I honestly felt some of my passion had gone, for this match at least. That's how bad it was. I really found it hard to get worked up about anything. I was confused about the way we'd set ourselves up. Three strikers on the bench but no place for Sam. We know enough about Wagstaff to appreciate that he's best coming off the bench. Why do we not start with McKenzie and Burton ? Parky is happy to try any other combination it seems. It can't do any harm.

Akpo is also best coming off the bench. At the very least he can't play on his own up front.

We need to keep it simple and play people in their right postitions. I know we don't have the greatest squad but it is possible to get these guys playing decent stuff as we know from earlier this season.

I've not lost faith with Parky, he's done well to get us where we are. However, he needs to hold his nerve, keep it simple and play a system and people that he knows will do the job.

I'm off to Bristol on Monday and praying that Parky get things back on track starting by selecting a better starting eleven and system backed up by sensible options on the bench.

Wednesday 3 February 2010

A Pair of Draws and David Pleat

" Alan's a great manager, simply wonderful, I can't believe that he's not managing a top flight club. "

Optimistically I tuned in to 5 Live in the hope of hearing our line up for the Braziers game. No such luck but I was instead treated to the Right Reverand David Pleat being asked for his views on the John Terry situation. After all those allegations of Curb Crawling ( see above ) who better to sit in judgement. Blimey, I bet John wishes the Reverand David was England boss right now ! Somehow given the collection the righteous souls currently representing the national team it would be entirely appropriate.

I'm afraid I can't share what the great the man thought as I didn't stayed tuned to find out. I can guess that he didn't say John Terry should be condemned to damnation ( no, not Holland ). I had to visit the club website to discover the starting eleven.

I was surpised, pleased and disappointed. Surprised at the number of changes, pleased to see Racon start and disappointed that McKenzie didn't. I've no problem with Akpo I just believe the Leon is a better bet to start and that bringing on Akpo later works well.

It sounds like a frustrating night where we should have walked away with all 3 points. A pair of draws in 4 days. Again we seem to have conceded a sloppy goal. I think we have now left ourselves too much to do in catching Leeds and Norwich even if we do still play them both at home. I hope I'm wrong.

Saturday is another tough game against a team that improved a lot since we salvaged a 2 - 2 draw on Boxing Day.

Monday 1 February 2010

Phew ! Things Are Hotting Up !

A brazier...singular note NOT the plural !

Tomorrow we play the newly named Braziers. My desire to post a picture of some braziers ( and not the ones to lift and separate and I'm aware of the different spelling ) led me to something completely different courtesy of the search engine. Having recovered from the shock and glad I didn't write this at work, I can now continue....... !

Walsall is another one of those must win games but this time we really must win. I'm encouraged by the acquisition last week of Reid and today of course, of Akpo. This now gives us some options and hope. I still believe that a genuine goal scorer is needed if finances allow and that now has to be another loan of course.

I think that Mooney must be left out of the starting eleven. He was so out of sorts on Saturday. I hope he can return at some stage with confidence renewed.

I would start with McKenzie and Burton up front. Akpo is best to bring off the bench for now. If there's no animosity between Racon and Parky then Racon should return probably at the expense of Semedo who's played poorly of late. We need some creativity and killer balls played through and beyond the defence, Racon's the man.

Having had a wasted journey on the 2nd January I'm not travelling again. I note that the ref who made such a pig's ear of the pitch inspection then is due to take charge tomorrow. Let's hope he's a better judge of a game of football than he is of a surface to play it on.

Good luck to everyone going, I hope you're rewarded with an emphatic Addicks victory. For me, it's going to be a nervous night listening to it on the t'internet.

Come On You Reds !