Saturday 25 September 2010

Is this a dagger which I see before me ?

Shush ! Don't mention the Scottish Play by name !

Shakespeare walks into a pub. The landlord says " you're Bard ! "

Not so much a dagger as eleven of them today as we seek a return to winning ways. Last week I proffered that Parky tends to stick pretty much the same team week in, week out............I was way off the mark there unusual I hear you cry.

However, my assertion that he doesn't include players when they're confident or just had a good game was correct. For me last week's team changes were a nonsense save for a couple of. He may have thought giving Worner another go in goal was a boost to his confidence and that Daniels needed more time to work with the defence but he is never going to have a much easier game than last week to blood Daniels.

Joe came on and scored from wide right in the previous game so Parky then decides it's best to play him up front. Fry did little wrong the week before and then found himself dropped as the gaffer felt we needed Llera's allegedly, greater physical presence.

Parky must sort all this and dare I say ( again ) his latest acquisitions aren't looking all that. I prefer Solly ( when fit ) to Francis, Racon to McCormack and Benson and Abbott aren't really cutting the mustard............strikers are expected to score goals aren't they ?

Racon and Semedo do look the best central pairing and fair enough, at least that part of the equation seems ok. Martin appears capable of scoring us some goals and add to that his creativity and overall ability it surely warrants a free role behind one or two of our stirkers...probably Abbott as the single stirker if fit.

Parky needs to be more flexible, certainly at home and adopting a different formation should be part of that. 4-5-1 at present would be best when away and I'd suggest 3-5-2 which is very workable at home. No reason why leaving Francis out of a back 3 would do much harm.

That would leave Jackson free to come to replace Reid on the left if he's fading in the second half as he often does. I've still to be convinced by Wagstaff as a consistent performer and for me Joe should start on the right.

My team today in going 3-5-2 would be :-

Daniels, Llera, Doherty, Fry, Reid, Racon, Semedo, Anyinsah, Martin, Benson and Abbott.

Whatever team Phil picks let's hope they finally " gel " as it appears that Labour will have elected a new leader before they do and that's taken over 4 months although it seems longer !

This is another game we should win for many reasons not least because the Daggers played midweek but as ever with Charlton it won't be that simple. Let's hope the lads can get the 3 points and that our strikers finally get scoring.

Come On You Reds !

Saturday 18 September 2010

Tranmere Away

John Barnes as he'd most like to be remembered

John Barnes as he'd least like to be remembered

Last season we recorded an emphatic 4-0 win away to the Tranmere, a number of factors suggest that a repeat today is highly unlikely. Gone is John Barnes whose career as a footballer is in stark contrast to his subsequent attempts at management and er tv presenter............not his finest hour !

In addition, and overlooking the loss of several of our better players from last season, the lads aren't playing well. Not sure how long we have to wait for them to gel but let's hope they do so soon.

Les Parry ( another physio who seems to know a bit about managing a football team if not healthy eating ) has come in and did a splendid job in saving them from relegation last season. I quite like Les, aside from the admiration I have for what he did for Tranmere last term, he sounds a jolly decent chap with a good sense of humour. Not that a sense of humour is a pre-requisite of course. I view Curbs as a legend but I doubt he had 'em wetting themselves every week.

As ever we retain a pretty good defence and let's hope young Daniels ( I say young but every player is young to me in the same way that policemen are too these days ) fits in well. I'd retain Doherty and Fry in the middle as they didn't do too much wrong last week.

In midfield McCormack doesn't deserve to start and Racon does if we want a modicum of creativity. Joe needs to start on the right and Reid on the left. Martin should play behind a lone stirker as I feel that's going to prove his best position and you should make good use of your better players. I'd go for Abbott as the lone man.

I don't think Parky will do much of that as he tends to stick with pretty much the same side week in week out. I'd like to think he's aware of the need to tinker though. I get frustrated by his habit of not playing players when they are full of confidence. It's happened with Solly and Racon already this season of ones that I can think of instantly.

I hopeful but not confident of a win. Let's hope Parky does the right thing, gets the team up for it and we can come away with the 3 points.

I watched the Saints beat Bath last night in a great game at Franklins Gardens. Today, finances prevent me from making the trip to Tranmere but I have free ticket to see MK Dons v Rochdale. It'll be interesting to see our upcoming opponents in both league and paint pot. They seem to be on a roll at the moment.

Let's pray for an Addicks victory to keep us in the shake up at the top of the league.

Come On You Reds !

Monday 13 September 2010

Knott's County

God's chosen county - the only one good enough for the best wicketkeeper / batsman ever.

What a wonderful weekend ! It started on Friday evening with a reunion of the 1970 Kent CCC championship winning side. What a remarkable team not least because as of 1st July 1970 they were bottom of the championship and just over over two months later on September 11th they were champions !

Most of my sporting heroes, let alone the finest cricketers the world has ever seen, were there. Meeting the likes of Denness, Shepherd, Ealham, Graham, Johnson, Chris Cowdrey, Underwood and the great Alan Knott was fantastic.

This was an unforgettable evening with many great stories and reminisces from those players. All had time for everyone. It was all put together wonderfully well with great attention to detail and all credit to Kent for that. It doesn't seem that their success is likely to repeated in the near future but like Charlton we live in hope.

This was followed by a win for the Addicks on Saturday afternoon and I'd have settled for that before kick off. As has been noted by others it wasn't great and the first half was as poor as I've witnessed for many a year. Given my support of Charlton for many, many years that really is saying something !

The introduction of Racon saw an improvement but to be honest it still wasn't great. I was disappinted to see Reid so tucked in during the first forty five and assume that this was under orders. God, or rather Parky, knows why........on so many occasions he clearly should have got wider to receive the ball.

Parky has some thinking to do still. We still have no natural goalscorer and I'm sure many of us could write down our favoured starting eleven and there'd be few matching ones. There seems no decent pairing of any two strikers and one can't help but think that a formation change would help.

Part of the problem at present is that 3 big signings are not that convincing.......McCormack, Benson and Francis aren't pulling up any trees for me and their places are far from secure.

I feel Martin is being wasted. Clearly he is more skillful than just just about anyone else in the side and one of the few likely sparks of creativity. I'd suggest playing him just behind a lone striker in a 4-5-1 as this may see him at his best. 

With two seemingly easier fixtures coming up I hope that Parky can get it right and that the team starts to gel. It needs to happen soon or we'll be losing ground that we're not equipped to recover which is a shame when so many teams are similarly failing to find any consistency.

Tuesday 7 September 2010

Caught Knott Bowled Underwood

The Boys Are Back In Town

If one of your earliest childhood sporting memories is of the above method of dismissal for both Kent and England, then you'll be interested in the reunion of the Kent CCC 1970 championship winning side.

It takes place this Friday at the St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury and whilst tickets are a tad expensive at £50 per head, I think it's an evening not to be missed. This price includes a 3 course meal and a copy of the excellent " Trophies and Tribulations " which offers an insight to events covering 40 years of Kent cricket.

All surviving memebers bar two will be there. That includes an appearance by A.P.E. Knott on a rare trip over from his now home in Cyprus.

For fans of Kent cricket over many generations but particulalry the 1970's this promises to be a truly wonderful evening. This group of players over the following 10 to 11 years formed the basis of teams that went on to be the most successful the county has ever had. Aside from that it wasn't unusual for most England teams to have at least 3 or 4 Kent players in it such was the strength of the team. Indeed that 1970 winning side was without Cowdrey and others, absent on test duty,  for several games.

Tickets are still available from the club and I urge you to get one. Visit the club website for all relevant details.

It promises to be quite a night.

Friday 3 September 2010

East and West

Short-sighted, can't walk unaided, infirm........he should have no trouble beating England tonight !

What a weekend readers ! It all starts tonight when England take on a womble as they seek to win back our affections after a surprisingly poor world cup performance that left the nation stunned. Well Steve G and the lads don't worry about winning back my affections..........I never had any for you anyway although rumours persist that others might have eh !

This is gripping stuff so I'm off to an alcohol fuelled quiz which is to be followed by a curry. I could get the same after-effects watching our brave boys sans the beer and food but this will be far more enjoyable.

Who really cares.........evidently not Terry nor Lampard who as we know feel that their feeble world cup efforts didn't affect the Chelsea side and at the end of the day that's all that really matters eh ? No siree, JT and Lamps are sitting this one out but hope to be fit for CFC's next game.

On Tuesday they take on the chocolate, cheese, clock making and peace loving neutral Swiss. Both these footballing goliaths will probably prove more than a match for the England lads and even if not, why bother. What does anyone think they'd do if they even qualified for the final stages ? Just more embarrassment for the rest of us. 

Aside from the start of the rugby season starting our boys will be in deepest Devon tomorrow taking on those Exeter boys. Yep our lads will up against the pasty-munching, cider-swilling folk from the West Country.

Parky now has some positive selection issues for a change which is refreshing. Hopefully, Dailly will make it to play. I'd like to see Fry given a go. I'd rest Wagstaff as I fear he's not as effective as the Orient game suggested he might be.

Play Martin on the right. Bring back Solly. Get Benson in. Play Racon. Play Semedo. Play Reid. Play Fortune. Play Llera. Play Kevin Pietersen. Play 14 players. Play it again Sam.......

I'm losing the plot and I've not had a beer yet. At least I've avoided any stereotypes which, like cliches, I avoid like the plague.

Come On You Reds !