Wednesday 27 October 2010

The Owls

" I've just got married "
" You twit, to who ! "

Sheffield Wednesday visit the Valley on Saturday for an interesting encounter. Years ago this would have been an ornithologist's delight at a time when we were the Robins. Plenty to crow about but no accusations of players feathering their nest.......just good old honest, not that sort Wayne !

Managers would be wondering about who to play on the wing. Should they shell out on new players or can the present ones crack it. Enough, is cheep !

This match of course sees the return of Nicky Weaver. Rather than being heralded as " Charlton's number 1 " as he once was I'm guessing we may hear a reprise of the chants he used to get when he visited us in a City shirt. Personally I hope we don't, not that I have any great affection for the man. I thought he was a decidedly average keeper who was clueless on crosses, slow off his line with poor distribution to boot. I just think it's unnecessary to abuse him, there are plenty of other former players far more deserving of some heckling.

The Owls arrive in 4th place in the league despite some erratic form this season. Like us they have lost at Brentford, rather more surpirsingly though as they were flying ( sorry ) at the time. They've been here ( as in the third tier ) before of course and like many other clubs, it took them a while to get out of it. Again, like us they are not flush with the cash at present, however, I'm sure someone will buy them as they represent an attractive proposition.

Last week's late winner spared Parky some more detailed examination of how we could blow a 3 goal lead such was the relief. In my view playing Doherty didn't help ( what had he done to merit inclusion ) and a change of formation before they scored their first might have made a difference.

As Nelson from Views from an Iberian Valley observes their defence was already makeshift before kick off and two injuries inside the first 30 minutes didn't help their cause. That and the fact that we conceded 3 goals has, like many others, helped me rein in my excitement or belief that we may have " turned a corner ".

I live in the hope that Parky may go 3-5-2 but it'll never happen. I'd say we've nothing to lose by it ( other than a game of football ) and sometimes you have to be brave. I can't see what we miss by not having Francis in defence ( although last week he looked better going forward than at any time during his CAFC career maybe something in that ).

Fortune should, of course, return in place of Doherty and Benson must play in a more advanced role. Joe should partner him on last week's evidence.

Another huge away following will ensure some atmosphere again. I hope that if it does go pear-shaped again that we don't get a load of booing or abuse directed at Parky. Never very constructive or nice in my view. I think registering your disatisfaction by leaving early is more productive.

I don't think Parky is man who'll get us into the Championship or sadly, at present, even into the play-offs. I've no wish to see us lose on Saturday or at any time and let's hope we get a win. Just don't think he has what it takes with a group of players who he's largely chosen and should do a lot better.

The worry is what will happen at Christmas time. We face the possibility of losing both Fortune and Fry ( sounds like a comedy double act ) and I don't think we can afford to. Who might be sold in the transfer window is also of worry. We have to hope that come the ned of the year we are in a play-off spot at least and that that may go some way to encouraging them to stay.

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 24 October 2010

Away Win At Last

A Benson double helped the Addicks to all 3 points

We all know there's a fine line between success and failure and nothing demonstrates that better than yesterday's game. It could have ended up 3-3 or even a 4-3 defeat for the Addicks but thankfully we came away with the win.

Fair play to Benson who scored two more goals and is starting to show why Parky bought him. He's not a favourite of mine but perhaps that's because he's not been used to best effect as suggested by his former manager. Leave him up and around the box and it seems he'll get goals or be in there with a chance. Not something we do most of the time.

I'm guessing that at 3-3 yesterday we all feared the worst with a repeat of Shrewsbury. Fortunately that didn't happen.

Francis had a part in the first two goals, no idea what his defending was like but he did well there. Joe appears to have had a good game. So too, Wagstaff who as we know needs to be more consistent.

We did well in scoring 4 goals away, that at any ground is good and particulalry at Carlisle where away goals have been thin on the ground. I'm not getting carried away though, we need to look at how we nearly blew it and I make no apology for it. Carlisle were already hit by injuries and lost another two players in the first 30 minutes. This particulalry hit their already makeshift defence. It was not unreasonable to expect we might and perhaps should make something out of that.

The defensive errors were there for all to see. I cant understand how Doherty keeps his place. He was shocking against Brighton and yesterday too it seems. Not sure what he was doing for a couple of goals as he looked to have lost his player. Ponderous is my description of Doherty of late and it looked like it again. In my opinion Fortune should be in there. I hope he returns on Saturday.

For me the question marks over Parky remain, I'd love to be proved wrong and that he gets the team playing winning football in the next few games. I just doubt it. Yes, players need to take some of the blame. However, the manager must get them organised and instill some self-belief.

The Owls on Saturday present another test, let's hope we can pass it. If we do and we can build on it and improve, I'll be happy to hold up my hand and say I'm wrong.

Saturday 23 October 2010

Carlisle Away

 Hmmm burger and chips.........has Parky had his ?

Carlisle next up for our boys and we'll do well to do anything other than lose after the last week's performance and our record on the road since Orient all that time ago.

I can still recall the misplaced sense of optimism after that game. Sadly underperforming players added to Parky's mystifying team selection and tactics have seen us fall away considerably since then.

Injuries leave Parky little room for manoevure so it ought to be largely predictable. I assume Fry comes in at left back and Jackson moves up to left hand side midfield. Hopefully Fortune partners Dailly in the centre of defence. McCormack may come in for Racon and the under-used Joe may appear up front with Abbott probably losing out. I guess Martin will appear ahead of Wagstaff on the right.

The above wouldn't be my starting eleven but Parky's pick rarely are !

Hopefully Parky has done his homework this week and in addition passed on his discoveries to the players. With The Owls, The Robins and The Posh looming large on the horizon we've chosen the worst possible time to be so awful.

One can but hope that last week was as bad as it gets and that the lads and Parky can raise their game to meet these challenges head on.

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 17 October 2010

It's deja vu all over again

Press rewind
My immediate thoughts after yesterday's game were that Parky has to go. Nice bloke may be but clearly looking increasingly clueless with little to no hope of getting us promoted. However, after a night's sleep and chance to gather some rational thoughts.............I'm absolutely convinced he's got to go.

I think our manager may be guilty of not doing his homework or if he did, either not sharing his findings with the team or failing to get the message across.

The two corners in quick succession in the first half being a case in point. No one picked up the man on the edge of the area for either one. Hmmm that was blindingly obvious before it happened the first time and there's no excuse when you have everyone back to " defend " it.

How should players defend a short corner ? I'm sure the Year 6's in my school could answer that one. You need two players to go out.........not one note, as the other two will simply pass the ball until one of them is able to deliver a telling cross. I witnessed us exhibit that poor defending too on more than one occasion yesterday.

You needn't have left the comfort of your living room to know what Lua Lua did from a free kick last week against Bournemouth but all hope went when we allowed him to score again in similar vein.

Some may argue that the players have to take responsibility for the disaster that was yesterday. To a certain extent true but it's the manager who picks the team, decides the tactics and formation and yesterday, like farting in a lift, it was wrong on every level.

After midfielders, fullbacks do the most running in the team. Therefore, to pick the ageing Dailly to again play in that position was a crass decision. This was highlighted in no greater way than when Christian pushed the ball past their fullback but was unable to pick it up again as he was outpaced.

Aside from the above Parky disrupted his first choice centre back pairing to play Dailly there. Why do that ? As I remarked recently, Doherty has looked ponerous of late and he did again yesterday. Absolutely     shocking for the second goal......I know you get a bit more time in tier 3 but not that long I'm afraid.

You've got to ask why Fry didn't start. One of our best players and clearly possesses some quality and due to leave after Christmas.......hmmm wonder if he'll be back. Can't blame if he decides not to return........if he can't get into our team........!

I'd not have started with Benson but he has scored and clearly is quite effective in the box. However, that being the case why is it that he's the one coming deep to get the ball. Surely he should be trying to get on the end of Abbott flicks and knock ons. At the least he needs to be closer to the goal doesn't he given that he's not going to score outside the box !!!

What of yesterday's subsitutions ? Why on earth did the wardrobe monster come on ? What did he add ? Even I felt embarrassed for him as Lua Lua left him for dead. Point is it wasn't a positive substitution. We needed to win the game. We needed an attacking substitution be got a defensive one !

Is it too much to hope for that Parky could change our formation or style of play ? He must know how to combat a team playing 4-3-3. It was always the same when the keeper had the ball........classic formation with the two centre backs on the corner of the area and the full backs wider with Kish also free if needed. Our front two spent much of the afternoon chasing after the ball.

Our recent results of late are just not good enough. Dagenham should have been taken to the cleaners, we were poor first half against a Bentford team low on confidence and desperate for a result. We shaded it against a poor MK Dons team that again hadn't won in ages, without several key players and devoid of confidence.

On paper we have better players than Brighton ( Lua Lua aside ) sadly on grass it looked totally the opposite. The Seagulls played to a system and were well organised with the right players in the right positions. I was pleased that Kish both got a warm welcome and did well. He looked so comfortable yesterday.

The team still hasn't " gelled ", isn't playing to its potential and Parky still doesn't seem to know his best team. He simply has to go because we have the players to do so much better than this. Yesterday showed what soemone can achieve with a well organised and drilled side.

I know some will say we can't afford to sack him. Perhaps we should ask ourselves if we can afford not to !

Friday 15 October 2010

Brighton Rock Up

7-0 ! I should have known better ! Like the wedding cake it was all to end in tiers.

Saturday sees us play against the league leaders. I hold no particular grudge with the Seagulls but there are some bad memories. The day I got engaged we lost 7-0 away to the team then from the Goldstone Ground.........since the relationship, like recent Addicks managers, was subsequently a failure perhaps I should have taken note of the score.........the football gods were trying to tell me something !

However, it's not all bad news and I've enjoyed a few weekends in Brighton over the years which has seen visits to the nearby Dripping Pan to see Lewes play whilst quaffing a few pints of Harvey's and many an enjoyable night at the town's Komedia club seeing some of the best stand ups.

As Ketts suggests Parky faces something of a defensive dilema. It's such a shame that Solly got injured when did and in keeping with injuries to our players of late this one is taking a long time to recover from. I sometimes think our players would be better off with a straight forward broken leg as they'd be back in action quicker.........why is it our players are out for so long ? We now know that Youga is out for the season...unbelievable. I have real doubts he'll ever play for us or perhaps anyone again.

I can't see Parky going 3-5-2 so guess that the Wardrobe Monster will return at right back. I'd like to see Fortune and Dailly as the central pairing but reckon he'll opt for Doherty and bench Fortune. I'd go for Fry at left back but expect to see Jackson there instead.

Can't think we'll see anything other than Benson partnering Abbott or Martin. I still don't think Benson's all that but it's hard to argue against goals I guess. My preference remains for Abbott / Sodje and Martin but hey ho.

I think Poyet has done well in management and has a pretty good record and got no credit for the success Leeds had when he was there. He'll certainly be entertaining as I recently observed when the Seagulls played the Cobblers in the Carling Cup. He was very animated and took delight in winding up the locals although they had the last laugh as Northampton beat their higher league opponents.

I felt Brighton were quite a physical side that night and I think we can expect plenty of that on Saturday. However, I don't expect that Kish will be one of the main perpetrators. I'm pleased to see that he'll be back and hope he gets a decent welcome. Radistan was underated by most Addicks I felt. Never spectactular of course but an honest professional who did his job and gave it his all in a Charlton shirt.

Another player being reunited with a former team is Therry Racon. He played 8 games for the Seagulls at the tail end of the 2007-08 season. I wonder if he'll get a good reception from the away fans.....can't see why not.

Lua Lua is one to watch out for of course. Seems quite a talented played and should be good to watch.......let's hope not too good. Brighton did well to get him. I saw him on telly put in a pretty good shift for Newcastle ealier in the season. None of this bodes well for tomorrow.

I'm about as far removed from optimism as it's possible to be about tomorrow's game given our tepid performances against the basement teams. Hope springs eternal though eh ? Let's pray that the lads can up their game for the top of the league side. Perhaps us fans can do that too and it should be a cracking atmosphere to boot with Brighton having snapped up the full allocation.

Come On You Reds !

Tuesday 12 October 2010

Away at Home..................Park

 Francis was called away to do something off the pitch that he rarely does on it...........deliver.

Yes, our right back headed home to be at the birth of his child. It would seem to make sense not to disturb the first choice central pairing of Dailly and Fortune, however, Parky opted to move Dailly to right back and bring the of late, ponderous, Doherty back in. I'd have preferred to see Fry or even Llera come in.

Wagstaff again appears to have had a quiet game perhaps injury was the reason but bringing him off the bench would probably have avoided that and it's the best role for him. Martin made some impact when he came on and to me it seems crazy to leave the guy out of the side.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Benson score not once but twice. Clearly he's not going to score outside the box but a goal's a goal and you've got to be in there. I'd still have started with Abbott and Martin but it's hard to argue against goals albeit that Pawel and Lee might have done better.........we'll never know.

We were undone by poor defending from the throw and a terrific strike. As I understand it we played well and obviously battled back well from being behind twice.

Sadly our poor form away is costing us, just two or three more points gained outside the Valley would see us right up there. Hey ho ! Now we need to really play well in the next 5 league games against better opposition.

Let's hope we can do so and secure the results to get us to the top.

Friday 8 October 2010

Reidy ! Reidy !

                                 Let's hope our boys can make a monkey out of Reid P tomorrow

Every week we hear " Reidy ! Rediy ! " before our manager finally sees sense and brings on the great man. Tomorrow we may hear it from all corners of the ground as the " Home " fans chant their manager's name. Let's hope not though as the singing for our Reidy on its own would suggest the Addicks were on top with him having delivered another peach of a cross !

I took in my first Charlton paint pot trohpy game on Tuesday and my initial apathy disappated when I saw that both teams had named strong sides. Overlooking the first few minutes during which we conceded one of the worst goals ever ( blimey that's saying something ! ) we did well I thought.

Why Parky didn't start with Fortune and Dailly at the back I don't know as it was an ideal situation to try out the pairing. Doherty of late has been giving me childhood flashbacks and I half expect to hear Kent Walton's voice saying " greetings grapple fans " as Doherty attempts to wrestle another striker to the floor. He had a bloody go on Tuesday night ! Jackie Pallo sans hair !

At last Martin played in behind a lone striker who can hold the ball up for him. Sadly I think tomorrow Benson may return and Martin will be benched. Lee has received some criticism from some quarters but for me he is a class act and one of the few quality players we have. He has the ability to do things most of the rest in our side can't. He doesn't lack for effort either and keeps going. Where he played Tuesday is his best position for us, I hope he's back there soon and behind Abbott or Sodje.

Benson doesn't do it for me at all but I won't mind if he can prove me wrong, just can't see it though. Wagstaff will no doubt start as his goals have been a revelation and he is top scorer. He remains inconsistent and mostly ineffectual for me and I firmly believe the term " impact sub " was invented for him.  
I assume the wardrobe will keep his place in long do we have to wait for Solly to return !

Can you believe that Plymouth are without 3 players on international duty. Imagine us having 3 players good enough to play international football ? Imagine us without 3 of our best ? We would no doubt get a hiding, whether we can inflict that on Argyle remains a mystery that will only be finally answered at 4.55pm tomorrow.

Let's hope that when that final whistle goes our Pete will again be feeling " grey ".......................

                                                        Ah yes I remember it well...............

Come On You Reds !

Monday 4 October 2010

MK Dons Part 2

A rarely seen tin of Johnstone's paint

I've often wondered what some companies and organisations get out of sponsoring various sporting events. Some are more high profile than others of course but some are so insignificant that you wonder if it's worth the outlay of cash.

The paint pot trophy must be a case in point. I'll confess to not being a diy enthusiast.......quite the opposite in fact. However, I've never seen a tin of Johnstone's in any diy store and neither has anyone I've ever asked about it. Even if I did see one and I was looking to buy paint I'd probably go for a pot of dulux over the aforementioned.........I don't know if it's any good.

I guess that the sponsorship must give Johnstone's some sort of return perhaps they secured the Forth Bridge conract on the back of it.....who knows.

All this mindless speculation is an attempt to avoid thinking too much about tomorrow night's high octane encounter with MK Dons and yes, I've got a ticket and yes, I'm going. Quite how many fellow Addicks will be there is anyone's guess. I think I might be part of Charlton's lowest ever away following. To be honest if I didn't live up here I wouldn't bother. However, I do and at £6 a ticket I thought I'd give it a go although I suspect I may come away thinking that's one evening I'll not get back again !

I don't care too much about whether we win, last week's league game was far more important. It does though give Parky a chance to experiment and do some wacky things. Perhaps he might start with Reid ! Perhaps he might not play the underperforming Benson and Wagstaff. Perhaps he might omit Francis. Perhaps he might play Martin in behind a lone striker who can win flick ons, hold up the ball and lay the ball of for him.

One can but hope. Let's hope that these two games watching from the stands will enable Parky to see the things that we lesser mortals can see from the comfort of our seats week in, week out.

If he does and he changes things and we start winning and in style maybe I'll go out and paint the town red...........not with a tin of Johnstone's though of course !

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 3 October 2010

The B's

The day started well with a comfortable journey from Milton Keynes Central station to Kew Bridge. Cross the road to the Waggon and Horses ( note that waggon is a variant spelling of wagon according to my dictionary ). This is an excellent pub with good food and a toothsome pint of London Pride. I'd recommend it for future visits to Brentford however, the landlady confirmed it's to be knocked down in December as a new pub is to be built by the***cks ( b number 1 ) !

A leisurely stroll to the ground, programme purchased ( obviously Brentford are a wealthy club as the programme has a laminated cover, something we can't afford apparently ! ) squeezed our way onto the terracing. Good show of Addicks in good voice....all rather splendid........then the ref blew his whistle for kick off........bu**er !

Francis gave an immediate demonstration of his impressionist was bedroom furniture........" today I'm mostly being a wardrobe " and a heavy old oak one at that and riddled with woodworm too. Weston had little difficulty in skipping past him to get in an early rasping shot.......a portent of things to come.....bother !

Not long after goal number one arrived sadly scored by Alexander who in my opinion should have booked for winding up Addicks fans with his celebration. He joined by a Father Christmas look-a-like in the home stand who really ought to have known better. Last year's Bees fan, " you're not fit to be a dad " was lurking sheepishly at the back of the stand this year and was probably glad to this loon getting all the attention....bas**rds.

Like buses goal number two wasn't far behind as the Addicks continued to look**dy hell !

Mercifully half time came and only getting an extra pound in my change in error at the snack bar gave any remote cause to feel anything other than thoroughly pi**ed off !

Parky then made changes and had the sort of side he should have started with. How Wagstafff kept his place is beyond me. How Francis stayed on I'll never know. Why Fry was subbed is a mystery as he was playing ok and nothing got past him. Reid clearly should have started and Parky is the only connected with Charlton that doesn't seem to understand that. Benson is clearly not the answer and increasingly seems like a poor man's Luke Varney.........lots of running but too lightweight to do anything what so ever......blimey !

Nice guy though Parky is I'm afraid his time is nearly up unless something dramatic changes. We have the players to do so much better, they need better guidance than they're getting now. I know we can't afford to sack him so why not change his job title and make Kinsella the boss. 

It's still a mystery to me why when we don't have any money we have an assistant manager and a coach ? I'd like to know how those roles are defined !

All in all it's not looking good. At least there's the relief of the paint pot trophy on Tuesday. I wonder if Parky will try 3-5-2 although who to leave out of the previous back four is a real tester eh ?

Saturday 2 October 2010

Time to make like my blood group......

Proof that I still have a copy of the programme from my first Brentford game. I'm guessing the price of the programme has changed but has colour reached wast London yet ?

and Bee positive ! Of late I've not been happy with Parky's selections, formations and where he's playing certain players........e.g. Wagstaff on the left, Benson as the lone striker etc. After last Saturday I was seething but have taken Michael Winner's advice and calmed down.  

I'm endebted to Nelson from the excellent Views from an Iberian Valley blog for enlighteing me that our last win at Griffin Park was in 1980. I was there for that one and recall it as an important win during that promotion season. One always went into games with a feeling of optimism with Walsh and Elliott in the team.

I'll be there again today for one of my few away games this season. Aside from thinking you'd be hard pushed to keep track of the game given the saturation coverage of the Ryder Cup ( is the entire staff of BBC sport plus Nicky Campbell there I wonder ? ) the lure of a ground with a pub in each corner has proved too much ! If they lads can match the level of effort they showed on Tuesday and add some better passing and crossing then this a game we really ought to win.

I never make predictions as they can backfire and make one look silly so...............I'm going to say 2-1 to us today.

Come On You Reds !