Friday 30 December 2011

Friends Re-united

Super Kevin Lisbie - still the only Jamaican international to score a Premiership hat-trick. We'll never forget that day will we !

Yes, tomorrow we are re-aquainted with not only Super Kev but also Mooney, Cook and Spring sounding like a firm of solicitors but all of whom have plied their trade with the Addicks at one time or another.

Young Kevin ( 22 years old now you know - my how time flies ! ) as Curbs used to call him was a player we let go far too soon in my opinion. Having watched him week in week out in the Prem not quite cutting the mustard it seemed nonsense to release him hen we got relegated when he might actually score a few. He was always good enough at Tier 2 level as he went on to prove with Colchester. One of Pardew's many irrational decisions eh.

Mooney is a player I never really rated and in contrast to SKL has not really proved me wrong. Scored a cracking goal in the play off semi with Swindon but all too late I'm afraid.

We will also meet up with Lee Cook and Matthew Spring. Cook flattered to decieve I thought...amazingly he's still on loan from QPR ! Spring I liked, always hard-working and giving 100% - a solid and reliable player although I don't think we saw the best of him.

Tomorrow then and we're live on Sky at the Barry Hearn Matchroom Carlsberg Flats Brisbane Road Stadium or somesuch. Good old Barry has decided not to lower the prices for this one despite it being played at 5.20pm on new year's eve and live on Sky.....hmm the man who has transformed snooker and boxing ( so Baz says anyway ! ) didn't think it prudent to do so. I guess we're a big draw but nonetheless he might have got more punters in had he done so.

BTW I note that Eddie Hearn is couldn't be that he's, of course not and I was silly to even entertain the idea.

What of the O's then ? Well aside from the aforementioned quartet with Charlton connections there's also Jamie Jones ( cue Clash song in your head for the rest of the day ) who dropped a clanger aginast us last season as I recall. I'm sure he'll want to atone for his error.

Defender Tony Craig has just returned to Millwall who he was on loan from. An adjustment needed in defence for them.

As far as I know ( which is bu**er all eh ! ) we've no new injuries although Danny Boy Green is suspended following the yellow card picked up in the West country. Oh well, he'll be fresh on Monday at least.

Whether Wagstaff has recovered from ankle knack remains to be seen. Jackson is on the verge of returning although Sir Chris may not want to bring him in just yet. Perhaps a place on the bench for Skip.

The gaffa has other options should he decide to swop players around, Evina is a possibility and Pritchard looks like he could do a job on the wing to me. Mr Powell will be keen as we all are that BWP returns to scoring goals.......we really need him to be full of confidence.

The O's will be hurting from their loss to the Dons.....fancy being beaten by a bunch of professors....that'll teach 'em. Therefore, they'll want to bounce back. In any case this is always another tough place to go. Sadly after being at our last two visits I'm not there tomorrow. Please say hello to the chap in the home area wearing the United shirt if you're going.

This is another game where we really ought to win. The first goal will be crucial, if we get it then the game should open up allowing us to play with a bit more freedom as there should be more space. If they get it then it'll be similar to the Yeovil game I suspect with the home side defending and holding on to what they have.

We've done the business consistently away from the Valley this season and let's hope that buoyed by own terrific away following we can bring home the 3 points....a good perfomrance would be the icing on the cake.

This is my last post of plans to post post Orient before the new year ! My thanks to everyone who blogs...I really enjoy reading the thoughts of others and the occasional pieces on the authors lives away from the Valley. We are a pretty diverse bunch but all with the one same passion ( or troubled shared as Dave from DDTG puts it ).

Big thanks to Ketts for his continued interesting and informative articles on an almost daily basis. He's the man in the know for sure !

Thanks to anyone who takes the time to read anything what I have wrote as Ernie Wise might have said. Thanks for any comments you may have left.......clearly not everyone agrees with me especially fans of Oldham although judging by the comments left on a number of CAFC blogs I'm not alone. Blinkered is how I feel one might best desrcibe their view of their team and our most recent encounter !

I wish you all a most enjoyable new year's eve of course and I hope the script goes according to plan !

My very best wishes to you all for 2012, an Olympic year, that I hope sees the torch enter the stadium with the Addicks firmly in the Championship !

Come On You Reds !

Tuesday 27 December 2011

Euell-Tide Cheer !

I do believe that's a red red robin on the top.

There is superstition as Stevie Wonder once sang....very true Stevie. I started out listening to BBC radio London but switched to following the game by Sky after we went behind as I'm a superstitious old sod. As it turned out it made all the difference as we won on Sky with the late winner !

As ever this season there was a long wait for our score and then unexpectedly up came the news that Green had scored a late goal that ultimately proved to be the winner of course. I recall that Norwich were quite tenacious in their promotion seasons in both league 1 and the championship with late goals a feature of them. Our boys are showing similar determination and resilience this season seemingly very driven and focused.

The late goals at the Banks's Stadium made things even sweeter. Huddersfield won as you might expect and Dons also although the size of their win was something of a surprise. We can but hope that the O's are in a similar generous mood on new year's eve.

I gather that we were very much on top for the majority of the game and that the last quarter or so saw the Glovers pretty much camped in their own half. We did well in striking back quickly having gone behind twice. At last Yann scored from a free kick. I guess we've all seen those Youtube clips of him knocking them in from outside the area and now the good old boy has done it for us !

Then of course Danny Green popped up with the winner.......just a thought but I wonder if Wagstafff had been fit if he'd have come on for Green ? We'll never know. Danny is now suspended for the game at Orient which is a big miss but hey ho someone will need to step up in his place. Wagstaff may be fit or perhaps Jackson may return and Ephraim switches to the right.

The biggest hope now is that Bradley scores soon. He still seems to be doing everytihng right save for putting the ball in the net at the moment. One can't imagine that his goal drought will continue for much longer.

What are the BBC all about......I was looking forward to seeing our game on the football leaue show but no, it wasn't to be. The usual MOTD with associated drivel from Shearer and Lawreson but no proper footie. Not on tonight either I see, how bad is that ?

A win on Saturday and again on bank holiday Monday will finish and start the old and new years in splendid fashion allowing us to anticipate the cup match against Fulham with some relish. 

Thursday 22 December 2011

The Magi of Christmas

They should have gone west not east and now may miss the Addicks v the Glovers, as a result it wasn't only the camels that had the hump ! Never mind they realised if they headed home straight away they would probably catch the Addicks at the Matchroom Stadium ( well they do come the Orient ). I bet they've got a flat overlooking the ground.

A reference to the Magi made me think of former player Bougherra and had he still been with us then I might have attempted a pathetic name based joke but he isn't with us any more so that won't happen.

Last Christmas we got new owners and fortunately we avoided having a wise man at the club as we once feared. We also managed to avoid Gold ( and Sullivan et al ) as he headed east so we truly have a lot to thank God for eh ?

My preparations for Christmas are just about done with one present left to get. I've got most of the food but not the drink yet...must remedy that tomorrow ! Got the crackers so they'll be good for some awful jokes that will get repeated over the next few months on the blog....sorry !

Got my pressies from Milton Keynes shopping centre. Once this was viewed as one of the best if not the best in the country and people would bus in or drive from miles away to visit. Not sure why and have never seen the attraction myself, shops are shops aren't they ? MK doesn't have shops that you can't find anywhere else and the main part now looks very dated......even I've aged better and that is saying something !

Last night saw a reunion of some of my fellow tourists from 16 years of cricket tours for Abbey National Cricket Club. Each one of the tours has been in North Devon mostly based in Bideford. What a wonderful part of the world, lovely scenery with people to match. We gathered in Wetherspoons, drank some toothsome ale and reminisced.......... a lot. With most of us having aged somewhat and retired from the game each tour has been harder for numerous reasons. We are hoping for one last hurrah in 2012.  

Can the boys return to winning ways on Boxing Day ? Let's hope so as the 3 points would be a Christmas bonus for all us Addicks before the first of two London derbies away to the O's.

I wish everyone and their families a peaceful and happy Christmas.......have a good one !

Sunday 18 December 2011

And A Merry Christmas......Everyone !

Why didn't the skeletal Oldham fan go to the match ? Because he knew it'd be really boring with very little skill on show. Hear no good football, speak no good football and certainly see no good football.

Well what a great start to Christmas week ! Speaking of weak, what about those officials eh ! Absolutely useless. I won't waste time ( irony or what ! ) on them suffice to say they were the worst we've seen this season. The allowed Oldham to carry out their boring game plan ( if you can call it a game plan ) to a T.

Nevertheless, despite Oldham's approach we really ought to have beaten a very poor side that has so little skill in it. We fluffed our lines somewhat.

The first half was an instantly forgettable affair and I bet Yann wished he'd stayed in the chaning rooms longer following his clash of heads. His battling on is to be applauded, I think I'd have looked at how we were playing and said " nah ! " shortly before hot-footing it to an early bath.

Sir Chris obviously had words at half time as we emerged with more intent and increased tempo. Failure to convert more thn the one chance really smack us on the bum. Sadly Oldham managed to do the same with the only one they had aside from a shot in the first half which Hamer tipped over but I felt he ought to have caught comfortably.

Wright-Phillips is really struggling and his determination to score meant he ignored the chance to pass to others in better postions on a couple of occasions. On one occasion Green played him in with an exquisite pass that he only just failed to convert but that you'd have expected him to put away. He needs a goal and very soon !

Again I can't understand what Sir Chris is doing with the subs. Euell again on the bench....why I don't know. For the second week running we needed a goal and he didn't bring on the player he apparently sees as our 3rd best striker. Wagstaff on again and Pritchard was also lined up to come on...both ahead of Euell. Anyone understand how that works ?

Given his size Smith or indeed Hayes would have added something and either could have come on for BWP had they been on the bench. Sorry I'm not getting it at all.

Yann's iunjury seemed to produce a slightly below par performance from him which is I guess understandable given the knock he got.

We now face some tough games over Christmas and the New Year. I'm realistic enough to know we're not going to win every game but ones like this against a poor side who've played midweek games for the previous 2 weeks really should be put to bed. We have the players and the ability.......the lads are going to have to do better than this if we're going to stay out in front. 

Friday 16 December 2011

It's Beginning To Feel A Lot Like Christmas

It's Christmaaaaaas by Sleighed 

One of the joys of working in a school is the nativity play, carol concert and general enjoyment of this time of year by the kids. It's the culmination of our Christmas celebrations and yes, we did have a traditional Christmas assembly too. Santa has visited as well, he didn't look overly tanned so I don't think it was Phil Brown......Phil Brown geddit ? He got the sack this week.....oh please yourselves......

I attended the carol concert tonight and it was rather splendid and well attended by parents and family, one of the best in my time at the school. With the children undertaking lots of Christmas activities; making and sending cards, exchanging presents etc it's a lovely atmosphere and unique during the curriculum year in my view. There's nothing like the kids to remind you of what Christmas should be about and they're not yet so affected by life that they have a cynical view of things and remain full of optimism. Supporting the Addicks over many years would knock that out of them eh !

Snow permitting, tomorrow will be a day of watching dvds and partying perhaps with some bringing in toys from home. In my day that'd mean a board game of some sort or one of your lucky mates might have a robot, about the only electronic toy at the time. These days of course most have PS3, Xbox or the like and i-pods etc........ you name it, they've pretty much got it. That is a shame really as Christmas for me was the only time you got big and what for me were expensive presents. Children these days pretty much get these all year round almost which to a certain extent leaves some children less grateful and appreciative. ( I'm just managing to avoid a full-on Pythonesque living in a hole in the road type rant ! ).

Hopefully our boys won't be taking the spirit of Christmas too far on Saturday. No gifts for our visitors - just us taking home the 3 points I hope.

Quite rightly there'll be a minute's silence to honour one of our FA Cup winning heroes Peter Croker. His passing was sad news indeed.

We ought to win and hopefully our guests will have an eye on their forthcoming cup tie at Anfield that'll distract from the task in hand. I'm looking forward to seeing Ephraim and Russel in tandem as both are more than useful additions to the team. If they both stay beyond January and our injured players return then we really will have competition for places. All that bodes well for the future.

Hopefully Hayes or Smith will be on the bench as opposed to Jason as I believe they offer more than he. I won't be suprised if Sir Chris keeps Euell there though.

In the spirit of Christmas I'm looking forward to a bit of quaffing before and aft the action on Saturday, well it'd be rude not to.   

Come On You Reds !

Tuesday 13 December 2011

One All At Walsall

A Point Gained

You can't win 'em all as they say so best look at Saturday's result as a point gained. We've been on such a great run that ti would be churlish to view as much else. Walsall were never going to do anything other than work hard for whatever they could get given their league position.

I wasn't at the game and have nothing to add to what's already been said. However, I was somewhat surpirsed to see Euell take precedence over Hayes and to a lesser extent Smith. Along with most other Addicks I've a great affection for our record signing but affection and sentiment doesn't win you games of football. He may have scored in the cup the week before but to be fair it was served up on a plate and as Geoffrey would say " my old Gran could have scored that ! ". Even then it just trickled over the line.

No doubt Sir Chris thought that the goal would re-ignite our Jas but I'm afraid I can't see that happening. Hayes and indeed Smith offer a more potent threat. In fact we really ought to question given that we needed a goal why Euell didn't come on. In what scenario would Jason come off the bench then ? When we were winning by a goal or two ? Was he going to come on to slow things down or use his experience to see out the game ? It seems a bit illogical.

I hope that Hayes or Smith take the place of Euell on the bench on Saturday. Sir Chris could of course not put a keeper on the bench and play the extra outfield player. Sadly for me I rather doubt either of those coming to pass.

I was pleased to see that Russel had a good game. He should be a useful addition to the team and hopefully become a permanent signing come January.

Next week we entertain Oldham and this is one that we definitely ought to win for a variety of reasons. Not least amongst those is that Oldham have played midweek last week and this. Tonight they play Southend for the privelege of playing Liverpool in the F.A. cup third round. Oldham have a sufficient tally of points not to be too concerned about relegation whilst not quite threatening to push on for promotion. Therefore, it's safe to assume that they'll be going all out to win tonight. We can but hope for extra time and perhaps penalties.

Come 4.55pm on Saturday if we haven't won, unlike last Saturday, I'm going to be very disappointed. Of course, I don't really have to worry as this is Charlton and it wouldn't be like them to ruin my Christmas now would it ?


Sunday 4 December 2011

Not BWP but BP !

Bradley Pritchard

It's all in the initials apparently. What a polished performance from BP yesterday who was the biggest plus point for me. Having played little football to date this season and being injured seems to have had little effect on Bradley who put in a good shift. Shift probably isn't the most appropriate word given that it suggests a rather  laboured performance and reality it was far removed from that. BP was accomplished and confident.

Pritchard seemed to have time on the ball, put in many good tackles and both short and long passes were executed in equal good measure. This was a very encouraging display from the young man.

Sir Chris made 6 changes to the eleven that started on Monday night that perhaps rather refelcted a similar shift in atmosphere and size of crowd. The 7k plus attendance was disappointing even in these tough economic times.

As ever the boss seems to have got it about right although I'd have like to have seen Smith start. I'm not a fan of Wagstaff in his supposed proper position and playing him up front or just behind the main striker does little to endear him to me I'm afraid. The thinking is that his running will unsettle the oppo's doesn't. In addition, he seems to have acquired an annoying habit of going down all too frequently looking for a foul.

The first half was a very forgetable affair with one good full length save from the assured Sullivan being the only moment of any real note. The steward in front of me must have sensed that it was a lucklustre affair as they fell asleep after 15 minutes. It was the worst 45 minutes of the season which speaks volumes as in recent times one would have said it was par for the course.

Sir Chris obviously had words at half time as the Addicks emerged a different animal in the second half seeming to want to up the tempo and displayed much more urgency. Green, who had a good game throughout, delivered some quality crosses and was unlucky with an opportunistic volley from about 30 metres that just flew past the right hand post.

The first goal was a somewhat scrambled affair following a corner that had come about after a superb and skillful driving run from Evina if I recall correctly. Morrison would not be denied and eventually slammed the ball home.

The second came about after a well delivered cross from Keromogant and Euell's scuffed shot trickled inside the post to make it safe.

Carlisle played reasonably well but lacked a cutting edge rarely posing any serious threat. In addition, they were too easily opened up in the second half by our much altered side.

Now we look towards the third round and can but hope for a home tie against a top drawer team......that's what we hope for but we all know the reality, don't we children !

Of course our home match with Bury now needs to be re-arranged. With several other third tier sides also in the hat ( in the hat ? it long ceased to be that eh ? ) for the third round, the League One programme is pretty much decimated on January 7th anyway. The only team up the top that have no F.A. Cup concerns is Hudedersfield who play on the Friday evening away to Wycombe who similarly fell by the wayside in the first round.

Friday 2 December 2011

Time For Change

What contrast in tomorrow's fixture compared with that of Monday night. The Huddersfield was a must win played in front of two quite vocal sets of fans, tomorrow, well, very much quieter and I can take or leave the result to be honest although I do want us to win of course. If we do win then I hope for a plum home tie against Man City followed by the honourable defeat by a team that has produced the best football in this country this season.

It's an opportunity to rest a few players and give an outing to some that we don't see so much of and clearly would benefit form a run out. I'd like to see Smith, Pritchard, Evina, Russell, Harriott and a few others. I guess Sir Chris may opt for something akin to the side that dealt with F C Halifax in the previous round.

I didn't think I'd make tomorrow's game but a previous commitment in the Metropolis has been cancelled allowing me to attend........whoopee !   

I'm driving tomorrow so no pre or indeed post-match imbibing for me, think I'll save that for the Oldham game just before Christmas.

I assume that Carlisle will field a pretty full strength team hopefully with the result of seeing a good match.

Whatever the nature or importance of the game, a trip to the Valley is to be treasured and I'm always filled with anticipation as indeed one should be as a fan. It's always special and if that ever stops then it'll be time to call it a day.........can't see that happening though......ever !

Come On You Reds !

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Hogan's Heroes

A programme from yesteryear kids.......

Really they're all Powell's heroes but you'll excuse me that as I clutch at straws for a headline I'm sure.

Wow what a performance ! Each and everyone of our boys stood up to the physical battering that we got from the Terriers. There was little protection on offer at times from a referee who wasn't flattered or swayed by the fact that he has a stand named after him at The Valley......the Roger Stand ? It sounds like a place for amourous Addicks eh !

Ne'er mind...... no one's complaining ( too much ) and the team deserves great credit as each player played their part. I was delighted with and for Solly who was truly magnificent. Each passing game only serves to highlight what a rare error was made by Sir Chris in omitting him from the team against Stevenage.

I shouldn't single anyone out because as I said they were all rather splendid. This is a match and result of some significance. If I felt that the win over Sheff Utd laid down a marker then this one has made a real statement of intent. We all have to hope that injuries and suspensions and indeed the possible sale of a player or two don't jepordise the season.

As for Huddersfield, I've said for a while now that I'd rather be top of the league than have their unbeaten record. Certainly it doesn't compare to that of Forest or Arsenal in terms of the division they've achieved it in alone. It is some achievement there's no doubt of that but possibly at the expense of turning draws into wins as they sought to maintain their unbeaten status. How they respond the last night's defeat will be interesting. I think they'll be all right and I'd be surprised if they don't finish in the top 3 let alone 2.

The last two games have summed up what you expect from teams that usually go on and win something. A less than dazzling display at Griffin Park but coming away with a win and an outstanding one with another 3 points heading our way last night. For all those Brentford fans who questioned why the Addicks were top of the league.....well you got your answer last night. Never judge a team on one performance and that we won the game anyway should tell you something.

What do we now want from Saturday's F.A. Cup game ? A win may set up a tasty third round encounter but then would impact on the league programme. Perhaps we'd settle for a win Saturday, Man City at home and an honourable defeat.

That's all for the future, for now let's bask in the glory of a fantastic win and performance last night......oh and being top of the league !

Come On You Reds !!!!

Monday 28 November 2011

It's A Funny Old Game

Patrick Monohan ( Show Me The Funny Winner ) who may well do the post match interview for Lee Clark

If it was good enough for Sir Alex to parade some poor sap for interviews in his stead then Lee Clark may well opt for Patrick Monohan to do the same. Shut your eyes when either is talking and you'd be hard pushed to know who is who although some may find Lee funnier but not intentially ! 

A late post for me and by the time you read this ( let's be honest probably no one as I sound ritual echo once more ) the game will have kicked off.

Hopefully the pressure for the Terriers to maintain their unbeaten record will weigh heavily on them. A win for us tonight would be wonderful but I'm as pessimitic as usual and then there's the t.v. cameras !

I trust we won't miss Skip to the same extent as that of last season......God help us if we do ! We are better prepared and equipped to manage without him. In addition, Ephraim who must surely play is a more than capable replacement. In addition, in Taylor we have someone who will step up to the mark as captain.

I'm keeping everything crossed for tonight and would be more than happy with a draw.

Hopefully Patrick won't be in the mood for any funnies come the end of the ninety !

Come On You Reds ! 

Sunday 20 November 2011


 With apologies to entomologists everywhere.....

My decision to avoid all media contact from 3pm to 4.50pm served me well only in that it saved me from 1 hour and 50 minutes of fretting to a lesser extent. However, the wait until @ 5.05pm was almost unbearable. I realised that our delayed result meant that something had happened and all kinds of thoughts went through my mind.

I occupied myself with washing, ironing and cleaning. My domestic duties were completed during the usual 90 minutes plus half time of course.......I was indeed a busy bee.

I switched on BBC1 at 4.50pm to discover we were winning 1-0 and then the full time results were read out by Tim Gudgin who was performing his duties for the last time after 40 odd years with the beeb.......thank you sir. Tim made only one error yesterday in that despite what it said on the screen he read the score as 0-0.....arghh, maybe the screen caption was wrong and it was 0-0 !

There then followed, quite rightly, a review of Tim's time at the BBC which of course meant no news of our final result. By now I'd gone onto the t'internet to discover the reason for the delay. Much relief when our win was finally confirmed.

It seems we dug in yesterday and maintained our self-belief and came away with the 3 points. Not the most convincing of performances by all accounts but Griffin Park isn't an easy place to go. Sir Chris sorted things out at half-time and we played much better in the second period I understand.

As we all know sometimes you have play badly and win...winning ugly as they say. Over the years we've had a few players and one manager in particular who knew how to win ugly eh ? It is supposed to be the mark of a good side.

One good cross from Green and a clinical finish from BWP, the footballing equivalent of a rolled up copy of a newspaper, was enough to see off the Bees. After that little to report it seems save for time at the end for the delightful Alexander to wind up a few players and yellow cards to ensue.

The one sour note is Skip's injury which we all hope isn't too serious although it does sound as though he'll be out next week at least. I've no idea who got the armband when he went off. I hope it's Taylor who is made skipper, he's clearly passionate and is always talking, shouting and communicating in general with all and sundry. He's the logical choice for me.

In light of Skip's injury the decision to recruit Ephraim looks a good one for the options he brings alone aside from clearly bringing some more quality to the team. In addition, I like what he said when he joined.

A massive game awaits next week then as we face a Huddersfield team sans Lee who got sent off yesterday. I'd have preferred it to have been Jordan Rhodes of course. Their undefeated record is some achievement, however, as I said before I'd rather be top of the league courtesy of having won more games.

I'm pleased that the Terriers have maintained their unbeaten run and established a new record. For one thing they've done that now and may be less determined and two they come to us under pressure to keep it going as a result.

We have tasted defeat this season and they, of course, haven't. It'll be interesting to see how they respond if and when that happens.

I increasingly like the way Sir Chris conducts himself and how he interacts with the players. He manages to remain calm and thoughtful on the sidelines. Some may misintepret that and feel it's a lack of passion, however, I'd rather our manager remained in control as opposed to some maniacal posturing or gestering. In any case I don't think anyone can doubt Sir Chris's passion, desire or will to succeed. One does feel these players do really want to play for him.

His post-match comments were spot on yesterday and clearly he said the right things at half-time too. Well done to him and the team. Well done too to all those who went yesterday and gave good support to the boys. It's great to know that we've got support in such numbers.

Saturday 19 November 2011

15 to 1 ?

William G Stewart or Bill as some of us know him.

If Charlton win today it'll be 15 wins in the season against one league defeat. All that is a tenuous link to the fact that today marks the 20th anniversary of my winning appearance on 15 to 1. Is that a good omen I wonder ? That I managed to win anything and beat 14 others in doing so remains a mystery twenty years later ! I amassed a massive score of 61 Grand Final for me then !

What a show ! Bring back 15 to 1 ! I wonder what Bill is doing these days ?

Anyway onto today and a rather late post for me.....a blessing to those who've gone to the game and will miss it ! I hope the fantastic turn out we have are in good voice. We haven't won at Griffen Park for some time so a win is long overdue. I wonder if our last win dates back 1980/81 season..........I was there for that 1-0 to us in that promtion year I recall.

I've been to the last 2 games for us there and am gutted not to make today......after all, a pub on each corner....I mean come on !!

I've been at some Schools Cross Country this morning and am pleased to report one of our Year 6 girls won her race which is a fantastic achievement and has little to do with her rather unathletic P.E. teacher !

I may adopt my policy of avoiding contact with all media until 4.50pm as it worked last time although not knowing what's occuring is unbearable and all sorts of horrible thoughts go through your mind about just how bad it could be.........sorry but being pessimistic goes with the Charlton territory doesn't it ? SE7 in the London Borough of Pessimism twinned with Le Vale Sans Hope in France.

Good luck to all at the game wherever you may be situated and let's pray for another win on the road ahead of the big match on Monday that still irks me it's not on Saturday.

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 13 November 2011

Match of the Shay Exclusive

Halifax ( Branch ) Manager Howard - zero percent interest in the cup now

Charlton came through a difficult cup match with Halifax ending up as flattering 4 - 0 victors. Halifax manager Howard quipped " the scoreline's gross and unfair. I felt we deserved to find the back of the net ". " We should have had a ( financial ? ) penalty. I had to make an early withdrawal of one of my players who was on a yellow card. We failed to cash in on our chances. Still we got good exposure from the tv coverage via ITV who have in the past been decscibed as a licence to quantative easing. My chairman will be pleased with the income  if not the outcome "........Howard continued in jocular vein.

Howard went on " I need to review the game and look at our APR ( actual passing rate ) I do like to see high APRs. On balance Charlton deserved the win but not by such a big margin. "  Howard went onto say that the ball seemed a little flat and that the ref hadn't made enough allowance for inflation.  

Finally, Howard observed that the main focus of attention is the league and he has a strong desire to compete with the big four.

ANEM would like to express its thanks to Howard for the interview and assure him that the cheque's in the post. No other blogs or media secured a post match interview with Howard and we only managed to do so having booked it with him 2 weeks ago. We fully understand the hour's delay to the appointed time and  appreciate that we are mere customers and should be grateful for his time and....... can you guess ?

Moving on...................a good decision by Sir Chris to field a fairly strong side as Halifax proved to be very good opposition. They went behind very much against the run of play. We deserved to win but not to the extent of 4-0. I agree with BWP being on the bench but fail to comprehend why he needed to come on and in particular when Wagstaff had just been scythed down in front our bench. That should have served as a reminder of the potential risk but clearly didn't.

At 1-0 midway into the second half the exquisitely named St Juste was causing us problems and there seemed no outlet. At the time I felt that Smith, Green and Pritchard should have come on. We left our subs a tad late for me. I'm afraid that our Jason didn't look the ticket at all today and his miscontrol when through on goal was..... disappointing shall we say !

I'm pleased that Taylor and Pritchard scored their first goals for the club. I wonder if we can have 11 different goalscorers by the end of the season ? Perhaps Ben can take a penalty.

The only spoiler for me today was some of our fans and their singing. As ever no need for the awful family song and worse I felt in the shape of " you're sh*t and you know you are ". That doesn't reflect well on our club at all. It's probably the usual spotty youths but it's irritating whilst showing a lack of respect and class, they need to grow up or go support someone else.

Carlisle await in the next round and at home too. Good news that although I may not be there due to another commitment which annoyingly is in the Metropolis but won't allow me to get to SE7 for the game.

Saturday 12 November 2011

No Win Situation

Certainly not a no fin situation

Another trip opp north for our boys tomorrow for the FA Cup match with FC Halifax. First round of the cup ? Live on ITV ona Sunday ? Non-league opposition ? Footballing deja vu in every sense. Of course our boys have learned from that experience and history won't be repeating itself will it ?
For Sir Chris this is the classic no win situation for whatever he does he doesn't come out of it with any credit. Rest your key players and do owt but win and you've got it all wrong. Rest them and win by anything less 10 goals and of course it'll have been the least we could expect. Why didn't we score more ? BWP should have played the full ninety !

Worse scenarios exist in the form of playing a fairly full strength team and do anything other than win and Sir Chris must do the honourable thing and fall on his sword !

These games are such a lottery and to be honest all I'm hoping for is a win sans any injuries serious or otherwise and no yellow cards. A one nil win with a goal deflected of some poor sod's arse will do for me. We all know where the bread and butter lies and what's most important in this season.

No, for me a win and a home draw in the second round against fairly decent oppo to ensure a decent gate is reward enough for me.  

Ketts on Doctor Kish has given his thoughts on what the team is likely to be ( check it out ) and he's usually pretty much spot on with that and all things CAFC come to that. I'd like to see Poyet in the squad, good enough for the national team ( whatever that means these days ) he surely should be making the bench at least for games such as this. Sir Chris has the luxury of seven subs so he has plent of options there.

Let's hope that we can overcome the hoodo that is a televisual appearance and progress smoothly onto the
second round with our eyes firmly on the two upcoming league games that are tough and critical to our successs this season.

Sunday 6 November 2011

Jackson Five

What a guy ! He'd cost more than a penny though eh !

Fortunately the weather forecast proved as accurate as my prediction for the game. There was little rain and we witnessed a stunning performance from the Addicks with plenty of goals.

A good day all round started with an excellent journey from MK and once parked up, it was swiftly into the York Cafe for the usual excellent breakfast or more approrpriately brunch shall we say.

The first 10 minutes suggested we might be in for the difficult game I had anticipated, however, it was not to be. The old saying of " beware Greeks bearing gifts " proved to be as wide of the mark as Green's free kick at the end of the first half. Arestidou was very giving yesterday and we were happy to receive. Initially I was annoyed he didn't get sent off but then I thought no, I'm happy for him to stay on ! Ironically he does have a reputation for saving penalites as he did save a couple recently in a paint pot trophy game for the Lilywhites but clearly no homework had been done by him or any of the Preston staff as Skip hammered the ball down the middle.

Of course none of us takes any pleasure in seeing Phil Brown suffering on the sidelines. I couldn't believe it, no half time team talk on the pitch. I know the Valley's not the City of Manchester Stadium ( AMEX ? whatever it's called now ) but surely it cried out for a repeat of that masterstroke. Never mind the orange one made up for it at the end by sending the Lilywhites back out before most of us had left our seats. 

What a great run and shot from Green for our first goal and I was very impressed with Skip's finish as that wasn't easy at all. His coolness in despatching the penalty was equally good. I thought he, amongst most other of course, had a good game yesterday. For me he's clearly not a left winger whatever anyone says, however, with Wiggins overlapping so effectively ( exhibit A - goal number 5 me lud ) it works okay for us. 

Credit to the Preston players who kept battling away and were rewarded with two goals. Rarely for me I applauded their second goal from Daley...........what a piece of class that was.

It's hard to fault anyone yesterday and Wiggins and Hollands along with Jackson were the stand out ones for me. In addition, Hughes had another good game. I had alluded to Stephens not playing too well prior to his omission from the team and we've improved since he's been out of the side. I'm not saying he's not a good player because clearly he is but his performances were below par of which of course he is now one !

Never mind their keeper's shortcomings, Hamer had some dodgy moments yesterday. He does worry me at times. I hope he can become more assured.

Sir Chris looked very smart yesterday and seemed to enjoy every minute of the game. He had long discussions in the second half with the fourth official ( ex-West Stand lino ). No idea what that was all about.

The crowd was healthy yesterday ( in numbers at least ! ) with 17,000 Addicks fans and that is another reason that it's a crying shame that the Huddersfield game has been moved to the Monday night. We could surely have expected a bumper crowd for that one on the Saturday and without the cheap tickets too. 

I was pleased that Sir Chris didn't get the manager of the month award given that it is the poisoned chalice. In any case it has little meaning over a bit of recognition for doing well for 4 weeks. I'm sure the only reward and recognition the Boss wants is that which comes from promotion at the end of the season. Let's hope that comes to pass.

Well done to Huddersfield for their remarkable run of unbeaten games, however, for all that they are not top of the league and I know which I prefer.

A break from the league for cup action next weekend before the awkward visit to Brentford. I hope we can come through the Halifax game successfully followed by a home tie in the second round as there's precious little footie at the Valley from now until the new year. I won't know what to do with myself and I'm quite enjoying it all at present.

Apologies for the dearth ( I had a near death experience when I looked that up in the dictionary ) of fireworks puns.

Thursday 3 November 2011

A Sense Of Foreboding

Having shaved off his silly little beard and tache meant Phil didn't look a twat at all for his appearance on Goals On Sunday

" Can't act, can't sing, can dance a little "........allegadly this was once said of Fred Astaire but he went onto prove that critic wrong. Similar things could be said of a visitor to SE7 on Saturday. 

Phil Brown ( surely his surname should be orange ? ) brings his Preston side to The Valley for the second time this season. The previous defeat to the Lilywhites has little bearing to this weekend's game for a number of reasons. Firstly both teams fielded understrength teams with ours much more so than theirs. Secondly, of late our form has been rather good, one match aside, whilst Preston have been on a bad run which hasn't been helped by injuries to key players.

The latest to succomb is keeper Iain Turner who some may recall scored a winner in the game against Notts County when a long clearance beat the Magpies keeper. Unless a loanee is brought in before Saturday, Andreas Arestidou ( he's got Greek heritage you know ! ) will be between the sticks. The words Greek and loanee would have some blogs making pathetic jokes about the financial distaster that is Greece but as you'll know we're above all that.

It seems that other injured players include Mellor, Hume and Proctor. Lloyd Sam's old mate Ian Ashbee started on the bench last week but may make a start against us.

Preston are a famous old club who regularly turn over their managers. Few seem to last more than two or three years and I can't see Phil Brown bucking that trend. Three of the famous 1966 World Cup winners have had a go a management there. Yes Ball, Stiles and Charlton R have all at one time been in the managerial hot seat. 

Our referee on Saturday is Phil Gibbs whose last officiating with us was away to Tranmere on 18th September 2010 when he booked no less than five Addicks !

Whilst Preston have been in bad form, The Addicks have collected a maximum 9 points out of 9 following the Stevenage debacle. We've scored 10 goals in conceded just the one in that time. Therefore, with us playing so well, them playing so badly and with several injuries there couldn't be a better time to play them....could there ?

Well perhaps not but my fear as alluded to above is not just a result of the ref ! Most will probably recall the horrible, timewasting, souless football that Hull played on their to the Prem........I know I do. I think we can expect much of the same on Saturday. Brown has said he'll set up his side to get a result.....that means just one thing...he'll be happy with a draw but a goal on the break will be fine with him. I'd not be surpirsed to see a 4-5-1 or 5-4-1 or any other defensive formation you can think of !

I'm sure it won't be pretty and our inability to break these teams down doesn't bode well. Hopefully Sir Chris and the lads will have worked hard during the week to have a few ideas on how to overcome the negativity.

I'd expect the same starting eleven from the last 3 games. There's no reason to change and I think the boss has learned his lesson already this season. One bonus from Hughes inclusion is that Hollands can get forward more and he's been very effective. The emerging form of Wiggins is a real pleasure and he's certainly come on from those early season games.

This side played well from the off and to our delight has progressed nicely ever since. There does seem to be team spirit, unity, belief and a togetherness in the squad. All that is something we've not seen in Charlton teams for some time.

I hope I'm wrong about the prospects for the game but despite the date I'm not expecting any fireworks !

Come On You Reds !

Friday 28 October 2011

An Evening with Deano - Friday 2nd December

Trawling through various e-mails and t'internet news I came across a couple of items. Aside from " Footballer charged by police " a story concerning Titus Bramble who no doubt is being charged under the trades descriptions act ( footballer ? ) although the charges are more serious than that, I discovered news of an evening with Dean Kiely at the St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury.

As it says via the link below, Kent and Charlton have strong links not only for those that played for both but many have trained with the other team, Knott and Elliott for example albeit over different decades !

Promises to be a good evening for those that can attend. Details below :-

Long Trip Oop North

Pilots returning their planes to the monkey hangar.........

I'll admit that our nickname is a little contrived as I don't think discovering a haddock dressed up as a footballer in S.E. 7 is all that plausible but a monkey dressed as a Frenchman ? No wonder The Archbishop of Canterbury won't ever go to Hartlepool, well if you're the primate of all England..........

Another away trip and one of the longest, let's hope it's worth it. Hartlepool had a good start at home early doors but since September they've lost 3 at home including a midweek defeat. It should be a good time to play them but...............this is Charlton !

I understand that Hughes played ok on Tuesday albeit being more effective in his defensive duties and I would now expect Stephens to return. It is to be hoped that he returns refreshed and puts on a performance more in keeping with that of early season.

I'd not expect any others changes baring injuries and we can hope that Yann's blossoming partnership with BWP yields yet more goals. Hopefully can score early again and in addition, give ourselves a cushion of more than 2 goals but I'll settle for a win by whatever margin.

Our defence is the meanest in the league along with Tranmere in only conceding 12 goals. Long may that continue and hopefully we'll keep a clean sheet tomorrow.

All the best to all those making the long trip north. I'll be at Franklin's Gradens watching the Saints v Newcastle whilst having half an eye on matters further up the country.

Come On You Reds !

Wednesday 26 October 2011

3 Chairs for the Addicks ! Hip Hip !

Hooray !

The Addicks got back to winning ways on the road again last night. Judging from the reports of ANEM staff and the radio commentary the first half was a comfortable affair for the Addicks who dominated and thoroughly deserved their 2 goal advantage at the break.

The second half wasn't quite so straightforward and our boys in red endured a couple of nervy moments after the Chairboys had scored. I had a nagging feeling that new loanee Bignall would score but it didn't come to pass.

I also had a negative feeling about D'urso when I learned that he was the ref. I understand he was greeted by Addicks fans in a fitting manner with the them warming up for panto season. Like a Shakespearean actor doing said panto I'm sure D'urso thinks he's too good for League One........" it's beneath you ! " he and it isn't. I wouldn't want him reffing a kids game to be honest.  

Where would we be without BWP ! Every successful team needs someone who's going to bag you 20 goals or so in a season. He has been outstanding and as has been acknowledged here and elsewhere, his workrate this season has been a plus too. He is developing a really good partnership with Yann who was unlucky himself not to score last night with the spectacular overhead but Bradley tidied up. The second goal was a lovely calm and clinical finish from a man in form.

I was surprised to learn that BWP has never scored a senior hat-trick but that must surely come soon eh ?

A third goal would have been nice and meant that everyone could relax but Saturday aside that's not our way is it. If we can go to Hartlepool and secure another 3 points on Saturday then that sets up nicely for a Preston side who have lost some form of late.

Am I hoping for too much that we continue in this vein for the next 3 games until we meet Huddersfield ? Someone's got to end their unbeaten run..........could that be at The Valley on November 26th ?

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Encore Les Bleus

Friends reunited - Grant Basey aka The Count now plays for Wycombe

Tonight we play the Chairboys although like Carlisle they are often referred to as the Blues. Another local away fixture for me but finances and decorating / work ( despite it being half term ) dictate otherwise. Fear not as there will be ANEM staff on hand ! Senior reported Clive and young cub Dan will be in attendance to report on the game.

Adams Park, surprisingly not named after ex-manager Tony but rather former captain and benefactor Frank, is somewhat out of the way. Only one pub close to the ground as I recall and parking isn't easy. However, you can park at one of the industrial car parks or the ground itself for about a fiver so not too bad. In addition, on my last visit I had a beer in their clubhouse which was rather pleasant.

Gary Waddock is the man charged with keeping Wanderers in the division. He got them promotion last season and this season the team has had a couple of notable scalps, namely Sheff Utd at home and more recently Hartlepool away. As with all games in this league it will be a tough one.

I'm hoping that Sir Chris retains the same side as the one that started on Saturday. I've commented before that I didn't think Stephens has been at his best of late and Hughes did nothing wrong for me and deserves to retain his place.

We will have optoins on the bench if needed and I'd expect Stephens to replace Euell on there as that seems logical.

I'm pleased that there's been no mention of Sir Chris being linked with the Leicester job now Sven has gone. That man must have been paid more in compensation that actual salary ! What a life ! I'm sure that the Foxes will be looking an established and experienced manager.

As ever Curbs name gets a mention but I fear the longer he goes without a job the harder it'll be for him. I think he set his sights to high and should have taken a Championship or League One job instead of holding out for a Prem one as seems to be the case. If I were making the appointment I'd go for Billy Davies ( how different things might have been if we got him instead of Dowie all those years ago ! ) making Billy a very rare breed if not unique in managing Derby, Forest and Leicester !

If you're going enjoy and give the lads a cheer for me. I shall nervously be listening or checking internet, paint brush in hand.

Come On You Reds ! 

Sunday 23 October 2011

I guess that's why they call them the blues

Carlisle fans certainly had the blues yesterday

I had much sympathy for those hardy Carlisle fans that made the long journey to the Valley yesterday. Their team produced such an insipid performance even allowing for the loss of one player. It'd be nice if their club offered to refund them some money but perhaps given the general state of finances of football outside the Premier league that is unlikely to happen.

The display from the Blues makes it a little difficult to assess our own. However, we started with positive intent and maintained that pretty much throughout although invenitably we tapered off somewhat after the fourth goal was scored. I guess the players aren't to be blamed for that especially as a midweek game looms large on the horizon.

Hughes was a more than adequate replacement for new dad Stephens. When he returns I hope that he will rediscover his early season form. Hughes was quielty effective and conducted his defensive and attacking duties in equal measure.

Green retained his place and produced a more competent performance living up to his initial promise. Yann too of course was kept in the starting eleven. Aside from the goals his link up play was far better than we'd seen to date and it was clear that a lot of hard work was done on the training ground during the week.

I, amongst probably all others, save for Cort was pleased to see the hardworking Solly return to the back four. Another polished show from young Solly.

Hamer did well in saving the penalty although I was concerned to see him flapping again at a couple of corners / crosses. In addition, he had a couple of dodgy moments in the first half that I hope was entirely down to the sun blurring his vision. I got a cap at my cricket club's end of season do last night perhaps I ought to post to Ben !

The opening goal was a good header from Yann although unchallenged he buried it with power and accuracy. BWP's finish for the second was as exquisite as it was precise. The third could have been scored by anyone of half a dozen players and the fourth was a poor effort from the keeper but no less than Hollands deserved.

An accomplished performance by the whole team. Hopefully we are starting out on another long unbeaten run. We all ( well me anyway ) got a bit carried away following the win at Bramall Lane and a good win over a poor Carlisle team isn't reason to repeat that. However, if we can maintain that level and keep passing it well then we may again enjoy success even against those teams who opt to be in your face and frustrate.

Huddersfield's unbeaten run continues and Jordan Rhodes bagged another hat-trick. Despite what heir chairman says we can but hope that a club buys him in the next transfer window. Sheffield Wednesday's good run continues too so it's important that we do the same.

The upcoming games away to Wycombe and Hartlepool are tough but winnable, even more so if we can carry on where we left off yesterday. It was a rare occasion that one could relax from half time knowing that even the Addicks couldn't throw it away !

Friday 21 October 2011

Summit's Up ?

Will the Addicks surrender top spot tomorrow ?

Come 4.55pm tomorrow and Charlton may have lost top spot and even Notts County could be above us.....a sobering thought !

Having garnered a decent amount of points prior to the previous 2 games having taken one only 1 since wouldn't normally be cause for concern. However, as has been pointed out elsewhere it is the manner of the results that causes a worry.

I will plead guilty to allowing myself to be slightly carried away by the victory at Bramall Lane. I felt that was a great win and one that I hadn't anticipated us getting. That however is to overlook my own fears expressed in previous posts that we would pay soon for some of our shortcomings. Whilst there's little doubt that beating Sheff Utd was a jolly good show previous victories or indeed draws were far from convincing.

Sir Chris has indeed tinkered with the side largely as I would have liked to be honest but it's not really worked out. Overlooking the puzzling omission of Solly last week, I'd have gone for Yann and Green being in the starting eleven. Green hasn't played anywhere near the level, I and indeed I suspect, a large number of Addicks fans would have hoped. In addition, whilst Yann wins numerous headers, he doesn't seem to link up as well with BWP as Hayes whose all round game seems slightly better albeit that he may not score as many.

The solution to the latter dilemma would seem to be to start with Hayes and bring on Yann later as his ability as an impact sub is proven. Not sure I can quite bring myself to suggest that the same approach is taken with Wagstaff over Green, however, if Danny doesn't shape up then Wagstaff will merit a start over him even if only for his potential to score.

I've felt for a while that Stephens is fortunate to keep his place as his performances haven't been anywhere near those of August and early September. Allied to that I firmly believe that skip is better in central midfield. Will the boss make that change I wonder ?

As I reflected last time out, there's nothing inherently wrong with our defence which as I said made last week's dropping of Solly a somewhat odd decision. Surely being top of the league and with a 100% record on the road we should be making the oppo worry about us rather than vice versa especially when that oppo is Stevenage.

Carlisle stump up at the Valley on a good run of form. Patience is the order of the day and us as fans need to
" get behind the boys ! " and offer every support.........I'll even give Wagstafff a cheer if it helps !

Gregory Abbott may well shake us down from top place.......let's hope not. Hopefully the management team will have been working hard to get us back to where we were at the start of the season. Thankfully Sir Chris hasn't been daft enough to suggest that " there'll be a backlash " or " big reaction to last week's defeat "   ........when managers made these comments there usually isn't and it only serves to galvanise the other team !

Let's hope for a return to some decent football and winning ways.

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 16 October 2011

Nil Points

You get nothing for a pair - not in this game

We might reflect that the run had to end although no one's told Huddersfield that. I had a splendid day at Franklin's Garden watching the Saints overcome Sarries in the LV Cup. It was then ruined by news of the defeat in Herts.

Having read the blogs of those who were there that we didn't play well again is disturbing. Sadly Green has disappointed again and that's a shame as he looked to be full of promise earlier in the season. It seems that Yann and BWP may not be clicking. I was shocked to see Solly dropped to the bench in what I assume was a tactical move to nullify their big men. Every opponent is a big man to Solly and he's coped well so don't get that logic if this is the case.

Our midfield has been a worry for me for a while and clearly it is in midfield and attack that need addressing. The defence is playing ok and isn't leaking goals and the last two have come via deflections.

I trust that Sir Chris and his team will be working hard with the players to address this during the week.

I was also saddened to read of the fighting in our stand before kick off and subsequent abuse to stewards. Our club doesn't need this. I hope that the culprits will be caught and dealt with appropriately.....that's not our club and we don't have a good reputation by chance although it can easily be destroyed by a mindless few.

From next Saturday we have 3 games in just over a week. I'd suggest we need at least 6 points from those in order to stay up there. The visit of Preston follows that and if none of the upcoming fixtures is easy that one certainly won't be.

Friday 14 October 2011


Stevenage is sponsored by Sure deodorant

Not sure how the " new town " of Stevenage can be twinned with 4 other places as it suggests above. It's funny how it's still called new much in the same way the " new " lighthouse at Dungeness is referred to in that way although it was built in the early 60's.....I think I'll call myself new then !

Sadly tomorrow's fixture, the second closest to my home isn't one I'll be attending. Tickets were hard to come by but it was finances more than that which dictated otherwise. Fortunately my weekend isn't entirely devoid of live sporting action as a mate has offered me a ticket for Northampton Saints who play Saracens in the LV Cup. Should be a good game and the Saints have an incredibly strong bench containing a large returning England contingent.

Saturday's encounter with the imaginatively nicknamed The Boro promises to be x-rated. Make no mistake the oppo are a very physical side who will have intention to play a passing game and will lump it up front at every opportunity. One can only hope that we come away with no injuries, serious ot otherwise and no red cards........we've not had one of those this season have we ?

Cort should make a welcome return to the bench following his games with the Guyanese having played in more glamorous and sunnier climes than Stevenage. He may be needed to add some beef to the defence at some stage.

Not sure whether Sir Chris will make any changes from last Saturday. He suprised most of us by playing Yann and Green last week and tomorrow's side is a difficult one to call.

There was an unpleasant end to Boro's game away to Huddersfield last week and it is to be hoped that we don't see a repeat of that and with Sir Chris that seems highly unlikely.

I'll be keeping a close eye on the game from Franklin's Gardens as much in the hope of not reading that we've lost someone to injury..........fingers crossed. Let's hope our fine form on the road continues.

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 9 October 2011

Not great but like a freshly laid egg we remain unbeaten.....

" Now come on then Owain, these nice people haven't come here to watch you waste time, they want to see a good game of football. Please hurry up and take the goal kick, there's a good chap "....repeat ad infinitum...

Darren Drysdale, Darren bloody Drysdale...........if I never see him again it'll be too soon. When the Addicks aren't playing well against a team with cynical tactics the last thing we need is an incompetent ref but that is of course what we got.

Weak and ineffectual, I'm afraid he really wound me up. A lot of the time he had his back to the action and consequently missed a lot of what was happening. Bizarrely he happened to see things than no one else did ! Clearly the man is incapable of running backwards in spite of perfomring most other things in that fashion..

He even left the pitch without the ball and I guess it's still lying there on the half way line just in front of the East Stand.....I wish the same could be said of Mr D.

Enough of him.........Tranmere were clearly there to spoil and timewaste which Wyn Grant had highlighted in his blog pre-match and I hadn't recalled from previous games but Wyn was spot on. With all the timewasting and cynical fouls it shouldn't have been left until the 72nd minutes for a yellow card to be produced. I'm not sure why Solly got booked and Drydale's bizarre arm gestures a la John McCrirrick gave no clue either !

Sir Chris made the two changes I'd have made save for perhaps resting Stephens and moving Jackson into the middle with either Evina or Wiggins or Hughes covering left back / midfield in some combination.

Green was to have disappointing game although he rarely got the ball in the first half and was to some extent nullified and restircted as Rovers 5 man midfiled limited time and space. They wont be the only team to employ that formation and we must find a way to counteract it. With only one man up front then 4 defenders aren't needed and giving one the freedom to get forward more or simply matching up to the oppo will suffice.

Yann had a curate's egg of a game. He won an awful lot of headers but for the most part they weren't finding BWP who'd either made a run in a different direction or failed to read his strike partner. He did though link up well on some occasions and put Bradley through. I think whilst Yann will win most aerial battles he doesn't hold the ball up as well as Hayes.   

Tranmere always carried a threat in the first period and it was no great surprise when they scored. It looked like a deflected shot.......I've yet to see it but can't believe that Hamer wouldn't have saved otherwise.

That left us searching for parity at half-time but sadly the only parity to be found at the interval was Tranmere's boss's cup of cha.

The Addicks started brighter in the second half and could perhaps should have gone on to win it with BWP missing a glorious opportunity late on. I'm not sure about our penalty award but it seems that we should have had one earlier when the aforementioned Mr D ( Grrrr ! ) ruled it outside the area. Jackson dispatched the penalty with aplomb following lengthy delaying tactics from the oppo ( lengthy delaying tactics from Tranmere ? Surely not ? ).

The remainder of the game saw the Addicks press hard for a winner and Yann fizzed one just past the right hand corner from a free-kick that was some way better than his Wednesday night effort. Fortuntely a late mix-up between Morrison and Hamer went unpunished.

I felt that fresh legs were required for the last 15 to 10 minutes but again Sir Chris showed a reluctance to make subs. We need to take a gamble sometimes although not in the way Dowie did away to Newcastle in 2006, the famous incident was referred to in yesterday's programme on page 25. What a plonker !

We are struggling to play well at home but are better away. The inference is that the fans' expectations are high and they get on the players backs and put them under pressure. I sense a few folk get irritated if we don't score after 10 minutes and put teams away easily ( I'm guilty of that on occassion but do keep that to myself and not vocalise it if so ) but overall the vast majority are supportive. The response to going behind was good yesterday. 

In addition, I think most of us will accept that a number of teams will use similar tactics to Tranmere to frustrate and to get what they can. As I said we need to learn to deal with it.

A tough away game awaits next Saturday as we face something of an ale-house side in Stevenage....that won't be pretty. Let's hope that the lads have a good week and can stand up to all that next weekend.

Thursday 6 October 2011

Parry At The Valley

Ian Goodison - cool dude and a rather good defender

Sir Chris will be keen to gloss over Wednesday night's performance and want to resume normal service on Saturday. It wasn't pleasant viewing and only served to highlight the problems arising from a lack of reserve games. Alonso finally came out of hiding but I bet he wished he hadn't. I can't believe he's that bad a player, particularly at this level. I can only assume it's down to a lack of regular games and returning from injury. I'm afraid Doherty hasn't been looking anywhere near good enough for sometime and I'm not sure we'll see him again in an Addicks shirt. Not a good night at the office.

Moving on.......we entertain a Tranmere side that has garnered only 4 points from 24 in the last 6 league games. However, manager, Dr Les Parry states that Rovers have been playing better than those results would suggest. The boss says that they will be coming to play football and looking for a win which is good to hear.

As you'll no doubt be aware their paint pot trophy game against Accrington was abandoned following serious injury to Tom Bender who thankfully now seems on the mend.

Tranmere had a good start to the current campaign but as highlighted above their form has fallen away of late. In attempt to inprove fortunes they've brought a player in on loan from Everton and sadly for me given my love of irony, it isn't the aforementioned Goodison. It is striker Jose Baxter, who, despite his lack of goals is a quality player.

Another striker to look out for, well he'd be hard to miss, is 6ft 5 inch Enoch Showumni. The former Sheffield Wednesday frontman offers quite an imposing physical threat. Let's hope that Taylor and fellow former Wednesday player Morrison can snuff out his menace.

In goal is the delightfully named Owain Fon Williams, apparently he's, really he is !

Enough of the lesser players, I'm looking forward to seeing veteran defender ( he's nearly 39 ) Ian Goodison. I've always been impressed with him and his calm, efficient manner on the pitch. He doesn't seem to break sweat cool dude !

The boss Les Parry is another favourite of mine. Very good sense of humour with a philosophical approach to life in the third tier that's probably borne out of the surprise of taking over as manager from John Barnes and having been the club's physio. He's done a much better job than the ex-Charlton man and that says as much about Barnes ability to manage as it does Parry's.

I'm not sure we'll see many Tranmere fans at the Valley on Saturday as they've cancelled their supporters club coach. Therefore, we can expect something of a total contrast to the crowd and atmosphere we experienced at the last home league game.

Enough of the oppo..........what about the Addicks. I think we can safely assume that BWP will return if fit having missed Wednesday debacle. Hollands and Wiggins too should return along with Hamer. Who will partner BWP up front remains a mystery, perhaps Yann will be given his chance if not the freekick-taking duties ! He won't be adding that one to his Youtube collection.

Perhaps Sir Chris's most difficult decision will be over Wagstaff or Green. I'd go for Green but Sir Chirs seems to favour Wagstaff and as we know is reluctant to change the league eleven.

Whatever the make-up of the team, here's hoping for a good game and 3 points to the Addicks.

Come On You Reds !