Sunday 30 January 2011

Rochdale and Fine Whines

Infamous Rochdale resident, Gillain Duffy is horrified as learns the Rochdale v Charlton games is off again. At least she got to meet up with her old friend, Gordy, who later confirmed that the pair now see eye to eye. If there's bad news to deliver then who better than the silver tongued ex-Prime Minister eh ?

It wasn't just Gillian who was disappointed with the game's postponement, most Addicks fans especially those planning on visiting Spotland were equally upset. The chances of many loyal fans making the long trip oop North midweek for the re-arranged game seem slim.

My weekend has been something of a disaster but not totally. I was due to be attending a fine wines tasting course in London courtesy of my mate who bought it as a pressie for my landmark birthday last're only 30 once !

Guess what though ? Yes, that's right it was cancelled at the last minute a la Rochdale v Charlton albeit on the Friday evening. However, every cloud and all that.......I've been suffering with man flu all weekend starting on the Friday evening and was in no state to appreciate the various wines on offer. I'm fairly certain I don't have have a delicate palette but my inability to taste even a bowl of sugar puffs yesterday ( odd what you eat when you're ill.......and in my case when I'm not too come to that ! ) meant that had we gone they might as well have served me a cheeky glass of paint stripper.

This is also the second time this event has been cancelled.............uncanny eh ?

At least we should have a slighty fresher team for Tuesday night's feast of football with Colchester. Slick passing, nimble little players, fast pacey wingers.......are many of the expressions not used to describe the U's. Hopefully we can outplay them with some attractive football.

The addition of BWP is a good one and if other blogs are correct another couple of players may be added before that window slams shut for the rest of the season. With the fixtures piling up we're going to need everyone in our squad as the inevitable suspensions and injuries kick in. I'm keeping myself in trim just in case Sir Chris needs an overweight, one footed, over 30 man with no co-ordination........well it's not stopped many others truning out for us has it ?

Seems like Dyer may be added to the coaching staff which sounds good if what I've read about how highly he's rated at West Ham is to be believed.

Promotion, automatic or via play offs may be beyond us this season but I like to think that we're steadily laying the foundations for the next and future seasons. I'm impressed that no appointments or signings ( loans or otherwise ) are not rushed. They all seem to be given them lengthy consideration.......I like that.

Can't wait for Tuesday, assuming that I'm feeling a lot better than I do right now to see Sir Chris put out his second team now he's got more options and had more time to look at players.

I so enjoyed the Messiah's return last Saturday..........truly wonderful. From start to finish ( I'm overlooking that we didn't play too well, it's early days ) with the final tunnel leap.........what a day........I nearly shed a tear !!

Pre and post-match beers at the Royal Oak have not tasted as good for some time. It was a very late departure from the Oak for the return to Milton Keynes. Large doner and chips as well............proper footie Saturday !

Come On You Reds !

Saturday 15 January 2011

Welcome Home Sir Chris !

                          One of my favourite Chrissy Powell moments and there are lots of them !

That that's then........finally we've got our new manager and I couldn't be much happier. More of that later. In the meantime Keith Peacock takes charge for the last time. Ironically, at my school this week the caretaker walked out suddenly, luckily we've been able to get a football manager to fill in.

Seems KP didn't do a bad job last week steering the lads to a respectable 0-0 at half time and with better finishing we could have even gone in ahead. That was a game we were never going to win but provided a good test against players better than the usual league 1 standard of course.

Hopefully KP can get the lads to do well today and with Sir Chris watching on from the stands it'd be disappointing if maximum effort and commitment aren't very much to the fore. For me anything other than a defeat is a good result. If the lads can match Northampton Saints 37-0 win from last night I'd be " over the moon " !

I'm not going today and so wish I was now ! Good luck to all who are. I'll be following via all the usual media streams including the BBC website. One can only hope that before he hangs his boots up for good that on the BBC teamsheet Worner will be Worner and not Warner.

As other blogs and forums have observed no one dislikes Sir Chris, how could you. What a great player and servant he was / is to our club. Always has time for everyone and always has a smile on his face on and off the pitch.

Views are mixed as to whether this just a populist appointment a la Keegan or Shearer or a sound one with an eye on the future with a promising manager with loads of potential.

I believe it's a great appointment. Not to have given Sir Chris the job now would have meant we might have never had him at all. To see him develop and do well at some other club would have hurt like hell. He knows our club, he cares about our club, he loves our club. 

I feared we'd lost our chance to have him back at the Valley in any kind of coaching / managerial capacity. I'd have spent the rest of my life wondering like England and Brian Clough of what could have been.

He brings great promise and you can, as others, have reasonably asked, whether that promise and love of our club is enough. Well it's not a bad starting point and having the fans, almost to a man, on your side is a real plus factor. He'll have good more goodwill than Pardew did at the early stages of his time with us.

Aside from all of the above he is very highly regarded by people inside the game and whose views we should respect. Opinion may be divded on Sven but I believe he's a top class manager who had a great record with England and virtually all clubs he's managed. Clearly he recognised Sir Chris's ability and I'm sure Chris has played a large part in Leicester's recent success.

The news of our new manager has got the club going again and I for one was dancing round the bathroom singing " Chriss Powell. Chrissy Powell, etc " for some while. I'm feeling quite positive and the best I have for some now about our club. Next Saturday's game against Plymouth can't come soon enough for me.

Hopefully Chris can use his connections and will be given cash to get some players in. Automatic promotion looks beyond us now given Southampton's recent form and I can only see a massive downturn in Brighton's fortunes and a simlilar upturn in ours resulting in that being achieved.

A play-off remains our best hope and we've been known to like those eh ? A repeat of 97-98 would go down well with all concerned.

Sir Chris was earmarked as a future manager of some quality by many some time ago when he was still with us. I'm happy that the right decision has been made. No one knows for sure of course but like I said before we won't die wondering.  

Come On You Reds !

Tuesday 4 January 2011


                                             proved to be correct and Parky got the fleetwood.

You'd have to be pretty heartless not to feel some sympathy for Parky following his sacking today. Clearly he's a nice, genuine guy who sadly couldn't quite do the business with a squad of players capable of securing promotion.

Recent games have been very frustrating especially at home. Defeat agaiast Walsall and an inablility to overcome two teams reduced to 10 men early was bad enough even before last night's debacle.

I'm not sure what the system or tactics have been of late. I know I was tiring of watching long balls banged up to a striker who lacks the strength or ability to do anything with them. Benson had Mooney-like tendancies in that he was another who shall not be subbed however badly he's playing.

I'm sure the players have been confused. I learnt that the players were practising some drills on the pitch a few hours prior to kick off. A bit late in the day and clearly whatever they did had little to no positive effect.

The swift action to remove him and the entire backroom staff indicates that someone is lined up. I'm sure most of us would like to think that someone like Hughton, Wilkins R, Poyet or indeed Curbs is going to come in, however, I suspect it'll be Wise. Like many others I feel that he's been waiting to enter stage left since the takeover and it was only a matter of time. Again like many others I don't want to see him in charge but believe the writing's on the wall.

Incredible to think that following so many years of managerial stability we've had numerous managers in recent seasons. My wish is that we now make a good appointment and that they can deliver some entertaining, winning football that will elevate to the upper echelons of the Championship at the very least.

Here's hoping...................

Saturday 1 January 2011

Happy New Era !

                                  " Buying Charlton is like making love to a beautiful woman...... "

A Happy New Year to everyone.  I had a quiet night last night and my first one sans alcohol in many a year.

Well all is now clear following the news of the takeover...............or is it ? We know that Tony Jimenez is involved and Michael Slater too and he spoke well yesterday in saying all the right things although actions, as ever, will speak louder than words. However, his reference to " the owners  or new owners " raises concerns. Consensus is that they are either Swiss or Middle Eastern, either way their anonymity is not good. I take comfort from the fact that Peter Varney, Kavanagh and Richard Murray are involved as I'm sure they'll not wish to jeopardise the club's future in any way.

I'm sure that now the takeover is complete is a blessed relief for Murray. His 20 or so years mostly heading up the club has seen many changes. I'd say it's been very successful for the most part and the club has progressed enormously since he took over from Roger Alwen and we are fortunate that a man such as himself with his vision and drive did so at that time.

He worked tirelessly to secure investment from many organisations and business people. Certainly early on he made some sound decisions. Appointing Curbs as sole manager was a difficult and potentially unpopular decision but clearly he was right.

He has never sought any publicity as chairman even in the Premier days. You rarely saw him on tv or heard him on the radio. If you asked fans of other clubs who our chairman was they didn't know. Contrast that with some others like Gartside or Gibson and you'd hear from them every week.......why ? I don't care what they've got to say. Gibson of course was always hailed as the great chairman........really ? Didn't he appoint Bryan Robson ? I rest my case !

No one could have worked harder than Murray and although in recent years things haven't gone according to plan he has always had the club's best interests at heart. Some may chose to focus on the last couple of years but without him I doubt we'd have seen top flight football at the Valley and witness it become the stadium it now is.

The new owners will do well to match his achievements.

Today we are away to Colchester at the Old Folks Community Home or some such. Another tough but winable game. Sadly we're very short on striking options at the moment which isn't good at a time when Benson is shocking. I can just about overlook his inability to hold up the ball, stay on his feet or play others in if he's going to get into good positions. However, when he does so he has to score............the miss against Brighton was truly awful in a game where by all accounts he had a shocker.

Let's hope we can get that win today to keep us on track and that we can add some players during the window.

Come On You Reds !