Wednesday 31 August 2011

Missy Elliot

A final wave goodbye from Rob

Rob has finally gone. Good luck him and I hope he does well. Being a Charlton fan and home produced he had a great rapport with the fans. He always had time for them too. He is still young for a keeper and this season in particular he has shown he has some potential. A 5 year deal gives him some security. I wish him all the best.

Bantum Wait

In what may be a long day in respect of transfers we will see where Benson ends up with Bradford looking most likely at the moment. We may also see Francis depart with Bournemouth looking favourites for his signature.

We hope to see a striker come in with several names in the frame. As Dave from Drinking During The Game said yesterday it'd be good if we could get a surplus to requirements premiership striker on loan. I'd be more than happy to see Eccleston again if he's available.

I did see we are being linked with Marshall from Barnet but fail to see much truth in that as we don't need another right winger.

It'll be interesting to see what unfolds today..........

Monday 29 August 2011

Cort Onside

As suggested by Ketts earlier today Leon Cort has joined on a season long loan from Burnley. His brother Dean used to play for Bournemouth.

Hopefully we will be adding a striker to our numbers too in the next couple of days.

Sunday 28 August 2011

Addicks win despite being shorn of Wright-Phillips

A quickly taken Lowe fee kick saw Charlton shaken but stirred !

ANEM was sadly devoid of correspondents at Gigg Lane, finances being the main reason. In addition, our senior reporter, Clive, was unavailable. Therefore, we can only make observations from afar.

Obviously it was a lacklustre first half from the Addicks against a Bury side who had a tough midweek fixture. It was a game we ought to have won comfortably if we're honest even without BWP. However, the signs of a rousing teamtalk from Sir Chris and resulting positive response form the players augers well.

Lowe was clearly highlighted as the man to watch especially at set pieces so that we weren't alert to his free kick is assumes that the management team focused on this during the week. However, we did get a reaction.

The goals were almost instant and well taken. It sounds like most players had good second halves if not the full ninety with Morrison and Solly stand outs. Hamer seems to have had a couple of dodgy moments but okay otherwise. Like most others he knows an able deputy is waiting in the wings.

We have got over any possible hangover from the previous Saturday with this and the Reading game. Indeed, Sir Chris seems to be endorsing products of the hangover variety as the OS headlines " Powell hails resolve ! ".

Many positives this week then as the Addicks have shown the second string can beat championship opponents, the main eleven demonstrate that we can win without our main goal scorer and we can come back from going behind. In addition, we didn't make negative substitutions when defending our lead late on. All good as clearly we are progressing and lessons are being learned !

Damn Sky have put paid to our Saturday next week and we have to wait until the following Monday for our football fix. Wednesday beat Scunny yesterday although it doesn't look very convincing. That the Iron had only just played on the Thursday was out of order I thought and why they weren't allowed to delay until at least today is beyond me.

The Owls are in action midweek in the paint pot trophy with a game away to Bradford. We have a bye and subsequently a break. Hopefully BWP will be restored to full health and everyone else will be fit. Maybe Elliot and Benson will have departed and one or two new faces will have arrived. Certainly one would like to see a new striker.

It was good to see Mambo on the bench yesterday. Like to see him stay there ahead of Doherty when the Doc is fit assuming no centre half arrives in the next few days.

Thursday 25 August 2011

The Shakers

 Bury are sponsored by a firm of estate agents and as such the end of season party is not to be missed.......all the movers and shakers are there.......

If one is looking for links to last week's oppo then there's a good one in the Shakers former manager Alan Knill. He must take a large slice of the credit for Bury's promotion last season. Mind you current boss, Richie Barker oversaw a terrific set of results at the end.

They've had a reasonable start to the league campaign with a loss, a draw and two wins, the most recent last Saturday away to fellow promotees ( ? ) Wycombe Wanderers. Ryan Lowe is most certainly the danger man, a prolific scorer who is in good form. He'll be dangerous from set pieces as well as open play. Jones will also be likely to pose a goal-scoring threat.

Hopefully the Shakers will be tired from Tuesday night's exertions against Leiceseter where they took a 2-1 lead before the Foxes came back to win 4-2. Unlike ourselves they didn't field an entirely different starting eleven to that of the previous league game.

They have got a touch of Parkinson's at the moment with 3 loan players although that of course falls someway short of Phil's efforts in that area ! Cullen is on loan form Hull, Oyenula from Spurs and this week Ashley Eastham was brought in from Blackpool.

Forming part of the defence is Efe Sodje, the bandana wearing brother of the family. Dare I say he's looked shaky ( sorry ) of late and hopefully we can exploit that.

Gigg Lane has a capacity of just under 12,000 but it's not likely that the crowd will approach anything like that even with the Addicks in opposition.

Another Bury sponsor is ( this is true unlike my previous sponsor reference which might not be ) is Frankie and Benny's, the restaurant chain. I'm thinking a little initiative could see ice cream flavours of stawbury, raspbury, blackbury etc. not to mention the milkshake(er)s....

Follow Tuesday night's magnificant Royal upset ( " we are not amused " ) Sir Chris has selection issues of the best kind. The game served to underline the squad's strength in depth and it's been somewhile since an Addicks manager had one like it. That they played in similar manner to the usual starting eleven is a real bonus. Genuine competition for places isn't something we've known for many a season.

However, for all that I'd probably only make one change from the usual starting league eleven and that is to bring in Green for Wagstaff . I can't see how he can be left out given the quality of his set pieces and crosses. Wagstaff is better coming on as a sub later in the game. In addition, Jackson isn't giving us genuine wing play on the other side. Both Saturday's goals came from balls from the left and he was in the middle to score the first and Hollands delivered the second. Don't get me wrong, Skip plays well but we do need genuine width hence the need for Green. 

Given the rest the players have had and if we can play as we have done for most of the season allied to more clinical finishing then we really ought to win this against a team that had a tough game in midweek.

Our number 8 hasn't been at his best for the last couple of games, however, hopefully he'll do well and if he does then the headlines will write themselves !

Come On You Reds !  

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Reading Allowed

The Reading game finally goes ahead tonight

Folk have mixed views on whether we should aim to do well in this competition. My view is that if we were in the Championship and anticipating a mid-table finish then yes, we should go for it. However, given where we are I think we should treat it as a competitive friendly and give a few a run out. I'd rather we had fewer games to play and I'm not impressed that teams are seeded in this competition....totally wrong.

I like the Royals manager Brian McDermott and he's done well since being appointed last year although they've not had a great start to the season and their fans are pretty downbeat about tonight with many predicting a win for us. It's a tough one to call as I'd expect both sides to rest players.

They've sold Shane Long to West Brom and that's a big loss for them. They still have some good players though and ordinarily would be too strong for us. We'll see.

Here's hoping that Evina, Mambo, Hamer, Hughes, Euell, Bover, Cousins, Harriott, Green and Alonso (  is he fit ? ) all get a start. There were some tired looking players on Saturday..........not sure why so early in the season but clearly one or two need a night off.

Sir Chris should be busy in the transfer market before the window closes. If Benson goes we need another striker and clearly we need another centre back if we're not going to give Mambo a chance. These may be loan signings of course, whatever, some business will surely be done.

I'm not worried about losing tonight just hope all the players come through it unscathed with no bookings and those that've been outside the starting eleven play well.

Come On You Reds !

Saturday 20 August 2011

The Iron Show Their Mettle

The scoreline was as changable as the weather. A sunny Valley later saw the home team depart under something of a methaphorical dark cloud as 2 points were lost in the last quarter of the game.

To be fair a draw was the right result as Scunthorpe played their part in an entertaining game. They never sat back and were indeed unlucky to go behind. Up to that point I felt they'd had the greater possession if not threat. We probably didn't really deserve to extend the lead soon after the break either.

I felt that Scunny would prove difficult opposition and so they were. They were a tad physical at times and I think the ref should have dealt better with an assault on Hayes early on to set a marker but in all honesty they were far from the worst we've seen in tier 3. They played some good stuff at times and are probably a couple of players shy from giving themselves a good chance of going back up. Come the end of the season this may look quite a good point although I felt we really ought to have held on.

We did seem a little lacklustre today and never really got going. The slick one touch stuff of recent games wasn't there today and on occasions we were slow to close down too.

I'm still to be convinced about Skip playing on the left. He doesn't look or play like a winger, always tucking in and dropping too deep on occasion. On the other side Wagstaff did little in the first half and was often seen at right back. For me he didn't show at all in the second and should have been replaced by Green after no more than 10 minutes. Green in the short time he was on created several chances and delivered some quality crosses whilst displaying the aggression that Wagstaff clearly lacks.

Why Stephens came over to play keep ball in the corner to waste time when Green was waiting to deliver a corner I don't know. It was negative thinking and we need to be more postiive than that. The negative thinking was enhanced when Doherty came on for BWP. Sir Chris has done that twice at home now. His presence didn't prevent the second goal and again sent out the wrong message.

The result was when we needed a third goal there was only one stiker in Euell on the pitch. We should look to play to our strengths and not be so negative.

I remarked after the Colchester game that if we kept failing to take more of our chances it would in all likelihood come back to bite us on the bum sometime and today it did. I appreciate that their keeper made some good saves but we need to be more clinical.

However, I mustn't be too critical, to date we've played some good football that's pleasing on the eye and are still level on points at the top.

Perhaps there's greater reward in beating Reading on Tuesday than just getting into the 2nd round of the Carling Cup. A postponement of the MK Dons game doesn't look too bad a thing at the moment.

Friday 19 August 2011

Tough As Iron

It won't be easy

Tomorrow sees us play The Iron. Silly and obvious references to a flat back four, they play a pressing game and they'll be hard to beat etc are avoided because as regular readers will know ANEM doesn't do that sort of thing.

It might seem that this should be a straight forward home win but I think The Iron will prove a tough nut to crack. Scunthorpe suffered their first defeat on Tuesday going down at home to a previously pointless Oldham. The match stats show that the home side were ahead on everything save for the goals. I know that matters most but they aren't to be taken lightly.

It appears they acquired two players during the clsoe season. Midfielder Jimmy Ryan arrived from Accrington and winger Andy Barcham signed from the Gills. Barcham along with Dagnall have both notched two goals each this season. They provide the main goal threat especially Dagnall who looks a good direct striker who'#s not afraid to run at the defence.

Scunny's manager, ex-Bury boss Alan Knill, feels the team is performing better away from home, let's home they don't tomorrow.

Injuries aside and the decision over Elliot in respect of his much touted move to Newcastle I assume the starting eleven and bench will be the same as Tuesday night. If Robbie does play he might find himself playing them again soon in different colours as United have been drawn against Newcastle in the Carling Cup. Newcastle may decide to blood young Robbie in that one.

The team is playing well and all are working hard for each other and we've seen in recent games that closing the oppo down quickly has foreced errors and we've capitalised on them with some degree of ruthlessness. I hope we can start converting more of the chances we create as we could easily have doubled our goals tally in the last two games.

Some things don't change.........Big Brother is back on our screens ( that even Channel 4 thought it had run its course says everything about Channel 5 really ! ), the Gallagher brothers are at eachother's throats but thankfully CAFC have changed......we're playing good football that's pleasing on the eye, we're winning and are top of the league. Long may that continue !

Come On You Reds !

Wednesday 17 August 2011

London - Essex

The old argument from the excellent Monkey Dust - think London won that one last night

A superb Addicks display, certainly in the first half, made the inaugural ANEM trip to the Weston Homes Stadium a very pleasant and worthwhile experience. Even the weather played its part in making it a good evening.

We arrived early at just after 5pm as I'd been led to believe there were only 700 parking places available at the stadium. Oh how wrong that was ! If the entire crowd had driven in their own car I'm sure the car park could have accommodated them. When trying to get out after the game it seemd as if everyone had ! One big car park, one singular and small exit route !

All the Colchester staff encountered were friendly, pleasant and polite and further enhanced an enjoyable evening. Our support was excellent with everyone noisy and well behind the team. As far as I could tell no silly behaviour or songs either which was most welcome !

Plenty of time to kill but sadly nowhere to go other than the BP garage across the road and I'd have been Alan Partridge like in taking a trip over there almost for the sheer hell it. I did think of him as I tucked into my pre-match pasty bought at the ground, it was as Alan infamously said " hotter than the sun " and I burnt my hand as some of the contents went my way rather than anywhere else !

Pre-match entertainment mainly involved dodging the shots from our boys. Sullivan seemed most amused when one poor lady caught one smack on her bottom. She did well to laugh it must have hurt.

I've often thought that when announcing the line ups at the Valley we ought to show the oppo's players pictures.........the one of Matt Taylor last night showed precisely why we don't do that. It seemed he'd lost 3 stone, a foot in height and turned black !

The first half saw us play some lovely football, slick and for the most part at times one touch. The two goals were excellently taken and as Sir Chris observed on Saturday, it could have been more. That could will need to become should as it will cost us I'm sure in future games.

The pitch was ridiculously over-watered at half time.........a strange decision when your team keeps the ball off the grass most of the time. We seemed to allow the U's to keep the ball more for most of the time in the second period. BWP should have added more than one to his total and he will rue his under-hit lob. Euell was unlucky not to score late on as their keeper ( man of the match for the U's by the way ) made a fantastic save.  

I can't really fault anyone's performance. They all worked hard as well as looking to play a fast-moving passing game. The subs were about right although I felt Wagstaff faded in the second half and Green should have replaced him.

Elliot's booking for alleged time-wasting was a nonsense. No warnings and he wasn't anyway....sure he wasn't rushing but he wasn't excessively slow either. The ref will have the complete set of League One custodians if he continues in that vein !

Early days but all very encouraging. There will be tougher tests ahead not least when we have to cope with injuries and suspensions. However, at the moment it's good to be an Addicks fan and the team is a joy to watch.....did I really just write that !

Tuesday 16 August 2011

The U's

" I told you we should have signed Shearer "

The U's manager David Bleat is still in charge despite being a pre-season favourite for the chop. When asked if he felt under any pressure Mr Bleat observed " not really, if I do get sacked I'm minted anyway ".

The boss is quietly confident of success this season as " this is the best squad I've worked with, whatever I tell them to do they just seem to follow. I'm not sure we'll win promotion but am hoping for some success in the cups although I'd prefer the games to be over four legs rather than two in some competitions ". A pig from the nearby Manor Farm was seen nodding his head vigourously in agreement whilst muttering something about two legs being bad before making a hasty retreat.

Bleat feels that the undefeated start to the season is partly due to a more caring approach that he's adopted this season. " I keep telling the lads to remember that me and the fans adore ewe all ". He went onto say " the dressing room music helps too. We've a regular playlist now..........ewe don't have to say ewe love me, loving ewe is easy, only ewe etc. I don't mind what the lads listen to be honest I'm a bit mutton ".

Bleat felt that on Saturday the team was a bit too cautious leading them to be penned in their own half. " I had to speak to them at half time especially as them seemed very distracted every time the whistle went ".

When asked about tonight's game Mr Bleat said given Charlton's good start he was looking forward to it adding " I expect that our fans will flock to the ground ".

ANEM staff weren't expecting to attend tonight's game but the treasurer has found a few pennies in the piggy bank ( once separated from the francs, escusdos and drachma - all being retained until the collapse of the euro you understand ) and it seems we can afford to go.  I never went to Layer Road and haven't been to the Weston Homes either. Tonight's visit is prompted by our good start, style of play and that I'm on hols and don't want to miss out. Mind you I've a feeling of Unlucky Alf about it but hope I'm proved wrong.

Colchester remain a physical side despite the departure of previous manager Aidy Boothroyd who, as we know, prefers a direct approach. Hopefully our passing game will win the day. 

Barring injuries I assume that the same starting eleven will take to the field as that against Notts County. A very good win that and Wagstaff scored again. I still think he's best from the bench but fair play to him he's scored twice in two and from reports had a good game. Like Elliot it seems he responds to having genuine competition for his place.

Having waited so long for an away win in the league, can the lads deliver two in four days ? Let's hope so !

I'm hoping that our goalscorers include Jason Ewell !

Come On You Reds ! 

Saturday 13 August 2011

Knott's County

Deadly and Knotty officially opening their stand on Thursday this week.

I returned late yesterday afternoon having spent a few days in God's chosen county. Initially being based in New Romney allowed me to re-visit many places and reminisce about childhood holidays in Greatstone. It also allowed me the pleasure of a few trips on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway which even at my tender ( !! ) age never loses its appeal.

From Wednesday onwards I was based in Canterbury for the Kent v Surrey match. This should have been a 4 day game, however, Surrey weren't able to take the game into the fourth day despite the vast sums invested in the team. If they don't go up then you feel Adams will be under pressure and I won't be surprised to see him go. This should draw compairsons with a football team but I can't think of any !

Thursday saw the return to the St Lawrence ground of two Kent and England cricket legends, namely Knott and Underwood as they opened the newly named stand in their honour. Knotty fondly recalled how Bernard Julien once threw a ball over the Frank Wolley stand, no mean feat as those of you who know the ground can readily testify ! I feel the stand should be called the Knott and Underwood stand because it sounds better to me probably due to the " caught Knott bowled Underwood " method of dismissal so popular ( with Kent fans anyway ) during the 60's, 70's and 80's.

During my short break a lot has happened on both national and more parochial levels although both have impacted on each other. I've no intention on commenting on the riots as other CAFC blogs have expressed the feelings of the vast majority of us and have done so more eloquently than I could.

On strictly footballing matters Jason Euell has returned to our ranks as one always suspected he would. I'm quite pleased about this as I believe he still has something to offer particularly at Div 3 level. I thought his treatment by Curbs that ultimately led to his leaving was a poor show and that the great man over-reacted to the inicident in the Man Utd game. Anyway good to see that he holds no grudges and is now back with us.

Today's game offers a tougher test than last week if only because we are away and an away league win isn't something we've witnessed for a while even allowing for the summer break !

I think we'd all take a draw right now although I'd prefer the win of course. Sadly today we come up against Lee Hughes. I've no time for the bloke who in keeping with most of the idiots widely shown on our tv screens this week shows no sign of remorse.

County won last comfortably last week in the league although one hopes that their mid-week defeat on penalties following extra-time and sadly a miss from the lovely Hughes will have knocked them.

As another blog observed ( sadly I can't remember which one due to reading several last night in an attempt to catch up ! ) there should be no room for sentimentality and Green should start today despite Wagstaff's excellent strike last week. As good as that was his overall game wasn't great and if Green is deemed by Sir Chris to be a better player then get him in from the start. I suspect it'll be a place on the bench for Green though.

Sir Chris will again be observing from the stands as he completes the second and final game of his touchline ban. Perhaps if we win again he may decide like Curbs did to base himself there permanently.

Hopefully we can return with 3 points today as it'd be good top the table again however embryonic it may be.

Cone on you reds !

Sunday 7 August 2011

Cherries Lost

With so many " Charlton virgins " it's no surprise that cherries lost....

Debuts aplenty yesterday then and surprise to see Elliot in goal and he took the chance well albeit not having a great deal to do.

An accomplished and confortable win aided by two fine goals. A good goal by Wagstaff but one shot does not a summer make. I thought he was decidely average for the rest of his game with two or three hospital balls to team-mates and the usual reluctance to attack a poor left back. However, let's not dwell too much on that.

Stephens was magnificent and imposed himself on the game. Hollands too was another star performer. The defence coped well and Solly, although the concern of his lack of height remains, had a very good game. 

For the Cherries I was surprised that Taylor didn't start as he seemed to pose a greater threat than anyone else and perhaps should have scored with a close range header. Molesley too looked a skillful player.

I think young Arter had wound himself up a tad and was lucky to stay on the pitch. He had a good game with some telling and intelligent passing. He reacted like Bournemouth had been relgated at the final whistle collapsing to the floor......all a bit over the top.

Pleased with the goals, scoreline and performance. Next week will give us a better indication of where this team is at. After we've played Sheffield United having completed 10 or 11 games will be a truer reflection though of course.

Onwards and upwards hopefully. Reading up next and a chance for Sir Chris to rest some and give a run out to others. Should be interesting. 

Kent's demise in the T20 took the gloss off an otherwise perfect day.

Hopefully we'll get that other striker we need and a central defender too during the next few days. 

Friday 5 August 2011

Bourne Again

Smart, fast-paced and totally gripping............sounds like a typical Charlton game eh !

A sense of deja vu as we entertain ( ? ) Bournemouth at home for our first match of the season. Let's hope that the campaign's denouement is more satisfying this time.

Bourne again too as the team has been totally rebuilt and only a few remain and one wonders how much longer some of them will be us. The wait ( sic ) of expectation is over and it's time to do the business.

Sir Chris has been backed to the hilt, an appropriate phrase given our badge. He's got the players he wants ( although rumours abound of some being imposed on him ) and he has a good backroom staff. Powell never looks like he's feeling pressure or appears flustered. Not sure if that's a good thing, however, he'll need a cool head if things don't go the way we expect or want them too.

I'm sure fans will turn on him and the board will be expecting results as the chairman's comments have indicated. I'm sure that Mr Hart lurking in the background doesn't ease that situation either.

The team will, I suspect be pretty much as generally anticipated. Hughes can expect to start and Wagstaff ( oh dear ) too as Danny is Green but not heard as he serves a one match suspension. Is it my imagination or do we start every season with a player serving a ban in the opener ?

I assume that Hamer will start in goal and that Robbie sadly won't even make the bench. I hope that if Jackson plays on the left and I can't think he won't, that he gets wider and doesn't drop as deep as he did in the game against the Dutch. Wiggins needs to up his game, hopefully he will against his old club. As I understand he was performing a lot better last season and is obviously capable of more.

This season is eagerly awaited by Addicks' fans. I can't recall us ever having bought and sold / got rid of ( McOxo !! ) so many players. That it seems we're trying to play some decent football is a bonus as we all want to be entertained even if results are paramount.

As if this weren't excitement enough, we have a big new screen to look at. That's bound to come in useful as a diversion from the " action " on the pitch ! I missed it when we didn't have have one.....after all I'm still recovering from the loss of the ABCD etc board that gave scores corresponding to associated fixtures. 

I live in the hope that we will one day have credit card like season tickets along with so many other clubs. Why this still isn't in place I've no idea........surely the initial outlay will be repaid in no time with the reduced staffing costs ? Oh well pack the thick season ticket into my pocket then I guess.

A busy sporting day as Kent play their T20 quarter final after the match. Aside from playing at home this was about as good as the draw could get for the Spitfires. If anyone has read this far ( I admire your endurance ) and knows of a pub or watering hole that will be showing the match then please leave a comment letting me know as I'm keen to see it... thank you.

Let's hope for a double win, Addicks and Spitfires to send us all home happy.

Come On Your Reds !