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 points.......no 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 !