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 !