Monday 30 January 2012

Charlton v Inter

Charlton legend Peter Shirtliff, assistant to the Chief Barker

The Shakers come calling to the Valley on Tuesday evening. Rochdale await on Saturday and they're not playing midweek and are on the upturn that usually accompanies a new manager. Therefore, the Bury game is one we really need to win.

Bury have established a win, lose sequence over the last 6 games and if you don't know I'm sure you can guess what they did on Saturday ! Yep, lost and to Rochdale ironically.

Richie Barker has done a good job in keeping Bury in the top ten for most of the season although Saturday's result saw them slip to 11th. Despite that they remain on the fringe of the play-off places. It must all be Shirtliff's influence surely !

In the third tier you expect to come up against a Sodje almost every other game and this is no exception as we welcome the bandana wearing Efte Sodje at the heart of the Shakers defence. I hope that BWP can give him the run around, from what I've seen Efte doesn't seem that mobile.........perhaps he needs more aerodynamic headwear ?

The other week saw a right old tiff between two of their players. Skipper Schumacher and Coke almost came to blows over who should take a penalty and both got booked as a result. What a to do eh ? Can you ever imagine two Charlton players ever losing it like that ?

Anyway the club say they' their differences and all is well. The 3-0 reverse didn't go down well with boss and I hope we don't get the backlash from Barker's barking.

What of the Charlton side ? Good question, I'm glad you asked. Well, I feel we may see Dale " Shakin " Stephens ( moniker for this match only you understand ) return. I really hope that we witness at least 20 minutes of Haynes. I do like the look of him. Other than that I feel the same side and indeed squad will be named by Sir Chris.

I had intended to drive down tomorrow but foolishly I overlooked the game when I arranged an Olympic meeting. Don't get excited, I'm not meeting Seb or Boris........just me, the deputy head and some other teachers planning sports and curricular activities related to the games. My mind will be focused on just when I can get away so I'll probably deserve a gold medal for talking quickly and will agree to many actions just to get to the finish line. Anyway all this waffle is to say that as a result I need to get the train or I'll not make kick off. I'm praying against ( rather than for ! ) a failed Virgin that would mean I don't get there !

A win tomorrow would make me a little more relaxed about Saturday's game. It's going to be freezing tomorrow so I think I'll be well wrapped up and hope that the lads can make forget about the cold with a superb display.

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 29 January 2012

Rub Of The Green

Danny isn't the only Green associated with a goalkeeping error.....

Listening to 606 on 5Live last night and on came Skip who was allegedly buying Addicks fans drinks on the train back to London. Good lad ! Strictly vodka though you understand as the toast was to the Grecians Polish keeper.

The bits of the show I heard were hilarious for the inane comments from the majority of fans save for Skip and one Charlton fan who correctly observed that a previous caller, an Owls fan, was somewhat mistaken in his belief that Megson is the most underrated manager in league football. Our fellow supporter pointed out the horrible football his 6ft 3in plus players play. Well said sir !

Not one of our best performances I understand but Exeter are a difficult team to beat at home and their defence has been very good of late. A lot of teams will come a cropper at St James Park. Hamer had a little to do aside from one save late one.

Danny Green was honest enough to admit that he was crossing the ball rather than shooting but either way it was all down to the Grecians custodian who didn't quite live up to that title.

BWP got the inevitable abuse that is so dissociated with the normally welcoming Devonians. Sadly he didn't score but he did set up a great chance for Yann which sadly he failed to convert. I'd have thought Haynes was the obvious replacement for BWP when he was subbed but Clarke came on. Nothing against Clarke he just hasn't looked that fit to me and is too similar to Yann. Haynes offers more pace and perhaps more trickery too, I hope we see at least twenty minutes of him on Tuesday.

Having established a nine point lead at the top we look forward to Tuesday night and hosting a Bury side that got thumped 3-0 yesterday. Sir Chris may decide to make some changes although much other than Stephens coming in possibly for Pritchard would be a surprise. Even then only if the Gaffer feels young Bradley needs a rest I guess.

Elsewhere it seems Huddersfield were grateful for a point at Tranmere and Wednesday now face a replay in the cup. If they get a good draw today then their focus might be diverted a little although I'm sure the vastly underrated Megson won't allow that ! Sheffield United got thumped at home by Brum and will now be fully concentrating on the league.

BTW you may have seen that the Sun is once again offering deals for tickets for football league matches. Please note that none of our games is included in this offer.

Thursday 26 January 2012

Sartorial Elegance

Grecians boss Paul Tisdale who gets his neckwear from Thailand

Sir Chris has some strong competition in the tailoring stakes on Saturday as Mr Tisdale is a natty dresser. We'll happily let him win the war of the wardrobe as long as we are victorious on the pitch. The game itself needs no dressing up as the Addicks seek to secure a fourth successive league win. Never mind PT's headgear, Skip will seeking a unique hat-trick of his own. He couldn't do it again........could he ?

I've a lot of time for Paul Tisdale aside from his dress style. He's not one who is prone to silly outbursts or comments and is a very able manager at league one level. He has done and continues to do a really job for Exeter. I admired his approach at the Valley following the dismissal of the hot-headed Nardiello as kept two players up front in a positive approach that was the very antithesis of Oldham's.

Nardiello is finding his way back from injury and it a probable starter but perhaps not finisher on Saturday. In goal for the Grecians will be Artur Krysiak who was born and raised in the lovely Devon village of Lodz just outside Barnstaple !

We struggled to beat 10 man Exeter earlier in the season and one can but hope that the free flowing football returns and that we can overpower 11 men in some style. The Exeter fans stirred BWP into action last time with some unpleasant chants and comments, let's hope he responds in similar fashion Saturday to get his season back on track.

The west country side are unbeaten in four and whilst they've not been free-scoring as such their defence has been pretty tight it appears and should prove hard to break down.

In a sense of blogging deja vu I find myself again typing that I think the Gaffer will retain an unchanged squad let alone the starting eleven. The squad may come into play more over the following two games with a midweek game in the offing.

Devon is one of my favourite parts of the world and I'd love to be going but sadly I'm not and will be doing my usual trick of keeping myself occupied with some mindless task whilst resisting the temptation to check the score until @ 4.40pm.

All things being equal we should expect to win and we ought to but no one can ever be totally confident, not least an Addicks fan. If you're going I hope that you enjoy a good day and make sure you partake of some of the rather splendid local ale whilst hopefully roaring the Addicks onto victory.

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 22 January 2012

Bang On Target

The big screen at the Valley yesterday....courtesy of " referee " Deadman

With nearly 80 minutes gone yesterday we were ahead 4-0........on yellow cards that is. How on earth the walking disaster that is Mr Deadman manged to contrive that scenario is beyond the imagination of most. He did go onto flash a few more cards before the final whistle of course. His ineptitude and reluctance to deal with various fouls, cynical and otherwise only served to wind up both sets of players.

When Russell made his tackle you sensed that he couldn't wait to brandish a red to someone. The brawl that ensued allowed Deadman to go one further as it saw the " experienced " Beattie or Beats if you prefer follow Russell for the early bath. Somewhat short of " attacking " options as a result I understand that Danny Wilson is set to sign Tony Curtis on loan in a reprise of his infamous 1968 role.

There can't be too many occasions where two subs have been sent off within about 5 minutes of coming on. Perhaps that's a first even for Deadman, I wonder if he gets off on that sort of thing.....just a thought.

Maybe United deserved to get something from yesterday's game but a consistent failure to hit the target meant they didn't. In a nod to the Owls approach to the game, Yann and BWP too occasions received the close attention of Baldes players. Never mind we got on with it and in a show of rudeness stood up to the fight.

The inference on last night's football league show was that the Addicks have been indulging in some underhand shannigans to achieve a win over both the Sheffield teams. This is lazy on their part and seems to eminate from the whinging Owls and subsequently I guess, Blades fans. I've obviously missed something then in these last two games although I did get a distinct whiff of sour grapes as I left the ground.........perhaps that was what it was.

We were far from our best yesterday and that it was enough to see off the team in second place speaks volumes about our side. They coped admirably with what was sent their way. I share the concerns of other bloggers about Hamer's performance.....flapping aplenty and no real command of his area. He is still young especially for a keeper and will improve I'm sure and he's good enough for this league. We may need someone a little better for the next level should we get there. I'd keep him as reserve keeper because he will develop and progress I'm sure.

BWP was again out of sorts and until yesterday I felt he'd not let his head drop. I sensed some real frustration in the later stages of the game. I don't advocate dropping him because he must get better opportunites against Exeter and Bury. He won't need reminding the Haynes will be putting him under pressure as he looked quite sharp yesterday.

I'm a big fan of Green but sadly it wasn't a great day for him all round. He had two great chances when through and sadly both efforts went straight to the keeper. At least one should have found the back of the net I felt. 

Sir Chris got it almost spot on again yesterday although I'll question his use of the subs again. With 20 minutes to go and with us floundering a little it needed Russell and Haynes to come on for Pritchard ( on a yellow and looking dodgy ) and BWP.....out of sorts.

Obviously the free kick from Skip ( can't believe I've left it this long to mention it ) was a real deja vu moment and what joy ! My elder son and I were bemoaning that we'd not seen a decent free kick from us at the Valley in many a year only for JJ to deliver again.

I would have been happy with two draws from the Sheffield games so the wins have left me cock-a-hoop ! We can't allow complacency to set in for the upcoming games. I'm sure the gaffer won't let that happen.

Two more wins against Exeter and Bury will round off January nicely and see us in an even stronger position.   

Saturday 21 January 2012

Deja Vu

It's Saturday so it must be another top of the table clash against a team from Sheffield in front of a 20k plus crowd.

Today's a day that we're all relishing I'm sure. For me anything other than defeat will do. Of course I'd like to see a win for us but in the overall scheme of things a draw is fine.

A look at the recent past will tell you that when we play at home in front of big crowd we don't do well, however, this season and indeed the team are somewhat different. I'm pretty certain it'll be a close game and again the first goal will be crucial and we'll probably need to get it if we're to get anything.

The Blades have been on a good run having experienced only 1 defeat in the last 12 games in all competitions. We will need to be at our best today. There's no reason to think we won't be. It is a big game and we're full of confidence and have goals from all over the pitch.

I hope that BWP scores today but won't be overly fussed if he doesn't. He didn't shy away from the ball last and worked hard whilst looking one of our most creative players.

For United, Kevin McDoanld is on form at the moment and we need to nullify his threat from midfield. The much travelled James Beattie will probably be on the bench. His career never really amounted to what it should have, nonetheless he'll pose a threat should he come on.

The Blades attendances are very similar to our own.....after the 28k that turned up to their derby with the Owls the next highest was the 20k that witnessed our victory there on 1st October.

One assumes that our team will be unchanged from last Saturday with the increasingly impressive Pritchard set to retain his place. Stephens would expect to be on the bench. The only decision on the bench is perhaps who out of Clarke and Haynes gets a place on it.

The atmosphere should be terrific today with United's fans no doubt making a lot of noise so we all need to give good vocal support to lift our boys, this is no time for apathetic's got to be full on folks !

Come On You reds !

Sunday 15 January 2012

Sweet As A Nut

If Johnnie's free kick were confectionary it might look and taste like this.

A superbly executed free kick from Skip yesterday was enough to secure the win and three points at Hillsborough yesterday. Well, it took a bit more than of course as excellent defending was required against the inevitable bombardment. It was no surprise to witness a direct approach from Wednesday as that's the way Megson likes to play. It's all set up for that ( right down to the ballboys with towels for drying the ball ahead of long throws although that wasn't a courtesy afforded to our boys ! ) with a very big physical team and it obviously works well for them especially at home unless the oppo's from S.E.7 !

I was sorry to hear of a number of train-travelling Addicks who didn't make it to the game due to signal failure at Leicester. I'm not sure if some didn't arrive in time to catch the last part of the game. I hope the rail company concerned will refund monies although it's probably unlikely.

Ref Neil Swarbrick was bad for both teams on occasions not seeing some blatant pushing from both sides and on one occasion awarding the Owls a throw-in that clearly should have been ours. I don't believe that Semedo should have got a red for blocking Pritchard as it was inside our half and I don't think you could call that a goalscoring opportunity really. 

The Owls ground is a fine football stadium which serves to remind of us the excellence of Archibal Leitch, a man who desinged a vast number of stands for football stadia in the UK.
The tension was high yesterday and I've never seen Sir Chris so wound up by the oppo's coaching staff. The fourth official made several interventions. It wasn't just Megson but also Chris Evans ( no not that one ! ) and Andy Rhodes ( most notable for being quite portly and Jordan's dad in that order ). The gaffer has since indicated he was sworn at several times as was former Wednesday player, Morrison. No need for that but confirms the popular view as to what type of person Megson is. Never mind, at the end of the day I'm sure Sir Chris enjoyed his anniversary.

Speaking of Megson and a word about the Wednesday side, perhaps he should remember the old adage of not changing a winning side. Clinton Morrison made way for Madine who'd been out of the side a while. I'd have thought Morrison C had a point to prove and is always up for it against us. He looked quite determined to me as he came on as sub.

I wouldn't have started with Pritchard yesterday and thankfully I'm not the manager because he had a fine game, never one to shirk a tackle young Bradley got stuck in and again showed he has time on the ball and is always looking to play a good pass. He has come on so much.

Sir Chris had done his homework and defenders doubled up on Marshall and nullified his threat. I have to say that Hamer's distribution was terrific yesterday and in particular one kick out to Green in the first half should hve brought us another goal.

The defence was superb again as it has been throughout this season. They play so well as a unit. Those clean sheets give us such a platform and after all if you don't concede, you don't's amazing what you learn from watching football for years eh !

Sadly BWP wasn't able to score when one on one with Weaver who did make a good save to deny him. A confident Bradley would have buried that. He still made a good all round contribution, working hard to find and create space whilst being prepared to take on defenders.

Yann again worked tireslessly, I'm loving the fact all the team come to that !

Aside from the goal, I thought Skip had a great game......for me one of his best. I'm not a big fan of him out on the left but he really did well yesterday. Super stuff Skip !

Next week's opponents won and played " superb " according to some of their euphoric fans on Radio Sheffield. The Dons game was frozen off which is a poor show, it was so much colder up north but no other games got called off. I pity the poor Carlisle fans and perhaps the hapless groundsman who has a lot to answer to. The plus side is of course another midweek game for the Dons who reply against QPR on Tuesday. The two Sheffields remain in the cup and I'm sure we're wishing all three sides the very best in the competition.

Huddersfield, like us, no longer have interest in the cup and they managed a one nil win and without Jordan scoring......who'd have thought eh ?

Winning the three remaining January games is a big ask but if we can we'll set ourselves up nicely for the outstanding 3 months and a week. We have 12 home games remaining which should be good, however, some sides will no doubt park the bus. It is so important that we don't go behind at home as I fear that'll probably be the case.

Saturday 14 January 2012

Greenwich and Haynes

If the royal borough and Danny enjoy as partnership as successful as the one above then we're in for a treat !

I was mightily relieved when Cort signed up and very pleased in equal measure when Danny put pen to paper too. These will prove to be very useful and significant signings I feel. Now we'll spend the remainder of transfer window not looking for new recruits but hoping that none of the present squad heads the other way.

We're oop north today for the first of two Sheffield games both of which have a great bearing on our season. I've said I'd be happy with both being draws and feel that 4 points is best we can hope for but maybe that's me being a tad pessimistic. No Sky cameras today so that helps immediately. 

Wednesday's home record is tip top so anything other than defeat will do for me as I said. In addition, we don't want to cede any ground to our promotion rivals.

I'm travelling up with my lads and some Wednesdayites today so I will be able to give the Sheffield view of things post match.

No Madine of late for the Owls although he may be on the bench. Semedo, Llera and Weaver will all probably play a part. As much as I never liked Weaver and didn't rate him at all he seems to have been playing ok for his " own " club. I'd suggest not booing him as it only serves to inspire the less able but I feel that a bit of pantomime behaviour from our fans is inevitable.

I think we can successfully name most of the side with midfield the only area where it's difficult to call. I'd have thought that Russell will be in for Pritchard alongside Green, Jackson and Hollands.

I believe it's safe to assume that the other Sheffield team and MK Dons will secure wins today so avoiding defeat is crucial. I expect us to go for the win though of course, Sir Chris doesn't send his teams out a la Oldham eh !

I guess we can expect a physical approach from the Owls.........Megson doesn't do neat and attractive football. We showed we can deal with that when we played with Huddersfield so there's no reason why we can't today with support from the ref.

Let's hope for a good game and travelling back down the M1 with another 3 points.

Come On You Reds !

Tuesday 10 January 2012

Sir Christopher Powell

My favourite photo of Sir Chris.

Saturday sees Sir Chris celebrate a year in charge of the Addicks and they say a week is a long time in politics ! Looking at him on the touchline and it seems like he's been there forever. It sure wouldn't be the same without him.

This is a small part of what I wrote a year ago when he was appointed :-

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. The news of our new manager has got the club going again and I for one was dancing round the bathroom singing " Chrissy Powell. Chrissy Powell, etc " for some while. I'm feeling quite positive and the best I have for some time 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. 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.

Not sure why it was the bathroom I was dancing around in but hey ho I was happy eh ! Those who appointed him obviously saw the potential that I referred to and even if it does all go Pete Tong this season, I'll still love the man.
He started with four straight wins and in all fairness a couple of those owed a bit to luck but then all managers need some of that. Following that it was not a good finish as the season tapered off. I was concerned that the board might act in haste but to their credit they more than nailed their colours to the mast of SS Powell and it was full steam ahead and then some !
Virtually all the existing players were moved on as the Gaffer quickly went about recruiting his own players ( and I doubt he's stopped yet eh ! ). He's been able to get players with the right mentality and a desire to play football in the best way. A strong work and team ethic is very much at the heart of the squad and if there's been any dissention then it's not been apparent.
I believe that his superb man-management skills and his desire to treat everyone with respect has been integral to that. Sir Chris realised that he needed to get his players in early in order to get them to gel quickly. He's certainly achieved that.
His greatest triumph in player recruitment may well be Yann. What a difference that man has made. Another of the big plusses for the boss !
The recruitment of Alex Dyer is also an important one I would suggest. Not much is ever said of him but he, like Sir Chris, is held in high regard and it'd be easy to overlook him.
There was always a doubt that he would be too nice......not the sort of manager to throw tea-cups around as he openly admitted. However, you don't need to rant and rave. Sir Chris is calmness personified on the touchline ( and in the dressing room too I assume ) and I prefer my managers that way. I watched highlights of us v Palarse today, the one where we sent them may remember it. When Palarse took the lead there was Dowie going ape in the technical area......hmm didn't do much good did it ! No, I like my mangers cool, calm and collected thank you.
The boss has shown that he's not afraid to drop players if he thinks it's right. Some of those players will feel hard done by and for some I have some sympathy. However, I have to say that Sir Chris has usually got it spot on. His only achilles heel seems to have been Jason but he may be over that now. He did also slip up in dropping Solly against Stevenage but I can't see that being repeated anytime soon. 
Those two are minor quibbles in Sir Chris's tenure. He's got us all proud and happy again with a team that plays football in the right way.
He has managed to turn things around in such a short space of time. Can he now go on and deliver promotion and then get us established in the Championship ? Hopefully the answer to that question is yes. I can't see why he shouldn't. The only concern is that if he develops as a manager in the way I strongly feel he will, can we keep him ? A lot of that will depend on how we progress and who comes calling.
I hope that I will be blogging in 10 years time on Sir Chris's tenth anniversary and reflecting on how Charlton have gone from strength to strength.
Happy anniversary Sir Chris !

Monday 9 January 2012

No Appointment At The Doctor's

The Good Doctor - an integral part of a trip to Everton

Had we won at Fulham we would have had a trip to Everton and for me that would involve a beer or two in Doctor Duncan's. Nevermind, I'll save that for another day.

It's been interesting and frustrating to read others accounts of Saturday - thanks for the reports and photos. As I say mixed emotions reading them but great to see that so many had a superb day. We weren't disgraced and we need to remember that we are a work in progress and should things go according to plan the next step for us is the Championship.

On Saturday I  went out for a romp in a local forest without my mobile ( doh ! ) so didn't have a scooby about the score ! I arrived home to see we were 3-0 down quickly followed by the news that it had just gone to 4.

I know I missed out on a really great day and am disappointed not to have been amongst the 7,000 Addicks. Well done to everyone who went for what was obviously support par exceleence and to the players who gave it a good go and didn't resort to the type of hoof ball that so typifies a number of League One clubs.

Oh well, we got the least we hoped for and we can now fully focus on the league.

Breaking news as I type that Cort has had his contract with Burnley terminated and that means he's no longer on loan with us. We can only hope that as he's now a free agent he'll sign up with us although I guess a lot will depend on how he feels about not being a regular starter.

His absence leaves us very short on cover at central defence although I can't beleive that if we haven't sorted something with Leon that we'll play out the rest of the season with Doherty on the bench ! I assume we'll seek to move in the loan market at the very least.

I'm pleased to see that three of our title / promotion challengers are still in the cup albeit maybe only a replay further for MK Dons. A shame that Warnock was sacked ( did I really write that ! ) as I feel QPR might well have gone out to their league one opponents even if they are playing at home. For what it's worth, Warnock has been treated disgracefully given what he achieved last season and with the R's spending power there's no reason to be believe he wouldn't have kept them up especially when one considers how Bolton, Blackburn, Wigan and Wolves are performing.

Anyway the Dons and the Sheffields live to fight another day and that means more games and good news for us I trust. Whether it's a good time to play Wednesday and United is a difficult one to call. Would we better playing them a week before the cup or now with their attention hopefully diverted ?

I hope that the plethora of scouts at Adams Park on Friday night were suitably impressed to report that their club must buy Jordan Rhodes no matter what the cost. However bad Wycombe may have been ( and they were awful ) he's a class act and will be difficult if not impossible to replace. Still whatever happens this season Huddersfield can be proud of their " unbeaten run "......promotion's just a sideshow eh ? 

The only serious challengers to automatic promotion, perhaps fairly obviously, come from Huddersfield, MK Dons, Sheff Weds and Sheff Utd. Out of those the Dons are top of the recent form table and one can but hope that they suffer a stumble. They do have some tough games coming up after which they have a fairly straightforward run to the end of the season. 

I'll not be too disappointed if we come out of the Sheffield games with 2 points. With the Sheffields and potentially the Dons not playing on Saturday 28th January added to our Tuesday 31st January game against Bury we have an opportunity to open up a bigger gap at the top. 8 points or better from the Sheffield games and the final two in January would put us in strong position ahead of February.

The rest of this month and the next two games in particular will be pivotal to our success this season and it will be interesting as pretty much all of it has been to date.

Thursday 5 January 2012

Charlton Steel Themselves For Another London Derby

Killer - no doubt on his way to another goal !

A return to cup action on Saturday and a cup tie away to Fulham. I was at Craven Cottage the last time we played Fulham in the cup, January 1981 in the fourth round. I remember it quite well not least for the goal that Killer'd be hard pushed to find many better than that ! Sadly that was in the days before all games were recorded and as far as I know there's no video of it.

I was right behind the goal. As I recall the ball came to him on the edge of the area and he controlled it and turned in one movement before firing into the top**dy fantastic !

I remember that after the game I was off to the Abbey National Christmas do, somewhat delayed obviously ! It was at the Inercontinental Hotel in central London as I recall. Incredibly the 3 course meal plus wine with disco entertainment cost me all of 50p ! The remaining cost was paid for by Abbey........the good old days ! I celebrated well that night !

My mate Vic ( sadly longer with us ) gave me a lift into the centre of London as I put on my smart / casual gear in the back of his car.........thanks Vic !

My last visit to the Cottage was for a Prem game, not sure what season but we definitely lost but I do remember going to the White Horse in Parsons Green for some lovely ale. They were also cooking burgers outside and they were equally tasty. The website should you be interested is :-

We played Ipswich away in the fifth round following the win at the Cottage, a game we lost 2-0 but we competed very well for a third tier side ( ultimately promoted of course ! ) against about the best team in the country at the time. I'm fairly sure Les Berry got a broken nose for his troubles with the old claret going everywhere. It was a brilliant day out and our boys didn't disgrace themselves. Upon return home I was drinking in the Duchess of Edinburgh in Welling after the game. That was very much my regular watering hole at the time despite living in Bexleyheath.

There are mixed emotions about the Saturday's tie. If you could guarantee that progress in the cup wouldn't affect our push for promotion then I'd bite you arm off. I seem to recall that a cup run nearly derailed Leeds efforts a couple of years ago and we wouldn't that.

Sir Chris has picked teams for the cup that are slightly changed but still quite strong usually with back up on the bench if needed. This game is different given the level of the oppo and the gaffer has said he'd like to give it a good go. I'm not going to attempt naming the side apart from sticking my neck and saying that I feel Sullivan will be in goal !

Sadly I'm not going on Saturday for various reasons. If you are going then I'm sure you'll have a great day amongst 7,000 fellow Addicks. You should make a hell of a noise and one that's bound to lift our players and leave none of them in any doubt that they are at a very special club.

Come On You Reds !

Tuesday 3 January 2012

Yann's The Man !

YK - thankfully his legs didn't turn to jelly

The longer this season goes on the more one wonders where we would be or would have faired without Yann. Since his arrival he has just got better and better. He had a point to prove and I think he's made it. Yesterday saw a polished performance allied to 100% commitment and effort. He ran his chaussettes off yesterday !

Sadly his stirke partner is not enjoying the best of times but Yann is doing more than his fair share of work to help BWP through his slump. Very much a confidence player it'll only take a goal or two for Bradley to return to his best.

Our full backs also had great games yesterday, that's pretty much taken as red this season but none the less needs to be commented on. That the Bees never really looked like scoring yesterday has a lot to do with our solid defence. They had one good chance in the second half but a brave tackle from Cort helped ensure that went over the bar. Leon fitted in really well and was impressive given his lack of match action.

The first half was a forgetable affair and most of the team looked as though they were suffering the effects from 84 minutes with only 10 men on new year's eve. Douglas was afforded too much time and space seemingly allowed to play passes wherever he wished.

Morrison reacted first and bravely to the opportunity to score and took it well. " England's number 1 " got himself in a right old mess.......perhaps he should have spoken to Hamer about when to come off your line !

Speaking of our number one I'm afraid he didn't have a great game. He had little to do but there were a couple of dodgy moments from crosses and the punch in the first half was a bizarre piece of keeping that can only be put down to a terrible misjudgement. I think Hamer's good enough and should develop but he'll be as grateful as any of us that he has such a good back four in front of him.

The second half saw an improvement in our play as we pressed more and allowed Douglas less time. Why we didn't do that in the first I'm not sure. Sir Chris shouldn't leave it to half time to sort these things.

Brentford are a very big and very physical side who can play a bit of football when the mood takes them. They were permitted too much physical stuff yesterday and the referee made himself a laughing stock with some of his decisions. The repeated fouls from the West London side went totally unpunished. Pritchard got flattened as one defender put a ball out......I accept thier player won the header but the follow through was as unnecessary as it was dangerous.

I see that Rosler was moaning about not getting a penalty from the Saunders free kick which it probably should have been but he and the rest of his team get no sympathy from me following the pathetic behaviour from Alexander at both free kicks. Totally out of order and if that's how he want his team to play and condones it that's up to him. Personally I'd hate to see any of our players doing that and the German's obviously short on ideas if that's what it's come to. 

I'm not totally au fait with the LOAF but I'm sure there's something in there covering unsporting behaviour. That it came from the charmless ex-Millwall man came as no surprise to me. Just another example of the weak refereeing we witnessed yesterday.

The East Stand lino was as hapless as his senior colleague seemingly missing incidents in front of his very eyes and seeing the ball go out of play when it clearly never did ! 

Leon Clarke came on for an instantly forgettable debut. One can only assume his lack of game time explains it. I'm sure he's better than that and must possess greater pace when fit. Sir Chris again showed his ruthless side in having Clarke on the bench and as I said in my previous post I do wonder where his arrival leaves Euell and Hayes not to mention young Smith.

I was pleased to see Pritchard make his full league debut and he again showed touches of class allied to great composure. I like him..........

One of the lessons learned from the festive period is that Green needs to play the full ninety plus time added on. The gaffer has clearly learned that as Danny Boy didn't come off when Wagstaff came on. He's on a hot goalscoring streak now eh !

I rather enjoyed the PA's quip on announcing the Huddersfield score that they are unbeaten this year........well done to them and the lovely Lee Clark.

Sir Chris has been in charge for nearly a year now and has forged his own team that contains players that all have gelled quickly and impressively. A hint as to one aspect of how that's been acheived was contained in the programme yesterday which was the team photo in the centre pages. This was Team Charlton containing as it did not only the players but also backroom, office staff etc with no obvious hierarchy in terms of the seating arrangements. All Mr Powell's idea apparently and something that speaks volumes about our manager.

Sunday 1 January 2012

We've Got No Herr But We Don't Care

Herr Rosler or should it be Herrless Rosler

Indeed, we don't need a German manager and we're quite happy with Sir Chris thank you very much. At the half way point of the season with the Addicks in first position with a lead of 4 points it's been a very good first half despite last night's set back.

Following a defeat it's often good to have an early chance to go out and put things right. I think less than 48 hours counts as an early opportunity. Of course we will now have Hamer in goal which will please the Brentford fans who are probably looking forward to giving him dog's abuse as they were upset with him following the game earlier in the season. Hopefully it will spur him on.

Opinion on Uwe Rossler amongst Bees fans seems to be divided however, it would seem he's done an acceptable job if their position of 7th in the league is anything to go by. One or two seem to feel he lacks something tactically although he was obviously astute enough to make the necessary changes yesterday to turn the game after being 3 - 0 down to the Dons.

Brentford are unbeaten in the league since 19th November when they lost 1-0 ! We didn't get any credit from Uwe or Brentford fans that day and from what I read we did seem to ride our luck somewhat. Mind you there was a reluctance to accept that we were atop the league on merit and they were keen to judge us on that one performance.

The Bees last three games have all ended in draws none as spectactular as yesterday's of course. They arrive at the Valley full of confidence and a never say die attitude as a result one would imagine.

Sadly Miguel Llera has left and is now at Sheffield Wednesday so we won't see him tomorrow. As far as I'm aware, in contrast to the Orient game, there is only one ex-Charlton player in the Brentford ranks. That's Myles Weston who hasn't featured too much this season.

The charming Gary Alexander plays up front, he's a really nice chap and is bound to give us Addicks a cheery wave.

In light of the appeal for Hamer, John Sullivan will not now start between the sticks. Hopefully at worst Hamer will be banned for the Fulham game. Green will, of course, return following suspension. Hopefully Ephraim will be available following illness although whether he gets more than a place on the bench will depend I suspect on how Skip is feeling following the Orient game.

I do hope that Yann gets to take a free kick should the opportunity arise. I couldn't understand why Skip took one yesterday in the first half with the Breton having scored a peach of a goal against Yeovil.

Sir Chris did say he was going to rotate the squad over Christmas and new year but other than that which has been enforced there's been little sign of it to date. We'll have to wait till tomorrow to find out how serious he was that one.

Leon Clarke has now joined following Benson's departure to Swindon. Clarke is clearly a competent player at this level with the only question marks being over his attitude. I'd back the gaffer and his team on knowing what they're doing and believe we should give young Leon a chance before we judge him. Since his spat with PDC he's managed to keep his nose clean at Chesterfield it seems.

Where Clarke's arrival leave Hayes is open to question. One assumes that Clarke will be on the bench sooner rather than later and Sir Chris has shown previously that he's not overly given to sentiment ( perhaps save for Euell ) in his team selection. If he feels someone will do a job then they'll get their chance.

This also raises questions over Euell. Having been on the bench for the last two or three games Jason was nowhere to be seen yesterday. I do find the selection policy with him and indirectly with others has been inconsistent to say the least !

Chris Solly deserves another mention as he continues to impress. He really is progressing well and perhaps the myopic Arsene Wenger will be wondering if he got the better right back !

I'll be disappointed if we don't come out all guns blazing tomorrow and giving it a really good go. My hope is for a win, playing well and a Wright-Phillips hat-trick.....all in that order. It's not too much to ask is it ?

Come On You Reds !

Hamer Horror

Fangs for nothing. Horrible goings on in old London Town.

Oh dear ! It certainly didn't go according to plan did it ? I feel that the laws are silly at best if they mean that the referee must send off the keeper in that situation. However, whatever the rights and wrongs we paid a heavy price for that rush of blood ( see above ! ). Even having commited himself an attempted header from Hamer might have been the better option.

Teams can occasionally play for 30 minutes or so with ten men and emerge with a point or better but for 84 minutes it's a big ask. I admired Sir Chris in his positive approach by retaining both strikers.

Sullivan didn't have the best of games, he was a bit shaky on crosses and was a tad too far off his line for the goal although it was a horrible deflection. He did make a couple of good saves later on to be fair.

The O's should have scored more when they were on top but a combination of poor finishing and officiating allied to resolute defending meant they didn't add to the Spring goal.

We should be encouraged by the determination shown by the Addicks and with better finishing could have come away with a point. This was one occasion when having a keeper on the bench proved useful, ironically the O's didn't have a keeper on their bench.

I understand that the BBC is going to ditch the football league show from next season. From what we've witnessed over the festive period it seems that they may have done so already ! No sign of it last night again or today it seems.

This raises the possibility of ITV taking over the highlights and they make a mess of it with an awful format usually fronted by Matt Smith and his staccato delivery....arghhh ! 

Anyway onwards and upwards. Like games against Sheffield teams you play one London derby and another pops up straight away ! Back at home tomorrow and let's hope the lads get back on track with three points and a decent performance to start 2012 in good fashion.