Tuesday 28 February 2012

2B or NOT 2B

You can take a horse to water but a pencil must be lead

Mystery of Shakespearean proportions tonight as it was unclear as to whether it 2 or 3 for BWP. There was still some doubt after the final whistle. I hope he is credited with what would be his first ever hat-trick. Never mind it was another 3 points on the road for the Addicks. 

Reports from the radio, my brother who was there and the stats all indicate that this was a comfortable victory against a poor Chesterfield side who must now fear the worst.

Unsurprisingly Sir Chris kept the same starting eleven for tonight’s game at the b2net stadium versus Chesterfield. One change on the bench saw Russell replace Pritchard on the bench.

I followed the game from 35 minutes gone in the first half and it certainly sounded as though we were having the better of the possession and carrying the greater threat. That manifested itself in terms of a goal after good work from Solly fed Green whose cross / shot was bundled over the line by BWP.

The main thing in second half was to weather any potential early storm from the Spirerites. The Addicks did that and more as just after 56 minutes on the clock BWP turn sharply to register his and Charlton’s second.

Less than two minutes later and Solly squared the ball in the area for Skip to notch the third. It was excellent work against a Chesterfield side that haven’t conceded too many of late.

Clive Walker felt that the midfield pair of Hollands and Stephens were working harder to get forward in the second half than they had in the first and that had brought its own reward.

With 65 minutes on the clock Danny Green had worked an opening and crossed the ball in and it appeared that BWP had scored his first ever hat-trick although there was some uncertainty from the Radio London commentary team. BWP later left the field without claiming the match ball and so it appeared that they were right.

Soon after and Morrison and Yann left the field to be replaced by Cort and Clarke respectively. On 77 minutes then Haynes replaced Skip who got a well earned rest.

The win and Huddersfield being pegged back at Stevenage after being 2-0 up meant that the gap to third was 14 points with our goal difference standing at an impressive plus 40.

It’s off to Dean Court ( I don’t care what they call it that what it is ! ) on Saturday for what promises to be a tough game. My lad has paid for my ticket and will be paying for the petrol / train fare too which is a most welcome and generous gesture on his part. I just hope the team put in a performance like tonight and make it all worthwhile !

Monday 27 February 2012

No Laughing Matter

1950's Comedy legend - Chester

Chester Field, the old American stand up was ironically a Chesterfield fan after falling in love with the area and subsequently, the club, following a number of sell out shows at the Old Chesterfield Vic in the late 50's. However, it's no laughing matter for fans of the Spireites at present despite another comedy connection in owner, Dave Allen. Following promotion last season, Chesterfield sadly find themselves languishing at the foot of the table.

Yet despite their poor league form they await a date at Wembley next month in the Johnstone Paints Trophy final which is no mean feat. Good luck to them in that.

I wish I was going tomorrow as it's a lovely place and I'm sure that the football ground ( the B2Net ) is too despite it being quite a recent addition to the 92.

Saturday was a rather splendid day I thought. Lovely weather accompanied by a few pre-match Spitfires....you can't beat a drop of Kentish Ale ! A good win with BWP returning to scoring ways and a bumper crowd to boot !

It was my brother's birthday and I accompanied him and his family to San Miguel, a tapas restaurant in Greenwich following the final whistle. I've never ventured out much in Greenwich save for a few visits to the Cutty Sark as a lad. I think I might do so more often now after a game. It was lovely with a great of assortment of  restaurants and pubs all within easy walking distance of the station. If anyone can recommend some of either then I'd be very pleased to hear about them.

The return of Solly and Skip gave the side a better, more balanced look and feel. It was a shame that BWP didn't add to his goal, he certainly wasn't short on opportunities to do so. I can't knock anyone and as ever, Yann was great.

It was odd to see us attacking the North Stand first half and also the ref in allowing Boro to wear red and white. Not that one would want to suggest he favoured them in any way of course ! It's funny how you can be blinded by the sun with your back to it but it obviously happened because there's no other explanation for missing the push on Skip in he first half !

Thank God for a wonderful strike from Morrison and that BWP tucked the hardest chance he had all afternoon. I enjoyed those and it quietened down the away following. " Only here for the fiver " yes, you were weren't you. I wonder how many will follow them to their next away league game. 

I wouldn't mind Hughes or Russell being on the bench tomorrow in order to provide solid support if needed. As ever this won't be an easy game for us but is one that you hope we'll win because Saturday's game will certainly be a tough one especially as the Cherries don't play midweek.

Regular readers ( there may be some although reading this blog is a once in a lifetime experience I'd have thought ! ) may recall that cub reporter Mikes was going to the original Saturday fixture. However, having treated himself to a large bag of toffees and some fizzy pop at the weekend, the remnants of the student loan won't stretch to funding the excursion. Therefore, he'll have to console himself, like me, with following the proceedings on t'internet  

Come On You Reds ! 

Saturday 25 February 2012

The Bootiful Game ?

Norfolk in chance

My second post via Google of the chrome variety which I'm still coming to terms with. I hate change of any variety and when it's technology related, even more so. Still you'll not notice any difference.......the same old garbage in, garbage out method applies !

Relatively new Stevenage manager, Gary Smith, is a fan of Arsenal but not such a big fan that he wants to get The Boro playing in the style of his beloved Gunners.

I mustn't be too disparaging of Stevenage as I got a comment from one irate Boro fan following a previous post. He / she said " Charelton were a disgrace........fainig injury " and that " Stevenage play a passig game ".

I do hope that he / she isn't trying to get a ticket in the home stands. Forget all your stringent security checks, a simple " how do you spell Charlton ? " will suffice.

A near capacity crowd expected today and one assumes that the security folk in the Jimmy Seed will be a tad busier than they were on Tuesday night. I hope that the lapsed " fans " that turn up today help create a good atmosphere and assist in " getting behind the boys and make some noise ". Of course, it's mostly down to the team to motivate everyone with a much better effort than that of Tuesday.

Two things saddened me upon Tuesday's final whistle. One was the booing, I've never done that at a Charlton game and certainly not when we're atop the division ! Secondly, that the players headed straight off without any acknowledgement of us poor buggers who'd in various fashion, left work early, traveled a fair distance or just made an effort to be there never mind the expense. 

I trust that Sir Chris has learned the error of his ways in playing players out of position and that Solly, if fit and well, is selected ! I feel that Hughes should return to midfield in place of Stephens who is failing to maintain his early season promise. Hughes also seems to bring out the best in Hollands.

I was saddened to see Hayes go out on loan not just because it leaves us light in the striker department. He hasn't put a foot wrong as far as I'm concerned. He's just been an unfortunate casualty of a very impressive Yann Kermogant. One assumes a loanee striker is due to arrive. I hope so because Clarke isn't cutting the mustard and sure doesn't look hot at present. I hope he can prove me wrong as I felt he'd offer so much more when he arrived.

The scenario of Stevenage doing the double over us isn't one I want to contemplate let alone witness. Sir Chris needs to make sure our boys are really fired up for this one. We need to bag the three points and we can then sit back and watch t'Sheffield derby in a more relaxed manner than we'll witness from Mr Megson in his technical area.

Come On You Reds !

Wednesday 22 February 2012

Square Pegs In Round Holes

Like a square peg in a round hole,
Like a harp without its strings,
Like a sailor who sails no oceans,
Like a bird that has no wings.

Apologies to Bill Nelson and Be Bop Deluxe.

You may or may not be saddened to know that some technical difficulties prevented me from posting pre-Rochdale. This spared you from many Pancake Day puns such as the atmosphere being flat, us getting battered and / or playing crepe and someone being a useless tosser.

I'm currently using Google Chrome which may or may not have solved my posting issues. I've simply no idea so that gives you an idea of how " techy " I am !

Following Saturday’s game I couldn’t fathom why Green switched to the left. Enforced change I understand but when it’s not necessary and you have options then I’m perplexed.

Déjà vu for Green again last night as he was again played on the left. Pritchard again on the right. I thought BP might do a job there but after the first half it was clear to me that although far from being disgraced, it wasn’t for him. He doesn’t have the pace for it.

Wiggins was switched to the right to accommodate Evina. Eh ? If anything, Evina ( who had a pretty good game for someone who’s not played a competitive games for months ) should have appeared on the left wing. Why you'd move probably your best player out of position is something of a mystery.

The previous occasion when Solly wasn’t in the side Cort appeared in the defensive backline. You’ve got to ask why he didn’t last night until he came on as sub.

Hollands and Stephens both had poor games I felt. Stephens was particularly anonymous save for one shot in the second half. There were long periods where he simply didn’t touch the ball.

Why wasn’t Hughes considered and where is Russell now his suspension is over ?

I was really disappointed as there seems little logic in team selection for last night. The substitutions weren’t great either.

Green had just switched to his natural position when he got subbed. You’d have thought Wagstaff would have been champing at the bit with a point to prove…..sadly not ! Ineffective, falling down and histrionics were the order of the day for Scott.

Clarke failed to show any more promise than in previous outings although I’m able to report that the only player wearing gloves didn’t suffer from frost-bitten fingers !

If we want promotion and to win this league we really need to do better than last night’s display. I’m afraid we’re running out of games we need to “ get up for “ in the sense of playing top 6 sides.

We need to “ get up “ for these somewhat lacklustre games as much as the Sheffields, Huddersfield etc. If we don’t then we’ll kiss goodbye to the title at the very least.

On a more positive note………..Yann Kermogant……..need I say more. This man’s contribution in every game is something to behold. Increasingly one wonders where we’d be without his goals and all round contribution. Bloody good job he’s with us, eh !  Another set piece goal.......thank God for those !

Perhaps we need to pray for a flurry of red cards in the Stevenage game tonight to give us better hope for Saturday.

I know we have a lot to be thankful for this season and I am, however, I don't think it's unreasonable for me to expect that we keep things simple and that includes maintaining the status quo that has served us so well all season.

I'm sure Sir Chris will learn the lesson from last night and come Saturday we'll see a better balanced team with all the pegs in the appropriate holes !

Sunday 19 February 2012

Point Apiece

A perhaps predictable 1-1 draw at Prenton Park

You'll be pleased to know this is a somewhat brief post as I'm dashing back and forth to Milton Keynes general hospital ( all ok now with the patient I'm pleased to say ) so time is tight and having not been at the game I'm not too aware of all the details despite seeing the fleeting footage on the increasingly late and obscure football league show.

Observations are :-

a disappointing first half display but better second - sounded like we were pushing hard especially in the latter stages of the game
other teams will lose there
unsure why Green was moved to the left as it added further disruption to the enforced change in Skip's absence - surely just someone in on the left. I read Sir Chirs say he wanted Pritchard to play narrow...eh ? that's what Jackson does on the left all the time only occasionally does he offer any real width so that comment had me confused.
good to see Haynes start but sad about the injury - hope it's not too bad
pleased Hamer had a good game
well done Morrison for securing a point
United won - good job Evans didn't start the season !
Wednesday lost - Megson must be worried - is Lee Clark in Sheffield today ? 
We really need to win both upcoming home games.

Rochdale up next - assuming that it's not the usual postponement !

Friday 17 February 2012

Knight, Knight.

Like our goodselves, Tranmere are also managed by a knight of the realm, it's cultural attache Sir Les Patterson.

Sir Les has done a good job for Rovers since taking over from fellow comedian, John Barnes. The main theme of John's humour was trying to get third tier footballers playing in his own image, something of a non-starter that the Tranmere board quickly recognised by admitting that even the physio could do better.

Sir Les is partial to a glass or two of new world wine claiming that, " I've got a good nose for it and a bloody good throat too ! Results haven't been great of late but you'll not hear me whining if we lose ! Despite our poor run, Wirral together still " quipped Sir Les.

Rovers will take heart from their midweek performance against Carlisle in which they created a number of good chances but failed to convert in a o-o draw. Poor finishing let them down and they'll no doubt seek to improve that tomorrow.

Sadly for Tranmere and me, Ian Goodison, picked up a knock to his calf and is unlikely to play. I'm a big admirer of Goodison so it's disappointing albeit that it means a weakening of their defence.

Rovers have established a sequence of lose, draw, lose, draw ( repeat ad infinitum ) recently. Given their draw on Tuesday we can but hope this continues on Saturday.

Sir Chris may have to do without Skip tomorrow as he picked up an injury against the Dons on Tuesday. If there's any doubt then I feel he shouldn't be risked. We've a lot of games coming up and he's too importnat to our team to be without him for a length of time again.

Maybe Pritchard or Evina will come in if skip doesn't make it. Having completed his ban, I expect that we'll see Russel back in the side soon. I'm sure he'll be a big influence in these next few games as his experience alone should prove invaluable.

The gaffer will no doubt have been thinking long and hard about BWP. He's backed him all the way to date, however, Bradley hasn't looked like scoring recently. He's too good a player not to return to the prolific form we witnessed at the start of the season but I feel dropping him to the bench won't do him any harm. In any case young Haynes deserves an opportunity in his favoured position.

Well done to our youth team on their fine win over Spurs last night. What a performance and their reward, an away quarter final tie at Old Trafford, is well earned.

Elsewhere, I see that Milan Mandaric is rumoured to be interested in purchasing Rangers in order to have a weekend team to complement his midweek one. That'll give the increasingly restless Owls fans something else to moan about. It seems that " the most under-rated manager in league football " is not quite the messiah he was viewed as some 2 or 3 weeks ago. Many Wednesdayites are voicing concern over his desire to play a direct style of football ! Troubled times indeed.

Check out the video from their midweek clash with Stevenage to see the ginger whinger again falling out with the oppo's management team. A touch of deja vu in the technical areas for those that recall he even managed to wind up Sir Chris. It'll all end in tears..........perhaps it'll be the third tier again.

It's turning chilly up north ( no s**t  I hear you cry ) but it seems that temperatures may hold out and the snow stay away for just long enough to complete our game.

A repeat of the 4-0 scoreline we enjoyed in the Barnes reign would be most welcome but an away win of any kind would suit to be honest.

Sadly I'm not going tomorrow and wish good luck and an enjoyable day to all those Addicks that do. I shall be avoiding all media contact until @ 4.45 pm when I shall attempt to find out how we have weathered on the Wrrial.

Come On You Reds !

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Roses are red.........

violets are blue,
the Addicks beat Dons,
by one goal to two !

By Phil aged 39 and a half.

On Valentine's night it was a kiss of the Glasgow variety that effectively determined the outcome of the match. For a team called the Dons McKenzie's actions were not those of an erudite nature and he got duly received not one but two cards although not from a loved one.

McKenzie has a history of similar sending offs I understand and perhaps Robinson should have hauled him off once he'd received a yellow card. Young Karl has since remarked that other players try to wind him up.....really ? Well get it sorted or don't pick him then....you do have a choice.

I said pre-match that I'm not too impressed with Robinson.. His decision to remove MacDonald at half time seemed strange since at 2-0 down with 10 men you'd have thought they might as well go for broke. 

The Dons played some neat football, even Lewington, had a half decent game. They never really looked like scoring though and they now find themselves on a bad run of form with just the one win this calendar year and that courtesy of an own goal. They'll need to pick themselves up but to be honest I'm not concerning myself with them.

Johnnie put away the penalties with some aplomb as we've come to expect. I hope his apparent injury isn't too bad and that he's fully fit for Saturday. I don't like him on the left but he is an integral figure in our team.

I'm sad to say that BWP had a poor gme. The chances were there and he drew one good save from Martin first half but that aside he never looked like scoring. His form will return, I've no doubt of that but now I think he needs to be dropped to the bench and Haynes should be given a go. 

Yann worked his socks off again last night. I'd like to see him get a goal soon, he needs one to but his overall contribution is greater than BWP's whilst I accept they're different types of player.

We were content to sit back in the second half and pass the ball around. Ok to an extent but that does need to be allied to attacking purpose and the balance should be right. We could have come unstuck.

Credit to Hamer a couple of good saves and a decentood claim to come and get the ball from a cross late on. Hopefully he'll take some credit from that.

Other results pretty much went our way and we've extended the gap between us and others in the top six. It's pretty much a case of taking one game at a time now, not for the usual footballing reasons in order to keep focus. No ! This is because with all the upcoming games I'm losing track of who we're playing and when. 

Safe to say that I know we're playing Tranmere on Saturday and it's away as I recall the dire game against them earlier in the season. Their only redeeming feature is Ian Goodison......I like him.

If we're looking for omens then I can say we've never lost when I've seen David Cameron before a match. Myself and Clive were on the London Miland train from MK when the PM joined the train at Watford to sit just behind us in the first class section ( I should make it clear that we weren't in first class ).

It was all very low and I had double take as I remarked to Clive, " I'm sure that bloke's someone I've seen on the telly ! ". Well, yes I had of course and I don't think Nick Robinson needs to worry about losing his job as chief political correspondent to me !

I never got the chance to ask him if he was rooting for a red victory later on as he disembarked at Euston.

We now face a number of games in a short space of time and the squad will very much come into play. We will need everyone to be ready, willing and able to take their chance when it comes. Hopefully last night's return to action will have removed some rustiness from our game and we'll continue to march on.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Football on Valentine's Day ? Sorry but love comes first.......

that's why I'll be at The Valley tonight

Thankfully, my partner appreciates where I need to be tonight whilst acknowledging that you don't need a commercially driven day to tell someone you love them and to show them how much you care. No indeed, that can keep to the next day when flowers and dining out will be somewhat cheaper eh.

The MK Dons roll into town tonight. Their manager, Karl Robinson is, at 31, the youngest manager in league football. His sidekick, John Gorman, is at, 62 twice his age. Karl's tender age is frequently exposed by his words and deeds. He has been involved in a few altercations with both referees and opposition players this season mostly resulting in him being sent to the stands.

Young Karl has bigged up his team to the nth degree. I'm all for praise upto a point but I'm sure his players know when it's being over-egged. Robinson recently declared that Dean Lewington is the best left back in the division. Slow and ponderous is how I would describe the only remaining player link to the days of Wimbledon. However, we all need to look out for a display from Dean that will show us how misguided we've all been in thinking that Rhoys isn't too bad in the left back role.

Robinson is getting the plaudits for the Dons success this season. I'm not sure that it is Karl that should be getting the all credit as I'm certain the wily old fox that is Gorman is behind a lot of what they've achieved.

The Dons should prove a tough test and ought to come looking to play football. We will need to be on our mettle. We will also need a plan B and as much as we may not like it that ought to involve a very direct approach a la Wednesday / Stevenage. The Dons, unlike us, don't seem able to cope particularly well when teams bang long balls into the box thus bypassing their midfield. I am only suggesting this as an alernative note, I'd like to think our normal passing game will be enough to secure a result.

In goal, David Martin ( son of Alvin ) is prone to some dodgy moments and may delight us with one of those tonight.

Alan Smith is the latest recruit to arrive at Stadium MK. He is on loan from Newcastle and in a generous gesture far removed from that usually associated with their money grabbing manger, are reportedly paying all but £2.5k of his £60k per week wages ! That he should have chosen to drop to league one is a surprise only surpassed by his choice of the Dons as the club with which to do so. 

James Tavernier is another loanee from Newcastle. The right back's career to date has involved going on loan. Most recently he was at Wednesday prior to joining the Dons. I'm given to believe that he is quite a good player.

 Dean Bowditch who signed last summer from Yeovil is one of the striking options. Familiar to Addicks fans is Charlie MacDonald who signed at the end of the summer transfer window when Sam Baldock left MK to join the Hammers.

What of the Addicks then ? I assume that Sir Chris won't drop Hamer although the barman may be preparing him a drink in the last chance saloon. He ought to do better today as MacDonald won't pose any great aeriel threat. If he's coming to get the ball he needs to do so confidently and decisively. Let's pray he has a fine game.

I think we'll see the same starting eleven as that of the Bury game save for BWP in for Clarke. Please can we see Haynes for at least 20 minutes today ?

The Dons never take many away at the best of times and despite it being half term don't expect a huge gathering in the away end.

I expect a difficult game as I said especially as we haven't played for a while. I'd be happy with a scrappy 1-0 but overall not losing would be the order of the day with all the other top teams playing each other.

Come On You Reds ! 


Saturday 11 February 2012

Frozen North

The scene that will probably greet the referee for today's ptich inspection

The pitch may be frzoen but sadly for you my computer isn't thus allowing me to subject you dear reader to the usual drivel.

That the game isn't likely to be played has left me, like many other bloggers I suspect, somewhat unenthused ( does such a word exist ? ) and inspired to write, well, almost anything. Of course I had prepared an interesting, in depth and indeed hilarious preview of today's game but that will now have to wait for another day.....probably in fact when hell itself freezes over eh ?

Junior ANEM reporter Mikes is due to take a break from his normal daily routine of swotting in the university library in Buxton and hop on a bus to the centre of Chesterfield. The duration is due to be one of an entirely appropriate 90 minutes. Given the bad weather one suspects there may be time added on.

However, of course it is highly unlikely that he may need to embark on this expedition as I'm fairly certain the game will be off.

In local news, the MK Dons, who couldn't get a game on against Hartlepool the other week when temperatures dropped below 10 degrees centigrade, inevitably called off their game off yesterday. Their opponents were due to be Bury. The Dons of course await on Tuesday, again weather permitting.

I shall retire now to follow news of the on / off game via the medium of twitter which served me so well last week.

Come On You Reds !

Wednesday 8 February 2012


Fabio, who kept Ultravox off the No.1 spot many years ago, has joined leading bankers by waiving any potential bonus. 

Hello, I'ma Fabio, I gottta something speciala for you, Ready, uno, duo, tres, Suzie

When I was a boy just abouta fiftha grade, Mama used to say don'ta stay out alate

With the badda boys ( JT and Ashley ), always shoota pool, Fabio goin-ta looka fool

Boy it make-a me sick, everyting I gotta do

I can'ta getta no kicks, always gotta follow F.A. rules

Boy it make-a me sick, just to make-a lousy bucks

Gotta a feela like a fool

Itsa not so bad, Itsa nice-a place, Ahh shaddupa you F.A.

That's it then, Fabio has resigned and in so doing hasn't done any harm to England's chances of success in Euro 2012..........they remain as remote as they ever did. The great disciplinarian needed the FA to make the decision he clearly couldn't or wouldn't having nailed his colours to the mast of S.S. Terry and ironically, in the year of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titantic, he has abandoned ship.

Capello was, like McClaren before him, a ludicrous appointment from start to finish. For me he's always had a rather hapless appearance and a somewhat comic persona which I'm sure is unintentional but only serves to make it funnier. We were led to believe that he was tough on discipline. He later went on to restore the skipper's armband to Terry having removed it some time earlier. At a stroke he undermined himself.

The team is no better than when he arrived and the England side has suffered its usual share of embarrassing results set against a background of ridiculously high expectations. The whole exercise has been a huge waste of money as he was allowed to bring in his own largely annonymous backroom staff who were also on ludicrously high wages. God knows how much it's all cost but please don't transfer it into his country's old money........it probably runs into billions of Lira !

Capello also managed to repeat the mistake that Sven made in not taking Darren Bent to the world cup or even giving him much of a chance despite him regularly scoring 20 goals a season in some of the most average Premier league sides.

The FA never learns and were quite happy to again send a manager off to a major competition knowing that even if he won it the next day he wasn't going to be in the job. That resulted in the bizarre selection of Theo Walcott in 2006 by Sven. The Swede didn't care by then and that was one of the by-products.

All the above is to say nothing of his unwillingness to learn the language although his command of the Queen's is probably still better than most of his charges !

The only good thing to emerge from his tenure is the exposure and experience that Stuart Pearce has gained. I hope that whoever gets the job next is merely keeping the seat warm for Psycho. I'm greatly impressed whenever he speaks and he won't put up with the behaviour and attitude of some of the lowlifes that have donned the white shirt in recent times.

Redknapp seems to be the favourite for the job although how his achievements merit that I don't know. Apart from being a cheeky wideboy who the media appear to adore it's hard to see what he'll bring to the party. Famously praised as being a great man manager he publicly slated and humiliated Bent with his infamous " Sandra " comment.....no suprise when Dazza left in acrimonious circumstances soon after.

His moves from Portsmouth to Southampton and back were very strange indeed.

Whoever gets the England job will need to be able to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. However, I don't care too much to be honest given my feelings towards the majority of players that currently represent the national side. Until Pearce gets the job I'll not be taking a great deal of interest. 

How ?

Fred Dinenage - how do you end up being associated with Harry Redknapp ?

A real throw back to my youth today as good old Fred got mentioned in dispatches following 'Arry's aquittal today. No case to answer then for the Spurs manager nor Monster club chairman Mandaric.

A good job that as West Ham manager Harry didn't complete the transfer of Richard Rufus and open an offshore account in our former player's name eh. Still the idea of opening an account with a canine name is proposterous, I don't know why I even gave it any thought.

Enough of other club's manager and chairman. Saturday's postponement whilst an unwelcome disruption to my weekend's plans did at least give our boys a break. We might just have needed that although the resultant 5 games in 15 days isn't exactly what the doctor ordered.

We haven't being played that great of late albeit well enough to beat the Sheffields, Exeter and gain a point from the Shakers. The early season fizz and panache has somewhat disapated and needs to be rediscovered. Hopefully the enforced hiatus will have given our boys the chance the re-charge their batteries.

In addition, I didn't fancy us playing Rochdale at the moment and when the re-arranged game comes around the traditional honeymoon period for new manager John Coleman may have passed.

Let's hope that we are raring to go and that Saturday's game doesn't also fall foul to the weather.

Come On You Reds !

Thursday 2 February 2012

Miss Rochdale ?

It certainly is !

Somehow I can't see the lovely lass above making the long trip to the Valley on Saturday especially given the expected freezing weather. However, I do hope more Addicks fans are inspired to make the effort than those on Tuesday night. It was a poor turn out and as ever I'm not believing the announced attendance that I understand covers tickets sold rather than those actually there.

Of course the weather may put paid to the game but if not, then surely more folk will be there to cheer the lads on.

I was quite wary of this fixture before we struggled against Bury. With a new manager the Dale saw a much improved display as they brushed the Shakers aside in a manner that we too should have done. I'll not go as far as new manager Coleman who felt it was like watching Real Madrid and Brazil ! Like the Blades fans before him he felt that beating Bury 3-0 was cause to go somewhat overboard in praise of his team.

The new manager effect will no doubt have some impact and of course Rochdale didn't play in midweek. Rochdale have several loan signings and God knows we're all aware that it isn't a recipe for success ! Quite the opposite eh ! However, I see this as a difficult game for us.

Sir Chris and the players may be saying all the right things about getting up for the lesser games but events on the pitch are proving otherwise. We really do need a convincing performance. The midfield, Stephens aside, really need to up their game from the midweek performance. It's rare that 3 out of the 4 have had below par games this season.

Powell has shown a ruthless streak in dropping players this season and he may feel he needs to do so with Hamer. He is becoming a bit of a liability despite the excellent defence in front of him. Whether there's an element of complacency of late or ont I'm not sure but I don't think a game or two on the bench would do him any harm.

BWP or Haynes needs to start on Saturday. I think Powell missed a trick by not playing Bradley against Bury and further in not starting with Haynes. It's still a mystery why BWP wasn't even on the bench. I can see the logic in resting players but that's usually done when said player is in a rich vein of form. Not something you'd expect when your star striker desperately needs a goal and the oppo turn up with a keeper who'd not look out of place in your average pub team.

I'm hoping the weather doesn't mean the game's off, that we win, we play with style, BWP scores, Haynes gets 20 minutes or more, none of the other top 6 wins..............oh and a lottery win too would be nice !

Come On You Reds !

Wednesday 1 February 2012

" Bury It ! "

.............and indeed he did ! 

First let me say that it was bloody freezing ! That we struggled to score against a poor side boasting the Pilsbury Dough Boy in between the sticks didn't help take my mind off it. In addition, the lack of supporters around me meant there was no protection from the chill wind.

I had an interesting journey down to the Valley. Virgin trains from Central Milton Keynes to Euston, squashed like sardines on the tube to London Bridge and then squeeze onto a train at London Bridge. Thank God it's not like that on a Saturday !

In my late teens and early twenties I did do my share of commuting into the smoke but never again. You can't beat working locally and for many years my trip to work has taken no more than 10 minutes. People were literally squashing themselves onto the tube like students in a mini during rag week. For God's sake there's another tube along in two minutes ! God forbid you should have to wait that long ! What are they rushing home for...........perhaps it's the lure of The One Show ! 

Folk were running up escalators, courtesy went out the window and elbows flew everywhere. Blimey ! If they include crazy commuting in the Olympics then Team GB will romp home with the gold ! I felt worn out just witnessing the frenzy. Suffice to say that I'm not likely to opt for a train journey down to the Valley during rush hour anytime soon. Thankfully the Dons game is during half term and an earlier journey and pre-match beers will be very much in order.

It was apparent after the first 15 to 20 minutes that The Shakers weren't that good although they did fashion a couple of chances. Only a matter of time before we scored I thought. Quite why BWP was rested to the extent that he was not even on the bench is unclear and unless he was injured it was a shocking decision. I'm sure he'd have loved to be in the box on a couple of occasions and despite his recent goal drought who'd have not seen him scoring ?

Strangely Clarke was Sir Chris's choice to replace Bradley. As Blackheath Addicted says in his review, he's too similar to Yann and the obvious replacement was Haynes. It became even more obvious when Danny H did get on and immediately lifted the Valley and chances came our way.

The Gaffer made a mistake but compounded it in my view by not getting Haynes on at half time at least if not earlier than that, it was that obvious that Clarke wasn't going to do it. Chris really does need to use his subs better..........and earlier ! 

Hamer was clearly at fault for the goal and again was flapping horribly at various stages. I'm very concerned. Time to give Sullivan a chance...perhaps we can " rest " Ben. As I've said before I think he will be fine but needs working on and dropping him won't hurt.

Our defence was good as ever and the usual polished performances of Solly and Wiggins were a joy to behold. The midfield, Stephens aside, was very much below par.

I thought we might score earlier when we won a free kick just outside the area. I know that Yann scored from an identical position against Yeovil but surely it was time for another Jackson special ?

I'm disappointed we didn't win as we face a resurgent Rochdale on Saturday that will pose many more problems than Bury. However, we've done the business when it really matters against the sides up the top and if you're going to drop points then better against the likes of Bury, Stevenage and Orient eh. A 12 point gap at the top would have been lovely but I'm probably being too greedy !