Friday 31 August 2012

The Mist Rolling In From The Trent....

see I told you.

Tomorrow we're away at the City Ground for probably our toughest test to date. Birmingham haven't proved to be good as one thought they might and a workmanlike performance against Leicester was enough to secure the three points. Hull were effective but lacked any penetrating edge.

Forest will give us a good examination with their passing and movement led in the most part by the excellent Andy Reid. Reid is still only 30 years old. When we were relegated from the Prem I felt that his long term absence and that of Darren Bent were major contributing factors. Had they both been available throughout I do think we might have survived.

Reid is very influential in the current side and makes and scores goals. In addition, he takes nearly all the set pieces. Andy scored a great goal against Bolton last week.

Forest's new owners looked at one time as though they were going to appoint a marquee manager but ultimately and sensibly opted for Sean O'Driscoll. O'Driscoll was previously part of the Forest coaching set during Steve Cotterell's tenure. He returned to the City Ground from Crawley having not actually been in charge of a competitive game for them.

O'Driscoll's team is a work in progress but one which is taking shape and I'm sure the Forest faithful will like what they've seen to date. 

Forest lost to a good Wigan side in the league cup on Tuesday. The defence looked susceptible from crosses but given we're likely to play without any natural wide players this isn't an area we're likely to exploit.

One time Charlton player and long throw merchant, Greg Halford, will also be on show tomorrow. Hopefully Rhoys will be able to get forward at some stage to attack him down the left. 

All four corners of the ground tomorrow will be resounding to a familiar tune of course with the mist rolling in from either the Trent or the Thames.

I'm assuming that we'll have the same starting eleven as last Saturday. Taylor is out of course and so our French Connection No.2 will be on the bench.

Sir Chris hasn't explained why no subs were used last week but it's to be hoped that he'll make good use of them tomorrow should they be needed. I'd like to see Fuller on the bench. Match fit or not he can offer something for 15 to 20 minutes at least.

As with the previous away game I'd be happy with something from this match. I hope the travelling Addicks are rewarded with a good game and performance from our boys.

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 26 August 2012

No Substitute

KP's prophetic book about Charlton v Hull on 25/8/12

Nearly 47 years ago to the day and our beloved Keithy P became the first substitute in the football league after 11 minutes against Bolton. I think we could have played for 111 minutes yesterday and we wouldn't have seen one for the Addicks. All these years later and Sir Chris could have chosen 3 from 7 but strangely opted not to do so.

The boy from Barnehurst must have been as bewildered as the rest of us as to why no sub was used. Even God Himself made the pitch so wet and flooded that you'd have thought the only option was to send on the subs !

There are very few scenarios where you wouldn't want to make use of the boys on the bench. If you're winning comfortably then it makes sense to rest a couple and / or give others a go or try a different system. If you're coming to the end and have a slender lead you might want to bolster the defence if you're under the cosh. If you drawing nil-nil at home and players are tiring, your skipper in particular, then you'd definitely want to do so ! 

I remarked last season that the deployment of those on the bench seemed to be an Achilles heel for Sir Chris and so it proved yesterday. In the second half we were under some pressure and only Hamer's excellent keeping kept both a clean sheet and a point. 

Jackson was really struggling, not blessed with great pace anyway, he chased down a ball late on in the second half that, as I remarked to my lad, even I'd have beaten him to. It wasn't only Skip who looked tired and it's not surprising given a hard game in midweek. Probably Kerkar and Cook should have come on as a minimum.

I do hope Sir Chris improves in this area as we could have gone onto win yesterday. It does need addressing and let's hope that KP has a word in his shell-like or more subtly, leaves a copy of his autobiography on his desk !

Again with a nod to Sir Alf, we saw SCP's wingless wonders. Fair play, we got a win on Tuesday in that manner and one could argue that it was right to keep the same eleven that brought home the bacon then. However, for me, particularly at home, we need the width a natural winger will provide. We can't keep waiting for our backs to get up the pitch to overlap as we lose momentum and knacker the them too at the same time.

Skip appeared to be in a more central role which is where I think he's best but this forced Hollands out to the left, where he isn't. Our midfield needs addressing !

I don't want this to be a moan at Sir Chris and I'm not ignoring the better than anticipated start to the season. Regular readers will know I love Sir Chris and don't want anyone else as our manager. I just feel we can do even better. When we did get early balls in the box yesterday it caused problems for Hull with Yann even providing a quality cross in the first half.

Hull were a reasonable side who, on the basis of missing as many chances as us, probably deserved a draw. Had he not been so obsessed with shooting on sight, the impressive Aluko, might have fashioned a couple of better chances for the Tigers.

As I said earlier, Hamer was again impressive for us. The eye surgery has helped him enormously and one can only hope that he passed on the details of his surgeon to the ref who somehow missed a blatant Hull handball in the box.

We did have the ball in the net when Yann smashed it home following a BWP effort that was parried by their keeper, Amos. It was disallowed with BWP having been flagged offside some moments earlier. Having seen it on tv last night I still don't know why the lino gave that decision, I can only assume the elements played their part with that being the element of surprise !

Our journey yesterday was as miserable as the weather. We decided to drive and got caught up in the aftermath of the crash on the North Circular that led to Orient's game being called off. Our usual route onto the A12 was closed and luckily my lad's i-phone with appropriate sat-nav device or somesuch saved the day as it navigated us through the East End and eventually onto the Blackwall Tunnel approach. 

There was further delay on our return as hold ups between junction 9 and 10 on the M1 forced us to divert via the A5. From now on I think we might let the train take the strain as Sir Jimmy used to say. Talking of men for whom the tracksuit is sartorial suicide, did you clock Steve Bruce in his yesterday ? Oh dear ! No need for Gok Wan, a casual glance in the mirror should be enough for Bruce to realise the error of his ways.

Next up is Forest away and judging from what I saw on Friday night in their game against Bolton they will provide our toughest test yet. Andy Reid looked mightily impressive and scored a superbly worked and well taken goal. We'll have to be on our mettle for that one.

For now let's be happy with the 5 points garnered to date and hope that we can be even better in the games to come which will hopefully be aided by a couple of additions either in terms of permanent signings or loan deals before that window slams shut for a few months.    


Friday 24 August 2012

Goodbye Hoarse

After Tuesday's game I was like this Shetland Pony........a little hoarse

I must try and cut down on my shouting tomorrow. The Leicester game had me suffering after and it took until about midday on Wednesday before my voice returned fully. Mind you, an exciting CB40 game at the St Lawrence ground soon had it back in danger once more ! I'm pleased to confirm a Kent win and one that was celebrated in the Bat & Ball afterwards.

After two very creditable performances from the lads it's Hull City tomorrow. They've several good players and will provide another tough test. I'll be taking my lad to the match as will Steve Bruce whose son, Alex, he has signed for the Tigers. It seems Alex shows more loyalty ( or perhaps no one else would have him ? ) than his dad who has racked up 8 clubs in his managerial career ( including Palarse ) after not stopping for too long at the majority. 

Bruce senior hasn't set the footballing world on fire as a gaffer and it's hard to envisage him seeing out the entirety of his 3 years contract at the KC. This'll either be because he'll fail to do whatever Hull have hired him to do or some misguided chairman will offer him something he perceives as better elsewhere.

My recollection of the last time we played Hull is of the side managed by Phil Brown. It was one which played dull, time-wasting football with an overly physical approach which sadly saw them promoted at the end of that season. Let's hope that Bruce's side offer up better fayre than that.

The Tigers have achieved perfect symmetry this season with a win, draw and loss. They drew 1-1 with Rotherham in the league cup before finally winning 7-6 on pens. They beat Brighton at home 1-0 last Saturday and lost 1-0 away to Blackburn on Wednesday. 

It's hard to envisage a game as exciting as Tuesday's nor indeed any changes to the starting eleven. I doubt that Fuller will be on the bench as the general consensus is that he needs to get match fit. If we can match the effort shown in midweek then we'll be hard to beat.

The forecast is for rain and lots of it tomorrow and I hope it won't spoil the spectacle or indeed dampen the atmosphere which was terrific against the Foxes, more of the same please !

A reminder that another edition of Anorak Addick is due tomorrow so keep an eye out for that. I miss those days when we had several fanzines, VOTV and GH being the two most notable. 

 Come On You Reds !


Wednesday 22 August 2012

Kismet Not Kermit

A dream come true......

I can't take credit for the headline as I've nicked it from a Foxes forum but it sums it up nicely eh ? The booing of Yann was anticipated but those Leicester fans did themselves and ultimately their team few favours. I suspect there was a hint of jealousy as we had the two best strikers on the pitch perhaps three if you include Ricardo's half time appearance !

An early departure from CMK saw myself and the ANEM junior having a couple of cheeky ones in the Market Porter in Borough Market just after 4pm. The Harveys best was most toothsome ! A couple of beers were had in the Liberal Club before taking our seats in the ground.

Leicester started brightly and enjoyed a good opening 10 to 15 minutes or so. They passed and moved quickly with a strong physical presence, too physical on occasion. The referee, Fred Barber, was poor and should have brandished yellow earlier and more frequently.

Our two goals were excellent and that Yann ultimately scored what proved to be the winner was the ideal scenario that I was hoping for. 

The Foxes are a good side and we were really under the cosh in the second half but we displayed some resolute defending. In addition, we're learning quickly. There was a first half spell when we didn't see much of the ball but to the lads credit when we got it back we started to pass it more and looked to just keep hold. Clearly the right thing to do at the time.

I can't fault anyone's performance. BWP had just about his finest game for us, he really put a shift in aside from delivering a great goal allied to superb overall play. No doubting his motivation last night. 

Yann was well, Yann and he won just about everything in the air whilst giving their defence a torrid time. Having sent the Frenchman and Sir Chris our way perhaps one of the better Leicester players can also miss a penalty soon and be hounded out all the way to SE7.

Konch backed up my view that he is more a left sided midfielder than left back. He got the run around on occasions yesterday and save for one decent cross in the first half, his passing and delivery were poor. 

Hamer continued to impress me. Not only is his handling vastly improved, his positional sense was spot on last night, I'm loving the 20-20 vision Ben !

The defence merits mention and praise. Well done boys. It'd be remiss of me not to refer to Solly's second half run down the line whilst shepherding the ball away from danger. Words are not enough, you had to be there I'm afraid !

A superb game then and an atmosphere to match. I reckon it was better than anything we witnessed all of last season even if the crowd was smaller than some of those games. It seemed just about everyone was up for it and I'm still struggling to speak this morning following all the singing and shouting !

The signing of Ricardo, albeit 10 years too late, is a good one. He'll be a great addition to the squad. I missed his introduction at half time as I met up with Ketts who had kindly secured me a copy of Anorak Addick. I believe another edition is due to hit the streets, well Floyd Road anyway, on Saturday so look out for that.

I also had the pleasure of meeting E.G. Addick too at half time. We felt that the next goal was crucial and whoever got it would go on to win, thankfully that didn't prove to be the case.

I'm switching sports today. On Sunday I saw Kent overcome Northants in the CB40 and today sees a must win game versus a Yorkshire side who, I hope, have half an eye on the T20 finals at the weekend. A Kent win today would set up a great game on Monday against Sussex.

I'll be stopping overnight in God's chosen county so a beer or two seems in order. Hopefully I'll be toasting a Kent win in addition to raising a toast to the Addicks and a certain Frenchman in particular !


Tuesday 21 August 2012

How Much Is That Doggy In The Window

About £2,000 in Harrods since you ask........

Yesterday I had a day in the Metropolis with my partner. It was a nice, if hot and tiring day. With travelcards purchased from Milton Keynes Central, London was almost our oyster ( card ) !

We made our way to Embankment Pier to board a boat to North Greenwich. Those travlecards got us discount of a third off the price and we travelled for £4 each. A thoroughly enjoyable trip saw us take in numerous London landmarks although disappointingly the Olympics Rings on Tower Bridge were raised, not lowered. I guess this is due to the hiatus before the Paralympics but I can't see why they couldn't stay in place.

However, we sped onto North Greenwich and once there boarded the cable car. Those travelcards came to the fore again as we secured more discount and bought single fares at a cost of £3.20 each. The views were great ( for a more detailed and comprehensive review of the cable car check out Drinking During The Game blog where in June, Dave gave a very good account ).

From Royal Victoria Dock it was onto Knightsbridge by which time we were both hungry and thirsty. Given that we were in such an affluent area and with my penchant for knowing how to give a woman a good time, I made use of the McDonalds vouchers we got from a bloke just outside the tube station. £1.99 each later and we'd each secured a Big Mac and medium soft drink ( I did pay for hers btw ! ).

We took the opportunity to visit Al-Fayed's former corner shop. The Egyptian escalator ( which ironically doesn't allow pushchairs ) took us to the pet store where, as I alluded to above, puppies are £2,000 each. They looked cute but that was the sting in the tail !

Harrods is the shop with something for everyone and I couldn't help but feel that the current VW Golf ads could easily be bought to real life there. We resisted the temptation to buy sweets at £6 a quarter.

Having looked but not bought we had a pleasant stroll onto Chinatown. Plenty of choices of places to eat but you do need to be careful. Having settled upon our restaurant of choice we discovered the advertised meal wasn't as good as it sounded where a meal for two meant the sharing of single dishes ! The sharing of most things, let alone food, is an anathema to me so we left and went elsewhere, I'm glad we did.

Our dining took place in the Kowtoon Buffet on Gerrard Street and I can recommend it. Nothing fancy and you need to pay cash up front. Plenty of choice for starters and mains with the option of clean, fresh salad too if you wanted. In good old Marie Antionette fashion, they even let you eat cake !

Our meal with a soft drink each was £24.20 for both of us, all very good value I felt. Following that it was off to Euston satisfied that we'd had a good day and not spent loads of dosh in doing so.

Ok that was yesterday and before Ketts moves me off this site and banishes me to Tripadvisor, I suppose I'd better pen a few words on tonight's game versus Leicester City. 

Adam Werritty - a big fan of the Foxes

I quite like Leicester City and have fond memories of a sort of when we played them away on a Tuesday some years ago. I was working shifts at the time and me and a few mates had several beers during the day before leaving and once there too. I recall that we won 2-1 and even that I wasn't too sure about at the time as the beer certainly to its toll that day !

Nigel Pearson surprised me by returning to the club that treated him rather shabbily given his achievements during his first spell in charge. Pearson is a manager of proven quality and will always produce decent sides.

The Foxes bring former Addick and former youngest Charlton player, Paul Konchesky back to the Valley tonight. Konch gave sterling service to the Addicks although I felt his belief that he should play at left back in those Prem days was somewhat misguided. For me, Konch was always a better left sided midfielder who took a mean free kick. I hope he is given a good reception tonight.

Someone who probably won't get a good reception from the oppo's fans at least is Yann. I dare say he is expecting that and he'll been keen as mustard to put one over City and prove a point in the process. 

Let us not forget another man with Leicester connections and that's Sir Chris. He made a big decision to move away from there as assistant to Sven in order to join us and take the plunge into management. Not a bad move as it happens eh ? Foxes fans will recall that Sir Chris has a 100% win record as their manager !

Leicester are another side, like Brum, who'll be there or thereabouts come the end of the season and it will be a tough game. However, we should take heart from Saturday's performance. I'd happily settle for another draw meaning that we remain undefeated. A win with the winner from Yann remains the ideal scenario though of course !

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 19 August 2012

Edward Woodward is tardy on 30th November.....

late equaliser at St Andrew's.......

Given that Lee Clark is now Brum's manger I guess we should have put our mortgages on it being a draw. Despite being denied at the death I see this, like Sir Chris, as an encouraging performance. I think we'd all have taken a draw before kick off and that we're disappointed not to secure all three points speaks volumes.

Having read the reports of those who went it appears that the lads acquitted themselves very well. That is backed up by the stats on the BBC website that indicate that we dominated in the important areas. I hope we can trust them as it would lead you to believe that Green wasn't on bench following a bizarre decision by Sir Chris to name only 6 subs !

The lads should take some confidence by going to a place where the atmosphere is hostile with the home fans really up for it at the start of a new campaign where they are one of the favourites for promotion.

It sounds as though Stephens had a good game and let's hope that his can maintain that form this season. If so, he will be a crucial player in the months ahead.

I'm not sure if Sir Chris will keep the same side at home on Tuesday. If so, then he'll be resembling a latterday Alf Ramsey with his wingless wonders. I'd like to see us play with at least one genuine winger and nothing against the present midfield quartet, I hope we do so soon.

Tuesday see us face another tough game at home to Leicester. It should be a cracker. I suspect that we have at least one player who'll be up for it with a point to prove to an unforgiving and somewhat blinkered set of fans. 

Elsewhere, interesting to see how that nice Mr Pardew has embraced the spirit of the Olympics by shoving the fourth official because he didn't a throw-in. I saw it on the telly and I couldn't be sure if the whole of the ball had crossed the line not that it matters. I recall Di Canio getting heavily punished for a lesser push on an official, I hope that the despicable Pardew is treated the same way. 

Friday 17 August 2012

French Connection 2

Ah yes, I remember it well........

Having just missed out on Van Persie, Charlton have added another player of Gallic descent and it is the big name player we were promised, Dorian Dervite-Vaussoue. An anagram of that is ravenous, devious tirade ( what do you mean I've too much time on my hands ? ).

At 6ft 3in he is a tad taller than Chris Solly. Formerly of Spurs and more recently Villareal B he will probably go into the squad ahead of Saturday's trip to Birmingham. If Cort is injured then that's definite. Un ami for Yann then.

If Dorian does as well as his French counterpart then we're in for a treat !

This season it will be interesting to see how we individually and collectively we make the step up to the Championship. I'd be happy with mid-table but fear we may struggle. The addition of a striker and midfielder of decent pedigree may allay those fears and I hope it comes to pass.

I know I ought to want for us to ultimately go back up to the Prem but I have reservations about that. The cost of home matches would increase for sure as well as the cost of attending away games. To give you an example of costs, this weekend Southampton fans are having to pay £50 to watch them play City away in a game live on Sky ! Ridiculous if not scandalous ! If it were Charlton then I'd be hard pushed to justify that level of spend even leaving aside the travel costs.

It's not hard to envisage the South London trio of us, Palarse and Millwall all in the lower reaches of the table come season's end.

I hope the players are looking forward to the challenges ahead. For one or two I'd say this is a make or break season. Stephens will need to re-capture his early promise from last season as towards the end he wasn't doing it for me. 

I remain frustrated and amazed that Wagstaff is still with us. He could be good but his continued lack of physical presence ( get down the gym young man ! ) and reluctance to attack defenders and running round in circles should consign him to a place on the bench at best.

On Tuesday Hamer looked more confident and decisive than last season. He came for crosses and caught or punched with authority. I hope he continues to progress and hopefully he'll develop into a keeper of some quality.  

Like others I was shocked that Mambo was kept on. Being loaned out is fine upto a point but if he's good enough then surely he ought to play. Today's signing does nothing to make you think Sir Chris sees him that way.  

The boss himself faces the biggest test of his fledgling managerial career. Can he cope ? Yes, I believe he can as I feel he's very intelligent and quick to learn. At this stage I wouldn't want anyone else in charge of our team. 

I think we'll do well to come away with anything from Saturday's game. Brum are strongly fancied to do well this season in spite of having Lee Clark as a manager. I didn't like him at Huddersfield, going to Birmingham hasn't helped my affections towards him. Had he stayed at Hudders I don't think they'd have gone up, too many draws would have transpired I feel.

I note that the delightful Marlon King plays for the Blues and the law of sod says he's odds on to score along with Ambrose.

I fully expect our team to be that which for the most part finished the League One campaign although I wouldn't be surprised if Pritchard didn't sneak a starting place.

Good luck to all those braving the trip to a place not quite as welcoming as Carlisle ! Sing your hearts out for the lads and I hope that for all of us Addicks but you especially that we come away with something.

Come On You Reds !

Wednesday 15 August 2012

Lawrie Versus Life

" Not a bad game for Lawrie last night Terry "
" Yes Colin but he won't be happy with that penalty, as ever, he was hoping to hit the back of the net "

Things didn't go according to plan yesterday in S.E. 7. My much awaited trip on the cable car had to be postponed as my eldest lad decided to drive. Never mind, another day for that. We did pop down to Greenwich instead and had a pleasant time wandering around there.

Of course, not beating Orient was not part of the plan for anyone connected with the Addicks. I thought for a largely second string we played some neat, tidy football for the most part. We dominated the first half with few chances for the O's as far as I can recall.

The second half saw Orient have more of the game and I guess a draw at full and extra time was about right. Penalties remain the lottery they've always been, however, Orient did take theirs much better than we did. Fair play to them.

I was disappointed that Sir Chris didn't send on some subs earlier. Smith for example could have been helped by the addition of Wright-Phillips inside the ninety instead of being replaced by him well into extra time. Smith had a good game I felt and show some nice touches and flicks.

I was impressed with new boys Kerkar and Cook. Kerkar has time on the ball, uses it well and last night played some lovely passes. Cook showed good skill and attacking intent. I was not so impressed with Wilson ( pictured below ). Lawrie was adequate but no more than that I'd say. No blame attached to him for the penalty even the Orient fans were giving Tom Daley gestures upon its award.

Sad to see Sir Chris losing his bottle and getting sent to the stand but I think we all shared his frustration at an inept referee who amongst other things hasn't heard of playing advantage let alone recognising a bad challenge ! 

Disappointing to go out as I would have hope for a big draw at home in the next round. The only plus side is that we now won't get an extra game to play midweek sometime.

Tuesday 14 August 2012

It's A Funny Old Game

Primate Goalie offers advice........P.G. Tips

Here we go again then...........the new season is upon us, so soon, already !

The Olympics have just finished, summer has hardly started, there's a test match still to play and the League Cup campaign starts ahead of the league just don't make no sense !

I'm just past the half way point of the well deserved 6 week summer break that those of us in the teaching profession are rewarded with. To date I've been on a cricket tour of North Devon, watched Team GB's women football team beat Brazil's at Wembley, visited Canterbury ( the home of cricket ) to see my beloved Kent CCC and not moved much from the sofa in between in order to catch the best of the's been great !

What to make of the goings on in S.E. 7 then between season end and now ? To be honest I've no idea and I sure I'm not alone. No point in fretting about things, this is Charlton and after all, nothing ever runs smooth with us does it ? 

We can be sure that before August is out there'll be a few comings and goings in terms of players and possibly in the boardroom too eh ! In my opinion we still need the striker, midfielder and central defender of decent pedigree that most of us wished for at the end of last season........let's hope.

Onto tomorrow's London derby then. I'm pleased we've drawn Orient, I quite like them although we'll have to suffer a Hearnia. Ex-players Lisbie and Mooney will make a Valley return. Last time out Mooney had a point to prove having been deemed to be surplus to requirements in S.E. 7 and he duly did so, he was as bad as we thought and remembered. It's always good to see " Young Kevin " though and as I've observed before, he's a player we let go far too early.

We really ought to win this one and a tidy draw in the next round would be most welcome. It's difficult to call the team given that Sir Chris will need to balance the need for a competitive side against the demands of Saturday's game versus Brum. I trust we'll get to see Kerkar and Cook at least, I like what I've heard about both to date. 

I'm early down to the Metropolis tomorrow and intend to take a trip on the cable car thingy........perhaps we can re-enact Where Eagles Dare ? If so, I hope it's Mooney doing the shooting.

Following all that shananigans I'm hoping to partake of a couple of fine ales and a bite to eat ahead of kick off.

It'll be good to be back in the old routine and let's hope the lads can get a win and send us all home happy !