Sunday 30 September 2012

Missed Opportunity

The shock news of Steve Kean's departure on Friday evening was going to have an effect in one of two ways. Either it would galvanize players and supporters or it would knock the stuffing out of the team. We now know it had the latter effect. Most of the Rovers side looked lost and were certainly far from " up for it ! ".

The relatively sparse away following was similarly affected.......possibly the quietest bunch at the Valley for some time when one felt that had much to celebrate.

Rhodes and Murphy in particular had little to no impact on the game with both being largely anonymous. You only knew Murphy was playing courtesy of our fans saying welcome back and his constant moaning to referee Deadman.

David Dunn came on as a late sub and it was evident as to the whereabouts of the elusive Steve Kean....he'd been eaten by Dunn.

The shock news of Fuller's mystery illness resulted in us going 4-5-1 with a recall for Hollands. This to me seemed illogical on both counts. Why change the formation you'd worked on all week ? Smith should have played. BWP is not someone to play up front in the said formation. Aside from that Pritchard would have been better suited to come into midfield.

Sadly our boys still played as if we had two up front, continually banging balls up to Brad with same result every time. He was never going to win it against their.... er, slightly taller defenders. Surely our boys could have worked out that was never going to be successful ?

Rovers were there for the taking and why we didn't sling on another man up front especially in the latter stages when we were well on top I simply don't know. Had either Yann or Fuller played then I've little doubt we would have won the game.

I would have taken a point before kick off but seeing what unfolded was left frustrated that we didn't secure all three. You've got to go for it at home, surely ?

Most players had a good game and although I'm not Dale's biggest fan I thought he did rather well. Morrison was immense and Green maintained the decent standard he's played to of late. Danny was unlucky not to score in hitting the post.

I felt that the team played well although I'm not sure if that wasn't in some measure due to the Rovers performance. I can't believe that Watford will play as poorly as Rovers on Tuesday.

I hope the injuries to Jackson and possibly Kerkar doesn't mean we're without either for too long. Last season we were very lucky with injuries, this term is proving the opposite. However, on a more positive note the acquisition of Abdul Razak is a very good one. Comparisons with a young Alex Song wouldn't be far off the mark as he has a good eye for a pass and usually going forwards with it too. I hope he is given a start on Tuesday.

Finally, a word about the supporters trust. I know it has been highlighted on other blogs but will add my own plug if I may. I did a quick survey with regular Charlton Life contributor, Seth Plum before the game. I would be happy to contribute a fiver to this worthy cause especially as living a fair distance away from the Valley leaves me unable to make a much more meaningful contribution. You can find out more at

Looking forward to Tuesday although, as I said, it'll be a damn sight harder than Rovers yesterday.

Thursday 27 September 2012

Not So Kean

Hope & Keen sans the Crazy Bus

Back in the day Hope and Keen were what passed for children's entertainment on BBC 1 I believe. They toured the country in their crazy bus usually getting into some " hilarious scrapes ".

Blackburn Rovers have Kean but no Hope ! That is how many Rovers fans view things until the much disliked Kean departs Ewood Park. They don't think there's much to laugh about.

We can but hope that this will work against Rovers if things don't go their way at The Valley on Saturday and their fans voice their displeasure and get on his back with the effect of unsettling the Blackburn players.

There's no mistaking that they have some quality players and it should prove to be a tough game. I believe that Rovers will win the league as I think the hapless Kean is on borrowed time. Once he's gone any competent manager that replaces him ought to get them up at least.

Jordan Rhodes hasn't enjoyed much success against us and I trust that remains the case come 4.55pm on Saturday.

Sadly we are now down by two in terms of the title winning team of last term as Yann joined Wiggins on the long term injury list. He will be missed but as others have observed this gives opportunities to others. Talking of which, for the love of God, I do hope that Evina gets a start on Saturday. Sir Chris seems to be indicating that he might and I do so hope he does. He deserves it and Solly should be playing at right back, end of !

Fuller should start again of course. He is a class act and his goal on Saturday was testament to that !

I see no reason to change the midfield that began at Portman Road. Prove positive that players should play in their best and natural positions.

Elsewhere, great to see that the Barcodes have seen fit to reward nice Mr Pardew with an eight year contract ! Bu**er me, some of us were just coming to terms with the 5 year one he got when he joined ! Little chance of him still being there in 8 years of course but every chance of him making sure he gets every last penny of compensation should he be sacked.

On a more positive Mags note, I was delighted to see Robbie Elliot play at Old Trafford last night and do so well. He made a couple of blinding saves and looked quite assured. Good for him. I hope he gets a go in the league side soon.

Enough of all that. I hope that the lads are buoyed by the win at Ipswich and gained confidence and can get something out of the game. A point would be good for me and all three, even better.

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 23 September 2012

Jewell In The Brown

another sweater from the PJ casual range

Paul Jewell gave off the impression of a defeated man yesterday before a ball had been kicked. His rather unkempt and casual appearance did little to dispel that. He had shaved, put on a suit or even a tracksuit then his players might have felt that, he and they, meant business. It's almost as though he is resigned to his fate.

It was a good time to play the Tractor Boys when they're not performing too well with the Suffolk side, ironically, lacking punch up front. Their goal came courtesy of a deflection that no Addick could be blamed for and Nathan Ellington wasted a glorious chance late on..

I was pleased to see Sir Chris ring the changes and give starts to Kerkar and Fuller albeit that in the case of Ricardo his hand may have forced by the injury to Yann. I'd like to think that he was going to start Fuller whatever.

The boss was spot on in his post-match interview when he observed that scoring the first goal was all important. It gave us a boost whilst heaping pressure onto Ipswich.

Fuller showed his ability with the second goal and we must all pray that he stays fit. If so, we can look forward to plenty more of that and him making a major contribution to our season. His determination to win the ball and then composure and class with the finish was top drawer and it even drew an appreciative round of applause from an elderly Ipswich fan behind the goal. Well done madam !

Good to see skip score. He does need to play in central midfield if he is to play and it would seem that he had a good game or at least a better one than of late.

Green looked very effective again and it's pleasing to see him doing well. Clearly he's been working hard at his game and that is paying dividends. He also needs to stay fit.

Yesterday I adopted a policy of staying away from all media from 3pm until 4.50pm when I switched on Final Score but given the large amount of time added on had to endure a nervy 5 minutes or so until the final whistle was confirmed. 

I failed in my attempts to stay awake for the highlights on the football league show. Having watched them  this morning I was amused by Leroy Rosenior's observation that Portman Road is a difficult place to go as I wasn't sure that he didn't mean for the home team !

Next up we've two home games, starting with the arrival of Blackburn Rovers. Rovers lost on Friday night and didn't look particularly convincing. Steve Kean continues to suffer abuse from the home fans even having been top of the league. One assumes the away support is even more vocal in terms of expressing their displeasure so that may help us if we can get on top. It surely can't be great for the players.

A result then and again on the Tuesday would be a real boost. I hope it's not too much to hope for.

Thursday 20 September 2012

Sharp Shooters

Like Danny Green, he knows how to shoot

I went to the movies, the flicks or as we used to say, the pictures, on Tuesday night. I saw The Sweeney which I thought was pretty good. Bugger the critics. Never read a review and pay too much attention to it, go see for yourself. I don't care if that makes some kind of easy to please nonce but after all, I like watching Charlton so the bar's not set very high !

We were one down before I taken my cinema seat and I got a text telling me we were two down before Pearl and Dean were done. As I was watching Plan B, Sir Chris was working on his. I have to say young Ben met with more success !

Although we seemingly didn't play well for the first hour or so, we came back into the game and you know your luck's against when you have yet another goal chalked off for offside and are on the wrong end of a soft penalty. Throw in Stephens's suicidal back pass ( well he wanted to be a Villan ) and you've little chance of getting anything from the game.

Onto Saturday and our basement battle away to Ipswich. This term Sir Chris has reminded me of our first season in the Prem when Curbs remained steadfastly loyal to a few players who'd been instrumental in promotion. Indeed, Curbs in his autobiography remarked on how it had been a mistake to do so. Ilic stands out as a classic example of that.

The need to change the midfield ( to a greater extent than bringing Green into it ) has been there for all to see for some time. It should have happened on Tuesday at the latest. The additional delay in starting Fuller also stands out like a sore thumb. He is a class above just about anyone else we have and we do create chances when he plays.

At last we added width from the start in the shape of Green who has returned refreshed and looking the business. I feel we need to add Kerkar in the midfield. He looks good to me. We've just got to find the right balance, whatever that might be but it certainly isn't with the present incumbents.

I've always believed in playing players in their strongest position and the loss of your first choice left back shouldn't be compounded be losing your first one on the right by playing him on the left. It doesn't make sense to me especially when a fairly decent left back is available. Evina may not be everyone's cup of tea but he's looked ok to me and as I said, why suffer a self imposed double whammy !

Sir Chris needs to make some changes ahead of Saturday and I do so hope that a few reinforcements come in although I've no idea how likely that is. All the players need to feel under pressure to perform to hold onto their place. We've already seen the impact it can have in the shape of Green's return looking a lot better than I remember towards the end of last season.

This season is a real learning curve for all concerned and I never felt we'd do much else other than struggle given how little quality or experience was brought in over the close season. We can finish in about mid-table given a couple of decent additions. The side doesn't lack character. At the start of the season it didn't lack self-belief either, however, defeats can change that of course.

As I've remarked before Sir Chris is too intelligent not to learn lessons and do the right thing. Like any other manager, he needs backing in terms of resources and if some stories are to be believed he hasn't been able to bring in the players he wanted.

Moreover, Sir Chris needs support from us and even if we continue to struggle and stay in the bottom three I believe he should remain as manager. It would be foolish to sack him as he possesses too much potential. I remember that doubters that would have had him out the door at the end of his first incomplete season. They were wrong then and they'd be wrong now or at any time this season.

Let's hope that the lads can set us back on the right path with a win at Portman Road on Saturday.

Come On You Reds !


Saturday 15 September 2012

Palarse Show Their Indifference

by sending 3,217 of these over to The Valley for a match televised live. Even though we won't have sold them many programmes, all the other revenue is most welcome. Thanks very much.

I suppose after 44 years the Nigels had to win a league game at our place some time. I hope I'm still around in 2056 should it ever happen again.

It was galling to see Lennie go and sit in their dugout ( I beleive that's what their fans were chanting recently until they beat Wednesday ).

We struggled to get a foothold in the first half but the last third of that saw us come into the game more. What opportunities Palarse ended up in Row Z courtesy of some geezer who clearly can't shoot with any accuracy........never stopped him trying though.

Sir Chris used the subs well and they were positive moves. BWP's effort shouldn't have been disallowed but to be fair the lino would have done really well to spot the lump on the floor playing him on.

It was a terrific effort to try and get back on level and it was a real shame that Hamer's header didn't go in. All credit to the lads for putting them under sustained pressure towards the end.

There are worries over the Wiggins injury, it didn't look good. Skip being rather ineffectual and getting subbed is a concern as it pretty much the make up of our midfield. It does need addressing. We can't keep playing without any natural wide men. Green looked good when he came on and probably deserves a go.

BWP did okay given the limited service that he and Yann received in the first period. However, when one witnesses the impact that Fuller has again then you've got to think the guy should start harsh as that may seem on Bradley.

Wilson acquitted himself ok and delivered a couple of quality crosses.

No time to dwell on last night and we must now focus on Tuesday night at Derby. It'll be tough of course but an early opportunity to bounce back.

Come On You Reds !

Thursday 13 September 2012

Do Not Adjust Your Set

Nearly as funny as watching Palarse

It seems that you just can't turn on the telly these days without seeing an old Palarse player trying to scrape together a living by " managing " a football team. Nothing of what the armchair viewer has seen of late is about to change tomorrow night.

Folk turning on the magic lantern will be able to see Dougie Freedman attempting to get the latest recruits to the Selhurst Dream to win a game of football.

Recently I've had the good fortune to see Richard Shaw mismanage at Coventry and successfully steer them to a home defeat against Stevenage as part of his promise to get Coventry out of League One. Dickie's still got a sense of humour though as he insists he wants the job full time.........ah, the lure of the Perrier Award !

Now at international level, I've witnessed Chris Coleman do a splendid job on behalf of Welsh football. Added to that we've had the pleasure of Gareth " eat an apple through a letterbox " Southgate offering his words of wisdom on ITV sport backing up the excellent and insightful Gabriel Clarke.

It seems that you learn an awful lot at Palarse. Can't see why they'd need Lennie at all really !

The Team of the Eighties arrive at The Valley tomorrow on the back of a magnificent win against Sheffield Wednesday. Yes ! That Wednesday, you know the one that came up from League One last season, several points behind us and that we did the double over. 

So we mustn't underestimate them and they'll be lifted by playing in front of a crowd for a change and in a decent stadium too. All so very different to their usual Archibald Leitch surroundings.......apparently Archie also designed the Tesco Express in Sheffield and the Manchester much more than a one supermarket planner.

Mr Leitch probably envisaged that by 2012 some renovation and updating might have taken place but in keeping with the club itself, it's mostly been left to rot.

What news of the Palarse team ? A good question and I'm glad you asked. Let's be honest, who really gives a s**t. It matters little and we won't know any of them anyway although I believe the gentleman below is still playing up front for them.

and they said you couldn't catch TB playing football. Not that hard really.

I understand that this guy is a regular in the Palarse midfield.......

stop that laughing at the back !

Let's be fair we'd all try and disguise ourselves had we had to scrape the bottom of football's barrell ( no, I'm not referring to the Swede again ) and turn out for that mob. Even their old chairman donned the shades and turned orange.

We can all be thankful that Palarse didn't go out of business in recent years. If it wasn't for them, there'd be little to laugh at. 

Hopefully our boys can keep straight faces long enough to secure a win. I trust Hamer will return to the form he has shown for most of this season and bounce back from the blip at Forest. I believe that Stephens will return in midfield. I'm not convinced that he is as good a player as some folk seem to think. He was doing ok but I'd have bitten off Villa's hand myself for the reported money on offer. I can't think that having had his head turned he'll be in the right frame of mind but I'll defer to Sir Chris's judgement.

I'd like to see Fuller start alongside Yann. A tad harsh on BWP I know but he's too good not to and you've got to be tough as a manager and the players all know the business they're in. A fired up Bradley to come off the bench won't be any bad thing if it's not going to plan anyway.

I just know I'll be frustrated by our lack of width again tomorrow. I'm boring myself saying it now but it does need addressing and I hope it is addressed in the loan window. I wouldn't object to seeing Kerkar start but give him at least 25 minutes if it's not working out. We only started creating things when he came on at Forest as far as I could tell.

We'll all pray that Cort is fit and if not, French Connection 2 will step up to the plate with Mambo getting a rare place on the bench.

Please God that SCP uses the subs appropriately. 

It should be a cracking atmosphere with a certain Tony Christie song blaring out I trust. I'd bring back Brian Cole too for this one, he shouldn't never have gone of course especially when one remembers our chairman's own considered words for their chairman not long after ! I'd love to have seen and heard Brian on the pitch after that game !!

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 2 September 2012

Forest Fire

Forest were too hot for The Addicks yesterday

Our first league defeat of the season then and no shame in that given that Forest are a strong force in this division, especially so at home.

No surprises in Andy Reid being so influential throughout the game. A surprise that Stephens was omitted aside from the shock of his transfer to Villa not going ahead. I'm amazed we didn't accept any of the bids reportedly offered. Dale can be good when at his best but sadly that's not often enough and the money received could have been spent elsewhere. Anyone else notice that Quinn went to Hull and Eccleston to Blackpool ? Either or both of those I'd have happily seen arrive at the Valley.

We now have a player who may well be treading water waiting until the January transfer window when he may or may not move on. It's far from the ideal scenario.

Given the absence of Stephens, based on what I've seen to date then I view Kerkar as the man most likely. He has time on the ball, can pick a good pass and looks like the creative player we need. He also takes a mean free kick. I note from the highlights that he had an impact in the short time he was on the pitch.

Sir Chris wasn't happy with either goal conceded and quite rightly. We've all praised Hamer recently and he's probably been our best player to date but he clearly should have done better with the first. For the second, no one picked up Hutchinson's run and the on loan Chelsea man was given the freedom of the penalty area to slot home.

I did feel that Forest would be suspect to crosses into the box and it seems we only managed to do that late on with a goal a distinct possibility on each occasion. Solly provided a decent cross for the goal ( a marked improvement on his efforts against Hull the previous Saturday ) and Fuller's header merited a goal which I hope he duly gets credited with. 

Sir Chris did make use of his subs, however, it looks to have been a little too late. Kerkar and Fuller should have had at least 20 minutes each I feel. Given from what I saw, I note the impact that both had in the time they were on the pitch.

Anyway, clearly the better team won and we can but hope that lessons are learned from the game. We're going to need to think about getting some width in the team, especially when playing at home.  

A break for international games next weekend ahead of the following Friday's game against Palarse. Let's all hope for a much improved performance for that one !