Wednesday 31 October 2012

Oi ! Do Me A Favour !

Last night I sat down to watch the Reading v Arsenal game wishing that Sky had chosen to air Swindon - Villa or Sunderland - Boro games. The latter only to get a heads up on Boro ahead of Saturday I must admit. Over 2 hours later and I was satisfied that Sky had, in fact, made an excellent choice.

Reading went from 4-0 up to 5-4 down to 5-5 and eventually lost 5-7 as I'm sure most of you will know. A great game, very exciting and once Arsenal got their second in normal time the writing was pretty much on the wall as Reading's fragile nature was exposed.

What really added to the excitement was the playing of the music whenever Reading scored. Most bizarrely the tune played was that which is played at darts matches nowadays. It goes without saying that doing that really added to the atmosphere.

Of course it didn't. Playing music when goals are scored started with American sports and should remain there where it seems more appropriate. Sadly it seems to be on the increase and I believe that Norwich, a club I've always thought of as quite sensible, are doing it now. Mind you, I suppose it's better than another sherry fueled outburst from Deliah !

Much to my embarrassment I recall that we did it at one time, something like The Only Way Is Up as I recall. It would blare out at top volume and even woke me up once ! Fortunately, the club listened to the fans and it was very short lived. 

I'm quite happy to jump up and down, punch the air etc when our boys score. That's how it should be and I cringe when I hear the music at other clubs. Why Reading should chose music so closely associated with another game is beyond me. 

Music before, at half time and after the game ( especially if it's ironic ) then that's absolutely fine. Nothing else is needed.

Next week :-  The Mexican Wave and how it has really enhanced my enjoyment of watching sport.


Tuesday 30 October 2012

Razak Returns To City

Sadly we may never see Abdul in a Charlton shirt again.

Young Abdul has gone back to Man City after they recalled him within 28 days of the loan as they are entitled to do. A real shame in my view and I'm not buying into suggestions from some quarters that he had an attitude problem. It seems a clear case of City wanting their man to have more minutes on the pitch.

He's not posted anything on his twitter account about it and a few days ago posted this in response to being asked how the loan was going........." loan not bad just trying get playing and show what I can do really ".

Fair play to the lad and I'm afraid we've lost a player who offered quite a lot. I've little doubt that he'll go out on loan to another championship side and greatly impress as I fully expect he'd have done with us had he stayed. Best wishes to him and I'll be keeping a close eye on his progress.

Looking ahead to Saturday and I see that our opponents, Middlesbrough are playing Sunderland  tonight in the league cup. Sadly, the game won't be reffed by the man who came second in a name that cake competition, Mark Clattenburg. That would have given rise to optimistic thoughts of red and yellow cards aplenty. 

Hey Ho ! We can but hope for some from whoever does officiate. The local rivalry should add some extra spice to a fixture that hasn't been played for a while. In addition, with Sunderland not in great goalscoring form and Boro on a great run, this promises to be a tight game and so there is reason to expect that extra-time may well be needed to decide this one.

A win for either side takes them into the last eight of the competition so I believe that both teams will wanted to field a reasonably strong eleven. 

Monday 29 October 2012

Home Sweet Home

I've not posted for over a week, something that I realise has left a huge void in your lives. I'm sorry......

Truth is that it was rather busy in the last week of the first autumn half term. That included two cup matches in two days for the school's A & B teams ( and Sir Chris probably thinks he's busy with two in a week ! ). BTW the A team won after extra time and the B team narrowly lost 3-2. 

In the meantime Sir Chris and the lads have collected a creditable 2 points on the road that I didn't think we'd get at all. That it could and perhaps should have been more is testament to how well they played and how resilient the team was in both especially after going behind in both.

I commented before that Sir Chris is too intelligent not to learn from mistakes and he is now starting to demonstrate more flexibility and increased ruthlessness. I thought it was a tad harsh to drop Green but in replacing him with Wilson has proved to be a correct move.

The numerous changes for the Leeds game were as successful as they were surprising. Clearly BWP was never going to play in the lone striker role but the side wasn't one that many, if any of us would have suggested prior to kick off.

The poor starts of late are a worry but the fight and spirit shown by the lads is very encouraging. Those who have been given their chance have taken by and large taken them. With the prospect of other players returning from injury the competition for places will hot up.

Not having been at Leeds or Wolves I can't really comment on how well players have performed but I'm of the understanding that Evina and Wilson have acquitted themselves well. Wilson it seems is combining well with Solly who has thankfully been reinstated in the right back berth that is very much his own.

Pleasing to see Evina in the side and hopefully he'll stay there for some time and increasingly gain confidence from a run in the side.

Whilst it's clear that we're playing better away we do now need to examine our approach at home. The next two games pose a few questions in that regard. Normally I'd advocate being more positive and go away from the formation of the last two games and go 4-4-2 or similar. However, usually the oppo will come to the Valley with the attitude of keeping it tight and looking to score on the break. 

I can't see that being the case with Boro and Cardiff. Given their respective positions I imagine that they will be positive and go for it from the start. Therefore, I think that for these two games there's no harm in maintaining the same personnel and system as that of Leeds and Wolves.

More food for thought for Sir Chris ! Whatever he decides let's hope he is as successful as he's been in the last two matches and makes the correct calls.   

Sunday 21 October 2012


Shake It All About.

From almost every angle that's what we got from yesterday's game. The loss of Fuller to an apparent hamstring injury was the final kick in the nads.

A bumper crowd witnessed a typical day in the life of the long-suffering Addick. At least for the part-time sufferers they only had to shell out a fiver for the privilege. As is customary after a dismal performance on one of our promotion days, one wonders how many will return in the near future. The Peterborough game will be something of an acid test.

It all went Pete Tong yesterday. The formation was wrong, the majority of subs were wrong and so too, some of the personnel. That aside, it was fine and dandy ! 

My observation prior to kick off was that the formation was wrong and that at some stage it would need changing unless we were well ahead which I didn't ever think would be the case. It was just a question of when the changes would come and who the players involved were.

Razak is a quality player who showed touches of that yesterday, in particular one exquisite drag back will live long in the memory. He is an accomplished passer of the ball. Prior to Blackpool away I doubt that he has played just behind a sole striker. Clearly he is a player who needs to be a bit deeper a la Perkins of Barnsley, who for me was their man of the match yesterday and pulled all the strings for them.

That Razak was asked to play there compounded the error in my view of the 4-4-1-1 or 4-5-1 as it was at times. Their back four didn't looked all that comfortable on the ball especially when pressured. However, this wasn't as much as it should have been as because it was only Fuller up front of course. 

We set up as though we were determined not to lose.......against Barnsley at home !! We should be looking to win at home and for that,  you need to be positive. 

The half time subs were correct only in as much that Hollands needed to come off and we needed another striker on. That was fine. Did anyone seriously think that removing one of our best players ( Razak ), and replacing him with Jackson was going to change anything for the better ? There's widespread agreement that Skip hasn't been great this season. He had little positive impact I'm afraid.

What other options did Sir Chris have ? Well, since in my view Wilson and Evina are good attacking players either one of them could have gone to wide right or left with Solly returning to his preferred right back berth. 

The third sub made even less sense to me. I really like Pritchard but he's no right winger and to bring him on for Green was never going to improve matters. Had Evina come on then and Kerkar switched to the right or Wilson moved to right wing the I would have applauded that as it makes sense. Sadly of course that didn't happen.

The formation away to Blackpool was appropriate because the home side will come and attack more and you set yourself up to stifle them and to nick a goal or two, just as Barnsley did yesterday. At home it's different and you've got to be positive. The outcome was the same as the Watford game where we failed to go for it despite them being down to 10 men. It's as though we're happy to settle for a point at home and against the likes of Watford and Barnsley that's not good enough.

Leeds and Wolves away followed by Middlesbrough and Cardiff at home were always going to be tough but now without Fuller I dread to think what we'll get out of them. We can't play BWP up front on his own as has already been proved. Therefore, Hulse or Smith will have to step up to the plate.

I'll always stick up for Sir Chris but I have to say his selections and substitutions at home are looking a bit naive on occasions. Many of the changes this season he's made that have been a success have largely been dictated by circumstances as much as I'd like to think he'd have made them anyway.

The boss needs to learn and learn fast. I think there's an awful lot of learning to be done in the next four games.

Thursday 18 October 2012


" Eeh it's right Parky ! " Well no, he's on the far left actually and seen here without his free Parker pen. If you look carefully you can see Kenny Lynch. Indeed kids, Kenny who ? All these years later and apart from being a mate of Jimmy Tarbuck and playing golf, no really knows what he did !

Saturday sees us play Barnsley or The Tykes as they're also known. I wonder if Sir Michael will make the trip over to the Valley ? With tickets at £5 a throw I'd have thought that enough to tempt Sir Michael Parsimonious.

Mike will not have too far to come if he does decide to venture across as, like all proud Yorkshiremen, he lives in Bray in Berkshire !

Most famous as a presenter of Film '85, SMP ( I'm milking it now ) is a Barnsley fan in case you were wondering what I'm waffling on about. I recall him saying some years ago that Charlton didn't deserve to be in the Premier league. Erm, I think we did. I'm not sure if he said the same thing when T'Barnsley got there...........may be not but hey, perhaps Barnsley have a better pedigree than us.

The current Barnsley side is presently managed by ex-Rochdale boss Keith Hill. The emphasis is on the presently as The Tykes have been through quite a few managers over the years including the one who sold Neil Redfearn to us. Most of us will recall that he cost us £1 million, ( quite a sum back in the day ) scored 3 times and proved to be something of a matter who he played for.

Present Barnsley players include Marlon Harewood, yes, he really is still around. He always flattered to deceive. In addition, after Al-Fayed, there's the only other Egyptian involved in football........Mido.  Yes, he really is still around. I wonder if he's any calmer these days ?

This is something of a reunion for our own Paul Hart who can claim to be one of the many former managers.

What of the Addicks ? I know some will feel I'm something of a Captain Mainwaring in not wanting Wilson to play but I do feel players should play where they play best and as I've said before that means Solly at right back. Evina should start and especially at home. The central pair pick themselves if fit. Midfield is Razak, Green, Stephens, Kerkar. Up front BWP and Ricardo. That just leaves Hamer in goal of course. Job done.

I doubt that is what we'll see but for what it's worth it's the line up I'd play although thankfully I'm not the boss of course. I may disagree with Sir Chris on line ups and the timings of his substitutions but I remain as much in love with the guy as the next man. Whatever the future holds it can only be good if he's at the managerial helm and it looks like we're sailing through troubled waters.

Whatever the ins and outs of Rick Everitt's dismissal ( and I'm sure we'll come to learn more in the fullness of time ) no one can ever take away his place in Charlton history. Most of us would be proud to have achieved one iota of what he has for CAFC and its supporters. Cheers Rick and best wishes for the future !

Perhaps the silver lining out of the whole episode is the potential return of Voice of the Valley. You can have all the blogs and twitter accounts you like but you can't beat a good fanzine, especially one as iconic as VOTV. What a vehicle it was for uniting fans and keeping us all informed of what was happening in those dark days of the eighties when one didn't know who was in charge, where the money was going to come or whether we'd still have a club to support. Thankfully we live in different times of course............!!!

Returning to matters on the pitch and let's hope that we can make Yorkshire puddings of the Tykes before we tackle another team from that county in the shape of Leeds. A win and a draw in the next two games would be a very tasty gravy indeed !

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 7 October 2012

The Long And The Short Of It

"E"asy does it

Thanks to one of our twitter fans for the photo. I hope the Gazette's poster writer doesn't work at the local sweet awful lot of rock goes to waste if they do. Spelling's not their forte in Blackpool I have to say. When I last visited they had a poster in the local pub saying that the following Saturday's entertainment was going to be " compared " by Dave Williams. Oh dear !

I avoided all media contact until 4.52pm yesterday when I tuned into Final Score. How shocked and pleased was I with that ! It had me jumping around the living room, punching the air. Fantastic.

My delight was enhanced when I found out about the goal scorers and in particular, the manner of Solly's one. Superb and from what I can gather he was rather happy with it. I'm pleased that a number of supporters had taken up the bet for Cort to score and their wallets will be a little fatter today unless they've spent it on a drink or two to celebrate.

Sir Chris made a change and brought in Razak for BWP. A tough decision and a little harsh on Bradley perhaps but one that was good for the overall well being of the team. Fuller as one would expect had a blinder playing as the lone striker. Indeed, he was unlucky not to score.

I note that Wilson had a good game and well done to him. I'll leave aside the full back debate for now as we should really just wallow in the glory of victory.

Just as pleasing as how well everyone played individually and collectively was the clean sheet. Always good if that can be achieved and I note Hamer made a couple of fine saves.

Poor old Super Kev eh ? The Addicks did for him again !

Those damned international breaks come at the wrong time and have had me confused. I was certain we were off to Leeds next Tuesday but of course, we're not. At least it'll give us a chance to get all rested and one or two an opportunity to overcome their injuries.

Young Abdul is off to the Ivory Coast to play so he'll come back match fit but hopefully not too tired.

With the Addicks not playing next weekend, we'll need to look to the lower leagues and non-league for our footie fix.  

Thursday 4 October 2012

There's A Famous Seaside Town Called........

Blackpool, That's noted for fresh air and fun......

There may be plenty of fresh air on Saturday but the way things are at present I'm not sure we can guarantee any fun !

Following on from Saturday, Tuesday night was missed opportunity part two. Curbs learnt the folly of misguided loyalty and Sir Chris needs to too and quickly. Tuesday night should have seen starts for Evina and Razzaq. Even failing that, then at worst, some ten minutes into the second half, those two should have come on for Wilson and Hollands.

Yes, we gave Watford a battering second half but with the superior passing of Razzaq and with Evina delivering crosses from the left we probably would have won. Staying with what appeared 4-4-2 in the second half with the oppo having only one striker up front was lost on me.

The thinking behind the decision to take off our most influential player of late ( Fuller aside ) in Green and push Wilson up to right midfield was lost on me.

We could have had Green attacking still on the right, Razzaq controlling the midfield and creating with some quality passing and Evina delivering from the left and linking up with Kerkar.

In my view we took too long to start Fuller in games and now we are repeating that mistake with Razzaq and Evina.

We've a run of games now that promises to be both tough and little in terms of points. We've got to be positive and make those changes now. It's worked in as much as playing Green and Kerkar has improved our play and we're creating more. A couple more tweaks as suggested and we can have cause for optimism.

All of the above isn't to detract from how well we played at times on Tuesday because we did on occasion look quite good with some slick passing and movement. It's just it could and should have been so much better.

Onto Saturday then and time to make those changes please God ! The Seasiders are a tidy outfit now and possess a number of decent players that carry a real threat. We will need to be at our best if we are to get anything from the game.

I'll not be there on Saturday due to finances but in any case I'm still trying to recover from the horror of the Pardew inspired 5-3 defeat a few years ago...........what a bloody miserable weekend that was.

Well done and good luck to all that travel oop north and if your name's out for the lions !

Come On You Reds !

Monday 1 October 2012

Little Italy

Hopefully he and his friends won't be too much of a pest.

Ciao readers ! Tomorrow night's game see us play Watford and half of the Udinese side courtesy of the Hornets' owners connections. Added to that is the manager Gianfranco Zola, blimey they might well appear in an azure strip and be called the bluebottles.

One hopes that Fuller's absence on Saturday was indeed down to a virus and nothing more sinister. We can do without that as we need him in the side.

Our new recruits, Razak and Hulse ought to get some time too. Useful additions and I'd like to see young Razak start but fear Sir Chirs's cautious nature may prevent this form happening.

That tendency towards caution cost us on Saturday I felt and I hope that he'll be encourage to go all out for the win. We do need to win as we don't want to find ourselves back in the bottom three even if the league is still at a somewhat embryonic stage.  

Please let's not see a 4-5-1 formation again that has BWP at its's not for him ! 

You'll probably be pleased that this post is rather brief as it's at the end of a long day and I'm just about to beat a midnight deadline.

Let's hope that we can get ourselves another win tomorrow night and get three points to send back in the right direction.

Come On You Reds !