Monday 31 December 2012

Happy New Year !

Seasons greetings and a very happy new year to Addicks everywhere !

My Internet access has been lost at home resulting in my absence from the blogging community ( I'm sure you've all missed my informative and erudite comments ! ).

I'm having a rare away day at Watford tomorrow which is very local for me. I don't hold out much hope of us securing a point even to be honest but then one never knows and if we weren't optimistic we'd never go to a Charlton game eh ?

Udinese B have been playing well of late but one hopes a spirited Addicks effort can secure a point at least.

Thanks as always to Ketts for his help, support and copies of AA ! Thanks to all at Doctor Kish.

Thanks to all those fellow Charlton bloggers, it is always good to read the views of others and to get their slant on things.

Thanks to anyone who reads the blog and / or who takes the trouble to comment, it is appreciated.

I wish you and your families a happy and prosperous new year.

For the Addicks, I hope for Sir Chris to remain our manager for many years to come and a mid-table finish will be fine.

Come On You Reds!

Thursday 13 December 2012

Jolly Boys Outing

We're gonna meet up with the Trotters ( Albert, Del and " Dave " )

Another tough looking away day on Saturday as we play a Bolton team that were 2 divisions apart from us last term. Now we find ourselves above them....cushty !

Dougie Freedman ( urghh ! ) is now the man in charge having left Palarse at the end of October. A strange decision all things considered but I guess if you're able to walk away from Selhurst anything's acceptable. I'd hate to suggest that he's a footballing Andrew Ridgley or anything but he's taken our Lennie with him....... hmmm !

Anyway it seems that the Trotters have won twice only in the league since Dougie's arrival with most games worthy of an X on your pools coupon as Mr Freedman has been swapping wins for draws. Time will tell whether the move oop north was a good one or not but it did represent something of a gamble by Bolton's owners. Mind you previous owners have been prone to odd impulses. Years ago they tried to lure Pele ( yes really, that one ! ) to Burnden Park. Oddly the great man didn't fancy the bitter cold, miserable weather and meat pies and queer !

Some things don't change though and despite Big Sam leaving, the Trotters still have the lovely Kevin Davies ( aged 52 and a half ) playing up front. I wonder if Morrison can be a latterday Hermann and do a number on him ? Oh, I do hope so !

One Davies who will be missing is Mark Davies, out with a long term injury that should see him able to tuck into the mince pies and sherry without too many guilty feelings. Also sidelined is defender Matt Mills.

Last time out Bolton were denied an away win at our eagerly awaited FA Cup opponents ( yawn ! ) Huddersfield. A late goal denied them a 2-1 win and yes, it was another draw.

As we know our boys have been good on the road this term and so we can approach the game with reasonable optimism. As ever I'd be happy with a point before a ball is kicked in anger. 

Hopefully we will see Solly restored to right back whoever fulfills the left back position. Similarly to Taylor last season Cort will think himself unlucky not to have played against Brighton last time out but having done so he will be fortunate if he dislodges Dervite. However, given a rare off day for Morrison Sir Chris may opt for a Cort / Dervite central pairing.

Trying to name our midfield is a game that only the great man himself can play with any confidence and even then.........I'd like to see BWP on left, Frimpong, Pritchard and Wilson. I wonder what odds I'd get on that. However, it's safer to say Jackson, Stephens plus probably three others !

Up front it's a tough one to call. I thought Hulse led the line well last week. If Haynes isn't in midfield he may well be the man best placed to partner him. However, realistically Fuller plus one other should be the way to go. Fuller is class above any other forward we have even if his is a little slower than in his prime. Riccy can produce something that no one else in our team can as he demonstrated against The Posh. That odd flash of inspiration can unlock a defence or fashion a chance and there's no substitute for that !

Can we have John Sullivan on the bench for this one please ?

Hopefully we can contain them and come away with the 3 points. Luvvly Jubbly !

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 9 December 2012


Due to technical difficulties we are unable to bring you a photo of Archbishop Tutu instead here is our substitute Archbishop service.

A draw was probably about the right result in the end yesterday but with a bit more luck that eluding us at home this season it could have been better.

I know that many will point to Brighton's missed opportunities but if we took ours all the time we'd be top of the leaque. In any case, no team does that, do they ?

The pre-match build-up focused on our return to the Valley of some 20 years ago and a variety of folk from past and present were on the pitch. A bit of airbrushing of history meant that not all those that should have been there were there but we all know those who were missing. I thought of one or twoof them yesterday at the time.

The clapping at 3.07pm was signalled on the big screen but clearly not all knew about it and it was a bit low key in the end I felt. an announcement prior to kick off would have helped as several folk around me clearly didn't know what was occuring.

I thought that Sir Chris got the tactics spot on yesterday, if not the personnel. The plan with one up front with Pritchard or Haynes just in behind worked well and the team was well drilled. Clearly a lot of work during the week focused on allowing the Seagulls to play it around at the back whilst closing down opportunties to play it forward with ease. A very disciplined approach made that very effective and on many occasions Brighton were forced to play the ball back usually reulting in a desperate and wayward kick from Kuszczak.

There were a number of errors made by their defence but sadly we didn't capitalise on a couple more. Our mistakes cost us big time and they were basic ones which makes it all the more galling. Morrison knows he should have done better with the header and someone in the wall junped up resulting in the deflection. Not clear thinking there because I felt the free kick being so close meant that they weren't going to score by getting the ball up and over the wall. This all leaves aside the fact that it wasn't a free kick in the first place of course.

Hulse was very good in led the line with great intellegence and maturity as befits his experience and ability. Haynes was not so effective but then wasn't playing in his preferred role.

I'm sure that Kerkar would have done better that Skip on the left. As I said in my previous blog if Sir Chris doesn't fancy Green and Wilson's not free to play there then there's no reason why BWP can't play on the right. He did it quite successfully on the left for Southampton.

Wilson had a storming game and is proving to be a great acquisition. I like how he's developing. He took his goal well and it ironically came from a short corner given that there's a well known trademark Brighton one.

it was equally pleasing to see the hardworking Pritchard get on the scoresheet too.

The boss could have been more positive by making his subs earlier but I've now come to expect that won't happen often !

Referee Sheldrake was awful, seemingly missing or chosing to ignore the many niggly little fouls and blatant pushes from Brighton's players. Hopefully, he'll reflect on that and how poor he was whilst he tunes paianos next week.

Equally the East Stand lino was inept. Why does it always seem it's the one there ? Maybe because that's where I'm sat. He didn't appear capable of raising his flag at any point.

Our unbeaten run continues and at nearly the halfway point of the season were are in the position I hoped we'd be. Don't get me wrong a play-off place or better would be good but I clearly don't want us flirting with relegation and don't believe we're ready to go up although the money would be nice.

The team and Sir Chris continue to develop and learn. Despite a couple of early hiccups we've adjusted well to this tough league and a look at table shows bigger and more faniced side below us.



Thursday 6 December 2012

Valley Floyd Road.........

my only desire !

20 years back then and appropriately enough Brighton are our visitors. Aside from the many connections in terms of playing and managerial staff, their shared dislike of our neighbours and their former homeless situation makes them most welcome guests.

The many years of exile at the awful Withdean Stadium have been put to the back of their collective minds as they now play in the rather splendid Amex Stadium.

Enough of them and their ground. Saturday is all about The Valley and the celebrations of returning home some 20 years ago. Many thoughts for us all as we cast out minds back to that day. A day that wouldn't have possible without the efforts of so many. Glavanised into action a fantastically well run and organised political party ( as good as any other ) emerged and became the focal point for fans. Allied to that was the iconic Voice of the Valley fanzine, it was in its time the only way you could really know what was going on. As Rick alluded to on Charlton Life yesterday...........this sounds unnervingly familiar some 20 years later. 

All of which ultimately delivered the one true goal, we were back ! The game was second to the result, a win was all we wanted and in typical Charlton fashion it was a thumping 5-0 or similar but a nervy 1-0. However, in some ways it made it even sweeter as we just went beserk at the final whistle !

Hungry Ted suggested applause at 3.07pm to mark the time of Walsh's goal and a good idea too that, I note it seems to be taken up by the club and will happen......great stuff !

As for the game I think it's to fair to say that we can expect to do much better than the last time the Seagulls visited and delivered a football lesson ( with Kish at its heart as I recall ) with a comprehensive 4-0 win that could have been even more. Poyet does get his teams playing some nice football and let's hope we get a good one on Saturday as a result.

Brighton seem to have a few injuries although no doubt they'll have cleared up come Saturday ! However,  Lua Lua has a court verdict hanging over his head and may not be right to play. Dunk got suspended last week at Palarse.  Wayne Bridge may return though and the classy Craig Mickail-Smith will no doubt lead the line although he's not on a hot streak at the moment and we will, of course, hope that continues.

For us Morrison will return from the stands and it is to be hoped that Fuller and Haynes are both fit. Sir Chris will, at some stage, need to decide on the best pairing up front. That's not an easy one to call.

Wilson may be fit but if not and Green not given a go then I see no harm in playing BWP wide right. He has enough pace and trickery to do a reasonable job there and he must champing at the bit to get on the pitch almost anywhere I'd have thought.

Saturday promises to be great in terms of emotion, atmosphere and passion. Let's hope we can all deliver and " send us all home happy " ! 

Come On You Reds !

Tuesday 4 December 2012

The 5th of December 1992.....

the exile is over, our dreams have come true......

Ah, I remember it as if it were 20 years ago ! What a day, what an atmosphere, what raw emotion !

Trying to explain how it was to my kids or anyone else for that matter is nigh on impossible. A day that most thought we'd never see, finally happened. What followed in the next few years was possibly even more remarkable.

All the effort, the struggle and the sacrifices that so many people made in order for this to happen were well worth it. Words will never be enough to thank those primarily involved in making it possible. It's to horrible to contemplate what we'd have all missed out on had it not come to pass. 

For myself alone I'd have missed out on my two lads both being mascots, one being a ballboy once, aside from still going to games together and sharing the unique bond that is Charlton Athletic, a club that you can truly be proud of.

I recall trying to fight back the tears as they players ran out, what a moment and I just gave in in the end. There's only been a couple of times I've done that, the other one was when we were relegated in 1999. Occasionally I get a bit emotional when past games / clips are shown on the big screen but nothing approaching the 5th December 1992. 

As it happens I missed " the last match at The Valley " as friends were getting married. My missus at the time was having none of me just turning up for the wedding reception after. They only went and up split up anyway within 10 years.........marriages eh ? Bloody hell !

My brother managed to secure me a ticket that I didn't think I was going to get. I had even rung Portsmouth a couple of weeks before claiming to be a lifelong fan and never missed a game, blah, blah, blah. When my ticket was confirmed I was ecstatic ! I wasn't a season ticket holder then, let's face there was no need to be and in any case, CAFC used to ring you and ask what time you could get there.

As you expect the return to The Valley received widespread media coverage, the most we'd had in years....about 7 years as I recall ! Nowadays there's no way it would be a 3pm on a Saturday kick off. It'd be a definite 1pm or 4pm on a Sunday job live on Sky or somesuch.

I think Pardew was left out to allow Stevie Gritt to play........well done Curbs, spot on ! What foresight ! Lee Power was on loan from Norwich. Paul Walsh was playing for Portsmouth but we had the more important Walsh playing for us ! Nice one Colin !

Unlike the majority of games now, I drove to the match which was good on reflection as I can do just that, reflect I mean, with great clarity. I celebrated later at home with a few beers as you can imagine.

With the whole of the East Stand closed save for a temporary commentary box containing the late and great Brian Moore. It still looked like a building site but it didn't matter a bit, we were home !

The Mail On Sunday, 6th December 1992. Blimey, more than a 4 sentence paragraph ! Have no fear normal  service was resumed the following week ! ( you'd never know I put my hands on the back whilst that was scanning eh ? !! )

Saturday will be a proud occasion remembering all the old times including those before we left. Brighton are most apt opponents giving their similar departure from their ground, fights with local councils etc. etc. Not to mention Stevie Gritt and their shared dislike of two certain teams. Therefore, I think it ill beholds any of us to ruin the occasion with some of the proposed singing that I've read about elsewhere. 

After some of the events of Saturday I think we need to try and make amends for some damage to our reputation ( and I don't mean in that part of London, I know they don't give a **** ) following certain events. I don't want to be associated with that and it's not what so many people fought so hard and for so long for. 

Saturday will be good and I'm looking forward to immensely. Unlike that day 20 years ago, I'll be having a few sherberts before the game but unlike most Saturdays, I'll be tempted out of my watering hole early to catch whatever is going on before kick off to take it all in. 

Wherever you are tomorrow, at some stage raise a glass of something to 20 years ago and moreover, to all those who made it happen ! Cheers !

Come On You Reds !


Sunday 2 December 2012

A Rather Pleasing Point

Chris Solly - made an important clearance off the line from wannabee Addick, N'Guessan. 

A superb effort from our boys yesterday in a rearguard action which saw us come away with a point. I was concerned when I saw our midfield before kick off but clearly they did enough to see us through.

It's obvious that Sir Chris and the team knew what this game meant to us and reacted accordingly. The presence of Morrison and Sullivan in the away end reinforces that, proper old school and great to see. Well done lads !

Allegations of racial abuse and the coin throwing etc are what we've come to expect at their place. Nothing changes and I can't see it ever will unless the FA finally decide to act which seems unlikely.

I loved some of the players tweets post-match especially JJ's.......pretty much sums it up eh ?

Brighton are most appropriate visitors next week when we hold belated 20th anniversary celebrations. The Seagulls share our nomadic existence and their intense dislike of our neighbours results in kindred spirits. There are, of course, many others connections from down the years. 

Hopefully Fuller and Wilson will return to the ranks next week for what promises to be cracking game. We've got to do better than the last time Brighton visited SE 7 surely ? Whatever, I can't imagine that they will sit back so it should be an entertaining game.

I watched the FA Cup 3rd round draw earlier, it offered a lot and delivered very little. Huddersfield are beatable if not exciting opponents. One hopes we get through and a home tie against a decent Prem team would be nice.

Sadly AFC lost in the cruelest manner possible today. However, there's a bigger prize for them to secure and let's hope they move onwards and upwards. Mambo played well for them which was good to see. 

Elsewhere Pardew's luck may just be running out and even the most myopic of Mags fans are starting to realise that he isn't quite what he appears even if he did manage some wonderful illusions last season.