Wednesday 30 April 2014

A Rather Splendid Evening

Thank God ! I didn't think she ever would......

It's 12.20am and I'm sitting down with my laptop and a cup of tea ! Something stronger would be in order but I'm still buzzing and the cup of cha is good enough..........for now !

Firstly, I must say that I hope that the chap who required medical attention in the east stand is ok. Some things are more important than football. I trust that the club will make some announcement on that.

What an evening that was and I don't think I want to endure anything like that again however sweet victory and salvation was in the end. I've never felt that we were even the fourth worse team in this league. Our problems are of course our attacking deficiencies. Our defence is pretty decent and like last season I thought we'd be ok with a back five of Hamer / Alnwick, Solly, Wiggins, Morrison, Dervite ( Wood / Court ). We were affected by the long term injuries to our full backs of course. 

I wasn't impressed with Watford. Fair play that they weren't just there to make up the numbers but their dirty approach was just unnecessary. They were lucky to only have one player sent off. I hope that number 15 is severely dealt with following his shameful conduct. Most of their team seemed to lose their discipline in a game that ultimately mattered little to them. 

Deeney is impressive and could surely do a job at a higher level. He possesses pace and strength with an eye for goal. The one he scored was a belter and I feared the worse when he did. We did well to weather the storm that followed.

I, and I guess, many others were pleased to see the starting eleven tonight. We always score three at home when Wilson plays wide right don't we ? The side had a good look about it and Cousins seemed more at home in a central role.

I'm pleased for Harriott that he is finishing the season strongly. His second goal was superb technically, I quite enjoyed that !

All the players deserve credit and of course one must mention Skip. Jackson isn't overly demonstrative as a captain but is constantly prodding and geeing up the team as he quietly goes about his job. I suspect that off the pitch he is very much the avuncular Johnnie Jackson to the younger players. I suspect that Andy Hughes is a similar good influence in the dressing room.

Riga deserves great credit of course. I doubt that many managers, even more experienced ones could have taken over the team in such circumstances and achieved what he has. I simply didn't think we could endure the relentless battle of two games a week. Jose has got the best out of the majority of the players.

Yes, the players should be able to play twice a week but it's the mental more than physical side of things that takes its toll. That must more especially be true of the younger players. However, they have all shown superb mental strength. It's is a remarkable feat.

Back to back wins can make all the difference but it's incredible to think that we have secured safety with a game to spare without having achieved that in the league this season. Perhaps that could be put right on Saturday ?

There are so many reasons as to why this season has been so awful but they can be examined another day. As many have remarked this would have the most unnecessary relegation in our history had it happened. We now have an opportunity to take stock and plan for the future.

I got my ticket for the player of the year do last week. I'm really going to enjoy that now !

I wish I was going to Blackpool now if only to banish the memory of the last time I was there and the 5-3 ( ? ) defeat under Mildew. Sadly I'm not but I am pleased for those that are going and that they can truly enjoy their trip up there.

For now we can sit back and let the fans of other clubs do the worrying. The fat lady has sung and for once, it's in a good way.


Monday 28 April 2014

Time For One More Night Of Tuesday Glory

An unusual midweek end to the home season tomorrow and it couldn't carry more importance. I'm sure even the masochists amongst us want to see this season put to bed tomorrow night with one last win.

Recent Tuesday nights have been good to us. All we are asking for is one more Tuesday victory do that we can all relax and those travelling to the seaside at weekend can really enjoy the experience.

The emergence of late of Sordell means that he is now our biggest hope of scoring the goals for potential salvation. He is a player transformed as he has finally shown us what he is capable of. I'd partner him with Obika tomorrow for the physical presence that I believe we lacked on Saturday.

Hopefully Solly is fit enough and I'd like to see Wilson come into right midfield. Skip won't want to miss out may go left side midfield although I'd start with Harriott's pace as we need to be on the front foot. However, I don't expect much of what I'd like to be realised.

Watford find themselves out of play-off contention having sadly missed out in last season's final against Palarse. One would hope that they won't be too up for it. Being a pessimistic ba**ard I'm thinking they'll be relaxed and play with freedom.

They have a few injuries and one defender suspended from the weekend but I fear it won't make any difference. I hope I''m wrong.

We all need to be positive tomorrow. Getting on the players backs only adds to tension and nervousness. Total support throughout the 90 minutes is vital not least because if we don't get a result we need these players to go and do the business on Saturday.

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 27 April 2014

To The Bitter End....

We could do with renaming one of our stands The Bitter End

is where we are seemingly destined to take this season. There are so many possibilities for the remainder of this term not least amongst them one that sees us fail to gain another point but still survive.

Saturday ended as you somehow knew it always would save perhaps for the fact that most results went our way. That win by Blackpool came out of nowhere. Wigan are doing more than most to make this season end as torturous as possible. At least they still need something from their game against Birmingham on Tuesday. One final chance for them to do the decent thing.

I felt we had a good first half on Saturday playing some decent stuff. The penalty miss was pivotal and we made things worse for ourselves by virtually gifting Rovers two of the goals via two very basic errors.

Sordell partly made amends for that poor penalty with a lovely goal created almost out of nothing. Sadly that was about the sum total of our attacking efforts in the second half.

Post match saw a second visit to the excellent Old Loyal Britons in Greenwich. If you like a decent beer then you need to pay it a visit. They always have a decent selection of quality ale.

On we go then to another tense Tuesday. This one is crucial as we really don't want to be going up north needing to get anything on Saturday. At least Watford don't have anything to play for but that doesn't mean it'll be easy of course.

Hopefully we will get it right. To that end I pray that we get a decent referee as I can't recall a decent one this season especially at home.

A point would be good but we really need all 3 to finally end this season of torment. 

Friday 25 April 2014

Well Done The Foxes !

The Fantastic Mr Fox
I’m not talking about Leicester although congrats to them on their Championship title win. Another set of Foxs, Morgan and his family, can be very pleased about how well the young man has  settled into the side to take the place of Wiggins. Great to see another youngster come in and do so well. 
As with Poyet and Cousins you do wonder why he wasn’t given a chance earlier. Perhaps placing a greater emphasis on the academy players isn’t such a daft idea after all. 
I’ve lost count of the number of players who make it with other teams after starting out with us never having made a first team appearance. We don’t have vast amounts to spend on transfer fees and wages and since we have traditionally invested heavily in our academy it would seem to make sense to offer a clear pathway. 
Tomorrow sees what originally was to have been the final home game of the season. That, of course, is now on Tuesday against Watford. It will be odd to finish the home season in midweek. I seem to recall that our final Prem season against Spurs was the last time. 
I'm not a fan of categorising games and the decision to make this a " gold game " was silly and looks even more so now. I bet there are many season ticket holders with unused free ticket vouchers. We need support more than ever and that aside, a few extra people would have spent more money. I doubt you'd persuade many to come along on Tuesday. 
Rovers are still chasing a play-off spot although that looks pretty remote. I hope they don’t make it only because I wouldn’t like to see the Venkys rewarded for the complete Horlicks they’ve made of running the club.  
It will of course be a very tough game. I’d be delighted with a point. Rovers are in a rich vein of form away and possess a potent strike force.  
At last Sordell showed on Monday what he is capable of. The finishes for all three of his goals were top drawer. It is pleasing to note that he was ably assisted by Harriott for two of them. 
I think a win is beyond us but if we did get it would pretty much guarantee safety.  
It is to be hoped that we don’t go watering the pitch again. I’ve had enough of our players falling over time and again. 
Here’s to safety as soon as possible and an end to this wretched season. 
Come On You Reds !

Monday 21 April 2014

Wednesday Oblige Again

Spitting feathers........views of Wednesday's fan can be found on

An absolutely wonderful performance from our boys today and a most unexpected result. I don't think anyone saw any of our strikers scoring three goals in the remainder of the season let alone in one game courtesy of a hat-trick.

Certainly the author of the odious piece on owlsonline didn't, his 4-0 home win now looking a little way off. He should have known better after having failed to beat home and away already this season especially when the greater prize as they see it ( playing a local lower league team ) didn't spur them on to victory. Quite what the Owls fans obsession with us is I don't know. 

Michael Vaughan ( he of the banter and author of particularly nasty pieces about his fellow professionals who are suffering depression ) is an example of one so perhaps we shouldn't be surprised. 

Well done to Marvin Sordell who finished all three goals with some aplomb. Well done to everyone of course as it was a tremendous effort to come back from 2-0 down inside 10 minutes.

Other results pretty much went our way although we probably need another 3 points to be sure and they need to come before we travel up north again to face one wants that !

Blackburn still harbour small hopes of making a play-off place and so will be up for our game on Saturday. Thankfully Watford are now out of it and one can but hope that they turn up in a disinterested frame of mind on Tuesday week.

We have edged closer to safety and one hopes that we can secure that in the course of the next two home games. That'd leave those going to Blackpool to enjoy a trip to the seaside where the only annoying birds will be wearing kiss-me-quick hats and seagulls.

Sunday 20 April 2014

Pilsbury D'oh Boy

Brendan Malone's Alter Ego

Another frustrating afternoon on Friday that really wasn't the good one it was supposed to be.

For the umpteenth time this season we were let down by a combination of the referee and east stand lino. Neither of them wanting to give the blatant penalty. Had he done so, referee Malone would have had to send off the keeper but ironically he didn't have the stomach for it.

We are all well aware of our team's shortcomings this season but we really haven't been helped officials who seem almost intent on favouring the away side. I can't recall one game where we've had the rub of the green or I've come away thinking the ref did us a favour there.

Last week wasn't a good one. The defeat to Barnsley was totally avoidable and Bolton seemed to mentally be on their holidays. A win in either one of those games and we'd all be breathing a little easier.

Whilst other results over Friday / Saturday largely went our way I'm not confident of that continuing. We need to win at least one more game whilst also picking up a couple of draws at least. I can't see us getting that win. However, the laws of probability suggest that the others will gain a win or two. 

I think Yeovil have gone but can see Barnsley getting a win or two somewhere to put us under pressure. As bad a Blackpool may be it does increasingly seem as if our last game will see us needing to get something from it. Despite their increasing problems and we do seem slightly better away it's not a scenario any of us wants to see.

We have to hope that by the time we play Blackburn and Watford they are out of the play-off picture. Hopefully they'll give their all not make it and will mentally switch off when they play us although as we've seen from the Bolton game that doesn't mean we will take full advantage.

Tomorrow's game at Hillsborough in the normal runs of things would be a game that would see the opposition with that frame of mind given that they've nothing to play for. Sadly I fear them wanting revenge following the cup defeat. 

A repeat of that cup victory whilst surprising would of course be even more welcome. 

Come On You Reds !

Thursday 17 April 2014

You Texty Thing

Dougie's on everyone's contact list

Hopefully with nothing to play for and with their manager too busy dealing with texts containing the starting eleven of other teams Bolton won't be up for much tomorrow. We can but dream eh ? 

Tragic Tuesday has led us to be under more pressure for tomorrow's game. There's not much to say about the Barnsley game, I think bullet points is the most succinct way :-
  • wrong team
  • poor performance
  • poor opposition
  • poor luck
  • poor officials
It be good if all of the above is addressed on Good Friday. One good thing is that at least Victor Moses is at Liverpool and not on hand to part the sea of red that we're seeking to create tomorrow.

I've not bought a Charlton shirt for some time but at the time of writing can't find any of the old ones. it's probably immaterial as they probably wouldn't fit any but to be fair it never stopped Peter Garland eh !

I will find something red to wear I'm sure. 

For our Easter fixtures it's hard to see eggsactly where any points will come from after the Barnsley debacle. I think we'll need to try and garner at least 2 points from somewhere in these two and at least a win somewhere else even then that may not be enough. It's hard to be optimistic.

Whatever happens I wish everyone a happy Easter that I hope you are able to enjoy the long weekend with your families. 

Come On You Reds !

Monday 14 April 2014

Tough Night Ahead

Finally, after a very long wait we get to play Barnsley tomorrow night. As everyone will recall the original game was postponed again as a result of our shocking pitch. At the time the Tykes were in a shocking run of form and there was every reason to assume we would have won. Sadly things are a tad different now and there is real pressure on the outcome for both teams.

Following a rather abject performance on Saturday Jose Riga will be expecting a lot more from his players. It's been a long and frustrating season and the recent schedule of twice weekly games must be taking its toll. However, the team simply has to get itself up for this one and strain every sinew to get a result. Another 1-0 win for us will do fine.

The one bright spot from Saturday was the return of Solly. It is to be hoped that he's fit enough for tomorrow evening. His return will, of course, allow Wilson to push forward into right midfield. That is, if Riga chooses to play him there. I think most Addicks would want to see him do so.

The defence and midfield is likely to be pretty unchanged save for Wilson as mentioned. It's up front that's difficult to predict as those selected change from game to game. That's not just from the starting eleven but the the squad. Some players have started, played the full ninety even and then not featured at all in the next game. I'm not sure if this is with the aim of keeping players keen and resting them or Riga just doesn't know who his best forwards are. My heart will sink if Church is involved in any way. No offence but we need goals not just endeavour however honest it may be.

I still believe that Petrucci has something to offer and would like to see him on the bench at least. We may need the creativity that I feel he can offer later on in the game.

One senses a tight and nervy affair. Of course we'd love to see the lads go into a comfortable lead early doors but we simply don't do comfortable do we ! In any case I'd be very surprised if we witness anything like the 5 goals we saw in the last home game.

A win tomorrow is a massive step towards safety but you just know that it won't be that straightforward - this is Charlton after all ! We really need everyone pulling together tomorrow and giving total support. Please God that we can get those vital 3 points.

Come On You Reds !

Thursday 10 April 2014

Stephen(s) Seagull

I rather like Sussex. It's got good coastal resorts and fine towns. One of my earliest memories is of trip to Brighton for the London to Brighton car rally, a good day as I recall.

A trip to Rye was always part of the family holiday as was another to Camber Sands. In more recent times trips to Worthing and Brighton itself, usually for the comedy club, have been frequent events.

Football related trips have involved Lewes F.C. and watching them at the magnificent Dripping Pan ground. There you can take in the football whilst having a lovely pint of Harveys on the terraces.

Last year I saw Sussex play the Aussies at Hove over a long weekend and it was rather splendid.

I'd recommend a visit to Lewes if you're going on Saturday and head for the Gardeners in order to quaff a few pints of the aforementioned Harveys.

Saturdays offers up another tough game not least because it isn't Tuesday ! Brighton have just convincingly beaten the Champions elect away and are pushing for a place in the play-offs.

The Seagulls count one Dale Stephens amongst their number following his move during the transfer window. Despite the fact that I don't feel he's been greatly missed you can safely assume that he'll score.

Our last Saturday game saw Jose shuffle the pack a little with an eye on the Yeovil game I believe. I'd like to think he'll resist the temptation to do so again however loud Church's somewhat vacuous complaints are.

We do need to win on Tuesday and yes, to a degree it is more important, vital even that we win that one. However, I feel we ought to try and get what we can from this match. A point would be great and anything above that, out of this world.

Morrison is about as much a full back as I am a tee-total vegetarian and I trust that we won't find him in the right back berth again. He should be reunited with Dervite in central defence and almost anyone else should be there, possibly Wilson with a mask if he is able to play as such.

Good luck to all travelling, have a great day and I hope you are rewarded with a good game and a point or three.

Come On You Reds !

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Dull Evening In S.E.7

Diego Poyet - apparently his dad used to play football too !

One man stood almost alone last night in a largely error strewn but exciting game. Mere mortals were making mistakes to varying degrees save for one Diego Poyet. That is, as Tom Jones would say, not unusual ! I think he misplaced a pass against Bournemouth a couple of Tuesdays ago but other than that I can't recall him putting a foot wrong this season.

I'm not sure if any player has ever won our player of the year having only played for half a season but if anyone can then it's Diego. Unsurprisingly in the most awful of seasons there are few candidates anyway. Don't be shocked if he ends up with the trophy in his hands come the evening of the player of the year event..........May the fourth be with you indeed !

Another Tuesday night win then for the Addicks but packed full of incident as the scoreline of 3-2 will tell you. Not for us the normal 1-0 " goodnight Charlie " win ! Yeovil played their part in an exciting game even if it was so mostly for the wrong reasons.

It seems that no one told Jose that the last time Morrison played at right back it ended in a rare defeat away to Stevenage during our march to the League One title. Certainly Morrison seemed to have forgotten about it as to all and sundry, it appeared he never played there before. 

The Glovers were a little naive in that respect and the irate Gary Johnson should take a look at himself there. In the second half rather than attack down the left flank they seemed keen to play into Michael's hands by banging long balls towards him for him to head away time and again. Not very bright that ! 

A wonderful goal superbly created and finished by Astrit opening the scoring but I was concerned that we'd taken the lead too early and so it proved. As mentioned earlier playing Morrison at right back wasn't a good idea because he he simply can't. However, the error is compounded by the fact that it broke up the highly successful partnership that he and Dervite have forged of late. As others have bad must Nego be ? Either that or he's pi**ed on Jose's cornflakes at some stage.

Dervite was another to have a fine game and it was wonderful to see him get another goal, hammered home off his head in similar fashion to the one he got against Bournemouth I think ?

In amongst all the praise deservedly heaped upon Poyet it is important not to overlook the continuing excellent performances of Cousins. Young Jordan gets moved about all over the place yet he willingly takes on whatever role he is asked to perform and does so with some aplomb. Well done.

There are many factors that have resulted in this season being pretty pony, one of them is them is the endless stream of awful referees that we get. Typically they are partnered by an equally inept linesman who by tradition it seems is obliged to perform in front of the east stand. 

Last night's should have shown several yellows for persistent fouling. If he'd flashed a couple early doors then it would have sorted things. Aside form that he missed handballs and the most blatant of pushes and fouls. The time he added on was ridiculous and even that got extended disproportionately even allowing over keen stewards.

Despite Yeovil getting the lion's share of decisions and more than the rub of the green from the referee Gary Johnson felt moved to act like a spoilt child at then end in berating the ref for some after the final whistle. Rather sad and pathetic I thought.

Rather better performances from our forwards than of late notably Reza and Sordell. Sadly Obika hasn't reached the heights of last season yet but then again he took a while to settle on last season. Hopefully he will come again. I'd be tempted to start with him on Saturday as he may well feel he has a point to prove against his old loan club.

Last night's 3 points have dragged Birmingham, Blackpool and Doncaster into the relegation scrap. Millwall picked up an away win against a weakened Wigan side. Someone should look into that as it's bang out of order. The answer to this and many of football's other ills is to deduct points. A deduction sufficient to take out of the play-offs would soon bring them to order. Fines mean nothing as was most notably demonstrated when West Ham were fined instead of relegated all those years ago.

What that means is that it could as I thought I heard the Yeovil fans' sing last night........." you're staying up with the Millwall ! "............I'm sure that was what they sang.

Onto Saturday and again anything from that game would be great as we've another big Tuesday night game ahead of us and opportunity for more man love towards Diego !!

Monday 7 April 2014

The Problem Of Fatigue

The seemingly never ending run of twice weekly games is starting to take its toll. Sod the players, it's us bloggers that are under real strain !

The challenge to keep commenting on these games is becoming a real strain.......I'm start to flag and I'm not sure I can meet the demands of making sharp observational, witty and incisive comment on such a frequent basis. Hammering away at the keyboard into the wee's tough going !

What can one say that is original..............Simon Church is prolific ! How about that ? I've certainly not seen that written elsewhere.

My brief reflections on Saturday are as follows :-

  • We played some good stuff in the first half - not so good second
  • We deserved a draw as I didn't think the Royals were better than us
  • Reading are a physical side who look as though they're aiming to get promotion in the style of Stoke City and Hull City
  • The referee was awful
  • The east stand lino's performance was awful too ( was his brother on the line at the Etihad on Saturday ? )
  • Church wasn't great and neither was Harriott best summed up when someone observed he was more like Ainsley Harriott !
  • Drenthe was shocking, couldn't make a decent pass.........Spanish football's loss....... !
Onto tomorrow night's extremely important game and one that has taken on even greater significance following the wins for Yeovil, Birmingham and the Spanners.

The Glovers are another team who felt it prudent to send one of their loan players back Forest. Miller has followed Tudgay back to the City Ground. It would appear that his attitude was not very teamy and Gary Johnson barely had time to tell him where to go as he walked out of a conversation.

Miller's absence has given a greater opportunity to Tom Lawrence who scored in Saturday's win over Blackpool. Lawrence is quite a good prospect and will need to be well marshalled on Tuesday evening.

As far as our strikers are concerned then I think we need Obika to start possibly with Reza alongside him. Reza struggled to get into the game on Saturday but it should be different against Yeovil.

I think Petrucci is a better player than he is being given credit for. Some are writing him off after two substitute appearances in the first of which he looked quite good and skilful to me. I hope Jose shares my view.

I don't think Jose will make many changes to the starting eleven as he hasn't done so upto now. A bit of minor tinkering seems to be the way and certainly the defence is unlikely to be affected.

We really need to win these next Tuesday games and I hope that everyone including us fans are all up for it despite our collective tiredness.

Come On You Reds !


Thursday 3 April 2014

Back Home

After three games on the road we return to SE7 on Saturday. Saturdays and home games haven't gone too well for us in the last couple of seasons. Tuesdays of course are a different matter.

Reading, like our previous two Saturday opponents, Burnley & Derby, will provide a tough test. This is not least because of the quality of the players in their squad but their away form is very good.

Since our last Valley appearance the two wins at Forest and Leeds have made things look a bit better. I felt we played reasonably well ( second half at least ) last Saturday against a very good Derby side. To an extent we were masters of our own downfall there with that killer second goal.

Of course our sole remaining French player ( they're disappearing like les gateaux chaud ! ) Dervite didn't play at Derby but made a fine return in midweek. He has had a fine season in one which has been awful of course but would have been an awful lot worse if it weren't him and a few others.

To get any points out of the Reading game would be a tall order in the normal run of things but given our current run of 2 games a week, it's an order of Peter Crouch proportions. However, we know that with good backing our boys raise their game and we must hope they can.

It's to be hoped that Reza can take a lot of confidence from his glorious strike on Tuesday. Clearly he has something albeit that upto then it wasn't clear to me and I really had my doubts. I pray that it's not a flash in the pan.

Ben Hamer deserves a mention as in the last couple of months he's been in the best possibly of his career but certainly in his time with us. All credit to him as there realistically is no pressure on him as to any challenge for the number one position. Ben appears totally focused and driven.

Anything from Saturday will be fine and we can accept a defeat as the real crunch games await on the next two Tuesdays. As I said with good backing we have a chance let's hope the atmosphere needs to be spot on.

Come On You Reds !  

Wednesday 2 April 2014

It's Like......

making love to a beautiful woman. Jose Riga seen here with his trademark suit.

Another Tuesday, another 1-0 win ! We'll all be happy if that continues to the end of season. Why, hell, we'll even take the Saturday 3-0 defeats on the chin if so !

As ever I avoided all contact with media until 5 minutes to go when I switched on sky sports. I couldn't believe we were 1-0 up again and into time added on. Then Paul Jewell announces Leeds have a penalty. " Hamer's never saved a penalty for us " I tell my Sunderland mate who was visiting me. McCormack wouldn't not score though would he ?

What can I say ? When Jewell announced the pen had been saved I went mad ! Sky showed the pen straight away.........absolute quality Ben my boy ! Well done !

I'd barely recovered form the shock of Reza scoring and that shock was intensified when I saw what a quality goal it was. Upto now to be fair he'd given no indication that he was capable of doing that. Wow !

I questioned the line up when I saw it but I ought to know better. Jose clearly knew what he was doing.  

What tremendous spirit and fight this team has. The unrelenting slog of two games a week and with the last three away makes the return of 6 points from those games quite remarkable. I will only believe we can survive when the table tells me it's mathematically the case. It would be the most incredible achievement given all that has gone on this season.

Can we do it again on Saturday and / or on the Tuesday ? Who knows ? Let's hope so. The need to beat Yeovil is obvious as that would be massive as would a win over Barnsley. That those two games are on Tuesdays give us all hope.

Come On You Reds !