Sunday 25 January 2015

Keeping The Wolves From The Door

Stew - just what the doctor ordered after recent times !

I was in the metropolis for most of the duration of yesterday's game desperately trying to follow events on twitter. Not easy for various reasons amongst them trying to avoid tourists taking photos of London landmarks or getting poked in the eye with selfie sticks ! Whose idea was that ?

Twitter was proving hard to access but I started checking on our game on it and we weren't losing so the superstitious side of me dictated that I had to stay with that. Thus it wasn't until @ 5.25pm that I got all the updates and discovered we'd secured a point and a clean sheet. Neither of those seemed likely ahead of kick off.

It is to be hoped that the players performed well because of, and not in spite of, Luzon. Perhaps some of that old fight and team spirit resurfaced. Let's hope so.

I was surprised to see Etheridge replaced following his performance last week and that Wiggins was omitted in favour of Fox. Luzon clearly not afraid to make unpopular decisions it seems and one wonders where he gets that from.

The defence tightened up and in so doing came away with the aforementioned clean sheet. Very simply, conceding 5 goals less than the last game will always give you a chance. Football's a straight forward game really, eh ?

Good to hear that our two debutants had good games. Hopefully they've added some competition in the goalie and midfield areas.

Disappointing to see Bikey overreact towards the end. He had no need to get involved. He's old and experienced enough to know better.

Watt created a good chance but ended up taking one touch too many by which time Ikeme had closed down the angle and the opportunity was gone 

Clearly making ourselves hard to beat was the way to go following recent results and when facing an away game against in form opponents such as Wolves. The harder test comes next week the onus is on us ( geddit ) to attack and get a win.

We need to start scoring goals as we increasingly look like the world's worst sperm donor such is our propensity to fire blanks.

One wonders what Luzon knows of Rotherham and I guess he will rely heavily on Damian during the coming week. They'll be a tough nut to crack. Come 5pm next Saturday we'll have a clearer idea of what we can expect for the remainder of this season. Hopefully, that will include two or three fresh faces and without the loss of any key players.

My evening was spent watching Stewart Lee at the Leicester Square theatre which is a cosy, intimate venue. I know Stewart isn't everyone's cup of tea but I really like his stuff and he was on excellent form. 

After he'd finished I noted that Jerry Sadowitz was on and I wished I'd known that as that would have made a good comedy double header, I must try and get tickets to see him.

I trust that's the end of Saturday comedy for a while and that the need for gallows humour in respect of the Addicks can be laid to rest for a little while at least.

Thursday 22 January 2015

We've Had Better Days

“ There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man’s lawful prey. “ John Ruskin. 
Ruskin was predominantly an art critic but he could easily have been prophetically  referring to our football club under Roly’s ownership as a Victorian masterpiece. 

Seemingly as each day passes matters only seem to get worse. Here’s the post-Peeters  timeline :- 

Sunday January 11th – Bob Peeters sacked. The club reveals it hadn’t crossed anyone’s mind to relieve Big Bob of his duties until Roly was wringing the turkey’s neck ahead of his Sunday roast.  

Monday January 12th – 20 applications to supercede Bob are received. The club announces an exhaustive search for a long term replacement. All 20 applicants interviewed and What A Guy Luzon emerges as the clear favourite. ( Guinness Book of World Records are contacted to see if the world speed interview record has been broken ). GBOWR confirm no as their work comes under the non-fiction category.  

Tuesday January 13th – What A Guy is announced as the new “ head coach “ on an 18 month “ long term “ contract. Such vision is acknowledged as Specsavers emerge as the club’s new sponsors. 
Wednesday 14th January – What A Guy ! Luzon is unveiled to an excited pack of the world’s media. No one expects the Spanish Inquisition and the journos present didn’t disappoint. However, some gentle probing sees Katrien let it slip that Roly wouldn’t want to waste his time by attending the press conference or even put his name to a statement of any kind. She remains firm under this stern interrogation steadfastly refusing to name any of the applicants other than What A Guy.

Understandably even their nationality cannot be revealed as to do so would ensure that confidentiality would collapse like a pack of cards. No one wants to deter a decent manager from applying for the head coach position in the future. They’re all chomping at the bit to work under Uncle Roly and who’d want to jeopardise that eh ?

For his part What A Guy raises the spirits of the Charlton supporters by stating his credentials. There’s a jaw dropping moment when Guy reveals that he once spent a week in Manchester watching Sven Goran Eriksson coach and it immediately becomes clear why he emerged as the clear favourite. Even the most sceptical Addick is now 100% behind the new manager.  

Thursday 15th January – Friends reunited as What A Guy takes his first training session. The Sparrows Lane session is a little longer than usual as everyone catches up on what they’ve been upto since they got sacked err I mean redeployed. Ladbrokes announce that they’ve closed the book on Charlton getting into the play-offs. On a Charlton Life thread some latecomers reveal they only got evens but are more than happy with this and are looking forward to a week in the sun on the proceeds. 

Friday 16th January – The football world is shaken to its very foundations as news reaches S.E.7 that What A Guy hasn’t got his work permit. All Addicks wonder what effect this will have on team morale. Yoni Buyens tweets that it won’t change anything……..phew ! 

Saturday 17th January. What A Guy is in the stands at Vicarage Road and witnesses the new head coach bounce at first hand. Then the game kicks off and oh dear ! The 5-0 defeat and performance, the worst in recent living memory is the direct result of the work permit issue. Bloody Home Office !
Ladbrokes announce that they’ve closed the book on Charlton emerging in League One in 2015-16. 

Post match and Katrien decides to take the train home after reading Bradshaw's guide. Sadly it wasn't the one that Michael Portillo uses for his TV series but instead one written by former CEO Steve Bradshaw. Unlike its Portillo counterpart it falls short of good advice and fails to suggest avoiding travelling back to the metropolis with a bunch of disgruntled fans.

Sunday 18th January -  still no announcement of What A Guy’s work permit being granted. Last week’s feeling of euphoria is somewhat dampened but in Roly we trust so a whole host of players are expected in SE7 in the next few days and will no doubt arrive in sync with said permit.  

Monday 19th January – Much high-fiving in Floyd Road as the permit arrives ! The mood quickly subsides when it turns out to be What A Guy’s parking permit. Never mind, a permit’s a permit and it clearly indicates that long vision the Uncle Roly’s cronies told us about. 

Tuesday 20th January –  Still no sign of a work permit but a Spurs player arrives on loan. Rumours circulate of some players wanting to leave. Clearly this is another knock-on effect of the delay in processing What A Guy's work permit. The players are frustrated at not being able to have another training session following last week's success. Bloody, bloody Home Office.......the ba**ards !

Wednesday 21st January – Still no sign of What A Guy’s work permit and the matter is raised by Ed Milliband during PMQs. The Prime Minister reveals that Gareth Chilcott is delaying things. Bloody egg-chaser interfering with football matters ! Rumours that it won’t be produced before the General Election are greeted with much dismay in South East London.

Thursday 22nd January - Oh joy be unconfined ! Finally, the work permit is granted ! Let the master go to work ! Expectations soar for a barnstorming performance in the Black Country and the first 3 points under the new head coach.
Next week :- We reminisce as we recall those bygone days when football blogs used to write about matters on the pitch. How quaint !

Tuesday 20 January 2015

Charlton Sign Yoda

" Obika told me good Charlton are "

This is what Milos is quoted as saying according to the Charlton facebook page announcing his arrival. Clearly we got a good reference from Jonathan Obi Wan Kenobi !

Finally, the powers that be have decided to replace Francis Coquelin at last. Not before time and whilst Coquelin's return to Arsenal has been great for him it's been awful for us. I don't think one can understate how much we've missed him.

Hopefully our latest North London recruit will prove as successful whilst staying somewhat longer. I'm informed by a Spurs supporting work colleague that he is either a ball playing centre half or a defensive midfielder.

Surely he'll come straight into Saturday's side for the trip to Molineux. After the Watford fiasco it sounds like only two or three players deserve a place, sadly our threadbare squad means there's little threat to most players' places.

Recent events have been well covered by many blogs and in better than fashion that I could manage. One would have thought that Roly would have at the least been sufficiently embarrassed by them to at the very least make some sort of statement. Quite how this man has made any money is beyond me. Then again, running a football club is not like any other business.

There have been so many shameful aspects of recent events. Katrien has well and truly been hung out to dry by our Belgian owner. She has been found wanting but it's not entirely of her own making. I found her comment in explanation of Roly's absence from the recent press interview very telling....." he wouldn't want to waste his time ". 

Katrien quickly tried to retract that but it was too late and the cat was out of the bag. That view must have come from somewhere and one suspects especially in the light of events of the last few days that Roly does feel it's a waste of time to be present at the announcement of a new manager.

Whether Roly attends games or not really doesn't bother me and I don't expect him to be over here on a regular basis. However, when things have gone as bad as they have you would have thought a statement was the very least you would expect.

I say this because given the battering our CEO has taken lately you'd expect any decent person would step in to defend her or explain his view and take some responsibility. 

I accept that he treats us with contempt and now it appears that this extends to his direct reports. Whilst some of what Katrien has suffered has been brought on by herself and she has shown herself to be a little naive and unprepared I do feel some sympathy for her. 

Clearly she is a capable and intelligent woman and surely she doesn't have to rely on working for the Belgian. I do wonder if she has had serious thoughts of walking away. I'm sure she didn't sign up for being Roly's mouthpiece for the rest of her career.

As far as I'm aware Luzon still doesn't have a work permit. Most folk would see that as a perfect facesaver by way of appointing someone else to the job whilst saying you felt it was important for the new man to start asap.

Mike Phelan is also now available. There's another candidate to add the list that as we know is at least 20 names long !

It has been about the most embarrassing period in my time of supporting the Addicks. A few weeks ago and we were laughing at Millwall losing games heavily whilst conceding 5 goals. Now we're doing the same.

The sad thing is that I can easily envisage us swapping places with them. If Millwall carry on their truly awful run then Holloway will go. The Lions will then do the sensible thing that we've failed to do and appoint a manager ( probably British ) with a good knowledge and experience of league football. He will then comfortably guide them to safety as they wave us on our merry way to League One. 

To be sailing on the wind of better days seems a long way off !

Wednesday 14 January 2015

How Do You Make A Belgian Waffle ?

Unlike the waffle above the head coach fiasco wasn't at all savoury.

The answer to the question is of course to tell her that the head coach is safe, there are no plans to sack him and then do exactly that a couple of days. This having allowed her to go to print first.

Follow that up by getting her to relay to the fans that thoughts of a dismissal hadn't crossed anyone's mind until Sunday. Add to that a large dollop of how the search for his successor will be an exhaustive one and one that most be got right for the long term future of the club.

There you have the perfect waffle and the egg seen above is perfect for putting on Katrien's face. 

Either Ms Meire knew what was to happen along or she was made to look rather silly by Roly. If it's the latter then I feel sorry for her. However, at least she gets paid for having to swallow and recycle this nonsense. Us fans are are paying HIM for the privilege !

Now, we all know pretty much how Roly likes to run his football clubs. No problem with that it's his prerogative. Move all staff around clubs, keep costs low and invest in youth. That's my understanding of how Roly plays things. 

I like many others are not impressed with being taken for fool and fed a load of b*****it. I'd rather he was straightforward making it clear what he intended to and say I said it's his prerogative.

The " long term " future of the playing side of the club has seen Luzon rewarded with an 18 month contract. I wasn't expecting one of Pardewesque proportions but only a mayfly would view 18 months as long term.

Roly's search for new head coaches extends to looking down the back of his sofa and seeing who's there. A little silly really as he has invested quite heavily in our club. One presumes he wants to see a return on his investment or to break even at least. 

I've no issues with Guy Luzon and like the similarly Roly appointed Jose Riga he may turn out to be rather good. However, to give yourself and the club the best chance then surely you'd look for a tried and tested football league manager. Hell, at the very least you'd swallow your pride and go to Riga with the biggest of olive branches.

A proven manager like Mick McCarthy for example shows you what you with someone like that. He's spent next to nothing and got the club at the top of the league. The football may not be the best but it's not that bad and winning beats the hell out of losing.

Manager like Mick also have a wealth of knowledge and contacts to back that up. They know who can do a job for them and where to get them.

This whole episode is a sorry one and I was more surprised with the outcome of James Cameron's Titanic movie ! 

As I say his football model and the appointment of Luzon may ultimately turn out for the good but at the moment it doesn't look too clever. I am concerned......


Thursday 8 January 2015

Where Seagulls Dare !

It's Steven......Steven Seagull......
I note that the club are doing a special food deal on Saturday. Amongst the offerings is cut price fish and chips. Do we never learn ! Those pesky seagulls will swoop down an be off with them quick as a flash leaving tearful children all round S.E. 7. 

Come 5pm and they could be joined by thousands of tearful adults should the footballing seagulls make off 3 points in their beaks ! 

As we’ve seen from various reports all is not well within The Addicks’ dressing room. Stories of unrest and rumours of Bob and at least some players not seeing eye to eye are not good.
Further suggestions that the manager may be replaced soon don’t help either even if they don’t appear to hold much water. 

There have been some signings this week and normally that would in itself raise spirits and be cause for a little optimism at least. However, that these are mostly from within the network dulls that a little. This is exacerbated when the individuals concerned have not exactly been pulling up any trees of late ! 

It’s only right that we reserve judgement of course. Despite an apparent suspect temperament, Watt clearly has some talent and we have to hope that this will come to the fore and that Bob can get him focused. 
Ketts on Doctor Kish reported that Bob has been on a scouting this week. Let’s hope that he is allowed to bring in a few more as we desperately need reinforcements.
I do believe that Bob has potential as early start saw him make an immediate and positive impact. Of late though as problems have arisen he has shown something of a lack of judgement. 

It’s in these difficult times you need to show your mettle and earn your corn. We’d all acknowledge a paper thin squad but you need to make the most of whatever hand you’re dealt. The recent lack of consistency in team really doesn’t help. Neither does what appear to be instances of poor man management. 

Our skipper epitomises what Charlton is all about and it’s a mistake to fall out with or alienate him. Quite the reverse I’d suggest as I’d keep him close and make him one of my main confidants. Jackson is a vital link between Bob and the players and also the fans. Use him well ! 

Our recent run means that Saturday’s game has become rather important and 3 weeks ago Brighton would have been ideal opposition. However, Hyypia has now gone, Nathan Jones did an excellent job of a short term fix and the capable Chris Hughton in now at the helm. 
Following the departure of Hyypia Brighton’s fortunes have seen an upturn. Not least in that O’Grady is scoring again following his recall from loan and we’ve got Nathan Jones to thank for that ! 

At least we won’t have to face Darren Bent as nice as it would have been to see him grace the Valley turf one more.

Last time out we were doubled dunked and hopefully we won't see a repeat of that. Please God that we don't go a goal up early on and try to hold on. We need to be more adventurous from the outset and keep going for it.

I've really no idea what side Bob will put out. I do hope we see Watt at some stage. Aside from that we need to play players in their preferred and most suited positions.

It's crunch time, the chips are down, we need a top effort from all concerned because this'll be a tough one.

Come On You Reds !

Tuesday 6 January 2015

Bud and Lou React To Charlton's Latest Signing

Abbott: How do you how do you like my football club Lou?
Costello: Hey, I hear they've signed a new player ?
Abbott: Certainly.
Costello: Who is he ?
Abbott: Watt.
Costello: I said, who is he ?
Abbott: Watt !
Costello: Who's the new player ?
Abbott: No, Watt's the new player
Costello: What's the new player ?
Abbott: Yes !
Costello: What or who is the new player ? 
Abbott: You sure gonna get me mad ! I've already told you Watt's the new player !
Costello: Oh I know they give those football players awful funny names.
Abbott: You think that's funny ? Just wait till he joins the St Louis Wolves baseball team !

Next week :- Bud and Lou discuss former Addick Darren Pitcher's move to baseball..........

Friday 2 January 2015

My Cup Runneth Over

A break from league action tomorrow for our boys and for some it may be a break altogether if Bob decides to rest some players. Mind you he's not got many options in that regard with the injury list and size of our squad such as they are !
I had intended to go tomorrow but my usual partners in crime aren't going, I don't fancy it on my own and to be fair I do have some other matters to attend to ( I know, I know, what could be more important than football ? ).
We all know our record in cup competitions, not just the FA one. Occasionally we offer some false hope of getting a sniff of Wembley even if it's just the semis but we always get let down.......see last season for the most recent example.
The tie isn't appealing to the fans of either side to be honest. Both teams may want to rest players with an eye on the league but for differing reasons. Rover will believe they've a sniff of the playoffs and we desperately need to arrest a poor run of form.
As so often seems to be the case we face Brighton next up in the league at a time when they've relieved Hyypia of his managerial duties. His replacement, Chris Hughton, knows the league well and is a very capable manager and I'll not be surprised to see them move up the table.
It's nigh on impossible to predict what eleven Bob will put out. He could use the occasion to try out some untested players and formations. Last season the cup saw the emergence of Diego Poyet who ultimately went onto to scoop the player of the year award of course. He played a massive part in securing our safety and cannot be ignored whatever folk may feel about his departure.
It would be nice to see another youngster come to the fore although I think they'll have to do it 90 minutes because it's hard to see us progressing beyond the 3rd round even if Rovers do field a slightly weakened squad.
The worse scenario is a draw of course so it might be worth putting a few quid on that ! I believe Pitcher is on standby for the replay !
Good luck if you are going and I do hope that we get a win. I'd never want to see us lose and in any case, a win would be good for morale. It'd be great to be in the 4th round draw and then..........who knows !
Come On You Reds !