Friday 27 February 2015

Return Of The Saviour !

I’m sure he used to wear a flat cap….
We see out the month with a home game against Huddersfield Town. February has been pretty good overall and seen an upturn in performance, mood and optimism… least for matters on the pitch !

Addicks may well be wishing that the month was 31 days long as it would mean playing Forest on the 31st of the month. Instead, we enter into the unknown of March. In our Prem days this of course signalled a time to take the foot off the gas and start looking forward to the holidays. Our boys will not be doing that this term as they know there’s still plenty of work to be done.

Chris Powell returns of course and given his place in Charlton history he is assured of the warmest of welcomes. He’ll be grinning and waving his way to the dugout I’m sure. Let’s hope he doesn’t go to the wrong one !

Aside from representing our club with great dignity and class, Chris did a magnificent job in the embryonic stages of his Charlton managerial career. None of that will ever be taken away. I wasn’t so convinced towards the end of his tenure but he’ll always have a special place in our hearts.  

The 90 minutes in between applauding Chris are the main focus and we should all remember the need to get behind the lads. The support was excellent last time at home against Brentford and the same is needed tomorrow in front of a bumper crowd.

Tickets have been reduced to a fiver and of course, we know all too well how these promotions backfire on us. Had the Sky cameras been in attendance for a live game then you might as well have put your mortgage on an away win !

Tuesday’s game is best forgotten, always a tough ask the two early goals soon finished that as a contest. I’m not sure why Luzon chose to put Wilson in to centre-mid but that was never going to work. However, it sounds as though Diarra had a good game and one hopes that he’ll start tomorrow given our current dearth of central midfielders.

Naturally Cousins will be welcome back with open arms if fit but if not it’s hard to see beyond Buyens even if he’s not been pulling up any trees lately.

Bulot and JBG should complete the midfield and Watt and Igor must start up front and we need to be on the front foot. The defence picks itself again without Wiggins I assume.

The bench appears a little stronger now and it needs to be given the recent sight of Bikey spending some time on it !

I’ve no idea why the club is issuing a £4 programme other than to maximise the potential of the increased number of customers. Those customers will receive details of next season’s season tickets.

I can’t see anyone who is seriously thinking of renewing doing anything other than leaving it until the last possible moment. One would expect folk to do so safe in the knowledge of which division we’re in !

Let’s hope for a resounding welcome for Chris, positive support for the lads and another home win to send us all home happy.
Amen to all that !

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 22 February 2015


Freddie Bulot - another goal and an assist

Don't wanna be a loser, gonna win,
'Cuz winnin' really is the only thing,
Get out of the way we're comin' in...............

Ah ! The old days when Bryan Adams used to ring out around The Valley before kick off just prior to getting beaten again. Oh, the irony !

Not on Friday night though eh ? The boys done good and managed to record back to back wins that had most of us scratching our heads trying to remember the last time we won two on the trot by 3-0.

I've no idea about that, however, it's great to see the team playing with some purpose and intent with players playing in their rightful positions. Johnson has certainly added some steel and organisation to the defence. Playing as he is with a cracked rib shows real dedication to the cause.
The much maligned Bulot had another storming game that has many eating their words. The return of Henderson is another factor in the upturn in results. He adds so much in terms of confidence and again organisation. His contribution should never be overlooked.

Great to see Igor scoring again and Eagles too, on his debut. I like that Chris is here with the aim of a regular first team place. I'd expect that of every player but good to hear it from his mouth and said with, I believe, sincerity.

Wigan and Blackpool are both in real danger now and their situation won't be helped by their pitches. We have the trip to Bloomfield Road coming up soon of course. We'd probably be best served by playing the Man Utd long ball game for that one !

One would like to believe that Luzon is the main reason for our recent improvement, let's hope so. However, I'm afraid the background to his appointment makes it difficult for me to praise or warm to him. We'll see if that changes in the fullness of time allied to ongoing wins.

Whilst we are winning playing well it shouldn't mean we overlook matters off the pitch. They still need addressing and one hopes they will be although I remain doubtful.

The small squad remains a concern and any injury to Igor or Watt would seriously impact our chances of staying up.

We face Derby on Tuesday in what should be an entertaining game. We need to be as positive as we've been in the last two games if we are to get anything from it. We need to be wary of one Darren Bent and no one needs to be told about his capabilities ( save for Harry Redknapp perhaps ). He still takes a mean penalty I note.

If we get anything from the game it'll be a bonus ahead of another big game on Saturday when Chris and his Huddersfield team come a calling.

Come On You Reds !

Thursday 19 February 2015

Duchatelet Appoints New Head Of Communication

Harpo soon became the favourite

Harpo is the new head of communication having seen off 19 other candidates following a quickfire 24 hour interview process. Asked whether there weren't any better qualified English applicants, Charlton CEO, Katrien Meire said " it's a moot point ".

Unveiled at a hastily arranged press conference, Harpo honk, honk, honked which the assemble press corps took as an indication that he was speechless. Katrien went on to say that she didn't want put words in his mouth but felt that Harpo is the prefect person to articulate Roland's vision and plan for the future.  

Asked whether Harpo's appointment was the first step in opening dialogue with Roland, Katrien said that she had already explained that and didn't want to harp on about it. 

It is understood that Harpo has a straightforward 18 month contract with no strings attached. It's been suggested that the contract contains a sanity clause but hey, we all know there is no sanity clause.

Harpo can play anywhere but is probably best suited in the string section although it's felt Guy Luzon may put him in the brass section to counter-balance the opposing brassed off section.

Rumours are currently circulating on Twitter that Pinocchio's application was immediately dismissed despite having an impressive CV. The fact that there are no puppets at CAFC has clearly gone against him. That and the slight disadvantage that he has should he ever utter an untruth !  

Wednesday 18 February 2015

Sometimes Doing Nothing Is A Better Option

Last night's VIP meeting ran very much as expected. No real answers, very stage managed with a lot of guff and save for one or two, all in front of a pretty undemanding audience. On occasion it was quite light-hearted with little hint of the overwhelming concern felt by most fans.

The last minute removal of Luzon was incredible suggesting as it did that he'd only just thought about going to Reading to watch their match against Wigan. Further to this was a blatant attempt to deflect further questioning of Katrien and Richard Murray by adding 6 other previously unannounced panelists.

The MC ( he didn't introduce himself ) will probably find a bonus in his pay packet at the end of the month as he did his utmost to suppress many questions and curtail any follow up on any others. He certainly made good use of the other panel members as he seemingly sought to prevent questioning of Katrien by directing questions to them.

The tactic of having the other panelists worked as many were drawn into talking about tactics, the pitch etc. Katrien and Co must have been pleased with that. It even allowed someone to ask Tony Watt an inappropriate and irrelevant question.

The MC referred to questions supplied by Craig ( don't know who Craig is and again like the MC's identity this wasn't explained ).

Katrien stands by her assertion about managers being interviewed although this has now gone from 20 down to several. Richard Murray backed her up by saying 3 people with English experience had applied for the job and been interviewed. Richard didn't really answer the follow up question of what he meant by English experience.

Miss Miere's comment that Luzon soon emerged as the favourite for the job says little. It's far removed from saying that he was the best candidate merely the favourite. He could be the favourite because he's cheap or already on the payroll or both !

She went on to say that the club needed to move quickly citing the recent Forest and Norwich managerial appointments. Not a good comparison. Neither of those clubs said they'd interviewed anyone else. They clearly already knew who they wanted. In any case we are Charlton not any other club !

I found her attitude rather patronising. Clearly we aren't intelligent enough to understand the process or needs of the club.

Katrien informed the meeting that Reza had a good offer to go elsewhere and so it was decided to let him go on loan. If the offer was that good and they were that keen on him why not sell him ? He clearly ain't coming back.

She then told us that Tony Watt was got instead. Katrien also cited Watt as evidence of Roly spending money on players for CAFC. Neither of those statements are true as Reza went in August and Watt came in on 6th January from Liege having been bought for that club not ours !

The meeting was brought to rather an abrupt halt just as Katrien was getting quite petulant. It's so obvious that if they genuinely want to answer fans questions and address their concerns then Roly needs to front up. Katrien would have us believe that she is running things very much in the way Roly wants and we should all be happy with her as a buffer.

I'm not sure what it says about her relationship with Roly ( or Murray's ) but she consistently refers to him as " the owner ". I find that quite odd.....Roland or Mr Duchatelet surely ?

I'm increasingly disappointed with Katrien and it's even more worrying if the only communication we're going to get is through her. I can see why Roly has employed her as she's happy to take the flak and stand his corner. I reckon if it was a bloke he'd be taking a lot more stick as people are more deferential towards her despite her shortcomings.

I'm sure that tonight's Trust meeting will be more productive.

Monday 16 February 2015

Contrasting Meetings

                                     The panel warm up ahead of Tuesday's VIP meeting

Not quite sure what to make of the latest " piece of communication " from the club. The VIP meeting takes place tomorrow and is billed as follows :-

" The evening gives fans who previously purchased a five-year ticket plan a platform to ask the club’s decision makers directly about recent developments and their plans for the future, while offering their own views in exchange. "

Note the use of the plural in " decision makers " ! Really ? They are leading us to believe that anyone other than Roly has any say in matters in S.E. 7. Hmmm..........

Taken literally I think a VIP meeting amounts to Roly being in a room on his own !

A shame that none is them is seemingly able to get along to the rather more important meeting that's taking place some 24 hours later in Woolwich.

I wonder how open the VIP meeting will be. I guess in reality it doesn't really matter as we'll not get any answers. I note that the event is being videod. I'd be surprised if it isn't heavily edited especially if there are any awkward moments or gaffs such we witnessed when Luzon was unveiled.

Tacked on to the news item of this is a video and details of Katrien's meeting with young Ben Rudkin. Well done to Ben in securing a meeting with her but even asking some of the questions that most of us want answers to failed to produced anything enlightening. A warm up for tomorrow perhaps ?

Out of all the emails Katrien surely received in recent weeks and apparently the one she decided to respond to was one from a 15 year old. Don't get me wrong by the way, Ben did well and better than I would have done at his age. However, the trust with a membership of @ 1200 is waiting to have direct contact with her if not Roly.

However, whatever Katrien was hoping to achieve from this publicity stunt is lost on me and yet again I find her wanting and naïve. What disappoints me is that surely she has enough nous and maturity not to spend her career as Roly's stooge ?

The only meeting that really matters is on Wednesday and I suspect that'll provide more answers and direction for our club than tomorrow's and that's without Roly and co !


Sunday 15 February 2015

Ships In The Night

Like a square peg in a round hole
Like a harp without its strings
Like a sailor who sails no oceans
Like a bird that has no wings

(Without love)
I am a desert
(Without love)
My light is dim
(Without love)
I have no treasures
(Without love)
I cannot win

Yesterday's performance lifted spirits yesterday and I felt a bit more connected with Charlton than I have for a while. That doesn't chance my feelings towards the current regime. It's just that the fight and spirit we've become accustomed to seeing from our players returned.

This was probably as a result of the players themselves deciding to do something to arrest the recent slide as opposed to anything Luzon has said or done.

Where did this good performance come from ? Well square pegs in square holes is a start. The team looked better balanced with two strikers working well together. Proper wingers and two central midfield players exactly where they should be. 

Add to this Johnson adding some organisation and fight in defence. The return of Henderson was also a major factor. He organises the defence well and gives it great confidence. Henderson dealt competently with everything yesterday.

Mention should also be made of Bulot. If you read my previous post you'll know I had him in my team. He was written off by many after Tuesday. Clearly he shouldn't play up front but in previous rare appearances did enough to suggest he had something to offer out wide.

Freddie has hardly played and it was too quick to rubbish him. I wonder how many of our team are capable of scoring in the way he did yesterday. The was a finish of real class.

We coped well with the two injuries yesterday and maintained our positive approach. We've missed that all season as even when doing well earlier in the season we tended to drop off after taking the lead. This approach is more rewarding as evidenced yesterday with 3 goals that could have been more but for some good saves from Button. He's one of the best keepers in the league.

Tony Watt was rightly named man of the match afterwards. His endeavour and tireless running was just what we need. Remember we were told he wasn't fit enough to last the full ninety ! Watt runs well with the ball and is prepared to take defenders on.

Next up is Wigan away and we might as well train on a cabbage patch ahead of this one. The same might be needed for the Blackpool game as well. Both games are crucial to our survival hopes of course as you need need to beat or at least not lose to those around you.

Prior to all that is a rather important event on Wednesday. That being the Trust organised meeting. I hope that a positive plan of action will arise from that. It's important to have united front. 

Whether Roly will listen is open to conjecture and there's little evidence to suggest he will. I share the opinion of many others that the only message he will listen to is a financial one. I wouldn't advocate not renewing season tickets as such but not buying programmes, food, drinks, shirts etc. may just have an effect.

Hopefully those better qualified than me will be able to formulate a decent plan of action. As we know our fans have managed it before. 

Thursday 12 February 2015

Sowing The Seeds Of Love....

How prophetic could this be ?

It's Valentine's Day on Saturday, it could be a massacre but one thing's for sure, there'll be little love lost between the fans and our new manager. Even less for our owner, the hapless Duchatelet. 

Our winless run continues and yet there's still now word from Roly nor even from Katrien who seems to have joined him in retiring from public life. I have this week renewed my Trust membership as a small gesture in the hope that something can be done to make this man pay attention.

I will try and make next Wednesday's meeting but a number of things may make that difficult and not just that I don't live nearby. However, if I can be there I will.

Quite what can be achieved I don't know but at the very least a show of solidarity and sharing the misery could be cathartic if nothing else. 

It may be decided that the Huddersfield game could be something to hang our hat on so to speak. With tickets at £5 a shot there's a chance to get non-season ticket holders along to add their voice to any protests. 

Luzon was always up against it when he took over from Bob in the manner in which he did. That press conference was awfully telling as it exposed both him and Katrien as naive and unprepared. It even included some nonsense from Richard Murray about the importance of the relationship between the owner and the manager. Apparently that overrides everything including turning a blind eye to the new man being clueless and out of his depth.

Remember Luzon told us he was the man for the job because he likes be fair he didn't actually go on to add " football matches " and perhaps that's just as well.

I think Tuesday's " fightback " was in spite of Luzon and definitely not because of him. Like Ketts from Doctor Kish I noted that Skip shook hands with Damien Matthew when he went off on Tuesday and only did a cursory job of the same as his manager left him with little option before he could take his seat in the dugout.

I thought it was depressing enough against a poor Rotherham side but Tuesday surpassed even that for me. It dawned on me some 30 to 40 seconds into Red, Red Robin that I wasn't clapping. That's not happened before but I was so lost in the thought of how uninspired I felt that it didn't register.

Norwich could have been 4 or 5 up at half time but the sad thing was that both the goals they scored were gifted to them. Obviously they felt our charitable demeanour would continue in the second period as they took their foot off the gas. Of course it did at the end as we went on to gift them a third goal leaving Jerome with the freedom of the borough to glance the ball home.

The introduction of Watt and the move to central midfield of Cousins has immediate effect. It never ceases to amaze thousands of watching Addicks why Jordan isn't a permanent fixture in the centre. No Charlton manager seems to want to put him there yet he is so effective in that position.

Bikey was awful as was Buyens and Solly must have regretted that he chose Tuesday to make his first midweek appearance in many a month. 

It would appear the best sport that we can now look forward to is discovering what post-match bollocks Luzon can come up with. He obviously sees something we don't when a totally disjointed and dispirited first half performance is viewed as the players trying too hard ! Really ? Not for you they're not mate.

I almost can't  be bothered to suggest a side that might have some hope on Saturday but for what it's worth here's an eleven that I feel may give us our best chance if said players are fit.

Henderson, Wiggins, Solly, TBH, Johnson, JBG, Cousins, Jackson, Bulot, Vetokele and Watt.

Might as well give Johnson a go, he's not been embroiled in the endless defeats and may be a breath of fresh air. Bulot shouldn't play up front and I felt he was hard done by on Tuesday - put him out wide or get Wilson back into the team. Wiggins was poor on Tuesday but deserves another go and should be encouraged to get forward more. 

That lot might achieve something if they can overlook the off field antics and our clueless manager.

 If it's true that the players aren't responding to the new gaffer then it'll be in stark contrast to the oppo. That Brentford have ludicrously suggested that Warburton is going at the end of the season has only served to galvanise the Bees. 

Imagine a scenario in which Warburton gets sacked before Luzon. That might seem far fetched but consider recent events and it's less ludicrous and certainly more plausible than some of them eh ?

I saw a headline earlier that said " Israeli rules out Villa job " and I thought " good old Guy, he's staying with us but turns our it was Avram Grant.........who'd have thought it ? Whilst on the subject of Prem mangers, well done to QPR on joining us as another London club that has appointed their " dream manager ".

Probably not Cupid's but perhaps another arrow will strike on Saturday as Luzon shoots himself in the foot again with a second defeat in a week ? Sowing the seeds of love, the birds ( Canaries ) and the Bees ( Brentford )........

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 1 February 2015

Weekend Saved By Friday Pub Crawl

It seems our new manager is The Apprentice's Lee McQueen

A couple days spent in the smoke this weekend with the Friday being infinitely more enjoyable than the Saturday.

A pub crawl in memory of my mate kicked off at The Jerusalem Tavern in Farringdon ( St Peters ales for anyone interested ). There then followed The Old Red Cow, The Williamsons Tavern, The Counting House, The Magpie and Hamilton Hall.

Sadly, Hamilton Hall was extremely packed so a few of us decamped to Dirty Dicks, a pub I'd not been to for nearly 40 years ! It hasn't changed much but the prices certainly have ! I was glad it wasn't my shout in there ! Best avoided is my advice.

A good night meeting up with old friends and colleagues and reminiscing. Then Saturday...........

Oh dear ! What can you say ? It was dire wasn't it ? I don't know about the two players that Guy thinks we need. Perhaps it's marginally more !

I've never been impressed with animated managers and Mr Luzon wasn't exactly flavour of the month with me before kick off. What the hell was that he was doing on the touchline ? Jumping up and down waving his arms around and then crouching on the floor. It was embarrassing and somewhat of a contrast to Curbs who used to sit demurely in the stand. 

I had heard the Luzon preferred a more direct approach...........yes he does, doesn't he ! Our keeper, who had a good game yesterday especially one terrific save towards the end, is clearly under orders to launch the thing...........mostly straight into the arms of their keeper. 

What sort of tactic is this to apparently hoof it up to our forwards both under 6 foot for them to contest against their rather taller defenders ? Bob has his faults but at least we tried to play football under him.

Why does an unfit Vetokele start ahead of Watt ? 

Lepoint had an awful debut save for holding the ball up for Cousins for the goal. A post on Charlton Life sums it up nicely... " his cameo was the highlight of the afternoon, running around like a competition winner whose prize was a place in the squad ".

We were lacking in so many areas yesterday and it was truly awful. Rotherham were poor and so were we. We didn't deserve to win but when you 1-0 up with 7 minutes to go you oughtn't to be conceding especially such a soft goal. 

It seems were fortunate that Hamill and Ward didn't start the game. 

The man of the match was Jordan Cousins and I was in Crossbars post match to witness that presentation. He must have been gutted with the outcome because he gave his all once again. You could never accuse that lad of not trying. 

God knows what will happen in the next few games because they all look tough even Wigan away on their ploughed up field of a pitch. 

We're in big trouble now with seemingly dejected players and fans even more so. Sadly I fear little will change. I remarked on Facebook yesterday that we'll all still be here long after Roly's gone. The question is what state will the club be in when he finally goes ?