Friday 28 August 2015

Wovles Test

Can The Addicks come away from here tomorrow with a point or three.

Life is far from dull in S.E. 7 at the moment. An excellent start to the season was maintained on Tuesday as a youthful Addicks' side emerged victorious from London Road ( I'm not calling it whatever sponsor it has attached to it ).

As Ketts from Doctor Kish pointed out a few records must have been set in not just that match but with Saturday' late, late winner against Hull.

An early goal from Kennedy and a wonder strike from Kashi are the two standout events. Where a number of other Champs and Prem sides either went out of the league cup or made hard work of it, our boys put on a professional and ruthless display.

I was pleased to see Jordan Cousins rewarded with the captain's armband on Tuesday. He leads by example and appears to be very much the team player doing whatever is asked for him and with some aplomb too. Good for him !

Wolves had not had a great start to the season but I'm in agreement with Dave from Drinking During The Game. I believe that the Wolves game will be tough. Kenny Jackett alone will want some sort of a result against us given his connections with Millwall ( remember them ? ). Wolves will want a response especially at home.

It is to he hoped that Henry isn't playing as it means that a good player is absent from their line up and more importantly, raises hopes of his transfer to us completing. Henry is almost the missing link in our squad. Another centre half is, I believe, essential but a winger of his quality really will add something. 

Solly and Watt may be in contention but if there's the slightest doubt over the fitness of either then it seems folly to risk them ahead of an international break. The same should even more be the case with Vetokele. He's struggled to return from his injury problems and a place on the bench should be the limit of his exertions this weekend.

Hopefully our defence can remain tight to give us a good chance. Then it's up to the rest of the side to do their stuff and get us a goal or two. Thankfully out goals have come from a number of different sources and that bodes especially given our current dearth of fit strikers.

I didn't catch the third round draw of the League Cup, I suspect it's another lacklustre tie away to some lower league non-entity. At least it shouldn't distract the lads from the main task on Saturday.

Come On You Reds !

Tuesday 25 August 2015

Up For The Cup

Another Tuesday and for the third successive week it's another away day albeit in the League Cup.

The lads will really be up against it as in Dave Robertson, The Posh have a manager who really knows his football. I say this because it was he who passed me for my Level 2 award back in 2006. I need say no more then eh !

Many decisions for Guy Luzon ahead of tonight's cup tie away to Peterborough. A hectic start to the season allied to several injuries mean The Addicks should be fielding rather more youngsters and fringe players than the manager would have ideally liked.

Given Charlton's better than expected start to the season the boss will also have an eye on Saturday's game away to Wolves. Thankfully they are also in League Cup action tonight so won't have any advantage in respect of being more rested.

There's an international break after the game at Molineux and despite the Addicks going well Luzon will be glad of the opportunity to hopefully get some players fit as well as to integrate any new signings should we get anyone in.

I've been to London Road on 3 occasions and have seen us win each time. Therefore, I'm sad to say that I won't be there tonight although I've never seen myself as bringing any luck to The Addicks.

I'd like to see us progress hopefully without further injury and then go on to draw a big Prem team at home in the next round.

Come On You Reds !


Monday 24 August 2015

Staying The Distance

What a game on Saturday ! 5 minutes remained of normal time when astonishingly a good number of people around me left The Valley. I've never been one to leave early and have always drummed that into my lads because " you never know what you might miss ! ". The result against Hull demonstrates this perfectly.

Once Hull had equalised and the 8 minutes time added on was announced there was only ever going to be one winner and that wasn't The Addicks ! Momentum, so crucial in all sports, was most certainly with Hull. In any case we always seem to lose in those situations. Not on Saturday though !

Had Hull walked away with a point it would have been totally undeserved. The whole performance speaks volumes about this current Charlton squad. Already shorn of at least three key players and suffering more injury set backs during the game the team managed to overcome that and a deflating last goal from Hull to secure the win.

It's hard to fault anyone amongst a number of really good performances. Kashi again had a storming game and I'm increasingly impressed with him. Bauer remains solid and my doubts about Diarra playing at centre-half have totally dissipated.

JBG was good as always and the Great Dane had a superb second half and is seemingly winning over many fans.

Hull have got to be disappointed by their performance especially when one looks at their squad. The contrast in managers was stark. I couldn't detect any emotion or passion in Bruce and that was reflected in his team. No doubting the emotion or passion of our manager which wasn't understood the referee.

I thought the ref had a good game save for his dismissal of Guy and his booking of Ba for time wasting as he left the pitch. I've no problem if officials are going to be consistent with that but they're not are they ?

All credit to Luzon for playing Cousins at right back. Not many saw that as an option but young Jordan had a great game. Cousins apparent willingness to play wherever needed and in the best interests of the team is one of things that endears him to many fans. That allied to his undoubted ability and commitment to the cause.

My hope before the game was for a win, no problems with season tickets and better service in Crossbars. As far as I know there weren't any issues with tickets, we certainly won and Crossbars was better although the London Pride had disappeared. Hmm, I hope that returns but that disappointment is tempered by a good win.

Any result against Wolves on Saturday will make this an excellent start to the season and one that few would have predicted when the fixtures were announced in June.

One lives in hope that there will be further additions to the squad and that they aren't left till transfer deadline day as that always smacks of desperation. Hopefully our undefeated start to the season will help attract some more quality.

I hope that our promising start has escaped the attention of Sky as unlike some I've no desire to see us on telly. Not only do we rarely win when we are I like my football at 3pm on Saturday thanks because that's how it should be !


Friday 21 August 2015

Heaven and Hull

Steve Bruce has been in London watching the Addicks. He can be seen here in Trafalgar Square.

Part 4 of Charlton's easy start to the season takes place tomorrow when for the second successive home league game we entertain a team that was in the Prem last term.

There's a lovely symmetry to both our symmetries in terms of results. Both sides have won their two home games and drawn their away ones. At present with an eye on our injury problems and the strength of the Tigers squad most Addicks would probably take a draw tomorrow.

Injuries will rule out Solly, Watt and Reza with the Iranian's being severe enough to rule him out for the long term apparently. Igor's ongoing injury problems mean we look very light up front. Luzon may opt to partner Karlan with the great Dane but has the option to use Mak as a target man with someone playing just off him.

Charles-Cook is expected to replace Solly and the rest of the side should be as that which started at the City Ground on Tuesday.

Hull have plenty of quality throughout their side and will probably pose the toughest test this season. The loss of Solly and Watt in particular then make this an even bigger ask and so any kind of positive result would be good.

I'm old enough to have seen Steve Bruce play for Gillingham at the Priestfield Stadium. This was in a game against a Fulham side managed by Malcolm McDonald if I remember correctly . He actually got an assist from a throw in that day. He picked up a balloon that had found its way to the side of the pitch and pretended to throw it in and that somewhat distracted the Fulham defence. When Bruce took the throw proper, launching it into the box, the Gills scored and as I recall went onto win. 

Hopefully everyone's season tickets have now been sorted. I'd like to think the big screen will be listing the players throughout the game and that if I ask for a London Pride post-match I won't be offered a meat pie !

All that, like expecting a home win, is a big ask but this is Charlton, this is The Valley and you just never know although being Charlton you'd not be surprised if none of those came to pass !

Come On You Reds !

Thursday 20 August 2015

Injury Crisis

Bud and Lou discuss Charlton's injury crisis....*

Bud - " I hear Charlton have a few injuries "
Lou - " Who's injured ? "
Bud - " Watt "
Lou - " I said, who's injured "
Bud - " Watt ! "
Lou - " I'm asking YOU who's injured and all you can say is what ! "
Bud - " Yes ! That's who's injured "
Lou - " What ? "
Bud - " Yes ! "
Lou - " You're getting me awful mad ! Tell me those who are injured ! "
Bud - " Solly "
Lou - " I said who's injured ! "
Bud ( mumbling through gritted teeth ) - " Watt ! "
Lou - " Sorry ? "
Bud - " Yes and him ! "
Lou - " All I'm trying to do is to find out who's injured ! "
Bud - " For the last time it's Watt, Solly and Reza ! "
Lou - " Well, why didn't you say ? "
Bud - " I was telling you ! "
Lou - " Is that everyone ? "
Bud - " I think so "
Lou - " What about Moussa, if he fit to play ? "
Bud - " Quite the comedian aren't you ! "

* Bud and Lou are likely to a few more conversations like this until Watt leaves assuming we don't sign Who, Why, Where, When and How.......naturally !

Wednesday 19 August 2015


Daniel Bell-Drummond

Saturday saw many Addicks head north towards Derby, however, I travelled south to the St Lawrence for the T20 quarter final between Kent and Lancashire.

I arrived in Canterbury at 10.30am which allowed plenty of time for a hearty breakfast and a couple of pints of ale in the Bat & Ball before entering the ground shortly after the gates opened. The sun slowly emerged and it turned out to be a splendid day weatherwise. Sadly, the cricket didn't up being so glorious despite Kent's best efforts to recover from a poor start.

The game was lost on the last ball as Lancs garnered the two runs they needed to tie the scores and thereby win on the basis of having lost fewer wickets. Northeast missed a trick I felt as he'd have been better off bringing in the field saving two and forcing a more attacking shot to hit over the top.

Hey ho ! Kent have done so well this season in the T20 without the luxury of an overseas player but to lose in this manner was cruel. I've not seen the game back yet but it looked as though umpire Nick Cook did us no favours. 

It is to be hoped that this group of players can stay together as the future looks reasonably promising if they can although there needs a vast improvement in the red ball game.

Post match saw a return to the Bat & Ball followed by a Mexican and few more beers in Canterbury before retiring for the night.

The last three days were also spent in Kent in the Romney Marsh area. I spent many a childhood holiday there and it still holds its appeal for me. It remains reasonably unspoilt and the beach at Greatstone is as good as most offering plenty of room for games of footie and cricket when the tide goes out.

The DD part of the headline refers to our two draws and two points secured in the Midlands on Saturday and Tuesday. I don't think many would have been too upset with that ahead of the games although it sounds as though we should have secured all 3 points last night with the Great Dane guilty of a couple of big misses.

However, we remain unbeaten and have played 3 of the seemingly tougher teams in the division. That won't change with the visit of Hull. A win against the Tigers would certainly represent a great start for the Addicks.

We are nearing the closure of the transfer window and it is to be hoped that we can get more players in. We certainly need a keeper and another striker, one who can find the back of the net regularly. A winger and centre half would be good too but they seem most unlikely.

All will be known in a fortnight's time with a lot of water to pass under the bridge in the meantime with a lot depending on the movement of players in Premier clubs and the resultant trickle down effect.

Friday 14 August 2015

Another Saturday Another Derby

The iPro

The second of our opening league Derby matches takes place tomorrow. I expect this one to be quite different from the first.

QPR were surprisingly poor last week and despite their less than satisfactory start to the season I'm sure the Rams will pose a bigger threat.

Expectations are quite rightly high at the iPro and despite the absence of the excellent Will Hughes the Addicks can expect a tougher test. Manager, Paul Clement will be keen to turn things around asap and is to some extent under a bit of pressure even at this early stage of the season. Given our confident start it could be a good time to play them.

The League Cup match against the Daggers gave more players game time with a few staking a claim for at least a place in the squad. Even Reza ( remember him ? ) managed to notch a goal, something only previously seen at Leeds whilst wearing a Charlton shirt.

Despite that I'd be surprised if Luzon changed the team much save for Watt starting ahead of Karlan.

Following the visit to the Rams we're in the same neck of the woods on Tuesday for a very winnable game against Forest. You'd like to think that we could come away with at least 2 points from both games but this is Charlton so who knows !

I see that the folk connected with the appalling Channel 5 football highlights are suggesting that they are listening to feedback after their opening show. I've still no intention of watching. There are two simple ways to change that...........get a bloke called Manish to present it and put it on BBC1. There you are.......job done !

I shall be in God's chosen county tomorrow, Canterbury to be precise to hopefully cheer on the Kent boys to victory over a strong Lancashire team. Since Kent have been so poor in the red ball game this represents a chance to salvage something from the season. 

Good luck to all those travelling to Derby tomorrow. Have a good day and may we come away with 3 points.

Come On You Reds !

Monday 10 August 2015

Back In The Game !

After a hiatus of over 4 months ANEM is back ! I can hear the collective cheer already !

Moving house at the end of March added to a delay in getting broadband sorted all took its toll and by the time it had all completed so had the season pretty much. However, finally the old laptop has been dusted down and we're off again !

If you're expecting insight, thoughtful and witty observations then you've clearly not read this blog before. Sadly its the same old, same old !

I returned on Friday from a holiday in Tenerife ( more of which later in the week ) just in time for the QPR game. I was tinged with guilt for leaving " her indoors " to sort do all the unpacking but she understands life's priorities !

Like many others my pre-match plans had to be changed as a result of the season ticket fiasco. However, once at the ground they were quickly resolved and I was soon in the Oak's beer garden lapping up both sun and ale.

It was clear to see that more work has been done inside the ground although as with the Hammers friendly I thought the pitch looked better last season. The new screen is an improvement but like many others I miss not having both teams listed. Surely this can be added in some way ?

QPR fans were full of arrogance and more and it made Saturday's result all the more satisfying. I felt last season that Rangers made a mistake in appointing Ramsey when they clearly needed someone with experience to escape the position they were in. Similarly a club like Rangers is not one at which to learn your trade.

Clearly Ramsey does have some learning to do. The tetchy Mackie got no change from Solly all afternoon and never once did the QPR boss consider switching him to the opposite flank. Surely that's a basic tactic in that scenario.

In addition, post match and Ramsey admitted that Austin will be off soon. That was apparent from the way he played and all things considered why play him then ? Surely it made better sense to start someone who'll be there all season.

Lessons to be learned and he could do worse than look at the Addicks boss. He played it dead right with Watt. If the young Scot was out of order then he was put firmly in his place. Luzon did exactly the right thing.

It's clear following the opening match that there's contrast in several positions. We are clearly overloaded with midfield players to the extent that something has to give between them all especially if James joins from Wolves.

We still need another central defender in my view but perhaps Luzon is happy with the main three plus Lennon. I can't see us getting one in before September 1st.

Another striker is necessary I feel particularly in view of Igor's ongoing injury problems. That'll probably be a wait and see approach with a view to a loan if needed.

I've been impressed with all the new additions and Pope went a long way to erasing some doubts I had about him with a very assured performance.

Post match was spent in Crossbars ( although perhaps it should be renamed " Crosswires " if a barmaid thinks you want a meat pie when asking for a London Pride ! ). It was more packed than ever and to be honest a bit of a mess. The problems are easily rectified by more competent staff and a greater number of them. A great number of people gave up and walked away which was a shame as upto then everyone was in a good mood.

Others not in a good late on Saturday night were those who settled down to watch the new football league show. What a pile of cack ! It's like someone has managed to turn Match magazine into a football programme. It was a farce from start to finish. I'll not be watching it again and will watch Sky's 72 programme instead.

Tomorrow's League/Worthington/Capital One/Milk Cup match against the Daggers should be good given the side we appear to be putting out. An opportunity for some fringe players and more likely starters to get some time under their belts.

Given what we've seen so far there's lots to look forward to. Like the players on Saturday......... it's good to be back !