Monday 30 November 2015

Take Me To Your Leader

The omens weren’t good on Saturday when I discovered that York café was closed and I was denied my favourite S.E.7 brekkie ! Things didn’t improve from there.

Following the two rather unexpected victories hopes were high that the lads would get something from the game. Sadly, they failed to garner even a point and the previous mood of disillusionment returned.

Karel named an unchanged side, something of a rarity this season with all the injuries and chopping and changing. Holmes-Dennis certainly deserved to keep his place but why he didn’t start in his preferred position is a mystery that deepened further Fox returned another sub-standard performance.

Why Solly didn’t start is another enigma. It made little sense. After a really good effort against Wednesday it was further puzzling to understand why Reza didn’t feature in the starting eleven.

Given the physical nature of McCarthy’s side the selection of Big Mak didn’t make a lot of sense. One assumes that Karel had done his homework. The Dane got little change out their back four all afternoon.

Reza’s constant hassling allied to young Lookman’s skill would seem to have been the better option. Vaz Te proved he ought to be starting soon and I understand why he didn't on Saturday given that he’s short of match fitness.

When Skip suffered his hamstring tweak he disappeared along with our chances of getting anything from the game. The subsequent substitution and passing on of the captain’s armband highlighted a couple of issues.

Firstly, we have no leader in Johnnie’s absence. Goalkeeper’s are rarely made captains and for good reason. Their ability to motivate and generally gee up the team is made somewhat difficult when you’re mostly many yards away from the team. Clearly there’s no one else in the team deemed worthy and I couldn’t see any leaders out there.

Secondly, that Holmes-Dennis had to move to left midfield ( ultimately he played in three different positions ) put to bed Karel’s claim that the squad is big and good enough. We all know it isn’t.

Despite the 3-0 scoreline I don’t think the performance was quite as bad as many believe. I thought we started quite brightly and in the end were denied a few times by some splendid saves from Gerken. It wasn’t as though we didn’t create anything and it was streets ahead of the woeful display at MK Dons.

We weren’t helped by the indifferent display from the referee. He got taken in by the antics of some of the Ipswich players. Some cynical and rather depressing behaviour but to be expected to some degree.

One would like to think that our owner would take a look at the manager in the opposition dug out and take note of what can be achieved by having a manager who is experienced at this level. He consistently achieves a top 10 finish on a budget not totally dissimilar to our own. 

Town also lost a very promising youngster in the summer but don’t seem to have suffered to the same extent as us !

One assumes that a few players most notably Fox, Sarr and Big Mak will be fearing for their places. If not, they ought to be. Vaz Te, if fully fit, deserves a start as does Lennon who can surely only improve the back four.

Next Saturday won’t see things get any easier for us……Good Old Sussex By The Sea is about the last place we want to be going at present ! 

Friday 27 November 2015

Live At The Valley !

Another Saturday is spoiled by the kick off moving from the traditional 3pm…arghh ! I don’t like it but will just leave that there whilst my blood pressure is still manageable.

Live on telly and we all know what that usually means. Let’s hope that on this occasion we might defy the odds and at least avoid a defeat.

Ipswich always have teams that compete in the top half and under Myopic Mick they can usually expect to be challenging for a play-off spot. They are a fairly stable club who’ve had only 10 managers in the last 46 years. We of course, are going for 46 managers in 10 years !

They’ve been inconsistent this season which explains their position just outside the play-off places. In the last 8 league games they’ve won 2, drawn 4 and lost 2. They have only once scored more than twice in a league game and that came in a 5-2 demolition of Rotherham. On the flip side they don’t concede many but hey, we’d take a 1-0 any day of the week !

In a complete reversal of fortunes we have, of course, won our last two games. If we do complete a hat-trick of wins on Saturday then it’ll be surprise given the presence of the Sky cameras.   

One obviously points to Skip as the main catalyst for our upturn but looking past him and the change in formation they are a couple of others who deserve some recognition.

Diarra has clearly impressed since moving up into midfield. That has been aided by the vast improvement in Narby Sarr. One must also acknowledge the emergence of Lookman and Holmes-Dennis. These two have shown great promise and their performances belie their tender age.

JBG is obviously enjoying somewhat of a freer role that allows him a greater impact.

The return of Henderson with all his experience and organisational nous makes such a difference and instils a greater confidence in the back four. Good to see him have an early word with young Tareiq last week following an early blip from the young man.

Tareiq’s excellent performances and the rather poor ones of Fox ought to mean that Tareiq retains his place in the side. I don’t think Fox can complain albeit that he had a better game against Birmingham.

All of the above has helped to secure those last two results. However, it must be said that a large of any success from the new system and change in personnel will only last as long as injury or suspension allows or possibly we’re required to produce a Plan B……..that will be the real test.

Sadly, I can’t agree with Karel when he says we have a good enough squad. I think the rest of us are clear that it could use some more quality and depth. I find it hard to believe that he really meant that. The absence of just one or more of those players who are integral to our current system will really put us at a disadvantage.

As ever more transparency is needed especially surrounding the departure of Watt. I understand that the club may not want to say if he’s been a disruptive figure as has been alleged in some quarters. To suggest that he moved purely to get fit is an insult to our intelligence.

Any player, especially one of your better ones recovers from “ injury “, gets fit and then fights to regain his place in the side. It really is that simple anything else particularly given our league position suggests something else and that benefits no one.

We need to get behind Skip and the lads. It’s to be hoped that the planned protests don’t have a negative impact on them. They shouldn’t because they’re not designed to do so.

Let’s hope our earlier than usual journeys to The Valley can be rewarded with 3 points. A good display too would be a bonus !

Come On You Reds !

Monday 23 November 2015

Two Wins and A Rather Splendid Book

My mood has improved significantly since my last post. A couple of wins and unexpected ones at that often have that effect.

Enough has been written about those victories over Wednesday and Brum that I have nothing of value to add ( as usual I hear you cry ! ).

It’s not just those results that have brought an upturn in my outlook and like a couple of other bloggers I would draw your attention, if it hasn’t already been drawn, to Steve Bridges’ rather splendid book, Charlton In Pictures 1975-2015.

My order was delivered on Friday and upon arriving home I couldn’t resist a quick browse…..well, by quick I mean 30 to 40 minutes !

The book contains some lovely photos from the last 40 years and will no doubt stir a lot of memories and overwhelmingly good ones at that ! It has the advantage also of being one of those books that you can pick up every now and then to have a quick read.

Steve has now secured enough orders / interest to be able to authorise another print run so further copies will now be available. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

Again as others have said the book will make a decent Christmas present for any Addick. If you check out Steve’s website ( there’s a link on Wyn Grant’s blog ) you'll find full details and you can also order copies of the photos should you wish.

Friday 6 November 2015

What ? Not The Doctor Ordered ?

Oh Matron !

Having been suffering from man flu for over a week now the last thing I need is a follow up to the pathetic MK Dons display. However, it’s hard to believe that we’ll witness anything other than a repeat performance and maybe worse against a Wednesday team that is bang in form.

It’s worth a punt on 3-0 but I fear it may be more than that.

I needed to see the doctor at the start of the week. He advised me to use a nasal spray for my cold but tells me there’s no drug in world to cure me of my strange addiction to Charlton.

Talking of medical folk, the rumours of former Chelsea doctor Eva Caneiro joining the club remain strong. Unlike some of our more recent appointments she’ll have plenty to do and would no doubt be a more than useful addition to the medical team.

Oh Roly !

However, whatever problems we have at the moment I don’t think the recruitment of the good lady doctor should high on the list. Roland seems keen on adding another young filly to the fold. What a Carry On ! It’s not hard to envisage him in the Sid James role !

As I said in my previous post I don’t think I’ve a Charlton side so dispirited and at odds with itself. There were plenty of disagreements and we appeared totally unorganised. On several occasions two of our boys challenged for the same ball….a sure sign that there’s trouble at mill !

Aside from the unnecessary booing of Poyet the chanting of “ you’re not fit to wear the shirt “ was as depressing for me. Whatever you think these boys are all we’ve got and we need them to go out and play again for us tomorrow…….there isn’t anyone else !

It’s all counter-productive and it doesn’t do any good or change anything. Give the lads what support you can and leave it at that. I’m too down anyway to boo them !

I see our present manager has urged us to do our job ! Hello ? Since when did supporting your team become that ? Much like our recent job holders I don’t remember the interview. Depending on how you look at it it’s an accident of birth although I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Should Mr Fraeye start to show one iota of passion himself then maye he’ll have earned some right to ask us fans of more. Until then or we start getting some results then best keep schtum mate.

It is entirely possible that tomorrow will be the only home game that Karel manages. That’d be some record eh ? Maybe take the opportunity for an autograph or selfie before it’s too late !

They've probably got more answers.

Will the international break be used to address some of the issues surrounding the club ? Unlikely I guess but one can hope. In the meantime a  “ randomly “ selected group of fans will meet with Richard and Judy. Ice-cream and jelly will be provided and they all get to take home a Charlton stationery set after.

They'll no doubt get a good grilling. As Sid would say " you'll need a stiff one after that ! "

I travel to The Valley tomorrow with expectations at an all time low and I’m not looking forward to it. Almost anything other than a right spanking will be a positive….that’s how bad it is !

Come On You Reds ! 

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Feeling Like...........

A Limbo Dancer........and that's really low !

If ever there were a performance or result to indicate just how far we’ve fallen then it was duly delivered last night. An inability to score, never mind get any kind of result against a poor Dons side was about as bad as it gets.

No other side is going to keep losing games like us and that we now find ourselves 4 points adrift of the sides above us is no surprise.

In all my years supporting the club I don't think I can recall such awful football. Allied to that I've not seen one of our sides with players so clearly at odds with each other. 

This is about as depressing as it gets because I really can’t see things changing. Whatever the plan is with Fraeye it needs to end now because it’s clearly not working. That may seem harsh over just two games but one can’t help but think that had Luzon stayed then it couldn’t have been worse…………at least Guy had some passion !

However, I’m not naïve enough to believe we’ll see any response, immediate or otherwise.

Lloyd Dolyley was watching from the stands yesterday, I doubt he’s chomping at the bit to sign up now !

Karl Robinson can have no complaints about last night’s officials. The ref couldn’t wait to award fouls against us and usually this was followed up by a yellow card. In addition, he failed to award us anything for the most blatant of fouls. Added to which the lino got at least 4 offside decisions wrong that really angered our boys.

On a night where everyone and everything seemed to be sponsored I half expected to hear that the officials were sponsored by the MK Citizen !

One wonders if they read Robinson’s comments from the weekend where he criticised the referee. Whatever, it was a truly shocking display that managed to match that of our players !
The proposed meeting with Katrien and Murray ( whenever it occurs ) will no doubt be a non-event. Lip service will be paid in large amounts. Sod that ! We need actions not words !

Clearly we need a proven Championship manager and players. They don’t have to cost the earth. There are plenty available if there’s the desire to get them.  What wouldn’t you give to see Roger Johnson, Eagles, Ben Haim, etc. out on the pitch now ?

The decisions and rush to get rid of them was more short-sighted than even Mr Magoo could manage !

We seem to have picked up some injuries yesterday to further add to the woe. I’m really not looking forward to Saturday. At least a couple of beers may help to numb the pain.

I’ve tried to remain optimistic but I’m really struggling now. This morning I contacted some builders to enquire about that study and the revolver is on order !

P.S. I see that Chris Powell has been sacked by Huddersfield. That is ludicrous. They were only a few minutes away from an away win at Reading last night. Proof, I guess, that the madness isn’t confined to S.E.7 !

Monday 2 November 2015

Consistency !

Ain't that the truth Christine !

If you were seeking greater consistency from the Addicks then you can’t say you haven’t been rewarded in the last 3 games. Each of them has been lost 3-0. However, we can do without consistency of that kind thank you very much.

Tuesday sees us playing the Dons and the closest away game for me. Even if my efforts to support the lads only involves a 10 minute car journey I don’t think anyone would deny it’s still a big ask ! At the moment most of us wouldn’t bother to draw the curtains if the lads were playing in the back garden !

Never mind, as I said in my last post, the players do need our support and with that in mind I shall be cheering them on. No matter what the outcome I’ll not be booing our boys. I never have despite being severely tested on many occasions over many years of supporting Charlton. There really is no point.

Saturday’s 3-0 loss had an air of inevitability about it and I doubt we’d have won even had we been on a good run. Sadly, there don’t appear to be any positives to take from the game with a number of Boro fans citing us as the worst team to play the Smoggies for many a year ! Oh dear !

My optimism that Karel may not be as bad as many fear looks somewhat misplaced. Talk of smiling faces, getting fit and only being able to field eleven players at any one time really isn’t cutting the mustard, On the contrary, it’s more like cutting the cheese…it stinks.

Whether Roland and Co are desperately seeking a more qualified and suitable replacement is unknown but the silence speaks volumes so it’s probably safe to assume they’re not.

We’ve been here before of course and most will remember Parky’s “ trial period “ where he garnered 3 points from a possible 24 which was sufficient for him to get the job ! Those 3 points, you may recall, did not come about as the result of a win, I believe they were 3 draws……..boy, they must have been good ! At least at that time I think it’s safe to say there really wasn’t any money to get anyone else in.

Rumours that many managers wouldn’t touch us with a barge pole whilst Poirot’s countrymen remain in charge is concerning although understandable. Anyone worth their salt won’t be considering a move to S.E. 7…………..cue Malky Mackay !

That a number of our normally reliable players are now regularly turning in sub-standard displays is a further concern. If Skip managers to rally the troops and gets us out of this mess then it will be his most remarkable achievement to date.

Tuesday’s opponents are not on a great run themselves. Manager Karl Robinson will bleat on about having a small budget, limited squad whilst at the same time bemoaning every referee’s decisions……..on occasions he makes Mourinho sound quite balanced !

Robinson has for some time been telling anyone who’ll listen that Simon Church is a prolific goal scorer and he’s about to explode ! Clearly he never watched Churchy last season then. Of course sod’s law dictates that he’ll bag a goal or two against us…he won’t get a better opportunity.

Another old player we come up against tomorrow is Diego Poyet. Nearly all Champ sides would love to have him in their squad ( another reason to dismiss Robinson’s comments about his squad when you see a player of that calibre in their team ) and it’ll be sad to see him not wearing the famous red shirt.

I know some have issues with the manner of his leaving but I understand he wanted to stay but wasn’t given a serious offer and the departure of Riga also played a big part in his decision to leave.

Even playing another side on a poor run I can’t see us getting anything from this one and let’s not even think about Saturday ! Fortunately, I’m devoid of both a study and a revolver ! However, I do own three cats, it’s just a question of which one to kick. I’ll probably end up kicking all three, one for each goal in Church’s hat-trick !

Come On You Reds !