Thursday 31 December 2015

Happy New Year !

We can but hope !

I was toying with the idea of putting a question mark at the end of the headline instead of an exclamation mark.

On the pitch 2015 has been pretty depressing. I have witnessed some of the worst Charlton performances in all my time following the team. I think MK Dons away was a particular low point. Thankfully I missed Bristol City away as that sounds like it was on the same level. 

In terms of CAFC 2016 could be a good year with a couple of straight forward actions that ought to turn around our fortunes. That would be the appointment of an experienced Championship manager with a half decent pedigree and the acquisition of similar players. 

As I've said before it really is that simple. Sadly, all the signs are to the contrary with seemingly the sale of some of our prize assets and no change of manager.

Quite what Roly hopes to achieve by persisting with his present ( and I use the word lightly ) strategy is almost impossible to fathom. He is losing money and that is set to continue as things stand. in addition, with each passing day there's less likelihood of any potential buyer coming forward should he ever decide to sell the club.

What was the point of sacking Luzon ? At least under him I felt we might get the odd result. To a degree Karel has had some bad luck but I feel that any belief in him is fast evaporating. 

It is all quite bizarre especially given the he sold Standard Liege, a Belgian club with greater European pedigree whoever limited that may be and so much closer to home. Why he should want to hold on to CAFC is a mystery. Even more so when one considers the grief it must be causing him.

Should relegation happen and the ongoing decline continue then it is something that we may never recover from or it will take a long, long time at best. Our appeal to any potential buyer would be so greatly diminished despite the location and undoubted potential.

Come 31st December 2016 and a lot of water will have passed under the bridge and we'll know how it has all panned out. We can only hope that sense has prevailed and we are in a better place.

In the meantime, my thanks to Ketts for his ongoing support. Thanks to other too bloggers who invariably report on matters in a better and more erudite way than I. It's good to take comfort in what is becoming a misery shared !

My thanks also to all of you who have taken the time to read or comment on my nonsense.

I wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year !

Enjoy !

Thursday 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas !

Tis the season to be jolly ! Well, we can try can't we ?

It's hard to be too cheerful as an Addick at the moment but the Christmas celebrations will provide a welcome distraction.

As ever the lack of communication and action from those in charge at the club is staggering. How long does an interim manager last ? I guess that depends upon your definition of the word interim. Either we're looking to appoint Karel on a permanent basis or we're looking to recruit someone else. 

As has been observed by many others central to any potential success of Target 20k is results on the pitch. It really is that simple.

An acknowledgement that things are pretty s**t at the moment would at least be something. Letting us know whether the club intends to do anything about it would help and actually doing something would be even better.

Sadly, none of us really knows whether any or all of the above will happen. I'm struggling to see anything other than us playing in League One next season. I sincerely hope I'm proved wrong.

If a genie should come and visit then there are 3 simple wishes that I think the majority of us would ask for :-

1. The appointment of an experienced Championship manager with at least a half decent pedigree.
2. The recruitment of some decent Championship level players either bought or on loan.
3. Enough wins and points to ensure that we stay so that ( hopefully ) we start again with a better plan than we have now.

I'll not be at Bristol City nor the the Wolves game due to family celebrations so I have a break of sorts. Hopefully, my absence may bring about some better luck ( it seems to have made bu**er all difference most times this season ! ). This means a break for you who read the nonsense I occasionally write.

I hope that you and your families have a peaceful and enjoyable Christmas. Enjoy !

Thursday 17 December 2015

John Kettley is a................

Burnley fan !

For the second time in just over a week we let slip a two goal lead. Perhaps we have to be thankful that we didn’t lose the game.

I know his goal was something of a collector’s item but overall Emile Heskey was quite effective for the Trotters and when he went off I felt Bolton’s chances of getting a winner went with him.

Our own target man, Big Mak, wasn’t so great but scarcely deserved the mocking he received every time he won the ball. Clearly he isn’t the most gifted footballer ever to pull on a red shirt but he’s not going to get better if fans mock him.

To be fair he’s not played a lot in the last couple of seasons and has been out of the starting eleven for most of this. The ref, who was truly woeful on Tuesday night, did him few favours in seemingly penalising his every attempt to win the ball.

Overall this was a sloppy game where our passing and decision making let us down time and again. Had we played with a bit more invention and higher tempo we would surely have come away with the win.

We have players like Vaz Te who are not fully fit and at opposite ends of the scale Jacko and young Lookman understandably tired against Bolton.

A glance at the bench tells you that there was hardly anyone who could come on and improve things. Ba had a cameo ( I’m not sure that’s really the word for it ) that he’d rather forget. Big Mak struggled and KAG did his best.

How we could have used a fully fit Vaz Te from the start of the season. He will be more and more important the fitter he gets as we head into the second half of the season.

On to Saturday and a nice little trip up to play John Kettley's Burnley. No one is expecting anything there of course. We can only hope that the lads give it a go, there’s nothing to lose. At least Bauer returns and he should form a good partnership with Lennon.

Moving Diarra up to playing in front of the back four is a must and will bring some solidarity to midfield. The rest of that midfield perhaps save for Skip is up for grabs really with Cousins and JBG not having been anywhere near their best of late.

I shall try and avoid all news of the game until @ 4.50pm when I shall turn on the telly with my fingers very firmly crossed !

Come On You Reds !

Monday 14 December 2015

Charlton Escape With A Point After 2nd Half Annihilation

Steve - his lies are bigger than his belly

It’s hard to take anything Steve Evans says seriously. Now manager of the “ Champions of Europe “ ( yes, really ! ) I'm sure I recall him saying he’d never take the job. This of course is aside from a chequered past best summed up by his time at Boston United.

Therefore, when Mr Evans says :-

“Charlton have lost games here this season – Ipswich came and won 3-0. I watched the full re-run of that but they never got the hiding they got in the second half today.
“It was an absolute annihilation, but they held on and got the same return as what we did.”

you know you can ignore it as total piffle from a pretentious piffler ( thanks Lady C ) !
I spoke to a couple of Leeds fans before the game and asked them for their views on the corpulent one. They said he was appointed because he was cheap………nuff said !
On my part and forgive me for not possessing as keen an eye for detail as Steve, I thought a draw the right result. Both sides had good chances to score but didn’t either as a result of good goalkeeping or poor finishing.

Skip and Vaz Te should probably have come off earlier as they tired although one understands why Karel would keep them on in the hope they could make something happen.
Whether that point from Saturday is a good one depends upon the result against Bolton tomorrow night. A win for us then and 4 points from the two games dictates that it is.
The Trotters find themselves in a right pickle at the moment with a points deduction looming if they go into administration. It is a right mess and no mistake. However, when one looks at the likes of Southampton then administration isn't always such a bad thing. 

Clubs like Bolton don't go under and I'm sure that someone will emerge from somewhere to buy them out and move them onto better things albeit that it may take some while.

A midweek game isn't exactly what we need but then Bolton are suffering to a similar extent in terms of injuries etc. We really do need to win this one and if our young and recently crocked players can sustain the full ninety then we ought to.

I can't envisage many Trotters making the trip to The Valley and so a rather empty stadium is in prospect. Hopefully those of us making the effort will be rewarded with a rare home win !

Come On You Reds !

Friday 11 December 2015

Leads, Leads, Leeds !

He looks more like a rugby league manager.

Onto Saturday and we’re all hoping for better luck…….it can hardly get any worse !

Who’ll be fit and available is almost anyone’s guess. The timing could hardly be any worse as we enter an intense period of games. Whatever the outcome of these it’s clear that we need to recruit both in terms of numbers and quality.

Leeds have a managerial appointment policy similar to our own. Currently they are led by Steve Evans………he’s no oil painting. If he were it’d be something akin to And When Did You last See Your Father although in his case it’s a slightly different male member. I’d not be surprised if the “ pie tax “ wasn’t Steve’s idea…..” pass thy tokens to me ! “.

Steve has been managing Rotherham United who, to be fair, he did well to keep in the Championship. All the sweeter that it was at the expense of a club not too far away.

The lads preparation this week has involved a visit to the Queen Elizabeth hospital. At first one assumed this was to bring some pre-Christmas cheer to the rest of the squad and others who are sick. However, it also served a purpose in getting to know their fellow patients and to book a bed for themselves for Yuletide !

Leeds are about as inconsistent as you can get but that is of little wonder given the endless stream of bizarre owners and chairman. Risdale’s recruitment of Seth Johnson has long since passed into legend !

Had our own fortunes in the last couple of games been better then not only would we be better placed but we could be reasonably optimistic of getting something from the next two games.

As it is this will prove tough and the what sort of fare we’ll see served up from both teams in the following Tuesday night game doesn’t bear thinking about !

One has to hope that the players confidence isn’t too badly affected by losing on Saturday. To lose when you’re playing well as we did for most of the game is tough. Perhaps we can take some comfort from Huddersfield who dominated their game against Middlesbrough and lost but then beat Brum away last week.

Hopefully we can hold on to any lead we may get this week.

Come On You Reds !

Monday 7 December 2015

A Lot Of Luck.......

and all of it bad.........oh bu**er !

For Charlton it seems that when your luck’s out, it’s really out !

Having selected what appears to have been the almost perfect starting eleven against Brighton the fates conspired against us to give us a good hard kick up the backside.

How Fox started ahead of Holmes-Dennis is anyone’s guess. Sadly, having been given a lifeline he failed to take it. His passing was woeful and he got beaten time and again on the left. Added to that his crossing remains really poor.

I didn’t think this was a game for young Lookman……how wrong I was ! His goal on 2 minutes was one of real quality and show exactly why a few big clubs are looking at him so early in his career. He really does have some talent and was the stand out player for many people. In a tireless performance he covered nearly every blade of grass on the pitch… wonder he was so gutted at the end.

That we had scored so early was barely believable and that we added a second a few minutes later was truly astonishing. Reza netting again to double the lead. Had we scored that with a minute to go then one could have relaxed but it was always going to be a tough ask without adding that killer third goal. Thus it proved to be !

The early loss of Lennon was a disruption and set the tone for the rest of the match. With so few options it had to be Sarr as his replacement ( why didn’t we snap up Lloyd Doyley ? ) he failed to convince again.

Had Vaz Te been fit enough to last the full ninety minutes would also have helped but his departure was another factor in our defeat.

We had two glorious opportunities to get that crucial third but neither were taken. I think most of us felt the writing was on the wall after that. Even then it has to be said that the sending off of Bauer was pivotal and injuries to JBG and more importantly to Henderson were big blows. I’m sure Hendo would have stopped their third had he been anywhere near fit. Clearly he was in pain and could barely move but he couldn’t come off and we had no subs and were already down to ten men.

I’m sure I read somewhere that the emergency loan window will be scrapped form next season. That has to be the right thing. Brighton hardly need James Wilson ! Fair play to them and they are not alone in getting players in but it really should only be used for goalkeepers.

I’ve seen a number of people moaning about losing from 2-0 up but in reality we played so well in that first half and suffered cruel luck as the game wore on and really paid the price for not getting that third as I said. It’s being really harsh on all concerned to complain too much.

Onto next week and the injuries and suspensions already make one fear for the worse against an indifferent Leeds side. One assumes that Lennon will recover from his clash of heads but Bauer is suspended. Cousins didn’t look good and JBG similarly didn’t seem great as he hobbled away.  Add to that the knock that Henderson got and it really does suggest a weakened side.

None of the above was on any Addicks’ Christmas list ! Life never gets any easier for the club’s physios as they appear to have a workload almost on a par with that at Arsenal.

Having dropped back into the bottom points are desperately needed and Karel and Co will be hoping they come soon.

Friday 4 December 2015

I Do Like To Be..............

the seaside.............or do I ?

An away trip to Brighton on Saturday isn’t exactly what the doctor ordered. They remain unbeaten in the league this season under the excellent stewardship of Chris Houghton ( how we could use a manager like him eh ? ).

Their unbeaten run extends further back than this season I believe. Looking for a positive though and that run must sometime. I’m sure we all remember when put a stop the one Huddersfield did under Lee Clarke.

Further to that remember our wonderful run on the way to winning the Championship that came to an abrupt halt at home to lowly Swindon ! Pre-match and we surely only needed to turn up. Sadly a rare error from Deano plus the sight and sound of Willie Carson on the pitch made it a day to forget.

Is playing on 5th December an omen ? Probably not but there aren’t enough straws to clutch at present !

Brighton already had a strong squad but that was further strengthened last week by the “ emergency loan “ signing James Wilson from Manchester United. He is a good prospect and not someone we need to be facing right now. Like a team unbeaten all season were desperate for another player !

For our part I’d like to see Holmes-Dennis start in the back four with Bauer, Lennon and Solly. Reza really ought to come in for the great Dane. Hopefully, Skip will be fit to play.

For me, Vaz Te has to start if fit. Whilst I appreciate Lookman’s precocious talent games like this need experience and nous and his time will come.

Karel has said we’re going there to play for a win but in reality I suspect that he will aim to get something on the break if his previous away efforts are anything to go by.

One hopes that confidence wasn’t too badly affected by last week’s result. We didn’t play as badly as the scoreline suggests and Ipswich certainly weren’t that good !

Anything from this game will be a result. Let’s hope the lads are up for it.

I shall be there tomorrow as this is a rare away day for me. Here’s hoping for some pre-Christmas cheer !

Come On You Reds !

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Something To Lift The Gloom

At this time of year with long dark nights and on Saturdays seemingly long dark days anything that can lighten the mood and general gloom has to be a good thing.

Step forward then Steve Bridge’s wonderfully evocative book Charlton Athletic in Pictures – 1975 to 2015. This is not only guaranteed to lift your mood but also to bring back some splendid memories for any Addick.

The book is a collection of 123 photos over 128 pages.

Amongst the superb collection of photos are some of long forgotten players and also kits that are best forgotten. There’s the iconic one of Killer drinking a pint although it’s never been clear if that was pre or post match !

Even better news is that all the photos from the book are available to buy from Steve although be warned you’ll be spoilt for choice !

In recent years there have been some terrific books about Charlton, this is the latest addition to that collection.

Christmas is now less than 4 weeks away……another reason as to why there’s no better time to go and buy this great publication!

All details relating to the book and purchase of photos are available from the following website :-

If you have any queries you can email Steve at :-

Enjoy !