Saturday 31 December 2016

Addicks Make Their Point

As far as CAFC are concerned it can't be as bad as 2016, can it ?

The Addicks secured an unexpected point at Roots Hall this afternoon. It sounded like a familiar scenario of a poor first half with a slightly better second and the lads deserve some credit for battling away.

Phillips and young Aribo had fine games apparently and The Shrimpers appear to have miss some chances to extend their lead.

I do so hope that Robinson didn't go mad celebrating again post-match. It's good point but you've not won a league or anything.

4 points from the last two away games isn't bad and has arrested the slide although the team is a million miles away from producing decent football no matter what Robinson says.

Hopefully on Monday our new Chelsea loanee Dasilva will start and as a result I'd like to see Chicksen start at left back. I assume that Lookman will still have his mystery illness !

I'm not anticipating a repeat of the 5-1 scoreline against Rovers but if we can achieve a win we then have a near 2 week break before Millwall pitch up again. Who knows we may have got some players in by then. If so and Robinson has had a long lead in time to get the team playing the way he wants then there's no excuse for a poor and lacklustre performance.

I'd like to thank everyone who has read this nonsense again year and particularly if you've taken the trouble to comment.

My thanks also to fellow bloggers who do a better job than me at reporting on CAFC matters and putting their thoughts across.

Big thanks to Ketts for his half time chats and general discussion and information.

I hope you all have a great evening whatever you're doing and I wish you a peaceful and happy new year !

Thursday 29 December 2016

End Of The Year Show !

Lookman's last time in a Charlton shirt ?

It seems that a trio of personnel will be leaving S.E.7 in the next few days. Two being entirely predictable and one less so.

Our CEO made great play of the fact that Lookman would not be sold in the January transfer window but it would appear that his move to Everton is pretty much a done deal. The reported loan back to us for the remainder of the season seems highly unlikely and no one can blame the Toffeemen for not agreeing to that if they are shelling out £10m for him.

The move would complete a meteoric rise up the football leagues for Lookman. There's no doubt that he is a gifted and talented player. He might not have done as well in League One as we might have hoped but the team has been poor and for me he has been played out of position.

Better coaching and players will no doubt see him produce some quality and I'm really pleased that he is joining such a sound club as Everton. It is a decent club and has always played football the right way. I hope for him that his career flourishes at Goodison.

The other two departures apparently are Fox and Nugent. Sheffield Wednesday are renewing their interest and I've little doubt that the player himself would welcome the move. It's a league higher and he is not enjoying a great relationship with the fans.

If Fox does depart then there's a real possibiltiy that Chicksen may get to start a league game at left back ! Yes, really ! In a rare good move even Robinson might have to play one of our best players in their proper position !

Nugent it would seem is about to join up with Mr Slade in Coventry in a move that would very much be our loss and Coventry's gain. The failure to hold on and give him more time as interim manager and try to persuade him to take it in a full time capacity is a real missed opportunity.

To date there has been no news of the jolly boys outing to see The President in Belgium. How we'd love to have been a fly on the wall for that meeting eh ? The lack of information from that is not surprising, however, I guess all will be revealed in due course as the transfer window reaches its conclusion.

We keep getting told that lessons have been learned but to hold such a meeting so close to the opening of the window almost beggars belief. As I stated before I've no idea why so many people had to travel to Roly anyway. However, it's one aspect of the bizarre running of our club.

One suspects that Roly will trouser the vast majority of any transfer money if Lookman goes. Whatever plan Roly sold to Robinson, the talkative one is about to find out how intent he is on achieving it.

We now face two games in 3 days and after an awful Boxing Day performance against MK Dons it's hard to envisage too much joy from them. One assumes there's a real chance that both Fox and Lookman may not play thus further depleting our squad.

After those games we have a break until we face Millwall again. Oh Joy ! One hopes that we have both some new faces in and one or two players back from injury.

First up though are Southend who are now unbeaten in 11 games and haven't lost at home in the league for some time. The Shrimpers rather like Sheff Utd had a sluggish start to the season but their good run of results has seen them rise up into the play off places.

Robinson will need to set the team up in a more positive manner than we saw on Monday. On occasion it's ok to see out the game but I'm still dumbstruck by the refusal late in the Dons game to have a strike at goal from a free kick on the edge of the area. Why you would not try for the second goal as time was almost up and with virtually nothing to lose is a total mystery.

Those that witnessed it will be as baffled as I was I'm sure.

Against the background of all the above the lads will do to come away from Roots Hall with anything. Let's hope they can and in the process reward the loyal band of travelling Addicks.

I understand that there will be a minute's applause in memory of two young Southend fans who sadly lost their lives recently. I'm sure our fans will observe that impeccably.

Come On You Reds !

Tuesday 27 December 2016

Christmas Cracker !

Trump is meeting with Robinson and his entourage today.

It certainly wasn't a cracker yesterday - no hat ( trick ) certainly no joke other than the one on us for paying to watch such bilge and the only novelty was us winning.

I keep thinking I have watched the worst football Charlton has ever played and then hey presto along comes another contender. In making tenuous connections to our American cousins another Charlton, Heston wouldn't have approved of yesterday's insipid game as there was hardly a shot.

As has been observed elsewhere the game hinged on two the removal of Bowditch due to injury and a moment of quality from Lookman that was out of keeping with the rest of what the Addicks produced.

The oppo spurned a couple of good chances to score and that was to cost them dear. I'm not sure they even had a shot on target in the second half. They were as poor as us in a game that featured two poor sides. 

Almost any other team in the league ( and few from leagues below ) would have beaten us yesterday. 
The atmosphere ( if you can call it that ) was awful and was even worse than ours is at the moment. 

Post match and Robinson was celebrating like we'd won the league with high fives all round. Not unusual scenes in that stadium and an indication of how high or perhaps low Karl is setting the bar.

Again we were not allowed to sit in the lower tier which is ridiculous. If this is done with a view to lessening the impact the away fans have then it's not working as the Dons have one league game since March.

I suggest that we do the same in the reverse fixture and only open the upper part of the Jimmy Seed or even better put their fans down the far end of the East Stand. 

The subsequent interview saw Robinson spout his usual nonsense. Blah blah passion....blah blah desire.....blah blah this football club......blah blah playing for the badge.....blah blah.....pride.

It was the usual rubbish that most of us have now tired of listening too. He even pledged his life tot he club ! My God ! Just for once think before you speak.

He even referred to meeting some Millwall fans in a pub and looking forward to seeing them again. Er how about you meet with our fans first as you promised although when time allows of course !

Laughably he referred to meeting the President today. The Commander in Chief no less ! Of course he's not really seeing Trump but another septuagenarian with bad hair and silly views !

He is travelling with Barker, Miere and Skip. Thus the rest of the lads will no doubt be having a laugh as Jacko has to spend a couple of days listening to Karl babble on whilst the lads back home have a break. 

It is worrying that they are watching a Sint Truden game. What is the purpose of that other than to look at a couple of their players. Surely that's all it can be because otherwise why doesn't Roly come over here rather than all that lot go over there.

In any case why bother at all as in all football matters he usually defers to his niece, Katrien. If he does feel the need to be consulted then surely a meeting via a videolink would suffice for the man who doesn't give us more than 1.5% of time.

Robinson has stated what players he wants and if he gets them then he'll have to get them producing some good football. I find it hard to understand why he can't get better of the existing squad.

As you'll have gathered I don't think he can deliver despite all his talk. The January transfer window will be " massive " for him but very few clubs ever enjoy any success. He'll need an awful lot of luck.

Saturday 24 December 2016

Merry Christmas ( nearly everyone ) !

Merry Christmas folks !

I hope all Addicks enjoy the festive period even if the Scrooge-like figure of Duchatelet still looms large over out club.

I'm posting late as even in the pre-Roly era there was a sacking and new appointment on Christmas Eve and there may have been something to report. 10 Years later and Pardew finds himself out of work at Yuletide rather than in it. Such a shame for one of the most obnoxious people in football.

Robinson has given the players ( or maybe himself ? ) the day off tomorrow. Only time will tell if that proves to be a productive move or not. At least the lads won't have to listen to him blathering away and filling their heads with nonsense.

We've had a little break from him too as another corpulent red-faced figure takes centre stage.

One suspects the respite won't last long and Karl the Parle will find himself behind a mic pre-match on Boxing Day telling us all about his cunning plan to beat his old club.

No doubt Robinson will be welcomed back in MK. Naturally, fans of any club would be delighted to see him in the long as it's the opposition's.

He finds himself coming under some pressure now and almost all self-inflicted. Talking up players and endless babble about playing expansive football has led to that. Now we find ourselves at the point where he's hanging his hat on working some miracles in the January transfer window.

Good luck with that !

As I pointed out some while ago if they current players don't fit the system, don't use it. Play to your strengths. Sadly it would appear that Robinson can't see that.

I'm not sure any failure on his part that led to him being dismissed would greatly damage his career. After all, he can cite a clueless owner, not given enough time and / or money etc. etc. In that respect he has nothing to lose and a decent sum of money to gain.

Following Wednesday's defeat and our previous two games against the Dons I'm not expecting a result of any kind on Boxing Day.

Surely Chicksen can't be overlooked again and ought to start in his natural left back position. I fail to understand how he can't get the nod over Fox.

I shall be making the short trip to see the game but won't be expecting a Christmas Cracker !

Anyway forget all that if you can and have a good day tomorrow with whoever you are celebrating with.

Come On You Reds !

Wednesday 21 December 2016

No Christmas Cheer !

How long before Robinson gets the sack too ?

Defeat at Millwall is never a surprise and sadly, it was even less so under our media luvvie manager. 

I had a wry smile yesterday when in one of his many interviews Robinson expressed the view that talk is cheap and action on the pitch is what is needed. I didn't view this as a road to Damascus moment for Karl. Old habits die hard and this leopard won't have changed his spots.

Aside from that we didn't see any action or result on the pitch of note tonight. This set of players and indeed the manager to be fair aren't alone in expressing their understanding of the importance of this game only going on the succumb all too easily.

You have to feel for all those Addicks that went tonight. Never a nice place to go and given the re-arrangement of the game at this time of year an extra effort was needed. Sadly that wasn't matched by the players.

However, the typical Millwall defeat, whilst always  hard to take, can usually be forgotten as the next game offers a chance of redemption. Sadly given Robinson's impact to date none of the upcoming games offers any such hope.

As ever post-match and shooting from the hip the manager says he's going to sit down with every players and demand the truth........whatever that means !

Now apparently there are certain aspects of this club that he's not happy with. Please enlighten us Karl ? Perhaps it is the massive management team or perhaps the massive PR team. I'd love to know.

The players are rightly getting stick ( the defending was awful ) but one wonders what has happened since Nugent handed over to Robinson. In these last two games it's been dire. Have the players lost all faith in him already ?

Of course the malaise goes well beyond this squad and manager and as we know it won't disappear until Roly and co leave. It does however, get worse every time you don't believe it possibly can.

I don't believe the arrival of Barker and the probable departure of Nugent is about to make matters any better. Someone ought to lock The Valley gates and stop Kevin leaving the building - it might just be our only hope !

God help me I'm going to the Boxing Day game and in the meantime I'm going to try and enjoy Christmas. I suspect there'll be a collective wish as we pull the wishbones on Christmas Day and we'll only know if it's worked when Roly has packed his bags !

Monday 19 December 2016

Talking Tosh !

Calm Down ! Calm Down !

A truly woeful performance from The Addicks was not what the doctor ordered ahead of three successive away games the first of which is the Millwall game that means just a bit to us stupid customers.

There’s no doubt that the players should take the lion’s share of responsibility for the poor fare that was served up on Saturday. Fans will pretty much forgive even the most inept player if they feel they are giving 100%. Indeed, this is something Robinson told us was a given when he was appointed.

It’d be disappointing if amongst all Robinson’s hyperbole he didn’t take time out to slate the team for that sub-standard effort.

There are many things that baffle me Lookman on set pieces is one but of greatest concern is not playing Chicksen. The lad could play wide left or his preferred left back position.

He has been the stand out player in recent weeks but the gaffer couldn’t find a place for him in the starting eleven. Even then whilst Fox was having an awful game he didn’t feel the need to get him on until the 69th minute whilst Morgan stayed on.

Whilst Posh will be mightily pleased with their second goal, The Addicks can only view it as terrible defending. Not least a cynical foul was needed to stop their player’s run well before he got into a shooting position.

Many will argue that Robinson should be allowed the January transfer window to get in the players he needs and that injuries aren’t helping. That has to be acknowledged of course. However, there has not been any improvement in the team since the Liverpudlian’s arrival.

A battling display against Bradford aside it’s not been good. Nugent had the team playing well and scoring goals. Why is it that Robinson doesn’t seem capable of getting a performance anywhere near that ?

He continues to talk, talk and talk ! A lot of the time I don’t think he even pauses for thought. In one post-match interview he nearly swore but just corrected himself in time.

We are now treated to him given us his plans pre-match. Karl, I don’t care because when it all goes t**s up you look a mug.

He continues to talk up every player and everything about the club including the claim that transfer fees for players go through the roof when Charlton come calling. Should we be surprised that clubs want to get the best fee for their players ?

Robinson has expressed the desire to meet fans but when time allows. Fair enough I’m sure he’s busy but don’t be so naïve as to go out in Greenwich the night before the game. It sends all the wrong messages especially in light of that “ when time allows “ comment.

More arrant nonsense from him when in attempting to assure us that he understands what the Millwall game means as he describes it as a battle. Eh ? It’s a game of football albeit a significant and meaningful one. However, a battle it is not !

I fear that with that sort of talk he’ll over-excite the players ( and some fans too ), discipline will be lost and it’s not hard to envisage someone getting a red card.

Right from the start Robinson has shown little understanding of the club’s situation declaring himself a footballing Henry Kissinger who can heal all rifts. At the same time we will be witnessing this expansive brand of football that will have us on the edge of our seats.

On occasion he seems overwhelmed and increasingly he looks out of his depth. He’ll need to keep a lid on things on Wednesday and that means himself as much as the players. A calm and rational approach is needed in what is guaranteed to be a hostile atmosphere.

What has played out so far is exactly what I feared when Robinson was appointed. I’ve little doubt that he will spout some more guff in the next two days. If this is followed by a gutless and poor performance then the pressure ramps up, even at this early stage of his tenure.

Results are all important and that is never more true than when playing the Lions. I hope for his sake and the club’s that he can somehow get a result and claw back some credibility.

Come On You Reds !

Friday 16 December 2016

Talking Posh

The 2nd round cup tie with MK produced the worst outcome as having already gone to a replay it went into extra time, something our depleted squad really didn’t need.

I felt our best opportunity was to win it at home but we failed and the rest was almost a forgone conclusion.

I didn’t go but one of my lads did and as he was sitting on the opposite side of the ground apparently had a different view to Karl who talked up our performance.

I’m all for putting a positive spin on things ( that’s right eh, Si ? ) but a little too much and folk will start to wonder. Nothing wrong with talking up players etc. but it all seems a bit over the top.

I’m in agreement with Blackheath Addick in his recent post ( ) I don’t care how animated, passionate or otherwise our manager appears to be the bottom line is results. All that bluster will only take you so far.

Robinson has repeatedly said that he needs to recruit a certain type of player to enable the team to play the type of football he wants to see. That’s fair enough and perfectly understandable. However, in the meantime if you believe you haven’t got the players to deliver that it seems more than a little naïve to attempt to do so.

I think he understands that you can’t change things overnight but I sense a bull in a chine-shop approach. As much as Allardyce was criticised for his style of football he took a pragmatic view that delivered the aforementioned results.

That doesn’t mean that we need to win ugly. However, I think I would have continued with whatever Nugent was doing. That was working and I can’t see why that couldn’t have continued in the meantime until Robinson’s players arrived.

The temptation as a new boss in almost any walk of life is to make changes for change’s sake. The desire to make an impact in an attempt to justify yourself. It’s a mistake I made myself in a previous job.

If things are working well then the smartest of cookies will not make many, if any, changes. Robinson would do well to do the same.

One thing he has been successful with is bringing Chicksen into the team. I’ve no idea what Slade was thinking in not playing him. The lad has been great. He should be offered a long term deal now but we know what our CEO is like so don’t hold your breath !

Fox should be feeling the pressure and the need to up his game accordingly. Let’s hope he responds.

The Posh offer a tough test tomorrow. We will need to be at our very best tomorrow to beat them.

It’s sad to see that Pearce will almost certainly miss the rest of the season. I’m sure he’ll be aiming to get back as soon as he can. Thankfully, at present we are well covered in the centre back position short term injuries and suspensions aside.

A confidence building win is essential on Saturday not just for Robinson’s sake but ahead of the Millwall game. A gutless performance there will do no good at all ahead of the next MK Dons encounter.

Come On You Reds !

Monday 12 December 2016

Top Effort at Bradford

A well earned point on Saturday was secured at some cost. Injury to Pearce and a red card for a very dubious second yellow for Bauer. It must be assumed that Pearce will not feature in addition to the BFG at MK tomorrow night.

The Addicks were hit by a bug before Saturday’s game thus further depleting the squad whilst some such as Bauer played despite being far from 100%.

Against that background it was truly was great performance form the lads and from what I’ve seen and heard it seems that we deserved to be ahead at the interval. The second period appears to have needed a truly cohesive defensive approach and walls were not breached !

Stand out performance from all and Josh, Phillips and Chicksen it seems. Many had Adam down as their man of the match. Why on earth he’s not got a chance before or a chance ahead of a fit Fox remains a mystery.

I’ve felt all season that Fox ought to be well above average in this league but without any sense of pressure and feeling his place is secure I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him. I trust that now we’ll see a real battle for that left back berth.

It’s pleasing that the last two away games have rewarded our loyal away following. It’s good to see their efforts reap some return.

Tomorrow’s unwelcome cup replay is one that doesn’t matter an awful lot in my view. I don’t think we need the bother and distraction of extra games especially with our injury and fixture list such as they are.

I’m sure that Robinson won’t take that view irrespective of the opposition. He will surely go all out to win.

Already the difference in his approach to Slade’s is clear to see. I’m sure we’d all rather see an attacking formation and attitude. That’s the one positive thing I can say about Robinson to date.

Thursday 8 December 2016

Only At Charlton !

MOTM nominee - Kevin Nugent.

It’s been a relatively quiet week in S.E. 7 although it’s not been totally without an egg on the face moment for the club’s management team.

Kevin Nugent was nominated for the League 1 manager on the month. Hmm can’t be many managers who that happens to only for them to no longer be in charge. It’s not as though he’s taken up a post elsewhere.

How long did we endure the previous interim ? It would be funny if it weren’t so sad. Still lessons have been learned eh ?

The only lesson I think these goons have learned is that  they’ve noticed in Katrien’s case she says it best when she says nothing at all !

I’m sure the PR company is having an effect. A new manager has been installed and she was nowhere to be seen. In fact, as far as I can see she’s not even commented on the appointment and certainly not the process.

Katrien has virtually retired from public life. Even comment on the links to the child abuse scandal was issued as a club ( or cloob ) statement.

Don’t get me wrong I’ve no real desire to hear from her but what is she doing I wonder ? After all she is supposed to be running the show and that means more than just being filmed pre-match in the tunnel sharing a joke with the latest stooge !

A less than thrilling goalless draw in the cup last week and as we now know no big game awaiting in Round 3 even if we do overcome Robinson’s former team.

Now I think we’re better off losing next week’s replay and winning the Boxing Day encounter. We certainly don’t need extra games.

Saturday sees a trip oop North to take on the former charges of another ex-Charlton manager.

City are 4th and are unbeaten at home in the league so this will be a tough test. Hopefully having had to play on Wednesday in the prestige Check-A-Trade pot will have taken something out them.

Robinson has had a further week with his team and whilst I appreciate that he might cite the fact that he hasn’t got his own players in yet - he needs to deliver. After all, talk is cheap and a certain manager of the month nominee managed to get results with the self-same squad.

Come On You Reds !

Friday 2 December 2016

Another New Dawn !

Just waiting for Skip to lift it up next May !

Another quiet week in S.E.7 then !

Mind you, it wouldn’t be the same if there were a week where pretty much nothing happened. As far as I can see a week where Roly and Katrien are exposed for further ridicule would appear to be de rigueur.

Emails from Roly to Sir Chris are made public and clearly demonstrate that the owner was interfering with team selection. However, Roland confirms that he hasn’t ever interfered with team selection - just made a couple of suggestions as you do ! Hmm !

However, we knew all this before of course because Katrien told us, so it must be true ! Oh ye of little faith !

Aside from the team selection, the man offers up advice on formations and is patronising in the extreme. I very much doubt Roly treats his immediate managers in the businesses in which he’s made his fortune in this fashion. Anyone would be off like a shot if so ( unless you’re the CEO of a London football club )..

We really ought to try and break down the 1.5% of his time that he allegedly devotes to our club. Clearly none of it is spent of planning ( he does have a plan doesn’t he ? ) and it would appear it is almost entirely spent on explaining the mess he and his sidekick have created.

With each passing day he becomes more of a public laughing stock. His credibility is on a par with Katrien’s. How he ever succeeded in business is a bigger mystery than why he bought our club.

Anyway back to the manager and Robinson is the latest person to keep the seat warm in the  greatest game of managerial musical chairs sans la musique – there’s nothing to sing about !

This is an odd game with a potential conflict of interest. Robinson allegedly wants Barker ( the current MK Dons boss ) to join his managerial team. If so and you’re in Barker’s shoes what do you do ?

Hmmm ! A right old dilemma and no mistake.

If Barker does join Robinson’s team he’ll find himself working alongside Chris O’Loughlin. He’d be forgiven for asking “ Chris who ? “.

At this week’s press conferences Robinson said that he had personally asked for CO’L to stay on as he was scheduled to leave. I’m finding it hard to believe that he wants someone retained whom he’s barely met as far as I know. In any case managers usually prefer to bring in their own team.

Possibly even more remarkable is that CO’L was originally appointed to the football management team for about a month ? Really ? How very odd !

I’m sorry I’m not buying that and let’s just see how long he sticks around “ dahn our gaff ! “. I’m sure that a2c can explain it all in his or her usual Jabberwocky style.

We now enter the world Robinson’s tippy tappy football. Sadly, a great amount of possession won’t win you games – goals scored is still the key factor. Let’s see if Karl’s changed his ways at all.

If he doesn’t berate referees and blame them for everything that goes wrong then we’ll know he’s changed a bit at least.

Robinson has talked very excitedly about his new job. He’s been acting like a kid in a sweet shop. Therefore, as a number of people have observed, it seems strange that he deferred starting the role until this Monday.

Sheff Utd in the league or MK Dons in the cup………you decide !

I’m not going tomorrow and it won’t be until 17th December that I get see to Robinson’s brave new world.

Good luck to those attending and I hope that you are rewarded with a win like the one in the previous round. 

A plum tie at home in the 3rd round would be good. It would offer a platform to further highlight our current situation.

I know not everyone is studiously following our club but I never cease to be amazed at the number of people who are ignorant of our plight. Mention of Charlton to some folk gets the response of “ How are you doing ? You’re in the Championship arent’ you ? What do you mean about your terrible owner ? “

Clearly plenty still to be educated then !

Come On You Reds !

Monday 28 November 2016

Happy With A Draw

Sheffield Steel but the Blades lacked a cutting edge.

For pretty much the whole game I’m sure most of us would have settled for a point on Saturday against a strong Blades side that looked fit, quick and inventive.

Clearly we didn’t deserve a share of the spoils but it’s happened to us before so we’ll not concern ourselves too much over that.

Clearly Nugent has the best record of any Charlton interim manager just eclipsing the great Fraeye. That the club didn’t hold on a little longer is a missed opportunity unless Nugent himself really didn’t want the job of course.

I’m pleased to see him remain on the coaching staff although it’s getting a bit crowded there with the imminent arrival of Barker and Roly’s latest stooge CO’L lurking around in the background.

Whilst outplayed for most of the game it is to the team’s credit that they hung on in there to get the draw. One can’t help but feel we would have been a more potent force if Botaka and Chicksen had started or at least one of them.

United’s goal came from a well organised free kick routine that was greatly assisted by our boys deciding to a mannequin challenge on the pitch. Added to this Phillips had one stain on his performance by being beaten so easily at the near post. Better positioning might have prevented the goal but he was cruelly exposed by his team-mates.

That aside Phillips produced a mature and polished performance making several impressive and crucial saves.

It should be noted that the referee was pretty shocking as he let a lot of cynical United fouls go unpunished whereas the slightest infringement from our boys was punished immediately.

Now we have a break from league action as the latest arrival on the Addicks managerial merry-go-round, Karl Robinson climbs aboard.

He has a full week to get his ideas across and decide on his best side. Robinson won’t ever approach a game with more knowledge of the oppo than this one so failure to win won’t be a great start…… pressure !

I can’t see a reason to field anything other than the strongest starting eleven we can with the potential of a prize third round draw in the offing.

Friday 25 November 2016

Tough Test

This Robinson ( Red Robbo ) didn't have a problem with protests !

The dreaded deed has been done and Karl Robinson is now our manager. For me he is everything our club historically isn’t as evidenced not least by his previous ill-advised comments about our club. However, he’s now chosen to take the Belgian shilling and is now making different noises.

I’ll not comment any further on him at present other than I hope he proves me wrong, acts with some decorum and is a success. At least Adam Chicksen will be pleased with his arrival as he would appear to have a better chance of getting a regular game unless there’s some baggage we’re not aware of.

Saturday sees Nugent’s final game in charge. Far be it from me to point out the inconsistencies of his short tenure against the longevity ( relatively speaking ! ) of the previous interim manager !

If ever we needed a “ wait and see “ approach for a caretaker boss then this was it. I hope he stays on the staff but Robinson will probably bring over Barker but was we know the tail wags the dog so he may not get his way on that should he so wish.

The recent rather disturbing, nay sinister appointment, of CO’L to the football management team ought to be a concern for Robinson. One hopes he has had the sense to clarify his role but since his only managerial experience to date is with one club he is still wet behind the ears in that respect. In addition, he may have taken promises for the owner at face value. One would like to think he’s done at least a little research into him and how things operate in S.E. 7.

The last two performances mean that we go into battle with the Blades in better heart than one would have expected a couple of weeks ago. Injuries and long term ones at that to Solly and Holmes restrict our options. Hopefully Rudd isn’t out for too long although Phillips performed well on Tuesday I believe.

The aforementioned Chicksen deserves his first Valley league start. Botaka ought to start although his 30 minutes last Saturday left a bit to be desired possibly due to lack of game time.

The Blades fans have bought out their entire allocation and will be I good voice no doubt. At least some atmosphere is assured as a result.

This will be a tough test for The Addicks but on present form they seem up to it. A win would be fantastic and we could start looking up the table.

Come On You Reds !

Wednesday 23 November 2016

5 Go Mad In Bristol !

Well, I’m not sure what’s more unexpected, last night’s scoreline or the imminent appointment of Karl Robinson. However, I know which one pleases me more !

Clearly Mr Nugent is able to get more out of our squad ( bearing in mind the injuries too ) than Slade was. One always felt that our squad ought to be doing better and that to be more attacking was the best option and under his charge the Addicks have shown that to be the case in these last two games.

It was great to see Chicksen start, have a couple of assists and to score a good goal. One wonders why on earth Slade couldn’t have found room for him. After all, he recruited him.

5 different goal scorers is good news and they were all good quality too. Ajose’s strike was superb along with Lookman’s and Josh showed that he can poach goals inside the box. All really good to see.

I’m delighted for all those hardy fans who made the trip to Bristol last night. Well done you ! It’s good to see that loyalty ( and optimism ) rewarded !

After winning two games in four days, scoring 7 goals and conceding one, and that from the spot, you’d hope that our SMT would sit on their hands until after Saturday at least. The Blades will provide a real acid test and not to hold on a little longer would seem foolish. Oh well……….

It seems that we are about to witness Robinson’s appointment as manager then. He was seen at the game last night and apparently spoke to a few supporters. As I would expect ( and the rest will need to get used to – they weren’t words of wisdom if they were reported accurately ).

Living in MK I am well aware of Robinson. If you want an insight into him then speak to some MK Dons fans. Those I’ve spoken to weren’t sad to see him go. Bear in mind he’d taken them to the Champ too.

They’ll tell you he is a whinger of the highest order. Officials come in for the blame following any defeat and he’s far from popular with them – a younger Warnock if you like.

I understand that he wasn’t happy that little money was forthcoming to boost his team following the sale of Deli Ali. That he couldn’t negotiate a better outcome with Pete Winkleman doesn’t bode well for someone who will have to deal with worse than the Dons chairman.

Does he have a good eye for a player ? Well, he signed Simon Church last season as part of the plan to stay in the Champ. He expected him to bring goals and anyone who watch Church play for us will testify that prolific is one thing Church is not.

About two months into last season and Robinson still maintained he just needed a goal and more will follow. They didn’t of course and before the season was up Church was sent out on loan.

Can he motivate players and get the best from them ? Well, he got Poyet on loan from West Ham early last season and failed to get anything from him and Poyet ended up on the bench and then returning to the East End as we all know.

The prospect of him managing our club fills me with dread. I fear he won’t have any appreciation for our history and culture.

If he is manager, I hope he proves me entirely wrong of course. Sadly, I feel he is ill-equipped in nearly every aspect for the challenge that managing our club is under this owner.

Monday 21 November 2016

Lack Of Atmosphere and Please God No !

Spot the customer !

The Valley was a deserted place on Saturday and had an eerie feel about it and not in a Palace way. As I walked up to the turnstiles there was a distinct lack of both customers and atmosphere. It was like to going to a non-league game.

It didn’t improve once inside the ground where the absence of many fans was even more noticeable. The Red, Red Robin was far from bobbing along too. I’ve been to funerals with a better, more positive vibe.

A reasonable first half saw The Addicks show more attacking intent than usual and a couple of good goals were enough to see us secure the 3 points. The second half was a drab affair and a poor Port Vale side threatened little with their cow’s backside and banjo attempts attempts on goal.

Injuries weren’t sufficient to offer a starting place for Botaka although he did get a full 30 minutes as sub. Obviously he was suffering shock as he put in a rather insipid performance that was a great disappointment to those of us who have been championing his cause.

I understand that if his loan is to be renewed in January it requires the agreement of all 3 parties, i.e. the 2 clubs and himself. It seems unlikely that we’ll see him in 2017 then because I can’t see him wanting to sign up for more bench warming duty. In any case I think he’ll be away on African Nations Cup duty for a while so we might turn our attentions elsewhere.

All that aside it does seem strange to select an ageing Jackson whose best left midfield days are a thing of the past over a younger man whose position is just that.

Fox did well and showed that perhaps he wouldn’t be a bad shout for that left side position although of course that would mean giving Chicksen a start in the league and that would never do !

Post match and the win was greeted with the now customary indifference that anyone who arrived having missed the preceding 90 minutes wouldn’t know if we’d won, lost or drawn !

To think that Roly wants us to enjoy the whole match-day experience. No wonder he’s given up on the live feed ( if he ever did watch it of course ). Franckie et Bennie’s must seem an awful lot more appealing.

Rumour has it that Karl Robinson is now emerging as the favourite to be next on the chopping block. Please God, No ! Whatever the question is he sure ain’t the answer.

The cardigan wearing Robinson is like a well fed Phil Parkinson sans the managerial ability. He’s earned himself a reputation as a whinging b*****d and as a result is about as popular as Colin with referees.
He’s had one job to date under a chairman who failed to dismiss when he should have done last season. Robinson himself should have realised his time was up in the summer and moved on.

We don’t need him and there are many other, better options available. I think Paul Scholes has done most of his badges and if you want a slightly left field appointment then he wouldn’t be a bad shout….if he’d come

Nathan Jones would be ideal but he’s unlikely to want to leave Luton under normal circumstances let alone potentially tarnish his growing reputation at this stage of his career.

In the meantime we’re off to Bristol Rovers tomorrow night where anything other than defeat would be good. A balancing act is needed as we’ll need to field our strongest eleven if we’re to get anything from Saturday against the high-flying Blades.

Friday 18 November 2016

All The World's A Stage........

Shakespeare walks into a pub and the landlord says " you're Bard ! ".

And all the men and women merely customers;
They have their exits ( save for one Lady MacMeire ) and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts
( businessman, politician, slayer of football clubs ).

But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Katrien is in the Sun,
( Forsooth ! In the sports pages announcing the latest long term appointment, many hours after the news was broken on a piece of parchment nailed to a tree in Floyd Road – twitter ye not ! ).


We want Roland out !
We want Roland out ! 

First Witch.

“ Methinks thou dost protest too much ! “.

We seek him here, we seek him there,
Those Addicks seek him everywhere.
Is he in Leuven ? Is he in Halle ?
That damned, elusive septuagenarian.

Darlings ! I expect to see my fellow thespians in S.E.7 tomorrow !

Come On Thou Reds !

Tuesday 15 November 2016

The Buck Stops..........

The extent to which Mr Slade was hampered and impeded by the regime is unclear and will probably not be known for some time. I’m sure it can’t have helped in recent weeks to have a network manager sat in the stands.

However, whilst acknowledging all that and the reality of working for these buffoons Slade’s decision making and tactics did result in some of the worst football I’ve seen at The Valley in over 50 years of support.

Lookman on corners, the refusal to ever start league games with Chicksen, Tex, Botaka etc. The ever changing frontline. Playing the wrong players out wide. The list goes on.

Therefore, to a large extent Slade must take some responsibility for his downfall. I acknowledged that he improved a number of things off the pitch and in the general set up. However, as I remarked before these seem to me to be the fairly bog standard way of running things and a minimum expectation.

Mr Slade appears a decent man who early doors struggled to cope with the pressure as evidenced by a couple of testy responses in interviews following poor displays. One recalls his “ it’s not me on the pitch “ response in particular.

Under normal circumstances I can’t believe there’d be too much outcry at his departure. I wish him well and hope that he finds another job soon. One thing’s for sure, he’s likely to find better employers than in his previous two managerial posts.

A wise man ( and fellow blogger ) recently said to me “ be careful what you wish for “ following a bit of a rant about Mr Slade. How right he may prove to be. We’ll have to wait and see as to whether we get a decent replacement or yet another network failure. The early signs don’t look good.

A network manager would only fan the flames further and really cause merry hell.

This latest episode is further evidence as to how bullet-proof our CEO is. Her inability to hire and support the people she appoints is staggering. Anyone with an ounce of personal integrity would have walked long ago. Instead we get the usual spin and she goes into hiding.

Duchatelet clearly won’t fire her despite her overseeing the worst period in the club’s history as she alienates the fans and haemorrhages vast amounts of money.

Given the response to yesterday’s news it would appear that a majority of the media and football experts are finally turning against her and Roly. No amount PR help is going to get you out a mess this big.

One can only hope that the biggest and best result that most of us seek will come to pass sooner as a result. That is, of course, that Roly and Kat sell up and go !

Monday 14 November 2016

Dire !

The loss was inevitable the gutless performance perhaps less so !

It’s ok for Slade to come out and apologise but pity the poor sods that had to shell out to be there as well as make the effort to do so. If you want to start building bridges forget your 34 fruitless meetings with the customers………how about you at least refund them the ticket money !

Apparently, we without some “ regulars “ on Saturday. I think you can exclude Botaka from that group. Viewed as a squad player by Slade it seems. He’s played more international football than that of the club variety !

We have a slow and ponderous midfield and yet the poor guy can’t get a start !

Slade seemingly has no ability to motivate the players. Ahead of the game you’d have set them up for the battle. You’d have laid down the challenge. You’d have pointed out what an opportunity it was to stake a claim in a club who will always give youngsters a chance ( unless you’re a midfielder of course ! ).

“ They’re making us play without our full squad available. We’ll show ‘em ! “

Do we have no young midfielder that we could have given a start to ? Not even a place on the bench for one ! What was there to lose ?

Checkatrade Chicksen again overlooked but yet looked quite lively when he got a few minutes on the pitch. Even then it wasn’t in his preferred position. Can Slade not link Fox’s poor performances to him being under no pressure ?

Hanlon played out wide ! Ulvestad pushed out wide ! Tex doesn’t start or come on to shore up a poor defence.

What on earth is Slade thinking ? I despair !

Apparently the lads had spent all week working on that formation ! Didn’t look like it did it ? Never mind, Slade is going to make amends next week.

A club or owner with some real ambition would have dismissed Slade by now. Not just for results but because of the truly awful performances and style of play. He has a decent squad but is not getting the most from it.

Our wonderful CEO really messed up by not agreeing to Chris Wilder’s demands. I can’t believe they were outrageous.

The problem is now who is going to want to come to us even if Slade did get the sack ? There are some decent managers out there and one only need look at those linked with the MK Dons job to see that.

There are some tough games coming up and I can only see things getting worse, the mood will darken and Slade comes under pressure even if only from the fans.

It would be remiss of me not to wish our glorious owner a happy 70th birthday and as you’ll all know there is taxi out there waiting to give him a lift. It’s seems only fair given that he’s taken us all for a ride.

Friday 11 November 2016

Footie On The Telly !

The Addicks go into Saturday’s televisual feast having not tasted defeat in 6 games ( cups and league over 90 minutes ) and not since 1st October in league games. It can been said there is a modicum of momentum albeit that this has been gained against some lesser teams, Scunthorpe aside.

Any Addick who’s been around the block a few times will tell you that you can never be optimistic ahead of any game and there are 2 good reasons why this is especially so for Swindon away.

Firstly. we’re on live TV. Secondly, we’re without three automatic first choice players maybe even four if Ricky’s foot injury hasn’t healed in time.

Therefore, the omens are not good. However, in the face of adversity and all that and The Robins haven’t been pulling up any trees ( no surprise really as they’d be homeless if they did eh ! ).

Let’s hope we can get something and then build on that with home wins. It’s a big ask as Slade’s negative and dull football doesn’t give one any real cause for optimism. Over 50 years of supporting the club hasn’t quite extinguished my hopefulness so I shall watch with the attitude of a glass half full.

Meanwhile tonight we witness an international fixture that was a massive game when I were a lad ! England v Scotland was one of the few live televised games back in the day. There was a real sense of anticipation as it was the climax of the Home Internationals. That’s a traditional tournament that is sadly missed but these days players play so many games that it simply can’t be fitted into the calendar.

This is the calendar that is overloaded by more important ( some might say lucrative ) pre-season and mid-season games in the Far East etc. Of course, one is sympathetic to the financial needs of both players and clubs as they scrape an existence hand to mouth such is the dearth of money at the top end of the game.

Realistically tonight’s game carries less significance than days of old despite being a World Cup qualifier. Neither team is likely to do well even if they get to the finals. England play some awful football as they labour to overcome the apparent minnows of the football world ( a group that we’re surely a prominent member of ).

These games used to be good as there was real passion and meaning to them. In addition, loads of Scottish players played in the top flight in England. Goalkeepers aside, they were by and large quality players ( exhibit A – Denis Law ).

That’s not to say I expect England to win tonight, far from it, I’ll not be at all surprised to see Scotland win. If they do perhaps some fans will celebrate in Chris Powell’s Hillsborough style !

Come On You Reds !

Monday 31 October 2016

Getting A Bad Press

Dull ? That's a bit harsh.

Ditchwater move over there's a new kid in town. Exhibit A, Saturday's first half in S.E. 7.

Events on the pitch are a long way removed to being a distraction of those off it. Prior to kick off Mr Slade promised us a fast start that I took to mean that we'd be at Chesterfield from the off start. Like a lot of things that seems to have been lost in translation at the training ground.

Perhaps I expect too much in wanting to be entertained and see my team playing some decent football. As a result I get frustrated when the ball is constantly banged up to Magennis. That wouldn't be so bad if he won most of those long balls resulting in us retaining possession. I haven't kept any stats but we usually lose it and are defending straight away.

Does Slade have any idea what he's doing ? Why is Lookman still taking corners and some set pieces ? The previous home game aside after 15 minutes you'd know that he shouldn't be taking them and would have passed the duty over to Holmes. Worse still was that he was asked to do so on both sides !

The players are to blame to an extent as unless Slade has specifically told them not to but why couldn't they think " well this isn't working why don't I go over and we'll try a short corner " ? 

The football under Slade is so defensive and horrible to watch. Botaka still didn't start as Lookman was asked to play on the left again. Not his best position I feel and at the same time, Holmes, an excellent winger who is most effective on the left isn't allowed to play there. Occasionally Mr Slade allows him to swap over for a while but not start there.

We all hope Ajose does well but you've got to earn that place but on Saturday he missed at least two golden chances. Play Lookman in behind Magennis has got to be an option or as part of an attacking three behind Josh and Novak.

Some will point to the subs made that resulted in our last minute winner. I'd say why didn't he make those changes or earlier or even better pick the right starting eleven in the first place ? If he had surely we wouldn't have struggled to beat a poor Chesterfield side.

The one good thing is that we've stopped losing and perhaps have a modicum of momentum. However, this has been achieved against some of the division's poorer teams. Greater tests await in November and at the end of that we'll have better idea of what we can expect of this squad.

To be honest, I don't hold out much hope unless Slade has a road to Damascus moment. We can but dream !

Thursday 27 October 2016


...and all we get is NightMeires !

The Talksport interview with our CEO as expected gave us no answers and as she repeated the same old narrative.

Still no acceptance of her part in this mess. In response to the allegation that's she's out of her depth. " I wouldn't still be here if I was ".

No ! It's only because Roly, for some obscure reason, refuses to sack her !

I'd have pressed her further and asked her at what point would she feel she ought to go ? How bad does it have to get before you feel you need to resign.

Things at Standard Liege were different apparently. Really ? Why ? How ? Jim should have asked her to elaborate on that. I can't see anything other than fans were fed up with the owner and wanted him out which sounds familiar to me !

No offers to buy the club ? Really ?

The massive drop off in season ticket sales is purely down to relegation. It wasn't the same last time we were relegated so it's got to be more than that.

Sadly that interview got diluted with input mostly from Danny Murphy. Whose input really didn't help and only served to get her out of a hole.

Clearly Murphy did no research and hasn't a clue. All he could pick up on was the visit to her parents place. Murphy feels all fans want is improved results.......arghhh !!!

Similarly Dean hasn't a clue either. Both bought into the open dialogue and were in awe of the training ground investment.

Why not ask her about the comments about seeing our players in Premiership playing for other clubs.

Those two helped her have an easy ride as they made it more of a generic football discussion.

She needed to be asked many more pertinent and difficult questions but sadly
A lot of talk about the investment in the club but not explanation that it is all in the terms of loans.........he'll want his money back in the end you numpties !!they didn't get asked. Had there been a fan in the studio with her it would have been better. They would not have let her off the hook.

Sadly it was all to predictable and at the end of this interview we're no nearer knowing Roly's intentions or to having any hope that he'll go any time soon. Clearly Katrien will cling on as long as she can no matter how bad it gets.

In the end, to quote Denis Healey...." it was like being savaged by a dead sheep ".

The battle continues..........

Friday 21 October 2016

Hamming It Up !

After Pork Vale the Addicks next port of call on the porcine places list is GillingHAM ! Sadly, try as I might I can't tie in our next home opponents, Chesterfield on a similar theme. Never mind as Pork Vale follow in the next league game at home after that so all is not lost !

Tuesday's draw was almost inevitable as it followed the oft repeated pattern of leading late into the game only to go on to lose or in this case draw. It is criminal the number of points that we've thrown  away this season from a winning position.

It is against that background that a number of travelling Addicks voiced and directed their anger and frustration at Mr Slade. Had it been a one off then I'm sure nothing would have said.

The boss pretty much lost it in the post-match interview and I have a little sympathy but he's old enough and hopefully, experienced enough to know better than to respond in the way he did.

The old trick of sending out your deputy in such circumstances usually works well and Slade would have been wise to do so.

Mr Slade yesterday said the lessons would be learned and there is an immediate opportunity to put things right as another challenge was ahead etc. etc. All well and good but it's getting like a stuck record and starting to resemble the sound bites we get before we play Millwall before going on to lose again.

You know the stuff " I'm well aware of what this fixtures means to the fans ", " the lads are really up for it " and my all time favourite " the lads have worked really hard in training this week " ! Huh ? So normally they pretty much can't be ar**d then ?

No matter how you dress it up Slade has a pretty decent squad at his disposal and as I've observed before other managers, many less experienced are getting  an awful lot more from their squads.

I've no idea what the is issue is with Tex but surely you get him into the squad even if only for the sake of expediency. To continue our topic, why be so pig-headed ?

Hopefully we can get something from tomorrow's game as we're only a couple of defeats away from slipping back into real danger.

Good luck to anyone going tomorrow, I hope it proves worthwhile.

Come On You Reds !

Monday 17 October 2016

Trotters ? But We've Already Played Bolton.

Porkies ! Thousands of them ! Seems very apt in every way under this regime.

The pre-match meeting between some fans and the SMT witnessed a few more I understand. It appears that Kevin Foley has settled in so well that he is now a member of the SMT as he was also present. Someone had to fill Johnnie’s place I guess.

Katrien again failed to answers questions and Tony appeared keen to change the subject whilst still managing to put his foot in it.

If these meetings are genuinely intended to be an attempt to understand fans anger and suggest what the future plans are, then they’re simply not working.

I’d love to be at one. I’d ask Katrien what objectives Roland set her last year. I’d also ask about this year and I’d want to know what the consequences of her not meeting them are.

Either she’s not set any, they are so vague as to be meaningless or there’s no consequence of failure.

None of these meetings is filmed and no genuine account or record is forthcoming from the club. So much for an open approach and a willingness to put things right.

Details of the march and flying pigs are covered in great detail by others and all will now be aware of that. In addition, the rather worrying alleged assault of a young man who had the audacity to wave a flag.

Awareness raised in all forms of media and both sets of fans will be pleased that for a short while at least their plights have been highlighted. Whether it helps achieve the ultimate goal of ridding ourselves of Roland and co is open to debate of course.

However, it’s got to be better than doing nothing. Sitting on your hands accepting it all really oughtn’t to be an option. One can’t simply allow them to carry on unimpeded.

I still don’t understand Roland’s raison d’etre. Surely he is now simply holding on just hoping to at least get his money back. Unlikely I’d say but it won’t stop him trying it seems.

On the pitch the scoreline flatters an average performance against a poor team devoid of confidence but that still could have taken a share of the spoils at least.

Novak was a big disappointment for me. Little effort and too quick to moan at others seemingly in an attempt to cover his own shortcomings.

Our subs were odd and I was dismayed to see Hanlan come on to play on the right side of midfield.

A win’s a win I guess and I’d like to think we’ll kick on from here but I can’t really see it. Hopefully I’m wrong.

The omens at least are good as tomorrow night we play Pork Vale.

Friday 14 October 2016

Lipstick On A Pig

Appropriately, as protests return to S.E.7 we play Coventry, a place most Addicks would happily send the owner and his crew. Sadly, that doesn’t seem likely and in any case, Coventry would already appear to quorate in respect of bad owners.

A number of Coventry fans, as repulsed as the majority of Addicks by poor ownership, will be joining in the pre-match protests. This will probably extend to the same during the game. Protests from all four corners of the ground. Sadly, nothing new in that in recent times.

When Duchatelet recently announced that CAFC represents only 1.5% of his investments / time, you have to wonder why he steadfastly refuses to engage in any way regarding a potential sale. This is especially weird when the club must be haemorrhaging money at an ever increasing rate.

One could also ponder on why Katrien stays whilst overseeing our disastrous decline never once accepting any personal responsibility. However, let’s face it she’ll never  have another job that offer such good pay and high public profile as she does now.

This is as good as it gets for Miss Meire and whatever she does after this, unless still in Roly’s pay, she most certainly won’t be working in football.

Despite all the nonsense that has gone on for nearly three years now they still try and have you believe they mean well and that lessons have been learned.

This week has seen another application of lipstick on the pig. Wallpaper featuring great moments and stats from Charlton’s history has gone up in the tunnel area. All well and good but you really are literally papering over the cracks however you want to spin it.

What am I meant to feel about that ? Does the regime seriously expect me to touch a forelock and bow and scrape as I self-consciously slip away in awe of the magnitude of such a gesture ?

Of course they do and so I should as the least I can do after all this is what connecting with the fans customers is all about isn’t it ?

Never mind that I hear the Duchatelet apologists cry, what about the investment in Sparrows Lane and the latest phase of development announced yesterday ?

Under proper stewardship and with club heading in the right direction it would be great news. However, what is the point of a wonderful academy with great facilities if you’re slipping down the leagues.

Status is everything and any decent player is going to join a club at a higher level, no matter how much poorer the facilities. In any case, at some point, basic economics dictates that it becomes unsustainable

Over the years via various owners there has been investment in the ground and we now have magnificent stadium. However, it means diddly squat if what is served up for 90 minutes on the pitch is such utter dross that it only serves to depress you failing to inspire and excite you in any way. That’s where it’s going now as we find that we apparently are unable to compete at the lowest level we have found ourselves in living memory.

Back in the day you had an atmosphere, players you could relate to like Killer, Flash, Powell etc.  In more recent times it was Kinsella, Kiely, Mendonca etc.

It was what happened on the pitch that most mattered most and it was a real experience.  On a good day Charlton played well, maybe even won and the tea hut would avoid being razed to the ground !

In terms of refreshments you might see the occasional peanut seller. In order to get your half time scores you needed to borrow an Enigma machine to work them out !

It’s simple really, half decent football from players who care and a club to be proud of maybe watching with family and / or friends. That’s pretty much my ideal match day experience in a nutshell.

Even at its most dilapidated best just prior to the sojourn in Croydon The Valley had an appeal, a sense of belonging and a raw atmosphere that’s hard to match. You can’t buy that and it’s sadly missing at present.

Coming back home in 1992 and the appeal remained as the phoenix rose from the flames. Was it the same ? No, not exactly but regeneration and success on the pitch brought a new and exciting atmosphere albeit lacking the rawness of days of old.

League-wise we’ve been up, down, up, down, down, up and down again. No problem with that as it’s the roller coaster we’ve come to expect and associate with The Addicks. However, in the words of Status Quo “ we’re down, down, deeper and down “. Like a newly graduated limbo dancer, we’ve never been so low !

Are these the ramblings of a soppy old sod looking through rose-tinted glasses ? Too bl**dy right they are ! I make no apologies for that.

This soppy old sod just wants to feel proud of his club again. To be able to look forward to enjoying the unique atmosphere of The Valley again. To feel a sense of belonging again. To actually enjoy watching a game and see us play well !

Come On You Reds !