Monday 21 March 2016

Normal Service Has Been Resumed

Aside from putting a few quid on Leicester City to win the Prem this season, the one bet I regret not doing, and it’s a recurring one, is Charlton to lose 3-0. Last season towards the end it was a good one to do for a 3-0 win for us. However, times have changed !
A few punts on the 3 nil reverse this season could have funded a few jolly boys outings to Belgium………imagine !
Following the win over Boro the previous Sunday, Riga again decided to make some unnecessary and inexplicable changes to the team. Not for nothing did I dub him the Stinkerman the other day.
Cousins absence due to injury was unavoidable of course. However, the other changes were as unwelcome as they were pointless, rather like us at full time.
The last player that ought to come into the team is Reza especially when you have Igor, Big Mak and Lookman all available. As I observed before the game we need a physical presence up front in most games and we got away with it against Boro.
Henderson’s mystery injury kept him out but Ba recovered from his own to go to straight back into the team !
Having got away with until half time it was criminal not to get one of the above 3 on the pitch. As poorly as Big Mak has been playing his presence ought to have been enough to give Wednesday something to think about.
Why not unleash Lookman on The Owls ? It appears Riga learned nothing from the MK Dons games despite acknowledging the mistake post match.
Instead it was left to The Owls to make the required changes to win the game and leave Jose looking a complete numpty.
No shot on target until less than 10 minutes to go ! That tells its own story. Hello ! We need to win games. We need to score to do so !
There you go ! We can pretty much officially wave goodbye to the Championship. When we will return is anyone’s guess but it’s unlikely to happen under this ownership unless Roly has a Road to Damascus moment as opposed to his present one that has been heavily influenced by Chris Rea.
Further indication of the needless relegation we are suffering. Even a point would have helped close the gap.
The great fixture cock up means that there’s no Championship football over Easter. A truly ridiculous state of affairs. On the flip side it gives us a 2 week break from this nightmare of a season.
Two whole weeks without agonising over daft team selections and wondering if those selected could actually be ar**d to put in a shift.
Two whole weeks without protest.
Plenty to keep us entertained though as in the absence of any games we keep an eye on the internet ( and perhaps but not always social media too ) for daft statements or news of the latest member of staff to leave the club.
Two whole weeks without having to read or respond to accusations of sexism or xenophobia dahn our gaff !
Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Supporters……..a2c – enjoy the break !

Thursday 17 March 2016

Another One Bites The Dust !

Lonely ! So Lonely !

There you have it ! Mel Baroni is now gone following hot on the heels of John Little.

Staff form all areas of the club are leaving the sinking ship but one rat is staying ! Only Roly and Katrien will be left soon even then it'll probably only be Katrien because as we know Roly doesn't do S.E.7 more than once a year on a cold Tuesday in February.

There can't be much doubt that Mel's departure is as a result of the ridiculous statement that appeared on Tuesday. You can't blame her for resigning as any credible person wouldn't want to be associated with that.

Remember though Roly does things his way and he doesn't do failure. Hmmm....may have to have a rethink on that. The man is increasingly becoming exposed for what he is in his desperation to defend and retain Katrien.

Her appointment and subsequent ongoing employment at CAFC is probably his biggest single mistake aside from purchasing the club in the first place.

Roly is a man who prefers to appoint people he has a relationship with and knows personally......sadly all the people he knows are s***e !

Not been a good week for him has it ? All the bad press from Sunday and now he has lost two experienced and professional people. Clearly he is listening to no one, no matter how wise their advice or great their experience.

My Oscar Wilde quote of a few weeks ago seems ever more appropriate...." with age comes wisdom but sometimes age comes alone " !

The team travel to Sheffield against this background but at least on the pitch they may have gained some momentum. I'd be surprised if they win given our dearth of forwards at least. Whilst Lookman and Harriott did well on Sunday I can't see that working too often given their lack of height and real physical presence. Sadly an out of form and confidence Big Mak is the only real alternative at the moment.

Let's hope they can get some sort of a result.

Come On You Reds !  

Monday 14 March 2016

Against All Odds !

A game against the team 2nd in the table, haven’t won at home for months, the strongest, most disruptive protests yet and live on Sky….Charlton can’t win that one can they ? 

Well you’d have thought not but win they most certainly did and with a clean sheet to boot.  

The Sky coverage certainly helped up the ante and all in all the various protests seem to have hit home and further highlighted our plight. The beach balls on the pitch did their stuff at the beginning and allowed some community signing of anti-Roly songs whilst they were gathered in . 

I’m not so sure about the whistles and pitch invasion such as it was. They were rather counter-productive in my view. The point was and continued to made very effectively in other ways. 

The club statement that followed the game was a piece of nonsense. It would have been better to say nothing if that was the best they could do. A better response would to have issued something in a day or two having agreed to sit down with Trust representatives. That would need to be followed up with a meeting with supporters listened to and action taken. 

That would never happen though because “ the owner does it his way “. In any case Item No. 1 on the agenda would the removal of Katrien and that ain’t going to happen is it ?  

She looked like a rabbit in the headlights yesterday when caught on camera and gave a nervous looking grin that rather more resembled a grimace. After all that has happened in the last few weeks and still nothing from her.  

Katrien has been lauded by Roly but seems incapable of providing leadership or direction of any kind. As others have observed she is simply out of her depth. Bizarrely the appointment of a competent CEO is now becoming more important than the recruitment of a decent manager. 

Miss Meire will now probably put her feet up until late March just ahead of the next home game on 2nd April when she will concern herself with how to deal with the next round of protests. 

On the pitch matters were vastly improved. A bit of fight at last and in the face of what was going on all around. It rather put the lie to the notion that the players are affected by it.  

Henderson’s mysterious finger injury kept him out again ! In addition. Big Mak had “ an illness “…hmmm ! At last Lookman started and we were witness to the shortest front pairing I can recall. It worked yesterday in the end but isn’t something you’d want every week but then our alternatives are in short supply. 

News of our other injured folk is in short supply. No one seems to know when Bauer or Vetokele will return if at all. As I’ve remarked before we appear to have a complete mess of dealing with injuries in recent seasons. 

Harriott and Cousins were immense yesterday and deserve all the praise heaped upon them. Add to that a fairly assured display from Pope. I bet Riga and the lads wished they’d done thing differently on Tuesday night as they could have given themselves a real lifeline.  

As it is there is still too much to do and it’s hard to see them getting out of it. They have to keep trying of course but in reality it ain’t gonna happen. 

I still find it hard to believe that there’s no Champ football over Easter a time when more people are off work. Who agreed to that ? Mr Magoo I guess ! 

Should the lads get anything at all form next Saturday’s game against Wednesday then the break will have come at totally the wrong time as some momentum would have built up.

Thursday 10 March 2016

The Stinkerman !

Poor choices are spoiling Jose's second term and tarnishing his reputation.

It wasn’t a total surprise that The Addicks failed to secure a win against equally poor opposition on Tuesday evening. It was however, disappointing that despite seemingly having the resources to secure a win they were deployed in the advantageous fashion. 

Having scored a hat-trick in his previous Valley outing one assumes that Sanogo would have been chomping at the bit to start. Even if Riga harboured fears about his ability to last the full ninety then why not start him and take him off when he tires ? 

Bizarrely having not start on Saturday in a game we won Riga opted to recall Big Mak to the starting eleven. Clearly he doesn’t enjoy playing in S.E. 7 and logically had he used him the other way round it would have made sense. Little surprise then that he went on to have a pretty awful game.  

The manner of his departure from the field of play will have done little to improve his game or raise his confidence at a time when he’s pretty much assured a run of games due to the lack of alternatives because of injury and suspension.

Jose gets credit for seemingly getting the best out of young Callum but this was far from the case against the Dons. He didn’t have a great first half although to be fair he was playing on the right but just after having a good start to the second period he was suddenly take off. Most bizarre and deservedly got a chorus of “ you don’t know what you’re doing “. At a stroke Riga lost a great deal of credibility and rapport with the customers.

Then there was Lookman ! Since he signed his deal it seems we want him sat on the bench wrapped up in cotton wool until July !

The young man found it tough against a physical Bristol City side but it’s not always going to be that way for him. He showed in his 10 minute cameo just what a glaring error it was not to have got him on earlier. No player was having a great game so it wasn’t as though it was a tough call to bring on one of the hottest properties outside the Prem !

Why do we never have managers who are prepared to make changes as soon as it becomes apparent that things aren’t working ? After no more than 30 minutes I’d have got Yaya and Lookman on. Big Mak and pretty much whoever you like could have come off !

Points dropped and we’re now without a valuable striking option until mid-April…..great. I appreciate Yaya shouldn’t have reacted as he did but he can’t have been without provocation something that Karl Robinson won’t admit to of course.

The whinging Scouser’s view that Sanogo should be banned until the end of the season if as laughable as it is hypocritical. I recall one of his former players, Gary McKenzie, who collected red cards on a regular basis.

Under Robinson’s stewardship despite criticising the player he didn’t suspend him for the rest of the season and he had several red cards in his career. Robinson would do well to examine his approach to the Tuesday’s game rather than stirring things.

Clearly the time wasting and numerous cynical fouls his side dished out were intended to frustrate the Addicks. He should have gone for the win. What did his team have to lose ? Not much they would still have been four points ahead of us had they lost. Indeed he had much to gain.

On to Sunday then and a re-arranged game against a nervy Boro team. Their results have nose-dived of late as the pressure to secure promotion mounts. One would like to think we’d take advantage of that but in all honesty it’s unlikely based on our inability to beat a poor Dons team and the baffling use of our players.

Of course we are further weakened by the departure of our assistant coach. To be honest without checking I couldn’t even tell you his name. However, to my mind unless Riga now takes no advice he is complicate in Tuesday’s poor draw.

I can’t believe that another coach……….let’s take Jason Euell for example would have advocated the line up and deployment of subs such as we witnessed.

There’s little doubt that the presence of the cameras will only further fuel any protests and it promises to as uncomfortable afternoon for the regime and those customers watching the game !

I‘m still wondering when it will all end and they sell up and leave. Cue predicatable and silly comments from our resident irritant !

Come On You  Reds !

Monday 7 March 2016

We Won A Game !

Callum at the double !

A win at last on Saturday. Unlike the starting eleven it wasn’t a total surprise as the performances, if not results, have improved recently. 

Good to see Harriott get a couple. As always the question remains as to whether he can now string together two or three good games. His lack of consistency is his Achilles heel as there’s no doubting his ability when he’s on song. 

A shame that Big Mak didn’t add a third as he was unlucky to see his superb late effort come back off the bar. 

Hopefully there is some momentum now for the Addics although we’re are still very much relegated for me as I just can’t see us getting the wins we need. Make no mistake we do need wins for the great escape to happen, draws won’t be enough. 

MK Dons also managed to win on Saturday against a Rangers side who lacked interest I understand. Plenty of work JFH to do. That’ll be tough as a great work ethic isn’t something I associate with him following his time with us. 

I believe that Revell was cream crackered at the end of the game and may be rested for Tuesday. As Emmanuel-Thomas was ineligible on Saturday he will probably come into the Dons team. 

Anyone who witnessed the game in MK won’t need any reminding of how awful it was. Two poor sides that went through the motions ( an apt word I think ! ). It was one of the worst games I’ve ever seen and ranks amongst one of the poorest Charlton displays I’ve ever had the mispleasure to see. As I’ve been watching Charlton for over 50 years you’ll get an idea of how bad it was ! 

It made me think twice about going tomorrow but I've decided to risk it once more !

I guess there’s little prospect of our injured players returning and one hopes that Diarra is fit. 

I’m unaware as to why Henderson wasn’t involved on Saturday but Pope did very well in his stead. Pope appears to be very much a confidence player similar to Jeff Wood. Let’s hope he stays in a confident mood. 

Can Charlton come up with back to back wins ahead of the Sunday Boro clash ? Let’s hope so. Simon Church is on loan at Aberdeen so we won’t be facing him……sadly ! 

Come On You Reds !

Friday 4 March 2016

Emperor Roly !

The Valley can be seen in the distance.

For a change I thought I might focus on matters on the pitch not that that will in itself see my mood on an upward swing. However, there’s little more to say on our owner and the way he is destroying our club against a backdrop of doing nothing positive or snesible with little to no communication - SLP and scripted video interviews aside.  

Duchatelet really is a latterday Nero who has fiddled whilst Rome burns ! 

Enough of that ! The lads are away at Brentford tomorrow and that is always one of the better fixtures given the pubs in each corner. I understand from reading Ketts piece that one of the pubs has sadly shut. With the move away from r Park looming large on the horizon one wonders how much longer the other 3 will survive. 

I recall my first visit to Griffin Park was back in 1980 I believe when I drove over with my brother. We nearly got killed as we cut across a line of traffic close to the ground. In those days you were keen to see the game !

I seem to recall that we won ( 1-0 I think ? ). I do remember my brother being rather  rude to Lawrie Madden and that caused him to stop mid-match with the ball at his feet as he sought to find who had been unpleasant to him.  

My brother wasn’t Lawrie’s greatest fan and a few years later I did what any right minded person would do when I was an early subscriber to the book Home and Away – Charlton Athletic as I’d bought him a copy for Christmas.  

Subscribers had their names printed at the back of the book and next to it was the name of their favourite player. You’ll never guess who I put down for my brother ! Strangely he didn’t find it at all funny………. I did ! 

One assumes that after last week’s defensive shocker that changes must be made. I’d suggest that the solution is pretty simple. A fit again Cousins ought to come straight back into midfield with Diarra going to defence to add the experience, quality and organisation that was missing last Saturday. Johnson makes way.

The rest of the starting probably just about deserve to retain their places if only for that second half performance. Looking back we did play some decent football going forwards at times and Riga will be hoping the lads can repeat that part of their game at least. 

I felt we’d gone long ago but naturally Jose will tell the players there is still hope and so he should of course whilst survival remains mathematically possible at least. Failure to win one of the next two games will all but confirm the drop. 

Playing at home hasn’t been any advantage this season so one hopes that away tomorrow may help the team. Here’s hoping ! 

Come On You Reds !

Tuesday 1 March 2016

2016-17 Season Tickets

These are easier to shift than CAFC season tickets !

There can’t be a much tougher job at The Valley at present than that of whoever has the job of promoting and selling the 2016-17 season tickets. It makes Mel Baroni’s role look easy ! 

They say that the hardest part of selling is not to take rejection personally. Given the season we’ve have and against the backdrop of many fans boycotting the season tickets that’s a tough ask. 

They will need to make them very competitive. I’d expect a fair reduction with the drop to League One. The club could do worse than follow the example of Huddersfield Town. Check the link below :-

Adults tickets anywhere for £179. Great value especially when one considers they’re virtually guaranteed Championship football next season. A sensible move by their owner, Dean Hoyle. Ironically, he owns the Card Factory. 

Good to see that he has decided to put the extra TV revenue to good use.  

I believe that the £150 tickets in the East Stand will probably be relocated to behind the goal. I’d personally hope they’d be reduced but don’t anticipate that. 

Whatever happens and boycott aside then the income from ticket sales will fall significantly. I expect most fans are like me and have mates who support the odd Championship side and often invite them along or accompany them to the game. 

The same can’t be said of the majority of League One sides ( I do know a few Cobblers fans but that's about it ). 

Personally, I expect to renew. I’m aware of all the arguments of course and as unhappy with this regime as anyone else. However, I’d expect to attend most home games and I’d be out of pocket by not getting one and would ultimately be putting more money into Roly’s. 

In addition, the hassle of sorting tickets doesn’t appeal especially living a fair distance away from S.E.7. 

Please spare a thought for me as I may end up “ dahn our gaff “ sitting in a sparsely populated East Stand that contains just me and a2c !  

Just when you though it couldn’t get worse !