Sunday 31 December 2017

Happy New Year !

It's got to be a good one hasn't it ?

Following the departure of our CEO and the stories that a takeover from Roly is imminent then Addicks everywhere can start to look towards this new year with greater optimism than for some time.

A lot to happen before then of course but we're getting there. A huge amount of damage to be repaired and it will take a long time but we've bounced back from worse before.

A much needed point was gained at Wigan on Friday. A backs to the wall job as Robinson appreciated than any other approach wasn't going to get a result of any kind.

I can't join one or two in praising the manager for any great degree of tactical insight or even a long awaited Plan B. This was just a manager being pragmatic at best in recognising a poor run of performances and a lack of bodies.

Accusations of parking the bus from Latics fans and I'm sure they're right. We're quick to condemn other teams when they do it so have to accept the flak that goes with it.

That's not to ignore the tremendous effort of the players involved. They had to dig deep to earn that point and it's a point that will count for nought though if we don't now go and win against the Gills and also Oldham on Saturday. Time for the manager to earn his corn. Time for the players to do what they were recruited to do - play some decent football and score some goals.

I don't think I'm asking too much in that after all Robinson likes his reputation whether it's right or wrong for the expansive game. The problem is that expansive seems to be a euphemism for a method of play that involves a lot of possession with little cutting edge or return in the goals for column!

If Robinson has serious aspirations about staying at our club then he needs to start winning games now. Following a tough December a very much easier January looms ahead and a decent haul of points is the minimum expectation. He could hardly ask for a better set of fixtures to do so.

The manager needs to get this transfer window right which is a big ask as it doesn't usually provide any gems. If he is supported then there is a possibility a couple of decent recruits giving some impetus.

Thank you for taking the trouble to read my nonsense this year and if you have commented too. Whilst there's been no shortage of things to write about given the depressing decline of the club it's been hard to be positive and to motivate oneself on occasion. Hopefully that will change with new ownership.

If the manager can improve things ( and stop talking so much ) may be I can be positive about him too !

Thank you to Ketts at Doctor Kish for his support, encouragement and snippets of news allied to good company at matches.

I wish you all and your families a happy new year. Let's hope it sees a significant move forward for our club - the thing that unites us all. Hopefully we can again be as proud as we ought to be of our great  and unique club. 

Come On You Reds ! 

Friday 29 December 2017

The Beginning Of The End ?

Addicks in sombre mood after learning that the CEO is leaving the club.

Some rare good news yesterday as it was confirmed that Katrien Meire is leaving the club. Never mind the seemingly endless appointment of inept managers Katrien's employ as the cloob's CEO is the one that really typifies Roly's inability to make the right decision when it comes to running a football club.

There's little point in going over her many errors and awful decisions. In conjunction with Roland she has inflicted a great deal of damage on our club. We have to hope it's not irreparable. It's a long way back but her departure is at least a start.

Reports that Meire is lined to join another football club is simply staggering. I'm sure we can all think of one or two where she'd be a perfect fit. However, it's no longer our concern.

Of course I'm sure we would all like to express our sympathy to a2c. He'll be at a loose end without his heroine. If those reports are true then a2c can follow her to wherever she now ends up.

Aside from having little to no understanding of how to run a football club or oversee senior management Miss Meire simply didn't get that fans general mistrust of her arose directly from her incompetence. That bottom line is that she simply wasn't fit for the role. Misogyny and racism were lazy accusations that came from her apologists.

Having managed to make one decent appointment in Mel Baroni it was Mel's resignation only a few days into the role that spoke volumes about Katrien and the regime. It was something, like many other issues, that she failed to learn from.    

Hopefully the formal sale and takeover of our club by a decent owner is just around the corner. It is only once that has been achieved that we can truly start to celebrate.

In the meantime, the players travel to Wigan as they face their hardest task to date. Robinson's response to defeat at Southend was inappropriate I felt. Aside from the fact that he should accept some of the blame, dragging the players in at 7am the next day was never a good idea.

The manager gave himself little time to plan any response and it was a knee-jerk reaction. The players needed a telling off ( words chosen carefully note !! ) but Robinson needed to do something different but he hasn't allowed himself the chance to do so. 

Mind you there's little evidence to date that Robinson has an alternative approach to anything. Whether any new owners would retain his services remains to be seen.

The naming of only 6 subs at Southend was rather silly and also damning other players at the club. He has previous in this regard as he did the same at MK.

Robinson's argument appears to be that anyone he could have selected would add nothing and not be up to the task. If that's the case then why has he repeatedly put Dodoo on the bench when it's quite clear he's not going to get on ? Again it's another question that I'd love someone to ask.

The chance of us getting anything from tonight's game is highly unlikely but football's a funny game and Charlton aren't an ordinary club so you never know !

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 24 December 2017

Merry Christmas ?

Forget about CAFC and enjoy the festive period !

Here we go then.....................injuries or not that was awful yesterday with only a couple of players coming out of the game with any credit.

As ever please don't use injuries as an excuse - make no mistake about that was truly dreadful from manager to players. Robinson asking for our support reminded me of Pardew and the famous Blackpool game. Both games have ended with embarrassing results.

Blackpool were the worst visiting side we've seen this season. You had to be there to know just how bad they were. it was a case of deja vu as we all knew that 1-0 or even 2-0 had we got there was never going to be enough. On occasion this season that has been forgivable because we were playing against a decent team. Not yesterday though - there simply is no excuse for missing golden opportunities or poor decision making both on and off the pitch.

I said at half time the best chance the Seasiders had to score was from a set piece and how right I was. Our defending of late has been truly shocking. It was against Blackburn for their two goals and yet the manager was keen to say how well we'd played. Eh ? We lost against a team that had played a tense cup game the Wednesday before. We'd had all week to prepare.

Robinson rather predictably went back to blaming the officials's so tiresome. He even went on to suggest our players should start going down easier. Great ! That's what it's come to now is it ? That's the best he can come up with !

I read some people expressing how sorry they feel for Robinson. He's got a small squad, no backing from the owner, injuries etc. etc. No one made him take this rather well paid job. Even Robinson isn't that naive to not know what he was getting into.

I felt he was rather well backed in the summer. Unless I'm very much mistaken I don't think the regime forced Ben Reeves on him. I doubt that Roly has heard of Vic Reeves let alone Ben !

Robinson told he's only spoken to Roly once since taking the job so I'm can't believe he's being told what do in the same way Powell was. 

Chris Wilder decided not to take the job. I doubt that was all down to a desire to stay up north. He knew his ability meant he could choose the job he wanted and wasn't desperate to come to us. Robinson was like a kid in a sweet shop when he came to us. I don't think he could believe his luck.

Living in MK I am all too aware of what Robinson is like. It was in the local paper every week and MK fans I know would tell me as they expressed their frustrations. You'll never guess what they said ! I spoke to one on Wednesday. " Is he still blaming the officials when he loses ? "

A rather superior manager in Mourinho yesterday responded to United's defeat by publicly criticising the players. Robinson should have done the same. The missed chances were dreadful and we see it in every game. We never put sides away even when we are playing well.

Clearly the manager is never going to change his system nor have Magennis play anything other than the full 90 minutes game after game. Play can one journo ask him why that is the case!!

His game management is dreadful. Blackpool's subs actually made an impact and I was questioning Bowyer's decision not to get Spearing and Delfouneso on for them - two good players as I recall. Clearly he knew what he was doing as they made an impact.

The Valley faithful could see what was going to happen but Robinson failed to do the right thing. Marshall was woeful and I think he'd struggle to beat an egg at the moment. He may have had a purple patch with his previous club and that's looks unlikely to repeat itself at the moment.

He should have been off at half time. Again Dodoo sat on the bench. Is he any good ? I've no idea but I bet he couldn't do much worse than the others did yesterday. 

Are we unlucky with injuries or is there another reason for them. Robinson openly admitted some players had been playing carrying injuries. If so, why let them ?

Clearly a number of players are rushed back into the team too soon. That was happening before our current injury situation.

He likes his reputation for blooding young players yet his refusal to play Aribo earlier than he did belies this. I've read he may yet go out on loan ! If true that's clearly ridiculous.

Robinson game by game is resembling his last days at MK and everything that typified it. Sadly neither of his right-hand men have the experiences or perhaps feel confident enough to tell him otherwise. He really ought to have got more experienced sidekicks. In MK he had the experienced John Gorman to assist him and I think he played a large part in any success.

Some folk love all Robinson's bravado and talk of " we're a strong group, we're all together " etc.etc. That might be true off the pitch, I've no idea but on the pitch it looks the opposite. 

I'd rather 4 or 5 turn up to the Christmas do if we start winning games ! I'm fed up of hearing all this nonsense. I truly wonder if the players are behind him and his way of playing ? Do they. like me. see a manager who wants to be everyone's mate?

Given all the dismissals we've had another wouldn't be good but sadly if we carry on like this it might become inevitable. A top two place is clearly beyond us and a play-off berth is fast disappearing. Even if we did get in the play-offs I wouldn't hold out much hope. 

I don't need to look up Robinson's record in those. If you don't then just don't worry about delaying your holiday plans in late May !

I'll wager that Robinson won't be a success at any club after he leaves us. In the meantime we have to hope he somehow improves should he stay.

On a more cheery note...............I hope that you all have a great Christmas and will wish for better things for CAFC in 2018 !

Come On You Reds !

Thursday 14 December 2017

No disrespect..............

Some while back and it will be a while back because Charlton were in the Championship, we played and beat Middlesbrough. Their then manager, a certain Anthony Mowbray, was not best pleased.

Post match and he famously remarked that " no disrespect but we shouldn't be getting beaten by teams like Charlton ". It's understood that temporary amnesia caused Mr Mowbray to forget that he was managing a fairly average club in Smogland and not Barcelona !

The ex-Boro man is now managing Blackburn having left Barca er..... Boro presumably because he kept losing to rubbish teams like disrespect of course.

All that aside he is doing a pretty good this season with Rovers after a sluggish start. As such we face a tough task in getting anything from the game.

It's one we go into in poor form but our boys seem to like it oop north so maybe there's hope. We may have one or two players returning from injury. Let's hope so because we need some impetus from somewhere and if the manager is not going to offer any cause for hope then it must come from the players.

Robinson needs to have a good look at who and who isn't letting him down at the moment. Review what is and isn't working. Surely even he can see the Magennis just isn't cutting the mustard. Clearly he is capable at this level but he needs some help of the kind that a fellow strike partner can offer.

That or Best and KAG need to be paired up. Since the goals and especially those from open play are drying up it makes sense to change things. Continuously banging the ball in from wide areas isn't doing the trick is it ?

The fixture list has conspired to throw up 3 consecutive opponents who've suffered from bad stewardship in recent years. Pompey and Blackburn with Blackpool completing the trio on Saturday week.

There's no further news on any takeover of late but we live in the hope of receiving the best Christmas present that we can get.

In the meantime, let's hope that come 5pm Mr Mowbray is again " no disrespect but........! "

Come On You Reds !


Sunday 10 December 2017

Party Poopers !

Charlton were celebrating 25 years back at The Valley whilst another bit of history and of a more recent nature concerns our ability to let everyone down on the big occasion.

I've entitled this piece party poopers and you can make you own mind up if that's relates to Pompey or our lads as set up by Robinson.

I said before the game that I couldn't understand why the manager had chosen to play KAG, Dijksteel and Aribo against Swansea when the match of greater importance was yesterday. These 3 players were surely going to be critical to any success that we might have. As I feared only one of them started and we lost.

When your team is not scoring many goals and even fewer from open play then surely you start with the one player that has scored 3 in 3. However, Robinson stuck with Magennis and as one suspected it was to be for the full 90 minutes.

Ultimately we ended up with KAG, Best and Magennis on the pitch as a desperate Robinson lost the plot. This is highlighted by KAG playing wide - not an area where he has enjoyed his success from.

Robinson had little time to discuss any supposed tactics with Bowyer and Robinson as he instead spent a lot of time and nearly all the second half moaning at the fourth official.

Added to all of the above Holmes poor run continues. He has really lost his way of late. He carries little threat at set pieces and his delivery from wide has been poor. 

Solly who for me lacks a lot as a captain came straight back into the team when I fail to see what Dijksteel had done to be dropped. Solly had a poor game as it happens and is not playing near his best.

There are so many areas of our performance yesterday that left a lot to be desired. It is a real cause for concern as this isn't a one off. The rest of the month doesn't see the games getting any easier and being turned over by a particularly mediocre but well organised Portsmouth side doesn't bode well.

It was particularly galling to have four thousand Pompey fans rubbing your noses in it. They were celebrating like it was their party and their inflated presence only served to spur on the players in blue.

People think we have a thin squad. Like Jackett I'd disagree as there many managers who love to have our squad. I'd wager they'd do a better job with it too.

Each passing game for me sees Robinson increasingly exposed. All the hallmarks of his tenure at MK are coming to the fore. Unlike some I'm not taken in by Robinson's soundbites and endless interviews.

He says what he thinks fans would like to hear frequently referring to passion, pride in the shirt etc. etc. We've heard it all before. 

He likes the gimmicks such as getting famous names in football to drop in or he'll name drop. I guess he thinks we'll be impressed. I, for one, am not. Neither am I impressed by his apparent desire to be mates with the players. Why else call players " Sols ", " Marshy ", " Reevesy " etc. Constant shades of David Brent except it's just not funny.

There has been some discussion as to the merits or otherwise of the players trip to Newcastle. That they allowed themselves to be videoed and have that put up on social media was a mistake as was the decision to travel in club gear.

One would like to think they might have chosen somewhere more local for one thing and another day for another. It wouldn't have hurt most of them to chat to the many former players that were present. They might have learned a thing or two and I am a bit surprised that there wasn't a 3 line whip on this if only to further support the celebrations.

Robinson has a hell of a job to do now as he needs to address a number of issues. Sadly, he seems devoid of ideas and insistent on doing the same thing however unsuccessful it is.

The more astute managers in this division know what to expect from us and how to combat it and this was no more clearly demonstrated than by Jackett yesterday.

At present December looks like being a long, dark and miserable month and the play offs looking increasingly unlikely. It's going take a lot to turn it around and I don't think our manager is up to the task.

For all our sakes let's hope I'm wrong !


Friday 8 December 2017

Back Home !

Back To The Valley in more ways than one tomorrow and a return to league action.

There’s no escaping how poor we’ve been of late and for me to highlight the number of injuries we have is a poor excuse. The manager simply hasn’t made the most of his squad.

Robinson has been rightly been praising Aribo, KAG and Dijksteel whilst seeking to take credit in that he always gives youngsters a chance. Maybe but in their cases opportunities have either been limited or non-existent until recently when fate forced his hand.

Injury and poor performance by the starting eleven led to all 3 of the above finally getting either a chance or run in the team. Lo and behold how well they’ve done. A shame the manager didn’t do it earlier. Were it not for the injuries it might not have happened at all !

The question is will they stay in the team ? The signs are that in the case of two of them the answer may well be no.

Promotion must remain the priority. Why then, did Robinson play all 3 in the competition of least importance ? Failure to win tomorrow and I hope that someone asks that question.

I'm not sure why he says that a takeover would mean the end of his Charlton career. I'm clearly not his greatest fan but not sure why he'd get the boot automatically. There's no evidence for that especially not knowing who any new owners would be so it's a strange comment to make.

There’s little doubt that Magennis will be starting and no doubt playing the full 90 mins again. This nonsense looks set to continue ad infinitum.

He didn’t play on Tuesday and we scored 3 goals albeit against an Under 21 side. It does prove however, that we can score without him up front. Josh continues to miss chances a plenty so maybe a rest would be good.

I keep reading or hearing about our thin squad. Bradford, Shrewsbury etc. must have fantastic squad size then eh !

Please remember it was Robinson that recruited the injury-prone Reeves. “ Reevesy “ hasn’t been seen for weeks and has only played about 4 games all season.

Page is another who the manager recruited. He could have retained Chicksen but despite the promise of a deal for him he later opted for Page despite his injury worries. I’m not sure I can remember what he looks like.

The stubbornness in adhering to his system and refusal to play at least the 3 aforementioned players sooner has no doubt led to others incurring or prolonging injury.

Yes, we do have injuries and quite a few of them but a more detailed examination as to how and why we have them wouldn’t go amiss.

I fear a bleak mid-winter ahead. Our lack of cutting edge and one dimensional approach to games is going to cost us. Time after time for all our possession we simply don’t score enough goals and fail to put games to bed.

Robinson is reverting to type and he needs to address the issues that surround that.
Tomorrow should be a day for celebration and off the pitch I’ve no doubt it will be but it would really help if a win and good performance could be added to the mix.

Selling the vast number of tickets that the club has to Pompey fans hasn’t aided our cause and with some allegedly in home areas has made it a possible powderkeg.

Let’s hope all my fears are misplaced.

Come On You Reds !

Monday 4 December 2017

Back To The Valley !


Here we are then, celebrating 25 years since we’ve been “ Back To The Valley “ ! I trust I wasn’t alone in endlessly singing that out loud for months before we actually got there !

I challenge anyone to say that they could have predicted how things would look today or even the great success we enjoyed under Curbs in those halcyon days.

Our present owners of course have no background or real understanding of what our ground and club means to us fans. Just to underline that they’re charging silly prices for Saturday and the celebration dinner the next day.

I’ve no wish to waste time and words on them in this piece so that’s the last mention of them. Hopefully they won’t be around in another 25 months let alone years !

It seems incredible that 25 years have passed since that fantastic day. For those that weren’t born it must be so hard to imagine what the day itself was like. In addition, imagine it against a background where you thought your team was never going to play there again or worse still go out of existence.

Watching the team play in Croydon or at West Ham just left you feeling cold and empty. Try and imagine the pleasure you’d have got in getting promotion to the First Division at the Valley or staying up when you were still there ?

We had to wait for Curbs to deliver that feeling. Away from home though with all that going on in the background and you realise what an unbelievable job Lennie Lawrence did. Not just in getting us up there but staying up in the meantime.

This was the best in terms for Charlton on the pitch it had been in my lifetime upto then.

Lennie of course went on to Middlesbrough which was a very unexpected and odd move. He wasn’t treated very well by them in my view and as soon as they sacked they gave his successor, Bryan Robson, funds that weren’t made available to our Lennie.

Every cloud and all that and we had the Gritt / Curbishley combination with them officially labelled as “ joint managers “. This term was a joy to the headline writers when a couple of our boys got caught smoking substances not befitting professional athletes !

Subsequently Richard Murray appointed Curbs as the sole manager. At the time I’m not aware that any supporter who thought this was a wise move with nearly all thinking that the honour should go to Gritt.

It was to prove one of Mr Murray’s better decisions !

Back to 25 years ago and all that effort to return to our spiritual home as it is so often described and you really can’t believe what the atmosphere was like. Nor indeed can you understand how it felt unless you were there. It will probably never be surpassed.

The game that day passed in something of a blur. Of course everyone went mad when Walshie scored and again at the final whistle. Given what we now know of Pardew and also his attempts to nobble Gritty how grateful we all are that that odious character wasn’t on the pitch to be a part of it.

Getting back home literally was a dream come true. May be more than that because over those 7 years you really didn’t think Charlton would survive. I can’t imagine how different my life would be if it hadn’t.

Numerous experiences simply wouldn’t have happened. I wonder if I would have retained any interest in football. If so, who would I be supporting ? It doesn’t bear thinking about but yet it could so easily have happened.

There’s an enormous debt owed to all those who made it possible. The Valley Party including Rick Everitt and many others. Rick of course started The Voice Of The Valley our famous fanzine. The cause was also greatly helped by the Mercury which gave a great deal of time and space covering every aspect of what was happening.

Both publications played a big part in publicising the campaign and keeping people informed about what was happening.

Roger Alwen was a key player in the return and I’ve been re-watching his interview where he announced the return. It’s very significant that as he said, getting back was just the start. There was so much more still to do. How right he was !!

Over the years all the scaffolding would disappear from the East terrace as would those bl**dy portacabins !!

The whole ground would eventually become The Valley as we know it today. What a marvellous tribute to all those who worked so hard to get us back there.

Saturday will be another emotional occasion albeit not celebrated as fully as it might have been given the current ownership. However, it should be celebrated as fully as possible.

In the meantime I hope that everyone attending the event at the museum on Tuesday has a great time. I wish I could be there but it’s not possible.

I will raise a glass tomorrow to all those who played their part in getting us back home, to all the players, staff, fellow fans and also my dad who took me to The Valley in the first place.

I know I won’t be alone in doing so and it’s that pride in supporting such a wonderful club with a rich, unique and diverse history that gives us all a bond and affection for such a great club.

Come On You Reds !

Wednesday 29 November 2017

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

The Addicks managed to salvage a draw from a distinctly average performance last night. They were helped enormously by the award of a penalty even softer than the one MK got against us.

Charlton spent most of the evening being second best to 50-50 balls, carelessly giving the ball away, being caught in possession and generally lacking a cutting edge.

Leon Best having signed for the club on Monday was kept under wraps until just before kick off with his signing not announced until @ 5.30pm. Bizarrely this secrecy extended to holding back the programmes too!

Such is the manager's desire to see Magennis spent every possible moment on the pitch that he decided to accommodate him by playing him wide left with Holmes in behind Best. Neither decision appeared to be a masterstroke but we can't really tell because that formation was abandoned as soon as Peterborough went ahead.

Surely if you believed in it and you worked at it you'd give it longer than that ? However, it wasn't to be and Holmes moved to wide left. 

Following that nearly everything came down the left side for us as Marshall might as well have gone and sat in the West stand as an interested observer!

A couple of top drawer saves and a goal line clearance prevented Charlton from going ahead. Posh had a couple of chances themselves before they scored from a free kick that arose from a needless and clumsy tackle from Kashi who went on to have a poor evening.

Holmes too hasn't been at his best of late and a lot of his decision making and delivery left a lot to be desired. He often held on to the ball too long or tried to beat one man too many.

Peterborough always carried a threat to score on the break as they possessed all over the pitch and over the course of the evening that you don't always need to have a big man up front in this division.

They missed a great chance to go 3-0 and kill the game with a one on one but they messed it up and must have been kicking themselves at the full time whistle.

At the start of the second half it was clear that Bauer was injured and it seemed to take a long time before he finally got replaced. Dijksteel came on at right back and soon showed the potential he had and why many have spoken so highly of him.

One wonders why you would select centre halves ahead of this talented and confident young man. It's plain daft.

On 58 minutes Posh doubled their lead as following a neat move on the right the resultant cross was neatly turned in by Marriott.

Just over 10 minutes later a double substitution saw the introduction of KAG and one Joe Aribo who you may recall was an emerging player last fact the new Dele Alli. That aside Magennis again stayed on and Dodoo, again, stayed off. 

As time passed the ball was knocked about to no great effect and the crowd's frustration was directed towards Peterborough's understandable time wasting. All teams do it of course but it doesn't stop fans shouting and moaning about it however much you'd happily accept it if the table were turned.

I guess we should be pleased to rescue a point at the end of the day but the overall performance gives rise to much concern especially ahead of a very testing December.

We need to find an alternative way of playing. The tippy tappy stuff across the pitch with crosses from wide didn’t prove successful for the most part. Can we be more direct and play players in behind defences or do 1-2’s just in front of them ?

We simply have to respond and we need to find some answers somewhere.

Perhaps we’re flattering to deceive ? Those one-nil victories hiding a multitude of sins. The pretty possession football alone is not enough to win games. There has to be more from one of the best squads in the league. December will go a long way to deciding our fate this season make no mistake. 

We go into it in poor shape and I’m not confident we will emerge still in a play off place even. Let’s hope I’m wrong.

Sunday 26 November 2017

No Substitute

The Forgotten Man

The Addicks long unbeaten run came to an end yesterday. It had to at some time of course and Scunny away was always going to be a tough test.

We seem to have played ok but our failure to score cost us dear. For all the attractive football of late that we don't score enough goals in proportion to the chances created has been and continues to be our achilles heel.

I note some fans were saying that we were mugged. However, those stunning strikes were harldy lucky and are reminiscent of what Ricky Holmes has done for us this season and enabled us to win games in similar circumstances. How many times of late has that been the case and / or the post match view has been " we didn't play well but the result is all that matters " ?

Holmes hasn't been at his best of late and last Saturday in particular his efforts at a couple of free kicks were poor. If they had matched those of Morris yesterday then we would have secured 3 points against MK I'm sure.

The game was won by a player who came off the bench at half time and his impact was felt on 15 and 18 minutes into the second half. That begs the question as to who might have had a similar impact for us. It's worth considering.

One feels that our options are very limited if we're honest about it. Phillips has to be there of course. Typically KAG is there but in view rarely has an impact and I know don't know whether he's a striker or wide man and I guess neither does he - that can't help.

Academy players with limited experience get swapped around and rarely get on.

Skip is an ever present but under what circumstances would he come on and with little match time of late, how effective would he be ?

Then there's Dodoo, who like the dodo might well be extinct ! God knows what it would take for him to set foot on the pitch. Why did we get him in ? If he's never going to play then put a youngster on the bench instead. It would make more sense.

Finally, there's the player who earlier this year was described as " the new Dele Alli " by Robinson. Clearly, the manager doesn't think that highly of him now. I wonder why ? I'd love someone to ask him why Joe doesn't get on. In fact, surely there was a good case for him to start yesterday ?

Aribo broke through about the same time as Konsa but is very much the forgotten man. You've got to feel for him. How many injuries in our midfield do we need for him to get a chance ? I think we might be about to find out !

If we assume that Phillips, Jackson, Dodoo and Aribo are not leaving the bench then we are picking our subs from the remaining three. Far from an ideal scenario. 

Players typically want to play and I'd like to think that Dodoo was in Robinson's ear yesterday demanding to get on. If he wasn't it was probably because he felt it was a waste of time.

There's no question that the football this season has been better. However, one does have to question the lack of goals especially those created from open play. The very way we play suggest there ought to more.  

We've now dropped to 6th and need to win on Tuesday against the Posh if we're not to drop further behind. Worringly with a tough December ahead injuries are having a bigger impact. 

Maybe the forgotten man will get to play a part..........let's hope so.

Come On You Reds ! 

Thursday 23 November 2017

Speeding Fine !

No one wants these !

Whilst the Addicks were busy securing 3 points on Tuesday night I was actively losing the 3 points generously given to me via a mobile speed camera.

Previous speeding offences had never given me the opportunity of a speed awareness course. My latest indiscretion  presented a chance to do so. Unfortunately there were few dates to choose from that weren't inconvenient and Tuesday was the best of a bad bunch.

My offence was doing 35mph in a 30 limit. Hardly me being Lewis Hamilton and not in an area that is populated with many pedestrians or dangerous road. I reckon you could trap 80% of drivers " speeding "in that area if you so desired.

As in transpired most of us were " done " in similar fashion and the stats back that up with the majority of us caught speeding in urban areas and very little on motorways. 

In similar fashion most fatalities occur on rural roads not motorways with a number of head on collisions the cause. Makes sense in a way a you're typically not going fast enough for real damage in towns and cities and on motorways if you hit someone you're going in the same direction to a degree. Of course that's not always the case but you get my point. 

Leaving aside the manner of my being at the course I did find it very useful and educational.

There were 24 of us in an hotel room in Milton Keynes. The course's presenters were not immediately warmed to by the delegates. No fault of theirs just that they were the " face " behind the penalty so to speak.

They were quick to point out that it wasn't their fault that we were all there. A few minutes in and the mood had lightened a bit. The presenters went on to prove that they really knew their stuff and delivered each section of the course in an informative and entertaining fashion.

As someone who has not looked at the highway code since 1978 it's fair to say I learned an awful lot as things has moved on a bit !

Most of us failed when being asked the speed limits on various roads. There was an assortment of incorrect answers - some frankly ridiculous, however, we're all out there driving around!

It's good that today's driving test is a tad more demanding than it was back in the day. A theory test and hazard perception is a good thing in my view. More in depth than a few random questions that largely revolved around stopping distances that in reality one couldn't relate to and I've never considered in nearly 40 years of driving ! What does 175 feet look like at 50 mph ?

A video demonstrating the effect of 2 or 3 mph on the overall stopping distance was far more effective in making the point.

Over the course of nearly 4 hours I learned a great deal and it did make me think that a refresher course of some sort every 5 years or so ought to be mandatory.

A number of issues relating to our roads should be considered. Think about the fact that anyone without the slightest awareness of our roads can get on a bike and go riding on them. No need for a test, licence or insurance !

In respect of motor vehicles drivers perhaps ought to be limited in terms of speed until they've completed a certain mileage or undertake a harder test or at least a course that involves some explicit videos ( no, not that sort ! ).

Anyway, following Tuesday The Addicks have 3 more coveted points and I don't have the ones I certainly didn't covet! 

Hopefully I'm a wiser and better driver as a result.

CAFC travel to Scunthorpe on Saturday where they will hope to get a win with a more convincing overall display than of the last two games. The missed opportunities that have typified this season are still happening and the captain's declaration that " someone's going to get a spanking " looks a bit hollow.

If you're driving up on Saturday, take care and remember that speed limits are just that and not a target!!

Come On You Reds ! 

Tuesday 14 November 2017

Missed Opportunity

A day worth celebrating as fully as possible with as many as possible - well, so you'd have thought !

Charlton going well in the league, goodwill towards " the club " better than it has been probably since Roly took over, the CEO thankfully about as verbose as Harpo Marx ( save for a nonsense interview in the Belgian press recently ) and the 25th anniversary of Back To The Valley looming large on the horizon.

As the day draws closer interest increases and many will want to be at the Portsmouth game on Saturday 9th December given that it’s so close to the sacred date of 5th December and against our opponents on that memorable day.

A good time to reminisce about the fulfilment of a dream that was all about the fans taking on the local authorities and battling successfully to make a dream come true.

I shed tears that day recalling my parents plus past matches whilst ruing the fact that we’d ever had to leave in the first place. Like many other Addicks a whole range of emotions ran through me that day.

I appreciate that will mean diddly squat to Roly or his CEO whatever she may say. They have no feeling for the club. One wants a return on his investment and the other is just desperate to cling on to a job that has only served to highlight her incompetence in the role.

However, a good opportunity presented itself to garner more goodwill by converting an easy chance with the goal at their mercy! Make the tickets cheap as possible ( dare I say make it football for a fiver day ) to get loads of fans back plus the Pompey ones in attendance to make it great atmosphere and thus occasion.

Not only that it’s a chance to give something back to Pompey fans as 25 years ago we, quite rightly, we didn’t offer them any tickets.

However, the regime has decided in football terms to square the ball to Ronnie Rosenthal who has blasted it over the bar!

Prices have been put up to the maximum. Clearly the handsomely staffed and  rewarded PR team are either being ignored or not earning their corn on this one ( assuming that it's even crossed their minds ).

I read with interest that some money from ticket sales is being given to charity. I’m sure our wealthy owner could make such a gesture without the need to raise the funds in this manner. Alternatively do this on another occasion or have some collecting buckets on the day.

Added to the above of course is the vastly overpriced 25th anniversary dinner. Who on earth thought that the majority of fans would be prepared to pay £95 for that no matter who attends. 

As I said before imagine a family of four wanting to go. £360 before you've even had a drink ! A couple going will pay £180 again before they've a drink.

All this aside from struggling to get home late on a Sunday night with little to no public transport.

I note that as of today there still 10 tables available. 100 places and that must be quite a high percentage of the overall number. Incredible this close to the event but not surprising.

What a shame that this marvellous anniversary that is special and unique to our club is being overseen by this ownership. Just another addition to the catalogue of disasters delivered by our Belgian brethren.

It will be left to us to make the most of the day as best we can. Sadly living where I do I can't get down to the museum on the actual day but hope those that do go enjoy it.

We'll have to defer a little bit of celebration until the time the owner sells. That particular celebration will be quite something but the cost is unlikely to approach £95. 

Thursday 26 October 2017

Home Sweet Home !

Saturday sees AFC Wimbledon visit The Valley. This is the first of 4 successive home games with unusually, this being the only league game. The other 3 are comprised of 2 Checkatrade Trophy matches and an F A Cup tie.

Of all 4 games potentially only the one against Fulham U21s ought to realistically present any real difficulty. However, Charlton being Charlton I'm sure matters won't be that straight forward !

AFC have had a mixed set of results this season. Back to back wins in mid-October appeared to have got them on the right road before they suffered a reverse against Plymouth last weekend.

However, they lost to the only goal of the game and all the stats suggest that they were unfortunate not to come away with something from it. I don't envisage that they will sit back and get 11 men behind the ball. That promises for a good game.

Sadly, I'll not be there as I'll be celebrating a 90th anniversary on the Kent Coast. One that is in keeping with the stereotypical view of a Charlton fan !

Speaking of anniversaries I note that our esteemed CEO broke her long silence this week. At least in as much as a statement was attributed to her concerning the Back To The Valley dinner. Ah 1992 I remember it well ! A time long before Roly and Miss Meire started the downward spiral.

As a2c will no doubt observe there I go again with my xenophobia towards Queen Kat who's doing such a great job dahn our gaff. Please keep your silly comments to yourself although I'm sure you won't.

In respect of the BTTV dinner I'm disappointed that this is on a Sunday. Why could this not have been on the Saturday after the game when fans would already be there.

That aside it is of lesser importance than the proposed cost of £95 per head. Ah the people's game, the working man's game except it isn't these days is it.

I suspect that this is an attempt by Meire and Co to keep out the riff raff. After all we don't want those that this really means something to actually be involved. 

Imagine a family having to find the money for this. No kids rate tickets of course and this £95 doesn't include drinks either.........was this really organised by the boys team from The Apprentice !

It's a shame as I'd loved to have gone much like many others. I'll be surprised if they manage to sell all the tickets at that price.

On a brighter note we ought to win on Saturday and I shall be following from a distance as I hope our good run doesn't hit the buffers.

Come On You Reds !   

Monday 23 October 2017

Out Of The Blue

Solly seems to be the hardest word.

Saturday's win oop north meant that The Addcicks came away from the two away games with 4 points. Appropriately as I've recently been listening again to Elton's 1976 album this all came a bit out of the blue.

A number of good performances amongst a solid sounding team performance. I'm not sure that we created a lot of clear cut chances but the result was everything and others will be too if we're to have any hope of catching the top two.

I'm not sure that Wigan will be caught by anyone but certainly one would expect Shrewsbury to slip up at some stage or have a bit of a wobble at least.

Sarr has impressed again and I don't think it has hurt our cause to add some height into the back four. It's all well and good saying how good Dasilva is going forward but we need some strength and physical presence in the back four and playing two full backs with Dasilva and Solly's stature is something of a risk.

Amos made two or three great saves and on another day Bradford might have got something from the game. However, they didn't and it makes a change to report on the oppo not taking chances rather than us.

Not many teams in recent seasons have come away from Bradford with all 3 points and that serves to underline how good the result was.

A week's break before we face a real slog of games most of them at home. A chance for the management team to consider an alternative to playing Magennis up front. In fact given the need to make the best use of the whole squad there are many options to consider.

No further news on the rumoured takeover has come to light with Miss Meire remaining tight-lipped. Mind you she's made any utterance for some time. Maybe she's waiting on her application to join The Cistercian Order. Since she's seemingly not said anything since early April she must be a shoe-in.

Whilst the last few games haven't produced exactly blinding performances we are now unbeaten since mid-September. That must be good for confidence and provides a good platform. Had we won a couple more of those our position would be really healthy but we're hanging in there. 

The real test is to see if we can still be up there by the end of the upcoming run of games. 

Come On You Reds !

Thursday 19 October 2017

Cock and Ball Story

My attempts to combine the latest takeover rumour with our next opponents gave me a heart attack when I sought to find an accompanying image. Damn near took my eye out ! If curiosity gets the better of you then make sure you don't Google the image in the office ! 

Today saw the re-emergence of the takeover rumours. I can't add to anything that has been said elsewhere on Twitter or other social media. Clearly it's what we all want with the hope the any new owner will have only the best interests for our club at heart and that it can recapture its place as a decent and well run club with the fans at its heart. 

It would be nice if that were to happen to once again be truly proud of our club and all it has traditionally stand for.

We face a tough away game on Saturday following another disappointing draw on Tuesday. More disappointing than the result perhaps is our failure to yet again take more than one of the chances on offer.

Clearly this repeated failure will and is costing us dear. Robinson's response to this is apparently to get Big Sam in to work with our defence ! We've conceded 6 goals in the last 6 league games, hardly a crisis at the back. The aim to get Allardyce in is therefore a bit bizarre rather like the playing of Holmes in centre mid. Put your best players in their best positions, it really is that simple.

There's no denying that the football for the most part this season has been better than we've seen from Charlton in recent seasons. However, Robinson doesn't like to do the basics right it seems allied to his refusal to try anything other than his preferred system.

I think we all like seeing a more expansive style of play but I get frustrated when we can't play the ball out from the keeper properly. We seems to make a hash of it too often. It should be simple even if the oppo presses you a bit.

Magennis must be knackered and it seems is in line for a rest at some stage if he isn't injured before then. Sadly, not trying playing without him even for the last few minutes of a game leaves us nothing to go on and no experience for any other player. 

Some will cite the lack of another striker as an issue and to some extent it is but our side ought to have goals from a number of areas. That potential isn't being realised. We ought to be pushing for a top two place with what we've got. 

I can't believe that the likes of Shrewsbury, Bradford and Rotherham have better squads than us and they're not getting better backing from the fans I'm sure. However, They find themselves ahead or just behind us.

We need to turn draws into wins and that probably won't happen on Saturday but it needs to start happening soon otherwise a play-off will be beyond us.

Come On You Reds !

Monday 16 October 2017

The Graduate

" Are you trying to seduce me Mr Robinson ? "

The Addicks face two tough away tests starting with Oxford where they hope to pass the first test with first class honours.

Travelling fans will be hoping to see a performance a lot more inspiring than Saturday's against a poor Doncaster side. Whilst never in any real danger of losing our failure to add to the early goal nearly came back to bite us on the backside.

Having had two weeks break and with increased competition for places it's not unreasonable to have expected more. However, a win's a win and if it contributes to the ultimate prize of promotion then I guess it's a small price to pay.

One assumes that Robinson will make some changes with the upcoming schedule. However, he's not been one for change of late so who knows.

Oxford find themselves on a decent run following a couple of setbacks towards then end of September. It won't be easy to get anything from the game.

If we can garner 4 points from this game and Saturday's trip to Bradford then that will be a pretty good return ahead of  a faltering Wimbledon side at the end of October.

There is some respite from all the league action after all that when Truro City make their way up from the West Country for the first round of the FA Cup. A home tie is desirable and in opposition that we ought to beat will allow more fringe players to get a game.

Come On You Reds !

Friday 13 October 2017

Donny Ahoy !

Oh look he's chartered a boat especially !

Charlton return to action on Saturday with the oppo at The Valley being Doncaster Rovers.

Donny have enjoyed mixed results to date this season. They finally recorded a home win last Saturday with a 4-1 win over Southend. On the road they have beaten Blackburn and Plymouth whilst drawing 3 games overall.

The main goal threat will come from former Millwall man John Marquis who netted 26 league goals last season and has scored 5 to date this season.

Rovers are managed by Darren Ferguson and whilst it's exactly a case of like father, like son in managerial terms Darren enjoyed a fair amount of success at Peterborough.

Last season he achieved promotion with Rovers and is a manager who knows the league well and is used to managing successfully on a small budget. He will know only too well what to expect from a side managed by Robinson.

Charlton will be keen not to have lost any impetus gained from the fine performance and result from the Fleetwood game.

Magennis could be excused for being totally knackered from his international exploits and given our totally reliance on him with seemingly no sign of a rest it's only a matter of time before he's injured or becomes pretty ineffective as he runs out of steam.

Robinson now faces a bit of a selection dilemma. As Solly didn't play last time out we had more height ( it's not hard ! ) with Konsa having a fine game. In addition, Sarr performed well too.

Normally you would expect your skipper to come straight back into the side but it's not that simple although I expect Robinson will bring him back in.

Midfield is where even greater selection issues occur. In that respect the manager can have few complaints with a number of options available. Given the trouble that the manager went to organise friendlies and internal practice games if Reeves and Marshall don't feature to some extent it'll look rather futile.

Whilst the rest of the squad will be well rested the 3 international players that we can't do without have returned. Quite how prepared they'll be for tomorrow's game is anyone's guess. Certainly Magennis ought to be physically and mentally tired after some tough games. To some extent the other two as well.

A real long slog of fixture looms large on the horizon and it's fair to say the squad will be used to its fullest extent as injuries and suspensions will no doubt play a part. Let's hope we can start off with a win tomorrow.

Come On You Reds !

Monday 2 October 2017

A Win At Last !

Fleetwood looking a little shocked by the result !

A much welcome win then for The Addicks on Saturday following a pretty miserable winless run. Good performances from all concerned especially Konsa, Sarr and of course hat-trick hero Fosu.

Robinson ought to be wondering like the rest of us how we could play so well for nearly the entire duration of the game after such insipid and inconsistent performances in the previous four.

Missing Pearce and Solly and able to bring on Marshall and Reeves whilst Aribo is still in reserve many will wonder what as to the validity of Robinson's claim that he is overseeing a thin squad.

Agreed, he doesn't quite have the 2 players competing for each position that he stated he wanted but Robinson's cupboard isn't quite as bare as he would have us believe. In addition, it looks an awful lot more rosy than compared to many of the other squad in League One.

The absence of alternative strikers to Magennis is surely down to the manager himself unless his claims that he is in control of all the transfer dealing is pure fabrication. Selling or loaning out all those players before getting any suitable replacement in is naive for any manager but quite startling for one of Robinson's experience.

I understand the reasons for the Peterborough postponement of course. However, I felt it was a bit short sighted before Saturday's win. I think we can cope without the 3 called up and also the missing Pearce.

We have now added another midweek fixture that will surely test our resources even further especially given that it may well be preceded or followed by another midweek game either side of it.

It looks worse given Peterborough's last couple of results and given that they have an EFL fixture tomorrow against fairly local rivals Northampton. It seems that Saturday was an almost ideal time to play them.

Too late now of course and only time will tell if it was the right one. In the meantime we have a break until Saturday week before we face Doncaster Rovers. Let's hope we don't lose the momentum gained from the win at Fleetwood.

Come On You Reds !

Thursday 28 September 2017

Copy & Paste

Saturday sees another difficult away game at ( insert club name here ). Following the latest disappointing result against ( enter name of League One side here ) the Addicks will be keen to return to winning ways.

On Tuesday / Saturday ( delete as appropriate ) we started brightly but squandered a number of good opportunities only to be undone by poor defending.

Robinson was rightly frustrated post match citing " poor refereeing decisions / bad luck / all officials having a bias against a big club like Charlton / hyper-inflated transfer fees / the ball was too round " barely raising his eyes from the semi biographical work " 1001 excuses for the one trick manager " subtitled " the big bad book of bo**ocks ".

The manager went onto say that he was disappointed that all hard work on the training pitch working on our new formation and pattern of play didn't pay off. " I'm not about to abandon it after one game and have no intention of returning to a 4-2-3-1 formation................ " who I am kidding of course he didn't!

Robinson believes that when Messi and Ronaldo aka Marshall and Reeves are fit and available then The Addicks will be rising to the top of the league as he stroked a barely recognisable rabbit's foot that was almost devoid of fur.

Perhaps the silver lining of the groundhog day manner of our ongoing failure to win games is that it makes writing any preview very easy and come to that post match review much the same.

Unless Robinson can turn things around then he may well be gone before he gets a chance to face his old club in November. That might be for the best as the comparisons between the fortunes of the two clubs since his departure might not reflect too kindly on him.

Robinson might be glad of a bit of respite given that the Peterborough game is now postponed. The cancellation of these games always seems a little shortsighted to me. There's every chance that we'll have more injuries and the game must be played as soon as possible and Pearce for one won't be back by then. In any case, we've added a midweek game possibly a week after the away game at Oxford.

In the meantime if Charlton are to have any chance of resurrecting their season then they need to get some kind of a result against Fleetwood. Given that we have managed to garner only 2 points from a possible 12 that seems highly unlikely. We can only hope.

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 24 September 2017

Promising Start and Goodwill Evaporating

" and Smith must score... "

As poor as our start was yesterday ours was awful. For the first half hour you'd have been forgiven for thinking that we were the away side languishing at the foot of the table.

Even before Beckford scored his exquisite goal following a delicious pass from the excellent Josh Laurent former Addick Michael Smith should have put the Shakers ahead.

In a repeat of a rather famous " and Smith must score " moment Bury's version fluffed a fairly easy chance to give them the lead when faced with a virtually open goal.

It's true to say that Smith that doesn't possess too much finesse and grace but he worked bloody hard for his team yesterday and was a thorn in our side throughout. Later into the game and he sprinted way back to the half line to block one of our attacks. That sort of effort and desire was largely missing from our boys.

In the aforementioned Laurent, Bury have a very good player who broke up numerous attacks and played some really good passes. He was roundly booed by a number of our fans following several clear fouls. However, they were committed to break up our attacks and only up to the point that he got booked. It's not his fault the ref didn't book him earlier and we'd applaud any player doing that for us. 

Beckford was quality all afternoon making the most of little quality support from his team mates. As mentioned before his goal was superb. 

Despite having lost the previous two games Robinson decided that he would make only the one change to the starting eleven and that was of course forced on him with Holmes suspended.

Solly and Da Silva struggle with the height of most opposition players but the sight of Da Silva trying to mark Smith most notably from throw ins was laughable.

KAG came straight into the team although I fail to see what he has done over anyone to deserve that. given the need for more height in the back four and with Holmes missing it might have been better to play Da Silva out side and bring Konsa into the defence.

I'm sure Aribo must be wondering what he has to do or how poorly we have to play to get a chance. All Robinson's talk of rotating remains just that.

Robinson looked rather lost yesterday and he spent a fair amount of time sat down which is unusual for him. In the past he has had people like John Gorman to advise him. At present he has Skip and Bowyer. Added to which Solly really isn't ideal as a skipper no matter how good a player he is. I'm not sure it's enough.

Jackson's association and legendary status in the club make him well respected by both players and fans alike. I'm sure he's a wise head to have on the management team. Skip is taking his first steps in the management and one can't expect too much from him at this stage. He will probably make a good manager one day and hopefully with us if so.

Bowyer too has little coaching experience and has not been anywhere near the club ( nor any club as far as I can tell ) until Robinson brought him in. Bowyer had his attention on his fish farm in France.

Bowyer never played in the third tier of English football is hardly your archetypal role model. Quite what he is bringing to the party I don't know.

I've made no secret of the fact that I don't really take to Robinson. His endless interviews with much hyperbole do nothing for me. Neither does the manner in which he celebrates a victory as though we've just won the league. His one dimensional style of play allied to his apparent lack of tactical nous doesn't endear him to me either.

Roly has been blamed for not backing Robinson but whilst Robinson hasn't exactly been able to dip into a vast share of the Lookman money he has been able to recruit well. Most clubs would be more than happy to have a squad like ours.

The manager is putting a lot of faith in Marshall and Reeves turning things around to the extent that you'd be forgiven for thinking that Messi and Ronaldo were about to enter the team.  

Roland and Katrien seem to like him but since they know bugger all about football probably explains his relative longevity in the hot spot. Many more performances and results like those of the last three games and even Roly might feel the need to pull the trigger that he hasn't for a while now.

It may be that Robinson won't be situ to face his old club in November. However, that's still a  way off and in the meantime we've two away games in the space of 5 days that are taking on great significance.

Walsall secured an excellent win away to Oxford and whilst Fleetwood suffered a reverse yesterday at home it won't be easy up there.

Holmes will return on Tuesday but Pearce left on crutches yesterday and Clarke may have picked up a knock too. Perhaps one or two others will finally get a chance to impress. Let's hope it brings an upturn in fortunes.

Come On You Reds !