Tuesday 28 February 2017


It must be haddock

February was always going to be a pivotal month and having gained only 3 points from a potential 21 it seems appropriate that on Pancake Day we should demonstrate just what a bunch of tossers we are.

Looking for positives ? Don't even start, there simply aren't any.

The only thing going in a positive direction is the number of red and yellow cards that our boys now collect at an alarming rate.

The by-product of that of course is that suspensions then compound the problems caused by injuries. Astonishingly though when most players get a chance as a result of that they don't take it. However, the manager's failing system and propensity to make too many changes to the starting eleven don't do a lot to help either.

I wasn't a fan of Robinson, didn't want him anywhere near our club and I detested his over the top post-match celebrations which appeared even when we'd only drawn some games.

I'm not alone in my dislike of the man and he is slowly but surely bringing most Addicks round to my view. However, this is not confined to our club. Across League One where he has served most of his time as manager Robinson is not well thought of.

Clearly and not surprisingly AFC don't don't hold him in high regard ( and I'm not excusing what their employee said to him ). Northampton and Peterborough are two other clubs whose fans don't like our manager. He can expect a less than cordial reception on Saturday, assuming that he is still in charge.

Aside from all that baggage there's the relationship he has with referees and indeed, all officials. His constant criticism, justified or otherwise, surely can't help.

Robinson's managerial career is littered with hyperbole and flimsy excuses. Add to that the fact that he seems tactically naive ( but happy to share it with all and sundry before the game ) with only one way of playing means that the man is holed beneath the waterline.

Out of the ten personal battles tonight only our hat-trick man can realistically claim to have won his although it does seem his battle was more 1 to 10 than 1 to 1 !

All the evidence is there that he is little to no better than most of the managers we've have under this regime. Would sacking him do any good ? Maybe. Maybe not. 

In all likelihood we'd get another manager not fit for purpose if only because no self-respecting manager would touch it.

The proposed Belgium protests against Roly could hardly have received better and further justification than the events of the past few weeks. The man doesn't do failure remember yet his inept CEO remains in situ. At almost any other club she would have gone some while ago.

Since he doesn't communicate with fans and has little time for his toy it falls to the aforementioned CEO to relay his plans. At least she would do but there don't appear to be any and Harpo Marx appears verbose compared to the Katrien of recent months.

Our beloved club continues its decline with seemingly nothing to arrest its slide. There is, of course, only one thing that can do that and a number of hardy Charlton fans are travelling to Belgium over the weekend in an attempt to make that happen.

For those of us not going we can only wish them Godspeed and give them our thanks.

Thursday 23 February 2017

Cryptic Karl

Point and away you go !

Mr Robinson exceeded himself today as he treated us to 20 minutes of pre-match chat. However, don't think that longer time meant that he said anything meaningful.

There were the usual references to passion, desire and the badge that apparently says winner. What's this though ? Robinson now has a new buzzword........culture. I lost count of the number of times he used the word but he's serious about it believe me.

As ever he wasn't particular clear what this culture was. There is a culture but a culture of what.....of losing, a culture of dishonesty, a culture of failure.........no one is any the wiser after a full 20 minutes but he wants a new culture and no mistake.

In addition, the manager again made reference to the fact that he knows what the problem is with the team but when pressed ( if you can call it that ) fails to say exactly what he means.

He appears to be saying that he hasn't been backed in the transfer market but later says it will all change in summer. So they've not backed you now but will in 4 months time ? Hmm.

All the time he keeps telling us that he's being honest and not only that he has been encouraged to be so. There's honesty and then keeping your cards close to your chest whilst being economical with the truth. 

If he were being honest then surely he'd answer the question as to what the problem is that he's so sure he knows of ?

Roly and Kat must love him as during all his spiel he sang the praises of the younger players and we can apparently look forward to the next Lookman. Exciting times ahead.

As ever just win a game or two please ! Pretty please !

Off the pitch there's been the usual odd stories. Bowyer is appointed assistant first team coach, like we needed another one. I've no idea what coaching experience he has and he's come out of nowhere to land a job with Robinson. Very odd all round.

The minutes of the Fans Forum show the club still seek to take over the Player of the Year event as they did last year. They don't give up easily do they ? They seek to turn it into a child friendly event that appeals to no one. 

There are plenty of other opportunities to do something like that through the season. The event has been successfully run by others for years.

One is tempted to say " if it ain't broke don't fix it ! ". However, the board's mantre is quite the opposite " if it ain't broke, why not ? "

In the meantime,there's a game to be won on Saturday as The Addicks play the reverse of the opening day fixture. They'll be hoping for a better performance than they put on at Gigg Lane. That was one that set the tone for the season.

Football for a fiver alone as far as the club is concerned needs something vastly improved than what we've seen of late.

Come On You Reds !  

Tuesday 21 February 2017

Holding Our Position

Yep ! We're still there !

After school football commitments prevented me from getting to tonight's game. Lucky me it seems !

Never mind another defeat, another goalless game, another early goal conceded, another 5 yellow cards and yet another red card - it seems that this was a real gutless performance. 

With every passing game ( no pun intended ) Robinson is increasingly exposed. He really is out of his depth. Constantly changing the starting eleven using the same formation and still unable to produce anything more than plucky draws at best.

Maybe the players have now had their fill of the manager too. If so, then matters are even worse than ever.

Those players do need to take a large share of the blame too though as I'm not impressed with anyone wearing our shirt and not giving it their all.

Robinson will no doubt talk a lot as ever without actually saying anything. however, when one calmly analyses our performances and results during his tenure they don't make good reading - possibly with the exception of possession stats !

Our disciplinary record alone has been shocking. I think that's 4 red cards in the last 6 games ? Not far off if not totally accurate. 

There are many questions that the manager needs to answer in terms of all of above and you can add to that the recent player recruitment. Da Silva is a case in point - is he just here to warm the bench ?

Some will argue that no manager could enjoy any success under Roly and they have a point. However, I have always felt that Robinson isn't right for our club and wouldn't be successful no matter who owned us.

Robinson aside tonight's dreadful loss played out in front of a pathetic crowd with an atmosphere to match serves to underline just what Duchatelet has brought us to in just 3 years. It further validates the protests in Belgium on 4th March.

I fail to see how anyone can stand up for Roly as the declines continues I really don't know. The only consolation we can take is that each passing day brings us closed to his going. 

Friday 17 February 2017

Oop North Again

It's usually the case for The Addicks

A second game in 5 days in the north awaits on Saturday as Robinson leads his charges into Spotland.

2 points from the last 3 games isn’t what anyone ordered especially with a number of players returning from injuries and suspension resulting in a stronger squad. 

Off the pitch and Kennedy has now joined Hanlan on loan and Kevin Nugent has got himself the manager’s job at Barnet. Good luck to all of them. 

With our misfiring strikers these lads must wonder why they were deemed surplus to requirements. I’ve not seen Mavididi but one wonders if he’s really that much better than those two. 

Valentine’s Day is probably best forgotten and it’s to be hoped that fellow Addicks had more joy in scoring than our boys !

The one good thing arising from Tuesday was that there was no one red card and that’s one thing we’ve arrested……. for now.

It’s difficult to see how we can possibly get into the playoffs given that we lack any consistency. 

Tuesday saw Robinson make a few unforced changes that left most baffled. I understand doing so if your hand is forced but they did seem unnecessary.

Oh for a settled side. Why not ? No one is knocking on the door particularly. Aside from which are we really going to see out the season playing Robinson favoured and apparently only system right to the end of April ?

Surely he must consider another formation if his preferred one continues to fail to deliver. Sadly, I fear he won’t even if only for self-preservation but he seems so wedded to it.

I appreciate that he’s not had enough backing from RD and one would hope that even Robinson himself realises what we all knew – he was never going to get it.

Nonetheless there is still a squad of half decent players that he ought to be getting a lot more out of. To a degree I think he’ll find himself with the thankless task of trying to motivate the likes of our loanees who will have no particular reason to put themselves out too much.

Robinson’s penchant for too much chat and over-egging the pudding continues to make him look silly. Of late we’ve had the marquee signing, the new Deli Alli, nearly every player would walk into any League One side etc. – the list goes on.

You’d like to think that the postponement of the press conference is as a result of him taking time to deliver some sensible and rational words today but one doubts it.

2017 has been far from great for Rochdale as they’ve recorded just one league win since the turn of the year. In fact ,I note that they haven’t scored for 474 minutes ! Wow ! Should be a goal fest !

Maybe even one goal would be enough for us then never mind the two that Robinson craves.

Good luck to everyone going on Saturday. I hope you are rewarded for your efforts and that we come away with the 3 points.

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 12 February 2017

" There has to be an element of control "

" I know it's about the fight and competing for survival in one of the most difficult leagues in Europe but there has to be an element of control ".

Most Addicks don't need telling or reminding who uttered those words nearly a year ago shortly before demanding that Sanago be banned for the rest of the season after collecting a red card for elbowing a Dons player. Sanogo apologised later - presumably he was wound up after the Dons player said something that didn't belong in any industry.

Regular readers of this blog will know I wasn't in football parlance, over the moon, when Robinson was appointed as our manager. I know most of us wanted a British manager ( although I would qualify that by saying we wanted a manager with proven success in the football leagues ) but that didn't mean that was the sole criteria.

To be clear that wasn't just because Robinson has a track record of rubbishing officials and seemingly blaming them for every defeat his teams suffer. Nor was it just because he talks a lot, in fact a hell of a lot without actually saying anything meaningful.

It wasn't just because his teams are set up to have a lot possession with that apparently being more important almost than scoring goals.

It was the whole package that led me to believe he wasn't at all suited to manage our club. I know we've had some less than wonderful gaffers in the last 3 years but none has quite dismayed me as much as the current incumbent.

I had, perhaps naively, hoped that he might have moved on a bit following a short spell out of the game. Maybe he'd taken the time to reflect on all aspects of his management. Maybe he'd leave the waffle behind and some other less appealing aspects of his management style.

Saturday's final whistle and events immediately following it confirmed that in no way has there been any change. His behaviour not only reflected badly on him but brought more embarrassment to our club.

No wonder we've had 3 red cards in successive games. Byrne's tackle last week didn't look good to me but Robinson saw fit to applaud him off the pitch and pat him on the back. Why endorse that ?

Where does Robinson go from here ? I fail to see how he can discipline any player for transgressing on the pitch. Maybe he'll refund Tex the fine he imposed after the Portuguese threw the ball at Morison. After all he suffered physical rather than verbal abuse that some would argue is worse.

Robinson has brought with him a whole lot of baggage that ranges from his dislike of officials and vice versa to other clubs supporters feeling the same way.

Let's be clear Robinson did cop a load of stick on Saturday and that banner was a step too far. Their point could have been better made without the use of the C word. However, he must have been expecting it and a lot of it would have been of his own making.

Wimbledon ought to be a  club with whom we have a great affinity given our respective histories. Sadly, Saturday will have done a deal of damage to any relationship. Let's hope it restricted to Robinson himself.

No doubt there are other clubs whose fans share a similar dislike of the man. Peterborough are probably one.

Some folk are keen to defend the manager citing his passion. Is this the same sort of passion that saw Rosler antagonise our fans last week or some Millwall fans behave the way they do ? Maybe those Robinson apologists believe they can selective in their definition of this " passion ".

Two games played in February and the main talking points arising are referees and a post-match altercation with a groundsman. That's probably just as well for Robinson otherwise we'd start to examine football matters and ask questions such as why we can have so much possession and not score more than one goal.

Why one of our best strikers is playing left mid ? Why he can't set his team up to play a system that doesn't involve one man up front ?

Why when apparently have so many good players including the latest Deli Alli are we floundering in mid-table ?

It seems the players do want to play for him despite all the off field nonsense and waffle and at present to me that's all Robinson has and needs to cling onto. However, more episodes like Saturday allied to poor results even his greatest advocate will desert him.

Since his appointment Robinson has been keen to tell us what a massive club we are and cites our history and tradition and how he is honoured to be our manager. All very good but with it comes a great deal of responsibility. He needs to ensure that his words and deeds match the rhetoric.

Time to clean up his act for as much as he likes a drink he won't want to be drinking in the last chance saloon too often.

Thursday 9 February 2017

Conversational Karl

Shoot ! 

We caught up with a relaxed  Karl Robinson ahead of Saturday's trip to AFC Wimbledon.

ANEM - Good morning Karl.

KR - It is a good morning but that could change at any moment as a result of a poor decision by a referee who just doesn't want a big club like ours to enjoy itself upto the noon hour. Having said all that, let me be frank..............oops the cat just did a whoopsy in my beret....only joking lad, I'm not Frank Spencer.....there seems to be real desire, passion from others, maybe they're jealous or whatever that a massive club like ours can't enjoy our elevenses. Talking of which I like a good brew, made properly in a cup like but with our history the teabag stays longer in the cup than us - Ho ! Ho ! you can have that one lad !

ANEM - Karl what attracted you to Charlton. You must have had to give it some thought given the problems since it has been under the ownership of the Belgian businessman,  Roland Duchatelet ?

KR - Well, Belgium is known for its waffles and I like a good waffle me ! You can have that one lad ! Having met with the President and Katrienne I sensed a desire, a passion, a belief to play for the badge er I mean turn things around plus I was out of work and hadn't had an interview for months, was starting to talk myself in the kitchen for half an hour or so until I realised the light came from the fridge not the assembled media corps.

ANEM - How have you taken to the players and in turn, how have they taken to you ?

KR - They've been great since I first walked through the door. There are some real characters in that dressing room like Tony, Pagey, Ruddy, Finchy, Monkey Harris etc. I think they're responding to me as a manager. Well, I say manager but really I've created an atmosphere where I'm a friend first, boss second. Probably an entertainer third.

ANEM - You have said you hope that you can heal the rift between the owner and the fans. Do you still believe you can do that and how can you achieve it ?

KR - It's all about everyone - the owner, the fans, the players, the board.....Wirral in this together ! You can have the one lad !

Seriously, it's about the desire, the passion, the belief, the badge, the desire, the willingness to put things right by working together with a desire. I have tremendous passion and affection for this football club - cut me and I bleed red !

ANEM - Some people have accused you of talking too much in interviews. Is that a fair criticism ?

DB - It has been said occasionally. Someone accused me the other day of being verbose. I don't know what that means but I think they've got too much to say for themselves. Another said I had verbal diarrhea but they're full of sh**e.

ANEM - Fair enough. If I can ask you one more question about interviews. I think this impression of talking too much is that your interviews are repetitive and full of cliches. Is that fair ?

DB - At the end of the day people can think what they like. I talk a bit but I believe that's all down to my desire, passion and belief as I want to take this football club forward. I'd be over the moon if we can do that together. It won't happen overnight, it's a marathon not a sprint and you need to grab the low hanging fruit whilst not disturbing the cuckoo in the nest to make small gains - not to mention the elephant in the room.

By the way I once shot an elephant in my pyjamas. How he got into my pyjamas I'll never know ! You can have that one lad !

ANEM - You have been accused of saying the same things about Charlton as you did your previous club. Again, do you think that's fair ?

DB - Well, the only ones that matter are the fans. I know from the noise, support and atmosphere that comes from the Kop, Cowshed er South Stand tells me that they like what I'm doing. If I refuse to speak to you who am I letting down ? The fans, the people who allow our game to be the greatest game in the world in our country.

It was at this point when fiction and reality became blurred we took a breather. The second part of the interview where we ask Karl about what every Charlton fan really wants to know - his views on Saturdays big game............Liverpool v Spurs will follow soon.

Watch this space !

Sunday 5 February 2017

Bad Day At The Office

When the board went up indicating that another 10 minutes would be played you feared the worst. This is Charlton after all.

The largest chunk of time to be added on was, of course, due to the time it took to get the fourth official to replace the senior lino. What a pigging mess ! Even then the incompetent ref who loved being in the limelight found time to reprimand Robinson for coming onto the pitch.

Such was the inconsistency and overall poor performance of the referee pushes Mr Stoud for the most inept that we've seen at The Valley this season.

However, to focus on the officials would be to ignore the greater reason for yesterday's draw against another high flying team that looked very ordinary. This was a game that should have been put to bed long before that 10 minute board went up.

The reason it wasn't was down to media luvvie Robinson. Fresh from meetings with Henry Winter and a handful of fans he made some poor decisions. These are fast becoming the main feature of his stewardship.

The Times interview is an interesting one as it referenced his aforementioned meeting with fans even though it didn't happen until 24 hours later. The Winter interview was seemingly little more than a PR exercise with Robinson apparently being the latest mouthpiece for the club.

Call me a cynic but I'm not buying that Katiren is remorseful and cares passionately about the club. Apparently she wants to learn on the job. Ridiculous ! This is the position of CEO of a pedigree football club not the office junior. Aside from which the only lesson learned to date is that she needs to remain silent.

Back to matters on the pitch. Robinson again persisted with one up front at a time when we simply don't have a player capable of performing that role. Watt worked hard but it simply wasn't going to work.

Time and again the Scot got the ball but there was no one to assist him. We could all see that as much much as we could all see that the tippy-tappy football that is the hallmark of Robinson's teams delivered us a lot of possession but little goal threat.

It took over half an hour before we have a shot on target. Overall I think we only had 2 shots on target. Sadly, there is no other way the manager wants to play so we're stuck with it and we were never able to pressure their defence as a result.

As the second half wore on you always felt that the equaliser was coming and indeed they so nearly grabbed a winner but for the width of a post.

Robinson's poor choice of subs further weakened the team. Skip should not have come on to play in a position he's not occupied for many a year. His only possible role in the team is as a defensive mid - end of.

Solly or Konsa could have moved to left back had Tex come on at that time. Then we saw Watt play wide left so we were really exposed there and Fleetwood knew it and focused on that side.

Byrne's red card looked deserved albeit that I've only seen it once. His foot looks to be unnecessarily high and he paid the price, We can do without losing any player for 3 games in this busy February.

This was our 3rd successive red card. We are adding to our problems.

Given Robinson's refusal to adopt any other system the return of Josh can't come soon enough. Without him we don't carry a serious and sustained goal threat.

February is make or break time and it has started badly. I don't see us emerging from it in a good position. 

Please do the talking on the pitch Mr Robinson.

Friday 3 February 2017

Fleetwood Mac ?

Mick, notoriously very hairy

Uwe, not so much........

Bob Peeters old mate Uwe stumps on Saturday with his latest charges. Both as a player and a manager the hot headed Rosler never stays long at any club. Despite looking a lot older the German is 48 - perhaps packing tea chests every couple of years or so has aged him.

All that aside, it seems that the former City player is doing a good job for the Fishermen. They are currently unbeaten in the league since November. Their only defeat since then came in the FA cup to Bristol City. Maybe that their nickname is The Robins is a good omen ?

With The Addicks on an unbeaten run of 5 games including last week's backs to the wall win over Bolton it ought to be a good game. Of course one is rarely let down by Charlton as we know so it's guaranteed to be a cracker !

The fact Fox has been sold to Sheffield Wednesday and Page is suspended must give rise to the possibility of............no stop it ! It couldn't possible happen and I'm deluding myself. Why did I ever even entertain the thought ? For one moment I was letting my mind run away with the idea that Adam Chicksen might start a game at left back. Yes, I know ! Ludicrous isn't it ?

Tex has served his suspension after losing it over the charmless Morison and Holmes returns, add in the new acquisitions and there is now a bit of competition for places and Robinson has some choices to make.

I assume that Watt will occupy the lone striker role even though he isn't really suited to it. I'm not convinced that Robinson's favoured formation works that well without Josh but we shall see.

The weather doesn't look great hence the title of this piece making reference to the need for an overcoat on Saturday. Let's hope that the Addicks can sink Fleetwood under a deluge of their own and secure their first home win since the beginning of January.

Come On You Reds !