Thursday 30 March 2017


It's taken just over 3 years but the club under the present ownership has at last done something we can be proud of. It's not clear where the credit lies but this is not the time or occasion to dwell on that.

The main thing is that the right thing is being done by a number of people and that includes our players who led by Skip are donating their match fee to the fund.

A proper and fitting tribute to Keith Palmer is planned for Tuesday with donations to the fund and appropriate memorials now and something more permanent at a later date.

The word hero is used to frequently sometimes and on occasion inappropriately. However, there's little doubt that it is very relevant in Keith's case. He gave his life trying to protect and save others. People like him should be held in the highest esteem and it's only proper that he is remembered in this way. It's the least the rest of us can do.

I'm sure there'll be a splendid turn out at the game next Tuesday against MK. Sadly I'll not be there as I had already booked a holiday as there wasn't a game at the time.

I have just tried to make a donation to the fund but I note that it's now closed. This is something I would have done anyway as having a season ticket I presume means that none of that would be included in the gate receipts.

There is reference to an HSBC account that donations can be made. If anyone reading this knows how I can donate please let me know in the comments section. Thank you.

Come Tuesday evening at 7.45pm my thoughts will be with all those at The Valley.

RIP Keith.

Tuesday 21 March 2017

Sale At Dale

All credit to Rochdale for a superb initiative with their season ticket promotion for next season. This is how it works :-

This year, Rochdale AFC will have been established for 110 years - formed on 15th May 1907 - and to celebrate, we are offering fans an unbelievable opportunity to purchase a 2017/18 season ticket for potentially only  £110 !

The £110 offer is based on achieving 4,000 season ticket sales and the final price will depend on the number of season ticket deposits sold:

Over 2,000 season ticket sales - £250
Over 2,500 season ticket sales - £200
Over 3,000 season ticket sales - £150
Over 4,000 season ticket sales - £110

A wonderful incentive for their fans. Any potential loss in season ticket revenue will no doubt be made up and perhaps exceeded by increased refreshment, programme and other sales.

How good is that ! If only we had far a far-sighted owner and CEO who could produce such an idea. Let’s hope that whoever takes over from Roland, whenever that may be, might be swayed towards this type of promotion.

It would certainly go a long way to getting a number of fans back to The Valley.

Sadly, with Roland in charge nothing short of giving the season tickets away for free is likely to have any effect. Even then I’m sure a number would still stay away in protest.

Sadly, with Queen Kat dahn our gaff there’s no sign of any improvement and the only way our tickets are coming down in price is when we drop another division. That is only a matter of time of course whilst our incompetent CEO continues to lead us on our downward spiral.

Sunday 19 March 2017

Robinson Review

Blah ! Blah ! Blah ! Blah ! Blah !

Chris Wilder’s team put an end to the Addicks recent draws. In so doing they strengthened their promotion from League One whilst ensuring that our struggle to remain in it continues.

Obviously we look at Wilder and think of what might have been if our number one choice had taken the job back in the summer. I think it’s fair to say that he would have got us into a play-off place at least.

Following his success in getting the Cobblers promoted last season his CV is looking better with each passing season.

Comparisons with our present manager don’t make good reading. In fact comparing Robinson with most other League One managers isn’t good and conversely his CV is looking worse with each passing season.

Henry Irving summed it up accurately and succinctly with a post on Charlton Life earlier today.

We'll never know how Wilder would have done under this regime. We can all see how badly Tarbuck is doing.

Slade was sacked and Robinson appointed to give us " the best chance of promotion". Robinson was given a transfer window and he brought in five players.

None have made a huge impression or improvement due to injuries, suspensions or just not being picked by the manager who signed them.

We're now told that it is about next season. But that wasn't the line when Russell "right man for the job" was sacked.

In patches we play some good football under Robinson but that has been when we play 442 using Slade and previous managers players. And we played as well if not better under Nugent who didn't have Holmes or a transfer window.

Karl wasted months, and many points and a transfer window, trying to make 4231 work and has failed.

We are set for our worse league finish in 90 years.

Wilder can hardly have done worse if he tried but at Sheffield Utd he's been allowed to get on with the job. He's built a team spirit and has a consistent way of playing.

Large portions of his budget aren't being spent on players loaned out to other clubs or paying off previous mistakes. And Wilder isn't obliged to put young players in the shop window for a quick sale.

Wilder never got £8m for a young striker either. But then again neither did Robinson. £400k from £8m to spend but even that wasn't spent well. Injury prone players or inexperienced loaners rather than proven, battle hardened performers but remember Karl you're a farmer not a coach. You job is to babysit any talent we have until they are sold. “

That struck a chord with me as I found myself agreeing with every word.

Many will cite our owners and of course they are always a factor. However, Robinson has a good squad at his disposal and it must the envy of most in the league. Indeed at MK he had pretty much of what he had in the Championship last season.

Robinson’s league record for this season, 2016-17 for both us and MK doesn’t make good viewing.

P 30 W 9 D 14 L 17 Pts 41

What ought to be an accurate comparison to a degree is to look at how Robinson’s former team are doing under their new manager, Robbie Neilson.

Robbie Neilson’s league record  - P 18 W 7 D 5 L 6  Pts 26

MK sit one place below us with the same number of points on goal difference but have a game in hand.

In the transfer window MK lost one of their better players in Carruthers and certainly haven’t been able to recruit to the extent and supposed quality that Robinson has.

In his time with us Robinson has told us of how we have the most fantastic players in the league, the next Deli Alli and another who is a Premier league player in waiting.

Robinson’s league record for us :- P 20 W 4  D 8 L 8  Pts 20

The comparison with Neilson’s lesser talented squad show that he has garnered 6 points more from 2 fewer games.

The above doesn’t take into account injuries and suspensions of course but all teams get them.

Robinson doesn’t seem able to get a decent 90 minutes out of our boys. Some folk like the way we played in the 2nd half on Tuesday and for most of yesterday.

Definitely an improvement on recent performances but isn’t it a minimum of what we should expect to see from this squad ?

That the better performances have come from playing a 4-4-2 formation isn’t a surprise. It shouldn’t have taken so long for Robinson to ditch his wretched 4-2-3-1 that clearly wasn’t working.

I believe that most folk can see that Robinson isn’t all that good and of course there’s an awful lot of talk with him. I don't need to see him have a summer transfer window as I know it won't go well especially if we get more nonsense that some clubs won't sell to us or demand outrageous fees.

In addition, as Henry says his player recruitment isn’t that good. Da Silva is a case in point. Why did he get him ? He hardly plays and has only done so recently as there was no other option.

It seems that we’ve got Robinson to the end of the season. We have to hope that he can steer us to safety. I don’t think it’ll be that easy and in the meantime we have to do our best to avoid the numerous pre and post-match interviews. 

Thursday 16 March 2017

Not Even In Our Wilder Dreams

If only..............

Following yet another draw the Addicks return to the road this weekend with a trip to Bramall Lane.

It is to be hoped that we could play two good halves of a match. Tuesday saw us continue our recent trend of a poor first half with improved effort and performance in the second.

I managed to catch a fair bit of the 2nd half against Bradford and we certainly put them under the cosh. Our poor finishing was again to let us down. We ought to take the rough with the smooth however, as The Bantams could have been out of sight by half time.

That was the case on Saturday too as Walsall’s strikers failed to hit the target.

Quite why Robinson can’t get the team motivated and organised is puzzling. I simply don’t think he’s all that good despite that he talks a good game with his grass and classroom sessions, passion, desire, playing for the shirt etc. etc.

The Blades unsurprisingly perhaps given their position have enjoyed a pretty successful February and March to date. They will no doubt be confident of a win on Saturday.

Chris Wilder will no doubt look at the state of our club and be reassured that he was right to turn us down in the summer. Whether he did use us as a bargaining chip I don’t know but it’s clear the loss is ours. Even under this ownership I think he’d have got us up in the position that reflects our budget.

For our part we can only watch his team march onto to the league title, promotion back to the Championship and think of what might have been.

It would seem that we need at least one more win as a minimum to ensure survival at this level. I really can’t see that coming this weekend. 

After that we'll now have a break as it seems clear the club have taken a short-sighted decision to postpone the MK Dons game. For me, whichever way you look at it it's a poor decision. The crowd would have been bigger on the Saturday for a start. 

In any case look at when we postponed against Millwall..........a lot of good that did us ! I don't think those players who would have been missing would be that big a loss. Da Silva has rarely played and Magennis hasn't been pulling up any trees of late. 

Robinson has been under pressure recently but I read with interest that some feel Robinson should be given more time. Their reasons for this hardly inspire confidence as it’s not because they genuinely believe he is any good or the right man for the job.

Generally it’s borne out of a desire not to sack another manager and to have some continuity. Many will cite the appalling injury list. That has a bearing of course but then again Robinson makes some bizarre decisions when he has players available.

For example clearly Chicksen is our best left back but he rarely plays there. I’ve never understood that. One can cite that only Mageniss can play as a lone striker yet Robinson has had a number of folk in that role. All totally unsuitable.

Today he's been talking of bringing in 10 or 11 players before the break for summer. This has to be more nonsense even only if time wouldn't realistically allow for that to happen. This is aside from the question of ownership. Even if it's still Roly in charge it's hard to see him sanctioning the type of spend needed.

I hope that come next summer we’ll see Roly gone and the new regime bring in a decent, proven manager and back him. I wouldn’t expect instant success that would equate to a play-off place. I just want to see us heading the right direction again.

Obviously a lot of hard work is required to rebuild our club. Getting folk back and fully behind the team and management won’t be easy. However, clear plans for the future and a proper connection with the fans would go a long way towards that.

Here’s hoping !

Come On You Reds !

Monday 13 March 2017

The Play That Goes Wrong

Just back from seeing this tonight. You'd be forgiven for thinking that it's something that might have a Duchatelet / Meire production. However, this was very funny and anything involving those two is more of a tragedy.

If you get the chance to see this play then do. It's very good.

Well, last week was another quiet one in S.E.7 !

To be fair even by recent standards it was something of a blinder. We actually won a game for the first time since 2nd January before returning to drawing ways on Saturday.

The powers that be have behaved in such a petty and vindictive way that the POTY event has now been cancelled.

PR man Tom Rubashaw would have us believe that Meire didn’t know she was lined up for two Q & A sessions with those vinegar folk.

Finally, rumours abound that Roly might actually be ready to sell the club.

Robinson managed to ensure some stability by reverting to the successful 4-2-3-1 formation. Never mind that 4-4-2 had brought the afore-mentioned success on Tuesday.

Tony Watt was selected to play the lone striker role. Never mind that he is clearly not suited to the role let’s do it anyway. Watt could be found over on the right wing on numerous occasions in the first half as if to prove the point.

Inside the first 20 minutes and with better finishing the Saddlers could have been 3 or 4 up. Luckily for the Addicks it was on the whole, woeful.

Eventually the breakthrough came and we paid the price for having such a high defensive line as Jackson broke through and finished with some aplomb.

Thankfully the Addicks had a better second half and changed to 4-4-2. Watt’s splendid strike ensuring a share of the spoils.

Not a great performance but it was enough to gain a valuable point towards safety.

4 points gained from the two games but Robinson has done little to enhance his reputation. He is obsessed with his formation to the point of self-destruction. His use of subs still baffles fans.

I don’t see why he didn’t start with Hanlan or at least bring him on in the second half. He’d be more suited to the lone striker role and must be more deserving of a chance than some.

Maybe he’s destined to sit on the bench for the rest of the season – company for Da Silva !

Tomorrow night Bradford will pose a stern test. If we get anything out of that it could be seen as a positive especially with our seemingly endless injury list.

Overriding all the above of course is the rumour that Roly might be prepared to sell up. No one is counting any chickens yet in that respect but we must all hope it is the case.

Any potential buyer has pretty much got to be better than the incumbent.

If the sale goes through then we best all prepare for the mother of all parties !

Come On You Reds !

Thursday 9 March 2017

Blazing Saddlers

A much needed win on Tuesday lifted a little of the gloom surrounding a dreadful run of performances and results that has taken us towards relegation.

The threat remains of course as it needs more than one win to secure our League One status. i'm sure that Meire promised with our top 6 budget we'd be challenging for a play-off berth at least. However, like most of her promises it has come to nowt.

Our CEO yesterday cancelled her 2 upcoming Q&A sessions scheduler for 11th and 25th March. A communications mix up we're led to believe and Rubashow has to issue an embarrassing apology that looks weaker than Meire's CV.

Maybe they clash with her holidays. I'm sure she went off on vacation about this time last year when we were facing a crisis on the pitch. Perhaps I'm wrong and La Meire is off just yet. 

Possibly there was a directive from Roly that she wasn't to meet with the vinegar pi**ers who so disrupted his dancing last weekend. That seems unlikely to a degree as the old man doesn't really pay any interest to what Daisy gets up to.

Meire did managed to speak to Radio 4 on International Womens Day. Having not spoken for months there she was self-promoting. She did managed to tell the audience that Charlton are a Championship club and we need to get back there. She did bother to add the " with Premiership aspirations " bit. Even she couldn't be bothered with the pretence.

In the meantime Robinson has been talking again......yes, really !

Apparently Watt repaid the faith in him coming on as sub. I'd like a piece of the action please. I reckon I could do about 10 minutes and put a pen away for the money the Scot is getting.

The manager tells us all how it tough love for Watt as though he's found the secret to managing the former Celtic player. Clearly that's a load of bull as Watt looks less fit now than when he first returrned to the club. 

Remember Robinson was going to make him run, sweat, bleed, apologise etc.etc. Doesn't look like that's happened to me.

Other gems of late from the manager include today's " I'm not one of those who gets very emotional ". Yeah, right ! Level headed Robinson ! We've all seen him react like he's won the Premier League after a win.

Of more concern is his claim in respect of the endless slog of games of late that " I've never known nothing like this ". Really ? In his time as manager he's not had a run of Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday matches like the one we're currently in ?

Like most of what he says I find that hard to believe.

Leaving all the above behind and we move onto Saturday and another tough game. They'll all be tough as we're so sh....ambolic and lacking in confidence. 

We desperately need those two remaining wins so that we don't have to worry about the drop to the bottom tier.

It all remains a tough ask and I can see this going all the way to the end of the season.

Tuesday's empty stands was a depressing sight and your author was one of the absentees. I couldn't motivate myself for the journey that would have seen me not home before midnight. That's not good but sadly it's where me and many others are at.

As someone remarked you wonder what Meire thinks as she surveys the empty rows of seats. Possibly it's " my work here is nearly done ".

If Meire had any professional credibility or basic sense of pride she'd have resigned a long time ago. Clearly she hasn't and I'm not she has any decency as a human being either or for that alone she'd have gone.

She knows Roly won't sack her despite her sacking those she's appointed after only a few months on the basis that they aren't competent. 

She'll never get another job at a football club that's not owned by Roly. I guess she'll return to international law once she's finished with us. How football will cope without her is anyone's guess. 

What a wretched season this has been - the icing on the cake of their 3 year ownership.

Come On You Reds ! 

Sunday 5 March 2017

Home and Away

Saturday saw Addicks both here and abroad fighting two battles. One on home soil was for survival in League One, the other on foreign ground was for our very existence.

Closer to home saw a rather saddening display from both some fans and players alike. In some cases neither exactly covered themselves in glory.

The day started well for me as the decision to partake of pre-match imbibing in The Squirrels was to prove a good one. Good beer and food was consumed whilst watching United and Bournemouth entertain us with some behaviour that wouldn't have been out of place on the undercard for the Haye-Bellew fight.

Once inside Sixfields Stadium things went rapidly downhill. From the off Rudd was subject to a whole load of abuse from a few of our finest. Quite what he's done to warrant that I've no idea. The insults got worse after Smith scored. How on earth anyone thought Rudd could do anything about that I've not a clue.

A perfect cross was beautifully met and dispatch into the top left hand corner of the goal. It was unstoppable.

In the meantime, just behind the goal one of our more mature fans kicked off with another one. It never amounted to much but was unpleasant and sufficient to cause much distress to a wheelchair bound gentleman. All pretty unsavoury.

Somehow we fashioned a scrappy equaliser that was mostly undeserved. This led to a few of ours to go and taunt the Cobblers fans with a chair being thrown as well. As I understand it this hit Chicksen's mum. Thankfully, I don't think she was too badly hurt.

There's nothing good to say about the rest of the match. We didn't really create anything and totally lacked any cohesion or game plan. Watt appeared for a disappointing cameo and again he was on the receiving end of abuse. Maybe it's deserved to a degree but shouting all manner of obscenities at him or anyone else isn't going to help.

Post match very few players made their way over to the fans. Those that did get a hearty rendition of " you're not fit to wear the shirt ".

Equally Robinson left the scene. Not for him to be gathering the players together and lapping up the applause as if we've won the league. All mates together ! I can't see that happening for some time.

Clearly the manager didn't get away early to prepare himself to deliver a rational and erudite interview. The usual waffle followed and now he's taking the blame himself. Well that's what he said except he went on to cite injuries, suspensions, bad weather, officials looking at him in a funny way etc.etc. All reasons as to why he is fast becoming our least successful and popular manager.

He may eclipse Fraye, Pardew and Dowie across one or both of those. Quite some going.

At the time of writing Robinson remains in situ. Sadly, the same is also true of the man who is the driving force behind our current plight. However, Duchatelet did get an insight into the depth of the antipathy towards as nearly 300 Addicks paid him a visit in his hometown.

Their stories and details of their trip are well documented elsewhere. They have served to embarrass Roly in his backyard and also highlighted our situation through national and foreign media. We all owe them a great deal of gratitude.

Hopefully they will have nudged the owner nearer to departure. Whether those hardy souls have been successful won't be clear for some time. What is clear though is that they displayed more passion and desire than we witnessed from our boys on the pitch in Northampton.

In respect of Robinson and our squad it's a total mess. I really can't see us winning any of the next 3 games. Given the toxic atmosphere I witnessed Saturday playing all those at home really won't help as it is likely to be magnified.

It's all such a bloody mess. We are in our lowest position in my lifetime ( and I'm no spring chicken ) with no sign of things improving.

Maybe our CEO will offer some hope and insight when she shares her ideas and plans with fans on Saturday in her next Q&A session. We can rely her to deliver, can't we ?


Thursday 2 March 2017

Roly Faces His Waterloo

Robinson spoke at length ( how unusual ) today in the pre-match press conference. Aside from discussing the Haye - Bellew fight he found time to discuss the team he manages.

It now seems that the 40% of Tuesday night is a very fluid bunch and some players may migrate to the 60% and vice versa although to my mind that means it is no longer a 40-60 split. Never mind, Robinson doesn’t like to dwell on the finer points or indeed 3 points.

The manager reckoned that yesterday’s clear the air meeting was great and really productive almost to the point where you expected him to say what a great bunch of players they are. The lads are full of passion, pride and determined to play for the shirt etc.etc.

I think he’s blown his relationship ( if indeed he had one ) with most of the squad. You’d understand if they’ve grown tired of the same old spiel, tactics and formation.

It’s draining for us to have to listen to that drivel for about 20 minutes each week, imagine hearing it every day in training.

Clutching at straws Robinson referred to Chris Powell bringing in 20 odd fresh faces prior to that League 1 winning season. I don’t think he’ll be backed to the same extent and in any case even if he were the man’s not capable of moulding them into a team.

Robinson is desperately clinging on now. Another reverse on Saturday will have Roly twitching especially with games against Bradford and The Blades looming large on the horizon. That Katrien has publicly backed doesn’t bode well for him.

A poor display and scoreline at Sixfields will probably see the away support vent their spleen. It has the potential to be toxic.

Cobblers fans won’t take to kindly to Robinson I’m sure given his MK connections. His previous team were well beaten in a televised game against Northampton earlier in the season and Town will probably be confident of doing the same against us despite a reverse in midweek.

Hearts and minds are likely to be elsewhere though of course as we consider fellow fans making the trip to Belgium.

Aside from having a good time I hope they are able to make their point to our destructive owner whilst further highlighting our plight in both foreign and national media.

Maybe when he’s sees the make up and number of fans Roly will realise that it isn’t bitter ex-employees who are protesting. Nor is it misogynists or xenophobes whatever Katrien and the tiresome a2c would have him believe.

Our hapless CEO isn’t going to leave or indeed change in any way as she just doesn’t have the first clue about how to turn things around. No number of PR personnel is going to help her out of the mess of her making.

Therefore, I have to say that the more important battle to win on Saturday is the one being fought on foreign soil. Nothing less than the ultimate victory will save our precious club now with a great deal of irreversible damage already done.

Come On You Reds and Come On You Mighty 2% !