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 !