Thursday 25 January 2018

Blackpool Legend

The great Jimmy Armfield

Joint planned demonstrations scheduled for Saturday against awful owners have, quite rightly, been abandoned in order to allow for tributes to be paid to Blackpool legend, Jimmy Armfield.

He spent his entire career at Blackpool and played over 40 times for England being unlucky to miss out playing in the 66 World Cup matches due to injury.

After his playing days he managed both Bolton and Leeds.

Sadly, I never saw him play but enjoyed his observations and co-commentary on the radio. He was, I believe, a real gentleman. His life and career will quite correctly be celebrated and remembered on Saturday. He will be greatly missed. 

The Addicks travel to Bloomfield Road on the back of 3 straight wins so ought to be in good spirit. The return of Fosu, the emergence of Mavididi since his second spell with us and the arrival this week of the highly rated Zyro with us gives cause for optimism.

The squad now has real attacking flair and probably enough to mask the striking deficiencies of Magennis. Surely there has to be a possibility that Josh won't actually be in the starting eleven in at least one of the next few games ? There must be some chance ? No ? Oh well, it was just a thought !

There remains a question mark over our defence of course. We still look extremely vulnerable at set pieces in particular but in general to be fair. We need to tighten up or perhaps have better formation that doesn't leave us so exposed against quick counter-attacking teams. We are frequently caught out and teams that are better able to convert their chances will leave us hoping in true " Vindaloo " style to " score one more than you ! ",

I don't see Robinson changing his approach to games ( or team selection too much - see Magennis above ! ). Therefore, if we are to be successful ( and we really ought to be in the next few games ) then we need more speed, greater movement and earlier balls into the box.

It remains to be seen whether Robinson can deliver that. For me I find a certain irony in this view that Robinson plays attacking football. How often have scored more than two goals this season ? Without checking I'm not sure but it took until last Saturday for the Heineken offer to be cashed in so to speak.

Overlooking all that as I said earlier on we now possess some exciting players who appear to have goals in them. Hopefully they will provide both them and some football to whet the appetite.

If Robinson can't at least secure 6th spot barring any extenuating circumstances ( automatic spots are beyond us no matter what the manager says and he would wouldn't he ) then he has failed us as aside from Wigan and Blackburn there's no team that ought to be better than us.

That would leave us looking to next season and trying get out of a third tier that potentially contains Birmingham, Sunderland, Hull and or Bolton to name but four ! There are two or three similarly big clubs that might yet go down.

Let's hope that doesn't come pass and in the meantime focus on Saturday where our fans can pay tribute to a wonderful football man who graced the game both on and off the pitch. Hopefully we can leave with the 3 points too.

Come On You Reds !

Monday 22 January 2018

Turkish Delight

A former Charlton academy player showed what we were missing on Saturday. Oztumer aka the Turkish Messi, ran his socks off and put in a really good performance including a goal resulting from a perfectly time run. The shortest player on the pitch headed home to equalise in the first half.

It was a real pleasure to see him play and sad that we let him go allegedly on the basis that he was too small. Looked alright to me !

Our goal and a couple of near misses aside the first half wasn’t good. It was the away team the showed us how to play in a fast, quick passing manner allied to good movement.

Our build was so slow and many times the ball was played backwards and across our own area. Walsall did what a lot of teams do and sat back to a degree allowing us the ball in our own third. Orchestrated by the aforementioned Oztumer we often struggled to get the ball forward comfortably.

Some have defended this approach citing that when the opposition sets up like this it makes it difficult for us to play as we'd like. What ? Then we need to change our approach or play like Walsall did and pass and move quicker. 

We looked like the away team for long periods of that first 45 minutes.

The second half was an altogether better affair. The catalyst for that was Fosu. For him it was like he’d never been away – for those of us who’ve had to watch some pretty ordinary stuff of late we certainly knew he had !

He brought more drive and energy to the team. Fosu in combination with Mavididi could be fun if they continue like that. He seemed to spark the whole team.

Aribo has another good game and Robinson ought to be embarrassed that he didn’t give him his opportunity earlier in the season.

Marshall was marginally better than I’d seen of late and delivered a few good crosses. I won’t get carried away as he still struggled to beat his man and often lost the ball unnecessarily.

Magennis again squandered chances to score and I’m amazed he doesn’t draw more criticism as a result. It’s what his main role is. I know he wins headers but he ought to shouldn’t he ?

Reeves wasn't pulling up any trees but was doing ok in a central role before Robinson strangely decided to move him out wide. Maybe as Robinson gets to know the player he won't make the same mistake again !

When he plays ( when doesn’t he ! ) pretty much all goal kicks, kicks from the keeper and long balls are directed his way. That would be ok to an extent if we had others feeding off him but it rarely happens because we are seemingly not set up to prosper from it.

We keep doing it though ! Robinson said Josh needed a rest. Well, give it to him then man !  We might just discover something a whole lot better.

The squad is slowly recovering and with reinforcements expected this week there is no hiding place if we don’t maintain a winning run against teams in the lower half of the league.

We have today added Michal Zyro a Polish striker come wide man on loan from Wolves. I'm given to understand that he is some player who career has stalled a bit following an injury.  Sounds as though once he gets fit he'll be an exciting player to watch !

No point in discussing any takeover as rumour and speculation are rife but there is a distinct absence of anything else. Nothing of any real substance to report so it’s best to wait until Roly has sold up, packed his bags and then rejoice that that particular nightmare is over !

Friday 19 January 2018

Next Of Kin

Young Liam - you can clearly see the resemblance to his dad !

A return to S.E.7 on Saturday for Kin, Kin, Kinsella ! However, this is Liam, son of the great Mark and a Saddler. Young Liam is a converted midfielder ( what else ! ) who plays at right back. The youngster has just secured an extended contract with Walsall. It'll be interesting to see him in action.

Should Marshall play on the left I wonder how tough his afternoon will be. I wonder that because what I've seen of Marshall of late leads me to believe that Liam won't be extended too much. I wasn't at Bury but it takes more than a 6 yard tap in to win me over ( all credit for being in the right place at the tight time etc. etc. ).

The Addicks return home following two 1-0 wins against poor sides. Amazingly these have got us back in the top 6. You'll forgive me for not checking dates in May just yet ! 

I know I've said this before ( and I'll say it again ) injuries and other matters aside - all of which were not so prevalent at the start of our bad run - some of the football has been dire. My season ticket costs me a lot of money and I'd like to think that at some point I'll be getting better entertainment than that !

Enough already ! Let's look forward. Walsall, Blackpool and Oxford ( who'll be tough ) offer a truer indication of how our season will pan out. Failure to garner less than 6 points will and you can pretty much kiss goodbye to any extension of our season.

Despite the departures ( and I'd still love to know the background to Ricky going ) we still have a pretty decent squad and one that ought to be capable of more than we've seen of late. Labouring to victory over two of the worst teams in the league isn't going to set pulses racing.

It's reported that we're due to get some lad from Palarse on loan. It's the best we can expect at the moment I guess but we really need a striker of course if we are able to bring anyone in. That must be the priority surely ?

Magennis, I assume, is to continue in the team. Amazing ! What can you say about last week's attempt to lob the keeper except.......oh dear ! Josh is set to make Leaburn look prolific ! Might be time to dust down and update those " I saw Leabun score ! " t-shirts !

The best his supporters can now say about him is much work he does defensively winning crucial headers. Great ! How about trying to nod one in the oppo's goal ! 

If we lose Konsa as seems likely then we could probably do worse than stick him in the back four. That would relieve the pressure on Robinson as he persists in playing him and he might just have a valid reason to do so.

The long awaited takeover appears set to become an even longer awaited takeover with no clear bidders amongst a misty sea of various characters linked by a similar name. I fully expect to see Hope Lange in the directors box on Saturday with occasional appearances from Edward Mulhare coinciding with inclement weather ! 

Added excitement is to be had by guessing the number of subs on the bench. Throw in the element of those on it who are actually fit to play and you see what a fun afternoon is to be had ! Who needs face painters and garage music eh ?

A number of people have highlighted how unrealistic Roly appears to be in his attempts to secure his asking price. As they point out the value of something really isn't what you paid for it but its worth now. Having made such a pig's ear of running our club it can only be a lot less than he paid.

I do hope that the people behind ROT follow through with their plans in the election that involves Roly even if he has sold long before then. That's spiteful and vindictive you might say and in one you capture the very essence of his approach to us and our club now. Therefore, don't let up. In the name of Bart........go for it !

I'm really not anticipating a great game on Saturday but life is full of surprises so I'll try and be optimistic and hope that Robinson isn't outsmarted again by a club with more limited resources than's just at the beginning of a new year after all. Here's hoping !

Come On You Reds !


Sunday 14 January 2018

Holmes And Away

Holmes wasn't playing away but the Addicks managed to secure a second 1-0 win and their first away in the league since October.

Rather like the previous Saturday it would appear that it wasn't a great performance but it's better than losing I suppose especially given the circumstances of the last week alone.

The upcoming games are all very winnable if we're are playing anywhere our best. However, as we've seen in the last two fixtures nothing is easy in this league.

The manager probably deserves some credit for this win but he can spare me the " woe is me " tone of recent interviews.

I accept all the injuries and Roly not backing him at all in this transfer window. However, Robinson and the players need to get on with the hand they've been dealt.

All of us in our less well rewarded jobs have to deal with difficulties and set backs on an almost daily basis. The school where I work suffered a couple of devastating blows last year both within a few weeks of each other. However, we had to get on with things.

You'd think our brave boys had been to war in the last few days with the manner of reporting of some events.

Yes, I know it doesn't help when Roly has inflicted untold damage on our club over the last 4 years and even more of late but please, get on with the job in hand.

I'm not sure why Robinson opted to only have 5 subs on the bench. That included Solly and JFC who were both not really fit to play. It was great that they wanted to be there but why not include some of our U23's. Surely they're better than nothing.

What if Phillips was injured ? Are we seriously to believe that Robinson wouldn't have a young keeper on the bench ?

It's with things like that Robinson lets himself down in my opinion.

As a footnote to all of the above I now read that Robinson says he wanted Carruthers in return for Holmes. Now I am really confused as I'm sure that the manager said a couple of days ago that Ricky only just told him that he'd had an offer from Sheff Utd with the inference that he ( Robinson ) was unaware of it.

However, it was at least a week ago that Robinson went public on wanting Carruthers. All that gives credence to my view that Robinson wanted Carruthers and that Holmes going the other way was originally part of the deal. It was only when Roly said he wanted cash only that that particular deal blew up.

My last word on Holmes is that he has been an excellent servant to the club in his short time with us. He's not been of his best of late and I've been quite critical of him for that. However, be in no doubt that he is a very good player at this level and one who at his age deserves a shot at the Championship and maybe more. You really can't blame him for grabbing this opportunity and he leaves us with some pretty good memories of his time in a Charlton shirt.

As with all things in S.E.7 it's all a bit of a mess. The sooner this takeover goes through and decisions are made ( whichever way ) on the management side both on and off the pitch the better.

In case you were wondering the pics at the top of this piece are " Holmes under the ( MC ) Hammer ".....hilarious eh ?

Have a good week let's hope it brings some positive news.

Thursday 11 January 2018

Elementary My Dear Watson !

Things are a bit of a mess down in S.E. 7. " No s**t Sherlock " I hear you cry !

Funnily enough it's another Mr Holmes that is causing a bit of a stir. Ricky has gone from fans favourite to public enemy number one in one fell swoop !

Is he guilty of leaving a sinking ship or was he backed into a corner with little option. To be honest none of us really knows and only Ricky, his agent and possibly Robinson know the truth.

I would comment that Robinson made clear his desire to sign Carruthers from the Blades. I can't believe that Wilder would not have been after Holmes as part of the deal. Therefore, having made this public if he didn't think it before then Holmes must have been thinking he'd been involved.

It's little wonder then that Ricky's head is turned. Perhaps it's been known for some time, who knows ?

Robinson does seem keen to create MK Dons mark 2 in his attempts to re-assemble the very same players who let him down previously. Quite why you'd want to do that I don't know !

Whatever you can understand Holmes wanting to grab a last opportunity if the interest from Sheffield United is genuine. He may, of course have become exasperated with Robinson and / or the ongoing takeover mess.

Richard Cawley states that there are other disaffected players. It would be strange if this were all down to a protracted takeover and apparent lack of investment. I'd love to know who these other players are and perhaps we'll find out in the fullness of time.

I guess that no one could blame the manager for holding out for a pay out if he gets the boot. I just don't think we need all the rhetoric surrounding it in wanting the best for the club, the fans etc. If he is genuine just get on with the job.

Following the exit from the Checkatrade we return to league action on Saturday against another poor team in Bury. 6 losses on the spin apparently. We really ought to beat them but our recent one win in 9 or 10 games and an unsettled background whether we can get the 3 points is anyone's guess.

To be honest I think even 6th place is beyond us and unless a new owner and manager come in I don't expect that to change. Soon I think we can write off this season as one in which we have just been treading water at best.

In the meantime, 3 points on Saturday would at least keep the embers burning but only just.

Monday 8 January 2018

Labouring To Victory

Charlton transfer target Samir Carruthers seen here enjoying a  day at the races !

Finally, a win but how awful was that ! There has been some dire football at The Valley this season but that really takes the biscuit !

Forget all the injuries and talk of not bringing anyone in, that we struggled so badly to beat a really poor team in Oldham speaks volumes.

How the Latics would love most of our players. They were best summed up as “ an honest team “ by someone I spoke to at half time. Indeed they were and let’s be honest at the end they deserved something from the game.

I particularly felt for their No.10 who seemingly won every header and played really well. Rather like the Gills No.9 it’d be great to have him in our team. I do wonder if Magennis ever studies what these players do.

That Robinson couldn’t organise our team to do better than this tells you all you need to know about his ability as manager. Yet again he watched and did nothing as Oldham camped in our half during the second period.

How on earth did Marshall stay on ? He was truly awful. How did he keep his place in the side anyway ? Robinson later described him as hard working ! I’d say runs around a bit to no great effect !

Marshall is like another Robinson recruit in Reeves who has also done diddly squat to date. On this evidence perhaps it’s just as well if the manager isn’t allowed to recruit more players !

Again KAG didn’t start and that’s a mystery. Kashi was so deep he almost behind Amos at times. It was so painful to watch at times as Kashi just slowed down the play even more and his passing over a distance of more than @ 10 metres was woeful.

We just sat back in the second half and invited pressure. Robinson acknowledged it after the game ( who told him I wonder !! ) but yet did nothing about it ! Why didn’t he pass on a message or get someone on ( Jackson maybe ) to get them to do things differently.

We were so lucky to get the 3 points we really were.

As for Robinson moaning, well, give me strength. He knew full well what he was getting into coming to us and up to now has been gushing in his praise of the owner and CEO. Crying to the fans now doesn’t cut it I’m afraid.

Chris Powell had to suffer much worse yet he just got on with it. You didn’t see him moaning in public. The manager is well rewarded and if he doesn’t like it he can always walk. He won’t of course because he won’t want to lose out financially and he knows he’ll not get a better job than this.

Surely none of us expected that Roly would be putting his hand in his pocket now ? He didn’t in the past when he had a scintilla of interest in the club so it’s not going to happen now is it ?

It was quite revealing that Robinson referenced his interest in Carruthers. The general feeling is that he would only be coming to us if long term Sheffield United target Holmes was going the other way. A great way to unsettle Holmes who isn’t playing anywhere near his best anyway.

Aside from all that we don’t need Carruthers although at least he won’t be able to distract the lads by taking them off to the races eh !

The remaining January games all look relatively easy but given the way we're playing at present then it’s hard to see us getting much from them. If we are to do so then it’ll take a massive turn around.

In the meantime, tomorrow night we face Oxford in the Check-a-Trade trophy. Realistically this represents our best chance of any success this season. On that basis we might as well put out our strongest available side. 

Quite what Robinson will do remains anyone's guess as always. If have little faith in him managing to sensibly direct the game to a win whatever he team he selects. 

In the meantime we can only sit back and hope this takeover is concluded soon. However, the more January disappears the less likely it is that anything will happen before the summer. A far from ideal scenario.

Thursday 4 January 2018

Lesson Learned ?

Karl Robinson seems to quite like saloons indeed he met a few fans in one I recall when he first started. However, one suspects he draws the line at the last chance variety where he really ought to be imbibing now.

Defeat on Saturday at home to Oldham would surely be a point of no return. Some will question who we’d get in to replace or who could do better ( plenty would be my reply to that one ! ) but not changing anything and carrying on regardless really isn’t an option.

Injuries have played a part in our recent awful run but they alone are not the only reason. In any case there must be some reason for us suffering so many injuries. Clearly some players being rushed back too soon is a part of that. For that alone one must look to the manager for being culpable.

I referred in my last piece to our much heralded pre-season and how hard the players were working to get fit. All of that has counted for nothing as I can’t see any benefit mid-way through the season, in fact, exactly the opposite.

Robinson’s continued adherence to his one way of playing certainly hasn’t helped matters nor his ability to manage games as they unfold.

Now, to no one’s surprise save perhaps for Robinson himself we may not have any more money to fund transfers or loans in this window. He’ll have to make the best of what he’s got which doesn’t bode well because he hasn’t been good at that of late.

Fans of Robinson will use the news that there's little to no money for transfers as further excuse on his behalf. I'm not sure he really has 6 lined up with 4 that would walk into the club tomorrow under different circumstances. 

I will acknowledge that it can't help of course. However, if he's going to stay he needs to be as positive as he can and make the most of the situation. I couldn't believe he even referenced KAG not going out on loan if he doesn't get others in.

KAG has done enough to be here anyway but if Robinson's alleged targets don't arrive he's going to need KAG and there's not much chance of him feeling all that wanted with talk like that !

However, the delayed takeover is probably working in Robinson's favour. Roly has no need or inclination I guess to take any action not unless another relegation seems likely to impact the asking price should it all drag on even more.

There's an excellent piece on that subject by Albury Addick at

As he suggests if the takeover isn't completed before the end of January then it might not happen until the summer. Great !

In the meantime surely even Robinson can't fail to put together a team to overcome Oldham on Saturday. Should we fail to do so then we'll be going through the motions for the rest of this season which will condemn it to be as miserable as the last two or three.

Come On You Reds !

Tuesday 2 January 2018

It's A Funny Old Game........

" not if you're a Charlton fan, Jim ! "

New year but same old Charlton as the Addicks moved seamlessly into 2018 with apparently nothing learned from the previous winless games where we lacked a cutting edge.

The first half yesterday was truly dreadful as the team showed no desire whatsoever and appeared clueless in a totally disjointed and ponderous display.

Marshall looked totally lost and devoid of any confidence or indeed ability to trap or control a football – basic skills for which he is handsomely rewarded.

Holmes poor form continued as he showed no inclination to run at defenders nor have the ability to put in a decent cross or deliver a corner past the first man.

Reeves was truly awful and would have been subbed in an Under 11’s game for losing possession too easily alone.

Passes went astray and there was a total lack of communication.

The defence was all at sea. How Robinson could watch all that went on and do nothing until half time beggars belief. Clearly Aribo at the very least needed to come on after about 20 minutes.

Why young Joe was dropped from the starting eleven in the first place is a mystery. As was the absence of KAG who showed a greater desire to get the ball forward and drive at the defence.

Blame injuries all you want but Robinson’s inability to select the right team or manager the game is costing us. Clearly we have better players than Gillingham and no doubt on more money too but they were better organised and had a greater desire to win.

Their players showed that pride in the shirt that our manager talks about so often like not leaving anything on the pitch. Sadly that’s all it is from Robinson – hyperbole !

Game after game we’re witnessing very average Third Tier teams with smaller squads and budgets to match take points of us. The manager never learns and we go through the same slow build up play that either fizzles out or the chance is missed.

Week after week any reasonably competent manager organises their team and gives it the best chance to get something from the game. Allegedly Robinson went to watch The Gills on Saturday, looks like he’d have been better off going shopping in the sales for a new tank top !

On the flip side we learn that Lovell watched us and soon sussed out how to get in behind us. That was evident in the opening few minutes. That's the problem Robinson it's all so predictable with tactics that almost come off the back of cereal packet !

How can it be that our players repeatedly miss chance after chance ? It can’t be coincidence as neither can the ridiculously high level of injuries. Something must be rotten in the State of Greenwich !!

Wasn’t our tough pre-season meant to leave us with the fittest team in the league ? If it did that has all evaporated. The only player who escapes injury is Magennis which is incredible given that he’s never dropped or subbed.

Robinson debates the finer points of the game post match ! Do you want some ?

There are rumours of the manager offering out one or two fans who dared to suggest that he might adopt a different approach to games. Great ! How dignified if so !

The Gills no.9 ( Eaves ) looked world class compared to Josh yesterday. He gave a masterclass in how to operate in that role.

The second half was better but by then the damage was done and the Gills weren’t as naive as Peterborough to concede two goals late on. I don’t think we have more than about 20 to 30 minutes of decent play in a game all season.

How much longer Robinson has is anyone’s guess. Partly it will depend on whether he ever sits down and looks at what he’s doing and thinks “ you know what I ought to change things “. My guess is he won’t as there’s no evidence of that to date.

Automatic promotion has gone and it appears there’s only the 6th play off spot left as a possibility now. In any case that would seem a futile exercise under Robinson as you can’t see us beating almost any team over two legs leaving aside the Manager’s appalling record in them.

Any kind of repetition against Oldham on Saturday and it’s hard not to foresee a vocal backlash directed at the manager. Bluster and faux passion can only carry you so far. Should we win please spare us the group huddle and associated lap of honour as though we’ve won the league.

I think Robinson now needs to go as everything I feared he would be has been played out. Nothing changes and I simply don’t see any evidence to suggest an upturn in fortunes is on the cards no matter who we get back from injury.

At a time when we should be very optimistic the short term outlook is very grey indeed. Defeat again this Saturday doesn't bear thinking about. We could soon be facing a relegation about that.

Given all the goings on lately and seeing ineptitude rewarded it'd be no surprise to see Robinson sacked only to resurface in March as El Supremo at the Camp Nou !

It's a funny old game, Saint !