Thursday 30 August 2018

Old versus New

Saturday see the Addicks come up against the legend that is Chris Powell and his Southend team. The former player and manager is returning from a one game touch line ban following a spat with Plymouth manager Derek Adams.

For his part Adams got a two match ban. Clearly what he said and did upset Powell. It must have been bad because Powell, as we know, doesn't rile easily.

Ironically current boss, Lee Bowyer, could receive a similar punishment following his strong criticism of the referee from the Posh game. One can forgive Bowyer for that, a combination of an appalling ref and Steve Evans is enough to try the patience of anyone !

To date the Shrimpers have won 2, lost 2 and drawn 1 in the league. As a result they are 2 points and 3 places better off than us in the league.

Powell has just added striker Harry Bunn to his squad and will be expected to play a part on Saturday.

The Addicks could use a little additional fire power themselves as the finishing and decision making in front of goal has been pretty poor. The return of Igor on Saturday ought to help. Not only should he be a good player at this level, his presence should motivate Grant and Taylor.

Although clearly not a favourite with Bowyer, Nicky Ajose should merit another chance and can probably count himself unlucky not to replace Marshall against Fleetwood.

Pearce made the bench last Saturday and Fosu is rumoured to be in the squad for this Saturday. Slowly the injured are returning and that is good news. However, given our paper thin squad we need an incredible run of luck with injuries and also suspensions if we are to field decent sides.

Fosu will bring much needed creativity and a goal scoring threat both ingredients that we've been largely lacking to date.

Marshall has been disappointing again this season and his place must be under threat. Morgan deserves another go in my view as he seems capable of producing something.

Charlton need to pass the ball quicker and play with more attacking intent. There's a tendancy to pass backwards too much. No problem with that to retain possession on occasion but there's still a need to be more direct at times.

If fully fit then one assumes that Pearce will come in for Sarr. Naby hasn't done a lot wrong at all even if he does give fans a few heart in the mouth moments! Peare is a more natural partner for the BFG though of course.

At last there is a little room for manoeuvre for Bowyer with the starting eleven. A chance to swap things around and rest one or two of the younger players who looked a little jaded against Fleetwood.

At the time of writing there's been no more news on the mooted loan deals the Josh Cullen one seems the most likely. Let's hope they do come to fruition as they'll be much needed.

Bowyer's men fae a tough game but as with most this season we ought to be confident of getting something from it.

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 26 August 2018

Crisps Prove To Be The Best Fayre At The Valley

The highlight of the day! * Please check with your line manager before opening.

It was pretty much a case of deja vu yesterday as another home fixture against the Cod Army resulted in a drab game with the same 0-0 scoreline as the one back in March. I'll not forget how bitterly cold it was that day even if like yesterday's game the match itself will not live long in the memory.

The silver lining from 5 months ago was that it was the last with Robinson as manager. As hard as one might look there's no apparent good news on the horizon save for some players returning from injury.

It was a crisp start from the Addicks as we broke quickly from kick off however, as packets of chips rained down from the stand there was no crisp finish. Indeed there wasn't to be one all after as only Grant was able to find the ( chesse and ) onion bag but was ruled offside.

I'm not convinced that he was but would need to see a replay. I think he stayed onside and a couple of others retreated from an offside position. However, neither side deserved to win this drab game with both teams squandering good opportunities to score.

Marshall replacing Morgan was the only change form Tuesday's starting eleven. Sadly he struggled to get into game and was replaced by Lapslie early in the second half.

Phillips acquitted himself well making a couple of good saves and in a competent display.

Igor came on for about 30 minutes but had little opportunity to score with our lack of creativity offering few chances. 

Taylor was both frsutrated and frustrating. Sure he was fouled a lot with the weak referee not seeking to give a free kick and / or issuing a card. However, his propensity to down like a sack of spuds a little once too often was irritating and something he needs to remove from his game.

As I said, sadly the crisps were the day's highlights. I know we're without a few of our better players but those on the pitch yesterday are capable of a lot better. The decision making and movement of the ball was all too slow yesterday. Both need to a be a lot quicker add to that a need to cross the first time more. Too many touches and a lot of passing backwards isn't helping.

We need to pick up a win soon to restore some confidence and also drag us up the table. It is possible for us to challenge for a top 6 spot but that needs a couple of additions, the play to improve and a largely injury free squad. All that is unlikely but without at least one or two of those we will struggle at the wrong end of the table.

The crisp throwing and the pre-match protest achieved their aims in highlighting the plight of the club and its staff. There was wide reporting from across all forms of social and traitional media. I don't hold out much hope that the EFL's propsoed metting with the club and the trust will bear much fruit. We can but hope but to date they've shown themselves to be ppor guardians of the game and the clubs within it.

They could at least satisfy us by clarifying the situation with the alleged takeover. They only need say whether they are awaiting more paperwork or whatever. Then that at least would be clearer.

I've more faith in the actions of ROT to push us nearer to our dream of a Roland free club. Please may that day come soon.  

Wednesday 15 August 2018

MK 3 CAFC Mk.3 0

We were always on a hiding to nothing yesterday as Lee Bowyer had to balance the priority of the league against a league cup fixture.

Thus it proved to be with only a handful of players with any first team experience whatsoever and for some of those only one or two games at that. In some cases just half a game ! Sat behind the goal without my spectacles ( I forgot to bring them ) I struggled a bit but there were only four players I'd readily identifty any !

No wonder the lads found it tough going albeit against a lower division team. I doubt that many had played together before so it was a very much cobbled together side that emerged into the Bucks evening.

MK's side contained a majority of players in their league squad from Saturday.

Bowyer left Jacko and Euell to manage the side which made sense in as much as Euell ( and to a lesser extent ) Skip probably know the players better. I understand that Bowyer like the latter days of Curbs' management opted to view the game from the stands.

All that aside I expected to see all these players not only thirsty ( for obvious reasons ! ) but hungry and full of desire as there's at least one place going on the bench. Sadly, not all of them looked as motivated as I'd have hoped.

We conceded a soft goal early on as Cummings unfortunately headed too weakly towards Phillips. On 16 minutes we conceded again follwoing a good finish although we backed off too much to allow the shot.

The second goal finished the game in reality as it was unlikely we were coming back from that.

Oddly whilst we were contained in a narrow area of seating behind the goal the rest of the ground was completely open. Clearly none of the cost cutting measures that afflict the Addicks applying here, well away end aside !

There's very little else to report aside from us hitting the bar and having two nailed on penalties turned down in the second half.

One of those for a clear handball and another just a couple of minutes later when Ajose was scythed down as he was about to shoot were both turned down instantly. Referee aside the lino surprisingly showed no interest either. Not just me sans the lorgnettes then !

On to Saturday and Accrington away. We're unlikey to have any reinforcements for that one and I'm not aware of anyone recovering from injury.

Stanley got well beaten last night although one assumes that they too played a weakened team. Their forst tow league games mirror our result albeit their loss came at home and the win away.

Ahrad of the visit of a strong Peterborough side the following Tuesday we really need to get some kind of a result. Here's hoping !

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 12 August 2018

Late & Lyle

The man with the's Lyle

Victory was came late for the Addicks on Saturday as they won the game with a 91st minute goal from Grant. That it was against last season's nemisis, Shrewsbury made it even sweeter.

As exepcted Charlton lined up with the same starting eleven from the previous Saturday save for Sarr coming in for the injured Pearce.

The Shrews were a much changed outfit with only two players starting that played against us last minute out and a new manager to boot. Not a lot to be seen of their new manager as he was serving a touchline ban from last season.

Ahead of kicking off there was a period of applause to honour the short life of Jack Jeffreys. A poignant reminder of more important issues than football but also that the game can unite people and bring us together to support each other in tough times.

The first half was a drab affair in which the oppo had a couple of good chances to take the lead. I believe we hit a post or crossbar late on but I have to confess I missed it as I took a comfort break at the time. 

My bladder wasn't on good form yesterday and necessitated a break at Euston en route but the silver lining was that I saw the great Clive Lloyd en route. He still looks pretty well and lean. 

Bowyer changed to 3 at the back for the second half and withdrew the largely ineffectual Marshall and brought on Morgan. Young Albie went on to have a good half supplying some good corners and was also happy to take responsibility for other dead ball situations.

A well placed header from Taylor saw us take the lead following a lovely cross from the impressive Lasplie.

It looked as though Charlton would see out the win with the Shrews not creating any really clear cut chances. However, we know our team never makes things easy and so Shrewsbury equalised on 83 minutes.

A cross from the left cut out Sarr and the never knwolingly undersold John-Lewis nipped in ahead of our boys to nod home.

The script usually follows that we go onto lose, however, on this occasion we were to triumph late on. Somehow Pratley crossed incredibly close to the by-line and perhaps more incredibly Grant nodded home when it seemed impossible to do.

Given where we are with all the injuries and a very thin squad the result really is all important and overides the performance. The positives are the perfomances from the youngsters and that the team didn't give up.

In addition, the tactical switch from Bowyer at half time proved to be a largely good time perhaps save for the equaliser where Sarr's towering presence might have prevented it had he not been out on the right. 

Aribo and Pratley performed well and adequately in midfield although we still lack a degree of creativity.

Grant looked full of running and of a more direct nature than previously witnessed in SE7 and it's clear that his loan spell at Crawley has done him the world of good.

Good to see new recruits Taylor and Pratley hand over their shirts to fans in the crowd.

Next up is a trip to Milton Keynes for the league cup. An easy journey for me and so I will be there although I have to say if the game was played anywhere else I probably wouldn't go.

What sort of team we put out is anyone's guess. I would assue that Steer may make his debut and perhaps Ajose will start up front. Bowyer will want to rest most but isn't in a position to do too much.

There is a possibility that we might return down the M1 with Chuks Aneke. The MK striker is currently not training and refusing to play I believe. I've heard a rumour linking Bolton and us with him. If he remains fit he would be a useful acquisition, however, he is on good wages I believe and as we know the owner isn't backing Lee much so I don't hold out too much hope.

Come On You Reds !

Friday 10 August 2018

Lack of Anticipation

First home game of the season and we should all be full of hope and anticipation. However, like so many seasons under Duchatelet's ownership that just isn't the case.

I really didn't think he could take the club any lower than he already has but he's managed it. This week we have seen us start the season with just 5 subs on the bench aside from having to field a largely inexperienced starting eleven containing players who weren't really fit enough.

This was down to more than just about two or three injuries although they clearly don't hope. The news of the lack of water for academy players and the comments from Dulwich Hamlet about the pre-season friendly are further examples of damaging hand of the owner.

Even Duchatelet looking to sell it really doesn't have to be like this. However, even when he was remotely interested he showed little interest in his investment ( I don't think he's ever seen the club as more than that ).

You might have thought Duchatelet would want to maintain the club as an attractive proposition to potential buyers but he's seemingly not prepared to take the slightest action or make the minimal investment to achieve that.

In the meantime the EFL continues to look the other way. It's not just us either they apparently haveno desire to address similar issues at a number of other clubs. There is an apparent lack of duty of care within the organisation whilst any potential new owner has to jump through a number of hoops. That would seem pointless if someone does that it is then ok for them to act and behave in any want they like.

I do wonder at what stage, if any, the EFL would feel the need to step in. Maybe we'll find out in due course.

Back to the start of this piece and the lack of excitement. My younger son rarely goes to games these days. This is partly due to breaking the habit when he went to Uni but to be honest there's been little to attract him back even on an occasional basis under the present regime.

My older lad has maintained his season ticket depsite everything until now. For the first time in over 20 years he doesn't have one. At the time of writing I wait to see if he'll be sufficeintly enthused to go tomorrow as he may opt to go to the odd game here and there.

My friend Clive shares my lack of anticipation as we both expect naother season to endure. I'm sure we're not alone in this and that this is reflected across a number of fans. How many fans we will lose ?

I checked yesterday on ticket availability around where I sit. Having done so I'm going to be as lonely as a lighthouse keeper such are the vast gaps around me. What a mess !

I should be writing about the game tomorrow and reviewing Shrewsbury post Hurst and looking at our team and bouncing back from last week's heartbreaking defeat.

Supporting Charlton has never been easy has it ? This is the thinnest of thin ends of the wedge. All we can do is cling on to the hope that the old man will eventually be gone.

In the meantime as far as this season goes on the pitch all we can relasitically hope for is survival in tier 3. That is where we now find oursleves.

Sorry for the downbeat tone of this piece but there's little to be upbeat about. At least the weather's been good !

Come On You Reds !