Thursday 24 December 2020

Plymouth Hoe! Hoe! Hoe!

 A bit late in the day but an emergency visit to the vet’s for one of cats delayed me not to mention set me back nearly £200! However, I’m pleased to say that she’s not as bad as I feared and hopefully, some medication will put her right.

I wanted to wish all Addicks everywhere a happy and peaceful Christmas! Clearly it’s not how we wanted or expected it to be but we all need to try and make the most of it.

Despite no visitors this year, she who must be obeyed has insisted on the same level of cleaning and tidying as if the additional 6 guests we were to have were still coming!

Oh well, a bit of housework has no doubt helped me to burn a few calories that mean I won’t too bad when I tuck into festive food and drink!

Boxing Day sees Plymouth, Bowyer’s first opposition as manager, arrive in SE7. The same outcome from that game would go down very well.

As much as Chuks has done well coming off the bench we really need to see him start. We oughtn’t to be bringing him on when we need to be chasing games. I firmly believe we could have put a couple of games to bed early on if he had.

Williams needs to play some part and how he had no involvement in the Swindon game is mystery to me. To the same extent Deji should have got on and hopefully he can return to the starting eleven for this game. 

Gilbey hasn’t reached the heights he did prior to injury and doesn’t deserve to start.

Argyle started very well but there results of late have not been good. They aren’t scoring many either and so overall we ought to get a comfortable win. However, as we know they won’t roll over and there are no easy games even overlooking our poor results against struggling teams.

Being a stickler for tradition I shall be watching the game in Christmas jumper and Santa hat!

Best wishes and good luck to everyone for the Range Rover draw.

Merry Christmas to one and all! 

Come On You Reds!

Friday 11 December 2020

Q&AFC Wimbledon

 Apologies for the title which is a nod to Answer Samsh, the final round of House Of Games.

The Addicks return to action tomorrow having had the luxury of a week off since they last played. Given the recent run of results it was a much needed breather and a chance to take stock of everything. 

This condensed season has no club any favours but that, allied to the factors affecting the start of our season, have probably impacted on our club more than most. 

This is especially true of league one clubs where we are one of only a few that are affected by call ups for international games (the majority of which are totally irrelevant of course). 

The seemingly relentless slog of two of games a week has left little time to work with the team and individual players. As ever, injuries have been a factor and I know all teams get them but we know the majority are never short term ones for us! The new physio will have plenty to get their teeth into. 

Having to play without a recognised centre half for so long has been easy and the knock on effects to the whole team have been clear to see. 

Everyone is frustrated by recent form particularly coming as it does on the back of such a great run of results that naturally raised expectations. 

Obviously, we have had to rotate players but maybe to an extent we’ve rotated too much and I think we’d benefit from a more settled side and starting eleven. 

Hopefully, following the break we will see a team that has been reinvigorated. Watching on the revamped Valley Pass should be more of a pleasure. The whole package looks a much improved offering and I’m pleased to see that Terry and Greg remain in situ. 

I’m sure they will appreciate the additional cameras and the opportunity to look at replays aside from not being cut off mid-sentence! 

Whilst improvements to Valley Pass may not be viewed as a priority, it is an indication of the attention to detail and an indicator of addressing issues under the Sangaard era. 

Last night’s Q&A with our new owner was a great watch. Thomas handled all questions in a professional and passionate manner. His answers clearly demonstrated that he’s a man who is clear on what needs to be done and how to go about it. 

Thomas showed detailed knowledge of all areas of the club and it became obvious that his time invested in it is a tad over 2%! 

It’s often said that running a football club isn’t like any other business. That’s true of course but doesn’t mean that it should be divorced from the more sensible methods of doing so. 

Failure to invest, plan for the future and sustainability would be disastrous (don’t we just know it!). Thankfully, it’s clear from last night that our Danish owner is dealing with the fundamental areas that have been neglected for so long. 

That allied to him being so accessible and open to fans is superb and gives us all cause for optimism. 

Bowyer has called for patience in respect of tomorrow’s game and the same needs to be levelled at the club. Sangaard is putting all the building blocks in place for a bright and promising future. It won’t happen overnight but will surely happen given things that Thomas has done in his short tenure to date. 

On the pitch I hope that Maddison is fit enough to start tomorrow. I feel he can be a massive player for us and have such a massive impact on games. His ability from free kicks and long range shots alone gives him an edge. 

I’d like to see Maatsen and Matthews start too with one of Pratley or Watson in the CDM role. 

Up front I’d go for Aneke and Bogle with Chuks just behind his strike partner. 

Hopefully, Williams will feature at some stage. We lack a bit of creativity and attacking intent and he certainly gives us that. 

Whatever the side that Lee puts out, let’s pray for a return to winning ways tomorrow! 

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 8 November 2020

Over and Out!

 As expected Lee Bowyer rang the changes for the first round FA Cup match v Plymouth. A first start for Maddison with Barker, Levitt, Aneke, Williams, JFC and Maynard-Brewer all returning.

The manager rightly took the opportunity to get some minutes into players like Maddison. It'd be great to have him up to speed and to add to the quality and competition for places. Despite a seemingly good start Marcus failed to impress Bowyer too much with the gaffer demanding more effort from him in his post-match comments.

Maddison was in good company as Bowyer didn't have too much praise for the majority of the team. 

Lee Bowyer clearly isn't too fussed about us progressing in the FA Cup saying that we aren't going to win it. Clearly he's correct and in any other year I might like to see us go for it a bit more. However, as of next week we'll be two games behind and the possibility of further postponements due to the virus we don't need further fixture congestion.

As it is any team progressing to the latter stages of the competition will continue to play in empty stadiums. No doubt The FA will insist on the semis and the final be played at an empty Wembley should the crowd situation no change. An utter nonsense of course.

The Charlton boss is absolutely spot on with his comments re the ludicrous Papa Johns trophy. A meaningless competition that shouldn't be played in the most normal of seasons let alone this one. 

Fans voted with their feet in previous seasons when they could attend and surely only a handful of fans will purchase Valley Pass for this Tuesday's game.

We have a break form league action that allows the injured hopefully get themselves ready the return of the league. It's pretty relentless and we will need all players available.

Hopefully, we can re-arrange one of the Ipswich or Rochdale games for Saturday 28th November.

Not being able to go to games is so frustrating and now we find ourselves with no league game until Saturday 21st November when we travel to play the odious Steve Evans Gillingham. I'm sure Lee will be looking forward to seeing his old mate again! 


Sunday 25 October 2020

Through The Wind and The Rain!

The Addicks notched up their third win in a row at Sixfields on Saturday and their fourth clean successive clean sheet. Whilst goals win you games not conceding any goes a long towards it.

Living in Milton Keynes I did toy with the idea of travelling up to watch from the hill but the weather forecast ended such thoughts!

Thus it was settling down on the sofa and watching on Valley Pass. Not being able to see your team playing live is horrible. What pleasure and enjoyment the average Premiership fan and by definition “ armchair fan “ gets is beyond me. At least we get the benefit of the superb commentary team to soften the blow.

The conditions were awful and there were flashbacks to Yeovil away and I think some fans have only just dried out from that!

Seemingly Charlton had already put their clocks back an hour as they never really started playing until the second half.

There was little threat from our boys in the first 45 minutes. The action of note came from the Cobblers who forced a splendid double save from Amos. Charlton’s number one had another excellent game including a lovely kick out to set up our second goal.

The Cobblers set up to be difficult to break down and allied that to persistent and niggly fouls.

Half time saw the introduction of Darren Pratley from the bench as he replaced the largely ineffective Levitt. The United loanee has room for improvement and has yet to adjust to life in league one.

Pratley lifted the whole team and despite playing into the strong wind we looked infinitely better.

When we did take the lead it was Pratley who managed to lash home Inniss’s header from a JFC corner.

Charlton should have doubled the lead when that man Inniss nodded another ball back towards goal and Smyth. Shades of “ Smyth must score “ sadly with the same outcome, he didn’t!

Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait too long for the second. The impressive Amos caught well under pressure and quickly released Doughty with a lovely flat kick out of his hands. Young Alfie knew what it was all about as he opted to run with the ball rather than dribble. 

His positive first touch afforded him the time and space ultimately to get to the bye-line and deliver a menacing cross the was turned into his own net by a Northampton player.

We saw out the rest of the game with relatively little trouble aside from an injury to Doughty that is hopefully a minor one.

Not a great game but another clean sheet, another 3 points and a game when Ben Watson didn’t get a yellow card ( yes I know he didn't set foot on the pitch ) ! What’s not to like!

Tuesday 15 September 2020

Chris Thompson

I’ve not posted anything on this blog for months partly due to laziness and the lack of action but mainly the seemingly never ending ongoing ownership issues. 

I had intended to dust down the old laptop to post something celebratory if, and when, Thomas Sandgaard took over. 

Sadly, for totally opposite reasons I’m now typing away to post on the blog. 

It was a real shock to learn just a couple of hours ago of the passing of Chris Thompson. My condolences go to his wife and family. 

Chris aka Ketts aka Dr Kish was a lovely, lovely man. He had such a wealth of knowledge of football that extended well beyond Charlton. 

Chris was also a very proud family man who he always spoke of very fondly. 

I first met Chris when we played Norwich away on Saturday 19th September 2009. 

It was typical of him that he arranged to meet at half time in response to my request to publish my blog on the Dr Kish site. 

He agreed even though I was hardly adding to the excellence of the site! 

Following that we’d meet up with John and various others at half time at home games and chew the fat over all things Charlton. 

In more recent years Chris was accompanied by his grandson. He was clearly proud and pleased that he too had developed a love of the Addicks. 

Chris was able to offer more insight into proceedings not just because he was teetotal and I am usually a bit squiffy from pre-match imbibing! 

Chris had a fantastic ability to read the game and his Charlton knowledge was second to none of course. Partly that arose from not having missed a game, home or away, over many, many years. 

Chris had such dedication to the Charlton cause that holidays were always booked to coincide with gaps in the fixture list that allowed to pop down to his beloved Cornwall for a few days. 

Regular readers of Dr Kish will be aware of Chris’s meticulous planning for away games that would often see him walking the dog at about 5am before heading to catch what must have been the first train out of Kettering! 

In as much as a few thirst quenchers are part of the match day ritual for me, Chris’s pleasure arose from pre-match fish and chips. I believe he had an encyclopedic knowledge of all the best 92 football ground chippies! 

Chris was always so encouraging in respect of my blogging efforts. Very generous of him as, in that respect, he was Shakespeare to my Steve Bruce! 

Chris was nothing less than prolific in respect of his blog. The quantity of his output never diminished the quality despite publishing something on an almost daily basis. 

This was something he managed to achieve even during the summer, quite an achievement. Further to that what he wrote was always relevant and insightful. 

I spoke to Chris several times over the lockdown and during the summer. The lack of football for such a dedicated fan was hugely frustrating, as was, the wait for his second knee operation with the first one causing him to miss a game for the first time in many a year. 

When I last spoke to him about two weeks ago, I observed that this was the longest period I’d gone without seeing him since we first met him all those years ago at Carrow Road. 

Only the close season would not see us meet up. When we did it was always like we’d only seen each other a few days ago such is the camaraderie of the Charlton fan! 

Chris’s love affair with Charlton goes back to 1952 and he was an Addick courtesy of his dad who took him to his first game on 24th April that year. 

Of course during that time he witnessed some amazing games and events. Chris cited the infamous 7-6 win over Huddersfield as his favourite game and his all-time favourite player as Johnnie Jackson whom he described as a genuine legend. 

Chris described supporting Charlton as being part of one large family. Amen to that! He is so right of course and it’s one very special family. 

Matches at The Valley will indeed never be the same and I do feel I've lost a family member.

Fans like Chris are the lifeblood of every football club and people like Southall, Farnell etc. could never understand the passion, enthusiasm and dedication of someone like Chris. 

They are the complete antithesis of the genuine, lovely man who loved his club and gave so much of his life to supporting it. 

For the sake of the memory of fans like Chris, Seb and many others we have to pray that the club will rise again to honour the dedication they showed towards it. 

RIP Chris, thanks for the friendship, support and memories over all those years. You will be greatly missed by so many people.

Tuesday 31 March 2020

If You're Looking For Leadership........

then don’t expect to find any from the PL, the EFL or a majority of well paid footballers.

We know from bitter recent experience just how inept the EFL are and indeed continue to be. Similarly the PL has a comparable track record.

However, we are in unprecedented times and given that, one might think it’s not too much to hope that these particular leopards might change their spots! You fools! The one constant in the ever changing face of daily life is that it’s business as usual for them.

Presented with a pandemic their immediate, short-sighted decision was to postpone football matches for a couple of weeks with their procrastination resulting in that decision only made the day before the vast majority of games were to be played.

Only they could compound that decision by a couple of weeks later deciding to move on to another unrealistic deadline of 30th April. As far as I’m aware this is still the deadline. God give me strength!

Our nation is, save for the key workers, stuck indoors. Therefore, you’d be forgiven for thinking it allows an opportunity to come up with some rational plan for the way ahead. Time enough, even for the good people at those organisations, to produce proposals for a number of potential scenarios.

Their silence is deafening so one must assume that no such plans are forthcoming. Of course not, their overriding objective is to keep alive the hope of ending the season and minimising revenue loss.

There is absolutely no desire to end the uncertainty for players, staff and fans alike by simply writing off the season.

We ought not to be surprised by any of this. For its part the PL was born out of greed. No matter how anyone might want to dress it up that is the reality pure and simple.

At its inception we were told that the aim of the new Premier League was to improve the standard of the domestic game and further, that of the national team. The promised land would make our England team more competitive. Well, we’ve seen just how well that’s gone.

Back in the day when we had smaller squads and plenty more games we were so much more competitive than now. We even had the home internationals offering 3 more games at the end of a long season. All played in a week too if I remember correctly.

Any uncertainty over the avaricious nature of the PL and the majority of the teams in it is being ably demonstrated now. The inaction of many clubs and their players speaks volumes.

Whilst Barcelona’s players have just taken a 70% pay cut to protect their staff, Newcastle United and Spurs have just furloughed their staff. I say staff in the loosest sense of the word as it would appear that the furloughing doesn’t extend to the players.

Why would it? They’re having to struggle on their meagre salaries most of which offer more in a week than the majority of the country earns in a year!

Two clubs with massive assets in terms of players alone are coming cap in hand to the taxpayer. Meanwhile smaller, family runs businesses will go to the wall when a fraction of a PL player’s weekly wage would save them.

I’m not sure this is what the furlough scheme is for.

I keep reading about the need to finish this season to maintain the integrity of the leagues and football in general. A bit too late for late and with every passing day, whatever perceived integrity there was vanishes further into thin air.

Their desire to finish this season is driven only by the financial rewards central to their very being. They don’t want to kill the goose that, upto now, has laid the most golden of golden eggs.

By contrast, those clubs in rugby chasing less attractive eggs are having to cut wages across the board. For them, staff means anyone working for their clubs.

At the same time comparatively wealthy Newcastle United and Spurs are kindly passing the funding and support of its non-playing staff to the tax payer. 

Those overpaid players not even doing what they’re paid for ( through no fault of their own I know ) sit at home counting their money as there is little else to do and nothing to spend it on at the moment.

Are the fans of any club expecting a refund on their season tickets when this season is cancelled? As Charlton fans we’ll just be grateful if we have club. No, we’ll have written that off and in many ways given the bigger picture I don’t care.

There are many businesses and organisations dear to me that are going to need support once this mess is over. I’ll quite happily and expect to make donations to do so. Sadly, that’s not matched by football’s elite and wealthy…….a truly damning indictment of football’s governing bodies.

Friday 27 March 2020

Seb Lewis

I don't feel that I can add anything to the numerous wonderful and heartfelt tributes to Seb. I just wanted to acknowledge our Number 1 fan and his outstanding loyalty and dedication.

I'd like to offer my condolences to his brother Ollie and the rest of the family.

Like others, I can't see his achievements being surpassed. Seb will never be forgotten and there are several plans to arrange a memorial of some sort which is very fitting.

RIP Seb.

Tuesday 17 March 2020

Another Fine Mess!

The past couple of months have certainly been different both for our society as a whole and also our club. Though one would be tempted to argue that for our club events have not been that unusual given our history over the last 40 years or so.

Charlton are never far from a crisis and thus, to an extent perhaps, we oughtn’t to be that surprised by the latest happenings in S.E.7.

It seems that for us, bad owners / chairmen are like buses but even they are red at heart!

Naturally, we hold our time in the Premiership in close affection for what was achieved, enthralling matches, winning against the odds, players that made you proud etc.

More than anything now though we reflect on those days when the only remarkable things were happening on the pitch.

The chairman ( then at least ) was good and saw eye to eye with the management team which was supported. He genuinely cared and wanted the best for the club.

Sadly, it all unravelled like a house of cards following Dowie and relegation and it’s something we’ve never recovered from.

A succession of ever changing and largely hopeless managers barring a couple of notable exceptions certainly hasn’t helped. Owners who hold no real affection or concern for the club and its fans have done untold damage.

It’s been a steady decline punctuated by more than one false dawn. As someone once said “ it’s the hope that kills you ! “.

I guess we should have expected that when Duchatalet was replaced by a seemingly rich benefactor from the Middle East accompanied by a chairman who made all the right noises, it was going to be too good to be true!

Thus it came to pass. Southall has been exposed for what he really is and the odious and deceitful character has apparently left the club. Sadly, like a tenacious bogey, it’s not so easy to part ways.

Southall still has some investment in the club although thankfully, His Excellency’s share, means that he doesn’t hold the overall say and decision making.

Last week’s events were astonishing, even by Charlton standards. It all led to an amazing crescendo on Thursday with some staggering scenes that saw Southall lash out like a cornered animal.

He attempted to fire more people than Lord Sugar! Thankfully, Louis Mendez was on hand to capture our erstwhile chairman as he disappeared into the South London night in his luxury car.

Leaving without comment, Southall demonstrated that his lovely motor might loosen lingerie but certainly not his tongue! For once he had nothing to say.

One hopes we’ve seen the last of him at The Valley or even the training ground.

It’s not ideal but we now pin all our hopes in Nimer with the dream that he has sufficient money with a willingness to invest in order to make our club at the very least sustainable.

The only people that emerge from this sorry saga with any credit are, as ever, the club’s loyal and long suffering staff. Most notably the suspended Chris Parkes, the sacked gang of three and the management team who never let on about the transfer embargo and took the flak for the poor transfer window.

The EFL has again proved to be flawed organisation that really shouldn’t be trusted with safeguarding football’s club, players and fans. How on earth it thought it acceptable to impose a transfer ban and not make that public is beyond belief.

That is aside, of course, from how they apparently sanctioned a takeover telling us all was ok following the usual tests only for that clearly not to be the case!

They along with the Premier League and the F.A. are now entrusted with making decisions regarding this season and future of the domestic game going forward. God help us!

Clearly no football will be played on 4th April or any time close to that. The suggestion to play games behind closed doors is as ludicrous as those organisations!

Players may be fit and virus-free, although that’s unlikely, but more than players are needed! No regard for the officials, physios, stadium staff etc.

Extending the season when players are out of contract really isn’t an option either.

On that basis it seems a non-starter. This week they should decide that all things considered to write-off this season. It’s the only sensible option and I don’t only say that as a fan of a club in a relegation spot.

To promote or relegate any team without the completion of all fixtures just isn’t practical and would open up a whole raft of legal action.

We can but hope that sensible decisions are made for our club and that all the events on a national and local level are sorted we can go back to supporting our club as we would hope!

Sunday 2 February 2020

Vital Win

Dillon another good performance including a world class save.

It's hard not to agree with Bowyer's view that we made hard work of yesterday's win.

Having dominated the first half with Barnsley's only real effort being the one that produced that outstanding save from our No.1 we looked very shaky after they equalised.

We seemed to stuggle to get going yesterday in front of a big Valley crowd that was boosted by the free ticket offer. There was no lack of effort from the home fans to motivate the lads.

It was clear that retaining Taylor even if only until the end of the season was vital and his overall performance was clear evidence of that. We could have spent a few million in the transfer window and not got a player of his ability and he is integral to any success.

Lyle's goal on 9 minutes was the boost the team needed. Barnsley's frustration was shown in some nasty and persistent fouling. Sadly the inconsistent referee " aided " by the totally ineffective East Stand did little to help. 

The Tykes number 18 was very lucky not to get a second yellow in the first 45 minutes. The Man in the middle gave yellow cards for far lesser offences.

Taylor was the target for abuse from the away fans and in response he did his best to wind them up. He didn't have to try too hard to be fair. 

Andre Green playing despite the sad loss of his grandfather earlier in the week scored the crucial second in time added on in the first period. A fine shot that was fired into to the bottom corner.

2-0 is always a tricky lead ( Glen Hoddle was right on that ). Given our recent habit of conceding goals early in the second half there was every reason to be nervous!

Thankfully we overcame the opening few minutes without Barnsley scoring. However, the withdrawl of Williams and Taylor saw the Tykes get a foothold in the game and go on to score on 71 minutes.

The Addicks were then foreced into a rearguard action for the rest of the game. Barnsley went on to hit both post and bar as we were a little fortunate not to concede again.

Stout defending from the Addicks eventually ensured that Barnsley didn't add to their goals tally. 

A crucial 3 points secured was a big step towards the goal of moving up the table. We now have a full week before the next vital game against Stoke comes up.

The additional players will help to add competition for places as well as offering Bowyer the chance to rotate his squad a little. Hopefully other players will return from injury to further boost that.

We must hope for much better luck with injuries for the remainder of the season. If we do then we have a good chance of staying out of the relegation zone.

Thursday 30 January 2020

Taking Stock

" marvellous isn't? you know. wasn't it? "

It's not yet a month since the takeover was made official and the disastrous reign of Duchatelet was finally ended. The new owner's communication has already far exceeded that of the Belgian. 

The plans for the club are everything one could hope for embracing on and off the pitch matters and importantly the club's connection to the community.

Lee Bowyer has been given a decent 3 year contract with offers on the table for the rest of the management team. Steve Gallen has been appointed director of football.

The plans for the training ground and the academy have been revealed and they all look fantastic.

Matt Southall has been a very visible chairman who has thrown himself fully in his role. From day one he has made himself available to anyone remotely connected with the club.

Matt has attended numerous meetings including one last week with trustees of the museum amongst others after having paid it a visit.

Amazingly, I note that someone on Twitter accused Matt of meeting " political " fans! Really? What a laughable comment and of course, utter tosh

I appreciate that we have one day left to get some bodies into the club. That they haven't arrived to date will not be for the want of trying.

Looking across a number of clubs and there hasn't be much transfer activitiy to date with most of them.

I suspect that there will be a trickle down effect with the top level clubs wanting to ensure that they have cover where the may be selling players on or loaning them out.

However, some of our fans have little patience and lack an appreciation of what's been done to date. You can't overturn 6 years of neglect within a matter of weeks.

It's not ESI's fault that we find ourselves with management and players on short or expiring contracts and a threadbare squad.

It's worth bearing in mind that it's not in Matt's interests if things go wrong. He himself has someone ( other than the fans ) to answer to. He certinaly won't want to make a mess of it.

There are so many issues to be positive about albeit that in terms of players much remains to be resolved within the next 27 hours.

Hopefully, in a packed Valley on Saturday fans will appreciate that they have much to be grateful for and will be cheering the team on to a vital win!



Sunday 12 January 2020

A Whole New Ball Game!

Along with many others I travelled to The Valley with an extra spring in my step following the recent events surrounding the club. A renewed air of expectation and anticipation permeates around S.E.7.

New year, new owners, new hope! The last remnants of the previous poisonious ownership apparently gone and the Duchatele era an unpleasant footnote in the club's history.

Numerous stay away fans returned yesterday demonstrating their faith in the new owners. The attendance was just under 20k boosted also by a sell out in Jimmy Seed stand as you'd expect for opposition that has spent most of the season in the top two places in the league.

I arrived at The Valley just after 11am and with Crossbars not open and not meeting up with others until later I had time to make a long overdue visit to the museum.

What a fantastic job all concerned have done with it. I met Ben Hayes and a couple of his fellow trustees and they were all keen to show me round and point out particular items of interest.

As closely as I've followed the club I had not appreciated that our first England cap was awarded to Seth Plum. The museum has been able to track it down and it now resides there.

It is one of the many unique items housed in the musuem. Aside from the club memorabilia there is a separate fans section that accommodates all manner of things from programmes to old tickets to protest posters. I was told that a section containing protest items is now being organised.

Until March the museum has the Play Off final trophy and Ben kindly photographed me with it for which I was very grateful.

I can highly recommend a visit and will certainly being doing so again as you could happily spend a good few hours there and still not see it all!

Post museum and intoCrossbars for a couple of post-Roland beers to celebrate! Matt Southall passed through and again got the derserved round of appluase that resembles the one Del and Rodney in the Nag's Head when they became millionaires. Thankfully for us Matt and his colleagues have a lot greater busineness acumen than the Trotters!

On to the game and it was good to see a return to the league squad for Williams, Forster-Caskey and Hemed and a league start for new loanee Green.

The Addicks started brightly and could have gone when a stray pass went to Gallagher but sadly he put his shot just wide of the post.

It was the Baggies who went ahead though when Lockyer was dispossessed out wide and the subsequent shot fell to Zohore to tuck away.

A few minutes later and The Addicks won a corner and an Albion player thought he delay it by throwing the ball into the away fans. They then decide it would be a good idea to play keep ball. Karma is wonderful thing sometimes and when the replacement ball arrived it seems that the Baggies suffered with a loss of concentration.

Eventually the ball was headed home by Davison for his first Charlton goal.

The second half didn't start well with Albion regaining the lead when Sarr deflected a shot past Phillips.

West Brom continued to have the better of things but The Addicks kept battling away and the introduction of Forster-Caskey, Hemed and in particular Williams brought a greater threat.

On 76 minutes Lockyer's header went in off the post having hit the keeper before settling in the back of the net. This has been given as an own goal to the keeper but it's Tom's goal in reality and he should be credited with it.

Bizarrely the Addicks' second equalizer followed antoher bout of primary school keep ball from the fans behind Phillips' goal. Thanks folks!

Both sides kept attacking with the home side pressing for a third as much as the away team. It remained level though and the ref finally blew the final whistle.

All things considered The Addicks would have been the happier with their point. No doubt Albion played some good slick football at times but a depleted yet spirited Charlton team pushed them every inch of the way and were good value for their point.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the wonderful tackle in the second half from Naby. How wonderful it was and perfectly timed as it could so easily have ended in disaster. However, all credit to the big man and he was spot on and denied a clear threat on our goal.

It was great to see some players returning especially Williams as i said, how much have we missed him.

All the players deserve a mention for yesterday's efforts with particular praise to our younger players. It all bodes well or the future.

This being the Championship the games don't get any easier but with displays like yesterday and players returning with the possibility of new arrivials there is plenty of room for optimism.

Preston await next week and I'm sure the lads will be chomping at the bit to go again.


Friday 3 January 2020

Finally !

At long last the takeover of the club by ESI completed yesterday. The timing is of course good news as it allows us to make moves in the transfer market following the opening of the window on Wednesday.

The statement on the club's website was wonderful to read and in total contrast to those of the previous owner.

Speaking of the deluded one I managed to catch an interview he did on Sky Sports News with our very own Jum White ( you remember Jim the guy who only had our interests at heart and gave Roly the 3rd degree in a series of hard hitting interviews ! ).

Remarkably Roly says he'd do things differently if he had his time again. Really ? That's hard to believe because there were many opportunities to change but he chose not to do so or listen to people who knew a lot more about running a football club than he ever will.

He has done so much damage over the last 6 years and caused untold misiery. However, he's gone and we and football in general are well rid of him and now need to look forward to a future that ought to be a hell of a lot brighter.

Defeat to Swansea last night was not totally unexpected but there was plenty of reason for optimism and pride especially given our second half performance. Sadly, we lost Taylor to injury and it seems we'll be without him for a couple of weeks.

There's plenty of work to be done across all areas of the club. Contracts need to be sorted for both management and players. These need to be done quickly because it's easier for Bowyer to attract players if the position of himself and the management team is secure.

Club staff need to be put in place and I'm sure that will also follow.

As for us fans, well we just want matters right on the pitch ( and off it too of course ). Anything will follow on from that but it's seeing our team playing well and being competitive that matters most.

Other aspects such as the return of Floyd and Harvey, improved catering, etc. will hopefully happen in due course.

I believe the new onwers appreciate the potential of our club and recognise how special it is. If handled with care in the right way then we can return to the top table. There a few clubs in the top flight who are on a par with us who have made it there.

It would be great to a Leicester as Curbs used to say or even do a Charlton as others used to say when we rose to the top !

The last few years have been draining in lots of ways. I've been amazed at the number of people who purport to follow football that were so oblvious to our plight and that of other clubs too.

It would seem that this is a great opportunity to make our club great again. Let's hope ESI are able to deliver that for us !