Tuesday 31 August 2021


a win at last!

Adkins changed to having two up front and Stockley wasn’t left as isolated as in previous games.


The midfield looked more comfortable and the defence more secure. All round a much better performance.


Whilst we can acknowledge that the manager got it right, I’m slightly worried that it took him so long to effect this change.


There were good performances across the whole team and we even saw the much maligned Gunter deliver a delightful left foot cross for the first goal.


An equally superb assist from Washington set up Stockley for a well taken second.


We should have added more in the second half but a combination of good saves and slightly wayward shooting saw our goal tally remain as it was.


We now have a break from league action with the postponement of the Gillingham.


In the meantime, we have a small window to get the players we need to have any chance of challenging at the top end of the table. Hopefully, Harry Arter will be one of those.


Clearly, as a minimum we need a striker, left back and goalkeeper. I’d be amazed if got even that given we appear to have left it so late.


I don’t understand our lack of concern in respect of recruiting a keeper. I get the emergency signing situation but why wait until we’re in such a desperate state.


Should Macgillivray get injured early on in a game it could cost us 3 points that we can ill afford to lose.


That aside, surely you’d want to embed any player and have them upto and familiar with the defence etc.


Let’s see how things pan out.

Friday 27 August 2021

Crewe-cial Game

 Amazing that so early in the season we have a pretty much must win game. The hopes of “clean sheet victories” or even getting one of those 25 clean sheet games are but a distant memory.

Visitors Crewe are one of three teams below us in League One. However, we’ve scored twice as many goals, two to their one!

The Railwaymen played Leeds on Tuesday in the League Cup losing 3-0 which isn’t a bad result considering that Leeds are a top flight team.

Whilst we have taken the one point from Wednesday, Oxford, MK and Wigan, the Alex have got a draw again Cheltenham and lost to Portsmouth, Oxford and Accrington.

Charlton simply can’t afford to lose this though. There’s enough pressure on Adkins and to a degree also Thomas too following previous comments regarding what The Addicks were going to do this season.

It’s too early to say it won’t still be a successful season but with only 4 days left of the transfer window we look desperate.

The failure to recruit a left back and a striker early doors is poor. Aneke was always going to prove difficult but almost impossible at this late stage.

Acquiring a loan striker from a Prem or Championship club would be good but I can’t imagine we’ll be fortunate enough to get a proven goalscorer who would totally fit the bill.

League One is a different kettle of fish to playing Under 23 or even Championship football. We’ve got to pray that we unearth a gem between now and Tuesday!

Elliot Lee is a really good signing for us and just the type of player we need. He immediately strengthens our team and I’m sure he’ll do well for us.

The performance is as important as the result. I think most of can, to a degree, accept losing games. However, it's been the manner of those defeats that is the real issue.

We've created so little chances, look weak in midfield and appalling defensive lapses have cost us dear. Weak squad or not the manager must accept and face up to his responsibility for that.

I do hope we move away from banging long balls up to Stockley. It’s not working especially when there’s no one near him. I fail to understand why Adkins doesn’t see it!

The manager surely has been drilling the team to pass better and look to get the ball out to the wingers more. They, in turn, must look to be more attacking and to get early balls into the box.

Hopefully, Charlie Kirk, will be up for the challenge against his old club.

Things need to turn around and that must start tomorrow. I dread to think of how another defeat will be greeted and have no wish to see it!

Come On You Reds!

Monday 23 August 2021

Action Needed

Saturday’s result and performance heaped more pressure on to Nigel Adkins and his team.

MacGillivray had his best game for the Addicks to date and helped to ensure that the defence was breached until the final minutes of the game. He didn’t deserve that but one can’t really argue that Wigan didn’t merit their win.

The performance mirrored that of our previous league outings as the midfield offered little and long balls were once again banged up to Stockley who continued to cut an isolated figure.

We all know that the squad is lacking on both numbers and quality but that doesn’t excuse Adkins refusal to change the formation and approach.

Bowyer was similar hampered in recent seasons but even with a weak squad he managed to get better displays and results from his teams.

Why not go to a 3-5-2 at home? That would in part at least negate the impact that not having a left back is having. Whatever, something needs to change.

At present things only look carrying on. Next Saturday and again at home we face a Crewe side that has experienced the same poor start to the season as us.

They have a midweek fixture against Leeds in the Carabao Cup to deal with. This being the second round of a cup competition, we have no such worries!

Given all of the above, failure to win against The Railwaymen would no doubt result in even more expressions of dissatisfaction from the Valley faithful.

On the field matters aside, there remain a number of issues that require explanation or at least clarification.

Fans deserve to know why the summer transfer window to date has largely been so disappointing. Questions marks loom large over Ged Roody.

What is the extent of his involvement in the process? We have failed to acquire a left back, is this related (pun very much intended!) to the fact that Roddy junior plays in that position?

Can it be coincidence that where previous summer transfer windows have by and large been pretty good we now have had a bit of a shocker? One can’t help but wonder if Gallen is being hampered.

Sandgaard is quickly finding out how tough it is to own and run a football league club. In assuming the position of CEO, he has added to that difficulty.

Thomas would benefit from seeking the counsel of one or two folk who have had the experience of our club and are closely connected with it. Some of his decisions and comments, whilst well intentioned, no doubt, have been a bit misplaced.

Likewise we have Adkins offering the rose tinted view of games. Fans aren’t silly and we know when we see poor displays. He could do worse than get Jacko to come out and explain the approach and what's happening. Jacko remains about the most trusted and valuable link to the fans.

All that aside, the priority must be getting in those much needed new additions. Time is running out. Like others, I’m shocked that so little seems to be happening.

This lack of activity and clear communication is really not helping matters. The next few until the close of the window are crucial to our whole season. Action in all the areas I’ve highlighted is vital.

Let’s hope and pray that it is done and we can look forward to a brighter campaign!      

Friday 20 August 2021

The Road To Wigan Fear

Tomorrow sees the Addicks continue their quest for that clean sheet victory, well a victory of any sort really!

Having failed to garner more than one point from Weds, Oxford and MK things aren’t about to get any easier.

Wigan ought to prove our toughest test to date and given our present squad I’d be happy if we avoid defeat. Amos and Cousins make a return to The Valley. I wish we still had them in the team!

To do so we need to rid ourselves of the defensive errors that have seen us concede four fairly soft goals in the last two outings.

It’d be wrong to blame the defence entirely for our woes as the midfield is doing little in the way of offering protection.

There has been much talk of Roddy’s role and influence within the club. I’m far from convinced as to his worth especially when one considers he thought nothing of his son joining the club against a background where we have only one recognised left back and that player is injured!

It suggests poor judgement at best. In addition, it might help to hear from him where he can clarify his situation.

The lack of a CEO means that Adkins is required to offer an explanation. That shouldn’t really be happening. I’d rather Adkins explained why we’re reduced to banging long balls up to Stockley when said player is isolated with no support. He could also explain why he makes such late and negative subs when we’re trailing in games.

A full week has passed since last week’s dire performance at Oxford and still no more players have come through the door.

As time runs out we’re going to be increasingly desperate. I’d be concerned if we needed just a couple of players but we need at least 5 and probably more.

After the pre-season hyperbole we need some straight talk in order to manage expectations. At least then we can resign ourselves and lower those expectations.

I know some folk are looking at Ipswich and their similar poor start to the season but does any of us really expect them not to be in the top 6 or in an automatic promotion spot come season’s end?

They just need to sort themselves out and their experienced manager will do that I’m sure.

We must hope for a better performance and result tomorrow otherwise I fear a toxic atmosphere come the final whistle!


Wednesday 18 August 2021

A Bit Of A Mess

 Another disappointing display and result at MK Dons yesterday that gives further concern to a very disappointing start to the season.

We were on top for about the first 15 minutes when we scored. After that we went into our shell and lacked any real ambition.

Once MK had scored their first goal the writing was on the wall. They had the game sewn up after their second and we never really troubled them again.

I don't think we had an effort on target in the second half. The arrival of Dean Lewington should have heralded more attacks down their left hand side but it didn't and I think on only two occasions did we do so.

Our attacking intent consisted of long balls up to Stockley who had no hope as he cut an isolated figure with no one near to offer any kind of support. It didn't stop us trying though!

Adkins say he wanted us to play a pressing game but time and again MK were able to play the ball easily out from the back as only Stockley was near to press! Nothing was changed to address though!

From what I've seen so far this season there is no discernible game plan allied to an ineffective midfield. 

The booing at full time indicates that fans patience is wearing thin. No amount of platitudes or positive spin from Adkins will do no more than paper over the cracks.

I know that Lee Bowyer would often shoot from the hip but I'd rather that than failing to be open and honest about the team's shortcomings.

What message is sent to the players but selecting the same starting eleven after such an abject display on Saturday against Oxford?  

One can't help but wonder why it was decided that Shinnie and Pratley were surplus to requirements. In the case of Pratley it can't be because of age as we've retained Gunter and Watson who bring little to the party. 

Someone made that decision but we don't know who or why. The same can be levelled at our current recruitment policy. I wrote yesterday that Roddy's involvement added another layer of complication to the process.

I refuse to accept that having got it so right for so many years against the worst of all possible backgrounds, Steve Gallen has suddenly lost his Midas touch! We are led to believe that he is now just doing the contract negotiations. If that's the case, what a waste! 

I think we need more detail on Ged Roddy's involvement in transfer and recruitment activity. Further to that, a precise explanation of his role would be good. 

I do feel that he is having a very large say on all football areas of the club yet we've heard virtually nothing from him since his arrival.

Someone else we've not heard much from of late is Jacko. Skip in recent seasons has been quite prominent and we'd often hear from him. Now, Covid enforced isolation of Adkins aside, we've heard diddly squat!  

It's clear that we need a number of players to boost our flimsy squad. They need to be of decent quality too and not just there to make up the numbers. However, time is running out and we're going to be desperate soon, leaving ourselves at the mercy of clubs and agents.

There's a lot that needs to be put right. The team and style of play needs shaking up. One up front isn't working and especially at home we need two. Ditch the consistent long ball approach, it isn't working.

I'm happy for Adkins to be given more time, after all, it's early days and the transfer window is still open. However, the signs aren't great and he needs to get his act together fast and give over to a bit of plain speaking. Fans aren't stupid we know what we see.



Tuesday 17 August 2021

MK Away

Tonight we face the Dons of MK following hot on the heels of the Dons of Oxford if you’ll permit me that tenuous connection.

Unlike the majority of those students who recently received their results, an assessment of the Addicks’s start to the season is somewhat disappointing.

The two league performances to date have been insipid and uninspiring. At least one could point to a fairly solid defensive display against Wednesday but that wasn’t the case on Saturday.

Oxford ought to have won 3-1. That the U’s are far from the strongest team in the league is further cause for concern. Perhaps more worryingly than that Karl Robinson, hardly a man noted for his tactical genius, managed nullify one of the few attacking threats we have!

There were so many poor returns from a number of players. I hope that Adkins can galvanise the team ahead of what will be another tough game tonight.

I think we all appreciate that Rome wasn’t built in a day and it will take time to reverse years of neglect and chronic mismanagement of our club. However, Thomas and Nigel haven’t helped themselves with some over exuberant comments.

This squad obviously needs strengthening but even in the worst of times we were in a better place in terms of recruitment than we are now.

It was good to get Stockley but our failure to replace our top goalscorer, Aneke, by this stage doesn’t look good.    

Looking at tonight’s oppo and you’ll see they recruited Troy Parrott who would have fitted the bill perfectly. I know we were interested in him a couple of seasons ago so am unsure why wouldn’t have pursued him now.

I’m sure more bodies will be coming in but the clock’s ticking and we don’t want to end up making signings for the sake of it so to speak.

I hope I’m wrong but I do fear that Ged Roddy has added a layer complication to the recruiting process. I think most of us would trust Gallen’s judgement without hesitation but Thomas has put a lot of faith in Roddy across all areas and I feel he is getting the final say.

That aside, in the short term we need to start creating more chance and upping our game overall. Let’s hope that starts tonight.