Thursday, 26 June 2008

Beauty and the Beast

Germany 3 Turkey 2

Beauty-Football itself -what drama -passion -unpredictability

The Beast- Germany -they did not deserve to win but they have brute strength and mental attitude that gets results. Gawd don't you just hate them and admire them at the same time.

What a match and full credit has to go to Turkey who with virtually their second team, produced the sought of performance that against any other side than Germany would have meant a comfortable win. A quality show with skill pace and attacking play from the off- Oh how I wish the Turks had won.

Tonight Spain play Russia and as my predictions have been as disastrous as Charlton's home form last season Im keeping my prediction of a 2-0 Russian win to myself.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Its all about performing on the night

Russia 3 Holland 1

Thank goodness justice was done with Russia finally winning 3-1 against an outplayed Dutch team.
It would be easy to say that Holland were flat and played very poorly but I would rather say the Russians, who should have won the game in normal time at least 3-0, played the sought of football that will leave every purist puring with delight. In my opinion, the Russians played the best football I have seen in the tournament, they played with flair, style and as a team which the Dutch failed to do. Here's hoping they go on to win the tournament.

Turkey 1 Croatia 1 Turkey win on pens

Although Croatia played the better football on the night they never really reached the heady heights of their previous performances. The match it self was very cagey and I think
some people might of found this game a turn off, I actually still found it fascinating and watchable just to see how a team of no hoper's can fight for the lives and in the end win through. Great equaliser from Turkey who really are the team that will never give up. Croatia needed to do more to warrant a mis -justice quote.
The underdog I wonder why I will always support them .

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Love thy Neighbour

France v Italy

I'm so looking forward to this game and I'm predicting it will be the match of the tournament even surpassing the wonderful game the other night when Turkey scored three goals in fifteen minutes to overturn a 2-0 deficit against the Czech Republic.
I predict
France 3 Italy 2 , but Romania will spoil the day for France by beating a weakened Dutch team 2-0

What team does your husband support-Charlton! Oh well that's not so bad

My wife finally managed to meet our new neighbours opposite our house, actually not so new as they moved in over 4 months ago. The modern era eh! , the fact is my wife and I both work long hours and at weekends we seem to be busy doing the housework ( yes I do know how to switch the washing machine on and I do cook a mean Sunday lunch, ) playing and watching sport -that's me and shopping that's my wife, me patronising never, anyway she introduced herself to the husband who was gardening and a general conversation started (I'm shocked it has taken her 4 months) . All I know about them is that he and his son are fanatical Arsenal fans, they must be as the house has been named Gooners Lodge and there are a couple pennants on the windows, what is funny, a couple days after our new neighbours declared their allegiance, their attached neighbour filled their windows with Tottenham memorabilia. I'm just waiting for the punch up in the garden its bound to happen one day. Anyway back to our new found friends, after a few niceties my wife was asked tentatively what team does your husband support, probably praying that I wont be a Spurs fan. My wife replied, my husbands a mad fanatical Charlton fan who has a season ticket and goes to every home game and occasionally away, there was a big sigh of relief and the following comment - Charlton, oh well! that's not so bad. It transpires that he watches Arsenal home and away and often stays overnight in hotels with his son on long away trips -cant knock his dedication . So, I'm surrounded by Arsenal and Tottenham fans, what ever became of supporting your local team which for the area is Charlton and unfortunately the Palarse. Seriously folks he seems a nice enough chap and I'm sure we will get on like a house on fire when he comes over with his wife to our invite for drinks. I'm just wondering what reply he will give when asked the controversial question don't you think there should be some English players in the Arsenal team and if there are, wouldn't it make supporting them easier

I'm Loving my Tennis at the moment

Last night our 1st team vets went top of the table by beating Catford 4-0, and I don't mind admitting , that on grass it was one of my best performances. We now need to win our last two remaining matches to gain promotion to the top division- a division which is not unlike our football premiership . The top four clubs in Kent all attract membership of well over 700 players each, but my little humble club has a membership of 50, the great thing is on our day we can compete against them.
Sounds like Charlton a couple of seasons ago.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

How could I get it so wrong-Euro 2008 fantastico

Of course I was never going to be able to miss the Euros even if England failed miserably to qualify and I having declared my disinterest.-stupid boy-how wrong can one person be. So far this has been one of most entertaining and open Euro tournaments for years and long may it continue. Watching highlights in the evening and the odd live match has captured my enthusiasm again for the beautiful game. What I have or did not realise is that I have been suffering one almighty hangover from Charlton's dismal finish to the season. Well folks I'm back and I cant wait for the new season and I cant wait for the next Euro match . Surely the France v Italy game is going to be one almighty showdown with both having to win and even that might not be enough.
Holland , Spain, Portugal and Croatia have played the sort of football I love to watch and England now look like a million miles behind those teams in technique , vision and team spirit.
Bring it on -the next Euro match that is.

Friday, 13 June 2008

A great evening with Mr Murray

An invitation for Bloggers to meet Richard Murray

Well folks I have to admit I was a little nervous on my journey from work to the Valley last night to attend a bloggers get together in the Charlton Boardroom and meet Richard Murray and Ben Hayes . Ridiculously strange visions of the Apprentice came to mind whereby Richard Murray would look me in the eye and say CND your fired, leave the room, or I would ask a really stupid question that would be met with mirth's of laughter and my face would be redder than it normally is after a bevy too many . Of course the evening was as far from those visions as you could get and we had a very enjoyable and informative couple of hours in the Charlton Boardroom with Richard Murray, Ben Hayes, Dave Roberts and a selection of fellow Blogger's . It was a privilege to be invited and it was great to meet up with fellow Bloggers Blackheath Addick again and finally meet Wyn Grant , other Bloggers included Kings Hill Addick, Drinking During the Game and All Quite in the East Stand. Several of us finished up in the Royal Oak to continue our discussions on the rights and wrongs of our beloved Charlton Athletic.

Richard Murray

Richard Murray has always come across as Charlton through and through, with the club and its supporters very close to his heart. Well folks I would like to reassure you that Richard Murray is one of most sincere, pleasant and committed people I have met and he is definitely the right man to take us back to the promised land, even if that promised land is not so attractive as it was with its top four domination and the rest having to settle as also- rans.

He spoke quite openly about many subjects -here are a few that are hopefully OK to share

Charlton Athletic PLC

Charlton Athletic Public Limited Company which I'm sure we are aware of is a business and has to be run on a tight financial budget which has become a hundred times harder after the dreaded relegation from the Premiership. My understanding is that the following financial year could see the club break even which will be a great achievement knowing how difficult football finances are.

Darren Bent

Although a large fee was received for Darren, after paying Ipswich Town its contracted sell on clause the money left although still very large is being paid at standard practice terms .

Alan Pardew

Alan Pardew found last seasons Championship surprisingly different and difficult from the last time he managed a club in that division and the mistakes he admitted making to the press and supporters will not be repeated next season. The failure of the club not to achieve promotion and criticism that followed really hurt him but I think he is definitely the right man for the job and I predict promotion next season.- Come on you Reds.

Andy Reid

Andy Reid loved playing for Charlton and liked living in London but Sunderland wanted their man and as Marlon Brando said in the Godfather" Were going to make him an offer he cant refuse."

The Future

The club are exploring ways to extend their already extensive overseas youth projects in countries with little resource. This a worthy project which I fully endorse.

The Team

There could be hope of Bougherra staying put, as his name was mentioned in a team line-up. It
might be that he is here for the time being.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Whats going on at the Valley

Well I'm probably as surprised as anyone on the news that Paddy McCarthy has be transferred to the Palace . Hopefully I could find out more tonight and if I do I will report back tomorrow. McCarthy and Bougherra forged a good partnership and it was unfortunate that Bougherra received along term injury, ironically against the Palace. McCarthy never looked so assured after that although he was worth his place in the side and I was looking forward to the partnership of Hudson and McCarthy. Bougherra looks certain to leave having left Wednesday to play for us in the Premiership and I can understand the premiership is where he wants to be and who can blame him.
It could be a number of things, which may be explained later but I would not be happy if Fortune is to be his replacement.

Theory No 1 Hudsons arrival has upset MCarthy for some reason
No 2 Bougherra has decided to stay -unlikely
No 3 Halford is a about to sign and McCarthy does not get on with him
No 4 A fallout with the manager
No 5 Sodje is about to sign.
No 6 McCarthy has always wanted to play for Warnock who admitted that he has admired the player for over 5 years

Oh well its probably none of those, we may find out soon.

Monday, 9 June 2008

The Crying Game

Euro 2008

It is still hard believe that England or any country from the British Isles will not be represented at Euro 2008. My interest in the tournament is equivalent to watching Match of the Day last season. Without Charlton being involved( even if the coverage on average was less than 60 seconds) makes Match of the Day watchable, only if there is nothing better to do. Hopefully as the tournament progresses a team classed as no Hope's similar to the likes of Greece and Denmark will emerge to defy all odds. Denmark were just magnificent winning in 1992, and they only made the tournament with a week to spare as replacements for war torn Yugoslavia. The final against Germany was one of the best I have watched and of course anyone beating the arrogant Germans in such style made it a double whammy. Greece were just the surprise package in 2004, probably even more so as there European pedigree was zero. They played to there strengths and deserved their success.
may yet surprise in 2008 again, but Romania who apparently have a great team spirit get my vote as an outside bet. If my head rules my heart then I have to agree with Chicago - Spain with all its talent has to come good and win its first major tournament for more than 40 years.

Bougherra and Zi Zi

I'm afraid folks these two players will be on their way before the summer is out. Bougherra who was starting to show his true class in February, unfortunately during his magnificent performance against the Palace sustained a long term injury that possibly ruined our chances of automatic promotion. After Bougherra injury the defense became a liability again.
Zi Zi has a lot of skill and vision which I think is far better suited to the Premiership where players of skill are given more time on the ball, unlike the hustle and bustle of the Championship. We should receive a minimum of 3 million for Bougherra and over 4 million for Zi Zi with his marketing potential .

The Crying Game
Watched this film again the other night really is well worth hiring the DVD , with great acting from Forrest Whittaker and Direction from Neil Jordan -

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

The future is paperless

Going Digital

Its happening now, there seems no way to stop it and I think I'm going to like it. (sounds like the beginning of a song) The world is going paperless which according to predictions made over ten years ago was always going to happen .
I'm a Director of a small independent publishing company, which incidentally has resisted several takeover bids from the big players in the Industry, is just about to launch a Digital version of its Jewel in the Crown Magazine (That's not the name of the magazine by the way). Presently the cost of getting our magazines overseas is extortionately high at £1.30 per magazine and really there is no margin for profit . We will be able to send as many issues as we like digitally via a PDF attachment to registered readers who have supplied their email addresses at a fraction of the cost and our magazines will reach every corner of the planet in an instant.
The savings are immense - printing, paper and postage costs will save our Company 50% of its overheads . This all sounds too good to be true and it probably is at the moment. There is a resistance from a large contingent who until recently I was one of them that think the only way to read most literature is on paper .

Carbon Footprint

Imagine how our carbon footprint would virtually disappear with no transport required, so no fuel used , no need to cut down forests even if the paper does come from a sustainable source which ours does , wouldn't be nice if the forests were allowed to return to their natural state rather than those ugly conifer forests and no need for recycling which is a costly business .

E Books
Anyway you maybe thinking what the hell has this got to do with me so here it is I purchased the Len Glover Autobiography by E: Book online (honest folks I'm not on commission that' s not the nature or purpose of this blog) which I wasn't even sure what that meant . After paying my £5.20 a link was sent which enabled me to download 380 pages of the book including many pictures in about 30seconds and with a bit of scepticism I started to read several of the pages . To my surprise it became easier as I went along and I'm am currently about a third of the way through the book if you can call it a book.
Reading the first few chapters in my opinion L Glover Auto is one of the most honest, interesting and controversial autobiographies I have read and I will write a full review once finished.

There we have it I'm converted a middle aged man who in the past would never consider reading a book from a computer is now doing that very thing, oh! how my son laughed at the fuss I originally made and he wont stop calling me a grey haired middle aged Luddite -what insults especially the grey haired one.

Could Mr Murray be interested

Digital football programmes - would it appeal -On match days our overseas contingent could download the programme via their laptops or E-Pads picture opposite at cost price or less . The club could save enough to be able to broadcast live radio again, which would really make all overseas supporters very happy , the Board must consider that one day a lot of ex-pats will come home and the club need their support.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Its much much harder for Pardew

Well the summer season is well and truly upon us and to compound things even more England are not in the Euros, so my enthusiasm for all things football is at an all time low.

Season Tickets

Do I renew my season ticket, or consider paying for match tickets which last season proved to be better financially . Friday is deadline day and as I have a hunch that next season will not only be very exciting and successful leading to promotion -there the optimism in me has started already, renewal it has to be.

Pardew -tough job

Looking back on previous promotion campaigns the managers of their day- Sir Lennie and Curbs had a number of big factors in their favour

1 The players they accumulated in their squads were a right motley crew of hungry, do or die young and old players, journeymen striving to better themselves -on salaries which would be considered a joke today .

Lennie had players like

Hard man Aizlewood , A hard man who could play football -we could do with him now
Honest George Shipley-Never stopped running Mr 100%
Mr perfect- John Humphrey one of the best full backs to wear a red shirt-did he ever put a foot wrong
Baby face- John Pearson He was very brave and great in the air
Ice Man- Mark Reid Mr Cool never looked flustered under pressure
Gunner Steve Thompson In a battle I would want to be on his side.

The Board -Survival in 85/86 was all it was concerned with -The supporters were just grateful to still be in existence

The team of Gypsies played with such determination they all seem to give an extra 10%

Carlisle United 2 Charlton Athletic 3 -Where were you
It is not always easy to remember where you were when great events happen in your life be they sad or joyful- The first man on the moon -Kennedy's assignation, England winning the World cup, The state funeral of Churchill -which incidentally really upset me, not because of the occasion for which my dad hugged me and said never mind he had a good innings, but someone decided Saturday Morning pictures should be cancelled as a mark of respect. Saturday morning pictures was very popular in the early sixties- no 24 hour telly in those days, for 3d old money, it was the highlight of the week. You wore your ABC cinema membership badge with great pride and if by any chance your birthday fell on a Saturday you would receive a certificate on stage and a free Jamboree bag full of sweets. We never knew of anyone getting on stage when it wasn't their birthday but I suppose it must have happened. Our parents dropped us off at 8am to watch Flash Gordon, Laural and Hardy, The Brash Street Kids and loads of cartoons in a packed Cinema. My Dad would collect us six and seven year olds outside the Cinema five hours later, sometimes he would arrive 30 minutes late, happy as Larry and smelling of cigarettes and beer. Everyone seemed to smoke in those days and secondary smoking had not been discovered and another thing, you could park your car anywhere in the high street without a getting a ticket . Those were the days.
Anyway back to Carlisle and I certainly remember where I was then. Unfortunately on the big day and because of my illustrious playing career on the local playing fields of South East London my club was involved in a cup semi final which eventually had to be cancelled because the referee failed to turn up- things like that happened all the time.
My girlfriend at the time had just arrived to watch me play when the cancellation was announced, so she quickly suggested we go to Selhurst park to watch her beloved Palarse. You may well ask how could you go out with a Palace supporter but my excuse was she was bloody good looking and also worked for the FA which enabled me to watch my only ever cup-final Liverpool 3 Everton 1 in the FA box directly below the Presentation area. My memory of that game was watching a young Lineker tear Liverpool apart for the first 20 minutes and score (for a big man he was quick) . Liverpool went on to achieve a deserved double.
At Selhurst the tension was unbearable- for me only that is, the match we were watching was a so meaningless the biggest cheer of the day was the tannoy announcement that Charlton were 2-0 down which was quickly corrected to 2-1 . The second half is a great entry in the Chronicles of Charlton history and because I was in the midst of Palarse supporters my celebrations were muted to say the least , but I certainly made up for them later in the evening. One last thing, how many Charlton fans in our moment of glory, the biggest match for 11 years, had to endure a match at Selhurst watching Palace.
Looking back I should have been at Brunton Park but I loved playing football so much and women can make you do some strange things.

So much has been written about the side that made the play-offs but there were so many players with something to prove like

Hit Man Mendonca -So clinical
Home grown Rufus One of the best from the academy
Gentleman Jones Keith Jones so underrated
Ruthless Kinsella No prisoners taken always will be in my first eleven of all time greats.
Johnny Rotten Robinson Always played with an edge and a strop
but so effective

For the Board and supporters all their dreams came true


Expectations are so high now, we have been to the promised land and we want and expect to get back there next season -Pardews last stand.
Come on you Reds.