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Sunday, 31 August 2008

Feeling as flat as a pancake

OK I do have a life outside of watching Charlton and on a Saturday night we are normally doing something, and I try not to show how I feel when Charlton lose, but I have got to say last night it was difficult not too. I was on such a high from last weeks great win against Reading that I thought we must put in a great performance at Preston. I was feeling very disappointed until I read Ketts report on Dr Kish
and how he traveled with his mates all the way to Deepdale, which is a difficult journey, only to see Charlton put in a tepid, totally indifferent , basically crap performance. My disappointment has been put in perspective-What must they have felt like on the journey back to South East London
Ketts and friends and any supporter who made the trip - I salute you.

Friday, 29 August 2008

A missed opportunity


Its looks as though Zheng Zhi will be a West Bromwich player before the transfer deadline closes on Monday. One of the first comments from Richard Murray at the Bloggers meeting about ZZ was "we all know ZZ plays too much football" his second comment was "he is desperate to play in the Premiership. We have rarely seen the best of ZZ and when he first arrived he was thrown into the lions den with a fierce and frantic relegation battle in the Premiership that tempered his natural flair and skill . In the Championship he is too easily hustled out of a game and with no protection from a hard tackling midfield player he simply fades . Typically it now looks as though Nicky Bailey is the sort of player who could protect ZZ and allow him to play the sort of game we all know he is capable of. In a good Premiership team I think that ZZ will flourish and become an exceptional player. Alas it will not be in a Charlton shirt and probably not in a West Brom shirt as they will surely struggle this season but I'm sure they will undoubtedly capitalize on ZZ marketing potential which I feel we failed to do . The Hawthorns will suddenly see a lot more Chinese supporters attending home games.
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Monday, 25 August 2008

The feel good factor and the Yorkshire Moors

The Beautiful Yorkshire Moors at Lastingham with the heather in full bloom.

A lot of my other-half relatives live in North Yorkshire, about 50 minutes from the Yorkshire Moors to be a bit more precise. Hull city is the nearest football team , and on several occasions on our latest visit the football supporting relatives really enjoyed rubbing salt into the wound as they gloated on Charlton's relegation from the Premiership and their promotion to it. It has been noticed and written about the increase in productivity in the area, when the local team is doing well and at the moment productivity has never been higher.
After Charlton's great victory on Saturday my productivity increased, as I emptied the dishwasher twice in one day.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Fantastic, Brilliant, Unbelievable- over the top no way Charlton 4 Reading 2


Having just got back from my annual holidays visiting relatives in North Yorkshire, I felt a certain trepidation as I walked/ran through Charlton Park on my own. These blasted 12.45pm kick-offs really push me and my tennis into an early morning start, a quick shower and a couple of pints of Whitstable ale in the clubhouse, then a mad dash to the Valley which meant I still missed 10 minutes of the first half. Well folks, it was all worth while as this early afternoon I witnessed one of the best games I have seen at the Valley for at least 5 years. Where as we slaughtered West Ham 4-0, in this game, with the help of one of the most controversial and inept Referees I have ever seen at the Valley, kept an average Reading side in the game with some very bizarre penalty decisions. It made the game very exciting and Sky must surely be very happy indeed, but if we had not won this game it would be one of the biggest travesties witnessed at the Valley. We looked well balanced from the start and Nicky Bailey looked as though he has been playing for Charlton for many years -His home debut was actually better than Hudson's and that does take some beating. He controlled the midfield, looked strong, a great passer of the ball and looked like the player we have been missing since Kinsella and Parker left us. This was a great team performance with all the players fighting for each other, which I did not always witness last season. Pardew seems to prepare his teams very well for the big matches, but we seem to fail against so called lesser teams, this needs to be addressed. After dominating the first 25 minutes we finally broke through the Reading defense after a great move and a Varney shot which was parried by Hahnemann into the path of the ever youthful Holland, who could not miss from 3 yards. With Charlton still dominating, a rare Reading attack led to an innocuous challenge by Moutaoukil on Doyle and the Referee giving a very dubious penalty. Fortunately and deservedly so Doyle missed the penalty by hitting the bar . Great cheers around the ground as Charlton were later awarded a penalty when Varney was pushed in the box, this led to great protest from the Reading players and management but this did not hamper Gray, who tucked away a well taken penalty. Of course, as it always seems to happen, Charlton could not hold out until half-time and a comedy of errors led to Reading undeservedly so, snatch one back just before half-time. As I hadn't had time to eat, I was so hungry I reluctantly bought a Hot-Dog, which actually wasn't that bad. The crowd were in high spirits and the game must have been a Sky reporters dream as the first half was so pulsating. The second half started as the the first half left off and actually became more end to end. A deep cross led to Weaver punching the ball away, but bizarrely the Referee pointed to the spot . The crowd went crazy, the players went crazy, the manager went crazy and I just held my head in my hands as I couldn't believe the decision, but even worse was to follow as Weaver made a great save from Hunts penalty and the ground erupted in jubilation, which soon turned to despair as the referee pointed to the spot for the penalty to be retaken, Weaver was adjudged to have moved before the kick was taken. (99% of keepers move before the ball is kicked )The crowd could not believe it as Hunt neatly tucked away the retaken penalty. Injustice was all I could feel. Thankfully with Bailey running the Midfield along with Holland our heads did not drop and Varney with a great header deservedly put Charlton in front. even better was to follow when the ever improving Bouazza scored a magnificent fourth with the sort of volley which will have already won him goal of the season.
Great game and if we can continue to play like this at home and improve away, we must surely be one of the favorites to go up.

Weaver 9 Looking slimmer and sharper than I have ever seen him
Moots 8 Great faultless display
Basey 8 looked very comfortable and strong
Fortune 9 Best game for ages and even passed liked David Beckham twice
Hudson 8 Very solid
Sam 7 Played well but can give so much more.
Holland 9 Ran himself into the ground great display
Bailey 10 10 says it all player of the match
Varney 8 Ran and Ran and so deserved his goal
Gray 9 Held the ball up well and his best game so far in a Charlton shirt
Bouazza 9 Played better as the game went on fantastic goal

Referee 0.5 What a wally
Pardew 9 Got it just right

Crowd 9 Really got behind the team especially after the dodgy penalty decisions

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Coming to terms with reality and the Olympics on HD-Fantastic

I'm in a time warp
Its official, after seven years of punching above our weight our financial and football status is probably in the position where it should be. One big advantage of being in the premiership for all those years is, it has enabled the club to build a ground to be proud of and a fan base that is one of the strongest in the Championship. We have, or I have been living the romance and illusion that Charlton Athletic football Club is just that, a football club we passionately support on a Saturday afternoon, but in reality, it is of course a business that Directors pump money into in the hope there will be a financial return on a successful football club. The Directors, especially Richard Murray has pumped the majority of his fortune into the club and I think his heart ruled his head as we all lived the dream, but relegation and failure to regain premiership football has been incredibly traumatic and Murray has pulled away from the precipice just in time. Never again will money be pumped into the club as it has been over the last ten years-once bitten twice shy, unless the Board can find an overseas benefactor which it is actively seeking. My support for the club is stronger than ever at the moment and I feel as though I am in a time warp, a bit like that great series, Life On Mars, where the main character DCI Sam Taylor after being hit by a car gets mysteriously transported back to the seventies, 1973 to be precise.
Of course we have made great strides since those Dickensian days of the 70's where you felt that if all the 4,500 fans attending an average home game had brought a bottle of weedkiller to use on the terracing it might just have killed all the weeds growing there. The reason my support for the Reds is so strong is because I seem to have a lot more time to dedicate myself to the cause, as I did in the early 70's when I was Mortgage free, Debt free and a married life with children was a long way off. The kids are grown up and it is time for us to join the S.K.I.
club.
Come on you Reds
Watford 1 Charlton 2 (Gray, Varney)





The Olympics

What a pleasure it has been to watch the Olympics, especially on BBC High Definition.
The games have been very watchable and it nice to wake up at 7am and catch an hour or so before work. Watching in Hi Definition you experience the feeling of being there and the sound is so superior to ordinary digital TV . It wont be long before all TV is in HD.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

A Good Win But Can Do Better-Charlton 2 Swansea 0

Why Mark Hudson is not playing in the Premiership is a bit of a mystery to me as his performance at the heart of Charlton Defence today was near perfect. Swansea came to play football and I think they achieved that but there neat approach play was ruined by some woeful shooting.
Charlton started brightly and after only five minutes Hudson headed a great goal majestically from a good corner by 26 old Shelvey . Ok according to the Programme he was born in 1982 but on the pitch he could pass for 26. Its a match I find hard to report on , we were neither good nor bad but the one big plus is we now look solid in defence and we can now build on that. After Swansea had their Captain dismissed for a second bookable offense Charlton had a lot more space and the result was never in doubt after Gray headed a second from a great Basey free kick. All in all we cant complain and as the title suggests a good result but a lot of hard work required.

Defence 9

Midfield 6

Attack 6

Friday, 8 August 2008

Come on You Reds

This is it folks

Some very good Blog articles being written at the moment by New York Addick and Drinking During the Game thus making it very difficult to add much of value to this blog entry, but as my wife often says to me, you always have something to say even if it is a load of crap.
Mixed emotions at the moment -do I become all gung-ho and declare that Charlton will walk the league because we have a smaller squad, which means the team will almost pick it self and the players will learn to play as a team, unlike most of last season.The stars of the future will flourish and everything will be hunky-dory at the Valley.

More realistically Charlton will be in the top half of the division, but not really challenge for the promotion places and have an outside chance of a play-off spot. Anyway I'm looking forward to Saturday and I hope I will be happy in my new seat-please not let me be next to a bunch of whingers .
If we fail to make it back to the Premiership this season, then I do fear we will be a middle table, typical Championship club for many seasons.

Luke Young to Villa.

Looks like Luke Young is on his way to Villa, to the dismay of the majority of Boro fans. Some have written in to 606, saying that he was their most consistent player last season. Luke Young , although not a dynamic player, was always Mr reliable and did an excellent job over his last two seasons for us. I wish him well for the new season.

Mamma Mia I liked it- God I'm getting old and soft


I have never been frightened to show the emotional and if you like the feminine side to my character, but even I had to be dragged screaming to Bluewater on Sunday evening by my wife to watch Mamma Mia . The meal before was compensation and as the titles began rolling I thought how long before I can get home and have a couple of cans. To my surprise I thoroughly enjoyed the film and allowed the Abba music, the Greek scenery and pure syrupy corn wash over me. One hour and forty minutes just relaxing and thinking about nothing Charlton-pure bliss.

Friday, 1 August 2008

This doesn't sound too good

Pardew is not happy and has talked about his displeasure to BBC London 94.9 . Is this the start of a split with the Manager and Board. Is Pardew one of the highest paid at the club and far too costly . I have sympathy with both parties and the Board especially Richard Murray has supported the club financially through these incredibly difficult times. Its unusual for a manager to openly state his unease with the budget and target he has been set by the Board. We need unity more than ever and I am feeling rather apprehensive .

Selling the Crown Jewels-Well almost

Are we going backwards rather than forwards

Why oh! why do I feel we are going backwards rather than forwards-oh sorry we have plenty of forwards and not much backwards. If there is anything positive about our current predicament its the expectation factor, its now down to a realistic level, actually it could be on the verge of being pessimistic, probably a good thing, maybe! - certainly if it takes the pressure off the players, especially at home, where I thought you could cut the tension with knife at the majority of home games.
Pardew needs to hold out his cap to some of the top Premiership clubs and look to bring in young players with truly great potential who just need to get experience and games . There must be several players at Arsenal and Chelsea who fit the bill. Yes I do think that Championship clubs now act as feeder clubs for the elite premiership and what could be better than having your reserves play in the 4th strongest division in the world, or is it the best supported, going on last season I think its the latter.

All but three of the Crown Jewels left from 2006/07

OK we never saw the best of Bougherra but potentially he could have been not only a great centre-half but one of the most dominate players in the Championship-oh well we will never know, but I think he will do very well in Scotland as SPL plays to the same standard as the Championship.

Players gone of worth since the dreaded relegation

Hermann Hreidarsson -Had a great season with Pompey
Chris Perry -Player I really admire and had another season left in him
Darent Bent -Best purchase Curbishley ever made as Charlton Manager
Luke Young -Underrated by the Charlton faithful
Andy Reid- I was wrong, we did miss him after he left
Magic Bougherra - How good, we will never know

Players left of any worth -I'm going to get shot down here

Zi Zheng - Again we have not seen the best of a player far more suited to the Premiership
Value £4 Mill
Jerome Thomas -We all know what he can do but he is now at the last chance saloon Value £2 mill
Darren Ambrose Ditto

So nine players mentioned, lets hope the top six names can be replaced this season by new up and coming stars worth just as much.