Monday, August 30, 2004

Emphatic win over Saints

That's the headline I hope I'll be writing after 13th September, but meanwhile it will do for Leamington's August Bank Holiday victory in the derby against Southam United, aka the Saints. Southam share a centenary year with Charlton. A Josh Blake hattrick did all that was needed to give the Brakes a 3-0 victory in front of a good crowd with vociferous away support at the New Windmill Ground. Southam's cause was not helped by having the Incredible Hulk as their striker who kept losing his balance as he advanced on goal. And I won two prizes in the half time raffle.

I'm off to Chicago on Wednesday for a week, but will be back in good time for the Southampton match and I am hoping to entice Joe the Saint to contribute to the match preview. Meantime while not visit our political economy of football site at:

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Bolton all over again

The Addicks crashed to a 4-0 defeat at the City of Manchester Stadium, replicating their earlier defeat in the north-west, but without the consolation goal. Indeed, another consolation at the Reebok had been that Bolton had looked like a very good side, but for all the skill of Anelka and Wright-Phillips, this could not be said of the Manchester City side as a whole. This was a woeful performance by the Addicks that made the Massives looked good. Once again our frailities in central defence were exposed and one has to ask why El Karkouri and the evidently out-of-favour Perry did not start. However, the shapeless midfield were of little help and no Charlton player could be said to have performed with any distinction. It seemed that the plan was to start cautiously and not concede an early goal, but once that happened, there didn't appear to a Plan B. Murphy failed to seize a chance to make it 1-1. Once you go 2-0 down away from home, you are always chasing the game and are liable to concede more goals as you expose yourself at the back as you attempt to get back into the match.

Collected by pitch announcer Brian Cole we made good progress towards the stadium, aided by his global positioning system. We were in optimistic mood, although match analyst Hooch the Pooch in the back of the car was unusually subdued. We thought we had found a good place to park up (see Hiss of the Match below) and safely delivered Hooch to a somewhat baffled press steward. We negotiated the electronic turnstiles safely, although Brian Cole failed in his attempt to obtain cashback (perhaps he already had an inkling of how things would turn out).

I thought that both teams were poor in the opening phase. City gave notice of their early intentions with a corner won by Anelka, but it went for a Manchester City throw in and Kishishev was able to intervene to clear. My forebodings about the central defence were eased when Feesh made a clearance and Fortune stood up well to Anelka. But then, as City forged forward, Feesh was caught out and Kiely was left exposed. I thought the ball might go outside the post, but Anelka had chosen his spot well and it was 1-0 to City.

Charlton launched a sequence of attacks, but each of them was snuffed out. But then, after a Charlton throw in, Murphy was given a good chance but somehow managed to put the ball over. The lively Kevin Lisbie managed to win a Charlton corner. In one of their best spells in the match, Charlton kept up the pressure. Kishishev put in a shot but it was straight at James in the City goal. Indeed, for much of the game James was so little troubled that he could easily have got his sketch pad out or read one of his art books.

City were awarded a free kick, after Feesh was adjudged to have fouled. The referee then gave City a corner when it looked like a goal kick. Euell and Kishishev protested vigorously, but to no avail. But the referee must have had second thoughts because once the corner had been taken, he gave Charlton a rather generous free kick. City came back again, but Fortune provided some good defensive work to deal with Fowler. Luke Young then made a complete mess of defending a ball right in front of goal, slipping on the heavily watered surface, the ball bounced off Deano and presented itself to Sinclair to make it 2-0. If Deano had smothered the ball in the first place, the goal would probably not have been scored and Charlton would still have had a chance of getting something out of the game.

Feesh had to deal with a City corner with a header. Jeffers was brought down and Charlton won a free kick. Busy Kevin Lisbie won Charlton a corner. However, neither of these opportunities led to anything and, following more defensive confusion, Deano had to push the ball behind the post.

HT: Massives 2, Addicks 0

A Jeffers header was turned over for a Charlton corner, but it was played out. A Charlton free kick was not productive and although Charlton were producing a number of attempts to attack the City goal, now in front of the Addickted, they simply petered out. Murphy received a yellow card. As Charlton attempted to press forward, Manchester City broke and their pace was simply too much for Feesh and Kishishev. Anelka was able to make it 3-0.

Twenty minutes into the half, Curbs decided to make three substitutions. He took off Kishishev, Rommedahl and Fortune and brought on Konchesky, Johansson and El Karkouri. It was a bold move, perhaps almost a desperate one, but the substitutes did add something to the quality of Charlton's play, if only a greater determination. But by then it was too late: the match was effectively over. Why not make a couple of the substitutions at half-time?

JJ quickly won Charlton a corner, but the out of sorts Murphy over hit it and it went out of play. City won a free kick not too far outside the area, but it was not productive. Konchesky put a good ball in across the front of the City goal, but there was no one there to take advantage of it. City pulled off Joey Barton and brought on Steve McManaman. JJ won Charlton another corner, this time taken by Konchesky rather than the hapless Murphy.

The Massives had gone beserk every time Wright-Phillips had touched the ball and this time his speed allowed him to burst through and make it 4-0 to complete Charlton's humiliation. After that, although JJ continued to do all he could, it really was game over. In previous seasons, Charlton have done better on their travels than at home. The key to that was a solid defence which was difficult to break down and it is something we now seem to be lacking. The remedy has to be starting with a different line up in central defence.

As we walked away from the ground, one Massive said to another, 'Charlton will have better days and we will have worse days.' They don't get much worse than this!

Ball boy gets Silver Bone

A perplexed ball boy went home from the City of Manchester stadium on Saturday with a Silver Bone presented to him by senior match analyst Hooch the Pooch. Having decided that none of the Charlton players was worthy of an award, the barking mad canine selected the left side ball boy on the recommendation of south coast Addick Clare Cole. He was given the award for 'consistently putting the ball into play and always finding his man', qualities that the Charlton players sadly lacked. Deano was partially at fault for one of the goals and arguably could have saved another. When the goalkeeper concedes four goals in two successive away matches, questions have to be asked. They certainly have to be asked of Feesh whose slow reactions caused problems again. Fortune did make some good interventions, but his overall performance was not impressive and Tracy from Dartford even suggested him as a Hiss of the Match candidate. Hreidarsson was one of the better Charlton players in the sense that his performance was error free, but it was in no way decisive either. Young blotted his copybook with a howler in front of goal. Kishishev has been boosted by some fans recently with suggestions that Holland would find it hard to regain his place when he is fit again, but although he showed plenty of verve, his contribution lacked finesse and it was no surprise when he was wuthdrawn. Murphy missed a great chance to equalise and his performance was generally poor and disappointing. The match simply didn't give Rommedahl a chance to shine. Euell had something of an off day with a rather lazy performance. Jeffers simply didn't get the service to show what he could do. Lisbie did his best to drive the City defence and had some good runs forward but he lacked any support and was snuffed out by defenders crowding in on him. Johansson tried to make a difference when he came on, looked as if he wanted to be out there and had some good runs down the right. El Karkouri brought a new solidity to the defence and it remains a mystery why he doesn't start. Konchesky also displayed spirit and skill.

Juneau the Soccer Cat has given the Hiss of the Match to Manchester City Council. Brian Cole parked up in area which had no signs visible (and we made a careful search) declaring it to be reserved for residents with parking permits, but when we returned to the car there was a parking ticket on it.

Crowd rating: Charlton's away support is falling away, although obviously performances like this one don't help. There were seven to eight hundred there and they did their best to lift the team in spite of the poor performance on the pitch. One sign that it is an authentic Charlton crowd is a rendition of 'goodbye horse'. Two of the best chants were 'We can see you sneaking out' as the Mancs started to stream out before the end and 'You still won't sing "We're winning four-nil"'. 7/10.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Addicks face Massives

There are small clubs, there are big clubs and there are massive clubs ... It has always been the proud boast of Manchester City supporters that they are a massive club, a claim that was particularly made when they were in the Second Division battling for an away point against mighty Chesterfield. This thinking was also encouraged by lazy sports journalists who tipped the Blues for a European spot at least when they returned to the Premiership. It was therefore refreshing to see a letter in a recent issue of Four Four Two from a City supporter in which he called on fans to stop describing the club as a 'massive' one until they turned in less mediocre performances on the pitch. Still, I suppose one can describe the City of Manchester Stadium as massive if nothing else.

At least the ground is massive

We have had some good times away at Maine Road. I remember the 4-1 victory there when popular and modest goalkeeper Nicky Weaver, once described as Britain's brightest goalkeeping hope, succumbed to the onslaught of the Addicks. Everyone burst into laughter at Claus Jensen's cheeky goal from near the halfway line which the rapidly back pedalling Weaver was unable to save.

If we can play as we did against Villa on Wednesday, we should at least come away with a point and there must be hopes of three. Nothing is certain in football, of course, particularly where Charlton are concerned. Wright-Phillips could do some damage. We will be driving up with the Voice of the Valley, pitchside announcer Brian Cole, so at least the Addickted will have someone to lead them in the chants. Look out for our Leamington banner with the Warwickshire bear on it.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

The fox in the box

Francis Jeffers justified this title when two excellent strikes, supplemented by his first goal from the Addicks by Luke Young, gave Charlton a 3-0 victory over Aston Villa at The Valley on Wednesday night. Charlton were under some pressure from Villa for the first twenty minutes of the game, but they withstood this well and came to dominate a match that propelled them to fourth place in an admittedly tentative table. But last season we lost both matches against Villa so it has to be regarded as a step forward.

Darius Vassell, linked recently with the Addicks, gave early notice of Villa's intentions when his shot hit the bar in the sixth minute. Villa started to win corners and then Deano had to make a good diving save on the ground. Feesh, who seemed to be as slow as a 161 bus in the traffic after the match, conceded another corner, but then Charlton managed to win one. Villa managed to kick their next one out of play. Rommedahl burst into the box and was brought down, but despite a hopeful shout from the crowd, it was not a penalty. Carlton Cole delighted the Covered End with a lazy effort that was well wide. Jason Euell excelled in defence when Villa threatened to burst through and then Luke Young anticipated his later goal with a good attack.

On 29 minutes the Herminator put in an excellent cross and Jeffers made no mistake in heading it into the back of the net to make it 1-0. A delighted Jeffers skimmed across the pitch on his knees to accept the acclamation of the West Stand. Five minutes later Kishishev put in a pinpoint long pass, Mjellberg was unable to retrieve the situation and Jeffers found himself one-on-one with Sorensen in the Villa goal. Some Addicks strikers would have fluffed it, but he made no mistake with a sweet strike into the back of the net. A clearly overjoyed Jeffers found time to acknowledge the North and East stands as well this time.

Deano had to make a good save on the ground. Sorensen then inexplicably played the ball out to Lisbie and the striker reacted well, but his shot skimmed across the top of the crossbar. There was a moment of danger in front of the Charlton goal, but fortunately the ball was cleared. Charlton were riding their luck but, as Steve from Sidcup pointed out, we had been unlucky in both matches against Villa last year. A great pass from the rampant Kishishev put Lisbie through. Sorensen made a good save, but injured himself in doing so. In the three minutes added on, Deano had to push the ball over the bar to deal with an awkward attack. He had to make a second save to preserve Charlton's lead.

Half time: Addicks 2, Villa 0

Frantic tannoy announcements were made for the cleaning supervisor during and immediately after half time, perhaps suggesting that the Carthorse was sick as a parrot. Stefan Postma was brought on as keeper to replace Sorensen and applauded the Covered End as he took up his post. Villa were straight out of the blocks, winning an immediate corner, but it ended in a Charlton throw in. Good work by Lisbie won Charlton a corner. Fortune put the Addicks under pressure when he should have booted the ball forward rather than trying to be clever and consequently losing it. Villa kept up the pressure with a sharp shot from distance which Deano had to save on the ground.

I had been surprised to find that Cliff Richard had left the music business and taken up refereeing under his old name of Harold Webb. He was clearly still on his summer holidays when he ignored a blatant hand ball by Villa. Charlton rode their luck again when a threatening Villa attack ended in failure. As the Bloke Beside Me became increasingly tense, Luke Young forged forward and put the ball under the keeper's body to make it 3-0. Lisbie put in an effort but it was off target.

To their credit Villa did not give up and won a corner which was cleared. JLloyd Samuel had escaped the usual booing he receives at The Valley for his desertion, but got his just deserts when he was given a yellow card for bringing down Lisbie. A Fortune error exposed Deano who was out of his goal, but fortunately the ball was cleared. Jeffers put in a superb cross which sizzled across the front of the Villa goal, but unfortunately no Charlton player was able to connect with it. Charlton won a succession of corners. In the middle of this sequence, the hapless Cole was taken off and replaced by Angell, leading to renewed chants suggesting that the Carthorse was an Onanist. Francis Jeffers was taken off to a standing ovation and replaced by Konchesky. Shortly afterwards Lisbie was replaced by El Karkouri and then Hughes replaced Rommedahl. El Karkouri made a good tackle. Villa won four corners in succession, but were unable to make anything of them. O'Leary had an exchange of views with the West Stand crowd.

We weren't back in Leamington until 1.30 a.m., but it was one of those occasions that was well worth the journey and a late night. The local Villa are not much in evidence this morning!

Match analysis

Francis Jeffers experienced what has almost become an established Valley tradition for the first time after the match against Villa when he received the Silver Bone from the paws of match analyst Hooch the Pooch. The two superb strikes by Jeffers clearly merited the award. Deano had a good game, making some vital and excellent saves. Fortune still looks like the weakest link in the team and was under pressure on occasions. Feesh is not the fastest defender in the Premiership, but he coped more than adequately with what was thrown at him. Young scored for the first time to celebrate his 100th appearance with the Addicks, although his attempt at a follow up was less successful. Hreidarsson was on top form again, contributing to both attack and defence. With his return to international duty, Kishishev seems to have recaptured his form and had another excellent match. Murphy is the one new player who seems not to have fully settled into the team and he made some worrying errors, but his game improved as the match went on. Rommedahl once again showed the damage that he can do with his runs forward. Euell had another excellent game, contributing in defence as well as attack. Lisbie was unfortunate not to score and his pace caused problems for the Villa defence. Konchesky was relatively anonymous after he came on. El Karkouri made one decisive intervention after his appearance from the bench and one wonders why Fortune is preferred to him. Hughes did not have much time to show what he could do, but the Bloke Beside Me commented, 'I don't know why but I think that he has the makings of a footballer.'

Juneau the Soccer Cat has given the Hiss of the Match to Carlton Cole who became increasingly frustrated at his inability to score. 'You should have stayed at the Valley' was the ironic chart from the Addickted. No thanks.

Crowd Rating: It may be a case of 'you only sing when you're winning', but I though that the crowd was in good heart from the start of the match. The appearance of inventive chants is always a good sign and I particularly liked 'He only sweats when he's roasting' delivered at the Carthorse. What was a concern was the number of empty seats again: the attendance was lower than that mustered by the Baggies at the Hawthorns. Perhaps success will help to fill the stadium. 8/10.

Senior match analyst Hooch the Pooch thinks that shades give you cred in the press box at an evening match

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Some of my best friends are Villains

Leamington is a hotbed of support for Villa and a number of people I know are season ticket holders at Villa Park. In the 1970s there used to be a line of coaches at the top of the Parade on a Saturday morning to take supporters to home games. The rivalry between Leamington and Coventry undermines support for the Sky Blues, not helped by their mediocre record over the years. Hardly any one supports 'the Blews' who are the Millwall of the Midlands. Of course, Villa are in a team that in some ways have punched below their potential weight over the years and their fans are not slow to blame Doug Ellis for his tight hold on the purse strings.

Villa have been a bit of a bogey team for Charlton. I seem to have seen a succession of poor performances by the Addicks at Villa Park and we lost home and away to them last season. Our historic record against them is not good: Won 13; Drawn 13; Lost 22. Tonight 'Carthorse' Cole has declared his intention of 'shutting the Charlton fans up' by scoring a couple of goals. It may be that Bartlett's injury will lead to him being replaced in the starting line up by Jeffers who has a point to prove and has looked promising in the limited time he has been allowed on the pitch so far.

I had a good curtain raiser last night with Premiership action in the Midland Combination at Harbury Lane. Leamington beat Nuneaton Griff 6-1 and we won the golden goal prize. Griff originated in the Nuneaton Bible Class League and in a crowd of 239 gave a new meaning to the chant 'Is this all you bring away?' as I counted just three away supporters. The only disappointment was that Griff's goal was an own goal scored by our sponsored player, Darren Tank, who is built like one. Anyway, let's hope it's a good omen for tonight, although I think that a draw is on the cards.

Action in front of the North Bank at Harbury Lane

Sunday, August 22, 2004

There's only one Shaka Hislop!

This is what the Addickted chanted after the Pompey goalkeeper let the ball slip from his grasp on 87 minutes to give Charlton a 2-1 victory over Portsmouth at The Valley on August 21st. It was a somewhat uneven performance by the Addicks who gave away possession too easily and often seemed to lack shape with the midfield nowhere in evidence. However, there were some encouraging signs as well and Charlton increasingly dominated the second half, particularly after the belated introduction of the substitutes.

One of the consequences of the introduction of the anodyne Premiership anthem and the handshake between the teams, rightly criticised by Peter Varney in the programme, is that the teams come out of a walking pace which tends to spoil the atmosphere. Apparently this 'innovation' was introduced without any consultation with the clubs.

Charlton started brightly with the Herminator winning a corner on the left, the first of a number of good moves down the wing he was to make. A strike by Murphy required a save on the line from Hislop. Charlton kept up the pressure and good work by Kevin Lisbie set up Rommedahl whose effort was just wide. Kishishev put in a good ball to Euell but he was unable to make use of it. Deano spilled the ball, but fortunately he was not punished as a Portsmouth effort went just wide.

The Herminator won Charlton another corner. Murphy's corner was intercepted by Lisbie but his header hit the croosbar. Euell had a chance but his effort was wide. Lua Lua, who did not always seem to be properly marked, was something of a danger. After 23 minutes Rommedahl put in a cross and Euell celebrated his 100th appearance for the Addicks with a sweet strike into the back of the net that left Hislop stranded.

Charlton won a couple more corners, one after the West Stand linesman was overruled by referee Wiley who had a decent game, and a free kick won by Bartlett was taken by Murphy. Jonathan Fortune found himself too far forward, lost the ball and gifted Portsmouth a corner. Three minutes before the end of the half Deano had to get down to push the ball round the post after Lua Lua had broken through with Young and Kishishev at fault. Lisbie had an effort just before the break which was just wide.

Portsmouth withdrew former Addick Linvoy Primus at half time and replaced him by Matthew Taylor and it was soon clear why they had done this as he showed an ability to forge forward down the wing. Rommedahl fed Murphy but his cross was poor. Luke Young put a good ball in and Rommedahl just failed to connect. The Herminator was brought down on the edge of the area. Murphy provided a good free kick, but it was not productive.

Fortune conceded an unnecessary free kick. Berger pounced on the delivery and put in an incredible high curving ball from 30 yards that left Deano beaten to make it 1-1. My first reaction was 'fluke goal', but in fact it was a very good goal.

Bartlett went down injured and required treatment. Charm merchant Unsworth was given a yellow card for his latest assault on Rommedahl who had a made a forging run forward, but unfortunately the free kick came off a Portsmouth wall modelled on a sea wall and the ball was given away. Nevertheless, Steve from Sidcup felt that this was the turning point in the game with Rommedahl's run lifting the Charlton team. Andy Griffin was pulled off and replaced by John Curtis for Pompey. Lisbie found himself one on one with Hislop and had a chance to score, but he did not take best advantage of the opportunity and Hislop was able to make a save. Redknapp made his last substitution on 75 minutes, taking off Berkovic and bringing on O'Neil. Needless to say, despite the scoreline, Charlton had made no substitutions by this stage.

Luke Young won Charlton a corner and at last there were signs of movement on the bench. Bartlett, who had taken a few knocks, was taken off on 77 minutes and replaced by Jeffers. The Herminator had a free header from the corner, but sent it well over the crossbar. Jeffers may be known as 'the fox in the box', but his first effort for the club was a shot from distance which went over, but not by much. Charlton were looking better and Rommedahl was not too far off target after an Addicks free kick. On 83 minutes Murphy, who had been lacking sharpness for much of the second half, and is perhaps not fully match fit, was replaced by Konchesky.

A free kick by the Herminator way down on the West Stand side was intercepted by Unsworth, but his defensive header was too much for Hislop who let the ball slip under him. Owen Goal had come to Charlton's rescue once again! Rommedahl got a good ovation as he went off to be replaced by El Karkouri. After that it was just a matter of keeping control of the ball until the three points were in the bag. Villa on Wednesday will show what Charlton are really made of, especially with 'Carthorse' Cole determined to show his worth.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Silver Bone for Jason Euell

Match analyst Hooch the Pooch has awarded the first Silver Bone of the season to Jason Euell not just for his well taken goal, but for the passion and determination he showed throughout the match. Although Berger's goal was a good one, Deano might have stretched higher for it and he had one spill as well as an example of kicking out poorly, but he also made some good saves. Feesh could have done with a bit more pace, but generally managed competently. Fortune made a few errors, including getting himself stranded well up the pitch, leaving some question marks about whether he should start in the defensive line up. Hreidarsson had a generally good match both in defence and in terms of moving the ball forward, although he did fail to take advantage of a free header and score and it was evident that he knew it. Young was not prominent in the match, but he made some useful runs forward which helped to set up some good opportunities. Kishishev helped the back four through his role in front of them. He had an error free game and didn't fade in the way that he often does. So although I found it to be a surprising selection, it turned out to be a good one. Tracy from Dartford even suggested him as a Silver Bone candidate. Murphy is a player who still seems to need to settle into the side. He lost the ball a couple of times. On the other hand, perhaps the team has not yet learned how to take full advantage of his clever forward balls. Rommedahl demonstrated amply why we have bought him with his pace unsettling the visitors. Lisbie showed his pace to advantage a few times, but there is no point in feeding high balls to him as he can't make use of them. Bartlett was once again something of a disappointment. When Jeffers came on he showed that he could add value, particularly in terms of a crisp contribution from outside the box. Konchesky added something to Charlton's play when he made his belated appearance, particularly in terms of an ability to keep control of the ball. El Karkouri made a cameo apperance, but at least got his first couple of touches of the ball in a Charlton shirt and very competent touches they looked to.

Juneau the Soccer Cat has awarded the Hiss of the Match to both linos. The one on the West Stand side had to be overruled by referee Wiley while the one on the East Stand side gave a couple of offside decisions just because the Pompey players had called them as such.

Crowd rating A group of Pompey supporters were walking down the Woolwich Road chanting 'Do you ever sing at home?' an hour after the match. In a previous post I suggested that the undiscerning chanting of the Pompey fans was not to be emulated, but a little more liveliness from the Addickted would not have come amiss. 6/10. BTW, I understand that just before the Pompey goal one of their female fans turned and faced their support and exposed her upper half to the crowd. Apparently she was a large lady in more ways than one, but at half time it appeared that she also had a walking stick!

Our full match report will be posted on Sunday morning.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Talking to Tessa

It turned out to be nearer five hours with Tessa and her civil servants. A very interesting discussion with a very sharp woman, although sport did not feature all that much. But at least we had a meeting of minds on South London!

The visitors from Portsea Island

I think that Charlton have played Portsmouth more than any other team. Certainly I can remember some classic clashes from the 1950s when both teams were serious contenders. On one occasion Dickinson presented Sam Bartram with a big cake but I can't remember whether it was because it was Sam's birthday or he had achieved another appearances record. Anyway, it wasn't so long before his retirement.

The current conventional wisdom is that Pompey have 'a great set of supporters'. They are certainly intense and passionate which perhaps comes from living on a densely populated island with a strong naval tradition, although in practice many supporters come in from Havant and elsewhere in Hampshire. However, I found the constant chanting when they were beaten 1-5 at home by Arsenal in the Cup last season somewhat mindless rather than an expression of the depth of their support. It certainly didn't suggest to me an intelligent reading of the game. No doubt we will have a wall of sound that will dominate The Valley tomorrow, aided by the acoustics in the Jimmy Seed. But what really irritates me is that they will probably crowd me out of my pub before the game.

I was surprised to read in the Mercury that Curbs thought thatBartlett and Lisbie were the only players that could be exempted from criticism after last week's defeat. While the defence and the midfield were clearly open to criticism, those who were there that told me that Bartlett and Lisbie ambled around up front waiting for service, although Bartlett did get back to help out in defence which says something about our overall standard of play. Nevertheless, I am optimistic about a convincing victory tomorrow!

This morning I have to spend three hours in a private seminar with Tessa Jowell, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. I can't say too much about as its under 'Chatham House' rules, but it would seem that sport come third on the department's agenda. It seems to be classed as 'entertainment' rather than 'culture', although watching Charlton is often more agonising that entertaining! But there are those who would say that we should not expect football to be entertaining.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

An apology to Forever Charlton users

An apology to Dave Roberts and Forever Charlton users for some problems I have caused on their site this morning. I am not the most IT savvy person in the world and it has taken me a while to get up to speed with the switch from web pages to blogging (I still have to get links sorted despite a lot of help from Inspector Sands). However, I think that I have now got 'blog this' sorted so hopefully there won't be any more problems.

Ten Years Ago

I missed this match because I was on Lake Tahoe in California so once again I am reliant on Colin Cameron's Home and Away with Charlton Athletic. Charlton entertained Barnsley at The Valley in front of a crowd of 8,167, the match ending in a 2-2 draw. Charlton went 2-1 ahead with a goal from Chapple in injury time, but Barnsley equalised thirty-five seconds from the end. Charlton's opener had been scored by David Whyte, Whyte, Whyte after the Addicks had gone 1-0 down on 72 minutes so all the goalmouth action was late in the match. Mike Salmon had to be taken off after 16 minutes after he cut the webbing of his right hand, requiring five stitches. His place in goal was taken by American goalkeeper Mike Ammann. Things were so desperate in those days it was possible to sponsor his socks which I did to give the club a few quid. I think his wife had a considerable knowledge of wine. I wonder where he is now? He went back to the States. Charlton used all their three substitutes for the first time, only the second time this had happened in a league game. Robbo was replaced by the somewhat horizontally challenged Peter Garland (who later played for Dulwich Hamlet) and young Paul Linger came on for Mark Robson. Linger's career was later badly affected after he broke his leg away in a match at Port Fail. I think that he did later play for Welling. Pardew, already auditioning for Grecian 2000 adverts, was booked on 86 minutes. I don't think anyone anticipated his future managerial roles then. Famous Addick John Hewie attended the match. I wonder if he thought we would be an established Premiership club ten years later?

Monday, August 16, 2004

Blogging Progress

I've managed to get a site meter on here now and I have taken advice from Inspector Sands of All Quiet in the East Stand on putting some links on but, as he says, the problem is to work out where the links are in the coding. On the football front, grumbling continues about the team selection made by Curbs on Saturday with suggestions that he should be booted upstairs to become Director of Football. Others are calling for a more attacking style of football, although that can be a risky strategy given the ability of Premiership teams to counter attack rapidly. And our problems on Saturday seemed to be mainly defensive with acres of space for Bolton to roam around in.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Welcome to this blog

At the suggestion of Dave Roberts of Forever Charlton, I have converted Addick's Premiership Diary into a blog format. We will still publish match reports, include analysis from our unrivalled team of dog reporters, but I may also add snippets of gossip and reflections on news at the club from time to time. I am pleased to say that although Homer the Cherry Hound won this week's dog wrestling bouts with Hooch the Pooch, Hooch has been confirmed in the position of senior match analyst as he performed better in the football knowledge and general intelligence tests.