Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Perry, Bothroyd go

The Addickted have reacted with incredulity and disappointment to the news that central defender Chris Perry has left the club. He was solid and reliable last season and most supporters thought that he had another year left in him. However, it may be that he wanted a two year contract rather than a more realistic one year extension. His departure creates an opportunity for Jon Fortune to secure a regular place in the side.

Jay Bothroyd has also been let go by the new regime. His departure will be less lamented by the Addickted. Although impressive in a dead ball situation, he often looked lacklustre and less than fully fit in open play.

A number of members of the board have demonstrated their faith in their club by buying a considerable number of additional shares at 40p each.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

It is Dowie

BBC Sport are stating that Iain Dowie is the new Charlton manager. Les Reed and Mark Robson are the other members of the new coaching set up. Reed is a popular figure at The Valley because of his role in securing Charlton's initial promotion to the Premiership.

Mark Robson is, of course, a former Charlton player. In my study I have a picture from the first Charlton match I sponsored for my 50th birthday when Mark Robson was Man of the Match (although we lost 1-2 to Stoke).

The new supremo promised supporters that the team would attempt to play football with style. He said: 'They want to see me put a side on the pitch who play attractive football and hopefully we'll add to what Alan (Curbishley) brought here.'

Palace tried to serve a writ on Dowie at the press conference claiming that he made fraudulent statements when leaving the club, although he made it clear that Charlton contacted him only after he resigned.

Palace chairman Simon Jordan told Sky Sports News, 'We served the writ on Iain because he does not tell the truth. He fraudulently obtained a release from his contract under misrepresentation. I think it needs to be put in the public domain the level of deceit which has been used. My football club waived compensation because the man said he wanted to go back to the North.'

Jordan's representative burst into the press conference to unveil Dowie as Charlton's new manager and the Palace supremo was unrepentant over the course of events.

'If they had been a little politer at Charlton and let him in and not been so heavy handed, he might have been able to serve it in an orderly fashion,' said Jordan. 'But being Charlton and me being a big fan of them apparently [a reference to a hilarious remark by Richard Murray at the press conference], they did things in a certain way.'

'For the last two-and-a-half years the media has had an inside track on our relationship and it had been reported as fractious. Now with due respect, if you are lied to and somebody is trying to leg you over by getting out of a contract to their own advantage and tells you bare-faced lies, and turns up at the very place he said he wasn't going to go, are you going to be worried about good feeling between yourselves?'

Dowie responded to the news of the writ by saying: 'I'm not going to let it sour a good day for me. If that is what he feels then that is what he feels but it totally misrepresents the conversation I had with Simon and, to be fair, my wife witnessed two hours of it. I know I've got an agreement at home which says it was by mutual consent and I can live with myself, I can look him in the eye so that is all I can do.'

'I'm here to talk about Charlton - this is a club that is doing a lot of great things including investing in African countries to set up a player conveyor belt.(There is) Also fantastic investment in the training ground and what my plans for the club are and we are talking about something that is unnecessary.'

Some of the Addickted have been critical of the football that Palace have played under Dowie, but one has to consider what sort of club it is and the character of its chairman compared with Richard Murray. He achieved a great deal there on limited resources.

Although a staunch supporter of Alan Curbishley, and his kit sponsor for many years, I thought that the time had come to move on. We were getting stale and lacking new ideas. The cautious approach that had helped a club with limited resources to achieva a great deal was starting to be a handicap to further progress. As a result, fans were starting to vote with their feet.

However, it will probably be less than 24 hours before the first whingeing about Dowie starts.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Jase hopes for new lease of life

Jason Euell has recently been linked with Cardiff City but he hopes that the anticipated appointment of Iain Dowie on Tuesday will give his career at The Valley a new lease of life. He told The Times 'A few players like me have a year left on our deals. When a new manager comes in it is a fresh start. We want to try to earn that new deal — if there is to be one.'

Is Jase moonlighting meanwhile? I went to see Julius Caesar at the RST in Stratford on Saturday and the guy playing Mark Antony was a dead ringer for the Charlton striker. He even had a limp which looked like a football injury. Perhaps he had a try out with the Bardsmen aka Stratford Town.

There is still some uncertainty about who Dowie will bring with him as he moves 'up north' closer to the Thames. Les Reed looks as if he will have a coaching role, but it is not clear whether general manager (football) Andrew Mills counts as part of the triumvarite. Initially he was brought in to relieve Richard Murray of some of his responsibilities and to stop the next manager having to spend so much time on Eurostar as Curbs did. In any event it looks like there will be some kind of coaching role for Chris Powell.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Brakes sign Sky Blues striker

While Charlton fans have been waiting for confirmation of the appointment of Iain Dowie, Leamington manager Jason Cadden has not been letting the grass grow under his feet at Harbury Lane. The former hairdresser turned sport scientist has more than one of the best barnets in Midlands non-league football, he also has a good footballing brain.

Now he has swooped for 19-year old former Coventry City striker Ben Mackey. Mackey was the youngest-ever player to turn out for the Sky Blues first team against Ipswich in April 2003 aged 16 years and 167 days (shades of Paul Konchesky). But he failed to secure a regular place in the first team and went on to Walsall and then to Linfield in Ireland. He commented, 'Everything about this club is professional ... I'm excited about coming here.'

Friday, May 26, 2006

Is it Dowie?

The club has announced that Charlton's new three man management team will be revealed at a press conference next Tuesday. Iain Dowie is in pole position, having been shown round Sparrows Lane yesterday afternoon. Accordint to the Daily Mirror the former Palace manager is to be offered a three year contract, no doubt to the chagrin of Simon Jordan.

Dowie will not be allowed to bring his own backroom staff with him which means we will not get his brother who was Director of Football at Palace. It has been suggested that there will be an enhanced role for popular Les Reed, who had much to do with Charlton's original promotion to the Premiership, in the new set up. Others think that Mark Robson will be involved or that Chris Powell may have a role.

According to The Guardian Sammy Lee is the second choice if the Dowie deal falls through. No doubt we will hear a lot from Palace fans about how he is a useless manager and will take us down. However, one has to take account of the fact that he will be working with Richard Murray rather than Simon Jordan and will be backed up by two other good coaches and a generally well run club.

However, Charlton could still spring a surprise. Richard Murray commented, 'I've interviewed more than 20 people for the job, but we're nearly there. Some have been leaked, but not from our end, and the majority haven't.'

Jonathan Fortune has signed a three year extension to his contract.

Chris Coleman in the frame?

There are rumours that Chris Coleman of Fulham may be interviewed for the Charlton vacancy and he has moved up to third in the betting. To bring in another Premiership manager would certainly show ambition. Coleman is bit of a whinger when his team loses, but there is no doubting his managerial skills.

Danny Mills

He has been let go by the Massives with three years on his contract. Would we have him back, particularly if Luke Young left? Probably won't have the chance as Wigan and Sheffield United are said to be interested.

Cory Gibbs

Our new left back won't be featuring in the World Cup and worryingly it looks like a recurrence of an old injury. The USA international, who signed a pre-contract agreement with The Addicks from Feyenoord, sustained a knee injury in an international friendly on Tuesday and has been replaced in Bruce Arena's squad by veteran Gregg Berhalter. Even less Charlton interest in the competition, then.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Greek club in for Rommedahl

Our Athens correspondent, a usually reliable source, reports that his club Paninthanikos are planned to make a bid for Dennis Rommedahl.

The Dane has never really established himself in the Charlton side, although some would blame Alan Curbishley's reluctance to play two wingers for that. However, although he has fantastic pace, he does not always use it to great effect. For me, he has not lived up to his billing, although we will always remember that last minute goal at Selhurst Park.

Elsewhere, out of contract Jason Euell is reported to be wrapping himself in the red dragon and heading for Cardiff City.

Charlton turn down Davies

Rather than Billy Davies turning down Charlton as Radio 5 suggested, it appears that Charlton may have turned down Davies just as they decided not to appoint Peter Taylor.

Preston chairman Derek Shaw has stated that the Addicks contacted him on Thursday morning to inform him they will look elsewhere for a new manager.

'I have been informed this morning by Charlton Athletic that they are "going to move on",' said the North End supremo. 'They will not be pursuing Billy Davies any more and also said they would like to thank PNE for our cooperation and apologise for any disruption to our Club.'

The Invincibles chairman continued, 'I would like to thank Charlton for their professionalism in this matter, as I feel that everything has been done via the book.'

This might seem a case of step forward Iain Dowie. But if Sammy Lee is still in the frame, I would prefer him. There is still a possibility of Phil Parkinson, given that he has expressed his disappointment at not being allowed to talk to Charlton. Even Danny Walden might think that he still has an outside chance. Curbs has not proved easy to replace.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Preston urge early decision

Preston chairman Derek Shaw has urged Charlton to make an early decision about whether they want Billy Davies as manager. Whether or not he has been offered the job remains unclear, but the Invincibles chairman insists the matter must be resolved quickly for the sake of all parties involved.

The chairman of the North End club told the Lancashire Evening Post, 'It is not good for the club or the supporters for it to be dragging on day after day - we need to know what we are doing. We want this matter resolving [sic] as soon as possible.'

Shaw stated, 'Like everyone else I am waiting to hear what is going on - but even I do not know if he has been offered the job at Charlton or not. We know he met them on Monday and that is all. I spoke to him early on Tuesday after he had returned from London and what he told me was very similar to what he said in his statement.'

'Of course it is frustrating, very frustrating. Of course we would like to get it sorted out as soon as possible. But we have not given Billy a deadline - and it is less than 48 hours since he went to see Charlton.'

'All he has told us is he is thinking over certain things from the meeting he had with them. He is talking with his family and deciding the next move. We will all know in due course, but obviously the sooner the better from our point of view.' (And from the viewpoint of the Addickted). Charlton are understood to be keen to make an announcement by the end of this week.

All I can say is that I hope that Billy Boy didn't get as tough a grilling as I got in an in camera session of a Commons committee in the Thatcher Room this afternoon! Anyone know if the Tower is on line? :-)

Fortune thinks about his future

Addicks defender and Academy graduate Jonathan Fortune is thinking over a new contract offer from the club. The defender made just seven Premiership starts last season and has been rumoured to be attracting interest from several clubs, including Sheffield United, Bolton and Manchester City.

As always, views about him among the Addickted differ, but he is at the very least a useful squad player. He has an ability to score goals when they are needed, not least in the fixture that relegated Crystal Palace.

Fortune, 25, is deciding what to do the club's offer, while contract talks are still continuing with Chris Powell (believed to include a coaching role), Chris Perry (Mr Solidity) and (more surprisingly) dead ball specialist Jay Bothroyd. Perhaps any contract issued to him might include a fitness clause.

Springbok Shaun Bartlett is leaving the club along with JJ, while Jeffers is seeking another venue.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Davies interview goes well

Billy Davies's interview at The Valley today seems to have gone well according to this report from BBC Sports and hopefully he may be coming to us:


Elsewhere the Barcodes are reported to have expressed an interest in Darren Bent whom they think they can get for £6m!

Player news

Wayne Routledge has bought a house in Kent and is being linked with a move to Charlton. As one of the Addickted commented, 'Typical. A player Spurs don't want and we don't need.'

Kevin Lisbie, still in contract, gave a talk on 'motivational skills' at Greenwich College. Apparently it was no more of a success than his shots on goal.

There are rumours that Danny Murphy is disgruntled with being a bench warmer at Spurs and may move to Wigan. Great for the A-list events.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Dowie leaves Palace

Iain Dowie has left Crystal Palace by mutual consent having failed to regain what they (but not many others) would regard as their rightful place in the Premiership. He is reported to have had a falling out with Palace chairman Simon Jordan.

Dowie's destination is unclear. There is some support among the Addickted for him coming to The Valley, but not that much. Many regard Palace's play this season as uninspiring with too much reliance on getting the ball to Andy Johnson. There are also questions about how good a motivator Dowie is.

Dowie is said to be planning to speak to Charlton about their managerial vacancy, although that does not fit with the line about returning north to be with the family. Jordan, who has expressed his wish to kick Richard Murray in the backside, not surprisingly recommends against it, and says: 'I would be disappointed if Iain were to turn up at Charlton. He understands my view. I have made this situation far less acrimonious than it could have been.'

He could go to Preston if Billy Davies comes to Charlton, but the Tractors have also expressed interest. At least he would feel at home in a club which have a track record of just failing to get out of the Championship.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Addicks chase Sidwell

A number of Sunday papers are carrying stories that the Addicks are planning to sign highly rated Reading midfielder Steve Sidwell. We tried to sign him last summer but the story then was that the Royals player was 'out of contact' on his honeymoon in Mauritius.

According to the Sunday Mirror we look set to clinch the deal for a knockdown £2.5million fee. The former Arsenal reserve, voted the best player outside the Premiership 12 months ago, is valued at around £5m. However, Charlton hope to trigger a get-out fee rumoured to be written into Sidwell's Royals contract, something that Reading have huffily refused to discuss, suggesting that it does exist.

Most of the Addickted seem to feel very positive about the news. It also shows that the lack of a manager is not stopping us going after good prospects. Perhaps a time for a little optimism?

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Luke Young out of World Cup

Charlton right back and captain Luke Young has been forced to withdraw from his standy position in England's World Cup squad. He suffered an ankle injury in the goalless draw at West Ham at the beginning of April. Once he began training with England in Portugal, it became evident that the injury had not fully cleared up. The news will be a blow to the five times capped international even though he might not have made the final cut.

Davies to sign on Monday?

According to The Times 'Billy Davies is expected to be paraded as the new manager of Charlton Athletic on Monday. The Preston North End manager will hold more talks with the South London [sic] club over the weekend with a view to signing a four-year deal that could be worth as much as £2 million.' Davies describes himself as 'an ambitious manager.' The report also claims that Charlton decided to go for Davies after Wigan's Paul Jewel turned them down.

In South London Ian Dowie is tipped as the replacement for Davies at Preston. This would then leave a vacancy for Mick McCarthy who lives in nearby Bromley. Pleeese!

Colchester refused permission for their manager Phil Parkinson to speak to Charlton. Permission was also refused for him to speak to the Tractors and the Rams. The Oystermen stated, 'Whilst recognising Mr Parkinson must have ambition for the future, it is vital that we look to retain him for the future interest of everyone connected with Colchester United at this crucial stage.' A rare case of a manager being required to adhere to his contract.

Elsewhere, ambituous young manager Marcus Law has stormed out of Racing Club Warwick, despite the promise of a new double decker stand, leaving no one holding the reins at the Gee Gees. Should Charlton have been interested, they would have faced competition from Quorn and Evesham United.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Billy Davies to be interviewed

Preston boss Billy Davies, 42, is to be interviewed for the managerial vacancy at Charlton. Permission was granted somewhat reluctantly after Charlton made a phone call yesterday.

Preston chairman Derek Shaw said: 'After discussing it with Billy we agreed permission would be granted and he will meet with Charlton on Monday.'

Davies has been in charge at Deepdale since August 2004 and led the club to the Championship play-offs in both his seasons at the helm.

As a player he started his career in the academy at Glasgow Rangers and then spent a year with IF Elsborg in Sweden. His twenty year career included spells at St. Mirren, Leicester City and Dunfermline before ending his playing days at Motherwell.

At Motherwell he became one of the youngest ever managers in the SPL, taking the club to the brink of European football. He won the Manager of the Month award three times.

Most of the Addickted would probably regard him as a better choice than Peter Taylor or the likes of Mick McCarthy. He has shown that he is a motivator and has the ability to work within a constrained budget.

Sammy Lee is latest in frame

According to the Dauly Mirror Sammy Lee is the latest candidate for the Charlton managerial vacancy. It is claimed that the former Liverpool player has left his duties as SGE's assistant at the England training camp in Portugal and flown back to England for a secret rendez-vous somewhere in London.

Lee worked under Gerard Houllier and Liverpool officials desperately wanted to retain him when the Frenchman stood down. However he decided it would be best to break free and he's currently working with Sam Allardyce at Bolton.

The way things are going Danny Walden may yet stand a chance.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Tiger Taylor pulls out

Peter Taylor has pulled out of the race to succeed Alan Curbishley at The Valley. The Hull City supremo told BBC Radio Humberside, 'Every day I've thought about it, thinking that my heart is not in it. My heart is staying with Hull City.'

'When you get that gut feeling, I think you should stay put.' Revealed as a Tiger through and through, Taylor said, 'I'm very proud of what's been achieved at Hull, and I still think there's more we can do and it's a great football club.'

The prospective appointment of Taylor had hardly excited the Addickted, but there is probably even less enthusiasm for Mick McCarthy who now moves into the frame with the chance to relegate a team from the Premiership two years running. He is Bromley based, which would save on relocation expenses, but as one Addick remarked, perhaps he should manage Bromley.

Also back in the frame is Colchester's Phil Parkinson, although he has also been considered at Derby County.

Taylor: it's not a done deal

Any of the Addickted who have been rehearsing their chants of 'Peter Taylor's Barmy Army' may have been a little premature.

Our new general manager (football), Andrew Mills, has denied mounting speculation that Hull City’s Peter Taylor has already been handed the job of succeeding Alan Curbishley with Ray Wilkins as his assistant. However, Mills would not deny that the former Dover boss was on the short list.

There has been speculation that Taylor’s chances have been strengthened by the fact that his agent, Billy Jennings, once employed Mr Mills who is a former director of Premiership Management plc, a leading football agency.

One press report has Mick McCarthy being interviewed today (lives locally) while odds on Preston's Billy Davies have shortened to 3-1. This seems strange as it appears that he is going to Hearts while he has also been interviewed by Derby County. All this goes to show is that good managers are in short supply and there is stiff competition for them.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Our season as seen by Sky Sports

An interesting external view on our season is provided by Sky Sports - I have added some comments of my own in square brackets:

The Addicks had another up and down season with some glorious highs and some
disappointing lows and finished the season in 13th place. All this was frustrating after the dazzling start the club enjoyed as they sat second in the table after half a dozen games.

Charlton's early away from was excellent, while they stuttered a little at home, but this all changed at the turn of the year when they embarked on an excellent unbeaten run at The Valley but did not win any of their 11 road trips in 2006.

Only five teams scored fewer goals than Charlton and the Addicks would have struggled even more but for the 18 strikes contributed by new signing Darren Bent. Despite being the top scoring English-born forward in The Premiership, Bent was omitted from England's World Cup squad.

Only four teams had a worse shooting accuracy than Charlton who hit the target with just 39 percent of their attempts. Together with the fourth-lowest tally of shots, this wayward shooting contributed heavily to a lack of goals for the Addicks.

Defensively, Charlton did not do too badly, but often conceded several goals in the same match - 11 teams scored three or more goals against The Addicks in a single game.

One thing the new manager will be looking to address is Charlton's below par passing. [Some of the Addickted, somewhat unfairly, call this the 'Kishishev effect'] Only five teams gave the ball away more often than the Londoners who completed just 71 percent of their distribution and only one team in the top flight attempted fewer crosses than the 682 Curbishley's team fired over.

Charlton did finish top of one particular category and that was points dropped from winning positions. No team in the league dropped fewer. Charlton gave up just three points from games where they got ahead over the course of the season, which bodes well for the team to be inherited by a new manager. They won 13 out of the 14 games where they got ahead, but on the other hand, they only recouped eight points from games where they fell behind.

Charlton were also slow starters, scoring just three goals in the opening 15 minutes of matches, but they were particularly susceptible just after half-time. [Sort out the tea]. No team conceded a higher number of goals this season than the
Londoners in the 15 minute period after the break.

Only one side picked up fewer yellows than the 45 Charlton accrued and The Addicks were one of the cleanest teams in the league overall. [Perhaps we're too nice for our own good as the Fair Play League is a bit of a lottery].

Taylor interview this morning?

The Yorkshire Post is claiming that Peter Taylor will be interviewed by the Charlton board this morning in their quest for a younger man as manager. However, there is no point in locals staging a stakeout given the range of possible venues - The Valley, Sparrows Lane and the Bexleyheath offices, not to mention Richard Murray's company office or more exotic locations such as the Swallow Hotel or the Holiday Inn Express (hopefully not interrupted by gunfire in the foyer).

Taylor referred to the specific attractions of the Charlton position to him: 'I have still got a house in Southend [some reports suggest Benfleet which is more naff], my daughter still lives there, and it has been hard at times for my wife to be away from our friends and family. We go back on a regular basis at weekends and Adam Pearson [the Hull chairman with whom he seems to have had a fallout] has been brilliant in that respect. But, at the same time, we really enjoy living in Ferriby.' Hmm.

Will he be in place by the weekend?

Brakes return home empty handed

Leamington travelled back down the M6 from Walsall's Bescot Stadium last night without the Polymac Services League Cup having gone down 3-1 to Barwell. This was in spite of the fact that we beat them 4-0 at their ground (essentially in a suburb of Hinckley) near the end of the season. However, Brakes played well below their best and perhaps the fact that the match was postponed from last week meant that we had lost some of our sharpness. Tommo has certainly put on some weight. We did get back in the game at 2-1, but then Barwell were awarded a rather dubious penalty.

I was amused to hear that Boro are going after El Tel as their manager. Even though Peter Taylor doesn't excite me very much, at least he isn't El Tel or Hoddle.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Taylor odds shorten

51 per cent of Hull City fans now believe that they will lose their manager to Charlton, according to a fans website. It states: 'Peter Taylor has denied applying for the job himself but instead waited to see if Charlton would approach him. It seems that they have and now Pearson and Taylor have both been ready to discuss terms with the club.'

Taylor's last spell managing a Premiership club, Leicester City, was far from a success, but his experience as England Under 21 coach should be a help, particularly in spotting likely signings. In any event, whether it is Taylor or someone else, it would be nice to have a whinge free period last longer than 48 hours.

Phil Parkinson seemed to be favoured at one point, but has been linked with the vacancy at Ipswich. At least we will not be landed with Danny Walden from Whitnash Town who resigned from the hot seat at Acre Road after a bad string of defeats ended with a 3-1 defeat by Christ the King, leading the departing supremo to claim 'It's not the results'.

Remember we will be the only Charlton blog bringing you all the action tomorrow night from the Bescot Stadium where Leamington face Barwell in the final of the Polymac Services League Cup. Reports suggest that the Leicestershire club have so far got 27 fans coming.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

'Pool in for Bent

Newspaper reports suggest that Liverpool would be prepared to offer £12m for Charlton striker Darren Bent. Presumably any decision would not be made until the new Charlton manager has been appointed from the mystery short list, but many of the Addickted reckon that the bidding should start at £14m.

West Ham remain interested in Luke Young and losing both this players would not be good news for next season.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Manager's job attracts wide range of candidates

With the closing date for applications for the job of Charlton manager tomorrow, there has been considerable speculation about who might be in the frame. In fact, the job has attracted a very wide range of interesting candidates and we can reveal details of three of them.

Has the time come for a manager from elsewhere in the Solar System? This Martian thinks so after he was alerted to the job by his cousin Graham Poll. By telling the players to assume they were operating under Mars gravity, misdirected passes would suddenly become accurate. There is no problem about methane breathing apparatus as it is already in place at The Valley for the use of referees. Would have to live in Tring.

Dave Draper, former director of football at Midland Alliance club, Leamington thinks the time has come for him to step up a level. Formerly assistant manager at Nuneaton Borough, he says, 'I have seen the right way to do it and the wrong way to do it.' Places great store by players being 'booted and suited' before matches. His USP is that he lives in Priors Marston where the former Charlton owners, the Glikestens, once lived. Comes with own coat without additional charge.

The club is apparently not interested in a foreign manager, but Franz Fischler thinks he could be the man for the job. He would be uniquely placed to sort out the problems with European competition policy that have exercised Richard Murray. Currently manager of Goatherders of Alpenstuck, he has pushed attendances into double figures with half time yodelling competitions.

So, farewell then, Merv and Keithie

Keith Peacock and Mervyn Day have left the club by mutual consent, completing a clear out of the managerial structure. Peacock may have some future role at the club. As a Charlton legend, he would certainly be a popular host in the lounges and his experience would equip him well for scouting duties.

Merv has never been popular with the Addickted, although quite why this should be the case is far from clear. Personally I did not like his animated touchline instructions which either are ignored by players or distract them.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Poison chef unmasked

Following the shock news that historic double victors Spurs, a team strengthened by the presence of Danny Murphy, have been denied their rightful place in Europe by a dastardly plot, the hunt was on for the chef who poisoned their food. A suspect has now been unmasked:

No Addicks in World Cup squad

No Addicks will be going to Germany in the World Cup squad. Untried 17-year old Arsenal striker Theo Walcott is favoured in front of Darren Bent (and Judas Defoe who is on standby). Luke Young is not included either, but he does make the standby list along with Palace's Johnson.

The fear must be that this will encourage Young and Bent to pursue their careers at a bigger club and overshadows signing US international Gibbs from under the noses of Boro.

Corey Gibbs will be the first Ivy Leaguer to play for Charlton, being a graduate of Brown University where he played for four years for the Brown Bears.

Joanna slags off Curbs

Joanna Taylor, the wife of Spurs bench warmer (even when there is food poisoning) Danny Murphy, reveals in her column in The Times today that she unsubscribed from her Charlton news service and subscribed to the Spurs one while on holiday in Dubai.

Having shared this thrilling news wuth us, she then lets fly at Curbs: 'He managed to be pretty graceless and snide about Danny's departure, but I suppose it's different when the boot is on the other foot. I don't know if he has a job lined up anywhere, but I can tell you I have not lost any sleep over it.'

Charlton's 13th place will give them £3,879,688 in prize money, nearly £1 million less than if they had finished in 11th place as happened last year. Either Charlton or Wigan will enter the draw for the Fair Play place in the Uefa Cup.

Addick's Premiership Diary

Addick's Premiership Diary The final curtain

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The final curtain

Even the tireless Paul May did not make it to Manchester today to see what Lauro had earlier predicted as 'a routine win' for the Salford Red Sox. The scale of the defeat was disappointing, although I had predicted 4-1 in our pub competition. Inquests are fruitless as we shall have a new manager and a reconstructed squad next season.

We finished up two places lower but with one point more than last season. Leaving aside our relegation season, there is a consistency about many of our Premiership performances: we have now occupied the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th spots. We came 9th in our first season after automatic promotion when we were something of a surprise package and 7th in our best season, although even then a failure to win in the last match against Southampton could have seen us in the lower half of the table.

After a season which started with so much promise and ended with so much disappointment, are there are any good memories? Here are mine:

1. The 2-1 away victory at West Brom. In the first half we played as well as I have seen a Charlton team play for many a year, fluent passing, controlling the game. Things turned sour the next week when we lost at home to Spurs. As Valley View has pointed out, this led Curbs to stop playing expansive football and revert to a more cautious game.

2. Beating Chelsea away in the Carling Cup. I know that Mourinho claims that we didn't win, but it felt good at the time.

3. Beating the Irons 2-0 at home on New Year's Eve, a result that looks even better in retrospect.

4. The 2-0 home win against Liverpool. 'I was so looking forward to tonight', moaned a London Scouser at the station afterwards.

4. Beating Brentford 3-1 at home in the FA Cup. I know they are only League 1, but they were so cocky beforehand about how they were going to win.

5. Winning the women's league cup. Not a big deal for many people, but we were surrounded by cocky Gooners expecting an easy win who were soon deflated.

6. The 3-1 win against Newcastle which was one of our best performances in the second half of the season.

7. Having a 20+ goals a season striker back at The Valley in Darren Bent.

Not much of a list, I know, but there's always next season to look forward to. And I have tomorrow night to enjoy when the Brakes take on Barwell at the Bescot Stadium in the final of the Polymac Services League Cup which should hopefully see the silverware heading back to Leamington.

Charlton linked with US international

Charlton have been linked with US international (17 caps) Cory Gibbs. The 26 year old can play central defence or left back, somewhere where we need someone. He is currently with Feyenoord, but hails from Fort Lauderdale in Florida.

It would seem odd to sign someone before the new manager is in place, but there may be a need to sign him before the World Cup and there is certainly a need for a left back.

On the manager front Motherwell manager Terry Butcher, favoured by some of the Addickted, has been invited to manage Sydney FC in Australia.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Ten years ago: agonies of suspense

At the end of the 1995-6 season a faltering Charlton faced two vital matches in their efforts to secure a play off place as the season drew to a close.

On 30th April they faced Tranmere Rovers in a home evening game at The Valley. There were so few Tranmere fans that they were placed in a small cordoned off section at one end of the West Stand.

My notes recall, 'We started well enough, but it soon fell apart, leaving aside a good few minutes before half time. Second half wasn't much better and it was only thanks to Petterson that we got a 0-0 draw.'

On Sunday May 5th we faced lowly Wolves at home. 'Plagued by useless bald git of a referee who turned out to be hopeless again. We started quite well and eventually Leaburn scored with a header, but Wolves got a cracking goal back. After that it was a case of plenty of scoring opportunities, but none of them successfully taken.'

'Agonies of suspense at the end, players sunk in despair on the pitch, rumours sweeping the crowd, people from other rows shouting messages. Then it was confirmed that the 0-0 draw at Ipswich meant that Millwall were down and we were in the play offs.'

Of course, we lost home and away to Palace in the play offs. But where are Palace today? Unsuccessfully trying to get out of the second tier through the play offs.

How Green Was My Valley

Excellent article in The Independent on the Curbs era with one by a Charlton fan as well:


I've just heard fans of new Championship side Colchester asking Charlton to keep their hands off Phil Parkinson!

A relaxed Curbs

Photo credit: Kap Varma

Curbs was in as relaxed a mood as anyone has ever seen him at Thursday's kit sponsors' evening at The Valley, although he said that it felt 'strange' to be leaving the club. He dealt patiently with the long queue of autograph hunters as his ate his dinner. His plans include a holiday in Italy with wife Carol. He has made no decisions about his future.

Murray not happy with FA

Richard Murray made clear in an interview with Radio 5 that he has not happy with the way that the FA handled the selection of the England manager (not that anyone is). He told Radio 5 that the way it had been done had led to people taking their eye off the ball and as a consequence Charlton had suffered. The club had lost points as a result and in the Premiership points meant money.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Phil's the man claims Standard

Colchester boss Phil Parkinson is Charlton's No.1 target to succeed Alan Curbishley according to the Evening Standard. The authoritative London paper reports, 'Parkinson has emerged as the surprise first choice of the Charlton board after taking the League One club to the verge of promotion to the Championship.'

'Parkinson is seen as a direct replacement as he has a similar managerial and playing style.' (Wasn't the idea to have a change of direction?) The Standard draws attention to Colchester's confident performance against Chelsea in the Cup (whilst failing to mention their 9-1 drubbing of Leamington). Parkinson has more than a year left on his contract so the Oystermen would receive compensation.

The Standard also reveals the good news that Charlton's interest in Glenn Hoddle has faded after his contract at Wolves was renewed despite their failure to gain promotion.

Charlton will not make any announcement until after next Wednesday when all the applications from cranks (Acworth anyone?) attracted by the advert in the Daily Mail is considered.

I have never been keen on the idea of a League 1 manager being brought to The Valley as I feel that it would send out the wrong signals about the club's ambitions. He might be able to spot bargains, but could he attract top quality players? But at the end of the day I trust the good judgement of the board.

Jordan: I'd like to kick Murray in the backside

The dislike of Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan for Charlton is well known, but now he has told 4-4-2 magazine that he would like to kick inoffensive Addicks chairman Richard Murray in the backside.

The charm merchant said, 'I'd like to give the Charlton chairman a kick in the ****. I don't like him because of certain comments that were made to me on the day we were relegated at The Valley - he knows what they were.' A somewhat different version has circulated in Charlton circles which alleges that the conduct of the visiting Eagles left something to be desired.

Elsewhere in the issue, Gianluca Vialli, who lives in London, indicates his interest in coaching a Premiership club. Of any interest to the Addickted? Particularly as a director of football for a younger manager?

Blue Tide Sweeps Away Rickster

The official residence of the Mayor of Welling

They will be taking the Charlton memorobilia down from the walls of Welling Town Hall today after Councillor Rick Everitt lost his seat on Bexley Council. The former Valley Party activist was swamped by the blue tide that swept across London.

The Rickster polled 860 votes, 374 votes behind the least successful Conservative. He came second among the Labour candidates, suggesting that there was perhaps of a less Charlton effect when he was first elected.

Elsewhere in Bexley former Charlton supporters' director Wendy Perfect lost her seat in St.Michael's Ward. The Orange Juice party was not successful in any ward.

The defeat has its bright side as it should give Rick more time to develop the Valley Express service, affectionately known as the Rickshaw

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Sky Blues overwhelm Brakes

There's a big gap between Step 5 of the non-league pyramid and the Championship and Leamington don't usually have to face the likes of Adebola, Scowcroft and McSheffrey at Harbury Lane. But Coventry City started with a team made up of ten first team regulars (the exception being the keeper) in tonight's Mayoral Cup contest at The New Windmill Ground in front of a crowd of 971.

Leamington started competitively with one shot sizzling past the Sky Blue's post and Leon Morgan almost scoring. But Sky Blues began to dominate and McSheffrey opened the scoring on 20 minutes, followed two minutes later by Andrew Morrell. Adebola made it 3-0 before the break.

With their eyes on next Monday's Polymac Services League Cup final at the Bescot Stadium, Brakes were depleted with Morton Titterton rested and Josh Blake booted and suited. Clunesie and Tommo did their best against overwhelming odds with Jon Adams the best player for the home side.

Sky Blues added two more after the break with the cup heading back to the three spires.

Curbs: I was close to tears

In a long interview in today's Daily Express Alan Curbishley states: 'I'll miss Charlton. They have been my life for so long and I've loved every minute. On Saturday when I was applauded on the pitch, it was a total surprise. I am usually able to hold my emotions but I was close to tears.'

'I want to thank the fans but I was so choked up on Saturday I don't think I paid enough tribute. Some of them pulled up weeds out of the pitch in preparation for our move back to the Valley in 1992.

Curbs confirms that Richard Murray thought that one year left on his contract was not sufficient and extending was not the right thing to do for him. He could not even guarantee he would stay another year. The decision was made for the best of the club which 'needs fresh legs and fresh ideas.' But 'That's going to be hard.'

He recalled, 'Two years ago I thought I had built my best team when we finished seventh. Then we lost Scott Parker to Chelsea.'

'This year we started so well, at one stage we were second, and things were going great. But Danny Murphy defected to Spurs and then Alexi Smertin went back to Russia. I was upset. But what could we at Charlton do about it? Very little.'

'There's talk that other clubs will be in for both Luke Young and Darren Bent. I always say that if that happens we'll just get on with it because a club like Charlton is always at the mercy of those with millions to splash out. But that does not lessen the disappointment.'

Curbs talks about the impact of the job on family life. 'Because of the person I am I have given the job everything I have and in the process missed my children, Clare and Michael, growng up. They are 21 and 18 now, and I'll never get that time back again.'

Curbs says he is delighted to be having a rest. He looks forward to having more time to watch rugby, noting that he and his wife Carol are big Wasps fans. They might also see The Who in concert.

Looking to the future, he poses the question. 'How long will I take off? I don't know. I can't see myself being at another club come August. But who knows ...'

The Express reckons that Charlton are in a race with Newcastle for Fulham's Chris Coleman, naming Glenn Hoddle (no!) and Steve Coppell as other candidates.

Sources close to the club still reckon that Phil Parkinson is still in the running, but we could surely do better than a League 1 manager, however good his record at that level. Would he be able to attract and retain players of the quality we want?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Coppell linked with Addicks

The Currant Bun is saying Charlton want Steve Coppell to take over from Alan Curbishley. Apparently, the Reading boss has still not signed a contract with the Royals, despite leading them into the Premiership this season for the first time in their history. To me this suggests that he is biding his time to get the best contract and a few rumours about other clubs won't do his cause no harm.

The Sun argues that Coppell’s quiet personality fits Charlton’s profile perfectly (although some fans have demanded 'more passion') and claims that the
Addicks are already believed to have sounded him out about joining them. Reading chairman John Madejski has told pals he fears Coppell will quit in the summer and has already lined up Colchester boss Phil Parkinson as his replacement. So Parkinson is in the frame for Charlton and Colchester!

What is evident from reading the list and listening to Charlton Plus is that there is little consensus among the Addickted about who the new boss should be (Inspector Sands at All Quiet in the East Stand has produced a useful guide to the candidates) or might be.

The one candidate who receives universal condemnation, and rightly so, is Hoddle. George Graham has a few supporters, but some equally strong opponents. George Burley has been presented as Mr Integrity but it has been pointed out that the way he moved from Colchester to Ipswich hardly fits that description.

Mick McCarthy has been mentioned, largely it seems on the grounds that he lives at Bromley and has been seen at The Valley, but then so has Tord Grip, indeed he was actually on the pitch. However, some see McCarthy as someone who would get us relegated (incidentally, a feat that Redfearn has achieved again at Scarborough).

Mark Bowen attracted some interest, but it was pointed out that we need someone with experience as a coach as well as a manager. So what can probably say with some confidence is that the successful candidate will be none of the above.