Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Times hedges its bets on Charlton

The Times has hedged its best on Charlton's season saying that Iain Dowie could provide a much needed wake up call, but also drag the Addicks into a relegation battle.

The paper portrays Iain Dowie as a new broom that will 'sweep away the gathering cobwebs of the closing months of Alan Curbishley's reign. It had all gone stale at The Valley but Dowie's up-and-at 'em style should shake the players out of their slumber. About time, too.'

The Sidwell saga appears to be dragging on for ever with it being suggested that the Addicks could make a renewed offer for the Reading midfielder, although there would be competition from Manchester City. Also in the frame are Scott Chipperfield of FC Basle, Matt Oakley (at one time at Southampton) and France under-20 striker Garra Dembélé.

The Times thinks that keeping Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink motivated will be a key to success. Charlton 'could get dragged into a relegation battle if Dowie's motivational skills do not transfer to the bigger stage.' You don't have to be a genius to work that one out.

My plane from Japan on Sunday came up the north bank of the Thames. And, there, glittering in the sunshine like a beacon was The Valley. Let's hope it's a good omen for the season ahead.


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