Saturday, September 30, 2006

Charlton play well, get nothing

Charlton are bottom of the Premiership tonight after an added on time goal scored by Sheffield United against Middlesbrough. Earlier, the Addicks had played well against Arsenal, but had gone down to a 2-1 defeat, Darren Bent's early goal cancelled out by two by van Persie, the latter a candidate for goal of the season.

Charlton were done no favours by referee Mark Clattenburg who had an appalling game marked by a blizzard of yellow cards. He dealt with van Persie's off the ball assault on Hasselbaink with a yellow card and ignored what was a clear handball in the box by Gallas.

Charlton fans should not be downhearted by this performance. We played as well as we have done this season and if we can maintain that standard against lesser teams than Arsenal, Premiership survival should not be a problem.

The match started rather tentatively with Arsenal playing the ball around at the back and ten minutes passed before Charlton launched their first real attack. Hreidarsson received a yellow card for a foul on charm merchant Hleb, but van Persie blasted the resultant free kick well over the bar to the jeers of the Covered End.

Hreidarsson turned provided with a header but Bent had little time to control the ball and shot wide. Henry showed his magic with a turn just in front of goal with the resultant shot going just over the bar. Lisbie messed up a chance, conceding a throw in.

Hreidarsson released Hasselbaink on the right and the striker selflessly crossed the ball to Bent who had an open goal in front of him to put the ball in the back of the net. The Gooners complained that it was offside, but Arsene Wenger had the grace to admit afterwards that it wasn'y.

A trip on Lisbie was ignored by the referee and Arsenal won a corner, but the shot went over. Van Persie went for Hasselbaink off the ball, it should have been red, but the referee contented himself with a yellow.

An angled ball was then played from near the goal line to an area on the other side of goal clear of Charlton defenders, allowing the lurking van Persie to score and make it 1-1.

Hasselbaink received a yellow card. An Arsenal corner was well defended by the striker with a header. Darren Bent was breaking away, but was penalised for colliding with an Arsenal player who was trying to obstruct him. A Bent header went wide. Fabregas received a yellow card for a blatant trip.

A poor kick by Reid allowed Arsenal to win a corner which was punched out by Carson.

Half time: Addicks 1, Gooners 0

Faye was replaced by Kishishev at the beginning of the half. Lisbie drew a save. Then on 49 minutes an angled cross from Eboue found van Persie who scored a phenomenal goal from distance.

Hasselbaink won the ball and drew a save. Carson made a save. The keeper then created danger by playing the ball out to Fortune who wasn't expecting it or ready for it, showing a lack of understanding between keeper and defender.

Kishishev then drew a save which led to a Charlton corner, followed by a second which was disappointingly poor. Arsenal then won a couple of corners at the other end. Arsenal won a free kick near the corner flag but it was cleared.

Lisbie beat two Arsenal players but then his shot into the box was intercepted by the hand of Gallas, but all Charlton got was a corner. After Hughes had won a free kick after a late tackle by Toure, Lehmann went down and demanded treatment, contrasting with the determination of Lisbie to stay on when he was felled in the first half. Lehmann spilled the free kick at the expense of a Charlton corner which he caught.

Arsenal were awarded a free kick against Kishishev but Hreidarsson headed it out. van Persie was replaced by Rosicky and Charlton brought on Ambrose in place of Reid.

Hughes put in a good pass to Hasselbaink at the far post. It was a golden opportunity to make it 2-2, but his header went just wide.

At the other end Carson made a good save at the expense of a corner and then another good save from Rosicky who had burst through. Charm merchant Hoyte got a yellow card for time wasting.

Carson save from Henry and the ball was then cleared by a defender. A Charlton free kick was poorly taken and wasted. Kishishev received a yellow card for a foul. Charlton continued to battle, but failed to make the breakthrough.

Bryan Hughes went up to Clattenburg at the end of the match to give him his views about his refereeing, but Dowie ushered him away. There have now been three matches where we played well enough to get a point (Chelsea, Portsmouth, Arsenal) which would have taken us out of the danger zone. I am far from despondent, indeed I have been heartened by most of our performances.

Match analysis

Match analyst Monty Martin considered that it was good all round team performance by Charlton and hence awarded the Silver Bone to manager Iain Dowie to show that we are keeping the faith and have respect for the way in which he has tried to freshen up the side. Scott Carson made some great saves which kept the score line respectable. El Karkouri had one of his better games as did Fortune who was more composed than usual. Young was perhaps not as evident as he is in some games, having few chances to advance forward. Hreidrasson was perhaps a little subdued after his early yellow card, but generally played well. Faye was impressive and his disappearance at half time can only have been because of injury. Hughes had a rather a good game, making some good passes, including one that Hasselbaink should have scored from. Reid was energetic and committed, but his lack of match fitness sometimes showed. Lisbie is the target for some derision, but this performance showed that he is perhaps better played as a winger than a striker. He showed some real skill in outwitting Arsenal players. Hasselbaink was provider for Bent's goal, but otherwise had little impact on the game. Bent took his goal well, and was generally impressive. He missed a golden chance to equalise towards the end of the game. Kishishev battled away after he came on and even had an attempt on goal. Ambrose made little impact when he came on.

Hiss of the Match Juneau the Soccer Cat asked her sister Amber to help her give a double power hiss to referee Mark Clattenburg supposedly one of the hopes of Premiership refereeing who turned in a very poor performance.

Crowd rating: Very quiet for a lot of the game, although they livened up when we were fighting for an equaliser. 3/10.

New stadium shock

Buried away in Peter Varney's programme notes is an announcement that Charlton may consider moving away from The Valley, although it must be emphasised that such a shift of venue remains unlikely even though the Valley stadium extensions have been put in hold.

The context is the board's decision to put on hold the East Stand re-development for a variety of reasons including cost, pushed up by higher steel prices to £20m and planning uncertainties surrounding the south stand. Faltering attendances are not mentioned.

However, another factor was that 'The board was also made aware that there are other possible stadium options which should be evaluated, even though as committed supporters they want to remain at The Valley and see it developed to its full potential.'

Where might this other stadium options be? Some supporters have been uneasy about the emphasis on the club's Kent base, even though the Valley Express service makes good commercial sense. Are rumours about a stadium near the new transport hub at Ebbsfleet just rumours? We joked once that Charlton would be re-branded as Thames Gateway, but the population expansion there might seem attractive.

Or is a new stadium near the Dome a possibility? I would be interested to hear what you think. Given the struggle to return to The Valley, moving away would be a considerable wrench for many of the Addickted and might lead to the loss of some of the support base.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Arsenal preview

Dennis Rommedahl was interviewed last night on Sky Sports News about Saturday's clash with Arsenal at The Valley (with the number of unsold tickets now down to 600). In effect what he said was that to get something out of the match Arsenal had to have a bad day and Charlton had to have a good day. And one might add that we haven't had many good days recently.

Our record against Arsenal at home in the Premiership makes dismal reading: lost 5, won 1, drawn 1. When one comes a long distance to matches one tries to retain a glimmer of optimism, but I will stick with my CAFC picks prediction and go for an Arsenal win, 0-2. So far this season my points total is pretty much as predicted, but I still think we can get enough points to survive.

Reid is on the path to recovery, but this may well mean an appearance on the bench. What most of the Addickted would like to avoid is the dreaded 'Double H' formation in midfield. One of them is ok, but the two together are lethal. This is why Reid's reappearance is important.

In central defence it will not be the not quite good enough (or consistent enough) Fortune and the rather risky El Karkouri. Hreidarsson will presumably stay in the left back role.

After tomorrow we can lick our wounds, get more players back to fitness and hopefully start getting some points.

Monty Martin, a lucky mascot?

Monty Martin is staying on Romney Marsh for the weekend and has been named as match analyst for his biggest match yet with the excitable spaniel hoping to bring the team some luck. He will be travelling to the match by Rickshaw.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Arsenal not sold out

A substantial number of tickets still remain unsold for Saturday's clash with Arsenal at The Valley.

It has been pointed out that there are more match tickets to sell this year, albeit to a market enlarged by the people who previously held season tickets. It would be easy to sell the tickets on general sale, but in attempting to screen out Arsenal fans (of which there are a considerable number in S.E.London) some Charlton fans may be screened out as well.

It has been argued that the tickets are too expensive at £25 for concessions in particular. However, the response from sources close to the club is that Premiership footballers are expensive and that relative to other Premiership clubs, Charlton's prices are good value. No doubt they are expensive for some, but that is true of most things.

Of course, there is a wider issue here about whether only older and better off people can afford to follow the Premiership and hence a new generation of supporters is being largely excluded.

Some gloomsters have said that attendances this season will fall to around 20,000, but I would have thought that a relegation struggle would stimulate interest.

What is cast into doubt by this is the plans to expand the ground. These were always justified on the basis that we could sell out on the big matches, but that now looks less likely.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Gallas out of Saturday's match

Gallas is out of Satutday's match at The Valley after picking up a hamstring injury in last night's Champions League match between Arsenal and Porto. A crumb of comfort for the Addickted, although I am not convinced that the match is a foregone conclusion anyway.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fanzine opportunity

ESPNSoccerNet have a vacancy for a Charlton correspondent. They state, 'Our Correspondents pages Soccer Net are designed to give a fans' perspective on results, hirings and firings and anything worth commenting on that happens to your club. It's a fanzine style section of the site and you would be free to say what you like, just like on your blog.'

I don't have the time to get involved myself, but it might interest someone. Contact me if you are interested.

Reserves victory against Villa

It doesn't compensate for the loss on Saturday, but last night's reserves victory against a strong Villa side at the Fleet gave a glimmer of hope.

'Lisbie got one tonight as Charlton Reserves went on to win 3-2 against Villa' reportsDan Bream. 'We were cruising and in complete control. Alastair John down the right was causing all sorts of problems. He has the pace of Rommedahl and is young, eager and direct.'

Charlton went 2-0 ahead with goals from Jani Tanks and Osei Sankofa, both from set pieces. Tanska looked solid at the back and kept a tight rein on Baros (although he did give away a penalty - either him or Gislasson - couldn't quite make it out). Baros converted this and made it 2-1. Baros then slipped past Aswad Thomas (the other centre back on the evening) and with some individual skill slotted his second: 2-2.

The game was end to end action and both sides had several chances. It was Charlton who took the lead. Lloyd Sam picked up on the ball in his own half on the counter, ran the length of the pitch straight through the centre and opted for a pass to the left, which Lisbie picked and smacked in at the near post: 3-2.

Baros looked really good, but the Charlton defence did well to keep him reasonably quiet. He did miss two sitters, but we had chances to extend our lead to about 4 or 5. Randolph in goal also performed a few wonder svaes, with Patrick Beef-Berger hitting all sorts of long range efforts.

All in all a good match and a few players for Dowie to ponder - who was also there sat next to Bob, his brother.

We recommend a post by the New York Addick which has some interesting stats on the Curbs era, with an analysis that is in effect mirrored by the Curbs book:


Monday, September 25, 2006

After the dust has settled

The first calls of 'Dowie Out' have been heard from Charlton supporters after Saturday's defeat at Villa put the Addicks in the relegation positions.

This is just nonsense as it would not be the Charlton way to dismiss a manager after a few poor results in difficult matches. Comparing with the same results last year, we are only two points down on last season. The Curbs way was, of course, to grind out results but the consequence was football that failed to entertain and was driving the fans away.

It should also be remembered that Dowie is on a four year contract at a reported £1m a year and that no one has suggested who might want to come in to replace him.

Nevertheless, it was a bad performance against Villa. For me this was shown by the brevity of the notes I took. There was little that Charlton did that was worth recording.

Some have blamed Hreidarsson for the first goal and he was out of position. But it was the old glass half full or empty story - one also has to take account of the quality of the Villa cross. The real problem is in the fulcrum of the side in midfield. The sooner Reid comes back the better.

A point against Arsenal and a win against Fulham would do a great deal to raise spirits and improve our position in the table. The points so far are pretty much in line with my pre-season predictions and I thought we would survive, just.

Having said that, arriving at Villa I had an intuition that we wouldn't be there next year because we would be in the Championship. So it was a particular humiliation to have to go back to Aston this lunchtime and do two live television segments.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Charlton well beaten

Aston Villa's 2-0 defeat of Charlton represented a convincing defeat of the visitors. It was difficult for an Addick to take away any positives from the game. Villa were simply superior in all departments. Indeed, once one realised that Hughes and Holland were starting in midfield, the outcome was not much in doubt.

Charlton started well enough and played a composed game. However, they were vulnerable down Villa's right. Once Villa went 1-0 ahead in the first half, it was difficult to see how Charlton were going to get back in the game as they never looked like scoring. When Villa went 2-0 ahead in the second half, it was game over, the only question being whether Villa would score a third. Charlton increasingly made desperate resort to the long ball.

Hasselbaink burst through early in the game but Sorensen made a good save and the resultant Charlton corner was unproductive. Hasselbaink had a half chance but blasted the ball over the goal. A Villa free kick was saved by Carson. Hreidarsson showed real skill in winning the ball twice in defence.

Darren Bent won Charlton a corner and there was a spell of pressure from the Addicks in front of goal. A long pass of real quality released the unmarked Agbonlahor just in front of goal and he was well placed to beat Carson on 37 minutes.

Fortune conceded an avoidable corner, but Carson was able to punch the ball out.

Half time: Villa 1, Addicks 0

Sorensen had to make a save from Hasselbaink. Rommedahl had a go from distance, but his effort went wide. A Hughes error unleashed a Villa attack. Villa won a free kick, but it was headed out of danger.

Villa managed to break and the defence back pedalled frantically. Carson managed to get a hand to Luke Moore's shot but it found the back of the net. Carson had to make a diving save to deny Villa.

Holland and Hasselbaink were withdrawn in favour of Ambrose and Marcus Bent. He won Charlton a corner but it was unproductive. Carson had to save from another Villa break. Dennis Rommedahl drew a save from Sorensen. Rommedahl turned provider for Marcus Bent but his header went just over the bar.

We never do much at Villa, but this was one of the more uninspiring performances I have seen there.

Match analysis

Hooch the Pooch awarded the Silver Bone to Dennis Rommedahl for his inspired runs which came the nearest to causing Villa any trouble. He has given him 7 in his Observer scores in tomorrow's paper. Carson (6) couldn't do much about the two goals and made some decent saves. El Karkouri (5) didn't always seem to be where he should have been. Fortune (5) made some good tackles, but he also made some errors. He simply lacks the consistency needed at this level. Young (6) could not be faulted for effort. Hreidarsson (6) also tried his hardest, sometimes going too far forward, while some of his balls forward were poor. Faye (6) looked as if he was one of the players who knew what he was doing, but the match didn't give him the chance to shine. Hughes (4) did provide some decent passes, but also made some errors and often seemed to be drifing around on his own. Holland (5) tried his hardest, but wasn't good enough. Hasselbaink (5) lacks the agility to make the elaborate turns he favours and it was no surprise when he was withdrawn. Darren Bent (6) sparkled once or twice, but never came close to scoring. Marcus Bent (7) provided some welcome skill when he came on. It was easy to forget that Ambrose (4) had come on as a substitute because he didn't contribute anything.

Hiss of the Match

This was given by Juneau the Soccer Cat to the moaners behind me who were constantly slagging off the team.

Crowd rating A decent turn out of Addicks, but there was little to inspire them. 5/10.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Villa preview

There's nothing like discussing such subjects as the toxicity of metabolites cut off in a Gereman schloss with no television, no newspapers and no E mail to make you lose touch with current Charlton opinion. When the text came through that Charlton had won 1-0 against Carlisle, my immediate reaction was one of relief and 'job done', but from reading the blogs the result seems to have deepened the gloomy mood among the Addickted.

We have a much more important fixture at Villa tomorrow with the Addicks badly needing some points to get them out of the relegation positions. The immediate reaction is to point to our poor record at Villa. The last time we won there in the Premiership I was living in Seattle Wa.

However, too much can be made of our record against a particular club. Our only three points this year so far came against Bolton and we have had a poor record against them in the Premiership. The Villa blogs are already predicting an easy three points with Iain Dowie described as the worst Premiership manager since O'Leary which is saying something. O'Neill is a good manager, but the match is actually played between two teams and the Villa team is not that much better than it was under previous management.

The Herminator will probably come in at left back while Fortune will do his best alongisde against El K. Shearer's critique of him on MOTD last Saturday has to be seen in the context of their history, but Fortune is a doughty defender rather than a skilled or speedy one.

In midfield we will see Rommedahl and Ambrose on the wings. Former Blue Bryan Hughes will no doubt recover from his groin strain to face the Second City Clarets. Given that Pouso and Holland are unlikely to be fit, this may mean an opportunity for Kishishev.

The side doesn't fill me with a great deal of confidence and my forecast is a 2-1 win for Villa with Ambrose being the unlikely scorer for Charlton. This will lead to the murmurings against Dowie becoming louder, not justified in my view.

Remember that you can read the comments of our canine reporter on the match in The Observer on Sunday.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Carlisle preview

I won't be at the match against Carlisle on Tuesday as I will be shut up in a remote schloss in Schleswig-Holstein for five days at a meeting of the EU Rebeca group discussing the regulation of biological control agents. This blog will next be updated on Friday evening with a preview of the game against Villa.

Carlisle manager Neil Mc Donald seems to be very level headed about the tie, although it's odd to see us referred to as having 'stacks of money': 'To be fair, there's no pressure on us. We're coming up to London as underdogs - but it won't just be one big day out. We'll try and cause a shock, but you'd expect Charlton to win nine times out of 10.'

'They've got a great squad full of internationals and talented Premiership players, and stacks more money than us. But let's just hope it's that one time out of 10 when we spring a surprise.'

There seems to be little mention of the tie on Carlisle sites at the moment, but their fans do face a very long journey and their support in and around London is probably limited. Indeed, I can't ever remember meeting someone who supports Carlisle.

Charlton supporters often believe a myth that we do badly against lower division clubs in cups, but in fact our record is perfectly ok. The Carling Cup is probably our best chance of getting near any silverware this season, so let's hope Iain Dowe can reverse our indifferent record in the competition. On the other hand, if we do find ourselves in a relegation battle, would we want a cup run?

When Iain Dowie visited us with Crystal Palace in the Carling Cup, he turned us over with a reserve side and the temptation must be to rest some of our best players for fear of injury and give fringe players a chance. Top players can always be on the bench in the case of difficulty.

Matt Holland picked up a knock on Saturday and is doubtful but this is the sort of contest in which Bryan Hughes does well. Jonathan Fortune was playing with a broken toe against Portsmouth. Shearer's uncharitable remarks about his skills on MOTD have to be seen in the light of their previous history.

I'm going for a 2-1 win for the Addicks against the League 1 side.

Christmas comes early

I have already received a number of Christmas catalogues, so perhaps now is the time to give advance publicity to a range of gifts commemorating the success of the Valley Express service that will soon be available in the club shop.

Brighten up your morning with Rick Everitt's cheerful visage.

1. Have Rick Everitt’s cheerful face greet you at breakfast! Commemorative Rick Everitt mug (as illustrated) with Valley Express phone number on reverse side. Wendy Perfect version also available.
2. Rickshaw coach with Charlton flags in rear, hand built by Vietnamese craftsmen. De luxe version offers you choice of figures in driver’s seat (Rick Everitt, Wendy Perfect, Peter Varney, Steve Sutherland).
3. Rickshaw board game. Which Rickshaw will get to The Valley first? Starting points in Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Essex. Players proceed by answering multiple choice questions about Charlton, e.g., ‘Who is the new Charlton fans’ director?’ (a) Brian Hayes, (b) Brian Cole, (c) Bryan Hughes. Educational and entertaining.
4. Commemorative Rickshaw tray. This fine item has all the Rickshaw routes in red with calling points illustrated, e.g., Romney Marsh sheep, Canterbury Cathedral, Chatham chav. This item will provide a talking point when friends call and you will soon be the envy of the neighbourhood!
5. ‘The Missing Rickshaw’, an Inspector Sands mystery for children. A Rickshaw with a full complement of Addicks disappears between two Kent villages. Have they been hidden in a secret barn by a gang of Millwall fans? Or did the hard man of the West Stand, Dick Shephard, and his gang of desperadoes from the Rose of Denmark take them by hovercraft to the Goodwin Sands? Or have they been enrolled as a chain gang on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway? Inspector Sands has no clue as he is too busy writing Ernie Underground scripts

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Soft goal means no points for Addicks

Charlton were starting to control today's match against Portsmouth, after a poor first half, when a soft goal which went in off the post gave Pompey a 1-0 lead and three points.

Opinions among the Addickted were divided about today's match. Some thought we played quite well and were unlucky, others thought we were awful. What was clear was that the burden of injuries showed. I thought that we particularly missed Reid in midfield.

It's worrying that we have only scored four goals in four games and only two of those came from open play. I don't blame the strikers, rather what concerns me is the quality of the service they are getting.

The brother of Steve from Sidcup was at the ground and I was pleased to hear that, after three weeks in hospital, Steve is at home and making a steady recovery, although it will be some time before he can visit The Valley again.

Congratulations to those responsible for not repeating the introduction for Floyd and Harvey. Now all we need is the programme back in its former size.

The match started with the teams changing ends which always makes me uneasy. Marcus Bent threatened in the opening minutes with a header that came off the bar. Hasselbaink won Charlton a corner taken by Darren Ambrose and El Karkouri's header was not far off target.

Too many holes were appearing in the Charlton defence and we seemed particularly vulnerable on our left. The Bloke Beside Me commented that we were being out thought and out fought. We seemed to have no clear shape, particularly in midfield, while Pompey always seem to have Kanu well positioned to take advantage of a ball.

Charlton won another corner but it was caught by Calamity James. If we had had Myhre in goal, we would have had an art collector in one goal and a broadcaster on art appreciation in the other.

Carson made a good save at the post. The subsequent Portsmouth corner flew across the Charlton goal at an angle. Kanu had an excellent chance, but managed to put his header wide. Good work by Ambrose on the wing won Charlton a corner.

After Kishishev gave the ball way, Young conceded a corner from distance. After Marcus Bent had been held numerous times, referee Dowd at last gave a free kick for the offence. Hasselbaink won Charlton a corner, this time taken by Rommedahl (remember the days when Kinsella almost always took the corner kicks and effectively?) El Karkouri was well positioned for the header but his effort went over.

Gary O'Neil was given a yellow card for bringing down Darren Bent as he forged through the middle of the field. As the game went into one minute of time added on, Carson made a good save on the ground. I felt relieved that we had got through the half without conceding a goal.

Half time: Addicks 0, Pompey 0

Fortune came on after the break in place of Marcus Bent, allowing Faye to revert to his midfield role. Rommedahl played a good ball to Ambrose but he volleyed his shot over. Charlton were producing some neat passing play but the slow build ups never led to an effective finish that tested James, although Hasselbaink drew a save.

Holland came on in place of Pouso. Hasselbaink was furious about something, probably the service he was getting. Charlton were more in command of the game and a free kick led to a corner.

Pompey withdrew the Zimbabwean Mwaruwari and brought on Lua Lua who I think is a tricky and much underrated player. I remember him giving us a torrid time at St.James's Park.

A good combination between Bent and Ambrose led to a Charlton corner. Rommedahl put in a fierce shot along the ground and at first I thought it had gone in, but it ended up in the side netting. A punch out by James led to another Charlton corner.

It looked as if Charlton might get a share of the points, but with fifteen minutes of normal time left, and against the run of play, LuaLua put in a shot that I thought Carson had saved, but it went in the net off the post.

One then felt that Charlton wouldn't get the equaliser. In a last throw of the dice, Dowie brought on Lisbie in place of Kishishev. Lisbie turned provider for Ambrose, but although he had time to control the ball, his effort went way over the bar.

Portsmouth still showed a capacity to threaten, and although Charlton got another corner, and Bent put in a poor cross, the equaliser did not come. Kanu got himself a yellow card for kicking the ball away.

Pompey went top, but it will be interesting to see how they fare against Chelsea and Manchester United and whether their poor ground stages European matches.

Match analysis

Senior match analyst Hooch the Pooch awarded the Silver Bone to a somewhat puzzled Amady Faye. Although he looked better in his natural role in the second half, he was a stalwart defender in the first half and provided precision passes and showed good positioning throughout the game which is more than could be said of many of the Charlton players. Scott Carson made some good saves, but he really should have dealt with the Pompey goal. El Karkouri was generally reliable in defence and played the ball forward well, although not all of his free kicks were a success.
Luke Young slotted into the left back position well and made some good runs forward, some of which failed for lack of support. Kishishev had something of a mare. His passing was often poor, he gave the ball away more than once and he was inclined to drift from the right back position into his normal central midfield position. Ambrose is the new target of the Bloke Behind Me. He did make some good runs, but also was inclined to drift inside too much rather than staying out on the wing. He also messed up shots on goal even when he had time to position the ball. Pouso looked promising, being particularly adept at using headers to knock down the ball to others. Rommedahl made some good runs and had one great shot, but looked better at Chelsea. Marcus Bent was actually one of the better players in the first half, positioning himself well, controlling the ball and giving the Portsmouth defence some trouble. Hasselbaink showed real skill in controlling the ball and outwitting defenders, but never really got in a shooting position. Darren Bent had a poor game by his standards, exemplified by a supposed cross at the end which went out of play. Fortune steadied the defence when he came on at half time and was very solid. Holland Captain Cleanpants was competent enough without making a decisive impression. Lisbie didn't achieve much during his short appearance, but looked interested most of the time and didn't disgrace himself.

Hiss of the Match This was given by Juneau the Soccer Cat to the group of Pompey fans taunting Charlton supporters on the Woolwich Road.

Crowd rating: It's always difficult against the noisiest supporters in the Premiership, but the crowd was flat a lot of the time, rather like the game. 5/10.

Homer the Cherry Hound

Now that Didcot Town are in the Southern League, they decided that they needed a canine reporter and Homer has been appointed to the role. He will only occasionally be available to cover Charlton matches. Hooch the Pooch commented, 'We are actively seeking a new canine match analyst who will, of course, need training and are actively pursuing a number of options.'

Friday, September 15, 2006

Dowie tries to keep cheerful

Addicks supremo Iain Dowie insists that Charlton have to enter tomorrow's clash with Portsmouth with positive spirits 'because that is all we've got left'. Referring to the injury situation, he commented, 'It was disappointing to lose £8 million of talent'. He suggested that late signings and a lack of pre-season training may have contributed to the muscular injuries.

Consistency needed from Romm

Dowie called for consistency from Dennis Rommedahl: 'I think he is one of those players when you see him on the day he can be electric. We are looking for that on a consistent basis. If Dennis continues to show the form he did against Chelsea then there is no question that he is a real asset to any team.'

'You need to play Dennis a certain way. You need to give him a bit of freedom to attack and not maybe shackle him as much. It is difficult for us managers because we like to have both sides of the game. I've always said with the flair-type players you have to make them work. If you feed them enogh of the ball you are going to get work out of him.'

But Dowie insisted that Romm has to be motivated by a desire to reach his potential -and not by the carrot of a new deal at the end of the season. 'You've got to have that desire to be best you can be - whether your contract is up or you've got five years left.'

Defensive worries

In earlier previews we have been focusing on the midfield, but this week the depleted defence has to be the centre of attention. There are only two near certainties, barring the dread late training ground accident: Scott Carson will be in goal and El K will play in central defence.

The following permutations are then possible:
1. Luke Young could be played at right back, in the centre, or on the left
2. Faye could be pulled back into central defence
3. Kish could be brought in at right back
4. Ashton could be played at left back

My preferences are as follows:

1. Keep Ashton on the bench. When I last looked, he didn't have a squad number. That can be provided, but I wasn't too impressed by him at Utrecht, although others thought he did well against New Zealand.
2. Hence play Faye in central defence. The main argument against this is that it depletes the midfield.
3. Play Luke Young on the left. It's not his natural position, but he did well there at Chelsea.
4. Play Kish at right back where he will battle away. All right, I know it's Kish and Sankofa is a possible alternative.


Rommedahl in the right, Ambrose on the left, Pouso in the middle and A.N.Other. This is the attraction of playing Sankofa at right back or even Youga in the centre (or Young in the centre and Ashton on the left) because it would release Kish for a midfield role. Otherwise it looks like Bryan Hughes who is better than some people allow, although not quite good enough. Darren Bent and JFH up front, of course.


Our record against Pompey at home in the Premiership is a good one with two wins and a draw. However, Pompey are now Pompski with loads of dosh, flying high in the table with no goals conceded. Even so, I am going for a 1-1 draw on the assumption that Calamity James must concede eventually.

There has also been a late change of referee with Phil Dowd replacing the hapless Uriah Rennie.


Remember that it's a 12.45 kick off, there are no trains beyond Charlton and only a limited service from the London Bridge direction. Talking of trains, I saw the children's programme about Ernie on the underground with one of my granddaughters yesterday and I reckon that the new job obtained by Inspector Sands is writing the scripts.

Portsmouth and their fans

If one asked many people which clubs they disliked most in the Premiership, a common answer would be Chelsea and Manchester United. But I don't have too much of a problem with them.

The kind of Manchester United follower who has never been to Old Trafford and watches them on television from the comfort of his sofa, I just regard with amused contempt. As for supporters from Surrey who say that they support United because they represent the excellence they aspire to in their own lives, they condemn themselves out of their own months. And I don't begrudge Chelski their benefactor. Well, not that much.

Spurs fans, with their exaggerated notions that they are a 'top' club, I just find laughable, particularly when they start slagging off the club on 606 every time they lose a couple of matches. I did have a bit of a problem with the Massives, but have modified my views as my doctor is a season ticket holder and seems to be put through endless misery by them.

The club and the fans I have a problem with is Portsmouth. I may not be totally unbiased, because the two colleagues in adjacent offices are Saints. The godfather of my oldest granddaughter is also a Saint and has nothing but contempt for the 'Skates' as he calls them. I would also emphasise that I have met a number of Pompey supporters individually and have found them to be great people. It's the collectivity that is the problem.

Now that Pompski have a benefactor, their fans are talking of being in the Champions League next season. Just think of that, England represented by Fratton Park. Despite all their new found wealth, there is no sign of their long talked of plans to rotate the ground being put into action. So away fans have to sit on seats bolted on to an open terrace that would disgrace a League 1 club.

Some people admire Portsmouth fans for their uncritical support of the club, continuing to sing and chant when they were losing 1-5 to Arsenal. You might say we did the same thing when the Covered End did the conga as we lost 1-6 at home to Leeds. But that was just an attempt to cheer ourselves up. I don't find the undiscriminating support of Pompey fans a tribute to their judgement.

So it's 'Play Up Pompey' and the Pompey chimes tomorrow. Let's hope we can silence them.

Portsmouth resident and defrocked pitch announcer Brian Cole appeared on a Portsmouth station to discuss the easy three points for the Portsea Island team and you can hear the broadcast here:
Brian Cole

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Am I suffering from irrational exuberance?

My doctor was pressing me this morning on how I feel about Charlton's current prospects. I said that I felt happy about the way things were going so far. Is this irrational exuberance? After all, we only have 3 points and are 16th; we face a tough test on Saturday against an improved Portsmouth side; and our defence has been shot to pieces by injuries and a suspension. Dick Sheppard's comparative tables show one of our worst starts ever.

However, in general, I am happy with the way that Iain Dowie and his team are handling things, particularly the more positive, attacking style he has brought with him. We also had a tough start with games against Chelsea and Manchester United.

My doctor is a Manchester City fan and had a tale of woe. No strike power up front; the board need sorting out; Pearce was losing the plot; and they could do with Curbs as a replacement. And they're 11th, even if they did lose to Reading. I guess it's all a matter of expectations. Anyway, he put me on a second lot of pills.

What is Kevin Lisbie for?

That is a question that is increasingly being asked by many of the Addickted after what was apparently an uninspiring performance against Chelsea's youngsters in the reserves at The Fleet on Monday (which attracted a surprisingly large crowd given the absence of a reverse Rickshaw). Even more surprising that he didn't put in an effort when Iain Dowie was watching. But perhaps Super Kev is willing to sit back and draw his rumoured 10k a week.

I thought I'd have a look in Curbs's book to see what he said about Lisbie, but apart from a few brief scattered references of the 'young hopeful who came through the ranks' type and a mention of the hattrick against Liverpool, there is nothing. This contrasts with, for example, a fulsome tribute to Keith Jones. If Curbs can't say something nice about someone, I suspect that he says nothing.

It's been pointed out that with the time Traore will be out Cory Gibbs should then have recovered from injury and we will have a plethora of left backs.

We can take a little comfort from the misfortunes of others. After what was apparently a comedy performance against Southampton, Palace are now 12th. Millwall are second from bottom and the Gills are up for sale. For more informatio about what's going on there see our sister site Scally

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Brakes beat Irons

Table topping Leamington beat Cradley Town 3-0 at the New Windmill Ground but it should have been 6-0 so dominant were the Brakes. Cradley (pronounced Crade-ley) took £38 at their home game last Saturday, but faced a crowd of 441 at Harbury Lane. The town is an historic ironmaking centre and the club is known as the Hammers or Irons.

Before the match there was a presentation for winning the FA National Groundsman of the Year Award which means that Leamington have the best pitch out of some 600 at Steps 5 and 6 of the non-league pyramid.

Brakes opened their account after 6 minutes with an Andy Gregory header and then the much improved Clunsie (Martin Thompson) scored a cracking goal after 12. The score remained that way until half time despite almost constant Leaminton possession with Mozza left with nothing to do in the Brakes goal.

It is said that Josh Blake hardly ever scores at the Harbury Lane End, but he made it 3-0 with a header on 47 minutes. And that was the way the score stayed, despite constant Leamington pressure. The Cradley keeper, who was wearing a migraine design red and black top, actually grabbed Jon Blake and spun him round when he was through on goal, a manoeuvre I have never seen before in football, but the referee failed to intervene. Clunsie had a great chance to make it 4-0, but somehow put the ball wide, but with news of second placed Tipton losing at Boldmere St.Michaels filtering through, the score was good enough.

Injuries latest

Traore's leg is in plaster and he could be out for two months with a hairline fracture while Andy Reid and Souleymane Diawara could be out for a month with hamstring problems.

Not the best of news. It looks like Faye being pulled back into central defence for the Portsmouth game with Kish at right back and a chance for some young defenders on the bench.

Two versions of the same event

On a day when Prague's Richard Hunt has given his views on Curbs's autobiography, it's interesting to note an odd contrast between how a particular event was described at the time and the account given in the autobiography.

Discussing the famous winter victory over Millwall and the injury to Phil Chapple, Curbs recalls that 'I ended up driving him to Cambridge after the game.' In the programme for the ensuing home game against Ipswich, it is recorded, 'Phil was unable to drive home to Cambridge after the match and such is the friendship amongst the Charlton players that he stayed the night with the man who took his place - Stuart Balmer.'

So which account is the correct one? The programme was then edited by 'Scoop' Burrowes, a model of probity. On the other hand, would Chapple really want to spend a night chez Balmer without a translator out of Glaswegian?

Richard Hunt's views can be found at on the Charlton Life blog. I have not finished the book yet and haven't yet found the section discussing the contribution of Rick Everitt and in particular Valley Express. However, although it doesn't contain any stunning revelations, it's a good read if you are a Charlton fan.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Curbs linked to possible Leeds vacancy

Alan Curbishley is being linked with a possible managerial vacancy at Elland Road. Leeds fans were demoralised by today's 0-1 home defeat by Wolves in which former Addick Jay Bothroyd scored the winning goal and (in my view somewhat unfairly) are calling for the head of manager Kevin Blackwell. Curbs has recently been emphasising that he has not retired and would consider a Championship position.

If I was him I would stay away for Leeds for three reasons. First, the club is still short of money and is not pulling in the crowds. Second, Leeds fans (many of them a nasty lot) are convinced that they are supporting a big club and have correspondingly unrealistic expectations. Third, and this should be a clincher, Ken Bates is chairman. Richard Murray he is not.

Curbs has also been linked with the new full-time England Under-21 manager's post and this would seem to me to be a more suitable way of taking his career forward.

Talking of other former Charlton employees, Deano was providing commentary on West Ham v. Villa for Radio 5 this afternoon. It's unfair to judge him on what is probably his first outing in this role, but it doesn't strike me as his natural milieu.

Pub brawl death linked to clash between fans

A Saturday night brawl at the Cutty Sark in Thamesmead that led to the death of a Plumstead man has been linked to a possible clash between Spurs and Charlton fans, with suggestions that the fight at a charity event may have been pre-arranged. This would be somewhat more credible if one substituted 'Millwall' for Spurs, but there is no real history of animosity between Charlton and the North London club. Nor is there a major record of Charlton 'fans' being involved in collective violence against rival clubs.

Duncan Charles Frame, a 52-year-old man from Edington Road in Plumstead, was found unconscious at 23:30 following the brawl, which left many people injured. The Metropolitan police have made it clear they are considering the death as murder.

'Although we retain an open mind regarding the motive, one possible line of enquiry is that the fight was between rival groups of football fans, from Tottenham and Charlton Athletic,' the Met said.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Charlton make a match of it

Charlton lost 2-1 at the Bridge today against Chelsea, but they made a match of it against the champions. This was in spite of a series of injuries which led to forced substitutions and which changed the shape of the side with Luke Young being required to play in a left back role.

Charlton were much better in the second half than the first. Chelsea went all out for an early goal which they got after five minutes and it took the Addicks some time to find their way into the match. The arrival of Dennis Rommedahl as a substitute reinvigorated their play. They drew level through a Hasselbaink strike in the second half, but Chelsea were ahead again after eight minutes. A disallowed Addicks goal and a penalty save by Scott Carson all added to the drama. Chelsea fans were clearly uneasy about the possibility of a late equaliser, one bellowing, 'Get on the Woolwich Ferry and go home.'

The match was preceded by the traditional chorus of 'Blue is the colour, football is the game, rip off all the punters, what a bleeding shame.' The teams changed ends which always makes me uneasy.

Chelsea put Charlton under the cosh in the opening minutes of the match, looking for what they hoped would be a decisive goal. Wright-Phillips was a particular threat on the wing. Bryan Hughes was able to make a goalline clearance at the expense of a corner. It was again Hughes who cleared but Ambrose at the post was unable to deal with Drogba's shot and it was 1-0 after five minutes.

Charlton attacks tended to peter out, while Chelsea continued to put in shots on goal. Carson was called on for some saves, but other attempts went wide with Lamphard looking off form. Andy Reid had gone down injured and shortly afterwards had to be withdrawn in favour of Rommedahl.

It was the Dane who created Charlton's best chance of the half. He put in a good cross to Darren Bent who managed to connect with but his header went just wide of the post.

Most of the action was at the other end. A Bryan Hughes error put Carson in a one on one situation, but the Blues effort went just wide. Carson had to make a save at close range. Faye received a yellow card for a foul and then Ballack went into referee Wiley's book.

Blues were given a free kick in a potentially dangerous position but Hughes was able to clear with a header. Diawara went down, an injury that led to his withdrawal in the second half.

Half time: Blues 1, Addicks 0

Charlton looked much brighter at the start of the second half and Rommedahl put in a good cross which was saved. Traore had to be withdrawn in favour of Kishishev who moved into the right back slot with Young going out to the left. Apparently the radio commentary thought that his ankle injury was troubling him, but I didn't see much sign of that myself.

Hasselbaink, who had been fairly anonymous, seized his chance with a decisive strike in the 54th minute to make it 1-1. The former Blue refused to celebrate his goal and was applauded by the home crowd.

Blues won a free kick in a promising position but Lamphard was in lumphard mode and his shot went way over. El Karkouri provided a good clearance. Carvalho was booked. An error by Hughes created new danger for Charlton. A Blues corner saw Diawara go down.

Chelsea withdrew Wright-Phillips and Bridge and brought on Ashley Cole and Kalou. Mourinho commented in the programme that the club now had the two best left backs in the country which may well be true but provides evidence for the criticism that Chelsea are trying to appropriate all the best players. It is far from clear that Cole will be first choice at his new home.

With Diawara out of action, a corner kick was intercepted by Carvalho on 62 minutes to make it 2-1, although apparently it may have deflected off Faye.

Marcus Bent was brought on to replace Diawara and Charlton started to apply more pressure, something later acknowledged by Mourinho. However, a Charlton corner was wasted. The Addicks continued to play fluently, but another corner was cleared.

Then Chelsea were awarded a penalty for a push by El Karkouri. I was in line with and it did look like a penalty to me, albeit a generous one. However, it appears from matches elsewhere that more penalties are to be awarded and, given that we have often been denied them in the past, this may be no bad thing. Carson judged Lamphrad's shot well and made the save at the expense of a corner, which was followed by a second.

Carson was trying to pick out Marcus Bent with his goal kicks, but more than once they went out of play as the target man failed to connect. Charlton continued to apply pressure, with Rommedahl prominent, but the elusive equaliser failed to come. Marcus Bent's goal gave a moment of hope and it was difficult to see why it was disallowed with my view, but it was handball. However, it was not for a lack of effort or skill.

After the game we were delayed at Fulham Broadway owing to 'a customer on the line at Parsons Green.' A call went out for Inspector Sands to report to the control room, but the elusive Charlton blogger was nowhere to be seen.

Match analysis

Senior match analysts Hooch the Pooch previews the scores he has provided to The Observer. The canny canine had no hesitation in awarding the coveted Silver Bone, now accompanied by an Observer silver salver to Dennis Rommedahl (8). His tireless effects on the wing unsettled the Chelsea defence and he produced some excellent crosses, although after Kish came on as right back he was playing on the inside more. Scott Carson (7) once again showed his merit with a penalty save from Lamphard. El Karkouri (7) showed inventiveness and good positioning in his defensive role. Diawara (6) looks as if he is going to be a useful addition to the squad. Traore (6) performed reasonably well, but I would prefer an on form Chris Powell. Young (7) showed determination and skill and the versatility to switch effectively to the left. Hughes (5) was competent enough most of the time, but made a series of worrying errors, giving the ball away more than once, although he almost some key clearances in front of goal. Ambrose (6) was energetic and enthusiastic, but real skill was lacking, especially in front of goal. Faye (7) impressed my Spanish guests and he may well be the best of our recent additions. Hooch did not give Reid a score because of the limited time he played, but thought that he battled away effectively enough, although doubts remain about whether he is fully fit. Hasselbaink (6) scored a goal which is what one expects strikers to do, but he was invisible a lot of the time. Darren Bent (7) was a worry to the Chelsea defence, but particularly in the first half, he was often on his own out front, surrounded by four Chelsea defenders. Kishishev (6) was fully committed when he came on and made a good contribution, but with the odd shortcoming. It was difficult to see what value Marcus Bent (5) added.

Juneau the Soccer Cat declared that she is glad that she is not the cat in the Mourinho household after watching the manager's histronics throughout the game. If Chelsea had failed to win, he might well have gone home and kicked the cat.

Crowd rating A sommewhat depleted group of the Addickted, not surprising given the prices, but they were in good voice. 7/10.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Chelsea preview

I'll be paying 50p a minute to watch Charlton at the Bridge, whether that is a good investment remains to be seen. However, our record away at Chelsea has not been that bad. Leaving aside last year's 'technical' victory in the Carling Cup, the Addicks have won there twice in the Premiership and drawn there once (again last year with Marcus Bent scoring our goal). On three other occasions we lost only by one goal, but there is a 4-1 tonking in the sequence.

In an interview in The Guardian Iain Dowie does not underestimate the challenge he faces. Dowie said although his side will aim to return from Stamford Bridge tomorrow with all three points he cannot help but be concerned in the build
up to the game. 'You've got to worry about them, you wouldn't be doing your job if you didn't worry,' he said. 'Should I do this? Should I do that? Is this right? Is that wrong? You mull it over 50 times but when you come in front of the players it looks like you absolutely know what you're talking about.' Let's hope so.

Dowie is hoping that Darren Bent will score, but key to the Charlton performance tomorrow will be the contribution of the midfield, both in providing a platform for attack and preventing Chelsea from launching too many attacks. The exact shape and composition of the midfield is difficult to predict but I think this is an occasion for using Rommedahl to unsettle the Chelsea defence. Although there is an attraction in seeing Hasselbaink score against his former club, I would keep him on the bench and start with a 4-5-1. However, the indications from the club are that 4-4-2 will prevail.

Fresh from his under 21 experience, the impressive Scott Carson will remain in goal. Young looks fit to play on the right with Traore on the left. Our most expensive defensive signing, Diawara, will presumably play in central defence, probably partnered by El K, whom I regard as not as reliable as one would like in that position.

Reid will surely retain his position on the left in midfield and Pouso must be preferred over the workmanlike Hughes. That leaves Faye, Rommedahl and Ambrose in contention for the remaining two places. Kishishev will probably be on the bench.

I will be taking a young Spainard tomorrow who has been following Charlton for years from Madrid, but has not seen the team play, so let us hope they don't disappoint, Our dog reporters have sorted out their problems with The Observer having last time ended up with a sub who couldn't cope with the barking down the phone. Hopefully, this time their assessment will appear in Sunday's paper.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Romm on top form

Dennis Rommedahl reinforced his claim for a place in the starting line up against Chelsea on Saturday with a sparkling performance for Denmark against Iceland last night. It also gives him bragging rights over Hermann Hreidarsson who had been hoping for Iceland's first victory against their former rulers.

The Uefa report states, 'Dennis Rommedahl was in inspired form, scoring one and setting up the other as Denmark eased to a 2-0 victory against Iceland to get their UEFA EURO 2008™ Group F campaign off to a winning start. Rommedahl was the architect of many of Iceland's problems, with the winger giving the Danes a dream start with the opener on five minutes, latching on to Christian Poulsen's pinpoint pass and striding clear of the Iceland back line before slotting past Árni Arason in the home goal. Arason did well to keep out Thomas Kahlenberg's fierce drive from distance soon after but was again helpless when Jon Dahl Tomasson tucked in Rommedahl's teasing cross.'

There is an argument for using a 4-5-1 against Chelsea even if it meant relegating Hasselbaink to the bench. It is important to stop Chelsea getting too many players forward while Rommedahl could test them with his pace.

Charlton's strategic choices

The quality of blogs related to the club is a tribute to the Addickted and to the club itself (even if it sometimes make senior figures nervous). There is so much good quality material produced that I usually don't pick out stories here. However, an essay has just appeared that is one of the best I have seen on the strategic challenges facing the club at this time of further change in the top flight of football:


Reflecting on the essay, I think that we gain from the quality of our board, their probity and their proven record of success in other spheres of business life. These qualities of relevant experience and good judgement are enhanced by the fact that they are genuine Charlton fans.

Contrast this with some of the figures currently homing in on West Ham. One might ask what business qualifications you gain from running a failing kick boxing business in Chalk Farm or a loss making motor dealership in Rainham. For the full sp on possible bidders for the Irons, visit our sister site: Football Economy

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Some new insights at delisting EGM

Removing Charlton from the AIM market was overwhelmingly approved at a thinly attended EGM today. Some new insights were provided about the reasons for the delisting and current developments at the club. I am grateful to Clive Richardson for providing the notes on which this report is based.

The annual cost of AIM listing is £37,000. AIM Listing will remain until 21.9.06 after that, share price and details of the last 5 trades will be available on the website of J P Jenkins at Sellers will be 'matched' with possible buyers by JP Jenkins, but there is no guarantee of a match being found. It was considered that most small shareholders had invested 'heart' money rather than expecting a return on their investment.

CAFC will remain a public company with shareholders and the need to comply with Company regulations- only difference will be that there will be no Stock Exchange tracked market movement. Obligations to shareholders will remain as they are. There will, however, no longer be an obligation to report key business events via the Stock Exchange. It was mentioned that CAFC actually broke the rules by announcing departure of Curbs to fans BEFORE reporting to the SE, and were duly reprimanded!

Disclosure of informtion in future will be at the discretion of directors, who would hope to continue the present policy of 'open-ness', as the Directors are all also fans of the club, rather than JUST investors. Several questions were asked from the floor, including a serious interrogation of the wisdom of de-listing by a guy called Mark Slater, who declared himself as representative of one of the few City investors in CAFC.

Richard Murray and Bob Whitehand both mentioned that there had been zero interest in and/or investment from 'The City' for some considerable time. Mark Slater commented that this was because there had been no direct request for financial 'help' from the City.

An important insight was that Richard Murray explained that the main reason for de-listing was that the Board felt that the published share price (and its fluctuation) was seen as a barrier to possible investors - along with the fact that there would be no dividend return on investment in the forseeable future. (Previous explanations have placed more emphasis on the cost of listing which, as already noted, is not that large). The Club's legal advisor then mentioned that Richard, Bob & co, were often involved in what he called "truffle-hunting" searching/locating/discussing with potential private investors, and had more success with this than by going via the City.

Mr Slater mentioned that there was lots of money potentially available in pension funds , hedge funds and trusts, but Richard voiced the opinion that this raised the danger of attracting the wrong sort of investor - i.e. one without a Charlton 'heart'. Richard Murray indicated that it was not his intention to sell to any overseas investor.

Under any other business it was noted that the East Stand development wont happen until season ticket capacity is full. £11.7m had been spent on transfers at ID's request to make sure the team survives. Bolanos is likely to join a CAFC partner club in Belgium and be bought next summer.

I must say that I was reassured by the explanations given and I think that other Addicks will be as well.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Josh scores his 150th goal for the Brakes

Leamington went 1-0 ahead against Westfields at the New Windmill Ground tonight after thirty seconds. Having kicked off, Jon Adams forged through and a mix up between the keeper and last defender of the Hereford side allowed him to score. The small knot of visiting supporters let out despairing cries of 'Wakey, wakey!' Josh Blake then followed up minutes later to make it 2-0, the removal man scoring his 150th goal for the club.

The heads of the vistors were down, but a defensive error let them burst through. Jason Pearcey was at one time keeper for Brentford and Grimsby, but he is now the Brakes No.2 and was caught stranded as Westfields narrowed the gap 2-1. This was still the score at half time and Leamington put in an insipid performance after the break, unsure whether they should be trying to hold on to their lead or score a third. Field were a phsyical side and Brakes were given little protection by the referee or the Burger Side lino and his dog. The inevitable happened and Westfields equalised.

It looked like a repeat of their last league match at Alvechurch where they turned a 3-0 lead into a draw. However, cometh the hour, cometh the man, and as the minutes ticked away, Stuart Herlihy made it 3-2 to secure the points for Brakes.

Romm nearly went to Russia

Dennis Roomedahl nearly went to a Russian club in the transfer window. Zenit St Petersburg have revealed that they failed in a bid for the Charlton winger. The Russian club's director of football Konstantin Sarsaniya confirmed the club almost signed Rommedahl last Thursday - but they have not lost interest in him and could make a renewed bid in January.

Sarsaniya said: 'We were very close to Rommedahl's transfer to Zenit but unfortunately we lost the opportunity to get him this summer. Dennis wants to try his first-team chances with Charlton during the next six months but we will be back to this transfer in the winter.'

Dennis's defenders among the Addickted say that he has never had a proper run out in the side, hence why he might be interested in going to a two bit Russian club, surely not the best strategy to revive his career? The alternative view is that he has tremendous pace, but his crosses are not always of the best quality and he rarely scores.

I quite like the definition in the New York Addick's brilliant 'Let's speak Charltonish' post: Rommedahl, adjective (romerdahl): fast, but otherwise useless; eg. "The new Mazda coupe is a pleasure to drive, but it'll be rommedahl for anyone with a family or for shopping trips."

Monday, September 04, 2006

Luke Young not going to Macedonia

Luke Young will not be going to Macedonia with the England squad because of a persistent ankle injury. Cynics have suggested that there is not much point in him going because he wouldn't get a game anyway. However, apparently it was the same injury that led him to failing the West Ham medical as the insurers wouldn't provide cover. Let's hope he's fit for Saturday.

Second bid for Irons raises issues for Charlton

A second bid has now been made for West Ham football club by Georgian businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili who owns Dynamo Tiblisi. This follows the earlier bid by Iranian born businessman Kia Joorabchian, although he has links with the Georgian through the Corinthians club in Brazil.

What's the Charlton relevance? Well, West Ham has been a family owned club. Attempts by international financiers to take it over means that investors are looking beyond the top Premiership clubs for less well established clubs with potential. West Ham has a number of assets such as its stadium and training ground, but so does Charlton. It is perhaps a measure of the gap that has opened up between the two clubs that it is the Irons who are attracting investment interest.

How would Charlton fans feel about a similar takeover at The Valley? That would in part depend on the identity of the bidder. However, such a bid would release funds that would enable the club to buy players of the calibre that could make it a real competitor for Europe. Against that, fans might feel that the character of the club had changed.

What is clear is that the financial basis of Premiership football is going through another period of change. Perhaps the best outcome at Charlton would be for more outside investors to be brought in, as has been happening on a smaller scale, but for control to remain in large part with the existing board.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Philadelphia, Pa: A quick electronic catch up with what is happening at The Valley. Euell on his way for 300,000 has to be a result. Two new signings a plus, but the Andersen deal fell through at the last minute. The sulky keeper will be even more sulky now and should perhaps be used in the Carling Cup.

And Brakes won 6-0 in their FA Cup clash, so six more victories and they could face Charlton.