Friday, November 24, 2006

Stormy weather ahead

And that's just the weather forecast for South-East England tonight when gale force winds and some structural damage to rusting football grounds is expected. The winds should ease in the morning, but gusts are still forecast to be strong enough to blow over Andy ('call me Andrew') Johnson as the former Palace player claims the rightful penalty he has been denied for so long.

Our record at home against the Toffeemen at The Valley has been reasonably good with three wins, three draws and two losses in the Premiership. Apparently the bookies have us at 5-4 on to be relegated, but if you look at the table our position is by no means irretrievable.

However, a lot of people in football believe it is possible to simply read off future results from past results. Tables in fact never show such symmetry, but a more convincing argument is the confidence one. Just as teams can have a winning run, it is difficult for teams to shake off a losing one. Go a goal down and their heads drop and new supremo Les Reed has admitted that there is a problem about the players' body language.

Having not seen the Reading match, it's difficult to say anything sensible about team selection except for what I would regard as the names that will always be on the sheet if they are not injured: Carson, Diawara, Young and Darren Bent, to which I would add Reid in midfield, not because there are no questions about him, but because of the alternatives.

Traore may be available after 90 minutes in the reserves, although perhaps on the bench given his lack of match fitness. He may still be suffering from being pulled over by the police for driving with no insurance, apparently believing that his agent had sorted it for him which says something about the life led by Premiership footballers. I bet he wouldn't have a bottle bought in duty free confiscated by French security on the grounds that it was 'forbidden'.

The Currant Bun has reported that 'Charlton are weighing up a move for Chinese wild man Zheng Zhi. He was banned for six months for spitting at a ref and left France’s Djibril Cisse with a broken leg in a friendly international. China skipper Zheng, 26, trained with Les Reed’s side yesterday and will be closely monitored by the club at the forthcoming Asian Games in Qatar. Reed said: 'My first impression is he could play in the Premiership but I’d need to see him playing in a competitive game before I can be certain.' Well he sounds competitive enough to me. Is this the new Charlton?

Actually, if we are going down that route we could use some of the lads I saw in a theme park of ethnic minorities in a remote part of China. One group had only been got out of the forest in the 1980s where they had caused real trouble of the authorities because of their penchant for head hunting. They were Afro-Caribbean in appearance and about 6ft. 4 ins. or more tall. They were supposed to be performing native folk dances, but looked very sullen and as if they might go back to their old ways any minute. At the very least they could be sent round to Palace to sort out Simon Jordan.

Perhaps because I am suffering from a chill picked up in Chile, I'm not feeling very optimstic and I'm going for a sticky match that ends 0-2 to the Toffeemen. I hope I am wrong. To counter my pessimism, I am considering wearing an Argentian shirt and cap tomorrow (from different clubs, but both compatible with Charlton colours). A small prize to anyone who can guess the teams involved.

Hooch the Pooch writes

Your match analyst tomorrow will be lucky spaniel Monty Martin from Blewbury, Oxon. Not only might he bring some luck to the team, but I am going to spend the day working with trainee dog reporter Ivy. As you know at the Association of Canine Match Analysts (do visit our web site: barking ) we work closely with MIAOW and in particular with Juneau the Soccer Cat whose father was flown over from Maine to improve the breeding stock in this country. Unfortunately, Ivy is not yet showing a sufficiently respectful attitude to cats and indeed chased next door's Cat up the garden when he called round for his elevenses, albeit he is a Coventry City supporter. I also hope to introduce her to the offside rule.


Post a Comment

<< Home