Tuesday, December 12, 2006

It's Wednesday so it must be Lithuania

Exhausted by the flight from the UK and a day's tough negotiations, I make a less than convincing job of explaining to a colleague from Brazil why the British have reneged on their commitments. Photo taken at Chile's Diplomatic Academy before a dinner hosted by the country's Acting Foreign Secretary

Last month it was Chile in the Latin American spring, tomorrow I put my UN hat on and head for a freezing cold Lithuania. In Chile it has all gone off since I left, in Lithuania it appears to be going off before I arrive. My understanding of relations between Poland, the Baltic States, Ukraine and most problematically Belarus is sketchy to say the least, but my arrival does not appear to be entirely welcome. I have been briefed to counter surly indifference with verve and enthusiasm which is a bit difficult for a Charlton supporter at the moment.

Unless I take a parachute and bail out over The Valley I am going to miss the match against Liverpool as I will be flying back from Vilnius. These have often been fun in the past and have involved goals from some unlikely players. Keith Jones scored the winner in our first Premiership season; 'super' Kevin Lisbie got a hat trick; and Luke Young scored last year in a 2-0 win that had London Scousers moaning at the station that their night out had been spoilt. So what about Kishishev to score on Saturday? I am going for a 1-1 draw which is not enough in our present plight.

Both the high moral ground and financial considerations suggest that Charlton should stick with Les Reed and not entice Pards to The Valley. Unfortunately, I think that Les Reed is going to take us down and won't get us up again, whereas Pards might not be able to avoid the former, but could achieve the latter. If Les Reed decided that he was happier in his former role, that might be the best outcome for all concerned. Otherwise it's the relegation hokey cokey.

Current workload has made it difficult for me to get to The Valley, not least because it's a five hour round trip. My absence has drawn some criticism from elements of the retired support who have the luxury of unlimited time. I do hope to get back sooner or later and the blog will resume when I get back from the Baltic States (or even continue while I am there if I can find an internet café). Meantime, in the words of Peter Varney, enjoy the game.


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