Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Addickted take hope

It would seem that some of the Addickted have taken hope from Liverpool's victory over Chelsea last night. They think that Liverpool might put out a weakened team for the last match of the season. I think that they have too much pride and integrity to do that. If we were mid-table and facing, say, Fulham in the last home match of the season, would we roll over?

There is also the little matter of beating Spurs. It would be just like Charlton to win after their disappointing performances in their last two matches. However, they will have to play a lot better than they did against Sheffield United or Blackburn. I think that a draw is likely, which would not help us very much.

There are constant complaints about the commitment of particular players, but the fact is that the squad as a whole lacks sufficient quality. Matt Holland, who came third in the player of the year contest, is widely appreciated as a battling, committed player, but in my view he is not the kind of quality midfielder you need in the Premiership. The Championship is a different matter.

Playing the 'blame game' on the list is a favourite occupation, with most attention focusing on managers: Curbs, for allegedly losing the plot; Dowie, for not being up to it; and Reed, for being promoted to the level of his incompetence.

It's understandable that in football discussions the emphasis is always on agency rather than structure, although in my view the latter is often underrated. The fact is that by treading water, Charlton have been falling behind.

It sometimes concerns me that Charlton fans lack real ambition for the club and that this translates into almost an enjoyment of suffering constant disappointments, offset by the occasional high like Wembley.

It's clear that quite a lot of people are happy for Charlton to be a community oriented family club (not a bad thing in itself) that may well become a yo yo between the top two leagues. Meanwhile, as many as six Championship clubs are being courted by investors, some of them with serious money to spend.

I know that Charlton is not for sale and most fans would not want it to be sold. The existing board has rightly accumulated a lot of credit from fans for the way that they have built up the club since the return to The Valley.

In any case, there is no sign of anyone being interested in the Greenwich and Bexley franchise. The London football market is over crowded and dominated by the fashionable sides, Chelsea and Arsenal. I can understand why someone with money would be more interested in a club like Ipswich or Southampton with a clearly defined local monopoly.

I was born into supporting Charlton and I will stay Charlton until I die. But I am not that optimistic about the club ever really achieving anything.


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