Thursday, 18 September 2014

Harriott discusses lack of starts with Big Bob

Callum Harriott has knocked on the office door of Big Bob Peeters to discuss his lack of starts this season: Unhappy bunny. You have to admire his guts as I wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of Big Bob who showed at the Wigan game that he is capable of flying off the handle (nothing wrong with that in football).

When Harriott has come on, he has hardly been a game changer. As Steve from Petts Wood commented, 'He can't score goals and he can't create goal scoring opportunities for others.' I am sure that Harriott has potential, but I sometimes wonder if his approach is sufficiently disciplined, notwithstanding flashes of brilliance.

Anyway, I am sure that Big Bob offered him some wise words. No doubt Acworth will add his own insights.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Peeters scoffs at Bent rumours

Big Bob Peeters has scoffed at rumours that Darren Bent or Danny Graham might come on loan to The Valley. He says that he nothing about these reports himself. He also points out that the Addicks have a wages policy that does not permit them to bring in expensive players on loan: The rumour mill

Admittedly, sometimes bigger clubs will continue to pay part of the wage bill themselves. However, the rumour mill has got a bit out of control in these cases. It also seems that the good start to the season has inflated expectations among Charlton fans who before the season started would have been pleased to avoid being dragged into a relegation dogfight.

Charlton remain unbeaten

Charlton remained unbeaten in the league this season after their 1-1 draw at The Valley last night, but surrendered their 100 per cent home record. They remain 5th in the table. It should be borne in mind that a number of our games have been against teams challenging for promotion. The comments that we were rubbish fail to acknowledge that Wolves were good.

The visitors started with a patient passing game which was a little dull to watch. However, Henry started to be a tricky threat down the wing, the former Millwall player also doing his fair share of whingeing to the lino and referee.

Wolves looked as if they were getting on top, but midway through the half Bikey scored with a volley from a Cousins corner. At first it didn't looked as if it had gone in and not everyone got to their feet, but the celebrating players told us what we needed to know.

Tucudean then had a great chance to put the Addicks 2-0 ahead and effectively put the game beyond the reach of Wolves, but he failed to take it. Wolves then hit the post.

After the break, Wolves came out of the traps full of energy and the game was played at a high tempo. Eventually their pressure told and captain Danny Batth scored from a corner, Henderson failing to hold on to the ball.

One of the disappointments in this phase of the game was that we put in some good tackles, but then failed to hold on to the ball. Overall, however, a draw was a fair result.

The referee was serenaded as an Onanist by the Covered End at the end of the game. I don't know what they put in the water in Bedfordshire, but he wouldn't give us anything. He also let play go on when Vitokele was fouled and injured. The Angolan was pointing to his leg at the end of the game and I hope that he will be all right for Saturday. (It subsequently emerged that he had no feeling in his arm, but this is thought to be due to a cut: it is not broken). Admittedly, none of the referee's decisions were costly in a game changing sense, but they were still poor.

I was amused to see Wolves fans at the station swapping business cards and explaining which financial institution they were now working for.

Attendance at under 16,000 was disappointing given a strong Wolves contingent. It was a good, end-to-end game.

Player ratings

With our canine match analysts retired, the surplus supply of Silver Bones has been dispatched to Rick Everitt's elves for melting down in his workshop, but I don't think anyone really qualified last night. This suggests a poor performance, but I think we were still tired after our gruelling performance against Watford. Even so, we were able to grind out a result.

Stephen Henderson made more than one save that stopped the ball going in the net, including one that he tipped round the post with an outstretched arm. However, perhaps he should have been able to hold on to the ball when the goal was scored. Bikey-Amougou took his goal well and shows that he is not just a robust defender. However, he gave away fouls in dangerous positions and eventually got a yellow card. Ben Haim withstood the onslaught well. Gomez generally had a good game and he is clearly a great prospect. However, there was the occasional error which is to be expected. Wiggins was getting outsmarted by charm merchant Henry. Wiggins has never been as good as he was before his injury.

Wilson is perhaps better as an impact sub and it was his turn to be substituted last night. He tried to get forward, but he often had a torrid time. Buyens was not at his best, with a tame shot on goal, but then Jackson once again disappointed. He did have a chance to score after being given a perfect pass (I think from Igor), but he put it just wide. Steve from Petts Wood commented that two years ago he would have scored. There were flashes of excellence, but at times he disappeared from the game. Indeed, this was not a good game for the midfield. Cousins had his name omitted from the programme, but I thought that his corners were better than they were on Saturday, not least the one that led to the goal.

Tucudean is a worry. He missed two good chances to score and gets muscled off the ball too easily. Vetokele was tireless and even helped out in defence, but he needs better support from the midfield. Moussa huffs and puffs to no great effect. This was a game where I would have brought on Church. The appearance of Bulot was one of the highlights of the night for me. He looks very promising.

Glass Half Empty

Derek from Dymchurch writes: 'We were shown up last night. If it was not for the fact that ladies read this page, I would describe our performance using a four letter word. That Belgian geezer is being found out. We have now used up our supply of luck for the season. Mark my words, we'll be in a relegation scrap by Christmas.'

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Playing Wolves

When I first started supporting Charlton, one of the most feared visits was that of Wolves. This was understandable because in 1953/4 they became champions for the first time and were then runners up the following year. This was the era of Billy Wright, their skipper and right half, who had clocked up 54 international appearances by 1953 and was the England captain. He joined Wolves straight from school and he was nearly turned down because he was so small.

It is common these days for footballers to have celebrity partners, but Wright pioneered this trend by marrying Joe Beverley of the Beverley Sisters. With their saccharine style, they were big in the 1950s.

I have the programme for their visit on 21st November 1953, a match which we lost 0-2. Wolves had three other internationals in their team, wing forward Hancocks scoring one of the goals.

The programme described Wolves 'as strong representatives from the Midlands whom we have always associated with all that is best in the game. Before World War II in the Major Buckley era, Wolves were prominent in big transfer deals, and at one period fielded the youngest team in the First Division. Between 1935 and 1939 Wolves received £110,658 in transfer fees - a colossal sum when it is considered that top prices of that period were nothing like as high as they are today.' According to the Bank of England inflation calculator, that would be £6,577,484 in today's prices.

I am looking forward to the game tonight which will be a big test of what Charlton can expect to achieve this season with Wolves one point and two places ahead of the Addicks. Away from home, they have won one, drawn one and lost one. Odds are 19/10 Charlton, draw 9/4, Wolves 6/4.

Solly is likely to be rested and Gudmundsson is likely to be unavailable. I would consider playing Joe Gomez at right back and having Lawrie Wilson further up field.

Yoni Buyens pays tribute to Bob Peeters as a coach here: Buyens

Saturday, 13 September 2014

One is enough - after 100 minutes

The Watford fan on the train complained, 'We conceded a penalty in the first two minutes, we bossed it for the next 88, but we couldn't score.' Part of the problem for Watford was that some chances were thrown away through wayward shots, but credit must also go to the Addicks for resolute defending. The Hornets complained that they were denied a penalty of their own, but it was difficult to get a clear view from where I sit. Having looked at it on television from behind, there was contact, although not a lot so it was easily missed.

After Buyens had dispatched the penalty, Watford came back into the game, but increasingly resorted to blatant fouls as their efforts got them nowhere. The referee was keen to dish out yellow cards, although the Addicks got their share in the second half.

The Hornets came out of the traps determined to score in the second half and for a while we lost our shape and composure. Deeney did score, but it was rightly ruled offside. However, I thought that we recovered somewhat towards the end of the game. Even so, possession was 62-38 in Watford's favour. But then last season we would have capitulated to such an onslaught.

On the way into the ground, a long-standing fan expressed the view that the David Whyte commemoration had gone over the top, albeit it with the best of intentions. However, I thought that the applause on the 10th minute was very appropriate and went well.

I don't know what went wrong at Charlton Station, but there was a long wait for trains and I was lucky to get on one at 5.30. My train from Marylebone had a noisy group on it who turned out to be dentists who had been to a course on botox which they had found 'very draining'. I found the match quite draining in an edge of the seat way, but it was absorbing and in no way like drawing teeth.

Charlton remain unbeaten and are 5th in a table that is tightly packed at the top. Wolves on Tuesday will be a crucial test. Home games are juts like buses: you don't get one for a month and then they come along in pairs.

As Steve Claridge said on The Football League Show, 'The sign of a good manager is doing the best with what you've got and there's no doubt that Bob Peeters is doing that.'

Derek from Dymchurch writes, 'That Belgian geezer can't go on riding his luck. As I've said before, the wheels are coming off. And, no, Acworth is not my long lost cousin.'

Match analysis

Stephen Henderson was my Man of the Match, not just for his saves, but also for his command of his area. One save in the first half required him to spot the ball through a crowd of players. In the second half he made two outstanding saves to keep us in the game. Bikey made a few errors in distribution, but I wouldn't like to face him if I was on the pitch. Ben Haim came close to giving away a penalty, but he also stood up to the onslaught. Solly had a good game, some nice skill and touches. Wiggins foraged forward a few times, but is perhaps not up to the standard of last season.

Buyens took the penalty very well. He made some errors going forward. Cousins didn't seem that involved a lot of the time and some of his corners were poor. Jackson looks a bit off the pace a lot of the time. Playing Gudmundsson when he had picked up an injury on international duty was probably a mistake. It must have been a disappointment for the two Iceland supporters in front of me to see so little of him. Tucudean has a good work rate, but got muscled off the ball too easily. Vetokele didn't seem to be too affected by his recent return from Africa, although he did have a chance to score in the second half.

I am a great fan of Wilson and he did managed to get forward when others didn't, but it wasn't the best performance by the player described in the programme as 12th on the head coach's list. Dyer managed to get round him to create a goal scoring opportunity, but fortunately his shot was dire. Moussa has energy and enthusiasm, but he squandered opportunities a couple of times by failing to pass the ball when he forged forward. Harriott couldn't score and he couldn't help anyone else to score.

If I was still doing Hiss of the Match I would give it to charm merchant Troy Deeney who seemed to think that his role as captain was to try and intimidate the referee.

Friday, 12 September 2014

David Whyte, Whyte, Whyte

Reproduced by kind permission of Rick Everitt

We will be commemorating David Whyte's contribution to Charlton in various ways tomorrow and this Voice of the Valley cover recalls how important his goals were in keeping the club afloat in the mid 1990s.

The article by Corinna Huxley

In the September 1997 issue of Voice of the Valley Corinna Huxley wrote a special tribute to Whyte following his departure (the first ever colour cover featured Clive Mendonca). She noted that the player's relations with Alan Curbishley were not of the best, something that was also evident from Curbs's ghosted autobiography. Apparently he swore at Curbs when he was taken off in a home game against Oxford.

Corinna started supporting Charlton in 1989, so she missed out on Killer's glory days. Of Whyte she wrote: 'He was always my hero, the name I first looked for on the teamsheet.' She pointed out that as well as scoring goals, Whyte scored them for other people. She argued, 'The fact that he ended up joint top scorer despite being dropped and injured indicates to me that he had an excellent goals-to-game ratio.'

Recalling a classic Whyte goal (one that he scored on my 50th birthday), she wrote: 'The last goal we will probably see from Whyte was the opportunist strike he made against Reading in January at Elm Park. The goalie fluffed a pass back from a defender, Whytie pounced on the mistake, went round the keeper and slotted the ball nonchalantly from about 20 yards, neatly bisecting two defenders on the way to the net. Oh how I jumped up and down after that goal! It was classic Whyte.'

'My favourite Whyte goal came two seasons ago at The Valley against Watford. A midfield player passed the ball forward, leaving the flat Watford defence in disarray. Whyte ran on to the pass and chipped the ball over the keeper from about 35 yards into the top right-hand corner of the Covered End. Fantastic.'

His later life was often troubled, but it is moments like that we will recall as we applaud his memory tomorrow.

Big Bob can spend in January

Bob Peeters can spend in the transfer window if Charlton are challenging for promotion. However, those who hoped to sign Messi are going to be disappointed as Roland has made it clear there will be no Manchester United style splashing the cash: which is as it should be.

Read the full Sub-Standard report here: Going for promotion