Saturday, 20 December 2014

Very few positives

The 318 Addickted who made the trek to Ewood Park today will have seen very few positives to comfort them on the long journey south. The 2-0 defeat by Blackburn Rovers sends the Addicks down to 12th. It was all effectively over within twenty minutes after two strikes by Jordan Rhodes. It was a poor first half by Charlton with something of a recovery in the second.

The home side got off the mark in the sixth minute when Jordan Cousins was robbed by Shane Duffy and the ball fell to Marshall, who teed up Rhodes for a cool finish. They could easily have fallen further behind in the ninth minute after the jittery Pope inexplicably dropped a cross at the feet of Rudy Gestede, whose effort would have hit the back of the net had it not hit the head of Morgan Fox and flew over. Rudy Gestede's header created another opening for Rhodes, who got to the ball ahead of outstretched goalkeeper Nick Pope and poked in for the second.

Unmarked Igor Vetokele could have pulled one back for the Addicks before the interval, but the ball glanced off his head and went wide of the post. When Callum Harriott was presented with the ball by Grant Hanley, he dragged it wide.

After the break, Charlton tested Jason Steele for the first time, through Johann Berg Gudmundsson, before Vetokele went closer still with a downward header from a corner. André Bikey had Charlton's best chance in the second half, but he sent his header over the bar. Bob Peeters brought on Joe Pigott for Callum Harriott at the break and Charlton increased the pressure on the home team, but they rarely threatened to discomfort the Blackburn defence.

Chris Powell on Sky

Chris Powell was on Fantasy Football Club on Sky last night. He talked a lot about his Charlton days including where his celebration after home victories came from, how much he is looking forward to playing us and the times he had both as a player and manager.

He cited Curbs as giving him his best advice as a manager (to get into the ear of a player), said Curbs and Pardew were the best at joining in on training etc. In picking his best 11 players of those he actually played with - five had worn our shirt -Deano (Chris said although he had roomed with him for 5 years he did not know what Paul Merson told him i.e. that Deano used to work on the roads), Rufus, Parker, Barnes and Di Canio. You can see a clip of him selecting his favourite players here: Powell's 11

After just three months at Huddersfield, Chris Powell is now the 72nd longest serving manager in the Football League.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Rovers have defensive weaknesses

My abiding memory of Ewood Park is when we got a 1-1 draw there to secure our return to the Premiership with the likes of Andy Hunt in the team.

Despite talk of Charlton showing relegation form, they are 13th in the form table while Rovers are 18th. They lost at home to Sheffield Wednesday and were then beaten away at Brentford.

They certainly have defensive weaknesses, having failed to keep a clean sheet in eight games. These defensive concerns will be compounded by the fact that they have now been placed under a transfer embargo. However, their defensive weakness is offset by a potent strike force. Moreover, Rovers look as if they could be at their strongest for two months: Players return .

Those inclined to award a #clueless hashtag to Bob Peeters might like to reflect on the limited materials at his disposal. Vetokele badly needs an effective strike partner and has faded a bit himself with all the responsibilities placed on him.

Charlton have won the last two meetings at Ewood Park. Blackburn's last win at home was 4-1 in the Premier League in April 2007.

Hopefully, Charlton may able to take advantage of weaknesses in the Rovers defence. Even so, this could be yet another draw. But that would be better than a pointless long trek back from what looks like being a cold day 'oop north.

Odds: (Coral) Blackburn 8/11, Draw 11/4, Charlton 15/4.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Ipswich hunting Fox

Ipswich Town are reported to be interested in signing Morgan Fox in the January transfer window as a replacement for Tyrone Mings who may be heading for the Emirates: Morgan Fox

I'm not sure how far Wiggins is off fitness, but such a move would leave us without cover at left back, even given that Solly can play there at a stretch.

Morro signs for Blues

Michael Morrison, as anticipated, has signed a permanent deal with Birmingham City: Morrison

Coincidentally, I just had a Birmingham City supporter in the house (doing a television interview) and he reckoned that Morrison had given them just what they wanted.

Problem is, would you play him in front of TBH and Bikey? I doubt whether he was happy with being cover.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Kevin Nicholls remembers

One time Charlton midfielder Kevin Nicholls has a double page spread on his career in this week's Football League Paper. It was of particular interest to me as my late wife was one of his kit sponsors.

Nicholls recalls going to Charlton 'when I was about 14 or 15 after being scouted by Lee Bowyer's dad, Dave Bowyer, and it just went from there. I was coached by John Cartwright, Neil Banfield, who is now part of the Arsenal set up, Keith Peacock and Alan Curbishley.'

'It was a very good family club and I'll always owe them for giving me my first pro contract and making me a professional footballer.'

Nicholls recalls going as a sub at Roker Park aged 17 and coming up against Kevin Ball: 'He just steamrollered me and gave me a lesson in the physicality of the game.'

Nicholls had to retire from the game at the age of 31 through injury and now works for the Elite Management Agency.

One of my memories of Nicholls is of him scoring an early and perhaps rather lucky goal in a match against (I think) Sheffield United.

New time for Football League show

It looks as if the Football League Show is going to shift to a new time at 9 pm on Saturdays, before Match of the Day. Channel 5, it is reported, has secured a three year contract taking the programme away from the BBC: Football League Show

The present late night timing has been inconvenient for many, although there has been a repeat on Sunday mornings. This will continue.

Whether Charlton will get more than the customary thirty seconds to one minute remains to be seen.