Sunday, 8 March 2009

What's the way to Foots Cray?

That was the question I was asked in Melbourne yesterday. I am now back home and when I got to Singapore I heard of our 2-3 defeat at home by Watford. We took the lead, one of our strikers actually scored two goals, yet we still failed to win. Phil Parkinson talked of an air of resignation and this tells the tale of a team that has lost all confidence.

I used to watch League 1 football now and then when I went to Rushden and Diamonds games. Compared with League 2, there were fewer agricultural clearances and the game was played at a faster pace. However, there was occasionally some woeful defending which allowed goals to be scored which would not have been possible in the top two divisions.

Next season we are going to see a mixture of journeymen and youngsters. Some pessimists think we will go straight down to League 2 which, given our high fixed costs, would threaten the future of the club. I think we are more likely to be mid-table on the fringes of the play offs.

Those who complained about mid-table mediocrity in the Premiership should reflect on what they wished for, because we could now face the same in League 1.


Anonymous said...

As a percentage of our total fanbase, how many fans do you think were actually calling for Curbs' head and complaining about mid-Premier League mediocrity? It certainly wasn't me or anyone I know. It infuriates me when a small percentage is magnified by the press into "Charlton fans" as a whole.

Anonymous said...

Got to say I'm with the bloke above. I didn't "call for his head", and I don't know anyone else that did either. The media love an angle like that because they can gloat over the fact that we got what we deserved. So they just make it up that we all, to a man, woman and Acworth, wanted Curbs to go.

Pembury Addick

Anonymous said...

Can't agree more with the comments above. It Has f***** me off no end listening to the condecending rhetoric of those who think Charlton's fall can be summed up. I must say Wyn, I'm a little dissapointed that you've chosen to perpetuate this myth even further.

marco said...

.....those who complained about mid table mediocrity.....

I agree with the comments above saying that the phrase doesn't reflect the majority of the Charlton support but then neither does the phrase.
Wyn, you never said that EVERYONE complained, you just stated that some did.
I too listened aghast, as people rang up 606 to say that Curbs had taken the club as far as he could and in fairness he did look very tired in his final 18 months.
Those few who complained are probably feeling very silly now with the benefit of hindsight.
Just to play devil's advocate, when Curbs left the squad needed wholesale changes and a new team needed to be built. Would Curbs have been any more successful than Dowie if he had been offered such a large kitty?
I believe that he would but we will never know.

Wyn Grant said...

Perhaps I am too influenced by sitting in front of the Bloke Behind Me. It's always difficult to put numbers on these things and it was certainly a minority, although quite a vociferous minority at times.

Anonymous said...

Unsurprisingly in view of what has happened to our club, not many are stepping forward to admit to any degree of anti-Curbs thoughts.
Well! i'll say this. The last two seasons under him, were dull and boring. When it became clear Curbs was on his way, i was not exactly distraught. I believed we could move on without him.
O/K i admit it i was wrong, blimey how wrong. Yes i would love to have boring mid-table mediocrity in the Premiership back again.
But then after one and a half season's under Pardew, i was definitely calling for him to go, but he didn't. The board swallowed his bullshit and let him drop us into the relegation places. They then followed up by promoting Parky based on his results as caretaker!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I made a mistake, but others have made some rather more cosequential mistakes too.

Anonymous said...

I never wanted Curbs to go but it was clear that the Board started to believe their own press and think they could push on with out him. 4 appointments later we are clearly a spent force. I support my team 100% but to see how it has performed this season has been heartbreaking. No passion apart from Nicky Bailey. Clearly the coaching is all wrong. How many teams have come to the Valley this season and played us off the park.Parkinson must go at the end of the season and we must start to build again. He has achieved less than Pardew which is saying something!It is going to take a long time I fear to get back to The championship never mind the Premier League. Let us hope that initiatives to start a Premier League 2 do not come to fruitition too soon!

Anonymous said...

For those who doubt Wyn, take a look at NYA blog from December 17, 2005 and the responses. Fair play to NYA, he hasn't since tried to hide it, and he admits in the blog he could be wrong, but it is a sobering reminder of the views of some CAFC fans at that time.

Kappacino Kid said...

I was a fan of Curbs but was not sorry to see him go, the time was right. Of the people I know and Wyn will know, probably it was 1:5 or 1:3 in favour of Curbs going. If you follow the Charltonlife message board, you will see that there are both tose who still worship Curbs and those who wish he had never been at the Valley (OK slight exageration. Curbs going was the right decision for him and us, the decisions we made aftetr that were the problem.

Valley Ant said...

Just looked up the NYA blog from 2005. The last paragraph states:

"I don't have any brilliant ideas for replacements. I don't have any great confidence that a new manager (whoever he is) will be successful. I just know it's time for a change."

I agreed with this opinion at the time and I still agree with it.
It was time for a change IMHO.

Sir Alan new it and he set it in motion by refusing a new contract. The Board just brought it forward 12 months.

The slide of the club since then is the result of poor decisions made, and not made, since Curbs left.

How much input did the supporters views have over events? Probably none.
We are certainly not having any input over current events at a time when you could easily argue that the Board are more likely to take heed of them.

Anonymous said...

A lot of fans claimed that we were standing still in the last couple of years under Curbs. To an extent that was true, the football was drab at times and the soul of the club never recovered from the loss of Parker. Having said that, Curbs was given next to no money for two seasons and was left to rely on the inspired purchase of Darren bent to keep us up in his final season.

When Dowie came in, he was swamped with money for transfers which Reid apart, he threw down the drain. Curbs' purchases in the transfer market were usually spot on, even his more expensive buys worked, think Jensen, Euell, Young etc. There's no reason to suggest that he would have wasted the money Dowie did. I'm still bemused as to why Curbs wasn't given these funds. Of course the midfield looked tired and ineffectual when he left, but is it any surpise given the shoestring budget he operated on for two years?

I agree with those who suggest that the board got carried away with the clubs' success. It was Curbs who brought success to the club, not the board, they just jumped on for the ride and took as much of the praise as they could. As soon as they were left exposed by Curb's departure, their incompetance has come to the fore. I don't question their commitment to the club, but sadly I do have to question their capability of running it.

lesberrysdodgybackpass said...

Wyn, I left the ground with a great feeling of sadness on Saturday, I tried to put it in perspective with the global recession and family illnesses etc, but there it was. Still haven't shaken it off yet. Such a rapid decline. Quite hard to believe, but we're not the first and won't be the last - sheff wednesday, leeds, Millwall, Liecestershire, Man City etc.

I started following the addicks when we were last in the 3rd division and there have been some great goals since and some great players.

A few of my favourites being Shaun Newtons goal against Ipswich in the second play-off. Medonca's & Lisbie's hat-tricks, Bartlett's and Hale's goals of the seasons. In fact there's loads and I could drone on for ages.

What the club needs now (as well as the board learning from past mistakes) is support and I for one whatever happens will be back next season.

Finkle said...

If the club didn't invest heavily in new players to push us to the next level then supporters would have also been moaning. Everything was right to push on such good location to attract big crowds, some good experience in the Premiership with a reputation to attract international players. The gamble didn't work but the directors aren't wholely to blame (it's all Dowie's fault!)

noel said...

actually one of the sad parts of the decline has been the part played by our crowd in a collective sense. The cry to the players to 'show some backbone' always strikes me as ironic from a crowd that seems fickle in the extreme at times. The 'I pay my money so I'm entitled to boo' brigade seem to have no appreciation of the part they play in that decline. The chants of 'your support is effing s**t' again seem ironic in the face of our away support in particular. There are still sparks of the old support which mainly show through in severe adversity - the repeated chorus of Valley Floyd Road when we were relagated was very moving, the gallows humour when 5-2 down to ShefUtd come to mind, and my hope is that our current dip flushes out a few of the types who actually don't want to be there to leave the rest of us to cheer the team on in peace.

Wyn Grant said...

Unfortunately in my experience some of the worst moaners seem to be long-term Charlton supporters rather than Premiership glory hunters (or, more accurately, 'a cheap way to see Premiership football') types. Now I suppose the long-term supporters could say they've suffered in the cause. It's rarely been an easy ride. However - and Inspector Sands has written on this eloquently - some people seem to use football as safety valve for their dissatisfactions with life in general. Again, they can claim that they've paid their money, but it does produce negativity which doesn't really help the team or the club.

noel said...

and judging by the phone-ins etc, it's not just our problem either. It may also have something to do with the money players earn now. It is undoubtedly more difficult to forgive (in particular an apparent lack of effort) when the offending player is walking away with several hundred grand a year. Not since Robinson has there been a player who you could really identify as 'one of us'. Parker walked away in a heartbeat when the Chelski chq book was waved in his direction, but hand on heart I'm sure I'd have done the same if I was lucky enough to be in the same position. I'm afraid I don't really know what the answer is...