Saturday, 22 August 2009

So, farewell then, Andy Gray

There have been quite a few occasions recently when I have had to accompany a report about the departure of a player with the sentence used by the newsreels when Neville Chamberlain stood down as prime minister, 'Thanks, Mr Chamberlain, for all you tried to do.'

Gray is certainly not without skill and maybe he will recover his eye for goal once he has returned to northern climes, but he was a disappointment at Charlton (although the fact that a Pardew signing went wrong is, in retrospect, no surprise). He did, of course, face serious personal problems.

Gray was a big earner, with an annual salary probably in excess of the undisclosed transfer fee which was likely to be not unadjacent to the originally reported figure of £600,000. It's a loss, but only in the sense that almost everything Pardew did was a loss. It gives Phil Parkinson some money to play with ahead of the takeover mirage becoming reality.

There is probably a shared view among the Addickted and Sparrows Lane that the top priority is a centre back to provide cover. We also need a striker. Burton's summer fitness campaign has worked a treat and he has been great at holding the ball up. But he needs a partner (although than former non-league players or headless chickens) so that we have the option of playing 4-4-2. 5-4-1 with Shelvey as attacking midfielder has worked fine so far, but as the season moves on we will want to vary our pattern of attack.

Enjoy the game! This phrase is under license from Curbishley-Varney Inc.


Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who hasn't given up on the prospect of Chris Dickson being a useful asset for Charlton this year? Admittedly some of his performances for Charlton were disappointing last year but he looked very lively even when having an off day. I believe his pace and movement could come in very useful at this level especially given his success for Gillingham playing at this standard a couple of seasons back.

I just feel that we haven't seen the best of him yet and he's the one striker we have at the club who could come good. Would be interested to know your thoughts?

Wyn Grant said...

Sometimes a player can 'click' at one club and not at another. Iwelumo was a case in point at Charlton although he complained with some justification that he didn't get the service. I think that Dickson has more potential than either McLeod or Fleetwood.

Anonymous said...

Wyn,so the transfer embargo has been lifted enabling Gray to move forward, and your thoughts on the takeover / non takeover. Is all about to be finally revealed?

Wyn Grant said...

I have given up on trying to forecast what will happen with the takeover. But if something doesn't happen soon, I don't think it will.