Friday, 14 January 2011

Charlton negativity?

An interesting range of reactions, but some of the famous Charlton negativity and pessimism already surfacing. All fans are negative about their own clubs to some extent, but it was the Sporting Post that once observed that the Addickted were especially so.

That might be a rational reaction to the club's history: only one major trophy and that in the year I was born. Personally I always blame Hitler because I think if we had continued to develop in the 1940s we might well have won the league.

The feeling of solidarity engendered by the return to The Valley campaign overcame this negativity for a while and I think this persisted as we consolidated in the second tier, developed the ground and then, on the day of all days, got promoted at Wembley. We came back down again, but no one blamed Curbs or the team for that given our resources and we were champions the following year and established ourselves in the Premiership.

After a few seasons, the negativity started to creep in. People deny it now, but there were complaints about mid-table mediocrity and Curbs not being able to take us to the next level, whatever that was for a club the size of Charlton.

I enjoyed being in the Premiership because I liked seeing the so-called top players for myself. One was able to see Shearer administer the elbow and get away with it or have his card rescinded. We won some enjoyable victories against Arsenal, Chelsea and Livepool, unfortunately not United, but Fergie always respected Curbs and The Valley which he said was a difficult ground to play at.

I would be happy with us getting back to the Championship and consolidating there in the medium-term. I think that the new owners have the determination and the means to do that.

I supported Parky while he was manager. I thought he had a difficult inheritance and very few resources to cope with it. In the circumstances he did a decent job. My information was that the club was very close to the brink financially. Not only would have paying off Parky been financially testing, we couldn't afford anyone better.

We suffered three bad home defeats. The one against Brighton was really their victory rather than our loss. The one against Walsall could be written off as a bad day at the office, you always get one every season. But I think that the Swindon loss indicated that something was fundamentally wrong. As the New York Addick pointed out, our position in the table masked the problems we faced. For once the form table was the one to pay attention to.

I think that Parky made poor tactical decisions, possibly he started to panic as things went wrong and he saw his job on the line. In any event the board did not like what they saw and noted the reactions of fans. They want to increase the gate and appointing Chris Powell is one way of doing that. I do not think that before the Swindon game that they have decided to sack Parky or they would have had a successor lined up.

This post is already too long so I will write about Chris Powell later in the day. For now, welcome back Chris, I am sure people will set their reservations to one side and get behind you at The Valley. But please insist on some new signings because in my view the problem has been the team at least as much as the manager.


Raoul Duke said...

Excellent post, Wyn. Couldn't agree more.

The expected appointment of Chris Powell is a gamble, but as has been pointed out by others, any managerial appointment is a gamble. And with Powell taking the hot seat there is an incredible amount of positive energy that's coming with it. His appointment also differs from that of the Shearers and Gunns, as Powell has gained his coaching badges and is already quickly gaining a fast-growing reputation for his coaching skills: wanted at Premiership 'Big Boys' Newcastle as Pardew's no.2, and touted highly by Sven.

The fact is - forgetting it's Charlton for a moment - Powell is starting his managerial career not at a Prem club or even a Championship one, but at a club in the Thrid tier.

Of course, only time will tell how successful Powell proves as a manager at Charlton (assuming he is appointed), but I feel more optimistic and inspired than most of the other names mentioned, and just excited by the infamous Charlton negativity disappearing from The Valley. It is very rare for the vast majority of Addicks to feel so positive with regards to the club, so lets build on that and carry that euphoria forward. If it does go tits-up then so be it; life goes on, and Chris Powell will always be a legend.

What a miserable World it would be without Romanticism. Good things do happen, even at Charlton.

¡Viva la revolución!

The Living Dad said...

A good post, yes. I too blame Hitler and his cunning plan to stop Charlton dominating English football when they were at their peak. It's not the worst of his crimes admittedly, but it's still galling!

We do have more than our fair share of moaners, that's true. Most have been overwhelmingly positive about Chris Powell's appointment and I hope they are right to be so. It's been a very emotional response to the return of a much-loved legend but there are always a few trying to put a dampener on things.

They may well prove to be the most realistic but where's the harm in enjoying the moment and celebrating such a welcome return? If it does go pear there'll be plenty of time for renewed moaning then.

For now, I'm moist with love for Sir Chris.

crowboroughaddick said...

Couldn't agree with you more. I wolud add that I think we have more than our fair share of moaners, and faceless ones at that. Or are they really Charlton fans. If people are going to moan, then have the decency to put a name to it, even if it is a pen name.

On a positive note, not even half the season has gone past, and yes the truth of how far we have fallen is how poor the playing staff are now. That is a result of how far we have fallen. As I have posted elsewhere, several players with a passion for Charlton are not currently getting a game, so lets get them back on loan. Bailey, Sam Sodje,Sam and Shelvey if he can be persauded would all make a difference. Whoever is up front is never going to score unless they get some service, and that has been in short supply.

Its amazing what a bit of passion and a bit of quality can achive. This will put bums on seats too, so COYA.

Crowborough Addick

Mike Woodhouse said...

If it's really really happening (the Leicester Mercury seems to think it is) then I'm cautiously optimistic. All right, a bit more than cautiously - I may consider attending a game for the first time since the Dowie days. (The scale of my disillusionament may be measured by my having been a season ticket holder for the 30 years prior to that, plus 2000 VIP, shareholder, yada yada).

My main fear is that, gaving adored Sir Chris as a footballer and human being since pretty much his Charlton debut, it may all end in tears. I'll try to hang on to that last shred of pessimism.

Daniel said...

OK OK we know you're all happy about the prodigal son's return but this is all getting a bit rich. Most of those unsure about Chris Powell's appointment were the ones not moaning when Parky was in charge, and wanting him to stay in the job and get the board's backing. You can't have it both ways. There is far too much negativity at the Valley for sure, but sounding words of caution on little-read message boards and blogs is hardly akin to chanting "Parky you're a c&%t" in the middle of a game (which I'm sure none of you condone).

I hope we're all gonna support Chris and be patient with him, but that doesn't mean that anyone who possibly doubts that this move will work for us or him is a negative moaner.

Let's all try to get along ey?

Geoff said...

I'm not sure we are that much worse than others. Who else recalls the self-appointed "Best fans in the World" slagging their team at St James's Park, and very recently, not just in the days of Alderman McKeag? Listened to the crowd at the Bridge lately, or talked to a Blue? Picked out the cheers in Hodgson's Liverpool games? What about home apathy, eg Old T?
In any case, it is a tradition to moan - see Harry Pearson's numerous stories of The Bloke Behind Me (TBBM). In the 60s on the vast East Terrace we even used to look for a particular moaner in order to stand in front of him for a laugh. And the team weren't all that bad. In the 2nd leg of the play-off in May TBBM was moaning before the start, and was the only happy person at the whistle because for once his forecast had come true. It's football, (in the good old cliché).
And so, some will moan about Lord Powell of Camberwell and make ludicrous suggestions about how known failures (Johnson) and unproven "rising stars" (Hill, Tidsdale) wd have been better. The name Warnock(!) was even mentioned elsewhere, by someone clearly living in a parallel universe. CP will have the same resource probs as PP, but he will INSPIRE which seemed beyond Parky. Give him a go, and C'mon you Reds!

Wyn Grant said...

@ Daniel, I was always supportive of Parky, but that support had started to wear thin and I think Swindon finally tested it. The important thing now is to try and unite behind Chris whatever our reservations. The crowd can be the 12th man and it was too easy to turn the crowd under Parky. Some players also need to up their act or be shown the door.

New York Addick said...


Gary Johnson's record:

- won FA Trophy, Conference and League Two in the space of four seasons at Yeovil;
- won promotion to Championship at Bristol City then reached play-off final the following season (losing to Hull) - was sacked with the team in midtable;
- left Peterborough with the team in 7th place, 4 points from 2nd.

What a consistent record of failure.

Daniel said...

I understand that Wyn, but my point is that it is unfair to label anyone unsure about the new appointment a moaner given the fact that they were often the ones most supportive of the last regime (not saying anyone in favour of Chris now was necessarily a Parky moaner themselves).

Completely agree we need to get behind the team now, but let's not pressurise a rookie coach by taking a spirit of unrealistic blind optimism into the next run of fixtures only to have a deflated sense of doom 10 games later. I find this scenario pretty similar to the one at Liverpool, Hodgson and Parky were doing OK with very squads of limited ability, King Ken and Sir Chris may lift the place but there is no reason to expect them to be more successful than their predecessors (in my opinion)

Wyn Grant said...

@ Daniel. I understand why people have genuine doubts, but some of the comments go way beyond that referring to a 'terrible' appointment or the like and it certainly isn't that. What we don't want to reproduce, and I don't think we will, is the atmosphere of negativity at The Valley under Parky: away from The Valley, the team often played better.

Geoff said...


Sorry to upset you over your man Johnson. One has to abbreviate, partic on someone else's blog. The Posh may have a bit of history in the sacking dept, but they are not the first to dispense with GJ's services. His Latvian tenure was not blessed and he left Bristol C by mutual consent after a couple of disastrous results and lingering doubts about the use of family members on and off field.
Indisputable success with Yeovil and he could be our man if ever we need to win the FA Trophy, Blue Square Premier and League Two. I hope not.

New York Addick said...

No worries, Geoff. I've a horrid feeling the League Two experience may come in handy one day but we'll see.

Good luck Chris.

ac said...

Spot on.