Monday, 9 May 2011

An American Addick's perspective

I thought that this contribution to the Glynne Jones list by American sports journalist Doug Chapman deserved a wider audience:

During the wilderness years of Selhurst and Upton Park, it was a most welcomed chore to follow Charlton from overseas. The Battle For The Valley was often more interesting than the actual football. In fact, it often wasn't even close. The cast of characters were also often more interesting than the players.

It was about waiting for the latest issue of Voice of The Valley to arrive in the post, immediately cracking open the brown envelope and reading from cover-to-cover. Filing it away, then reading it from cover-to-cover again just before the next one finally arrived.

And it was about picking up a London Sunday newspaper at a local newsagent, hopefully by Wednesday, and if lucky, maybe Tuesday afternoon. And it was also about a shortwave radio, and listening to the BBC coverage.

Then came the Internet, and "The List" and ... it all became so much easier. And around the same time, Charlton was in ascension. And all of the better. I could actually watch most of the matches,and at the least, highlights. And listen to them all on the 'net for free.

The Premier League is the best place for your club to be, especially if you are overseas. The fall from grace was hard, and hurtful. At least in The Championship, I could see occasional matches and all of the highlights.

The Third Division is not so easy. Charlton Player is third division, at best. The team has been pretty woeful, and the as esprit de corps among the supporters has been replaced by greater moaning ... even if completely justified moaning.

It is so easy to follow any club in the Premier League today. From anywhere. Oh, for mid-table mediocrity again in the Premiership, as opposed to League 1, errrrr, the Third Division.

I think this season gave a lot of Addicks "Charlton fatigue." Well, there is always next season. But, my god, we need to get out of this horrible division!

Onward, upward ... let's have a close season to get us excited again!


Crowborough Addick said...

Wyn, to what a long time a year is in football, Charlton lost out to Swindon Town 12 months ago. Look at them both now.

I think the most important transfer all summer was the signing of Gordon Greer by Brighton & Hove Albion from Swindon Town. He was their natural leader without being a mega star. By the middle of this season, Swindon had also sold their two star strikers, and they then capitulated.

Whoever is manager of Charlton by the start of the new season, needs to start by finding a Leader and build a team around him. We have had quality strikers every season, but a dirth of supply, so sort that out too, as we continue to blame the strikers for not scoring.

Enjoy the close season, and I hope you all recharge your batteries and regain an appetite for the upcoming season.

Anonymous said...

Hello Wyn. I often share your views regarding how both the club is managed and how the team perform as well as which ones should play. I was not one who thought that PP should be fired, but that is history now. SCP has now been promised ("enough")money to build a new team. I do see a great risk that expectations will be huge. The new owners though seems to have patience and seem to think that the SCP is the right man to lead the team, otherwise he would have had to go for a long time ago, given the downright abysmal results that he and the team performed during the spring. I hope that Michael Stewart will stay. I'm not convinced that Racon is the right man in midfield and we need a faster and more playing central defender. Hope you continue writing your blog next season as they are very readable.

Kap said...

Having been at bromley addicks last night, my fears for next season are intense. Contrary to the promises of significant investment by slater, we are advised .y cp that next years budget for wages and transfers is less than this seasons. There maybe a contingency fund and cp will fight hard for the right support to meet the promotion target, but don't expect a deluge of million pound players. To counter the shortfall, semedo racon and youga will be out of contract freeing around £1.2 m.

Wyn Grant said...

What Kap has to say is disheartening because I think that even loyal fans would be severely tested by another seasion like the one that has just ended. Of course at League 1 level one can get a decent player for much less than £1m but losing Semedo would be a big blow.