Charlton goalkeeper Ben Hamer has no doubts about who is to blame for Charlton's poor performances. It's CP. No, not Chris Powell, the other one: Valley groundsman Colin Powell and the poor state of the Valley pitch. It hasn't been looking too good recently, but the winter weather has been awful. It seems a rather unusual explanation and I'm not sure it will go down too well with the Addickted who have a lot of time for Colin Powell as a former player.
Hamer told Richard Cawley of the South London Press: 'Our pitch this season has been in absolutely awful shape and we’ve not been able to play our football game. Apart from against Cardiff they have not been free-flowing matches - they’ve been nothing short of poor. The pitch has been a big part of that.'
'We need to get that rectified. It was a lot better last season. Lawrie Wilson had the ball on the byline [against Sheffield Wednesday] and when he was just about to play his pass it was all bobbly and horrible. I’m confident in our ability but I don’t feel confident of the pitch. You don’t know what it is going to do, because it is boggy one week and then hard and bobbly the next.'
'I know it’s easy to say that is the excuse for not being good at home but it is a really major factor. God knows why it is so poor - all I do know is that it is not in good nick. It is not conducive to what we’re trying to do. For Sheffield Wednesday it didn’t matter because their strength is launching the ball into the box and winning the aerial challenges.'
'We’ve been playing on some really decent surfaces away from home and have been able to exploit that. Burnley was very good, so was Derby. Watford was exceptional - especially considering they play rugby and football on it. It makes you wonder why ours is so terrible when it only has one game on it every two weeks.'
'Our groundsman won’t be too happy with what I’ve said - but it is something that needs to be addressed.'
Hamer should have seen the pitch in the winter in the 1950s.