Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Charlton put to the plough at Ipswich

With Gomez brought in as a late change following a hamstring problem, it looked like a 3-5-2 formation for Charlton at Portman Road. Charlton made an attack in the first minute but Cousins was unable to find the target.

Ipswich won their first corner after Cousins failed to intercept, followed by a second. Etheridge gathered the header. Murphy put in a shot but Solly got his body in the way at the expense of a third corner.

Ipswich got a free kick off Bikey in a dangerous position. McGoldrick’s effort went of the post and Bikey cleared.

Vetokele spotted Gudmundsson, but he couldn’t quite get on the end of it. Gomez had to give away a corner. Vetokele dealt with the corner well, but Ipswich got a fifth corner, followed by a sixth with Charlton under pressure.

Gudmundsson put in a powerful shot which wasn’t far off target. Ipswich won their seventh corner after 20 minutes. Buyens put in a forceful challenge.

Ipswich won their eighth corner as the half hour mark was passed and the ball went out for a ninth. Chambers had a free header , it hit Jackson, Etheridge tried to control it but Smith who had space put it in the back of the net.

Charlton mounted an attack which had to be cleared off the line. The Addicks kept up the pressure but to no avail. Solly put in a cross, but Tucudean fired over.

The Addicks conceded their tenth corner. Ipswich then won a free kick which hit the post and then went out for a corner.

Charlton were under the cosh for long periods of the half, but there was a good response after the goal.

HT: Tractors 1, Addicks 0

Ipswich started the half with another corner. Gudmundsson put in a shot but it went straight into the arms of the keeper. Gomez put the ball into Vetokele but the flag was raised. McGoldrick got a yellow card for trying to take out Gomez.

Charlton put in a good move as they got into the game more. Solly had to defend at the expense of a corner, followed by yet another. The ball came off the crossbar from a McGoldrick header (he may have been offside) and Murphy put it in to make it 2-0. The home fans woke up.

A shot from McGoldrick went over the bar with the goal at his mercy.

Charlton won their first corner of the game. A shot from Gudmundsson led to a save from the keeper and another Charlton corner.

Bulot came on in place of Jackson. After good work on the right, Charlton won a corner. Bulot couldn’t get the ball under control.

Ipswich won another corner. A shot from Gudmundsson took a deflection leading to a corner, their fifteenth. Smith brought Vetokele down. Charlton won another corner. Tucudean got a yellow card. McGoldrick burst through and made it 3-0. Bikey thought there was offside by Hunt and got a yellow card. Ben Haim had to defend well to stop it becoming 4-0. There had to be some good defending to stop a fourth.

I filled in my predictions for the second half of the season for the West Sussex competition this morning and put this down as 2-0 to Ipswich, so the defeat was no surprise, but still disappointing, especially for the 1,023 Addicks who made the journey on this cold night. Unfortunately, our marking at set pieces let us down.

.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Charlton fans as seen in the looking glass

An Ipswich fan has put together a lengthy compilation of views culled from the Charlton fans about the club's recent performances and their players: Forum views

Some fans are saying that we are already showing relegation form which speaks volumes about the extent to which it is possible to be pessimistic about one's own team. 11th doesn't look like a relegation position.

Optimists argue that the play off places are not out of reach, which of course they are not. However, this looks like a mid-table season to me, the unresolved question is whether we will be upper or lower mid table.

Well-informed commentators point out that the club's position is not sustainable in the Championship with losses of £5 million a year. Unless we can get promoted, the options are relegation or administration (or perhaps both). Even a year in the Premiership would give us around £120m (less additional spending on players) which would set us up in the Championship for a few years, not to mention the generous parachute payments. It's a strange world where you can have a strategy of getting promoted to get relegated to stay afloat.

Pardew for Palace?

There has been widespread speculation that Alan Pardoo may fill the managerial vacancy at Crystal Palace. Possibly he sees South London as the scene of former triumphs.

However, up in Newcastle they are more sceptical. They reckon that Pardew is playing a rather risky power game with Mike Ashley and also point out that Ashley would demand massive compensation to release Pardew from his eight year contract and even if the Glaziers cashed in all their Nectar points they couldn't afford it: Pardew

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Delort rumours are probably false

Reports that Andy Delort will after all come to Charlton on loan probably have no real basis often than the speculations of journalists seeing the world through a post Christmas alcoholic haze.

Delort is certainly unhappy at Wigan where he feels that he has not been given enough opportunities. However, he wants to return to France and that does not mean a French-speaking dressing room in SE7. Indeed, Montpellier and Lens are said to be interested.

Elsewhere Neil Warnock has been sacked as Palace manager after they slipped into the relegation places: Warnock

The last three Palace managers have barely had time to build up their Nectar points as they have all lasted less than a year. A no doubt false Alan Curbishley account has tweeted 'Hey, Palace, I'm available!

Friday, 26 December 2014

Harriott sent off

It was Etheridge in goal with Vetokele on the bench and Tucudean up front as Charlton faced Cardiff City at The Valley this afternoon. Gomez was playing at left back. Cardiff won an early corner. Ben Haim cleared and Charlton tried to break.

Cardiff took the lead after 11 minutes from a dead ball, Etheridge having no chance as the ball went into the far right-hand corner. Etheridge dived at the feet of Jones to deny him, but it was offside anyway.

Harriott put in a good cross, but the defender got to it and did not reach Tucudean. Ben Haim put in great work, but the ball was too far in front of Tucudean.

After 26 minutes good work by Harriott got Charlton their first corner.

Callum Harriott got the red card on 32 minutes. It was difficult to criticise the decision. It was frustration after a poor first touch.

Tucudean put in a shot from a tight angle after good work by Charlton on the right hand side and Marshall in the Cardiff goal had to make a good save. The Addicks were not able to make anything of the corner.

HT: Addicks 0, Bluebirds 1

Cardiff piled forward early in the second half as they tried to make the most of their numerical advantage, but Gunnarsson had his shot saved. The hosts responded as Johann Berg Gudmundsson won a corner when his effort was pushed behind, leaving Johnnie Jackson to hit the post from the resulting set piece. Kenwyne Jones and Noone continued to put the Charlton defence under pressure, but were unable to increase Cardiff's lead ahead of the hour mark. Igor Vetokele came off the bench despite carrying a knock to try to salvage a point for Charlton, and he forced a save after latching on to a rebound once Gudmundsson had been denied.

Adeyemi tried to put the result beyond doubt for the visitors, but the goal-scorer's finish from the middle of the box was straight at the keeper.

Charlton produced a spirited second-half display, with George Tucudean's back-heel hitting a post and Gudmundsson shooting against the woodwork. Tucudean's flick was then cleared off the line by Sean Morrison before Gudmundsson's stunning strike deservedly levelled with two minutes left. Charlton are 12th in the table.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Cardiff fans disenchanted

Cardiff fans are disenchanted with their club. Of course, this is partly to do with the rebranding of the club, but it also reflects recent performances. With one point from the last three games, the Bluebirds are prone to lose possession of the ball in midfield (sounds a bit like Charlton really): Cardiff City

Cardiff fans are stepping up their campaign to play in blue again with new protests planned: Bluebirds

Owner Vincent Tan has, however, dismissed the protests and insisted that Cardiff will stay red (but presumably not at The Valley): Charm merchant

The last time we met Cardiff at The Valley it was the great fight back which led to the 5-4 win. Games before that ended 3-0 and 2-2.

There is an outside chance of Johnnie Jackson returning from his calf injury, but Henderson, Wiggins and Moussa are all unavailable.

Odds are: Charlton, 15/8; draw, 23/10; Cardiff, 7/5.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Katrien Meire interview

The full text of the Katrien Meire interview with the BBC can be found here: Katrien

No real revelations and surprises, but still interesting. She and Roland think that Charlton can be a little bit bigger than it is.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Pritchard's picks

Former Charlton midfielder Bradley Pritchard chooses a number of former Charlton team mates in his Dream Team in this week's Football League Paper.

Of Chris Solly he says, 'He's a club hero at Charlton. I probably remember 20 minutes of one game against Middlesbrough where he struggled but, apart from that, no one has ever come close to dribbling past him on a regular basis. He's got the footballing brain to play in the Premier.'

Ben Hamer qualifies 'because he has the best distribution of any keeper I've played with. He could hit half-volleys with incredible accuracy. He has the body of a postman, though.' [What does this mean?]

'I have to go for my ex-room-mate Cedric Evina, purely because people need a bit of humour to concentrate on the pitch and he was a real character. One of the key things the year Charlton went up from League One was our team spirit and he was one of the guys that created that atmosphere.'

Dale Stephens 'was certainly one of the best midfielders I've ever played with, he was just a complete player. He was outstanding in Charlton's promotion year. His distribution was superb and I think he's Premier quality.'

Danny Hollands: 'The year Charlton went up I think he got eight goals and he's fantastic on a night out as well. He definitely helps with the team spirit. A lot of memories I have of Charlton are off the field and Danny is one of the major protagonists in those.'

Bradley Wright-Phillips had to be included 'after the year he's had with New York Red Bulls. You could see he was a quality finisher and a good guy to have around the place. After all he did to get Charlton into the Championship, it was good to see him get the recognition he deserves at Red Bulls.

Tony Watt to join Charlton?

It is being reported that 20-year old striker Tony Watt is to leave the mother ship and join Charlton: New signing?

Admittedly his career has been stuttering in Belgium, but I still think he could be what we need.

Interesting report here on 'one of the most talented young Scottish players of his generation: Tony Watt

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Very few positives

The 318 Addickted who made the trek to Ewood Park today will have seen very few positives to comfort them on the long journey south. The 2-0 defeat by Blackburn Rovers sends the Addicks down to 12th. It was all effectively over within twenty minutes after two strikes by Jordan Rhodes. It was a poor first half by Charlton with something of a recovery in the second.

The home side got off the mark in the sixth minute when Jordan Cousins was robbed by Shane Duffy and the ball fell to Marshall, who teed up Rhodes for a cool finish. They could easily have fallen further behind in the ninth minute after the jittery Pope inexplicably dropped a cross at the feet of Rudy Gestede, whose effort would have hit the back of the net had it not hit the head of Morgan Fox and flew over. Rudy Gestede's header created another opening for Rhodes, who got to the ball ahead of outstretched goalkeeper Nick Pope and poked in for the second.

Unmarked Igor Vetokele could have pulled one back for the Addicks before the interval, but the ball glanced off his head and went wide of the post. When Callum Harriott was presented with the ball by Grant Hanley, he dragged it wide.

After the break, Charlton tested Jason Steele for the first time, through Johann Berg Gudmundsson, before Vetokele went closer still with a downward header from a corner. André Bikey had Charlton's best chance in the second half, but he sent his header over the bar. Bob Peeters brought on Joe Pigott for Callum Harriott at the break and Charlton increased the pressure on the home team, but they rarely threatened to discomfort the Blackburn defence.

Chris Powell on Sky

Chris Powell was on Fantasy Football Club on Sky last night. He talked a lot about his Charlton days including where his celebration after home victories came from, how much he is looking forward to playing us and the times he had both as a player and manager.

He cited Curbs as giving him his best advice as a manager (to get into the ear of a player), said Curbs and Pardew were the best at joining in on training etc. In picking his best 11 players of those he actually played with - five had worn our shirt -Deano (Chris said although he had roomed with him for 5 years he did not know what Paul Merson told him i.e. that Deano used to work on the roads), Rufus, Parker, Barnes and Di Canio. You can see a clip of him selecting his favourite players here: Powell's 11

After just three months at Huddersfield, Chris Powell is now the 72nd longest serving manager in the Football League.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Rovers have defensive weaknesses

My abiding memory of Ewood Park is when we got a 1-1 draw there to secure our return to the Premiership with the likes of Andy Hunt in the team.

Despite talk of Charlton showing relegation form, they are 13th in the form table while Rovers are 18th. They lost at home to Sheffield Wednesday and were then beaten away at Brentford.

They certainly have defensive weaknesses, having failed to keep a clean sheet in eight games. These defensive concerns will be compounded by the fact that they have now been placed under a transfer embargo. However, their defensive weakness is offset by a potent strike force. Moreover, Rovers look as if they could be at their strongest for two months: Players return .

Those inclined to award a #clueless hashtag to Bob Peeters might like to reflect on the limited materials at his disposal. Vetokele badly needs an effective strike partner and has faded a bit himself with all the responsibilities placed on him.

Charlton have won the last two meetings at Ewood Park. Blackburn's last win at home was 4-1 in the Premier League in April 2007.

Hopefully, Charlton may able to take advantage of weaknesses in the Rovers defence. Even so, this could be yet another draw. But that would be better than a pointless long trek back from what looks like being a cold day 'oop north.

Odds: (Coral) Blackburn 8/11, Draw 11/4, Charlton 15/4.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Ipswich hunting Fox

Ipswich Town are reported to be interested in signing Morgan Fox in the January transfer window as a replacement for Tyrone Mings who may be heading for the Emirates: Morgan Fox

I'm not sure how far Wiggins is off fitness, but such a move would leave us without cover at left back, even given that Solly can play there at a stretch.

Morro signs for Blues

Michael Morrison, as anticipated, has signed a permanent deal with Birmingham City: Morrison

Coincidentally, I just had a Birmingham City supporter in the house (doing a television interview) and he reckoned that Morrison had given them just what they wanted.

Problem is, would you play him in front of TBH and Bikey? I doubt whether he was happy with being cover.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Kevin Nicholls remembers

One time Charlton midfielder Kevin Nicholls has a double page spread on his career in this week's Football League Paper. It was of particular interest to me as my late wife was one of his kit sponsors.

Nicholls recalls going to Charlton 'when I was about 14 or 15 after being scouted by Lee Bowyer's dad, Dave Bowyer, and it just went from there. I was coached by John Cartwright, Neil Banfield, who is now part of the Arsenal set up, Keith Peacock and Alan Curbishley.'

'It was a very good family club and I'll always owe them for giving me my first pro contract and making me a professional footballer.'

Nicholls recalls going as a sub at Roker Park aged 17 and coming up against Kevin Ball: 'He just steamrollered me and gave me a lesson in the physicality of the game.'

Nicholls had to retire from the game at the age of 31 through injury and now works for the Elite Management Agency.

One of my memories of Nicholls is of him scoring an early and perhaps rather lucky goal in a match against (I think) Sheffield United.

New time for Football League show

It looks as if the Football League Show is going to shift to a new time at 9 pm on Saturdays, before Match of the Day. Channel 5, it is reported, has secured a three year contract taking the programme away from the BBC: Football League Show

The present late night timing has been inconvenient for many, although there has been a repeat on Sunday mornings. This will continue.

Whether Charlton will get more than the customary thirty seconds to one minute remains to be seen.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Valley of disappointment

Igor Vetokele reminded us before the game that we shouldn't read the results off the table. Even so, it was a disappointing performance by Charlton at The Valley today. Having let Blackpool go 1-0 ahead, we drew level through a Buyens penalty and went ahead through a golden goal by Cousins, but then a mistake by Pope allowed the Seasiders to draw level.

I wasn't quite sure what the formation was in the first half, but whatever it was it wasn't working. We failed to use the width of the pitch which Blackpool did more effectively. They seemed to be getting too much space. Our passing was patient and accurate, but it was a disjointed performance and we simply didn't push forward quickly enough.

Whatever Peeters said at half time had some effect and we started to play with more urgency. However, once we got the second goal, the search for a third which would have put the match beyond reach was unsuccessful and one knew that Blackpool were going to seize their chance.

Bikey had a chance to make it 3-2 in time added on, but put the ball way over. But he's a central defender not a centre forward.

Charlton had moved up one place to tenth, but are now five points off the play offs.

Ramsgate resident Rick Everitt reflects on the return of the boo boys in a balanced and interesting piece: The view from Ramsgate. Rick will be personally signing copies of his book Battle for the Valley at the open day for the museum on December 21st. His gnomes need more room in his workshop to make special Christmas themed Charlton toys, so buy a book if you can.

Given the inevitable assertions that we are now displaying relegation form, it might be worth noting that we are 13th in the form table. I have also seen the first 'Peeters out, clueless' post, but I assume (or hope) it was a joke.

Player ratings

Nick Pope got a big splash in the programme, but this was not his day. He did make a good save from Murphy's free kick early on, but he was arguably at fault for the first goal where he was flailing around and certainly responsible for the second. The rumour mill suggests that Henderson will be out for a long time and Etheridge is an unknown quantity. A reliable goalkeeper is the foundation of success.

Ben Haim had a very solid game and dealt with a number of threats in an accomplished fashion. Bikey performed his defensive duties well enough. Gomez put in a good performance and it is easy to forget that he is 17. Fox needs to get forward more, but lacks confidence. Not having Wiggins is a big problem.

Solly was named as captain, but didn't look too comfortable playing in midfield. One forgets what Jackson adds until he isn't there. Gudmundsson was anonymous in the earlier part of the game, but became more involved as time went on. Buyens took is penalty in a cool and confident fashion. Cousins had a bit of a hesitant start, like a lot of the team, but his 25 yard strike as real quality. Harriott had a couple of attempts on goal which weren't too far off, but that was about it.

Vetokele was being roundly abused as 'useless' by the young Bloke Behind Me who is even more irritating than his older companion. He does seem to have lost his shooting boots, but he did win the penalty. Tucudean added nothing when he came on. Vetokele badly needs an effective partner.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Blackpool hoping for first away win

Blackpool are hoping for their first away win of the season at The Valley tomorrow or at the very least a draw, as they seek to continue their three match unbeaten run: Only Way Is Up

The last four Charlton games against Blackpool have ended in two wins for the Addicks and two draws.Charlton are unbeaten in the last seven meetings at The Valley in all competitions, winning five. Blackpool's last win there was 2-1 in the old Division Two in November 1976.

Odds are: Charlton 10/11, Draw 12/5, Blackpool 16/5.

According to the rumour mill, 20 year old striker Jack McBean from LA Galaxy is training with us. He is the youngest player to sign for the MLS club in its history and has a Scottish father: Career details

Morro wants to stay at Brum

Michael Morrison says that there is no future for him at Charlton. He wants to extend his loan at Birmingham and stay there permanently if possible: Morrison

He did a good job for us and I shall be sorry to see him go, but it is probably inevitable.

Buyens could start against Blackpool

With Johnnie Jackson out injured, Yoni Buyens could start against Blackpool as he returns to full fitness: Line Up

We often wonder what Jackson contributes until he goes off and then something seems to be missing, perhaps the spaces he fills as he reads the game are then unoccupied. Buyens impressed me at the start of the season, but then seemed to fall away.

Selection problems increased with the news that Francis Coquelin has been recalled to Arsenal to ease a defensive crisis: Coquelin. Radio 5 seemed to think he was on loan at Leicester.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

How are we doing?

Below are some thoughts on our progress published on the Glynne Jones list. They represent good sense and I thought that they were worth reproducing.

Our record of Won 6, Drawn 11 and Lost 3 is respectable and we sit in 11th place, three points from the play offs and eleven points from third from bottom. I would have taken that before the start of the season. Also some of the football played has been a big improvement on last season however I take into account the new pitch as a contributory factor. The laying of the new pitch is the best thing RD has done for us so far, the quality of football in the matches not only by us but by the opposition as well is much better. This leads to better quality matches.

With some investment in the forward line and attacking midfield in January could see us making a bid for the play offs although I am happy for measured progress and if you can get better players on better deals then the long term deals will need to wait until the summer. However we will need in my opinion a decent striker either on loan or short term signing to support Vetokele in January.

I don't think our squad has the quality in depth to make a sustained challenge at the top although we have a good quality first 16 with some promising young players as well.

I can understand some peoples frustration that if we had more up top and scored more goals turning draws into wins then we could be top six. However considering everything the club are in a better position than twelve months ago and the outlook good if RD invests a reasonable amount in the squad. Also I think he needs to consider Bob Peeters contract which was only for one year and for stability and planning I'd like to see him be given another two years. He has made errors but is learning the English game and he could be really good for us. I think going just from year to year is too short term a vision.

I think it's fair to say that not everyone has bought into the RD vision and some need persuading. I'd be fibbing if I said I was 100% sure that RD was perfect for us, for me, it is still too early to tell but it is promising. Our attendances are a bit disappointing and not showing much sign of increasing. The lack of goals recently at The Valley hasn't helped and a quality forward signing in January leading to more goals and wins especially at home could well boost the numbers. Time will tell on that one.

Overall I am satisfied with the progress made, we are higher up the table than I thought and not looking too nervously at the bottom three. The football is better and we have the best forward we have had at the club for quite a few years in Vetokele. Young players like Cousins and Gomez promise to achieve great things and I hope the crowd get behind Harriott as I think he has the talent to be a good player for us. His confidence seems very fragile but when confident he is a real handful.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Draw specialists

Charlton confirmed their reputation as draw specialists with a 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest today which saw them fall to 11th in the table. At least they didn't go down 1-5 at home like Millwall.

Callum Harriott scored for the Addicks in the 10th minute, taking advantage of a pass from Jordan Cousins. Forest had more of the game in the second half with Tesche equalising with a volley on 59 minutes.

When Johann Berg Gudmundsson had picked out Harriott 20 yards from goal, the Charlton forward still had work to do, but he shaped up swiftly to hit the ball and delivered a crisp shot that, with the aid of a slight deflection, found the bottom corner of the net, beyond the reach of Karl Darlow.

Charlton would have held a two-goal advantage if not for the efforts of the Forest keeper, who showed good reactions to parry after Igor Vetokele had connected powerfully with a diving header at close range, with Eric Lichaj alert enough to block substitute Lawrie Wilson's attempts to drive home the rebound.

Wilson had been introduced in the 20th minute, following an injury to Addicks skipper Johnnie Jackson.

Harriott was then presented with a chance to restore Charlton's lead after Tesche scored but his shot from a tight angle was saved by Darlow. Forest pushed for a winner in the final quarter of the match and they almost found one when Jamie Paterson shot from distance but it narrowly cleared the cross bar, while Nick Pope had to be alert to stop Dexter Blackstock's header sneaking in.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Teams seek to overcome faltering form

Neither Nottingham Forest nor Charlton have been showing particularly good form recently with the two teams next to each other in the form table at 16th and 17th.

A headache for Forest is the one match suspension of striker Britt Assombalonga. Stuart Pearce may give Dexter Blackstock his first start of the season or get winger Michail Antonio to play further forward.

Charlton have, of course, plenty of injury worries of their own, notable absentees being Rhoys Wiggins and Stephen Henderson.

Charlton won the last meeting 1-0 at the City Ground in March - their only win in the last eight meetings in all competitions. Nottingham Forest have won two of the last five meetings at the City Ground in all competitions, drawing two and losing one. Forest lost 2-1 at Birmingham last Saturday, after winning their previous two games. They won their last home game 2-1 against Norwich on 8 November - their only win in the last five games at the City Ground.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Bid for Standard Liege?

Unconfirmed reports have appeared in Belgian media that Roland is considering a €60m bid for Standard Liege. The bid is thought to come from the Middle East. It should be noted that there have been bid reports about SL before which have come to nothing.

In any event Roland's strategy towards Charlton is determined by financial prudence rather than a lack of ready cash.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Varney unhappy about Steve Brown sacking

One time Addicks chief executive Peter Varney is clearly unhappy about the sacking of Steve Brown from his job as manager at Conference South outfit Ebbsfleet United.

Varney told The Non-League Paper that Brown was 'very unlucky' to lose his job. He said, 'I brought Steve into the club and I thought he did a great job. He's a very good coach. The chairman has made a statement and I don't want to add to that suffice to say Steve has been unfortunate given the team's league position. It's all about getting the new structure working at the moment'.

Brown was sacked by Kuwaiti owner Dr Abdulla Al Humaidi following Tuesday's 0-3 home defeat to play-off contenders Gosport Borough, the biggest loss Ebbsfleet suffered under his management. Ebbsfleet are fourth in the table, but there has been a run of poor home results with the club winning just one in six.

Ebbsfleet received 50 applications for the job within 24 hours of Steve's departure. There has been a speculation that Charlton fan Jonathan Acworth may see this as his chance to break into management, but Welling boss Jamie Day is rumoured to be one of the contenders.

Despite this setback to his coaching career, I am sure that if a role could be found for Steve 'he'll never let you down' Brown at Sparrows Lane, he would be welcomed by Charlton fans.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Charlton lose to 94th minute sucker punch

Charlton succumbed to a 94th minute goal from Ipswich at The Valley today, once again confirming the hoodoo of playing in front of the cameras. Charlton played well, but didn’t take their chances.

Ipswich won an early corner and the ball went just past the post. A quick counter attack saw Gudmundsson put the ball over after he was fed by Harriott. Pope had to be alert and get down bravely to deal with an Ipswich attack. The early chances continued and Pope had to dive to his left to make a good save from Anderson.

Harriott put in a decent opportunistic strike which went not far wide. Cousins hit a shot, it got blocked, Harriott hit it perfectly but the keeper diving to his right made a good save. Charlton kept up the pressure after the corner as Ipswich put eleven men behind the ball.

A shot from Harriott went straight at the keeper. Harriott had to turn a player and hit the ball after Solly had fed Gudmundsson in excellent build up play by Charlton. The shot was not far wide.

Solly controlled Murphy well in the penalty area. The ball bounced around in the penalty area after good work by Cousins but neither Fox nor Harriott were able to control it. Pope had to save well from Murphy at the expense of a corner.

Coquelin put in a great run, but there was too much of an angle to steer it past the keeper. A foul was awarded against Jackson although there was no contact. The set piece move by Ipswich didn’t work.

Charlton maintained some good pressure with a snap shot and then another attempt by Gudmundsson. Pope had to make a smart save to his right at the expense of a corner.

Charlton had had the upper hand and played some great football, but unfortunately the chances had not been converted. Coquelin and Solly were superb.

Half time: Addicks 0, Tractors

Ipswich made a livelier start to the second half, while Charlton were rather quiet, and an Ipswich shot curled just wide. Vetokele was fouled and Charlton got the free kick five yards outside the corner of the penalty area. Gudmundsson tried a cross rather than a shot and it evaded everybody.

Fox defended well at the expense of a corner. Gudmundsson completed the clearance. Charlton won a corner after good work by Coquelin. The corner was wasted.

Solly turned provider for Vetokele, but Chambers was able to stop a goal scoring opportunity. Vetokele had the goal at his mercy after a great ball by Harriott but couldn’t get the ball under control.

Ipswich won a corner after they had been fast on the break. Harriott ran at the defender but Gudmundsson couldn’t quite capitalise. Charlton kept the ball, but Cousins hit it over. Harriott held his head in his hands after putting in an air shot.

Gudmundsson got past his man but put the ball over. Johnnie Jackson came off on 75 minutes and was replaced by Lawrie Wilson. Stephen Hunt came off and was replaced by the giant Connor Sammon.

Wilson put in a ball to Vetokele, but he was not able to make use of it. Charlton won a corner, but it was poor. Chris Solly won another corner. Harriott was taken off and replaced by Tucudean. McGoldrick fired a shot straight at Pope.

Bikey made a superb challenge as Salmond was about to unleash a shot. Four minutes were added on as Ipswich piled on the pressure. Bulot came on in place of the tiring Gudmundsson. Pope punched clear from an Ipswich corner. Noel Hunt scored in the last minute giving Pope no chance to the delight of 3,000 tractor drivers.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Coquelin to stay until end of year

Arsenal have confirmed that the loan stay of Francis Coquelin at Charlton is to be extended until December 30th: Coquelin

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Keeper brought in on loan

Oldham goalkeeper and Philippines international Neil Etheridge has been brought in on loan until 30 December with Stephen Henderson out with a shoulder injury. He had a short loan spell with Charlton before.

Nick Pope is, however, expected to face the Tractor hordes on Saturday: Nick Pope

Pope comes from a family of Ipswich fans: Ipswich Town

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Bent joins Brighton on loan

One time Addicks striker and so-called 'transfer misfit' and 'bit part player' Darren Bent is to join Brighton and Hove Albion on loan, initially for 28 days: Darren Bent

Whether or not one thinks Bent is a shadow of his former self or can still weave some magic, it is doubtful whether we could have afforded his wages. This raises a bigger question.

Roland's strategy has been built around the arrival and enforcement of financial fair play (FFP), enabling a prudent club to compete on a reasonably level playing field. I always had my doubts about it because it seemed to me that FFP was susceptible to a legal challenge on competition law grounds, as a recent case in Spain has emphasised: Court decision .

In any case, FFP has now been substantially diluted. The club that changed their minds at the last minute to provide the required 75 per cent majority? Brighton and Hove Albion.

While I think that Roland has edged away from a formal break even strategy, it is difficult to see how the club can be run at a small loss and still compete. There are dangers in going down a 'player farm' route and in any case it has been our declared intention to hold on to our Academy talent. We don't have the sophistication or resources of Southampton as far as such a strategy is concerned.

Last season we made £1.7m on player sales and got a £900k bonus out of our cup 'run', but still made a loss of £5.7m. One implication is that we badly need a cup run, or at least a match against a top club, which would be good news for fans as well as financially.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Tulio de Melo rejects Addicks

Striker and free agent Tulio de Melo has turned down an offer to join Charlton. He wanted £20k a week, but the club was reportedly only prepared to offer 11k (which still sounds like a lot to me): No thanks

Pope enjoyed Millwall game

Man of the match Nick Pope enjoyed his game against Millwall, despite one word being used to describe him by the visiting supporters: Nick Pope

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Fewer shots but more goals

Charlton Athletic and Leeds have had the least shots in the Championship, yet have each scored eight more goals than Sheffield Wednesday. The Addicks have the lowest number of shots on goal of any team in the division. Despite having just 172 shots compared to Norwich City's 289, Charlton have managed to score 20 goals.

For Sheffield Wednesday the opposite applies. The Owls have managed 221 shots in total, 49 more than Charlton - and scored eight less goals.

According to the South London Press, Lawrie Wilson may be the next player to go out on loan.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Ahearne-Grant's England call up

Karlan Ahearne-Grant has been called up for the England under 18s for their double header against Poland. Here he talks about how the confidence that Bob Peeters has shown in him has been a boost and how he thinks his play has benefitted as a result of playing alongside older players: Ahearne-Grant

Elsewhere Ipswich boss Mick McCarty has said that teams like Charlton could be priced out of promotion by the dilution of the Football League's financial fair play rules: Fair Play

Charlton voted against the rule change and have complained about its effects. It is certainly a setback for Roland's strategy.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Pigott to return

Joe Pigott is to return from Newport County when his loan spell ends. He has scored three goals for the League 2 club, but they cannot afford to keep him: Pigott

Another spell at a lower league club might benefit his development.

We have a new version of the curse of Charlton with the sacking of charm merchant Uwe Rosler at Wigan. Normally managers get the sack after the humiliation of being beaten by the Addicks, but Rosler went after Wigan's home game with Charlton was moved to a Friday because of the needs of egg chasing.

Rosler will be remembered for his confrontation with Bob Peeters.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Riga's Blackpool hell

Former Charlton manager José Riga has given an in depth interview with The Guardian about his experiences at Blackpool: Jose Riga

Despite the experience, he would like the chance to manage in England again. Karl Oyston meanwhile continues to run Blackpool into the ground. Whatever Roland's faults, there are far worse owners around.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Tulio de Melo on trial

29-year old Brazilian striker Tulio de Melo is on trial with Charlton, tweets Richard Cawley of the South London Press. He has been playing for a Ligue 1 club: Career details

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Three points for the Addicks

It was supposed to be an easy three points for Reading, but a battling Charlton performance saw them take all three points at the Madjeski today. Charlton have moved up to 8th in the table.

Neither side made an early impact, although Reading won two corners. Charlton then developed a good spell of pressure with Harriott looking lively in front of the crowd of 16,989, 1,449 of them Addickted.

Charlton won a couple of corners as the game passed the twenty minute mark. Solly was having to work hard while Fox was having something of a duel with Mackie, but Fox did well against him. Ben Haim was resolute in defence.

Gudmundsson put in a long range effort, a good shot but a bit too close to the keeper. Charlton had a good build up, but the delivery from Harriott was poor.

A shot from Harriott was blocked as the rain lashed down. When Charlton gave the ball away, Bikey intervened effectively.

Ben Haim had to concede a corner, but the Reading shot went wide.

Ben Haim supplied Solly who put in a cross and Vetokele scored a superb goal to make it 1-0 to Charlton.

Reading won a corner, Hector had a free header and put it wide. Henderson was blocked.

HT: Royals 0, Addicks 1

A shot from Murray went straight into the arms of Henderson.

Solly defended well, making a great tackle. Reading won a corner after the ball cannoned off Buyens. Henderson was blocked again, but referee Neil Swarbrick did not see that there was a problem.

Norwood put in a shot that came off the post. An attempt by Gudmundsson was blocked.

Harriott put in a curling shot that wasn’t far off the top left-hand corner.

Vetokele came off and Coquelin came on. Harriott played up front on his own.

Johnnie Jackson charged down a Reading shot from a counter attack after Solly slipped when Obita advanced.

A late challenge on Bikey by Mackie put the defender on the floor leading to the first yellow card of the day.

Mackie got away from Fox and Ben Haim had to stretch. Cox came off and was replaced by Robson-Kanu. Harriott was tiring. Blackman replaced Kelly.

Charlton counter attacked well. Tucudean came on in place of Harriott who had run himself into the ground. Mackie put in a shot and Henderson made a great save. He then gathered the ball calmly from the corner.

Reading started to pile on the pressure. They got a soft free kick. Charlton counter attacked and Frederici made two great saves from Tucudean. A number of players were looking tired. Obita got a yellow card for a foul on Cousins. Mackie came off .

Gudmundsson was fouled. He was replaced by Bulot. Six minutes were added on. Reading won a corner but it went out for a goal kick. Tucudean won a free kick for Charlton. Jackson got a yellow card as he took one for the team. The move ended in a Charlton goal kick.

A shot from Williams went out for a goal kick. Henderson claimed under pressure from Murray. Finally, the whistle was blown.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Reading look forward to three points

Reading will be looking to continue their climb up the table when they host Charlton at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday. Two wins from their last three matches, including a comfortable 3-0 victory over Rotherham United on Tuesday, have seen the Royals edge closer to the top half as they look to fulfil their pre-season predictions as playoff contenders.

Nigel Adkins will certainly be confident of success due to his side's recent home form, which has seen them score 15 goals in their last six games, losing one and winning four in the process. Reading will be be boosted by the return of Garath McCleary from injury, although he may be forced to settle for a place on the bench as Adkins looks to ease him back.

It is now three games without a victory for the Addicks. Away form is a concern, with just one victory on their travels so far, although they have proven hard to beat with only two defeats.

Rhoys Wiggins is once again on the injury table for the visitors having fractured his foot in the draw with Leeds, and the left-back is expected to miss six weeks of action. There are doubts about how strong Morgan Fox is in that position given his performance in recent outings. Coquelin can play in that position, but his presence would be missed in midfield.

Igor Vetokele continues to step up his recovery from injury, however, and the striker could now be fit enough to start having made consecutive appearances off the bench.

Odds: Reading 5/6, Draw 5/2, Charlton 10/3.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Coquelin could extend stay

Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin has said that he could extend his loan stay at The Valley if all goes well. He knew a lot about the club before he came and watched them play last Saturday: Coquelin

Charlton have fallen to 10th in the table after Brentford won at Nottingham Forest.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Addicks battle for the point

Charlton won an early free kick in a dangerous position, but Jackson’s effort was headed clear. Leeds had a chance, but put the ball wide. Wiggins won a corner for Charlton after combining well with Harriott. Charlton were making some good moves, particularly on the left.

The formation seemed fluid, sometimes 4-4-2, then 4-4-1-1 and at other times 4-5-1.

A block by Wilson led to the first corner for Leeds, but it led to nothing more than a Charlton goal kick. Harriott slipped as an opportunity presented itself.

Leeds won a corner following a free kick which Henderson collected. After a great move by the Addicks culminating in a great cross from Harriott, Charlton won their third corner. Bikey put in an effort which did not have enough power and it was cleared just short of the line.

Henderson had to make a very good save at the expense of a corner. Bikey headed the ball clear.

Ben Haim made a good run, but needed to pass the ball.

Charlton had edged it, but had not created many goal scoring opportunities. Leeds won a last minute corner, but it was headed clear.

HT 0-0

Cousins got a yellow card for a foul. Leeds then went ahead with Mowatt putting the ball into the top left-hand corner after being given too much time and space.

Tucudean came off after a quiet first half and was replaced by Vetokele.

Leeds applied some pressure, but Charlton survived. Buyens made way for the Arsenal loan player Coquelin who went on to show that he is no Frimpong.

Wiggins put in a great cross and Gudmundsson fired the ball in to make it 1-1 on 62 minutes. Charlton found themselves under pressure for a spell, failed to clear their lines and Leeds made it 2-1 through Mowatt on 67 minutes.

Harriott was taken off and Onyewu came on and won an early free kick. Wiggins had to go off injured, reducing Charlton to ten men. A foul on the big American led to a Charlton penalty. Gudmundsson equalised. Wilson went out to the left and Cousins moved to right back.

Leeds got a fortunate corner. Five minutes were added on. Charlton defended well, with Coquelin effective, but Leeds won a late corner, then the whistle went.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Redfearn looks forward to first outing as coach

One time Addick Neil Redfearn is looking forward to his first outing as Leeds coach at Elland Road tomorrow when he hopes to end a seven match winless run against Charlton: Leeds United

Leeds are currently then subject of a takeover approach by Austrian energy drinks company Red Bull, but Massimo Cellino is only willing to sell a minority stake. If a takeover did go ahead, the club might be renamed Red Bull Leeds or Leeds Red Bulls.

Charlton won 1-0 at Leeds last year and drew 1-1 the year before. They are unbeaten in their last six visits to Elland Road. Odds are Leeds, 13/10; Draw, 12/5; Charlton, 2/1.

One supporter has summarised the current dilemma for the Addicks as follows: 'We are falling into a regular pattern of allowing clubs 15-20 attempts on goal and they are turning those into goals whilst we are needing 20-25 to get a solitary goal - or over the last two games heading up to 45! The approach work is fine but we do not have an end product- only 8 of the other 23 clubs in the Championship have scored fewer goals than us and no-one above us are in that list (which is why there are above us!).'

The Addicks will have available Arsenal central midfielder Francis Coquelin who has joined on a month's loan. The 23-year-old, who spent the 2013-14 campaign with Freiburg, has made just one appearance for the Gunners this season, in their League Cup defeat to Southampton. The France Under-21 international has made 44 appearances for Arsene Wenger's side since his debut in 2008, and has been noted for his versatility after appearing in both defence and midfield. His arrival seems to have been generally welcomed by the Addickted.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Vetokele saves the day

After coming on as a substitute in the 65th minute, Igor Vetokele equalised for Charlton in the 70th minute to give the Addicks a 1-1 draw against Sheffield Wednesday at The Valley today. Charlton remain 7th in the table.

Former Real Madrid player Royston Drenthe scored the opener for Wednesday on 27 minutes. After neatly spinning past Franck Moussa on the half-way line, Drenthe ran at the Charlton back four. He ghosted inside Wiggins far too easily before drilling a crisp shot from the edge of the D past Henderson and into the bottom right-hand corner to register his first goal since signing on loan from Reading.

Bob Peeters turned to wideman Johann Gudmundsson at the interval as his side displayed a renewed vigour after the break. Chris Solly’s 30-yard thunderbolt almost got the Addicks back on level terms, before George Tucudean’s mis-hit volley cannoned into the ground and clipped the top of the cross bar on its way over as Charlton began to turn the screw.

On 70 minutes, that pressure finally paid off. Wiggins, who was at fault for the first goal, picked the ball up inside his own half and surged forward from left-back, jinking inside Liam Palmer who was scared to make a challenge just inside his own penalty area. The defender’s cross-cum-shot flew across the box for substitute Vetokele, who found himself in the right place at the right time to tap home from six yards.

The Addicks thought they had found a late winner in the first minute of stoppage time, but Gudmundsson’s strike was ruled out for offside as both sides were left to settle for a point.

Morrison out, Onyewu in

Michael Morrison has gone on to an emergency loan to Birmingham City until the end of the year, while much travelled American international Oguchi Onyewu has been brought in on a short-term loan: Loans

I always thought that Michael Morrison was an honest player who did his best for us. Although he made the occasional error, on the whole he did well for us. However, he evidently does not fit into the style of play favoured by Bob Peeters who likes a ball player.

The decision has provoked some discussion about the intentions and strategy of the current regime, but it doesn't seem inconsistent with what they have done so far.

Friday, 31 October 2014

No fear of Charlton for Owls

Sheffield Wednesday come to The Valley on Saturday with no fear of Charlton and ready to claim three points: Wednesday

The Owls have only lost once on the road this season, but have not won a game in their last six matches and have not scored in their last three. Another home draw then?

The Addicks are beset by injury worries with Gomez, Wiggins, Bulot, Vetokele and Gudmundsson all unavailable. The last two could be on bench, but it is thought that Vetokele could play for 15 minutes at most.

Andy d'Urso, the banker from Billericay, will be referee. I don't think he is biased against Charlton, I just don't think he is very competent and that can affect the course of the game.

Odds are: Charlton 19/10; draw, 21/10; Wednesday, 13/8.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Golden boot for Bradley Wright-Phillips

Bradley Wright-Phillips has equalled the all time goal scoring record in Major League Soccer and has also won the golden boot. Great to see his career resurrected: Wright-Phillips

See him score a hat trick here: Eye for goal

Sunday, 26 October 2014

'Brutal lessons of three chaotic years at Charlton'

Chris Powell talks about the 'brutal lessons of three chaotic years at Charlton' in a double page big interview feature in the Football League Paper this morning.

Powell recalled, 'I had a group of [players] who were working hard and trying to stave off relegation. But then came the takeover and all of a sudden I had players arriving from Standard Liege I didn't know. The message from upstairs was that they had to play. I have always taught my players that you had to earn the right to play. So when you get people coming in who expect to play, it destroys that ethos.'

'To be fair, the lads could see what was going on. They could see I had no control over the players that were arriving. And I think that we could all see that the writing was on the wall in terms of my future.'

'Obviously Jose Riga came in and they stayed up which I always knew they would. But what's funny is that he barely played these Liege players and none of them are there now. So in that sense, I think I was proved right.'

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Billionaire swoops for Palace

American billionaire Josh Harris is on the verge of taking over at Crystal Palace according to press reports this morning: Crystal Palace

However, it should be emphasised that it is by no means a done deal: Speculation premature?

Friday, 24 October 2014

Charlton lose at the Cottage

Two goals for Fulham in the first eleven minutes led to defeat for Charlton at Craven Cottage tonight. Lacking four regular first team players, Charlton staged a spirited fight back in the second half but to no avail with Fulham adding a third in the closing minutes.

The first attack from Fulham almost led to an own goal from Morgan Fox, in for Wiggins, but Solly retrieved the situation. However, after a foul throw decision, Charlton won the first corner of the evening, but Bikey’s shot went five yards wide. Moussa put it wide when he could have put the ball out to Solly on the right.

Solly gave the ball away and the unmarked Parker put the ball into the roof of the net on five minutes. Ben Haim put in excellent work to frustrate the next Fulham attack. There was a late flag against Tucudean who was onside.

Henderson made an initial save, but the follow up saw Fulham made it 2-0 through Rodallega on 11 minutes as the rain came pouring down. Charlton’s passing game wasn’t working. They were giving away possession too much. Parker was finding too much space in midfield.

A good ball in from Fox gave Charlton a corner, but the keeper saved. Charlton had settled down and were having a better spell of possession, but then Fulham attacked again. Jackson got a gash over his right eye and had to go off for treatment. He had a bandage on his head.

Charlton nearly conceded a third from Hoogland after the popular Parker, who was serenaded by the Addickted, won a free kick.

Fulham won a corner on 33 minutes, but Henderson claimed it. Bikey made an important interception. After some good work on the right, Charlton won a corner which was cleared. After losing his man, Bulot shot well wide.

When Charlton did get the ball, they were closed down.

Half time: Cottagers 2, Addicks 0

After good work by Bulot Charlton won a corner, which was followed by a second. A shot by Bikey was deflected and then led to a third corner, and then a fourth which was cleared.

Charlton won their eighth corner which was cleared. Fulham counter attacked, but Wilson defended well and got the ball back to Henderson.

Burn put the ball in the net for Fulham, but it was ruled offside. Moussa turned and put in a shot with his right foot, but it went just past the post. He was then taken off and was replaced by Gudmundsson. Bulot moved up alongside Tucudean.

Gudmundsson made an early impact, winning Charlton their ninth corner, followed by their tenth and then their eleventh. This ended in a goal kick, but it was a good spell of pressure from Charlton.

Fox was taken off and replaced by Ahearne-Grant with Jackson coming out to the left. Ahearne-Grant twisted and turned to put in a shot which led to a corner. Bulot pulled his hamstring and Morrison came on with Bikey going up front. Bulot is likely to be out for a few weeks, adding to our injury list. A dangerous Fulham ball flashed across the goal. Bikey clattered Parker. In the 88th minute Rodallega scored the third for Fulham as Morrison slipped over. Wilson hit the inside of the post but the offside flag was raised anyway.

Possession was 50-50, Charlton led on corners 13 to two, but of 23 Charlton shots on goal, only three were on target.

Bookies make Fulham favourites.

The bookies have made Fulham firm favourites for tonight's clash at Craven Cottage. Fulham are 4/5, a draw is 5/2 and Charlton are 7/2.

Igor Vetokele will not be available and Gudmundsson is also unlikely to play. Buyens is suspended. However, Chris Solly will be back. Scott Parker is available for Fulham after being rested for the game against Rotherham earlier in the week. Against Norwich at the weekend 'He was the first target for every Fulham pass, but frequently won possession and launched attacks.'

Our track record against Fulham is not good. They won the last meeting 4-0 at Craven Cottage in the FA Cup in January 2012. The last league meeting ended as a 2-2 draw at The Valley in the Premier League in December 2006. If I remember rightly, this was when the lino made an offside decision against us that contributed to our relegation.

Fulham are unbeaten in the last six meetings in all competitions, winning three. Charlton's last win was 2-1 at The Valley in the Premier League in December 2004. Fulham are unbeaten in the last 10 meetings at home in all competitions, winning seven. Charlton's last win there was 3-0 in the old Division Two in April 1986.

Although they are 22nd in the table, Fulham are 7th in the form table above Charlton in 14th. Fulham have lost only one of their last six games in all competitions, winning four and drawing one. Their only defeat since 20 September was 2-0 at Middlesbrough in the Championship on 4 October.

Fulham have won their last three home games in all competitions, against Doncaster, Bolton and Norwich. Their one goal win against Norwich 'did little justice to their superiority' according to The Football League Paper.

Against Norwich, Fulham were dominant in central midfield. Bob Peeters has refused to say whether he will use Jordan Cousins in midfield. Many Addicks think that he is better there than on the wings.

If we can get something out of this encounter, we will be doing well.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Results are better than the stats

A couple of Addicks have been taking a look at the stats for the season so far. One reports: 'We've averaged 44% possession; had a total of 114 shots to the opposition's 205; with 40 on target to their 57; and 16 goals to their 12. Behind these stats are our 40 corners (only 14 at home!) to their 118.'

'If you want to be positive, then we have a much higher percentage of our shots on target, and of those on target, we score 40per cent whereas they only get half that.'

Another Addick commented, 'We have had more possession than our opponents only once in the last 8 games! That is consistent with our season to date: for example in our last 5 games we have only managed a total of 29 efforts on goal (around 6 a match) compared to 80 by our opponents over the same games (an average of 16 attempts per match).

So what are we to make of this. The glass half empty view, as represented by Derek from Dymchurch, would be that we have been riding our luck and will eventually get found out.

The glass half full view, which I prefer, is that we have found a way of coping with the weaknesses of a relatively thin squad vulnerable to injuries to key players. We have a strong defence, exemplified by Bikey, a point made in this report of the Bolton game: Defensive display . If we get a bit more pace and penetration going forward, we would be a real threat.

It should also be noted that we have beaten the two teams in the promotion places. Of the four teams above us, we have beaten one and drawn with two (one yet to play). So there are grounds for some optimism, particularly if we strengthen in the January transfer window.

In this connection, reports of Bob's dinner meeting with Roland are mildly encouraging whilst not containing any firm commitments about strengthening the squad to the extent necessary to push for a play off place: Squad strengthening

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Charlton cling on for win

Charlton beat Bolton Wanderers 2-1 at The Valley last night to go 7th in the table. The Addicks had just 38 per cent of the possession. Charlton had one corner to 14 for the visitors.

The Addicks took the lead with their first real chance. Yoni Buyens spotted Tucudean's run behind the Bolton defence and played a clever ball over the top for the Romanian, who raced towards goal and fired beyond Andy Lonergan.

The Bolton players did not let their heads drop as former Charlton defender Dorian Dervite headed narrowly over from a corner before Beckford missed the ball when in front of goal.

But Charlton doubled their lead early in the second half when Tucudean squared a pass for captain Jackson to slot home. Moxey gave Bolton hope when he drilled in from the edge of the area, and Dervite came close to heading in a late equaliser, but Charlton displayed great team spirit and kept their defensive shape to hold on for the win. Ben Haim played a key role in the defensive effort.

Buyens is suspended for Fulham after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season.

Derek from Dymchurch writes, 'Let's face it, apart from a few patches, we were outplayed for most of the game, but once again we managed to ride our luck. A special word for Cousins who never gave up chasing and harrying.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Addicks 'perennial strugglers' says Lennon

New Bolton Wanderers manager Neil Lennon has labelled Charlton the 'perennial strugglers' of the Championship, although he admits they have made a good start to this season: Lennon

Lennon comes to The Valley fresh from a 1-0 victory over Birmingham last Saturday which has led to the sacking of their manager Lee Clark.

The absence of Igor Vetokele with an Achilles problem will be a concern for the Addicks.

It will be a return to The Valley for Dorian Dervite whose departure I regretted at the time. On Saturday he was 'brilliant in the air' according to the Football League Paper.

Indeed, with the exception of Jermaine Beckford who 'struggled to make an impact' the whole team seems to have played well. Lonergan in goal made some 'smart saves', while McNaughton was 'solid at the back and caused problems for Birmingham when he went forward.' Matt Mills was 'disciplined in his defensive duties' and Dean Moxey 'made a number of vital blocks.' Skipper Jay Spearing was 'tenacious' and Neil Danns 'shielded his back four brilliantly'. Lee Chung-Yong 'showed off his quick feet and extensive passing repertoire'. Darren Pratley 'put in some teasing crosses'. It isn't going to be easy.

The last meeting ended as a goalless draw at The Valley in April. Bolton have won only one of the last seven meetings in all competitions. Their only win since 2006 was 2-0 at home in December 2012. Charlton are unbeaten in the last four meetings at The Valley in all competitions, winning three. Bolton's last win there was 1-0 in the Premier League in October 2005.

Odds are: Charlton 5/4, Draw 23/10, Bolton 11/5

Monday, 20 October 2014

Peeters for mother ship?

Rioting fans forced the abandonment of Standard Liege's match at the weekend and tried to reach Roland in his box. The club is now just above the relegation zone.

The Belgian press is speculating that Bob Peeters may now be asked to return to the mother ship, but this does not seem like an immediate or very realistic prospect: Bob Peeters

Roland is travelling to England today and is expected to be at tomorrow night's match against Bolton, but this trip has been planned for some time.

Bob Peeters has subsequently ruled out any move to the mother ship: Staying in SE7

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Charlton lose unbeaten record

Charlton lost their unbeaten record with a 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth this afternoon, hours after Nottingham Forest experienced their first defeat at Cardiff. The Addicks are now 8th in the table.

The Cherries were ahead within three minutes as a corner was not cleared and Callum Wilson met Marc Pugh's left-wing cross with a close-range finish. Charlton went close when Johann Berg Gudmundsson curled in a free-kick but Artur Boruc tipped it round the post. Keeper Stephen Henderson kept Charlton in the game after the break with a fine low save from Andrew Surman.

The Addicks were still finding their feet when a stray pass from Gudmundsson fell to Matt Ritchie, whose left-foot piledriver was parried by Henderson for a corner, from which Pugh's trickery deceived Chris Solly, and Callum Wilson found room in a crowded box to slot home his eighth of the season. That was only the third time all season that Bob Peeters's side had gone behind and Wilson nearly doubled the lead when he deflected Ritchie's low free-kick goalwards but the ball was blocked.

Tommy Elphick’s last-ditch saving tackle denied Karlan Ahearne-Grant a shooting chance before the young Addicks striker’s low drive was blocked by Steve Cook with Johnnie Jackson spooning the loose ball over the crossbar. Henderson got down smartly at his near post to save after Wilson had met Ritchie’s clever free-kick in the 17th minute with Andrew Surman blazing over the top after the ball had reached him on the edge of the box.

Youthful striker Karlan Ahearne-Grant continued to pose the hosts some problems. Given that he has come in for some criticism on the boards, I was interested to see that the Footbsll League Paper gave him a score of 7, saying that he was 'skilful with the ball at his feet but was out muscled on occasions.'

Charlton's best chance came when Gudmundsson's free-kick was heading towards the top corner until Boruc somehow kept it out. Peeters made a double substitution and a formation change at the break. As Charlton enjoyed a spell of pressure at the start of the second half, Buyens’s volley was charged down by Cook 10 minutes after the restart. However, Bournemouth piled on the pressure again, winning 16 corners.

Winger Pugh continued to torment full-back Solly, and while Ritchie was happy to shoot on sight, his delivery from corners remained a threat as Steve Cook twice headed wide. The visitors lacked invention and while Addicks substitute Lawrie Wilson headed straight at Boruc when well placed in stoppage time, it was too little, too late.

In the clash of former Charlton managers, Huddersfield beat Blackpool 4-2.

Derek from Dymchurch writes: 'I said the wheels were coming off and now they have. That Belgian geezer has been found out, good and proper. Coach? He couldn't coach an under 12 side. It was a toothless display.'

Friday, 17 October 2014

Expectations need to be tempered says skipper

The expectations of Charlton fans need to be tempered says Johnnie Jackson in an interview with the Evening Standard. He wants promotion as much as anyone, but you won't hear talk of promotion among the players: Jackson

Addicks head for the seaside

With a mild, windy and rather wet weekend forecast, the Addicks head to Bournemouth tomorrow to see if they can retain their unbeaten record and perhaps even get a win. However, some fans reckon that this our second hardest away game so far after Norwich.

Bournemouth have turned things around a little in recent weeks having gone through a poor spell of form that saw them win just once in seven matches. Victories over Wigan Athletic and Bolton Wanderers in recent weeks have seen them climb back into the top half of the table, however, and Eddie Howe will now be hoping to find the consistency needed to push for the top six.

That is particularly true at home, where the Cherries have won twice, lost twice and drawn once so far this season. Howe will be without Yann Kermorgant this weekend with the striker suspended following his red card in the 2-1 win over Bolton Wanderers. Howe has praised the former Addick's work rate in an interview: Kermorgant

In Kermorgant's absence, Howe is placing his faith in Tokelo Rantie who has been a bit of a disappointment since a big money signing from Malmo thirteen months ago. However, he has scored for South Africa in the African Nations Cup and will be flying back from Africa for the game: Rantie

Charlton won the last meeting 1-0 at The Valley in March. Bournemouth have won only one of the last six meetings, drawing one and losing four. Their only win since 1999 was 2-1 at the Goldsands Stadium in August last season. Charlton have won only one of the last four meetings at Bournemouth. Their only win there since 1974 was 1-0 in League One in March 2012.

Gudmundsson (ankle) and Bulot face late fitness tests for Charlton. Odds: Bournemouth 4/6, Draw 14/5, Charlton 9/2.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Charlton have cheapest season ticket

The BBC have published their latest price of football study and highlight that the £150 Charlton season ticket is the cheapest across all four divisions: Cheap at the price

You can find more detailed information about comparative Charlton prices including the cost of a replica shirt and a pie here: Comparative prices

In general the cost of the cheapest ticket in football has increased at twice the rate of the cost of living since 2011.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Simon Church injured

Simon Church was injured early in yesterday's international qualifying match between Wales and Cyprus. Just a few minutes into the game (timings vary), he appeared to be nudged in the back and went down clutching his left shoulder. Unconfirmed reports say that it was dislocated.

In the old days this was a frequent affliction of Derek Ufton who sometimes had to play on with the shoulder strapped up, as there were no substitutes, although in the historic 7-6 victory over Huddersfield he had to leave the field at 0-0 and go to hospital where he was told the result. In total he dislocated his shoulder twenty times, 13 times on the left and seven on the right.

The rumour mill says that Derby and Brighton are interested in Church.

Monday, 13 October 2014

The season so far

A Charlton fan looks at the season so far for the Sevenoaks Chronicle and records a mixture of buoyancy and frustration, asking a series of 'what if?' questions: So far, so good?

When you have done better than expected, one is bound to ask whether the team could have achieved even more.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Tal Ben Haim scores for Israel

Tal Ben Haim scored for Israel in their 2-1 victory over Cyprus last night. He weaved his way into the penalty area and slotted the ball into the net: Tal Ben Haim

Simon Church played for 65 minutes in the 0-0 draw between Wales and Bosnia-Herzegovinia. He got a score of 6 from Wales Online for giving the Bosnian defence work to do without ever really threatening. That sounds like Simon Church: Simon Church

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Peeters nominated for manager of the month

Big Bob Peeters is one of four nominees for Sky Bet Championship manager of the month. He is praised for bringing in 'organisation and defensive stability' with the win over Norwich a highlight. The smart money is probably on Ipswich's Mick McCarthy: Bob Peeters

In some ways it would be good if he didn't win it as it is usually followed by a run of bad results!

If he is successful, he will be the first Addicks boss to receive a monthly award since Chris Powell in February 2012.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Doubts about Igor's international status - and new signings

Some doubts have been raised about the entitlement of Igor Vetokele to play for Angola and he had to be kept out of the last match against Burkina Faso. A ruling from Fifa is awaited: Igor

In other news Joe Gomez has signed a long-term contract with the club: Gomez

Defender Elan Assiana has been signed by Charlton after his release by Manchester City. He will play with the Under 18 squad. The London-born player was with Fulham before he joined City. See his promo video here: Elan Assiana

Defender Ayo Obileye will join the Under 21 squad. He has played a few games for Jason Euell's side and was formerly with Sheffield Wednesday: New signings

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Being let go by Charlton was lowest point says McGleish

At 40 years old Scott McGleish is still playing football for Wealdstone in the Conference South, close to his original club at Edgware. Aged 20, he left there to take a year's contract at Charlton. Being let go by the Addicks was the lowest point in his career, he has told today's Football League Paper.

He went on to play for a series of lower division Football League teams, most recently for Leyton Orient. He scored the winning goal for them against us on 25 January 2010. He could be said to have found his level.

McGleish said of his release by Charlton, 'I'd given up everything to go pro and I felt I deserved another year's contract. I'd finished the season as the reserves top goal scorer. When I came out of that meeting with Steve Grit and Alan Curbishley, I felt that everything had gone. Luckily Keith Peacock pulled me to one side and said, "Don't worry, I've had lots of phone calls from clubs, you will be ok."'

As far as the first team was concerned, I recall him as a player who came on as a late substitute.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

'It would be nice to have a win'

That was one comment I heard as I left The Valley tonight and I know what they mean. It was Charlton's third home draw in a row as they saw Birmingham City pull level with them to record a 1-1. On a day on which there were a lot of draws in the Championship, the Addicks remain in 6th place. We hold the same position in the form table.

The Addicks started brightly. Vetokele had his own run on goal, outfoxing defenders and was unfortunate not to get the ball in the net. Then on eleven minutes Bulot provided a pinpoint cross and a bullet header from Vetokele saw Charlton go a 1-0 ahead.

However, Charlton were unable to capitalise on their lead. It looked as if the visitors had equalised, but the goal was disallowed for offside, possibly harshly. In any event, it was a matter for concern how easily the Blues had been able to slice through our defence.

After the break Vetokele supplied Lawrie Wilson at the back post only for him to blaze over. At the other end, Addicks goalkeeper Stephen Henderson kept out Paul Robinson's header from a free-kick, but was unable to stop Davis's low drive for 1-1. This was the result of a corner routine which seemed to catch the Addicks unaware. Whether it was a good application of a training ground routine or simple opportunism, it is difficult to say.

Cousins had to be stretchered off late in the game and I hope that his injury is not too serious. Apparently he has tweeted that he is fine and the stretcher was just a precaution. Six minutes were added on, but Charlton were unable to impose themselves on the game.

I think that the Bloke Behind Me had a point when he said that Charlton had failed to apply sufficient consistent pressure on the Blues, although some credit must go to them for breaking up our attacks. The Blues did look quite vulnerable defensively.

Incidentally a nice touch from Darren Randolph to climb up on the Covered End to talk to some supporters after half time.

Match analysis

Henderson put in a good performance, although a surprising number of the Blues shots were wayward which perhaps helps to explain their league position. I don't blame him for the goal. Towards the end of the second half he saw a ball coming, changed his position and came out and claimed it. This is what a good keeper should do. Bikey is a little eccentric at times, but 'the beast' did his job well. Morrison was a concern for some before the match, but he was solid and tried to get the ball forward. Solly got the highest score this morning from the Football League Paper this morning, but I thought it was short of a Man of the Match performance. Perhaps this is because I am in the East Stand, but I thought that he got forward more in the second half. Wiggins didn't get forward as much as I would have hoped and he found some of the opposition players a bit of a handful.

Buyens was a disappointment, indeed he has faded after a good start to the season. As the link man between the back four and the rest of the team, he wasn't doing the job, although he did start to make more short passes that were completed in the second half. For a big man he is hassled off the ball too easily and lost possession dangerously at least three times. Jackson did put in some good tackles, but he was not really contributing enough and was substituted, which he wasn't too pleased about. Cousins had to play on the left and in the centre and had a good work rate. Whilst I am fan of Wilson I thought that he had a poor game and that seems to be the general opinion. His crosses were poor.

Bulot got in trouble with Vitokele for playing the wrong ball at times, but on the whole I think that he is a threat. His cross for the goal was first rate. Vitokele scored an excellent goal. For much of the game he lacked the quality of service he needed. The Bloke Beside Me criticised him for not being involved enough all over the pitch, but I did see him make one good defensive intervention. But for me it is his goals that matter.

Moussa was lively, but didn't really change the course of the game. Tucudean contributed very little. Our greatest need is another striker. Drinking During the Game thought Roland might have been at the game, so perhaps he will have realised that. Fox had a cameo, but did contribute. Good to see Thomas on the bench.

I thought that the referee had a decent game, but that is not Lee Clarke's view who has called for a system for reviewing referee's decisions.

Yann Kermorgant got sent off for Bournemouth yesterday for a high boot so we won't face him in our next game after the international break.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Blues urged to show no fear

After their defeat of Millwall earlier in the week, Birmingham City manager Lee Clark has urged his players to return to South London tomorrow without any fear: Be Brave . The win at Millwall was their first in nine games in all competitions.

This is not because he underestimates Charlton. Rather than the usual 'easy three points' line from the opposition, exemplified by the Norwich paper which Bob Peeters used as a motivational tool, Clark said after the win at Norwich that a tough match had got tougher.

Charlton will be without Tal Ben Haim because of Yom Kippur which is a major religious festival. Michael Morrison is likely to step into his place. Some Addicks have expressed concern about his match sharpness or whether he can play out from the back as the present style requires. However, he has been a solid and reliable defender for us and I have confidence in him.

Gudmundsson is still out and Joe Gomez has picked up an injury.

Our record against the Blues at home has not been good. Last year we lost 0-2 at home, a result that followed a 1-1 draw in the preceding year. Odds are Charlton, evens; draw, 11/5; Blues, 11/5.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

New Dowie shock

It is rocket science

Copies of this month's Four Four Two have been placed in the horror comics section after it was found to contain a photograph of Ian Dowie. He is interviewed, appropriately enough, in the 'Ask a Silly Question' feature.

Turns out that when Dowie was a rocket scientist he worked on air-launched anti-radiation missile (ALARM). That should have rung alarm bells at The Valley. Even if he could fix a broken missile guidance system, he couldn't help his players find the back of the net.

Dowie thinks that the future is in teleportation. So that's how he got from Selhurst to The Valley.

Meanwhile Alan Pardew fans can read about his popularity at Newcastle here: Sack Pardew

Up the Football League we go

Following the 1-3 defeat of Wolves by Chris Powell's Huddersfield at Molineux last night, Charlton have moved back into the play off places at 6th.

Even the Sub-Standard gave us a decent write up last night. Bob Peeters revealed that a Norwich newspaper’s prediction that Charlton would get turned over last night provided the motivation for his side to stun the Championship leaders. They had forecast a 3-0 win for the home side. The Addicks coach altered his planned team talk after seeing the article.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Charlton beat league leaders

Charlton beat Norwich 1-0 at Carrow Road tonight through a captain's goal by Johnnie Jackson on 86 minutes. It was a deflected shot from 25 yards out.

The Addicks were under the cosh for much of the match, with possession 61-39 in Norwich's favour, but rallied in the last ten minutes. They then had to hang on through over five minutes of time added on.

Norwich put the ball in the net for the first half, but the goal was disallowed for a foul on Henderson. In the second half Norwich had a penalty shout but it was judged to be ball to Bikey's arm.

Henderson made some great saves. He was first called into action on three minutes when he had to make a smart near post save to deny Lewis Grabban. Vetokele tested Ruddy in the first half with a low drive.

On 68 minutes Redmond forced Henderson into a parry, Hoolahan picked up the rebound and Wiggins had to clear off the line.

Ben Haim was stalwart in defence. Gomez had a great game, but had to go off after picking up an injury, hopefully nothing too serious. Ahearne-Grant came on as a substitute to make his debut and looked lively.

Charlton are now 7th in the table, but have the same number of points as Wolves and Ipswich and are only one point behind Derby in fourth place and are only two points off the top spot. It was the first away win of the season for the Addicks who remain unbeaten.

A complaint has been lodged with Norfolk Police that a smash and grab raid took place on Carrow Road last night involving eleven men dressed in red shirts and directed by a Belgian master mind. It is also alleged that they were aided and abetted by a man in black, but this has been denied on the grounds that he was too busy issuing cautions to the raiders.'

Derek from Dymchurch says, 'I came up from campaigning in Clacton expecting to see that Belgian geezer get his come uppance. But you've got to hand it to him, he has a way of pulling victory from the jaws of defeat. It's a long time since we had such a lucky manager.'

However, Voice of the Valley editor Rick Everitt commented on Twitter, 'This is what is called earning your luck.'

Monday, 29 September 2014

Norwich manager confident he can cope with Charlton

Neil Adams, manager of table topping Norwich City, admits that they are there to be shot down but is confident he can cope with 'whatever' game plan Bob Peeters comes up with for Tuesday night: Canaries

The odds favour the Canaries: Norwich 1/2, Draw 13/5, Charlton 9/2. However, we have drawn our last two away games with Norwich at this level and won the two before that, which admittedly takes us back into the 1990s.

Norwich are unbeaten at home this season, while the Addicks have drawn all their away matches. This probably means it won't be a draw.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Charlton remain unbeaten draw specialists

Whilst it was no bore draw, there seems to have been more excitement at the Charlton Moscow game

Charlton remain the unbeaten draw specialists of the Championship following today's 0-0 draw at The Valley with Middlesbrough. The Addicks remain 8th in the table.

The game started with both teams taking a cagey approach to each other. However, Charlton seemed hesitant and had difficulty retaining the ball and Boro had the better of the game. It has to be said that Boro had a good defence that was difficult to penetrate.

The injury to Gudmundsson just before half time was a blow, as he had been one of the livelier players, but the arrival of Moussa as substitute after the break seemed to add some sparkle to Charlton's performance. Bulot managed to hit the post for the Addicks.

However, their best play came in the closing ten minutes or so after Boro charm merchant Admomoah had been sent off for a high foot, earning a second yellow card. Charlton pressed for a winner and substitute Lawrie Wilson drew a save from the keeper. From the resultant corner, George Tucudean's header was cleared off the line.

Possession was 54-46 in Charlton's favour, but each side had only one shot on target.

There was a curious incident at the end of the game when a fan ran the length of the pitch with what appeared to be the corner flag. He tried to join his fellow Boro fans, but was caught and hauled away by security. It has been suggested that he might have consumed an illegal substance.

Match analysis

My man of the match was Chris Solly. Tireless in tracking back and going forward, he showed real precision in his passing. Henderson didn't really have a lot to do, the header going just wide from a corner when they should have scored. However, once again he looked in command of his area, although his kicking out is a bit like that of Deano's. I thought that Ben Haim had an excellent game, some really good interventions. Bikey attracted the ire of the Boro supporters after a collision with one of their players, but their boos when he got the ball were drowned out by Charlton cheers. Interesting that he was positioned up front at the end of the match. Wiggins had a better game than of late.

Buyens was a disappointment, he was very one paced. Jackson really lacks pace and was eventually substituted. Cousins was more effective once he was moved into the middle after Jackson went off, he then contributed to a better last twenty minutes. Gudmundsson made some good runs before he was injured, it didn't look good.

Bulot looks very promising. Vitokele was energetic, but sometimes got muscled off the ball. Moussa was quite effective when he came on. Wilson livened things up with his appearance. Tucudean looked better coming on as a substitute.

I thought that the referee was over fussy, e.g., getting Henderson to move a free kick back a couple of yards. He was also inconsistent, penalising an offence then doing nothing about the same offence a few minutes later. The Bloke Behind Me kept up a stream of grumbling throughout the match.

Derek from Dymchurch has been at the UKIP conference in Doncaster.

Some fans have asked me, 'Is it possible to support Charlton without being exposed to Acworth? I am afraid that the answer is "No". Acworth is on of the downsides of being an Addick. The only way I can stop him clogging him up my comment columns is by stopping comments altogether and I don't want to do that. I have encouraged Acworth to set up his own blog for his insights.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Bring on the Boro

After their penalty shoot out marathon at Liverpool on Tuesday, Middlesbrough are looking to win their fourth game in a row and end Charlton's unbeaten run tomorrow: Boro

Addicks captain Johnnie Jackson is worried about Charlton's tendency to invite pressure on to themselves in the second half. Charlton have scored only one second half goal in five matches. This perhaps suggests that there are issues about fitness, along Bob Peeters is not slow to make substitutions when he thinks they are needed.

Last season we lost 0-1 at home to Boro and the season before 1-4.Middlesbrough are unbeaten in the last eight meetings in all competitions, winning six. Charlton's last win was 2-1 at The Valley in the Premier League in March 2006. Middlesbrough are unbeaten in the last four meetings at The Valley in all competitions, winning the last three. Odds are: Charlton 13/5, Draw 9/4, Middlesbrough 6/5.

With a presenter pulling out at the last minute I was on BBC Coventry & Warwickshire from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. this morning and managed to mention Charlton a couple of times.

Rick Everitt's gnomes and elves will be selling the latest Voice of the Valley outside the ground before the game: Pringle Special

Monday, 22 September 2014

Trustworthy

I think the CAS Trust is doing a good job given the constraints they face, but it is evident from conversations that some supporters are still suspicious of them. It is difficult to see what alternative representative structure there is or might be. I suppose some fans might say they don't want to be represented by anyone, but then it is difficult to see how the club can have any kind of dialogue with fans.

Some of the difficulties that can arise in that relationship are evident in Richard Murray's remarks at the Trust annual general meeting which can be read here: Richard Murray

The latest Trust News was also very good value, particularly considering it was given out free! I particularly enjoyed the article on how the Second World War affected the club.

The interview with Katrien Meire was also very interesting, not surprising that she came across as charming but steely. It was interesting to learn that she had approached Roland about a job, given her love of football, and that he had already certain her a number of e-mails on the day of the interview, which shows that he is very 'hands on'.

Interesting also that she is a competition law specialist, an area of law that has particular relevance for football and has brought about many changes in the game, e.g., the Bosman decision. However, given that, I am a little surprised that she and Roland place so much faith in financial fair play delivering a more level playing field for clubs like Charlton.

I am not a lawyer, let alone a sports lawyer, but I have talked to a number of them and read some of their papers and they are doubtful whether the Uefa scheme as drafted is compatible with European Union law, and by extension whether the Football League scheme has also has a sound legal basis. QPR may, of course, mount a court challenge, but one could also be initiated by a player, as in the case of Bosman.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Draw specialists

Charlton got their fifth draw of the season with a 1-1 at Rotherham today, having led 1-0 through a Gudmundsson goal on 27 minutes at half time. The Addicks have dropped out of the play off places to seventh.

Charlton took the lead when Gudmundsson cut in from the right and curled a shot low into the far corner, with a deflection off the foot of Rotherham midfielder Paul Green taking the ball wide of Loach's dive.

Rotherham's equaliser came as Becchio headed in a cross from fellow substitute Ben Pringle after 69 minutes.

Both sides had chances to snatch all three points in the closing minutes. Scott Loach saved smartly on the line from Frederic Bulot before Joe Skarz's close-range header was tipped round a post by Henderson.

Possession was 53-47 in favour of the home side and they had six shots on target to Charlton's four.

Derek from Dymchurch says, 'We can't keep sitting back when we have a lead and inviting on pressure. And we have to stop making defensive errors. We should have beaten Rotherham. We've stuttered along but, mark my words, our bad run starts next Saturday.'

'We're not going down 0-3 to Charlton by half time'

Rotherham United manager Steve Evans, who presided over two promotions with Crawley, has has pledged that his 19th place side will not go down 0-3 to Charlton by half time at the New York stadium today. Evans says that there will be none of the gung ho attacking style that characterised the team last season. Instead, the new team bus will be parked in front of the goal. One can expect them to adopt a physical approach and it will be interesting to see how the Addicks cope with that.

Glaswegian Evans is a somewhat controversial figure having been banned for using abusive language and convicted for his part in a tax scam. However, his sides are hard to beat.

Rotherham striker Jordan Bowery came off the substitutes' bench to score in their last two matches and is pushing for a starting place. Igor Vetokele suffered an arm injury against Wolves but is expected to be fit for selection. Gudmundsson (groin) and Chris Solly (knee) could return after overcoming their respective injury problems. Former Addick Richard Wood is not available after knee surgery.

The Millers have lost their last two home games and last won at Millwall on August 23rd. The last meeting between the two clubs was in 1983 when Rotherham won 1-0 at their old ground by a scrap yard, but current chairman Tony Stewart does not lack ambition.

Odds are Millers 11/10, draw 23/10, Charlton 5/2. The referee is the dread Darren Deadman.

Derek from Dymchurch writes, 'This will be the game when the wheels come off and Peeters is found out.' I am going for a 2-2 draw.

Friday, 19 September 2014

'Fringe' Hampsters out on loan

Sam Allerdyce is contemplating letting 'fringe' players Diego Poyet and Ravel Morrison go out on loan to Championship clubs: Poyet loan

After his enthusiastic embrace of West Ham, Poyet is regarded by many Charlton fans as not much better than 'Judas' Defoe. Morrison might be of more interest, but the question is would he fit in with our style of play, and in particular with Igor?

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Harriott discusses lack of starts with Big Bob

Callum Harriott has knocked on the office door of Big Bob Peeters to discuss his lack of starts this season: Unhappy bunny. You have to admire his guts as I wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of Big Bob who showed at the Wigan game that he is capable of flying off the handle (nothing wrong with that in football).

When Harriott has come on, he has hardly been a game changer. As Steve from Petts Wood commented, 'He can't score goals and he can't create goal scoring opportunities for others.' I am sure that Harriott has potential, but I sometimes wonder if his approach is sufficiently disciplined, notwithstanding flashes of brilliance.

Anyway, I am sure that Big Bob offered him some wise words. No doubt Acworth will add his own insights.