In his recent pessimistic blog on Charlton's relegation prospects, Voice of the Valley editor Rick Everitt commented, 'The next Championship match is a difficult one against promotion-chasing QPR, a team we struggled to compete with at Loftus Road in November.' Like most Charlton supporters, Rick Everitt has been through some hard times, although he is one of the few to miss a University exam to attend an Addicks game, an event which had his head of department, pioneer gay Tory Peter Campbell, spluttering to me in indignation. I did point out that Addicktion could be a serious business, but Campbell evidently thought I was behind it all, adding 'and he's a good student.'
The Rickster's recent pessimism may be tinged by the problems he has had with errant wheelie bans as his Ramsgate ward is hit by high winds or perhaps the prospect of Nigel Farrage as MP for Thanet South after the next election. In any event, I do not think that the Super Hoops are invincible.
QPR are in my 'dislike' category. It's partly because a good friend who has lived in Acton all his life is a Brentford fan. But I also think that QPR fans have an exalted idea of their own status, thinking that they are a natural Premiership team. When the first foreign takeover occurred, one QPR fan told Radio 5: 'The only question people will be asking in five years' time is are QPR or Real Madrid the biggest team in Europe?' And don't get me started on Rodney Marsh and his attitude towards Charlton.>
Sometimes Charlton play at their best against better teams. Moreover, despite 'Arry's artistry with the car window and the cost of their squad, the 1-3 defeat at home to an admittedly resurgent Reading suggests that they are not invincible. On the downside, Ravel Morrison is expected to join on loan from West Ham on Friday. There have been rumours of two loans coming in at Charlton, but one of the supposed targets went to Sheffield Wednesday.
QPR winger Shaun Wright-Phillips has turned down a loan move to Charlton, but I'm not sure he is the sort of player we would want anyway: Wright-Phillips
As far as the cup game is concerned, Addicks are getting excited about scenarios that could see us in a Wembley semi-final. However, the Owls now have the extra incentive of a Sheffield derby which no doubt they think they can win. A match on a Monday means that London-based fans will not be able to attend as the last train for the smoke leaves around 9 p.m. An overnight stay in Sheffield hardly appeals during the working week. Although Monday is better for me tyhan a Tuesday, even I cannot get up the M1 in time. The relative absence of our support won't help.