Following the Four Four Two Valley Parade gaffe, The Times has been the latest to pile in and suggest that the Addicks are going down with the Tangerines (no third candidate is mentioned). It seems to me that the same gloomy narrative keeps being recycled.
At least The Times (who recently let go their most experienced football journalist to cut costs) put it succinctly: 'Don't worry, Charlton fans, Roland Duchâtelet, your Belgian owner, has a plan. It involves selling all your best players, making you a feeder club to Standard Liège and appointing a manager, Bob Peeters, who recently guided Waasland-Beveren to 14th place in the Belgian Pro-League.'
I don't recall any key players going to SL, although the standard critique is that the 'January Six' was made up of naff players, although I would exclude Astrid and would argue that Nego was essentially a development player. In any event, Roland can potentially make a lot of money out of Charlton so he has no interest in running it down.
The Times match preview this morning is almost a page long column, but only mentions Charlton as the opposition team.
I have just heard the Leeds head coach, Dave Hockaday, describe himself on Radio 5 as 'not daft'. I don't think he is, but I am less sure about the Leeds chairman. Hockaday admittedly built his reputation at Cirencester Academy, but then had four-and-a-half years at Forest Green Rovers which were relatively undistinguished and ended with him being let go. But then he is costing about £100k a year whereas Brian McDermott cost £750k.
At least the fans seem to be in good heart and ready to cheer on the team, if messages posted on boards are any guide. Of course, a defeat this afternoon would quickly puncture that bubble.