Thursday, 31 December 2015

Charlton linked with Rhys Williams

Sky are linking Charlton with Middlesbrough defender Rhys Williams. He is certainly being sent out on loan to recover match fitness. However, a number of other Championship clubs from 'oop north including Preston and Rotherham appear to be in the running: Rhys Williams

Wikipedia states: 'Rhys Williams (born 14 July 1988) is an Australian professional footballer who plays for English club Middlesbrough and the Australia national team. A very versatile player, Williams is adept at playing as a centre back, defensive midfielder and right back but has played in virtually every out-field position at some point for Middlesbrough including more attacking roles. In August 2012, Williams was made club captain.'

Who will go in January?

The Daily Mirror reports: 'The struggling Addicks, second-bottom in the Championship, want to raise at least £2m in January and prepared to sacrifice some of their stars to bring in some much-needed money. Though the Charlton board risk further angering their fans, who are already protesting against owner Roland Duchatelet and the current regime, with their fundraising plans.

They are desperate for striker Tony Watt’s loan move to Cardiff to become a permanent one, bringing in around £1m. Highest earner and winger Johann Gudmundsson, in-demand teenage starlet Ademola Lookman and striker Igor Vetokele are among those who could go too.

Charlton are bracing themselves for January bids for Lookman from Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea and could now cash in to ease their money worries. But the sale of the 18 year-old academy product in particular would be an especially controversial decision and crank up the animosity towards the board from Charlton fans.'

Roland not looking to sell

Roland Duchatelet is not looking to sell Charlton Athletic. This confirms what we already knew, but it is frustrating to learn that the Americans who recently invested in Crystal Palace were interested in Charlton before the Belgian takeover: No sale

CAS Trust seeks to coordinate protests

The CAS Trust is creating a resource centre on its website to try and coordinate protest actions by fans. Prague Addick and former Valley Party activist Richard Hunt explains what is intended: Coordination

The Trust has been following a strategy of seeking a constructive dialogue with the club, but this has failed because the club is evidently not interested in a real constructive dialogue. The Trust, however, considers that pursuing such a dialogue is worthwhile.

Many fans are dissatisfied with the Trust, but there is a need for some coordination of the various protest actions otherwise it will be a case of 'divide and rule'.

More cock up than conspiracy

Various conspiracy theories are floated to explain the actions of Charlton's Belgian owners, but I think it is a more a case of cock up than conspiracy. A flawed vision has been ineptly executed.

Remember that the original assumption made by Roland was that financial fair play would be sufficiently stringent to create a more level playing field in the Championship. That was never very likely for legal and political reasons and, even if it had been achieved, one would still have to cope with relegated teams with increasingly generous parachute payments.

The latest conspiracy theory being touted is that Roland wants to run the club down so that it can be moved to a new and smaller stadium elsewhere. It was, of course, the intention of the previous regime to move the club to a site on the peninsula.

This doesn't seem very likely to me. The demolition costs at The Valley (on a constricted site) would be enormous and I doubt whether any of the stadium could be converted into living accommodation. There is also a major outfall sewer running under the stadium which has caused problems in the past.

It's all more to do with obduracy rather than conspiracy. And unwelcome though Katrien Miere's remarks are, they do reflect an era in which football has become a business and subject to the whims of owners.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Ex-directors willing to talk to Varney

Three ex-directors from the Premier League period had not heard about Peter Varney's approach to the club, but would be willing to talk to him if it related to their outstanding loans. Derek Chappell, David Sumners and Bob Whitehand are owed money that would only be repaid if the club was promoted to the Premier League. Read the full story here: Ex-directors

Charlton open to offers for Harriott

Charlton are open to offers for Callum Harriott after the mercurial winger's good loan spell at Colchester. Franck Moussa could also be on his way out, while Tony Watt is expected to sign a permanent deal at Cardiff: Departures

Richard Cawley of the SLP confirms that Roger Johnson, currently playing in the Indian Super League, is also in the club's sights: Roger Johnson

Unconfirmed reports from Belgium suggest that Sint Truiden are interested in Reza Ghoochanneljihad. Fans' opinions appear to be divided on this possible departure, but I think that at least he gives one hundred per cent and has shown signs of adapting to the rigours of the Championship.

Saturday may be the only opportunity to act

Saturday may be the only opportunity to act against the current regime at Charlton, according to a tweet from Voice of the Valley editor Rick Everitt. He sets out his argument in full, and why he thinks a takeover that would release resources would be possible in the January takeover window here: Last chance saloon. As Airman Brown, he has suggested on Charlton Life a sit down protest after the game outside the boardroom window.

Other fans are planning a protest outside the West Stand at 2.30 p.m.

I doubt whether the Belgians are prepared to either sell the club, as is evident from the way in which they treated Peter Varney, or change their strategy.

Unfortunately, the consequence is that many fans will vote with their feet, as is already happening. This will, of course, further weaken the club and make it less attractive for any future prospective purchaser.

At the moment we have a perfect storm, poor performances on the pitch accompanied by a lack of real fan engagement.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Fraeye: we will be looking for signings in January

Contradicting earlier statements that the squad was complete and sufficient, 'interim' coach Karel Fraeye has said that Charlton will look for signings in the January transfer window: Transfer window

It is, of course, not an easy window in which to get value. It is also difficult for a side in the relegation positions to attract good players.

A return for Roger Johnson is, however, being mooted.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Valley of Despair

Such hope as remained was extinguished by the 0-2 defeat of Charlton by Wolverhampton Wanderers at The Valley today. A young Charlton side played in a disjointed fashion and lacked the pace of their opponents. There were only two shots on target by the Addicks and the first of these came in the 71st minute.

Neither team imposed themselves in the first half. Towards the end the referee was poleaxed and there was a ten minute delay in the start of the second half while he was replaced. However, Wolves came out of the traps in determined fashion and scored after seven minutes, a Lennon own goal completing their total.

A call from the Covered End to 'Stand Up If You Want Them Out' received a good response from around the ground. Interim coach Karel Fraeye was booed off at the end of the game, but there was applause for skipper Johnnie Jackson. The unfortunate captain had a note passed to him by Fraeye during a break in play, but was unable to read whatever tactical gem it contained.

Having read Voice of the Valley it was not clear whether the approach for which Peter Varney was front man was for a minority stake or an acquisition. The Kuwaitis at Ebbsfleet may well have been involved. In any event, Varney got the brush off. There is no evidence that Roland wants to sell or that there will be a change of strategy. So we can expect more of the same.

The South London Press report is here: Tame effort

Stephen Henderson discusses the goals he let in here and appeals to fans to stick by the team: Hendo

Player ratings

Henderson probably could not have done anything about the two goals. He did make a couple of good saves. Despite the own goal Lennon put in a decent performance. Sarr was a little better than usual, but did have some dangerous moments such as passing the ball across the six yard line. Solly was the best player on the pitch. He made some good forward runs, intervened well defensively and won at least one 30/70 ball. Fox did get forward, but often looked nervous.

Jackson did make some contributions. Apart from one or two purple patches, Ba made a limited contribution. The loss of Lookman was a blow and diminished our second half performance. He had been getting forward well and troubling the Wolves defence. It was difficult to work out what Reza was meant to be doing. In any event he missed our best chance to score.

Vaz Te run around quite a bit, but didn't make much of an impact. I was surprised to see Ahearne-Grant starting and he failed to make an impression. But then, what was the alternative?

Makienok did manage to make contact with the ball with his head, but generally didn't send it anywhere useful. Holmes-Dennis did not make a great difference. The Ceballos cameo gave grounds for hope. He played the ball in well.

Wolves hope away record will see them through

Wolves are hoping that their away record will see them through at The Valley this afternoon. They are ninth in the 'away' table, as against 16th in the actual table and have won more matches away than at home: Wolves. However, they did lose 4-1 in their last away game at Sheffield Wednesday.

It is felt that the club needs to strengthen in the January transfer window, but with the club up for sale for some months now, there is considerable uncertainty.

Diarra is unlikely to be available for Charlton after limping off at Bristol City. Bauer's fitness will be assessed today.

The Addicks have won one of the past nine league contests with Wolves (D3 L5). Wolves have gone seven league visits to Charlton without keeping a clean sheet, last shutting them out in December 1996. Last year's home game ended in a 1-1 draw, a possible result today, and the previous home fixture was a 2-1 win for Charlton.

Odds: Charlton 5/2, Draw 11/5, Wolves 23/20.

Belgians snub Varney offer

That is the cover headline in today's Voice of the Valley. Presumably it refers to rumours that have been circulating of a locally based consortium involving former Charlton chief executive Peter Varney, but Roland has never said that he wants to sell. To find out more, one needs to get to The Valley and find a gnome or an elf selling the latest issue.

I first heard about this bid in November, but was asked not to jeopardise it by making any comment.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Former Addick tipped for top

One time Addick Jordan Cook is named as one of 'five stars of 2016' in today's Football League Paper. Cook is currently a 'super sub' for Walsall.

The FLP says: 'If you start him regularly, you will have dips in quality. [Certainly true at Charlton]. But he's always got a goal in him and plenty of strikers have made a good career without being the focal point of an attack.'

'He's not prolific like Tom Bradshaw. He's not as technically gifted as Romaine Sawyers. But he's physically strong, plays the game intelligently and gets vital goals.'

The FLP is surprised that a Championship side has not take a punt. Sign him up!

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Charlton fight back for point

Charlton were wearing their purple third kit as they faced Bristol City at Ashton Gate today in front of 529 dedicated Addicks in a crowd of 15,285. Vaz Te turned provider for Reza, but it was a comfortable save for Fielding.

Long balls from the back were causing Charlton some problems. Makienok headed a corner from the home side clear. City won a soft free kick, but Henderson gathered comfortably.

Henderson had to tip the ball over the bar from Pack. Baker took Henderson out from the corner. A good cross from Reza was missed by Makienok and the oncoming Lookman. Bristol City threatened from the counter, but Bryan blasted over with Henderson stranded. Diarra went down and received treatment.

Henderson spilled a City free kick, but it was offside anyway. Diarra went down again, seemed to be a problem just above the right knee. A cross from Solly was blocked giving Charlton their first corner of the afternoon. Fox took it, but it was cleared away.

Henderson had to make a great save, although Wilbraham was in fact offside. Diarra had to limp off and Sarr came on 32 minutes, not encouraging.

With encouragement from the local lino, the referee gave a 50-50 decision against Cousins. Kodija raced through, but Sarr did just enough to force the ball wide.

A good tackle from Solly to block a cross led to a corner which was unproductive.

Wilbraham was unmarked, but the former Glazier put the ball over the bar from 10 yards out.

Six minutes were added on. Flint headed away from a corner just before it reached Sarr. City won a corner after a miskick by Lennon. Henderson missed the ball and Baker made it 1-0 with a header from a yard out at the back post. Once again Charlton were vulnerable at a set piece.

It had been a scrappy half. Charlton had not been creative in the final third.

HT: Robins 1, Addicks 0

Holmes-Dennis came on to replace Cousins who had taken a knock. Charlton did not cope well in the early exchanges. City won a corner on 51 minutes, but Makienok won the header. Lookman was booked for a trip on a City player.

Jackson produced a goal-saving block and Kodija headed over. Vaz Te came off and Ba came on. Kodija raced through, but fired wide.

City won another corner. Eventually Fox was able to clear. Charlton were hanging on as City advanced again. Charlton were not creating anything. Makienok shot straight at Fielding after Reza played him in. Sarr gave the ball away, but Freeman shot wide.

City were awarded a penalty after Lennon pulled the shirt of Jodija. Pack hit the crossbar.

Holmes-Dennis tackled well. Bennett fired over. The Charlton diamond formation in midfield did not seem to be working.

A snap shot from Lennon drew a good save from Fielding. Wilbraham was booked for kicking the ball away. Charlton started to pass the ball around and City sat deeper. The home fans were quieter.

City won a corner on 80 minutes. Makienok blocked well. Solly blocked well as danger threatened. A free kick by Holmes-Dennis went over everyone for a goal kick.

A great block from Lennon stopped Freeman scoring. Fox shot well wide. Ba tried to advance but was hauled down. Makienok’s flick on was met by Reza whose volley was blocked. Lookman’s corner was headed clear. Four minutes were added on. Bristol broke away, but Fox put in a great tackle.

Lennon scored the equaliser after the ball bounced in the box. Charlton had fought back in the second half. Ba made a difference when he came on.

Friday, 25 December 2015

'A couple of wins and maybe a new manager'

That's Katrien Meire's hope for Christmas: Meire Christmas

Happy Christmas to all our readers and here's hoping for better news at Charlton in 2016. Probably a forlorn hope!

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Bristol City see Boxing Day match as key to survival

Bristol City see the Boxing Day fixture against Charlton as a key fixture in their battle for survival in the Championship: Rampant Robins

Robins striker Kieran Agard looks likely to miss the match: Injuries

Patrick Bauer is unlikely to be available, leaving 'interim' coach Karel Fraeye with a defensive dilemma: Dilemma

In our last encounter at Ashton Gate in 2012-13 we won 2-0. Charlton's win ratio on Boxing Day is 36.36 per cent which ranks them 59th among all league clubs.

Odds are: Bristol City 4/5, Draw 5/2, Charlton 7/2.

The linos and the fourth official are all from Somerset or Devon, so expect any marginal decisions to go Bristol's way.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Jose Riga available

Jose Riga has been sacked by Metz: Riga

As the best of the Belgian appointed coaches (admittedly not a competitive league), bringing him back to Charlton could be a solution.

Meire Christmas!

Even at Christmas it's a tough life being an elf in Ramsgate and when the 'sub-zero contracts on offer' board went up outside 92 Valley Road elves and gnomes flocked in to produce the latest edition of Voice of the Valley. This allowed editor Rick Everitt time to take part in the annual Christmas concert commemorating the hero of Broadstairs, Ted Heath.

A spoof front cover on the VOTV website wishes readers a Meire Christmas and shows a disconsolate Big Dave Lockwood slumped in the stands wearing his Santa Claus outfit: Meire Christmas

The actual cover is a closely guarded secret, but despite denials that Airman Brown himself will be top of the tree, there is speculation that it will show the Rickster in defiant pose accompanied by the caption 'Yo! I is from Ramsgate.'

Gnomes and elves will be out selling the magazine before the Wolves game while Rick Everitt will don Dave Lockwood's Father Christmas outfit at his customary pitch opposite the club shop. It can already be ordered online.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

More injury worries

Having just returned from suspension, Patrick Bauer is a doubt for both the Bristol City and Wolves matches. Ricardo Vaz Te is also in doubt: Injuries

However, Lookman and Gudmundsson look likely to be available again.

Chelsea push hardest for Lookman signature

Chelsea are the Premier League pushing hardest for the signature of Ademola Lookman next month: Lookman

Southampton have joined Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City in the race for his signature: Competition

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Charlton go second from bottom

Charlton have gone second bottom in the Championship after losing 4-0 at Burnley.

The Addicks enjoyed the better of the opening stages in at Turf Moor but Johnnie Jackson's shot, which was tipped over by Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton, was their only effort on target before they fell behind.

Karel Fraeye is in defiant mood and reckons that the calibre of the opposition has a lot to do with Charlton's poor performances: Don't blame me

The plan was probably to make him permanent coach for the rest of the season, but results make it difficult to take that decision. I don't know if any other Belgians are available.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Tough test at Turf Moor

The Belgian soap opera at The Valley continues and tomorrow Charlton face a tough test (i.e., likely defeat) as they head 'oop North to promotion candidates Burnley.

Burnley have won their last three league encounters with Charlton, keeping a clean sheet on each occasion. Charlton have scored just six goals in their last 10 league trips to Turf Moor and never more than once in that run. We did win 1-0 there two seasons ago.

Burnley have, however, suffered something of a dip in form and will looking to get back to winning ways. The Clarets have failed to score in their last three league matches, last scoring against Cardiff in November. They have gone six league games without a win (D4 L2), their worst run since May 2015 in the Premier League.

The Addicks have dropped 13 points from leading situations this season, no Championship side has lost more.

Patrick Bauer should be back in defence for Charlton, his suspension having come to an end. However, there are fears that Ademola Lookman may not play because of a hamstring problem.

Odds: Burnley 4/7, Draw 11/4, Charlton 11/2.

It's not a nightmeire

Sky Sports pundit Don Goodman has leapt to the defence of Charlton chief executive Katrien Meire after meeting her. He reckons she is doing the best she can for the club in difficult circumstances, although she is feeling the strain and the pain: In defence of Meuire

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Remembering the good times

In these unhappy times for the club, it helps to remember some of the good times in the past, including the 3-3 home draw with Manchester United in the 2000-1 season. Sir Alex Ferguson praised Charlton: 'They fought really hard and played very well.' Even the Match of the Day pundits described Charlton's fightback as 'absolutely magnificent ... absolutely awesome.'

On nine minutes good work by Graham Stuart allowed Kishishev to put in a powerful cross. Bartlett powered between two defenders and put in a header that found the back of the net. It was the first goal conceded by United in 338 minutes of Premiership football.

After Deano had made a great save from Ryan Giggs, Solksjaer fed him to put the ball in the back of net three minutes from half time. A speculative shot from Giggs from near the halfway line rebounded off the bar, allowing Solksjaer to put the ball past the stranded Kiely. Half time and we were 1-2 down.

Things looked grim when Keane scored a soft goal on 66 minutes, Kiely getting a hand to it, only to put it in the net. Johnnie Robinson was brought on to replace the ineffective Salako. The East Stand linesman made a number of increasingly bizarre offside decisions against Charlton. As the crowd chanted 'Offside, offside', stewards piled in to throw out an Addick for 'abusing the linesman.'

Robbo gave the linesman a piece of his mind and got a yellow card. However, an angry Robbo was a dangerous Robbo. On 79 minutes Kinsella played in Kishishev who put in a low and powerful cross from the right, allowing Bartlett to head into the net. The Addickted started a chant of 'We support our local team.' On 85 minutes a Jensen corner was played on by Kinsella to Robbo who put in a good shot which went inside the post to make it 3-3. He nearly went crazy in his celebrations.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Valley of frustration

Charlton threw away a 2-0 lead against Bolton Wanderers at The Valley last night to end up with a 2-2 draw. With MK Dons winning, they slipped back into the relegation positions. As a fan near me commented, 'Both teams look like they are going to be relegated.'

Defensive weaknesses were once again in evidence, offsetting two well-worked goals. However, what struck me was the absence of the midfield or, at any rate, its inability to contribute to the game in the way it should have done.

Once we went 2-0 ahead up, we started to be a little casual and Bolton regained possession, although, to their credit, they did not give up in the way that we might have done. Our play started to lose its pattern, we failed to press them enough, and it was panic stations in defence.

The Addicks led after 27 seconds when Ademola Lookman fired in, after being set up by a great move by Reza, before the 18-year-old forward doubled their lead from close range. Heskey tapped in his first goal since Boxing Day, then Josh Vela smashed in a deflected 25-yard effort to level. Heskey became the oldest Championship scorer this year.

The official attendance last night was 12,294, the worst at The Valley since March 1998 and below the attendances achieved in three years in League One. Judging from the jackpot prize, the actual attendance was probably 8,000-9,000.

Player ratings

In my view Henderson could have saved the first goal. Diarra was below his best, and some casual play by him put us in danger. Lennon looked a bit out of his depth at times, but that's understandable. The referee, who lacked match experience, gave him a yellow card. Solly put in a shift as always and some of his approach work was good. At times he got himself into good unmarked positions, but his fellow players ignored him. Holmes-Dennis was competent.

Cousins had an awful match in my view, shared by those around me. Jackson was not very effective. Gudmundsson didn't have his best game and his free kick came off the wall. Lookman was sparking. Karel Fraeye got a chant of 'You don't what you're doing' when he was taken off, but he may have picked up a knock.

Vaz Te was involved, but not in a decisive way. Reza had a great game and is really growing into the league.

Makienok did contact the ball with his head a few times, but made little overall contribution. was useless. Ahearne-Grant brought a fresh pair of legs and a determination to get involved.


Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Six pointer at The Valley tonight

'Interim' coach Karel Fraeye looks upward for inspiration as he ponders tonight's game

It's a six pointer at The Valley tonight as Charlton face fellow relegation strugglers Bolton Wanderers. The result could have a bearing on whether or not Charlton play Chelsea in the Championship next season.

For all the troubles at Charlton, we are not insolvent and facing a winding up order like Bolton. There are four prospective purchasers, but they have had trouble raising the readies, even at a fire sale price of £15m free of debt. The players have not been paid this month and, if they are not paid in December, they would be entitled to walk away. However, being in the shop window gives them an extra incentive to play well.

Karel Fraeye will hope to start midfielder Johnnie Jackson and forward Ricardo Vaz Te against Bolton on Tuesday. Patrick Bauer completes his two-match ban, giving Fraeye a near-full squad.

We have done well in our last three home games against the Whites, recording a 3-2 win, a 0-0 draw and a 2-1 win.

Odds are: 13/10, Draw 11/5, Bolton 13/8.

Bluebirds want to sign Watt

Cardiff City want to sign Tony Watt permanently in January. He has made a good impression with the Bluebirds. The fee is thought to be about £1m: Tony Watt

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Harriott's uncertain future

Callum Harriott does not think he will extend his stay at Colchester, 'but I don't know if I will be at Charlton either. There are other clubs interested in me,' he told The Football League Paper.

Harriott was the flavour of the month under Chris Powell and Jose Riga, but slipped out of favour under Bob Peeters and struggled to regain his footing with Guy Luzon. 'Bob Peeters came in and I didn't really getting as much game time under him,' recalled Harriott. 'I didn't get a lot of playing time and when you are young, all you want to do is play. I couldn't see why I wasn't getting a chance because I was playing when I was about 16 or 17.'

'He left and the new manager came in and it was pretty much the same. I was getting a lot of "you're a good player and we want to do this formation." It was just excuses and I needed to start playing. At first they didn't want me to go out on loan but eventually we found an opportunity and took it.'

Harriott won't be playing in the cup tie between the U's and the Addicks even if he is still at Colchester. 'I will be rooting for both of them. I was born and bred in Charlton from the age of eight but I have been here the last few months and the club has been great.'

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Addicks move out of bottom three

Charlton moved out of the Championship's bottom three as they played out a goalless draw with Leeds United at the Valley. Ademola Lookman's shot bounced along the line for the hosts, while Marco Silvestri's stunning save denied Ricardo vaz Te when clean through. Leeds created little, but Tom Adeyemi missed a late sitter from six yards.

With Morgan Fox dropped and Patrick Bauer suspended, following his second dismissal of the season in the 3-2 loss at Brighton, Harry Lennon and Tareiq Holmes-Dennis, went into the back four. Holmes-Dennis was a menace down the left.

The opening ten minutes saw a strike from Reza Ghoochannejhad, who latched on to a through ball into the area. Lookman went agonisingly close, with Johann Berg Gudmundsson inches away from forcing it home. Lookman then produced a powerful low drive to test Silvestri.

Charlton continued their confident start. Leeds took 20 minutes to trouble Stephen Henderson, who dealt easily with Alex Mowatt's free-kick before Lewis Cook curled a shot wide.

Silvestri again denied Lookman and then pulled off a superb low save to deny Vaz Te, who connected well with Gudmundsson's cross from eight yards. United offered little in attack until late on when Mowatt volleyed over and Charlie Taylor's low shot forced Henderson into a good stop.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Roland v. Massimo Cellino

Two clubs who have problems with their owners face each other at The Valley tomorrow. Massimo Cellino is more quixotic than Roland.

Charlton have been beaten only once in their last nine meetings with Leeds. Leeds have lost three of their last four visits to the Valley, winning the other 4-2. Leeds are, however, coming into form, having won three of their last five games after winning just three of the pervious 16.

22 per cent of Leeds' 18 goals in this Championship this season have been penalties (4), the highest percentage in the top four tiers of English football.

Patrick Bauer is suspended after being sent off at Brighton, but the Addicks have no injury worries with Harry Lennon fit.

Odds are: Charlton 9/5, Draw 21/10, Leeds 13/8.

Lookman in contract talks

Addicks ace Ademola Lookman has been in contract talks at The Valley along with his dad and agent. A number of top Premiership clubs have the former Waterloo FC discovery in their sights, but Charlton are hopeful of securing his signature. Perhaps this one won't get away: Lookman

Reza happy to stay

Reza Ghoochanneljhad's contract with Charlton runs out at the end of the season, but he would be happy to negotiate an extension. He feels that he was played out of position when he first came to The Valley and now considers that he has acclimatised to Championship football: Reza

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Roland in town

Addicks owner Roland Duchatelet has been in South-East London this week for talks. Indeed, one Addick claimed to have seen him on the DLR at Woolwich. Be that as it may, he's not staying around for Saturday's game at Leeds United. It's over a year since he has seen a game in person: Belgian visit

A blog from the Football Supporters' Federation on the two per cent protest can be found here: Black and white

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Matthew fears for Charlton's future

Former Charlton coach Damian Matthew fears for the club's future. He told the Evening Standard: 'You need experience in the ranks. Two or three of the signings over the summer were excellent. They were players who could come in and affect the game straight away.'

'With some of the other players, you could see the potential but that was all it was. We had a lot of success in bringing young players through the system but when you have players like that you need to make sure the squad is boosted by experienced players who know the Championship.'

After nine years at The Valley, Matthew is now working for Celtic, identifying young London talent for the Scottish champions.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Bergdich surplus to requirements

It has been decided that Zakaraya Bergdich is surplus to requirements and will be available in the January transfer window. However, given his record at Charlton, it may be difficult to offload him: Bergdich

New Statto blog

A new blog seeks to present a really comprehensive set of statistics relating to Charlton and should help to settle some arguments about players' records. Of course, Charlton stats don't make for happy reading at the moment: Staddickstics

Monday, 7 December 2015

Arsenal in for Lookman

Arsenal scouts have attended all four of Ademola Lookman's senior appearances so far and now thinking of making a bid for the youngster in the January transfer window: Lookman

Manchester City, Spurs, Liverpool and Brighton are also now interested, so it looks as if he is on his way: Top clubs chase Lookman

Manchester City would, however, be prepared to loan him back for the rest of the season.

The usual undisclosed fee would be paid.

Why the network model threatens Charlton's identity

A balanced critique of Roland's network model which concludes that, although it is not without merit, it is undermining Charlton's identity: Identity loss

Shrimpers want to hang on to Pigott

Southend United want to hang on to Joe Pigott even though he has been left out of the side in recent weeks. He is without a goal in his last eight league appearances. However, manager Phil Brown thinks that he definitely has a bright future ahead of him: 'He is a young player still learning the game, but he is capable of scoring goals.'

His loan expires in four weeks, but there is a clause to make the deal permanent or extend it until the end of the season.

Elsewhere, Callum Harriott scored two good goals for Colchester in their 3-2 cup victory over Altrincham.

Bournemouth's victory at Chelsea was the first win by a promoted side there since Charlton in 2001.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Defensive weaknesses let us down

Voice of the Valley editor Rick Everitt looks at the defensive weaknesses that are letting us down and expresses concern about the injury to Harry Lennon. However, some solace may be derived from the plight of the other teams in the relegation scrap: Taking stock after Brighton

The stats after 19 games this season are virtually the same as after 19 games in our 2008/09 relegation season except this season we have a worse goal difference. Also not only do the bookies have us as odds on favourites to be relegated but to finish bottom of the league.

Another Belgian?

Rumours have been circulating that Frederick Vanderbeist, the coach of Club Brugge, is to be the next head coach at Charlton. He is Belgian. However, I have not been able to find any independent confirmation of these rumours, not least from Belgian sources. It looks like one of those rumours that has developed a momentum of its own, so for now the Vanderbeast is staying in Bruges.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Two goal lead turns into defeat

A two goal lead for Charlton over Brighton & Hove Albion turned into a 3-2 defeat for the Addicks. Charlton have slipped back into the relegation places.

Lookman and Reza put the Addicks ahead in the first six minutes and it remained 2-0 at half time. However, the sending off of Patrick Bauer on 57 minutes for holding back Zamora as the last man was a turning point in the match, Brighton having already got one back through Manchester United loanee James Wilson. The Seagulls drew level and Zamora scored the winner.

Charlton took the lead when Ricardo Vaz Te supplied Reza Ghoochannejhad with the ball, who fed Ademola Lookman. The teenager beat Bruno Manga in the box before firing past David Stockdale to give Charlton the lead with just two minutes played.

The Addicks doubled their lead in the sixth minute as Johann Gudmundsson whipped in a cross from the left. The ball just evaded Vaz Te in the centre of the box but Ghoochannejhad was on hand at the back post to sweep home. The Addicks were on the attack again moments later as Ghoochannejhad popped up once more at the far post, his header from Vaz Te's cross somehow kept out by Stockdale.

A clash of heads between Solomon March and debutant Harry Lennon midway through the half saw the latter forced off due to a gash on his forehead. The Seagulls had Stockdale to thank once more as the keeper made another save, this time from a point-blank 30th-minute Gudmundsson effort. In the seventh minute of injury time, Charlton again went close as another Stockdale stop denied Lookman his second.

The second half saw Brighton get a goal back with just five minutes played, as James Wilson picked up the ball 25 yards out before going on a mazy run which saw him beat four Charlton players. Having made it to the penalty spot, the on-loan Manchester United striker stabbed an effort past Addicks keeper Stephen Henderson to hand Chris Hughton's side a lifeline.

Relentless Brighton pressure paid off when Zamora equalised. March was the architect with a driving run and although Henderson instinctively saved at his near post, the follow up hit the post before the experienced striker slammed in. The winner came five minutes from time. Henderson did well to get a hand to sub Tomer Hemed’s header but it still looped into the net.

Riga still puzzled

Jose Riga, the best of the Roland era coaches, is still puzzled why he didn't get a permanent contract at Charlton after guiding the Addicks to safety. He would like to have stayed: Mystery exit

Friday, 4 December 2015

Guy Luzon linked with Reading

Former Addicks coach Guy Luzon has been linked with the managerial vacancy at Reading following the departure of Steve Clarke: Shock contender

At least he can now claim Championship experience.

Not an easy three points for Brighton

With Brighton the only team in the Football League this season and Charlton hovering just above the relegation places, there might seem to be only one outcome to tomorrow's clash at the Amex. However, it would be just like Charlton to overturn the form book and get an unexpected result. Brighton are just one short of equalling the record for the longest unbeaten start in a Championship season (held by QPR)..

Certainly Brighton first team coach Nathan Jones does not think it will be easy, saying that the Addicks offer a blend of youth, freshness and experience: Not an easy three points

Brighton will be without Liam Rosenior (knee). Gaeten Bong is still out with a thigh problem as are striker Sam Baldock (thigh) and winger Kazenga LuaLua (groin). Charlton are without skipper Johnnie Jackson (hamstring) but Ricardo Vaz Te is pushing for his first start.

The bookies don't offer much hope, though with odds of 2/5 for a Seagulls win, 10/3 for a draw and 8/1 for a Charlton win.

The last three games at the Amex have ended 0-0, 3-0 and 2-2.

Unfortunately, the referee is vertically challenged Kevin Stroud.

Club draws up list of transfer targets

Interim head coach at Charlton says that the club has drawn up a list of transfer targets for the January window: Transfer targets

Let's hope that Roland sees the imperative need to loosen the purse strings and bring in some quality players who can really make a difference. If Jason Euell is really having a say in what is happening, that makes me more hopeful.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Charlton beat Millwall in FA Youth Cup

Charlton beat Millwall in a penalty shoot out to go through to the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup. Good pictures in this report: Cup victory

The result was achieved despite some players not being available because they have been needed in the first team. I was out last night, but the game was streamed online and watched by more that the nearly one thousand at The Valley. Apparently, the picture quality was very good, even on small devices.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Chinese look to buy clubs

Following the acquisition of a minority stake in Manchester City by Chinese investors, the next phase is forecast by Dan Jones of Deloitte Sports Business to be the outright acquisition of a few Premiership and Championship clubs.

The financial press this morning is focusing on Bolton Wanderers, a club in deep trouble and available at a knockdown price.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Charlton pay £656k in agents' fees

Roland is a declared opponent of football agents, but in the period from October 2014 to September 2015 we made payments of £656,979. This is much less than the £2.83m paid by Cardiff City or the £2.74m paid by Fulham. Rotherham paid the least on £185k. If we think of Brentford as a comparable club, they paid £600k.

You can find the Football League figures here: Nice money if you can get it