Tuesday 30 June 2009

Return of Myles Weston

Former Charlton trainee Myles Weston may return to haunt us this season as it is being reported that he has turned down a three year deal at Notts County and joined promoted Brentford.

Self-styled 'no nonsense' defender Jamie Stuart, once with Charlton, has left Grays and moved to the banks of the River Nene to join Rushden and Diamonds.

Hudson off to Cardiff

Cardiff City are saying that they have an offer accepted for an unnamed centre back, believed to be Charlton captain Mark Hudson. The fee is rumoured to be around £700,000 which will provide some much needed cash flow. Read more here:- Bluebirds

With Jonathan Fortune's future at The Valley uncertain, Charlton may be short of a centre back. Perhaps Kelly Youga's change of hairstyle was preparation for this role.

Monday 29 June 2009

Addicks sign Llera

Charlton have finally won their long fought campaign to secure the signature of Spanish defender Miguel Angel Llera. The powerful centre back would be a suitable replacement for Mark Hudson should he leave. The 6 ft. 4 defender made 37 appearances for Franchise FC last season. Llera, who turns 30 on the day before the Third Division South season starts, has signed a two year contract.

The signing is further confirmation that Phil Parkinson is firmly in charge at Sparrows Lane. The Addicks supremo said, 'I'm delighted Miguel has agreed to sign. He is a good age for a centre-half [Why is 30 a better age than 25, ed?] and all the homework we've done and meeting him confirmed he's a good character. He's a big centre-half who goes and attacks the ball but has got good use of it with his left foot as well.'

Saturday 27 June 2009

Pretty Things

Charlton fans have been disappointed at the failure of a Mr Big to arrive at The Valley with a big wad of readies to sort out the club's problems. Evidently Peter Varney's powerpoint presentation is not as convincing as Iain Dowie's DVD which landed him the manager's job at The Valley.

However, things are not as bad as they are at Southampton. The Saints are in real danger of being wound up within a week. And the mystery backer behind the Pinnacle consortium that has been trying to buy the club turns out to be a lettings agent from North London who lives with his mum and dad. Dad was a cab driver, but mum Sandra did own a lingerie store called Pretty Things in nearby Cockfosters (which as Joe the Saint points out is 'the end of the line'.

We predict that next week Kevin Portch will launch his bid for Charlton.

A non-story

Even Pravda is having to resort to non-stories: Keeper

Why would we need another keeper?

Enjoy the weekend and the absence of a game. I'm start to look forward to some Chilean football in a couple of weeks.

Friday 26 June 2009

Randolph and Holland expected to sign

Darren Randolph has been holding contract talks with Addicks supremo Phil Parkinson and a deal is expected to be agreed within the next few days. Matt Holland has started training and is also expected to agree a deal.

Phil Parkinson is expected to remain Addicks manager next season. Realistically we cannot afford anyone else. I wouldn't describe myself as an enthusiast, but I am not as critical as some people are. He inherited a poisoned chalice and performances and results did improve somewhat.

Peter Varney was never heading up a takeover deal, but has been helping with making presentations to prospective investors who might inject some much needed new money into the club.

Gloomsters are already predicting relegation into Division 2. It has to be remembered that many League 1 sides are not as good as those in the Championship and the squad should be able to cope, at least to the extent of getting to the fringes of the play offs.

Thursday 25 June 2009

Blues in for Shelvey

Chelsea have joined the race for the signature of Jonjo Shelvey. What is particularly attractive about their interest is that they would be prepared to loan him back to Charlton for a season or even two.

However, West Ham and Spurs are also in the face and Shelvey himself is thought to favour a move to White Hart Lane.

Tuesday 23 June 2009

You couldn't make it up

We received this press release over at www.footballeconomy.com:

'The Football Commentary Experience is broadening its horizons for the forthcoming 2009/10 football season and now offers an exciting, brand new matchday version of the popular football commentary experience.'

'New for 09/10 is the Matchday Experience, where budding wannabe commentators get to join our experts in the commentary box for an actual match. You’ll also get to sample a real matchday atmosphere, see the press box in its full glory and you’ll attend a post-match press conference as well as taking part in the live match commentary too!'

'The first matchday event of the new season is on Sunday 2nd August, a pre-season fixture between Crystal Palace and Nancy at Selhurst Park.'

'Real matchday experience?' Enjoy a press conference with Warnock?

Sunday 21 June 2009

A good omen?

Some robins have hatched out in one of our nesting boxes. Those of us started supporting Charlton in the 1950s remember us then being known as the Robins, so perhaps it's a good omen.

OK, it's clutching at straws, but this has been a real no news week as far as the Addicks are concerned (unless you count the mothballing of the Bexleyheath retail outlet). In Amsterdam the week before last my Charlton bag attracted commiserations; in Paris at the end of last week nothing at all.

The South London Press tells us that Mark Kinsella's future is uncertain, but then everything is. There are conspiracy theorists who believe that the takeover was a stunt dreamed up to boost season ticket sales. Who would want to buy a third division club, they ask? Well, anyone who could get a first rate stadium, start of the art training facilities and a catchment area with great potential at a knockdown price. Perhaps the price isn't right.

One piece of news is that Leamington supremo Jason Cadden has been named as one of the top twenty non-league managers. He is ranked seventeenth, but most of the others are Conference or Blue Square North or South. The club also scooped a host of awards at the annual Southern League dinner in Torquay.

Wednesday 17 June 2009

Chairboys open third division season

Charlton will host promoted Wycombe Wanderers at The Valley in their first League One fixture of the 2009/10 season on August 8th. The Chairboys inflicted a humiliating cup defeat on Charlton when they were a Premiership side and will now be looking to inflict a defeat on a fallen giant. the fixture is headlined in the BBC Sport review of League 1 fixtures.

After starting the season at The Valley for the third season in a row, the Addicks will then face three successive away trips with their Carling Cup first round clash with Hereford United preceding the long journey to Hartlepool United on Saturday, August 15th - a first ever visit to Victoria Park - and a shorter midweek trip, to Leyton Orient, three days later.

Swindon Town are the Valley visitors on Boxing Day. To start the festive mood, the Spanners visit The Valley just before Christmas The first clash with Gillingham takes place at the Priestfield Stadium on Saturday, October 14th, and the campaign ends with a trip to Oldham Athletic, another club that has been managed by Iain Dowie, on Saturday, May 8th.

Tuesday 16 June 2009

It's all bull

Charlton Athletic have marked their arrival in the lower leagues with a draw away to Hereford United in the first round of the Carling Cup. The Addicks will begin their campaign at Edgar Street against a Bulls side relegated to League Two last season.

The match will take place on the evening of Tuesday, August 11th or Wednesday, August 12th. And it will be the first meeting between the two clubs for 20 years, after they clashed at the second round stage back in September 1989. How have the mighty fallen.

Hereford will now doubt be looking for a scalp against a 'fallen giant' and it remains to be seen whether the Addicks can take the bull by the horns. Darren Randolph should be able to give them some advice as he was the Bulls' keeper before falling out with them.

Fans are now waiting with bated breath for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy draw.

What you need to be an East Stand lino

One of our commentators yesterday remarked on the poor standard of East Stand linos. Of course, those on the West may be just as bad but we don't get the same opportunity to study the finer points of their incompetence. Indeed, more generally, where you sit in the ground probably does influence how you see the game as another commentator suggested.

I have now obtained a copy of the FA requirements for East Stand linos and they are as follows:

1. Applications are welcome from the visually impaired, particularly if the problem has not been diagnosed and remedial action taken. This is the kind of posting that might be suitable for those reaching the end of a not particularly distinguished career as an official.
2. No understanding of the offside rule is required. Remember: if in doubt, rule against Charlton.
3. At least one throw in out of five shall be wrongly awarded.
4. If you see an infringement which the referee has not spotted, do not draw his attention to it.
5. Applications are particularly invited from the folically challenged. Your bottle of hair restorer will be broken in the dressing room before the game to put you in the right frame of mind.

Monday 15 June 2009

Charlton in play off spot

With next season's fixtures due, BBC Sport have reorganised their website and Charlton currently stand 5th in League 1 without a ball being kicked. Will this be our best position all season?

What it reminds me that I have to do when I can find time is create a new website to be called 'Addick's Third Division South Diary'. This site originally started in the pre-blogging days as a web page that gave 'diary', i.e., general summary/atmosphere reports on matches. This evolved into full match reports and for a time we were linked to the club web page.

These days match reports attract fewer hits than news items. Although relegation is an opportunity to change the formula, I am probably going to stick with the mixture of news, match reports and the occasional nostalgia item.

I kept Addick's Premiership Diary in being in the hope that it would be used again one day. Let's hope it isn't too long before this page is used again.

Sunday 14 June 2009

Brakes swoop for capped player

One of the relative weaknesses in the championship winning Leamington side last year was the defence with five matches being lost in the title campaign largely because of defensive errors. Brakes have now signed experienced full back Simon Travis who has been capped nine times for the England 'C' international (non-league) side. He also has extensive league experience with Torquay United, Stockport County and Hereford United.

The activity at the New Windmill Ground contrasts with its absence at The Valley. It is, however, encouraging that season tickets sales have now passed the 8,000 mark which suggests at least 8,500 by the beginning of the season and possibly a figure near 9,000. This means that recorded attendances will rarely fall below the 10,000 mark for League games (as distinct from the 'watching paint dry' trophy).

I took my Charlton bag to Amsterdam and received lots of commiserations.

Thursday 11 June 2009

So, farewell then, the reserves

The reserves are the latest victim of cost cutting at The Valley. They have a useful role in providing a competitive game for fringe players, but there will be fewer of those in future. Players returning from injury could be loaned out.

In the 1950s we very rarely went to reserve games. Indeed, the only one I can remember is a Combination Cup tie against Aldershot.

In more recent years, I have taken in the odd game when we played at The Valley and I have been in London. I recall one game against Norwich City when there were two particularly vociferous Norwich supporters in the row in front of us. The referee looked as if he was about to draw his pension and looked considerably startled when my friend bellowed across the almost empty ground, 'Get a grip ref!'

We did, of course, win the reserves championship more than once under Keith Peacock. We also got into the final of the reserves competition, but went down at home to a strong Manchester United side.

If one was looking for further cost cutting measures, why not disband the first team? Those who had already paid for season tickets could still turn up and buy a souvenir programme of the match that might have been. They could use the refreshment kiosks and then take their seats for the pre-match build up. The only difference would be that no teams would emerge.

They could then spend the next 45 minutes chatting to their neighbours (which many do anyway). At half time one could still have the Valley Gold and jackpot draws and dignitaries could appear on the pitch.

It would also be a great solution to the guilt felt by early leavers.

I'm off to Amsterdam for a couple of days for a workshop I am organising with Uefa participation with contributors from the 'Big 5' leagues and other European countries on European football. No doubt when I come back Phil Parkinson will still be in charge and there will be no news on the takeover.

Addicks in for Llera

Phil Parkinson has confirmed that he is interested in discarded MK Dons defender Miguel Angel Llera. Also in the frame are reported to be Norwich City and Doncaster Rovers.

Llera is a free agent after leaving MK Dons recently. Parkinson is quoted as saying: 'Llera is one of the players we've spoken to but we'll have to wait and see what happens.' Indeed.

Tuesday 9 June 2009

Watford in for Pardew

Alan Pardew is on a five man shortlist to become the new manager of Watford. Pardew is reported to be desperate to get back in management. However, he is set to demand big wages commensurate with his record of recent Championship success.

Watford have a tradition of appointing up and coming managers and might therefore settle for Brentford boss Andy Scott who would probably come cheaper than Pards. Or, if they can afford the translator, they might take St.Johnstone supremo Derek McInnes.

Watford sources refused to comment on rumours that if Iain Dowie failed to get a contract renewal at Newcastle, they might try for a 'dream team' of Pardew as manager and Dowie as coach.

A word from Curbs

Spotted at a dinner in London recently was a very fit looking Alan Curbishley. He has enjoyed some good holidays, apparently. But now he is ready to get back into the fray. However, he would like a club in the London area which rather restricts his choices and puts paid to recent rumours linking him with Wigan. My sources say that he had little to say on the subject of Charlton.

Meanwhile, Newcastle has been hit hard by the curse of Dowie. It is now in such chaos that the club has been put up for sale on its website. You can make an appropriate bid (say 1p) at admin@nufc.co.uk or send an abusive message as many Sunderland fans have done.

Saturday 6 June 2009

Charlton fans in Kazakhstan

Read here about Charlton fans enjoying skills they haven't seen for ages:

Friday 5 June 2009

Talks about retaining Zheng Zhi

Charlton are holding talks regarding new deals with out-of-contract players Jonathan Fortune, Matt Holland, Darren Randolph and Zheng Zhi, the club revealed this morning. Fortune is needed in defence, Randolph is still required as back up goalkeeper and Matt Holland can still do a job for us.

Zheng Zhi would be a valuable asset but would not come cheap. However, there has been talk of the possibility of a specific Chinese sponsorship.

However, Harry Arter, Darren Ambrose, Svetoslav Todorov, Nicky Weaver, Aswad Thomas and Rashid Yussuff will not be offered new contracts when their current agreements expire on June 30th. None of these is a surprise and in the case of Ambrose he had already been announced as the Glaziers' secret weapon in the biggest bombshell to hit South London since the last V2 rocket.

Another player whose time in SE7 concludes at the end of the month, midfielder Josh Wright - who finished the season helping loan club Gillingham gain promotion to League One via the play-offs - is exercising his right to talk to other clubs. His father has been bigging him up.

The club seems pleased that 7,625 or 58 per cent of season ticket holders have renewed. It could be a lot worse, but it is not that good as (depending on further renewals) it implies that some crowds could be under 10,000.

Thursday 4 June 2009

Charlton going through a funny time

'Charlton are going through a funny time trying to establish what they are going to do next season.' That's the verdict of Exeter supremo Paul Tisdale. And the Grecians' boss hopes to swoop for striker Stuart Fleetwood who has been on loan at Exeter. He has been given to understand that a move is likely to go ahead if Phil Parkinson remains in charge at The Valley.

Tisdale said, 'Stuart gives us something different and I have made no secret of the fact that I would like to have him next season. He is a different type of striker to what we have got. There is no doubt that he is real quality.'

Whether he is real quality is difficult for me to judge as I have never seen him play in a Charlton shirt. Nor have any other Charlton fans. No doubt, however, if he completes the move he will come back and score against us.

Jonjo Shelvey

He is in the 'One to Watch' feature in the latest edition of Four Four Two. The feature doesn't tell us very much that we didn't know already. He's compared to Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney and Zinedine Zidane. Phil Parkinson praises his work ethic and the way he has blended into the first team and Richard Murray assures us that 'Shelvey has committed his future to Charlton. Jonjo likes the way Phil Parkinson has involved him in the team.'

Fortunately, most managers don't rely on reading Four Four Two to identify likely prospects. Shelvey's potential is already well known. Hopefully, we can retain him until Christmas.

Tuesday 2 June 2009

Addicks chase Shrimper

Charlton are reportedly locked in a battle with Huddersfield for the services of 27-year old Southend defender Peter Clarke. Southend would like to retain him, but do not think they can match the wages on offer at The Valley.

Clarke, who has made 150 appearances for the Shrimpers since signing from Blackpool in a £300,000 deal three years ago, impressed at the heart of the defence last term and was voted player of the season by both the supporters and his fellow team-mates.

Glaziers boss Warnock is delighted at the 'capture' of out of contract Darren Ambrose from The Valley: Coup

Ambrose is not without talent, but he has more fundamental flaws in his game tham the need to play 'with a smile on his face'. But perhaps the chance to get some Nectar points at Sainsbury's will do the trick.