Wednesday 30 September 2009

Leeds worse than 'modest'

The performance of Leeds against MK Dons was modest, and their performance against Carlisle last night less than modest, suggesting that they are not invicible:

Leeds are playing down the injury to Robert Snodgrass who had to be helped off the field last night, claiming that he will be fit to face Charlton on Saturday.

Tuesday 29 September 2009

Addicks lose 3-0

Colchester's kick off went straight out for a goal kick, but then Lisbie won an early corner, writes Erith's Paul May among a sell out Charlton crowd in a total of 7,098. The Addicks cleared eventually.

Colchester surged forward, but the ball was blocked and Charlton were able to scramble it clear. Colchester were playing a very direct and forceful game with their two burly strikers. Youga put in a good cross, but Charlton were unable to make use of it.

Llera blocked Platt after another Route 1 attack from Colchester at the expense of a second corner. The U's kept up the pressure, but Bailey eventually cleared. Burton got in behind the defence, but shot over the bar.

After Bailey ran in well, Colchester scraped the ball off the goalline. Charlton kept up the pressure well with Sam and Burton involved, but Bailey put the ball wide. Burton got in behind the somewhat lumbering U's defence but was hauled down.

Lisbie won another corner. It was well dealt with by Burton. Colchester kept up the pressure, but Racon brought the ball under control.

Wordsworth put the ball up in the air, Llera tried to head back to Elliot but there was no communication and the defender put the ball in the net to put the home side 1-0 ahead out of nothing to the fury of Phil Parkinson.

The U's kept up the pressure and a cross almost caught Elliot out. Then the misery was compounded when Llera was outpaced and the U's went 2-0 up from their loan striker Odejayi.

Sam turned provider for Shelvey but he scuffed his shot wide. As Lisbie turned provider for Platt, Richardson had to put it behind for a corner as the Charlton defence wobbled. Dailly was fouled as he cleared the ball from the corner.

Llera put in another dangerous backward header and Elliot berated him. Charlton won a corner and then a second, but U's were able to clear from Shelvey's effort.

Platt put in a shot, Llera smothered it and eventually there was an infringement. Sam won a free kick in a promising position as the game went into two minutes of time added on. The free kick from Shelvey was converted into a corner. The U's were able to clear.

Half time: U's 2, Addicks 0

Word came through that Chris Dickson had scored an equaliser for Bristol Rovers at Southampton.

Elliot saved from a free kick from Wordsworth after Bailey had been judged to foul Lisbie.

On 55 minutes Odejayi effectively put the match beyond reach by making it 3-0 for Colchester after a mistake by Elliot.

On 61 minutes McLeod replaced Spring. Colchester won a corner, but fortunately it was unproductive. The hapless Llera was replaced by Sodje.

Colchester took off Platt and Lisbie went up front. Sodje looked more effective against Odejayi. Shelvey turned provider for Burton and his header was not too far off target.

Sodje had hamstring trouble and Basey was lined up. The U's won a free kick in a promising position, but Charlton won an offside decision. A U's shot was deflected and ended up on the roof of the net. Sodje seemed to have overcome his hamstring problem.

Bailey won Charlton a corner. Shelvey put in a good ball but Williams in the U's goal saved well to the left tipping the ball over at the expense of a corner, but it led to a goal kick.

Shelvey got a yellow card after an incident with O'Toole. McLeod was caught offside. Lisbie had a chance from six yards out to make it 4-0, but fluffed it. Charlton kept up their record of never winning in the league at Colchester. The grumbling has been bubbling along under the surface and it will be gala night for moaners.

Monday 28 September 2009

Wake up call for U's

Aidy Boothroyd admits that his team's stuttering performance against lowly Tranmere Rovers when they came from behind to secure a point was a 'wake up' call for the U's as they prepare to face 'high flying' Charlton: Wake up

It does not read to me as a statement of great confidence, but perhaps it's all mind games.

Boothroyd's formula for success

Aidy Boothroyd talks about his formula for success at the U's: Blend

One signs of a successful team is when they don't play that well and win as happened at The Valley on Saturday. Although others thought better of Spring than I did, I will be pleased to see Semedo back on Tuesday.

This will be a tough test, but I think we will remain unbeaten. I am going for a 2-2 draw, but a narrow win is not out of the question. The new stadium looks rather bland in photographs whereas at Layer Road the crowd was very close to the pitch, creating a good atmosphere.

Many Addicks are going to the match, among them Erith's Paul May who will be providing the match report.

Unsuitable for children

What happens to you if you are an unsuccessful manager/coach at four clubs? You become a pundit on Match of the Day 2.

Viewers last night were treated to the sight of Iain Dowie deploying his expertise. Seriously folically challenged and pop eyed, Dowie fortunately appeared after the watershed but no warning was given to viewers of a nervous disposition.

Asked by Adrian Chiles to draw on his experience and say what one did if one had one's back against the wall, Dowie attempted jocularity and replied 'Panic'. Or send the team on a crazy training run?

Saturday 26 September 2009

Three points secured

It was a hesitant and nervous performance at times, but Charlton secured an important three points in a 2-1 victory over Exeter City at The Valley this afternoon. With Bristol Rovers drawing and MK Dons losing at home to Leeds, the gap with the nearest challengers was widened. Alan Green on 606 forecast that Leeds and Charlton would win automatic promotion at the end of the season.

The Addicks made a storming start to the match but were not immediately rewarded with the goal their play deserved. They then started to fade a little until Nicky Bailey scored the club's 3000th goal to put them 1-0 ahead at half time. The first goal was also scored against Exeter.

We seemed to want to mount all our attacks down the right in the first half, missing opportunities to feed the ball to Bailey or Youga on the left. There was also a lot of carelessness and casualness in our play.

We failed to impose ourselves on the match in the second half and the visiting Grecians went wild when they scored a goal that was offside. Substitute Izale McLeod seemed to put the game beyond doubt with a second, but Exeter scored a consolation, leading to a nervous last few minutes.

Detailed report

Some of the omens for the day were not good. I rang up Steve Watt who was hosting Radio Scilly's breakfast show, told him I was going to the match and he assumed that I was supporting the Grecians and regaled me with tales of his time watching them when he was at uni in Exeter.

Then we were badly delayed on the Bakerloo Line by a signal failure, the journey from Marylebone to Charing Cross taking 50 minutes instead of the usual 15. If London Transport had told us how severe the delays were we would have got on the 453 bus. Then I noticed that the tide on Deptford Creek was very low.

The Addicks made a storming start from the kick off with Lloyd Sam putting in a good cross. Kelly Youga evaded two Exeter defenders but was brought down by a third, winning a free kick in a good position. Shelvey's free kick was on target was saved by Sweden's Under 21 goalkeeper Oscar Jansson in the Grecians' goal.

Bailey turned provider for Burton, but he headed over. Lloyd Sam put in a good cross, but the ball went over the crossbar, Burton having got in the way of Shelvey.

An Exeter corner led to a moment of danger and the ball had to be cleared off the line by Bailey. Spring made an important interception. Stansfield forged down the wing for Exeter, leading to a corner for the visitors. Burton showed a propensity to fall over: perhaps it is not such a good idea to water the pitch before the match.

Just when it looked as if the match might be goalless at half time, Bailey and Youga combined well to win Charlton a corner. This was taken short and Lloyd Sam put in a short pass which was converted by Bailey to make it 1-0.

Bailey conceded a free kick to the visitors, but they were not able to make use of it.

Half time: Addicks 1, Grecians 0

Racon put in a speculative effort that was worth a try and was not that far over the crossbar. Lloyd Sam won Charlton a corner. Llera put in a strong header that was only just wide of the post. Richardson defended well to avert potential danger.

Exeter took off Stansfield, who I thought had been one of their livelier players, and brought on Corr. Elliot saved well from an Exeter corner. Exeter won another corner, but their effort went over. They then burst through, but their goal was ruled offside.

Exeter took off Craig Noone and brought on Richard Logan from their incredibly large squad. Shelvey burst through, but his effort went wide of the target. On 70 minutes Parky brought on McLeod in place of the off form Burton while Racon was replaced by Wagstaff. Exeter took off Marcus Stewart and brought on Bertie Cozc.

Jansson pushed the ball out from a Charlton attack and McLeod was well positioned to pounce and put the ball into the corner of the net. His enthusaistic celebrations earned him a yellow card.

Elliot saved from a dangerous situation, but at the expense of a corner. From a crowded goalmouth, Cozic was able to make it 2-1. A fracas broke out in the goal as the Grecians tried to wrestle the ball from Elliot and charm merchant Troy Archibald-Henville (who surely has one of the most ridiculous names in football) received a yellow card.

In the three minutes of time added on, Charlton managed to keep possession and avoid conceding another last minute goal, while Sam Sodje was brought on to a warm welcome in place of Jonjo Shelvey.

I thought that the officials had a good game. Referee Grant Hegley was willing to play the advantage, while the linos seemed to have a good grasp of the offside rule.

Thanks to Sacha Zarb (and congratulations on your engagement) for revealing that the fully kitted Exeter keeper was seen collecting a Domnino's pizza order at The Valley after the match. They certainly know how to live at Exeter!

Charlton now face two tough away tests, first at Colchester and the goal machine that is Super Kevin Lisbie and then at Leeds. Their unbeaten record is clearly at risk, but the grumbles that have started about Parky have little justification.

Match analysis

Match analyst Ivy the Terrible has awarded the Silver Bone to Kelly Youga. He ran rings round the Exeter defence, setting up a number of important attacks and also got back to cover well in defence. Elliot had a good game and was not to blame for the Exeter goal. He was not put under a lot of pressure by Exeter's wayward shooting, but still had to make some important saves. Dailly was not that noticeable, but mainly because he was doing his job competently and I noted one important interception. Llera remains suspect. He is too inclined to hoof the ball out of defence without thinking about it, often losing possession as a result. His long balls forward often fed no one in particular. Richardson was solid and made some good runs down the right, although he spoilt one of his best ones by giving the ball away easily at the end.
Spring replaced the injured Semedo and looked rather rusty, giving the ball away rather too often. Bailey scored the opening goal and positioned himself well, but some of his challenges could land him in trouble. Racon played his part but was not at his most sparking and was eventually substituted. Sam was a real danger, particularly in the first half and put in some great crosses which were not always well used. Shelvey had his moments, but whether he has reached the standards of the end of last season is a matter for debate. Whether Burton was still affected by having his broken nose clicked back into place was uncertain, but I thought that he was well below par, although he often lacked adequate support.
McLeod at last managed to score and his delight was evident to see.
Wagstaff was relatively anonymous when he came. Sodje had a cameo in time added on.

Hiss of the Match This goes to the bare chested Exeter City fan who ran on to the pitch when they scored a goal that was ruled offside.

Crowd rating Quite subdued at times, 6/10.

Friday 25 September 2009

Exeter treat Charlton game as their cup final

One of the problems of being an ex-Premiership club is that smaller clubs treat the game against you as one of the most important fixtures of the year where they hope to secure a surprise result and this is what seems to be happening with the Grecians:
Cup final

For me this increases the incentive to give them a thumping.

One good omen: on my flight back from Hamburg today, the plane doubled back to fly over The Valley (I had my Charlton bag with me). Although I have seen the ground from the air before, the red seats really stood out.


Kiel: Last night I was able to shake hands with a 86-year old former U boat commander who gave a very interesting talk. Towards the end of the war he was arrested for defeatism after refusing to carry out some ridiculous order. He was imprisoned and awaiting execution when the war ended.

At the beginning of the season, defeatism was rampant at Charlton. Phil Parkinson was widely perceived as inept (despite some recognition of his quiet and effective work during the summer) and many Addicks were forecasting administration and relegation. Since then we have seen success on the pitch and now Richard Murray is back at the helm and we are on a more stable financial footing.

Tomorrow we face the Grecians. Our last game against them saw them defeated at The Valley with a spectacular bicycle kick executed by JJ. Equine magnate John Window became so excited by the lady dressed up in Grecian togs that they brought with them that he was prepared to offer her a free ride on one of his nags.

I lived in Exeter for two years but I never went to St.James's Park. In those days, before the building of the M4. the city was a rather sleepy place. Now it is much more vibrant and the club has recovered from its spell in the Conference to become a respectable League 1 side.

Our two games against the relegated sides provided a tough test, but we remain unbeaten. Tomorrow I am hoping for a convincing win and I am going for 3-0.

Thursday 24 September 2009

Fleetwood disappointed

Stuart Fleetwood is disappointed he won't have a chance to leave egg on Charlton's face on Saturday, but reckons there is a gulf in class between the top two and the rest of the league: Grecians

Wednesday 23 September 2009

Tunnel trouble

Kiel: The FA is investigating reports of a bust up at half time in the tunnel at last Saturday's match between Norwich and Charlton: Tunnel

Jon Fortune has signed a short-term contract at Sheffield United.

Tuesday 22 September 2009

Takeover off

Kiel, Germany: The exciting stuff always happens when I am abroad with an up-and-down WiFi connection, but I gather that the takeover is off. The current board has been restructured, Richard Murray is back in charge and £7m has been put into the club.

It seems to that this is good news. It ends the period of uncertainty, gives the club some stability and allows us to focus on the pitch.

Three boards have been merged into one which makes a lot more sense and the sale of the training ground and other assets is off.

La Brady and co can pursue their interest in Wet Spam, the fish-and-chip shop proprietor can go back to his frying and Dennis Wise is welcome to attend the occasional game. In the longer run we will need more investment, but the immediate crisis and the threat of administration has been averted.

Saturday 19 September 2009

Last minute equaliser denies Addicks

A late equaliser denied Charlton all three points at Carrow Road today as the match with Norwich City ended 2-2, writes Erith Addick Paul May. The goal was controversial as Elliot may well have been fouled. With Leeds winning 4-1 Charlton fall back to second in the table with Bristol Rovers just two points behind. On loan Chris Dickson scored twice for the Pirates.

Llera was called on to make two clearances in the first minute of the game. Charlton won a corner after seven minutes but it was unproductive. Norwich then won a corner but a shot from Otsemobor was blocked by Llera

On 17 minutes Shelvey took a corner and Burton found the back of the net with a header delivered from inside the box to put Charlton 1-0 ahead. Norwich had a corner immediately afterwards, but a header by Askou missed the target.

Askou was booked for a foul on Shelvey. Racon had a go from 20 yards but Forster in the Canaries goal saved. An attempt by Burton was blocked. A shot from Burton led to a Charlton corner, but Norwich cleared.

On 39 minutes Sam put in a good pass and Shelvey headed the ball to make it 2-0 to Charlton. However, just four minutes later danger man Hoolihan put the ball in the top right corner of the goal to make it 2-1.

Elliot was booked for time wasting. Hoolahan was fouled by Youga, but Llera managed to clear from the free kick.

Half time: Canaries 1, Charlton 2

Sam had a go from outside the area, but the ball went wide. Semedo was booked. Shelvey had a go from 20 yards but Forster was able to make the save. Llera got a yellow card. Daley managed to clear from Dailly. Richardson had a go from outside the area but was off target. Daley put in a shot after a Norwich free kick, but Semedo managed to clear. The corner was cleared by Racon.

Elliot saved a cross from Drury and then an effort by Holt. He then had to save from Lappin, but then it was Forster's turn to save from Sam. Hoolahan had a go, but Semedo made the clearance. Llera cleared a Norwich corner.

On 72 minutes Sam, who tends not to last 90 minutes, was taken off and replaced by Wagstaff. It was a double substitution with Shelvey replaced by McLeod. Bailey sent in a cross from a free kick, but McLeod missed the target.

A volleyed right-foot shot by Smith was saved by Elliot. Chris Martin had a go, but Elliot saved. McLeod shot with his right foot close to goal but his effort went wide of the left-hand upright. McLeod was booked. Youga gave away a free kick in a dangerous position. Holt was able to connect with Martin's free kick and put the ball in the net to make it 2-2 in time added on. An indignant Elliot rushed out complaining that he had been fouled.

Wagstaff was given a yellow card for handball. Semedo had to clear and the in the fifth minute of time added on an unfair challenge on Dailly by Martin gave Charlton a free kick to relieve the pressure.

If Charlton (and Youga in particular) had been more alert in the last few minutes of each half we might have come away with all three points. However, Norwich had the bulk of the possession, more shots on target and more corners.

Friday 18 September 2009

'Scary' ref tomorrow

Tomorrow's referee Steve Tanner is from Somerset (long drive then) and is no soft hearted cider quaffer. He has refereed 11 Premiership matches and dished out three reds and 41 yellows.

Our 'Arry has described him as 'scary': 'To be honest, I walked into the referees' room and saw who was in charge and I knew what was coming. I expected that sort of performance. He's not good enough. He's poor. He's just a poor referee. I've seen him make a mess of so many games before, so what we saw today didn't surprise me.'

'When I was in the Championship, I saw him and I wondered then where he had come from. [Somerset] That's my honest opinion. I don't complain about referees. [So what are you doing now?] I never walk in after a game and complain about a referee. Never, never, ever. I haven't done for years. I don't do that. But this guy today was scary. What can I do?'

The Sub-Standard 'report' this week focuses on complaints about pigeon droppings at The Valley and forecasts that we will get 'plucked'. An alternative forecast could be 'BLAZE OF YELLOW TURNS CRIMSON'.

Money provided to allow Charlton to survive

With the biggest wage bill in League 1 and heavy infrastructure costs at The Valley, Charlton's finances remain highly precarious, but once again, members of our board of directors have not failed us in our hour of need.

The Guardian reports: 'Charlton are expected to announce a much needed boost to their finances. Eighteen months ago The Valley club tapped directors for almost £15m in an effort to repay other director loans, a large overdraft and to offer the club some working capital. But losses remain unsustainable and a continuing need for external financing has become clear. Fortunately with the club having wealthy fans such as the millionaire philanthropist Sir Maurice Hatter and the club chairman, Richard Murray, that has been possible.'

It is understood that the approaches made to acquire the club value it at levels the board considers to be unacceptably low.

Kandol still in frame

Tresor Kandol is still in the frame for a move back to The Valley according to Pravda: Kandol

There will be more room in the striking line up after Chris Dickson went on a three month loan to Bristol Rovers, but with the possibility of a call back. Kandol's arrival might, in any case, lead to the adoption of a 4-4-2 formation.

It's difficult to see a pattern in Norwich's form this season and it will be a tough contest at Carrow Road tomorrow. Nevertheless, I think the Addicks have enough confidence and skill to secure a 2-1 win. If they can't, then it will raise question marks about the possibility of automatic promotion.

Wednesday 16 September 2009

Sullivan looks for new football challenge

David Sullivan and Karren Brady have confirmed that they are leaving Birmingham City. However, Sullivan is looking for a new challenge in football where he can use his experience and business acumen. He will also have a lot of readies, although he tends to balance the books rather than splash the cash.

Could Charlton offer the required challenge?

Canaries have injury problems

Not only did Norwich City suffer what they thought was an unjust defeat at the hands of MK Dons, they came away from the match with some injuries to their most experienced players: Canaries

Tuesday 15 September 2009

Can we play you every week?

The football season is under way in the Isles of Scilly and last Sunday and for every Sunday for the rest of the season, Garrison Gunners took on Woolpack Wanderers at the Garrison Field. Courtesy of our friends at Radio Scilly, we are the only Charlton site to offer a link to footage of the clash: Scilly

We are teaming up with Radio Scilly as one of the presenters for their revitalised Friday evening sports programme that will start in the autumn.

Monday 14 September 2009

Mifusd? No thanks

Charlton are one of a number of clubs being linked with out-of-contract Coventry City striker and Maltese international Micheal Mifsud. Sheffield United are another club being mentioned, but it seems that Sven Goran Eriksson's Notts County are leading the race for his signature.

Quite frankly they're welcome to him. This is one mosquito we don't want buzzing round The Valley. Occasional flashes of quality do not compensate for general mediocrity.

Sunday 13 September 2009

I know nothing

One or two people asked me yesterday whether I knew anything about the state of the takeover. The answer is I don't know any more than anyone else does which is very little.

From what I can piece together the board have received an alternative approach, not exactly an offer, but at least an expression of interest which is worth thinking about. They are understandably reluctant to let a club that looks like a credible promotion possibility to the Championship go for a song. So enough money has been found to keep the club going for a while.

Attendances like that yesterday will help. Deducting 10,000 season ticket holder and 500 freebies that leaves 9,000 paying customers. It's difficult to work out what they would have paid on average given all the concessions, but if we say £18 that equals £162,000. Six gates of that size should cover the business rates.

Which perhaps illustrates the scale of the problem. One of the minor mysteries of current Charlton life, which Inspector Sands and I mulled over when we had a drink together in Toronto, is the retreat of the Rickster to a fastness on the Isle of Thanet. Our first thought was that it was a signal that Margate had at last really arrived as an up market location. However, we concluded that the real attraction was the possibility of travelling to the match on his own Rickshaw.

What is evident from occasional delphic utterances from Thanet is that the present financial situation cannot be maintained indefinitely. There are too many calls on the club's cash (including one of the highest wage bills in the division) for things to be kept afloat by the occasional donation of loose change by the directors.

So at some point there will have to be a restructuring of the existing set up, quite likely involving some new directors, or a more conventional takeover. When we will reach that point is far from clear.

Has he taken us as far as he can?

After Leamington crashed out of the FA Cup at home to Market Drayton Town yesterday, following a 1-2 defeat at home to Oxford City the previous week, some fans have been asking whether manager Jason Cadden has taken the club as far as he can.

Someone then piped up on the message boards pointing to the example of Alan Curbishley and Charlton. Certainly I can remember the odd person asking whether Curbs could take us 'to the next level' when we were mid-table Premiership.

Apparently one of Cadzy's faults is that he doesn't jump up and down and wave his arms about when things are going badly. I have never been impressed by the effectiveness of this sort of activity.

Leamington are 9th in their new division which is about where I expected them to be. But it hasn't stopped the moaners.

Patchy performance sees Charlton stay top

A patchy performance saw Charlton remain unbeaten with a 1-1 draw against Southampton yesterday and stay top of the table. In many ways it was the old cliché of a game of two halves. In the first half Southampton seemed to have worked out to stop us by not allowing Sam and others the space to operate down the wings. They also adopted a very physical style of play with little restraint from the officials who were generally hopeless throughout the game. Although they committed some unnecessary fouls, the Addicks were also suckered into conceding easy free kicks by the Saints.

Phil Parkinson must actually know how to deliver a half time team talk because we were a lot better in the second half. We got our equaliser and in my view, and that of others, the second disallowed goal was perfectly legitimate. But it was not to be and Southampton gained another of their trademark draws which kept them in negative territory. In the match as a whole, I did not think that our midfield, which has been the key to our success, was at its best.

We had a journey down which worked like clockwork, but my heart sank when I saw that it was low tide at Deptford Creek. At the Rose of Denmark we joined Joe the Saint and my son-in-law Andy Candelent, now featuring as a utility player for Harwell Dads.

Elliot had to make a great save early in the game, although the Saints player seemed to be offside. Saints then tried a snap shot and Elliot had to make another save. The opening ten minutes was played at a furious pace. Charlton won a couple of corners, but they were unproductive. Shelvey had a half chance but blasted over.

Charlton won a free kick by the 'D', but the ball came off the wall twice. Good work saw Shelvey win Charlton a corner. Saints won a corner and Elliot missed his punch out, but the ball was cleared. Bailey shot over. Bailey burst through, but his shot went well over.

There was a spell of Keystone cops defending by Charlton who showed signs of the old panic. Saints put in a shot from distance which Elliot got a hand to the ball at the expense of a corner.

With Llera in some difficulty, Saints put together a nice move which left Elliot stranded and the ball in the back of net, courtesy of Lallana. It could not be said to be against the run of play in the first half.

Half time: Addicks 0, Saints 1

Burton powered forward, but should have laid the ball off (not that he had much support) and the move broke down. Saints won a couple of corners in succession. Elliot threw out one of his trademark long balls to Shelvey, the youngster powered down the wing and put in the cross and Burton delivered to make it 1-1.

Bailey gave the ball away in midfield. Charm merchant Trotman committed a foul and served up some afters, but was not even booked. Youga won Charlton a corner, but Bailey blasted over. Racon received a yellow card for an unnecessary foul. Richardson also committed an unnecessary foul and received a yellow.

A Charlton goal from a free kick was ruled offside. Youga received a yellow card for handball. Sagarowski received a yellow card for a foul. Youga burst down the wing and his shot came off the post.

It was all handbags at six paces and Wayne Thomas, who had earlier been caught out for a foul throw, received a yellow card. Sam went down and Elliot also received a knock and required quite prolonged treatment as Randolph limbered up. Elliot was able to continue but Sam limped off and Wagstaffe came on.

Saints made a final substitution in the four minutes of time added on, but by then it was evident that the game was heading for a draw.

Match analysis

Ivy the Terrible was unsure who to award the Silver Bone to as she thought that, while a number of players put in good performances, no one was really outstanding. After consulting Hooch the Pooch who had been listening to the game on his laptop in Long Itchington, the award went to Frazer Richardson. This was a composed and consummately professional performance by the right back who fed other players well. Elliot cannot be blamed for the Saints goal and he did make some good saves, although he was not that much tested by Southampton whose shots tended to go high and wide. Llera had a bit of a mare. Some of his defensive efforts went straight up in the air and if he had been better positioned and flapping less, Saints may not have scored. Dailly showed once again that he is a real professional. Youga made some threatening forays down the wing, one ending in a shot that hit the post, and with a couple of exceptions he defended well. Semedo got a chant from the Covered End and, although he had some purple patches, he was not at his best. Bailey may have been affected by his injury, or by the lack of training during the week, as I felt that he was well below par. Feeding him from corners was tried at least three times but it didn't work. Sam was effectively shut down by the Saints in the first half but came into the game more in the second half until he went off injured when he got a rousing cheer from the Covered End. Racon was the most effective midfield player. Shelvey admitted in the programme that his performances have not been as good as last season and he snatched at too many half chances, but did provide the assist for the goal. Burton had a great work rate and scored the goal, but sometimes looked a bit isolated up front. It might have worth bringing McLeod on for the last ten minutes. Although I have had my doubts about him, I think he does have the qualities of a super sub. Wagstaff was up for it when he came on, but didn't have that much of a chance to contribute.

Hiss of the Match Referee Mr Wright was a model of inconsistency, dealing with some serious fouls with a talking to and then awarding yellow cards for innocuous ones.

Specsavers Voucher goes to the East Stand linesman who was not going to give any decision to Charlton.

Crowd rating The Addickted were in good heart, but some of the chanting at Pardew was overdone. He is a former Charlton player and things didn't work out for him as manager, but he didn't do as much damage as Dowie. I didn't hear any chants for manager of the month Phil Parkinson.

Friday 11 September 2009

Pall of gloom

A pall of gloom seems to be hanging over other blogs and the lists about tomorrow's game against Southampton. Leaving aside statistics which claim that runs end with the seventh match, is there any basis for these concerns?

Southampton have 'strengthened' their squad, but this seems like a typical Pardew loaning spree without much thought about how the new acquisitions will fit into the squad at all. Indeed, it was clear that Pardew had made an important discovery in football tactics: it is not a team sport. Just put eleven assorted individuals on the pitch, preferably some of them should not speak English, change them around each week and, hey presto, you lose.

Of rather more concern is the report of two of our key midfield players being potentially injured, although Lazarus like recoveries have been known from this situation. I think that Bailey will recover from his knee problem. Racon is a more serious doubt because his hamstring problem seems to be back related and using a player with that sort of injury risks longer-term complications. Racon has been a fulcrum of the side, but I think that to suggest we can't win matches without him is going a bit far.

Pardew will, of course, have knowledge about some of our players, but whether he can use that to good advantage remains to be seen. One should never read results off the table, but nor should one succumb to the reverse effect. Norwich next week is a far more difficult match.

I probably have more friends who are Saints fans than for any other club. My colleague in the office next door and the one immediately opposite him (they could stretch a 'Super Alan Pardew' banner across the corridor, but seem lukewarm about him); the godfather of my eldest granddaughter, Joe the Saint; a friend of forty years standing; my publisher at OUP; and, I discovered this week, my research partner in Biological Sciences.

I think it will be quite a close contest, but I am going for a 1-0 win for Charlton.

Congratulations to the club on making all tickets for the paint drying trophy against Barnet £5. I would go myself but it's a very busy week.

Chris Perry thinks Saints can win

Former Addick Chris Perry thinks that Charlton are 'no great shakes' and thinks that they can defeat Charlton tomorrow. He is surprised by the start that the Addicks have made. Read more here: Perry

Thursday 10 September 2009

Kandol may yet return

Phil Parkinson has said that striker Tresor Kandol may yet return to The Valley: Kandol

Therry Racon and Nicky Bailey are slight injury worries for Saturday's clash with Southampton. Racon pulled up with a hamstring problem against Brentford.

This weekend's inter-island clash between St. Mary's and Tresco on the Isles of Scilly has been called off: Tresco could not find the players. However, there will be the usual Sunday clash between Garrison Gunners and Woolpack Wanderers - as there will be every Sunday for the rest of the season.

Wednesday 9 September 2009

Interview with Sir Lennie

Sir Lennie (Robin Michael) Lawrence is interviewed in the latest edition of 4-4-2

Paul Williams from Bexleyheath asks: 'Promotion to the top flight in 1986 while playing at Selhurst Park - did you get the credit you deserved at Charlton?

Possibly not. Nobody has ever got to the top level sharing someone else's ground. We were successful because we had become a cause rather than just a club ... We went on to stay in the top flight for four years, taking on players who had been rejected from other clubs and who had that bit between their teeth. I'd also like to think we did well because of management. I didn't take in at the time but the fans had car stickers with 'Lennie is Our Leader'. That is the biggest compliment of all.

Gina Porter asks what is the highlight of your time at Charlton?

Winning the 1987 play off against Leeds to retain our top flight status.

Gina Porter asks a second question: Does it hurt to see Charlton in their current predicament?

I bet those fans who rang the phone-ins moaning at Alan Curbishley for playing one striker when they should be pushing for Europe are regretting those comments. But they are different fans to the ones when I was at the club. They were loyal, whereas the fans that I heard having a go at Alan have probably only been supporting the club since they got into the Premier League.

Alan Port from Deptford asks what was the best player you ever developed?

[Sir Lennie names Robert Lee, along with Matty Taylor from Luton]. We gave Rob his debut at Charlton as a kid and he was a strong lad, with good ball control and could run at defenders. He didn't score enough goals so we moved him to the wing and the rest is history.

Monday 7 September 2009

Phillips for Charlton?

Reports are circulating that we tried to sign striker Kevin Phillips before the transfer deadline and may yet take him on loan from Birmingham City where he is currently playing.

Saturday 5 September 2009

Comfortable win for Charlton

Deon Burton put Charlton 1-0 ahead in the 10th minute in the televised clash at The Valley reports West Malling Addick Philippa Nicholson. From just inside the box, Burton put a strike into the corner of the net after an assist from Lloyd Sam.

Despite injury fears, Frazer Richardson was in the side. Myles Weston signalled his intent to get stuck in with an early foul on Jose Semedo. The side was unchanged other than for the inclusion of Sam Sodje on the bench.

It was from straightforward, however, with Brentford getting their share of the possession and pressing the Addicks from corners.

A patient build up by Charlton found Lloyd Sam on the edge of the D and excellent movement by him put him one on one with the keeper and the in form goal scorer found the back of the net to make it 2-0 around the half hour mark. Racon needed treatment off the pitch for a hamstring injury.

Charm merchant and Bees old stager Kevin O'Connor went in studs up on Burton and received the first yellow card of the game. From the free kick Dailly headed down but Llera was unable to connect.

Taylor fouled Bailey as the sun came out again and received a yellow card, warning the Bees that they could not get too physical.

Myles Weston got on to a long pass, but did not turn quickly enough to take advantage and Charlton cleared easily.

Burton went for a ball from Richardson, Price came out in the Brentford goal and was caught in the stomach, but he recovered so there was no need to call on Bull.

Three minutes were added on. Charlton kept up the pressure with some good possession.

Half time: Addicks 2, Bees 0

Burton leapt to try to connect with a ball from Richardson, but failed to do so. Bailey tried to turn provider for Burton, but he was not able to make use of the ball which had a lot of pace on it and he blasted wide. Nevertheless, Charlton continued to threaten.

Charlton won a corner but it was collected by the Bees keeper on loan from the Rams. Brentford then won their fifth corner of the afternoon which led to a second, causing a buzz among the Bees behind the goal. The effort by Saunders was poor and led to an Addicks goal kick.

Sam fed Racon who tried to pick up the run of Burton. A great move, but it did not come off. A ball from Shelvey went astray and a challenge by Youga led to a free kick, Taylor provided a great ball but Weston scooped the ball over from 12 yards out and into the Brentford fans.

Bailey passed well to Racon who turned provider for Shelvey but he was off target. Richardson passed well to Sam, but Brentford defended at the expense of a corner. Sam created havoc among the Bees defence, but Brentford were able to clear. Llera and Youga were there to defend, but at the expense of a corner. Bailey cleared.

Brentford made their first substitution. Two Bees came off and Charlie McDonald came on to pose a threat to his old club. Weston switched over to the left wing, releasing Saunders to play on the right.

Lloyd Sam who had had a quiet half made way for Wagstaff. Brentford won a corner which was taken quickly, Cort put in a header from six yards out and Elliot made his first real save of the game, diving well to the right. The Brentford corner was wasted.

Brentford won yet another corner and Elliot conceded another with ten minutes to play, but the effort from Saunders was poor. Bailey fouled Saunders and Brentford won a free kick. Shelvey was taken off and McLeod came on. Hunt's effort went over the wall from 25 yards out and came off the woodwork.

McLeod put in an effort, Price saved, Bailey tried to turn it in but was unable to do so with the ball headed off the line.

A Charlton corner was headed clear. Burton and McLeod tried to combine and Charlton won a corner. Bailey's corner went past everyone and out of play. Llera went down, possibly with cramp, after stopping Saunders.

Brentford won a corner in the last minute of normal time, but the ball went over the crossbar. Three minutes were added on. Burton fed McLeod, the ball went in, but the flag went up. It was quite tight. Brentford won a free kick in a promising position, but it went into the wall.

This win shows that Charlton are not where they are just through playing the weaker sides in the division.

Friday 4 September 2009

North Kent line trip for Dickson

Gillingham tried to get Chris Dickson for free on transfer deadline day, but Parky wasn't being caught by that try on. Now it seems that the free spending club are prepared to do a loan deal, including a one way ticket on the North Kent line from Charlton to Gillingham, plus a Mars bar and an energy drink of the striker's choice: Gills

With McKenzie signing for Charlton, Dickson's chances of seeing much first team action with the Addicks have diminished, although he was to be preferred to Izale McLeod who should be offered a one way ticket to Milton Keynes.

Myles Weston sets out to prove a point

Former Addick Myles Weston is out to make a point when Brentford play Charlton tomorrow. In an exclusive interview in the Hounslow Chronicle he blames Alan Pardew for getting Charlton in a mess: Weston

The Bee here in Toronto is looking for a sports bar that will show Charlton v. Brentford at 7.15 a.m. This strikes me as a futile quest, but Inspector Sands may have more luck in New York City where he will be tomorrow.

The Bee in question has lived all his life in the same house in Acton. I'm not quite sure what the geography is that makes you Brentford rather than a Super Hoop, but I can't stand QPR. Their fans always seem to have an exalted view of themselves and then there is Rodney Marsh who was always slagging off Charlton.

I have a DVD of a rather good 1930s film called the Arsednal Stadium Mystery. This is not about how Arsenal managed to escape relegation at the end of the First World War, but the murder of a player of an opposing team. It contains quite extensive footage of a Arsenal v. Brentford match. It all seems very kick and rush.

This reminds us that Brentford were once a top flight club. Recent encounters with the Addicks include a 3-2 win in a cup replay at The Valley when Salmon managed to concede an avoidable goal and a 3-1 victory in the cup when Michael Turner was playing. He was mot that impressive that day, but I am certainly pleased with the money he has brought us.

Optimism comes hard to Charlton fans, but I am going for a 2-1 win tomorrow with goals by Bailey and Llera.

Thursday 3 September 2009

Fording the Brent

When I went to the theatre in London (England, not Onatrio) last week a free copy of the Evening Standard was given to me as I entered Piccadilly Circus tube. Although the Standard has been boosted by the imminent demise of The London Paper its hold on the affections of Londoners is clearly far from secure.

Given that the paper's previews of Charlton games are so much appreciated, I am fortunate to have obtained an advance copy of this week's offering:

It's been a Happy Valley this week as Phil Parkinson's boys came through the transfer window without losing any of their few talents and managing to add on a crock, a non-league nonentity from North Wales and a player whose enthusiasm for the Charlton cause suggests a strange view of reality. Word is that the petty cash at The Valley is so low that they may have to borrow match balls from the club shop. The Addicks have fared well so far against basement clubs, but fording the Brent will be a tougher test.

The Sub-Standard says: PHIL'S BOYS GET CAMERA SHY

Wednesday 2 September 2009

They're everywhere

Toronto: Although it has a slightly municipal atmosphere, with City of Toronto jobsworths rushing around in golf carts, Toronto Island is a great place to chill out on a hot day in Toronto. I was enjoying the lakeside breeze on the fishing pier when last year's Charlton shirt suddenly came into view. He was a young student on a gap year and we had a good chat about whether Jon Fortune might yet come back.

Shortly I am going off to meet fellow blogger Inspector Sands who is in Toronto on his self-described 'incredible journey'. On Sunday I am meeting up with a local fan and his wife.

Tuesday 1 September 2009

All's well that ends well

Toronto: I have not been here and online long, but as far as I can work out we have not lost any of our key players in the transfer window, although Moutaoukil has gone on loan to Motherwell (surely a cruel and unique punishment) and Fleetwood has returned to the Grecians on loan.

Leon McKenzie and Luke Holden are both in, as is Sam Sodje - a development I welcome, as I am sure many others will.

There is also word that we may get some sell on money from Michael Turner's move from Hull to Sunderland. Indeed, a million (UK pounds) has been talked about.

So this looks like good business all around, Phil Parkinson looks less and less hapless and our worst fears have not been realised.