Saturday 31 July 2010

Brakes fail to halt Blews

Leamington came into this afternoon's match against Birmingham City at the New Windmill Ground after retaining the Bard of Avon trophy with a 3-1 win against Stratford Town at the Anne Hathaway Stadium on Thursday night. However, I am still trying to work out the celebratory quote from the trophy sponsor in today's programme: 'The world's a huge thing. It is a great price for a small vice.'

The youthful Birmingham team played some fast paced, fluent football with accurate passing. Leamington held up well, but O'Shea, who has played in the first team, put Blews ahead with a piledriver of a shot into the top left-hand corner of the net.

Faulds went on a great run on the wing out foxing the Blews defence and turning provider for Luke Corbett who made it 1-1. However, just after the break the visitors were awarded a penalty and went 2-1 ahead. This was the final score, although Leamington piled on the pressure in the closing minutes and saw a free kick rebound off both posts, while a goal was disallowed for offside.

However, it was a creditable performance with the new signings performing well.

Abbott signs

English-born Polish striker Pawel Abbott has signed for the Addicks and is expected to get some match time against Watford today. The fee is described on the official site as 'nominal'. The BBC estimates it at 20k and the Currant Bun at 50k.

Abbott is described on the official site as a 'big target man'. Other descriptions say that he is not very mobile. A lot is then going to depend on the midfield getting decent balls up to him which means as few hoofed long balls as possible. Kyel Reid could do the business, I am less sure about Waggy.

Friday 30 July 2010

Bid for Abbott?

Sky are reporting that the Addicks are close to securing the signature of Oldham's Pawel Abbott: Abbott

The Polish ace was Oldham's top scorer last season, although he only found the back of the net 13 times which suggests he could be the new Deon Burton. He would, I think, be Charlton's first Polish player.

The Addicks are also being linked with a 'mystery' striker, the name of Marlon King having been mentioned, as well as Paul Benson at Dagenham and Redbridge.

End of the pier show

Charlton have continued their practice of signing players from the Shrimpers with the acquisition of full back Simon Francis: Francis

Following the departure of Frazer Richardson, doubts had been expressed about whether Chris Solly was ready to step into the breach. His height did seem to be an issue.

Francis will cost £35k, possibly rising to £70k.

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Murray is sole supremo

Richard Murray has taken sole control of Charlton through a management buy out. New money has been injected into the club to reduce its debt burden, thus making it more attractive to new investors who are being actively sought.

Murray said: 'This has been a critical time for the club. Our future was uncertain, and financially this was potentially one of our darkest hours. However, agreement has been reached with my fellow directors for me to take sole control of the club through what is effectively a management buyout (MBO) of the plc subsidiaries. The new money I am injecting into the club will ensure we go into the new season with a competitive team.'

'I shall be appointing a new interim board of directors, and we will now go forward and actively seek new investment. To assist with this, I am appointing Tim Fisher, of Calimere Point, to work with me on devising an investment strategy for the club.'

'I am very grateful to Derek Chappell, Sir Maurice Hatter, David Hughes, David Sumners, Steven Ward, David White and Bob Whitehand that, together with me, they have agreed to restructure and reduce the company debt, which in itself should make the club highly attractive to potential investors.'

It is understood that transfer funds will be made available to Phil Parkinson and it has been confirmed that Jose Semedo will be staying at The Valley. In my view these are very positive developments.

Monday 26 July 2010

Shelvey's move to Liverpool

A Charlton fan, J.D.North (presumably a season ticket holder in the North stand?) gives his views on Jonjo Shelvey's move to Liverpool: Shelvey

Sunday 25 July 2010

Barnet defeat threatens relegation?

I don't think so, but the gloom merchants are already forecasting that we will be in League 2 next season.

I wasn't one of the 816 there, but here is a report: Barnet

Saturday 24 July 2010

Owls face winding up order

Revenue and Customs have issued a winding up order against Sheffield Wednesday: Owls

We also have analysis at Football Economy

Friday 23 July 2010

Brakes to face Blews

One of the highlights of Leamington's 2009-10 season was then they beat a Birmingham City side that included Premiership players 3-2 in the Birmingham Senior Cup. Now the Blews are to bring a team to the New Windmill Ground on 31 July.

The traditional pre-season match with the Bardsmen will take place at Stratford Town's Anne Hathaway Stadium next Thursday.

Lazy way out

I have decided to carry on with the Addick's Championship Diary format rather than replacing it with an austerity format. I think that we are punching below our weight in League 1 and although I thought it would take two or three seasons to get back to the Championship, I think we will do it eventually.

It may be a conceit to continue with the Championship title, but it does save me work in setting up a new version.

I am actually moderately optimistic about the season ahead. At the very least we have a solid mid-table side and if a few results go our way we could easily be in the play offs. I think that Phil Parkinson has recruited sensibly within his budget envelope over the summer and has held on to some key players such as Dailly and Semedo.

Given that Bailey used to score so many goals, we are in urgent need of a striker to complete the picture, but I am hopeful that someone will be secured.

The official site is reporting that a number of football and non-football staff have been made redundant, but four jobs under threat have been saved.

Addicks in race for Sheridan

Charlton Athletic are reported to be one of a number of clubs in the race for Celtic and Republic of Ireland striker Cillan Sheridan. He is valued by the Glasgow club at £300,000, although CSKA Sofia have put in an offer variously reported as £200,000 or £500,000. Hibs are also in the frame, but the Easter Road outfit are thought to lack the readies.

He gave up Gaelic football to play for Celtic. He was out on loan at Motherwell in 2009 and at Plymouth Argyle last season. (Somewhat worryingly, one Plymouth fan has described him as 'rubbish'). Read more about him here: Sheridan

Monday 19 July 2010

Esajas no longer a target

Etienne Esajas is no longer a target for Charlton: Esajas

The former Sheffield Wednesday winger wanted a quick decision and, it would seem, more money than we could afford. In any case, the need is less urgent with the signing of Kyel Reid.

Sunday 18 July 2010

Frazer Richardson out for 3 months

Super Alan Pardew's acquistion of Frazer Richardson is not turning out quite as hoped. The Southampton manager is not yodelling with joy after Richardson dislocated his shoulder in the Saints' pre-season training camp in Switzerland. The right back returned to England immediately for an operation: Richardson

Grant Basey had a 45-minute run out in Aberdeen's 3-1 defeat at Fraserburgh. Apparently the left-back has done well in training, but is one of two options being considered for the left-back slot.

Rocking Horse Road!

Charlton soared to a 4-0 victory against Kettering at Rockingham Road yesterday, reports Paul May. A dull first half came to life on the half hour thanks to an error by Poppies skipper Ian Roper. The well-built but possibly intellectually challenged centre back stood on the ball just outside the box. Akpo Sodje nicked it away from him and then teed up Spanish trialist Guillem Bauza for an easy finish.

From that point on the Poppies barely saw the ball with the Addicks totally dominating the game. Sodje had a fierce drive beaten away by Nathan Abbey and the Kettering keeper also had to block efforts from Scott Wagstaff and Christian Dailly who was getting forward.

In the second half Sodje headed home a neat cross from Wagstaff. Had Bauza's finishing matched his ability to find space, the Addicks could have racked up a cricket score. But his wayward efforts would have found Row Z if there was one, instead landing in treetops, gardens and various parts of suburban Kettrin'.

The final two Addicks goals came from a deflected free kick from Miguel Llera and a tap in for Tamer Tuma.

It is said that the inhabitants of Kettrin' once considered a space mission to Uranus in the hope of finding intelligent life there as there is none in the Northamptonshire town. However, Charlton certainly displayed some footballing intelligence yesterday, albeit it against Conference opposition, but it bodes well for the season.

Friday 16 July 2010

It's good news week

The signing of Kyel Reid has been confirmed, while Izale McLeod has left The Valley 'by mutual consent', in other words he has been paid off to go.

On such occasions we normally use the newsreel comment on the departure of Neville Chamberlain, 'Thanks Mr Chamberlain for all you tried to do.' The problem was that Izale McLeod didn't try to do very much or perhaps he tried too hard. Either way it didn't work out.

Now we just need to sign someone who can find the back of the net.

Charlton report Cardiff

Charlton may be cash strapped, but Cardiff City are even more so. They have failed to pay a £500,000 installment on the sale of Mark Hudson, so Charlton have reported them to the Football League and they are now subject to a transfer embargo: Hudson

Apparently we are the 'last football creditor'. Let's hope we get our money soon.

Basey has trial fitting for kilt

The attraction of the kilt seems to be growing for former Addicks players these days with Darren Randolph signing for Motherwell. Now out-of-contract left back Grant Basey is to have a trial for Aberdeen.

Aberdeen's ground is so closely to the North Sea that a kilt would offer you little protection in the winter. But perhaps the granite city will suit Grant. Let's hope he gets a decent offer because Scotland's oil capital is an expensive place to live.

Azerbaijan for Burton

The turbulent republic of Azerbaijan is apparently the destination for former Addicks striker Deon Burton who is to join a side managed by former Arsenal captain Tony Adams: Burton

According to the CIA, corruption in the country is ubiquitous. Despite the fact that it is an oil producer, poverty is widespread. The population is preponderantly Muslim. The population of Jamaican origin is thought to be small.

Which means that our most urgent task now is to sign a striker, unless we want to rely on Izale McLeod to accompany Akpo Sodje.

More good news

Kyel Reid is about to sign for the Addicks on a permanent deal: Reid

Given the choice of Lloyd Sam or Kyel Reid, I would go for Reid.

Thursday 15 July 2010

Good news

Christian Dailly has returned on a one-year deal. Fans will welcome the return of the player of the year to strengthen the back line. His work as an athletics coach will have to remain a spare time activity for now.

Corals are quoting Charlton as 12/1 to win the league and 7/2 to get promoted.

Phil's difficult summer

Phil Parkinson talks about his difficult summer and the struggle to build a competitive side: Parky

As New York Addick has pointed out, the board is likely to emphasise a financially cautious approach.

Wednesday 14 July 2010

No woe at Welling

If Charlton had been defeated in the Crown Berger Cup at Park View Road last night many people would be on their relegation riff, but a header from Akpo Sodje gave them a respectable 1-0 victory. It was a somewhat stronger side than that put out against AFC Wimbledon.

The main highlight of the night was the appearance of free agent Jon Fortune. I would be happy to see him back as he would be a capable defender and can also score the odd goal (as in sending Palace down).

Monday 12 July 2010

Is there a curse on Charlton sponsors?

A number of Charlton sponsors have run into difficulties and the latest to encounter challenges is the Kent Reliance Building Society. Although it has a staff of only fifty, it had been growing rapidly. However, that growth has slowed down as it faced competition from bigger competitors. It has been under pressure from the Financial Services Authority to re-build its balance sheet.

However, a white knight is at hand in the form of a New York based private equity firm which proposes to take a 49 per cent stake and turn the KRBS into a bank: KRBS

KRBS has been a generous sponsor of the Academy as well as the club, but how a third tier club will appeal to a New York financier is another question.

Sunday 11 July 2010

Charlton 'frankly disinterested'

The Charlton Athletic XI that lost 2-0 to AFC Wimbledon yesterday was 'frankly disinterested' according to the Non-League Paper. Each half saw both teams field different sides.

According to the report, 'Phil Parkinson's team came into the game in the first half's final moments, with Guillem Bauza being denied by Brett Johnson and then getting his header all wrong two minutes later.'

Charlton put out a young side. These matches against non-league opposition are really a chance to try out younger players. With such a thin squad, we have to be careful about getting any of our key players injured.

I was expected a chorus of moaning on the lines of 'if we can't beat AFC Wimbledon', 'we're in a relegation battle now' etc., but the Glynne Jones list was quiet. That could be a new mood of realism or it could be apathy or exhaustion.

I long ago gave up trying to generalise to the season from pre-season matches, the one exception being the 'dress rehearsal' match against serious opposition which we can longer afford to host.

Saturday 10 July 2010

Brakes Rock Robins

Leamington achieved a very creditable 0-0 draw against League 2 Cheltenham in front of a crowd of 570 and one dog at the New Windmill Ground today. The Robins brought their first team squad and each side fielded different teams in each half.

In the first half the Robins looked like a League 2 side with some fluent passing and good pace that often meant they were first to the ball. Just before the break Cheltenham looked like they might go ahead but Tony Breeden in the Brakes goal made a superb save.

After the break prodigal son Richard Morris returned to the Leamington goal in an orange outfit that led to suggestions that his name was now Richard van Morris. But he was capable of dealing with anything Cheltenham could produce. For their part Brakes played with greater confidence, playing neat diamonds in midfield and pressing forward more.

However, it fell to Morris to make a superb save five minutes before the end to deny Cheltenham.

Richard Murray has heart operation

Charlton chairman Richard Murray is recovering in hospital after a heart operation: Murray (Quite why this is headed 'Millwall' I don't know).

Best wishes to Richard and his family for a speedy recovery. In the 'blame game' that is such a tiresome part of football and English life more generally, Richard Murray has come in for his share of stick. He and the rest of the board acknowledge that they have made mistakes. But having attended a long meeting he chaired, I can say that he is truly Charlton through and through.

Friday 9 July 2010

Valete Lloyd Sam

Lloyd Sam has signed for Leeds, a move which he hopes will give a boost to his ambition of playing for Ghana: Sam

Ever since the days of Mrs Wilson's Diary, Private Eye has run a spoof on the Government in office. At the moment it is the Coalition Academy (formerly Brown's) with Headmaster Mr Cameron, Deputy Head Mr Clegg and bursar Mr Osborne (not to forget Mr Clegg in charge of business studies in the Old Chapel).

The Charlton School is a rather run down place that has seen better days. The dowdy and rather mournful Mr Parkinson is in charge with rare appearances by the owner, Mr Murray, who is said to have been using his own money to keep the school open.

The school magazine states: 'Mr Sam, who worked in one of the wings of the school, although often visited the more central parts, is leaving for a post in Leeds. Mr Sam was probably one of the most effective teachers in the school in 45 minute periods, but found 90 minute slots more challenging. Pupils found that he had a clear awareness of curriculum goals, and often approached them closely and rapidly, but had difficulty in securing the final result. He will be remembered for his contribution to the school's drum band and to the photography club. In his new post Mr Sam hopes to have the opportunity to build links with his ancestral home in Ghana.'

Scott Wagstaff likely to return

20-year old former Academy player Scott Wagstaff is out of contract, but he has returned to train at Sparrows Lane and the South London Press is reporting that contract negotiations are concluding.

Scott Wagstaff looked at times as if he might be a super sub last season, but sometimes failed to live up to the billing. However, he has plenty of pace and is clearly a developing player with potential, so it would be good to retain him in the mix of journeymen and youngsters that will make up the side.

Thursday 8 July 2010

Welcome back, Johnnie Jackson

Johnnie Jackson has left Notts County and joined Charlton: Jackson

This is welcome news. He wants to play for us (or at least live in London, but that should boost his morale) and I was impressed by what I saw on his short loan spell last season (judged against League 1 standards).

So it looks like farewell Kelly Youga who was last seen in France. We missed him after his injury last season when he looked as if he was developing as a player but the recovery from injury was worryingly slow.

Robins pose big challenge to Brakes

The season is almost upon us and while Charlton see if they can match AFC Wimbledon, Leamington are facing npower League 2 opposition in the form of Cheltenham Town (whom the old AP Leamington used to play in the Conference). The Robins have promised they will bring their first team squad, although A.Trialist is also expected to feature (as will be the case in the Charlton side).

Leamington manager Paul Holleran has been hard at work strengthening the squad over the summer and he has made some excellent signings, but the mood at the New Windmill Ground is tense as the opening game approaches. Many fear a 0-2 or 0-3 drubbing, but that would be no disgrace for a third tier non-league side.

He's got a devil inside him

'He's got a devil inside him and sometimes you need that'. That is Gordon Strachan's view of new signing Nicky Bailey: Bailey

Another way of looking at it would be to say that Bailey is too petulant and sometimes too pumped out which led to his penalty miss against Swindon. The wee man also thinks he can play centre or left side in midfield. He was so used at Charlton, but playing him out of position didn't help our cause.

Strachan is my view an over pumped up manager so that could either help or hinder in his attempts to mould Bailey. It will be interesting to see how things work out.

We will miss Bailey's ability to score super volleys from distance, but for a cash strapped club seeking to survive it's good business. Indeed with all the sales (admittedly not all cash up front) and savings on wages we may be close to a cash flow position that will allow us to see out the season as a mid-table League 1 club.

Wednesday 7 July 2010

A lament from Curbs

Having missed out on Fulham, Alan Curbishley thinks that he may have to rebuild his career from scratch: Curbs

He says that he left Charlton 'just to change the routine', although he may now regret that departure. But the parting of the ways was, I think, the right course of action for Curbs and the club. It's just unfortunate that the board had not thought enough about likely successors.

Charlton in for Warren Feeney

It's all hotting up on the transfer front with Charlton being rumoured to be about to offer a two year contract to former Cardiff City striker Warren Feeney: Feeney

Feeney was let go by the cash strapped Bluebirds at the end of last season. The Gasheads are also in the race and have beaten us to one signing, while Carlisle are trying to tempt him up to the bright lights of the border town.

Feeney was born in Belfast and is said to come from a footballing family. He has been round the houses at Bournemouth, Stockport and Luton so might slot in well at a League 1 club: Feeney

This would seem to make it more likely that Deon Burton is on his way.

Sour grapes from Spring

I picked up this story from the Hill to the Valley blog but not everyone may visit that so I am reproducing it here: Spring

My comments would be:
1. It sounds like sour grapes, although clearly he wants to get even with us.
2. All this talk about Charlton being one of the biggest clubs in the division is nonsense, but it is a real problem for us as so many teams see us a scalp. We are a club desperately short of money, struggling to survive and at some risk of disappearing altogether.
3. In my view a manager is entitled to have favourites in the sense that he can make a judgment about which players are likely to do best. From what I saw of Spring he was a useful player, but arguably we had better players in his position.

Tuesday 6 July 2010

Shrimper netted

Alan McCormack has joined the Addicks in their second signing of the summer. He left Southend after four seasons 'by mutual consent'. Described as an 'engine room player' (who formed a partnership with Nicky Bailey at Southend) he hails from Dublin. Phil Parkinson has described him as a 'hungry' player which could mean that he is a bit of a clogger.

He is 5ft. 7 ins. which seems a bit on the short side to me given the towering giants of admittedly limited ability that some clubs put out. Read more about him here: Alan

If he can do the business for us at League 1 level, fair enough.

The exodus continues

Frazer Richardson has joined Southampton in a deal worth £450,000 to Charlton. He meets a need for the Saints who have been without a right back since the end of the season.

In my view he was a very useful player who gave his all and was good at getting forward. Our loss is Southampton's gain. Needs must.

The sale of Nicky Bailey to Boro should be completed in a day or two once the relevant staff there are back from South Africa.

Addicks edge ahead of Saddlers in Doherty race

The view both from Sky Sports and a Walsall fan forum is that the Addicks may beat the Saddlers in the race to secure the signature of defender Gary Doherty: Doherty

The 30-year old was originally with Spurs but after a long career with the Canaries was let go on a free by the promoted club at the end of last season. One source commented, 'It's a clash of the titans, but Charlton may just have the edge. They can probably afford his wages and he can do a job for them in defence in League 1.'

Drinking During The Game has an interesting post on this player and clearly rates him, although it raise some interesting questions about our other central defenders. The signing of Doherty has now been confirmed

Reports from Sparrows Lane suggest that Jon Fortune was training there this morning.

Meanwhile, younger fans might still considering it worth bringing their boots to The Valley on August 7th.

Saturday 3 July 2010

Addicks striker sold

Stuart Fleetwood, who only ever appeared in a friendly for the Addicks, has been sold to Hereford United: Bull The up front fee is £20,000, but there are all sort of add ons for goals scored, promotion etc. so the final amount could rise to £100,000 which is what we paid for him as a 'developmental fee' in the first place.

Will the last person leaving the building please turn out the lights?

Friday 2 July 2010

Valley disputes block Curbs at Foolham

Alan Curbishley is favourite to take over as manager at Fulham after the departure of Roy Hodgson. However, his path there is blocked by two disputes with two former Charlton players: Paul Konchesky, who had a falling out with Curbs and Danny Murphy, whose departure to Spurs from The Valley was acrimonious: Curbs

Murphy played well for Charlton for a while, but then went into a sulk, while his actress wife Joanna Taylor wrote rather silly articles in The Times which were eventually dropped, but not before she had had a dig at Curbs and Charlton. There are reports that he may be on his way to Liverpool.

Paul Konchesky was generally well regarded among the Addickted, although he is the only player whose sister has complained about something I wrote about him.

Gone for a Burton

Deon Burton is weighing up his future and although Charlton are preparing a new offer for the much-travelled 33-year old it looks as if his future will be elsewhere. Notts County are making an offer, but he has also received an offer from a European club which would substantially boost his wages: Burton

Burton has been much criticised during his time at Charlton for the fact that he was not a 20-goal a year striker. In some ways he was a rather Leaburnesque player with other qualities such as being able to hold up the ball. He was certainly not uniwlling to get stuck in, even though I suspect that he was playing with an injury for much of the season.

Second tier interest in Sam

Coventry City, the Glaziers, Leicester City and Leeds United are among the Championship clubs said to be interested in securing the services of out-of-contract Charlton winger Lloyd Sam.

They may find him to be an infuriatingly inconsistent player, certainly not without talent, but inclined to drift in and out of matches so that even if he was on the pitch for 90 minutes (and more often than not he had to be withdrawn) you certainly didn't get 90 minutes of football out of him.

There were even rumours that he was going to leave football altogether circulating earlier in the summer and there does seem to be some kind of attitude problem which perhaps a higher level club could sort out.

For all his limitations, his absence is one of the things that will make the austerity Valley a drabber place.

Thursday 1 July 2010

A Spring in his step

Matt Spring has signed for Orient on a two year deal: Spring

Most of his outings at Charlton were as a substitute, but Orient seem to regard him as more than a bench warmer. No doubt he will torment us in our matches with Orient, the early away one having been switched to television.