Tuesday 31 May 2011

Sullivan signs two year deal

John Sullivan has signed a two year deal with Charlton, a development that will be welcomed by most Addicks. Chris Powell told Pravda referring to his short spell as a loan player, 'He surpassed what I thought he would bring,' said Powell. 'He's very vocal around the training ground and is a good character around the dressing room.'

Powell made it clear in another interview that Nick Pope has been brought in from Bury Town as a development player and is not ready for professional football yet.

Charlton in for Hayes?

The rumour mill is linking Charlton with Preston striker Paul Hayes. He certainly may be available as the Deepdale outfit have talked publicly of offloading him and other players because they are financially stretched after their relegation, the club having sought to pursue Premiership ambitions at one stage.

Hayes is described as an 'intelligent' striker. Actually I think that Sir Clive Mendonca wasn't that intelligent (the only book he had ever read was about racing form) but he let his feet do the talking.

More about Hayes here: Hayes

Sunday 29 May 2011

Brad knows it will be hard

Bradley Pritchard is featured in an article in The Non-League Paper talking about his aspirations at Charlton. The Loughborough University sports science graduate knows it will not be easy as he seeks to break into the first team at The Valley.

'I'm under no illusions that it's going to be extremely hard. I've got a lot to prove ... I've got a job on to prove myself to my new teammates and manager during pre-season to hopefully get in the Charlton team.'

Pritchard admits that he is a late developer. The slightly built midfielder noted, 'Some players, like myself, have maybe got deficiencies like being smaller than others', a point illustrated in the photo accompanying the article by another player towering over him.

Brad's only disappointment is that he will no longer be travelling to China in August to represent Great Britain at the World University Games.

Saturday 28 May 2011

Yannick Bolasie goes to Bristol City

Addicks target Yannick Bolasie has joined Bristol City from Plymouth Argyle:

Thanks to someone for drawing this to my attention.

Friday 27 May 2011

Christian Dailly's future

The future of former player of the year Christian Dailly at Charlton is hanging in the balance.

Reports from a reasonably reliable source are suggesting that he wants to stay at The Valley and is disappointed with the deal offered which he refused. Dailly took a big cut when he joined us from Rangers and then accepted a reduced deal last summer in recognition of the club's financial position.

The latest offer is significantly less again, although he is, of course, a year older. He would probably stay on the basis of last year's offer. However, he is not without other offers, suggesting that others think that he can still deliver.

It is understood that he hopes it can be sorted before pre-season training begins on 30th June, but it is believed has options to do a pre-season at two Championship clubs if necessary.

Dailly is a big hearted player who is always committed, perhaps explaining the suspensions he earned this season. There were some signs towards the latter part of this season that he was tiring a bit towards the end of matches, but that is understandable. Hopefully we can retain him.

In response to this development, American sports journalist and Addick Doug Chapman commented: 'An aeging player who once played at the highest level, and wants to
continue playing into old age (for players). Dailly's career is well on the down-slope, and he will be worth less and less as each season passes. That doesn't mean he doesn't still have something positive to offer.'

'If Charlton were promoted, would they have offered Dailly a new contract? Highly doubtful. He is a League 1 player, with experience and class, but with an
increasingly slower engine. He can still be valuable to a League 1 or 2 team. But how much can they pay, and what is his experience worth?

'Charlton has to gear his worth for next season. He is not going to be paid for the past, not now and not in this economic climate.'

'Charlton may be playing a little hard ball with him now. Doesn't mean they won't come up some. But I would be very surprised if he got offered as much as last season. And he shouldn't be surprised if that is the case, either, given the stage of his career.'

Good comments by Doug which show why he is a professional sports journalist and I am not. It balances the perspective coming from those well disposed to the player.

Wednesday 25 May 2011

New keeper signs

Young goalkeeper Nick Pope has signed from East Anglian non-league club Bury Town: Pope . He is an Ipswich Town academy product and is apparently tall which is always useful in a keeper.

As part of the arrangement, a Charlton XI will play a game at Ram Meadow.

I am going to a Leamington FC meeting tonight so I will let you know if there are any signings from the Brakes in the offing.

Our keeper might be a possibility. He has a Sam Bartram style of play and likes to move the ball upfield on the wing. Earlier this season I saw him score a spectacular goal from near the touchline just short of the halfway line. I don't think I have seen a keeper score a better goal and it left his opposite number shell shocked.

Thanks to the Crowborough Addick for alerting me to this latest signing. I can't keep up!

Tuesday 24 May 2011

Addicks sign Bromley man

Charlton Athletic have beaten off interest from Dagenham and Redbridge and Gillingham to sign Bradley Pritchard from Hayes & Yeading. Born in Zimbabwe, the midfielder is based in Bromley. He has signed an initial 12-month contract with the possibility of an extension.

The 25-year old was voted player of the season at Hayes & Yeading.

Addicks swoop for Bolasie, Hollands takes readies

Charlton are reported to be interested in Plymouth Argyle winger Yannick Bolasie: Bolasie Presumably he is a replacement for Reid.

The 22-year old would then be able to join Bradley Wright-Phillips at The Valley. He is described as a fleet-footed winger who found the net seven times last term. As he is under contract to the Pilgrims until 2012, a fee would presumably be involved.

Further down the report there is a reference to Argyle signing Luke Young. I blinked as I thought they were signing Luke Warm, but in fact the recruit hails from Ivybridge Community College.

Pravda has reported that we are signing Danny Hollands from Bournemouth. He is already listed as with us by Wikipedia. A former Chelsea trainee born in Ashford (Kent or Middlesex?) he is a central midfielder. The news has not gone down too well on the south coast: Hollands

Youga given a chance

Kelly Youga has been given a chance to train with the club and show that he can become match fit: Youga

I think that the loss of Youga to injury was a big blow to our hopes and if he can regain something like his old form, I would be pleased to see him back, provided that he realises that it would be on less generous terms.

Monday 23 May 2011

Scott McGleish?

What follows is a question not a recommendation. Scott McGleish has been let go by Leyton Orient. He is 37, but he still seems to have an eye for goal. He is still full of enthusiasm about playing (a quality that often seems to be in rare supply).

At the moment he seems to be looking for a League 2 or a Conference club. Indeed, he or his agent placed a story in The Non-League Paper yesterday which was effectively a plea to 'give us a job'.

But could he do a job for us? What I have in mind is a bench player who could come on in the 75th minute and perhaps make a difference. He wouldn't cost a lot.

The counter argument is that we should be looking to the future. And for McGleish it might be a reprise of his short earlier stay at The Valley when he was used as a last minute substitute. However, there are those who think he didn't get a fair chance then.

Sunday 22 May 2011

It's a Dunne deal

Millwall's Alan Dunne has been talking to The League Paper about his testimonial match against Charlton on 30 July. Now 28, Dunne first signed for Millwall on his 10th birthday so he has been at the club for neraly 20 years. As he points out, testimonials are quite rare these days (was Curbs the last one we had at Charlton?)

He explained a special constraint in arranging the match: 'When you play for Millwall there is a very limited number of clubs you can choose from for a testimonial! When I say limited, you can count them on your hand! The police narrow it down a lot and Charlton were the only London club I can play.'

'I am a local boy so I wanted a local game so I'm delighted to get Charlton. It's a big game for both teams because it is a week before the season starts and so it will be taken seriously.'

Although Millwall faded a little towards the end of the season, denying them a possible play off place, they are hoping to make a challenge for promotion next season. It was argued the other week that the fanbase was large enough to sustain a top flight club.

Millwall in the Premier League and Charlton in League 1 would be a bitter pill to swallow. Alternatively, the Addicks, Millwall and Palace could all be in the Championship the season after next. League 1, on the other hand, will have a more northern feel in the coming season and can no longer be characterised as a modified version of the old Third Division South.

Saturday 21 May 2011

Can League 1 fans absorb more pain?

Do League 1 supporters have a particular capacity to absorb suffering in the form of poor play in the pitch? The latest Virgin money football index suggests that they are far less likely not to renew their season tickets next season than fans in any other league: Suffering

It could suggest other things:
1. That League 1 fans are more loyal (certainly a factor at Charlton)
2. That the cost of renewing in League 1 is much cheaper than in, say, the Premiership and therefore the present squeeze on incomes is less of a constraint. But that doesn't explain why there are slightly more cancellations in League 2, a patternn that also holds for regular 'walk up' purchasers.

A famous sports historian once told me that being a fan of the club was not a source of pleasure or a means of leisure but a form of suffering. The Addickted certainly know about that.

Ex Addick in Wimbledon squad

AFC Wimbledon are hoping that a play off victory will put them in the Football League, one division below MK Dons. Among their squad is former Addick Jamie Stuart:

His spell at Charlton was marred by an encounter with white powder. I know this gave Curbs a lot of grief. This was a time when the club's resources were very stretched and volunteering meant more than cleaning the seats so I was covering for the official website and interviewed Curbs on the pitch after a game at Reading. He was clearly upset about the Stuart incident, I myself got annoyed given that we had lost and I stormed off and went through a speed camera, getting myself three points we didn't want.

However, Stuart has kept his career going so all credit to him.

Wednesday 18 May 2011

'Rick Everitt is the Bloke Behind Me'

I gave a talk at Eltham College in Mottingham last night and afterwards the talk turned to matters Charlton and our disappointing season.

One of the students remarked that Rick Everitt was just behind him in the East Stand which at least guarantees a more informed comment that what I generally get from the Bloke Behind Me, although he seems a bit more subdued these days.

I was asked about the financial situation at the club and I had to say that I know nothing more than any other fan. My hunch is that there is no Mr Big lurking behind the owners, but they have enough funds to keep us going and provide a slightly above average League 1 budget for next season.

To put that in perspective, relegated Sheffield United have halved their playing budget but will still have £6m at their disposal.

Friday 13 May 2011

Back again - and more about Bessone

Blogger has been down (or rather in read only mode) for some time and one of the consequences was that the post I had made on Bessone was deleted, including comments that two of you had made. Quite what happened is unclear: whether it was routine maintenance that encountered unanticipated problems or difficulties arising from a new design.

The Bessone story has, in any case, moved on with Leeds apparently willing to let him go although he has one year left on his contract and Chris Powell eager to take him on board. Quite what the price would be in terms of a fee or his wages is unknown, but I doubt whether the fee would be that high.

Bessone says that he enjoyed his time at Charlton, but seems in no hurry to return and would be happy to take a pre-season at Leeds. Charlton are a 'big' club but Leeds are a 'massive' club: Bessone

Kelly Youga has apparently returned to fitness, but there is always a risk that a player who has been out for some time would be a shadow of his former self. While his old contract is expiring, he might still want more in wages than we could afford.

My view is that Bessone has been capable without being outstanding and in the circumstances making a move for him makes sense.

Thursday 12 May 2011

Bessone to stay?

Pravda is reporting that Chris Powell would like to keep Fede Bessone at The Valley, but the left back may think that he has more chances at Leeds now that they have failed to be promoted: Bessone

A fully fit Kelly Youga might well be a better option. It has been reported that Youga is now back to fitness, but that does not mean that he is match fit: indeed, he is unlikely to be. Sometimes returning players who have had a major injury are a shadow of their former selves.

Youga's contract is coming to an end, but it has been an expensive way and it might be difficult to agree terms. In the circumstances, trying to sign Bessone seems the best option. If this sounds a little unenthusiastic, I think that he has done a capable but not outstanding job for us.

Should money be a problem, a Leeds fan has offered to pay his bus fare to London.

Wednesday 11 May 2011

Kyel Reid released

Pravda is reporting that Kyel Reid is being released by the Addicks. Views differ about him (as always) but my view is that he promised more than he delivered. He had pace and could penetrate opposition defences, but the final product was often disappointing. Towards the end of his stay it was apparent that he was becoming increasingly disllusioned at Charlton.

Ross Worner has been released, emphasising the need to bring in Sullivan who has been released by Millwall. Mambo has been retained, which is encouraging news, but one time white hope Tamer Tuna is on his way.

This decision is not a great surprise given the level that he has been playing at in the non-league. He had pace, but the question is whether he had much else.

Nevertheless, an issue remains about whether the development path for Academy youngsters is as good as it was without a reserve side. But I suppose one has to balance the cost of that against bringing in another player.

Monday 9 May 2011

An American Addick's perspective

I thought that this contribution to the Glynne Jones list by American sports journalist Doug Chapman deserved a wider audience:

During the wilderness years of Selhurst and Upton Park, it was a most welcomed chore to follow Charlton from overseas. The Battle For The Valley was often more interesting than the actual football. In fact, it often wasn't even close. The cast of characters were also often more interesting than the players.

It was about waiting for the latest issue of Voice of The Valley to arrive in the post, immediately cracking open the brown envelope and reading from cover-to-cover. Filing it away, then reading it from cover-to-cover again just before the next one finally arrived.

And it was about picking up a London Sunday newspaper at a local newsagent, hopefully by Wednesday, and if lucky, maybe Tuesday afternoon. And it was also about a shortwave radio, and listening to the BBC coverage.

Then came the Internet, and "The List" and ... it all became so much easier. And around the same time, Charlton was in ascension. And all of the better. I could actually watch most of the matches,and at the least, highlights. And listen to them all on the 'net for free.

The Premier League is the best place for your club to be, especially if you are overseas. The fall from grace was hard, and hurtful. At least in The Championship, I could see occasional matches and all of the highlights.

The Third Division is not so easy. Charlton Player is third division, at best. The team has been pretty woeful, and the as esprit de corps among the supporters has been replaced by greater moaning ... even if completely justified moaning.

It is so easy to follow any club in the Premier League today. From anywhere. Oh, for mid-table mediocrity again in the Premiership, as opposed to League 1, errrrr, the Third Division.

I think this season gave a lot of Addicks "Charlton fatigue." Well, there is always next season. But, my god, we need to get out of this horrible division!

Onward, upward ... let's have a close season to get us excited again!

Sunday 8 May 2011

Addicks face competition for Green's signature

Charlton face competition as they seek the signature of Danny Green from relegated Dagenham & Redbrdge. The former Nottingham Forest youngster has found the back of the net 13 times this season and the cash strapped Daggers are open to offers.

Millwall are eyeing a double swoop for Green and team mate Romain Vincelot. Other Championship sides that are interested include Brighton and Ipswich, so Charlton's chances are not good.

Of the relegated sides, both Preston and Sheffield United are slashing their squads to reduce their wage bills.

Saturday 7 May 2011

Season stutters to a close

Charlton's season stuttered to a close with a 0-0 draw against Hartlepool at The Valley this afternoon. Charlton were not helped by the referee's tolerant stance towards some dirty play by the visitors; their keeper made some good saves; and they rode their luck at times. But, taken overall, it was a desultory performance by the Addicks. As Steve from Petts Wood commented, 'It sums up our season.'

I had quite some difficulty in energising myself to make the journey down to London. Charlton started brightly, as they often do, and won an early corner. A good long ball was put through to Wright-Phillips and he nearly made use of it. But then the pace started to drop on a muggy afternoon. For a diversion there were the antics of the Hartlepool fans in the Jimmy Seed dressed as Oompa Loompas or Santa Claus.

Harriot put in an effort that was just wide and then had another go. No one could fault the youngster's work rate or commitment. A Hartlepool corner was caught by a confident Elliot.

Before the half hour Fortune went down injured with a recurrence of his achilles problem and had to be stretchered off. Although he has been a shadow of his former self this season it was sad to see what could be a career ending injury.

Semedo and charm merchant Neil Austin collided and it all kicked off. There were calls for Austin to be shown a red, but he received a yellow as did Semedo and Gary Liddle who had chosen to get involved.

Harriot won Charlton a corner. Fabian Yontorno received a yellow card for a foul. Bessone won Charlton a corner, but we have rarely scored from corners this season. Four minutes were added on, but they were played at a slow pace by both teams.

Half time: Addicks 0, Hartlepool 0

Just after the break, an effort by Wright-Phillips was tipped over by Flinders for a Charlton corner, followed by a second. Wagstaff put in a good cross, but Benson was unable to connect. A Charlton corner produced a good save from Flinders off Semedo's header, but Llera put the ball over from the follow up. Following a corner, an effort from Collins came off the underside of the crossbar.

Wright-Phillips put in a good run that took him through the Hartlepool defence, but his effort from distance was well wide of the target. A good angled long ball to pick out Wagstaff led to a Charlton corner. Good work by Wagstaff won Charlton another corner.

Harriot was replaced by Racon and the departing youngster received warm applause. Shortly afterwards Wagstaff was replaced by Eccleston.

Llera did well to clear a header from Andy Monkhouse off the line. Bessone put in a fierce shot from 20 yards out which came off the post, but the offside flag went up before there could be any follow up. Racon lost the ball, leading to a Hartlepool corner. A Charlton corner went straight to the keeper. Solly received a yellow card.

Elliot made a good save as fears grew around me of a 0-1. Solly gave away a corner to Hartlepool. Then it was all over and Charlton ended up 13th, their seventh successive decline. Probably the highlight of the afternoon was applauding the women's teams for their successes. Well done Morts!

Many people were saying that next season will be make or break for Charlton. The chairman tried to give us hope and inspiration in the programme. However, I am not sure that I agree with him that there is not much difference between League 1 and the Championship. The latter is now like a de facto Premiership 2. Television revenues have gone up substantially and relegated Premiership clubs now receive four years of enhanced parachute payments.

Match analysis

Ivy the Terrible has awarded the last Silver Bone of the season to Rob Elliot. At least we kept a clean sheet and the keeper made some good saves. Fortune was having a decent match until he was injured and stretchered off. Llera (now returning to his native Spain) did play some good balls forward, but also some aimless ones. Solly played his part, but he does seem to lack pace at times and conceded avoidable corners. Bessone performed his part well enough, but I'm not sure I wouldn't want to retain him, especially if Youga can regain his fitness. Semedo snapped like a terrier at the visitors and showed some nice touches. Harriot did well on his first start, although he was fading a little in the second half. Stewart still does not look 100 per cent match fit and faded in the second half. Wagstaff had his moments and was particularly effective in the second half. Benson did his best to get involved when he wasn't being held back by a choke hold but couldn't find the back of the net. Wrght-Phillips was a little lacklustre and many of his efforts were off target, but he came as close as anyone to scoring. Doherty didn't make any serious errors after he came on, but his repertoire is based on the header which can go anywhere. Eccleston once again had a relatively limited time in which to display his talents. I liked his salute to the fans at the end of the game. Racon didn't offer much, apart from giving the ball away once and creating a chance for Hartlepool to attack.

Hiss of the Match This was given by Juneau the Soccer Cat to all the officials who didn't seem to be able to recognise offences or act on them.

Incidentally, I hear that the injury prone Anyinsah may be leaving and that Worner may be going to Aldershot. In that case Sullivan (featured in the programme today) may come in to give more competition to Elliot.

Friday 6 May 2011

Police act to curb high spirits of Hartlepool fans

All trains leaving King's Cross after 5 p.m. tomorrow have been declared dry by the police as they act to curb the high spirits of Hartlepool fans celebrating an away win at Charlton: Hartlepool

Apparently it is the custom of Hartlepool fans to turn out in large numbers for the last game of the season in fancy dress.

I am forecasting a 2-1 win tomorrow. If Hartlepool win, they have the chance to move five places up the table, passing Charlton in the process.

Thursday 5 May 2011

Why it's good to have an Addick driver

Rod Rhodes

I must admit that I wasn't expecting any Charlton content in the new book by Rod Rhodes, Everyday Life in British Government. But on p.177 the Tasmanian tyke records: 'My favourite driver was Jo Broadhurst who played for Charlton Athletic women's football team (known as the Addicks).'

'She was a member of the Addicks team that won the Nationwide Women's Premier League Cup Final in March 2004, their first major trophy. They then went on to win the FA Cup in 2005. She was fun to talk to and her elation over the Addicks recent victory was infectious.'

'She retired in style two years later. She scored the winning goal as Charlton's women's team reserves lifted the Kent County Cup in a 3-2 victory against Millwall. I am sure she was happy with her status as "veteran midfielder"'.

'Given Jo's converstaions with me, it was not hard to see why the Minister liked her and found the chats in a car a welcome change of pace.'

Semedo thanks the fans

Jose Semedo talks about his pleasure at being made player of the year, his special song and his contract situation: Semedo

Wednesday 4 May 2011

Charlton linked with Craig Davies

Chris Powell has been checking out Chesterfield striker Craig Davies. He won the npower player of the month award in March and has scored 23 goals this season.

However, during the January transfer window he attracted interest from QPR, Leeds, Doncaster and Sheffield United. QPR and Sheffield United are probably now out of the frame, but if Powell is serious, it will be an interesting test of how deep Charlton's pockets are.

On the other hand, the example of Paul Benson suggests that one has to be careful in assessing how far League 2 form can be reproduced in League 1.

You may like to vote for this: Wembley's Greatest Event

Tuesday 3 May 2011

The secret of success

Seoul: Asked about the secret of his success, Paul Lambert, the manager of newly promoted Norwich City said simply: 'Good players'. And that is what Charlton have lacked in sufficient numbers this season.

In previous close seasons lack of money has meant that we have delayed signing players we wanted to save on their wages. Then we have lost them. Hopefully, we will not be constrained in that way this summer. However, given that the club is probably losing around £6m a year, there will be limits to the money available.

I will be back for the game against Hartlepool on Saturday and hoping against hope for a win to provide a satsifactory conclusion to a dismal season.