Saturday 30 July 2011

Seven goals at the New Den

Recent fixtures between Millwall and Charlton have seen some high scorelines and this afternoon's friendly at The New Den saw seven goals scored with the home side ending 4-3 victors.

Charlton went ahead in the first half through Bradley Wright-Phillips but then Millwall equalised from a free kick. Bradley Wright-Phillips put Charlton ahead again, but Millwall scored two more to go in 3-2 ahead at the break. The Addicks had been losing possession to a worrying extent and were prone to rushing too much.

After the break they tried to play more of a passing game. Racon signalled a new found interest in aquatic sports by displaying his diving skills. Jackson scored for the Addicks to make it 3-3, but a free kick just outside the box enabled Millwall to win the testimonial fixture.

Not a bad result, but doubts about Wiggins surfaced again.

Friday 29 July 2011

Addicks to beat drop

Charlton will escape the drop to League 2 this season, according to the season preview in Four Four Two. However, they will finish 18th, just above the drop zone. (At least that's what they said in the print version: now a web version has changed their forecast to 4th!)

Huddersfield and Sheffield Wednesday are forecast to occupy the automatic promotion places. Preston, Leyton Orient, Scunthorpe and Carlisle will contest the play offs. I'm not sure I buy into the idea of Orient as the surprise package, for all of Russell Slade's qualities. And I see Carlisle as destined for mid-table mediocrity while I would put Sheffield United higher than 7th.

The magazine comments, 'you have to spread the net far to find a Football League ground where the general vibe is as negative as it's been at The Valley in recent years.' However, 'South-east Londoners Chris Powell [?] and Bradley Wright-Phillips have the passion to taken Charlton back up.'

However, Powell is warned, 'he might have to abandon any ideals of slick football in faviur of a style that is more agricultural. Much to prove.'

Trevor Wood in the fan file fears 'dull football and more mid-table mediocrity.' Nevertheless, he reckons we can finish in the top six if we find a decent back four. He names Peter Varney as unsung hero at the club.

Thursday 28 July 2011

Sky Blues override Brakes

Just as with Birmingham City on Saturday, Coventry City proved too much for Leamington to cope with at the New Windmill Ground last night, although a 1-2 defeat was no disgrace. However, the Sky Blues had more pace, were quicker to the ball and passed it around very neatly. However, it was a good test for the Brakes players, watched by a crowd of 724.

Sky Blues were 2-0 up after 30 minutes and for a while it looked like a rout might be possible. But then Tom Berwick, who had already tested former Northampton stopper Chris Dunn in the City goal, scored from the penalty spot before the break and that was the way it ended.

A distraction during the first half was the arrival of two fire engines including an escape pump but it turned out that they had come to give out leaflets about smoke alarms.

Sky Blues continued to press in the second half and Breeden had to make at least one good save but Brakes also had their moments and there was a lot of promise in the team.

Wednesday 27 July 2011

Grzegorz Rasiak

The 'tall target man' is apparently training with us at the moment: Rasiak

This Spurs blogger wasn't too impressed: 'the greater the chance of making a panic buy as the deadline looms and although it was not on Harry’s watch, the name of Grzegorz Rasiak ominously springs to mind.'

A more positive perspective is given by a Derby fan: 'Was brilliant going back about 4 or 5 seasons. For a tall bloke though he's rubbish in the air. He's great on the ground though.

Left us for Spurs so that he could play in the Premier league but never
really broke through. All in all - we were very sad to see him go. He'd be a great player for you.'

I could do without more players whose names I have difficulty spelling!

View from the New Den

A Millwall source takes a look at the Charlton side under Chris Powell: Millwall

Erith Addick Paul May has agreed to brave the New Den on Saturday to provide a match report.

The Addicks beat Den Bosch last night 1-0 through a Bradley Wright-Phillips goal to lift the People's Cup. Danny Green, Johnny Jackson and Paul Hayes all hit the woodwork.

Some comments from an Addick who was there:

Overall, as has been said a very solid performance and showing much promise without setting the world alight. If Jackson had put the chance away later in the second half the 2-0 scoreline would have been a fairer reflection (he hit the bar).

For me the centre back performances stood out. Both look tidy players and both worked well together as a defensive unit. Frequently you could see an understanding between them, they operated as a pair rather than 2 new together players.

Wiggins - first time I've seen him and I didn't think it was that bad, as you said he was up against a good right midfield and on the whole he frustrated him. I suspect that most of his game last night was about stopping the forward rather than looking to push on.

There was a definite attempt to play a passing game with very few long balls out from the keeper. One note on Elliot I thought he parried a number of balls that he could have tried to hold?

BWP - I thought he had a good game, seemed very mobile and covered a lot of ground dropping back to link with midfield. Took his chance like an accomplished and confident striker.

Benson came on and did ok - anyone else think he has lost weight? - not that he was particularly heavy last year.

Hollands, Stephens, Green and Jackson. while being happy overall I was less impressed with the midfield as I was with the back 4. They did pass well but with a couple of exceptions they didn't quite get forward as much as I suspect they will need to. We will need the midfield to contribute heavily to the goal scoring, if they don't break forward I suspect teams will soon learn to mark BWP out of the game and nullify our scoring.
That said great to see Jackson back and Green covered a lot of ground. The 2 in the middle will come good but are still finding their feet in a very new look team.

Hayes - not sure yet, thought he was a bit quiet, but is only one game and there were so many new faces I found it a job to keep an eye on all so might be doing him an injustice.

Well done to Powell, he looks to be building a solid and entertaining team which will compete well in this league next season. Seems to me he has gone for a similar set of players, all with hunger but all having already established themselves at previous clubs and confident of their abilities. They should be a bunch that develop the understandings and gel quickly.

Tuesday 26 July 2011

Schlupp in on loan?

Pravda is reporting that Charlton are interested in bringing 18-year old Leicester City striker Jeffery Schlupp in on loan: Schlupp

He performed well at Brentford when on loan there last season.

You can see a spectacular miss by him here: Schlupp up

A question of experience

When we appointed Chris Powell as manager the New York Addick (who seems to have gone into purdah for the summer) argued that we should have appointed an 'experienced' manager.

So what is the evidence for the benefits of experience? I have been looking at the book on Football Management by my colleague Sue Bridgewater who runs courses for the PFA and the LMA. She argues that experience should be considered as a factor in football success, but the evidence on its importance appears to be a little mixed.

There is certainly a significant difference between the number of years experience and the win percentage of managers. Those with no previous experience have a ratio of 33 per cent wins, but this goes up to 45 per cent for those with ten years or more experience.

Sue notes, 'Experienced managers have learned lessons through time, perhaps through making and learning from mistakes. They are also the survivors, those who through natural ability and learning over time have a proven ability to do the job.'

However, experience matters much more in the Premier League is far more important than for managers in lower leagues. Not surprisingly Premiership managers have more experience:

Premier League 9.6 years
Championship 6.5 years
League 1 4.8 years
League 2 3.6 years

Sue suggests, 'Managing star players in the full glare of the media spotlight is not easy and it may be for this reasons that managers who have been there and seen it are better able to manage at this level. There is something distinctive about managing these strong egos and management experience does help with this.'

Monday 25 July 2011

We lose out on £500,000 for Varney

Luke Varney has now joined Portsmouth after making only five appearances for Derby County. Apparently if he had made ten they would have had to pay us another £500,000 on top of the £1m initial fee: Varney

Benno deal falls through

Unconfirmed reports are suggesting that Paul Benson's move to Notts County has fallen through because of a failure to agree personal terms. Certainly there has been silence for some days.

Pravda is reporting that Charlton would have sought another striker if the deal had gone ahead as we certainly would have needed to do. The concern is that, given that some early reports about Hayes are unenthusiastic, we may once again be over reliant on Bradley Wright-Phillips and the midfield to provide goals.

Sunday 24 July 2011

Euell cameo main talking point

A 20-minute cameo by Jason Euell was one of the main talking points among Charlton fans after yesterday's goalless draw at Woking. Euell (who has been signing up Facebook friends by the dozen) brings back bad memories for some fans who recall laziness in his last phase at Charlton but others feel that he could add something as a substitute this season. Those who were there thought that he was very lively and held the ball up well.

An Addick who was there commented, 'Good movement also by Hayes, who would have scored early on but for great save by their keeper (who made a number of good saves in the first half). Stephens and Pritchard excellent in midfield, and Davisson did well wide left- great first touch, excellent crosses - sadly more than Waggy managed. Mambo/Doc did OK at the back, Popo NOT an option as striker.'

Saturday 23 July 2011

Jenkinson make his mark at Arsenal

Classic own goal by Arsenal signing: Jenks

Brakes Get Blues as Blyth is Injured

Leamington lost 1-3 at home to Birmingham City at the New Windmill Ground but the real concern was an injury to promising striker Jacob Blyth who hobbled off injured in the first half. At half time he was seen being driven away to hospital for a precautionary x-ray.

The two Conference sides, Kidderminster and Tamworth, who came to the New Windmill Ground for earlier friendlies were quicker to the ball than Leamington but with Birmingham the difference increased to something like the power of three. Blues also had plenty of pace.

It was therefore no suprise when they took an early lead, Breeden having been lured out of his goal and trialist Taylor Morgan find the back of the net for the visitors.

However, Brakes got back in the game a few minutes later when an attack lead to penalty, Blues fans claiming that it was a dive. Berwick made no mistake from the spot to level the score.

Ben Mackey, who had come on in place of Blyth, had a chance to score from a promising position but sent the ball wide.

Half time: Brakes 1, Blues 1

Brakes nearly scored in early play, but then Berwick took a knock and required treatment. Then a fierce dive was put in by the sporited Eddy Gnahore, Breeden could not hold the ball and it went into the back of the net.

A Brakes corner led to a goalmouth scramble. A Blues free kick just outside the box came off the Brakes wall. Tuohy went down and required treatment. Then Taylor Morgan powered in and scored with an angled ball.

Some humour was provided in the closing phase of the game by the efforts of the dad of Blues substitute Syrus Gordon to coach him from the touchline.

A question that was being asked by some supporters was whether Brakes are playing too many friendlies. Anyway it's Racing Club away on Tuesday and Coventry City at home on Wednesday.

Thursday 21 July 2011

McCormack to become a rocking Robin

Alan McCormack has left Charlton by mutual consent and is to join Swindon Town in an effort to find his level: McCormack

Swindon manager Paolo di Canio is known for his serious culinary interests, having presented Alan Curbishley with one he had made earlier when he joined the Addicks.

Fine dining is at a premium in Swindon but is readily available in the nearby Cotswolds.

Benson departs

A rumour suggests that Notts County have a made a bid of £150,000 for Paul Benson. He scored in Charlton's 1-1 draw at Aldershot yesterday evening.

BBC Radio Nottingham are reporting that we have accepted the County offer as are Sky: Benson

For me Benson never successfully made the transition from League 2, he often seemed to me to be too static in his positioning. However, we do need cover in that position.

Tuesday 19 July 2011

New interest in McCormack?

Pravda sources are reporting that a couple more teams are showing an interest in Alan McCormack and apparently not Cray Wanderers. We can live in hope: perhaps a celebration meal at the Oxo tower could be thrown in?

Walsall and Bradford are the two clubs being talked about. Presumably Bradford would not be acceptable as it would mean dropping down a division, but Walsall might be, although it always seems a bit of a bargain basement club to me.

Sunday 17 July 2011

Dailly dallies

Pravda is reporting that Christian Dailly is weighing up whether his future is at Charlton: Dailly

The 37-year old would have to accept that he would be a squad player and he would be on a reduced wage. I think that it is now quite challenging for him to do 90 minutes at the required pace, but he would be useful cover.

He has been exploring various options, but Miguel Llera has not found it easy to find a new berth. Blackpool have denied that they are signing him, insisting that they are just giving him a trial.

John Nutter [sic] makes an interesting point in the Non-League Paper today: 'There are a lot of players who come out of the League now to play in the Conference because the money is probably better at a lot of the clubs [than in League 2] with them all being ambitious to move up.'

Saturday 16 July 2011

Brilliant Blyth

Leamington beat Conference side Kidderminster Harriers 3-0 at the New Windmill Ground this afternoon. The morning's heavy rain had cleared but the swirling wind sometimes made the ball difficult to control.

Not surprisingly Kiddy dominated the early exchanges, being quicker to the ball and having most of the possession. The game was played largely in Leamington's half, but the Brakes defence stood firm, even if some of the clearances were agricultural.

Then suddenly Brakes broke away down the slope and Blyth drew in the defender well to earn the penalty. He made no mistake in dispatching the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-0 to Leamington.

Lee Vaughan was a constant feature in the Kiddy side last season and the pace and determination of the right back gave the home side plenty of problems. At one point he broke through and Breeden had to make a quick reaction save, almost spilling the ball.

Then Blyth broke throough again. I thought that perhaps he was being a little selfish as Husband yelled for the ball (as he invariably does). But Blyth put in a beautiful curling shot that beat the keeper and went inside the post to make it 2-0. If he isn't on a contract now, he should be.

Half time: Brakes 2, Kiddy 0

One expected the visitors to came into the game more in the second half but Leamington were playing with confidence and it was new signing Tom Berwick who broke through and made it 3-0.

Kiddy started to pile on the pressure and Breeden had to have his wits about him as he made a number of saves. But Brakes, who started to bring on the substitutes, counter attacked as well. In the dying minutes, the Sheepside lino flagged for a penalty and it was definitely in the box. But the referee decided to award a free kick and although one of the players in the Kiddy wall was knocked over to general amusement, Brakes were not able to score a fourth.

All one can say is bring on Birmingham City next Saturday!

Francis to stay

Following the news that Alan McCormack is to stay, Simon Francis has failed to agree personal teams with Bournemouth: Francis

According to comments by Cherries fans, Francis might have faced a halving of his salary. Another comment suggests that the Cherries were unable to guarantee him first team football, which might be a sensible assessment on their part but raises the issue of why they were interested in the first place.

Charlton lost 1-0 to Cardiff City in their pre-season friendly in Spain in what Wales Online described as a 'tough workout'.

Friday 15 July 2011

McCormack stays

Alan McCormack has declined a move to Dagenham and Redbridge. He has decided that he does not want to drop down a division. Whether he will drop out of the team remains to be seen.

Wednesday 13 July 2011

Winning does matter

That's what Bristol City boss Keith Millen told his players before they met Charlton in Spain last night, but in the event it was the Addicks that were 2-1 victors and they evidently did quite well if one reads a report from a City perspective: Bristol

As at Welling, Chris Powell made wholesale changes at half time and it was the stronger second half side that made the greater impact with Bradley Wright-Phillips scoring 20 minutes into the half after Ruben Bover-Izquierdo had set the striker up for a simple tap in. City keeper Dean Gerken had to pull off two outstanding saves to deny the dangerous Wright-Phillips.

Bristol City equalised on 74 minutes through Rob Stead, but Johnnie Jackson scored the winner with a last minute header, 'Bovver' again providing the assist.

Charlton play Cardiff City on Friday evening.

Now is the summer of my content

Leamington won an emphatic 3-0 victory over Stratford Town at the New Windmill Ground last night. It was deja vu time at Harbury Lane with eleven of the Bardsmen formerly featuring for Leamington. It was also a return for former management duo Jason Cadden and Morton Titterton, Cadden being greeted with warm applause as a tribute to what he had achieved for the Brakes.

Brakes were wearing their smart new away kit (also do check out some of the excellent new merchandise in the club shop). The Bardsmen turned out in a tangerine away strip which led me to comment that someone at the Anne Hathaway must be a Blackpool fan, a remark which drew an objection from a rude mechanical seated in front of me.

On a cool evening the first half was played at a fast pace. Stratford are a neat passing side and were not easy to break down even though Brakes were playing down the slope. They did create a couple of potential scoring opportunities, one of which was tipped over by keeper Tom Cross.

Half time: Brakes 0, Bardsmen 0

The second half started much like the first. Brakes had plenty of possession but were unable to break down a resolute Stratford defence which included the son a former Shakesperean actor.

Former Brakes keeper Richard Morris was now between the sticks for the visitors and a forceful free kick by Downes left him with no chance. The 1-0 scoreline cued substitutions and new signing Tom Berwick from Daventry Town did not need the prompter to remember his lines. He put in a sweet cross for Jacob Blyth who found the back of the net with ease.

Daly then completed the scoring with a bullet header that for me was the goal of the match and would not have disgraced a higher level. Our doubts are our traitors, but some of the Stratford support started abusing their team in language not penned by Shakespeare. Harbury Lane legend Josh Blake came on a substitute for the visitors but wasn't a game changer.

Ben Mackey made his return in this match and was certainly full of enthusiasm and effort. He still looked to me as if he was carrying a bit of weight, but Sir Mick assured me that he had been training hard and it was all muscle.

Kiddy on Saturday will be a tougher test, but so far, so good.

Tuesday 12 July 2011

The ultimate pre-season friendly

That's the tag being applied to tonight's needle derby between Leamington and Stratford Town. Fortunately Brakes do not have to travel to the Anne Hathaway Stadium where their record has been mixed. So perhaps the historic chant 'Two nil or not two nil?' will be heard round the New Windmill Ground.

One might expect the Bardsmen to charge on to the field of play saying 'Verily' and 'Forsooth', with the odd 'Gadzooks' if they experience a hard tackle. However, their language is probably the most industrial in Warwickshire. When you get beyond the well defined tourist zone in Stratford, it is just like any other small Midlands town, albeit with some very expensive housing along the Avon.

Monday 11 July 2011

Charlton to sign dead economist?

You can see him a statue of him in Kirkcaldy, part of Gordon Brown's constituency (of 'dancing in the streets of Raith' fame) but now long dead economist Adam Smith is set to sign for the Addicks. Special projects manager Rick Everitt quipped, 'He will bring the wealth of nations.'

A source close to the club said, 'He may be a bit immobile, and we will have the expense of bringing him down from Scotland, but if we put him on a set of wheels who knows what he can do? He should enable the side to find equilbrium between the demand for goals and the supply of them.'

In fact Smith is a right back at Spurs and we have bid £200,000 for him. He was out on loan at Bournemouth last season so he looks like another cherry ripe player. And we do need another right back.

Sunday 10 July 2011

Crown Berger Cup retained

Charlton retained the Crown Berger Cup with an emphatic 3-0 victory over Welling at Park View Road yesterday afternoon. The goals came from Morrison who nodded in a free kick and there was a 25-yard wonder strike from Danny Green, matched by a very modest celebration. The third goal came from 'A Trialist'.

This turns out to be 24-year old Sam Williams who was released by Yeovil. He comes from Plumstead (always a plus in my view) and was in our Academy before he went to Villa at the same time as Kinsella. He scored regularly for the reserves there. His Wikipedia entry is here: Williams

The Addickted present thought that it was an encouraging display, especially in the second half when something like the first choice team appeared to be playing.

Speaking after the game equine magnate John Window commented, 'Liked the German left back, big lad. Solly very good. Sullivan more confident than Elliot. Mambo certainly for the future. Their right back looked useful and I was told CP is looking at him. All in all, very good, BUT it was Welling.'

Saturday 9 July 2011

Much confusion at Harbury Lane

Leamington's start to the season was somewhat confused yesterday evening, although there were not so many players changes as there are likely to be at Park View Road today when Charlton play in the Crown Berger Cup. (Once again was the only Charlton blogger I saw at the New Windmill Ground). However, the teams were not announced and Tamworth's two time added on goals were scored by a player with no number on his shirt anyway!

It was all a bit low key with an attendance I would estimate at around 200, although there were quite a few Tamworth fans there. Brakes held their own well against the Conference side, although the Lambs were quicker to the ball. Towards the end of the game former Racing Club Warwick boss Marcus Law apparently took the view that it was all getting a bit too friendly and brought on two quality players to finish the game off (at least that is what Sir Mick told me).

The first goal came after a wicked deflection caught out Breedon and the second came with the last kick of the game. It was a good workout, though, and I thought that James Husband looked particularly sharp.

Possibly Brakes could have been sharper in front of goal. They did create a few potential striking opportunuties and were inclined to hesitate when an opportunist shot might have paid off.

Addicks fans will be looking forward to seeing some, if not all, of the 11 new players at Welling this afternoon, Michael Morrison now having signed from the Owls. Jason Euell has been training at Sparrows Lane so there may be a cameo from him.

Friday 8 July 2011

Lambs will not face slaughter

Conference outfit Tamworth visit the New Windmill Ground this evening for the opening game of the season. However, the Lambs, now managed by former Racing Club Warwick supremo Marcus Law, will not face slaughter by Leamington.

Brakes supremo Barrie Holleran has said that he will not rush back players before they are ready. He emphasised that it will be a gradual build-up with the 18 or 19 available players each getting at least 45 minutes.

Those hoping to see returning prodigal son and super striker Ben Mackey will have to wait a few weeks as he is still some weeks off full fitness, although progressing well in training.

McCormack on his way?

Pravda sources are reporting that Dagenham and Redbridge have expressed an interest in Alan McCormack where he might well find his level.

Bournemouth have agreed a fee for Simon Francis while it has been reported, somewhat unbelievably, that Miguel Llera may be joining Brighton.

The season is now upon us with Leamington kicking off against Tamworth this evening and the Crown Berger Cup tomorrow. At least the weather is suitable for football (at least up here, it was quite humid in London yesterday)!

However, I do find the summer breaks these days a bit on the short side. Even the ice hockey is starting in August. Long gone are the days when Charlton players could turn out for Kent in the summer or try their hand at baseball.

Of course in those days the maximum wage, which was set at a suitable level for an 'artisan', was reduced in the summer and there were no bonuses for a win or a draw. Some players had to work on repairing the Valley terraces or the pitch to make ends meet.

Thursday 7 July 2011

Addicks try out defender

22 year old Niklas Andersen is a former German U20 international from Werder Bremen and has been brought in on trial.

He is of Norwegian descent although born in Germany. He is the son of former Norway international footballer and Bundesliga top scorer Jørn Andersen. His career in the German youth system was disrupted by following around his father who is a coach in Germany.

He will feature in the Crown Berger cup at Welling and travel to Spain with the team.

Wednesday 6 July 2011

Anyinsah joins Gasheads

Former Charlton wide man Joe Anyinsah has signed for Bristol Rovers. The main interest aroused by this move in Bristol seems to be related to the fact that he is a former Bristol City player: Anyinsah

I thought that Anyinsah was a very useful player who could unsettle opposition defences in a way that many Charlton players could not last season. However, he was also very injury prone - at least with us.

Tuesday 5 July 2011

Cherries have second bite at Francis

Having had an initial derisory bid rejected, Bournemouth are having a second go at landing Simon Francis: Francis

What I hear is that we want to recoup at least the £35k we paid for him given that we got him at what was arguably a knockdown price (Brentford paid £100k for him not so long ago). I think that £50k would seal the deal.

Some fans think he should be kept as he would provide cover, although he was much criticised last season. He could - sometimes - put in a good cross, but as with many of our players last season, such quality as he did have was on intermittent display and his attention to his defending duties was often questionable to say the least.

What is evident is that a major clear up of last year's squad is in progress because, with a few exceptions, they weren't up to the task of achieving promotion. The board and Chris Powell deserve some credit for biting the bullet, but don't expect instant success.

Monday 4 July 2011

Morrison in soon?

We have been waiting for a second central defender to sign but it looks as if Michael Morrison will be coming from Sheffield Wednesday soon: Morrison

The fee is reported to be £250k which shows once again that the board are prepared to spend some money, albeit at levels appropriate for League 1. There will be a challenge for all the new players to meld together as a team, but I would rather face that challenge than be short of players in key positions.

One of the strengths of the versatile 23-year old is that he can play at right back as well as centre back which is an area in which we need cover.

His Wikipedia entry is here: Morrison

Reports from Sheffield indicate a subdued reaction from Owls fans. However, this does not mean that he is useless. Rather it seems that his face doesn't fit as far as Gary Megson is concerned: Owls

Sunday 3 July 2011

Owls look enviously at Charlton's summer signings

We have heard a certain amount over the summer from Sheffield Wednesday fans about how they think they are a bigger club than us, but now it seems that they think we have stolen a march over them in our summer signings:

Saturday 2 July 2011

Two more signings

I have been working away for two days and (thankfully) out of internet contact I am not fully up to speed on the two latest signings. Rhoys Wiggins is a left back who has been brought in from Bournemouth: Wiggins

Apparently in the case of Wiggins we beat Watford to his signature and a fee of £300,000 has been mentioned. There has certainly been some serious investment in the squad for League 1 level, let's hope now that it pays off.

Matt Taylor, who is the former Exeter captain, has been signed after being released by the Grecians. He started life as a goalkeeper, but provides the centre back we have been looking for: Taylor

We really need another centre back, but it has been suggested that this might involve a loan.

I am relatively encouraged by the signings so far. We will soon be in to the pre-season fixtures which will give the Addickted a chance to look at them.

However, I never place too much faith in these matches as a guide either to form or how we are going to do in the season. The whole point of them is to try out different combinations of players and formations. Above all, we don't want to see any key players injured. One of my most vivid memories of these matches is seeing the frustration of Matt Svenson when he was injured at FC Roda, an injury that kept him out for some time and, as I recall, largely drew a line under his Charlton career (although he then scored a winning goal against us for Norwich).

I am in the process of creating a new third division diary format and I hope it will be ready by the time of the Crown Berger cup against Welling.

Friday 1 July 2011

Bjorn Bjorg praises Charlton

I was staying in Nottingham overnight earlier today and I switched on breakfast television for a short while. An interview with tennis legend Bjorn Bjorg culminated with him saying that he was a big Charlton fan and wished them the best for the season.

I already knew that he was a Charlton fan, but not that it had started with his grandfather.