Tuesday 31 July 2012

Baldock to join Bristol City?

Various Bristol sources are claiming that a deal for Charlton target Sam Baldock to join Bristol City is imminent, although unlikely to be finalised until Thursday: Baldock

Bristol City are short of cash, but are hoping to make use of instalments still to be paid on Nicky Maynard who joined the Hammers last season. This would reduce their down payment to £250,000. However, these complications could yet scupper the deal.

It has to be said that some Charlton fans are claiming that a deal has been agreed for the striker to join Charlton. The only thing seems clear is that we will know which club he has joined by the end of the week, Palace having faded from the picture.

If we don't secure the deal, it could mean that City's offer of £1.5m was higher than our reported offer of £1.3m. We certainly need another striker given the disappointing form of Bradley Wright-Phillips in the second half of the season.

Dave Kitson, one of the few high value players left at Portsmouth, has been linked with the Addicks.

There are rumours circulating that Solly would go to West Ham for a year and Baldock would join us on loan, but I don't give these much credence.

Friday 27 July 2012

Kavanagh's uncertain future

When I went to the Belraus v. New Zealand Olympic football match at the City of Coventry stadium last night I did not expect to see a Charlton shirt: a fan from Hertfordshire and his dad were there. He told me about the latest developments at The Valley with chief executive Steve Kavanagh resigning from the board (tendering his resignation, not being asked to resign) but remaining as chief executive for now.

In a statement chairman Michael Slater said, 'The intention now is to allow incoming executive vice-chairman Martin Prothero time to analyse the management structure at the club before making recommendations as to the executive and senior management team going forward.' Hopefully we will not be going backward.

Kavanagh's future as chief executive looks very uncertain. Beyond that, I know nothing, although I believe that there may be a statement in Pravda later today, although whether that will add very much remains to be seen. Of course, all this is grist to the mill for the doom and gloom merchants with people speculating that Kavanagh was unhappy about some aspect of the club's management or finances.

The fact of the matter is that we don't know, although the team seems to be doing fine with a 4-1 win at Barnet. Report here: Barnet.

Whether Sam Baldock comes in remains to be seen, as there is apparently competition from Bristol City, while West Ham were interested at an earlier stage.

Elsewhere, an offer by Cheltenham Town for Leon Clarke has been turned down. The Addicks are hopeful of a better offer.

Thursday 26 July 2012

Olympic football

Yesterday I drove the short distance to the City of Coventry Stadium to see Japan play Canada and Sweden play South Africa in the women's football. There was a real sense of occasion and perhaps much of the negativty surrounding the Olympics has at last been overcome, although the stadium was far from full with an attendance of 15,210.

The pitch announcer appeared to be the guy from the ice hockey and some of the tactics that work in a rink ('can I hear you Block 3'?) did not work in a far from full stadium where many people had a poor command of English. Goal announcements were very delayed and used the 'Goal scored Player No.8' formula.

We were surrounded by Japanese fans chanting 'Nippon'. Some women were in traditional dress, while one man had his face painted white and was wearing what looked like a clown outfit. Clearly there was a cultural meaning here that was lost on me.

When the Japanese team ran on to the pitch they were so diminutive that at first I thought they were mascots. The Canadians were so massive that they could have played for Sheffield Wednesday, but the authoritative Finnish referee made it clear that she would stand for no nonsense in the sauna like conditions.

The Japanese were compared into the programme to Barcelona. Whilst this was something of an exaggeration, they passed and kept possession very well and were also good at finding one of their players with long balls. Not surprisingly, they were 2-0 up at half time, although one of these goals involved a mix up in the Canadian defence. The Canadians stepped up a gear and got a goal back in the second half but Japan were deserved 2-1 winners.

One nice touch was that the Japanese team came and bowed deeply to their fans after the game. In contrast the Swedish keeper warmed up by dancing to the tannoy music when they came out early for the second half.

The City of Coventry stadium excelled itself in the break between the two matches. When I arrived I was told there was no water, only coca cola (this week's Private Eye covers shows two armed policemen saying 'Put that can of pepsi down and you won't be harmed'). The nearest outlet had no pies and the next one had no vegetarian option for my wife.

We were surrounded by Swedish flags and blondes for the next game. It was soon evident that the Swedes combined athleticism and skill and the South Africans were no match for them. They were 3-0 down in 20 minutes, the last goal coming after a defensive mix up. The South Africans pulled one back with an outrageous chip over the goalkeeper who was off her line, but the final score was 4-1. As the Swedish lady next to me commented, though she was pleased to see her team win, the first game had been more interesting as it was less one sided. The South African fans dancing in the stands were a delight to watch.

Men's football, Belarus versus New Zealand, tonight.

Good news that Yann Kermorgant has signed an extension of his Charlton contract to 2014.

Tuesday 24 July 2012

Cissé in the balance

Whether or not Kalifa Cissé will come to Charlton remains very much in the balance. Bolton Wanderers boss Owen Coyle seems to have reservations and Cisse will have a last chance to impress when the Whites play Falkirk: Cissé

A defensive midfielder would be a useful addition to the Addicks squad. More on the player here: Career

Sunday 22 July 2012

Two get away

Charlton target Sone Aluko has understandably preferred Championship football to the Scottish third division, but has decided to join Hull City rather than the Addicks. There is a link there as he was at Birmingham City with Steve Bruce.

George Friend has decided to stay 'oop north and has joined Middlesbrough from Doncaster Rovers. A six figure fee is mentioned, presumably bigger than the £100k that was reported in connection with Charlton.

Chris Powell has admitted that he has found the transfer market frustrating and trickier than last season: Transfers

It has been argued by the club that Powell was building a Championship side last season, but the manager was hoping for some 'sensible strengthening' over the summer and that is looking more difficult.

Elsewhere Welling United owner Barrie Hobbins has praised Charlton for attracting 1,700 to Park View Road in bad weather for the Crown Berger Cup. The Wings supremo said, 'Charlton don't do what a lot of clubs do and ask for money for sending a first team down which shows how much they value football in the area.'

Friday 20 July 2012

Friendly deal?

Charlton are chasing Doncaster Rovers central defender George Friend (he can also play at left back). It is hoped that it may be possible to secure a deal with the cash strapped club for the 24-year old for just £100,000: Friend

Crystal Palace, Leeds United and Middlesbrough have also expressed an interest over the summer.

Born in Barnstaple, Devon Friend started his career at Exeter City, but then moved on to Wolves. During his stay there he had a loan spell at Millwall. Career

Charlton won 1-0 in last night's friendly at Sporting Club de Portugal with a last minute goal by Johnnie Jackson. Chris Powell has said that he thought that it was a good performance by the Addicks.

Thursday 19 July 2012

Kerkar joins pre-season tour

According to Sky Sports News Salim Kerkar has joined the Addicks on their pre-season tour of Spain. The 24-year old playmaker is one of a number of players to have left Rangers after their financial difficulties.

He joined Rangers from a French club in 2010, but does not appear to have featured a great deal for the Ibrox club. However, he hopes to impress Chris Powell on tour.

His older brother is the Algerian international Karim Kerkar.

Monday 16 July 2012

Are Stoke the new Charlton?

That is the question posed here, although I find it difficult to see Tony Pulis as the new Alan Curbishley: Potters

Interesting to see former Addicks Paul Mortimer and John Salako interviewed on Sky News last night about the Rio Ferdinand tweet. Mortimer was interviewed with what appeared to be the women's team training in the background. He is a bit bulkier than I remember him, but always a favourite player of mine.

Elsewhere it has been reported that Oldham Athletic have ended their interest in Leon Clarke whom they were hoping to sign as part of a 'promotion push'. Following his loan spell at Crawley, I had forgotten he was on our books.

Saturday 14 July 2012

'Solly going nowhere'

Chris Powell has made it clear that Chris Solly is staying at The Valley. He has denied speculation that Solly will leave the club this summer, despite the signature of Lawrie Wilson.

Powell has said that it is important to have strength in depth in a squad, and as such he sees Solly's future at the Valley and not elsewhere. 'Every manager wants two players for every position and that is how I see it,' Sir Chris told Pravda.. 'We all ran out of superlatives for Chris Solly last year - and he's going nowhere as far as I'm concerned.'

The Addicks retained the Crown Berger Cup with a comfortable 4-0 win over Welling United at Park View Road. The goals came from an own goal, a header from Smith, Haynes and a Jackson penalty. Two different teams played in each half. Players who did not take part included Hollands (recovering from foot injury), Sullivan and Hamer.

The Addicks had only real chance in the first half when on 24 minutes Bradley Wright-Phillips saw his shot parried with the follow up by Callum Hariot going wide.

The first goal came on 48 minutes following good work from Michael Smith when his through ball found Dale Stephens on the far side of the Wings' area. Stephens fired a long ball into the box which allowed Obersteller to score a comical own goal.

A Stephens corner picked up Smith who scored with a downward header on 54 minutes. Johnnie Jackson scored from the spot on 78 minutes after Haynes was fouled. Haynes scored from a Stephens corner on 87 minutes. The match ended with an impromptu pitch invasion by the Addickted.

Those who were there thought that Michael Smith looked the part and led the line well with good hold up play. Jordan Cook also pleased some fans, even through he was playing wide.

The season starts here

Yesterday I had a clear view of The Valley on my plane back from Madrid. The 'CAFC' letters stood out very clearly and I could even see a train leaving Charlton Station.

Today the Addicks face Welling at Park View Road in a bid to retain the Crown Berger Cup. This is the first of a series of practice matches and it should be remember that is just what they are: an opportunity to test and improve match fitness, integrate new players in the team and try out different formations. The real business is still a month away.

Addick's Third Division Diary has been retired, hopefully never to be used again Future posts will be here. There will be a number of exciting features to come, including a chance to win an evening with Nigel and Nigella at their Beckenham home.