Thursday 29 November 2012

Yann's pledge

Yann Kermorgant wants to atone for the home defeat by Crystal Palace by securing victory at Millwall on Saturday: Kermorgant

Chris Powell admits that Charlton came nowhere close to signing Dany N'Guessan from Millwall on a permanent deal in the transfer window. Powell still rates N'Guessan who is currently specialising in cameo roles from the bench: N'Guessan

Feely prefers Addicks to Toffees

According to an Everton website, Bohemians defensive prospect Kevin Feely has confirmed via Twitter that he will be joining Charlton Athletic when the transfer window opens in January.

Everton were reportedly very interested in bringing Feely to Goodison Park but the teen felt his immediate prospects were better in South London.

The 19-year old spent four days at Charlton in the summer, although he did not play a match. His League of Ireland appearances are well into double figures, and he has also played in the Europa League.

Elsewhere, Emmanuel Frimpong has been cleared to play his international football for Ghana: Frimpong

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Charlton make hard work of it

Charlton beat Peterborough 2-0 at The Valley last night to take thirteen points out of fifteen and go thirteenth in the table. However, they made hard work of it with a particularly lacklustre first half. There's no doubt that we rode our luck, but then there have been other games when we have been unlucky. Once again the midfield seemed to be awol or at least outpaced and we were often generally too slow and hesitant in our reactions. One of the negatives to come out of the match was that Morrison and got a fifth yellow card, earning a suspension.

Perhaps the highlight of the evening was the arrival of the Bloke Beside Me, Paul from Bexleyheath. Having flown in from Zurich, he landed at just before 7.05 p.m. and he was in his seat half an hour later to enjoy the spectacle.

Yann Kermorgant drew a save from distance early in the match, leading to an unproductive Charlton corner. Following a corner for the visitors, Ricardo Fuller won a free kick, but the referee did not give them every time he was fouled.

A Charlton corner taken by Jackson led to a second, but the ball went over the bar. Hamer had to make a fingertip save. A Charlton corner taken by Jackson was poor. Jackson had a great chance to score after a good cross came in, but he put the ball over.

A Peterborough free kick was well worked, but after some subsequent play Hamer was eventually able to save. Morrison received his yellow card. The visitors were getting some free kicks in promising positions and following one near the corner flag Hamer had to punch the ball out and then save it from subsequent play. Hamer had to make one more save before the half came to an end and some of the boo boys exercised their lungs.

Half time: Addicks 0, Posh 0

Chris Solly put in a good cross and Kermorgant just missed the target. Solly put in another cross and Pritchard hit the outside of the post. Peterborough were winning some corners and taking them short which we did not seem to deal with very well. Ricardo Fuller won a free kick, but Kermorgant put the ball over.

Frimpong was taken off and Danny Green came on. Fuller put in what looked like a hopeful shot from distance, damaging his hamstring in the process, but the ball soared over the keeper into the roof of the net. After what looked like a potentially disastrous 'after you', Kermorgant scored to make it 2-0. To their credit Peterborough did not give up, but we will able to contain them.

Some doubts have been expressed about the attendance figure of 17,377 and certainly the jackpot draw prize was low and I was able to get to the station with greater ease than usual. However, remember that season ticket holders are counted whether they are there or not.

Match analysis

Ivy the Terrible has added to the collection of Silver Bones held by Ben Hamer. He made some excellent saves which kept us in the game. Morrison had another good game apart from the yellow card. Cort was generally solid, but sometimes his headers are a bit directionless or lack sufficient power. Solly shone again. Seaborne put in a decent shift without being particularly outstanding. Frimpong did not have as good a game as on Saturday. Kerkar showed some nice touches but was not at his best. Opinions differ about Jackson but I thought that he was often too slow. Pritchard was not comfortable playing on the right and got hacked off the park. Fuller did what as asked of a forward, even if he was a little too greedy sometimes. Kermorgant also did what was required and got warm applause when he was substituted, shame that his free kick was not up to his usual high standard. Green was much more effective than on Saturday when he came on. Hulse contributed very well when he came on. Jonsson had a cameo to please Olafur Johansson listening in Grindavik.

Juneau the Soccer Cat has awarded the Hiss of the Match to the Bloke Behind Me. A game like this brings out the worse in him on the lines of 'if I can see it, why can't they see it.

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Thirteen points out of fifteen?

Charlton fans will be hoping for thirteen points out of fifteen tonight as they face bottom club Peterborough. However, it's always dangerous to fall into the 'easy three points' syndrome, particularly given Charlton's stuttering home form. There was a worrying shortage of ideas on Saturday, although it is hoped that both Dan Seaborne and Danny Haynes will be available tonight, avoiding the need for experiments in the left back position and giving us more oomph up front. Chris Powell may, however, want to rest one or two players in anticipation of Saturday's clash at Millwall.

When Peterborough went down 1-4 at home to Blackburn on November 17th, the view of commentators was that Posh were extremely accommodating and the scoreline was in no way harsh on them. It took them half an hour to register an attempt on goal and that went whistling over the bar. In goal Bobby Olejnik was left badly exposed. Nathaniel Knight-Percival didn't know who to pick up at times and Shaun Brisley couldn't handle Blackburn's front men.

In their 1-1 draw at Ipswich last Saturday, Posh showed their battling qualities with manager Darren Ferguson saying 'We've got character in abundance' which is another way of say 'never mind the quality, feel the commitment.' Brisley and Knight-Percival certainly improved on their performances the preceding week. George Thorne looked a class act in central midfield, but up front George Boyd was once again rarely involved.

The Addicks and Posh have only met four times at The Valley in the League with the Addicks winning three of those matches with Posh winning the other one. The solo Posh win came back in the 1992/93 season when Posh won 1-0 in the Division One encounter.

I would expect Peterborough to go for an early goal and a third away win of the campaign is not out of the question. What I would not expect is a draw and I am going for a 3-1 win for the Addicks.

Turkish delight?

Rumours about a possible Turkish takeover have been circulating for a couple of days now, but I cannot find any independent verification of them, although once again there have been reports of sightings in the directors box where there were extra efforts to ensure that seats around Mr Jiminez were dry on Saturday.

The conglomerate Koc (pronounced 'Koch') could certainly afford to fund the club and is in the market for acquisitions, but a football club is not specified in its latest list: Koc

Monday 26 November 2012

Fight back for Posh to start at The Valley

The time has come to stop talking and start winning and the fight back for Peterborough United starts at The Valley tomorrow night according to manager Darren Ferguson: Posh

Ferguson acknowledges that Charlton have strong forwards and a good squad and have been on a decent run, but is calling for more consistency from his squad. However, their morale has not been improved by the theft of two Rolexes and a wedding ring from the away dressing room at Ipswich: Theft. Suffolk police are looking for someone seen driving away from the ground on a souped up tractor.

Following a recent incident in Peterborough, four players were fined and transfer listed by the club. They included the club captain, but he protested that he doesn't drink and had to be up at 8 a.m. the next morning to go to church: Discipline

300 Peterborough supporters have bought tickets for the away end tomorrow night. Come to think of it, I have never met a Peterborough supporter.

Saturday 24 November 2012

Charlton fail to take advantage

Charlton drew 1-1 with 10-man Huddersfield at The Valley today and slipped back to 15th in the table. Next Saturday's opponents Millwall moved into the play off places after a win at Blackburn.

It's not necessarily easy to play against ten men, especially on a very wet surface, but I don't feel we took as much as we could have done from the notional advantage. When a team is down to ten men you need to harry them, pressure them and tire them and we didn't really do that. There was too much neat passing of the ball around at the back while we tried to make our mind up what to do.

Haynes and Seaborne both picked up knocks in training which did not help us, particularly with Haynes currently on form. Kerkar was slotted in at left back which is a position he is far from comfortable in.

Whilst not exactly scrappy, the first half was far from inspiring and it would not have been much of a game for the neutral. Charlton finally went ahead on 60 minutes through Hulse taking advantage of a pinpoint cross from Bradley Pritchard. However, after failing to deal with a series of crosses, we conceded the penalty that gave the visitors a chance to level.

When I read in the programme that the last time Charlton had won four second tier games in a row was 2007, I knew that the chances of equalling that record were not good.

Huddersfield won an early corner following an error by Solly in midfield that gave away possession. The corner from Northern Ireland international Norwood was dangerous and was played back in before being over the bar. Ricardo Fuller launched a counter attack. Charlton won a corner but it was caught. The visitors then broke, but put the ball wide. A Huddersfield corner on eight minutes was caught authoritatively by Hamer.

Jackson put in a good tackle to break up an attack. Dale Stephens over hit a free kick. Hunt looked dangerous on the right. Huddersfield started to step up the pressure as the half hour approached. Lynch went down in apparent agony, something to be repeated later in the game. Fuller won Charlton a couple of free kicks. Charm merchant Dixon got a yellow card, I think for dissent. A Charlton corner was tipped over the bar. Huddersfield launched a counter attack but good work by Bradley Pritchard won Charlton a free kick.

A Ricardo Fuller run ended with the ball going across the face of goal. Hamer was able to claim the ball at the second attempt. Southern put in a high challenge on Morrison in midfield, I thought it was going to be a yellow, but referee Mr Collins had no hesitation in showing the red. Chris Powell said after the game that it was not a red card.

Bradley Pritchard got a yellow card for nothing in particular. Morrison conceded a rather unnecessary corner.

HT 0-0

The half time was enlivened by the news that Rick Everitt had won one of the smaller Valley Gold prizes which should be a useful supplement to his jobseekers' allowance. Huddersfield won a corner but Hamer saved confidently. Stephens won Charlton a corner, but the move ended with an offside decision. Chris Solly put in a poor cross. But he redeemed himself on 59 minutes with a nice shimmy which allowed Bradley Pritchard to put in a great cross from which Hulse scored.

Ricardo Fuller broke away, he was fouled but continued to advance. Unfortunately, his shot was just wide. Adam Clayton won a yellow card for his attentions on Fuller. Kerkar put in some good work. The attendance was announced at 20,012 which was encouraging, particularly given that some regulars were on the Lewisham A & E march.

A Huddersfield corner led to some frantic play as the crosses came in. Solly was judged to have committed a foul. Simon Grayson said afterwards that he did not think it was a foul, but the referee was keen to even things up. Clayton dispatched the ball past Hamer into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.

Charlton did apply some pressure in the last four minutes, drawing a save from Smithies and winning two corners, but they were unable to score. It was a disappointing result and performance and the moaners have been out in force blaming Chris Powell's ineptitude. However, it is difficult to see who else he could have played at left back, as moving Solly across would have meant moving Morrison to right back, where he is not comfortable, and bringing in Dervitte. Just too many changes. It is four games unbeaten which is good for a team with mid-table ambitions.

Match analysis

Ivy the Terrible has awarded the Silver Bone to debutante Emmanuel Frimpong who fully lived up to his billing, showing commitment, energy and some really nice touches. Our play lost something when he had to go off after picking up a knock, apparently it was just cramp.

Hamer dropped the ball in the build up the penalty. In the first half the ball slipped out of his hands and he had to pounce on it. If the attacking player had been more alert, he might have scored. Morrison was solid throughout and moved the ball forward nicely on occasions. Some of the headers by Cort were insufficiently powerful or well directed and nearly got us into trouble. Kerkar was uncomfortable at left back, was unable to contribute to attack in his normal way and was given a torrid time by Hunt. Solly contributed well and set up Pritchard to deliver his cross for the goal. The penalty was awarded against him, but I don't blame him for the preceding chaos and confusion. Pritchard was his useful busy self, but sometimes lacks pace. Stephens did not contribute that much and one potentially promising free kick was disappointing. The contribution by Jackson was also relatively limited. Hulse was anonymous for much of the game, but did what was required when the scoring opportunity presented himself. Fuller shows real touches of quality and good pace, just needs a little more accuracy in the final delivery.

Bringing Danny Green on posed some interesting questions. He looked lacklustre and rusty at first and didn't get forward enough, although admittedly he was at risk of being caught offside. His team mates seemed reluctant to pass to him, which perhaps suggests a lack of confidence in his abilities. He did come into the game much more in the last few minutes, but by then it was too late. The arrival of Yann Kermorgant was warmly greeted by the Addickted as a promise of better times, but he did not have many opportunities to contribute.

Juneau the Soccer Cat has given the Hiss of the Match to charm merchant Jack Hunt. He is not lacking in ability, but spent the whole game arguing with the referee and was lucky not to get booked.

Injury worries for Huddersfield

Huddersfield Town boss Simon Grayson feels that his side are entering a defining part of their season. He is expecting a tough game at The Valley today, acknowledging that Charlton are a hard working side who give their all and are not entirely without quality: Huddersfield

Grayson faces injury worries in his attack. Jermaine Beckford and Sean Scannell are doubtful while another forward, James Vaughan, has been out for five games with a thigh strain. Grayson is likely to start with Simon Church, on loan from Reading, and Lee Novak.

In the 1-2 home defeat to Brighton last Saturday Novak found his job difficult because of a lack of possession in the final third while Church missed a glorious chance in the first half, but scored later on. In goal Alex Smithies was let down by poor defending. Oliver Norwood is a busy and lively midfielder who always makes himself available for the ball.

Two of the pundits had Huddersfield finishing 18th at the beginning of the season and the other 14th. A lot was thought to depend on whether Jordan Rhodes would stay, which he didn't. However, Huddersfield have confounded expectations and are now in eighth place having won four of their eight away games. Fans are now demanding investment in the Christmas transfer window to make a push for the Premiership.

It's my fourth trip down to London this week after the House of Commons, UCL and the Sky studios at Millbank, but one I am particularly looking forward to with hopes of a home victory by two goals to one.

Friday 23 November 2012

Swindon wanted Green

Richard 'Creepy' Crawley has tweeted that Swindon wanted Danny Green on an emergency loan, but Charlton did not agree. Three younger players went out on loan yesterday to gain experience: Loan

The bookies have Charlton as favourites to win tomorrow, but Huddersfield are hoping that their solid away record and the indifferent record of Charlton at home will count in their favour: Huddersfield

The weather forecast does not look too promising with the prospect of heavy rain arriving by the start of the game and possibly high winds as well which does not make for a good match.

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Semedo returns trophy

Jose Semedo has returned his Player of the Year trophy to Charlton which means that it will now be presented to the runner up, Chris Solly, on the pitch before the game against Huddersfield on Saturday.

Andy Hunt once pointed out that most players will play for several clubs during the course of their careers and it is unreasonable to expect them to have a special attachment to any one of them. Indeed, most players support other clubs, e.g., Chris Powell and Spurs.

Nevertheless, returning a trophy you won through the votes of fans is a little unusual, although no doubt many such trophies are hidden away in bottom drawers. Semedo told the Sun, 'I was very happy at Charlton but this one is the true happiness, I’m a 100 million times more happy here.'

Semedo has, of course, become very popular at Sheffield Wednesday, forging a special bond with their fans. At Nottingham Forest on Saturday Owls fans staged a special Semedo Day or Portugal Day complete with Semedo masks: Semedo. Nothing wrong with that: indeed, living in a town with a large Portuguese speaking population, I have asked for a course to improve my very limited Portuguese for Christmas.

Of course, it could serve as a distraction from Wednesday's current position just above the relegation zone. However, Dave Jones said after Saturday's match, 'There's no one in this division who's any better than us.' Admittedly, former Addick Miguel Llera deciding the match with a own goal was unluckly, but there's a limit to how much can be put down to bad luck or biased referees.

Tuesday 20 November 2012

In praise of Bradley Pritchard

Bradley Pritchard has won a lot of friends of Charlton for his total commitment and his willigness to develop as a player. Read more about him here: Pritchard

Monday 19 November 2012

Frimpong deal done

Described as a 'coup' by the media, Charlton have signed Emmanuel Frimpong on loan from Arsenal until January: Frimpong .

The news is particularly welcome with Dale Stephens currently out of action. It has not gone down too well in Wolverhampton with Wolves venting their annoyance on Twitter. You can read some comments from dismayed Wolves fans at the bottom of this report: Wolves .

The loan signing has captured some attention as Charlton is trending on Twitter which doesn't happen that often.

Saturday 17 November 2012

Charlton win away

Charlton defeated Burnley 1-0 at Turf Moor in their third consecutive victory. They are now 14th in the table but on the same number of points as Millwall in 11th place (that was before Millwall's winning goal against Leeds United in the last minute of injury time). They are five points away from the last play off place.

The home side started off brightly and Chris McCann tried to break the deadlock in the eighth minute by shooting from just outside the area, but his effort missed the target.

Then Kieran Trippier was sent off on 15 minutes for a handball offence in the penalty area, but Lee Grant in the Burnley goal managed to save a relatively weak penalty shot from Johnnie Jackson.

While the home side were able to weather the storm of being down to 10 men in the first half, the second half was a different story as Charlton began to get on top and launch a number of attacking efforts. Their pressure paid off when Danny Haynes found the back of the net from a headed effort inside the penalty area courtesy of a cross from Robert Hulse. Mirror football tweeted that it was a goal straight out of the strikers' manual.

The home side piled on the pressure in the closing minutes. With six minutes to go, an Austin header was blocked and the follow up saved by Hamer. Chris Powell brought on Dervitte and Taylor to shore up the defence. Dale Stephens was unable to play because of illness.

The Football League Paper reports that Chris Powell 'was involved in an angry confrontation with home fans after the final whistle'. Powell later said, 'Tensions and emotions run high and I understand that. But, of course, if they feel my language was wrong, then I feel it was two-fold.' Certainly the home fans were very aggrieved after the sending off decision which was on the harsh side.'

Eggert Jonsson was given his first start for the Addicks, but was substituted after 53 minutes by Fuller as Chris Powell went for a more attacking formation to secure the win. However, he is given a rating of only 5 by the FLP which was the lowest rating for a Charlton player.

Four players received 7 scores: Michael Morrison; Johnnie Jackson; Salam Kerkar; and Danny Haynes.

Frimpong in on loan?

Reports are circulating that Charlton may sign Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong on loan on Monday with a view to a permanent deal in January, although Frimpong is quoted in the Daily Telegraph today in saying he is only interested in a loan deal. He has eighteen months left on his Arsenal contract.

There were reports in June that the Addicks were interested in him. He was born in Ghana, but moved to Haringey at an early age.

Wolves had been interested in taking him on loan, but were not convinced by his fitness. The midfielder picked up a serious knee injury last season. Ipswich Town are also said to be interested.

More about Frimpong here: Frimpong .

Friday 16 November 2012

No glamour but solid endeavour

Charlton have lost only two league games away this season, but Burnley have lost at home only once and have won five of their eight games at home. All this makes for an interesting clash at Turf Moor tomorrow, although Charlton have lost their last two games in the Championship there. I was at the last one, a 2-1 defeat on a murky Tuesday in February. Burnley are no doubt hoping for a fifth successive home win against the Addicks, a sequence that started in 1983.

The pundits had Burnley in positions between 10th and 19th pre-season, but since then they have lost their manager with Sean Dyche now in charge. However, while there is not much expectation that they will get into the play offs, they are unlikely to be relegated either. They appeared to be out of their depth in their one season in the Premiership, but they are solid enough at Championship level.

Up front former brickie Charles Austin was the top scorer last season with 16 goals. However, in the 2-1 defeat the Clarets suffered at Ipswich last Saturday he was very quiet and well shackled by the Ipswich defence. In defence Michael Duff was strong in the air and on the ground, while Chris McCann was the best midfielder. He kept pushing and probing and never gave up.

On Monday I was phoned by a rather bemused and flustered reporter from the Bristol Evening Post. There is certainly an issue about why Bristol is punching below its sporting weight, but the relatively small and far from prosperous town of Burnley has long punched above its weight in football terms. This match is between two of the least glamorous and fashionable teams in the Championship. All the officials are from 'oop north and it may be that northern grit will end Charlton's good run on the road which has lasted since mid-September, but I am going for a draw.

Thursday 15 November 2012

Was this the greatest goal?

Four Four Two used social media to ask their readers what they thought was the greatest goal they had seen their club score. The quest was focused on the relatively recent past.

Charlton fans nominated Sean Bartlett's goal against Leicester City at The Valley on 1 April 2001: 'Like everyone else inside the groud that day, Foxes full-back Gary Rowett expevts the South African maestro to take a touch rather than attempting a visionary Valley volley. But with both feet off the ground, striker Bartlett dispatches Graeme Stuart's raking diagonal pass with enviable nonchalance. A worthy Goal of the Season winner.'

I still have the commemorative t-shirt. But what other goals might qualify? One by Johnnie Robinson away at Huddersfield from distance was certainly good. A memorable goal, if not a great one, was the header by Richard Rufus in the play-off final. A scruffed goal scored by Keith Jones in a 1-0 win against Liverpool at The Valley comes to mind. Luke Young scored a rather good goal at home to Liverpool in a 2-0 victory.

But I'm sure there are many other candidates.

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Jenkinson: the shock of stepping up from Charlton

Former Addick Carl Jenkinson has been called up to the England squad, a move that partly reflects a more proactive stance by England towards the dual nationality issue. He has already played for Finland at under-17 and under-19 level.

His father works for London Underground refurbishing trains, but was once an athlete, training with Seb Coe and competing in the 1983 World Championships in Helsinki. Perhaps that explains where he met his wife he does the payrolls for a firm near the family home in Harlow.

Reflecting on the move from Charlton, Jenkinson told the Evening Standard, 'To go from Charlton, who were then a League 1 club, to a club with a lot of focus on it was a huge shock. I was a bit blown away by the interest from the press. I've gradually adjusted to it with practice but I'd be lying if I said I was a natural.

He has just re-signed for Arsenal until 2018 and is on a £1.8m a year deal, so that should help the adjustment process.

Hollands joins Rocking Robins

As expected, Danny Hollands has gone out on loan, but not to join Bournemouth once again. Rather he is joining Paolo di Canio and the Rocking Robins in Swindon.

Hollands is one of the players who has found the transition from League 1 challenging. However, apparently Scott Wagstaff has not been doing too well at Orient. In any event he has now returned to the Addicks: Wagstaff

Monday 12 November 2012

Hulse: my John Lewis hell

Rob Hulse has talked to the The Football League Paper about the way in which he was shunned by first Neil Warnock and then Mark Hughes at QPR. He returned in the summer to find that he had been left out of the Super Hoops' 25-man squad and not even given a shirt number.

As a result, he was left to spend long, lonely Saturdays traipsing round the department stores of London. Former Addick Luke Young was another victim of the 'left out in the cold' treatment. 'We were made to train at different times, stay away from games.'

You'd generally be in training on a Saturday morning. Then you'd have the rest of the day off, which was pretty weird. You'd be walking round John Lewis with the kids. Then you'd get to the TV department and see all the scores coming in or a match on telly. It just felt really, really wrong.'

Hulse continued, 'I'm not just used to being on the bench and I've only made 12 starts for QPR in two years. That's made me very moody at times.'

Speaking of Charlton he said, 'there's no lack of quality here. It's just a case of adjusting to the pace and power of the division and then beloeving they're good enough.

Sunday 11 November 2012

Shipshape and Bristol fashion

Charlton won a convincing 2-0 victory over Bristol City at Ashton Gate this afternoon. This puts Charlton 16th on the table, albeit ahead of three other teams on goal difference, but we are only two points behind Blackpool and Wolves.

Loan player Danny Seaborne came into the Charlton side at Ashton Gate at the expense of Dorian Dervite, reports Paul May. The minute’s silence at the beginning of the game to mark Remembrance Sunday was impeccably observed.

Charlton had more of the opening play, but they did not threaten. Danger man Adomah put in a cross, but Solly put in a fine block to stop the attacking Bristol player (not quite sure who it was). An effort by Kerkar, after Haynes had launched an attack, was tipped round the post by the keeper to give the Addicks the opening corner of the game. A second corner followed, but Jackson’s corner went out of play for a goal kick.

Pritchard floated in a cross, but Jackson could not connect and Bristol launched a counter attack which did not lead to a real threat.

A shot by Kerkar from distance had the keeper back pedalling, but the ball went over. One time Charlton prospect Sam Baldock put in a shot from distance which was well wide. Stephens hit the post, Haynes scored from the follow up and glanced anxiously at the assistant referee, but the flag was not raised. The home players dropped their heads.

Hulse was offering good link up play. Pritchard was up against Fontaine who is a much taller player, but he won the header. Haynes was not sure if he was offside and hit the outside of the post. Baldock suddenly came alive and Stephens had to deal with the attack. As Adomah threatened, Hamer dived to claim the ball. The home supporters started to boo skipper Fontaine.

City supporter Hamer had to save from Baldock. Haynes gave the ball away and went down and Solly had to put in a hard but fair tackle. Bristol City won a free kick. The delivery was poor, and after a deflection which improved it, Hamer was able to claim the ball.

Hulse was brought down and a free kick was awarded. Stephens put in a decent delivery, but it was cleared. Solly fed Pritchard who fed Haynes and the home side had to concede a corner with Kerkar threatening. The corner from Stephens was decent enough, but the move ended in a goal kick.

Briggs ran cynically into Pritchard, but there was no booking. Charlton continued to apply pressure and the home fans were restive. Some of them drifted out for an early pie. Solly got round his man, but was not able to feed Haynes or Hulse. Bristol City did come into the game more as half time approached. Hamer had to come out to deal with a cross.

Baldock won a Bristol’s first corner in the 45th minute. Hamer punched clear, Kilkenny floated the ball in and Hamer dealt with it well under pressure to the admiration of his relatives among the home fans. As the half time whistle was sounded, there were some boos from the home fans. Of the crowd of 13,009, 1017 were Addicks.

HT: Robins 0, Addicks 1

Haynes broke through, but shot wide. Bristol City won a corner. The ball was cleared from danger. Charlton continued to harry when necessary and give the home side no time on the ball. Baldock clearly thought he was playing for owner Steve Lansdown’s rugby side and put the ball way over the crossbar.

Jackson intercepted well as Adomah threatened. Stephens shot and the keeper had to tip the ball over the bar. The corner was saved, but on 56 minutes Morrison scored to give the Addicks a vital second goal (the BBC attributed it to loan player Seaborne). Bristol made a double substitution. On 69 minutes the home side us up their final substitution.

After they went 2-0 down, City started to cause more problems, particularly through Adomah and Dervitte was brought on in place of Haynes and the Addicks switched to 4-5-1. Fontaine wrestled with Hulse and Charlton won the free kick nearly 30 yards out. Jackson’s left footed effort went just wide.

Bristol City won a free kick about 35 yards out, but it went harmlessly wide. Ben Hamer made a save with his fist, but then Seaborne had to clear on the line at the expense of a corner. The offside flag was raised and Ricardo Fuller came on in place of Rob Hulse, who had put in a good shift, on 86 minutes.

A tiring Kerkar was taken off and replaced by Taylor in the four minutes of time added on.

Bristol's sporting malaise

Quite an interesting article on this subject: Bristol

Should Charlton win today, they will move ahead of Leeds United and Birmingham City. To get past Bolton they need to win by a two goal margin. Bristol City are in the middle of their worst run since 2005 when they lost ten games in succession.

It's going to be an odd day for Ben Hamer as he was a season ticket holder at Ashton Gate for four to five years and all his family still support them.

The Football League Paper predicts the following line up: Hamer; Seaborne; Morrison; Cort; Solly; Karkar; Jackson; Stephens; Pritchard; Haynes; Hulse. How much confidence one should have in their predictions is open to question as they name Albert Adomah as the Charlton danger man.

Four Four Two said of Adomah at the beginning of the season, 'the £3m-rated winger was playing for Harrow Borough four years ago. An impressive spell at Barnet saw him join City for £150,000 in 2010, where his trickery has made him a favourite. His fine wing play was one of the few highlights last term.'

Friday 9 November 2012

Eggert Jonsson in on loan

Olafur announces the news

Grindavik, Iceland: I am mightly chuffed to see that Charlton once again have an Iceland international in the squad, reports No.1 Iceland Addick Olafur Johansson.

Eggert Jonsson was signed by Wolves from Hearts at the beginning of the season but has only made seven appearances for the Black Country side.

Jonsson is a versatile player who is normally a central midfielder but can also play at centre back: Jonsson

Pravda is tweeting that Danny Hollands is likely to go out on loan. Third choice goalkeeper John Sullivan has joined Colchester United on loan.

Fight your fear says Robins boss

Bristol City boss Steve McInnes has urged his players to fight the fear and apprehension they feel as they face Charlton on Sunday: Fear factor

I can see why the Robins supremo may be apprehensive, given that his side have lost six games on the trot and Charlton have a strong away record. However, I am not sure 'overcome your nerves' is the best message to send out to his players. Indeed, the usual implict message when the Addicks visit is 'easy three points'. One wonders if what McInnes is really frightened of is succumbing to the curse of Charlton and losing his job.

While Tuesday's victory over Cardiff will have given the team a confidence boost, it is clear that the injury wracked Charlton side is fragile at the back, although getting Solly and Morrison back into position must help. The performance by Danny Haynes was also a bright spot on Tuesday.

The City fan writing in Four Four Two at the beginning of the season wasn't too optimistic about their chances. He noted 'Relegation is a genuine possibility this year' and forecast a bottom six finish, noting that the team 'lacked quality'. Indeed, this was evident in a season-long struggle against relegation and a 20th place finish last season. Four Four Two had the Robins finishing 23rd, but The Football League Paper had them finishing 20th again.

The Times also had them at 23rd (where they are now) noting that 'The somewhat underwhelming raft of summer arrivals does little to suggest the club can improve on their scrape with relegation.'

So what is going on down there? Bristol is a major city with a strong sense of pride and identity: it is the only city voting for its own elected mayor this month. Admittedly, there are two football clubs in the city in what has always been egg chasing territory. Indeed, City chairman Steve Lansdown became the major shareholder in the leading local rugby side earlier this year, having been bankrolling them since 2008: Egg chasing . They don't seem to have been that successful either.

Chairman Lansdown is by nature fairly cautious, although plans for a new stadium had run into all sorts of problems with NIMBY opposition. The club faced a legal setback in their battle earlier this year and one wonders how much it has been a distraction from building up the team: Ashton Vale . With his business partner he built up Hargreaves Lansdown from a back bedroom operation into a major listed company providing a funds and shares supermarket service. [They are my stockbrokers and I have to say that I am very satsified with them]. He sold a 4.7 per cent stake in the company for over £47m in 2009 and now lives in Guernsey. In 2010 he realised another £58m. But evidently he is not in the business of splashing his hard earned cash on the team.

I originally had this game down as a draw, but the Addicks could well win. Odds (Coral) are: Bristol City 11/8, Draw 5/2, Charlton 9/5.

Charlton shore up defence

The Addicks have shored up their injury hit defence with a one month loan of Danny Seaborne from Southampton: Seaborne

He can play at centre back or left back. Presumably he will slot in at left back allowing Solly to revert to being right back.

Millwall tried to sign him on loan last month, but Southampton wanted his wages paid in full: Millwall

I have now found his Wikipedia entry: Seaborne . He hails from Barnstaple in deepest Devon and was taken on as a trainee by Exeter, but was then loaned out to various teams such as Clyst Rovers. He also suffered a broken leg in a game against Bodmin, but interestingly eventually formed an effective defensive partnership with Matt Taylor.

Elliott in as chairman

As we revealed a few weeks ago, Paul Elliott is set to be chairman of Charlton, subject to the final agreement of financial terms: Elliott

Here is the Mirror story: Welcome back

It should be noted that in the earlier stories Elliott himself gave no confirmation. The story was prematurely leaked to the Mirror from within the club, I am given to understand.

Predictably the media is going to focus on the black manager/black chairman angle, but I think of them as former Charlton players.

Thursday 8 November 2012

Curse of Charlton haunts City manager

The curse of Charlton is haunting Bristol City manager Steve McInnes whose team has lost six matches in a row. City owner Steve Lansdown [of Hargreaves Lansdown, the funds supermarket] is a cautious man, but McInnes admits that it's a real six pointer on Sunday: Bristol City

A message from our sponsor

Sample product

Our sponsors, Kingdom Signs (see link in Links for the Addickted) thought it was about time we did something for them. With Christmas coming up, they wish to draw attention to the competitively priced stocking fillers they have on E-bay: Kingdom Signs

Products include a small set of kids stickers, Wheelie Bin stickers also personalised graphics for Spare wheelcovers: the stickers are about £2.50 the wheelcover £17.99 all include VAT and free P+P.

Cardiff plan was to turn Addickted against team

Cardiff City's game plan on Tuesday was to turn the Addickted against the team. In fact Charlton fans reacted with great spirit, keeping up a barrage of noise in support of Chris Powell and the players, later supplemented by chants of 'Enger-land'.

Cardiff defender Matthew Connolly said: 'We knew Charlton had had a bad result against Boro on the weekend and that their home form had not been that good. We wanted to try to score early and get their fans turning against them. We knew they were short of confidence.'

He continued, 'And we scored two and at that stage, not that I was being over confident, but I thought, we’ve got this now. It didn’t happen, we made too many mistakes. Fair play to Charlton I thought they worked very hard. But we gave away bad goals at bad times.'

It can be a strange place, Wales. My oldest Welsh-speaking nephew (all this arises from his mum taking a pony trekking holiday in Wales) visited when he was very young and started shouting in great alarm 'Cwn Ytar' (at least that's what it sounded like to me). I wondered if there was a fire. Then I realised he was pointing at the dog and what he was saying was 'Dog in the house'. The only dogs he knew were sheepdogs who had to live outside. I suppose that explains the self-deprecatory chant of 'sheep shaggers' by the Cardiff fans early in the game.

He has left Wales as an adult, but continues to support Aberystwyth and prefers football to egg chasing. I did think of taking him to Charlton when he got older, but he was terrified by the tube.

At the station after the game, a Cardiff fan was getting some banter about his long journey home. 'I only live down the road,' he declared in the accent of the valleys (which makes a change from Manchester United supporters who have never been near Manchester). 'Well you **** off back there,' came the reply.

BTW, Lord Kinnock was at the match.

High scoring Charlton matches

After Tuesday night I was wondering if that was the highest aggregate score I have ever seen at The Valley and I think that it was. The closest I can remember is a 4-4 draw with Norwich when were 2-4 down not long before the end. To my everlasting disappointment I missed the 7-6 against Huddersfield as we were Christmas shopping in Woolwich, so all I have is the commemorative sweatshirt (which attracted a lot of interest when I wore it when I was living in the States).

Thanks to research by Chalfont St. Peter Addick Richard Sheppard we have found that the last 5-4 was in wartime when we beat Crystal Palace in South A Regional League on 30 December 1939 in front of a crowd of 1,910. Our score included an own goal and a penalty, but we missed a penalty as well.

1960 was a bumper year for high scores. On Boxing Day we beat Plymouth Argyle 6-4 at The Valley in front of a crowd of 11,196, the order of the goals being 0-1, 2-1, 2-2, 3-2, 3-3. 4-3, 4-4, 6-4. Stuart Leary scored for Charlton. We went to Plymouth the following day and lost 6-4. The match went 1-0, 1-1, 2-1, 2-2. 4-2, 4-3, 5-3, 5-4, 6-4. The match marked Hewie's first appearance after his return from South Africa, but he gave away a penalty. Duff was the Charlton keeper.

On October 1st in that year we hadbeaten Portsmouth 7-4 at The Valley. Then a fortnight later we had 6-6 draw with Middlesbrough with seven of the goals arriving in a 17-minute spell. The final Charlton equaliser was scored by Summers in the 89th minute.

Other high scores in the calendar year 1960 were Cardiff City 5, Charlton 1; Charlton 5, Plymouth Argyle 2; Swansea 5, Charlton 2; Lincoln 5, Charlton 3; Charlton 5, Scunthorpe 2; Charlton 6, Portsmouth 1; Brighton 3, Charlton 5.

Duff was the unchallenged Charlton keeper during this period, having been brought in after leaving the Army. Whilst playing for the Addicks he conceded 231 goals. On one occasion he was suspended for 14 days after knocking out Everton's David Hickson. He was sold to Peterborough in 1963.

In 1978 we drew 5-5 with Bristol Rovers away. This was the highest scoring draw in the Football League for 12 years.

In 1995-6 we beat then Premier League outfit Wimbledon 5-4 in the league cup at Selhurst Park. Bowyer became the youngest Charlton player to score a hat-trick in an away game. Among the Charlton scorers was Garland and I remember seeing a video of the highights of the match: his goal might be summed up as 'lucky strike from guy who had eaten too many pies.'

I was among the 9,824 at The Valley for the return fixture. Like the first leg, it was an ill tempered affair with lots of bookings. It was 2-3 after 90 minutes which put the match into extra time. Johnnie Robinson, having earlier given away a penalty, scored the decisive goal on 97 minutes. I think I have a video of that match somewhere. We went out in a 3rd round replay at home to Wolves.

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Only at Charlton

Yesterday a pessimist said that given that we had lost 1-4 against Boro and Cardiff were top of the table, he was expecting a cricket score last night. Well in a sense he got one as the Addicks won a roller coaster match 5-4 to defeat the league leaders.

Cardiff went 0-2 ahead within half an hour, but the Addickted kept up their chanting, and thanks in part to errors by the visitors it was 2-2 at half time. We then established a 5-2 lead and the Addickted were chanting 'give us six'. But a sixth goal didn't come and there was another number six as the referee somehow managed to add an extra six minutes to the second half. Cardiff then scored another two and it was hearts in mouth time, but finally the whistle blew and we had secured three points and defeated the league leaders.

I'm sure there has been a scoreline like this at The Valley before, but I can't remember it and it must be one of the highest aggregate scores I have seen ever. There didn't seem to be much enthusiasm for Chris Powell's removal as the Covered End chanted 'Chris Powell's red and white army' and 'Chrissy Powell'.

The team selection, which included Morgan Fox, reflected the fact that we were reportedly down to 16 fit players. Playing Morrison at right back is a sign of the pressure we were under because he can't cross.

After three minutes Hamer turned away a shot from Noone, leading to a corner. Peter Whittingham's delivery was met by a glancing header from Helgusson to make it 0-1. Solly put in a good cross but Kerkar put in a desperately poor shot. Chris Solly won a free kick, but it was collected by the keeper.

Cort conceded a corner, follwed by a second. A header from former Addick Hudson bounced off the bar. Helguson's rebound was kept out by Hamer only for Mason to mop up the loose ball from six yards out.

Charlton's play for most of the first half was poor, while Cardiff were in cruise control. Charlton won some corners, but then on 39 minutes Marshall in the Cardiff goal spilled a cross and Jackson struck into the roof of the net to make it 1-2.

It wasn't clear to me how the referee managed to find two minutes to add on, but it worked in our favour as Hulse had a shot cleared off the Cardiff line and Jackson headed home from the corner.

Half time: Addicks 2, Bluebirds/Red Dragons/Purples 2

Cardiff, playing in their traditional shirts, came out of the traps at speed and a corner on 50 minutes went on to the roof of the net. Then Charlton won a free kick two minutes later 45 yards out and on the touchline taken by Dale Stephens. As the Bloke Behind Me screamed 'Too deep!' the ball went in the net to make it 2-3.

Poor defending by Cardiff allowed Haynes the space from which to head in an excellent cross from Bradley Pritchard on the 59th minute. Six minutes later Hulse was left unmarked to head home a Jackson cross.

The referee gets a bonus for every minute of time added on: that's the only reason I can think that he found six minutes, although I suppose his blizzard of yellow cards added up. This gave Cardiff the opportunity to score two goals and a late free kick set the nerves jangling.

The attendance of 15,764 was disappointing but understandable given last Saturday and the competition of football on television, but it was more than at Selhurst Park where Crystal Palace went top of the table.

The away game at Bristol City looks winnable and if we do win that, the 'Powell Out' crowd, who were drowned out by the enthusisam of the crowd, may have to pipe down for a while.

Match analysis

Ivy the Terrible has awarded the Silver Bone to Danny Haynes who made some great runs down the right. Our performance started to flag a bit when he had to go off with cramp. If the keeper concedes four goals you have to ask some questions even if the defence is weakened and Hamer perhaps might have done more for the last two. There were also other occasions when he needed to come of his line and left his defence with too much too. Solly put in a storming performance at left back, but I would still like to see him in his favoured position. Morrison is not really well suited to being right back, but he did his best. Cort was a bit lumbering at times. Dervitte tidied up neatly and made some good interceptions. Pritchard was busy as ever and created one of the goals, but there are limits to his skill. Stephens scored one of the goals, perhaps a little fortunately. Still a question of a glass half full or half empty for me. Kerkar was denounced as a luxury player by the Bloke Behind Me and urged to return to the Scottish third division. Sometimes he does try to show more skill than he actually has. Some of us would like to have seen Jackson start at left back, but perhaps it is as well that he didn't given that he scored two goals. Hulse scored a goal and put the effort in, but I have reservations about him. Wright-Phillips had one shot blocked when he came on, but he still looks like a player who has not made the transition to a higher level. Hollands had a cameo.

Juneau the Soccer Cat had no hesitation in awarding the Hiss of the Match to the referee K Stroud for finding six minutes to add on and issuing a blizzard of yellow cards in what was far from a dirty match.

Tuesday 6 November 2012

How to choose a new manager

One reason I am glad that I did not make the 'Boro game is that every Bloke Behind Me in the ground was shouting out their choice of a new manager. As one person who left a comment yesterday remarked, the BBMs were going for managers whose name started with 'W' (Warnock, Wise etc.) which suggested that they themselves could be called a six letter word beginning with 'W'.

How do these Onanists think we could afford to compensate Chris Powell and hire a really talented new manager? The exact financial situation of the club is a matter of uncertainty and dispute, but one story that has circulated is that five players chose by Sir Chris were ready to sign up in the summer but the money was no longer available.

However, should we seek a new manager, we can call on the advice of 'Chevvy' Singh, the so-called 'global advisor' of Blackburn Rovers.

Chevvy, whose previous career in football was as a commentator on Asian TV, reckons there are three types of manager:

  • 1.The wise old head, the senior men [think Alan Curbishley]
  • 2.The middle group who have been in management enough and have tasted success and failure.
  • 3.The young, vibrant, dynamic, modern-thinking manager who could be the Next Big Thing [Chris Powell?]

Needless to say, Chevvy things that Blackburn's new manager, Henning Berg, is a rare mixture of types two and three.

The Times suggested five alternative categories on Saturday:

  • 1.The unwise old head
  • 2.The middle-aged ex-pro with an undistinguished playing career behind him who has tasted only failure at management level and consequently has anger management issues.
  • 3.The foreign manager who without question ticks the box marked 'foreign manager'
  • 4.The over-promoted goalkeeping coach.
  • 5.Neil Warnock [who fits the Charlton 'W' category].

Good managers don't grow on trees and we should be grateful for what we have.

Monday 5 November 2012

Bluebirds look forward to three easy points

Cardiff City have lost their last four matches away, but tomorrow night they go to Charlton Athletic where they hope to claim three easy points: Bluebirds

This might seem realistic given that, as another blogger has pointed out, Charlton's home record would place them in the bottom two while their away record would put them in the top ten.

'Where has it all gone wrong at home?' tweets Richard 'Creepy' Crawley, inviting Charlton fans to send in their moans and groans to Pravda.

The usual suspects have come up with their answer: Chris Powell. The most extreme view is that Powell has one game left, but others argue that whilst he could cut it in League 1, he is not up to the challenges of the Championship and unless he is sacked, relegation looms. As usual, no apparent saviour is on offer.

I would accept the argument that Sir Chris made mistakes in his team selection last Saturday. A 4-5-1 formation would have been better, particularly with Bradley Wright-Phillips clearly lacking confidence. But even Sir Alex Ferguson makes mistakes sometimes.

We are about where I expected to be at this stage of the season (I have the only accurate points forecast at the moment on CAFCPicks). However, I have always thought that the team needed one or two more quality players to make it truly competitive, not least in central midfield.

Our problems have been compounded by injuries. The latest one is to Wilson, who as Drinking During the Game has pointed out was originally nominated as scapegoat of the year, but has really improved since he came to The Valley.

Despite our injury problems, and the undoubted strength of promotion contenders Cardiff City, I do not think that Tuesday night's game is a foregone conclusion. Otherwise I wouldn't make the journey down to London with a return home on Wednesday morning. And, even if we lose, I hope Chris Powell stays.

Saturday 3 November 2012

Charlton collapse at home

After holding Middlesbrough 1-1 at half time, Charlton collapsed in the second half, conceding three goals and losing the match 1-4. Charlton's defeats up to now in the Championship have always been by just one goal. The Addicks are now just one place above the relegation zone with Ipswich winning at Birmingham under new manager Mick McCarthy.

The Addicks started well and within two minutes came close to taking the lead when Bradley Pritchard headed Bradley Wright-Phillips’ left sided cross inches over Jason Steele’s crossbar.

Boro’s sluggish start continued and they were made to pay when Charlton took a 13th minute lead. Josh McEachran lost out to Pritchard in the middle and he played in Hulse, who fired low in to Steele’s near post.

The equaliser came in the 27th minute when Jonathan Woodgate got on the end of Grant Leadbitter’s free-kick to send his unmarked header past Ben Hamer. The goal gave Boro life and unnerved Charlton, who had been relatively untested before. However, Charlton continued to look dangerous on the break and Hulse came close to adding his second when he headed Lawrie Wilson’s cross over the bar.

Boro again looked vulnerable from an Addicks corner when Steele challenged Leon Cort for the ball. The Boro keeper couldn’t get his hands on it but luckily for Boro a deflection took it out for a goal kick.

Within ten minutes of the restart Mowbray’s men took the lead. McEachran robbed Morrisson in the middle and sent McDonald free down the left channel. The Australian looked as if he had ran the ball too far, but he finished across Hamer in to the bottom corner.

Two became three for Boro on 63 minutes when McDonald flicked on a long ball in to the path of Ledesma and after setting himself up, the attacker sent a lob over Hamer from outside the area.

The visitors were firmly in control and McDonald, who now has five goals in his last seven games, almost made it four with an angled first time strike that forced a good save from Hamer.

Substitute Lukas Jutkiewicz almost made it four when he collected McDonald’s pass inside the area and cut inside but his shot hit the far post and just missed the advancing McEachran.

A fourth goal did come in added on time when Richie Smallwood finished from Leadbitter’s cross at the back post.

The attendance was 17,744, of which 1,694 were Boro supporters.

Charlton now face another tough test at The Valley on Tuesday when they face Cardiff City.

Holloway takes over at Selhurst

Ian Holloway has swapped the delights of Blackpool for those of Croydon as he becomes manager of Crystal Palace: Holloway .

Holding a pile of Nectar vouchers, he said that it was too good an opportunity to miss.

Two stern tests in a row

With the visits of Middlesbrough today and Cardiff City on Tuesday, the Addicks face two tough home games in a row. The odds for today (Coral) are home win 6/4, draw 23/10, away win 7/4. In other words, another match that could go one of three ways.

Boro beat Sunderland 1-0 in the league cup at the Stadium of Light earlier in the week (Tom Morris once pointed out that the light was not that good and he had the meter readings to prove it). The Times reported, 'reflecting Mowbray's desire for neat possession, [Boro] played with the confidence of a team on a four-match winning streak ... On the break, they offered pace and verve, a combination that deservedly earned them the advantage in the first half.'

Scott McDonald came off the bench to score twice against Bolton to give Boro victory last Saturday and he also scored the winner against Sunderland. But the Australian was not even part of Boro's first team squad for the first two months of the season after a falling out with the manager. However, he is clearly now very much a threat.

One time Addick Nicky Bailey was a bench warmer against Bolton, but featured in the Sunderland game, delivering a wild shot on goal. I would have thought that he is quite likely to play today.

In goal, Jason Steele is regarded as solid. Stuart Parnaby continues to look at home in defence after being out of the game all of last season. Andre Bikey was nearly caught dawdling in possession against Bolton. Seb Hines battles away. George Friend needs careful marking as he can power up the left and deliver good crosses.

Grant Leadbitter spreads the play well, often with raking long balls, but is less impressive in front of goal. Josh McEachran is always neat and tidy at the heart of midfield and rarely concedes possession.

Chris Powell faces a dilemma with Evina out injured and may have to revert to the not very satisfactory formula of Solly at left back which then limits Wilson. I expect a 4-5-1 formation and a draw.

Friday 2 November 2012

Draw specialists?

It is often said that a win and a loss is better than two draws and there must be a concern that Charlton are becoming draw specialists as they are sucked towards the relegation zone. The Addicks have won just three league games this season, have lost five and drawn five. Their home record is worse than their away record: 1-2-3.

They are higher up the form table than the actual table, but tomorrow's opponents, Middlesbrough, are third in the form table and fourth in the actual table. They have won three times and lost three times away from home.

For those calling for Chris Powell to be sacked and replaced by Paolo di Canio, it's worth remembering that we have lost quite a few key players to injury. The latest blow is the injury to Cedric Evina who was seen on crutches in Blackheath Hospital yesterday.

There is certainly plenty of movement taking place on the managerial front in the Championship. Mick McCarthy is now installed at Ipswich although whether the cup of cheer will get the Tractors into a higher gear remains to be seen. Palace are now reported to be talking to Ian Holloway which has a certain logic to it as he would find a certain similarity between his surroundings at Selhurst and the seedier parts of Blackpool.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, I can't make tomorrow's match: I have had my fill of home defeats and perhaps my absence will mean a win. My non-league club is facing cash flow problems after a lack of home matches caused by the difficulties at Kettering and cup games for the opposition. Each match transferred to midweek loses us £1k and the fund raising committee of which I am secretary has an emergency meeting after tomorrow's home game against Chippenham Town.

I will be taking a close look at Middlesbrough's (mainly) strenghths and weaknesses later on today.

Thursday 1 November 2012

Lennie Lawrence leaves Palace

Lennie Lawrence has left Crystal Palace to join Dougie Freedman at Bolton: Lawrence .

The search for a new Glaziers manager continue. The Chicago Addick reports a whiff of interest in Chris Powell, but also points out that they don't pay well at Selhurst, even when you add in the Nectar points.

Charlton Athletic: my part in its downfall

This article reviews the contribution of Iain Dowie, Les Reed and Alan Pardew to Charlton's downfall: Great managers

To be fair to Les Reed, he did a good job for us in a different role, it was just that he was promoted to to his level of incompetence, the wrong person at the wrong time. When I saw the bulging eyed Dowie on the pitch for the first time warming up with the players, I thought 'Who is this idiot we have appointed? This is not rocket science.'

Like many Addicks, I had great hopes of Pardew and he is now seen as a messiah on Tyneside. He could have got us into the play off places, but then he started tinkering with the team and the rest is history.