Thursday 31 January 2013

Danny Green out on loan?

Richard Cawley is tweeting that Danny Green may go out on loan to either Swindon or MK Dons, it increasingly looks like a done deal at Swindon. Cawley also said earlier that he expected some movement in and out before the end of transfer deadline day, movement which could, of course, take the form of loans. Perhaps the one 50-50 prediction one can make is that someone is going to end up at the County Ground.

Cawley also said that enquiries were expected for Bradley Wright-Phillips, but only Championship clubs could afford his wages. Sheffield United were definitely interested but have ruled it out on cost grounds as it was take them over the Salary Cost Management Protocol: Wright-Phillips . It looks as if he will go to Swindon on loan for the rest of the season. A takeover bid for the Rocking Robins has been made from the man who owns the Puritans (Banbury United).

Skipper Johnnie Jackson has tweeted that Chris Solly is not at the training ground today and he hopes that does not meant that he is going as it would be a big loss, a view I would strongly endorse. Solly has won more Silver Bones than any other player this season.

Wednesday 30 January 2013

Powell interested in Schlupp

Chris Powel has stated that he is interested in Leicester City striker Jeffrey Schlupp if he is not outfoxed by Manchester United. Powell knows the Ghana international from his time at Leicester City: Schlupp

More thoughts on the accounts

I have now read through the club's accounts for the year ended 30 June 2102. As I anticipated, I don't have much to add to what the New York Addick has already said: he is more skilled at interpreting financial statements that I am. For the record I set out my thoughts below.

Charlton Athletic made an operating loss of just under £7.5m in its League 1 promotion season, compared with £6.13m the preceding season according to accounts lodged at Companies House. Profit of just over £1m on the disposal of players reduced the operating loss to £6.45m. However, the preceding year, £2.8m in profit was realised from player sales, reducing the operating loss to £3.3m.

The profit on players arose largely from the transfer of Elliott to Newcastle and contingent appearance fees for Shelvey and Richardson. The practice of accelerating transfer fees by discounting to financial institutions used in 2011 and involving a sum of just over £1.5m has not been repeated.

Further sums may be paid depending on the success of the players concerned. Additional transfer fees of £777,500 would become payable depending on appearances, international honours and 'on field playing success'. Beyond that additional fees of £3.84m are payable dependent on the same criteria.

Turnover increased by 2.4 per cent or £202,000 to £8.549m, largely due to an increase in match day ticket and hospitality sales. Attendances increased by 12 per cent from 15,582 to 17,428, a club record in the third tier. Ticket income and match day activities accounted for 60 per cent of revenue, followed by commercial revenue at 22 per cent and broadcasting at 13 per cent. The amounts realised from commercial activities and broadcasting were down slightly.

An area of concern is that staff costs amounted to 104 per cent of turnover. The figure recommended by Deloitte Sports Business is 50 per cent, but few clubs achieve that. Many Premiership clubs have ratios in the seventies and eighties and this figure puts the Addicks at the higher end of the spectrum.

The company had total bank loans of £5.77m. An amount of £9.94m (£2.6m in 2011) is owed to the immediate parent company, Baton 2010 Limited. The company's utimate holding company is CAFC Holdings Limited, a company registerered in the British Virgin Islands. The identity of the club's ultimate benefactors is thus unknown.

Wright-Phillips to Swindon?

Reports are circulating that Bradley Wright-Phillips is going on loan to Swindon for the rest of the season. Swindon have certainly favoured Charlton players recently, although he would not be able to link up with Paul Benson who has gone on loan to Cheltenham.

Richard 'Creepy' Crawley has tweeted his doubts, pointing out that Wright-Phillips is on big wages. Swindon are certainly financially troubled, having been put up for sale as an alternative to administration. However, it might be worth paying a wages subsidy to the Rocking Robins.

After performing excellently in League 1, Wright-Phillips has found it difficult to make the adjustment to a higher level.

Anthony Wordsworth has now signed for Ipswich. I still think there was some interest there on our part.

Monday 28 January 2013

Accounts and new owners?

It would be difficult to add anything to the excellent analysis by the New York Addick of the club's annual accounts, although I will be taking a close look myself: Accounts

The bottom line is that we lost £7.5m last year and are likely to lose £7.5m again this year, extra income being balanced out by extra costs. It is particularly of concern that wages are 100 per cent of turnover. Not only is this double the level recommended by Deloitte Sports Business, it is also way above most Premiership clubs with the exception of Manchester City who manage 114 per cent.

Given that, it is good that someone is footing the bill while the search for new owners goes on. One payment missed to Revenue and Customs and the club would be in trouble.

As the New York Addick points out, attendances remain a matter for concern. Clearly our home form does not help, although one also has to take account of how much discretionary leisure spending is being squeezed. We also look a lot better than Millwall (short to re-run their historic encounter with Luton at Kenilworth Road).

It has been widely reported that gentlemen of Middle Eastern appearance were being shown around on Saturday. They may not have been impressed by the game, but the reported attendance of 20,000+ sounded good. Given that walk up sales were reportedly sluggish, it's fortuitous that the East Stand was relatively crowded and that the gaps in the West would not have been evident to anyone sitting there.

Sunday 27 January 2013

Pritchard: I still don't feel comfortable

Bradley Pritchard is the subject of a full page feature article in The Football League Paper today. Recalling how he signed for the Addicks, he was volunteering as a part-time match analyst for the club and when he was called into Chris Powell's office, he thought he might be offered a full-time analysts post. When he was offered a playing contract, he thought he might have to double up as an analyst.

Promotion brought with it the realisation that he was about to hit the big time. 'I was nervous at the start of the season, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't,' commented the midfielder. 'For the first few games I was a bit overwhelmed and after the Crystal Palace game, about five or six games in, I was taken out of the side.'

'The games are widely publicised. I was used to playing in front of 700 people ar Hayes and all of a sudden I'm playing in front of 20,000 people. The boss was really good with me though, we had a chat and he relaxed me by redirecting the pressure - he told me to enjoy the experience.'

'I started slowly this season and looking at my own performance there were a lot of things to work on. I still don't feel comfortable, not yet anyway. I've come up directly against the likes of Danny Murphy, someone who I watched for years, and you can't help but think: "Should I actually be here"?'

'But once the whistle goes it doesn't matter. Even Lawrie Wilson came up with Stevenage. I remember playing against him when I was at Tamworth the year they got prompted, now here we are playing in the same team in our first year in the Championship.'

Saturday 26 January 2013

Charlton throw it away

Charlton threw away a 1-0 lead to go down to a 1-2 defeat at The Valley this afternoon at home to Sheffield Wednesday. They were poor goals to give away and my initial though was that keeper Ben Hamer must take a large portion of the blame for both of them. On reflection, I can see that the second took a big deflection, but I still think that Hamer did not have a good game. I also thought it was a mistake to leave our three substitutions until time added on when they could not be expected to make an impact. Substitutions were needed earlier with Bradley Pritchard often being muscled off the ball.

It was an underwhelming first half that produced scrappy play on a pitch that displayed the effects of the recent snow, but Wednesday upped their game in the second half. We were under too much pressure as the half went on, although a draw would have been a better reflection of the balance of play.

Difficulties on the journey often suggest disappointment at the game. Unusually, my train was nearly 20 minutes late into Euston and I found that both branches of the Northern Line were closed.

Charm merchant Giles Coke put in a very late tackle on Dale Stephens and those around for me thought that later in the game it might have earned more than a yellow card. Bradley Pritchard looked as if he was having difficulty in coping and was being muscled off the ball. Chris Solly was fouled and it was evident what Dave Jones meant when he said he would close down Charlton's danger men.

Chris Kirkland in the Wednesday goal had to make a diving save and for a very brief spell our play showed promise. Then the visitors won a corner and I think it was Cedric Evina who cleared it off the line. The second corner led to a free kick for the Addicks. After a number of foul throws, the referee finally penalised Wednesday.

Wednesday were awarded a very dubious corner, but Hamer was able to catch the ball. Wilson put in a decent cross. Buxton got a yellow card. The very deep free kick which came into the six yard box saw Morrison's effort crash off the crossbar. A free kick from Stephens led to an unproductive Charlton corner. Hamer spilled the ball, but Johnson somehow managed to put his shot wide of the open goal.

Half time: Addicks 0, Owls 0

Wednesday advanced as offside appeals by the players were turned down. The resultant corner was caught by Hamer. Charlton then made a move which the Bloke Behind Me judged to be one of the best of the season: praise from such a source is praise indeed. Wilson waited for Solly to get in a good position, Solly's cross was agood one and Pritchard teed up Jackson who struck cleanly into the back of the net to make it 1-0.

Wednesday were awarded a free kick against Morrison. Taylor put in a good defensive header. The visitors hit the outside of the post. Wedenesday signalled their intent by bringing on Leroy Lita and started to win some corners. Hamer had to make a save. On 66 minutes the Owls further strengthened their attack by bringing on Madine. This was surely the time to consider some Charlton substitutions, but there was no movement from the bench.

Wagstaff cut inside and his shot came off the post. Chris Powell subsequently saw this as a turning point in the match, but he should have acted then to freshen up the side. Evina put in a good tackle as Wednesday threatened. Stephens put in a shot from distance which was not far over. Hamer went down and required some treatment (did this have anything to do with his subsequent lack of alertness?) Solly put in some good defensive work. Stephens over hit what could have been a promising ball.

On 83 minutes Reda Johnson rose to meet a cross from Buxton which was nothing special and put in a header over the stationary Hamer. A Charlton corner led to a goal kick. Charlton were being forced back and in the 89th minute Lita scored what Dave Jones later admitted was a scruffy goal to make it 1-2.

With five minutes added on, Chris Powell brought on Danny Green, Ricardo Fuller and Bradley Wright-Phillips, but it was all too late. Green did win a corner for Charlton. Llera rushed off with the ball and received a yellow card while Kermorant got a yellow for taking it off him.

Match analysis

Ivy the Terrible has awarded the Silver Bone once again to Chris Solly for a tireless work rate and some real moments of skill. Hamer nearly conceded a goal by dropping the ball in the first half and as the Football League Paper commented, 'Looked unconvincing throughout.' Morrison looked solid enough and made some decent clearances, it would be a bit harsh to blame him for failing to score. I thought that Taylor did a decent job, but the Football League Paper claims that 'He failed to deal with the vistor's aerial threat and was severely punished.' I thought that Evina did well in defence and got forward well. Hard to see Wiggins reclaiming his old spot in the short run. Wilson was involved and energetic and also read the game well. Pritchard played a key role in the goal, but had a hard time dealing with Wednesday's physical challenge. Steve from Petts Wood commented of Stephens 'He goes from Premier League to non-league in two minutes' and that about sums it up, but he was certainly involved whereas Jackson struggled on the boggy surface, but all credit for scoring the goal. Wagstaff looked stronger in the second half and was unlucky not to score. Kermorgant struggled to make an impact as the lone striker and often looked crestfallen. I won't comment on the cameos by the three substitutes as it does not make a lot of sense (nor did the substitutions at that stage).

Juneau the Soccer Cat has awarded the Hiss of the Match to Senor Hoofball, Miguel Llera, for his ridculous headgear earning the chant 'Whose the w***** in the hat?' from the Covered End.

'We will stop Charlton's danger men' vows Jones

Sheffield Wednesday has vowed to stop Charlton's 'danger men' at The Valley today. Jones admits that he is in a relegation struggle and that the Addicks have good players who get forward well and are composed. I wasn't sure I recognised the Charlton side from this description, so perhaps this is some subtle psychological tactic to talk up the opposition. Read more here: Wednesday

Elsewhere, Emmanuel Frimpong has joined Fulham on loan for the rest of the season.

Friday 25 January 2013

Wednesday aim for first place

Sheffield Wednesday are currently third in the Championship attendance league, but are aiming for first place according to Paul Thompson: Massive

He reckons that their fans can travel with confidence tomorrow as they have been finding it easier to score goals away at the moment than at home. Certainly, Wednesday are currently above the Addicks in the form table, in fifth place with eleven points compared with Charlton in seventh place with ten.

Wednesday have signed 28-year old striker Leroy Lita on loan from Swansea City for the rest of the season and he could feature tomorrow, although possibly from the bench. He was on loan with Charlton for March and the first half of April in 2008.

Odds Match: (Coral) Charlton 23/20, Draw 12/5, Sheffield Wed 23/10. Referee Graham Salisbury hails from Lancashire, having presided over Charlton's defeat at Nottingham Forest.

The charms of Charlton Village

The property show Location, Location, Location starring the Hon. Kirsty Allsopp featured a couple who were looking for a property in South London. They were renting in Belisze Park, but in the hope of purchasing had decided to slum it south of the river. They wanted a 'village' location.

After meandering round Streatham, Peckham and 'Forest Hill borders' they were introduced to Charlton which they had evidently never heard of. Planning a family, they were impressed by the mums meeting in Charlton House, the green spaces and the fact that they could see the wheel from the top floor flat they were viewing.

But at no time was the major attraction of Charlton village mentioned, the fact that you are in walking distance of The Valley and the start of an Addickton. I blame the Hon. Kirsty's sidekick, Phil Spencer, whose main role seems to be to smirk into his beer and I suspect of being an egg chaser.

Of course, it's not so easy to get down to The Valley from the village if it's icy. Stalwart work has done by volunteers clearing the snow and stands. Looking at the weather forecast, there is more snow in more prospect for today, but it looked as if the edge of it would brush SE7. Let's it is just a dusting and tomorrow's massive game can go ahead.

A piece here on what Millwall are doing to bring back the crowds, given that the Toolbox is under half full: New Den

Thursday 24 January 2013

A quiet transfer window?

Could it be a quiet transfer window for Charlton after all? Chris Powell has played down transfer speculation and advised fans to concentrate on the facts and wait until they see a new player in a Charlton shirt.

I never put a lot of credence in the Alan Judge story, indeed I did not run it all. Admittedly, a lot of Championship clubs were reported as being interested in the Notts County player, but I didn't see him coming to us.

As for Hogan Ephraim, Chris Powell observed that we are always going to be linked with him. In that case I did point the interest from the New York Red Bulls where there is a link with a former Super Hoops manager.

I did think that the Anthony Wordsworth story had legs. Colchester United have now denied that they have received an offer from Charlton. Why did I think there was something in it? First, it made sense: signing a promising midfielder from a lower league club with whom we had done business in the past. It wouldn't bust the bank. Second, it was being run by a number of media sources, including Sky, although this may just reflect lazy journalism. Indeed, the East Anglian Daily Times has said again today that a deal will go ahead, but perhaps we should just rely on them for tractor prices. It may be that we did take a look at him and we might try again in the summer when he is out of contract.

Chris Powell does have a number of players returning from injury, so that does reduce the pressure to make new signings. It will also give younger players like Harriott and Azeez (when he returns from Orient) more of a chance to break into the first team.

Elsewhere, Simon Grayson is the latest Championship manager to bite the dust. It's a good job Huddersfield won the cup match, otherwise he might have been the latest victim of the curse of Charlton.

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Midfield maestro heads for Charlton

Various sources are reporting that Charlton have finally secured Colchester United midfield maestro Anthony Wordsworth. Ipswich Town were also in the frame, but couldn't get their tractor started in the cold weather to go down to Colchester and collect him: Wordsworth

Midfield signings from Colchester have certainly worked for us in the past. It is certainly an area that needs strengthening. His preferred position is on the left of the midfield. Born in London, he is a product of the Colchester youth system. More about him here: Wordsworth

If this signing is confirmed, I doubt whether Hogan Ephraim would come in on loan.

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Ephraim back on loan?

There are reports that Charlton would like to take back Hogan Ephraim on loan. Millwall are also interested but, given the choice, the player would prefer to return to The Valley: Ephraim

However, he may also have the option of joining the New York Red Bulls where short-lived QPR manager Paul Sousa is now head coach:

Monday 21 January 2013

Why is our home form relatively poor?

The facts speak for themselves. The Addicks are currently 7th in the form table and 12th in the real table, but someone calculated we would be 17th in the table if it was based just on home matches.

Only Brighton have lost fewer games away. Only Cardiff, Hull and Watford have won more away. Only Brighton and Leicester have conceded fewer goals away. We have let in more goals at home than away. We have scored the same number home and away.

There are a couple of explanations we can discount. The crowd as '12th man' have really got behind the team when it has been needed, the classic example being at home against Cardiff. The usual suspects have berated their scapegoat player and shouted 'You've got to work for it Charlton' when the more usual deficiency is one of skill, but that is par for the course.

Sometimes decisions by the officials at home have gone against us. I don't think this is bias, it is just a question of them trying to show that they are not 'homers' or influenced by the crowd. The overall effect on outcomes is marginal, although admittedly football is a game of thin margins.

Formations may be a factor. We use 4-5-1 more away and we secured our first home win on a Saturday deploying it against Blackpool. Some Addicks think that it plays to our strengths, although the midfield does often lack consistency. I still have some doubts about Kermorgant as a lone striker, his goal on Saturday notwithstanding. The same goes for Wagstaff in the hole. The Football League Paper noted of his performance on Saturday that 'he failed to deliver much'.

The biggest factor may be confidence. Opposition teams will have noted our home record and that will give them a boost. We often make a hesitant start, indeed one of the problems is a failure to deliver quality over the game as a whole.

That makes Saturday a massive game and a test of whether we can continue our winning start to 2013. I note that the Palace fan commenting on their goalless draw on Saturday in The Football League Paper had already chalked up three easy points against us.

Saturday 19 January 2013

Charlton warm hearts on a cold day

It was an unchanged side and a 4-5-1 formation for Charlton at Ewood Park, reports Paul May where it was freezing cold but the pitch looked fine, benefitting from the under soil heating. Blackburn lined up as 4-4-1-1 in front of the crowd of 13,647. The Darwin End set up a chant of ‘We want Venky’s out’, the owners having turned up, intrigued by ‘village side’ Charlton just one place behind Rovers in the table.

Lawrie Wilson was able to track back after Wagstaff gave away the ball cheaply. There were a few loose passes from the Addicks. Evina was looking effective. Wilson kept a Jackson free kick in play, but Blackburn headed the ball out and counter attacked. Morrison anticipated the threat and dealt with it.

Ruchina, playing in the hole, went for goal after a solo run, but his effort was too high. He was a potential threat, however. Vukcevic tried to get a shot away but was distracted by Wagstaff. Rhodes, making his first intervention, was fouled by Taylor in a dangerous position. Murphy took it and Hamer decided to palm the ball away.

It looked as if Wagstaff had won a corner, but the referee gave a goal kick. It was all a bit disjointed, but Blackburn were not able to impose themselves on the game. Kane advanced, but was closed down by the Addicks defence. Rovers won a corner which was taken well but Kazim-Richards headed straight at the well positioned Hamer.

Solly beat Olsson for pace and Stephens took a shot from distance: it was a looping shot and went over the keeper into the top corner to make it 1-0 to the Addicks. Jackson shot at the keeper, there was panic stations in the Rovers defence but the Addicks were unable to take advantage, Wilson failing to make contact.

The home fans didn’t seem to be very happy and there were quite a few groans. As a pass from Murphy was cut out, there were plenty of groans from the home supporters who are do not think he is the answer to their prayers. Murphy looked a bit stressed.

Wilson made a timely defensive tackle. Kazim-Richards put in a cross, but Morrison was in control. Hamer did well to deal with a move from a free kick, but the flag was up anyway. As Murphy intercepted, the charm merchant was booed by the Addickted.

Kermorgant was fouled twice and received a free kick. The Addicks were pressing well and making it difficult for the home side in the middle of the park. The home fans became more restless.

Pritchard was penalised for allegedly shoving Kazim-Richards off the ball. The free kick was headed away well. A Blackburn free kick by Murphy was poor. Stephens put a nice ball through, but the Addicks were crowded out. The home side was booed off.

HT 0-1

Kazim-Richards and Ruchina seemed to have swapped positions. After being quiet all game, Jordan Rhodes, who had not had much service, made use of a good ball from the right to put in a well-directed header past Hamer, who had no chance, to make it 1-1.

Morrison made a very good defensive header. Wagstaff put a great ball in, Pritchard put the ball in and it came off a defender, Stephens put in a shot from inside the penalty area but the ball spun away from goal.

Solly was having a bit of a battle with Ruchina. Murphy needed some treatment after a knock in the face. Kazim-Richards put in a snap shot from 20 yards out. Hamer had to dive to the left and put the ball round the post for a corner which was poor.

Dann nearly put the ball in his own net. The corner was a good one and led to a second. This time Jackson’s effort was poor. Jackson kept the attack alive, he fed Pritchard who looped the ball over the defence and Kermorgant headed into the back of the net to make it 1-2.

The boos started up again. Hamer was beaten, but Kazim-Richards at the back post put the ball into the side netting. The home fans started chanting ‘There’s only one Jack Walker’, recalling when Blackburn won the Premiership title. From steel to chickens.

Blackburn brought on Pedersen for Vukcevic. Ruchina, who had faded, was taken off and Gomes came on. Wagstaff was taken off and replaced by Dervitte to take on a defensive midfield role, man marking Gomes. Pritchard moved out to the left.

Home supporters were streaming out. Three minutes were added on. Blackburn applied some late pressure. Solly fired away a ball that came into the six yard box. The Blackburn corner was unproductive. Dervitte sliced a clearance for a corner. Hamer pushed the ball away, the danger was not cleared, but the shot that came in was way over the top. Harriott replaced Wilson. He put a low shot in but it was dealt with comfortably by the keeper.

The final whistle was sounded and the boos ran out except among the Addickted who made the trek north. Charlton had won at three northern B’s: Blackpool, Burnley and Blackburn.

Keen away fan passes away

We are sad to report the passing of keen away Addick Colin Holland. I did not know him personally, but those who did speak warmly of him and his sense of fun. Here is a tribute to him: Colin Holland

Friday 18 January 2013

Weather uncertain at Blackburn

The weather forecast for Blackburn is uncertain. There will be some snow today, but it may not be enough to cause major problems, particularly given that as a former Premiership club they can presumably heat the pitch and put covers across it.

New manager Michael Appleton hopes to restore normality to the club and is confident they can regain Premiership status: Blackburn

Thursday 17 January 2013

Keeping tabs on Tabb

Charlton are said to be considering signing Reading midfielder Jay Tabb on loan for the rest of the season. He has been told that he can leave the club in the January transfer window: Tabb

It is also being reported that the Addicks have renewed their interest in Colchester's Anthony Wordsworth with a fee of £100,000 being mentioned. He is out of contract in the summer.

However, the approach for Bolton striker Marvin Sordell is, not surprisingly, said to have been rejected.

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Is Sordell a target?

Press reports are claiming that 21-year old Bolton striker Marvin Sordell is a target for Charlton. He was the hero of Bolton's cup win at Sunderland, scoring both goals. Whilst he would be a welcome addition to the squad, I don't see it as very likely, although the implication in the story is that he is not too happy 'oop north, having formerly been at Watford: Sordell

If he did come, it would increase the chances of Bradley Wright-Phillips leaving, although nothing more has been heard on that front.

Sordell originally came from Pinner: Career

Tuesday 15 January 2013

Loan deal for Green?

Bournemouth, MK Dons and Notts County are all reported to have expressed interest in a loan deal for Danny Green. He did look a bit cheesed off warming up on Saturday.

Saturday 12 January 2013

Charlton win at home on a Saturday

Charlton achieved what has evaded them all season at The Valley this afternoon: they won at home on a Saturday. By beating Blackpool 2-1 they moved to 14th in the table. They are now ahead of Crystal Palace in the form table.

In the first quarter of an hour the Addicks were lacklustre and Blackpool could have gone ahead in the first couple of minutes if they had taken a scoring chance. The optimists in the row behind concluded, 'We're beaten already.'

However, a far from powerful goal by Jackson put the Addicks ahead and a nicely worked move allowed Wagstaff to score a second in time added on. In the first quarter of hour of the second half Blackpool once again stepped up the pressure, but Charlton were able to withstand it. However, a third goal eluded them and former Addick Nathan Eccleston was able to score a consolation for the visitors in time added on. He has tweeted his thanks to Charlton supporters for their love.

I'm not too comfortable with a 4-5-1 formation at home, even if injuries left no alternative, and the first quarter of an hour was frustrating. On two minutes Delfouenso got a cross in and Kevin Phillips might have done better with his header, but Matt Taylor was able to clear off the line.

Wagstaff and Evina got caught out in midfield, but Charlton were able to recover. Charlton won a corner taken by Stephens which led to a second but it was caught by Gilks in the Blackpool goal.

An interception from Crainey ran into the path of Jackson who made it 1-0 with a ball into the corner of the net. It was not a powerful shot, indeed it has been said that it actually arrived in the net after the end of the match. But they all count.

On 38 minutes a Charlton corner was caught by the keeper. Before the game I heard two Blackpool fans discussing whether Appleton's legacy had been to sort out the defence and they concluded that he had not. They were inclined to panic under pressure. In time added on Chris Solly played in Lawrie Wilson on the right. From his cross Gilks was able to stop Kermorgant's header, but Wagstaff was able to slam the rebound in the back of the net.

HT: Addicks 2, Tangerines 0

Blackpool won a free kick which led to a corner but this move ended in a free kick for Charlton. Dale Stephens picked up an avoidable yellow card, the only one of the match. Blackpool took off Osbourne and brought on Taylor-Fletcher. Bradley Pritchard put in an effort from distance which went wide.

Charlton won three corners in succession, but the pressure ultimately failed to pay off. Blackpool took off Delfouneso and brought on Eccleston. Scott Wagstaff was withdrawn in favour of Harriot who immediately tormented a Tangerine defender to win a Charlton corner which led to a second. Phillips went off to a round of applause from the Addickted and was replaced by Gomes.

A Charlton free kick led to a Charlton corner which was caught by the keeper. Our corners still need more work. Stephens was taken off when Kermorgant might have deserved a rest. In time added on Eccleston put his volley in the back of the net.

Match analysis

Ivy the Terrible did not think that there was one stand out player but thought that Chris Solly was always involved and did what was required of him, making some good defensive interventions so he receives the Silver Bone. Indeed, he was named in the Football League Paper Team of the Day. Hamer did not have a lot to do and could not be blamed for the goal, but his distribution was open to question. Evina showed pace and put in some good balls, although there were one or two errors and he was sometimes a little hesitant. I didn't notice Taylor that much but he suffered a bloodied head in the cause and as far as I can see did not do much wrong yet did not make a great impact. Morrison was generally solid, but was involved in one mix up with Hamer. Pritchard was once again energetic and enthusiastic. He must cover more ground than any other player and he made some good interventions. Wagstaff took his goal well, but I still have reservations about his skill level. Jackson scored a rather fortuitous goal and provided corners and free kicks. Stephens puts in a great ball one minute and a poor one the next, but he played a key role in the second goal. Wilson started rather poorly, but improved as the game went on. Kermorgant is not really suited to the lone striker role, but he showed some nice touches. Harriott was a real impact sub: the issue with him has never been his talent, but his attitude. Fuller had a cameo.

Juneau the Soccer Cat thought that the referee was a bit full of himself and made a couple of questionable decisions, but did not deserve a hiss. She has complained, however, about the time I have spent on this report rather than feeding her so I have got the hiss.

Friday 11 January 2013

Appleton quits

Blackpool manager Michael Appleton has given a new twist to the curse of Charlton by quitting a day before his team appear at Charlton to manage Blackburn Rovers. Steve Thompson, who took training on Thursday, has been put in charge of the team. Unfortunately for us, such circumstances can increase a team's cohesion and lead them to upping their game.

It is understood that Phil Parkinson has turned down the opportunity to take part in talks about the Blackpool vacancy.

With Dervitte suspended and Cort injured, Matt Taylor rejoins the Charlton defence tomorrow.

Thursday 10 January 2013

Blackburn target Blackpool boss

Blackburn Rovers have targeted Blackpool manager Michael Appleton to fill their managerial vacancy: Appleton

The manager of Saturday's opponents has only been in charge of the Tangerines since November 7th. During that time he has won two and drawn two matches, but one of those was against Blackburn.

Appleton did not take training with Blackpool today. However, players insisted that they were not worried, that everything was normal and they were simply focusing on collecting the expected three points at The Valley on Saturday.

Winger Thomas Ince said, 'As players, we stick together. There's a great bunch of lads in there and all we're doing is looking forward to Saturday. Whoever's our manager is whoever's our manager. We can't worry about what's happening off the football pitch. We have to worry about working hard in training, going to Charlton and getting a win.'

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Bid for Wordsworth?

Charlton are reported to have made a £250,000 bid for Colchester United's Anthony Wordsworth. He does appear to have fallen out with his manager recently so there may be something in it: Wordsworth

The 24-year old midfielder is a product of the Colchester United youth system: Playing career

Tuesday 8 January 2013

Transfer rumours

It's difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff at this time of year - and most of it is chaff. Some stories are started by agents trying to promote their player or are the result of speculative thinking by something on Twitter trying to create a wish list. In that category I place Anton Ferdinand signing for Charlton on loan.

That Chris Powell might have an interest in Norwich City's Simeon Jackson as a loan target makes sense, which doesn't mean that it is going to happen. More about him here: Jackson

I don't see Bradley Wright-Phillips going to MK Dons, even if his father is coaching there. I can see that Swindon might want to sign Danny Hollands, but not as an exchange for Matt Richie plus cash. In any case his loan there has just been extended for a second month.

Earlier reports of an interest by Birmingham City in Danny Green have now been followed up with suggestions that they would like to swop him for 34-year old Wade Elliott.

The safest prediction is that not that much is going to change in this window.

Saturday 5 January 2013

Charlton out of cup

Button replaced Hamer in goal, Taylor was brought in as captain, Cook made a start and Wright-Phillips and Kermorgant were up front for the cup tie against Huddersfield, reports Paul May from The Valley. Azeez was on the bench.

Huddersfield won an early corner which was readily cleared. On eight minutes they won their second corner, but Button was able to collect.

On eleven minutes the ball came in from the right and with the marking in the defence poor Jermaine Beckford was able to score at close range to make it 0-1.

Scott Arfield slid in on Evina and received a yellow card. The free kick from Stephens which had to be taken from a tight angle went out near the post. Huddersfield got their third corner, Button punched the ball away.

Charlton won their first corner after Smithies in the Huddersfield goal flapped at the ball, but the move ended in a free kick for the visitors. The referee had a word with Pritchard after he tackled Arfield. There was a bit of trouble between Garfield and Kermorgant and the referee had a word with both of them.

It was a rather scrappy game in front of a sparse and rather quiet crowd. Wright-Phillips did well to keep the ball in, but Gerrard intercepted his pass.

Wilson lost the ball, Scannell put the ball in the back of the net after the ball came back off Button but was judged to be offside. The Addickted started to make some noise.

The game went through another scrappy phase. The ball was up in the air a lot. Charlton were not creating anything in the last third. Vaughan forced a save from Button at the expense of a corner which was poor.

Pritchard was fouled by Vaughan who was shown a yellow card. Kerkar and Beckford had an exchange of views and were separated by Evina. It had been a poor display by Charlton.

HT 0-1

The track suited Powell was urging his players to get the ball out wide. Arfield fouled Kerkar and Charlton won a free kick 25 yards out, but it was unproductive. Huddersfield were awarded a rather dubious corner, leading to a second one. Button eventually collected.

Dervitte was sent off on 58 minutes for stopping Beckford as the last man. The free kick went over the crossbar. Cook was taken off so that Morrison could come on to shore up the defence as Charlton went 4-3-2.

Smithies had to stretch for a Kerkar free kick that went over the wall, the first save he had had to make on 62 minutes. There was a tight offside decision against Kermorgant.

Charlton stepped up a gear after the sending off. Morrison almost got his head to a Stephens free kick. Too many long balls were being sent up to Wright-Phillips. A free kick from Stephens was disappointing.

Bradley Pritchard, who had been troubling the Huddersfield defence, received a yellow card. Kerkar was taken off for Jackson and Wright-Phillips was replaced by Azeez. Charlton won a corner from a free kick. Smithies was able to gather.

Beckford came off and Novak came on. Azeez was pulled down by Hunt and the yellow card was shown. Dixon fouled Azeez. Jackson’s free kick was not productive. Four minutes were added on. The ball came to Kermorgant, but he couldn’t get the leverage to shoot. Huddersfield won a late corner. A Kermorgant header had no power on it.

Friday 4 January 2013

Villa linked again with Dale Stephens

There are reports from a Villa blog of a renewed inerest in Dale Stephens, although they are uncertain whether it is just a recycling of summer rumours: Stephens

Former Tamworth Herald Player of the Year Bradley Pritchard has told the paper that he discounts rumours of Premiership interest in him and is loving life at Charlton: Pritchard.

Reports are circulating that Charlton have made an approach to Manchester United about 21-year old striker Federico Macheda. The Italian is certainly out of favour at Old Trafford and a loan move in the January window is very likely. However, Blackpool and Hull City have also expressed interest while Macheda himself has indicated he would like to go to Germany or Spain rather than to a Championship club. More about him here: Macheda

Blues in for Green?

The rumour mill is suggesting that Birmingham City have an interest in Danny Green. However, the cash strapped club will not be able to making any signings unless they sell some of their existing players.

Danny Green is one of the more inconsistent players at Charlton. Although he can power down the wing, the quality of the cross he provides is highly variable.

Huddersfield prepare to fight back

Huddersfield Town are preparing to fight back from their 6-1 away defeat to Leicester City at The Valley tomorrow. They have now gone ten games without a win and fans are talking about the risk of relegation which to me just suggests how disproportionately pessimistic fans can be about their own team: Huddersfield .

They have a number of injury worries ahead of the game: Injuries

What we don't want from this game is a draw, leading to a replay we would probably lose, which wouldn't generate much income and which would carry with it the risk of injuries and suspensions.

The Addicks are being linked with Aldershot striker Danny Hylton (along with Portsmouth and Peterborough): Hylton. It's a big step up from League 2 and I would be more interested in strengthening the midfield.

Wednesday 2 January 2013

Loanees return

Rob Hulse and Emmanuel Frimpong have returned to QPR and Arsenal respectively at the end of their loans, it is understood. Frimpong has tweeted his thanks for the warm reception he received from the Addickted.

It is also being reported that Andy Hughes may retire through injury.

Premiership clubs track Pritchard

Three Premiership clubs (Aston Villa, Fulham and Reading) are reported to be tracking Bradley Pritchard as a transfer target: Pritchard

Pritchard has become something of a favourite among the Addickted for his energy and enthusiasm. Admittedly, as the New York Addick points out in his report on the Watford game, this is not always matched by technique, but that is something that could be developed.

Tuesday 1 January 2013

Roller coaster ride as Charlton beat Watford

The form book was torn up as Charlton beat Watford 4-3 at Vicarage Road this afternoon to go 15th in the Championship. But it was a roller coaster ride with the Hornets ahead twice in the game before the Addicks finally drew their sting.

Daniel Pudil's early strike put Watford ahead but Charlton hit back through Tommie Hoban's own goal and Yann Kermorgant's header. Ater Almen Abdi's penalty and Alexandre Geijo's goal put Watford back in front, Kermorgant tucked in another equaliser before skipper Johnnie Jackson scored the winning goal.

Charlton applied some pressure in the early exchanges, but the home side struck after 11 minutes when Geijo's low shot was well saved by Hamer but Pudil was on hand to steer in the rebound for his first goal for the club.

Jackson had the ball in the net soon afterwards but just picked up a yellow cardf for handball. The Addicks drew level in the 33rd minute when Jackson swung in a corner, Watford failed to clear and the ball eventually went in off Hornets defender Hoban. Three minutes later Charlton were ahead when Kermorgant powered a far-post header past Manuel Almunia from Bradley Pritchard's cross.

Watford started the second half strongly and Geijo teed up Fernando Forestieri, who was denied by the feet of Hamer. But the Addicks goalkeeper could do nothing to prevent Watford equalising in the 52nd minute after Dorian Dervite tripped Forestieri in the area and Abdi tucked away the penalty.

Hamer then tipped Geijo's shot over and Forestieri fired wide when he should have scored before Watford got their noses back in front in the 68th minute. Geijo ran on to a clever chip from Forestieri and clipped the ball past Hamer.

The lead lasted less than two minutes as Ricardo Fuller jinked his way down the right and crossed for Kermorgant to tuck away his second of the game. Jacko completed the turnaround when he headed in Dale Stephens' corner.

Substitute Vydra had an equaliser ruled out for offside and Hamer saved from Foriestieri as Charlton held out to take the points back to south London.

Possession was fifty-fifty but the Addicks had fifteen shots on target to Watford's nine and seven corners to their four.

Iain Dowie puts his foot in his mouth

One Sunday in 2006 four men walked into a pub in Canary Wharf to find Iain Dowie installed in front of a big screen TV in time for the 1.30 p.m. kick off. He'd recently taken over as Charlton manager and explained, 'My new flat's not had Sky installed yet, so this is scouting.'

Iain Dowie bought the four several pints over the next 90 minutes, and told them which referees he hated, which well-respected manager was 'a right Onanist', which of his former team-mates were weirdos, shaggers or worse.

Only when the game was in injury team did he say, 'Enough about me. What do you lads do for a living?' They were journalists from the sports desk of a red top.

Thanks to Four Four Two for this vignette. We shall never see his like again (hopefully).