Thursday 28 February 2013

Addick is surprise runner in papal stakes

As the Pope leaves the Vatican, and thoughts turn to his successor, a surprise runner for the post of pope has emerged: Charlton Athletic supporter Rick Everitt. He is available for employment following the loss of his post at The Valley last year. He was thought to be in the frame for the role of refreshments manager at Herne Bay, which comes with sole occupancy of the tea hut, but talks broke down when he learnt he would have to provide the sugar.

Everitt is not known to be a Roman Catholic and, indeed, once declared that his only religion was Charlton Athletic. However, his supporters in the Curia argue that a minor detail should not be allowed to stand in the way of a good candidate. A Vatican spokesman said, ‘We have reached a stage where the answer to the question “Is the pope a Catholic?” need not necessarily be in the affirmative.’

Everitt approves of the red papal vestments, but thinks that the headgear is unsuitable for away matches and would replace it by a red Charlton baseball cap. The Vatican would be turned into a museum and the Holy See moved to Ramsgate.

Everitt is already drafting his first encyclical Rutulus, Rutulus, Avis which will threaten eternal damnation for supporters of Crystal Palace and Millwall. If elected, he has pledged to set up a version of the ‘Rickshaw’ service to convey the faithful to mass. Voice of the Valley will be re-launched as Voice of the Vatican.

He will not be allowed to retain his own name as pope, although he has said that he will expect to be addressed as ‘His Rickness’. He is thought likely to take his papal name from a successful Charlton manager. So it could be Pope Jimmy the First, Pope Lennie, Pope Alan or Pope Chris.

How to win at home

This relatively new Charlton blog is written by an aspiring journalist and Charlton supporter and here he sets out his ideas on how to win at home: Ideas

I agree with him that we should try and start more forcefully and score an early goal, but I am not sure that Kerkar is a silver bullet. He was dropped from the side after some indifferent performances and stats about assists don't tell the whole story. As for bringing on the youngsters, that always goes down well with the Valley faithful, but it is perhaps something we can experiment with when we can be sure that we have escaped relegation.

What we really need is a midfield playmaker. Playing a track before the match in which a female voice regularly inserted the words 'Dale Stephens!', as happened last Saturday, won't do the trick. Indeed, to his credit, Stephens himself look rather embarrassed.

Wednesday 27 February 2013

It's a competitive league

Bolton's 1-0 win over Peterborough last night saw them move five places up the Championship to 10th with their fans already talking of a play off place, just as Sheffield Wednesday fans were on the train after their result over us. As a consequence, Charlton went down to 15th. The Addicks are now eight points above struggling Wolves in the relegation zone and nine points off the play off places. I think we will finish around where we are now which is what I expected at the beginning of the season, given the quality of the squad. But we need a win on Saturday.

Bradley Wright-Phillips started for Brentford in their 2-1 win at Crawley last night. However, he did not find the back of the net and was subbed after 75 minutes.

Sunday 24 February 2013

Elliott resigns over Rufus text incident

Paul Elliott, who was talked of as a possible Charlton chairman last year, has resigned from all his posts at the FA after allegedly sending former Charlton defender Richard Rufus a racist text over a failed business venture. Elliott has expressed his regret and admitted that he used a term that is derogatory 'in our community': Elliott

According to the Sunday Times, Elliott texted to Rufus: 'Ur a stupid man n*****. You dog. Ur history my friend.' He concluded the pleasantries with, 'This will follow you scumbag.'

Saturday 23 February 2013

No real positives

There are some games that it is difficult to take any real positives out of and today was a case in point. The sending off of Kermorgant was harsh, but it was difficult to say that it was a turning point in the game because Forest were all over us before then. Their passing was sublime, not least that of Andy Reid, and if we managed to get possession of the ball, we had difficulty holding on to it or doing anything with it. Our play lacked creativity and the confidence of Forest contrasted with our lack of self-belief. The gap between a lower mid-table team and one contending for promotion showed.

I think it was a good idea to bring on Fuller for Stephens, who had been particularly disappointing, at half time. But any slim chance we had of getting back in the game was lost when Hamer spilled the ball and conceded the second goal. He has been costing us rather too much recently. Admittedly, the team continued to battle away and at least the scoreline was kept down to 0-2. But this was a poor performance.

Nottingham Forest won two corners in the first ten minutes. Majewski should have been booked for a challenge and this may have contributed to later problems. It was nearly half an hour before we got the ball in their box to win a corner through good work by Wiggins. Shortly afterwards he was called on for good defensive work.

Halford had been winding Kermorgant up and the Breton kicked out at him. Most of the Forest players decided to get involved and the referee and the East Stand lino had to get in between them. It seemed as if the referee was going to be yellow, but then he was on his radio and the West Stand linesman got involved, leading to the red card being shown. Chris Powell accepted afterwards that it was a red card and indicated that he was none too pleased with Kermorgant.

We managed to get to half-time holding on, but in part because Forest had squandered some chances.

Addicks 0, Forest 0

The hapless Stephens was taken off to be replaced by Fuller after the break. We gave Forest a soft corner within the first minute which led to a second which Hamer caught. Forest went ahead through Majewski eight minutes into the half, with Chris Solly being out manoeuvred and Reid showing great vision in the pass that set up the goal scorer. Wagstaff was taken off and replaced by Haynes. However, Hamer then spilled the ball from a tame shot and it was 0-2. Hamer did make a good save to prevent it going to 0-3. We won some corners and free kicks in the latter part of the game, but were not able to do anything with them. Halford got a late yellow card.

It was a dismal performance. If one wanted any confirmation, the stats show that we had just one shot on target and two off target compared with twelve and ten for Forest. We had three corners to their nine and possession was two to one in their favour.

Match analysis

Ivy the Terrible has given the Silver Bone to Rhoys Wiggins who was one of the very few players who had a good game with some excellent defensive work and some creativity going forward. Hamer did make at least one good save, but his errors are a real nightmare. Whether Button is any better is open to question and, in any case, he is not used to working with the defence. Solly was below his best, making some mistakes, in particular arguably at fault for the first goal. Cort provided some good defensive work on occasions. As far as I could see, Morrison was generally solid, but his challenge on Majewski for the opener was weak. Dervitte was so poor I almost forgot to mention him, lumbering around the pitch to no real effect. Wagstaff contributed very little. Pritchard was simply out of his depth and had a poor game. Stephens was a real disaster in the first half, making a number of errors. Jackson did get involved to good effect a few times, but his free kicks were below par. Whether or not he should have been sent off Kermorgant should never have lashed out in the first place. Fuller tried when he came on, but there was a big gap between him and the midfield. Haynes was more of a threat than Fuller, but the game was beyond redemption by that stage. New boy Obika had a cameo and it is not possible to judge very much from that. Initial reaction to his arrival from fans has been generally negative, but as far as Wright-Phillips is concerned, he may have simply wanted to play football and Powell allowed him to do that.

Needless to say, Juneau the Soccer Cat has sent the referee back to West Yorkshire with a very loud hiss of the match.

Friday 22 February 2013

Can we cut down Forest?

I have to say that I took particular enjoyment in the win over Leicester, in part because it was unexpected, in part through taking a perhaps rather unfair pleasure in the discomfiture of a friend who is a rabid Fox. When they equalised, she thought the three points were theirs, as did many Addicks who were predicting that it would be 2-1 in a minute which it was: just in the other direction. With the final whistle, she blamed Richard III and went in search of a consoling glass of wine to find that she had run out.

Now we have a home game and Forest have won as many matches away as we have lost which does not bode well. They beat Huddersfield 6-1 in the week, although that may say as much about Huddersfield as it does about Forest. However, they are also something of away draw specialists, a draw being the most common outcome for them for an away game (seven in all). So a draw does look like a possible outcome and at the moment I would take it.

Billy Davies is partly to blame for Charlton suffering the curse of Dowie. I recall Richard Murray recalling at a bloggers' meeting how long and apparently fruitful talks had been held with Davies at The Valley after Curbs left. Davies was booked into a room at the Swallow Hotel, but he never used it, instead heading north through the Blackwell Tunnel. Quite why has never been clear.

4-5-1, or on Tuesday 4-1-4-1, seems to work well for us. The question remains whether we have enough quality in the midfield to make 4-4-2 work by giving good service to the strikers. Too often the midfield seems to go awol or lose its shape. Stephens does show flashes of real quality, but then his next ball often goes straight to an opposition player. We miss Jackson when he isn't there, but he doesn't have the pace these days to be a game changer, other than from a set piece. Pritchard and Wagstaff epitomise honest endeavour. Topping my shopping list for the summer would be a creative playmaker in midfield.

Thursday 21 February 2013

Jon Obika in on loan?

As yet unconfirmed reports are stating that we are bringing young Spurs striker in on loan as a replacement for Bradley Wright-Phillips. It would be his ninth loan away from White Hart Lane.

He has scored against us for Yeovil where he has been on loan more than once and also had a loan spell with Crystal Palace. It was meant to be for a season, but he was let go after disappointing performances: Obika

Charlton have also been linked with the Manchester United midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe, but Sir Alex Ferguson wants a quick decision which we are apparently not capable of giving: Tunnicliffe

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Addicks do double over Leicester

Charlton did the double over Leicester for the first time in 21 years this evening with Foxes anti-hero Yann Kermorgant scoring in both games. It will be a difficult result for those who have been predicting that the Addicks were about to be sucked into a relegation struggle.

There were three changes for Charlton in Leicester tonight, reports Paul May. Rhoys Wiggins returned to the side in place of Cedric Evina. Wilson was dropped after an indifferent performance at Hull and Dervitte played in front of the back four. Fuller was on the bench and Wagstaff came in to support Kermorgant as the lone striker.

An effort from Pritchard was wide of the top upright. A cross from Konchesky was cleared. A header went over the bar. Charlton needed to make sure that they tracked runners.

Wagstaff won a free kick, but Schmeichel saved from Cort. Charlton were pressing quite high up the park. Kermorgant was winning most of the balls that went up to him. A dreadful back pass was made by Drinkwater for Leicester, Pritchard picked out Kermorgant who scored with a great finish with his left foot from 18 yards out to make it 1-0 to the Addicks on 19 minutes.

The game entered a quiet phase. The home crowd was getting a little frustrated. Konchesky surged forward and woke them up again, but the referee pulled the game back for a dubious yellow card on Jackson. The free kick was punched clear by Hamer and the move ended in a Charlton goal kick.

The home crowd and Nigel Pearson went wild when Stephens leant in a bit. The impressive Pritchard won a corner kick. The home support and Nugent demanded a free kick and didn’t get one. Morrison cleared as the Foxes attacked. Leicester pressured again, but Solly cleared. The home support started booing as a free kick was awarded against Wood for handball. They were convinced that the referee was against them.

Hamer initially spilled the ball but then managed to smother it. Leicester put the ball over the bar when they had their best chance of the half. Solly had to block the ball at the expense of a corner. The ball swung harmlessly out of play.

A cross from Nugent was blocked by Wiggins at the expense of a corner which led to a throw in for Charlton. Two minutes were added on, quite what for was unclear. Hamer dealt with a cross well and the whistle went.

Half time: Foxes 0, Addicks 1

Leicester came out early to return to the hunt. Charlton eventually came out and did a drill, but there was no sign of the referee. The Foxes won an early corner but Hamer claimed at the second attempt.

Kermorgant put in a lovely ball, but Pritchard shot too early from too far out and it went high and wide. It could have been a turning point if Pritchard had been more clinical.

Jackson put in a free kick, Schmeichel tried to punch clear and he had to scramble back quickly to make a great save to deny Morrison who put in a left footed volley.

Konchesky won a corner kick for the Foxes. Stephens managed to half clear and then Pritchard put the ball out for a throw in. Morrison headed clear. Leicester kept up the pressure. Chris Wood finished well after a good pass from Morgan, but the offside flag was up.

Leicester’s tempo had picked up and the home support had found their voice, but the Addicks were still ahead on 60 minutes. Kermorgant continued to look impressive. Leicester won a corner kick. Morgan tried to get away from Cort, but Cort did enough. Leicester made a double substitution. Gallagher and Dyer came on and Knockaert and Marshall went off on 65 minutes.

Cort blocked the ball as the home support appealed for a penalty for handball. The Foxes got a corner. Cort was there covering Morgan again and Charlton won a goal kick.

Charlton recovered well from some pressure, but then Leicester equalised with the ball falling to Wood who side footed it past Hamer who had no real chance.

Hamer was alert as Leicester threatened. Dervitte came off for Haynes in a bold move by Chris Powell. Danny Haynes got a flick on from Kermorgant to put in the top left-hand corner with a superb strike to make it 2-1. It will be a contender for goal of the season.

Charlton won a corner, but the effort by Stephens was claimed by Schmeichel. Cort conceded a corner, but it was cleared.

It opened up for Leicester for a moment, but Cort did enough at the expense of a corner which was unproductive. Hamer had to move across the goal to push away an on target long-range effort from Drinkwater to concede a corner which was not easily cleared and another corner followed. The short corner went badly wrong for the Foxes.

Wilson came on to replace Stephens. Taylor replaced Wagstaff. Four minutes were added on. Leicester won a free kick, Hamer couldn’t make contact but the ball was just wide.

Wright-Phillips becomes Bee

Bradley Wright-Phillips has joined Brentford on loan until the end of the season when his contract expires, so we may not see him in a Charlton shirt again. Any prospect of him going to Swindon disappeared with the club in chaos with the takeover not agreed and Paolo di Canio resigning.

'Bradley is a player we have been looking at for a long time,' Brentford sporting director Mark Warburton said. Warburton told the club website: 'He is a proven scorer in this division and hopefully he can help us achieve our aims and ambitions for the season. He is a player that was chased by teams in the Championship and some of our rivals for promotion this season, so we are delighted we could secure him. He had an outstanding season in League One last season and hopefully he can continue that form this time around.'

Monday 18 February 2013

Foxes hunt for points

It was a difficult weekend for Leicester City with all their promotion rivals apart from 'Boro winning and the Foxes now in fifth place. They are seeking to replicate the good form of January when they won five games out of six, a record spoilt more recently by a defeat by Peterborough and a home defeat to Huddersfield in the FA Cup: Foxes

They are looking to collect three easy points when they face Charlton at the King Power stadium aka the Crisp Bowl tomorrow night. Although I missed that game, most people thought were quite fortunate to beat them 2-1 at home.

However, Leicester do not always follow the script. Like real life foxes, they can go off at a tangent. A friend of mine is a keen Leicester supporter, having grown up in Weymouth, and her tweets when the Foxes are playing often display frustration at their inconsistency. So there may be a glimmer of hope, although our fundamental problem is that apart from Chris Solly we do not have a single player who is consistently of Championship standard.

Chris Powell has said that morale in the squad is high, but has urged them to keep believing to avoid being sucked into a relegation struggle: Powell

Sunday 17 February 2013

Pritchard praises Jacko

Johnnie Jackson was Charlton's star player for The Football League Paper at Hull yesterday, getting a score of 8 for leading by example with his surging runs from midfield. The same paper once again features Bradley Pritchard, as they did a few weeks ago, and he names the skipper as the best player he has ever played with 'because he's a real team player.'

Pritchard reveals that he no longer borrows his sister's Peugeot 206, but has splashed out on a two door Volkswagen Golf. He proposed to Helen two months ago and the wedding is in May 2014.

He says that he never supported any club as a boy, just particular players, such as Peter Ndlovu at Coventry. He describes himself as 'relaxed, persistent and energetic.' He admits that he is probably the worst dressed player at the club, but nominates Leon Cort as number two for his addiction to sheepskin.

He admits that his one goal for Charlton was a scrappy one. 'Johnnie Jackson squared it and in all the mud and panic I managed to swing my left foot at it. It took an age to go in, but it was a special moment for me.'

He gets full marks from me for naming Mark Lawrenson as the tv pundit who makes him cringe. He says of Lawro, 'He just says something for the sake of saying it.' The main newspaper he reads is The Times, although he also looks at the Sun.

Saturday 16 February 2013

Defeat on the Humber

Pritchard replaced Wagstaff at the KC Stadium, reports Paul May. The Addicks were functional and organised in the early exchanges and started to get into the game more. Egyptian striker Gedo was given a yellow card for clattering into Solly. Hull counter attacked from the free kick, Stephens sliced it away and Evina guided it out for a throw in rather than a corner.

It was a solid, dependable start with neither side having a real opportunity in the first quarter of an hour. The Addickted were in good voice after the disruption on the rail journey. Brady climbed all over Wilson. The keeper punched away the Jackson free kick.

Jackson and Fuller combined well and a cross from Jackson almost fell into the path of Pritchard, but Hull were able to clear their lines. The home support in the crowd of 16,849 was relatively quiet.

Charlton forced a corner which was well taken by Jackson. Charlton kept up the pressure after the keeper punched the ball away. Eventually the home side were able to clear.

As the half hour mark was reached, Charlton were dictating the pattern and pace of the play. It was a disciplined performance by the Addicks.

Hull won their first corner of the afternoon almost from nothing and the ball was bundled over the goal line by Gedo from three yards out to score his first home goal. Hamer was at least partially to blame. The home supporters woke up.

Fuller was fouled on the edge of the box, but the referee who was far behind the play gave nothing. Fuller was given a yellow card for dissent by the card happy official who has already sent eight players off this season, admittedly mainly in the lower division where he normally lurks.

Hull won their second corner. The ball was clattered away by Jackson and the move ended in an offside decision.

Simpson had a free header, but Cort defended well at the expense of a corner which was unproductive.

Half time: Tigers 1, Addicks 0

Hull won a corner in the first minute, the delivery was good, but McShane made a mess of it. Evina won a free kick for Charlton to the indignation of the home fans. Referee Mattheson decided to have a word with Steve Bruce.

Hull looked as if they were trying to increase their lead. Jackson tackled Quinn who went down theatrically for the free kick. Brady put the ball over the bar.

Charlton’s confidence going forward seemed to be ebbing away a bit. Hull were making inroads down the right. McShane went down after making a challenge. Ahmed Fathi came on to make his Hull City debut in his place.

Charlton won a corner kick, but Fuller’s header was ineffective. Hull had a chance, but Hamer gathered it at the second attempt. An effort from Pritchard who was released by Solly went not far wide.

Fuller, who had found it difficult to get pass the three big Hull centre halves, was replaced by Haynes. Jay Simpson was replaced by Koren for the home side.

An effort by Haynes went straight at the keeper. The referee, who was once again well behind play, gave a bizarre corner decision in the favour of Hull. Hamer punched the ball out and Charlton were able to clear its lines.

Wilson was taken off and Wright-Phillips came on. Charlton won a corner, but it was ultimately unproductive. Stephens fed Wright-Phillips but Stockdale in the Hull goal turned it away for a corner which led to a goal kick.

Evina was withdrawn in favour of Dervitte after Wright-Phillips won a free kick. Stockdale punched the ball out. Four minutes were added on. Gedo was withdrawn in favour of Cairney.

Charlton were cautious in the first half, but conceded the goal. As the second half wore on, they attacked more, but to no avail.

Hope at Hull

Many of the Addickted will be setting out soon for the long trek to what is England's most isolated city. Those going by train have told that their return train has been cancelled and they will have to get a coach to Doncaster, not getting back to London until 10 p.m. Paul May is already there, enjoying the comforts of the Holiday Inn at Hull Marina and will be reporting from the KC Stadium this afternoon.

Reading off the table, this would seem to be a straigtforward three points for the home club, who will be augmented by new signing Gedo. However, Charlton have been undefeated in their last eight trips to Humberside, winning four and drawing four. In terms of their away record, the Addicks have a ratio of 2:1 in terms of wins and draws compared with defeats.

It was difficult to find any informed local commentary on the game, which is unusual. One report I saw seemed to think that Hollands was still playing with us.

The home game at Charlton was played out in appalling weather, ending in a frustrating 0-0 draw for both sides. However, Hull score relatively few goals, earning a very efficient 0.75 points for every goal scored.

The Addicks are without Danny Haynes who has aggravated his hamstring injury and I think that he does add something when he is available. Nevertheless, I am hopeful that we will come away with a point this afternoon.

Thursday 14 February 2013

Dossevi to join Charlton?

French and Italian websites are carrying stories about striker Thomas Dossevi joining the Addicks. Curiously, the French website refers to the presence of Kerkar and Dervite at Charlton, but not Kermorgant, but perhaps as a Breton he does not count.

Dossevi has left Thai club Chonburi and is a free agent. Born in France, the 33-year old Togolese striker played for Swindon in the 2010-11 season. He thinks that he can help a club.

Monday 11 February 2013

Curbs linked with Rome vacancy

Alan Curbishley has been linked with the managerial vacancy in Rome following the resignation of Pope Benedict. The outgoing Pope had an unfulfilled ambition to establish a Vatican City football team which would play in the Italian leagues. At the moment there is only an inter-seminary cup notorious for its rough play.

Asked about whether he might throw his hat into the ring, Curbs said, 'Is it north of the M25'?

However, the hot favourite at the moment is Harry Redknapp. It is thought that his experience at QPR would help him to deal with a disllusioned flock. Winding down his car window, he said, 'I know nuffink about it. You'd better ask the chairman.'

Literacy in more than one language has been a normal qualification, but this would not stand in the way of the right applicant. The position is thought to be free of any obligation to pay taxes.

The man who sent Palace down

Former Charlton defender Jon Fortune has joined Chatham Town in the Ryman League Division 1 North, having been let go by Barnet following the departure from the managerial post of former Charlton player Mark Robson: Fortune

Fortune is still only 32 which is not that old for a defender, but he has had a few injury problems in his career. The manager at Chatham, Kevin Watson, was a Charlton Academy player alongside Fortune. Fortune will always be remembered as the player who scored the goal that sent Palace down at The Valley.

Apparently, he is going to be used as a striker (he did not feature in Saturday's 4-0 away win). But then that was how he started out.

Fortune is hoping to use his time at Chatham to get fit. It's a reminder that the careers of football players are not necessarily lengthy or glamorous.

Saturday 9 February 2013

Time Added On Agony

Yann Kermorgant's devastated expression at the end of the match said it all. On 87 minutes he had scored a well-worked goal to apparently secure the three points for Charlton against Birmingham City. But the Addicks have the worst record in time added on in the Championship and Birmingham were able to equalise. It was Charlton's fault because we invited pressure on to ourselves.

The first half had been something of a stalemate. We had played some nice football, passing the ball well, but we lacked that extra something that was needed to unlock the Birmingham defence. In the second half, keeper Jack Butland helped to keep the Blues in the game. The goal came when hope was ebbing away, but Charlton failed to move beyond four home wins this season.

I arrived at The Valley to buy Voice of the Valley off one of Rick's elves, but someone told me later they had bought their copy from the Rickster himself. Rick confessses in the issue that it is still a little 'dry', but hopefully it will get back its fizz and become part of the Valley scene once again.

The Old Bill were much in evidence and there were rumours of three arrests, although whether that was for money laundering was unclear.

Referee d'Urso started as he meant to go over by awarding the visitors a dubious free kick, but it went off the wall and then over. Fuller won Charlton a corner taken by Dale Stephens, followed by a second which ended in a questionable free kick for the Blues. Chris Solly was fouled, but the free kick taken by Jackson was unproductive. City broke, but their effort at the other end went over. In general, they didn't seem to be very accurate when it came to shooting.

Fuller was fouled on the edge of the box and the Jackson free kick led to an Addicks corner. Ensuing play led to another corner which Butland punched away. Fuller then drew a fingertip save from the impressive Butland. The ball flashed across the box, but no one was able to connect and put it in the back of the net. It was one of the best chances of the half.

Another good save from Butland led to a Charlton corner and for a moment I thought that the ball was in the back of the net. Fuller was then not too far wide with an angled shot. An effort from Wilson drew a save.

HT: Addicks 0, Blues 0

Kermorgant showed intent by winning the ball well. A shot from Wagstaff led to a Charlton corner. Fuller was just wide with a shot. Cedric Evina had a go, but put the ball over. Solly won Charlton a corner. Jackson put in a good tackle. The Blues made the first of their substitutions. The Bloke Beside Me thought that we were running out of steam and ideas and Green replaced Wilson. The visitors won a corner and we failed to clear our lines leading to a second, but Hamer was able to make the save. Blues won a free kick just outside the 'D', but Hamer dealt with it comfortably. Reilly received a yellow card for a foul.

Kermorgant was just wide. Good work involving a number of Charlton players then set up Kermorgant who nodded the ball home. We then made two substititions, Wright-Phillips for Fuller and Dervitte was also brought on. On the face of it this look sensible, but perhaps it disrupted our play.

The Blues made their last substitution, bringing the big man Zigic on. Wright-Phillips was booked for kicking the ball into the goal when the flag had gone up. Instead of kicking the ball into Row Z, we tried to be clever, and lost the ball. Elliott was unmarked, the Football League Paper blaming Morrison, and he fired into the back of the net. I seem to remember him scoring a similar goal against us for Burnley at Turf Moor.

The joke doing the rounds is that Charlton players have been banned from taking their dog for a walk because they will lose the lead.

Match analysis

Ivy the Terrible has awarded the Silver Bone to Ricardo Fuller. He showed some real skill and quality, as well as commitment, even though he was unable to score. Hamer had to make some decent stops, but nothing really testing, the goal just flashed in. Cort really got involved and his towering presence looks intimidating, but he always judges his interventions well. Morrison did a solid job and got forward well once to set up an attack. Evina was on top form and made some good interceptions. Solly was not as outstanding as he sometimes is, but he had a very good game. Jackson made some good interventions. I don't think the pitch really suited Stephens and not everything he tried came off, but top marks for effort and commitment. Wagstaff played well and came very close to having a decisive impact. I thought that Wilson had a good game, he has an excellent engine and can unsettle the opposition, but perhaps the final product was lacking. Kermorgant had an excellent game, topped by the goal. Green did offer something a bit different when he came on. The two cameos are not worth commenting on.

Juneau the Soccer Cat has awarded the Hiss of the Match to referee Andy d'Urso. As was to be expected with the banker from Billericay, he made some baffling decisions.

Friday 8 February 2013

Voice of the Valley is back

Rick from Ramsgate, Editor in Chief

There has been some mystery surrounding the whereabouts of Rick Everitt since his enforced departure from The Valley last autumn. He has been seen at games, but there have also been rumours of a forlorn figure riding his bike on the highways and byways of the Isle of Thanet in a search for gainful employment.

However, it now appears that he has been beavering away with the help of his elves on the return of Charlton fanzine Voice of the Valley. It will be on sale outside The Valley tomorrow and can also be purchased online. The cover pays tribute to departed Addicks historian Colin Cameron, and I may have something in it myself if it has survived the editor's blue pencil. More here: Voice of the Valley.

Thursday 7 February 2013

N'Guessan move back on?

There is a lot of speculation that the Addicks could renew their interest in a loan deal for Millwall's Dany N'Guessan. Richard Cawley has tweeted that he will write about in Pravda tomorrow, but Millwall manager Kenny Jackett remains uncertain whether Charlton will renew their interest. Chris Powell clearly remains convinced that N'Guessan has something to offer the Addicks, but says that a move is not imminent as it would depend on other players going out: Keep Guessing

The most likely way in which that could happen is through Green and Wright-Phillips going to Swindon, but there is no recent news from the County Ground.

Buoyant mood at Blues

Birmingham City are in optimistic mood as they look forward to their game at Charlton on Saturday. The club has recorded back to back wins for the first time this season, the squad at the cash strapped club survived the transfer window intact, and in the last few minutes news has come in of a new and credible bid for the Blues: Blues get over the Blues

We thought that our away draw at St.Andrews at the beginning of the season was an encouraging sign, even though it was disappointing to sacrifice our lead in the closing minutes. However, the travails of majority shareholder Carson Yeung, who faces money laundering charges in Hong Kong, have cast something of a shadow on the club's season.

The club are not pretending that it will be three easy points on Saturday and acknowledge that they face a tough game on the heavy Valley pitch. But they hope that Charlton's poor home form will work to their advantage.

Wednesday 6 February 2013

New twist in pitch saga

It transpires that The Valley pitch was re-seeded twice last summer, but heavy rain washed away the first re-seeding. Anyway, the controversy gives a whole new meaning to the calls for 'Powell Out Now!'

There has been a new twist to the saga after reports circulated that a team of archaeologists from Greenwich University had sought permission to dig the pitch up over the summer. They believe that the pitch may hide the final resting place of one of the last Kentish kings, Ethelred the Unready. Legend has it that Ethelred was watching an early version of football in a game between his Men of Kent and a team from a palace in Surrey. The Surrey team dazzled the Men of Kent with the reflection of the sun from some crystals and won the game. Ethelred was so shocked that he collapsed and died and was buried on the spot.

Others, however, contend that Ethelred would have been buried in accordance with the 'long stay' custom and hence his remains are to be found under the West Stand car park.

Today is April 1st in the old Kentish calendar.

Tuesday 5 February 2013

Hamer blames CP for poor home performances

Charlton goalkeeper Ben Hamer has no doubts about who is to blame for Charlton's poor performances. It's CP. No, not Chris Powell, the other one: Valley groundsman Colin Powell and the poor state of the Valley pitch. It hasn't been looking too good recently, but the winter weather has been awful. It seems a rather unusual explanation and I'm not sure it will go down too well with the Addickted who have a lot of time for Colin Powell as a former player.

Hamer told Richard Cawley of the South London Press: 'Our pitch this season has been in absolutely awful shape and we’ve not been able to play our football game. Apart from against Cardiff they have not been free-flowing matches - they’ve been nothing short of poor. The pitch has been a big part of that.'

'We need to get that rectified. It was a lot better last season. Lawrie Wilson had the ball on the byline [against Sheffield Wednesday] and when he was just about to play his pass it was all bobbly and horrible. I’m confident in our ability but I don’t feel confident of the pitch. You don’t know what it is going to do, because it is boggy one week and then hard and bobbly the next.'

'I know it’s easy to say that is the excuse for not being good at home but it is a really major factor. God knows why it is so poor - all I do know is that it is not in good nick. It is not conducive to what we’re trying to do. For Sheffield Wednesday it didn’t matter because their strength is launching the ball into the box and winning the aerial challenges.'

'We’ve been playing on some really decent surfaces away from home and have been able to exploit that. Burnley was very good, so was Derby. Watford was exceptional - especially considering they play rugby and football on it. It makes you wonder why ours is so terrible when it only has one game on it every two weeks.'

'Our groundsman won’t be too happy with what I’ve said - but it is something that needs to be addressed.'

Hamer should have seen the pitch in the winter in the 1950s.

Monday 4 February 2013

PDC says sorry

Paolo di Canio has apologised to Bradley Wright-Phillips and Danny Green over the transfer day confusion surrounding their move to the County Ground. Swindon sources are indicating that the deal may be revived once the takeover of the club is approved by the Football League, although there is still some uncertainty about whether di Canio will be staying. The Currant Bun has ever suggested that the deal could be done tomorrow, but that seems unlikely to me.

Saturday 2 February 2013

A game of two halves

Charlton dominated the first half against Palace today securing a 1-0 lead which they retained for an hour, but at the break the home side brought on the 39-year old Kevin Phillips and switched to 4-4-2. They took charge of the game and, just as last Saturday, the Addicks saw a 1-0 lead turn into a 2-1 defeat.

Charlton won an early corner taken by Jackson following a cross by Dervitte, reports Paul May, Morrison put in a powerful header but it went over the bar. An attempt by Wilson was blocked by Delaney. Palace counter attacked and Solly put in a brilliant, sliding tackle. Fuller put in a very optimistic attempt from 40 yards out.

Fuller was making a nuisance of himself. Bolasie put the ball straight at Hamer. Charlton won their second corner of the game, some of the Palace fans directed pleasantries at Jackson. Bolasie lunged at Wagstaff and conceded a free kick. Charlton kept up the pressure and were looking dangerous. Fuller got beyond Ramage with a body swerve and put the ball through Speroni’s legs to make it 1-0 to the Addicks.

Hamer dealt comfortably with a Palace free kick. He then had to deal with another desperate delivery from a free kick. Dervitte won the ball off Zaha well, but was not able to turn provider for Fuller. Zaha was being snuffed out. Hamer got into trouble with a cross from Richards as he clattered into Cort. Charlton seemed to be winning every 50-50 and second ball as the home fans showed some frustration. The Addicks won another corner as Solly whipped in a cross. A free kick was awarded to Palace from the corner.

<>Charlton won another corner after good work by Pritchard. Speroni palmed the ball into the path of Cort but it went on to the roof of the net from two yards out. Pritchard was fouled by Zaha and won a free kick.

Pritchard got beyond two challenges, but Jackson’s shot was well saved by Speroni. Wilson turned provider for Jackson but his header drifted just wide of the left-hand post. It was a chance to score. Solly went down injured in a Palace attack.

Dervitte was providing good protection for Charlton. One minute was added on, Palace having asked the fourth official if they could get in early. Some of the Palace fans had a go at Holloway after a half in which Charlton had been very much in charge.

HT: 0-1

Kevin Phillips was brought on for his Palace debut to replace Butterfield and give more of an attacking threat. With Speroni off his line, Dervitte made a run and had a go. Speroni gathered from a Jackson free kick.

Zaha curled the ball just wide after Phillips put the ball into his path to give Palace their first real opportunity. Pritchard and Wagstaff managed to get control of the ball from Zaha.

A free kick was awarded against Wagstaff for a foul on Zaha. It was headed away. A curling shot from Fuller was tipped over the bar by Speroni. The short corner ended in an offside decision. Palace exerted pressure from the subsequent attack and Solly had to concede a corner. Wilson was able to clear. The ball came back in and a shot from Phillips was saved by Hamer who collected the ball from the corner.

Zaha got away from Morrison, but the move ended in a goal kick for the Addicks. Charlton won a corner. Palace prepared to make a double attacking change. Williams and Dobbie came on. Evina won a free kick off Zaha to the annoyance of the home fans.

Referee Mark Halsey had a word with Fuller and Williams. Wagstaff was taken off and replaced by Wiggins, making his return after his long absence following his injury in the home game against Palace.

Following a free kick, Moxey put the ball in the path of Murray who equalised for Palace with 16 minutes to go.

Hamer had to tip a drive over his bar. Murray made it 2-1, driving the ball into the roof of the net leaving Hamer with no chance. Chris Powell made his changes with Haynes and Kermorgant coming on, but perhaps they should have made earlier, as was the case against Sheffield Wednesday. Palace won a corner. Cort was able to scoop the ball away.

Charlton won a corner. Speroni punched the ball away from Pritchard’s corner. Speroni blocked an effort made by Pritchard from 12 yards out. Haynes was caught offside.

Four minutes were added on. Murray had a chance of the hat trick but he put it wide. Palace won a late corner and achieved the double over the Addicks.

Three changes in line up

There are three changes in Charlton's line up at Sellout Park this afternoon. Dervitte comes in for Stephens, presumably to give a more defensive character to the midfield. Cort replaces Taylor: the latter has done a decent job, but arguably Cort is the better player. Fuller replaces Kermorgant, who has not looked too happy in the lone striker role. As someone noted in a comment, who is he supposed to nod the ball down to? Fuller, when fit, is our best striker with an ability to cut through defences.

This is Croydon

This is Croydon is predicting an electric atmosphere in the clash between Crystal Palace and Charlton today: Palace

Our man with the Sainsbury's bag, Paul May, will be at Sellout to bring you a full match report.

Friday 1 February 2013

Failed attempt to sign N'Guessan

Charlton made an unsuccessful attempt to sign former loan player in the dying hours of the transfer window, a Millwall site has revealed. But Millwall did not want to leave themselves short of cover at the eleventh-hour and talks barely got off the ground. A swap deal involving Danny Haynes was briefly discussed but then dismissed.

The Addicks have been keen to sign N'Guessan ever since he impressed while on loan at The Valley last season and the 25-year-old had been expected to make the move permanent last August. But the Frenchman has featured on a regular basis for Millwall in recent months after starting the campaign on the fringes of the squad and manager Jackett would be reluctant to lose him at this stage.

Palace look to maintain unbeaten run

Crystal Palace have the longest unbeaten home run in the Championship and hope to maintain that record against Charlton tomorrow. Here 'Bet Asia' looks at an 'eye catching derby in South London': Derby

The BBC preview looks at Crystal Palace's enhanced strike power with Kevin Phillips given a second chance to score against the Addicks after fluffing his lines at The Valley. Palace's captain is likely to appear as a masked player. The Addicks have conceded six goals in time added on and scored none: Palace

No late deals at Charlton

After all the usual rather artifical excitement of transfer deadline day, there were no late deals involving Charlton. Thankfully, Chris Powell does not have to wind down his car window as he announces an inflated deal for a player supposed to avoid relegation. I am relieved that we have kept our key players, particularly Chris Solly, but also the infuriatingly inconsistent Dale Stephens. And I would have been quite sorry to see Bradley Wright-Phillips become a Rocking Robin.

Swindon Town have stated on their website that they agreed three deals, terms were agreed and the players passed their medicals. However, the Football League refused to approve transfer of registrations at the cash strapped club which is in the process of being taken over by the owner of Banbury United. It seems very likely that two of those players were Danny Green and Bradley Wright-Phillips.

Our squad is strong enough to keep us up which is the key aim for this season. Now we can focus on tomorrow's engagement at Crystal Palace.