Friday 30 May 2014

A Belgian view of Bob Peeters

Someone involved in Belgian football has given an Addick this assessment of Bob Peeters: 'Bob done a great job at Cercle Brugge but was tempted by the big job at Gent which turned out to be too early for him. After 6 months out of the game he became coach at Waasland-Beveren and did another great job keeping them in the top Belgian league. My friend also said Beveren was like keeping Southend in the premiership, they are that small a club. He thinks Charlton is a good next step for Bob as he is very ambitious guy.'

'However, his success has been at clubs that were small and with a team full of youngsters; they follow him and look up to him. At Gent he was unable to deal with the bigger star names in the dressing room. So he does have a bit of a reputation as a "my way or highway" sort of guy. That said my friend said when he played at Genk it was clear he was going to be a very good manager.'

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Koen Casteels rumours

The rumour mill is linking Hoffenheim keeper Koen Casteels with Charlton. The 6ft. 5 ins. keeper is a member of the Belgian World Cup squad, having appeared nine times for Belgium's under 21s. He broke his shin towards the end of the season, but has evidently recovered.

I would emphasise that this is a rumour for which there is no independent verification, but it is an interesting possibility.

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Peeters appointment confirmed

As anticipated, the club has confirmed the appointment of Bob Peeters as head coach: Peeters

Damien Matthews stays, but Alex Dyer has left and is clearly unhappy at what has transpired: Dyer

O'Grady to sign for Charlton

One place to look for players at a price Charlton can afford is clubs relegated from the Championship and Charlton have agreed a £500,000 for Barnsley striker Chris O'Gray: O'Grady

He has played for a number of clubs 'oop North and was formerly with Sheffield Wednesday before he joined the Tykes: Career . Indeed, Wednesday have tried to get him to return and Millwall have also shown an interest.

A Yorkshire source commented: "O'Grady is a handful for defenders and he does bring others in to play. His finishing could be a bit better but 15 goals last season was very good in a struggling side."

Monday 26 May 2014

Peeters to be confirmed as coach

Bob Peeters is to be announced as Charlton head coach this week: Peeters

Like many Charlton fans, I would have liked José Riga to be given a chance to see what he could do under less pressured circumstances. I thought that he was a class act in many respects.

I am a bit underwhelmed by his replacement, but I am reluctant to condemn him before we have even had a practice match. I hope that he succeeds as coach. There has been some interesting speculation about possible English candidates, but the choice was bound to be a Belgian.

Sunday 25 May 2014

Karel Fraeye will continue to work in Roland's network

Jose Riga's assistant Karel Fraeye has been appointed as head coach of Belgium Division 3 side VW Hamme. The club represents a level higher than his last job in Belgium at Eendracht Zele.

Reflecting on his time at The Valley he said: "I look back on that with a fantastic feeling of adventure. It was an intense period with two matches per week, but I have learned a lot. I cannot thank Mr Duchâtelet enough for this opportunity, but on the other hand, I also want to continue to develop as a head coach. Hence the choice for VW Van Hamme. Hamme is for me a step forward in my development. Mr Duchâtelet understand my choice and supports me 100% because in addition to the work at Van Hamme I will also continue to undertake analyses and scout for the network, just as in the past half year. I will also have a coordinating role for his network." Flemish original text here: Fraeye

Friday 23 May 2014

Investment needed to avoid relegation

The annual review by The Guardian of Championship finances makes sobering reading with accumulated debt now £1 billion. The point is made that owners now have to invest to avoid relegation: Finances

Financial fair play rules start to operate this summer and Charlton hope that these will level the playing field in the Championship. However, a legal challenge is likely if QPR fail to win the play off final and face a big fine.

Given that they are way outside the permissible losses, they almost certainly will be fined if they are not promoted. However, they and other clubs have already fired off a warning letter from a solicitor to the Football League. The compatibility of the rules with EU competition law is open to question, according to sports lawyers.

Cousins scores for England

Jordan Cousins scored on his England Under 21 debut last night with the national side beating Qatar 3-0 in Toulon in their opening group match. Cousins had come on as a substitute on 59 minutes. In injury team the keeper made a poor clearance and Cousins put the ball into an empty net from 25 yards. He also scored on his debut for Charlton.

Thursday 22 May 2014

Ben Hamer completes Leicester move

Ben Hamer has successfully completed his medical and signed his contract at Leicester where he will become No.2 keeper. He also appears to have trimmed his beard: Hamer

Hamer could be a great shot stopper, but he was sometimes too hesitant in his decision making in a way which confused his defenders and his distribution also needed work. However, he did a solid job for us and I wish him well.

Gomez in England victory

Charlton prospect Joe Gomez was a member of the England Under 17 side that beat Holland on penalties to take the European championship last night. What is more, he played a decisive role in the English equaliser.

From a corner Gomez headed back across goal to the dominant defender Taylor Moore. His shot fell to Chelsea’s Dom Solanke inside a crowded penalty area and he sent an instinctive finish beyond Yanick van Osch.

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Bob Peeters reported to be new manager

New manager Peeters

Flemish and French language sources are reporting that 40-year old former Millwall striker Bob Peeters is to be the new Charlton manager: Peeters

However, the news hasn't gone down too well with his current club Waasland-Beveren to whom it is a 'disagreeable surprise'. He has a contract there until 2015 so compensation will have to be agreed.

He could well be the tallest ever Charlton manager: Career . He was capped 13 times for Belgium.

Like many Charlton fans, I had hoped that José Riga might return, but c'est la vie. 'He's got no hair, but we don't care. Belgian, Belgian Bob.'

Richard Cawley of the SLP has tweeted that another option is on the table, but Peeters remains the favourite. (At any rate it won't be Helena Costa as she has gone to Clermont). No official announcement is expected until next week.

José Riga is, not surprisingly, unhappy at the way he has been treated: "Even if no renewal clause had been expected at the signing of the contract binding me to the London club, which I gladly accepted, I do not imagine for a moment that it stops this way, so brutally. Without bragging on my part, including supporters, we had been very satisfied with the good turn of events and the work I could do in a competition that I had a lot of fun to discover. Now, to know why I have no voice, it remains a total mystery to me."

Patrick van Houdt from KV Mechelen looks like becoming assistant coach.

Tuesday 20 May 2014

'Best keeper since Kiely'

That's the view that York City fans have of Charlton loan keeper Nick Pope who has been named the 'Velcro man' because everything sticks to him. Minstermen boss Nigel Worthington is also full of praise: Pope (Scroll down to see the comments from York fans)

With Ben Hamer expected to sign for Leicester on Thursday, can Pope step up to the plate as our No.1 keeper?

Meanwhile, the South London Press has published an extensive interview with Callum Harriott: Harriott

Monday 19 May 2014

Riga's fate to be decided soon

Jose Riga's future at Charlton will be decided this week, just two months after he joined the Championship club, reports the Evening Standard. The 56-year-old will hold talks with owner Roland Duchatelet in Belgium and those meetings will determine whether he continues as manager. Riga's future is uncertain because his contract expires this summer and Duchatelet is considering other candidates.

An announcement on any decision is likely to be delayed until next week.

Sunday 18 May 2014

Cousins denies Arsenal rumours

England Under 20 international Jordan Cousins has denied rumours of interest from Arsenal. He told the Football League Paper 'I think the link with Arsenal has been blown out of all proportion because I support them. My agent just wants me to focus on my football.'

Cousins was full of praise for José Riga and hopes he will return next season: 'He just made sure he focused on the team and that we stayed in the league. He was very tactically aware so he would make sure that everyone knew his job on the pitch which as a young player I learnt a lot from.'

Cousins said, 'It's been a very good season. Sometimes it has been hard because we had a lot of games to catch up on towards the end of the season but I have just been making sure I'm doing everything right and recovering well after the games. I've just been getting on with to be honest and I haven't really had time to think about it all because it's been coming thick and fast. I would say Charlton staying up is one of my greatest achievements.'

Cousins has been named in the England Under 21 squad for tomorrow's match against Wales.

Thursday 15 May 2014

Morro waits for new contract

Michael Morrison should have a new contract awaiting him when he returns from a fortnight's holiday in Spain, but the process has been slower than he would have liked: Morrison

Sky Sports is reporting that Leicester are close to signing Ben Hamer: Hamer

Wednesday 14 May 2014

First signing

18-year old winger Kurtis Cumberbatch has joined from Watford on a one year contract after being let go by the Hornets. He was with Tottenham Hostpur before he joined Watford.

Jason Euell saw him in a trial at Sparrows Lane was impressed with him. He will be joining the development squad.

The future of José Riga

Speculation about the future of José Riga continues. Many Charlton fans would like to see him given a chance to continue the work he has begun, but the rumour mill is suggesting that a replacement has already been selected.

Meanwhile, Riga has been talking about his experience in Charlton. He appreciated the professional structure at Charlton and the overall level of the Championship, pointing out that only four teams had never been in the Premiership.

Riga stated, "By accepting this challenge [of managing Charlton], I was not thinking of me, as I had more to lose than to win. If I did, it is because I am a man of challenge. I landed in London on a Monday and coached my first game two days later, without any preparation and without knowing my staff, team, competition, the club and its structures. There could be no more difficult situation. Based on my intuition and my knowledge, I made my choice and just went."

"The only goal that was assigned to me was to save Charlton, not to please. Relegation was terrible, sporting but also financially." Lacking a reliable striker, Riga tried to tighten the defence and favour players like Poyet.

José Riga remembered the first message sent to his players. "I told them we did not have the best team, but we had to form the best group in terms of class, of involvement. We had to be flawless on that front and if that were the case, we could compete with everyone. What we did, was thanks to my assistant, Karel Fraeye, and the technical staff, since such a result is never the property of one person."

Riga would like to stay: "When I left London, players, journalists and supporters have asked me if they would see me again. I could not give any answer because if my priority is to continue the adventure in Charlton, I'm not the decision maker."

Fulham and QPR have apparently expressed some interest "But as I said, and I said to Roland Duchâtelet, I give priority to Charlton."

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Dervite is a real loss

It looks as if Dorian Dervite is going to sign for Bolton and I regard him as a real loss, particularly after a strong end to the season.

Dervite is available on a free transfer after seeing out his contract at The Valley. Charlton offered Dervite a new deal to extend his stay at the club, but they were unable to agree terms with the Frenchman. A number of other Championship clubs were interested, but he is expected to sign a three year contract with the Trotters.

According to one report, Bolton have offered to double his wages. They want to sort out their signings now as they may be hit by financial fair play sanctions in December.

Press reports from Bolton are claiming that the signing has been made: Dervite. Interesting that Bolton have now made three signings and we have only signed a development player.

Cedric Evina has announced that he has left the club.

Sunday 11 May 2014

The vital game

There have been many crucial games in Charlton's history, but one of the most vital was the play off final replay against Leeds in the 1986-7 season. If Charlton had lost, and been relegated from what was then the first division, the club could have gone into receivership and might not have survived.

Today the Football League Paper celebrates the match with an interview with John Humphrey and traces the current whereabouts of the players:

  • George Shipley was a youth team manager at Gillingham and Boro, but now runs a gardening business.
  • Billy Beggs died in 2012 in his native Northern Ireland at the age of 44.
  • John Humphrey is head of football at Highgate School in London.
  • Micky Bennett lives in Forest Hill and is head of player welfare and counselling coordinator at the Professional Footballers' Association.
  • Ralph Milne lives in his home town of Broughty Ferry, Dundee and works as a lorry driver.
  • Andy Peake lives near Market Harborough and is in the Leicestershire police force.
  • John Pender lives in Telford and is a sales manager.
  • Nicky Johns lives in Orpington and has worked for Crystal Palace.
  • Bob Bolder is East Kent community officer for the Addicks community scheme.
  • Steve Thompson managed five clubs including Sheffield United and Lincoln and now runs the Hunters Leap pub in Washingborough, Lincolnshire.
  • Paul Miller became a financial consultant in the City of London and has also developed a property portfolio.
  • Rob Lee has two sons who are professional footballers and has worked as a media pundit.
  • Colin Walsh has worked in the building trade and is still a match day host at The Valley.
  • Steve Gritt is assistant manager at Ebbsfleet.
  • Peter Shirtliff is now based in Swindon and is scouting for Ipswich Town.
  • Alan Curbishley had a brief spell recently as Fulham's technical director.
  • Mark Reid is a driving instructor in his native Glasgow.
  • Jim Melrose became Leicester's chief scout and then went into business in Manchester.

Friday 9 May 2014

Hayes shown the door at Scunthorpe

One time Charlton Athletic striker Paul Hayes (remember him?) has been shown the exit door at Scunthorpe and the 30-year old is none too happy about it, taking to Twitter to express his displeasure. However, his strike rate at the Iron was not very impressive: Hayes

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Poyet offer on table

According to the South London Press Charlton have made an offer to Diego Poyet and are now awaiting his response: Poyet

Monday 5 May 2014

Two beards less

It has been remarkable this season that we have a much longer squad list than many better teams who have played against us. A number of players were simply not up to Championship standard and a major clear out is now under way.

In that spirit it is understood that Danny Green has now left the club. Joining him are expected to be Jordan, Pritchard, Evina, Hollands, Cook, Feely and Gower. The loan players have, of course, also left.

The smart money is on Hamer leaving and Poyet staying, but minus his beard.

These matters seem trivial compared to the death of Elena Baltacha at 30 from liver cancer. Her father is professional lead development coach at Charlton and our thoughts and condolences go to him at this tragic time.

Sunday 4 May 2014

Work of fiction

As far as I know no one has written a novel about Charlton so far, although David Lodge has some excellent passages about the club in the post-war period in one of his novels. However, someone has now brought a novel based around two Charlton fans: Novel

Saturday 3 May 2014

Harriott hat trick brings season to close

A hat trick by Callum Harriott gave Charlton a 3-0 win over Blackpool this afternoon to finish 18th in the table ahead of Millwall. It's been a tough season, but the Addicks in Blackpool will now be able to party (as many of them were doing last night).

After Morrison surrendered possession, Blackpool had a break on but Dervite intervened. The Tangerines then put in a shot that was just wide. Poyet did very well to intercept as Blackpool had another chance. Charlton were under some pressure. Morrison had to put the ball out for a Blackpool corner. Dervite had to deal with it, but the pressure continued for a while. Another shot came in which Hamer had to tip over the bar. The ball went out for a goal kick from the corner.

Astrid wanted to shoot, but was closed down quickly and lost possession. Dervite dealt well with the counter attack. Another shot came in but was blocked by Dervite and the ball went through to Hamer. Fox dealt with an attempted cross.

Chants from the 1,500+ Charlton fans asserted that Poyet was better than his dad. A chorus of Valley Floyd Road followed.

Dervite put a good ball over the top, Sordell stretched but didn’t quite make contact. Sordell tried to chip the ball over the keeper but it went wide and then the referee gave a foul. Harriott did well as Blackpool threatened at the expense of a corner. Hamer dealt with the corner well.

Jackson advanced, but Blackpool were able to defend. The Tangerines threatened, but Dervite slowed them up and the move ended in a goal kick for Charlton. Morrison defended well as Blackpool advanced.

Dervite fired in a free kick, but it went wide. Harriott shot straight at the keeper after good work by Poyet and Fox. Wilson was brought down, but was accused of being a cheat by the home fans. Keown had a late chance, but put the ball over.

The half had been fairly even in terms of possession, but Blackpool had created the better chances.

HT 0-0

A snap shot from Sordell was turned round the post by the keeper. Blackpool won a free kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the penalty area. The ball went straight into the wall and back again. Astrid needed treatment after taking the ball in the midriff. After Harriott had his shirt pulled, the lino gave the decision to Blackpool for a free kick halfway inside the Charlton half.

Blackpool got very close, but Charlton survived. A good ball from Dervite reached Sordell who saw the run of Harriott who buried the ball in the right-hand corner of the net to make it 1-0 to Charlton.

Jordan Cousins, who had taken a knock, had to come off and Petrucci came on. Dervite got a foot in to prevent Blackpool scoring. Keown went off and Ricardo Fuller came on and clattered into Jacko.

Petrucci was pulled down by Cathcart. Wilson got past his man, but Harriott was unable to take advantage.

Pettrucci got a booking for a foul on Bishop. The ball from the free kick went over the bar. Astrid went off and the Charlton fans rose to applaud him. Obika replaced him.

Callum Harriott made it 2-0, starting with good work by Obika who provided it to Sordell and it went back to Obika and then to Harriott who got a yellow card for excessive celebration.

Charlton kept up the pressure, but the play was disrupted by another bizarre offside decision by the lino. Sordell went off to applause to be replaced by Piggott.

The Addickted started a chant of ‘To the Londoners 2-0’. Petrucci was showing some skill with some good touches. Five minutes were added on. Callum Harriott fired the ball with a left footed strike to make it 3-0 after Piggott picked him out.

Friday 2 May 2014

Riera on misconduct charge

Hornets charm merchant Albert Riera faces a misconduct charge in relation to his red card at The Valley. He had to be dragged away from the officials after being sent off: Riera

Thursday 1 May 2014

Harriott: Jonjo was my inspiration

Callum Harriott has told the Evening Standard that the club's younger players took inspiration from Jonjo Shelvey and Carl Jenkinson in their battle to avoid relegation.

Harriott said: 'I used to watch the Jonjos and Carls coming through and thought "I want to be next. I want to shine." The club's youth set up is great. They push us through and give us as much training as we need and they try and help us. It is a great club for young players.'

Ones to watch

A video from 'Tangerine TV' of three Charlton players - Marvin Sordell, Johnnie Jackson and Simon Church: Scoring goals