Thursday 31 July 2014

Very sad news about John Hewie

Charlton legend and one time World Cup player John Hewie is badly afflicted by dementia, reports Voice of the Valley editor Rick Everitt. A link to the report and other materials can be found here: Hewie

It would be nice if it was true

The rumour mill is claiming that Manchester United and former Crewe Alexandria midfielder Nick Powell is join Charlton on a year long loan. It would be good news if it was true: Career details

There have been rumours that another winger was to be signed. However, it is far from clear that Hull City have given up their interest in the 20-year old and he would presumably prefer a move to a Premiership club.

Keepers do their work at London Road

The Addicks were held to a 0-0 draw by League One's Peterborough United at London Road yesterday evening. Former Charlton custodian and now Peterborough's Ben Alnwick made several smart saves to keep his side in the tie, the first of which came when he dealt with Johann Gundmundsson's powerful long-range strike after just six minutes. Those who ask where the goals are going to come from this season might consider his potential contribution.

Stephen Henderson in the Addicks goal got his first taste of the action when he kept out Nick Ajose's swerving effort midway through the first half. Alnwick was again called into action just before the break when he had to react quickly to keep out another powerful effort from Gundmundsson.

Charlton kept their shape well, but the best chance of the second half fell to Posh's Kyle Vassell on the hour mark, but after controlling a long ball forward, he could only send his shot wide of the far post.

A short piece of the action here: Friendly

Alnwick is hoping to stay at Peterborough which will be his 12th club: Alnwick. His departure from The Valley last season was one of the controversial decisions of the Roland era, the new owner being unable to give the keeper the assurances he wanted. He then stayed only a short while at Leyton Orient having to sort out personal problems with his baby son.

For what it's worth I have done my CAFC Picks entry for next season and I have forecast that we will get 60 points which would have put us at 13th in last year's table.

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Could T. Watt join us?

20-year old Celtic striker Tony Watt has joined the mother ship on a five year contract: Watt Conceivably, he might be sent on a pod to us at some point. Watt, by the way, is an Orkney name, as exemplified by the village of Twatt. I had a friend at school by the name of T. Watt.

Some Addicks still think that our main problem is up front. One experienced observer has commented, 'I think the main issue last season was the team's lack of decent strikers, Kermorgant apart. Reza, Parzyszek, Church, Pigott, Tudgay, Obika and - with the exception of a couple of games - Sordell, contributed very little over the campaign. Church, whose attitude I admire, is still here, as is Pigott. The latter is a young player who may improve, Church I don't think is getting any better. Parzysek is out on loan.'

'So now we have Vetokele (no experience in England), Tucudean (ditto) to go with Church, Pigott and maybe Reza - although he was intended to be in Saudi Arabia by now and personally I hope he goes there soon. I would say there is some hope for Vetokele, based on his career, although it does rather smell of a roundabout route to Standard Liege given that they wanted to sign him.'

'I am no judge of a player and don't pretend to be, but based only and unfairly on one evening at Ebbsfleet, don't hold your breath over Tucudean. If we are starting the season with Pigott up front, then bearing in mind he couldn't get past the massed ranks of mediocrity last season I would indeed question whether we are better off.'

'There will of course be people who think Pigott should play and maybe they know best. I do, however, remember that they also wanted him to start at Bournemouth a year ago, and that when he did start against Millwall he was completely out of his depth.'

Monday 28 July 2014

Powell ready for return

Chris Powell is ready for a return to The Valley - as the manager of another team: Powell

Unlike his former boss Alan Curbishley, Powell is not restricting his job search to the confines of the M25. Indeed, a move to the Midlands may suit him.

Is Solly the key?

I took the granddaughters to Romney Sands over the weekend. I thought that I might encounter some signs of Charlton support, perhaps even the legendary 'Derek from Dymchurch', but didn't. On the plus side, I didn't see any Millwall or Palace. Not much seems to have happened in the meantime, although there are the usual posts complaining about the lack of convincing victories in practice matches.

However, there was one interesting post from one of the more sensible Addicks. He argued: 'I think how they gel as a team is as important as the ability. Sean Dyche turned Burnley into a very good team from a team near the bottom not by big signings but by good organisation and teamwork. In my opinion the Championship is nothing special and you can have a reasonable season with a very average team.'

'I think we are a bit stronger than last season, yes we have lost Poyet from the centre (I don't know whether Buyens is as good) but Cousins will go back to that role and with Jackson, Moussa or Buyens alongside could be as effective. Hopefully Harriott will start the season as he finished it and this new Icelandic signing will be good. (Surely an improvement on Danny Green). Can't comment on our new forwards as I know nothing about them and have not been to any friendlies. They can't be worse than our forward line of last season.'

'Also how many games Solly will be able to play will make a difference. When he is there, it makes such a difference. The lack of pace unless very slow is not too much of a concern for me. Good centre halves who are well organised and have a good football brain get well positioned so that pace is not such an issue. From what I understand Gomez is very quick and if he gets in the team could well cover that option.'

'I think Bob Peeters is key here as to how he sets up the team and gets them playing.'

Carl Jenkinson to go out on loan

Former Addick Carl Jenkinson has struggled to make an impact since he moved to Arsenal and may now go out on loan to Hull City: Jenkinson

Thursday 24 July 2014

No meetings with Katrien

It is evident that neither the CAS Trust nor the 'Royal Oak' group have yet with Charlton's chief executive: Meetings

The Royal Oak group was largely based around the old Valley Party. The CAS Trust has a representative structure and says it has a good relationship 'at the operational level' with the club, whatever that means.

Following remarks by Bob Peeters last night, which were commendably transparent, it looks as if Reza doesn't want to stay at the club, although a deal for a move to the Middle East fell through. It's always a mistake to hang on to players who don't want to stay and in Reza's case I think that he has found the pace and physicality of the Championship quite difficult.

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Cambridge pleased with Lennon loan

Cambridge United are pleased with their six month loan of Harry Lennon, having beaten off competition from other clubs: Lennon

Hopefully it will give him valuable competitive match experience and enable him to develop as a player.

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Soon time to head down those tracks

The arrival of my CAFC Picks and West Sussex CASC Badger League entries reminds me that it will soon be time to get on the train at London Bridge and head down the line to Charlton. In its literature The Shard points to The New Den as one of the landmarks, but does say 'it is the most feared football stadium in London.'

I will have more difficulty than usual in making my end-of-season forecast. The players and the manager are untested. However, having failed to make as much as they wanted of the defeat at Welling, the pessimists have piped down in the last week or two as promising new players have arrived.

If you pressed me, I would say solid mid-table, with more chance of reaching the play offs than being relegated.

Monday 21 July 2014

It looks like Henderson

When we first trailed the news that Stephen Henderson might sign as goalkeeper for the Addicks, it was not greeted with much enthusiasm by the Addickted, but a number of reports over the last 24 hours suggest that the deal might soon be done: Henderson .

The official site has now confirmed that he has signed: Henderson. They are quicker off the mark than usual. Often they wait until the new player has his Oyster card, but Henderson would have one already.

One signing that would require an Oyster card is an African winger said to be in on trial, but I have no details or confirmation.

We have been linked with the PSG striker Jean-Christophe Bahebeck: Bahebeck. The rumour mill is suggesting that a £1m offer was turned down, although other reports say that it was intended to be a loan.

A report of our win over Atletico Club de Portugal can be found here: Report. The Currant Bun had it down as a win over Atletico Madrid. If only.

Sunday 20 July 2014

Reza rumours

Rumours have been circulating that Reza Ghoochannejhad is to be sold, or has already been sold, possibly to a club in the Middle East. I can't find any backing for these rumours. That is not to say that it won't happen, but usually it is possible to track down some kind of source, even if it is of dubious reliability. Of course, if it is a Middle Eastern club, the usual sources may not work.

There were reports at the beginning of the month that he was to be sold to Blackpool, to be reunited with José Riga, but the Seasiders have not managed to sign anyone.

Friday 18 July 2014

Red, Red Robin

Rumours have been circulating that the playing of the Red, Red Robin before home games is to be dropped. The rumours appear to have no basis.

However, it has sparked an interesting debate among fans and more of a division of opinion than I expected. It is clear that some fans don't like the song and, more specifically, they think that it does not provide the right intimidating, pumped up atmosphere before games. It has also been pointed out that we are not 'Robins' any more.

It's not clear what would, although there have been various suggestions. Mull of Kintyre is one suggestion, but I don't think that it would provide what is needed, even though the crowd could sing along with 'Valley Floyd Road'.

A compromise might be to play Red, Red Robin in the pre-match build up. For me, it is part of going to The Valley and I'm not sure that the music the players come out to really has much impact on performance.

Thursday 17 July 2014

Seagulls and Addicks chase Henderson

One of the last pieces in the jigsaw for next season is an experienced keeper. Charlton are hoping to sign West Han keeper Stephen Henderson on loan if the clubs can agree a percentage payment on his wages which are 20k a week. (Not good value in my view). However, they may be beaten to it by Brighton who hope to secure his signature for the season.

Four of the Irishman's family have been keepers: Career

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Crisis deepens at Blackpool

Blackpool had to cancel their pre-season tour of Spain yesterday because they only have eight players. The 'Riga Revolution' is very much in jeopardy with the former Charlton coach being unhappy about the state of the training facilities at Squires Gate, no surprise when he has been used to Sparrows Lane. It is very much an end of the pier show: Blackpool

It now looks as if Riga has had enough of this farce and is se to quit: Riga Mortis

Tuesday 15 July 2014

Chris Wood rumours

He may well be leaving Leicester, but I do not think he will be coming to Charlton. West Midlands sources say that Wolves head the queue.

What we need now is a senior keeper. Nick Pope has great potential and promise, but he needs someone with experience to mentor him.

Monday 14 July 2014

Interview with Zak Ansah

Zak Ansah lives within five minutes of the Sparrows Lane training ground, his dad is an Addicks fan and he held a season ticket for three years. Read more here: Ansah interview

Sunday 13 July 2014

Striker signed?

It is being reported that George Marius Tucudean has signed, although there is confirmation. He is notionally a striker, although may be more of a goal provider.

The Romanian is under contract to the mother ship, but was then loaned back to Dynamo Bucharest from when he came: Career details

Promotional video here: Tucudean

Charlton lose Crown Berger cup

Charlton surrendered the Crown Berger Cup in a 2-0 defeat to Welling United yesterday. It was hailed with banner headlines in the Non-League Paper as a 'shock defeat', but I can't take it too seriously, although no doubt it will provide fuel for pessimists. These pre-season games are a chance for players to develop match fitness, but without incurring injuries. I can still remember Matt Svensson banging the side of the dugout in frustration after he was injured in a pre-season game at FC Roda.

Wings manager Jamie Day said, 'This is normally our first game, but I think that playing on Tuesday against Sittingbourne, and the fact that we have had more training seasons than usual by this stage made us a bit sharper.' Welling played their hearts out as if it was a cup final with some very close to the mark tackles.

In the fourth minute Malachi Hudson was brought down in the area by Harry Lennon. The spot kick was slammed past Dillon Phillips in the Charlton goal. Eight minutes later it was almost two when Joe Healy side-stepped Lennon before the shot came off the inside of the post. On 31 minutes Phillips had to dive bravely to his right to deny Malik Ouami.

Chris Solly's runs down the right caused Welling problems in the second half with Zak Ansah twice heading wide from his crosses. Ansah was then denied by a last ditch challenge by Jamal Fyfield. Then on 78 minutes Moses Ashikodi got his shot over Nick Pope.

Friday 11 July 2014

Charlton determined to hold on to Gomez

Charlton are determined to hold on to starlet Joe Gomez, despite interest from Everton and Newcastle: Gomez

I think that the new signings, many of them forecast on this blog, are looking very encouraging and there is room for some optimism about the new season. I am particularly excited by Gudmundsson and this clip of his hat trick shows why: Gudmundsson .

Karel Fraeye is working as a scout for Roland's network and having been at Charlton last season he has a good awareness of the kinds and type of player we need.

One might ask what Roland has done for us. All right, I will give you the new pitch, the new seats, and the work at the training ground. Then there are the new signings. Perhaps Belgian rule is not so bad after all.

Thursday 10 July 2014

Icelandic player in

News from Iceland!

When our Iceland correspondent Olafur Johansson said this morning that an Icelandic international (32 caps) was on his way, I was sceptical, but it appears that Johann Berg Gudmundsson may be heading to Charlton: Berg

The winger was voted best player in the Icelandic Premier League in 2008, but more recently he has been playing in the Netherlands where he has been with AZ Alkmaar for five and a half years: Career

Rotherham United have shown a strong interest, but hopefully we have beaten them to his signature.

I think that most of us were satisfied with our last player from Iceland, Hermann Hreidarsson.

Orient swoop for Pritchard

Leyton Orient have celebrated their move to new ownership by swooping for former Addick Bradley Pritchard: Pritchard

No one could dispute Pritchard's work rate, but the one time Conference player found the Championship a bridge too far. Whether he will find his level in League 1 remains to be seen.

Cousins in the limelight

Jordan Cousins has been doing a lot of media (well local, anyway) presumably at the instigation of the club. His message is that he was not jealous of the attention showered on Diego Poyet: Cousins

One reasonably reliable source has said that the intention is to build a team this year at least capable of challenging for the play offs. The jury is still out on that, but the Crown Berger Cup at Welling on Saturday will give fans a chance to take a first look at some players.

Rumours are circulating that part of the West Ham deal was one of their players coming to us for a year on loan. It sounds plausible, but some of the West Ham cast offs who are available would not be that attractive.

Wednesday 9 July 2014

Riga on Deportivo La Coruna short list

Former Addicks coach José Riga is on the short list at Deportivo La Coruna, reflecting his good reputation on the continent. He has not found life easy at Blackpool since his arrival there: Riga

Following Tom Ince's departure on a free transfer to Hull City, the Tangerines are left with just eight first-team players - including no goalkeepers. Riga has also faced competition from the boardroom over his choice of backroom staff, and many fans are berating club owner Karl Oyston over his running of the club.

Tuesday 8 July 2014

Billericay forward in on trial

Billericay Town forward Isaac Layne is to join Charlton Athletic on trial, the Essex Ryman Premier club have announced. If he joins the Addicks, it would be as a development player. He is a former Brentford Academy player. A full statement is now available from Billericay Town: Issac Layne

See him score here: The Only Way Is Essex

The club has a pre-season fixture against Millwall which has been designated a family day. It is hoped that the fire brigade and police will be on site. A Charlton Athletic XI will also visit.

Compensation agreed for Poyet

Charlton and West Ham have agreed compensation for Diego Poyet. The sum is undisclosed, but it might be somewhat more than if the case went to a tribunal. My guess would be in the low hundred thousands. He is, of course, worth a lot more.

Poyet declared that joining West Ham was a 'no brainer' and he now wanted to 'push on' with his career: Poyet

How quickly he will make it into the Hammers first team remains to be seen. This analysis, which praises the success of the Charlton academy, compares him with Scott Parker and analyses his strengths and weaknesses in depth: New Scott Parker?

Praise for Joe Gomez

He's on a two year contract (no repeat of the Diego Poyet mistake by the previous regime) and he's rated 'one of the best up and coming players in the league': Joe Gomez feature

There is something to look forward to this season!

Monday 7 July 2014

Shelvey to join Palace?

Charlton Athletic Academy graduate Jonjo Shelvey may be joining Crystal Palace. This story first appeared in the Daily Mail but is now being carried by various internet sources, no doubt copying each other. Even the august Sevenoaks Chronicle has joined the fray: Shelvey

We take a look at Cywka

Polish midfielder Tomasz Cywka took part in the 0-0 draw against Sint Truiden. He turned down a new deal with Barnsley in June. Career details here: Cywka

Sunday 6 July 2014

Charlton linked with PSG striker

Charlton are being linked with Paris Saint-Germain striker Jean-Christophe Bahebeck: PSG striker

Before you say sacré bleu! it should be pointed out that he has been on loan for the last two seasons. The career of the French youth international is outlined here: Career

Any rumour concerning a French-speaking player joining Les Rouges is at least worthy of consideration. I just wonder how Johnnie Jackson's French lessons are progressing.

Third kit is a copy

The Daily Mail claims that our new third kit is a copy of Barcelona's for the 2012-13 season: Third kit. I thought it was rather stylish!

The 2-0 defeat by the mother ship in last night's 45-minute friendly has given some ammunition to the emerging 'Peeters is not up to the job' crowd. Give the guy a chance!

Friday 4 July 2014

Charlton an unknown quantity says Morro

Speaking to his home town paper, Michael Morrison (not a Belgian) said that he is delighted with his new deal at The Valley which means that he will not have to move house. He reckons that Charlton could be an 'unknown quantity' this season which he is one way of putting it: Morrison

Shame that they refer to us as 'The Valiants'.

Elsewhere Flemish language sources are linking us with Club Brugge's Lior Refaelov. He is an attacking rights-sided midfielder which would be useful. Like Ben Haim he is an Israeli, so they could chat in Hebrew when they are not speaking Flemish or French. Basic career outline: Refaelov

Poyet to join West Ham

Diego Poyet is to join West Ham on a four year contract, having turned down Newcastle and Stoke: Poyet

At a club like West Ham he will have more of a chance of getting off the bench than at, say, Chelsea. The more appearances he makes, the more cash we get.

His decision to go to the Premier League has attracted criticism from some Charlton fans, but for footballers it is a career. What fan would turn down the chance of a better paid job? I am grateful for the contribution he made to our fight against relegation.

Rumour mill on its bike

The rumour mill has linked André Bikey with Charlton: Bikey

He isn't Belgian, but if this report is to be believed, he is going to Belguim for the Stayen Cup. However, as a native of Cameroon, and a Cameroon international, he presumably speaks French which is increasingly required in the squad.

He has recently played in the Greek Super League. When playing for Burnley he went by the surname of Amougou. Career details of the defender/defensive midfielder here: On your bike

Possible investor?

An advert for a business development manager at The Valley is not that exciting an event even if 'you are so target driven you are thinking of applying for the archery team at the 2016 Olympics.' Incidentally, there is a helpful map of the location of the club: Development manager

However, the ad has been posted by Delaware North who are an interesting company ('a global leader in hospitality management') and one wonders if they might extend their involvement to some investment in the club. Delaware North is Jeremy Jacobs company. It is based in Buffalo, New York. Jacobs also owns the Boston Bruins hockey club and the TD Garden in Boston.

A business development manager would have a good understanding of the potential at the club.

One wonders if this might be a position that would suit Jonathan Acworth who has been looking for a suitable opening for some time.

Thursday 3 July 2014

Ramsgate man brings out book

Rick displays his product

Ramsgate resident Rick Everitt has published a second edition of his Charlton classic Battle for the Valley which tells the story of how the Valley Party got Charlton back to its home, as well as looking at the earlier history of the club. The new edition runs to over 300 pages and has many appropriate illustrations, some in colour. It is very good value for £9.99.

The first edition was published without a record of the happy ending and that has now been rectified. In his introduction, the Rickster states: 'This version had to be compiled completely anew, but it is generally faithful to the original. I have mostly resisted the temptation to revise judgements that I made nearly a-quarter-of-a-century ago when many of the events were fresh in my mind, except where my original conclusions were obviously dated by the last two decades. I have also made some minor additions arising from the information that has subsequently come to light.'

Rick Everitt went to Chis & Sid grammar school and got an honours degree in Politics from Reading University, despite missing an exam to attend a key Charlton match to the bafflement of department head, pioneer gay Tory Peter Campbell. After a spell as sports editor of the Mercury he joined the club's staff in 1998 and spent 14 years in various roles. He was Labour candidate for the Old Bexley and Sidcup division, once the seat of Gooner Ted Heath, in the 2010 general election. Since 2011 he has been a member of Ramsgate Town Council and Thanet District Council where he is the cabinet member for finance and estates.

He has revived Voice of the Valley which takes a critical look at the current regime at Charlton. When the club returned to The Valley in 1992, how many of the Valley Party stalwarts would have thought that some twenty years later, the Addicks would be the Belgian team that plays in London?

If you want your own copy go to Voice of the Valley and one of Rick's gnomes will send you a copy 'tout suite' as we say at The Valley these days.

Wednesday 2 July 2014

Franck Moussa heading for The Valley

It is being reported that Belgian attacking midfielder Franck Moussa is heading for The Valley from Coventry City, having turned down Birmingham City in favour of the Belgian team that plays in London: Moussa

Read more about 'Feed the Mouss and he will score' here (Wikipedia already lists him as a Charlton player and his arrival has now been officially confirmed by the club): Career

It looks as if Piotr Parzyzszek will be going elsewhere having failed to establish himself at The Valley. Network club Sint-Truiden looks likely, although FC Nantes has also been mentioned. I discount Polish sites suggesting a link with Benfica.

Logan Bailly rumours persist

Rumours that Charlton might be interested in goalkeeper Logan Bailly first appeared on Flemish websites last month, but they continue to circulate. They do make a certain amount of sense. We need another keeper and, for all his talents, Nick Pope would benefit from working alongside a more experienced pair of hands. Bailly is out of contract at OH Leuven and he is Belgian.

Career details here: Bailly

Tuesday 1 July 2014

Tal Ben Haim rumours

Rumours are circulating on the internet that Tal Ben Haim could join Charlton from the mother ship. I can't find any independent verification of this and no sightings have been reported at Bruxelles Gare du Nord. However, I suppose it was just about plausible that the centre/right back could be sent across, so in case this comes to anything his career details are here: Tal Ben Haim

Stewart signs for Ipswich

Former Charlton player and possible prospect Cameron Stewart has signed a three year deal at Ipswich, subject to his passing his tractor drivers' test. It looks as if we were never in the frame anyway with Leeds the other possibility until the turmoil at Elland Road put an end to any deal: Stewart

I am not that disappointed, although having said that, I expect he will come and score at The Valley.