Friday 29 May 2015

New coach rumour

I give a low credibility rating to rumours in the French media that Pascal Dupraz may become coach at Charlton: Pascal Dupraz

Whilst Roland has a habit of changing coaches, there have been no suggestions that Guy Luzon's position is in doubt after a credible record last season.

The 52-year old has recently ended a second spell as coach at Ligue 1 Évian.

Wednesday 27 May 2015

Lewis Buxton for Charlton?

Reports are circulating that defender Lewis Buxton is to join Charlton on a free. Buxton was with Sheffield Wednesday for six years, but injuries meant that he played only 10 games in the season just ended: Injury problems

Buxton started his career at Portsmouth and then had a long spell at Stoke City before joining the Owls. He was voted Player of the Year by supporters in 2012-13: Lewis Buxton

Tuesday 26 May 2015

José Riga leaves mother ship

José Riga has left Standard Liege where his contract has not been renewed: Riga

John Hewie

John Hewie's funeral takes place in Lincolnshire today. Several former Charlton players will be attending, along with a representative of the Former Players' Association.

Here is a tribute from a local paper: Versatile World Cup player

Sunday 24 May 2015

Bessat for Charlton?

The normally reliable L'Equipe is reporting that Vincent Bessat is in advanced contract negotiations with Charlton. The 29-year old left-sided winger is out of contract at Nantes where he made 27 Ligue 1 appearances in the season just ended. Caen are also said to be interested, but the Addicks are thought to be in pole position.

The play off victory against Leeds

This blog takes an in depth look at how Charlton survived in the first play offs in 1986/7: Victory

If the club had not won through its future might have been in jeopardy.

Congratulations to Joe Pigott

The Charlton loan player scored a late equaliser for Southend in yesterday's play off final against Wycombe Wanderers at Wembley yesterday, a nicely taken goal. He then went on to score the first penalty.

Quite a few Shrimpers fans had already left when he scored!

One question that arises is whether Pigott will now see his future in League One with Southend.

Friday 22 May 2015

The other Talal Ben Haim

There is speculation in the Israeli press that the other Talal Ben Haim may be joining. There was some confusion when they both played for Israel earlier this year. This is one is a winger and is thought to be a good player.

Crystal Palace takeover talks fail

Talks over an American takeover bid for Crystal Palace have failed: Crystal Palace. It had been hoped that the funds made available would have allowed the dilapidated stadium at Selhurst Park to be renovated.

The Financial Times this morning has a certain amount of fan with what they take to be the club's nickname, 'The Glaziers'.

Thursday 21 May 2015

Possible loan targets

The Maidstone and Medway News takes a look at possible Premier League loan targets for Charlton this summer: Loans

Listed among them is Darren Bent. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening.

Monday 18 May 2015

Pardew was 'deceived' at Charlton

Alan Pardew has told The Times that he was 'slightly deceived by the agenda' at Charlton. He said, 'I learned the impact of relegation which I had inherited. I wasn't told how big an impact that would be.'

Pardew also commented, 'I was naïve with the media: I had no media training and didn't understand why people were attacking me. I learnt you couldn't win all the time.'

Where are they now?

As part of its feature on the Charlton team that won promotion in 1974-5, The Football League Paper looked at what has happened to them since then.

  • Bob Goldthorpe works for facilities companies Johnson Control at Canary Wharf.
  • Mike Flanagan became Gillingham manager, also coached Millwall's youth team and was assistant at Margate. Now runs a painting and decorating business.
  • John Dunn lives in Basildon and is a PE teacher at a sports college in Barking.
  • Paul Davies now lives in Hertfordshire and drives a black cab (there's invariably one in any survey of former footballers).
  • Bob Curtis after working in the building industry he had a long battle with motor neurone disease and died in March 2010.
  • Arthur Horsfield now retired and living in Gravesend, he became manager of the Parcel Force depot in Canterbury.
  • Colin Powell after managing Margate he returned to The Valley as groundsman, being let go as part of the clean out of the old guard in June 2014.
  • Ray Tumbridge worked in financial services until losing a long battle with cancer in June 2009, aged 54.
  • Peter Hunt is now based in Laindon and has worked in the motor trade for many years.
  • Eamon Dunphy works as a writer and broadcaster in his native Dublin.
  • David Young now runs the Medway Park leisure centre in Gillingham.
  • Andy Nelson manager of the Addicks until 1980, he later returned as commercial manager and now lives in Alicante, Spain.
  • Keith Peacock Charlton legend who managed Gillingham and Maidstone before returning to The Valley as No.2 to Curbs.
  • Phil Warman lives in Gravesend and after joining a security company worked for BMW in customer services.
  • Derek Hales after running a pub in his native village Lower Hailstow is now a PE teacher at the Howard School in Gillingham.
  • Richard Bowman the most locally based in Eltham, he was a restaurant proprietor but now owns a sandwich shop.
  • Les Berry ran the family wholesale electrical business in Greenwich before retiring.
  • Mike Frankin lives in Tiverton and has been a self-employed builder.
  • Graham Tutt settled in the United States and has been coach at the Pace Academy for 15 years.
  • Denny Jennings is now a successful businessman working in telecoms.
  • Alan Hart lives in Wickham Bishops and is a director of independent window specialists West Leigh. Also manages Heybridge Swift u16s.

Sunday 17 May 2015

When Killer went on 'goal strike'

Colin Powell reminiscences about the team that won promotion from Division Three in 1974-75 and tells the story of when paltry treatment by the club led 'Killer' Hales to go on a 'goal strike'.

With Charlton relegated to the third tier in 1972, Andy Nelson was appointed manager. Powell recalls: 'Theo Foley had signed me, Derek Hales and Miles Flanagan for about £8,000 or £9,000 between us [£79,000 at today's prices] but then he got the sack and you wonder when you are going to get in.'

'Andy Nelson took over in the summer and he had done alright at Gillingham and the only player he had brought in was David Young. So apart from David, it was Theo's team from the season before. We had to get over the disappointment of Theo going because he had signed most of us.'

'Andy got things quite well organised with us. He used to get us going through set plays for hours and hours.' Powell says that they realised about four games into the season they could get promotion. But a shocking run of two wins from their last nine games saw them clinch third place two points ahead of Swindon after beating Preston 3-1 in the last game of the season at The Valley.

Powell added: 'The club was in decline at the time, the season before we played Halifax and only about 3,000 turned up so the crowds were going. They needed to do something.'

'We were difficult to beat even though we used to give quite a few goals away, we used to score a lot with Derek Hales who got about 20 goals. Derek would have got more but the Daily Express were offering something like £5,000 to any player who scored 30 goals. He had quite a few goals, until the club decided they would keep £2,500 and give the players £2,500 and Derek said he wasn't going to score again then!'

Friday 15 May 2015

Player rumour

An unconfirmed report from the Sparrows Lane tea lady is linking an 17-year old Olympique Lyonnais player with Charlton.

According to the report, Chris Hyseni is of Albanian origin and has had a trial with Charlton in which he scored three goals.

I haven't been able to find anything out about this player or the story on the internet, so on a credibility ranking of 1-5 I will use this summer, I am giving it a '1' which means 'Highly speculative, just about credible enough to report'.

Somewhat more credibly, young Spurs (and ex-MK Dons) midfielder Dele Alli has been linked with a loan move to Charlton, but Brentford and Fulham are also interested: Dele Alli

Thursday 14 May 2015

No overnight success, says Luzon

There will be no overnight success at Charlton says coach Guy Luzon in an interview with the South London Press. It is not a question of investing a little more and getting to the Premier League: The path ahead

Luzon also discusses Vetokele's loss of form in the latter part of the season and his muscle injuries.

Wednesday 13 May 2015

Charlton link with Ilombe Mboyo denied

Charlton are being linked with Gent and Belgium striker Ilombe Mboyo. West Ham were interested a couple of years ago until it emerged that he was convicted for rape as a teenager: Mboyo

The news has had a negative reaction from some Charlton fans on the boards and might not be acceptable to the majority of fans: What will fans say?

A petition has now been started against the signing: Petition . Rather oddly it seems to think Richard Murray is the chairman of Charlton Athletic.

However, the story has now been denied categorically by the club which says something about the reliability of stories in the Daily Mail.

Perhaps the one thing that can be said for him is that he wouldn't be as useless as his Gent compatriot Christophe 'What's the point?' Lepoint. And at least it suggests we are looking at potential strikers.

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Borussia Dortmund swoop for Gomez

Reports from various sources are suggesting that Borussia Dortmund intend to make a bid for Joe Gomez: Joe Gomez

However, it appears they are only prepared to offer £1m plus add ons which is nowhere near enough. Moreover, Gomez has been guaranteed a regular first team place if he stays at The Valley rather than at best bench warming duties if he goes elsewhere.

Charlton advertise head of comms job

The club has advertised for a head of communications at £40,000 - £50,000 a year. The job description refers to the club as having a loyal set of passionate fans: Comms job

Lawrie Wilson leaves

Lawrie Wilson has not been offered a new contract and has tweeted his thanks to the Addickted for their support: Wilson

Whilst thanking him for all his efforts, I do not think of he is of a consistently high enough standard if we want to push for the play offs.

There has been some disquiet about the way in which news of these departures is leaking out.

However, the club has now released a full list of departures which include Tal Ben Haim, Chris Eagles and Roger Johnson. Attention will now turn to new signings.

Monday 11 May 2015

Charlton legend dies

One of the heroes of my childhood, John Hewie, has died at the age of 87: John Hewie

He made over 500 appearances for Charlton, putting him third in the all time list of appearances for the Addicks. His favoured position was left back, but he took on a number of roles when needed, including goalkeeper.

Ian Cartwright has written on Facebook, 'the word legend is often used lightly but, in this case, is totally apt ... his enthusiasm and love for Charlton never waned.'

Welcome back Super Hoops - or perhaps not

So QPR have returned to the Championship from whence they came. I have to say I find them one of the more irritating teams in London. First, their fans seem to have an exaggerated view of their own worth. This was exacerbated by Rodney Marsh slagging us off as we headed for our first promotion to the Premiership.

Second, as many have remarked on the boards, often more colourfully, their ground at Loft**** Road is a dump. It looks like a set of upturned shoe boxes or a Subbuteo ground scaled up. What is more, the stewarding is ultra strict.

The one QPR fan I know insists of calling us the 'Lactics'. I think it is more ignorance than a wind up.

Of course, they could face a huge fine for breaching football fair play regulations or even be expelled from the Football League. That, of course, could give Millwall a way to evade relegation. In any case, the lawyers will probably come up with a fudge on the fine: Will QPR be fined?

Sunday 10 May 2015

Youga relives pain of Charlton relegation

Former Addick Kelly Youga has relived the pain of relegation with Charlton at Crawley Town. He went down with the Addicks from the Premier League in 2008. Youga told the Football League Paper, 'I'd experienced it with Charlton, so I knew how it felt before I came here but that doesn't make it better.'

Central African Republic international Youga joined Crawley at the end of March, playing five games for them. He had been playing for Chinese side Qingdao Hainu. Youga is 29, but claims to have the body of a 22-year old. He hopes to be able to stay at Crawley, but hasn't heard anything yet.

Youga joined Charlton as a youngster in 2005 from Olympique Lyonnais. He was then loaned out to various clubs before making his debut for Charlton in 2008. He became the first choice left back, making 69 appearances and scoring one goal. The end of his career at The Valley was plagued by injury and he left when his contract expired in 2011. He currently plays as a midfielder.

Saturday 9 May 2015

In times gone by

Our recent articles on David Lodge's autobiography and his recollections of supporting Charlton led a now 84 year-old supporter to write in with some reminiscences.

He recalls, 'My first visit to the Valley was on Good Friday 1939 when my father who was originally a Chelsea supporter. I was born in Brockley (Maclean Road) but we moved to Woolacombe Road, Kidbrooke in 1938 and it was within a 25 minute walk of the Valley. Not surprisingly my father chose to take me to see Chelsea on that day.'

'My memories of the game are vague but I recall Sam Bartram in goal, continually dancing up and down on his line and flicking the top of his shorts. Charlton won the game 3 –l . For this I am grateful to Colin Cameron’s tremendous Home and Away book. After the war was over I was allowed to visit Charlton on my own and I was extremely fortunate that my father was able to get a couple of tickets for both Cup Finals in 1946 and 47.'

'So my long association with Charlton commenced and was only brought to a close a couple of years ago, when, although the heart was willing the body is not and I had to call a halt from where I now live in Herne Bay despite the splendid Valley Express.'

'My memories of the post-war team are still very fresh in my memory. Apart from Sam, Charlton had some great players in 1946, twinkle toes Chris Duffy,the goal scoring machine Arthur Turner, only amateur to win a FA Cup medal of course. Don Welsh. an inspiring captain and brilliant “Sailor” Brown, Bert Turner, Welsh international who was to score for both sides against Derby County.'

'When I moved to Kent I often used to wander down to Manston and visit Bert who had taken over the Jolly Farmer public house, he was always prepared to discuss football with me!'

Hendo praises Ben Roberts

Stephen Henderson has made a major contribution to Charlton this season and he in turn has a lot of praise for goalkeeping coach Ben Roberts: He's the best

Thursday 7 May 2015

The team of the late 1940s and early 1950s

Here is a second extract from the autobiography of novelist and one time Charlton fan David Lodge, A Good Time To Be Born.

In 1946, Charlton got to the FA Cup Final at Wembley, only to lose ... I listened to the BBC radio commentary and was inconsolable at the end. Jimmy Seed, Charlton's brilliant manager, who had steered them from the Third to First Division in two seasons before the war, vowed they would be back at Wembley next year - and by golly they were, just like a story in one of the boys' magazines, Hotspur,Wizard and Champion.

This time they won! The FA Cup, now overshadowed by European competitions, was then the Holy Grail of English professional football, and I felt privileged to be a supporter of so successful a club.

After that peak a slow decline in Charlton's fortunes began, but I remained loyal. I no longer needed to be escorted to matches by Dad, but travelled to The Valley with a couple of friends in Millmark Grove [Brockley]. My heroes in the team were the goalkeeper Sam Bartram and the centre forward Charlie Vaughan. Bartram was a genial and virile figure, with a grin like Burt Lancaster's and dense auburn hair set off by the green woollen jerseys goalkeepers invariably wore in those days.

Jimmy Seed defined a good goalkeeper concisely as 'a gymnast with ball skills', and Sam Bartram was certainly that, but he also showed, in the instinct of his flying saves, an instinct for what transforms a game into a spectacle.

Charlie Vaughan had been a star of the amateur club Sutton United before he joined Charlton, and something of the gentlemanly amateur lingered in his deportment at The Valley. I don't remember him ever committing a violent foul or protesting against a referee's decision, and when caught offside in possession of the ball, he would place it for the opposition's free kick before retreating. His posture was straight-backed, his arms usually held close to his sides as if to emphasise that football was played with the feet, and he would have been appalled by the holding and shirt grabbing that is now tolerated in professional football. He was a good role model for a football mad boy.

After he moved to Birmingham, Lodge let his Addicktion slide. 'At some point in the 1970s, I went with a friend to watch a professional football match for the first time in at least twenty years, at the Birmingham City ground, and revived the experience of entering the unappealing back parts of a football stadium, squeezing through its stiff turnstiles, mounting a dark, dank concrete staircase, and the thrill of emerging at last into an arena packed with humming, expectant humanity, looking down on a vividly green rectangle of grass on which a contest would shortly be enacted by twenty-two brightly club athletes.'

Fortunately, he did not become a Blew and he sets out a very cogent case against egg chasing.

Tuesday 5 May 2015

Farewell, then, Simon Church

Simon Church is to leave Charlton with other Championship clubs and foreign clubs in the Europa League who like the idea of a Welsh international in their squad supposedly interested. It's not a great surprise for Charlton fans, but it's quite big news in Wales: Simon Church

Church had plenty of energy and determination, but had difficulty in finding the back of the net.

Gudmundsson to wait and see

Johann Berg Gudmundsson is going to wait and see what Roland's plans are for the club before committing to a long-term contract. The Icelander wants to play in the Premier League and has had interest from top flight clubs. However, he would be happy to stay if there were plans to boost the squad to enable a serious attempt at promotion next season: Gudmundsson

Monday 4 May 2015

Sean Bartlett pays tribute to Charlton

Sean Bartlett has paid tribute to the part Charlton played in his evolution from player to promising coach with his Durban side winning promotion to the top flight of South African football: Bartlett

A great player and a great bloke, I still have my commemorative t-shirt for his wonder goal.

The family took me away to Dorset for the weekend which, of course, emptied out on Saturday, but I will give my reflections on the season later in the week.

Friday 1 May 2015

Senior Cup won

Jason Euell and his development side last night won the 126th Kent FA Senior Cup Final at Gillingham 1-0 with an excellent goal scored by Karlan Ahearne-Grant. It wasn't a particularly good game but the result was right. Karlan got man of the match and Dillon Phillips in goal made a good save to keep Gillingham out. This was only the second time the two teams had met in the final (the last time being in 1995 when Charlton won 4-2.

According to a tweet from Peter Finch, Gillingham put out a number of first team players.