Saturday 30 April 2016

Charlton win bonkers owners derby

Belgium beat Italy at Elland Road today with the Addicks winning the bonkers owners derby. Lookman probably added to his selling price.

Pope had to make a good save with his feet early in the game at Elland Road as he faced a one on one from Leeds. It looked like a 4-4-1-1 formation with Harriott and Lookman out wide and Gudmundsson behind Vetokele.

Charlton won a free kick 25 yards out after Lookman was fouled. Lookman’s free kick was over the wall but just wide. Leeds fans started to sing ‘Your owner is a ****, so is ours.’ The 363 Charlton fans subsequently started a chant of ‘We want Roland out.’

Diarra got a yellow card for a foul on Wood. Pope had to tip the resulting free kick over the bar. He claimed the corner well.

A strike from Gudmundsson hit the foot of the post from 25 yards.

Around the half hour mark Leeds started to apply a bit more pressure, but Bridcutt shot high and wide from distance.

Pope claimed Coyle’s low cross after Leeds advanced down the Charlton left.

Leeds won a corner after Pope tipped the ball out following a good block by Jackson.

After a great move down the left involving Lookman and Fox, Gudmundsson took the opportunity from Fox’s cross and scored with a low strike.

Charlton won a corner taken by Lookman but it went out for a Charlton throw.

Pope flew out of his area to deny Wood with a diving header. Vetokele put in a shot, but it was blocked in the area.

Teixeira won a corner in time added on.

HT: 0-1

Gudmundsson nearly played in Vetokele, but he was too slow to react and the keeper gathered.

A great strike from Lookman into the bottom corner put Charlton 2-0 ahead on 49 minutes, the whole move starting with a Fanni nutmeg of Dallas who was subsequently taken off.

The referee pulled play back for a Charlton free kick despite Vetokele racing through on goal. What about advantage?

A header from Wood hit the bar. Bamba fired the rebound into the side netting.

Charlton won a corner, Bamba fell over after a collision and the referee gave a free kick to Leeds.

From a Leeds corner Cooper headed well over. Fanni put in good defensive work as Charlton looked as if they might be under pressure.

Leeds won a corner, but the ball was headed over by Botaka.

Charlton made a good break away, but Harriott’s shot was just wide. Kashi was booked for a late challenge.

Bamba got a free header from a free kick to make it 1-2 on 71 minutes. Pope was furious with his defence. Suk Young came on for Gudmundsson.

Pope saved an angled shot from Antenucci who had come on a sub. Pope claimed the corner at the second attempt.

Pope saved well with his feet in a one on one with Wood after a free kick. Vetokele made way for Makienok on 82 minutes.

Fox dealt with a cross well with a header. Harriott blocked a cross at the expense of a Leeds corner. Makienok headed the ball away.

Leeds threatened with a series of attacks, but Charlton held firm. Kashi, who had had a good game on his return, went down injured. Ba replaced Lookman on 88 minutes.

Six minutes were added on. Kashi put the ball behind for a Leeds corner. Diarra headed clear at the near post.

Charlton broke away well, Ba played in Harriott but his shot was blocked for a Charlton corner. Kashi gave away a foul.

Three balls into the box were headed away by Makienok. Pope had to save as Cook tried his luck, leading to a corner.

Would promotion deal with customer concerns?

Apparently there is a view at the top at Charlton that if the club won promotion back to the Championship at the first attempt, supporters' concerns would be assuaged: Wishful thinking

In my view, the fans' relationship with Roland Duchatelet has been damaged beyond repair. Trust would not be rebuilt, even if he replaced Katrien Meire with a competent chief executive and brought in a manager with appropriate experience. CAST have urged him to sell, but he has no inclination to do that.

Fans may, of course, have already been consoled by the club receiving the 'most improved pitch in the Championship award: Top turf. They don't come much more meaningless than that.

Friday 29 April 2016

Expectations management

Charlton chief executive Katrien Meire says that the club does not want to build up customer expectations about what will happen in League One: Dampening expectations

Well, they weren't very high anyway. But she does claim that we will have one of the six biggest budgets in the division.

A game without meaning

It's a pretty meaningless fixture against Leeds tomorrow and I would have thought that very few Addicks, even those who live in the north, will be making the journey. I must admit I am more interested in the Southern Premier League play off final on Monday when Leamington play at Hungerford Town.

Patrick Bauer and Reza are still unavailable and Stephen Henderson has a calf problem. Johnnie Jackson may start.

Leeds have failed to win in any of their last seven at home to Charlton (D5 L2), last winning in October 2000 with a brace from Mark Viduka and one from Alan Smith securing a 3-1 win for the Whites. Last year we drew 2-2 at Elland Road and the year before we won 1-0.

The Addicks have lost only one of their last 10 games against Leeds, winning four (D5).

Leeds, of course, have their own issues with owner Massimo Cellino whose eccentric decision-making has done nothing to revive the sleeping giant.

Odds are: Leeds 8/13 Draw 3/1, Charlton 17/4.

The arrogance of certainty

In a superbly written essay, author and Charlton fan Charlie Connelly looks back to us celebrating the Championship trophy on April 29th 2000 and discusses the 'arrogance of certainty' displayed by the current regime: The arrogance of certainty

Cousins player of the year favourite

Jordan Cousins is favourite to win player of the year, with Diarra in second place: Jordan Cousins

This certainly fits in with the vote tallies I saw. How one might feel about being player of the year in a relegation year is another matter, but Cousins is certainly not to blame.

Thursday 28 April 2016

Tallest player to leave

Simon Makienok is to leave The Valley at the end of the season, but he won't be returning to Palermo from whence he came on a one year loan. He will be seeking a new berth somewhere abroad, perhaps in the lower leagues in Belgium?

His agent reckons that he has been an 'ok success' at Charlton if you look at goals per minute which is quite an ingenious way of calculating it, as his appearances on the pitch have been increasingly brief.

The Addickted seem to have reacted calmly to the news.

Those were the days

This post continues an occasional series looking back at the 2001-2 season as a distraction from our current woes. Today I looked at how we out foxed this season's likely Premiership champions, Leicester City, at The Valley.

'A commanding Charlton performance saw the Foxes given the brush off in front of the Sky cameras as The Valley on Sunday. It was one of the most convincing Charlton performances of a successful season. The Addicks went 1-0 ahead in the first half with Andy Todd's first goal for the club. The second half saw a stunning volley by Shaun Bartlett which will surely be one of the contenders for goal of the season. The victory left the Addicks in eighth place in the Premiership and still with a chance of a place in Europe.'

'Fluent and authoritative play from Charlton was evident from the kick off.' Jensen and Parker were particularly impressive. However, referee Winter was showing the Addicks no quarter and appeared to be playing to the cameras, giving Todd a yellow card with a theatrical sweeping gesture.

On 39 minutes a corner from Jensen was met with a powerful header from Bartlett which crashed against the bar, Todd reacted quickly to the rebound and put the ball in the net.

Ilic dealt well with Leicester attacks. On 81 minutes Stuart picked out Bartlett with a ball that went over the defence and Bartlett struck a cannonball of a shot that left Royce with no chance.

Tuesday 26 April 2016

FA launch crowd trouble probe

The FA have confirmed that they have launched a probe into actions by dissatisfied customers at the game against Brighton and Hove Albion on the back of previous incidents: FA probe

It is unlikely that they will consider the underlying causes of the dissatisfaction.

CARD have made it clear that the protests will be unrelenting. The match against Burnley could well be televised, adding additional impetus: Protests

Monday 25 April 2016

Duchatelet won't sell

Roland Duchatelet is not prepared to consider offers for Charlton, according to the normally well informed Richard Cawley of the SLP: No sale

This is not a surprise, as I thought it was likely to be his stance.

Exaggerated concerns at Burnley

A Burnley fan has suggested on social media that should the game at The Valley be abandoned because of protests Charlton should be relegated to the bottom of the pyramid system, i.e., ten divisions below where they are now. He describes it as a 'ridiculous situation', but what is ridiculous is the way in which Charlton has been run by the current regime. Burnley are fortunate to be a well run club.

As far as I am aware, there is no intention to force an abandonment of the game or to spoil Burnley's day. There will be protests, but they will be properly organised by CARD. Brighton fans showed solidarity with Charlton fans on Saturday. I would appeal to Burnley fans to do the same. I hope Burnley are promoted along with Brighton (I don't want to see Boro go up).

Sunday 24 April 2016

Meire likened to Comical Ali

Chris Dunlavy gives it large to Roland Duchatelet and Katrien Meire in his column in today's Football League Paper. Noting Roland's visit to The Valley, he says that he was surprised he could find it, given that 'he is spotted as regularly as Haley's comet.' As for his ownership, 'his policy of hiring cut-rate continentals and no-mark managers has turned Charlton into an embarrassing punch-bag.'

As for Meire 'For much of the last eighteen months she has done her best Comical Ali impression, belligerently lauding the wisdom of Roland while his plans unravelled about her.'

Dunlavy concludes, referring to the chief executive's pledge to learn from her mistakes, 'Only when we get to September and Charlton aren't flooded to the gunwales with Belgian Sunday Leaguers will we know that Meire and Duchatelet really have learned.'

Riga: I didn't know the full story

José Riga says that he was aware of instability before his return to Charlton, but he wasn't aware of the full extent of the war between Roland Duchatelet and Charlton fans: Instability

Saturday 23 April 2016

The story was about the protests

Charlton lost 1-3 at home to Brighton and Hove Albion, but the story was really about the protests by dissatisfied customers that halted the game and led to eight minutes being added on.

Following pre-match protests the game was halted after just 30 seconds as Charlton supporters threw balloons and beach balls onto the pitch in protest at Roland Duchatelet's ownership of the club. Similar protests occurred at the start of the second half, while the game was also halted for a short time in the 89th minute after a flare was thrown onto the field.

The Seagulls took an early lead through Sam Baldock as he tapped in a pass form Connor Goldson. Johann Berg Gudmundsson levelled for Charlton soon after the restart. However, Brighton took all three points as Jiri Skalak fired in and Tomer Hemed added a late penalty.

Good luck to Brighton in their promotion push, I hope they go up.

With Chris Powell as one of the commentators, Charlton were given extensive coverage on the Football League Show tonight with the programme closing with a montage of the protests. Katrien Meire was shown more than once wearing her 'wasp in the mouth' expression.

As usual, Chris gave an articulate expression of his sympathy, referring to the way in which the trust of supporters had been destroyed. Charlton had momentum, but in the wrong direction. It would be a long, hard road back.

15 Charlton fans have travelled to Belgium tonight to take the protests there.

I run aground like Charlton

A metaphor for Charlton's season?

It was very foggy in Bryher Channel yesterday, but I didn't expect the Cyclone (now to be renamed Spirit of Charlton) to run into a sandbank. I took it as a metaphor for Charlton's season.

Thanks to the Tresco harbour master for a prompt and effective rescue.

An interesting article has appeared today comparing the plight of Charlton and Aston Villa: Two disastrous owners

Friday 22 April 2016

Chris Powell feared loss of identity from start

Chris Powell feared a loss of Charlton's identity from the beginning of his relationship with Roland Duchatelet. In an in depth interview he contrasts Charlton's plight with the progress made by Leicester City: Powell

Thursday 21 April 2016

Getting away from it all

Hell Bay, Bryher, Isles of Scilly: with Radio Scilly changing hands, I needed to touch base with the new team and secure my position as mainland football correspondent. I also liked the idea of being somewhere remote when relegation was finally confirmed at Bolton. I just felt hollow when I heard the news.

I had only been on St. Marys a few hours when I heard someone shout out in a lowland Scots account, 'It's Wyn, isn't it?' It was the local Hibernian supporter (there's always one) wanting to know what was happening at Charlton.

I explained and in return had to listen to his account of the woes of Hibernian and his extensive grievances against Rangers (as far as the Jam Tarts were concerned, he was merely dismissive.

I know that there has been speculation about takeovers at Charlton, including from the United States. However, I would urge caution. Interest is one thing, but it needs to be translated into a bid. Roland needs to respond and there is the tricky issue of the loans to his company.

Troubled times, but the spirit of the fans is strong.

VOTV editor Rick Everitt reacts to Katrien Miere's statement here: No glad confident morning

Roland is reported to have made a rare visit to SE7 today for 'crunch talks' with José Riga and Katrien. Probably it will be a case of giving José a Eurostar ticket and telling Katrien, 'Carry on with the good work.'

Apparently the gates have been padlocked and security guards are in place at The Valley in case any dissatisfied customers turn up.

Rick Everitt has tweeted that Roland is likely to meet Paul Elliott which is progress of a kind.

Saturday 16 April 2016

'That about sums up our season'

That was the comment from Steve from Petts Wood after Charlton had a second half goal against Derby County by Jorge Teixeira disallowed for a foul on Carson and Derby went up the other end and scored, inevitably from a corner. That goal settled the match which ended 0-1. According to the programme, we have played 21 times on April 16th and never won, an odd statistic. It was also my father's birthday.

When I got to Coventry Station it was swarming with police and I realised why when Millwall fans got off the train for a fixture at the Ricoh. One Spanner spotted me and said, 'You are going down and we are going up.' Well, we are certainly going down, whether they are going up remains to be seen. They lost 2-1 at Coventry.

When I got to The Valley three camels with accompanied by customers dressed in Arab costume celebrated Katrien's holiday in Dubai. This particular stunt has attracted some criticism from fans.

We played some decent football against Derby, linking up well. However, we lacked a punch up front with Vetokele very subdued. Pope made a brilliant double save in the first half which earned him a standing ovation.

The Rams got a bit frustrated after the break with the score at 0-0 and starting fouling and eventually the referee gave out a couple of yellow cards. Igor Vetokele hit a post.

Jordan Cousins fired wide for the hosts as the Addicks pushed for an equaliser. Makienok had a late chance to connect with his head to a pinpoint long distance pass from Motta, but was unable to do so.

As the Covered End choir sang, 'We're going to Shrews-bury.' And Fleetwood. And Port Fail.

Voice of the Valley reported that Paul Elliott is fronting a new bid for the club. Roland is not totally resistant to selling, but wants £38m, twice what he paid for the club and that doesn't take into account the £7m owed in loans to former directors which they could ask to be repaid if there was a change of control. By way of comparison, Wolves have been on the market all season at £25m without finding a buyer.

I was also told today that Lennie Lawrence may be recruited as general manager of the club which could encompass a director of football role. If José Riga decides not to stay, Roland is prepared to hire an English coach. More about the Lennie Lawrence story here: Lennie Lawrence

Player ratings

Pope couldn't have saved the goal and otherwise was well in command. Interesting that Henderson wasn't even on the bench. (Riga has now said that he had a calf injury). In any event Pope should be able to cope with League One. Teixeira had the pain of seeing his goal disallowed and was generally solid. Fanni made at least one important tackle. He also made a remarkable solo run down the right, ending with a cross met by Vetokele, Carson scrambling the ball away for a corner.

Solly was energetic and competent, but perhaps not at his very best. He was substituted, possibly because he had a knock. Fox managed to pick up a yellow card.

Diarra still shows the quality of a former French captain and was a menace up front. Gudmundsson made some good moves, but sometimes looks uninterested and deflated, understandably enough. Cousins was well ahead in player of the year voting. The Bloke Beside Me who collected votes said that 'it was not an entirely positive experience.' Harriott was a live wire as always, even if his judgment isn't perfect.

Lookman showed some touches of sublime skill. Vetokele looked less than fully fit.

Motta showed some skill and energy when he came on. Makienok drew ironic cheers from the Covered End as he connected with the ball, but he did have some impact. Bergdich had a cameo in time added on, replacing Lookman.

Friday 15 April 2016

Injury concerns for Addicks

Sanogo and Gudmundsson are uncertain for tomorrow's clash against Derby County at The Valley: Fitness doubts

Charlton beat Derby 3-2 in the fixture last year, but lost 0-2 the year before. Derby's away form has been somewhat suspect: On the road

However, the Rams have only lost once against Charlton in nine Championship games (W5 D3), scoring in each game and netting 17 in total. Charlton have conceded a league-high 24 goals via set-pieces this season (excluding penalties).

Odds are: Charlton 15/4 Draw 11/4, Derby 8/11.

The last edition of Voice of the Valley for this season will be on sale around the ground from 1 p.m. The story exposing the Liberal Democrat candidate for London mayor as a Millwall supporter has been spiked for lack of space, but there will be plenty of Charlton related material.

Tribunal not impressed by Pardew

The tribunal that dealt with the disability discrimination case brought by Jonas Guitérrez against Newcastle United delivered 'a damning verdict on the evidence given by Alan Pardew' according to The Times.

Pardew was said to have given 'inconsistent evidence' even if it was delivered in a 'confident, convincing and articulate way.' However, 'The detail of what was said was not necessarily as credible as the manner in which the evidence was delivered.'

Playing Derby in the Premier League

Happier times at Charlton

Doing some tidying up recently, I came across a set of my match reports from the 2001-01 Premier League season. I will be revisiting some of the more exciting matches over the summer in order to recall better times.

I start today with our two games against Derby County. We went up to Pride Park in early September with commentators suggesting that Charlton were too good for Division 1 and not good enough for the Premiership. In those days we had a Warwick & Leamington banner and when Deano came over to sign autographs, the local lad saw us and gave us a wave.

'After a largely dire first half for Charlton marked by what Curbs later called "terrible defending" which left them 2-0 behind to a rampant Derby, decisive action by the manager at half time turned the game around, leaving the Addicks with a morale boosting away point.'

'The well below par Robinson and the inconsistent Kishishev were brought off to replace by Konchesky and Lisbie whose pace helped to transform the game. And it was two of Curbs's foreign signings, Jensen and Johansson, who scored the goals that brought the Addicks level.'

On 57 minutes Lisbie counter attacked from a Derby corner. His pace outwitted the Derby defence, Jensen laid off the ball to Johansson who returned it, allowing the Dane to tap it into the back of the net. Johansson then tore through the Derby defence on 62 minutes to equalise.

Derby thought they were denied a penalty when Eranio went down in the box and got a yellow card for simulation. Curbs admitted afterwards that his players thought they were lucky.

The return evening fixture gave Alan Curbishley his 200th win as Charlton manager. Svensson put Charlton ahead from a corner. Derby then equalised through a 30 yard free kick. A penalty was then awarded just before half time, Deano receiving a yellow card. He made the save, but injured himself in the process. At half time he was replaced by Tony Caig who made his only appearance as a Charlton keeper (a quiz question there).

In the second half, Jensen went on a sixty yard run. His shot was blocked, but Scott Parker was able to put the ball into an unguarded net to make the final score 2-1, Caig standing firm.

Caig joined Hibernian later in the year and had a varied career. He is currently goalkeeping coach for Hartlepool United.

Thursday 14 April 2016

Villa job for Powell?

If Nigel Pearson takes over at Aston Villa, and he does seem to be the front runner at the moment, he would like Chris Powell to be his No.2: Villa job

Future prospects bleak

Richard Cawley of the SLP reminds us that it could be a case of 'going down with the Bolton' on Tuesday, although most Addicks have been bracing themselves for relegation for some time.

Most of the article is a look forward to life in League One, and a bleak prospect it is. The best players are likely to leave and we will be saddled with those who haven't made the grade, often expensive purchases as with Sarr. Moreover, there will be no emergency loan window next year, although players brought in under that arrangement have often failed to contribute.

What we need is a systematic and informed recruitment strategy with someone who knows what they are doing in charge and are allowed to get on with it.

Read Cawley's in depth, interesting article here: Bleak outlook

Could Jackson have been used more?

This article argues that more use could have been made of Johnnie Jackson in Charlton's relegation battle: Jacko

Some fans think that Jackson is too slow, but there is an argument for using him as a sub who can pop up and score a goal.

However, really it was Karel Fraeye's stewardship that got us relegated and nothing done in the recent past would have made that much difference.

Wednesday 13 April 2016

Relegation day?

Derby County look forward to relegating Charlton on Saturday and their fans are provided with a guide to The Valley. No mention of the protests though: R Day

As the Blackheath Addick points out below, they have jumped the gun as we can't be relegated on Saturday. The relegation party could occur at Bolton.

Kashi could be back for the match against Brighton, too late unfortunately: Kashi

Tuesday 12 April 2016

Five reasons Charlton will be relegated

Essentially they come down to one reason: poor decision-making by the current regime at Charlton. As this article in The Wharf says it will be 'an avoidable and costly' relegation: Reasons for relegation

It will also be a difficult relegation to recover from given the widespread dissatisfaction among Charlton customers. Contrast feelings with Northampton where they are so overjoyed at getting into League One they have already sold over a thousand season tickets.

I don't think that promotion will come easily, even if there was a change of ownership. Equally, I do not agree with those who see another relegation into League Two: I think a md-table side is more likely.

However, if the club was relegated again, complete closure might be on the agenda as it would be difficult to sustain an expensive infrastructure. I don't think The Valley could be easily developed for housing because of the demolition costs and the presence of the outfall sewer.

Poyet upset over treatment

Diego Poyet is upset at his treatment at Charlton since his return on loan. He feels he has not been given the game time he was promised: Disappointed

He hasn't featured as much as I had expected but, on the other hand, he has been a shadow of the game changing player who left us last year. It shows the risks of going to a bigger club.

Watt out for 12 weeks

Tony Watt is to see a specialist about his groin injury, but is expected to be out of action for 12 weeks. Blackburn Rovers still have to meet his wages. This could affect plans to offload him in the summer: Watt

The latest news is that he is to have surgery and will be out for three months: Long absence

Although he has insisted he is not thinking about his future until the season is over, Jordan Cousins is likely to leave, as is Johann Berg Gudmundsson. Ademola Lookman is expected to join a Premiership club.

Monday 11 April 2016

Cousins: managerial changes have not helped

The managerial changes at Charlton this season have not helped the team's performance this season according to Jordan Cousins. It's a statement of the obvious, but it's still worth players making the point: Jordan Cousins

Cousins is full of praise for José Riga, but reasonably enough refuses to commit himself on whether an earlier arrival of Riga would have saved us. Riga also refused to comment on this point when he was interviewed the other day: Riga on former managers

I think that there will be interest in Cousins from other Championship clubs in the summer and I fear that we will not be able to hold on to him.

Sunday 10 April 2016

Chief executive on holiday claim

Voice of the Valley editor Rick Everitt has tweeted that Charlton chief executive Katrien Miere has gone on a ten day holiday to Dubai at a time when the protest hit club faces relegation. Everitt states that CAFC staff are fuming over her decision.

Louis Mendez has described as the most ill-advised foreign excursion since Christophe Lepoint came to England.

VOTV reports that she left a few days ago and will be back for the Derby game on Saturday.

A Charlton fan has brought out a song 'More Than Just a Toy' aimed at the current regime at The Valley with all profits going to the protest fund: More Than Just a Toy

Saturday 9 April 2016

Slim hopes fade after defeat

Charlton's slim hopes of Championship survival faded even further after a 2-1 defeat at QPR, the Addicks going down to a time added on goal by Nasser el Khayati. El Khayati's curler sealed a defeat that left the Addicks 10 points adrift of safety with five games left.

Jordan Cousins looked to have earned the visitors a point when he fired in from the edge of the box on his left just after the hour mark. Matt Phillips had earlier given Rangers a fortuitous lead with a cross-shot.

The first real chance of the game fell to the Addicks as Ademola Lookman set up Callum Harriott whose effort was beaten away by Alex Smithies. From the corner Morgan Fox found himself unmarked at the far post but managed to head wide.

There was a call for offside when Phillips' curved shot went in with Junior Hoilet standing in front of Nick Pope.

Charlton almost equalised immediately after the break after Harriott skilfully beat his defender, but his shot cannoned off the crossbar. A strong effort by Chery was well saved by Pope. Cousins then curled home after good interplay between Harriott and Chris Solly. Vetokele then had a number of chances, but could not convert one of them, even when one on one.

According to Louis Mendez it was a gutsy performance, but once again we squandered chances in front of goal: Defeat

I've been dusting off the Third Division Diary and taking a look at the League Two promotion race to spot some of the teams we could be playing next season: Glamour ties

Friday 8 April 2016

Favoured recruitment chiefs shock

Two candidates are in the frame for the role of Charlton recruitment chief. In a shock development, neither of them is Belgian and both of them have relevant Championship experience: In the frame

Their task will be to avoid the expensive mistakes of the past. If the selected individual is able to do the job without meddling by the chief executive and interventions from Belgium, this might be possible.

Up against the Super Hoops

After Charlton's performance at Ipswich on Tuesday, that experienced old hand Mick McCarthy said he couldn't believe that we were in the bottom three. After the disastrous, Fraeye Up period Charlton have improved and have moved up the form table. (The Addicks are currently 7th and the Super Hoops 11th). If we had the likes of Bauer and Kashi back from injury, the great escape might possible.

As it is, Gudmundsson, who has been coming back into form, is a doubt after he picked up a head injury colliding with a tractor on Tuesday.

I am not too hopeful about tomorrow and that seems to be the view of the bookies. Odds: QPR 20/23, Draw 13/5, Charlton 3/1.

QPR have won each of their past three home games against the Addicks. Charlton have won their past two matches against QPR, but haven't won three in a row since a run of five in October 1997. Charlton's past five goals against the Hoops have been scored in the second half.

Charlton have conceded 19 goals from corners this season - only one other side (Fulham - 13) has conceded more than 10.

To me, QPR have always been a club with excessive expectations, thinking of themselves as a natural top flight side when their roots were in the Third Division South.

They spent heavily to get to the Premiership and to try and stay there, but they did not spend wisely. The result has been big debts and a continuing wrangle with the Football League about their breach of financial fair play regulations. Net debt is £193m which makes what Charlton owes Roland look pretty modest: QPR finances

Richard Cawley of the SLP notes that the Addicks are probably going down, but at least they are taking it to the wire and going down fighting: Fighting spirit

Premiership clubs interested in Lapslie

Charlton's under-18 captain George Lapslie is attracting interest from Premier League clubs. Chelsea, Leicester City and Manchester City have been keeping tabs on the midfielder: Lapslie

Thursday 7 April 2016

Welcome back, Tony Watt

Tony Watt has sustained a groin injury at Blackburn Rovers. His loan has been terminated and he is returning to Charlton: Tony Watt

Presumably this means that the projected sale to Blackburn Rovers at the end of the season is off.

Imps target Charlton coach

Lincoln City are targeting Charlton first team coach Simon Clark who was appointed to the role under José Riga. Apparently, he already lives in Lincoln: quite a commute to Sparrows Lane, then: Simon Clark

Wednesday 6 April 2016

Moussa lands 'pay as you play' deal

Former Addick Franck Moussa has landed a 'pay as you play' deal with Southend United (for the avoidance of doubt, the Shrimpers are paying him, he is not paying them to play): Moussa

Moussa put in an hour with the Shrimpers' Under 21 team against Luton yesterday, but said he is not rushing his return from injury. One suspects that his refurbishment could take as long as the work currently planned for Southend pier.

Tuesday 5 April 2016

All square at Portman Road

Despite a good performance, Charlton could only secure a point with a 0-0 draw against Ipswich this evening.

Solly, Lookman and Sanogo were brought in for Charlton at Portman Road with Motta, Suk-Young and Vetokele going to the bench. 552 Addicks were present in a crowd of 17,787.

Charlton made a positive start and a free kick was awarded for a foul on Lookman. A shot from Gudmundsson took a slight deflection and went straight at the keeper.

On six minutes Sears put in a shot for Ipswich which went narrowly wide with Fox out of position.

There was a mix up between Berra and the keeper, but Berra got the ball back before Sanogo was able to pounce.

Gudmundsson required treatment after a clash of heads from which he came off worst. Motta came on to replace him.

On 21 minutes a shot from Harriott was saved and the Sanogo follow up was blocked. A shot from Pringle drew a great save from Pope. The Charlton defending was poor. The corner was cleared.

Charlton were hit on the break, the defending was poor, but Pope was able to save from Sears. The home crowd were very quiet, apart from the occasional despairing cry of ‘Blue Army’.

Harriott put a ball through for Cousins, he passed to Sanogo when he should have shot and Lookman fired wide.

Sears shot high over the bar, Tex intercepted well. A shot from Pitman went well wide.

Charlton won the first corner of the evening on 45 minutes after an odd attempted tackle midway through the Tractors half. Tex’s header from Lookman’s corner was tipped over by the corner. In the ensuing play after the second corner Lookman put the ball wide.

In time added om, Pope claimed a corner well under pressure. It had been a decent performance from Charlton, but with relegation rivals going ahead, more was needed.

HT: Tractors 0, Addicks 0

Former Addick Luke Varney was brought on in the second half in place of Pringle. Teixeira was booked in the opening minute for pulling back Sears. Chambers slipped taking the free kick and it hit the wall.

A Harriott strike was deflected behind for a corner, Sanogo got his head on the ball, but it went wide. Charlton were slow defensively to deal with a cross, giving Douglas a free header, but he put the ball over.

Lookman won a corner after Chambers got a foot to his cross. The move ended in a goal kick after Teixera headed over.

A shot from Sears was blocked by Teixera for a throw in. Douglas shot well over. The home crowd was waking up as Ipswich came into the game more. Pope saved comfortably from Pitman.

Harriott fired over from a tight angle on 60 minutes. Pope cleared with a great punch. Charlton got down the left well, but Fox put in a poor cross. McGoldrick came on for Feeney.

Cousins put in a shot from distance, but it was punched away by the keeper. Pope had sent Lookman on his way who teed up Cousins. Lookman reached the byline, but Smith dealt with the cross. A great ball was provided by Solly, but Harriott put it in the side netting.

Texeira conceded an Ipswich corner. The move ended in a goal kick. On 74 minutes Harriott was replaced by Vetokele.

A Lookman shot from the edge of the box was blocked. The latest foul by Knudsen got nothing more than a talking to from the referee.

Good play by Lookman led to a shot saved well by the keeper who then had to deny Sanogo Ipswich took off Pitman and brought on Bishop.

Cousins was booked for delaying an Ipswich free kick. Motta was withdrawn in favour of Makienok. Many fans would like to have seen Jackson came on.

Fox won Charlton a corner when his cross was blocked. Varney nearly scored an own goal from Lookman’s corner. The second corner was punched away.

On 90 minutes Diarra went down injured off the off the pitch and did not return. A McGoldrick cross was claimed by Pope. Fox won Charlton another corner in added time. The corner was cleared. A cross by Fox won Charlton another corner. It was a good corner by Lookman, but everyone missed it.

MK Dons lost, but Fulham were ahead at Preston and Rotherham were drawing with Bristol City.

Monday 4 April 2016

Could Addicks gain traction?

Charlton face Ipswich Town at Portman Road tomorrow night seeking to maintain the glimmer of hope of a great escape from their relegation battle. At the moment the Addicks (7th) are above Ipswich (12th) in the form table. Mick McCarthy does not think it is going to be an easy game with Charlton 'scrapping away'.

Speculation surrounding a possible move of McCarthy to Aston Villa may have been unsettling, although it now looks as if Nigel Pearson is in the frame.

Ipswich have won five of their last six matches against the Addicks. We lost 3-0 at Portman Road last season, drew the season before that and won 2-1 three years ago.

Charlton have failed to score in four of their last five league games against Ipswich. The Tractors haven't scored in either of their previous two league games, while a third without a goal would equal their previous longest dry spell of the season. However, they remain only five points off a play off place.

Only Rotherham (13) and Burnley (11) have taken more points from their last five league games than Charlton (10).

Odds are: Ipswich 8/13, Draw 11/4, Charlton 19/4.

Reid was Valley favourite

This week's Football League Paper profiles Andy Reid, noting that his 'career was rekindled by a switch to Charlton in 2006. Though they were relegated from the Premier League, he scored nine goals in 40 games and was a huge crowd favourite before being lured back to the Premiership with Sunderland in a £5m deal.'

He emphasises that he was not obsessed with football and while he was at Charlton he was a regular at the Natural History Museum, the Greenwich Observatory and the theatres of the West End. He is also an accomplished guitar player and owns 23 of them.

Protests not affecting team

Alou Diarra says that customer protests at The Valley are not affecting the team, who are being professional in their attitude: Protests

Indeed, Blues manager Gary Rowett complained that they had an adverse effect on his team who were all warmed up and ready to go, then faced a delay to the start of the match.

Diarra revealed that he is playing through the pain barrier with a crack in his right foot, but needs to keep going to the end of the Championship season. He certainly made a positive difference on Saturday.

Saturday 2 April 2016

No moonwalk for Blues

A Blues fan complained on the train back to London Bridge, 'I thought we would moonwalk it when we went 1-0 up. It's humiliating and embarrassing to be beaten by a team that is probably going to be relegated.'

Unfortunately the win still leaves the Addicks six (effectively seven) points from safety. But as the Bloke Beside Me said, 'You have to play the teams you've got.'

I decided to come via Marleybone today to avoid the main contingent from the Millwall of the Midlands, but some Blues chose that route. On the way back, there were police on the train and a further contingent waited on the platform at Leamington in case it kicked off between local Addicks and Blues.

The start of the match was delayed as hundreds of small stress balls were thrown on the pitch by protesting fans. The match started quietly with the Addicks playing rather cautiously. We feared a Blues goal, although we thought that might galvanise Charlton.

The visitors took the lead when Paul Caddis' cross took a deflection and reached Jon Toral who turned it home, leaving Pope with no chance. Charlton equalised six minutes later through Johann Berg Gudmundsson whose shot bounced off Paul Robinson and in.

The Blues tried to get back in the lead in the early phase of the second half, Charlton having brought on Lookman at the break. The referee ignored increasing pushing and fouling by the Blues, but missed no chance to award them free kicks. He also managed to give Gudmundsson a yellow card for dissent while giving nothing for fouls by the visitors. Fabrini was a persistent offender until he was taken off.

Charlton stood firm and showed great commitment, increasingly threatening. Gudmundsson was not far off target with a free kick and Lookman drew a good save from the keeper. Teixeira once again showed his value at set pieces, rising to meet Lookman's corner in the 94th minute to make it 2-1.

Player ratings

Pope was not to blame for the goal and otherwise was in command of his area. With Henderson on the bench, he seems to have secured the Number 1 spot for now. Apart from his goal, Teixeira provided some cultured passes forward, particularly in the first half. Diarra showed once again that he was a quality player and soon became a target for the Blues. Fox was error prone. Fanni put in two excellent tackles to avert imminent danger.

Suk Young was confident, but not that impressive, and withdrawn at half time. Motta had some excellent moments and also some poor ones, for example an excellent display in winning the ball and seeing off the opposition, followed by a poor pass. Cousins battled away to good effect. Gudmundsson seem to have benefitted from the international break.

Harriott was energetic, but he gets muscled off the ball too easily. Vetokele put himself about and it is good to see him back.

Lookman used his pace to good effect. Jackson didn't make a great difference when he came on. Makienok had a cameo in the hope that his height would be useful.

The SLP report from Louis Mendez is here: Charlton

Ademola Lookman interview

Ademola Lookman talks to the SLP about how he benefitted from the Charlton academy, but gives implicit confirmation that he will be leaving in the summer: Lookman

Friday 1 April 2016

Blues confident about Valley visit

3,000 Blues will be packing the Jimmy Seed stand tomorrow and with their team regenerated after a warm weather training camp, they are confident that they will end their run of five away games without scoring a goal.

The Birmingham Mail comments, 'Against a Charlton side in disarray as a team on the field and as a club off it, Blues have the perfect opportunity to take advantage this weekend and ensure they give themselves a chance of taking all three points.'

The bookies seem to agree. Odds are: Charlton 23/10, Draw 23/10, Birmingham 6/5.

Charlton have won just two of their past nine league meetings with Birmingham (D4 L3). The Blues have won only once in their last seven trips to The Valley in the league (D4 L2). The Addicks have failed to score in more games this term than any other second-tier side (18).

Club steals march on West Ham

A few disgruntled Charlton customers may be tempted by the lure of the Olympic Stadium next season with its digital wrap around screens. However, the Addicks have come up with a plan to attract West Ham fans disappointed at leaving the Boleyn Ground.

The East Stand next season will be renamed the Anne Boleyn Stand. What is more, to enhance the matchday experience, there will be a new mascot in an Anne Boleyn costume.

This innovation will enable historical events to be recreated on the pitch. For example, the King of the Belgians (played by Jonathan Acworth, who has royal blood) will descend the steps of the East Stand and meet Anne Boleyn on the pitch to depict their historic meeting at Greenwich.

When it was pointed out that there was no Belgium or King of the Belgians at the time Anne Boleyn was queen, a club spokesman said that this was a mere historical detail. The point was to depict a woman who had been a victim and at the mercy of a powerful man.

There will also be a dramatization of Anne Boleyn’s execution with a contemporary version of her speech. She will say: ‘I pray God save Roland and send him long to reign over you, for a gentler nor a more merciful prince was there never: and to me he was ever a good, a gentle and sovereign lord. I must pay the ultimate price for throwing a beach ball on the pitch. Make sure you do not share my fate.’

In order to attract a new customer base, the club is also revisiting the question of the club’s name. It is felt that the Charlton brand is too down market and attracts the wrong sort of customer.

However, it was agreed that the name of Estuary which branding experts came up with a few years ago was too bland. The club was disappointed to learn that Greenwich Royals was the name of a swimming club as it was felt that that had the right cachet.

However, staff noticed that no London club has actually had ‘London’ in its title whereas rugby clubs had names like London Scottish and London Welsh. Hence, the club is to apply to the FA to rename the club ‘London Belgians’.