Monday 30 September 2019

Bonne lives the dream

This time last year Macualey Bonne was facing Braintree Town, on Saturday he scored against Leeds in the Championship. However, he admits he is still not up to speed with the Championship: Living the dream

There was strong loan interest in Bonne, but Lee Bowyer was determined to keep him as back up.

Sunday 29 September 2019

A battling performance

My report on the 1-0 victory over Leeds at The Valley yesterday is late because I went last night to a 70th birthday party for an Addick. With many fellow Addicks there, we were able to talk over the victory. As one pointed out, ten more wins should see us safe from relegation.

We agreed that the work rate of the team was tremendous. Jonny Williams was outstanding and Chris Solly had one of his best games for a long time. Conor Gallagher was also excellent, although he started to lose it towards the end of the game and was substituted to a standing ovation. Dillon Phillips made some excellent saves.

Leeds missed the chance to go top of the Championship as Macauley Bonne's scrappy goal condemned them to a first away defeat of the season at The Valley. Leeds applied early pressure. Ben White and Liam Cooper tested Dillon Phillips from corners, while Ezgjan Alioski saw a goalbound shot blocked by Jonathan Leko as the visitors dominated the early exchanges.

But Charlton led against the run of play from a corner of their own - Leeds keeper Kiko Casilla parrying Tom Lockyer's volley into the back of the unknowing Bonne, with the ball trickling in.

Chuks Aneke came on as a substitute and it is a shame he did not have a little more pace to take advantage of opportunities. Leko needs to be a little less greedy and pass the ball.

Leeds lacked cutting edge and put in wayward shots over the goal, but were denied a stoppage-time equaliser when Dillon Phillips made a superb save to deny Adam Forshaw from close range.

Patrick Bamford should have been red carded for a nasty second half tackle.

Friday 27 September 2019

The Championship match of the week

'Off the Pitch' looks at the Championship match of the week and makes some comparisons between Charlton and Leeds United: Financial differences

Paul Breen's earliest memories of Charlton are matches against Leeds United and he looks at some of the key games: The Leeds and Charlton connection

Wednesday 25 September 2019

Charlton creating chances without Taylor

Lee Bowyer reckons that Charlton are still creating chances without Lyle Taylor who will be out for two months: Positives despite lack of points since loss of Taylor

Charlton are not a one man team, but are they a one man forward line?

Tuesday 24 September 2019

Bowyer wants loyalty back

Lee Bowyer is unhappy with the lack of stability at Charlton and doesn't think he or his players got the deals they deserved: Bowyer interview

He says, 'You'll come to the point of bow can you keep doing it. I have been loyal, but where is the loyalty coming back?

Monday 23 September 2019

Addicks have let themselves down says Pratley

The Addicks have let themselves down in recent defeats according to Darren Pratley: Pratley's verdict

Saturday 21 September 2019

Back-to-back defeats for Charlton

Centre-back Chey Dunkley scored twice as Wigan Athletic defeated Charlton 2-0. The Addicks are now 7th in the table, down from 3rd.

The Latics opened the scoring through Dunkley in the 22nd minute, as he scrambled home Charlie Mulgrew's corner. And Dunkley's second again came from a set-piece as he headed home another corner, this time from Michael Jacobs, after 70 minutes.

Wigan goalkeeper David Marshall made a string of fine saves late on but the Latics held out for a comfortable victory.

After going behind, Charlton looked unconvincing against a Wigan side who were winless in their previous seven matches. The home side continued to push in the second half, with Mulgrew nearly doubling Wigan's lead after 60 minutes when his effort struck the outside of the post from a tight angle.

Charlton were denied a consolation goal by superb keeping from Marshall in the final 30 minutes.

Shell shocked supremo Lee Bowyer said that it was the worst performance he’s seen from Charlton since he took over. He felt they weren’t ruthless with the chances they did create but they couldn’t string three passes together in the first-half.

The report from Louis Mendez can be found here: Second defeat on the trot

Friday 20 September 2019

Wigan could get physical

Wigan and Charlton last met in League One in the 2017-18 season, with the Latics winning 3-0 away and drawing 0-0 at home on their way to promotion. Charlton have won one of their five away league matches against Wigan (W1 D1 L3) - a 3-0 win in the Championship in February 2015.

Wigan Athletic have received more yellow cards than any other Championship side this season (20). When I watched the excerpts from last Saturday's 2-2 draw with Hull City on Quest, they seemed very ready to interrupt threatening attacks with fouls. But I have to admit that 19-year old Joe Gelhradt's strike on 75 minutes was superb.

Charlton have not lost consecutive league matches in 2019 so far, last doing so in their final two games of 2018 against Coventry and Barnsley. Wigan are winless in seven matches in all competitions (D2 L5) since winning their first league match of the season at home against Cardiff City.

Since the start of last season, Charlton have won 61 per cent (W31 D10 L10) of the games when Lyle Taylor has played, compared to just 23 per cent without him (W3 D5 L5).

Forecasting a 18th place finish for the Lactics (which is where they finished last season), Four Four Two noted their poor away form last season and their much better home form. The contributor to the fan file forecast 14th and noted there is nowhere decent near the ground to get a pint.

Wigan are currently third from bottom in the table and the form table (in which Charlton are 7th).

The CAS Trust Preview says that Wigan's problem has been scoring goals: The Dream Fixture? Wigan have scored six goals in seven games, conceding 13.

Happy 50th birthday to Stuart 'Sweaty' Balmer.

Gallagher hopes for play off push

Box-to-box midfielder Conor Gallagher talks about his loan spell at Charlton and says that he is hoping for a play off push: Gallagher interview

Thursday 19 September 2019

Taylor injury same as for Bauer

Lyle Taylor has the same injury as the one that kept Patrick Bauer out for two months last season. Taylor will have to wear a leg brace for a few weeks and will then be assessed: Knee ligaments

Bowyer can't take risks with Williams

Jonny Williams quickly established himself as a fans' favourite at Charlton, but Lee Bowyer did not start him against Birmingham City. Bowyer admits that Ehrun Otzumer did not achieve what he hoped for in terms of unlocking the Blues.

However, Bowyer regards Williams as a precious resource who has to be protected against injury: Bowyer explains why Williams was benched

Bowyer thinks that if we were still playing against Birmingham we wouldn't have scored and that's how I felt towards the end of the game.

What Albie Morgan needs to do

Grant Basey discusses Albie Morgan's situation. He has fallen down the pecking order at The Valley and failed to get a loan: Advice for Albie

It may be one of those cases where a player was brought on too quickly given the thinness of the squad last season.

Good sense has prevailed and no action is to be taken against Lee Bowyer after his sending off last Saturday.

Wednesday 18 September 2019

Roland's sidekick has mystery guests

Roland's point man Lieven de Turck had not been seen at The Valley since the play off final and his small band of fans feared that he may have been reassigned to a new role in the Belgian's business empire.

However, he reappeared at the match against Birmingham City. VOTV editor Rick Everitt commented that this 'may have been the first Saturday match he’s seen in 21 months representing Duchatelet.'

He had guests who had been shown around but sat elsewhere. According to the Rickster, they 'were a party of five who sat in west block C, four men and a woman. Men were Middle Eastern in appearance, according to eye witnesses. At that stage I understand they had had two meetings with LDT but not made an offer.'

The Ramsgate-based fan notes, 'Other established interested parties - Aussies, Dalman - have been briefed by Charlton about the new approach, which might suggest an attempt to smoke them out, if you’re a cynic.' As many are when it comes to takeover rumours which usually turn out to have less substance than the mist rolling in from the Thames.

Chuks isn't up to it

Lee Bowyer is not convinced that Chuks Aneke is capable of fulfilling the No.9 role in the absence of Lyle Taylor with knee ligament damage. He thinks he is more of a No.10. But he commented at least he has some options whereas last year he had none.

He also commented on the roles of Leko and Hemed. He thinks that Leko tried to complicate things too much last Saturday which I would agree with: Aneke yet to convince Bowyer

Tuesday 17 September 2019

Charlton without Taylor

The SLP's Richard Cawley reflects on Charlton's defeat to Birmingham last Saturday and reckons that in a tight contest Lyle Taylor could well have made the difference: Charlton miss injured striker

Cawley notes that Lee Bowyer has been understandably vague about how long Taylor will be out, but reckons it could be eight to ten weeks.

Cawley also points out that only four goals have been scored by other out-and-out strikers for Charlton in the last 27 games – Vetokele chipping in with three and Jonathan Leko also on target.

Inevitably, Charlton's defeat had to have a Leamington connection with Birmingham's winning goal scored by the son of their former ace striker Mark Bellingham.

Coaching role for Basey

Steve from Petts Wood and I often wondered why Grant Basey couldn't be given a bigger role than kitman (indeed, he did run drills in the warm up), but now he has been appointed first team development coach to bridge the gap between the under 23s and the first team: Coaching role

He was forced into early retirement from the game by injuries, but took his coaching badges at the same time as Johnnie Jackson.

Monday 16 September 2019

Bowyer blames the grass

Lee Bowyer has blamed the state of the Valley pitch for Charlton's performance on Saturday. He said, 'I think the pitch played a part in that, the grass was too long, a hot day, sticky and slow – the grass was a factor to it because normally we moved the ball better than that.' Read more here: Interesting explanation

Colin Powell was in the parade of former players on the pitch at half time, so perhaps he could be called on for his expertise!

Bowyer has confirmed that Lyle Taylor will be out for an extended period, just how long is uncertain: Serious setback

Hacket-Fairchild finds his feet

Reeco Hackett-Fairchild did feature for the Addicks in League One last season. Over two seasons he made a total of 17 appearances in all competitions, 12 in the league. A loan spell at Bromley at the end of the season convinced him to join the National League outfit.

He told The Non-League Paper, 'I'm at a point in my career where I feel like I need a run of games. My goal is to get back in the Football League. I want to do that this year with Bromley.'

Former striker goes back to playing

Former Addicks striker Izale McLeod has returned to playing football after a year out of the game. At the age of 34 he has joined Kempston Rovers. He has already scored four times this season for the Walnut Boys in the Southern League Division One Central.

He also has a coaching role in the Academy at MK Dons and hopes to eventually go into management.

Sunday 15 September 2019

No lament from Lapslie

Since playing 89 minutes at Ewood Park, George Lapslie has made only two substitute appearances in the league. However, the 22-year old told the Football League Paper,'We all read from the same script in the team, so I don't feel disappointed or hard done by to have missed out.' New loan signings Sam Field and Conor Gallagher have limited Lapslie's opportunities.

T'he manager pulled me to one side before the next game against Stoke and told me I had done nothing wrong. He said I just needed to keep doing what I was doing and working hard in training to get back to the starting XI.'

'Training hard is a given for me, so I just need to keep working on the technical side of my game. I need to get more comfortable and learn to pick the better ball.'

'Bowyer has been unreal for my development. I can't think of a single time when I've felt bad about myself or my game. He always tells us what he wants from us, and even if it doesn't go right the first couple of times, he'll encourage us to do it again.'

Lapslie said that his old brother Tom who plays for Colchester United had been a big positive influence.

Saturday 14 September 2019

Charlton get the Blues

The Valley 100th birthday celebrations were marred this afternoon by Charlton losing 0-1 to Birmingham City, just their third defeat in 26 games, but the Addicks remain 2nd in the table. Lee Bowyer was red carded for leaving his technical area after Birmingham staff threw a ball on the pitch in what he saw as time wasting.

Steve from Petts Wood summed up as being the masters of our own defeat. Our passing was not as crisp and accurate as usual and we certainly missed the injured Lyle Taylor all over the pitch.

Neither side was able to impose themselves in the first half. A diving header on the half hour mark by Tomer Hemed went wide of the post. while Jonathan Leko found space but fired wide. It was just before the break when Dillon Phillips was called into action for the first time, tipping over a Lukas Jutkiewicz header.

But the action hotted up after the interval as both keepers were made to work a lot harder, Blues actually ending up with more efforts on targets than their hosts - 12 to 11. The unmarked 16-year old Luke Bellingham put Blues ahead on 52 minutes. On 65 minutes Phillips had to nudge a shot from Jufkiewicz over the bar.

Charlton then upped their tempo and the visiting keeper was call to make one decisive save from Chris Solly who had a good game. A minute later Lee Camp turned away a low drive by Conor Gallagher. Substitutes Williams and Aneke make a positive difference. Charlton became more threatening and Blues responded with a series of fouls which earned a flurry of yellow cards. Even six minutes added on did not save Charlton, although Dillon Phillips even came up to join the attack.

Report from Louis Mendez can be found here: Addicks lose unbeaten start

Friday 13 September 2019

Charlton's impressive start

Charlton face Birmingham City tomorrow at the 100 year old Valley. Brighton loanee Beram Kayal could make his Addicks debut after featuring twice for Israel, while Deji Oshilaja has returned to training.

The Blues finished 17th in the Championship last season and were forecast to finish 23rd by Four Four Two at the beginning of the season, but they are currently 9th. The magazine noted, 'Garry Monk's summer departure is a real cause for concern - he'd done an impressive job in difficult circumstances comfortably in mid-table. They struggled before his March 2018 arrival at St.Andrew's.' The writer of the Fan File describes Monk 'as the most popular manager at St.Andrew's in my lifetime.'

The CAS Trust preview notes, 'They have had a mixed start to this season. Wins at Brentford on the opening day and at home to Stoke last time out have been balanced by 0-3 defeats at Swansea and Forest. They are clearly missing last season's top scorer Che Adams (22 goals) who joined Southampton in the summer, but much travelled Lukas Jutkiewicz (14 goals last season) is still there and has already netted 3 this term.'

Charlton completed a league double over Birmingham the last time the two sides met in the 2015-16 campaign. Birmingham have won one of their last eight visits to Charlton (W1 D4 L3), a 2-0 victory in February 2014.

Charlton have lost just two of their last 25 games in all competitions (W16 D7 L2). Birmingham have lost their last three away games in all competitions all by the same score (3-0) and have attempted just 21 shots across three defeats.

Charlton are the first newly-promoted Championship side to remain unbeaten in their first six league games of the season since Brighton in 2011-12 - the Seagulls went on to finish 10th.

Lee Bowyer has expressed the hope that his loyalty to Charlton will be recognised: Lee Bowyer

Thursday 12 September 2019

Bowyer: 'I'm doing the right things with players'

Lee Bowyer reckons that the biggest plus of the international break was seeing Jonny Williams back in the senior set up for Wales and Josh Cullen making his debut for the Republic of Ireland: Look at them now

Bowyer said: 'I’m really chuffed for them. It makes me feel good because you’re doing the right things with players – they weren’t anywhere near it before. Now, all of a sudden, they have crept in there and are playing.'

Glass half full for Rick

With Charlton's excellent start to the season, there has been a welcome silence from ultra pessimists like Derek from Dymchurch and Desmond from Deal. However, VOTV editor Rck Everitt is sometimes a glass half empty kind of guy.

As is usual, VOTV is prepared in accordance with rigorous production standards

However, we are promised that the issue of VOTV appearing on Saturday 'is packed with features celebrating Charlton's fine start to 2019/20. It's been an exhilarating start to the new season for Charlton and Voice of The Valley is determined to savour every last drop of enjoyment from it in the new October issue, which goes on sale before Saturday's home game with Birmingham City. We reflect in detail on the Addicks' unbeaten run, with a special focus on five-goal Lyle Taylor, courtesy of Matt Wright.'

You can buy the fanzine at The Valley, but you can also order it online for mailing to your home on Friday under plain cover. If you want to enjoy VOTV in the privacy and comfort of your own home, go here: Voice of the Valley.

Better news on Taylor

Lyle Taylor came home early from Montserrat as a precaution but it seems that his injury was not as serious as was originally feared. Lee Bowyer hopes to get him training tomorrow to make an assessment and he could be available for the game against Birmingham City on Saturday, although it could be from the bench. Certainly there is no question of a six to eight week absence: Taylor injury situation

Wednesday 11 September 2019

MOTM award for Cullen

Josh Cullen picked up a Man of the Match award in his debut for Ireland last night as they beat Bulgaria 3-1 and said it was a dream come true: Cullen debut

Tuesday 10 September 2019

Taylor worries

Lyle Taylor is not in the Montserrat line up tonight and there are reports on social media that he has injured his knee ligaments and will be out for 6-8 weeks. A photo shows him on crutches.

Football's debt to Charlton.

Writing in The Times today chief football writer Henry Winter states: 'At Charlton Athletic, academy heads Steve Avory and Paul Hart worked hard to develop Joe Gomez's game, his heading in particular, and he now excels for Liverpool and England.'

'Charlton gave Nick Pope his start in the professional game, and he now keeps goal in the Premier League with Burnley and is established in the England squad.'

'Clubs and country owe Charlton, still labouring under an unloved owner, a debt.'

Warnock told player not to join Charlton

Gobby Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock told French midfielder Loic Damour to go to Hearts rather than Charlton, saying that he would not be able to afford to live in London, 'it's unbelievable': Edinburgh is the place

It's Warnock that's unbelievable, but let's hope Damour enjoys his kilt.

Monday 9 September 2019

Cowley going to Huddersfield

A number of sources are reporting that Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley (along with his brother Nicky) is on the verge of filling the managerial vacancy at Huddersfield Town. And Huddersfield fans were so sure that they were going to get Lee Bowyer. Indeed, as Richard Cawley has pointed out, the club pushed hard for him.

Sunday 8 September 2019

Dowie put more than a third of his salary behind the bar

Iain Dowie's time as a manager at Charlton has thankfully receded into the distance, but his depredations occurred at a crucial time for the club and we have never fully recovered. Thank you, Richard Murray.

A feature in this morning's Non-League Paper on the 54-year old somehow fails to mention his time at Charlton, although all his other postings as a player and a manager get referred to. In any event, we are told that 'he could be proud of what he achieved'.

Dowie reveals, 'I was quite well paid at Hendon and everyone used to put one-third of their salary behind the bar - I was putting more behind it than most.'

When he was at Charlton it was rumoured that he would go for the occasional recuperating drink with his brother and it seems there may have been some substance to that.

Saturday 7 September 2019

Gallen: 'Unbelievable' fans will help keep Bowyer

The SLP's Richard Cawley has undertaken an extended interview with Steve Gallen: On becoming a Charlton director

Gallen thinks (reasonably enough) that Charlton fans trust him. Of the fans, he said, 'I’ll tell you what does really help – the fans, and how good they are. It helps everyone here. They have been unbelievable. Because they have had a few years of bad times, now they are seeing some good times and are overjoyed about it.'

'I love seeing that sort of togetherness and enthusiasm. That will help keep Lee. When other clubs are asking about you then you think of the fans who are starting to come back here.'

He says that a takeover was close in the summer. 'Unfortunately it looks like that has gone back into the background. It will still come back, I just don’t know when.' He added, 'New buyers, who are maybe close, might be thinking of their own director of football, for example. Certainly they’ll be thinking of their own chief executive – that is something that is needed, for sure.'

Friday 6 September 2019

Gallen in Taylor contract talks

Steve Gallen is in contract talks with Lyle Taylor and is hopeful he will sign a new deal, although he admits he thought that about Joe Aribo: Taylor's future

Roland is encouraging Gallen to find common ground with Taylor: it is something the Belgian always asks about. But Gallen warned there cannot be a repeat of last summer's signing spree, it is simply too much hassle: Signing spree threw up too many problems

Harriott finds his level

Callum Harriott has signed on a free transfer with League 2 Colchester United after training with Charlton over the summer: Pens deal

I was never very enthusiastic about him joining Charlton and we have managed to acquire both quality and quantity thanks to Steve Gallen and Lee Bowyer.

Thursday 5 September 2019

Adam Matthews signs

As anticipated, Adam Matthews has now signed for Charlton on a free, filling the gap at right back: 15th signing

I can't remember such a good set of signings at so little cost. All credit to Steve Gallen and Lee Bowyer.

Wednesday 4 September 2019

Fitness key to Charlton's success

Lee Bowyer reckons that the fitness of Charlton's players is the key to their flying start to the season. They get stronger at the end of games: One big reason

Bowyer is expected to be nominated for Championship manager of the month for August.

Stamp of approval

I'm not much of a philatelist, but apparently it's several years since Charlton merited a first day cover. If you click on it you get a better resolution image. This one was sent to me (I will give it to the museum).

Let's hope we earn another one at the end of this season!

Tuesday 3 September 2019

Steve Gallen appointed as director

In a move welcomed by Charlton fans on social media, recruitment guru Steve Gallen has been appointed as a director of the club. In many respects he has been functioning as a de facto chief executive. He is the first director with footballing experience since Derek Ufton.

VOTV editor Rick Everitt has commented from his Ramsgate fastness: 'Wonder if this is connected with disappearance of Lieven de Turck. Told recently the Belgian has not been seen at The Valley since the play-off final.'

Personally any signs of a glimmer of sanity by the barmy Belgian are welcome. Perhaps he thinks another promotion is possible, but then he would just put up his asking price again.

Roland has commented, 'Selling the club remains our number one priority and it is important the football doesn’t suffer during that process, with Steve on the Board of Directors that can only help.'

Leko's contribution

Jonathan Leko has achieved 93 per cent pass accuracy so far this season and this blog article looks at his contribution: Summer signing that shines

BTW, you are offered the chance to subscribe for updates on 'Charlton City'. Bit of an advance on a village team.

Lyle Taylor has been nominated for Championship Player of the Month. You can vote for him here: PFA awards

Monday 2 September 2019

Chris Powell joins England backroom staff

Former England international Chris Powell has joined Gareth Southgate's England backroom staff as a part of a plan to boost the number of BAME coaches in the game: Elite coach placement programme

Jason Euell has also been given a role, but he will not be leaving Charlton.

'I am staying' insists Bowyer

There is strong interest from Huddersfleld Town in Lee Bowyer but Richard Cawley of the SLP has spoken to the main man this morning and he says he is going to stay at Charlton. The settled supremo said, 'I'm really happy with the way things are going. I'm going to be staying here.'

Huddersfield are yet to win a game this season and are desperate to appoint a manager with Bowyer their No.1 target: They want Bowyer

Bowyer inspired us

According to Sam Field Lee Bowyer's half time team talk inspired Charlton to up their game at Reading on Saturday: Inspiration

Field admitted that the first half was a bit of a struggle and the team came in frustrated. But he noted, 'There’s a great camaraderie here. There’s a feeling that we’ll just run for each other, which is massive in this league. You’re not going to dominate 46 games this season. Like in the first-half, you have to soak it up sometimes. If you can do what we did second-half, I think we’ll be higher up the table than lower down.'

Field said that the players were a bit surprised by their start and he was taking it game by game. He spoke about his good relationship with Darren Pratley: Fine start breeds confidence